Welcome to 2011!!

I’m back! My crazy schedule has gotten a little less so and my culinary mojo has been workin’ overtime! I finally got back to the Market once last week, and am about to go again today, but first, let’s discuss Christmas.

This year, I got two gifts that were not only very thoughtful but also highly necessary; an external hard drive, so my computer’s memory problems are no longer my problems, and a new camera! Now, you’ll see my meals the way I do, not all blurry like my old camera made them!

This Christmas, we also had our friend Jeremy over for dinner. Here’s the event:

After Thanksgiving’s big bird, and how long it took us to finish it (you’ll finally see the end of it today), I decided to just do a turkey breast for Christmas. I also wanted to shake it up a bit. No bacon under the skin this time, but a fragrant combination of herbs and garlic made for a beautifully delicious meal. Honestly, I really wanted to make a duck, but The Boyfriend wasn’t havin’ it. Just wait, one day I’ll surprise him and he’ll be a total convert!

We started with a brief study in Pumpkin; Roasted Pumpkin Soup, next to my version of Insalata di Zucca, a Bar Toscana item. This salad featured grilled Maitake Mushrooms (from Clearwater Farms) and strips of Pumpkin, tossed in a brandied glaze. All this sat on a bed of Escarole and was studded with toasted Walnuts.

Next, we charged the ‘buffet’ in the kitchen.

The Turkey breast, next to the gravy…that we NEVER USED! Yes, it was just that juicy!

The parade of sides: Colcannon (mashed Yukon Gold Potatoes, with Red Russian Kale and Red Onions), Roasted Cincinnati Radishes with Pearl Onions and of course, Dressing…which needed the gravy the next day.

And then there was the dessert…


Based on Bonet Piemontese, yet another Bar Toscana dish, I made this intense chocolate-almond truffle cake, with a cinnamon-sugar glaze. WAY TOO RICH to eat this much of it! The three of us slowly nibbled at them until we’d hit the halfway point. Today is 1/2/11 and we still have most of one left. Cut into small pieces, it’s a purrfect little confection!

This festive feast was all washed down with this tasty bottle, which is sitting next to another gift I got from The Boyfriend. A couple months ago, I was able to convince him to come to the West LA market with me. After all his protesting, he ended up having a great time and, while I wasn’t looking, picked up this cute little Cat n’ Fiddle salt and pepper set. Hey Diddle Diddle!

After the Christmas Craziness subsided, I started thinking of New Year’s Eve. The Boyfriend’s band played two gigs, ringing in the new year at 4pm, to recognize the GMT zone, and again at midnight PST. This made for a really long day. My remedy? Soup!

Between the two gigs, Jimmy and Jeremy came over for dinner and enjoyed the last of the Thanksgiving bird, once and for all!

When the carcass had been picked clean, we were left with the wings and one big leg. I put them in the freezer and pulled them out on 12/31, to make a quick, tasty and nutritious soup to soothe our party-addled bodies.

Now, prior to the changing of the year, I spent a Tuesday afternoon at a market I hadn’t visited in years; Culver City’s late market happens every Tuesday from 3-7pm. The atmosphere is festive, sporting produce vendors and cooked food items…I even found my addictive obsession; that Tempeh!

The Haul

Eggs – $4

Cucumbers – $2.80

Heirloom Tomatoes – $3

Garlic – $1.50

Radicchio – $2.50

Fennel and Purple Cauliflower – $3.50

Total: $17.30!!

That night’s dinner was a celebration of getting back to the farmer’s market and inspired by a recent episode of Simply Ming.

This turkey salad napoleon used the Cucumbers, Heirloom Tomatoes and Radicchio from the Tuesday Market Haul, and was dressed with an orange-balsamic vinaigrette. Aaah. I’m back.

Well, I’m off to the market once more today! I think I’ll head to my old neighborhood and visit the Mar Vista Farmer’s Market. It’s been a long time since I’ve been to that one!

Is there a Farmer’s Market you love? Would you go to one if you knew where to go?

Drop me a comment and let me know!

Thanks for watching and Happy New Year!!


About OrganiCat

I'm a fresh food fanatic, here to inspire and expand the world's relationship with farmer's market fare!
This entry was posted in Christmas, Cool People, Leftovers, Market Haul, Poultry, Thanksgiving, YUM. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Welcome to 2011!!

  1. Stephanie says:

    Happy new year! I’d be happy to be your tastetester for duck, should the mood strike you 🙂 Anyhoo, do you have any tips for a moist turkey breast? I like making Thanksgiving dinner at random times during the year (once a year is not enough!) and I always make just a breast but last time it was super dry. Booo.

    Can’t wait to see new pictures from the new camera!

    • Cat Braithwaite says:

      This being my first time with a turkey breast, I refered to an episode of America’s Test Kitchen I’d seen before Thanksgiving. Their recipe had it roasting at a low temperature (275), breast side down for 1 hour. After the 1st hour, flip it over, and return it to the oven. After about another hour, the breast should register around 160 degrees.
      At this point, crank the heat to 500 and let the skin get crisp for 15 minutes.
      If you register on their website, you can watch past episodes in full. …I had this one on pause all afternoon while I cooked!

      No Gravy Necessary!!!

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