.. holiday yum yum ..

Here are a couple of beautiful images--courtesy of Thoai--of some amazing food we had at our Christmas dinner. I wish we had the whole menu captured, but there were simply too many dishes (~ 15 altogether). There were twenty-six of us gathered cozily into my parent's home, and we all had a hand in making this beautiful meal come together. Although, most of the credit does belong to my mom! At one point, we were so stuffed, we all strategically placed pillows to cover our full bellies, lest someone take an unattractive picture of us.

Before and after image of some roasted winter vegetables. We prepared several different kinds of squash, purple potatoes, taro, sweet potato, and eggplant with salt, pepper, extra virgin olive oil, and herbs. They were hand tossed to properly season, put on sheet pans, and roasted at 375 degrees Farenheit.

Here, some banana hearts were julienned for the Mi Quang my mom was preparing.

These are stuffed grape tomatoes, filled with a mixture of soft herbed cheese, parmegiano reggiano, seasoned bread crumbs, a little cornbread mix with cream, eggs (acts as a binder), and herbs and spices.

Turkey was so juicy and delicious! And that's stuffing you see in the turkey! I know that many of you are worried about bacterial contamination with the stuffing in the turkey, but my mom pre-cooks the stuffing ahead of time, cools it, and then immediately puts the turkey in the oven after she stuffs it. Therefore, it starts cooking immediately. We've eaten it this way for years, and it's so so good.

Our cousin Liz made these wonderful creme puffs (i.e., pate a choux puffs) for us. She used real vanilla beans for the creme and they were simply amazing.

Speaking of creme puffs, I had to also include a picture of the croquembouche we made for Thanksgiving--a little wonky but oh so special. This was adapted from a Martha Stewart recipe and the caramel creme was crazy good.

Ooh, this is making me hungry. Best get going then.

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