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The Week In Yum - Dec 20 to Jan 2

It's a two week roundup because I did not do a week in yum last week for a couple of reasons. First of all, it's the Christmas season and that is a pretty busy time and sometimes I prefer to just spend time living and not always documenting. It was also the week of the big power outage in Toronto and my neighbourhood was hit particularly hard. On Saturday night, after watching SNL, we retired to bed expecting to sleep but, instead, we both spent the entire night listening to the row of big, uncared for trees on our neighbour's property snap apart and fall on our building. At one point we felt the house shake and heart a huge THWAK and ran into The Kid's room. He was sleeping soundly, oblivious to the whole ordeal, but when I opened his blinds, there was a huge tree limb against it, blocking the bottom half of the window. I looked down and our truck was so covered in tree limbs that you couldn't see the vehicle. We moved The Kid out to the couch and returned to bed to lay there, sleepless, and listen to non stop shwoosh and thwack until morning. Upon investigation after the sun came up, Shack discovered a limb that had impaled the hood! Luckily, it only broke the washer fluid thingy and the truck still ran just fine so he rigged something up so fluid would still shoot out and we were off. A couple of inches either way and we would have been in trouble but we were very lucky.

I am thankful that we only lost power from about 10am Sunday morning to about 3pm Monday afternoon AND Shack got us a generator so that we could run the fridge, power our phones and watch tv - THE ESSENTIALS PEOPLE. We were knee deep in planning our annual Xmas Eve open house and the fridge was full of imported Spanish meats and cheeses and I had been cooking for a couple of days. If we put the cheese outside in a cooler it would freeze and if that $65/k Monte Enebro cheese froze, I would be a very unhappy camper. We unplugged the fridge that night and plugged in a little space heater for overnight and that, combined with my little terra cotta/votive space heaters, kept the house surprisingly warmish and we slept like cozy babies. In fact, the house was only just starting to seriously cool off by the time the power came back on Monday afternoon. My heart goes out to all of our neighbours who were not so lucky and even as I type, there are people who STILL have no power and it was -10C yesterday. Not a very merry christmas for too many people.

Since our power did come back, we opened our home on Xmas Eve to friends and family and had a rip roaring good time that always ends with a loud, enthusiastic carol session before I kick everyone out. We feasted on patatas bravas, lobster risotto cakes with romesco sauce, crostini with ricotta, honey and a drizzle of truffle oil, a chorizo/red pepper/manchego tart and a variety of sausages, serrano ham and three Spanish cheeses. I did not photograph any of the food aside from this shot of the cheese and sausage because I had to do it all in one day due to the stupid power outage but, such is life right?
Okay, here is where I also admit that I totally screwed up the dish I was most excited about. Back in the olden days when I lived in Madrid for a time, I could flip a tortilla like it was nobody's business but this is almost 20 years, lots of wrist issues, carpal tunnel surgery and old lady bones later. I was very tempted to just finish it like a fritatta under the broiler but, noooooooooo, I had to be authentic and do the transfer to the back of a baking sheet, flip and then slide it back in the pan, cooked side up.
I tried to salvage it to no avail so instead of being my centrepiece on my Xmas Eve table, it was breakfast for The Kid, The Neighbours and The Neighbour's brother. Live and learn.

manchego with quince past, polenta with red pepper paste and sausage

lobster risotto waiting to be formed into little cakes, pankoed and fried

this thing was so delicious but so beat down and busted

I even made my own RainCoast Crisps

On Xmas morning we got up, opened our gifts and went off for dim sum at Perfect, just like we always do, and then continue on to have dinner with family three hours away. My contribution to dinner was dessert and since we had a big party the night before, had lost power during my prime prep time and had no room to keep something in the fridge anyway, I made another trifle. This time I bought a butter pound cake and layered the cake with PC Raspberry syrup, the eggnog pudding/whipped cream from my Rum and Eggnog Trifle, the rest of the crushed up spekulas, some dulce de leche made by simmering a can of condensed milk and macerated strawberries. I could whip it together in the morning before we left and it did it's thing in the back of the truck all day while we were in transit. THE perfect last minute dessert when you have to be on the road.

We stayed at my sister's for a couple of days, had a nice visit, went to see my nephew and his family outside of Ottawa and just relaxed before returning home on the weekend. We've seen some movies, snacked on snacks and just enjoyed each other's company.

On Sunday, we went to Kensington for ceviche but Seven Lives was closed so we hotfooted it over to Mexican Salsas so I could have a big old bowl of pork pozole. I really didn't know how much I needed this life giving soup until I took my first spoonful. Thank god for pozole.

On Monday night I did a variation on one of my favourite dishes, Greek Roast Chicken but with some preserved lemon, smoked paprika and sherry since I am still all about Spain and with a few tweeks, it will be ready to share. It was extra lemony with the preserved lemons so I might cut down on the juice, cut down on the water and up the sherry. Soon come.

not ready for prime time but delicious just the same

On New Year's Eve, we usually keep it low key and stay home. Sometimes we have a couple of friends over, sometimes it's just the three of us but we almost never go to any house parties and we NEVER EVER go out to any sort of organized festivity. Back before The Kid we used to say that NYE was for amateurs and that , for us, every night was potentially NYE. We certainly don't get our party on like we used to but have both had our fill of raucous celebrations and prefer to ring in the new year with great food, some nice wine, maybe a bit of prosecco, The Kid (at least until he gets a bit older and wants to go do his own thing) and do our best just to stay awake until the ball drops.

New Years Day was spent lying around, watching season one of Justified (can that dude be ANY more beautiful??) and finally around 2:30pm, starving, we grabbed a couple of the MVP's and went off to Markham for ramen at Ajisen.

Thursday was a leftover kind of day and when your leftovers are this risotto and a plate of leftover grilled striploin, that's not a bad thing.

So, a very happy New Year to everyone and let's hope that 2014 brings nothing but happiness, love and full bellies.

Favourite Pin: Adorable

Favourite Instagram: more adorable festiveness

Favourite Facebook Share: very excited to try this place out!

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