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Christmas Eve Open Thread

I wish all of our readers a happy holiday eve. May it be free of thoughts about Donald Trump.

If you are looking for TV, I'll suggest El Cartel I and II (called "Cartel de los Sapos")-- both seasons are now available with subtitles on Amazon Prime. It's the story of the Norte del Valle cartel in Colombia and its takedown and prosecution in the U.S., written by a former member of the cartel while in prison in Miami. It really launched the whole narco-drama series phenomenon and has terrific, now well-known actors. I've probably watched the full series three times or more. The Norte del Valle cartel was the successor to the Cali Cartel. The series is a far more accurate portrayal of real life characters and events and much better done in my opinion than American shows like Narcos which pay DEA agents to be consultants. It focuses on the corruption as well as the drug dealing.

Two Twitter feeds I'm recently added: Calorie Fixes and Tasty. Check out Tasty's five best egg hacks, you'll be a fan.

Again, Happy Xmas Eve, and please let us know what you're cooking and how you are celebrating and anything else on your mind.

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    My wife made fresh egg nog last night. (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Dec 24, 2017 at 03:03:45 PM EST
    It's so much better than the store-bought kind, especially when you add rum to give it a little kick. We bought a turkey for tomorrow, and she's making a list for me to go to the grocery store to fetch the rest of the fixings. Elder Daughter and her new baby will be home from the hospital in a couple of hours.

    Homemade egg nog sounds great (none / 0) (#6)
    by McBain on Sun Dec 24, 2017 at 03:19:30 PM EST
    but I'd probably have to delude it a bit with milk. Although I have a sweet tooth, many deserts are too sweet.  My mom makes a holiday cheesecake with about half the sugar as most recipe's call for.  Of course, I end up eating twice a much.

    Congrats on the new addition to the family.  

    Parent

    Had the big eat yesterday (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Dec 25, 2017 at 08:29:57 AM EST
    Today I'm making NY style falafel/pita sandwiches.  With lettuce tomatoes red onion cucs kalamata olives feta and tahini and cream of garlic and celery soup with shredded chicken and wild mushrooms.  

    My guests have never had falafel

    Baroody (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by jmacWA on Mon Dec 25, 2017 at 09:05:14 AM EST
    Love falafel...  I think the Baroody falafel mix makes the ultimate falafel.  Usually we just add some extra sesame seeds for crunch, and I have now switched to making falafel waffles.  Usually served with a sauce consisting of greek yogurt, chopped cucmbers, chopped peppers.

    Parent
    omg (none / 0) (#12)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Dec 26, 2017 at 09:43:02 AM EST
    Falafel waffles with yogurt tahinni sauce sounds amazing.

    Guess I have to buy a waffle iron.

    Parent

    wow! I never thought of that, (none / 0) (#13)
    by leap on Tue Dec 26, 2017 at 10:58:23 AM EST
    baking falafels in a waffle iron. That does sound wonderful. I never make falafels because I don't do frying, but this sounds like the way to go. I'm always trying to find ways to ingest more protein with flavor. Thank you putting that out there., jmacWA.

    Parent
    Just look online (none / 0) (#14)
    by jmacWA on Tue Dec 26, 2017 at 11:05:16 AM EST
    There are dozens of different recipes for how to make falafel batter suitable for a waffle iron.  IIRC, the one I use puts in an egg, to the mix.  

    Parent
    And watching the Dexter marathon. (none / 0) (#10)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Dec 25, 2017 at 08:31:19 AM EST
    Also just binged season two of STRANGER THINGS, so good.

    Parent
    Merry Christmas and.. (none / 0) (#1)
    by desertswine on Sun Dec 24, 2017 at 01:34:03 PM EST
    Happy Holidays.

    I always enjoy watching the movie "Scrooge" sometime during the holidays.  You know, the musical one with Albert Finney.

    Thank you very much,
    Thank you very much,
    That's the nicest thing that anyone's ever said to me.


    Peaky Blinders (none / 0) (#2)
    by Chuck0 on Sun Dec 24, 2017 at 01:47:47 PM EST
    Season 4 now on Netflix.

    eating pie (none / 0) (#3)
    by leap on Sun Dec 24, 2017 at 02:26:20 PM EST
    Made a blueberry from my own berries; and an apple, made with piñata apples. Imma gonna eat the blueberry, though!

    Every Christmas Eve for the past (none / 0) (#5)
    by McBain on Sun Dec 24, 2017 at 03:14:27 PM EST
    15 years, my mom cooks a special roast called Fred's Steak.
    It's SF Bay Peninsula favorite with a secret recipe for the marinade that makes it so dark it looks burnt to a crisp even when tender inside.  Some think the secret is molasses or coffee. I've heard rumors of squid ink.  Whatever it is, it makes the holidays even more special.

    After dinner we exchange gifts and on the way home I always drive or walk though a nearby neighborhood that goes all out with Christmas decorations. I believe homeowners are required to at least put up lights.

    Christmas Day, I'm going to see the new Star Wars movie. That's also become somewhat of a tradition.

    My talented cooks (none / 0) (#15)
    by Towanda on Wed Dec 27, 2017 at 07:23:18 PM EST
    also known as my son and daughter-in-law used their favorite kitchen device, some Fnch thing, on Christmas Eve to tenderize a flank steak that was fantastic, topped by bearnaise sauce. And mmm, roasted brussels sprouts and great potatoes . . . ending with my daughter-in-torching her terrific, individual creme brulees.

    They are foodies and always intrigue us with the results of their interst. Next, we return to Chicago to share the culinary results of their newst kitchen device, an air fryer.

    Parent

    Was it, perhaps, sous vide? (none / 0) (#16)
    by caseyOR on Sat Dec 30, 2017 at 12:15:19 PM EST
    We switched up our tradition this year, (none / 0) (#7)
    by Anne on Sun Dec 24, 2017 at 06:48:14 PM EST
    and it worked out well.

    Normally, the kids come over in the morning with husbands and grandkids in tow, we open gifts, have breakfast - and then they disperse.  Around lunchtime, we go get my mom, then swing by our older daugter's in-laws for their open house, then head back to our house for dinner.

    But...this year may be my son-in-law's father's last Christmas.  He was diagnosed with Stage IV glioblastoma in July, had surgery, chemo and radiation - and while we're all hoping for the best, and he's generally doing okay, the odds are not in his favor.

    So, my son-in-law wanted all of them to spend the whole day together, rather than dividing their time.

    We decided we'd do our Christmas on Christmas Eve, and we had a really nice time.  Food was more casual than our normal Christmas dinner.  We had some good finger foods while we were all getting ready to open gifts: shrimp cocktail, a chili-cheese dip and a Christmas "tree" made with pizza dough and filled with spinach dip.

    Dinner was chicken fajita sliders, and cheeseburger sliders, and salad.  Dessert was three kinds of cookies - chocolate chip, salted caramel snickerdoodles and chocolate chip shortbread.

    And...I got an Instant Pot!  Can hardly wait to use it!  And a Tasty cookbook (I have the app on my phone and have made quite a few things from it - good stuff, and easy to make).

    Tomorrow, we will go get my mom, stop by the open house, then come back here for dinner.  Our younger daughter and her family will join us.  Beef tenderloin, green beans, roasted potatoes and mushrooms, and more cookies for dessert - or I may make a gingerbread roll - we'll see how it goes.

    Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas, and here's to a happy, healthy, peaceful New Year!

    Cheers, everyone!

    Making yummy feta roasted potatoes. (none / 0) (#8)
    by oculus on Sun Dec 24, 2017 at 09:50:31 PM EST
    Third time this week. Big hit.