I barely survived Thanksgiving weekend.
After a marathon meal and 18+ hours of Black Friday shopping (no, I’m not exaggerating), my sibs and I dived into a delish fall/harvest themed Family Dinner.
Since we were all consumed with preparing Thanksgiving dishes (times two for my sibs since they also had Thanksgiving with their in-laws), we wanted a menu that was pretty low maintenance.
For starters, we had a charcuterie and cheese platter to munch on. Then we moved on to roasted bone marrow – utterly decadent over toasted baguette slices and then topped with an herbaceous gremolata. For the entree, a slow-braised, saffron beef ragu. It’s a lovely spin on my seester’s delectable ossobuco that is slow cooked over a few hours. After the initial searing, you let the beef do it’s own magic with little babysitting. Perfect for recuperating shoppers. We served the rich ragu over a quick, yet utterly creamy parmesan polenta from Ina Garten.
To add some veggies to the dinner, I made a salad from dark hearty greens and topped them with homegrown pomegranates (from my seester’s in-laws) and thin starfruit slices from our mother’s old tree that now resides at our auntie’s house. I also threw in some Asian pear slices, goat cheese and a drizzle of a light Dijon based vinaigrette.
And for dessert (because there’s always room for dessert!), big sis made spiced-white wine poached Bosc pears that we enjoyed with vanilla ice cream. Quite a wonderful way to end the meal.
With a fall/harvest themed dinner, I created a cocktail that celebrated the flavors of the season. For this- and to kick off our Week of Holiday Cocktails, I’m delighted to share with you all the Spiced Apple Pie. It’s made from cider, warm spices and spiced rum. Truly apple pie in liquid form—with boozey goodness, of course :)
Another Family Dinner done and in the books and I can’t wait for December’s Family Dinner where all 5 Nguyen Siblings (and their fams) will be present! Totally a Win-Nguyen!
And here’s to the start of our Week of Holiday Cocktails!
The Spiced Apple Pie
8 ounces unfiltered, apple cider
2½ ounces dark spiced rum
½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
pinch freshly grated nutmeg
pinch ground allspice
pinch ground clove
dash vanilla extract
Fill a large cocktail shaker with ice and add all the ingredients except the cinnamon sticks & apple slices. Shake vigorously for 15-20 seconds and strain the contents between 2 glasses that have been filled with ice. Garnish with cinnamon sticks and apple slices. Cheers!