Hye Thyme Cafe: Christmas 2010

Welcome to the Hy
e Thyme Cafe. Although not all of my recipes are Armenian, the name is a little nod to my Armenian grandmother who is no longer with us. The Hye refers to all things related to her homeland, and she represents all things food-related to me, so the two just seemed to go together. I can't even claim that my Armenian recipes are truly Armenian, since Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, and even Egypt share so many foods that they've all sort of morphed into one over thousands of years.

Whether you like to cook, bake, have never done either, or just like to play with your food...come on in and join me! :)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas 2010

Hope you all had a FABULOUS holiday!  I'll post some of the recipes over the next few days, but in the meantime, here's the lowdown on what turned up on our holiday table ...


CHRISTMAS EVE - Appetizers

Jajig and Pita Chips
Tabouli and Crackers

SPinach Pie
Stuffed Grapeleaves

Cocktail Meatballs
Jalapeno Popper Prosciutto Wraps

Tuna Crostini

Stuffed Artichokes


Chocolate Biscotti

Holiday Punch
Peanut Butter Nainamo Bars
Cookies, Cookies, Cookies
Sugar Cookies
Apple Pie
Angel Lemon Pie

The cookie tray, from left to right, is ... Moravian Spice Cookie Wafers, Andes Candies Mint Cookies, Peanut Brittle, Diablo Pumpkin Seed Brittle, Simit, Anise Cookies, Baraze, and Chocolate Chip Orange Oatmeal Cookies.  😋

We started doing the appetizers and desserts on Christmas Eve because there is always sooooo much stuff. This way, everyone gets to nibble on Christmas Eve, then on Christmas Day, they don't feel like they're going to explode from trying to sample everything. They can skip over what they had the night before and move on to the other goodies. This also works well if you are going to have similar items. For example, the Trifle and Vacherin, or the Vacherin and the Angel Lemon Pie. Makes sense to introduce one on the first night and the other the next night to increase the odds of them being finished. If you bring them out together - maybe someone wouldn't want the lemon chiffon because they just had the strawberry mousse...

CHRISTMAS - Breakfast

Egg Nog Coffee Cake

Date Nut Bread

Strawberry Crostini
Fruit Bowl


Focaccia with Dipping Oils
Mini Caprese Salad

Spinach Amandine
Orange/Honey Glazed Carrot Ribbons
Beef Tenderloin with Mini Pommes Anna

I oopsed - I also made a big batch of Pilaf but just realized it didn't make it into my round of pics. Nor did the dipping oils, but that's OK. I made the Pommes Anna with Yukon Gold Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes. As for the Tenderloin, it just melted in your mouth it was soooo good/tender. I had just wished it was a touch more on the done side. It makes me crazy because I cooked it longer than called for, checked it with a meat thermometer, and tented it in foil to finish off while it rested. If you can't trust the recipe or a thermometer, how do you know what you're getting? You can't cut into it or all the juice will run out!! It went over just fine with everyone, so phew!

CHRISTMAS NIGHT - Additional Desserts

White Chocolate Eggnog Cordial Cups

Strawberry Vacherin
No, I did NOT make all of this myself. My sister made some things, and I did others, but this was the first year ever that I made the actual holiday meal. I've never lived anywhere big enough to host a big holiday, so I always just bring apps, desserts, etc. My sister let me invade her kitchen this year and take over. I found out the down-side to making a holiday meal is that you're so busy with that, you don't have time to play with your new toys from Santa!! 😡

The Strawberry Vacherin was a new one for me and a total disaster!! We had a guest in from France for Thanksgiving and asked what his favorite holiday dessert is. Since he was coming back to spend Christmas with us, I wanted to give it a shot, but I apparently need a tutorial on making meringues!! I made one batch and had to chisel them off the waxed paper. They LOOKED beautiful though! I think I managed to over-beat this second attempt and followed someone's recommendation to bake them on brown paper bags, but those also had to be pried off the paper and I lost quite a few. On top of the meringue issue, we didn't have a Charlotte Mold, so I improvised and made the strawberry mousse center in a sort of pyramid shaped glass bowl.  Hey, I tried!!  😉

So, do you have any interesting holiday traditions you want to share???

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