Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Holiday Review!

Somehow it's already mid-January and I have yet to post pictures from the holidays.
All set for christmas eve dinner

Grandma Margaret's recipe for Swedish meatballs- an absolute christmas eve must.
And lucky you! I'm sharing her recipe! (hope that's ok grandma). Actually, I believe the recipe was originally developed by my grandma McCarthy's stepmother/aunt, but the recipe is in my grandmother's words. In any case, they will beat the pants off the Ikea version ANY day of the week.

For each 4-6 people served, make one recipe of meatballs, double for 10, etc. Also depends upon whether meatballs are the main corse or part of a "smorgasbord".

Mix together thoroughly:
1 lb. finely ground lean beef
1/2 cup find dry bread crumbs (can be purchased-- get PLAIN)
1 egg
2/3 cups milk
2 tbsp. grated onion (GRATED not chopped)
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

Flour to thicken gravy
1 can beef broth
Dill weed (NOT DILL SEED)
Sour cream

Gently form into small balls (1" or so), using the palms of the hands. If hands get sticky, rinse off with water and don't dry (mixture won't stick to wet palms). Arrange on platter or pan of some kind, cover with foil or plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight or several hours. Brown in small amount of vegetable oil, with a little butter added. Turn them carefully so the don't break apart. Drain on paper towels and remove to casserole with cover. Add flour to fat and bits in the pan, stirring constantly. Add (for each recipe) one can of beef broth. Use whisk to get all the lumps out. Stir until cooked and the consistency you want. Add salt and pepper to taste, then add dill weed to taste. Pour over meatballs, cover and cook in a 325-350 degree oven for 45 min. to an hour. When ready to serve, carefully mix sour cream into the gravy (be careful not to add too much at the start-- perhaps 1/4 cup per recipe-- until you taste it to see what you like).
You can also  cook them 1/2 hour or so an then cool and refrigerate. Then you can skim off any fat that comes to the top of the dish. Put back in the oven and cook at 325 degrees until hot, add sour cream, and serve. Serve with mashed potatoes or rice. 

nathan made some delicious mashed potatoes (thanksgiving redemption) and it pretending to take a huge mouthful. (Side story: we bought a 5 lb pound bag of potatoes and without thinking about it just made them all into mash, which is a lot for two people. We ate almost all of them within a few days, but you don't want to take chances with mashed potatoes, so there were maybe a few cups left when we left the pot on the counter to clean. Somehow we didn't get to cleaning that pot for a day or two, and trust me, we will never make that mistake again...)


Loungin' on christmas day. Kitty decided to move at the last second of course.

Our "hearth"

The stocking I made for Nathan

New Years Eve I had to work, but I got off in time to see the fireworks from our corner and then drink the bottle of champagne Reid and Lindsay sent to us while watching West Wing.

On new years day we went to the international district to get Dim Sum, which is a kind of traditional chinese brunch. We went last year too, but this year it was swamped. We had to wait for 30 min for our reservation in a huge crowd. This year we went with Brian and Kate.

The way Dim Sum works is that ladies come around with carts of little dumplings and other small dishes. And you get a whole bunch of stuff and try them. A lot of it is weird, but that is part of the fun.

It was also beautiful on new years, so we walked over to Volunteer Park where there is an old water tower you can climb up into and you can see 365 degrees around the city.

Then, thanks to some christmas money and some zip car money we upgraded our dining table to one that can actually fit 4 diners, as well as (most importantly) puzzles and games! It even comes with a leaf. We got a couple other home-improvement things too, but I need to take pictures still.

Hope everyone had a happy new year!

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