No malice was intended...we always put our gifts back under the tree. The problem is the tree (a gift from Tyler's dad) contains our nativity scene. This year, my mom gave the gift of beer, so that meant that Jesus was watched over by the beer shepherds. We know that God has a sense of humor.
Our tradition has become to serve pandoro french toast on Christmas morning. I'm not sure how it started - maybe its because we never sell all of our pandoro. This year was no different. We simply slice, batter and fry - yes fry! That's my dad's way of cooking french toast. Its not healthy but you know its good. A little Brown Family Farms syrup and we were good to go.
Tyler was testing the limits when he put an entire can of chipotles into this pork recipe with bell peppers over saffron rice. It was a Lynn Rosetta Kasper recipe which clearly had a mistake in it. This also marks the start of Tyler's return to pork, which is a good thing to this Midwestern raised boy!
Patrick and I made a 470 ball croquembouche for the store display topped with a sugar star. Not the prettiest I've seen, but its a good effort with which we learned a lot. The most important thing that we've learned is to make our puffs identical in size - it makes for easier assembly and decorating. All in all, we're happy.
Tonight I rushed out a Demayo Chocolate cake courtesy of Amernick. Very intense cake with coconut, pecan (walnut in this case) filling. If it weren't for 1 full cup of cocoa, this might pass as German Chocolate, but it was too intense for the Germans.
We're wrapping up our trip to the Palm Springs area, and have learned quite a bit about the culinary scene here. I found it to be totally uninspired - that's not to say there isn't good food here, its just the fact that the menus began to all look alike. We dined at The Cork Tree, Zinc American Bistro, Native Foods, Beaux Arts Foods, and El Mexicali. All provided good meals, but Beaux Arts and El Mexicali were the favorites.
El Mexicali had a dish I had never heard of before - Chiles Gueritas Rellenos de Camaron (Shrimp stuffed yellow peppers). It was oddly served with soy sauce and mayo, but was one of our favorite dishes of the trip.
The best wine I had was at Beaux Arts with a Chardonnay Fortant - perfectly balanced for my palate, and great with my quiche.
Another highlight was finding La Quinta Baking company - a nice selection of French/French-inspired pastries. We walked out with $40 in treats, which is unusual for my cheapskate ways.
On any future visits, I would throw away any internet lists and just start exploring the strip malls. There won't be any French Laundry in the midsts, but there are many great restaurants to be found.
that spicy chicken...but I had the catfish instead. Tyler had never had Popeyes, but when I lived in New Orleans it was a staple to my diet. A good friend and I would go to the regular $5 all-you-can-eat and spend about 4 hours filling our college bellies full of grease. I knew I was done when I started eating the sides like red beans and filling in the gaps. The good times always ended in abdomenal pains. But that's good eatin'.
We travelled to Indio, CA (Palm Springs) for the annual tamale festival. I ate way more than I should have but, just like Chinese food, was hungry an hour later. One of our favorites was the sweet corn tamal, and of course, my favorites were the dessert tamales (strawberry, chocolate/raspberry, pineapple/raisin). The chicken, ginger, habanero was the most unique and tasty.