the last few weeks of december were a whirlwind of cooking and eating, and i enjoyed every minute! one of my sisters and i started baking the thursday before christmas, and the result was double batches of gingerbread and cardamom rolled cookies, kourabiedes, and walnut wimpy balls. we also made 6 marzipan stollens, which have become a family favorite thanks to the ny times, and a batch of homemade eggnog. the time spent with her and my parents as we baked, decorated, and ate was the best vacation i could ask for. most of the best times with my family happen in the kitchen, and this holiday was no different.
but, you can’t consume sugar 24/7 without craving something savory. so my husband made a trip to little italy on christmas eve and came back with the most delicious fresh lasagna sheets from piemonte ravioli and fresh ricotta from da alleva. and in the meantime i roasted some sliced eggplant and zucchini, sauteed some mixed mushrooms, and cooked up a batch of our favorite mario batali marinara. we then assembled 3 lasagnas, because when you have double batches of all your desserts, you can’t skimp on the main course!
after a few more days of eating and hanging out, my husband and i headed to naples, fl to visit his parents. in contrast to the cold spells we experienced on previous visits, we had nothing but sun and warmth this time around. my days on the beach were only interrupted by the search for delicious seafood, which we found at kelly’s fish house, riverwalk cafe, and truluck’s. we also managed to track down some delicious local oranges and grapefruits, which are now in peak season.
but by the time we got home on new year’s eve, both my husband and i felt like our bodies were ready for a change of pace. luckily i had made a surprise reservation for new year’s day at pure food and wine here in new york city. pure food and wine is a raw and vegan restaurant, so it was definitely a departure from our usual dining experiences. some of the dishes require that you ignore previous conceptions of standard items such as tacos or polenta, but i found everything i tasted to be incredibly refreshing and full of flavor. when you are cooking with only raw fruits, vegetables, and nuts it is important that the products are of very high quality. the difference came through on every dish, and unfortunately the prices as well.
then, on wednesday, we took our new year’s health kick to a the next level with a 3-day juice cleanse from blueprint cleanse. with the goal of relieving any residual holiday stress on our digestive organs, we consumed juiced greens, apples, beets, carrots, ginger, lemon, pineapple, mint, and cashews for 3 days. having done this before, and struggled through the last day, i was happy that this time felt much easier. my body felt light and healthy starting on the second day and i was sad to come to the end yesterday. that said, it is my goal this year to eat more vegetables and to eat lighter in general, so hopefully the healthy feeling will continue.
happy new year to all my readers! i look forward to blogging with you in 2012.