mini curried squash soup, unique garnishes

a 3 oz. portion of spicy curried butternut squash soup with creme fraiche
garnished with toasted coconut, chopped cashews, dried pomegranate arils

As I tinker with my table setting ideas for our holiday parties
here’s what’s been playing on the stereo:

This year’s Christmas Compilation is a mix of classic and contemporary.

Play List
Dean Martin – A Marshmallow World
Rod Stewart & Dolly Parton – Baby It’s Cold Outside
Bing Crosby – It’s Beginning to Look Like Christmas
The Christmas Party Singers – Mary’s Boy Child/Oh My Lord
Eartha Kitt – Santa Baby
Elvis Presley – Blue Christmas
Jimmy Buffett – Mele Kalikimaka
Barbra Steisand – Jingle Bells?
The Carpenters – Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
Andy Williams – It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year
The Beach Boys – Little Saint Nick
Frank Sinatra – White Christmas
U2 – Christmas, Baby Please Come Home
Louis Armstrong – Winter Wonderland
The Carpenters – Merry Christmas Darling
Elvis Presley – Here Comes Santa Claus
Stevie Nicks – Silent Night
The Carpenters – The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)
Johnny Mathis with the Percy Faith Orchestra – Sleigh Ride
Jimmy Buffett – Christmas in the Caribbean
Burl Ives – Holly Jolly Christmas

What are you listening to as you bake cookies, trim your tree, and plan your holiday menus?

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PeRsiMMoN-PaLoOZa: hachiya & fuyu


two ways
steam pudding with sliced fuyu and chantilly cream flavored with brandy
verrine layered with hachiya pulp, steam pudding, chantilly cream

hachiya & fuyu

Hachiya is heart-shaped. Fuyu is tomato-shaped. And the differences don’t end there.

The hachiya must be completely ripe to be palatable, or else the taste is astringent and off-putting, reminiscent of chalk. But when it is ripe it is sublime – a not-too-sweet apricot-like flavor, with a hint of honey, and unique slippery texture. The fuyu – on the other hand – can be eaten like an apple, diced for a salad or salsa, or sliced into wedges when it is softer and served with dessert or cheese. Persimmon has the pizzazzy flavor of Fall!

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persimmon bread pudding, bourbon creme anglaise

persimmon bread pudding with walnuts and raisins
kentucky bourbon creme anglaise

persimmon tree & view of cabrillo beach from alice’s home

“I’ve got persimmons coming out my ears!” After work, Sally and I went over to Alice’s to help her with her “persimmon situation.”  If we didn’t harvest the fruit, the birds surely would.

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Roasted Salmon, Latkes, Slaw & Red Pepper Sauce

Roasted Fresh Atlantic King Salmon
Potato Zucchini Red Pepper Latkes
Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
Heart Healthy Cabbage Carrot Slaw

On this the Sixth Night of Hanukkah, I invited with my older brother, Bill, who is in town from Florida, over for dinner and to help make latkes! At nightfall we lit the menorah and recited the blessing over the candles.

Blessing over Candles
Hebrew: Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha’olam asher kidishanu b’mitz’votav v’tzivanu l’had’lik neir shel Hanukkah.

English: Blessed are you, Lord, our God, King of the universe who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us to light the lights of Hanukkah.

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The Best Savory Latkes Recipe

Potato Zucchini Latkes
Non-Fat Yogurt
Smoked Wild Sockeye Salmon
Whitefish Caviar

Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, refers to the lights kindled on each of the holiday’s eight nights. We eat foods fried in olive oil to commemorate the ancient miracle that occurred in the second century BCE. A jug of olive oil, which held enough oil to last for one day, burned for eight when the Holy Temple in Jerusalem was rededicated.

SuShi HoLiDaY PaRtY!

Every year, it is my absolute pleasure to plan the Holiday Party for our workplace, Rolling Hills Country Day School. This year, we kicked off the holiday season with a celebration at Sushi Sen Nari in Gardena, California. If you are within driving distance of Gardena and you love sushi, put Sen Nari on your list. From the traditional to the exotic, Sen Nari delivers!

Voted the Best Sushi

Sonny is the owner. He and his wife and the entire staff could not be more hospitable. Sonny and Carol’s daughter graduated from Rolling Hills Country Day School in 2002 so it was especially neat to hold our party in their restaurant. Many photos were taken of Jennifer’s old teachers to email back to her while she studies in Japan.

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