StoneGable is slowly being dressed in Christmas finery! I love the process of decorating for Christmas as much as the final product. 

I don't have many snowmen, santas (except the little wooden triangle Santa my son made in nursery school many years ago) or ready-made decorations anymore.

Over the last few years I have let go of many Christmas decorations and have been collecting "elements". Sticks, picks, greens, pinecones, snowflakes, etc. Each year I round up the every Christmas box and create. I think I love the creative process the best. Picking a theme, shopping the Christmas area of my basement and  getting a few new new things as well. Working on new and fresh ideas for Christmas is so exhilarating. We have many many Christmas tradition that remain the same from year to year, but the decking-the-halls the same is not one!

Enough about decorating... let's talk food! Here's what's ON THE MENU...

Broccoli Cheddar Soup
Crusty Bread

Recipe: Broccoli Cheddar Soup
6 cups fresh broccoli
1 large onion, chopped
1 large garlic clove, pressed or finely chopped
1 cup shredded carrots
4 cups chicken stock
¼ cup flour
2 cups whole milk ( or half and half, or a combo of both)
4 cups very sharp cheddar cheese,  1/2 cup reserved
Pancetta, 6-8 thin slices ( can also use bacon)

Wash and trim broccoli. Do not use tough ends. Rough cut and put in slow cooker
In a large frying pan, heat cooking oil and add onions. Cook onions on medium low heat until soft. Add a healthy pinch of salt. Add shreddedcarrots and continue to cook for 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 additional minute. Add to slow cooker. 

Add chicken stock, pepper, and only if using low sodium stock, 1/2 tsp salt. Cook on low for 3-4 hours.

Remove 2 cups of cooked vegetables (mostly broccoli) and chop into small pieces, reserve. 

In a bowl, mix flour and milk with a whisk. (I use a large jar with a lid and shake) Add to slow cooker. Grate a little nutmeg (1/8 tsp) and add. Cook on high for 30-45 minutes until thickened. Replace lid and keep closed.

Add cheddar cheese and continue to cook until melted. Replace lid and keep closed.

Using emulsifying blender, blend soup until smooth. You can also use a standard blender and blend in batches. This will make the soup thicker and creamy. Add reserved chopped broccoli and stir.

Shred pancetta and cook in a frying pan until crisp. 

Ladle soup into bowls and top with additional cheddar cheese and pancetta. Serve with garlic bread or any crusty bread. 

Garlic Roasted Pork Loin
Potato Gratin With Rosemary Crust
Chopped Salad

Recipe: Potato Gratin With Rosemary Crust
Mary, from Home Is Where The Boat Is, and I have the same passion for potatoes! I cannot resist potato chips, french fries, baked potatoes, potato salad and now look at this gorgeous gratin!!!! Not only are her potatoes like kryptonite so is her blog! I can lose time pouring over her creative posts and stunning photography! Her blog is one of my very favorites for it's beauty! For this great recipe and a visit, click HERE.

Caesars Salad
Spaghetti With Meat Sauce

Recipe: StoneGable's  Caesars Salad
This is one of those recipe's I could make in my sleep! It is a staple here! I keep lots of homemade dressing in the freezer. To see this yummy recipe and a tutorial full of pictures, click HERE.

Beef Borguignon On Puffed Pastry
Mashed Potatoes
Roasted Broccoli With Cheddar Cheese

Recipe: Beef Bourgignon On Puffed Pastry
This is a classic that every cook should try at least once. But let me warn you, if you make it you it won't be the last time!!! Look for this  recipe next week for FOODIE FRIDAY!

Fish Tacos

Recipe: Fish Tacos
2 TBS olive oil
3 TBS lime juice, divided
salt and pepper
4 talipia fillets
1/2 cup sour cream
2 TBS mayonnaise
1 tsp taco seasoning
4~ 8 inch corn tortillas
1 1/2 cup shredded lettuce
1/2 cup whole kernel corn, drained
1/2 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
2 TBS fresh chopped parsley


Pan Seared Tilapia With French Compound Butter And Wilted Spinach
Sauteed Rice

Recipe: Pan Seared Tilapia With French Compound Butter And Wilted Spinach
6 tilapia fillets
salt and pepper
4-6 TBS French Compound Butter, recipe follows
1 TBS olive oil
1 bag fresh baby spinach, washed
1 tsp  good white wine vinegar

Pat fish dry with a paper towel. Salt and pepper.
Dredge tilapia through flour. Set aside.

In a large skillet add 1 TBS compound butter and 1 TBS olive oil and heat over medium heat. When butter is melted add tilapia and saute for 4 minutes on each side. Remove fish and keep warm.

To skillet add an additional 1-2 TBS compound butter and melt. Add spinach and toss with tongs until just wilted, about 2 minutes. Splash with wine vinegar.

Plate tilapia resting on top of spinach.

Add a small slice (1/2 tsp)  of compound butter on top of tilapia.

More ON THE MENU This Week...

Recipe: Cranberry Pistachio Cookies
These very easy, doctor-the-box cookies come from my friend Joni at Red Couch Recipes. Joni's tab lime is " fun family food as viewed by my red couch". And fun food it is. To visit Joni and sit on her red couch, click HERE


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