In My December Kitchen – 2014

When did December sneak up on us?  If it weren’t for Celia over at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial, I don’t think I’d know what month it is.  Please stop by to say hi to Celia and take a look at what she and other bloggers have going on in their kitchens this month.  She really caught my eye with the awesome Cheese and Garlic Crack bread!

After finding a recipe for Spicy Lime Shrimp with Drunken Grapes (check out the recipe on  Simply Fresh Dinners – Robyn, guest writer on BamsKitchen blog) I tried this recipe as just an appetizer.  My husband and I decided that in the future it’s worthy of an entire meal.  Little appetizer bites were great, but you just don’t want to stop eating these.  I used a dried ginger powders for the shrimp since I didn’t have fresh and Pinot Grigio to get the grapes drunk.  As I say, the shrimp was so good but I may have gotten a little too excited about the drunken grapes. Therefore, in my December kitchen …

IMG_1608an extra mason jar of Drunken Grapes.  They’re sweet red seedless grapes with a Pinot Grigio poured over the top and soaked for 6 hours to no more than 2 days.  I can tell you that after 2 days those little grapes will blow your head off.  So what to do with the extra grapes?

Make some Goat Balls with Drunken Grapes…

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No need to put them on crackers.  I just did that to get my husband to try them.  When he’s watching football, you can put anything on top of a cracker and he’ll eat it.  I just ground up some pecans, made little balls with the goat cheese (I found that small balls are better than big since the cheese can overpower the other flavors),  rolled the cheese balls in the pecans and stuck them with a pick.  Of course you can just eat the drunken grapes.

This is what’s left of the Pinot Grigio.  It was a very nice wine but I’m including it really to show the background kitchen wall paint.  Yes, I really did get that room painted!

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ALMOST in my kitchen are some food rings.
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I’ve been coveting food rings every time I see Happiness Stan making something with his (like this cottage pie with seared filet in madeira sauce) and vow to get some for myself.  While my husband and I were out Christmas shopping I found these at Sur la Table – a really fun store with everything you can imagine for cooking.  Since I couldn’t find the food rings, my husband asked a clerk and we BOTH went over to the bins where I picked 4 rings and said “I’ll get these but you can wrap them and put them in my stocking for Christmas”.  So that’s why they’re not quite in my kitchen yet.  BUT…a few days later, my husband went back out Christmas shopping alone.  When he got home I was taking a picture of these and he did a double take and said “where’d you get those?”.  I reminded him that we bought them when we were out shopping, that I explained that he needed to wrap them, and they were to go in my stocking.  At which point, he went back down to his car and came up with these…

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Oh look…more food rings!  One of each size … from Sur La Table.  Since I wanted them to make pretty and equal portions of foods like mac and cheese or some sort of meat patty meal, I’m not sure what to do with one of each.  Maybe I could make a portion for papa bear, mama bear, and baby bear – any ideas or should they just go back?  Especially that tiny little one, I’m not quite sure what you’d put in that other than maybe – oh yes – a drunken grape sitting on a goat ball.

Well that’s all that I can show in my kitchen right now since the island is full of Christmas gifts waiting to be wrapped and I can’t very well share those pictures yet.  Thanks again to Celia, hostess for In My Kitchen.

 

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49 thoughts on “In My December Kitchen – 2014

  1. Hahaha…I love that your hubby bought some for you too! We’ll expect many round dishes next year! And I’m sure the drunken grapes are divine, but the goat cheese balls stole their thunder in that photo – they look seriously yum! Send me your postal address love, and I’ll mail you some sourdough starter to play with over Christmas! 🙂 Have a wonderful December xxx

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    • Celia, the funny thing is that he even paid for everything that I bought but I guess he didn’t notice the food rings or something. He claims that I bought too much stuff & he couldn’t tell they were in the pile that the clerk was ringing up – did I mention that I love that store? Those little cheese balls were very tasty.
      I’ve just emailed you with my info and thank you again for all your kind words & lovely posts to enjoy.

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    • As a matter of fact, they are sharp and after everyone’s encouragement I think I will be keeping all the rings. (More for my stocking!) That tiny one is very tiny though but as you say, you just never know when you’re going to need something like that.

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  2. Hi Diane,
    I am thrilled that you made the shrimp and I agree – you definitely want more than a couple! lol.
    They must have been so delicious with the goat cheese. I will be trying that next! One can never have too many food rings 🙂
    Have a great day!

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    • Well I certainly hope that others will try your recipe because it was so good & will be done on a regular basis here for sure. It’s funny because I probably might not have tried it other than seeing it recommended by Bobbi because we went through a phase where I was cooking a lot of shrimp, mostly scampi. My husband never tires of it but frankly I got shrimped out. This sounded just different enough for me to give shrimp another try & it didn’t disappoint.

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  3. I LOVE the way you ‘edged’ your kitchen cupboards!! I bet that was a lot of work but it looks soooo good!! Question – how did you make the goat cheese balls? I’d LOVE to do that… although I’m not sure how many people ‘in these parts’ I can get to eat them! But they look easy enough to make just for myself as a real delicious treat. And I totally agree about this cold weather sneaking up on us… I ended up not getting by spring bulbs into the ground… I was thinking I had plenty of time when the weather was in the 50s and 60s – then all of a sudden winter weather descended upon us, which does make me really excited to start my Christmas decorating!!

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      • You made me laugh!!! I remember my husband telling me how he had to eat a goat’s eyeball in one of the Arabic countries he had gone to for his job. Since the eyes can be considered a delicacy and being given one (or two) is an honor, he had to eat it. And this is a guy who’d never even eaten a lobster when I first met him at age 18 !! ; o )

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    • Oh I didn’t do the glazing on the cabinets. When we re-did the kitchen last year I knew that I wanted a slightly off white painted maple with either chocolate or black glazing & we ended up with the chocolate.
      The goat balls were so easy. I buzzed the pecans in the food processor until they were very fine. Then I warm up little chunks of the goat cheese rolling them into little balls (not too big or the cheese overpowers the flavor of the pecans & grape). Roll the cheese balls in the pecans, stick a grape & then the cheese ball and you’re done. Oh – the grapes are just soaked in a white wine for at least 6 hrs. but no more than 2 days or they’re a tad bit too powerful.
      Get going with that decorating. Hasn’t it been crazy around here though? Warm/cold/freezing/snow/warm. We got our Christmas tree last weekend & I’ve got the candles in the windows. Just need to put the ornaments on.

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      • You are waay ahead of me. I didn’t get back from the Poconos until yesterday. And there decorations up there but here at home…. nada !! ; o ) And thanks for telling me how you made the goat cheese balls. I love the idea!!

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  4. How stunning are those cheese balls! With red grapes now seasonal I will be giving those a go this festive season! I do love it that your husband was intent on finding something that he knew you really wanted for Christmas! Would it work for something with bling!!!

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    • Those cheese balls were a hit & so easy, especially if you keep a little jar of drunken grapes handy. My husband does try hard to come up with things that I’ll like but he usually consults with my daughter on most Christmas gifts. I will say the man is excellent with the bling, can’t complain there at all.

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    • Those grapes are very yummy. As for my husband, I swear he has very selective hearing – he says I bought too much junk so how could he know I had the rings in there? Maybe I’ve used my trick with him a few too many times though … if I want something that I know he’s not going to like, I go ahead and do it then tell him that we discussed it & he was okay with it.

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  5. Diane, you are a killer! Maus would use that little ring to shape biscuits (cookies). She is so anal she likes all her biscuits to be the same size. Your little appetisers look lovely.

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    • See, I knew posting something about this would get plenty of ideas from my blogging friends. You know what’s great about buying the stocking stuffers is that you can do it year round and hide them away. Then when your husband wraps them, it’s still a surprise because if you’re like me, you’ll have forgotten half of them.

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  6. What a fun IMK post Diane. I love your serving rings – Pete made me a set from old stainless steel mugs – think I should upgrade to have a set of different sizes too.
    Love your drunken grapes with the goat cheese.
    Have a beautiful and happy day.
    🙂 Mandy xo

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    • Mandy, I should have guessed that Pete would have done something like that for you. He’s an all ’round talented man so maybe you could make a little suggestion about a variety of sizes. I’m telling you, those little goat balls with the drunken grapes were a definite hit (and so darn easy I was almost ashamed yo post them),

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    • Joanne, thanks for stopping by. I knew that I wanted food rings but was having a hard time finding them so I grabbed them when I was out Christmas shopping. I really felt that I’d accomplished a major mission until I took a look at Stan’s last blog post using food rings & you can imagine my face when I saw that his were about 3 or 4 times as tall as mine! Oh well, guess I have a new mission.

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    • Oh I think you definitely should go back & get yourself some food rings. As I mentioned to Joanne (above) though, I was so happy & then I saw Stan’s food rings were much taller than mine – so now I’m thinking i need even more food rings. Thanks for stopping by & may your quest for food rings be successful.

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  7. The goat cheese balls with drunken grapes sound fantastic. I will definitely have to try them out. I can’t imagine coming out of Sur La Table with only a few things, that place is fantastic. No wonder your husband forgot what you already bought!

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    • I think there’s going to be a lot of people eating goat balls with drunken grapes this holiday season. Sur La Table is one of those stores that you almost need to work there to be able to see all the things they have for sale. Of course if you’re like me, that would definitely create a problem & defeat the purpose working since the paycheck would go right back to them. Okay, maybe I had more than ‘a few’ things…but most of it was gifts for other people.

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  8. Your kitchen’s paint job looks fantastic, Diane. This is why one hires professionals. No one that I know, no matter how well-intentioned or skilled they claim to be, could accomplish that trim work. Were my kitchen so well-painted, I, too, would be finding ways to bring it into my photos. I’ve been using old biscuit cutters as food molds. Now, thanks to you, I’ll buy some the next time I’m in Sur La Table. 🙂

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  9. Happy holidays to you and your family Diane!!! Wow just love your creative twist on Robyn’s grapes. Don’t you just love them! I just love your paint selection in your kitchen. Your whole kitchen is just drop dead gorgeous! I wish I lived a little closer to share a glass of holiday cheer or maybe we could just marinate along with the grapes. Take care and thanks for the sweet mention.

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    • I’m just catching up now and hope that I can stay a little more on top of things in this new year. I hope you and your family had wonderful holidays and that 2015 brings us all good health and happiness.
      I too wish you and so many of my far away blogging friends could be together – such a great group of people to chat with.

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  10. Happy Christmas day, Diane. I hope and your family are having a wonderful day. Perhaps you can show us what you got in your January kitchen post….it is almost here.

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    • And to you too Karen – I was just looking at the beautiful pictures of your Christmas-y house and it’s absolute New England charm! I’ve just gotten my act together after a minor bump in the road before Christmas, then truly enjoyed Christmas at my daughter’s new home and at least got the pictures of what my next IMK will have – now, I need to sit still long enough to put it together. Oh well, the snow/sleet/rain mess out there should keep me homebound long enough.
      Happy New Year to you.

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  11. I love your food rings! I just bought some myself as they’re very good for using to decorate cakes! I just used them for a Christening cake decorated with a variety of different sized circles. Yes, another month and another new year – who could believe it! December went by in a whirl xx

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    • Thank you! I hadn’t thought to use them for decorating cakes but it sounds like a really clever idea. I hope you have a picture to post of the Christening cake you decorated. I’m not sure that I even remember December but I’m looking forward to 2015.

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