Today was our Annual Christmas Get-Together with Linda and David.  Linda and Victor have known each other since grammar school.  Ours was the first house Linda ever handled as a new real estate agent.  And they both love food like we do.

And they love to talk like we do… six conversations going on simultaneously.  They’re great fun.

We started off with coffee and lox and bagels, cream cheese, onions, tomatoes, capers… The basics…

We consumed our requisite amount of appetizers while I was busy pulling the main course together.  Of course, everyone stayed in the kitchen.  We didn’t even bother trying to move them out to the living room.  They’re definitely kitchen-friends.  We were talking about designing our “dream home” and figured all we really needed was a big kitchen, a bed and a bath.  Really. And if I had the money, I’d do some serious wall-rearranging…

The most wasted space in our house is the dining room.  It’s too small to be of any real use.  Knock down a couple of walls, relocate a stairway…  Piece of cake.  But I digress…

We’re all chatting away and I’m cooking away.  Actually, at this point I was merely poaching eggs and trying to pull it all together…

The main course was our version the Eggs Benedict we had at Maverick in San Francisco this past November.  Andouille Sausage and Langostinos with a jalapeño hollandaise.  Downright good!

This is what putting four plates together simultaneously looks like!

(I want a bigger kitchen for my birthday.)  The plate was finished off as the last time with cubed fried potatoes.  It works.  What can I say?

The finishing touch was individual Panettone Bread Puddings.

This was out-of-this-world-good!   I make a lot of bread pudding, but this one was over the top!

  • 1 large loaf panettone, cut into cubes
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar

Preheat oven to 350°.
Butter 6 individual 10 oz souffle cups (or a 9×13 pan.) Whisk the eggs, cream, milk, and sugar to blend and then add bread cubes. Press the bread cubes gently to submerge.
Let stand for 30 minutes, occasionally pressing the bread cubes into the liquid.
Spoon into prepared cups, filling to rim. (An ice cream scoop works well.)
Place filled cups into a deep-rimmed pan and add boiling water to fill about halfway up side of cups.

Bake until the pudding puffs and is set in the center, about 55 minutes.  If using 9×13 pan, omit water bath and bake about 45-55 minutes.

It really came out good!

And here are Linda and David enjoying dessert!

We finally retired to the living room and opened presents!

Our next big meal together will be in at their house in July for my and Linda’s birthdays.  More presents!!  And more good food!