1 large sweet potato, peeled, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 tablespoons each, olive oil, butter
1/4 teaspoon course salt
freshly ground pepper
1 cup each, wild rice, orzo
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 cup each: dried cranberries (I used Trader Joe's orange-flavored cranberries), coursely chopped toasted walnuts
2 tablespoons each, chopped: fresh sage, fresh basil
1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Spread sweet potatoes in a single layer on a foil-lined pan. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake until softened, about 35 minutes.
2. Cook rice and orzo according to package directions. (We used the whole box of orzo because we don't follow directions.)
3. Cook garlic, rice and orzo in butter about 1 minute. Add cranberries and walnuts. Remove from heat, fold in sage and basil.
*Adapted slightly from recipe of Chicago personal chef Ron Bilaro.
1 red onion cut into thin rings
extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves minced garlic
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1 1/2 inch ginger root, peeled, minced
1/2 teaspoon course salt
fresh ground pepper
1/4 cup toasted pecan halves, choppped
1. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Place Brussels sprouts and onion in a 13 x 9 inch baking pan; drizzle with olive oil. Add garlic, thyme, minced ginger, salt and pepper and toss.
2. Roast until vegetables are tender, about 25 minutes. Sprinkle with pecans.
Adapted from a Chicago Tribune recipe published Nov. 7, 2007
Good red wine, supplied by guests
Cheap red wine you bought yourself
Assorted crackers, Trader Joe's goat's milk brie and herb-crusted chevre
1. Drift through kitchen at regular intervals, alternating between glasses of good and cheap red wine.
2. Supplement with cheese and crackers, while offering unsolicited advice to flour-caked husband.
Sample dialogue: "That's an awful lot of butter."
His: Butter basted turkey with butter soaked cornbread dressing and buttermilk cream cake, plus Sweet Potatoes cooked in butter and marshamallows.
sugar, eggs, sweet pototoes, marshmallows
1. Clatter pans dramatically to signify seriousness of undertaking.
2. Dust entire kitchen with a thin coat of flour.
3. Remove Brussels sprouts from food preparation area.
4. Crack a lot of eggs on one side of kitchen. Transfer to mixing bowls on opposite side of kitchen.
5. Butter, baste, repeat.
6. Remove spouse from food preparation area.
7. Finish in secret. Bask in undeserved praise for preparing entire meal.