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Thursday, December 29, 2011

winter holiday treats


Hi friends! How are things? I'm enjoying the mix of lingering holiday spirit combined with a bit of back-to-reality and work this week...and wanted to share a post on some favorite flavors that for me represent festive winter luxury and celebration.

This year we had fun with a rich assortment of cheeses for a Christmas get-together with special friends (still knee deep in home selling preparations, we stayed local this year).

 A really gorgeous and mild blue cheese from France called Persille de Beaujolais was a highlight, it went beautifully with plum-quince paste! Duck pâté, herb-rolled goat cheese from the Pyrenees, tripe creme brie and Gorgonzola dolce, a scattering of fresh figs rounded out the (decadent) selection:


I'm using tangerines in all kinds of sauces recently and bright citrus has Christmas associations going back to earliest childhood.

The scent of whole cloves plunged into citrus makes me feel instantly five years old again, evoking an entire, magical scene: the incandescent flicker of the fireplace, bright lights from the decorated tree, music, somehow all contained as a sense memory released by the spicy impact of dark clove as it mingles with orange citrus...


Provencal tangerine-clementine preserves continue the festive-citrus theme...yum.


Duck pâté on multigrain bread with fresh basil...


I asked Santa for this special and favorite liqueur--it makes the most amazing cocktails, especially combined with fresh squeezed citrus. I love its artistinal and delightful combining of Asian and French traditions. Domaine de Canton is made with organic ginger from Vietnam...heavenly!




We had some really nice beef leftovers from Christmas dinner, which hubby amplified the other night with an infusion of red wine, mushrooms, and his special TLC. 

Here it is bento'd in a little green container on a bed of endive, fresh herbs and lettuces, with fresh figs, some of that lovely French blue cheese, dressed in walnut oil...




Dessert side with tangerines, raspberries and a store-bought mini cheesecake:


I fell in love with this holiday card by artist Jane Ray with its magical animals...


Wishing everyone a wonderful 2012, may it be filled with vibrant happiness, creativity and friendship!



18 comments:

Gnoe (@graasland) said...

Oh MY, it all looks delish but that liqeur... WANT! I haven't seen it around over here but from now on I'll be on the lookout!

Wishing you a VERY Happy New Year!!!

Anonymous said...

From 'hubby'
Very nice, BentoBabe! Love the post and the way you draw attention to Canton. French map in the backround is a very classy touch -but then again, you're the definition of class in general. Love you Babe .. -SnowyOwl.

Robin said...

Perfect, lasting images of a holiday well spent with friends, savoring memories and tastes. Citus, orange, tangerine and liquor brighted up the greys of winter in such a wonderful way. European luxuries, pâté, cheeses echo the classic sensibilities of the author.

The Domaine de Canton is new to me - intrigued! With each bento you bring something new to share.

Happy New Year Bentobird!

Bentobird said...

Hi Gnoe dear! I really recommend it for adding a sweet, intriguing lilt to mixed drinks, plus the bottle is gorgeous as it sits on your counter or bar!

Happy, festive, joyful 2012!!

Bentobird said...

Hello SnowyOwl! Thanks again for giving this beef dish a French accent that helped inspire this bento...as you inspire me! Je t'adore!!

Bentobird said...

Robin, your comments are always like sweet word presents--I love to read them! Yes, citrus suggests the sun, no wonder it seems so perfect for this celebration of the sun's renewal.

Wishing you a New Year bright and full of new cooking adventures shared, dear friend!

babykins said...

Looks like you had fabulous holidays with stunning treats! Lucky you Santa came to you with the gift you'd asked for. I can imagine how fresh and lovely the combo of the ginger liqueur and citrus, give me some now! ;)

Journal Mommy Yenny said...

Ow...all the sweet yummy foods.
Wish you a prosperous new year, dear

javapot said...

wished we had fresh figs here. wanted to try some recipes.
Have a Happy new year!

Lexi (Escape from the Sofa) said...

This French themed box of treats looks so luxurious! Happy New Year, Jenn, look forward to seeing what you come up with next year :)

Bentobird said...

Hi Izumi! Thanks for coming by with sweet comments, hon! It is nice to get what you want for Christmas :D Here, share a drink with me then well make sugar cookies, ok?

Bentobird said...

Hi Yenny! A prosperous, happy and delicious New Year to you, dear!

Bentobird said...

Hello Javapot, how have you been? They are really expensive here, hope to grow them in my garden someday! Happy 2012!!

Bentobird said...

Hi Lexi! Hope your Christmas was amazing, cozy fun! Happy, Healthy, Lovely New Year to you, friend :D

Lyndsey said...

Hi Jenn, it's always so nice to come here and get away for a bit. it makes me feel good no matter how busy I am or how lousy I feel! It reminds me how much fun I have making a bento, even if it is just for me. My daughter is pretty set on how she likes her lunches now.

The cheese looks awesome, and I would love to try the Domaine de Canton. Since my laryngitis I have been enjoying a lot of ginger tea with organic local honey and my lemons. I know I would love this. We have been eating a lot of clementines...tis the season! :)I should try adding them to my cooking.

Everything is so beautiful a perfect way to start the new year! Wishing you and Jamison all the best for the new year!

Bentobird said...

Hi Lynds! I trust your Christmas was a bright and beautiful one? So fun to visit with you, love your comments! So glad we found each other through bento and a shared passion for good food :)

I love the sound of local honey/lemons and ginger tea! A squeeze of fresh citrus really lights up a marinara sauce, I'm finding....

Hugs and very best wishes for 2012, dear, from both of us!

melonpan said...

happy new year^^
tasty bento *yummy*

Bentobird said...

hello there melonpan!! thanks so much and happy 2012 :D