Christmas Eve

It took me years to train my husband's family to let me go fancy when it comes to holidays. I can party with cocktail weinies and paper plates with the best of them, but I feel especially festive when I get to produce and event. I love my job. I love providing my clients with great food and festive tablescapes. However, when I get to treat my family, it really brings me joy.
The first Thanksgiving I served a plated dinner with multiple courses, people were not happy. I think it's maybe because I eliminated any root vegetables adorned in marshmallows. That was nearly a decade ago. Now, when I break out the big guns, people actually get excited! Christmas Eve was no different. I really wanted to go nuts on this one.
First, came the table:
Inspired by the Christmas classic, 'A Christmas Carol' Complete with a toile linen, brass French horns, Gold leaf scrolls for place cards and red accents. Top it off with fresh white flowers and candles- you've got yourself one fancy table! We started the evening with a gorgeous cheese board- but I forgot to take a picture. Unfortunately, the rest of my pictures are so so...

First course:
Cauliflower Vichyoisse with chive oil and a seared scallop.
One of my favorite healthy and delicious starters. Often, our family will have this as a main dish.

Salad Course:
bibb lettuce and baby arugula
pomelo, pomegranate, pepitas and grapefruit vinaigrette
Unfortunately, the avocados I bought were gross, so I had to scrap them. So, so sad.

Main Course:
Seared halibut
haricot verts
roasted rainbow marble potatoes with lemon dill sauce and a creamy beurre blanc.
Halibut is my favorite fish of all time. I have been wanting to do it for a holiday, but it's so dang expensive! We were able to pull it off this year!

And dessert, the most intimidating of all:
Pavlova with fresh raspberries, homemade fudge and whipped sweet cream.
It was heavenly. I was terrified to make this most simple dessert. But now, I'll tuck it away in my recipe box for another day- it was so easy! I was afraid of nothing!

Honestly, I do not do these fancy dinners to show off or anything, I make this food and set the table because I LOVE to do it. The process that is torture for some is bliss for me. The planning, shopping at specialty markets, choosing flowers, the hard work is just so awesome. It's even better when I get to share with the people who are usually in the background helping me pull it all off.

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