Why Dogs and Food?

Why Dogs and Food?

It's simple. Write about what you love. And what is better than dogs and food? If you are anything like me - and millions of other people - you will relate to and understand the unwavering love I have for my dogs and my passion for cooking - and eating - great food. I hope you will enjoy reading about my day to day experiences with good food and a couple of very special dogs.

Thanks for visiting.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas Blessings, Christmas Cheer

  “I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all year.” ~ Charles Dickens, Ebenezer Scrooge - A Christmas Carol

The Christmas season may be hectic with shopping and decorating; mailing cards and packages; and of course, cooking lots of good food and treats; but it is a time of sharing and giving and embracing family and friends; it is a time for reflecting on the past year, appreciating what’s in the moment and looking forward to the start of a fresh new year.

Reflections of 2011 and Christmas Blessings:

Moving to the San Francisco Bay Area and finding a home and employment; discovering and experiencing nature’s beauty every day with our beautiful boys in this very special place on earth:  the vast bays and the bridges; the redwood and cypress trees; the abundance of birds and colorful, fragrant flowers; the mountains and hidden streams; the vineyards, quaint little towns and beautiful beaches – all surrounding this glorious city by the bay.

Losing our jobs and moving from warm and mild San Diego to chilly and foggy San Francisco; finding a place that would allow all of our beloved pets and downsizing our lives; and most importantly, dealing with Brian’s health issues. 

Our move, though challenging, turned out quite well and became one of our highlights.  Brian is getting the very best medical care and doing better every day.  For this, we are thankful and have great hopes for health and prosperity in the New Year.

Christmas Cheer
In the days leading up to Christmas, we decorated and we shopped and we mailed and we cooked but still found time to get out with the boys and see what Mother Nature was serving up during the Winter months by the Bay:  frosty mornings and chillier days; dimmer daylight and lower tides; shedding trees and some of the most spectacular sunsets we have ever seen. 
Our Christmas tree sits in the corner of our living room with a white angel floating atop.  I can’t help but feel that she is a symbol of the protection and blessings bestowed upon us this year.

Our first Christmas Tree in Tiburon

Decorating the doorway (Walter with his Reindeer antlers in the background!)

We had a quiet Christmas holiday – just the five of us watching lots of sentimental Christmas movies and listening to carols.  On Christmas Day, we all took a lovely walk around the bay at low tide.  It was peaceful and serene.  Walter and Henry and Mac enjoyed the festivities and delighted in the presents delivered by Santa! 

Henry says:  I love my new toy!

Walter carrying his new toy (of course looking away from the camera)
For Christmas Eve, we had a buffet-style smorgasbord of shrimp, bruschetta, cheeses, deviled eggs and other goodies.  For Christmas dinner, I prepared the ultimate Beef Wellington meal (courtesy of Tyler Florence) by wrapping a pan-seared choice beef tenderloin in puff pastry lined with thin slices of prosciutto and mushroom, garlic and shallot pâté.  I served it with a peppercorn sauce, a side of herb-roasted fingerling potatoes and wilted winter greens (wilted with warm Honey-Dijon Vinaigrette dressing).  I should have photographed the whole thing before slicing it - but I didn't - so here’s a shot of the whole meal après slicing:

Beef Wellington with roasted fingerling potatoes and wilted winter greens

Here, the boys are once again subjected to their mom’s silly antics.  Believe me, those hats stayed on only for the photo after which they yanked them off and proceeded to chew them like a stuffed toy.  Notice Walter has to be held in place by his dad (as usual) and Henry kicks back and relaxes on the sofa. Funny boys.

Here she goes again....let's get this over with

Oh, goody!  Another chew toy!

Macky, looking very un-thrilled about his over-sized hat.  Where is my little hat?

All in all, this year has been full of change and blessings.  It seems that the only constant we have in our lives is change so here’s to hoping we have the courage and grace to expect it, accept it and embrace it.  

Happy New Year!


Liz Berry said...

Joanne Campisi writes:

Yum, Yum Yum - Will you cook us a meal when we're at Susan's? You should be a gourmet!!! I'm gonna start calling you Julia. That turkey and the pie and the beef wellington. I was very impressed with your wilted greens too. I thought it was a caesar salad at first. That's what I make for Christmas dinner with whatever meat we have. We usually have turkey, but this year we had a leg of lamb. It was delicious. You probably don't eat lamb - I know Lynne won't eat it. I have to say it was delicious. I always loved lamb chops when I was younger. Then I stopped eating it for quite a few years. A friend of John's was raising lambs this year, so we bought a half for our freezer.

The dogs are so cute and your cat is amazing! I love the dogs in the water.

Thanks for sending the Christmas (and Thanksgiving pics) Can't wait to see you in Feb., it
's actually March, isn't it.

Buon Anno Nuovo!!! I'm taking Italian. Wanna go to Italy? I do, just not sure when we'll make it there.

Enjoy the rest of your week. It goes so fast!


Susan Campisi said...

Awww, Liz. You put me to shame with my TJ's pizzas! Your Christmas feast looks fabulous as usual. Your post is beautiful, too. You're so thoughtful and eloquent. Here's to a fantastic 2012!

Liz Berry said...

Jo and Sue: Love you guys! Thanks for the compliments and I will surely cook for both of you when I see you in March! Happy New Year!

kkshaw47 said...

Hi Liz:
Here is another Babylon girl knocking on your blog's door!

Happy Xmas to you and your darling boys!

Hey, not to blab me too (but I am right?), but Todd made a Beef Wellington for New Year's Eve with peppercorn sauce and we were all so impressed! Yours is very impressive with those baby golden potatoes. I am thinking, I do not think that my mother ever even said the world Beef Wellington at our house, right? You gotta love it.

Keep your dear thoughts coming our way.

Kristen and All

Liz Berry said...

Kristen! I also made a peppercorn sauce for my Beef Wellington! I think I forgot to mention that part....

I love to cook and I love to cook elegant and fabulous meals because it is my creative outlet and not just to feed us but an expression of art and love. I think our parents cooked to keep us nourished and it wasn't as much of a dance as it is now. Also, kids didn't appreciate the fancy cooking. I made homemade baked macaroni and cheese for Devin once and she said "I don't like it as much as Kraft's Mac and Cheese out of the box." There you go. Now I get to cook grown up meals for grown ups and it is a whole different experience!