Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Family Christmas Brunch

 Our family Christmas brunch at my parents house is always a memorable occasion so it seemed only fitting that the very first hard bound copies of my Dad's next novel, Boots and Saddles arrived right at the start of our family gathering.  Seeing my dad this happy was sure an exciting way to kick off a holiday brunch!
 As per usual, my mom prepared an incredible meal filled with all our favorite dishes!  I have always been a sucker for her Swedish meatballs, but this year she made only of my favorite salads, too.  My mom used to make this artichoke salad as part of her fancy dinner party menus and somehow along the way the dish has become synonymous with special occasions in my mind.

 Hearts of Artichoke Salad
For the Dressing:
1/4 Cup red wine vinegar
1/4 Cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon each: salt, pepper, dill and minced fresh garlic
1 Cup half-and-half
For the Salad:
1 large can artichoke hearts- drained, rinsed and quartered
1/3 Pound fresh snow peas- cut into 1/2" pieces
1/3 Pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
Butter lettuce leaves
1/2 Cup toasted almond slices

Combine the dressing ingredients and refrigerate for 12-24 hours before serving.  Combine all the vegetables and serve on a lettuce lines platter garnished with the toasted almonds.
 After enjoying a hearty meal we sat around the tree and opened gifts.  The gifts we gave and received were all lovely, but more than anything else this day is all about spending a little time making family memories.

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