The 12 Days of Christmas: Annual Christmas Parade

This is actually the first year I’ve experienced my town’s Christmas Parade and let me tell you – it’s everything you would expect from a small town parade.  The whole town lined Main Street (yes, it really is called Main Street) and I think there were at least 12 fire trucks, 10 marching bands, every elementary school within 25 miles, the local 4-H Club and even the Lowrider club!  I can’t wait to take Madison next year.

After the parade we all came back to the house for dinner.  Since this was an adult-only affair, MUCH wine was consumed and the dinner menu was a bit more grown-up.  My good friends Bragg and Edward joined us for seared scallops, roasted potatoes with bacon and sautéed green beans with peppers.  It was a wonderful way to start the holiday season.

What traditions do you share at holiday time?

Seared Sea Scallops, serves 4

1lb fresh sea scallops (about 15 large scallops)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter
salt & pepper

Rinse scallops with cold water and thoroughly pat dry.  Add the butter and oil to a large saute pan on high heat. Salt and pepper the scallops. Once the oil/butter combo begins to smoke, gently add the scallops, making sure they are not touching each other. Sear the scallops for 1 1/2 minutes on each side. The scallops should have a 1/4-inch golden crust on each side while still being translucent in the center. Serve immediately.

Roasted Potatoes with Bacon, serves 6

5-6 medium sized red potatoes
1lb bacon
4 tbsp fresh rosemary
olive oil
salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Quarter the potatoes and dice them into 1” slices.  In a large bowl, toss them with the olive oil, salt and pepper to coat well.  Spread the potatoes evenly in a 13 x 9 baking dish and cook for 35-40 minutes – until the potatoes turn crispy-brown.  Meanwhile, cut the bacon into 1” pieces and fry until crispy.  When the potatoes are done, toss the bacon with the potatoes before serving.

Sauteed Green Beans with Peppers, serves 6

1lb fresh green beans
½ red bell pepper, diced and seeds removed
½ yellow bell pepper, diced and seeds removed
½ medium white onion, chopped
olive oil
salt & pepper

Trim the ends from the green beans while bringing a large pot to boil.  Blanche the beans by boiling them for four minutes and them immediately placing them in a ice water bath.  Allow the beans to cool completely.  Add the olive oil to a large sauté pan on medium-high heat.  Once the oil is hot, add the peppers and onions and cook until the onions are translucent.  Add the beans and sauté for 1-2 minutes – until beans are warm.

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