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Thursday, December 13, 2012

On the first date of Christmas . . .

When you don't have children, creating holiday traditions that don't involve kids can be a challenge. We may not be involved in a manic mission for toys, or scouring the house for the latest location of the stealthy Elf on the Shelf, but nonetheless, we look forward to honoring the winter holidays with a little romantic playtime of our own.

And so begins the Dates of Christmas.

Technically, the 12 Days of Christmas falls after the Christmas holiday, and for those of Latin heritage, like my husband, the 12 days build to the Día de los Tres Reyes Magos or Three Kings Day  . . .the Epiphany for his gringa wife.

But this American girl is craving the excitement that builds toward the Christmas holiday.

And so we begin. Now, here's a disclaimer . . .this is in no way a pledge to craftily devise a romantic date for twelve consecutive nights. If I did not work outside the home, and if the planets perfectly aligned and life occured as perfectly as I planned, then maybe . . .but life is not perfect. We do the best we can. And so, on this first date of Christmas, I cooked.

The first day of Christmas may have delivered a partridge in a pear tree, but for my Cariño, this first romantic date of Christmas consisted of muchos besos (many kisses) and dinner for two--chicken with pears and goat cheese.

This was so fast and easy and yummy. Forgive my Droid photo. I'll get better at this . . . Here's what you do.

Chicken with Pears & Goat Cheese
  • BS Chicken Breasts (That's boneless, skinless BTW) I split them to make them thinner. You could use tenderloins or even chop it into nugget size pieces. This also works well with thinly sliced pork chops.
  • Seasoned flour*
  • 2 Ripe Pears, chopped. You could apples as well. But the pear . . . you know . .  . it fits the pear tree motif.
  • One medium onion, chopped (if you like onion)
  • Splash of OJ (you could use stock or broth if you want--it's just to help make a bit of a sauce)
  • Crumbled Goat Cheese (4-8 oz)
  • Slivered or Sliced  Raw Almonds (2-3 oz.)

1. *Mix some flour with salt and pepper to taste. I also sprinkled in cinnamon and a bit of nutmeg, some tarragon and some thyme.

2. Dredge the chicken in the flour mixture. You could coat with egg first if you want. It makes it more like a cutlet. Your choice.

3. Use a bit of olive oil, or spray . . .your choice. Brown the chicken and then put it on a plate for a bit.

4.  Sweat out your onion. Add your fruit. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add the splash of OJ. Add your chicken back in. Let it simmer about 15 minutes, or until it's all done.

5. Sprinkle with goat cheese.

6. While that's simmering, put dry almonds in a dry skillet. Put heat on medium and shake nuts around to toast. Be careful; they can get away from you quickly and when it's too late, it's too late. They're gone.

7. Sprinkle your perfectly toasted nuts over the top and voila!

Tonight, I also had some leftover spinach, so I mixed that in with the fruit while it was cooking. I served mine with couscous. Quinoa works well too. Or rice. Whatever you like.

Bon provecho!


  1. I am glad to see there is someone else not thinking about that stupid elf.

  2. Oh my this looks and sounds yummy! It is only my hubby and I and his 87 year old dad for Christmas. I will cook and celebrate and then head to my sisters to celebrate with my sister. For us, we celebrate before the holiday with a lot of friends and couples leading up to the day.