Merry Christmas boys and girls! Yesterday as I drove home from work, I heard Mary Lucia on The Current (an amazing Mpls public radio station 89.3 FM, available to live stream online!) putting all stressed out people ON NOTICE.
Looch said, in a nutshell, if you are all stressed and cranky and grinchy this Christmas because you have lots of gifts to buy, food to prepare, places to go, and things to do, then you need to SUCK IT UP and GET OVER YOURSELF. Even if your family is crazy (which, frankly, they all are), you need to enjoy every single second with them. Because you never know how many Christmases you will have with them.
Well, Looch, you are so right on. It hit especially close to home for me, as I ache in sadness for one of my very closest and dearest friends who has dealt with unimaginable grief and pain this year. It's been an awful but important lesson for me to learn: do not take the health of your loved ones for granted.
Through the sadness, the only way I can think of to honor Colin and Johanna is to hug my family and friends as much as possible, say "I love you" frequently to those I love, spend time with them, and take care of my own health with nutritious food and activity. It seems like it's not enough, but indeed it is all I have to offer.
So this is the simple meal I made for a couple of friends this week as we met to wish each other a Merry Christmas. It's a super quick 30-minute meal, which leaves plenty of time for sharing a great bottle of red wine and catching up on each others' lives. Plus it's quite healthy, with lots and lots of mushrooms providing important B Vitamins and minerals. Throw some oiled and salted broccoli in a 425 degree oven for 20 minutes and you've got a complete meal.
2 Tbsp each olive oil and butter
4 packages mushrooms (I used half crimini, half white button), sliced thick
1 large yellow or white onion, diced
1 Tbsp fresh thyme, leaves pulled from stems and chopped (dried would probably work too)
2 Tbsp flour
up to 2 cups vegetable stock/broth
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 cup sour cream or greek yogurt
Flat leaf parsley
Start boiling a big pot of water for the noodles.
In a large skillet over medium high heat, saute mushrooms, onion, and thyme in the olive oil until they soften and begin to brown (about 8-10 minutes). They'll release a bunch of liquid, and then that liquid will start to cook down.
Drop your egg noodles into the boiling salted water and cook according to package instructions.
When the liquid has mostly cooked out of the mushrooms, add the butter and flour and stir together for at least 1 full minute. Slowly add the vegetable stock/broth and let cook 2-3 minutes to thicken. I used about 1.5 cups to get the right saucy gravy consistency. You can make it thicker or thinner by using more or less stock.
Season mushroom mixture with salt, pepper, and paprika to taste. Stir in sour cream and remove from heat. Serve over egg noodles and garnish with fresh parsley.
ONE YEAR AGO: Homemade Kahlua
TWO YEARS AGO: Spicy Beans and Tomatoes on Polenta
THREE YEARS AGO: Creamed Mushroom and Artichoke Pasta