I've been kind of missing my family back home lately (good thing we're going back in July!) and reminiscing about all the comfort foods of my childhood. My mom was a great cook and one of my favorites for dinner was her chicken and rice casserole. I made this in my quest for a good home-comfort casserole, but this one adds broccoli and celery for a little bit of a healthy touch. It was really good, next time I'll use more spices. I left out the mushrooms and water chestnuts and topped it with about a quarter cup of breadcrumbs.
Along those lines of nostalgia, I've been looking up all sorts of Italian recipes, which got me thinking about my family's Christmas cookies. You see, it's been a tradition in my family forever that around Christmas time, all my aunts and my Nana and sometimes the cousins would get together at Nana's house and bake up a storm of cookies. I'm going to make a concerted effort to get those recipes when I visit home, but I know they included such favorites as:
Russian Tea Cakes
The only one that I just can't seem to find any version of ANYWHERE is this chocolate spice cookie with nuts and frosting that was actually my favorite. A google image search produced this, which is about what I remember them looking like:
So hopefully I can scrounge up that recipe when I'm home! This will be my first Christmas (as a married woman!) away from home, so I was thinking I could bring a little taste of our family's Christmas to my new in-laws in the form of some of these. And yes, I'm planning my Christmas baking and it's not even July yet. Insane, I know.