Christmas Day 2009 was not a disappointment for my family either. I wanted to cook, I wanted to challenge myself, and I wanted to do it for them. Luckily I had watched one of my favorite soft-spoken chefs, Ina Garten, earlier in the week and jotted down a recipe sure to delight. I made Roasted Chicken over homemade croutons, Roasted Veggies, Green Beans, Caramelized Shallots, and Homemade Profiteroles with ice cream and melted dark chocolate. Mmm, mmm, mmm. It was my first Roast Chicken, and luckily Ina's recipe was easy as pie. I stuffed the little birdie with 2 quartered lemons, salt & peppered inside and out, and rubbed with Olive Oil. I popped it in the oven at 425 for 1 hr. and 15 min. Looking back I would have thrown a little rosemary in there, and buttered the top. Who can go wrong with butter, seriously. Once it was done, I covered with foil for 15 more min. to let the juices set. Next I cubed some french bread, put some olive oil in a pan, tossed and toasted the cubes. Once the chicken was done, I placed it on the crumbs to absorb all the juices. Blanched green beans were next, which I put on the baking sheet with sliced red and yellow bell peppers. A little salt & pepper, olive oil, and into the oven at 425 for about 15-20 min. I was quite excited about the Caramelized Shallots. I've only dabbled with shallots in the past, but this was a full-on adventure. After peeling, I dribbled the garlic/onion cuties with a tablespoon of sugar, a tablespoon of red wine vinegar, and 3 tablespoons of butter that I melted all together on the stove. Those little things went on a baking sheet, and into the oven at 400 for 30 min. My next endeavor was Profiteroles. This was a last minute decision, influenced by left-over dark chocolate from Christmas Eve's feast. The dough could not be easier. I combined 1 stick of butter, 1 cup of milk, and a dash of salt on medium heat. Once melted, I added 2 cups of flour in the pot! I stirred and stirred until the mixture made a softer dough. Next the bundle of dough was thrown in a blender and I added four eggs. Pulsing that together, I placed in a large plastic baggie, cut the tip off and attempted 1 inch swirls. I dotted the tips with water and popped in the oven at 425 for 20 min. I left them for an additional 10 min. with the oven off. Once out, I slit the tops slightly to allow steam to escape. As soon as they were cooled I chopped off the tops, scooped Blue Bell White Chocolate Almond ice cream in them, put on the tops, and drizzled with dark chocolate. D-I-V-I-N-E. It was fantastic, we had a great time devouring everything. If you're hesitant about cooking, this is a great meal to conquer. Change the spices and flavors to make it your own. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy.