Summing up Teanna from Spork or Foon in a couple of sentences is a hard task. This beautiful girl from NYC has so much talent and is so much fun. Her blog is full of wacky stories and lot”s of drama! The recipes that she conquers as she cooks through Top Chef are unbelievable and daunting, to the average person. But, Teanna conquers them each week, sharing her struggles along the way. And, I have to say she has got a lot more amazing successes stories then she does flops, including the Pork Terrine pictured above. She is even crazy enough to cook up a whole Grilled Octopus straight from the ocean (pretty much) Eak! She may have a lot of gumption but she also has the skill to go with it. So, welcome Teanna and her Christmas loven”, goofball sense of humor.
What is the earliest Christmas Memory that you can recall?
(DISCLAIMER: If you still believe in Santa, please avert your eyes). My earliest Christmas memory is one makes me laugh and cry at the same time. It is when I discovered that Santa was a fictional character. My whole life, we left out cookies and milk for Santa by the fireplace. But one year, my father suggested that we leave a glass of Dewars and water and some carrot sticks out for Santa. I combined the realization that Santa probably could not navigate his sleigh after having a glass of whiskey with only carrot sticks to soak up the alcohol with my knowledge that Dewars and water is my Dad”s cocktail of choice and accepted the fact that Santa was as fictional as the Lucky Charm character.
What is your favourite Christmas tradition
Christmas season is not Christmas season without watching National Lampoons Christmas vacation and reciting my favorite part of the movie: when Aunt Bethany and Uncle Lewis come to visit. My two favorite quotes: ”Is Rusty still in the navy?” and “We”d like you to say Grace.” ”Grace? Grace died 30 years ago!” “THE BLESSING.”
What is your favourite Christmas recipe?
Sadly enough, I am still searching for my favorite Christmas recipe. When I was younger, I used to tell my family that the chocolate chip cookies I made were homemade. And they were homemade if you consider slicing the Pillsbury logs of dough homemade. But right now, I am obsessed with Dorie Greenspan”s Grandma”s All Occasion Sugar Cookies (pictured below). This recipe holds up to anything, whether you want a slice and bake cookie or a cut-out.
What does your perfect Christmas dinner consist of?
My perfect Christmas dinner actually doesn”t revolve around the food. Do I look forward to eating everything in sight without worrying about how many calories I am eating and how long I have to work out to burn it off? YES. But for me, the perfect Christmas dinner consists of having the people I love around me. Every year, I look around the table and think about how lucky I am to have a family that I love so much, plentiful food, and beautiful presents under the tree to share with my family. I know that there are so many people out there who aren”t that lucky and it makes my heart hurt to think about it, but always reminds me to be very grateful for what I have in my life.
Did you ever believe in Santa?
See question 1.
What is your favorite Christmas Song?
This question makes me smile. It is a toss up between Nat King Coles” “The Christmas Song” and any version of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”. The Christmas Song brings back beautiful memories of my childhood when I would listen to the record (yes, an actual record). I still can hear the crackling sound of the needle hitting the record as that opening diminished chord plays. But Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas always makes me smile and brings a tear to my eye every time I hear it, no matter what the version. It is such a beautiful Christmas song.
Do you have any tips or super simple, throw together, recipes that would make peoples lives a little easier this time of year?
Yes. For me, this is nice way of saying “These are the mistakes I have made in the past that made me want to rip my hair out and I vow never to make the same mistake again only to forget about it and repeat it the following year”. So here are Teanna”s tips to a stress-free, no-hair-lost, successful Christmas.
- If you want to make Christmas cookies, make the dough in advance at your leisure and freeze it. Don”t try making 100 cookies at home the day of when you have a whole dinner to cook ahead of you. You”ll hate your life. And that”s no fun on Christmas.
- Don”t eat the cookie dough even though it is tempting you every time you go in your freezer. You”ll make yourself sick. The finished version is much better.
- If you decide to make tons of dishes by yourself, don”t go overboard. Keep it simple. If you try to make foie gras stuffed dates with cranberry foam, rack of lamb with a mint coulis, individual beef wellingtons wrapped in homemade puffed pastry, and a croquembouche, you”re going to hate your life again. And you just avoided that by making the cookies in advance. Keep it simple.
- Don”t be afraid to ask for help. I never feel comfortable asking for help, but always appreciate it when I get it. Ask a guest to bring a side or a dessert for dinner. That way, you save yourself time and the dinner is that much more special because everyone contributes a little piece of themselves to the dinner.
- Calories don”t count on Christmas.
Find the recipes in the pictures
Some of my favorites from Spork or Foon
- Banana Crisp with Hot Butter Rum Sauce
- Corn and Black Bean Tostadas with Spicy Chicken and Shrimp
- Chocolate Chai Souffle
- Beef Tenderloin with Blue Cheese
- Apple Turnover Lollipops
Thank you so much Teanna for the fun interview. It was a blast!
For more fun loven” food head over to Teanna”s blog Spork or Foon.