Tuesday, December 15, 2009

{Festive Holiday Recipe}

This is a yummy holiday recipe that my dear friend Cathy posted on another board.

Saving it here, so that I can be sure to try!

Cranberry and Pistachio Shortbread


*  2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
* 1/2 tsp kosher salt
* 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
* 2/3 cup granulated white sugar
* 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
* 1 cup unsalted pistachios, coarsely chopped
* 1 cup dried cranberries, coarsely chopped


In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), cream the butter until smooth (about 1 - 2 minutes). Add the sugar and beat until smooth and creamy (about 3 minutes). Beat in the vanilla extract. Gently stir in the flour mixture just until incorporated. Fold in the chopped pistachios and dried cranberries. (Make sure that the nuts and cranberries are evenly distributed throughout the dough.)

Divide the dough in half. Place each half of dough on the center of a 14 inch (35 cm) length of parchment or wax paper. Smooth and shape the dough into an evenly shaped rectangle that is about 10 inches (25 cm) long and 2 inches (5 cm) wide. Then thoroughly wrap the shaped logs in the parchment or wax paper, twists the ends of the paper to seal the logs, and place in the refrigerator to chill for at least two hours, or up to three days. (The logs can also be frozen for about two months. If freezing, it is best to defrost the logs in the refrigerator overnight before slicing and baking.)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (160 degrees C) with the rack in the center of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Using a thin bladed knife, slice the logs into 1/4 to 1/2 inch (.5 to 1 cm) thick cookies. Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheet, spacing about 2 inches (5 cm) apart. Bake for about 15 - 20 minutes, or until the cookies are just beginning to brown around the edges. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.

Makes about 48 shortbread cookies.

(Source: Cathy, SBB)

Monday, December 14, 2009

{On The 12th Day Of Christmas}

Christmas Morning Gingerbread Pancakes

Serves 5 (3 pancakes each)


* 1 1/2 C. All-purpose Flour

* 3 T. Baking Powder

* 3/4 t. Ground Ginger

* 1/2 t. Ground Cinnamon

* 1/4 t. Ground Cloves

* 1/4 C. Ground Hazelnuts (optional)

* 1 1/2 C. Milk

* 2 T. Chocolate Syrup

* 3 Egg Whites

* 3 T. Dark Molasses

* 2 T. Canola Oil


In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and hazelnuts (if desired) until well blended.
In a medium bowl whisk together milk, chocolate syrup, egg whites and molasses. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into it. Stir just enough to moisten; batter will be lumpy.
Heat a thick, nonstick griddle or frying pan over medium heat. Spread 1 1/2 teaspoons canola oil over the bottom of the pan. Pour batter on to the griddle, using 1/4 cup for each pancake (spread out a little with the back of a spoon because the batter is thick). Cook until lightly brown on both sides and serve hot.

{On The 11th Day Of Christmas}

Low-Fat Eggnog

Serves: 6


* 2 cups nonfat milk

* 2 large strips orange and/or lemon zest

* 1 vanilla bean

* 2 large eggs, plus 1 egg yolk

* 1/3 cup sugar

* 1 tsp cornstarch

* Freshly grated nutmeg, for garnish

Combine 1.5 cups milk and the citrus zest in a medium saucepan. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out the seeds; add the seeds and pod to the saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Meanwhile, whisk the eggs, egg yolk, sugar and cornstarch in a medium bowl until light yellow. Gradually pour the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture, whisking constantly, then pour back into the pan. Place over medium heat and stir constantly with a wooden spoon in a figure-eight motion until the eggnog begins to thicken, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and immediately stir in the remaining 1/2 cup milk to stop the cooking. Transfer the eggnog to a large bowl and place over a larger bowl of ice to cool, then chill until ready to serve. Remove the zest and vanilla pod. Garnish with nutmeg.

{On The 10th Day Of Christmas}

Christmas Rice Pudding

This recipe is known among Swedish folks as "grut". You can eat it with cream poured over it & or a cinnamon stick and one almond in the rice before serving. Whoever found the almond was supposed to get married next, according to tradition.

6-8 Servings
Prep: 10 min. Cook: 70 min.


* 1-3/4 cups uncooked long grain rice

* 2 cups water

* 4 cups milk

* 1-1/2 cups sugar

* 1 teaspoon salt

* 1/4 cup butter, cubed

* Sliced almonds and ground cinnamon, optional


•In a saucepan, combine the rice and water. Simmer for 10 minutes; add

milk and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for

60-70 minutes or until rice is tender. Add sugar, salt and butter;

mix well. Spoon into small bowls or dessert dishes. Garnish with

almonds and sprinkle with cinnamon if desired. Yield: 6-8 servings.

{On The 9th Day Of Christmas}

Moo Goo Gai Pan is a great comfort dish for cold winter days – chicken and fresh mushrooms are stir-fried and then finished with a sauce made with chicken stock, oyster sauce and sugar.

A popular restaurant dish, Moo Goo Gai Pan means "fresh mushrooms with sliced chicken."

Moo Goo Gai Pan

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes


• 3/4 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
• Marinade:
• 2 tablespoons soy sauce
• a few drops sesame oil
• 1 tablespoon cornstarch


• 1 cup fresh button mushrooms
• 1/2 cup canned bamboo shoots
• 1/2 cup canned water chestnuts
• 2 slices ginger
• 1 garlic clove


•1/2 cup chicken stock*
•2 tablespoons oyster sauce
•1 teaspoon sugar
•1 tablespoon cornstarch


•3 tablespoons oil for stir frying, or as needed


Cut the chicken breasts into thin strips. Add the marinade in the order given, adding the cornstarch last. Marinate the chicken for about 15 minutes.

While the chicken is marinating, prepare the vegetables. Wipe the mushrooms clean with a damp cloth and cut into thin slices. Rinse the canned bamboo shoots and water chestnuts to remove any "tinny" taste and drain thoroughly. Slice and chop the ginger, and peel and mince the garlic clove.

Prepare sauce ingredients and set aside.

Heat wok and then add 2 tablespoons oil. Add the chicken and stir-fry until it changes color and is nearly cooked through. Remove and set aside.

Add 1 tablespoon oil. Add the garlic and ginger and stir-fry briefly. Add the mushrooms and stir-fry for several seconds, then add bamboo shoots, and water chestnuts. Stir-fry briefly. Give the sauce a quick restir, then make a well in the middle of the wok and add sauce. Cook, stirring, until the sauce is thickened.

Return chicken to wok. Mix together and serve hot.

*You can also use chicken broth. Just bring it to a boil, add a bit of rice wine for flavor, and let it simmer for about 5 minutes.

Another variation is to boil the mushrooms in the chicken broth before stir-frying.
Source: http://www.about.com/

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

{On The 8th Day Of Christmas...}

Milk Tart

Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 20 Minutes

(Servings: 16)

The sugary crust dough is pressed into the pie tin and baked. The sweet, milky thick custard filling is then poured into the baked shell, sprinkled with cinnamon and chilled. Makes two lovely pies.


* 1/2 cup butter, softened
* 1 cup white sugar
* 1 egg
* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1 pinch salt
* 4 cups milk 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1 tablespoon butter
* 2 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
* 1/2 cup white sugar
* 2 eggs, beaten
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

2. In a medium mixing bowl, cream together 1/2 cup butter or margarine and 1 cup sugar. Add 1 egg and beat until mixture is smooth. In a separate bowl, mix together 2 cups flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir flour mixture into sugar mixture just until ingredients are thoroughly combined. Press mixture into bottom and sides of two 9-inch pie pans.

3. Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until golden brown.

4. In a large saucepan, combine milk, vanilla extract, and 1 tablespoon butter or margarine. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then remove from burner.

5. In a separate bowl, mix together 2 1/2 tablespoons flour, cornstarch, and 1/2 cup sugar. Add beaten eggs to sugar mixture and whisk until smooth. Slowly whisk mixture into milk. Return pan to heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 5 minutes. Pour half of mixture into each pastry shell. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Chill before serving

(Source: allrecipes.com)

{On The 7th Day Of Christmas...}

Peppermint Float Punch

* 1 gallon vanilla ice cream, room temperature
* Peppermint extract to taste
* Green food coloring (optional)
* 3 to 4 (liter-size) bottles 7-up

To serve, mix ice cream with peppermint extract and green food coloring in a punch bowl. (Very carefully add peppermint extract. one drop at a time - a little goes a long way.) Add 7-Up to ice cream mixture.

NOTE: You can keep adding 7-Up to the punch if you need more volume.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

{On The 6th Day Of Christmas...}

(Eggs-A-Laying Recipe)

Christmas Eggs

An annual tradition! Definite Christmas morning favorite.

* 3 tablespoons butter
* 3 tablespoons flour
* 1½ cups milk
* 2 cups grated Cheddar cheese
* ½ teaspoon salt
* ¾ crushed red pepper
* 12 hard boiled eggs, peeled and sliced
* 6 slices whole wheat toast


Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat. Stir in the flour and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Raise the heat to medium and whisk in the milk.

Bring mixture to boil, stirring constantly and beating until smooth. Add the cheese, salt and red pepper. stir until the cheese is melted and sauce is bubbly and thick.

Add egg slices and gently stir into the sauce. Heat until hot and spoon over the slices of toast.


A bacon and egg casserole recipe for Christmas morning.

Breakfast Bacon and Egg Casserole

(Serves - 4)


* 8 slices white bread, crusts removed
* 8 eggs, slightly beaten
* 1 cup milk
* 2 teaspoons dry mustard
* 1 teaspoon dried minced onion
* 12 to 16 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
* 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded mild Cheddar cheese


Place bread in a lightly greased 9x13-inch baking dish; set aside. Combine eggs, milk, dry mustard, and dried minced onion; pour over bread. Sprinkle bacon over casserole; cover and refrigerate 8 hours. Remove from refrigerator; let casserole stand 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350°. Bake, covered, for 35 to 45 minutes, until set. Uncover, sprinkle with shredded Cheddar cheese, and bake an additional 5 minutes. Let breakfast casserole stand 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

{On The 5th Day Of Christmas...}

Honey Bubble Ring

Sweet honey-flavored pull-apart bread

Prep: 10 min. Bake: 30 min. + cooling

(Servings - 12-15)


* 1/2 cup honey
* 1/3 cup sugar
* 1/4 cup chopped pecans
* 1 tablespoon orange juice
* 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel
* 3 tubes (12 ounces each) refrigerated buttermilk biscuits


•In a bowl, combine the first six ingredients. Cut each biscuit into four pieces; dip each piece halfway into honey mixture. Layer in a greased 10-in. tube pan. Bake at 375° for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 10 minutes; invert pan onto a serving platter.

(Source: TasteOfHome.com)

{On The 4th Day Of Christmas...}

Calling Bird Cut-Out Cookies

These almond feathered cut-out cookies have a sweet glaze and sprinkling of sugar -- elegant and easy.

Preparation time: 1 hr
Chilling time: 2 hrs
Baking time: 6 min

(Yields: 4 dozen cookies)

Cookie Ingredients:

* 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 cup sugar
* 1 cup butter, softened
* 1 egg
* 2 tablespoons orange juice
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 2 teaspoons almond extract

Glaze Ingredients:

* 1/4 cup light corn syrup
* 2 teaspoons water

Decoration Ingredients:

* Sliced almonds
* Sugar

Combine all cookie ingredients in large mixer bowl. Beat at low speed, scraping bowl often, until well mixed (2 to 3 minutes).

Divide dough into thirds; wrap in plastic food wrap. Refrigerate until firm (at least 2 hours).

Heat oven to 400°F. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface, one-third at a time (keeping remaining dough refrigerated), to 1/8 to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut with 3 to 4-inch bird-shaped cookie cutters. Place 1 inch apart onto lightly greased cookie sheets.

Stir together corn syrup and water in small bowl. Lightly brush corn syrup mixture over cookies. Arrange almonds on cookies to resemble wing and tail feathers.

Bake for 6 to 9 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool 1 minute; carefully remove from cookie sheets. While warm, brush again with corn syrup mixture; sprinkle with sugar. Cool completely.

TIP: For traditional cut-out cookies, omit glaze and decorations; decorate as desired with decorator sugars or frosting.

TIP: Line cookie sheets with parchment paper for easier clean up.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

{On The 3rd Day Of Christmas...}

Cornish Hens for 2


* 1 large Spanish onion, sliced
* 2 Cornish hens
* Cornbread Stuffing, recipe follows
* Olive oil
* Kosher salt
* Freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Place the sliced onion in the bottom of a roasting pan. Remove the giblets from the hens, and rinse them inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pinfeathers and pat the outsides dry. Place the hens on top of the sliced onion.

Pack the cavities of the hens with the cornbread stuffing.

Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the hens. Rub the hens with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Roast the hens for 30 minutes, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh.

Cornbread Stuffing:

*4 tablespoons unsalted butter
*1 cup yellow onion, chopped
* 2 1/2 cups cornbread
* 1 celery stalk, diced
* 1/4 cup chicken stock
* 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
* 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
* 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Melt the butter in a large saute pan. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes over medium-low heat, until translucent. Break the cornbread into pieces and place the pieces in a large bowl. Add the onion mixture to the cornbread. Add the celery, chicken stock, parsley, salt and pepper, and mix together.

Yields: 2 servings

(source: FoodNetwork.com)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

{On The 2nd Day Of Christmas...}

Turtle Dove Bars

(Makes about 36)


For the crust:

* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 cup packed brown sugar
* 1/2 cup butter, softened
* 1 cup pecan halves

For the filling:

* 2/3 cup butter
* 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
* 1/2 cup butterscotch-flavored chips
* 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


1. Pre-heat oven to 350 F.

2. To make the crust, combine all ingredients except the pecans in a large mixer bowl and beat until well mixed and particles are fine. Press into the bottom of a 13" x 9" baking pan. Sprinkle the pecans evenly over the crust.

3. To make the filling, combine 2/3 cup butter and 1/2 cup brown sugar in a saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a full boil. Boil, stirring constantly, 2 to 3 minutes or until a candy thermometer reaches 242 F or a small amount of the mixture dropped into ice water forms a firm ball. Immediately pour over pecans and crust.

4. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until entire caramel layer is bubbly. Immediately sprinkle with butterscotch and chocolate chips. Allow to melt slightly (3 to 5 minutes). Swirl chips leaving some whole for a marbled effect.

5. Cool completely and cut into bars.

(source - christmascookies.com)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

{On The 1st Day Of Christmas...}

Partridge in a Pear Tree Pie

Delight guests and have a partridge in a pear tree make an appearance on your holiday table! The crimson cranberry filling makes this a fitting Christmas pie.

6-8 Servings

Prep: 30 min. + cooling
Bake: 40 min.


* 1 can (15 ounces) pear halves, drained
* 1 package (12 ounces) fresh or frozen cranberries
* 1 can (8 ounces) crushed pineapple
* 1-1/2 cups sugar
* 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* Pastry of double-crust pie (9 inches)
* Additional sugar, optional


•Set aside five pear halves; chop any remaining pears. In a large saucepan, combine the chopped pears, cranberries, pineapple and sugar. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 4-5 minutes or until some cranberries have popped. Cool for 30 minutes, stirring several times. In a bowl, combine the flour, salt and cinnamon. Stir in
cooled cranberry mixture.

•Line a 9-in. pie plate with bottom pastry; trim and flute edges. Spoon cranberry mixture into pastry shell; arrange pear halves on top. Bake at 400° for 35-40 minutes or until bubbly and crust is golden brown (cover edges with foil for last 15 minutes of baking if necessary). Cool on wire rack.

•Roll remaining pastry. Using cookie cutters, cut out small leaves, small pears and a partridge. Place on an ungreased baking sheet; sprinkle with sugar if desired. Bake at 400° for 6-8 minutes or
until golden brown. Place partridge in center of pie with leaves and pears around it.

Yield: 6-8 servings.

(Source: Taste Of Home)