Browsing: Food Celebrations

Cookie Musings

October27

I have started researching my contribution to Sister #3’s annual Christmas Cookie exchange and I have come across a couple of delicious recipes.  This one is:

Macadamia Moons with Browned Butter Glaze

Cookie batter:1 c butter, softened

2/3 c granulated sugar

3/4 t ground ginger

1/2 t vanilla

2 1/4 c flour

1 c finely chopped macadamia nuts

Glaze:

1/4 c butter

2 c icing (powdered) sugar

1/4 t ground ginger

2-3 T milk

1/2 c finely chopped macadamia nuts

freshly ground nutmeg (optional)

Preheat oven to 350.  In a large bowl, beat the 1 c butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 secs.  Add granulated sugar, the 3/4 t ginger and vanilla.  Beat until combined, scraping bowl occasionally.  Add flour and 1 c nuts, beating on low speed until combined.

Shape dough into 1 inch balls.  To shape moons, roll each ball into a short log with tapered ends.  Curve slightly into a crescent shape and place 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet,  Bake in a pre-heated oven for 10-11 mins or until set and lightly browned.  Transfer cookie to a wire rack and cool.

For glaze: In a small heavy bottomed saucepanm heat butter until melted, then caarefully stir constantly until butter bubbles and beecomes very fragrant. Cool slightly. 

In a small bowl combine browned butter , sugar and ginger.  Stir in enough of the milk to make a glaze of spreading consistency.

Spread glaze over cooled cookies.  Sprinkle immediately with crushed nuts and ground nutmeg (if desired).  Makes about 48 cookies.  To store: place cookies between sheets of waxed paper in an air tight container; cover.  Store at room temperature for up to 3 days of freeze up to 3 months.

After you have retired for the night, listen for footsteps leading to the freezer in the basement.  If you hear the lid being raised, check your cookie supply the next morning.  The midnight Christmas cookie marauder may have struck your house as is frequently the case in ours.

Kath’s quote: “A balanced diet is a cookie in each hand” Unknown

Let love be multiplied.

Thanksgiving Recap

October12

The final count was 34 family members, 1 bf, 1 gf, 1 international student and 9 dogs.

This is Zoey, one of the youngest.

And this is Lu Dog,  one of the newest in the clan (a rescue).

I couldn’t fit us all in one picture, even when I stood on the couch to take this.

The winning new recipe Sister-in-law #2’s Pumpkin Crunch.

1 package yellow cake mix
1 can (16oz) solid pack pack pumpkin
1 can (12oz) evaporated milk
3 eggs
1-1/2 c sugar
4 t pumpkin pie spice
1/2 t salt
1 c chopped pecans
1 c melted butter
Whipped topping
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottom of 9×13 pan. Combine pumpkin, evaporated milk, eggs, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and salt in large bowl. Pour into pan. Sprinkle dry cake mix evenly over pumpkin mixture. Top with pecans. Drizzle with melted butter. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until golden. Cool completely. Serve with whipped topping. Refrigerate leftovers.

Kath’s quote: “If the soup had been as warm as the wine, if the wine had been as old as the turkey, if the turkey had had a breast like the maid, it would have been a swell dinner.”-Duncan Hines

Give Thanks-Part 2: Pecan Sweet Potatoes (Company’s Coming)

October8

And so it is that I finally get to the topic of yesterday’s musings…..our Pecan Sweet Potato recipe.  Of all the dishes that I make, this recipe is most requested.  It is an adaption of  Jean Pare’s from her “Company’s Coming for Christmas” book.

The recipe calls for 2 large sweet potatoes but it is very easy to modify for larger crowds.  This weekend I’m using 6 huge potatoes.

Cut unpeeled sweet potatoes into large pieces and cook in boiling salted water until just tender.  Drain and cool.  They will now be very easy to peel.  Re cut into pieces of a desired size.  Toss with  a 1/2 c of brown sugar and place into a casserole dish, pouring a smidgen of water into the bottom of the dish.  Dot with dabs of butter. 

For the pecan topping: Combine 1/4 c butter, 1/4 c flour, 1/2 c brown sugar and 1/2 c chopped pecans.  Mix with your hands to form a crumb style topping.  Sprinkle over all.  Bake, uncovered for approx. 30 mins at 375 degrees or until desired tenderness is reached.

Baby marshmallows can be substitute if there are nut allergies in your family.  Simply skip the crumb mixture and after 30 minutes in the oven, place miniatures (quantity to your liking) on top and broil until brown and bubbly (watch carefully-this would NOT be a good time to make the turkey gravy).

I am thankful for all my readers and the friends in my world who make my life so worthy of celebration…with food. 

Kath’s quote: “I yam what’s I yam and that’s all that I yam.”-Popeye

Give Thanks-Part 1

October7

Thanksgiving is a big deal at our place.  I don’t know if this is because of my husband’s American heritage (we’ve even travelled to the Pilgrim’s Monument in Provincetown, Mass.) or my Mom’s Aboriginal one of celebrating a bountiful harvest.  Perhaps we just like an excuse to gather and eat. 

This weekend 41 people are assembling at the “big” cottage at the lake for dinner.  We call it “big” because it is bigger than the 500 sq feet of ours.  If the weather holds we should be quite comfortable by spilling out onto the back deck and into the screen in porch.  Some years the weather is not in our favour but the day is still sweet and memorable.

This cluster of people does not include everyone in my immediate family.  My definition of “immediate”, are my Mom, my siblings and their families.  One niece is a MRI tech and will have to work this weekend as it is virtually impossible to have 100% attendance.  There are six in my family and all of us still live in Winnipeg and all of nieces and nephews do too.  In fact five families have cottages on the same street at the lake!  We absolutely love being together.  We will have some new “recruits” this year-a boyfriend who has moved from Peterborough and a foreign student from Beijing.  What an amazing blessing.

The menu is pretty standard-turkey, ham and meatballs, plenty of creamed potatoes and yams, veggies, salads, homemade bread and of course vats of gravy, dressing and cranberry sauce. 

I’ve run out of space and time, see tommorrow’s entry for my Pecan Sweet Potao Recipe…

Kath’s quote: “The king and high priest of all the festivals was the autumn Thanksgiving. When the apples were all gathered and the cider was all made, and the yellow pumpkins were rolled in from many a hill in billows of gold, and the corn was husked, and the labors of the season were done, and the warm, late days of Indian Summer came in, dreamy, and calm, and still, with just enough frost to crisp the ground of a morning, but with warm traces of benignant, sunny hours at noon, there came over the community a sort of genial repose of spirit – a sense of something accomplished.”-Harriet Beecher Stowe

Feeding Frenzy

October1

We acknowledge that “fondue” means “to melt” by having a traditional goey cheese pot on our table for dinners such as this one.  But our favourite “pots” are actually the hot oil and hot broth pots that produce steaming shrimp such as the one pictured here.

We use a crock pot for cheese and two tradition pots for oil and broth. This year we assembled everybody before bringing out the boiling pots-bad idea.  So this is a snap of the calm before the storm.

We ‘ve learned a few things over the years about our fondue dinners: 1) don’t start this practice when your kids are too young 2) remember that the long fork is for cooking your food, not for putting in your mouth (I had the scar on my face to prove this one) 3) boiling oil is a torture method so be careful when bringing it to your table of assembled loved ones 4) some family members may be concerned about cross contamination so have a raw plate and a one for placing your cooked food on 5) the hours of prep before hand is worth it not just because your dinner will be so pleasant but because you have already done the work for stir fries and soups for the week and finally 6) if you lose an item in the pot you must kiss the person on your right (no changing the rules according to your kissing preferences Jer).

We cut up chicken breasts or thighs, steak or pork (whatever is in your freezer will do).  It is best to marinate the tougher cuts of the latter.  We always have shrimp and then a variety of vegetable for either the hot pots or to dip into the cheese.  The variety of cheese changes-this time it was a gruyere with white wine but when that ran out we used mozarella and white wine and that too was good.  I always bake a couple of fresh loaves of French bread because let’s face it-anything tastes good on freshly baked bread. 

Sometimes for the chocolate fondue dessert, I make a pound cake (or buy an angel food cake which is my preference) but at this dinner because we were celebrating our son’s champagne birthday (23 on the 23rd) we just had pineapple, strawberries and bananas and brought out a cake to sing to him. 

Kath’s quote:  “Bread deals with living things, with giving life, with growth, with the seed, the grain that nurtures.  Its not coincidence that we say bread is the staff of life.”-Lionel Poilne

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