CHRISTMAS DAY 2014

ornament_S4

 

I have never thought about how I would celebrate Christmas if I wasn’t Jewish, but as I was searching for a topic to write about today, I thought it would be fun to fantasize. First of all, I would have a huge beautiful pine tree in my front yard, like the ones we had at our house when I was growing up. I would string green flashing lights all around it. I would put Santa Claus window clings on my living room windows and a reindeer window cling on my front door window pane. I would outline my windows in blue lights and outline the door outside in blue lights too. I love water-related colors. I would have a blow-up Christmas Carousel on the front lawn along with Christmas caroler lawn stakes. On my door, I would have a home-made wreath like the one I have pictured above and I would have lights lining the walkway in welcome.

Indoors I would have a medium-sized real pine tree surrounded by a sheer white organza lace tree skirt and the tree would be decorated in shades of pink glass ornaments and a rose velvet ribbon running through it. The tree would have some meaningful family ornaments scattered around it to add meaning to my tree and to the holiday. I would top the tree with an angel.

My mantel would hold a stocking for each of us and would have been knit by me through the years. And it would have one store-bought old-fashioned stocking filling with Christmas candies. It would be the kind that is full of holes, this is for nostalgia. And I would make sure there was a tangerine or an orange in everyone’s stocking along with all the other stocking stuffers I bought. I would probably have a Santa Claus collection on my mantel too.

I would have been baking and making candy for months. There would be Fran Scarmanach’s Christmas Cut-Out Cookies, Carol Wilson’s Italian Spice Balls, Peanut-Butter Blossoms, Snow-Topped Mint Chocolate Cooks, Snickerdoodles, Gingerbread Men and who knows what else!

I would have cards from all of my friends and families taped to the wall in a tree-shaped design. This would be in a special place so I could see it when I came down the stairs each morning.

I would plan my menu. I would serve a nice dip and crudites and pigs in a blanket. Also would serve something like a tree-shaped fruit and cheese platter, something colorful. For cocktails, I’d make festive punch, one alcoholic, one non-alcoholic. We would begin with French Onion soup, a tossed salad, brown and serve rolls, Let’s see, I think a good Christmas dinner would be a standing rib-roast or a prime rib. With the roast I would serve herb roasted carrots, steamed green beans, and baked potatoes or potatoes au gratin. Have to have a Christmasy jello mold….I’ll have to look on the net and post one here…For dessert, something decadent, perhaps a Yule Log cake. Those always look impressive to me. I wouldn’t forget to put out the cookies and candies I have made. I’d serve champagne with dinner and bubbly apple juice to those who don’t want alcohol or are too young. Of course I’d have lots of pop too. A good coffee and a choice of good teas to end the dinner would be in order.

Can you hear the Christmas music playing softly in the background, the voices of the people surrounding the table and the laughter? There would be lots of laughter as we reminisce. I can hear my favorite  Christmas CD put out years ago by Mason Williams of “Classical Gas” fame. Yes, I really do have Christmas CD’s as part of my music collection at home! Mr. Williams’ CD is called “Mason Williams and Friends, a Gift of Song” and is available from Amazon.com. I am a huge Mason Williams fan. His writings are as good as his music! I think he is a genius.

 

Here is a recipe I copied from Pinterest the other day for a dip that I would love to try:

 

 

easy skillet pizza dip

 

 

Home Cookin Chapter: APPETIZERS 2014

Easy Skillet Pizza Dip

======================

Serve this easy pizza dip with Pillsbury™ bread sticks or fresh

veggies for dipping!

Prep time 15 min

total time 30 min

ingredients 3

servings 8

Ingredients:

1 Lb lean (at least 80%) ground beef

1 1/2 Cups Muir Glen™ organic garlic roasted garlic pasta sauce

1 1/2 Cups shredded Italian cheese blend (6 oz)

 

Steps:

Heat oven to 375°F.

In 10- or 12-inch skillet, cook beef over medium-high heat,

stirring frequently, until brown; drain.

Stir in marinara sauce until well combined. Top with cheese.

Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and filling is

hot. If desired, increase oven setting to broil during last 3 to 4

minutes of baking to brown cheese.

NOTE: Use ground turkey in place of the ground beef, if desired.

Nutrition Facts:

Serving Size: 1 Serving

Calories190Calories from Fat110

Total Fat12g

Saturated Fat6gTrans Fat1/2g

Cholesterol55mgSodium320mgTotal

Carbohydrate5g

Dietary Fiber1g

Sugars0g

Protein15g

% Daily Value*:

Vitamin A6%

Vitamin C4%

Calcium15%

Iron8%

Exchanges:0 Starch; 0 Fruit; 0 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Skim Milk; 0

Low-Fat Milk; 0 Milk; 1/2 Vegetable; 0 Very Lean Meat; 0 Lean

Meat; 1 High-Fat Meat; 0 Fat;

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

COMMENTS:

MelissaPearson:   Just a tip. Don’t cook items with

tomatoes in your cast iron skillet. The acid content of tomatoes

can damage your skillet. That would be terrible considering all

the work you’re gone through to get it perfectly seasoned.

Servings: 0

Exported from Home Cookin 8.59 (www.mountainsoftware.com)

 

 

Here are some punch recipes:

 

punch bowl

 

 

Home Cookin Chapter: BEVERAGES – NON-ALCOHOLIC

POMEGRANATE-LEMONADE PUNCH

==========================

PREP: 10 mins.

SERVINGS: 10 servings, 1 cup each serving

4 1/2 cups COLD Water

1 packet (makes 2 qt. drink) OR 2 packets (makes 1 qt. drink each)

Crystal Light Lemonade Flavor Drink Mix*

2 cans (12 oz. each) Diet Ginger Ale; CHILLED

2 cups COLD Pomegranate Juice

1/2 cup FRESH Lemon Juice

*NOTE: Crystal Light Packets come in two sizes. Please note

packet size before preparing recipe!!!

.

In a large punch bowl, add COLD water to the drink mix; stir UNTIL

mix is dissolved.

Stir in remaining ingredients.

Garnish each glass with FRESH mint, a lemon slice OR a small scoop

of lemon sherbet.

MSS NOTE: Photo shows combination of lemon slices and fresh mint

leaves as their garnish.

SOURCE: pg. 16, Kraft’s “FOOD & FAMILY HOLIDAY 2014” magazine.

Servings: 0

Exported from Home Cookin 8.59 (www.mountainsoftware.com)

 

BEST-Christmas-Punch-Recipe-EVER

 

 

Home Cookin Chapter: BEVERAGES – ALCOHOLIC

BEST Christmas Punch Recipe: Santa’s Little Helper!

===================================================

A delicious blend of juices and a bubbly mixer make this recipe

perfectly adaptable as alcoholic or non-alcoholic, and it’s SURE

to be the hit of your holiday party, festive gathering or baby

shower!

Author: Carrie

Recipe type: Beverage

Prep time: 5 mins Total time: 5 mins

Ingredients

1 bottle of champagne (OR use a lemon-lime soda like Sierra Mist

to make it non-alcoholic)

1 bottle of Cranberry Juice Blend

1 cup of sugar (try to use superfine sugar if you can find it)

1 c. frozen lemonade concentrate (thawed)

1 c. frozen orange juice concentrate (thawed)

ice

water (for amount, see below)

garnishes: lemon slices, cranberries, fresh rosemary sprigs

Instructions

Combine the champagne and the cranberry juice blend. Add the

sugar, and stir vigorously until combined.

Add the thawed concentrates, stir.

If you want a strong punch you can leave as is and just add some

ice. You may wish to dilute with up to three cups of water (add

water to taste) depending on your personal preference. Remember

adding ice will also dilute the punch a bit so don’t go overboard

on both ice and water. 🙂

Add your garnishes– a bag of fresh cranberries, lemon slices (wash

the lemons well if including the peels), perhaps a sprig of fresh

rosemary or two for a fresh kick.

** Note: You can also make this ahead of time– simply add all

ingredients EXCEPT the garnishes and bubbly (either champagne or

soda). Refrigerate for a few hours and add the remaining

ingredients when guests arrive. **

source:

http://makinglemonadeblog.com/best-christmas-punch-recipe-santas-l

ittle-helper/

Servings: 0

Exported from Home Cookin 8.59 (www.mountainsoftware.com)

 

 

Look at what I found for you in my d base of recipes!!! This would be perfect for my fantasy Christmas feast, of course, I would omit the mushrooms!!!  Please note that the prime rib photo below is not part of my recipe.  There was no photo with recipe because I typed it from a magazine.  I found the photo at http://www.caroincarolina.com/2011/01/random-willynillyness-cooking-presents.html.  I strongly advise you check this webpage out before you begin making your prime rib.  It is very informative.

 

 

prime rib

 

 

 

Home Cookin Chapter: Beef

PRIME RIB

=========

ACTIVE: 25 mins.

TOTAL: 2 hr. 40 mins.

SERVES: 12-18

PRIME RIB:

4 tbsp. Tricolor Peppercorns (OR any peppercorns)

3 springs Rosemary

3 sprigs Thyme

1/2 cup Kosher Salt

8 cloves Garlic; MINCED

1 10-14 lb. BONELESS Rib-Eye Roast

1/4 cup Olive Oil

YORKSHIRE PUDDING:

ACTIVE: 25 mins.

TOTAL: 40 mins.

SERVES: 12

5 LARGE Eggs

1 cup Half-and-Half

1 cup All-Purpose Flour

Kosher Salt

Drippings from the Prime Rib

BURGUNDY MUSHROOMS:

START MAKING THE MUSHROOMS IN THE MORNING–THEY TAKE 9 HRS FOR

MAKE! IF YOU CAN’T STAY HOME TO WATCH THE STOVE, MAKE THEM IN A

SLOW COOKER ON LOW.

ACTIVE: 15 mins.

TOTAL: 9 hrs. 15 mins.

SERVES: 12

4 lbs. WHITE BUTTON Mushrooms

1 cup (2 sticks) Butter

4 cubes LOW-SODIUM Chicken Bouillon

4 cubes LOW-SODIUM Beef Bouillon

FRESHLY GROUND BLACK Pepper

1 tsp. Dill Seeds

5 cloves Garlic

1 liter Burgundy Wine (OR any Red Wine, such as Cabernet OR

Merlot)

1 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

Kosher Salt

“Prime rib is the most impressive, seductive hunk of beef there

is.”

PRIME RIB:

1. MOVE THE OVEN RACK TO THE BOTTOM AND PREHEAT THE OVEN TO 500°

F., then start with the seasoning. Grab the peppercorns and throw

them in a big plastic bag and pound them with a rolling pin to

break them open.

Pull the leaves off of the rosemary and thyme sprigs. Throw the

crushed peppercorns into a bowl with the salt and herb leaves and

add the MINCED garlic. Use your finger to toss it all together,

then set it aside.

2. Place the beef, FAT-SIDE UP, on a rack in the roasting pan.

Drizzle the olive oil all over the surface and rub it in with your

hands. Sprinkle the peppercorn-herb-salt mixture all over the

surface of the beef, pressing it LIGHTLY with your hands.

3. Roast the beef 46 mins. for the first stage. REDUCE THE OVEN

TEMP. TO 300° F. AND INSERT A MEAT THERMOMETER SIDEWAYS INTO THE

ROAST. Roast the beef an additional 1 hr. 15 mins. to 1 hr. 30

mins. OR UNTIL THE THERMOMETER REGISTERS 120° F. TO 135° F. IN THE

CENTER for medium-rare. (The meat will continue to cook for a bit

after you remove it from the oven.)

4. REMOVE the beef from the rack and let it rest about 15 mins.

to allow the juices to redistribute throughout the meat. (This is

a perfect time to get the Yorkshire pudding in the oven). When

you’re ready to serve, carve it into slices of your preferred

width.

 

YORKSHIRE PUDDING:

 

1. MAKE THE BATTER BEFORE REMOVING THE PRIME RIB FROM THE OVEN:

Combine the eggs and half-and-half in a bowl and whisk UNTIL

they’re totally combined. Throw the flour and 2 tsp. salt into a

SIFTER and sift them straight into the bowl. Whisk until it’s

nice and smooth, then refrigerate until the prime rib is ready.

2. After the beef is removed from the pan, INCREASE THE OVEN

TEMPERATURE to 450° F. Use a SLOTTED SPOON to remove the

peppercorns, herbs and excess salt from the drippings. Pour the

remaining drippings into a separate container. They should be

speckled and lovely!

3. Pour a small amount (about 1/2 tsp. or so) of the drippings

into each cup of a standard muffin pan and place the pan in the

HOT OVEN for a couple of mins. OR UNTIL JUST BEFORE THE DRIPPINGS

BEGIN TO SMOKE.

4. CAREFULLY REMOVE THE PAN FROM THE OVEN AND IMMEDIATELY FILL

THE MUFFIN CUPS ABOUT 1/2-2/3 FULL.

Bake 13-14 mins. OR UNTIL THEY’VE “POPPED” about as much as they

can pop. Serve them in a basket with a pretty napkin right next

to the prime rib.

 

BURGUNDY MUSHROOMS:

 

1. Throw the mushrooms in a LARGE POT WITH the butter, bouillon

cubes, 1 tsp. pepper, the drill seeds AND garlic. Add the wine,

Worcestershire sauce AND 2 cups BOILING water. Bring the mixture

to a BOIL OVER MEDIUM-HIGH heat, then REDUCE THE HEAT TO LOW,

COVER THE POLT AND LET IT SIMMER for 6 hrs. (Yes, I said 6

hours!)

2. After 6 hrs., REMOVE THE LID AND CONTINUE SIMMERING for

another 2-3 hrs. (Yes,I said 3 hrs.!)

3. After the 8-9 hrs. cooking time, season with salt to taste.

The mushrooms will be very dark in color and exceedingly luscious.

Ladle them into a serving dish and get ready for the best

mushroom experience of your life.

SOURCE: Ree Drummond, pg. 159-160, food network magazine,

December 2014, Vol.7, Number 10.

Servings: 0

Exported from Home Cookin 8.59 (www.mountainsoftware.com)

 

 

Christmas Ribbon Mold

 

 

 

From Kraft Foods, I found this beautiful jello mold:

Home Cookin Chapter: JELLO

CHRISTMAS RIBBON MOLD

=====================

360 minutes to make

Cook time is chill time.

Ingredients

2 cups boiling water, divided

1 pkg. (4-serving size) JELL-O Cherry Flavor gelatin, or any other

red flavor

1-1/2 cups cold water, divided

1 pkg. (4-serving size) JELL-O lime Flavor gelatin

2 cups JET-PUFFED miniature marshmallows

.

How to make it

Stir 1 cup of the boiling water into dry red gelatin mix in medium

bowl at least 2 min. until completely dissolved.

Stir in 3/4 cup of the cold water.

Pour into 5-cup mold.

Refrigerate 2 hours or until set but not firm (gelatin should

stick to finger when touched and should mound).

Meanwhile, stir remaining 1 cup boiling water into dry lime

gelatin mix in medium bowl at least 2 min. until completely

dissolved.

Stir in remaining 3/4 cup cold water.

Refrigerate 30 min. or until cooled; gently stir in marshmallows.

Spoon over red gelatin.

(Marshmallows will float to the top.)

Refrigerate 4 hours or until firm.

Unmold and garnish with additional marshmallows, if desired.

Store any leftover gelatin in refrigerator.

source: Recipe and picture courtesy of Kraft Food & Family.

Servings: 10

Exported from Home Cookin 8.59 (www.mountainsoftware.com)

 

 

I found this incredibly gorgeous Yule Log Cake on the internet. It actually doesn’t look as intimidating as some that I have seen!

 

 

yule-log-cake-recipe.jpg.pagespeed.ce.nIvp3P7E8B

 

 

 

Home Cookin Chapter: CHRISTMAS 2013-2014

Buche De Noel

=============

Yule Log Cake Recipe

This yule log cake recipe is one of the simplest ways to make a luscious,

rich bûche de Noël at Christmas time. Fashioned to look like a yule log, a

bûche de Noël is most times just a jelly roll dressed up for the holidays.

If you come to France in December, you will find people eating many different

sorts of this “classic” dessert (which is actually a fairly modern take on

the French yule log tradition).

These days in France you can find a yule log cake recipe in any flavor that

might suit your fancy. There have even been chefs that have dreamed up savory

bûche de Noëls, served as an entree, but a more down to earth yule log cake

recipe might use:

Ice cream. I suspect that this is what a lot of French people will be having

this year if my grocery store freezer section is any indication.

Chestnut Puree. Usually a very rich mixture of chocolate, butter and sweet

chestnut cream.

Genoise Cake. This is a very light airy cake that rolls up nicely without

breaking. It is made with an incredible variety of fillings. The French favor

chocolate, vanilla, praline, orange liqueur, and coffee flavors but the only

limit is your imagination.

My Yule Log Cake Recipe

I made quite a few bûche de Noëls, testing which would be the best yule log

cake recipe to share with you. One I made had French buttercream frosting,

but although this was absolutely delicious, it was just too rich I believe.

So here’s my compromise: an easy (don’t be afraid, you can do it) genoise

cake with very easy chocolate buttercream frosting, which I find more

digestable then the French version. You’ll need a jelly roll pan to

successfully make this yule log cake recipe.

Bûche de Noël

Prep time: 40 minutes with assembly

Bake time: 10 min

INGREDIENTS

4 eggs (these have to be at room temperature)

2/3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup cake flour (sifted before measuring)

DIRECTIONS

Butter a 10 X 15 inch jelly roll pan. Line with parchment paper and butter

that as well. Preheat oven to 400° F.

In a mixer (a hand mixer and sturdy deep bowl work as well), beat the eggs

until they are very thick and light colored (this takes about 7 minutes).

Continue beating and add the sugar in 1 tablespoon at a time, allowing each

spoonful to mix in before continuing with the next. Beat in the vanilla as

well.

Stop the mixer and sift 1/2 cup sifted cake flour on top of the batter. Using

a spatula, gently stir the flour into the batter. Sift the final 1/2 cup

flour on top and then very gently fold this into the batter. You want to stop

as soon as all the flour is integrated into the batter. This will give you a

light and airy cake.

Pour and spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake for just 10

minutes. Do not overbake or the cake will be too stiff to roll without

breaking.

As soon as you take it out of the oven, turn the cake out onto a clean

dishtowel (I’ve seen people recommend that you put powdered sugar on the

dishtowel so that it doesn’t stick, but I don’t find this necessary). Remove

the parchment paper and allow the cake to cool for a couple of minutes. While

it is still warm, roll the cake up from one of its short ends with the

dishtowel inside (this way the cake gets used to being rolled and won’t tear

when you fill it and roll it back up). Allow the cake to cool completely.

Unroll the cake, and spread about 1/2 of the chocolate buttercream (recipe

below) evenly on top. Carefully roll the cake back up and neatly place on

your serving dish, seam side down.

Optional: To enhance the yule log effect, cut off the ends at an angle and

use these to create stubs on the log (they’re supposed to look like cut off

branches), attaching them with some buttercream.

Frost the outside of the log and, using a fork, trace irregular lines in the

frosting to give it a woody effect. Refrigerate the cake for 20 minutes to

set the frosting, then cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow it to “age”

in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.

Before serving, decorate your cake however you wish. I’m sure you have some

cute little Christmas ornaments that will do the job. In France you might

find Santa Claus, an ax or a saw, mushrooms (made from meringue), or elves

dancing on the cake.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup soft unsalted butter

3 1/4 cups powdered sugar

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 cup buttermilk

DIRECTIONS

Whip the butter in your mixer until is is light and creamy. Sift together the

sugar, cocoa and salt and add this to the butter. Beat until well mixed then

add the vanilla and buttermilk. Beat until very smooth. This makes just the

right amount of buttercream for the yule log cake recipe above.

source: http://www.easy-french-food.com/yule-log-cake-recipe.html

I know these recipes are late for your Christmas celebration this year, but perhaps you can print it out and save it for next year, or perhaps for a New Year’s Eve celebration. Let me know what you think!

 

CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE:

Wreath photo:  http://craftysisters-nc.blogspot.com/2010/12/oh-my.html

Punch Bowl photo:  http://uncorked.winterthur.org/consumption-equipage/punch/:

Prime Rib photo:  http://www.caroincarolina.com/2011/01/random-willynillyness-cooking-presents.html

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2 responses

    • Happy New Year, Fabio! I thought I had replied to this, I am sorry. The past few days have been hectic ones. I always look forward to your kind words. They make my day. BTW, did you know I can’t comment on your blog? Your photos are gorgeous!!! I hope you’ll enter the contest and if you do, I wish you good luck!!! I’ve never tried using Rafflecopter before. So, we shall see! Anything for some fun! What did you do for the holidays?

      Like

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