Archive | November, 2010

Ginger- Orange Cookies

28 Nov

I first saw these cookies at one of my favorite food blogs, Bakingdom.  I love ginger, and I love icing, so I knew I had to try them, especially around Thanksgiving.  You can, of course, find the recipe on bakingdom, and you SHOULD.  The cookies were amazingly soft and had the perfect amount of ginger.  I made some minor changes (didn’t use cloves, used vegan cream cheese, baked the cookies 2 minutes longer) but the recipe is definitely one that I will use again.  I think that the pictures speak for themselves.

Oh. My. God.

 The frosting was slightly orangey- in a good way- but a little bit oversweet.  I guess that’s kind of the point, though, huh?

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Randomness

28 Nov

Today is the official last day of the Thanksgiving Appreciation postravaganza.

I have several things to post about.

1. Kudos to lecoupdefoudre for ushering in the Christmas season. I must admit that I was singing carols at the top of my lungs along with the seasonal music channel this morning. No regrets.

2. At some point in the holiday season, we must make this. Or this. Or this. Or this. Or this. (it’s a mini chocolate cake that you make in a coffee mug in the microwave in three minutes! How awesome is that?) Or really any recipe from the blog How Sweet It Is, which all look absolutely amazing. It’s my new favorite food blog–and that’s saying a LOT. The competition is fierce.

3. Please, someone, buy me this for Christmas. I’m begging you! But really any scrumptious cookbook will do 🙂 I’ve recently heard the cookbooks containing close-ups of chewy chocolatey crispy goodness referred to as “food porn”. And that’s such a totally appropriate name. And that said, I believe I am addicted to food porn. What does that say about me? I really don’t want to think about it, actually.

4. Muffins: we had these great cranberry spice muffins this morning that I hope to post about sometime in the next week, given I find time in my soon-again hectic schedule (*sigh*). Just a little teaser coming your way!

5. If anyone has any recipe that they want to make sure gets made at some point in the holiday season, please post a link or something in the comments. Thanks! Nothing would make me happier than spending my holiday break baking up a frenzy while watching Titanic, or Lord of the Rings, or both. Or both at once! Hmmm…now there’s an idea….

 

Well, it’s been grand, appreciating Thanksgiving with you all. See you sometime next week!

It’s coming…..

28 Nov

Thanksgiving is one of those strange holidays that ends at midnight, when credit cards come out and it’s suddenly BLACK FRIDAY the day for shopping for….wait for it….

CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And although we continue to eat leftovers (although it’s a tradition in my house to eat solely Italian food for two days after Thanksgiving for dinner—we can’t go without it for too long) such as our delicious cheesecakes and such…oh and I guess the stuffing and potatoes and vegetables…

but yes although we continue to eat leftovers, no one can deny the Christmas season!  It snowed on Thanksgiving—a sure sign that Christmas is just around the corner, literally, 4 weeks away!

 

So I’ve decided that we should dedicate a decent amount of time to all of the delicious Christmas food we all enjoy so much, because everyone knows that Christmas is the best holiday!

So pull out your Christmas whisks, chicks, and start making Christmas food (or at least seasonally winter food)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

…and more leftovers!

27 Nov

I have to say, the amount of leftovers in my refrigerator at the current moment is almost disgusting–or it would be, if all of the food wasn’t so ridiculously delicious. Not only do we have large amounts of every single dish from our Thanksgiving table (and dessert!), but also we landed an entire party-size plate of sandwiches last night. Add that to the leftovers from the lunch party last week–mostly cakes and desserts–and the random leftovers from our various dinners and such…well, let’s just say that all three meals today have been completely leftover-based. Breakfast was turkey congee (an Asian rice porridge-type dish that we ate a lot of in Singapore. It’s made with chicken broth and short-grain rice like arborio, and then served with soy sauce, bits of meat, chives, and various other types of toppings. Yum!), lunch was leftover sandwiches, and then dinner was shepherd’s pie.

Shepherd’s pie was the perfect thing to make with our Thanksgiving leftovers. It used the mashed potatoes, the green beans, the random carrots we had in the fridge, the gravy, lots of turkey, and all the rest of the stuff was in the freezer. Perfect for leftovers, and also tasted great! Yay!

Dessert will be once I finish this post…more maple nutmeg tart. Wow, this is a good day. 😉 Anyway, here’s the recipe for the Shepherd’s Pie. It’s pretty free-form, and will easily incorporate whatever leftover whatnots may be found in the recesses of your fridge. Enjoy!

Thanksgiving Leftovers Shepherd’s Pie


Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups chopped leftover turkey

2 carrots, peeled and diced

1 medium onion, minced

1 stalk celery, chopped

1/3 cup frozen peas

1/2 cup chopped leftover green beans

1/2 cup leftover gravy

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1/3 cup water

2 1/2 cups leftover mashed potatoes

1 teaspoon dry thyme

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

In a medium skillet, saute the onion, celery, and carrots. Once the onions start to sweat, add the turkey, peas, and green beans. Mix and let cook for 2 minutes over medium heat. Then add the gravy, water, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, salt, and pepper, and let simmer for 2-3 more minutes. Transfer to a casserole dish, about 8×10 or whatever size you have, and even out the top. Cover completely with an even layer of mashed potatoes. Bake the whole mixture in the oven for  20 minutes at 350°. Next, turn the oven up to 500 and broil the casserole for five minutes or until the top layer of mashed potatoes turns golden brown and delicious. Serve hot. Makes 4 or 5 servings, depending on the hungriness of the people eating.

Leftovers Friday

26 Nov

In my personal opinion, “Black Friday” should be renamed “Leftovers Friday”, because that’s what it really is. Despite the amazing amount of food that we managed to cram down last night, we still have a large batch of leftovers to get rid of…and I don’t know about you, but I for one am planning on using every ounce of my creativity AND every ounce of the scrumptious leftover turkey married together to get some amazing meals.

Course, we haven’t gotten there yet. Today’s super creative lunch we called–wait for it–“second thanksgiving”.We had turkey and stuffing and mashed potatoes and (curiously smoke-flavored) yams and gravy and cranberry salsa and green bean casserole.

Okay, the whole creativity bit starts now.

…anyway, I feel kind of like crap today because of, you know, Thanksgiving recuperation, in addition to the fact that I went to the doctor today and they did that weird creepy bubble-under-the-skin shot thing to me. I don’t appreciate it when people stab me with needles. So I’ve pretty much spent the day lounging around, working, and cleaning up. I’m also going to a party this evening–how very sociable of me–which means I’m going to miss the tree-lighting. Oh well.

In accordance with my sluggish mood, the recipe today is actually from yesterday, but I was so caught up in the yams story that I didn’t post it. It’s truly a Thanksgiving staple for my family–it’s our version of the cranberry sauce, only ours is a salsa and is called…

Cranberry-Orange Salsa

It’s really more like a fruit salad than a salsa. You’re supposed to eat it just with a fork. It has a really great, fresh, unique taste. Definitely a must-try.

Ingredients:

1 pound cranberries, fresh or frozen (thawed)

1 C sugar

2 t grated orange zest

3 Granny Smith apples, peeled and cut into quarters

3 oranges, seeded, pulled into segments, and chopped into little wedges

2 jalapenos, stemmed, seeded, and minced

1 bunch cilantro, chopped

1 bunch green onions, trimmed and chopped

Directions:

Finely chop cranberries in food processor. Place in a large bowl. Chop apples in food processor next, and put them in the bowl with the cranberries. Combine the chopped cranberry-and-apple mixture with all the other ingredients and mix well. Set aside at room temperature for one hour, then chill.

 

happy leftovers friday, everyone! WAIT–oh my goodness! it’s leftovers friday? that means–that means–that it’s officially THE CHRISTMAS SEASON! YIPPEEEE!!! Yessssssss. 😀

Thanksgiving Recap

25 Nov

Now that my Thanksgiving dinner is over, everything is devoured, and I am free to watch my Charlie Brown Thanksgiving Special, I am feeling content, full, and a few pounds heavier. I had forgotten this amazing yet slightly alarming post-Thanksgiving feeling of “wow I really hope I don’t explode in my sleep tonight” that you get while toddling from the dinner table to the couch.

This is what truly makes Thanksgiving for me–that and the pie. Would you like to see my Thanksgiving table? What’s that–you don’t care? Well, TOO BAD, you’re gonna see it anyway!

Not the most artistic picture I’ve ever taken, but I was hungry and it smelled SO good. Anyway, you’ll notice that on our table was the traditional turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, and also some less common but still traditional dishes like yam and marshmallow casserole, green bean casserole with fried onions, candied cranberries, and cranberry salsa (a Thanksgiving staple for our family). Dessert was a maple and nutmeg tart (oooooohhhhh mygod don’t start me on that delicious thing).

We actually made the mashed potatoes, stuffing, and gravy completely from scratch. Yesterday, we baked a loaf of cornbread, let it dry overnight, and then chopped it up this morning and put it in the crock pot with butter, oil, sage, salt, celery, butter, chopped dry apricots, dried parsley, butter, and more butter. It was really good. We made the mashed potatoes by steaming some peeled and chopped Yukon Gold potatoes, and then mashing them with some salt, pepper, milk, butter, olive oil, and freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

And of course, thanksgiving wouldn’t be thanksgiving without a Thanksgiving Disaster or two in the preparation of the food. We actually talked about this over the dinner table–Thanksgiving Disasters can include (but are not limited to) dropping food, burning the turkey, exploding food, setting food aflame, setting the house aflame, being forced to cook the entire meal using only a toaster oven because the normal oven stopped working, the time my mother helpfully sprayed cleaning fluid on the turkey while it was on the barbecue and then, in the commotion that followed, dumped the whole thing–barbecue and hot coals included–on the ground, etc, etc.

Our personal Thanksgiving Disaster was actually quite comical. I love me a yam and marshmallow casserole, and I insisted on having one this year. The recipe (which was very good, by the way–you can check it out here) said to cook the casserole in the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until heated through, until the marshmallows on top are melted and golden brown. Well, since we steamed the yams and mashed them immediately, they were still warm, so all we really had to do was melt and caramelize the marshmallows on top. The turkey was out and almost ready, the guests were here…we were hesitant to wait just for the yam casserole. So we had the bright idea of simply broiling the pan for a minute or two, just to get the marshmallows on top perfect.

What’s that term for hitting your head against the table repeatedly? Oh, that’s right– *headdesk*

So I put it under the broiler, telling myself to check it in 30 seconds or so, and naturally forgot all about it. Five minutes later, my mom opens the oven to get something else out, and–oh! look! The yams are on fire. We’re talking bonfire-sized flames here. So we slam the oven door shut and turn it off in hopes of smothering our dinner–all to no avail. The bonfire is large enough that it just keeps going in there…finally, we decide to see if a cookie sheet upended over the top of the casserole dish will put out the bonfire. Our backup plan was the fire extinguisher, but thankfully, the cookie sheet method proved very effective! We put out the flames to reveal a series of small, blackened, ominously smoking marshmallow stumps that reminded me of something you might find in a cartoon. Or possibly the black lagoon.

the smoke marks on the inside of the casserole dish are a nice touch, aren’t they? (sorry…I know that the photo is slightly fuzzy. This is probably due to the fact that I was laughing while taking the picture.)

As it turns out, that whole layer of stumps just lifted right off the top of the casserole, and we were able to replace the marshmallows and recook the whole thing. It actually ended up tasting quite delicious–arguably one of the best dishes on the table. We all agreed that the casserole had a certain…smoky flavor that really enhanced its taste. I’m thinking a future popular cooking method…can’t you see it? A recipe that says “top with marshmallows. Place under the broiler until the marshmallows have caught thoroughly on fire. Smother with a cookie sheet. Remove top blackened layer. Set aside.”

Ah, the trials and tribulations of Thanksgiving. Gotta love it.

 

Anyway, it’s late, and I am in a post-turkey coma. I need to attempt to climb the stairs to my bedroom now.

Happy Thanksgiving to all, and to all a good night!

 

“I’ll see you later–IN YOUR NIGHTMARES!”

Turkey Cookies

24 Nov

O, thanksgiving followers–prepare to be baffled! Utterly flabbergasted!– by the EXTREME CUTENESS of these cookies. Just wait.

OKAY! ENOUGH WAITING! Let’s get to the cookies already!

Cute Turkey Cookies

Ingredients:

1 box Mallomars cookies

1 box Keebler’s Fudge Stripe cookies, either normal (tan colored) or Holiday version (red colored)

20 candy corn

2 tablespoons semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:

Boil 4 or 5 cups of water. Put the hot water into a tall glass and put a sharp knife in the water. Once the knife has gotten good and hot, use it to cut 10 of the the fudge stripe cookies in half–but make sure that you cut the cookies perpendicular to the fudge stripes on the front of the cookies. (If that’s confusing, just look at the pictures.) These fudge stripes will be the dividers for the “feathers” on the cookies.

Once all the halves are cut, move onto the Mallomars.

Using the reheated sharp knife–the hotter and sharper the better–make a diagonal cut from one edge of the cookie toward the center. Use a gentle sawing motion to achieve best results.

Now, using the again reheated knife, make a second cut straight down from the top of the cookie to the ending point of the previous cut, so that you can remove a little wedge of mallomar.

(The upside of this method is that at the end of making the cookies, you have all of these little slivers of cookie left over that are good for absolutely nothing. You are simply forced to eat them.)

Ahem. Anyway, next, take one of the halves of the fudge stripe cookies and insert into the cut in the mallomar cookie so that it firmly stays in place. (If needed, cut little bits off the corners of the chunk out of the mallomar in order to make it fit.)

Set aside. Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave. Using a spoon, put a very small amount of melted chocolate on the skinny side of a piece of candy corn. (The chocolate is going to be your “glue”.)

Place the candy corn on the mallomar/fudge cookie setup, opposite the fudge cookie, with the skinny end of the candy corn sticking slightly off the edge of the mallomar. Hold this in place for about 30 seconds, until the chocolate sets hard enough that the candy corn doesn’t fall over when you take your hand away.

And you’re done! This recipe makes 18 cookies, simply because there are 18 mallomars in one box. (There will be some extra fudge cookie halves in case you mess up, too.)

Admire the cuteness of your newly-made cookies! These would be a great addition to any Thanksgiving table, for obvious reasons. I have to say, even though these look hard to make, they really aren’t–they take only 15 minutes, tops. Actually, the hardest part is eating them. It feels almost wrong to destroy and devour these…but they taste SO GOOD!

(they look kind of like a creepy little army, don’t they?)

HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVE, EVERYONE!

Have fun cooking tomorrow!