Every year my mother-in-law sends “gelt” (a.k.a. money) for Hanukkah rather than presents. I like to save the gelt for something really special; something I might not otherwise indulge in. This year an old-fashioned Bundt cake pan caught my attention. I love to bake and this seemed like a fitting use for her generosity. The first cake I made was “Pecan Rum Cake.” It is festive for the all the holidays — both Hannukah and Christmas. I liked it so much I also made a variation, “Satsuma Rum Cake.”
I look forward to the holiday season — it is a good excuse to indulge a little by baking cookies and other scrumptious desserts. I especially like to try new recipes — last year I stumbled upon Starbuck’s Cranberry Bliss Bars. Here’s my own version of the recipe — using an old-fashioned oatmeal blondie brownie recipe along with dried cranberries, orange zest, white chocolate chips and a cream cheese icing. Yum. This festive dessert is pretty good!
Looking for a healthy and different way to serve vegetables at a buffet over the holidays? This recipe for Zesty Marinated Vegetables is quite unique. It consists of nutritious and colorful vegetables — carrots, bell peppers, cauliflower and turnips — that are marinated in a curry, sweet and sour dressing. You might not think of combining these vegetables — much less serving them at a holiday meal — but that’s part of the appeal. Served cold as an appetizer, they are quite tasty.
It’s Mardi Gras season in Louisiana and today we’re making King Cakes. This year I have teenager, Jessi, to help me make these sweet, rich and delicious yeast breads known as King Cakes. King cakes fill the grocery stores and hundreds are sold in New Orleans during the Mardi Gras season. It is fairly easy to make a king cake yourself at home using this recipe. The key is using a heavy-duty mixer to do the kneading.
This Christmas holiday I made Meyer Lemon and Rosemary Sorbet. Why make a sorbet in the middle of winter? Because this is when the Meyer lemons on the fruit tree in my backyard ripen. And a tart citrus sorbet is good any of time of the year. This icy sorbet is just the right ending to a rich meal, it cleans the palate. Since it is fat free it doesn’t fill you up. The sprig of rosemary and a bit of lime juice add another dimension to this sorbet. I think I have found just the right blend of sweetness and fruit flavors. Continue reading
When we held the estate sale of our parent’s home, one item that we didn’t sell was my mother’s heavy marble slab that she used for making candy. She made the best Peanut Brittle every year at the Christmas holiday season. I kept the marble slab and recently located her Peanut Brittle recipe. Here’s my attempt to duplicate it.
This year the Chanukah holiday — “Celebration of Lights” or “Feast of Rededication” — begins on December 13. I’m making Potato Latkes which are small fried potato pancakes traditionally served during this holiday. The holiday observance begins at sundown on the preceding evening; so I’ll serve my Potato Latkes at dinner tonight. My recipe is perhaps a bit unusual; I stumbled on an ingredient which adds “zing” to the pancakes quite by accident.