Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas Traditions

An easy theme, but a good one nonetheless. Make a dish which you traditionally have around Christmastime with your family. Easy as pie...mmm, pie.


Soft Custard
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1/3 cup granulated sugar
Dash salt
2 1/2 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup light rum
1 or 2 drops yellow food color, if desired
Ground nutmeg

1. In 2-quart heavy saucepan, stir eggs, granulated sugar and salt until well mixed. Gradually stir in milk. Cook over medium heat 10 to 15 minutes, stirring constantly, until mixture just coats a metal spoon; remove from heat. Stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla. Place saucepan in cold water until custard is cool. (If custard curdles, beat vigorously with hand beater until smooth.) Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours but no longer than 24 hours.
2. Just before serving, in chilled medium bowl, beat whipping cream, powdered sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla with electric mixer on high speed until stiff. Gently stir 1 cup of the whipped cream, the rum and food color into custard.
3. Pour custard mixture into small punch bowl. Drop remaining whipped cream in mounds onto custard mixture. Sprinkle with nutmeg. Serve immediately. Store in refrigerator up to 2 days.

Mushroom, Beans, and Carrot Medley
"Are there wax beans in this?!"

1/2 c. butter or margarine, divided into 1/4 and 1/4
2 medium onions, sliced thin and lengthwise
2 c. carrots, cut 1/4" x 3"
1 10-oz. pkg. frozen green beans, defrosted
1 10-oz. pkg. frozen wax beans, defrosted
1/2 lb. fresh mushrooms, sliced medium thick and sauteed in butter for 3 minutes
2 tsp. salt (or less)
1/4 tsp. white or black pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 tsp. savory (the secret ingredient!)

Saute onions in 1/4 c. butter for about 5 minutes. Cover and steam several minutes more until crisply tender. Put in a bowl. In any butter remaining (or add a bit more), saute mushrooms for three minutes. Put in the onion bowl. Combine carrot strips, green and wax beans and steam in 1/2" hot water in covered pan until crisply tender but still colorful. Drain. Combine all the vegetables with seasonings (if refrigerating for a later serving, then do this in a large bowl and refrigerate until ready to reheat; if serving right away, then put into a large pot). Just before serving, add the other 1/4 c. butter and cook for five minutes. Stir and serve. Bon appetit!

Opa's Onion Rolls

6 cups flour (can add 2 cups wheat flour)
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 tbsp instant minced onion
1 1/2 cup 110°F water (make sure it is not too hot or it will kill the yeast!)
2 pkgs dry yeast
2 eggs

Measure 2 cups flour into a large bowl. Stir in sugar, onion, yeast and salt. Add butter then hot water. Blend with electric mixer at low speed, then increase speed to medium and beat for 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl several times. (I don't have an electric mixture, so I stirred the mixture with a wooden spoon for approx. 10 minutes). Add eggs and 4 more cups flour, blend, then beat at high speed for 1 minute, scraping down the bowl once or twice. Stir in just enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough. Turn into a lightly floured surface, knead 5-10 minutes, adding only enough flour to keep the dough from sticking. Cover with plastic wrap, then a towel, and let stand for 20 minutes on the surface. Punch down, divide into quarters. Cut each quarter into 8 even pieces, and shape each into a ball. Measure 1 tsp oil into each of two 9-inch square pans. Place 16 balls of dough on each pan, turning each roll to coat with oil. Cover pans loosely with plastic wrap and chill 2 to 24 hours. When ready to back, uncover, let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes. Bake at 375° F for 30 minutes or until rolls are golden. Remove from pans, cool a few minutes on a wire rack. Serve warm.

Artichoke and Sun-Dried Tomato Quiche

2 hours | 1 hour prep


* 3 large eggs
* 1 1/2 cups half-and-half or milk
* 2 garlic cloves, minced
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* fresh ground pepper
* 1 cup grated monterey jack cheese
* 1 (9 inch) pie crusts, partially baked
* 1/4 cup sun-dried tomato, soaked in boiling water for 5 minutes, drained, dried and chopped (do not use oil-packed tomatoes)
* 1 (14 ounce) can quartered artichoke hearts, drained
* 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil (or 1/2 teaspoon dried basil)
* 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

1. In a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, half-and-half, garlic, salt, and pepper together.
2. Sprinkle grated Monterey Jack cheese over the bottom of the pie shell.
3. Sprinkle the sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and basil on top of the cheese.
4. Pour the egg mixture over all.
5. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
6. Bake in a 350°F oven for about 40-45 minutes or until a knife comes out clean and top is golden brown.
7. Let stand for 10 minutes.
8. Cut into wedges and serve.
9. **As always--cover pie crust edges w/ foil if necessary to prevent overbrowning.

Mary Kirkland's Holiday Brownies

4 squares unsweetened baking chocolate
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks of butter)
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 13x9 baking pan

Melt chocolate and butter over medium heat until both are completely melted
Transfer to mixing bowl
Stir in sugar, eggs and vanilla and incorporate completely
Add flour and mix well, until batter is smooth
Spread into pan

Bake for 25-30 minutes (depending on your oven) or until toothpick
comes out clean from the middle of the pan
Cool and cut into squares
Serve with Holiday peppermint ice cream