This page is for women and men who love to cook. Nothing is better than stirring up love in the kitchen. The holidays are 'at our heels,' so I have provided some of my favorite recipes for you to try.
PUMPKIN WALNUT RING
Firm, moist, fragrant with spices is perfect for holiday entertaining. The flavor and texture benefit from preparing a day or two ahead.
1 ¼ cups of sifted cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup of coarsely chopped walnuts
2 large eggs
3/4 cup (firmly packed) light brown sugar
3 ounces of safflower oil
2 tablespoons of walnut oil
1 cup fresh or canned unsweetened pumpkin puree
In a small bowl combine the flour, baking soda, spices, and walnuts and whisk to blend.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, and oils for 2 to 3 minutes or until very smooth. Add the pumpkin and beat just until smooth. Add the flour mixture and beat until completely moistened.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake 30 to 35 minutes or until a cake tester or knife inserted in the thickest part of the cake comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes and then unmold into the rack. Bake 350 Fahrenheit in one 9 inch by 2 inch cake pan or 9 inch spring-form pan, greased, bottom lined with parchment or wax paper, and then greased again and floured.
Adorn finished product with powdered sugar.
1 ½ pounds tart apples
1 medium clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cloves or allspice
½ teaspoon salt
12 cup (packed) brown sugar
1/3 cup cider vinegar
cayenne, to taste
- Coarsely chop the apples (peeling is optional). Place them in a medium-sized saucepan with all remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer.
- Simmer uncovered for about 45 minutes, or until everything is very soft. Cool, then transfer to a sterile jar with a lid. Chill.
Serve chutney with meat and fish dishes, and with whatever else you can think of.
Wine and Spirits for the Holiday
Choosing a wine for Thanksgiving or Christmas can be difficult for most. Turkey is mild in flavor, but you have accompaniments, cranberries, sweet potatoes, kale/collards, and stuffing, which are strong-flavored mixtures of tart, spicy, and sweet. A good rule is to stay with simple fruity wines, such as Beaujolais nouveau, white or red Zinfandel, or California Gewurtztraminer. My favorite is a rich fruity red California Gewurtztraminer. It has the character to handle the aromatic side dishes.
Note: If using sparking wines, never place them in the freezer. If you need to chill it quickly, place the bottle in a bucket half-filled with ice and water for about 30 minutes. Chill in the refrigerator for at least two hours before serving.
A good sparkling wine should have body, flavor, and aftertaste, yet light, fruity and elegant.
- Miclo, considered one of the best distilleries in Alsace, makes a great Eau-de-vie (water of life), a brandy. There are flavors in pear, cherry, blueberry, to name a few. In addition, try a liqueur called Pain d'Epices (gingerbread), made with cinnamon, cloves, star anise, and other spices, which are the heady aroma of Christmas.
Considered an after dinner drink, enjoy your Eau-de-vie chilled in a small glass, 1 ½ ounces.