Friday, December 26, 2008

Gingerbread Cookies

I recommend this molasses, it makes the cookies rich, dark, and sweet, with remarkable flavor.

Gingerbread Cookie Shapes

1/3 c. shortening 1 tsp. salt
1 c. brown sugar 1/2 tsp. allspice
1 ½ c. Blackstrap molasses 1 tsp. ginger
2/3 c. cold water 1/2 tsp. cloves
4 to 5 c. flour 1 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. Baking soda
Mix the shortening, sugar & molasses. Stir in the cold water. Sift together the flour and spices. Add to the dough mix well. Chill thoroughly. Roll dough out to about ½ inch thick and cut into shapes. Bake at 350° for 8 to 10 mins. Cool, then frost.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Busy Baking Today!

God Bless You and Yours,
with a very Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I'd Rather Be Sleeping

I am an insomniac, lately. (3 to 4 am) If I wake up hungry, I will almost always have a peanut butter and jelly on one slice of bread, which I just finished with a cup of decaf chai tea. I read somewhere, our blood sugar drops during the night and could be the cause of awakening--and explains why I feel hungry. Well, it is this early hour when I read the internet news, and the rest of my email, which I do not make time for in daylight hours. It is a quiet busyness, with the rest of the house peacefully snoozing away. When I begin to yawn, I will make my way back to bed, because tomorrow I will make my Seafood Gumbo, which we have as our traditional meal on Christmas Eve.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas Treat

My very own favorite holiday traditional treat, is Marzipan Mice. The reason I make these is pure nostalgia. I spent 6 years in Germany growing up, and just the taste of Marzipan sends me back remembering when I lived there, especially Christmas season and the chilly afternoons, at the Outdoor Christmas Market. The lavish displays of colorful marzipan fruits, and the way the air smelled of Liebkuchen (gingerbread in the shape of giant hearts, with your loved ones name in icing decorating the top), hand carved pine Christmas trees in sizes from tiny to tall. Bratwurst sizzling on the out door griddles and caramel bubbling in copper cauldrens to turn out the beloved warm candy coated nuts. Yum~
I try to recreat all of these things at out house, where ever that may be. But, the one which I turn out to my own enjoyment every year are the mice! Instructions to follow, soon!!!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Orange Breakfast Rolls--Citrus Sunshine!

I received a pan of tender Orange Breakfast Rolls as a Christmas gift one year, from my friends Sandy and Jack , when we lived in Colfax Washington. The rolls were a delicious suprise and change from the usual cinnamon rolls I baked for our family. Sandy included a handwritten recipe card, and I have made the recipe over and over during the holidays! If you haven't tried Orange Rolls yet, try this recipe. Merry Christmas Time!

Orange Breakfast Rolls

Makes 24 rolls, may be doubled

1 pkg. Yeast
½ c. sour cream
¼ c. warm water
1 tsp. salt
¼ c. sugar
6 T. softened butter
2 eggs
2 ¾ c. flour
Soften yeast in warm water in a mixing bowl. Stir in the sugar, eggs, sour cream, salt, butter & flour. Make a soft dough of this, adding spoons of flour if dough too wet. Knead until smooth. Cover and rise in an oiled bowl until doubled in size. ( You may place in refrigerator overnight, remove in AM to finish rising.)
When risen, dump out onto a floured surface, knead 15 times, then roll half of the dough into a 12-inch round circle. Brush with 1 T. melted butter. Sprinkle with half of the orange rind mixture. Cut into 12 pie wedges and roll up each wedge starting at the widest end. Set each crescent shaped roll on a baking sheet, pointed end down so as not to unfurl. Cover with plastic, and rise again until doubled in size. Bake in a preheated 350° oven for appx. 25 to 30 mins. Remove, leave in pan and top with prepared orange glaze.

Orange Rind Mixture
¾ c. sugar, ¾ c. coconut & 3 T. grated orange rind.
Combine ingredients.

Orange Glaze
¾ c. sugar, ½ c. sour cream, 2 T. orange juice & ¼ c. butter.
Bring to boil, stirring occasionally for 3 minutes. Pour over rolls.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I have very early memories of being taught how to ask my Russian speaking grandfather if he wanted tea, or milk or whatever.
I would ask."Hotite Chai?" ( SВы хотите чай?) I have always known "Chai" meant TEA. I really love the spiced Indian style of making tea, which is known as Chai, these days, and is so popular. I have copied the recipe from Madam Stewart's site, and included a link to a Chai Information and Recipe site, as well!

Now I am looking for a local supply source for green cardamom seeds...

Serves 4
10 whole green cardamom pods, lightly crushed
5 whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
1 piece fresh ginger (about 2 inches), peeled and quartered
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and scraped
1/3 cup honey, plus more for serving (optional)
4 bags black tea
1 1/2 cups milk
Place 3 cups water in a small saucepan; add cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, ginger, and vanilla bean and scrapings. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low; simmer until mixture is aromatic, about 15 minutes. Whisk in honey; drop tea bags in pan. Turn off heat, and let steep 3 minutes.
Strain tea through a fine strainer or a coffee filter into a warmed serving pot. Heat milk in same saucepan over medium-high heat, about 3 minutes. Do not let milk come to a boil because it will separate. Pour into serving pot with the tea, and stir well to combine. Serve immediately, with more honey on the side if desired.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Crispy Cream Louisiana Pralines

1 1/2 cup white sugar,
3/4 cup (packed)brown sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons Half & Half
1/2 stick butter
1 1/2 cup pecan halves
1 tsp. vanilla
In a sauce pan, place the sugars, Half & half and butter. Stir. Bring to slow boil over med. low heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture comes to soft ball stage. I made these without the candy thermometer, but it would read about 239 degrees, should you use one. Remove from heat add the Vanilla and the pecan halves and stir until mixture thickens, and gets cloudy colored. Immediatly spoon large spoonful (puddles onto greased cookie sheet or wax paper. Allow to set until firm and cooled. I wrap these each individually and place all into air tight container to dole out at during the holidays.

Don't worry,this recipe makes lots more than what I have pictured on the plate above!
Holiday Hugs!!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Let me get this Recipe page rolling!