Here is a perfect holiday dessert for after meals and parties. You can top with powdered sugar, whipped cream or ice cream. The crystallized ginger gives this gingerbread something a little extra.
1/2 Cup Softened Butter
2 1/4 Cups Unbleached Flour
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
3/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda
3 Teaspoons Ground Ginger
1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Allspice
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
1/3 Cup Packed Dark Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup Molasses
3 Large Eggs
1/2 Cup Milk
6 Tablespoons Crystallized Ginger
Preheat your oven to 350º F. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper letting the paper hang over the edges of the pan. In a large size bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, ground ginger, ground cinnamon, ground allspice and ground nutmeg. Set aside. In a large size bowl beat together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the molasses. Add the eggs one at a time making sure to beat after each addition. Add the flour mixture a bit at a time followed by a bit of the milk after each addition. Do this until you have added all of the flour mixture and the milk. Stir in the crystallized ginger. Pour into the parchment paper lined loaf pan. Bake for 50 minutes until done. Remove from the oven and let cool. Lift out by the parchment paper sides. Slice and serve. Serves 8
Horseradish Cheddar Cheese Ball
Along with serving your traditional cheese platter think about adding a Horseradish Cheddar Cheese Ball. It is unique, but not overpowering. It’s easy to make, but will look like you spent all day crafting it. This cheese ball is great for holiday parties as well as a pre-dinner appetizer. Serve with any type of crusty bread, vegetables or crackers that you prefer. If you are vegetarian then leave out the bacon crumbles.
8 Ounces Softened Cream Cheese
3/4 Cup Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
3 Tablespoons Finely Chopped Onion
1 Tablespoon Prepared Horseradish
2 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Parsley
1 1/2 Teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper
3 Cooked Bacon Slices – Crumbled
1/3 Cup Chopped Toasted Walnuts
In a large size bowl mix together the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, onion, horseradish, crumbled bacon, parsley, Worcestershire, kosher salt and pepper. Form the cheese mixture into a ball and cover with plastic wrap. Chill in the fridge overnight. Place the chopped walnuts into a medium size bowl. Remove the cheese ball from the fridge, remove the plastic wrap and roll the cheese ball in the walnuts so that it is coated evenly. Serves 10
Steamed Mussels With Indian Spices
Are you thinking about what to serve for Christmas Eve dinner? It’s traditional to eat some kind of seafood dish. I grew up eating oyster stew for Christmas Eve dinner and only appreciated it years later. If you are a fan of mussels here is a nice dish to serve your friends and family. Did I mention that it is ridiculously easy to make?
2 Chopped Onions
4 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Ginger
4 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 1/2 Teaspoons Curry Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
30 Ounces Diced Tomatoes With Juice
1 Cup Water
1 Teaspoon Garam Masala
1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
2 Cups Frozen Baby Peas
1/2 Cup Chopped Fresh Cilantro
3 Pounds Mussels
This is a quick one pot dish so make sure that you have all of your ingredients out. You can buy garam masala at most supermarkets or find the Indian spice mix online. Rinse and debeard the mussels. Set aside. Chop the onions and fresh ginger. In a large heavy pot add the olive oil and heat over a medium high heat. Add the onions and cook for 4 minutes. Add the ginger, curry powder and red pepper flakes and cook for 2 minutes. Add the diced tomatoes with their juice and the water. Give a good stir. Add the garam masala, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Add the mussels and the baby peas to the pot. Cover the pot and cook for 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer to a large serving bowl. Throw away any of the mussels that didn’t open. Garnish the mussel dish with the chopped cilantro and serve immediately. Serves 4
Holiday entertaining is fun, but can be a lot of work. My Grilled Bruschetta is easy to make and looks beautiful arranged on an appetizer plate. They make a nice little lunch as well.
12 Thick Slices Crusty Italian Bread
6 Large Halved Garlic Cloves
1/2 Cup Olive Oil
2 Chopped Tomatoes
1/2 Cup Chopped Basil
12 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
Preheat your oven to broil. Place the bread pieces on a grill pan and place in the oven for 2 minutes per side. Remove from the oven and rub each side with the garlic. Drizzle the olive oil over each piece of bread. Place the chopped tomatoes on top of each piece of bread and sprinkle with the kosher salt. Place back under the broiler for 45 seconds. Remove from the oven and arrange on a serving platter. Garnish with chopped basil and serve. Makes 12
Sufganiyot is a popular Hanukkah food in the U.S. and Israel and means “jelly doughnut." They are believed to have first come from Spain and are similar to the sopaipilla. Many say, however, that the sopaipilla was actually borrowed from the Jews. Sufganiyot are widely eaten in the U.S., Israel and around the world in the weeks leading up to and including the Hanukkah holiday which commemorates the miracle of the Temple oil that lasted for eight days instead of one. Enjoy Hanukkah and eat your Sufganiyot!
1 Package Active Dry Yeast
1/4 Cup Sugar
3/4 Cup Lukewarm Milk
2 Large Eggs Separated
2 1/2 Cups Unbleached Flour
1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cloves
6 Tablespoons Softened Butter
1 Cup Seedless Red Raspberry Jam
4 Cups Canola Oil For Frying
Powdered Sugar For Dusting
In a large size bowl mix together the yeast, 2 tablespoons sugar and the milk. Let stand for 5 minutes for the mixture to foam. In a separate large size bowl sift the flour and add the remaining sugar, kosher salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, egg yolks, softened butter and the yeast mixture. Combine and then knead the dough into a ball. Place the ball into a large size bowl, cover with a towel or plastic wrap and place in a warm place for 2 hours. You will want the dough to double in size and the temperature should be around 80º F. With floured hands, punch down the dough. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and let sit for 10 minutes. Roll out the dough into 24 rounds using either a biscuit cutter or glass. Place 1/2 teaspoon of the jam in the center of 12 of the rounds. Place the tops onto each of the round and press the edges and seal with the egg whites. Let them sit for 30 minutes so that they can rise. Heat the canola oil so that it is about 375º F. Carefully drop a few of the doughnuts at a time into the hot oil and turn to make sure that both sides are browned. Remove from the hot oil and place on paper towels to soak up excess oil. When ready to serve dust the tops with powdered sugar. Makes 12 sufganiyot.
**If you are serving these with a milk meal then use butter and milk. If you are with a meat meal then use water and pareve margarine.
I used to eat these as a kid and oh how I loved them! Fried Potato Pancakes, called Latkes in Yiddish and Levivot in Hebrew, are the most popular Hanukkah food. Fried food is traditionally eaten on Hanukkah in commemoration of the oil that miraculously burned for eight days when the Maccabees purified and rededicated the holy Temple of Jerusalem. Latkes are a holiday favorite and today one can find many creative twists to the traditional latkes recipe. They include cauliflower, sweet potato, broccoli, guacamole, cheese and even tuna latkes.
1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper
1/2 Cup Unbleached Flour
Canola Oil For Frying
Fill a large bowl with cold water so the potatoes won’t turn brown in color. Peel the potatoes and place in the cold water. When you are ready to make the latkas drain the potatoes. Place the potatoes and onions in a food processor fitted with the knife blade and pulse until smooth. Drain the mixture well. Pour the potato mixture into a large bowl. Add the beaten eggs, salt, pepper and enough flour so that the mixture holds together. Pour 1 inch of the oil into a large, deep frying pan. Heat the oil over a medium high heat. Carefully drop 1/4 cup of the potato mixture into the hot oil and flatten the pancake slightly so the center will cook. Fry for 4 minutes on each side until golden brown and cooked through. Drain on paper towels. Serve with applesauce. Makes 20 pancakes.
Here is a delicious alternative to chocolate fudge!
1 Cup Butter
2 Cups Brown Sugar
5 Ounces Evaporated Milk
1 Teaspoon Rum
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
2 Cups Powdered Sugar
Line an 8 inch square pan with parchment paper. In a large pot combine the butter, brown sugar and evaporated milk. Turn the heat to medium and bring to a full boil. Make sure to stir constantly. Cook for 10 minutes. Continue to stir constantly. Remove from the heat. Stir in the vanilla and rum. Add the powdered sugar and with a hand mixer beat on medium for 3 minutes. Pour into the pan and place in the fridge for 3 hours or more. When you are ready to serve remove from the fridge and lift the fudge out of the pan by using the parchment paper sides. Cut into 1 inch squares. Store in an airtight container. Makes 60 pieces.