Monday, January 3, 2011

holiday fun fare

Eggnog eggy bread

I know it's January 3 but we are still in full holiday mode around here; in fact, our elder McMonkey McBean asked today, "Is it still Christmas?" and I informed him it is.

So our tree is still up and our table continues to be laden with all sorts of goodies, including:
  • Eggnog eggy bread (aka French toast) - I used this recipe as a start but basically it's just bread, eggs, eggnog, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice. And don't forget to add snow (that's my sons' favorite part). (See photo above.)
  • Apple-cranberry-orange crumble - I had some leftover candied orange peel from making Grandma Wright's Christmas pudding so I decided to put it to good use. With the idea of an apple-cranberry crumble, I found this to base it on. Use a 9x13 pan, grease it, preheat to 375, peel and slice 3 lb. of apples, roughly chop 1/2 bag of cranberries, use 4 oz. candied orange peel (half box), and mix all that with 1/4 c. granulated sugar and a sprinkling of cinnamon and vanilla. For the crumble, mix 2 c. all-purpose flour, 1/2 t. salt, some powdered ginger, 1 c. brown sugar, and 1.5 sticks butter. Bake 30 min. or so. Oh yum. (See photo below.)
  • Christmas pudding with brandy butter (brandy butter recipe in my mother-in-law's words) - 4oz butter, 4oz caster sugar, and 2 to 3 tablespoons of brandy. Cream the butter and sugar together until white and fluffy then add the brandy a little at a time. It is a bit soft at this stage but just put it into the pot that you are going to serve it in and put it in the fridge and it brings it back to butter consistency. (It is really easy to do especially with an electric beater.)
  • Punkin-choco cheesecake - It's even better with a chocolate cookie crust!
  • Pumpkin-raisin bread pudding with custard sauce - Just add pureed pumpkin in with the eggs and milk for a regular bread pudding recipe, shake in some cinnamon, toss some raisins over the top, bake as usual, and serve warm with Bird's custard.
  • Christmas dinner: I made a supremely tender turkey covered in bacon and herbs and garlic with special British bangers (sausages) roasted on the side. (I love our local butcher--they carry everything.) I also made roasted carrots and parsnips with olive oil, kosher salt, and balsamic vinegar, and fresh green beans roasted with fresh chopped garlic and olive oil, also homemade cranberry sauce (I make it with grated apples, rind and juice of fresh oranges, cinnamon, sugar, and sangria!), homemade cornbread dressing, and some other bits and pieces. I bought lovely organic potato rolls and our friends brought a really yummy potato casserole with chives, bacon, parmesan cheese, and cream. We also had a semi-homemade turkey gravy (I bought made-up turkey gravy from the deli but then added the pan juices from our turkey, bacon, and sausage roast). I also had a relish tray with different kinds of olives, tiny garlicky pickles, and marinated artichoke hearts, plus some cheeses (our favorite was Grandma Singleton's apple-pie cheese from the UK!) and crackers, white wine, eggnog (with a splash of brandy for some!), and sparkling apple cider. Plus I made a pumpkin chocolate cheesecake with a sour cream topping for dessert!
  • New Year's Day: The requisite Southern-style black-eyed peas (add a little sriracha for extra kick!) and homemade cornbread (I find the mixes way too sweet), roasted veggies (carrots, plus zucchini with garlic), sweet potato oven fries, and homemade tangy coleslaw with rice vinegar and oil instead of mayo (served over romaine).
  • Lots more to come! I've got loads of ideas left to spin this holiday season out as long as stay tuned to BEAN2011 FM...
Apple-cranberry-orange crumble
What was your favorite holiday food?

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