Sunday, December 12, 2010

Getting ready for CHRISTMAS

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Isn't it exciting?? This doesn't look very tasty,but, oh what fun this will be for someone who loves to be in the kitchen.

This has been doing it's magic in my kitchen cabinets for about a month now. It was time to strain it and put it in an attractive bottle for someone very special. It's raspberry vinegar!So good for marinating chicken or mixed as a dressing.

Doesn't it look yummy? I've enclosed a recipe for beet/orange salad that is one of my favorites.Hope they like it as well.

Next came lots of chopping of dried fruit and nuts...Of course a little tasting doesn't hurt. We have to make sure the combination of flavors is just right.
Toasting in the oven we have oatmeal sunflower seeds with local honey and oil. Wow that smells so good.. Let them cool mix together and put into a pretty container for a treat that can be eaten for breakfast, on ice cream,yogurt or right out of the jar for a quick pick me up. This year granola was one of the things I decided to make on my own instead of from the grocers shelf. First few tries were a little shaky but, I have to say "better than store bought" is something I've heard on more than one occasion.Who knew one could have such a warm feeling over making granola.

I've been picking up attractive containers through out the year. After falling in love with every one that I brought home it might be a little hard to part with them.
Of course what is Christmas without a favorite cookie. Last year I made these and although they were very tasty,I neglected to read the recipe all the way through. It's done in 3 easy and short steps. What I failed to notice was a 24 or overnight waiting period between steps.These are called fruitcake cookies. You probably just said the same thing that came out of my mouth when I first heard about them YUCK!! Never having been a fan of the holiday fruitcake I was a little slow to take up the task but, now that I have I can tell you that I was WRONG Fruitcake is not a dirty word and I was more than willing to try them again this year. If you too are ready to forgive the fruitcake and allow it to play a part in your holiday,this is a good place to start.
For starters dice or chop:

1/2lb dried figs
1/4 lb dried raisins
1/4 lb candied cherries
6 oz walnuts
Drizzle with 1 tbls of honey ,2tbls sherry,1 tbls lemon juice. Stir this really well sprinkle with salt cover bowl with wrap and leave on counter OVERNIGHT.
When you're ready to move on,you will need:

2 sticks (1/2 pound) butter softened
1/2 teas.ground clove
1/2 cup superfine sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 extra large egg
2 2/3 cups all purpose flour.

Cream the butter ,clove,and both sugars at medium speed for about 3 minutes.
With mixer on low add egg and make sure it's well blended Slowly add flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Mix till just combined,Add the fruit and nut mixture.Divide dough in half Form into 2 logs.Roll in parchment paper and refrigerate TILL FIRM.
Here's the easy part slice cookies 1/2 inch thick and place on ungreased cookie sheet Bake 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes. I liked them at 15,besides I couldn't wait to eat one. Knowing that this had to sit for 2 sessions it was easy to just mix and wait,mix and wait,cut and bake.
How's your Christmas coming?...............................said the hobbit

1 comment:

mangocheeks said...

The raspbery vinegar colour is makign me swoon. I am hopign to make some with forzen raspberries.

Nope I did not say YUCK when I read about the fruitcake cookies, in fact I was rather excited at this new idea. I just wish I could try one.