Tag: holiday

Christmas Tea Extras

Christmas Tea Extras

Here are quick recipes, photos, and monologues for all the stuff I didn’t take complete pictures of.   Here’s the whipped cream- I was going to make clotted cream, but the thought of leaving a dish of heavy cream in the oven overnight made me […]

Cranberry Walnut Scones

Cranberry Walnut Scones

You can’t have high tea without scones! To be specific, these cranberry walnut scones. I’m a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to scones- I don’t like matcha, chocolate, or carrots. I’ve seen them all. To me, scones should have some fashion of dried […]

Shortbread

Shortbread

I went through a shortbread phase when I was 12. Not baking it, but eating it. I was obsessed. I think I got sick of it after a while- and I haven’t thought about shortbread until I was planning the menu. I always feel nostalgic around Christmas, and I thought I’d return to my shortbread phase- baking it myself this time. It was a good decision. It turned out crumbly, buttery, and crispy. I’m eating some right now! While I wouldn’t advise eating it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner like I used to (how, how, HOW was I still so skinny?! I was eating butter in cookie form for every meal!), you should definitely make these- they’re great with coffee, tea, milk, or even dunked in hot chocolate.

 

INGREDIENTS

 

5 tablespoons softened butter

¼ cup sugar

½ cup flour

Scant ¼ cup cornstarch

½ teaspoon vanilla

Start by mixing the sugar,

vanilla, and butter together until they’re nice and creamy.

This will be very hard if the butter isn’t softened. Make sure your butter is adequately softened before making cookies! This has been a PSA.

Now sift in the flour and cornstarch. It’s important to sift them, because for shortbread, everything has to be light, and airy, and fluffy, and soft, and- you get the point. Sift your dry ingredients. This has been another PSA.

Now knead it until it comes together as a smooth ball of dough. If it’s really dry and crumbly, 

sprinkle in a little bit of water.

Now wrap it up in plastic wrap or wax paper, and chill it in the fridge for anywhere from 20 minutes to 24 hours.

 

When you’re ready to roll it out and bake it, preheat the oven to 325 F, and using a rolling pin or your hands, knead it out into a smooth rectangle.

Using cookie cutters or a ¼ cup measure, cut out cookies. Keep rolling and cutting until all the dough is gone.

Bake them for about 20 minutes- but keep an eye on them, and if the edges start to brown, take them out right away. Let them cool, and then serve them with a beverage of your choice, or just eat them plain!

 

(Shown with olive oil gingerbread http://allthoseinflavor.com/olive-oil-gingerbread/

Truffle Hot Chocolate

Truffle Hot Chocolate

Oh, this was good. This was really good. Really, really good. You get my drift. I thought that little cups of hot chocolate would be the perfect way to end Christmas tea- I wanted shot glasses, originally, but none of our shot glasses can have […]

Cake Mix Cake (But Don’t Tell Anyone)

Cake Mix Cake (But Don’t Tell Anyone)

Right. Here’s how it went down. I, the ultimate food snob, made a cake mix cake. It wasn’t on purpose. It was going to go bad! And I wanted cake without putting any real effort into it. Holiday stress is getting to me. Well, my […]

Lemony Roasted Vegetables

Lemony Roasted Vegetables

Holiday food is really heavy. It’s all cookies, bread, roast beef- you know, the good things in life. The holidays are also really time consuming. Between family, shopping, and decorating (also the good things in life), you don’t have much to yourself. So, logically, you need to make these lemon roasted vegetables. They’re healthy, easy, and quick- so you’ll live long enough to enjoy many, many more holidays! That took a dark turn. Kind of like America last year. I’ve been making these vegetables for years! Okay, two years. But in my defense, two years is a long time for me. I’m young and sprightly, which is what my mom tells me every time she asks me to put away the groceries. My mom also really likes these vegetables- which the seal of approval I require on all my recipes!

 

INGREDIENTS

2 fennel bulbs

2 red onions

1 lb asparagus

2 lemons

Start by preheating the oven to 375 F. That’s my magic temperature for roasting vegetables. Although, I do dream about one day getting an oven that goes up to 900 degrees. Slice up the fennel,

and core it- I didn’t know that you had to remove the core until about 6 months ago. Oops. Fennel is a great winter vegetable! I remember the first time I cooked with fennel. I sauteed it with swiss cheese, sliced Braeburn apples, and rainbow chard. Those were the days. It was good! I’d definitely recommend it. If I ever get my hands on rainbow chard again, I’ll post it. Where has all the chard gone?! I haven’t seen any in forever- not even last winter.

Throw the fennel into a roasting pan. I’ve named this one Mercurio. I was in my Shakespeare phase. Mercurio and I go back to last Thanksgiving- I roasted my first turkey in him! Since then, we’ve made chicken, bread, salmon, and too many vegetables to count. I love Mercurio.

Snap the asparagus- just grab it at the end, and snap it off- it’ll break naturally. It’s really not a precise science! Neither is cooking. That’s why I’m not a very good baker- I cook by feel. If I feel like I should add a tablespoon of baking soda or a squeeze of lemon to a cake, I’m going to do it! There’ve been some disasters.

Slice the asparagus in half,

and throw it in with the fennel.

Now peel and cut the red onions into chunks. They’re purple onions, and you know it. Throw those in, too,

and then pour on some olive oil, and season them with salt and pepper to taste.

You can jazz these up with any spices, herbs, mixes, or sauce you want- think of this recipe as a gateway drug to billions of combinations. That took another dark turn. I need to work on my Christmas spirit.

Slice up the lemons,

and lay them on top. You can spend 10 minutes trying to organize them symmetrically, but that would kind of take away from the quick and easy part.

Roast these for 30 minutes- the vegetables will be soft, lemony, and flavorful!

Finnish Mustard

Finnish Mustard

We now have further evidence Finland is the most hardcore country in the world. So, us weak Americans make Christmas cookies for the holidays. The Finns make mustard. Can we throw in the towel and admit they’re cooler? I mean, let’s look at it. They […]

JCD Part 1- Fried Chicken

JCD Part 1- Fried Chicken

JCD stands for Japanese Christmas Dinner. I like abbreviating things. Acronymizing? For someone who spends an hour every day on AP English Lit, I’m not very eloquent. Anyways! The traditional Japanese Christmas dinner is, well, KFC. Nothing wrong with that. I’d never admit I like […]

Austrian Vanillekipferl

Austrian Vanillekipferl

These are crumbly, buttery, and dusted with powdered sugar. They melt in your mouth and cover your fingers with powdered sugar. They are essentially the same thing as the 48 count box of Christmas cookies you can get at any supermarket. But, these are Austrian, and have a name you have to read once or twice before you can pronounce it, so they’re safe for food snobs. Now you can enjoy a delicious Christmas cookie without losing your street cred! This is what the holidays are all about, I tell ya.

 

INGREDIENTS

 

3 tablespoons butter

½ cup all-purpose flour

¼ cup almond flour

2 tablespoons powdered sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla sugar (just mix 2 teaspoons sugar with 1 teaspoon vanilla)

1 egg yolk

Extra powdered sugar, for dusting

Start by smushing the butter to make sure it is adequately softened. If you don’t have adequately softened butter, your life and cookies will descend into hell. Happens to me all the time.

Throw in the powdered sugar, and mix it in. Powdered sugar frightens me sometimes. What IS it? Is it sugar? Powdered? Is it naturally occuring in sugar? I have a sneaking feeling the answer to all those questions is no.

Now throw in the vanilla sugar, 

and mix it in. I love vanilla sugar.

Toss in the almond flour, and mix that in too. 

This is going to give it that nice crumbly texture!

Throw in the yolk. Ponder what will become of the egg white. It upsets me to separate them. They were meant to be together. And I ruined that. I have more empathy with eggs than people.

Sift the flour in,

and stir it together. It shouldn’t be dry and crumbly,

so if it is, just pour in a little soy milk. I like soy milk. Tastes like vanilla.

Much better!

Make balls and put them on a cookie sheet.

Roll them out into long-ish strips, and fold them over to make crescents.

Bake them at 350 for 12 minutes, and take them out as soon as they’re done so they don’t get too brown. Let them cool, and then spoon some powdered sugar into a ziploc bag.

A couple at a time, put the cookies in and shake them around to thoroughly coat them until they’re all done!

Serbian Çesnica

Serbian Çesnica

No, I didn’t skip ahead to S. This is all part of my holiday recipe scheme! That’s a weird way to put it. Never mind. I hear this is what the cool kids eat in Serbia on Christmas Eve- it’s a soda bread baked with […]