Everyone has different holiday traditions. One of mine, apparently, is becoming obsessed with a festive and seasonal cocktail recipe. Last year I was all about sparkling Shiraz punch. The December before I went gaga for a cranberry-amaretto kiss. 2009's beverage of choice? This sparkling pomegranate punch! It has all the necessary elements of a fabulous holiday drink. It's vibrantly colored, serves a crowd, and incorporates sparkling wine. It's a refreshing, delightful punch that's not to sweet but simply wonderful. Don't skip the pomegranate seed garnish; they are like floating jewels. To check out the recipe, read more
Posts for December 18th 2009
- Desserts, Cake
1 1/2 cups (packed) powdered sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons (or more) fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
3/4 cup sugar
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon peel
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
- For glaze: Combine powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons lemon juice (I used more) in small bowl. Stir with spoon until smooth and paste-like, adding more lemon juice by 1/2 teaspoonfuls if glaze is too thick to spread. Set aside.
- For cake: Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F.
- Butter 9-inch-diameter cake pan with 2-inch-high sides; line bottom with parchment.
- Combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt in large bowl; whisk to blend.
- Whisk buttermilk, eggs, lemon peel, and vanilla in small bowl.
- Pour buttermilk mixture and olive oil into flour mixture. Using rubber spatula, gently fold liquids into flour mixture until just blended (do not stir).
- Scrape batter into pan; spread evenly.
- Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean and cake pulls away from sides of pan, about 30 minutes.
- Immediately run knife around sides of cake. Place rack atop cake in pan. Using oven mitts, hold pan and rack firmly together and invert cake onto rack. Remove pan from cake. Place another rack on bottom of cake; invert 1 more time so that cake is top side up.
- Stir glaze until blended. While cake is still very hot, drop glaze by tablespoonfuls onto cake; spread to within 1/2 inch of edge (some glaze may drip down sides of cake). Cool completely.
- Desserts, Cookies
- North American
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/4 cup dark unsulfured molasses
2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
14 ounces good-quality thawed frozen puff pastry, such as Dufour
- Bring brown sugar, molasses, ginger, and 1/4 cup water to a simmer in a saucepan, whisking until sugar has dissolved. Simmer until slightly thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Pour syrup into a bowl; let cool.
- Whisk granulated sugar, salt, and spices in a bowl. Lightly sprinkle sugar mixture over a clean work surface; place puff pastry on top. Cut into two 10 1/2-by-7-inch pieces. Sprinkle generously with sugar mixture; press into pastry with a rolling pin. Brush generously with syrup.
- Working with 1 piece of dough at a time, roll in from both long sides, meeting in the center; brush with syrup to seal. Sprinkle generously with sugar mixture. Wrap in plastic, and freeze until firm, at least 3 hours (up to overnight).
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cut dough crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Dip slices in sugar mixture. Space 2 inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Flatten with your palm. Freeze 30 minutes.
- Bake 10 minutes. Flip, and brush with syrup. Reduce oven temperature to 400 degrees. Bake until darkened, 10 minutes more. Transfer palmiers to a wire rack; let cool completely. Palmiers can be stored in an airtight container up to 3 days.
Makes about 3 1/2 dozen.
Christmas is exactly one week away! It's hard to believe that the month has passed by so quickly. Perhaps it's because we've been staying busy crafting our 12 days of edible gifts, entertaining with holiday cocktails, and wrapping up last-minute gift shopping.
Yet despite all the December craziness, lots of stuff managed to happen this week. Are you able to keep track? Take this quiz to find out.Take the Quiz
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- Main Dishes, Poultry
3 Tbs. corn oil
6 oz. fresh button mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
2 cups packed baby spinach
2 cups shredded roast chicken, homemade or purchased
8 flour tortillas, each 10 inches in diameter
2 cups shredded Monterey jack cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup salsa, homemade or purchased
- In a large, heavy fry pan over medium heat, warm 1 Tbs. of the oil. Add the mushrooms and sauté until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the spinach and chicken and sauté just until the spinach is wilted, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a bowl.
- Divide the chicken mixture among the tortillas, spooning it onto half of each tortilla and leaving a 3/4-inch border uncovered. Sprinkle evenly with the cheese. Fold the tortillas in half over the chicken mixture to enclose loosely.
- Wipe out the fry pan with a paper towel and return to medium heat. Brush lightly with the remaining 2 Tbs. oil. Working in batches, add the quesadillas to the pan and cook until golden brown on one side, 1 to 2 minutes. Using a large spatula, carefully turn the quesadillas and cook until golden on the other side and the cheese is melted, 2 to 3 minutes more.
- Divide the quesadillas among 4 plates and serve. Pass the sour cream and salsa at the table.
- Main Dishes, Poultry
- North American
2 small lemons
½ stick (4 Tbsp) butter, softened
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp each dried marjoram and thyme
¼ tsp pepper
1 roasting chicken (5½ lb), giblets reserved for another use
2 lb red-skinned potatoes, cut in quarters or eighths if large
- Heat oven to 400ºF. Line a large roasting pan with nonstick foil. Grate enough zest from lemons to make 1 Tbsp. Cut lemons in quarters. Mix butter, garlic, lemon zest, marjoram, thyme and pepper in a small bowl.
- Slide fingers under breast and as much of leg as possible to loosen skin from meat. Spread about 3 Tbsp butter mixture under skin; spread remaining over skin. Put cutup lemons in body cavity. Tie chicken legs together. Place in roasting pan.
- Roast 1 hour, covering chicken loosely with a foil tent after 20 minutes to prevent it from overbrowning.
- Remove roasting pan from oven, arrange potatoes around chicken and stir to coat with drippings. Roast 30 minutes longer, or until potatoes are tender and a meat thermometer inserted in thickest part of thigh (not touching bone) registers 165ºF. Remove chicken to a cutting board or serving platter; let rest 10 minutes before carving. If desired, while chicken rests, return potatoes to oven to brown further.
Nutrition Facts Per Serving: Calories 773 Total Fat 47g Saturated Fat 16g Cholesterol 228mg Sodium 286mg Total Carbohydrates 25g Dietary Fiber 3g Protein 56g