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Posts Tagged ‘Hanukkah’

by Sarah Steimer

This is my first time making these cookies, but they may make my yearly Christmas cookie list. They would probably rule with a chocolate drizzle, too.

  • 2 cups cranberries
  • 2 cups pecans (could substitute walnuts)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoon orange zest
  • 3 cup flour

In a food processor or blender, add cranberries, pecans and brown sugar – I doubled this from the original, by the way, so you can cut this in half if you so please. Blend well until only small pieces remain. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add baking powder, salt, eggs and orange zest. Beat for about 1 minute. Add flour a little at a time, mixing on medium speed. Cover and chill for at least one hour.

Divide dough in half. On a floured surface, roll dough out to a rectangular shape until it is about 1/4 inch thick. Lift the dough as you roll to make sure it does not stick to the surface. Spread half of the cranberry-pecan mixture on the dough, stopping 1/2 inch from the edges of the dough.

Begin rolling from one of the short ends, making sure to seal it at the ends. Wrap in plastic wrap and repeat with the other half of the dough and cranberry mixture. Chill for at least 24 hours. Every once in awhile roll the logs to avoid a flat end.

Slice the logs into 1/4-inch thick slices. Place on a lined cookie sheet 1 to 2 inches apart. Bake at 375 for eight to 10 minutes or until the bottoms of the cookies begins to brown. Let cool for five minutes on the sheets then transfer to cooling racks.

Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

Recipe adapted from: Baked by Rachel

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by Sarah Steimer

These potatoes are stuffed with gouda, roasted red pepper and caramelized onions. By the way - those dots on the napkin aren't grease, it started raining while I was shooting.

  •  20 fingerling potatoes
  • 1/2 cup shredded gouda
  • 1 small-medium roasted red pepper, diced small
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons nonfat plain yogurt
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Pierce the skins of your potatoes and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft enough to easily insert a knife. Do not turn off the oven.

While the potatoes are in the over, caramelize the onions in a pan with olive oil. Set aside.

Once the potatoes have cooled so you can touch them, slice off the top 1/4 of the spuds, length-wise. Scoop out enough potato from the remaining 3/4 so you are left with about /14-inch before you reach the skin. Careful not to scrape all the way through. I found it’s actually easiest to sort of stab the insides of the potato with a fork to loosen it up before scooping.

Place what you cut off/scooped out of the potatoes into a bowl. Add the cheese, yogurt, peppers, onions, salt and pepper. Mash together using the tines of a fork.

Scoop the filling back into the potato “shells” and bake in the oven for another 15 minutes, or until the top is golden.

Everything can be assembled  – except for the last baking – the day before the party and kept in the refrigerator. Right as the party starts, place the potatoes in the oven for their final 15 minutes. Serve warm.

Serves 10 if everyone takes two.

*Throughout December, “Merry and Bites” will feature finger foods with seasonal flair. All of them can be found here. Happy holidays!

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by Sarah Steimer and Caitlin Saniga

Vodpod videos no longer available.

There are only five more days until Hanukkah and 10 more days until Christmas, and according to a few informal surveys – a lot of people out there aren’t ready yet.

So on top of offering recipes for your holiday parties and charitable ideas for your yearly donation, we’ve also kindly put together a list of great holiday gifts for the food love in your life – whether he or she likes to entertain, is a seasoned pro or is just getting started.

Small kitchen appliance

  • Crock-Pot slow cooker
    • You really, truly cannot go wrong with a slow cooker. It’s so simple to use and does all the work for you. A slow-cooker can make anything from chili to dessert, or just simply keep your punch warm at a party. —S
  • Cuisinart 7-cup food processor
    • I’ve had my eye on this mid-size food processor for quite some time. Right now I use a blender to do many tasks, but a food processor opens up so many more possibilities! It can chop nuts, cut up meat, mix ingredients for bread dough, churn out pesto, etc. Consumer reviews say this machine does great work for the price and size. —C

Everyday cooking tool

  • Wooden spoon set
    • I think the safest bet for any type of pan is to use a wooden spoon instead of any metal or plastic spatula. It’s one of the handiest utensils I own and you’ll never burn your hand because you left your wooden spoon on a hot surface. I wouldn’t imagine, at least. —S
  • Glass citrus juicer
    • My mom has one, and now that I’m living on my own, it would be nice to have one, too. Citrus juicers come in a number of shapes and sizes (My current juicer is a fork!), but I like using glass because it is easy to clean. And if it chips or dings, it only adds to the character of the piece. —C

Entertaining item

  • Cork trivet set
    • Cork trivets are great to have around if you ever serve food straight from the oven or the stove. Instead of rooting around for a kitchen towel that will match your table scape or putting a bulky cooling rack on the table, place a few cork trivets underneath your hot pots and pans. The cork is simple enough that it can match almost anything. —S
  • Stemless wine glasses
    • I like this set because it include glasses for white (skinny) and red (fat) wines. And they have the potential to hold so many things other than wine: juices, iced coffee, layered salads, layered pudding desserts, ice cream sundaes, even votives or flowers. —C

Cookbooks

  • “Local Flavors: Cooking and Eating from America’s Farmers’ Markets” by Deborah Madison
    • The recipes in this cookbook are extremely simple, as they should be when you feature seasonal foods. It’s a fantastic reference for any time of the year, especially when you’re stumped in the winter months or grab an odd vegetable at the farmer’s market on a whim. Madison also incorporates stories from markets she’s visited around the country. —S
  • “The Bon Appetit Cookbook: Fast Easy Fresh” by Barbara Fairchild
    • My three favorite words! I’ve cooked recipes from the magazine, and while they’re always delicious, they’re not always the simplest or quickest to prepare. I’ve tried a few recipes from the cookbook, and I can definitely tell that “fast” is emphasized in most of the dishes, as many can be prepared in 30 minutes or less (so they say!). —C

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