From Dean Dowd on December 28, 2009 in Kitchen Remodel
If theres one thing thats certain around here, its that my kitchen will be a declared disaster area from the day before Thanksgiving through the first week in January. Maybe its because growing up in a Jewish home I never had Christmas, but I am gaga for the holidays. In giving my kids the best Christmas/Chanukah combo every single year, Im making up for lost time on my own part. For some reason, to me that means slaving away in the kitchen for an entire month and a half. And I love it! We usually try something new every year, but there are some holiday staples that we just cant do without.
Muddy Buddies are like Chex Mix, only way sinfully better. You start with cereal and end up with crunchy, addictive goodness. These are so simple your kids can even make it without you - and they sometimes do when youre not paying attention. It combines chocolate, peanut butter, powdered sugar and cereal - so its like breakfast, right?
This is my husbands favorite and he looks forward to it every year. The only problem is keeping him from eating the macadamia nuts before I get a chance to whip up a batch.
|2 2/3c Sweetened Flaked Coconut||1-6oz. Jar Macadamia Nuts|
|1c White Chocolate Chips||Paper Candy Cups|
1. Line 4 miniature muffin pans with candy cups; set them aside. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the coconut and nuts on separate cookie sheets. Bake each until golden brown, about 9 minutes for the nuts and 10 for the coconut, stirring every few minutes to keep them from burning. Let them cool.
2. Combine the toasted coconut and nuts in a medium-sized bowl. Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave according to the package directions. Add the melted chocolate to the coconut mixture; stir well. Drop the mixture by heaping teaspoonfuls into the candy cups. Chill until set, about 45 minutes.
3. Glazing: Melt 1/3 cup of semisweet chocolate chips according to the package directions. Pour contents into a zip-lock bag. Snip off a small corner of the bag, then drizzle the chocolate over the clusters. Chill until the glaze is set, about 15 minutes. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
This is my favorite. Not only do I love to eat it, but its the easiest thing in the world to make and always turns out looking gourmet.
For White Chocolate Bark: On a cookie sheet, spread a few handfuls of pretzels and candy canes that have been crushed into small bits (but not pulverized). In a bowl, melt 2 cups of white chocolate chips according to package directions. Once its melted smooth, pour over the pretzels and candy cane chunks - youll need to spread it with a rubber spatula to get it into the corners. Be careful not to pull all of the chunks to the sides. Chocolate should cover the entire sheet. Place sheet in the freezer for 30 minutes. Remove from freezer and lift the bark out of the cookie sheet - break into large chunks.
For Milk (or Dark) Chocolate Bark: Follow all the same instructions as the White Chocolate, except use milk or dark chocolate chips and chopped up peanuts and toffee on the cookie sheet.
This isnt a holiday tradition, but it is something I like to make whenever the weather is frightfully cold and we need a nice, warm and hearty meal to melt us from the inside out.
|1T Olive Oil||1lb. Chicken Breast, cut into cubes|
|1/4c Chopped Onion||1c Chicken Broth|
|4oz. Can Chopped Green Chilies||1t Garlic Powder|
|1t Ground Cumin||1t Oregano|
|1/2t Cilantro||1/4t Ground Red Pepper|
|16oz. Can White Kidney Beans, Drained||Monterey Jack Cheese, shredded|
|Chopped Onion||Fresh Cilantro|
In a saucepan, sauté chicken in oil for 4-5minutes, stirring often. Remove chicken. Keep warm. Sauté onion in saucepan for 2 minutes. Stir in broth, green chilies and spices. Simmer for 30 minutes. Stir in chicken and beans. Simmer for 10 minutes. Garnish with cheese, chopped onion and fresh cilantro. (Hint: the longer you let this one sit, the better it gets!)
This is our New Years tradition. Black-eyed peas served at the beginning of the new year are supposed to bring you good luck for the next 365. And after the economy weve had lately, I say maybe we should all try this for a prosperous 2010!
|1lb. Dried Black-Eyed Peas||1 Large Onion|
|1 Large Ham Hock||2-4 Slices Cooked Bacon|
|1/8t Cayenne Pepper||1/2t Garlic Powder, or 1 fresh clove, minced|
In a large saucepan, cover peas with water to 3 over the peas. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and then simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Place ham hock, sliced onion, bacon, pepper, garlic and salt in the slow cooker or Crock Pot. Pour in 3 cups water. Cover and cook on high until peas are tender. Then, transfer to the Crock Pot and cook on low; cover and cook for 7 to 9 hours. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve with hot cornbread. Serves 6-8.