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Pete’s Figgy Pudding
2 cup chopped fresh mission figs, stems removed 1/2 cup brandy for pudding 8 teaspoons brandy for hard sauce 1 cup buttermilk 2/3 cup butter, at room temperature for pudding 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature for hard sauce 1 cup packed brown sugar 2 large egg 1-1/2 cup all purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon each: salt and ground cinnamon 1/8 teaspoon each: ground cloves and ground ginger 1 cup chopped, toasted pecans 1/2 cup chopped Granny Smith apples 1-1/2 cup powdered sugar for hard sauce + extra for sprinkling on pudding
Preheat oven to 350° In small saucepan combine figs, brandy and 1/2 cup water. Cover, bring to a boil over high heat then reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Cool to lukewarm. Drain figs, discarding liquid. Reserve 2/3 cup of figs. Puree remaining figs with buttermilk in food processor. In bowl of electric mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium speed until light and creamy. On low speed, beat in egg. Mix flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves and ginger. Beat in flour mixture alternating with buttermilk mixture. Stir in reserved figs, pecans and apples. Scrape batter into a buttered 11-cup Bundt pan; cover tightly with foil and secure with a rubber band. Place pudding in a large baking pan and set on bottom rack oven. Carefully pour 2 inches boiling water around Bundt pan, then cover entire baking pan with foil. Bake until pudding feels firm to touch (peel back foil to check) and a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes, then invert Bundt pan over a plate to unmold pudding. Let cool until barely warm and then sprinkle with powdered sugar. Cut into slices and serve with brown-butter hard sauce. Hard Sauce: Beat 1/2 cup room temperature butter with electric mixer until light and creamy. Gradually beat in 1-1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar. Beat in 8 teaspoons brandy. Cover and chill, makes about 1 cup sauce.
Melissa’s Sour Cream Coffee Cake
Topping: ½ cup chopped walnuts 1 teaspoon cinnamon ½ cup sugar Cake: ½ cup butter (1/4 lb) 1 cup sugar 1 cup sour cream 2 cups flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 2 eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla Pinch of salt In a bowl, sift flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda. In a separate bowl, cream butter and sugar. Next, add eggs to the creamed mixture until thoroughly mixed together. Add vanilla, sour cream and sifted dry ingredients alternately. Pour ½ of the batter into a greased 10” tube pan then sprinkle ½ of the nut topping on top. Pour the rest of batter into the pan and sprinkle balance of topping on while spooning it down slightly. Bake 35 to 45 minutes in 350 degree oven.
Monica’s Pasta with Caramelized Squash
9 tbsp unsalted butter 1 butternut squash (2 ½ -3 lb., peeled, seeded and cut into 1” dice) 2 tbsp sugar ½ cup chicken broth Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste 3 tbsp finely diced shallots 3 tsp freshly grated nutmeg 1 tbsp minced fresh sage 1 tsp fresh lemon juice 2 tbsp minced fresh flat-leaf parsley 1 lb. pasta (I used the little bowties) 1 oz fresh parmesean cheese, grated
In braiser over medium-high heat, melt 3 tbsp butter. Add squash in a single layer; cook, without stirring, 6 minutes. Stir squash, cook 4 minutes more. Add sugar, broth, salt and pepper. Cover and cook 2-3 minutes. Uncover; cook, stirring occasionally, 2-3 minutes more. Transfer to bowl. In braiser over medium-high heat, melt 6 tbsp. butter. Cook shallots, nutmeg and sage for 1 minute. Off heat, add lemon juice, parsley, salt, pepper and squash.
Meanwhile, bring large pot of salted water to boil over high heat and cook the pasta. Drain, reserving ½ cup water. Add pasta and reserved water to squash, toss to combine. Transfer pasta to warmed large, shallow bowl, sprinkle with cheese.
Elliott’s Creamy Brussels Sprouts
4 slices peppered bacon 2 lb. Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved through stem end 3/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth 1/2 tsp. kosher salt 1/4 tsp. black pepper 3/4 cup whipping cream Cracked Black Pepper
In 12-inch skillet cook bacon over medium heat until browned and crisp. Drain on paper towels, reserving 2 tablespoons drippings in skillet. In skillet add Brussels sprouts to drippings; cook and stir over medium heat 4 minutes. Add broth, salt, and pepper. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat. Simmer, covered, 5 minutes. Uncover; cook 2 to 4 minutes or until liquid is nearly evaporated. Add cream. Cook 4 minutes more or until thickened. Transfer sprouts to serving dish. Sprinkle with crumbled bacon and cracked pepper. Serves 8.
Terri’s QUICK & EASY FRUIT SALAD
1 package Vanilla instant Sugar Free pudding mix 1 container of Cool Whip (small to med. Size) 1 Large (16oz.) can of Chunky Fruit Cocktail in natural fruit juices 1 or 2 (16oz.) cans of fruit (Peaches, Pears, etc.) drained of liquid. 1 pkg. Frozen Berries (a mix or selection of your favorite berry)
In a large bowl put Fruit Cocktail with juice and package of pudding mix, Stir/mix together until pudding mix is paste like. Then mix in all other drained cans of fruit and frozen berries. Finally fold the Cool Whip into the fruit mixture. Keep chilled until ready to serve. Stir the fruit salad before serving to mix in the thawed berries and their flavoring. Enjoy!
Mary’s Christmas Cheese Ball (because for your health; you should only eat this once a year!)
1 cup shredded fresh cheddar cheese 4-6 oz blue cheese 8 oz creamed cheese 1 T. red onion - diced small 1 clove (minced well) fresh garlic 1.5 T. worcestershire sauce 1/4 tsp. hot sauce Chopped pecans or walnuts Mix with hands, roll into a ball. Roll in chopped nuts
Denise’s Christmas Wreaths
30 marshmallows (or 3 c. miniature marshmallows) ½ c. butter ½ tsp. vanilla ¼ tsp. green food coloring 3 ½ c. cornflakes Red cinnamon candies Silver dragees
In a saucepan, melt marshmallows and butter, stirring frequently. Add vanilla and food coloring. Pour mixture over cornflakes and stir well. Drop by spoonful onto wax paper and with buttered fingers, shape into wreaths. While cookie wreaths are still warm, decorate with red hot candies.
Kara’s Candy Cane Cookies
Cookie Batter 1 cup butter, softened 1 cup confectioners' sugar 1 egg 2 teaspoons almond extract 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/2 teaspoon salt 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon red food coloring Topping Mixture 24 pieces round peppermint candy or candy canes 1/4 cup sugar Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a mixer bowl or by hand, cream butter and confectioners' sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in egg, almond extract, vanilla, and salt. Blend flour into mixture in several additions, beat until just combined. Remove half the dough from the bowl. Blend red food coloring into the half remaining in the bowl until the coloring is even. Cover dough a kitchen towel to keep it from drying out as you work. Use a floured teaspoon to measure 1 teaspoon each of white and red dough for each cookie. Roll into 4-inch ropes on a lightly floured surface. Place a red and white rope side-by-side, press together lightly and twist to form a spiral. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Curve top down to form handle of a candy cane. Bake until set, about 9 minutes. While the cookies are baking, crush candy into small pieces with a rolling pin. Mix the candy with the sugar. Place cooling rack over shallow pan. Immediately remove cookies from cookie sheet and gently place onto cooling rack. Sprinkle with candy/sugar mixture.
Ingredients Fresh Eggs (separated into yolks/whites) Sugar (divided into 2 equal parts) White Rum (dark works) Milk (Whole or 2%) Whiskey (Bourbon or Canadian) Heavy/Whipping Cream (divided into 2 equal parts) Ground Nutmeg (strongly recommended) 4
8 servings 8
16 servings 12
1/2 cup (1/4c, 1/4c) 1/2 cup 1 1/2 cups 1 1/2 cups 1 cup (1/2c, 1/2c)
1 cup (1/2c, 1/2c) 1 cup 3 cups 3 cups 2 cups (1c, 1c)
1 1/2 cups (3/4c, 3/4c) 1 1/2 cups 4 1/2 cups 4 1/2 cups 3 cups (1 1/2c, 1 1/2c)
Enough to sprinkle on servings. Consider whole nutmeg nuts and grinder.
Please note this eggnog is a potent alcoholic beverage. To lower the alcohol in the recipe, use lower proof whiskey and/ or rum, or substitute a cup of milk for every cup of alcohol removed. You are doing things gently and slowly to preserve the eggnog's fluffiness. A good whisk for the stirring and a high speed mixer for the egg-whites and cream helps this process immensely. Separate eggs into yolks and whites in separate bowls (see below for a how-to). I put the whites into the mixer and the yolks into another bowl. Beat egg-yolks with 1/2 of sugar, set aside. Beat egg-whites until stiff, then mix in other 1/2 of sugar. Pour the yolks into the whites and mix together slowly. Stir in white rum slowly. I've tried dark rum and it works. Stir in milk slowly Stir in whiskey slowly (Bourbon, Canadian, Sour Mash. I use Jim Beam or Jack Daniels) Stir in 1/2 of cream slowly Whip rest (1/2) of cream and fold in carefully. Serve at room temperature by ladling the eggnog into cups and sprinkle nutmeg on the top. Try to get some of the foam and some of the liquid (if not fully mixed) in each cup
Teresa’s Sweet Potato Cupcakes Cupcakes
2 cups all-purpose flour 2 tsp. baking powder 1 tsp. ground cinnamon 1/2 tsp. baking soda 1/4 tsp. salt 1 cup butter, softened 1-1/2 cups sugar 3 eggs 1 17.2-oz. can vacuum-packed sweet potatoes (unsweetened), mashed 1/2 tsp. vanilla
8-ounce package cream cheese, softened 2/3 cup butter 2 tablespoons bourbon or milk 8 cups powdered sugar Finely shredded orange peel
Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line twenty four 2-1/2-inch muffin cups with paper bake cups; set cups aside. In medium bowl stir together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar and beat on high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating on low speed after each addition until combined. Add sweet potatoes and vanilla, beating until combined. Add flour mixture; beat until combined (batter will be thick). Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Bake about 20 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched. Cool in pan on wire rack for 1 minute. Remove from pan and cool completely. Cream Cheese Frosting: In large mixing bowl beat cream cheese, softened, and butter, softened, with electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add bourbon or milk and beat until combined. Beat in powdered sugar, about 1/2 cup at a time, until smooth and of a good piping consistency. Makes 4-1/3 cups. Note for a lighter batch cut frosting recipe in half. Place Cream Cheese Frosting in large resealable plastic bag. Cut a 1/4-inch opening in one corner of bag. Pipe frosting on top of cupcakes. Sprinkle with orange peel. Makes 24 cupcakes.
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