lunadelcorvo: (Xmas Cocoa)
I'm tempted to say Witch's Brew, gently warmed, and be done with it (Hey, it's late, and I've been grading for hours!). Instead, I will be even lazier, and recap my cocoa process (not exactly a recipe, but close enough; did I mention it's late?)

In a huge mug (I like at least 16 oz!) put three teaspoons sugar (rough, heaping, hastily scooped out of the sugar bowl - let's not get meticulous here!), and a teaspoon cocoa powder (make it the good stuff - Ghirardelli, Godiva, Rapunzel, etc.). Add a teensy pinch of cinnamon, a teensier pinch of salt, and a tiny drible of milk - just enough to mix it up into a thick syrup. ONLY THEN do you add milk to top it up, stirring madly all the while. Pop in the nuker for two or three minutes (depending on your micro, and how hot you like it) and top according to your preference. My personal choice is marshmallows and a candy cane, but whipped cream works just as well. (So does a healthy splash of schnapps or other festive liqueur!)

Bon chance! Having just enjoyed a cuppa the very same (with the schnapps option), I'm off to beddies! Sweet dreams, visions of sugarplums and all that!
lunadelcorvo: (Xmas-Peace Angel)
(Behind again - I plead finals!)

Today's offering is another recipe. I'll post another cookie recipe once I get baking, but for now:

Saké Mushroom Veggie-Stuffing

This fantastic stuffing (or dressing, if you prefer) is simplicity itself, gets raves every year, and is actually healthy. low-fat and meat-free!

Croutons (1 large loaf of whole wheat bread, cubed, and dried; 40 mins in a very low oven does the trick; leave them in until you're ready for them. They must be totally dry!)
Medium bunch of celery
2 medium-largeish onions
Small container fresh mushrooms (I like portobellos, but buttons work fine, too)
1 cup veggie broth
1 cup sake (yes, Japanese rice wine - trust me on this!)
1/4 cup soy sauce
Seasonings as you like (I use marjoram, sage, garlic, pepper, and a teensy dash of rosemary)

Combine sake, broth and soy sauce, mix in seasonings.
Dice up the veggies (I use the celery all the way up to the leaves - the leaves add greens and a nice nutty zing) and soak in the broth mixture at least an hour (overnight is great if you can plan ahead)
Just before baking, mix the croutons into the mixture.

Bake covered 45-60 mins in a medium oven (300 or so) and enjoy!

(This goes great with a Qorn roast, baked with a similar mix of broth and sake, with big chunks of onion and carrot baked alongside. I also add a handful of juniper berries and a drizzle of honey or maple syrup to the roast. Yum!)

I need a cooking icon!
lunadelcorvo: (Xmas-Father Christmas Polar Bear)
Dec 1st: Recipe: Old-World Cranberry Sauce

1 Bag fresh organic cranberries (washed)
1/4 cup sugar (turbinado works best!)
1 Tbls fresh-grated orange zest
2 Tbls (abut 1/2 an 'airline' sized bottle' of berry liqueur (Chambord works wonderfully!)
Small pinch cinnamon

Toss the berries in a pot, add cold water to cover. Add all the rest and let is simmer until the berries begin to pop. Stir often, gently 'mushing' some of the berries (leave some whole!) Once its the right consistency, say 1/3 of the berries still whole, pour into a pretty bowl and chill for 2-3 hours. (This also makes the house smell heavenly!)

Dec 2nd: Favorite Holiday Craft

Truthfully, I don't have "a" favorite holiday craft. I do all sorts of things, and what crafty things I do tends to depend on what I need, or the spirit of the moment. I will relink to the info for my Christmas gift boxes (HERE). Otherwise, it really depends. If I have time to do any holiday crafty things this year, I promise to post how-tos, but it won't be until the last of my grading is done!
lunadelcorvo: (Xmas-Making Cookies!)
I'm posting this from Dreamwidth, because LJ is AWOL - again. Grrr. I can't check, but I'm pretty sure that today's entry was another recipe, so here goes:

Kentucky Bourbon Balls (indispensable on Christmas and at Derby Time!)

1 cup fine chocolate wafer crumbs (Chocolate teddy grahams or other chocolate cookie work well, too. Just don't use one with additional sugar on it, as it throws off the balance of sugar to liquid.)
1 cup finely chopped pecans (optional, or replace with chocolate mini-chips)
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup bourbon
1 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons light corn syrup (I prefer to use agave nectar, or even good quality maple syrup)

Also: confectioners' sugar or cocoa for coating

Thoroughly combine the crumbs, chopped pecans/chips, sugar, and the cocoa. Stir bourbon and corn syrup into the dry mixture; blend well (get in there with your hands if you need to; it's a thick dough!). Cover and chill for a few hours. Sift about 1/2 to 1 cup of confectioners' sugar on a cookie sheet. Shape small bits of the dough into balls and roll them in the confectioners'. Store in refrigerator in tightly covered containers. Make these a few days in advance for best flavor, and roll in confectioners' sugar again before serving, if desired. These can also be frozen for longer storage.
Makes about 3 dozen bourbon balls.
lunadelcorvo: (Xmas-Making Cookies!)
For the First, I share a recipe: Orange Sables. These have been hailed by many as the queen of Christmas Cookies, and they are always the first to vanish. I've taken to making a triple batch in recent years.
Orange Sables )



Things I need to remember:
• Asking for help is not, as it turns out, fatal.
• Laughing is easier than pulling your hair out, and doesn't have the unfortunate side effect of making you look like a plague victim.
• Even the biggest tasks can be defeated if taken a bit at a time.
• I can write a paper the night before it's due, but the results are not all they could be.
• Be thorough, but focused.
• Trust yourself.
• Honesty, always.

Historians are the Cassandras of the Humanities



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