Thursday, December 26, 2013

December Daily #25 ~ Christmas, Merry and Bright! + Recipes

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas. Ours was wonderful. Here's a glimpse at our day:
We had some lovely decorations:
And a nice meal. I even made an Angel Food cake with my brand new Kitchen Aide mixer:
Larr is vegan (no meat or animal related products) so I made sure we had a few things for Larr to eat. We had:

Appetizers ~
Greek Olive Salad
Olive Tapenade with crispy rice crackers
Aunt Kathy's Oyster Dip
Gouda Cheese

Main Meal ~
Spiral Ham
Fruit, Nut and Jello Salad
Orzo, Garbanzo and Cheese Salad
Powderhorn Potatoes
Green Bean Casserole
Spinach Salad with Assorted Berries
Croissant Rolls
Yams with Marshmallows

Desserts ~
Angel Food Cake with Strawberries and Whipped Cream
Tarte Tatin (apples and pears caramelized in brown butter)


Janet's Cranberry Jello Salad

1 bag Cranberries, fresh
4 cups Apples, cut into wedges, seeds and stems removed
2/3 cup Nuts (I used Almonds)
3 stalks Celery
1 1/2 cups Sugar
1/2 tea. Unflavored Gelatin, dissolved in 1/2 cup hot water
1 large box or 2 small boxes Raspberry or Cranberry Jello dissolved in 1 cup of boiling water
1 1/2 cup Water, cold

Grind the above in a food processor until everything is small. I actually ground the almonds and nuts. Then I sliced the cranberries and celery. Add the sugar to the mix and let it sit for at least an hour.

Combine the softened unflavored gelatin with the flavored jello. Stir in the fruit and nut mix. Add in the cold water then place in a 9" x 13" pan.

Janet's Orzo Salad

4 cups Broth (Chicken or Vegetable)
1 1/2 cup Orzo
15 oz. Garbanzo Beans
1 1/2 cup Grape Tomatoes, cut in half
3/4 Red Onion, chopped (I left this out)
1/2 cup Basil, chopped
1/4 cup Mint, chopped
1 1/2 cup Fresh Mozzarella, cubed
3/4 cup Red Wine Vinaigrette (I put this one the side so people could add it to suit his or her taste)

Prepare the orzo with the broth. Once it is done, add in the remaining items. The salad is served at room temperature.


Angel Food Cake
via: Sweet Kat’s Kitchen blog

1 c. sifted cake flour
1 1/2 c. sifted sugar, divided
1 1/2 c. (about 12 large) egg whites
1 tsp. cream of tartar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. almond extract
berries, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Have ready an ungreased large tube pan, preferably with a removable bottom. If the pan bottom is not removable, line it with parchment paper, but DO NOT grease or the batter won't be able to climb the sides of the pan and you will have a very flat angel food cake.

Whisk together the flour and half of the sugar in a small bowl. Set aside. Beat the egg whites with an electric mixer at medium-low speed until they are beginning to froth. Add cream of tartar and salt and beat at medium speed until whites form very soft, billowy mounds, about 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in the remainder of the sugar, about 1 tablespoon at a time, until all the sugar is added and the whites are shiny and form soft peaks. Add the vanilla extract, lemon juice and almond extract and beat for about 30 seconds at highest speed. Resift the flour/sugar mixture and spoon it over the egg whites, about 3 tablespoons at a time, folding in gently with a large spatula. Gently scoop the batter into the pan, smooth top with spatula, and give the pan a couple of gentle raps on the counter to release any large air bubbles in the batter.

Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until cake is golden brown and top springs back when pressed firmly. Remove from the oven and invert the pan onto its feet or the neck of a wine bottle. Let cool completely. Gently run a long, thin-bladed knife around the outer sides of the pan, pressingly it firmly against the pan to prevent tearing the cake. Then run the knife around the inside of the tube. Invert the pan and let the cake slide out. Remove the paper lining, if using. Garnish with berries.

And one more, very predictable, but lovely, Christmas movie:

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