Category Archives: Holiday

Recipes: A Cooked Eggnog

Okay I am a wee bit late for this one – but really is it ever too late for a drink that can contain alcohol?

Ingredients
1/3 cup sugar
3 egg yolks
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 cups milk (or replace 1 cup with heavy cream)
3 egg whites
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup heavy cream (whipped for serving)

NOTE: Use a double boiler if you have one as it is easy to burn the milk and eggs unless you watch your heat and keep stirring!
1) In a bowl beat 1/3 cup sugar with egg yolks until well mixed then stir in the salt and 2 cups of milk.
2) Put this “eggnog custard” in a saucepan or double boiler cook the custard over medium hear *stirring constantly* until the custard thickens and coats spoon evenly.
3) Remove from heat and allow mixture to cool. Whisk in remaining 2 cups of milk ( or 1 cup milk and 1 cup cream).
4) Beat the eggs whites until foamy then gradually add the 3 tablespoons of sugar – keep beating until soft peaks form. Gently add the egg whites to the cooled custard and mix thoroughly with a whisk. Chill for 3-4 hours.
5) When ready to serve pour eggnog into punch bowl. Add run to taste if desired and stir with whisk. Grate fresh nutmeg over the eggnog, and dot with the fresh whipped cream. Enjoy!

Secrets of success: Low heat, a heavy saucepan, constant stirring and patience are the keys to making custard sauce. If you increase the cooking temperature to try to speed the process along, the custard is likely to curdle. Stirring constantly, making sure to cover the entire bottom and the corners of the pan, prevents scorching and ensures that the mixture heats evenly.

 

Recipes: Hungarian Crepes

I love pancakes. I especially love the variety known as crepes – and crepes are even better when cooked Hungarian style as palacsinta.

Palatschinke

Palatschinke (Photo credit: Mario Spann)

Ingredients
3 large eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup carbonated water
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
pinch of salt

Melted butter for cooking crepes

Optional:
1 tablespoon sugar for sweeter dessert palacsinta (crepes)

Directions
1) Beat eggs into milk until blended (also add sugar/salt at this point). Pour the egg/milk mixture into the flour until fully blended into a smooth batter. The batter should rest for at least an hour.

2) When it is time to cook the crepes place a crepe pan to heat (or an 8-inch frying pan). While the pan is heating add the carbonated water to the batter and gently stir until just blended.

3) Add a bit of butter to heat in the hot pan and swirl to cover the bottom.

4) Pour a ladle of the batter into the pan and gently tip and twist the pan so that the batter covers the entire bottom of the pan. When the top of the batter bubbles, turn the pancake over and cook for 4 or 5 seconds longer. Remove the cooked palacsinta to a serving plate in a warm oven until ready to serve.
Continue until the batter is all cooked. Remember to add butter before cooking each palacsinta.

For savory palacsinta fill with cooked asparagus, ham and Havarti cheese…or some other dinner filling
For dessert palacsinta try plum jam OR cinnamon&sugar OR Nutella with strawberries….

Palacsinta can be served hot or cold.

Recipes: Simple Tea Biscuits

Apparently I enjoy my tea biscuits! Here is another Tea Biscuit recipe I found in my collection. I’ve been writing them up and posting them here so I can find them – and share them with the world! This one is a fairly standard version of a tea biscuit and fairly quick to make!

biscuits

Ingredients
4 cup white flour
8 level teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup Lard (at room temperature!) (or shortening if Lard doesn’t suit your life choices!)
1 1/2 cups milk (or half&half cream to give a richer feel!)

OPTIONAL
1) Use parchment paper for baking and easier clean-up!
2) 1 egg with 1/2 cup sour cream – reduce milk to 1 cup and replace 2 teaspoon baking powder with 1 teaspoon baking soda!
3) Add 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese! Reduce salt to 1/2 teaspoon (since cheese is salty..)

METHOD

1) In a large bowl mix all the dry ingredients thoroughly in a bowl.
2) If using egg and sour cream in a separate bowl mix the sour cream with the egg until blended. Add milk to this mix.
3) Drop the room temperature lard in the dry ingredients bowl, then using a pastry cutter blend the lard into the flour mixture until the mixtures has a course even texture.
4) Add the wet ingredients and mix well into the dough.
5) Using clean dry hands knead dough in bowl 6 to 8 strokes; if dough is too dry and not binding together, slowly add a bit extra milk a teaspoon at a time. This tea biscuit mixture should be moist without being too sticky! The dough should pull easily away from the sides of the bowl.
All of the above should be done fairly quickly to avoid over-working the flour and activating the gluten! (which would make the biscuits tough…)

6) Form into a ball and cut the biscuit dough. Place in fridge for 20 minutes to make it easier to work.
7) Preheat oven to 450°F
While the oven is heating roll out half the dough 1/4 inch thick. Lightly dust with flour if it is sticking to the rolling pin. Fold in half, and then fold in half again. (Yes that would now be a quarter – but this is cooking not math class!)
Now roll out once more to about 1/2 inch thick and cut biscuits (no bigger than 2 inches wide!)

8) Place biscuits on parchment paper in a cookie sheet. The biscuits should just be touching each other – this will make them puff upwards more than then expand sideways!
Brush the top with any left-over milk to make the tops brown evenly.
Bake for 12 to 17 minutes (or until golden brown on top)

Let cool a few minutes – and then enjoy!

Ramble: January 6, 2016 and Epiphany

Christmas is over. Mostly.

Today is January 6th and the new year is well underway. The echo of Christmas still lingers in Christian lands and homes as today is the Feast of the Epiphany; the day the three wise-men arrive to offer  gifts to the the new born king. In many ways today is the day that “Christmas” gifts should really be given and not December 25th.

For some then this day is little Christmas. I used to leave small gifts out for my kids to find when they were little. While they were sleeping I would place the gift in their slippers for them to find in the morning. Now they’d just ather get some money or borrow my car.

Enjoy the day!

Recipe: Forgotten Cookies

I had forgotten about this recipe! I used to make these back in my student days when I knew I should bring a treat to visit. The beauty of these cookies is the work is in preparation – the cooking you get to walk away from! Of course there have been a few times when I forgot the cookies the next morning. The people sharing my house took care of them for me…

Ingredients
2 egg whites
OPTIONAL: 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar (Cream of tartar helps “stabilize” the egg whites when beaten so they keep their froth. It is not required.)
2/3 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup small semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup finely chopped pecans

METHOD
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
2) Using a mixer beat the eggs whites. If you are using cream of tartar add when eggs are frothy and bubbly. Beat eggs until just softly forming peaks.
3) Slowly add the sugar. When all the sugar has been added beat on high for 5 more minutes to create stiff shiny peaks of meringue!
4) Using a spatula fold in the vanilla, chocolate chips and pecans until evenly mixed
5) On a non-stick cookie sheet (use parchment paper on cookie sheet of you have it) drop by the teaspoon full evenly on sheet. You can use tablespoon for bigger cookies but they may not set inside.
6) TURN OFF OVEN
7) Leave cookies in oven overnight (or at least 8 hours)

Makes about 3 dozen cookies (depends on how big you make each cookie!)

OPTIONS
No Cream of Tartar and the egg whites won’t peak for you?
Rule one is never add salt to egg whites. If you did then just start over!
Since Cream of Tartar is essentially an acid – you can use 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice for each egg. It will give the eggs a bit of a lemony flavour so your meringue will be fluffy with a hint of lemon!

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