I am feeling especially blessed this Christmas...
my daughter is home safely from a semester in Paris,
my oldest son will be staying with us Christmas Eve
and my second son is home from his Senior year in college;
I am also grateful to the wonderful couple who responded to my plea on Facebook's Duxbury Helping Duxbury
for alternate accommodations as our home renovation project is far from finished and offered their small cottage which is just a mile from our home. So this will be a happy, cozy cottage Christmas for us.
I am so grateful for my large extended family and a recent wedding in Woodstock, Vermont that brought us all together! And I am grateful for friends both near and far, and the support and encouragement and love extended to me to continue with Andi's People -- who are a big part of my life! Thank you all!
I have recently returned to writing for our local paper, the Duxbury Clipper and thought I'd share a collection of my recently published favorite Christmas recipes -- including the Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls -- once you've tried these, there will be no need to sample other recipes! As I write, the dough is rising!
Contributed by Anne Dargin Schroeder
Feta & Lemon Dip
(from Sweet Paul Eat and Make Cookbook)
This is the simplest, most delicious quick and easy appetizer, and the most commonly requested! I discovered Sweet Paul’s blog a few years ago and love his creative style
and good healthy recipes.
7 oz. feta cheese (about 1 cup) crumbled
1 tbsp grated lemon zest (I skip this!)
1-2 tbsp fresh lemon juice (I use an old-fashioned glass lemon press)
1 garlic clove, minced
6 tbsp olive oil
pinch of red pepper flakes
The simplest way to make this is to put the feta, garlic clove,
and lemon juice in a food processor; while pureeing, add olive oil
to desired creamy consistency.
To serve, put in small bowl, drizzle a little olive oil and sprinkle
with pinch of red pepper flakes.
Serve with whole wheat crackers and/or veggies. You WILL love this!
Bon Appetit February 1996
Beef Tenderloin was a Christmas Eve tradition in my husband’s family. A long-time devotee of Bon Appetit, I found this recipe in 1996 and have made it several times for both Christmas and New Year’s...it is divine! One note I wrote was to make more gravy.
1 2-pound butt-end beef tenderloin roast, well trimmed
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onions
1 cup chopped carrots
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup canned beef broth
1/3 cup Canadian whisky
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1 tablespoon butter, room temperature
1/3 cup whipping cream
2 teaspoons coarsely crushed black peppercorns
Preheat oven to 400°F. Pat beef tenderloin dry with paper towels. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat vegetable oil in heavy large ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add beef to skillet and cook until brown on all sides, about 8 minutes. Add chopped onions, carrots and thyme to skillet.
Transfer skillet to oven and roast beef until meat thermometer inserted into thickest part registers 120°F for rare, stirring vegetables occasionally, about 30 minutes. Transfer beef to platter. Tent with foil to keep warm.
Place skillet with vegetables over medium-high heat. Add canned beef broth and whisky and bring to boil, scraping up any browned bits. Boil until liquid is reduced to 2/3 cup, stirring occasionally, about 7 minutes. Strain sauce and return to skillet.
Mix flour and butter in small bowl until smooth paste forms. Add to sauce in skillet and whisk until well blended. Add whipping cream, crushed black peppercorns and any accumulated juices from beef. Simmer over medium heat until sauce thickens, whisking constantly, about 3 minutes. Season sauce to taste with salt.
Cut beef into thick slices and arrange on platter. Spoon sauce over.
The Pioneer Woman Blog
My husband’s loves cinnamon rolls so I have made cinnamon rolls for years for occasional Father’s Day and Christmas, experimenting with different recipes. Once I tried this recipe, I never tried another! They are decadent and amazing! The recipe makes enough to fill several round aluminum foil containers for Christmas gifts as well! Cinnamon rolls can be refrigerated for a week or frozen before baking...just bring to room temperature and allow to rise and follow directions for baking.
1 quart (4 cups) whole milk, warmed
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
2 (1/4 ounce) packages active dry yeast (a total of 4 and 1/2 teaspoons of yeast)
8 cups (plus 1 cup extra, separated) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon (heaping) baking powder
1 teaspoon (scant) baking soda
1 tablespoon (heaping) salt
plenty of melted butter (2 to 3 sticks...at least)
2 cups sugar
generous sprinkling of cinnamon (nearly an entire 2.37 oz. container)
1 bag powdered sugar
2 teaspoons maple flavoring
½ cup milk
¼ cup melted butter
¼ cup brewed coffee
⅛ teaspoon salt
Mix the milk, vegetable oil and sugar in a pan (LARGE POT). Scald the mixture (heat until just before the boiling point). Turn off heat and leave to cool 45 minutes to 1 hour. When the mixture is lukewarm to warm, but NOT hot, sprinkle in both packages of Active Dry Yeast. Let this sit for a minute. Then add 8 cups of all-purpose flour. Stir mixture together. Cover and let rise for at least an hour.
After rising for at least an hour, add 1 more cup of flour, the baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir mixture together. (At this point, you could cover the dough and put it in the fridge until you need it – overnight or even a day or two, if necessary. Just keep your eye on it and if it starts to overflow out of the pan, just punch it down).
When ready to prepare rolls: Sprinkle rolling surface generously with flour. Take half the dough and form a rough rectangle. Then roll the dough thin, maintaining a general rectangular shape. Drizzle 1/2 to 1 cup melted butter over the dough. Now sprinkle 1 cup of sugar over the butter followed by a generous sprinkling of cinnamon.
Now, starting at the opposite end, begin rolling the dough in a neat line toward you. Keep the roll relatively tight as you go. Next, pinch the seam of the roll to seal it.
Spread 1 tablespoon of melted butter in a seven inch round foil cake or pie pan. Then begin cutting the rolls approximately ¾ to 1 inch thick and laying them in the buttered pans.
Repeat this process with the other half of the dough. Let the rolls rise for 20 to 30 minutes, then bake at 375 degrees until light golden brown, about 15 to 18 minutes.
For the frosting, mix together all ingredients listed and stir well until smooth. It should be thick but pourable. Taste and adjust as needed. Generously drizzle over the warm rolls. Go crazy and don’t skimp on the frosting.
Shortbread Stars with Chocolate Glaze
(from Duxbury Clipper December 16, 1996)
This recipe is from the ‘favorite recipe’ section of my Christmas binder -- I love this recipe --
and my children helped make them as far back as pre-school for teachers! And what a coincidence that this recipe is originally from the Clipper!
1 1/2 c. butter, softened
1 c. powdered sugar
1 tbsp vanilla
3 c. all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Using an electric mixer at medium speed blend butter
until smooth in a large mixing bowl. Slowly blend in powdered sugar. Scrape down
sides of bowl and add vanilla; combine thoroughly.
Add flour and combine at slow
speed until well-blended. Divide dough into two equal portions. Flatten into discs
and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm, 1 1/2 - 2 hours.
On a floured surface, with a floured rolling pin, roll each disc to 1/8 “ inch thickness.
Turn dough if necessary to prevent sticking.
Cut cookies with a 2-inch star cookie cutter. Bake on un-greased cookie sheet (parchment
is best) for 15 to 18 minutes; do not let cookies brown. Transfer cookies immediately
to cooling rack.
1/4 c. heavy cream
1 c. semisweet chocolate chips
2 tsp. light corn syrup
Heat cream in small saucepan until scalded, then remove from heat. Stir in chocolate
chips and corn syrup, cover and let stand for 15 minutes. Stir gently with wire whisk.