Recipes Categories

Entries in Holidays (12)


Gingerbread cupcakes

Yum. We made these for a homeschool gathering, and made more to take to the recital on Sunday.

Gingerbread Cupcakes

Origin: Healthy Cooking
Yield: 21 cupcakes
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: cooling

  ● 2/3 cup sugar
  ● 1/2 cup canola oil
  ● 2 egg whites
  ● 1 egg
  ● 2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  ● 1 cup molasses
  ● 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  ● 1 cup whole wheat flour
  ● 2 1/2 tsp baking soda
  ● 1 tsp ground ginger
  ● 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  ● 1 tsp ground allspice
  ● 1/2 tsp salt
  ● 8 oz. cream cheese
  ● 1 stick butter, softened
  ● 1 tsp vanilla
  ● 16 oz. powdered sugar

1. In a large bowl, beat the sugar, oil, egg whites and egg until well blended. Add applesauce and molasses; mix well. In a small bowl, combine the flours, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, allspice and salt; gradually beat into applesauce mixture until blended.

2. Fill paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 350 for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

3. For frosting, combine all ingredients and mix until creamy. Frost cupcakes when cool.


Pecan and cranberry crusted rockfish

I was after sole at the store today, but the rockfish fillets were on sale so I decided to give that a try instead. When I make sole I wrap it around bacon and asparagus and poach it in white wine, but rockfish is really different. So I worked with what I had, and this is what we got. We liked it. Rockfish apparentely doesn't have much flavor and I think this might work better with whitefish, but we did enjoy it quite a bit.

Pecan and cranberry crusted rockfish

Origin: me
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Servings: 3-4

• 1 lb rockfish fillets
• 1 egg
• 1 tsp milk
• salt and pepper
• flour
• 1 cup fresh cranberries
• 1 cup pecans
• olive oil
• butter

1. Combine egg and oil in a shallow bowl. Beat lightly.
2. Combine pecans and cranberries in food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
3. Mix flour, salt, and pepper to a third shallow bowl.
4. Dredge fish in flour, then egg, then cranberry and nut mixture until well coated.
5. Heat oil and butter in a pan over medium high heat. Fry fish 4 minutes to a side until browned on the outside and opaque on the inside.

I served it with lightly steamed asparagus over wild rice, a lemon wedge, and pomegranate seeds. It makes a pretty Christmas meal.


Alkmaarse kaassoep (Alkmaar cheese soup)

From our Sinterklaas Avond dinner last night. To stick with tradition, and the ethnic traditional, we serve a meal of Dutch foods, which it turns out aren't bad, just boring: Alkmaarse kassoep (cheese soup), Huzarensalade (Hussar's salad), Gestoofde Runderlappen (Dutch stewed/spiced beef), Boerenkool met aardappel (kale and potatoes), and Windmill cookies (which I have yet to make, but there's a recipe on epicurious) to finish things off. The soup is my favorite.

Alkmaarse kaassoep (Alkmaar cheese soup)

Origin: Classic Dutch Cooking
Yield: serves 4
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Ethnicity: Dutch

  ● 3 tbsp butter
  ● 1 onion, chopped
  ● 1/2 cup flour
  ● 5 cups milk
  ● 1-1/4 cups mature (sharp) Gouda
  ● 1 small celeriac
  ● salt
  ● toast (croutons)

1. Melt the butter in a pan. Add the onion and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until softened.
2. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes, then gradually stir in the milk.
3. Continue to cook, stirring, until slightly thickened. Add 1/2 cup of the grated Gouda and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, peel and finely dice the celeriac, then cook in a pan of boiling water, for about 10 minutes, until softened.
4. Drain the celeriac and add to the soup with the remaining cheese.
5. Season to taste with salt, ladle into warm soup bowls and garnish with chives. Serve immediately with toast or croutons.

Some variations I've seen online:
• Add more cheese, less milk
• Color with powdered saffron, thicken with pureed potatoes, flavor with 1/2 tsp crushed caraway seeds.
• Top the soup with a cheese crust made from a mixture of three crushed rusks, 1-3/4 cups grated Gouda and a pinch of milk paprika sprinkled over top. The pan should then be placed under a preheated broiler until the crust is a golden brown.


Boerenkool met aardappel (Dutch kale and potatoes)

The side dish for our annual Sinterklaas Avond dinner.

Boerenkool met aardappel (Dutch kale and potatoes)

Origin: Classic Dutch Cooking
Yield: serves 4-5
Ethnicity: Dutch

  ● 3.5 lbs kale, tough stalks removed, finely shredded
  ● 2-1/4 lbs potatoes, peeled
  ● 11 ounce smoked sausage
  ● 1/2 cup milk
  ● 2 tbsp butter
  ● salt
  ● butter to serve

1. Steam the kale in a little boiling for 10 minutes, then set aside to drain.
2. Boil potatoes in a large pan and half cover with water. Put the drained kale and the sausage on top, cover and cook over a medium heat for 30 minutes.
3. Remove the sausage and drain the vegetables. Return the vegetables to the pan, mash well, and stir in the milk and butter until smooth.
4. Season to taste with salt and serve with the sausage and some butter on top.

Our own variation:
I make this as a side dish so I leave out the meat. I merely mash the potatoes, then mix in the previously steamed kale. I Add about 1-2 cups of smoked Gouda cheese, and spread the mixture into a baking dish. I make the dish ahead, then heat it at 350, covered, for about forty minutes.


Gestoofde Runderlappen (Dutch stewed/spiced beef)

Our main dish for Sinterklaasavond.

Gestoofde Runderlappen (Dutch stewed/spiced beef)

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 4-8 hours in a slow cooker
Difficulty: Easy

  ● 3 lbs round steak, cut into six pieces
  ● 1/2 cup butter or bacon drippings
  ● 3 medium onions, sliced
  ● 1 cup water or dark beer
  ● 3 tbsp vinegar
  ● 1/2 tbsp mustard
  ● 1 bay leaf
  ● 1/2 tsp whole cloves
  ● 5 peppercorn

Directions (my version):
0. To get bacon drippings, I fry the bacon that I'll offer at dinner as topping for the soup, salad, and potatoes, then remove it from then pan, drain, and let cool before I crumble it and set it aside. Now I have bacon drippings.
1. Pound meat and rub each piece with salt and pepper. Heat bacon drippings (or butter) in skillet until very hot. Brown meat thoroughly on both sides.
2. Remove meat and place in slow cooker.
3. To drippings add onions and fry lightly, then remove to slow cooker.
4. To slow cooker add water or beer, vinegar, mustard, bay leaf, cloves, and peppercorns. Cover meat and cook on low for 8 hours, medium for 6 hours, or high for 4 hours.