Thursday, November 30, 2006

This is going to be so much fun! This drawing is for a gorgeous -- I mean bee-u-tee-ful hand-made beaded ornament for your Christmas tree. Who wouldn't love one of these? I have a couple myself and they are the stars of the tree each time I decorate with them.

(remember you can click to enlarge the picture)
In order to be entered in the drawing, post one of your favorite tried-and-true Christmas recipes. So that the winner will have time to enjoy the ornament on their tree, I'll draw a name on December 8th. That gives you eight days from today to post a recipe -- or more than one -- in the comments are of this blog post. As usual, each post/recipe is an entry.

I had help coming up with this idea, so many thanks to the silent contributor. I can't wait to read and try your favorite holiday recipes.


  1. That is a gorgeous ornament! Okay, I have to get out my recipe box!! :)

  2. Here is one for Strawberry Jello Salad...I am not much of a cook though.

    Strawberry Salad
    1 package of Strawberry instant Jello
    1 Medium package (10 oz.) Frozen Strawberries (thawed)
    3 cups of Hot water
    1 small can of crushed pineapple (undrained)
    1/2 cup of chopped pecans

    Dissolve Jello in hot water…stir about 2 minutes…add Strawberries, pineapple, and pecans and stir well. Pour into a mold or other container and place in the refrigerator until it gels.

  3. Christmas pastries
    7 oz (200g) soft butter or margarine
    1 cup (21 /2 dl) flour
    1/3 cup (1 dl) cold water
    1 teaspoon vinegar

    sweetened prune puree or plum jam

    1. Put all the pastry ingredients into a bowl and mix quickly by hand into a dough. Don't knead too much.
    2. Put the dough to a cold place to harden. 3. Roll out on a floured board, folding a few times to make a puft pastry, and finally make a 1/2 cm thick sheet.
    4. Cut the sheet into 7 x 7 cm squares. Split the corners of each square.
    5. Place a bit of prune puree or plum jam in the middle of each square. Fold over every other spiit end onto the center, to form a windmill-like pastry.
    6. Brush with beaten egg and bake at 450° F (250° C) until light brown. To make round pastries, cut into circles, fill, and brush a little bit of water to glue the pastry shut and fold in half. You might also press the edges of the pastry with a fork a little. Bake as above.

  4. Cinnamon buns
    Rising time: 11/2 + 11/2 hours
    Baking time: about 10-15 minutes/batch.
    Oven temperature: 400°F (200°C)
    Suitable for freezing

    2 eggs
    3/4 cup (2 dl) sugar
    2 cups (1/21) milk
    2 oz (50g) yeast or 2 pkgs dry yeast
    3 teaspoons salt
    1 tablespoon crushed cardamom
    1/2 lb. (250 g) butter or margarine or 3/4 cup (2 dl) cooking oil
    about 2 1/4 lb. (1 kg) white flour
    1/3 cup (1 dl) raisins
    egg yolk for glazing almonds for decorating cinnamon

    1. Put the ingredients for the dough ready in the kitchen the previous evening. If they are cold the dough will take too long to rise.
    2. Heat the milk to hand temperature so as to enhance the action of the yeast.
    3. Beat up the eggs and sugar, add the milk, yeast, salt and cardamom. If oil is to be used, add it at this stage.
    4. Add enough flour to get a thick, elastic mixture. Beat it vigorously to put air into the dough. This will enhance the glutination of the flour and make the dough rise well.
    5. Mix in the rest of the flour and finally the butter or margarine. Knead the dough until it separates completely from your hands and the sides of the bowl.
    6. If you make the dough with an electric dough mixer, follow closely the instructions for preparing dough.
    7. Cover the dough with a cloth and leave to rise in a warm place. When the dough has doubled in bulk, place it on a lightly floured surface and knead well. Add the raisins.
    8. Roll the dough into a sheet about 1 cm thick.
    9. Spread the dough with a thick layer of melted or very soft butter. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. If you like, you can add a layer of chopped or ground almonds or other nuts.
    10. Roll and cut into slices c. 3 cm thick.
    11. Arrange the slices on a baking sheet covered with baking paper. Let rise.
    12. With a finger or the handle of a knife, make a vertical depression down each bun so that the spirallike filling bulges out on both sides.
    13. Let the buns rise. Brush with beaten egg and bake.

  5. Karelian pasties

    1 decilitre water
    ½ - 1 tsp salt
    2½ decilitre rye flour
    Rice filling:
    2,5 decilitre water
    1 litre milk
    2,5 decilitre rice
    1 tsp salt

    1. Rinse the rice and place it in boiling water. Simmer until most of the water is absorbed.Add the milk, lower the heat to a minimum, and partially cover the pot. Simmer until the milk has been absorbed and the rice has turned into a thick porridge. Season with salt and leave to cool.
    2. Add the flour and salt to the water and mix into a solid, compact dough.
    3. Form the dough into a strip and divide into 12 pieces.
    4. Roll the pieces into flat thin ovals.
    5. Spread some filling on each oval. Then fold the sides towards the center, pinching and making neat pleats along the edge.
    6. Bake at 300 ºC for about 10 minutes.
    7. Brush them well with melted butter or a butter and water mixture.
    8. Place the pasties, separated with baking paper, in a bowl and cover with a towel to soften the crusts.
    9. Serve warm with butter or egg butter which is made by mixing equal parts of butter, (cottage cheese) and chopped hard-boiled egg.

  6. Oooh, Minna! Are these recipes native to Finland! How cool is this?!

    Thank you for converting measurements for us. I can wait to try the pastries.

  7. One question: What is a decilitre?

    Thank you.

  8. 1 decilitre = (less than) ½ cup

    Yeah, these recipes are native to Finland. Actually, you could say that these are traditional Finnish foods. And since I'm a humanist and maths is not my cup of tea, I didn't convert the measurements. Those recipes are from these pages, so someone had already done it for me:

  9. Oh, and Karelian pasties and Cinnamon buns are best when they are warm.

  10. I am always intrigued. I think I will be creating a character from Finland. Will you be my resource?

  11. We make these every Christmas.

    Thumbprint Cookies

    1 cup butter, softened
    3/4 cup granulated sugar
    2 teaspoons vanilla
    1 teaspoon almond extract
    2 1/2 cups flour (more if dough seems too thin)
    finely chopped pecans, almonds, or other nuts, optional
    jam, your favorite

    Beat butter with an electric mixer at medium speed until creamy. Add sugar and the next 3 ingredients, blending well. Chill dough 2 to 4 hours. Roll dough into small balls, then roll in the chopped nuts, if using; place on lightly greased cookie sheets. Make an indention in the middle of each cookie and fill with jam. Bake at 300° for about 25 to 35 minutes, or until firm and lightly browned on the bottom. Makes about 6 dozen.

  12. These are my favorite cookies and my roommate makes them every Christmas for me. :-)


    Preparation 45 mins.
    Baking 8 mins.

    1/2 cup sugar
    1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
    1/2 cup butter, softened
    1/2 cup peanut butter
    1 egg
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/4 cup sugar
    48 milk chocolate candy kisses, unwrapped

    Heat oven to 375 degrees. Combine 1/2 sugar, brown sugar, butter and peanut butter in large mixer bowl. Beat at medium speed until light and fluffy (1 to 2 minutes).
    Add egg, vanilla and salt; continue beating until well mixed (1 minute). Add flour and baking soda. Continue beating, scraping bowl often, until well mixed (1 to 2 minutes).

    Shape dough into 1-inch balls. (If dough is too soft, refrigerate 30 to 60 mins.)
    Roll balls in 1/4 cup sugar. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.

    Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until very lightly golden brown. Immediately press 1 chocolate kiss in center of each cookie. Remove from cookie sheets; cool completely on wire racks.

    Yield: 4 dozen cookies

  13. I haven't made this, only drunk (drank?) it, but it's delicious. I think it would be equally good using Splenda and diet soda.


    1 - 12 oz. can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed

    1 - 12 oz. can frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed

    1 c. sugar
    1 tsp. vanilla
    1 tsp. almond extract
    8 cups cold water
    1 - 2 liter bottle of lemon-lime soda, chilled

  14. Gorgeous ornament Cheryl!
    Here is my grandmother's sugar cookie receipe. I change some (Crisco for lard,she usually cut them into circles, I teaspoon drop them.)
    They are FANTASTIC! Of course, I can never make them as good as she did. Is that a grandma thing?

    1 cup ssugar
    1/2 cup sour cream topped off with 1/2 cup lard
    Cream together.
    Add 2 eggs, beating in 3 1/2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon soda and a pinch salt.
    Sift into creamed mixture.
    Roll and bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

  15. Here's a salad recipe that I tried for the first time for Thanksgiving. It is best prepared several days ahead of time as the flavors just get better.

    5 Cup Salad

    1 cup mandarin oranges, drained
    1 cup pineapple tidbits, drained
    1 cup sour cream
    1 cup mini marshmallows
    1 cup coconut

    Mix tigether and chill.

  16. This recipe is from my grandma, we used to have it for holidays because it is rich and heavy so it is good to have when there are a lot of people.

    Carrot Cake
    Makes 3 8" layers ( I use a 9x13)
    Sift together:
    2 cups regular flour
    1 tsp baking powder
    1 tsp baking soda
    1 tsp cinnamon
    1/4 tsp salt
    Set aside
    Combine: 1 1/2 cups salad oil
    2 cups sugar

    mix well:
    Add, one at a time:
    4 eggs
    Beat well after each addition, gradually add dry ingredients, mixing well after each addition.
    2 cups finely grated raw carrots mix well. Speeon into pan or pans that have been greased and floured. ( or sprayed with pam). Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes or until toothpick is clean. Remove from pan after 10 minutes and when completely cool fill and frost with nut icing.

    Nut Icing:
    Combine 1/2 cup butter or margarine softened
    1 package 8oz cream cheese

    beat until light
    Gradually add, while beating:
    1 package (1LB) confectioners sugar sifted

    1 tsp vanilla
    1 cup chopped walnuts
    mix well then frost

    ( I use real vanilla it does seem to make a difference)

  17. This recipe some of you may already have but lets see.

    Cheese spread for crackers
    2 (8oz) cream cheese softened
    1 pkg fried beef (2 1/2oz) chopped
    2 tbs horsereadish
    1 tsp onion powder
    1 tsp celery salt
    mix all together and serve on crackers

  18. Cookies and Cream Truffles
    1 8 oz pkg softened cream cheese
    4 c. crushed oreo cookies
    2 c. vanilla baking chips
    1 T shortening

    On high speed of mixer, beat cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add cookies and beat until well combined. Refrigerate mixture 2 hours or until chilled enough to roll. Roll into 1 inch balls.

    Over double broiler, melt chips and shortening until smooth. Dip balls into mixture and thoroughly coat. Place on waxed paper to harden. Store in refrigerator. Yields 3 dozen truffles.

  19. OK, I just got this in a newsletter but I have to share 'cause I love gingerbread and chocolate. Together or seperate...doesn't!



    * 1 (12-oz.) package Nestle Toll House Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels,
    * 2 3/4 cups flour 1 teaspoon baking soda
    * 1/2 tablespoon salt
    * 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
    * 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    * 3 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
    * 3 tablespoons sugar
    * 1/2 cup molasses
    * 1/4 cup water
    * 16 ounces prepared vanilla frosting, colored if desired


    MICROWAVE 1 1/2 cups morsels in medium, microwave-safe bowl on HIGH
    power for 1 minute; stir. Microwave at additional 10 to 20-second
    intervals, stirring until smooth; cool to room temperature.

    COMBINE flour, baking soda, salt, ginger and cinnamon in a medium
    bowl. Beat butter and sugar in small mixer bowl until creamy; beat in
    molasses and melted chocolate. Gradually add flour mixture alternately
    with water, beating until smooth. Cover; refrigerate for 1 hour, or
    until firm.

    PREHEAT oven to 350°F.

    ROLL half of dough to 1/4-inch thickness on floured surface with
    floured rolling pin. Cut dough into gingerbread boy and girl shapes
    using cookie cutters or a stencil. Place on ungreased baking sheets.
    Repeat with remaining dough.

    BAKE for 5 to 6 minutes or until edges are set but centers are still
    slightly soft. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire
    racks to cool completely.

    PLACE remaining morsels in heavy-duty plastic bag. Microwave on HIGH
    power for 30 to 45 seconds; knead. Microwave for 10 seconds; knead
    until smooth. Cut tiny corner from bag; squeeze to pipe chocolate.
    Decorate with piped frosting or icing.

    Yields: 30 cookies

  20. Shortbread Cookie

    2 cups white flour
    1 cup butter
    1/2 cup icing sugar
    1 egg yolk
    dash of salt
    3 or 4 capfuls of almond flavoring

    Soften butter slightly and gradually add flour. With a wooden spoon, stir
    in sugar, almond flavoring and egg yolk. Turn onto a floured board and kneed
    lightly until dough begins to crack.

    Roll out 1/4 inch thick and cut into shapes. Bake at 350 degrees until
    delicately brown (8 to 10 minutes). Store in a cool cookie tin.


    1 8oz cream cheese
    1 tbsp each:
    lemon juice
    Worchestershire sauce
    onion flakes (or finely diced onion)

    1/2 bottle seafood sauce
    1 can small shrimp or crab meat (or 1 shrimp ring, cooked)
    top with grated swiss or mozzarella cheese
    1/2 chopped green pepper
    1/2 diced tomato

    Mix first 5 ingredients and spread over plate. Press down in centre of plate to make a border (edge of plate). Spread seafood sauce, drain seafood and spread over sauce. Grate cheese and add peppers and tomatoes. Serve with crackers

  22. unleavened potatoe bread

    mashed potatoes

    Mix mashed potatoes and flour. Shape pats of dough with floured hands into flat breads and bake at 450° F (250° C) about 15 minutes. Brush with butter or margarine.

    Sorry that this isn't more precise, but I always make these from leftover mashed potatoes.

  23. Here is an easy cheescake chocolate chip pie:

    2 8 oz. packages cream cheese, softened
    1/2 cup sugar
    1/2 tsp. vanilla
    2 eggs
    1 prepared graham cracker crumb crust (9 in.)
    1 package chocolate chips (I use milk chocolate)

    Use and electric mixer to mix together cream cheese, vanilla, sugar and eggs until well blended and smooth. Then mix the chocolate chips in by hand. Pour into the pie shell and bake at 350 for 40 minutes or until center is almost set. Let it cool well before placing it in the refrigerator.

  24. Harlequin Historical author Pam Crooks posted this in her December newsletter:

    Peppermint Hot Chocolate Mix

    ½ cup instant mocha-flavored coffee
    ½ cup dry non-dairy creamer
    ¼ cup baking cocoa
    1 1/3 cups confectioners sugar
    ¼ cup crushed peppermint candy (3 regular size candy canes)

    Combine all ingredients in blender and process.

    Use 2 Tb. cocoa mix with ¾ cup boiling water.

    Yield: 2 ½ cups mix.


    1 cup Miracle Whip
    1 teaspoon horseradish
    1 teaspoon curry powder
    1 teaspoon wine vinegar
    1 teaspoon minced onion
    1 teaspoon garlic salt
    dash paprika
    dash pepper

    Stir all together and chill 1 hour.

    Serve with fresh vegetables.

  26. I luuuuuuuuuuv curry!

    have yu ever used mayonnaise?

  27. Never tried it with mayo but I'll bet it would be just as good. This is my absolute fav veggie dip!

  28. Lingonberry cake

    1 egg
    3/4 cup (2 dl) sugar
    1 cup (2 1 /2 dl) flour
    1/3 cup (1 dl) lingonberry
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/3 cup (1 dl)milk

    Beat the eggs and sugar, add milk, flour and baking soda and mix all together. Add lingonberry and mix carefully into a dough. Bake at 345ºF (175 ºC) for about 1 hour and 10 minutes.

  29. Where does one get a lingonberry? I'm all for trying this recipe!

  30. I looked up lingonberries and they can be ordered and shipped from specialty farms. Closest thing is a cranberry and next a blueberry, so those would be acceptable substitutes I'm guessing.


    Just to make sure we are talking about the same berry here, I looked up the scientific name and some pictures. One of my dictionaries seems to call puolukka also cowberry and mountain cranberry, but I don't know if they mean the same berry.

  32. I'm not sure about cranberry or blueberry, but you could try red currant. It might be a good substitute.

  33. French Toast Casserole

    1 loaf (16 ounces) PEPPERIDGE FARM
    Cinnamon Swirl Bread, any variety
    cut into cubes (about 8 cups)
    6 eggs
    3 cups milk
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    Confectioner's sugar

    1. In greased 3-quart shallow baking dish arrange bread cubes. Mis
    eggs, milk and vanila. Pour over bread. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour
    or overnight.

    2. Uncover. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or until golden.
    Sprinkle with confectioner's sugar. Serve with pancake syrup if

    Makes 8 servings.