House and Home

Easy Holiday Recipes

Now that all of my 2010 markets have wrapped up & my shop orders have no hope in arriving before Christmas, it’s time to get festive!

As much as I love my job, it has definitely changed the way I celebrate the holidays. There’s simply no time to be decorating my own house or baking up tasty treats until my sales season has slowed down. Which means…now! Time to cram as much holiday cheer as I can into the next few days. The upside, of course, is that not having a day off for 2 months makes sipping nog & watching xmas lights twinkle just that much sweeter. 😉

Speaking of sweet – here’s a little round-up of yummy recipes I’ve been squirreling away:


photo: Poppytalk

Easy Chocolate Fruit & Nut Bark via Poppytalk

Yum yum yum! I haven’t actually made this one myself yet, but it is tops on my list for this evening. I’m heading down to Seattle for the holidays & have zero confidence that much any chocolate bark will arrive for sharing with the family.


photo: Martha Stewart

Ginger Rice Pudding via Martha Stewart

Rice pudding is one of my quick & easy go to desserts. The added ginger makes it a bit more special & less like hospital food. I’ll often sprinkle some nutmeg or cinnamon on top & rarely have “heavy cream” on hand, so coffee cream or half & half seems to substitute just fine.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups jasmine rice, rinsed and drained
  • 1 quart milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger (2-inch piece)
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Combine rice, milk, sugar, fresh and ground ginger, and salt in a medium saucepan, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until most but not all of the liquid has been absorbed and rice is tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in heavy cream until combined. Serve warm.

    Mom’s Shortbread

    This is the recipe I baked alongside my mom when I was a kid & still love it today. The simple buttery goodness and dash of nostalgia make these easy to devour.

    After I’ve made the dough, I like to keep it in the fridge for a few days, rolling out a dozen or so cookies at a time. That way we always have fresh baked, warm from the oven shortbread. Yum!

    Ingredients:

    • 2 cups flour
    • 1 cup butter
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1/2 tsp vanilla

    Cream butter & sugar together in a large mixing bowl.

    (Note: If the butter is straight from the fridge & still hard, I’ll stick it in the microwave for a few seconds first. I’m sure Martha Stewart would shudder at this, but I can’t taste the difference.)

    Add vanilla. Add flour a little at a time.

    Wad the dough into a ball & refrigerate. The colder the dough is, the easier it will be to roll & get successful cookie cutter shapes. I’m sure there’s no way I’ve ever been patient enough to leave it overnight though, so chill it as long as you can stand. 😉

    When you’re ready to bake, pull out a little at a time & roll between 2 sheets of wax paper. Then comes the fun part! Cookie cutters are the obvious choice, but I’ve had great success making little round cookies using a shot glass. Sprinkle & decorate at will.

    Transfer your shapes to an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes at 300 F.

    Other notes:

    Traditional shortbread uses white sugar, but I’ve used brown sugar too & it’s just as tasty. In the photo above I used brown sugar and whole wheat flour which made them feel a bit more substantial & not quite as melt-in-your-mouth flaky.

    Have your own favorite holiday recipes? I’d love to hear ’em!

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