Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Christmas Kitchen

Now that Nano is over, I am finding myself in need of something to keep from going into writing withdrawal. I don't really want to start editing until January.
Soooo...after schoolwork was done for the day (I'm writing this on Thursday), we converted the kitchen into Christmas mode. I had done some serious grocery shopping on Monday and now the cupboards that are packed like a South American bus. We had to set up a card table to hold all of the extra baking supplies.

There are just certain recipes that have to be made this time of year; whether as part of our gifting traditions for specific people or "just 'cuz". I think it's cute, but every year the guys that DH works with send home a stack of empty tins. No note. No instructions. Nothing but the implied request to "please, pretty please fill these with something yummy?" Cashew Brittle and Fudge are the stand by recipes that I make for them.

Today, we plugged Christmas with the Rat Pack and A Looney Tunes Christmas into the stereo and made one gigantic recipe of Multigrain Pilaf (which will serve our supper needs for weeks to come), one batch of Cider Cranberry Sauce, Two 9x13s of Fudge, and the 8 cups of mashed potatoes for the Potato Cakes that I intend to start tomorrow. We also broke in the shiny new 7 1/2 quart color coordinated brick red Crockpot with a batch of Potato Soup.

Recipes? I thought you'd never ask!

Multigrain Pilaf

16 cups water
16 cubes or 1/4 c bouillon, if desired
1/2 c. dry Oats (not Oatmeal)
1/2 c. pearled Barley
2 c. Brown Rice
2 c. Wild Rice
1/2 c. Amaranth
1/2 c. Quinoa
1/2 c. Buckwheat

In large stockpot, bring seasoned water to a boil and add Oats. Simmer 20 minutes and add Barley. Cook 5 minutes and add brown and wild rice. Cook 10 minutes and then add Amaranth. Continue cooking 5 minutes and then add Quinoa. Cook 5 more minutes and then add Buckwheat. Cook 15 minutes or until grains are tendier. Add additional water in small amounts if necessary. Drain any extra water. Cool completely, divide into containers and freeze. This makes about 24 cups of Pilaf, but it freezes very well. If you choose to cut the recipe in half, cut the amounts, but not the cooking times.

Cider Cranberry Sauce

6 c. fresh cranberries
1 1/2 c. cider
1 1/4 c. sugar
4-5 long strands of orange zest
2 t. lemon juice

In a non reactive saucepan, bring all ingredients to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer and cook 10-12 minutes. Cool and store. Or you can eat it. It's your choice. Goes especially well with ham. Or ice cream.


1 c. butter
1 c. milk
4 c. sugar
12 oz semi sweet chips
12 oz Brach's stars (if you can't find them, use milk chocolate chips)
2 squares unsweetened chocolate
18 large marshmallows
1 c. nuts, optional

In a reinforced saucepan, bring butter, milk and sugar to a boil. Remove from heat and pour over remaining ingredients (you might want to put them in a bowl first). Stir until your arm falls off or the marshmallows are completely melted, whichever comes first. Pour into a 9x13 pan and cool overnight. I got smart this year and let my Kitchen aide do the stirring. This is supposedly the Fannie May fudge recipe, but what are the odds?

Potato Soup

6-8 potatoes, cut up
carrots and celery (specific, huh? Well, I use about 2 c. of each)
1 large onion, chopped
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 quart chicken broth
2 c. milk
1/2 stick butter
4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled (Eh, why not? Throw in the whole package.)
1 container sour cream (I'm guessing it's the small container. What do you think?)

Throw all of it, except the sour cream, in a large crock pot and cook the begeebers out of it. Add the sour cream before serving. Cheese is good too; but isn't it always?


  1. So, do the begeebers just come out all by themselves, or do you have to strain them off the top before you add the sour cream?

    One of my junior chefs is trying out a variety of soups this year. I had to buy leeks last week. Leeks! (Not a staple around here.) I'll get the soup on the menu soon. Thanks.

  2. You make me smile!

    You cook like I do, except waaaay more! lol! I think you only have to measure accurately for baking, to be sure. :-)

    Keep the recipes 'bout snackie-type stuff, like for parties?

  3. Yummy!! These recipes should be in the AQ cookbook!


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