Monday, December 15, 2008

An Alliterative Menu

Well, I've almost completed my to-do list of holiday baking and running around! The only thing missing from my personal roster at present is my annual gift of mincemeat tarts for my dad (and I get to use the homemade stuff this year!)... I was intending to make them this afternoon - honest! - but I got hung up at the pharmacy and then suffered a case of oven-already-in-use syndrome when a loaf of bread (forthcoming!) finished it's rise earlier than expected.

Ah well... that's what Wednesday is for, I guess! I would say that tomorrow was a prime candidate for baking, except it isn't... I'm Cookie Santa-ing with my mom then, and then it's sushi time!!

This Sunday, though, I did get a fair bit of the cookieage done thanks mostly to Andrew's neverending willingness to help with getting ingredients out and manouvering sheets and cooling racks (not to mention taking photos like the one on the left) while I willy-nillied my way through the recipes. By the end of the day, I had baked off 7 different types of cookies and 10 batches in total (Mom and I made 4 sets of her famous shortbreads... 2 lbs of butter, man!).

As if having cookies of all kinds coming out of our ears wasn't enough, Mom and I developed a savoury recipe on the weekend too! Cel (the stepdad) had been gifted with a whole pheasant by one of his business partners, and never having cooked that type of bird before my mom asked me for help. As if I, the sole (mostly) vegetarian in the house, would know how to cook a whole roast pheasant! Thank God for RecipeZaar for ideas... and my creativity for substitutions! Of course (since I wasn't the sole cook of this experiment) I didn't get photos, but I did get reviews - delicious, succulent, and wonderful were some of the labels it recieved!

Photo - Free Pheasant
Serves 4
1 (2lb) pheasant, skinned and split in half
2 tsp paprika
2 tbsp olive oil
½ cup chicken stock
½ cup white wine
½ cup apricot jam
¼ cup orange juice
¼ teaspoon ground ginger

  1. Wash pheasant and pat dry.
  2. Sprinkle on both sides with paprika.
  3. Heat oil in a deep pot, and brown pheasant on both sides.
  4. Pour chicken stock and wine over the pheasant.
  5. Cover, lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Add water if needed and turn meat several times to prevent burning.
  6. Combine remaining ingredients in a small dish.
  7. Uncover the pot and bring liquid to a brisk simmer.
  8. Let liquid cook away, then baste with sauce.
  9. Simmer uncovered, basting frequently, for 15-20 minutes.

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 319.9
Total Fat: 9.9 g
Cholesterol: 49.3 mg
Sodium: 238.7 mg
Total Carbs: 29.6 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.5 g
Protein: 22.3 g

But really, who am I kidding? I know why you're all here... you want the sugar! Come on, Santa doesn't come to people's houses for dinner, does he?? Cookies are where it's at - to be specific, FoodBlogga's Eat Christmas Cookies Event is where it's at! Yes, I'm going to spend the last couple days of the round-up posting this weekend's recipes (while crossing my fingers that Susan's okay with the sheer number of them!). The round-up page is always current, so stay tuned for the new treats coming your way from around the world!

These cookies were a personal achievement for me in terms of turning tastebuds - Andrew claims not to like gingerbread, but he ate three of these babies and declared them "the best gingerbreads hes ever had", especially when warm. Since I used blackstrap, rather than fancy molasses, and part spelt flour too, it only seemed fair that I could decorate them with candy-coated chocolate balls... gotta keep the balance!

Spicy Molasses Snappers
Makes about 4 dozen
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup shortening
1 cup blackstrap molasses
1/3 cup eggnog
1/2 tbsp vanilla
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
3 cups flour
2 cups spelt flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  1. Cream sugars and shortening until fluffy.
  2. Add molasses, eggnog, vanilla and vinegar, beating in well.
  3. Whisk together dry ingredients in another bowl. Beat into creamed mixture.
  4. Wrap dough well in plastic and chill 8 hours, or up to 36.
  5. Preheat oven to 375F.
  6. Roll dough out on a floured board and cut into shapes, placing on parchment-lined sheets. Decorate if desired.
  7. Bake 8 minutes, do not overbake!
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 114.6
Total Fat: 4.3 g
Cholesterol: 0.7 mg
Sodium: 5.9 mg
Total Carbs: 17.7 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.8 g
Protein: 1.5 g


  1. I love how dark these are! I made both dark gingerbread and light this year but may favorite is the extra strong molasses kind.

  2. oh my god ... these gingerbreadmen are so adorable :-) I really love them :-)! Happy holidays :-)!!


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