At Mahanandi, Indira shared some innovative menu ideas for the Christmas Season, or holiday season as it is called in America – see Menu 1 and Menu 2. Maison Cupcake was cupcake decorating in a Masterclass in Islington’s The Make Lounge with Mich Turner and I love the recipe for Sweet And Savoury Spiced Nuts at Not Without Salt as they remind me of delicious toasted almonds that I used to get all warm and wrapped in cones of paper from street vendors in Munich. Also at Not Without Salt in December Ashley posted a Quick Puff Pastry recipe that makes me feel so inadequate as I do not have light enough hands for something as delicate as that, while the post on Homemade Truffles reminds me of promises made to myself and not fulfilled – there is always this year, I suppose.
Orangette posted a neat recipe for Whole Wheat Sablés With Cacoa Nibs. Sablés are another thing that I really should make and maybe I will during 2011. At Smitten Kitchen, Deb has been active baking loads of cookies, mostly baking with a Christmas theme like Roasted Chestnut Cookies, Iced Oatmeal Cookies and the most amazing Spiced Gingerbread Cookies that have been so beautifully created. Savoury wise, Deb made classic Garlic Butter Roasted Mushrooms.
At The Pioneer Woman Cooks, I like Ree Drummond’s recipes for Mulligatawny Soup and Spinach Soup With Gruyere. Then Ree gets into that Christmas spirit with Lia’s Dark Chocolate Truffles, including several photos of how to make a delicate chocolate butterfly from dark chocolate. Then there are some offbeat ideas for the Christmas period including recipes for Meatballs With Peppers And Pineapple and Steak Au Poivre, but then in America they get the turkey over at Thanksgiving.
At The Wednesday Chef, Luisa Weiss makes panforte which is one of those delicacies that I love, enjoying the familar chewy texture and nutty tastes, but perhaps I would settle for candied orange peel rather than quince. I must admit that it is not something that I ever considered making, but maybe that is another good intention that I can put on my ever expanding list of things I would love to make, but never quite manage to get round to. And at Wild Yeast, there is a recipe for Candied Lemon Peel which can easily be tweaked for orange, so now I have all the tools to make candied peel in 2011.