Holiday Recipes : Cooking For The Holidays Is Therapy For The Family

Every family has special holiday recipes that have been handed down between the generations. These recipes have become something more than a favorite meal or dessert, they have become a cherished holiday tradition. They become the memories we have of special days with our families and friends. One of the most treasured holiday recipes for adults and children alike are Christmas cookies.

Our homes are filled with the scent of melted chocolate chips, crisp gingerbread men, and aromatic vanilla. They are impossible to resist and bring about the start of the holiday season.

We all love baking these delicious holiday treasures with our family, some may say it is like holiday family therapy. There are so many scrumptious recipes available, however the prep and cooking time is consuming. The holidays are chaotic enough, your baking should not be.
The following cookie recipes are quick and easy to make. Not only that they are delicious and taste as though you have been working on them in the kitchen all day long! You will find that these delicious cookies add to the festive mood around the home or office.

A Sudden Surprise Cookie
Ingredients
3/4 Cup of Shortening
3/4 Cup of Light Brown Sugar
1 Large Egg
3/4 Cup of Flour
1 Teaspoon of Baking Soda
1/2 Teaspoon of Salt
1/2 Teaspoon of Pure Vanilla Extract
3/4 Cup Of Shredded Coconut
2 Teaspoons Cream of Tartar
Your Favorite Fresh Jam or Jelly

1. Preheat your oven to 375F.

2. While your oven is preheating, mix the shortening and brown sugar together.

3. Add in the one large egg and mix it together well.

4. Combine the rest of the dry ingredients into the wet mixture along with the vanilla. Stir the ingredients together.

5. On an ungreased cookie sheet drop teaspoon size drops of the cookie mixture.

6. With your finger make an indention into each ball of cookie dough and fill with your favorite jam or jelly

7. Sprinkle coconut over the dough and bake for 10-12 minutes.

Makes 4 Dozen Stunning Jam Filled Cookies

We all know how much the children love Christmas, so here is a holiday recipe that is sure to become a favorite.

All Time Best Sugar Cookies

Ingredients
1 Cup Of Softened Butter
1 Cup of Powdered Sugar
1 Cup Granulated Sugar
2 Large Eggs
1 Cup of Vegetable Oil
2 Teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract
1 Tablespoon Fresh Lemon Juice
1/4 Cup All Purpose Flour
1 Teaspoon Cream of Tartar1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 Teaspoon Salt And of course colored sugar!

1. Preheat your oven to 350F

2. Beat the softened butter into a fluffy mixture and add in your granulated and powdered sugar. Mix well and add the two eggs, lemon juice, vanilla, and blend well.

3. Combine the flour, salt, baking soda, and cream of tartar gradually and mix well.

4. When your dough has formed roll into inch balls and roll in the colored sugar. Place on a greased cookie pan.

5. Let your cookies bake for 9 to 11 minutes, do not let them turn brown, as they will be overcooked.

Make 7 Dozen Delicious Cookies

Those are just two more holiday recipes to add to your collection and hand down as the years go by. Feel free to put your own spin on these recipes and make them your own. Above all, bring the family into the kitchen and have everyone help with the baking needs. You will soon find out how much fun baking can be again!

How To Make Salmon Croquettes

I love making Salmon Croquettes. I have done it before till now still use it as my early dinner. That is to indicate I love the recipe. I can do it again and again. I do enjoy preparing the meal. Salmon Croquettes goes along with green onions, flavors from lemon juice (fresh) and even red bell pepper. It is an easy to prepare recipe for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Basically the recipe takes about 15 minutes of which 5 minutes are for preparation and 10 minutes for cooking. I will take you through required steps when making Salmon Croquettes:

Ingredients required
Take ¼ cup of organic canola mayonnaise (example spectrum), Separated.
You should divide 4 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice
Two and a half teaspoons of Dijon mustard divided will do
Make ¼ cup of well chopped green onions
Mince two tablespoons of red bell pepper.
Half teaspoon of garlic powder is enough
Separate ¼ teaspoon of salt and 1/8 teaspoon of salt.
1 beaten egg
A cup of bread crumbs
Take a tablespoon of vegetable for frying oil.
A tablespoon of well chopped capers
A half ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
A tablespoon of fresh parsley
A half teaspoon of minced garlic
2 packages of well skinned and boneless pink Salmon
When you have all the ingredients by your side then you are safe the only remaining thing is to prepare the recipe. The following are the preparation procedure that can help you make a tasteful Salmon Croquettes for your meals. Follow them and you wont regret when the meal is ready.

Preparation
1. 1. Heat the oil in a large skillet and the heat should be medium.
2. 2. Make a mixture of 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise, a tablespoon of lemon juice, one and half teaspoons of Dijon mustard, ¼ cup of well chopped green onions, 2 tablespoons of minced red bell pepper, teaspoon of garlic powder, ¼ teaspoon of salt, 1/8 teaspoon of ground red pepper, 2 packages of well skinned and boneless pink Salmon, then beaten egg. When you are done stir it well. Go ahead and add 1 cup of bread crumbs. You can toss and then shape the mixture to form patties and dust with additional bread crumbs
3. 3. Add the patties into the heated oil in a large skillet then cook for about 5 minutes on each side until it turn brown.
4. 4. Take the remain mayonnaise, lemon juice and Dijon mustard combine them and mix with a tablespoon of chopped fresh parsley, a tablespoon of well chopped capers, teaspoon of garlic and finally an 1/8 of teaspoon salt.
5. 5.The yield is for 4 servings. Serve 2 Salmon Croquettes and one tablespoon of source per person.

Your guests will be impressed when you pair this super fast meal with any kind of light salad. They will not hesitate arranging for another day like this. The meal will be amazing as long as you keenly follow the above procedure. The above recipe procedure I have given you is the best. I do talk from experience I have used it before and am still using it to prepare wonderful meal made of Salmon Croquettes. Have time to enjoy your meal.

One of the best internet recipes MOM’s MUCHO DELICIOSO HOMEMADE POTATO SALAD

This a great not too sweet, not too tangy potato salad recipe with a little crunch:

1. Peel potatoes and boil in salted water. Make a sufficient amount to make a giant batch of salad as everyone is sure to clamor for second helpings and the salad actually improves overnight and for the next day or two. Usually prepping a 5# bag is good, but you can adjust down depending on how many people you are serving.

2. After they have been cooled in the frig for several hours to facilitate cutting without crumbling, etc., cut them up into large bite size pieces that will allow the dressing to adhere to each bite to marry the flavors well.

3. Hard boil half a dozen eggs, or more depending on if you want to have some left for tuna salad, green salad, egg salad, etc. Make sure the eggs are well chilled also so they will be easy to cut up. Start by mixing the eggs and potatoes in a large bowl with plenty of room to mix without fear of slobbering over the edge of the bowl.

3. Add about one small chopped onion (white, red, use you discretion as long as it has a little flavor/bite to it.

4. Add a couple stalks of chopped celery. Make sure the onion and celery are chopped small enough not to choke anyone, but large enough to allow for a little “crunch” and flavor when bitten into. Minced is not good.

5. Add to that a couple of tablespoons of salad dressing or mayo. Better to start with a lesser amount and add more as you mix the salad. You’ll also find that after the salad is finished and sits for a while, the condiments and spices will take on another note, so don’t get too heavy handed out of the gate.

6. Stir in a teaspoon of prepared mustard or a couple dashes of dry mustard, depending on what you have on hand. Depending on how many potatoes you are using, less is more until you get to the stage of fine tuning your flavors.

7. As you are going along, add a few shakes of vinegar and lemon juice. Any red, red wine or white vinegar is fine but steer away from cider vinegar unless you want appley potato salad.

8. Add a few shakes of parsley flakes, celery flakes (optional if you use fresh celery), cilantro flakes, red pepper flakes, basil, oregano and dill. If you can use fresh garden herbs (i.e., basil, chives, dill, cilantro, oregano, better yet, but they should be cut up fairly finely so you don’t get a big mouthful of weeds in every bite). Keep in mind that not everyone has all this on hand, so use what you have and the things that you like.

9. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste as you mix the entire salad. Refrigerate a couple hours if possible so the flavors of the herbs are absorbed into the potatoes. Potatoes take on flavor pretty easily over time, so if you don’t like the taste after letting the salad stand in the frig for a couple hours, you can certainly add more condiments and spice to bring it to the level you prefer.

Finding recipes on the internet always are quite fun to try. With so many people doing online seo and digital internet marketing you never know if the first one that shows up will be the best. So why not try the first 3 and see which one you like the most :)

I usually do the first 5 recipes I find on the internet and then post a review to my favorite recipe.

How To Cook Decadent Bread Pudding

If you had lived during the 11th or 12th century, you would have grown up with a much different dessert than we have become accustomed to. Back in the day bread pudding was a dish of convenience. Generally, cooks hated to waste anything in the kitchen and came up with many ingenious ideas. Faced with many loaves of stale bread in the kitchen, bread pudding was born.

Over the years, bread pudding has had a complete makeover. While this humble dessert will always be known as comfort food, it does so in style. Bread pudding can be found in some of the hottest and trendiest restaurants around the world. Like so many desserts we discover in a fabulous restaurant we want to get the recipe, so we can prepare it at home. Unfortunately, there are so many endless recipe possibilities there can be no one definite recipe. In fact after a quick search I discovered Portia Little, who has been dubbed the “Bread Pudding Queen”. Portia always considered bread pudding to be the ultimate comfort food, and soon amassed well over 1,000 recipes for bread pudding!

With so many variations available you are just going to have to experiment in the kitchen. We will lay the foundation with a recipe for what we consider to be the best bread pudding, we think you will agree.

Ingredients Needed For Basic Bread Pudding:

Two Cups Of Granulated Sugar

Five Large Beaten Eggs

Two Cups Of Milk

Two Teaspoons Of Pure Vanilla Extract

Three Cups Of Stale Italian Bread

One and a Half Cups Of Light Brown Sugar

A Half Of Stick Of Softened Butter

One Cup Of Freshly Chopped Pecans

Ingredients Needed For Sauce:

One Cup Of Granulated Sugar

One Stick Of Melted Butter

One Beaten Egg

Two Teaspoons Of Pure Vanilla Extract

A Fourth Cup Of Brandy

1. The first step in making this stunning dessert is to preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. While your oven is heating grease up a 13 by 9 by 2-inch pan.

2. In a large bowl combine your granulated sugar, eggs, vanilla, and milk. Pour this mixture over your cubed Italian bread and let it stand for ten minutes.

3. While the bread is soaking, combine the brown sugar, pecans, and butter.

4. Spread the contents from the first bowl into the greased pan. Now sprinkle that decadent brown sugar mix all over the top. Bake between 35 and 45 minutes, or until the bread pudding has set.

You can begin on creating this splendid sauce while your bread pudding is cooking or afterwards. It really doesn’t matter, and is just a matter of personal taste.

1. Mix together the granulated sugar, vanilla, egg, and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Continually stir until the sugar has melted.

2. Add your favorite brandy into the mix, and stir well.

3. Pour the sauce over your bread pudding, and enjoy this dessert either hot or cold.

This is a great comfort food that can be prepared as a dinner or dessert. It is a food that allows you to let your imagination go wild and explore new options. Explore the many ethnic variations and see how much fun bread can be!

HOW TO COOK ASIAN DUMPLINGS

Training yourself on how to make the Asian dumplings can be such an interesting act and a satisfactory feeling. Knowing how to cook Asian dumplings will therefore allow you the opportunity prepare your own dumplings and save you from buying the less tastier dumplings that are sold in the stores. Plus, you will always be presented with some ready made meals say in your freezer, for the next several weeks, that is depending with your rate of consumption, not to mention the fact that when you understand how to cook Asian dumplings, then you can always go beyond just the Asian ingredients and prepare even something that is more unique. Otherwise, to prepare Asian dumplings from scratch then you first need the following ingredients:

Ingredients:
1. About 4 cups all purpose flour,
2. Two cups water,
3. 1.5 cups minced pork,
4. 1/2 cup chopped shrimp,
5. 2 cups Napa cabbage,
6. 1 tsp ginger,
7. 1 tbsp green onion,
8. 1.5 tsp salt,
9. 2 tbsp soy sauce,
10. 2 tbsp cooking wine,
11. 1/3 tsp white pepper,
12. 1 tbsp sesame oil,
13. 1 tbsp vegetable oil,

Making the wrappers:
1. Mix the flour together with salt and with water all in a big bowl until you make one nice smooth dough by stirring the ingredients together.
2. Allow the dough to rest for about 10 minutes in order for the ingredients to settle together.
3. Place the dough on a clean flat surface then cut the dough into proportionate pieces for the dumplings.
4. Make each circular wrappers by simply using your hand to pick up each piece of dough and then pounding it on the board to roll it into small circular discs of about 7.5 cm in diameter.
5.You can therefore either store the wrappers in a fridge to keep them fresh as you get to make your fillings or simply freeze them to keep them for a long period of time.

Making the filings:
1. Shred into pieces the cabbages and put them into a stainless pot and add a dash of salt to it , in order to allow salt to soak the excess moisture from the dumplings.
2.Mix the cabbage together with the minced meat using your hand until they are properly and thoroughly blended.You can use your most preferred meat whether turkey, mutton, pork beef or chicken meat.
3. Add together the remaining filling ingredients into the bowl and continue mixing until they are thoroughly mixed.
4.Massage and mix the cabbage contents with your hand for about 10 minutes to help dry out the mixture a little further.You can always add some more vegetable oils if you feel more is required.
5. Now scoop the fillings using a spoon onto every wrapper.
6. Fold the sides of the wrapper together by wetting the edge of the wrapper with a damp finger while crimpling together the dough with your fingers to seal the contents inside the wrapper.
7.Now place the wrapped dumplings on a floured surface to keep from then from sticking to the surface even as you prepare them for boiling or for frying.

Boiling or fry the dumplings:
1. Put the dumplings either inside boiling water or in a heated cooking oil and cook the dumplings thoroughly for about 10 minutes or fry them for at least 2 to 3 minutes until they are golden brown.
2.Carefully transfer the dumplings from the pot onto the plate.
3. Serve the tasty dumplings while warm to enjoy them with a deep sauce of your choice.

How To Bake Cookies With Messages: A Step Above Basic

From the popular chocolate chip cookie to the rougher texture of oatmeal based chippers, there’s a cookie type out there for nearly every taste and preference. The main aspects of any cookie can be tweaked depending on what qualities the end product should have. Each step in a recipe can either be followed to a “T” or changed slightly to improve the recipe. Listed below are the basic steps with some suggestions of how simple tweaks can change the end product.

1. Choose a recipe
There are a lot of recipes out there, but everyone who sets out to bake cookies already has a set idea of what they want. Narrow down the type of cookie, then go in search for a recipe that not only matches that cookie type, but includes the desired characteristics of the end product. Some common characteristics are density, texture, flavor additives, sweetness, and various dietary or health concerns such as gluten free. If the base recipe is designed for or similar to the desired characteristics, fewer changes need to be made, making the whole process much easier.

2. Gather ingredients and tools
For simplicity and ease for later steps in the process, gather all the ingredients and set them in a clean area. Ingredients and tools vary depending on the recipe. Must have tools include a mixing utensil (whether a simple fork, wooden spoon, electric mixer, or spatula depends on individual preference), at least two bowls large enough to hold the ingredients while mixing, and a baking sheet. A cooling rack is not necessary, but can be very helpful. Some cookie recipes call for rolling and cutting, in which case a rolling pin is a good idea.

Ingredients are determined by the recipe. Always ensure there is enough of each ingredient before starting. Plan ahead if any changes to the recipe ingredients are made and gather accordingly.

3. Set the oven temperature
Sett the oven temperature before mixing the ingredients. Here, tweaking the temperature up or down affects baking time, thickness, and crispiness. Adjusting the temperature up leads to lower cook times (watch them carefully the first batch to determine the appropriate time without burning) and a thicker, chewier cookie. Adjusting down leads to longer cook times and a thinner, crispier cookie. Keep in mind the crisp cookies, when not over-cooked, will still be soft when they first come out. Crispiness sets in after they cool. A crisp cookie straight out of the oven is a burnt cookie.

Place the baking sheet (if not using foil) in the oven while it warms. Following batches after the first will be on a heated sheet, so having a preheated sheet will give consistent results.

4. Mix the ingredients
Always mix dry and wet ingredients separately. Dry ingredients first (not counting preferred flavors like chips, fruit, nuts, etc.), then wet in a separate bowl. Unless the recipe specifically states otherwise, cream the butter and sugar together.

Butter can be substituted with other fats such as margarine which affects texture and flavor. Butter gives more flavor and provides a thinner, crispier cookie. Butter temperature when beginning also affects texture as melted butter provides a flatter and greasier cookie that is more likely to be either undercooked in the middle or over-cooked. Sugars can also be substituted for dietary or health needs. Do research on the effects to your cookie recipe before substituting for better results.

After creaming, add in other wet ingredients one at a time (including eggs one at a time), mixing well in between. The longer you mix these items before adding dry ingredients, the fluffier your cookies will be. It is also possible to beat the eggs before adding them to the mixture to maximize fluffiness.

Add dry ingredient mixture a little at a time. Once the dough is a consistent texture throughout, fold in the flavor extras, folding and pressing the dough around and through them until they’re evenly distributed throughout the mixture.

5. Prepare the cookies
Follow recipe instructions concerning whether to spoon-drop or roll and cut cookie dough. Once prepared, remove the heated sheet from the oven and place on a heat-resistant surface. Carefully place the cookie mixture as prescribed by the recipe, using directed spacing. Most cookie recipes will require multiple batches. Cover the cookie dough while it waits. Avoid using paper or cloth if it’s going to actually touch the dough.

6. Bake
Place the sheet in the preheated oven. The center rack is ideal, though if multiple sheets are being used, setting the racks in third positions is good, as well. Keep a close eye on the first batch of cookies to avoid burning. The cookies are done when they are still slightly soft in the middle and a light golden color. The center may also be a lighter color than the edges. If previous steps have been done well, baking according to the edge color will work.

7. Cool and enjoy!
Carefully remove the sheet from the oven and let the cookies set for a minute or two before attempting to remove them to a cooling rack or other location. Allow the cookies to cool for approximately five more minutes, then enjoy. Using the time noted from the first batch, following batches should use similar time to bake. You can put unique text sms alerts on baked goods by using some very easy methods. Obviously, there is the usual of just using icing. However, these days they have items that are almost like those stick on tattoos we used to get as kids. You simply take the paper with the design or group text message add some water to the back of it, then place it on the cookie. Like magic your message or decoration appears on the baked good. Neat-o.

Steps To Baking The Perfect Potatoes Au Gratin!

The word “gratin” comes from the French word “gratter” which means “to scrape” or “to grate”. Gratin is a popular French culinary technique wherein the baked ingredients are topped with a golden brown crust which is usually prepared using bread crumbs, grated cheese or eggs. In French cuisine, potatoes are usually prepared using this technique. Potatoes Au Gratin is one of the most popular dishes of the French cuisine, and is also loved by many countries of Europe and North America.

Classic potatoes au gratin is prepared by placing the slices of boiled potato in a baking dish and sprinkling some cheese on it. It is then cooked in the over or under a grill until the cheese is browned and a crust is formed. This dish could serve as an amazing side dish to a pot roast or some roasted pork and beef. It is also a perfect dish for winter holidays, as you would absolutely love the warm creamy goodness on cold snowy nights.

In present time, many versions of this classic dish have been created. But nothing beats the original flavors of soft creamy potatoes with crispy cheese crust. Here I have a recipe that will not only preserve the traditional flavors of the French delight, potatoes au gratin, but will also elevate them.

INGREDIENTS: (serves 4)

4 potatoes sliced into 1/8 inch slices(You could use mandolin slicers to cut thin and even slices of potatoes)
1 onion sliced into thin rings
2 cups milk
1 tablespoon dried oregano or sage
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
4 tablespoons butter(salted or unsalted)
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup of bread crumbs( panko bread crumbs will also do)
1 and a half cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Directions to cook:

1. Firstly, preheat the oven to 200 degrees centigrade(400 degrees Fahrenheit). As we are using only 4 potatoes, take a medium size baking dish and butter it.

2. Place half of the sliced potatoes and onions at the bottom of the baking dish and arrange them in a layer. The add a layer of half of the cheddar cheese. Then layer the remaining potatoes. Sprinkle some salt and pepper.

3. Take a saucepan and melt the butter in it, at medium heat. Make sure it does not burn, as butter tends to brown pretty soon. After the butter has melted, add the garlic, flour and salt. (If you do not like the taste of garlic pieces in the mouth, then you could add some garlic powder later with the rosemary and oregano.) If you have used salted butter then add just 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Also add dried rosemary, oregano or sage. Stir for about 1 minute.

4. Pour in the milk. The milk should be at room temperature and not cold or very hot, as that could form lumps. Keep on stirring the mixture till it thickens. After the mixture has reached a creamy consistency, pour it into the baking dish, over the layers of potatoes and cheese, till it just covers the top layer. Cover the dish with aluminium foil. Bake for 1 hour in the preheated oven. (Note: stirring the liquid continuously is also very important to avoid any lumps. You could also blend the liquid using a blender once it’s done for a smoother texture.)

5. After 1 hour, remove the baking dish from the oven, and also remove the aluminum foil. Add the remaining cheddar cheese, parmesan cheese and the bread crumbs on the top. Drizzle just a little bit of olive oil and place it back into the oven. Bake uncovered for another 15-20 minutes till the golden brown crust is formed.

Your perfect potatoes au gratin is ready! The earthy and scented herbs will elevate the classic creamy flavors of cheese and potato and you would keep asking for more.