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Thread: Christmas Cooking and Baking

  1. #11
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    Those are good and buttery and the chocolate contrast is great. We just don't have them very often because I like those too much.Norm just agreed from across the room. He really has to watch his sugar intake.Cooking and baking the healthy way can be a challenge, but I like spoiling and pleasing the old man and the kids, just for Christmas and Thanksgiving. Moderation in all things.One of my grandkids is now old enough to say, "Granny, yours are the best cookies no, really.I always remind him that, "I happen to think your mom's are better,really.I found out that works well with him because he sees the justice in it.Besides,I've found out with my little chip-off-the-old-block junior, any cookie-jar in a cookie-storm will do.I like to give out cookie plates to some of the people that I work with and we're heading to E. Hartford this weekend to visit with my other half's family, they enjoy my cookies too. We have two nights in Foxwoods, but not sure yet if we'll be doing that. I'm a little tight with the bills and works slower then normal for him, it would be great to go to Mystic for an afternoon, but I know I'd be gambling too.Thanks.

  2. #12
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    My wife has taken to blowing up my kitchen with this white floury-buttery stuff. And I say "my kitchen" because I'm the cook. Sadly, I cannot bake so I just have to watch as all my spices and supplies get put back in the wrong spot. Mise en place...uh no.

    I tend to forgive her when the end result are cake balls or lucia buns.

  3. #13
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    We drove up to Mystic, had lunch at Go Fish. Now we are at Foxwoods for two nights... Hopefully I'll win something....

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by KathyC View Post
    We drove up to Mystic, had lunch at Go Fish. Now we are at Foxwoods for two nights... Hopefully I'll win something....
    Hit it big for all of us Kathy

    What a great Christmas present that would be for you!!!!

    ____________
    Anna

  5. #15
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    Our family tradition is gathering all of my wife's family at our house on Christmas Eve. With parents, sisters, their kids, kids spouses and grandkids it's around 30 or so people. Everyone cooks and bakes and there's enough food for an army. After dinner we do a present exchange that for the last couple of years has been a Yankee swap. We're so lucky that all of the family still lives within a 50 mile or so radius and gets together frequently. It's even more of a blessing for me since virtually all of my family with the exception of a few cousins that I rarely see are gone. I couldn't have found a better family all those years ago to become a part of and the time together with them at the holiday is one of my favorite things of the year.
    Mark

    Keep close to Nature's heart...
    and break clear away, once in awhile,
    and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods.
    Wash your spirit clean. - John Muir


    Hiking photos: http://picasaweb.google.com/mtruman42
    Hiking Blog: http://theramblingsblog.blogspot.com/
    Seek the 2011 Peak page: Mark Truman's Pledge Page

  6. #16
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    My grandmother used to make pierogies for Christmas all the time. I miss her

    Our family is Ukranian/Lithuanian on my mom's side, so we had all of the traditional Polish/Russian type foods.

    I did find a place in Manchester, NH (Bartlett Street Superette) that is a Polish bakery/deli. They get their pierogies in from Boston, and they sell out for all of the holidays, but they're good (a little pricey). They also have a great selection of sausages. There's a skinny one that you just cut up for appetizers (I like to dip mine in Kosciusko mustard).

    Ah, brings back memories...

    btw: I'm looking for a good pierogie recipe as well (and a friend of mine from Waco, TX is going to show me how to make sausage & cheese kolaches. I used to get those at the Czech Stop in West, TX)

    Kirk

  7. #17
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    I made a vegan pumpkin soup for T-day, gonna repeat that for Christmas Eve-Dec 26th.

    That is the extent of the culinary skills for now, ha.

  8. #18
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    I'll see if I could pull some kind of recipe and post it in here. I also have some cookie ones that I made this year, they came out great!!!

    Just not that much time to post today, lots to do...

  9. #19
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    Pierogi recipe, as best that I could write down:

    Started with 4 cups flour, we used Pillsbury bleached and we sift it first.

    2 cups of luke warm tap water.

    2 Eggs

    Tsp. Salt

    1/2 Tsp. white vinegar

    1/2 tsp. vegetable oil.

    We put the flour in the bowl then slowly added the water with it, then just add the other ingredients. You watch the dough, it has to become almost elastic. Add more flour and water until it does this, it can't be too dry or too sticky. It came cleanly off of the dough hook.

    I put the dough on the what my Mom calls a noodle board, flouring it first so it doesn't stick, any clean surface would do. I kneaded the dough for about 10 minutes, it may take longer. You can still add more water and flour if you need. The consistency of the dough should feel more spongy then rubbery, not sure if that helps. By this time it should not really be sticking to the surface.

    You can cut the dough into 4 or 6 sections, depending on how much you want to roll out at a time.

    Roll them into dough balls or disks and best to put on a non stick surface, we use parchment paper, always lightly floured. Cover the dough with more paper, a sprinkle of a little bit more flour on top to prevent sticking and then a cloth or towel to keep it warm, cover completely, maybe a half hour or an hour so the dough will set.

    Flour your surface and then roll out, if sticking to the board, then keep lightly flouring the surface and some on the dough and rolling pin. The dough should be fairly easy to roll out, coming back at you as you roll, like elastic, but keep rolling until you can handle. You should roll to about 1/2 of a 1/4 inch, not sure what that measurement is, like you were making butter or sugar cookie cut outs.

    We have a 2 3/4 disk that we use to cut out the circles, but you can use the top of a drinking glass or whatever your find that works, always dip in flour to prevent sticking. Cut your circles, pick up the scraps and put back under the cloth. The longer the dough is in the air, it gets tougher to work with. You can use the scraps later to make more.

    Pick up the circles, stretch slightly in your hands, fill and crimp together tightly. You take use a fork on the ends just slightly to seal together, do not poke the dough part where the filling is though. They will break open while cooking.

    Make your pierogis and we put them on a slightly floured surface until ready to cook.

    Have a big pot of water to a boil, the water should have salt in it and some veggie oil. Add your pierogis, maybe 1 and a half to two doz. at a time to boil, not too many at a time. We boiled for 20 to 30 min. Lower the flame, you want the water bubbly, but not over boil, they will break. Stir the pot slowly a few times to move them around.

    Scoop each one out with a straining spoon and put into a bowl of cold water, this will stop the cooking process. Leave in there about 10 min. then place in a bowl or surface to cool and dry off. If you pack them wet, they will stick together. You have to be delicate with each one or they will break. Now is a great time to taste test!!

    We filled with potato, cheese, kraut and blueberry.

    The potatoes are boiled and mashed up with browned onion, salt, bacon bits and little paprika. But you can make any way you want to.

    The cheese, we used four packages of farmer cheese, two egg yolks, salt and some farina mixed in to absorb the extra moisture.

    Kraut, we wash and boil. Then try to squeeze out all the moisture, cut up then add browned onion onion and if you want some bacon.

    The blue berries are just plain, no sugar added. But they have to be washed and very dry when using. These are tricky because they roll out of the dough.

    Any filling you use, has to be dry, because the moisture will mix with the dough, they won't seal and break open.

    We used a kitchen aid mixer with a dough hook to start. My Mom used to do this all by hand.

    Next time I make these ( not for a while though ), I will take pictures as I go along and post them.

    Good luck to anyone who wants to give it a shot, it's best to have two people working together, it goes quicker.

  10. #20
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    I'm so pleased that you found the time to give your precious recipe out to the rest of us . . . I, for one, am fascinated, and can't wait to try these out. Not sure if I'll have time this weekend, but I'm saving this post and tucking it away for that cold January day that I need a cozy, warm, "homey" activity to do, while watching the snow fly by the window. (I'm hoping, of course, that we DO get some of those days!!!!) Thank you for your patience! It DID take a while to get through all those steps . . .
    . . . and being a long time baker, it DOES all make perfect sense . . . Can't wait!!

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