Monthly Archives: December 2011

Terry’s Crown Ruby

Hope everyone’s holidays were wonderful. Thought I would bring you one last post before the year is out!

Not really a recipe, but this came from one of Mr Ginge’s hunting buddies, is absolutely delicious, and if you are looking for a last minute drink for the festivities tonight, this is a simple one.

Terry’s Crown Ruby

serves 1 but can be doubled or tripled as needed.

  • 1 oz Crown Royal or other whiskey (we like Crown Royal Black with this)
  • 4 oz Ruby Red Grapefruit juice ( if you can find it with Tangerine in it, use it!)

Mix together and serve over ice in  a rocks glass

Happy New Year!

Also, here’s a round up of this year’s most popular posts:

Mini Apple Crisp  Cookies

Double Chocolate Coconut and Almond Cookies

Santa’s Whiskers

Red Velvet Cheesecake Trifle

Monster Cookies

Individual Bacon and Cheddar Cheeseballs

Categories: Beverages | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Custard Cookies

In case you hadn’t noticed, it’s one week till Christmas and:

Custard Cookies 1 -GB

1) How on earth did we get here? I mean last time I checked we had just passed Thanksgiving. In Canada.

2) I have almost all my shopping, almost all my baking, almost all my cooking and almost all my wrapping done. Almost.

3) I never think I ever have enough holiday cookies made. Until I pull them all out. And then am utterly shocked at the sheer number that I end up with

4) Kids and the holidays are the absolute best.

5) Sometime the adults like Christmas toys as much as the kids.

6) I may have to spend the rest of my life on the treadmill.

7) These cookies are tasty.

I stumbles across this recipe from Bits of Sunshine, and fell in love with it right away ( by the way cutest blog EVER!) Not only are they super simple to make, but they offer a unique twist on a classic cookie. I highly recommend them if you are looking for a last minute holiday cookie!

custard cookies2- GB

Custard Cookies:

makes 3-4 dozen. Adapted from Bits of Sunshine

  • 1 c butter, softened
  • 1 c icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 c custard powder ( like Bird’s )
  • 2 c flour
  • 6 Tbsp cream or milk
  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar ( for some sparkle ;) )
  1. Preheat oven to 325° F
  2. Cream together the butter and the icing sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla.
  3. In a large bowl, sift together the custard powder and the flour.
  4. Gradually beat in flour mixture, alternating with cream.
  5. Roll dough in to 1 in balls, then roll into sugar. Press lightly with a fork on a cookie sheet.
  6. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Let cool for a couple minutes on the sheet then cool completely on a wire rack.

I love me a sparkly cookie. :)

- Mel

Categories: Cookies | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

Amarula French Toast

Sundays, Mr, Ginge and I do breakfast. Occasionally, we go out, but more often one of us gets up, brews some coffee and fixes breakfast.

Usually we stick to classics, like bacon and eggs or pancakes.

This week started as french toast. He was feeling like a “special-coffee” with his breakfast, and busted out the Amarula.

In a late-morning stroke of genius, some of the liqueur found its way in to our breakfast. And my goodness, what a thought it was.

I was quite literally drooling as it cooked.

If you are having guests over for the holidays, this would make a great addition to your brunch spread.

Amarula French Toast.

serves 4

  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1/3 c. Amarula or other cream liqueur ( we think Baileys would be pretty good as well)
  • 2 – 3 Tbsp milk or cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • 8 slices of bread
  • butter for pan.
  1. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Melt a teaspoon or so of butter to lightly grease.
  2. In a shallow bowl or dish, mix the eggs, Amarula, milk, vanilla and salt.
  3. Dip a couple slices of bread in the eggs, coating each side.
  4. Cook in the skillet, a couple minutes on each side, or until golden brown, adding butter between slices if needed.
  5. Serve immediately with a light dusting of icing sugar and some syrup. ( Mr. Ginge recommends a nice Canadian amber maple syrup)

Bon apetit!

-Mel

Categories: Sandwiches and Side Dishes | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Santa’s Whiskers

I have made a holiday discovery.

Fixing mangled lights on  pre-lit Christmas tree is not as simple of a task as it may seem. First, they are wrapped around those branches pretty good, so expect it to be a lengthy task. Second, you are almost guaranteed to find a tangled mess of lights waiting for you on the ground once you finally get them all off, so expect to spend the remainder of your night cursing at the ball of lights you are now trying to make sense of. Keep in mind as well that these strans of lights are not your typical strands of lights.

Then when you eventually manage to get them all straightened out, make sure you test each strand to make sure they work before you string them all back on the tree. Or you may end up like me where 4 of the 7 strings of lights you have just meticulously strung around the tree are out, not a one of them side by side.

Joy.

Lights are overrated, right?

These cookies were also a holiday discovery, however far more pleasant than the tree light fiasco of 2011. My mom found a similar recipe years back,made them, and loved them, but then later found out she lost the recipe. A  search online brought her no luck either. Then randomly one day while out shopping, I started flipping through a holiday cook book, when it was ripped from my hands, and mom pointed out this recipe.

I’ve tweaked the recipe to suit my taste,  but the flavor is exactly what Mom remembered

Santa’s Whiskers

adapted from Company’s Coming Most Loved Festive Baking

makes 50-60 cookies

  • 1 c butter, softened
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1 lg egg
  • 3/4 c red and green cherries, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • about a cup of flaked coconut
  1. In a large bowl, cream together your butter and sugar, until light and fluffy.
  2. Beat in the egg and the milk. Stir in the chopped cherries.
  3. Gradually add in the flour. Once combined and you have a nice dough, stir in the pecans
  4. Divide the dough in to two, then roll into 2″ logs (5 cm). Roll the log in the coconut, then wrap in plastic wrap and chill for a couple hours or overnight.
  5. When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°F.
  6. Slice the dough into 1/4 ” (6mm) and place them on a cookie sheet.Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the coconut on the edges start to brown. Let cool a few minutes on the sheet.
  7. Move to a wire rack, and let cool completely.

You can make the dough a couple days in advance, and the cooled cookies freeze wonderfully.

Enjoy!

-Mel

Categories: Cookies | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

My All-Time Favorite Christmas Movies

December 1st marks the first official day that, growing up, we were allowed to start watching holiday movies. it was the official start to the holiday season. First day for advent calendars, and first day we could bust out the Christmas classics. And while no I am one of those people who have their Christmas trees up mid-November and can be heard humming Christmas carols in July, this is one traditions I have always stuck to. It’s officially the holidays when the movie are busted out.

There a few favorites that I watch (several times) every year, and without them it just doesn’t feel like Christmas.I have listed below  my absolute favorites. Yes I know many of them were made decades before I was born, however they are classics for a reason. So grab a cup of cocoa, a fleecy blanket and curl up by the Christmas tree with one of these movies.

In no particular order:

Disney’s Babes in Toyland: (1961)

I’m not really sure this is a holiday movie, but we always seemed to watch it during the holidays. Always. “March of the Toys” instant takes me back to childhood Christmas’s. And, now that I think of it, holiday shopping since that song always seems to b playing in the malls around this time of year.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas: (1966)

Not the Jim Carey version. The 1/2 hr christmas special that you watched so often that you can recite it of by heart. Boris Karloff is the greatest Grinch ( not really a grinch… but the Grinch… you know what I mean) of all time.  And yes, the book is indeed better, however I can’t help but read it in his voice.

Also, on a somewhat unrelated note, my sister’s childhood nickname was based on Cindy Lou Who. Yes, since she was two, and yes we’ve watched it that many times. The name still gets busted out around this time every year too.

White Christmas: (1954)

The Bing Crosby classic. I love the costumes, the music, the choreography ( speaking of which…. how did that guy pop out of the floor?) the music. I love everything about this movie.  Mom always wished ( probably still does, despite the fact that I can’t carry a tune…) that my sister and I would sing this song. Really, I just want the dress. :)

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeeer:(1964)

This one is my absolute favorite. I can not imagine a Christmas without Burl Ives as a snowman, Yukon Cornelius, the Island of Misfit Toys, or the Abominable Snow Monster of the North.

A Muppet Christmas Carol: (1992)

A lot more recent of a movie than some of the others, this is one of my favorite renditions of the Charles Dickens classic. That and doesn’t this song just put you in a great holiday mood? And really? who doesn’t love Kermit. :)

The Snowman : (1982)

I remember watching this in grade one, and it has stuck with me ever since. While not a classic like some of the others, it’s still one of my favorites. I love the soundtrack to it, and really how do your resist a story like where your backyard snowman flies you to he North Pole?

The Year without a Santa Claus:(1974)

Two words: Snow. Miser.

Santa Claus is Comin to Town: (1970)

The story of how Santa Claus came to be and how Burgermeister Meisterburger banned toys ( seriously, best villain name eer)Plus Fred Astaire narrates this one. And Santa is a ginger. ;)

A Charlie Brown Christmas: (1965)

This one is my Dad’s favorite holiday movie, and again Christmas isn’t quite Christmas until without it.  I desperately want a Charlie Brown Tree.

So there you have it. I could, and will likely think of five more in the next little while, but these ones are a Christmas must in my family.

Any Christmas specials that are a must watch in your family?

Categories: Misc. | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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