Fab Food Friday Fotos: Winter Wonderland Deluxe Edition… Christmas Food Delights & Awesome, Frugal Holiday Recipes
Posted By Vicki McClure Davidson on December 14, 2012
“For centuries men have kept an appointment with Christmas. Christmas means fellowship, feasting, giving and receiving, a time of good cheer, home.”
~ W.J. Ronald Tucker
FOOD. GLORIOUS CHRISTMAS FOOD.
During this most holy, joyous, and beloved Christian holiday season, becoming frazzled and overwhelmed can suddenly hit. If the loss of a loved one, loss of a job, or economic hardship has also slammed your family, the expectations and/or demands of the holiday season can be even more overwhelming, even more cheerless and depressing.
Don’t let that happen — take time out for yourself, remembering the reason for the season, the celebration of Jesus Christ’s birth. Don’t get swamped by all the commercialism. Cut back on expenses, simplify, and make time through the month to embrace those who are the most important to you. Christmas is about love and salvation and family and friends — it’s the sharing of laughter, creating memories, lending a hand to those less fortunate, counting your blessings, and of course, feasting together. Even if the food isn’t fancy or expensive, it can be festive and special. Any food made with love just tastes that much better.
So, for a bit, disconnect from the frenzy and activity and take a few minutes to sink back in your computer chair and scroll through this year’s Yuletide roundup of tantalizing Christmas/holiday food and drink photos and easy, delicious recipes. If you’ve not already done it, this holiday collection should be of help in planning some of your Christmas cooking and baking.
If you missed previous FCBZ Christmas and holiday party food photos and recipe posts, here are some links:
When they’re available, recipes and recipe links will accompany select “Fab Food Friday Fotos,” with a guarantee that at least one, if not more, thrift-minded recipe will always be included. Relax and kick back with a cup of a steaming beverage of your choice and enjoy this week’s edition of fabulous food and drink photos and recipes.
This unusual Christmas/holiday duck-stuffed mushrooms recipe was provided by photographer/cook Cayobo:
Duck Stuffed Mushrooms Recipe
* 6 Portabella Mushrooms – Reserve stems
* 1 cup cooked, medium diced Duck
* 2 large cloves finely minced Garlic
* 1 Tbs Vegetable Oil
* 2 Scallions – chopped whites
* 2 Tbs chopped roasted Almonds
1 * oz. Cream Cheese
* 4 oz Goat Cheese
* Pinch Paprika
* Salt and Pepper to taste
Remove stems from Mushrooms — cut off and remove end pieces and chop fine. Hollow mushrooms and reserve.
Sauté minced mushroom stems and garlic in oil, then add duck to heat but not recook.
Set aside to cool.
Preheat oven to 350 deg F. Coat baking pan with oil or cooking spray.
In mixing bowl, add Cream Cheese, Goat Cheese, Scallions, Roasted Almonds, Paprika, and cooled sautéed mixture.
Mix together completely. Salt and Pepper to taste. Remix.
Fill mushrooms with mixture, place in baking dish and bake for 20 minutes or until filling becomes bubbly or starts to brown. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.
Charming Christmas tea party display… photographer Daisy Bliss provided this summary:
Christmas Tea Party
My mother and I hosted a Christmas tea party in 2007.
There were mini cupcakes, home-made scones with clotted cream, lemon curd and jam, home-made tea fruitcake, and hollowed-out tomatoes with small Dutch shrimp and sauce.
We also included finger sandwiches with home-made tuna salad and cream cheese cucumber. We also made little wraps with smoked salmon, cream cheese, and a bit of lettuce.
The recipe for these delicious holiday eggnog cookies is posted at Patent and the Pantry.
Easy, quick, and thrifty soup to make — a warm, homey, and nutritious lunch or light dinner during the fattening holidays. Natural cooking with very few ingredients, perfect for those hectic days when you need quick, warm sustenance. Photographer/cook Lablascovegmenu wrote the directions in English and Spanish, and provided a few more recipe links to Spanish food sites:
Chard rice soup / Olleta de bledes vegana
Stir-fry onion, some Swiss chard, and potato into slices. Add three times more water than rice and some (already boiled) white beans. Boil 20 minutes.
Es sofregeix en una olla mitja ceba, una garba (manat) de bledes i una creïlla xicoteta tallada a trossos. Després s’afegeixen tres mesures d’aigua per una d’arròs i mig pot xicotet de fesols cuits. Es deixa bullir 20 minuts.
The recipe for this elegant, perfect-for-Christmas-dining chicken in red wine stew is posted at the Girl Interrupted Eating food blog, with this intro about coq au vin:
It’s all gone a bit french round here , but when the vegebox had a big bag of shallots and a box of chestnut mushrooms the first thing I thought was coq au vin. A chicken casserole characterised by simmered shallots and mushrooms floating in rich red wine sauce.
Best of all this casserole dish tastes like it has been cooked for hours, but actually only takes an hour in the oven, mostly due to the use of good homemade chicken stock and a full-bodied red wine.
You need some good crusty bread or mashed potatoes to soak up the juices, the shallots should become buttery soft, and the mushrooms ooze with cooking liquid. Any leftovers can be simmered down to make a rich pasta sauce, so it’s worth making more than you need.
This recipe actually works really well replacing the wine with cider – it may be sacrilege, but I would quite like to try it with a white wine too, just to see how it would turn out.
Photographer Roger Wollstadt provided this information about this traditional Danish Christmas dessert:
A kransekage (“ring cake”) at the Danish Club Christmas dinner in 2002. The dinner was at The Meadows Country Club in Sarasota, Florida. It was given to the lucky Danish Club member who found the almond in the rice pudding dessert (not me). Anne Haubrich baked it.
Kransekage is a traditional Danish cake at Christmas, weddings, and other festive occasions. It consists of several pastry rings. The main ingredients are almonds, sugar, and egg whites. It is also a Norwegian tradition (kransekake).
The Christmas mini Pavlova recipe provided by photographer/cook Alice Harold is no longer available, but this one at Taste.com.au should fit the bill.
Photographer/cook Pockafwye provided this easy sweet potatoes/Stilton cheese recipe:
Sweet Potatoes Baked with Stilton Cheese
A favorite dish of mine and my husband’s.
* 3 average-sized sweet potatoes or yams
* 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
* 4 ounces of good Stilton cheese
Preheat oven to 350º F.
Spray a baking dish with nonstck spray, or rub it with butter.
Peel and then slice the sweet potatoes thin.
Put a layer of sweet potatoes on the bottom of the baking dish. Crumble Stilton a sparse layer of cheese over them. A little goes a long way with this cheese, flavorwise.
Put down another layer of potatoes, then more cheese, until you run out of both.
Drop little pats of butter around on the top. Cover and bake for 45 minutes to an hour, or until the sweet potatoes are quite tender.
Photographer ShutterSparks provided this summary of these Guatemalan Christmas Tamales:
Are these big enough? Guatemalan tamales are big and wrapped in banana leaves, unlike Mexican tamales (or tamalitos) that are wrapped in corn husks. But these are huge! For scale, that’s a full size Corelle dinner plate.
This buttermilk praline with bacon (sigh) looks amazing and would be fabulous any time of year, not just for the holidays. The nuts used are rather expensive, so try to stock up whenever they go on sale. The recipe is posted by webmistress Julia with this intro at the awesome I Believe I Can Fry food blog:
Heading down to the beach (for us Alabama folks, that usually means Gulf Shores, or maybe over to Destin) on I-65 South, I always had to get off at the Fort Deposit exit and stop at Priester’s Pecans for some Fiddlesticks or one of their amazing pralines.
Pralines hail from 17th-century France, but the American version, a trademark of New Orleans, contains milk or cream, yielding a creamy, fudge-like texture. The French version uses almonds, where the American version uses pecans, plentiful (but still outrageously expensive this year!) in the South.
Buttermilk. Bacon. Pralines. Three things so incredibly Southern, finally put together into a perfect bite-sized treat. The tang of the buttermilk complements the salty bacon so incredibly well. You won’t be able to stop at just one; I promise.
Simple, vibrant Christmas hors doeuvres, made with fresh basil, bruchetta, tomatoes, and mozzarella on snack crackers. Photographer/cook Jacqueline W wrote this brief summary:
My sisters and my contribution to the Christmas feast. They went over quite well, there were only one or two left out of two cookie sheets full. Yum, I LOVE fresh basil!!
Recipe link for these drool-worthy chocolate balls is provided by photographer/cook KyleWiTh:
Chocolate Christmas Balls
Making Chocolate Balls at Christmas is a tradition in my family or at least my mother always has. Full recipe on my blog here: www.kylewith.com/2011/12/the-best-chocolate-christmas-balls
This chestnuts and Brussels sprouts side dish sounds divine — photographer/cook and illustrious webmistress Elana’s recipe link is here, and she wrote this amusing story about her festive, gluten-free veggie dish:
In the process of creating this recipe I cooked chestnuts in a variety of ways. I report here: do not bother with the boiling method. This manner of preparation entails the painstaking prying of many little nuts from their shells. During that process I felt like a squirrel –with a knife.
My favorite way, providing both ease and the tastiest results, is the pan roasting method. After you remove the chestnuts from the pan, remove the shells while they are still warm and with a little luck, there will be less prying.
I tested this gluten-free Thanksgiving side dish on my husband tonight. As he ate it, he repeatedly stated that he didn’t like chestnuts. At the end of dinner, after single-handedly devouring the chestnuts with Brussels sprouts, he conceded that maybe chestnuts aren’t so bad and that he might actually like them, as he cleared away the empty serving dish.
Three types of Christmas cookies here — Cocoa Crispy Marshmallow Treats (top), Bright-eyed Susans (right), Jam Thumbprints (left). Photographer/cook eclipse_etc shared the recipe for the Bright-eyed Susans:
Bright-eyed Susans Recipe
* 3/4 cup butter, softened
* 1/2 cup sugar
* 1 egg
* 1 teaspoon vanilla
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1 3/4 cups flour
* About 24 chocolate Nonpareils
Cream together butter and sugar until well mixed. Add egg, vanilla, and salt until blended. Sift in the flour and mix until blended.
Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour in refrigerator (not freezer).
Shape cookie dough into 1-inch balls; place about 2 inches apart onto an ungreased baking sheet.
Place a chocolate nonpareil on each cookie, flattening the cookie.*
Bake at 400°(F) for 8 to 10 minutes. Bake until set, but not brown.
Makes about 2 dozen cookies.
* Option: you can use Chocolate Stars or even Hershey Kisses if you can’t find nonpareils.
A bit of historic background on Nonpareils:
Nonpareils are a decorative confection of tiny balls made with sugar and starch, traditionally an opaque white but now available in many colors. Their origin is uncertain, but they may have evolved out of the pharmaceutical use of sugar, as they were a miniature version of comfits. The French name has been interpreted to mean they were “without equal” for intricate decoration of cakes, desserts, and other sweets, and the elaborate pièces montées constructed as table ornaments.
Photographer/cook The Bees provided the recipe for these unique orange gingersnaps:
Orange Gingersnaps Recipe
The orange rind adds subtlety to the gingery fire, and the little flecks of orange colour make this Christmas cookie extra festive.
This recipe is my own concoction; enjoy, but please give credit if you pass it along.
* 3/4 cup shortening
* 1 cup sugar, plus extra to roll the cookies in
* 1 egg
* 1/4 cup molasses
* 2 cups flour
* 2 tsp. baking soda
* 1/2 tsp. salt
* 1/3 tbsp. powdered ginger (to taste!)
* 1 tsp. cinnamon
* Grated rind of one orange, finely chopped (about 3-4 tbsp.)
Preheat oven to 350 deg F and grease cookie sheets.
Beat together the shortening and the sugar. Add the egg and beat until light and fluffy, then add the molasses. Stir in the dry ingredients and the orange rind, beating until smoothly blended.
Roll the dough into 1-inch balls, and roll each ball in sugar.
Place about 2 inches apart on the cookie sheets. Bake 10-12 minutes, until the cookies have spread and the tops have cracked. The cookies rise dramatically, and then collapse to leave the familiar flat cookie. For a flatter, denser cookie, bang the cookie sheet onto the counter/stovetop as you take it out of the oven. Let the cookies cool for a few moments, then remove them to cooling racks.
Brief description from photographer John Tolva:
The New Orleanian Burger
Blackened, cajun-seasoned burger, jalapeño peppers, chipotle mayo, cheddar cheese, and Paulina Meat Market cajun jerky on French bread.
Part of a “flight” of mini-burgers representing our roots — Chicago, Texas, New Orleans — served at Christmas dinner.
No recipe was included for this intriguing sweet, but I found a recipe at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that may have been the one used to make these Thai lime snowballs. If not, the recipe is close enough for rock ‘n roll.
Quick summary and recipe link provided by photographer/cook Belinda:
Vegan Roast / Seitan Roulade
We made this last year, but this time the stuffing included wild rice, roast mushrooms, caramelised onion, dried cranberries, and pecans.
Here’s the recipe I used.
Food photos selected and posted are credited and have Creative Commons-licensed content with some rights reserved for noncommercial purposes, unless otherwise noted.
Past three months of Fab Food Friday Fotos posts:
Slow Cooker Beef Stew, Turkey Hash, Pandowdy, Baked Chicken-Pork Meatballs, Hot & Sour Soup, GF Breakfast Bars, Tuna-Potato Cakes, Miso-Glazed Chicken, Cheesy Hash Brown Pizza, Beef Ribs, More Cheap Recipes
Rhubarb Compote with Greek Yoghurt, DIY Sonic Chicken Sandwich, Fried Garlic Rice, Roasted Veggie Enchiladas, Waldorf Salad, Mexican-Style Ham Fritatta, Onion Pizza, Udon Noodle Soup, Thai Beef Rolls, More Frugal Recipes
Cioppino, Chipotle Chicken Tacos, Horseradish, Chili, & Smoked Trout Pasta, Royal Cherry Cheese Cake, Spiral Pasta with Mushrooms, GF Sausage Balls, Eggs on Baby Spinach with Peas & Brie, Butterscotch Blondies, More Thrifty Recipes
Broccoli & Pecan Sauce, Bang Bang Chicken, Mocha Mousse, Black-Eyed Peas & Ham, Cheese Biscuits, Italian-Style Jícama-Cucumber Salad, Soups, Apple Cranberry Muffins, Red Curry Shrimp & Pineapple, & More Frugal Recipes
Green Zebra Gazpacho, Rice Pudding & Rhubarb, Crackly Fudgey Brownies, Gluten-Free Perfect Roasted Chicken, Soups & Salads, Cheesy Spinach Potatoes, GF Chocolate Strawberry Torte, Chile Rellenos, & More Thrifty Recipes
Sunday Chuck Roast, Chilaquiles Casserole, Asian Lentil Rice Wrap, Chocolate Streusel Banana Coffee Cake, Zucchini Gratin, Gluten-Free Walnut Apple Cake, Bacon & Leek Risotto, Mac & Cheese Nacho Bake, More Thrifty Recipes
Polish Zurek, Raw Okra Salad, Mini Chocolate Cupcakes, Steak with Cilantro Sauce, Gluten-Free Sesame Chicken, Corn & Seafood Jambalaya, Lebanese Lamb Stew, Tuna Croquettes, Collard Greens & Bacon, & More Frugal Recipes