Christmas in our family is quite traditional, as far as dinner is concerned. Only one of the recipes in this post are new to us and our table. Even though any of our kids could recite what will be on the table, and who will be preparing it, it just wouldn’t be the same if we switched things up. We talk about it every year, but never do.
For the main courses are ham and turkey. My sister-in-law cooks the ham, and we grill the turkey at our house. I began grilling the turkey several years ago when I ran out of oven room. Grilling the turkey, I have found, yields the most moist white meat of any cooking method. It is very simple, a little butter, salt and pepper on and under the skin along with about 3/4 of an inch of stock in the pan. Covered then slow cooked with only the outside two burners on and in about 3 hours, a beautiful golden brown bird emerges!
For the Cranberry Sauce, I prepared a recipe first used at Thanksgiving. I found the recipe over at Recipe Girl and it is not only easy but blows the canned stuff out of the water. It is also great with a little butter on a biscuit or toast in the morning. I highly encourage trying this recipe.
Now, for the best part. Dessert. I made the Browned Butter Pecan Pie (that I made last month) from Cookie Madness, No Bake PB Oatmeal Cookies from well, anywhere, but I have my own recipe, a great sugar cookie (that I will post later), and our family tradition of “Angel Wings“. The Sour Cream Pound Cake, Spicy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, Pumpkin Bread, Pumpkin Pie and Apple Pie played an essential part of this holiday meal too. Needless to say, I have a TON of dessert leftover in the freezer.
It was a wonderful holiday but I must say that I am relieved that it is over. The pressure involved in food preparation and making three growing kids happy have worn me out. I am looking forward to having the rest of the week off and doing, well, nothing.
Happy New Year to all!
This is our favorite pumpkin bread recipe. Normally it bakes very well as a quick bread in a loaf pan, but I needed a large brunch size quantity. If you need a large volume of this quick bread, a Bundt pan is a great option for baking. The baking time was of course longer than a regular loaf pan, but it turned out wonderfully.
Here is the recipe and a link to my previous Pumpkin Bread recipe posts.
Pumpkin Bread (doubled for three 8″ pans)
- 3 cups + 4 Tbsp All Purpose Flour
- 3 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1 cup oil
- 4 eggs slightly beaten
- 2 Cups Canned Pumpkin
- 2/3 Cup Water
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare three 8″ loaf pans with baking spray.
Sift together dry ingredients, set aside.
Beat together eggs, oil, water and pumpkin. Make a well in dry ingredients and add wet mixture. Stir with spoon just until all ingredients are wet. Pour into greased pan(s), fill pan 2/3 full.
Bake for 1 hour or until toothpick comes out clean. (mine took exactly one hour)
Makes three 8″ loafs.
It’s a good thing the recipe turned out, because the event for which the muffins were made was a flop…today at least. This week some good friends of ours had a dream come to life. Unable (to this point) to have children, they were blessed to adopt a newborn. The entire thing was a miracle.
Her baby shower was brunch style and I was asked to bring muffins. I narrowed my choices down and settled on a recipe from King Arthur Flour. With over 125 rave reviews, I was sure it would please. The shower began at 10 a.m. and the muffins came out of the oven at 9:45. I rushed to get my teenage daughter (think Saturday morning sleep in) out of bed and ready, then we headed out. When we arrived at the shower location no one was there. We searched around… nothing. I started calling friends and of course no one answered. Finally, on about the 5th call I reached someone. I was in the right spot for the shower and at the correct time… just a week early. Fail. LOL So my grouchy teenager and I headed home, warm muffins in hand. I still can’t believe I went through the whole morning, baking and all, and had the wrong day. I’m still laughing over this one.
So to the recipe. It was quite easy to prepare and the ingredients are a regular staple in most pantries. They live up to thier name too – very doughnut like. Without even knowing the name of the recipe, my husband said “these are almost like doughnuts”. The KA recipe is for 12 regular size muffins, but on thier blog, “Baker’s Banter“, they prepare the mini’s. They are the perfect two bite size, quite reminiscent of the classic “munchkin” or donut hole.
Mini Doughnut Muffins (from King Arthur Flour)
- ¼ cup butter, softened
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1¼ teaspoons ground nutmeg
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 2/3 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- 1 cup milk
- 3 tablespoons melted butter
- 3 tablespoons cinnamon sugar
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Lightly grease a standard muffin tin. Or line with 12 paper or silicone muffin cups, and grease the cups with non-stick vegetable oil spray; this will ensure that they peel off the muffins nicely.
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, cream together the butter, vegetable oil, and sugars till smooth. Add the eggs, beating to combine. Stir in the baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, salt, and vanilla. Stir the flour into the butter mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour and making sure everything is thoroughly combined. Spoon the batter evenly into the prepared pan, filling the cups nearly full.
Bake the muffins for 15 to 17 minutes, or until they’re a pale golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the middle of one of the center muffins comes out clean. Remove them from the oven, and let them cool for a couple of minutes, or until you can handle them. While they’re cooling, melt the butter for the topping.
Use a pastry brush to paint the top of each muffin with the butter, then sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar. Or simply dip the tops of muffins into the melted butter, then roll in the cinnamon-sugar.
Serve warm, or cool on a rack and wrap airtight at room temperature.
Yield: 12 muffins. (* I prepared mini muffins and got about 32. I didn’t use muffin liners, just well greased the pan.)