Posts Tagged 'Christmas'

Cranberrry sauce – not just for turkey

On my way to Spain to finish up my Master’s degree, I fell prey to one of my great weaknesses: buying everything in sight at the airport.  When you travel alone internationally, you really don’t have many other choices.  You are required to show up hours early then wander around the terminals amidst happy displays of tourist gear and snacks, bars and miniature shopping centers.  So I’ve now started budgeting my time in the airport into my travel spending plans.  Know thyself.

This time around, I impulse bought the Gourmet Magazine Holiday Special.  I was in love with Gourmet Magazine, then they shut down.  So when I saw that familiar calligraphy on the stand while I bought my anti-ear-squeeze gum for the plane, I snatched it up without an ounce of remorse.  Totally worth it.  It’s a compendium of holiday favorites from years past, and since I came to the game late, a lot of the recipes are new to me, though not all.

One of the recipes was for a delicious eggnog and cranberry cheesecake, which I attempted as my first every cheesecake.  Visually, it was a disaster.  But the flavor came out so beautifully, it’s already queued up as my next attempt – I’ll post it then.  But what did come out beautifully was the cranberry jam component, which ended up doing double duty as our cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving.  It was so good, I snatched up the cranberries when they went on sale to stick in the freezer for future batches.  I did jazz it up ever so slightly, but this is a soul-warmingly good balance of tart and sweet and perfect for any winter table, holiday feast or otherwise.

cranberry sauce-2

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Christmas Sephilly Cheesesteaks

If they gave awards for ridiculously belated blogging, I may actually win a prize for this one.  I am writing you today on behalf of my Christmas Eve 2011 feast.  That’s right. Deal with it. I explained before that I got eaten up by my Master’s program, and the last few miniscule crumbs left on the plate were parsimoniously eked out to my friends.  Random internet strangers who find my blog through search engines were left to rummage through my archives, if they managed to stumble across me.  To those of you who actually follow my blog (there’s like ten or twelve of you now, and you guys are awesome.  Seriously, super flattered), I apologize rather insincerely and offer up the goods, finally.

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Extremely Multicultural Teacakes

It’s that time of the year again – cookie party time. This party/marathon of confectionery was my second abroad, though this year I was blessed with more backup: Dan and Erin, my fellow Americans.  Last year I flew mostly solo, so I didn’t take them for granted.  More important than their labor (which was nonetheless herculean)  was having my people around me to listen to Christmas music with and crack jokes in English.  Though we did take some time out for Curso dandalu (Curso de andaluz, the accent we live in now).

One and a half kilos of butter combined with only one lonely and hardworking cookie sheet can produce a shocking amount of cookies with enough time and patience.  And arm strength, since I still don’t have a stand mixer here in Spain – and probably never will since those cost upwards of 500 euros each.  I.e. most of my monthly salary.  We ended up with about 450 cookies: two batches of spritz, one batch of gingerbread, two batches of chocolate chip, two batches of oatmeal raisin (right off the top of the Quaker Oats lid, though my oats were bought from my miracle workers at the herbistoría), and of course, two batches of Swedish teacakes.

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Hey, I'm Desa. I've been bouncing between the Pacific Northwest and Sevilla, Spain in the last few years and from tiny apartment to tiny apartment. I cook mainly for one, which means some potentially boring meals, but here I'll be sharing the food that excites me. Feel free to offer suggestions, commiseration, or desires. And thanks for coming by!

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