Christmas Eve
Christmas Eve
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Dore, Gustave
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La Belle Cuisine - More Favorite Recipes

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Fine Cuisine with Art Infusion

"To cook is to create. And to create well...
is an act of integrity, and faith."


Christmas with All the Trimmings



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"Christmas Eve was a night of song that wrapped itself about you like
a shawl. But it warmed more than your body. It warmed your heart...
filled it, too, with melody that would last forever."

Bess Streeter Aldrich (Song of Years)

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Three Christmas Snowmen
Three Christmas Snowmen
Photographic Print

McGuire, Jim
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Christmas Ornaments on Tree
Christmas Ornaments on Tree
Pam Ostrow
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Santa's Bounty
Santa's Bounty
Art Print

Abrams, Peggy
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Pere Noel
Pere Noel
Art Print

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Christmas Morning
Christmas Morning
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A View of a Christmas Tree Through a Window
View of a Christmas
Tree Through Window

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Nowitz, Richard
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Christmas Decor at Trump Tower, New York, New York, USA
Christmas Decor at Trump Tower,
New York, New York, USA
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Christmas Decorations, Christkindelsmarkt (Christmas Market), Nuremberg, Bavaria, Germany
Christmas Decorations, Christkindelsmarkt (Christmas Market), Nuremberg, Bavaria,
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Davies, Ethel
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Stonewall Kitchen, LLC
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Star Anise and Cinnamon Sticks in Wooden Bowl
Star Anise and Cinnamon...

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Floral Centerpiece with a Lit Christmas Tree in a Dining Room
Floral Centerpiece with a Lit Christmas Tree in a Dining Room
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La Belle Cuisine


Mary Margaret's Monkey Bread

1 cup milk
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 package dry yeast
3 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup butter, melted

Combine milk, 1/2 cup softened butter, sugar and salt in saucepan; heat
until butter melts. Cool mixture to 105-115 degrees F. Add yeast, stirring
until dissolved. Place flour in a large bowl. Add milk mixture and stir until
blended well. Cover and let rise in a warm place about 1 hour 20 minutes
or until doubled in bulk. Roll into 1 1/2-inch balls; dip each ball in melted butter. (At this point, you might also choose to roll each ball in chopped
nuts, sugar-spice mixture, etc. See Holiday Breakfast Bread below.)
Layer the balls of dough in a 10-inch Bundt or tube pan (a one-piece
tube pan). Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.
Bake 35 minutes at 375 degrees F. Cool in pan 5 minutes, then invert
onto serving plate.


Michele's Holiday Breakfast Bread

1  recipe Monkey Bread dough
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup pecan halves
a 6-ounce jar maraschino cherries,
well drained

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Make the Monkey Bread dough and let it rise. Melt 4 tablespoons butter
and brown sugar together and pour mixture into the bottom of a Bundt
pan. Add pecan halves and maraschino cherries. Melt 1/2 cup butter. Combine granulated sugar and cinnamon. Roll the dough into 1-inch balls,
dip each in the melted butter, then in the cinnamon-sugar mixture and
layer them in the Bundt pan. If desired, refrigerate overnight, covered
with a damp tea towel. Next morning place in warm, draft-free area and
let rise approximately 3 hours. Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees F. Let
cool 15 minutes and turn out onto serving plate. NOTE: Can make
dough into balls, freeze them, roll them while frozen in butter and
cinnamon-sugar; let rise about 12 hours at room temperature.)


Mary Margaret’s Scrambled Egg Casserole

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt or Cajun seasoning mix
1/8 teaspoon pepper (you can omit this if
you’re using Cajun seasoning)

1 cup grated Velveeta cheese
(Okay, so use some other cheese if
you’re not a fan of smoooooth)

1 cup chopped Canadian bacon or ham
1/2 cup chopped green onions
8 ounces fresh mushrooms, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons butter
1 dozen eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups buttered bread crumbs

In a saucepan, combine 2 tablespoons butter and the flour, blending
until smooth, cooking over low heat until bubbly. Gradually stir in the
milk. Cook until smooth and thickened, stirring constantly. Add the salt,
pepper, and cheese. Heat until cheese melts, stirring constantly. Set aside.
Sauté the Canadian bacon or ham, green onions and mushrooms in 3 tablespoons butter until vegetables are tender. Add the eggs. Cook until
set, stirring occasionally, to scramble. Fold in the cheese sauce. Spoon the
egg mixture into a lightly greased rectangular baking dish. Top with the buttered breadcrumbs and sprinkle with paprika. Bake at 350 degrees F
for 30 minutes. Serves 8. May be prepared ahead and refrigerated.
Remove from the refrigerator at least 1 hour before baking.


Peppercorn-and-Thyme-Roasted Goose

Charlie Trotter
Cooks at Home

by Charlie Trotter, © 2000,
Ten Speed Press, Berkeley


serves 4

3 tablespoons mixed cracked mixed black,
white, and green peppercorns

2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 whole goose (7 to 10 pounds), cleaned
Freshly ground black pepper

1 large yellow onion, quartered
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

To prepare the glaze: Stir together the cracked peppercorns, thyme
leaves, olive oil, and garlic in a small bowl and season with salt.

To prepare the goose
: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Season
the outside and inner cavity of the goose with salt and pepper. Brush
the glaze all over the outside of the goose, reserving any extra to use
for basting. Place the onions, carrots, and celery in a roasting pan and
place the goose on top of the vegetables. Roast for 2 to 2 1/2 hours,
basting occasionally with the remaining glaze and any drippings, until
golden brown and crispy and the juice from the cavity runs clear.
Remove the goose from the oven and let rest for 15 minutes
before carving.

To prepare the sauce
: Strain the pan drippings through a fine-mesh
sieve, remove the fat, and place the juices in a small saucepan over
medium heat. Whisk the butter into the meat juices, add the chopped
thyme, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Carve the goose and
serve with the pan sauce.

Insights:  Goose is a nice alternative to turkey. It is all dark meat with rich,
buttery flesh and is fattier than turkey. This goose would go well with all of
your traditional holiday dishes.


Michele's Creamed Onions and Mushrooms

2 pounds small white onions, peeled
1 1/2 pounds whole button mushrooms
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup white wine
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 teaspoons seasoned salt
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3 cups milk

Steam the onions about 30 minutes, or until just tender. Meanwhile,
sauté the mushrooms in 2 tablespoons butter until just tender. Deglaze
with white wine and reduce until most of the liquid has evaporated.
In a large heavy saucepan melt 6 tablespoons unsalted butter. Blend
in the flour, seasoned salt, paprika and nutmeg. Cook for several
minutes, stirring constantly. Gradually add the milk, continuing to stir
constantly. Cook over low heat until thickened, stirring occasionally.
Add the well-drained onions and the mushrooms to the sauce,
combining gently just until heated through. Excellent! Serves 8.


Gigi's Favorite Christmas Salad

Retro to the max!

1 small package lemon Jell-O
Juice from draining pineapple plus water to
equal 1 cup if necessary, brought to a boil
One 1-pound-4-ounce-can crushed
pineapple (approx. 2 1/2 cups),
drained, reserving juice
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup heavy cream
Red maraschino cherries
Green maraschino cherries
Walnut halves

Dissolve Jell-O in boiling juice and water, stirring to dissolve. Cool
and let set to a soft stage in the refrigerator.
In the meantime, whip the heavy cream in a small bowl. In another
small bowl, beat the softened cream cheese until it is very smooth. Add
the cream cheese and whipped cream to Jell-O. Fold in the well-drained
crushed pineapple. Arrange well-drained cherries and walnut halves in
a decorative mold and carefully pour Jell-o mixture on top. Refrigerate
until set.


Christmas Lane Cake
Bon Appétit December 1999

Bon Appetit - One Year Subscription 

Dried cherries and apricots highlight this
impressive version of a southern classic.

3 1/4 cups sifted all purpose flour
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter,
room temperature
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup whole milk
8 large egg whites

3/4 cup bourbon
3/4 cup dried tart cherries
3/4 cup finely chopped dried apricots
8 large egg yolks
1 1/3 cups sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter,
room temperature
1 cup pecans, toasted, chopped
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
4 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened)
or semisweet chocolate, chopped

1 1/2 3-ounce packages cream cheese,
room temperature
3/4 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons bourbon
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups chilled whipping cream
Pecan halves (optional)
Dried apricot halves

For cake: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter and flour four 9-inch-
diameter cake pans with 1 1/2-inch-high sides. Line pans with waxed
paper. Sift first 4 ingredients into medium bowl. Beat butter and 1 1/2
cups sugar in large bowl until smooth. Beat in vanilla. Beat in flour
mixture in 3 additions alternately with milk in 2 additions. Using clean
dry beaters, beat whites in another large bowl until soft peaks form.
Gradually add remaining 1/2 cup sugar, beating until whites are stiff but
not dry. Fold 1/3 of whites into butter mixture. Fold in remaining whites
in 2 additions. Divide batter among pans (batter will be about 1/2 inch
deep). Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about
20 minutes. Turn cakes out onto racks; peel off paper. Cool completely.
For filling
: Mix bourbon, cherries and apricots in small bowl. Cover; let
stand at room temperature until most of bourbon is absorbed and fruit
softens, at least 3 hours and up to 1 day. Using electric mixer, beat yolks
and sugar in medium bowl until mixture falls in heavy ribbon when beaters
are lifted, about 5 minutes. Beat in butter. Transfer yolk mixture to heavy medium saucepan. Stir over medium-low heat until thermometer registers
160 degrees F and mixture is thick, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat;
mix in nuts, coconut and fruit mixture. Chill until cold, about 4 hours. Mix
in chocolate. (Cake layers and filling can be made 1 day ahead. Wrap
cakes; store at room temperature. Cover filling; chill.)
Place 1 cake layer on platter. Spread with 1/3 of filling. Repeat layering of
cake and filling 2 more times. Top with final cake layer, pressing slightly.
Chill cake.
For frosting
: Beat cream cheese and 1/4 cup powdered sugar in medium bowl until smooth. Beat in bourbon and vanilla. Beat cream and 1/2 cup powdered sugar in large bowl until soft peaks form. Add cream cheese mixture to whipped cream; beat until stiff enough to spread. Spread
frosting over top and sides of cake. If desired, place pecans around edge
of cake. Using rolling pin, flatten apricot halves between sheets of plastic
wrap. Cut out leaf shapes. Arrange on cake. (Can be made 2 days ahead.
Cover with cake dome; chill.) Makes 10 to 12 servings.


Old Dominion Pound Cake

In our family Christmas simply would not
be Christmas without this special cake.

8 large eggs, separated
2 1/4 cups sifted flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter,
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
a pinch of salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
Sifted confectioner's sugar

On the day before serving: Let the eggs stand at room temperature at least
1 hour. Meanwhile, butter well, then flour a heavy 10-inch Bundt cake pan.
In a medium bowl sift together flour, soda and 1 1/4 cups sugar. Preheat
oven to 325 degrees F. In a large bowl with electric mixer at low speed, just barely blend butter with flour mixture, then with lemon juice and vanilla.
Still at low speed, beat in the egg yolks, one at a time, just until blended.
In another large bowl with mixer at high speed, beat egg whites until frothy;
add salt and cream of tartar and gradually add 1 cup sugar. Continue beating until soft peaks form. Gently fold the beaten egg white mixture into the
batter. This will be easier if you start with about one third of the egg whites
to lighten the batter and then gently fold in the rest. Turn the batter into the prepared cake pan. Gently cut through the batter once or twice with a
rubber spatula. Bake for 1 1/2 hours or until the cake tests done. DO
Turn the oven off and let cake remain in oven 15 minutes. Then remove
to a wire rack and allow it to cool 15 minutes longer. Remove the cake from baking pan and allow to finish cooling on the rack. Wrap the cake in plastic wrap or foil and store it until the next day to allow it to set and the flavor to develop. Just before serving, sift confectioner's sugar over top of cake.


Michele's Cocoons

2 2/3 cups sifted flour
1 2/3 cups lightly toasted pecans or
unblanched almonds, finely ground
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup butter, softened
2 egg yolks
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup vanilla sugar *

* Vanilla Sugar - Place 2 vanilla beans and 1 pound confectioner's
sugar in canister and let stand at least 1 week for flavor to develop

Process pecans in food processor. Combine them with flour and granulated sugar in a large bowl. Using a pastry cutter, blend in the butter, in pieces,
until combined well. Knead in egg yolks (room temperature) and vanilla.
Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate it until it is firm enough to
handle easily.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly grease baking sheets or line them
with parchment paper. Pinch off walnut-size pieces of dough and roll
them into a ball between your palms. Then roll them out lengthwise to
form an oval cocoon. Place the cocoons about 1 1/2 inches apart on
prepared sheets. Bake cocoons until they are firm to the touch and just beginning to color, about 20 minutes. Cool cookies on baking sheets for
3 minutes, then place them carefully on cooling rack and sprinkle them
with vanilla sugar. When cookies are cool, roll them in vanilla sugar.
Store cookies in an airtight container. They melt in your mouth!


Mammy's Divinity

2 egg whites
4 cups granulated sugar
1 cup boiling water
1 cup white Karo syrup
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups chopped nuts

Butter a rectangular glass dish (either 9-by-13 inches, or 7-by-11 inches, depending on how thick you want the candy). In a large bowl beat the egg
whites until they hold stiff peaks. In a medium-size heavy saucepan, boil
the sugar, water and Karo syrup until mixture reaches the soft ball stage
(234 degrees F. on a candy thermometer). Then beat this mixture VERY SLOWLY into the stiffly beaten egg whites. Continue beating until the
glossy mixture turns dull. Then quickly fold in the chopped nuts. The
candy will set up very fast at this stage. Pour the candy into the prepared
dish. Allow to cool thoroughly before cutting. This divinity is somewhat
softer than other recipes because that’s the way my grandmother liked it!
If you prefer a harder Divinity, simply cook the sugar mixture to the hard
ball stage (about 240 degrees F.) Also, many cooks prefer "drop" Divinity.
If that’s the case, then definitely cook to the hard ball stage and drop with
a spoon onto waxed paper. You must do this quickly or the candy will be
too thick to drop. If that should happen, just beat in a bit of boiling water.

Note: I like to add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract just before stirring in the
nuts. Also, be aware that this recipe will not do well on a humid day and
is practically impossible on a rainy day. If you live in South Louisiana,
as I do, this could be a challenge!


Mammy's Spiced Tea

This wonderfully aromatic tea has been a family tradition on Christmas
Eve ever since I can remember. It keeps well in the refrigerator and
can be reheated. If you are curious about other cherished Christmas
traditions in our family, please have a look at Christmas Past!

1/2 cup tea leaves
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 cups cold water
2 cups (or less) sugar
1 cup orange juice
2/3 cup lemon juice
12 cups boiling water

Tie the loose tea and spices in separate bags. In a large non-reactive
saucepan mix cold water and sugar and put in spice bag. Boil 10 minutes.
Pour into boiling water, add tea bag and steep 5 minutes. Remove both
bags. Add juices. Enjoy!


Click below for more favorite
Christmas Recipes!

Chef Keegan's Crab and Mushroom Bisque
New Orleans Oyster and Artichoke Soup
Petite Marmite (The Christmas Soup)

Georgene's Fluffy Rolls
Hoppin' John's Icebox Rolls
Beef Wellington with Madeira Sauce
Dad's Perfect Prime Rib
Emeril's Funky Brined Turkey
Monte's Ham
Nigella's Ham in Coca-Cola
Side Dishes:
Absolutely AWESOME Holiday Sides!
Oyster Dressing "Grand-Mere"
Peas, Mushrooms and Onions, Creamed
Potato, Leek, Gruyere and
Oyster Mushroom Gratin

Roasted Beets with Walnut
Gorgonzola Dressing

To stuff, or not to stuff
Sweet Stuff!
Ambrosia Cake (Marcelle Bienvenu)
Christmas Ambrosia
Christmas Candy Collection
Christmas Cookie Collection
Christmas Trifle Recipes 
Christmas Truffles
Cream Cheese Squares
Eggnog Cheesecake
Gigi's French Apple Pie
Mary Margaret’s Coconut Pineapple Cake
Michele's Cherry Pie
Michele's Christmas Mincemeat Cake
Mrs. Eisenhower's Fudge
New Orleans Christmas Cookies
Poppy Seed Quick Bread
Spago's Old-Fashioned Apple Pie
Stollen (Martha Stewart)

Holiday Central! 
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