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Hot Chocolate

6 oz bittersweet chocolate; broken into pieces
2 tablespoon sugar
2 cup boiling water
2 cup milk
1 cup half-and-half
2/3 cup kahlua or tia maria (optional)
1/2 cup whipping cream; whipped

Place chocolate and sugar in a heavy saucepan. Pour in boiling water. Stir with whisk until chocolate is melted. Cook, stirring occasionally, over low heat to simmering point, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Heat milk and Half and Half in a saucepan over low heat, just until bubbles form around edges. Slowly pour milk mixture into chocolate mixture, whisking until smooth. Simmer 5 minutes, then add liqueur. Beat cream until stiff. Ladle chocolate into mugs and top each with whipped cream. Makes 6 cups.

11 Ways For That Hot Chocolate Christmas Surprise

Peppermint Hot Chocolate: Spread marshmallow fluff on the rim of a mug and then dip the mug in crushed candy canes. Pour instant hot chocolate mix into the prepared mug, add water as directed and stir in 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract.

Mexican Hot Chocolate: Stir a generous pinch each of ground cinnamon and cayenne pepper into 1 mug of prepared instant hot chocolate. Garnish with cinnamon stick.

Malted Milk Hot Chocolate: Stir malted milk powder into 1 mug of prepared instant hot chocolate. Garnish with crushed Whoppers (optional).

Orange Hot Chocolate: Stir a splash of orange water or orange extract into 1 mug of prepared instant hot chocolate (optional). Garnish with whipped cream and finely grated orange peel.

Bourbon-Pecan Hot Chocolate: Soak pecan halves in bourbon for 15 minutes. Drain, reserving bourbon and pecans separately. Spike 1 mug of prepared instant hot chocolate with the bourbon, then thread pecan halves on a skewer and use as garnish.

Chai Hot Chocolate: Stir bottled chai tea latte concentrate into 1 mug of prepared instant hot chocolate. Garnish with freshly ground black pepper (optional).

Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate: Stir dulce de leche or other caramel sauce, plus a pinch of salt, into 1 mug of prepared instant hot chocolate. Top with whipped cream and a drizzle of dulce de leche.

Eggnog Hot Chocolate: Stir a splash of store-bought eggnog (or more if you really like it) into 1 mug of prepared instant hot chocolate. Sprinkle with freshly grated nutmeg.

Toasted Coconut Hot Chocolate: Stir cream of coconut into 1 mug of prepared instant hot chocolate. Top with whipped cream and toasted, sweetened shredded coconut.

Raspberry Hot Chocolate: Stir raspberry jam into 1 mug of prepared instant hot chocolate. Thread fresh raspberries on a skewer and use as garnish.

Pumpkin Spiced Hot Chocolate: Whisk 1 or 2 tablespoons canned pure pumpkin into 1 mug instant hot chocolate. Top with whipped cream and sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice.


To make a gallon of this eggnog will require a pound and a quarter of pulverized sugar, twelve fresh eggs, a quart of cognac, half a pint of champagne, two quarts of fresh milk, one quart of rich cream, and about a tablespoonful of powdered nutmeg. Mix these ingredients thoroughly, then incorporate with them the yolks of the dozen eggs that have been beaten to a froth. Stir persistently and steadily until the blend is perfect; pour the result into the well chilled punch bowl, and if you can procure some very old rum, add about three tablespoonfuls. Beat the white of the twelve eggs until very stiff, place this meringue on top of the eggnog, and you may feel reasonably assured that your guests will have no cause to complain about your mode of entertainment.
Recipe From: The New York Times, December 15th 1907

CranCherry Mulled Calm Wine

3 cups fruity red wine
1 cup apple cider
(For an alcohol-free version, replace wine with 2 cups cranberry juice and 2 cups apple cider)
2 1/2 tbsp Cherry Natural Calm
2 tbsp honey
2 cinnamon sticks
1 orange, juiced
4 whole cloves
3 star anise
Orange zest or peel for garnish

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan over a low heat. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Pour into mug and serve with an orange garnish.
* Please Drink Responsibly, The Cooking Inn

Christmas Coleslaw

2 cup green cabbage, shredded
2 cup red cabbage, shredded
1 each green pepper, grated
1 each red pepper, grated
1 each onion, red, grated
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup oil & vinegar dressing
2 each carrots, grated

Toss vegetables in a glass bowl. Combine mayonnaise and dressing and pour over and toss gently. Cover & chill overnight.
Note: This one is also good with a little heat, like some Pueblo Chilies and remember, these recipes are only a guide, use the quantities you like as well. As much or little as you want.

Christmas Stollen

1 cup milk
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pkg active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
5 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 cup finely chopped candied citron
1/2 cup finely chopped candied cherries
1 cup slivered almonds
1 grated rind of 1 lemon
1 cup seedless raisins
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2/3 cup sifted confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoon hot water

Pour milk into a saucepan. Heat to scalding. Turn off heat; stir in 1/2 cup of the granulated sugar and the salt. Let mixture cool to lukewarm. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in the 1/2 cup warm water; let mixture rest for 5 minutes. Pour lukewarm milk mixture into yeast solution. Stir in 1 cup of the flour. Beat dough with electric mixer or egg beater until smooth. Cover bowl with cloth towel; let dough rise in a warm place 1 hour and 30 minutes or until double in bulk.
Punch down dough in bowl; fold in citron, cherries, almonds, lemon rind and raisins. Add eggs, 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) of the softened butter and the nutmeg. Stir in 3 more cups flour; mix dough until smooth. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead, working in enough of remaining flour to make dough smooth and elastic. Divide dough into halves; roll each portion into an oval, about 1/2" thick.
In a small saucepan, melt remaining butter; brush it over ovals. In a small bowl, combine cinnamon with remaining 2 Tbsp granulated sugar; sprinkle mixture over ovals. Fold ovals in half, lengthwise. Place them on buttered baking sheet. Twist ends of each oval toward each other to form a crescent. Loosely cover ovals with wax paper and a cloth towel. Let Stollen rise in a warm place about 1 hour or until double in bulk.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake Stollen 45 minutes or until golden. In a small bowl, combine confectioners' sugar with enough of the hot water to make a thick icing. Dribble icing over hot Stollen; let Stollen cool before slicing. Makes 1 Stollen.

Norwegian Nog Christmas Bread

1 pkg active dry yeast
1/2 cup low-fat or regular eggnog, heated to 105 to 115°F
2 cup bread flour (to 2 1/4c)
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
4 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup dried currants or raisins
1/3 cup chopped candied fruit & rind
confectioners' sugar glaze

Combine yeast and eggnog in the bucket of a bread machine, stirring to dissolve yeast. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add 1 cup flour. Begin dough cycle, letting it run just long enough to mix dough. Stop cycle and leave mixture in bucket, covered, until it is light and puffy, about 1 hour.
Add 1 cup of the remaining flour, the cardamom, salt, egg, egg yolk and butter. Begin dough cycle. After dough is mixed and as it is still kneading, check the texture of the dough and add additional flour as needed, to make a soft, slightly sticky dough. Add currants and fruit as indicated in instruction manual. Complete dough cycle. When bread is cool, glaze if desired.
Note: If you prefer a traditional shape, the dough can be removed from the bread machine after the rising cycle. Shape dough into an oval, place it on a greased baking sheet, cover and let rise at room temperature for about 40 minutes. Brush the loaf with a glaze made from an egg yolk mixed with 1 tablespoon whipping cream; sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake in a heated 325°F oven until golden, 30 to 35 minutes.
Recipe From: Chicago Tribune, November 29, 1995

Confectioners' Sugar Glaze

1 cup confectioners' sugar,sifted
2 tablespoon orange juice

Combine sugar with 1 tablespoon orange juice. Add sufficient additioal orange juice to make a medium-thin glaze.

Christmas Pudding

24 california dried figs
1 1/2 cup milk
1 cup shortening
2 cup soft bread crumbs, - lightly packed; down
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoon quick-cooking tapioca
1 1/2 cup sifted all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon powdered allspice
1 teaspoon powdered cinnamon
1 teaspoon powdered cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup light molasses
1 cup chopped, walnut meats - (toasted)
3 egg whites

With scissors, snip stems from figs. Then snip figs into small pieces. Heat them in milk in top of double boiler until figs are soft (about 20 minutes). Remove from heat, stir figs thoroughly until mashed. Add shortening, bread crumbs, sugar and tapioca. Sift and measure flour, and sift again with other dry ingredients. Add with molasses and chopped walnuts. Fold in stiffly whipped egg whites. Turn into generously buttered 2-quart mold, cover tightly and steam, covered, for 3 hours on a rack in hot water that must come half-way up side of mold. Or steam in individual molds. Serve piping hot, with burning red candle on top. Deck with holly, and be generous with the hard sauce! Serves 8-10.

Christmas Toffee

2 cup sliced almonds (about 8 oz)
12 oz milk chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips (2 cups)
2 sticks (8-oz) butter, cut into bits
1 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

Preheat oven to 325°F. Spread out almonds on a baking sheet and bake, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Let cool.
Coarsely chop chocolate chips in food processor, pulsing on and off. Transfer to a medium bowl. In same processor bowl, coarsely chop almonds, pulsing on and off. Add to chocolate chips, tossing to combine. Spread half of mixture evenly over bottom of a well-greased 13-X-9-inch baking pan.
In a heavy medium saucepan, bring butter and brown sugar to a boil, stirring constantly, over medium heat. Cook 5-7 minutes, or until syrup in light golden-brown and just reaches the hard crack stage (300°F on a candy thermometer). At that point, a bit of syrup, when dropped into a bowl of ice water, should separate into threads that are hard and brittle.
Pour hot syrup evenly over nut mixture. Top with remaining nut mixture, smoothing and pressing down gently with a spatula. Refrigerate until toffee is set and chocolate is firm, about 1 1/2 hours. Cut into squares or irregular pieces. Store in a tightly covered container in refrigerator up to 2 weeks.
Recipe From: 365 Ways to Prepare for Christmas

Christmas Pepper Chutney

4 large red bell peppers diced
2 jalapeno peppers minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 cup light brown sugar packed
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger

Place all ingredients in a heavy saucepan. Cook until thickened. Makes 4 cups. This is good with poultry or pork.

Christmas Morning Scramble

1 lb sausage; browned and drained
6 slice whole wheat bread; cubed
3/4 cup cheddar cheese; shredded
1/2 cup mushrooms; sliced
4 eggs; well beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1 jalapeno; chopped and seeded
1 cup milk

Coat a 1 1/2-quart casserole dish with cooking spray. Layer bread, sausage, cheese and mushrooms. Combine remaining ingredients and mix well. Pour egg mixture on top of layers. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Garnish with fresh parsley and sliced tomatoes.
Note: Recipe can easily be doubled.
Recipe From: The Tennessee Magazine - 12/97

Cod With Ceasar Crumbs

1/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise
2 tablespoon freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs; (1 slice bread)
3 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
4 cod fillets; (6-oz each)
lemon wedges

Heat oven to 450°F. Spray jelly-roll pan with nonstick vegetable cooking spray.
Combine mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, salt, anchovy paste and pepper in small bowl. Combine bread crumbs and parsley on sheet of wax paper.
Spoon mayonnaise mixture on one side of cod; dip coated side in breadcrumb mixture. Place in jelly-roll pan crumb side up. Bake 15 - 20 minutes or until fish is cooked through and bread crumbs begin to brown. Serve with lemon wedges.
Per serving: 53 Calories; 5g Fat (87% calories from fat); 0g Protein; 1g Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 377mg Sodium
Notes: Great with some of the wonderful, familiar flavors of the classic Caesar salad. Before going into the oven, these fillets are brushed with mayo, lemon juice, Parmesan cheese and anchovy paste. They've even got bread crumbs for a satisfying crunch.

Coconut-Cranberry Cheese Spread

8 oz cream cheese; softened
1/4 cup whole-berry cranberry sauce
1 teaspoon grated orange rind
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon flaked coconut

Combine first 4 ingred. stirring until well blended. Spoon into a serving dish, and sprinkle with coconut. Serve Suggestions spread with gingersnaps or? Yield: 1 1/4 c.

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