It’s pretty rare that I get to bake elaborate and ridiculously fun things in the kitchen, so when Christmas comes, I like to go big…really big. I had some leftover trees and a skiing Santa from the year’s snow-globe wreaths, so for our annual Christmas party, I made a ginormous ski slope cake bordered with a gingerbread cityscape and little candy house cupcakes! I spread the baking out over a week to make it less stressful and it came out just how I had envisioned it…equal parts kitschy, homey and magical. Continue reading
Tag Archives: gingerbread
We figured it was time to find a new place to decorate, cozy up and entertain in since we aren’t quite edgy enough to raise a baby in a garage loft. For now, enjoy this holiday party post, use the recipes (everything was delicious!) and next year, get ready for new-apartment posts and baby nesting!
Our party had a much looser theme than last year, but we encouraged people to wear “vintage holiday” attire….any decade would do. Jeff and I channeled the 60’s, mostly because it was the only vintage maternity dress I could find! Here’s what we served:
- Hot Artichoke Dip with Pita Chips and Toasted Baguette Slices (Martha Stewart)
- Cheese and Meat Plate (Trader Joe’s cheeses, salamis, fig butter and hot pepper jelly)
- Dill Dip With Veggies (recipe below)
- Marcona Almonds (Trader Joe’s)
- Glazed Ham with Mustard (Trader Joe’s)
- Roasted Winter Vegetables (recipe below)
- Butternut Squash and Turnip Gratin (Wine Garage)
- Classic Stuffing (recipe below)
- Touch-of-Grace Biscuits (from The Bread Bible, but these are similar)
- Yule Log (Cake, Filling, Icing (whip this until light and fluffy once it is thickened at room temp), Mushrooms)
- Sweet Potato Bourbon Cake (Martha Stewart I also added a simple orange juice and 10x glaze)
- Hot Chocolate with Gingerbread Snowflakes (Hot Chocolate, Gingerbread Snowflakes)
We served this with raw veggies at the party, but traditionally, my family serves it in a rye or pumpernickel bread bowl with rye and pumpernickel bread cubes (it’s the best!).
- 16 oz. mayonnaise
- 16 oz. sour cream
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 small (or 1/2 large) yellow onion, minced
- 1 tablespoon dry dill weed
Mix everything together in a bowl and let sit in the refrigerator at least 4 hours before serving.
- 5 cups whole cremini mushrooms, cut into quarters
- 6 cups brussel sprouts, cut in half
- 2 large parsnips, peeled and cut into hunks
- 1 large acorn squash, seeds removed, cut in wedges along grooves, peeled and cut into hunks
- extra virgin olive oil
- fresh thyme leaves
Preheat oven to 425. Line 2 sheet pans with foil and put the mushrooms on one and the sprouts on the other. Drizzle both with olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme leaves. Roast both for 15 minutes, stir and flip and continue roasting until tender and browned, about 5 minutes. Dump both into a serving dish or casserole and toss to combine flavors. Lower the heat to 400 and repeat the process for the parsnips and acorn squash. These will take longer than the mushrooms and sprouts. Toss everything together and add more salt if needed.
I made this vegetarian this year with veggie stock, but I recommend using chicken stock if you have meat eaters around…it’s a lot tastier that way!
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 1 1/2 cups chopped celery
- 1 cup butter
- 9 cups soft bread cubes
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons crushed sage leaves
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 1/2 cups stock (veggie or chicken)
Preheat oven to 350. Toss bread cubes, salt, pepper, thyme, and sage in a large bowl. In a large skillet, cook and stir onion and celery in butter over medium heat until onion is tender. Pour over the bread cubes and toss until coated. Transfer mixture to a casserole dish, drizzle with stock and bake, covered with foil for 30 minutes. Uncover, increase heat to 375 and bake until browned and crispy on top, about 10 minutes.
I had never made a gingerbread house before, so this was a pretty scary project, but I love how it turned out! I modeled it after a Brooklyn store front and used some of my old theater model making skills to put it together. This shape is particularly easy because it’s just a big decorative box, so you could make it any size you want. Continue reading