CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN BEGINS
Since I’ve been there and done that, avoid burning the midnight oil baking and “cooking up a storm.” Do strive to get enough sleep and eat healthy. With that in mind, Curried Quinoa with Cauliflower is the perfect “go to entrée.”
CURRIED QUINOA WITH CAULIFLOWER
• 2 tablespoons canola oil
• 1 medium onion, chopped
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
• 1 carrot, cut into ½ inch half moons
• 1 small head cauliflower, broken into small florets
• ¼ teaspoon salt, or more to taste
• 5 teaspoons curry powder
• ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
• 1 cup water
• 1 cup frozen peas
• 1 cup quinoa
Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onion, garlic and carrot and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add cauliflower, spices and salt and cook for another minute. Add 1 cup water, then cover and simmer for 12 to 15 minutes until vegetables are tender. Add peas in the last minute of cooking. Meanwhile, cook quinoa according to package directions. Mix the curried vegetables into the quinoa and serve. Top with nonfat yogurt and toasted slivered almonds. Source: Adapted from what would Kathy eat.com via Mary Ann Thaman.
A second healthy entrée is Rat-A-Stewie. Although I’m not a vegetarian, this dish should please everyone!
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 large eggplant, peeled and diced into 1-inch pieces
• ½ sliced onion
• 2 cups chopped green and red bell peppers
• 1 pound zucchini, unpeeled, cut into bite-size pieces
• 1 pound zucchini, unpeeled, cut into bite size pieces (2 medium ones should do it)
• 1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
• ½ cup pitted green olives
• 1 tablespoon McCormick Herb Garden Seasoning Blend
• 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Heat oil in large pot over medium heat. Add eggplant, peppers and onion and cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Add zucchini, tomato sauce, olives, herb seasoning blend and crushed red pepper. Cook until vegetables are done to your liking, about 5 to 10 minutes. Serve as a stew or over angel hair pasta. Recipe makes 6 servings.
Source: Adapted from Penzeys One magazine recipe.
FAVORITE COOKIE RECIPES FROM THE PAST
Frosted Mince Bars was featured on my first holiday recipe sheet in 1961.
FROSTED MINCE BARS
• ¼ cup butter
• 1 cup sugar
• 2 eggs
• 1¾ cups plus 2 tablespoons unsifted, all-purpose flour
• 1½ teaspoons baking powder
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 cup prepared mincemeat
• 2 teaspoons orange zest
• ½ cup chopped pecans
Cream butter with sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs. Mix together flour, baking powder and salt. Add flour mixture to creamed mixture to creamed mixture. Fold in mincemeat, orange zest and nuts. Spoon into buttered 1½ inch baking dish. Spread in buttered baking dish. Bake in preheated 325ºF oven for 30 to 35 minutes. When cool, frost with a simple powdered sugar glaze made my mixing powdered sugar and milk together until the right consistency to spread.
Years ago my sister won a prize for the next cookie, entered in a Lima recipe contest. I wrap each in plastic wrap and tie with narrow red and green paper ribbon.
CRUNCHY RUM BALLS
• 1 cup dark chocolate chips
• 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
• ½ cup rum
• 2½ cups vanilla wafer crumbs
• ½ cup granulated sugar
• 1 cup finely chopped pecans
Melt chocolate pieces over hot but not boiling water. Remove from heat; add corn syrup and rum. Combine vanilla wafer crumbs, sugar and finely chopped nuts; add to chocolate mixture. Let stand about 30 minutes. Then form into balls and roll in granulated. Store rum balls in a covered container for several days. For Christmas sharing, wrap each ball in a square of clear plastic and tie with narrow red or green ribbon. Recipe makes 4½ dozen.