Cooking at the Cove: Easy Recipes to Get You Through the December Rush

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Prepare for the December rush with a quick stir-fry, and devote time and energy to what matters most. Karen Schneider / For the forecaster

Shopping, wrapping, decorating, cooking, a night out at Gardens Aglow, a concert at the Chocolate Church, a school play, a church fair …

I am here to advise you to relax.

Plan quick, healthy meals with lots of veg, have a few shortcuts in mind when you feel really upset, get some sleep, and most importantly, do what you really love with someone you love.

To get you through the holiday season, here’s a simple stir-fry with green things to serve over soba noodles or rice.

Prepare a large amount of rice and divide 1-cup portions in freezer bags. It’s so quick and easy to microwave when a meal needs to be loaded with carbohydrates.

Now for a quick plan when asked to provide sweet finger food for the office party, school party, or book club reunion. Two words: mix of brownies.

Keep a few boxes on hand, as well as a supply of candy sides. Preparing a few platters at the last minute saved me on several occasions. You can also make mini cupcakes – just cut the candies in half and adjust the baking time.

The tradition that I am sure to do every year: making homemade eggnog. About eight years ago my granddaughter and I started doing this together for our family vacation reunion. We look forward to it every year, making the alcohol-free version with premium vanilla extract or allowing a few split vanilla pods to float in the ‘nog container while it cools, making them. leaving there until ready to serve.

Karen Schneider cooks and writes in the village of Cundy’s Harbor. You can reach her at [email protected]

We buy whole nutmeg to put with the small grater next to the special bowl of eggnog. Anna has always loved grating nutmeg into everyone’s cup, saying, “This is the best part. “

Powerful stir-fry

1 tablespoon of sesame oil
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 1/2 cups pork tenderloin, sliced ​​into thin strips
3 cups of broccoli florets
1 1/2 cups zucchini, split lengthwise then cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
1 cup onion, halved and thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1-2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
Salt and pepper to taste
Red pepper flakes, to taste
1-3 tablespoons of Hoisin sauce mixed with a little water, to taste
Sesame seeds for garnish

Heat a wok or large skillet over high heat. Add sesame oil and olive oil, then add the pork and sauté 2-3 minutes. Transfer the pork to a plate. Brown the broccoli for 2-3 minutes. Add the zucchini, onions, garlic and ginger. Sauté until the vegetables are tender and crunchy. Return the pork to the pan, season and stir in the Hoisin sauce / water mixture. Heat for 2 minutes then sprinkle with sesame seeds. Yield: 4 servings

Brownie Delights

1 can (18.3 ounces) brownie mix
3 eggs
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup oil
12 miniature cups of peanut butter or peppermint York pancakes
Red and green M & Ms or sugar chips (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter or place paper cups in each of 12 regular-size muffin cups. Unwrap the candies and set aside.

Mix brownie mix with eggs, water and oil until blended. Fill each cup about 2/3 full with dough. Place 1 candy (cups of peanut butter go upside down) on dough in each cup. Lightly press the candies into the dough. Add M & Ms or glitter.

Bake for 23-25 ​​minutes, then let cool for 5 minutes and remove from the pan. Place on a wire rack and cool completely. Yield: 12

Eggnog

3 cups of milk, divided
3 cups heavy cream, divided
12 egg yolks
1 1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon of nutmeg, plus extra for garnish
1 1/2 cups brandy, bourbon, or dark rum, or 2 tablespoons vanilla

Combine 1 cup of milk and 1 cup of cream and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and nutmeg. Stir in 2 cups of milk and 2 cups of cream. Pour the mixture into a large saucepan and stir constantly over low heat until it thickens and has the consistency of heavy cream (175 degrees). Do not overheat or the mixture will curdle. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining 1 cup of milk and 1 cup of cream.

Pour into a container through a colander. Cool completely, uncovered.

Stir in the vanilla or alcohol. Cover and refrigerate for at least three hours and up to three days. Sprinkle with nutmeg before serving. Yield: 12 or more servings

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