Showing posts with label Christmas week. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christmas week. Show all posts

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Another Christmas tradition - Norwegian pancakes #recipe from Linda Wiken, Author, @LWiken

Another Christmas tradition in our house, started many decades ago by my former husband (of Norwegian heritage), was a mouth-watering pancake for breakfast on Christmas morning. He assumed the duties of chef for this family meal. His grandmother had made these, hence we called them Norwegian pancakes. You may find this is not what you're served if you order them in Norway! Just saying.

Of course, I thought they looked more like thick crepes since I was used to the small Swedish pancake. But I never pointed that out!

The recipe wasn't written down anywhere and the texture seemed to change a tiny bit with each offering, and continues to do so these days. I'm still serving Norwegian pancakes especially whenever my son pays a visit out East. They're still a favorite of his.

This is very easy, which is just what the cook ordered after a busy morning of unwrapping gifts and, not wanting to be away from the action for too long. Add crispy bacon, proscuitto, ham or sausages as a side...or eat them on their own, with maple syrup wrapped inside, and a touch of lingonberries on top (cranberries if that's easier to find).

Serve with best wishes for many more happy memories.

These measurements will give you two Norwegian pancakes.

What you will need: (you understand -- these are approximates!)

6  heaping tbsp. flour
2 eggs, combined in a small dish beforehand and stirred to blend
enough milk to make a smooth consistency when everything is mixed together  (approx. 1/8 cup)
1/4 c. butter
maple syrup

What to do:

1. Heat a large skillet on stove.  Once it gets hot, add a dollop of butter and spread to coat the surface.

2.  Meanwhile, in a deep bowl, start with the flour and then add the eggs. Stir in the milk and then use either a hand blender or a whisk to combine until silky smooth consistency. It's okay to play around with the amounts. Add more flour if it's too thin, more milk if too thick.

3. Pour into the skillet and make sure to cover the entire bottom. Here you can play with the amount but I like to keep it quite thin to give them a crepe-like consistency.

4. It won't take long to cook, so check carefully under a corner and flip when done. Spread butter over the top and cook another minute or so.

5. Slip out onto a plate and add some syrup or lingonberries - as much as you'd like; then roll up and serve. Add some lingonberries on top if you use syrup inside.

Wishing you and yours the very merriest and most wonderful of holidays, whatever you are celebrating!

The first in the Dinner Club Mysteries is available at your favorite bookstore and on-line, as a paperback and as an e-book.  
Recipes included!

Book #2, ROUX THE DAY, is coming in March, 2017!

Writing as Erika Chase -- the Ashton Corners Book Club Mystery series are available on-line or at your favorite bookstore.

Visit Linda at
Love to hear from you at my Facebook author page and
on Twitter  @LWiken  
Also appearing at

Visit Erika at 
 at my Facebook author page
and on Twitter  @erika_chase. 

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Dried Cherry and Candied Ginger Scones @LucyBurdette #Christmasweek

LUCY BURDETTE:  These scones would be absolutely lovely for Christmas breakfast or brunch, or really any holiday affair. They started (as my recipes sometimes do) with the craving to use a couple of ingredients I had on hand: beautiful dried Michigan cherries sent by my wonderful Uncle Don, and candied ginger bits from King Arthur flour. I didn't find a recipe that combined the two of them, but I did find a lovely cherry scone recipe that originated in the Blacksmith Inn in Wisconsin, and ended up on the Food Network

Lucy at the Christmas Parade, Key West
After some tweaks, I present it to you! (In the photos, you might notice that I pulsed the cherries into the mix ahead of the butter, which made the pieces quite small. They tasted fine, but we agreed we might like bigger pieces better. You can adjust as you see fit.)


2 cups flour

1/3 cup sugar

2 teaspoon sodium-free baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1 egg

2/3 cups whipping cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup dried cherries

1/3 cup candied ginger

Egg wash, 1 egg and 1 teaspoon water, beaten

Sugar and sliced almonds, for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In your food processor, pulse the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt until well combined. Pulse in the ginger pieces, followed by chunks of butter, and mix until no larger than pea-sized. Now add the cherries and pulse them until they are well distributed. Whisk together the cream, the egg, and the extracts and add this to the dry ingredients. Pulse until combined. 

Turn all of this out onto a floured surface and knead several times. 

Pat into a circle and cut into 8 pieces. Brush tops with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar and sliced almonds. Place onto a baking sheet covered with parchment. 

Bake at 375 for 15 to 18 minutes until beginning to brown. Serve hot with butter!

Are you still looking for stocking stuffers? DEATH WITH ALL THE TRIMMINGS, the fifth Key West mystery might fit the bill.

And I've got lots of other ideas on my Pinterest board, Mystery Books as Stocking Stuffers.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Hot Chocolate Cake #Recipe @PegCochran #Christmas Week

What's Christmas without something chocolate?  I saw this recipe online on a couple of blogs and thought it was so cute.  I used a chocolate cake recipe I've been using for years that originally came from Land of Lakes butter.  Then I combined that with the filling for another cake.  A delicious combination!

Cake Ingredients

4 egg whites (reserve two yolks)
1 cup sugar 
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

Heat oven to 350 degrees

Spray 15x10x1 inch baking pan (jelly roll pan) with cooking spray.  Line bottom of pan with parchment paper and spray paper with cooking spray.

Beat eggs whites until they form stiff peaks (don't over beat or they will be dry) 

Combine 2 egg yolks, sugar, butter and vanilla and and beat until creamy.

Add rest of cake ingredients and beat until well mixed.  Fold in approximately 1/3 of the egg whites and incorporate into batter (this will lighten the batter.)  Fold in rest of egg whites gently.

Bake 10 to 15 minutes until cake pulls away from sides of pan and top springs back when gently touched in the center.  

Loosen sides of cake by running a knife along them.  Let cake cool 10 minutes.

Sprinkle a dishtowel liberally with powdered sugar and a bit of cocoa.  Invert cake onto dishtowel and carefully and slowly peel away the parchment paper.

Lightly spray another piece of parchment paper the size of your pan and place sprayed side down on top of cake.

Starting at the short end, roll cake up in the towel.  (Cake should still be slightly warm or it won't roll.)  Place seam side down and cool completely--about 30 minutes.

Carefully unroll cake, remove parchment paper.  Spread filling evenly over the cake.  Roll cake up starting with the shorter end.  Place on a cake dish seam side down.

Filling Ingredients

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup marshmallow fluff
1 1/2 cups Cool Whip (in the tub)
1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows

Beat cream cheese and sugar until light and smooth--about two minutes.  Add marshmallow fluff and beat until combined.  On low speed, beat in Cool Whip just until combined.

Scrape down sides of bowl and fold in mini marshmallows.

Spread filling on unrolled cake then roll up again.

Drizzle chocolate sauce over cake and decorate with mini marshmallows.


From our house to yours --wishing you the very 
best this holiday season!

Books make great stocking stuffers!


Saturday, December 10, 2016

Christmas Week: Whipped Sweet Potatoes With Pecans and Maple Syrup #giveaway #Christmasweek

By Victoria Abbott aka Mary Jane and Victoria Maffini aka Santa's Elves - with giveaways!

Are you all getting ready for the holidays?

Everyone is excited around here!  Peach is hiding, but excitedly.


We are continuing our veggie challenge even during (our fabulous and fun) Mystery Lovers Kitchen Christmas theme week here at Mystery Lovers Kitchen.  Santa is also doing a giveaway.  Make sure you read all the way. 

We may be skirting our good intentions just a bit with brown sugar and maple syrup in this sweet potato dish.  But hey, ‘tis the season.  

We did a survey elsewhere about favorite holiday veggie dishes and sweet potato dishes were very strong contenders for top spot.  We thought we’d dress them up a bit and have been experimenting all week with proportions and with and without eggs and cream. Without won. We also tried whole pecans (prettier) and chopped pecans (tastier).  We ended up liking the chopped pecans better, BUT the whole pecans looked prettier. That's what you're seeing!  But suit yourself if you're making it.
A word about proportions: the nice thing about cooking with veggies is you can increase and decrease ingredients to suit your preferences.  We might add a bit more brown sugar if using whole pecans, or we might not.  Time will tell.
The resulting dish was sweeter than we usually make our sweet potatoes, but we thought it was worth it, especially as our holiday dinners tend to be savory.  We liked that it can be made up to two days ahead too.  


Note from Santa:  even though MJ and Victoria are continuing their veggie challenge (leave a comment to get your name in the draw for the pretty platter at the end of the post), I., Santa, am offering all good little cooks and cozy readers here a chance to get an audio of The Hammett Hex!  Just leave a comment and you’ll go in the Santa hat.  And your name will also go in the ‘platter draw’. Ho. Ho. Ho.   


Whipped Sweet Potatoes with Maple Syrup and Pecans


4 sweet potatoes peeled and cubed
1/8 cup tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons butter, melted  
Juice from half a lemon
½ teaspoons salt
1 pinch ground nutmeg
¼ tsp cinnamon
1 pinch pepper
¾ cup chopped pecans(or whole)
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
 3 tablespoons butter, melted (not a repeat – this is for the topping)

In large saucepan of boiling salted water, cover and cook sweet potatoes until tender, about 18 minutes. Drain and return to pot. Using electric beaters, immersion or your old traditional masher, beat or mash until very smooth.  

In bowl, beat together maple syrup, two tablespoons of melted butter, lemon juice, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon and pepper; beat into sweet potatoes. 

Transfer to a greased 9 x 9-inch ceramic baking dish. (If you are making ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to two days; bake for 10 minutes longer if it has been in fridge.)

Stir pecans with brown sugar; sprinkle over potatoes. Drizzle with three tablespoons of butter. Bake in 375 °F oven for about 50 minutes or until hot and bubbly.  We did bake one of our versions at 400 °F because we had something else in there and it was just fine!  It’s the holidays and we need our food flexible.

This serves six people but it would be easy to double it if you find yourself with hot and cold running relatives for the hols. Have fun and eat up!

When not fussing about Christmas, Mary Jane and Victoria Maffini write the book collector mysteries, as Victoria Abbott.  Coincidentally any or all of these books would make a great gift for someone on your list who likes cozy mysteries with a book theme.  Lovable crooks included at no extra charge.


We hope you have the best of seasons, full of fun, food, festivities and yes, vegetables.

Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter HERE  and please friend us on Facebook

Make sure you leave a comment for both draws.  Here's a reminder about the veggie tray!