Monday, November 1, 2010

Christmas Cookie Contest!

Can you believe it's only 54 days to Christmas?

To celebrate the December release of THE DIVA COOKS A GOOSE, I'm having a Christmas Cookie contest! Here's how it works.

*You* send me your favorite Christmas Cookie recipe.

Each Monday, beginning November 8th and running through December 13th, I will bake and post the recipe for the winner of the week. (Except November 15th, when it will be Thanksgiving recipe week here at Mystery Lover's Kitchen.)

Each of the five winners will win a half dozen cookie cutters -- a shooting star, a snowflake, and a turkey, along with three surprise cookie cutters selected by me.

They might include a gingerbread boy or girl, snowman, a football helmet(!), football, birdhouse, bee, ice cream cone, dog, cat, or teapot.

So start sending your favorite recipes to me at Krista at KristaDavis dot com today! I have some baking to do!

You may have noticed a few changes this morning! We're switching things up a little bit. Look for more changes to come over the next two months.

In the meantime, let's talk shitaki! They're supposed to be very good for us. They strengthen our immune systems and help our hearts be healthy. But the flavor of shitaki mushrooms is different than the crimini and mild button mushrooms we tend to use. People describe the flavor as smoky, but I find it more woodsy, not surprising since shitaki mushrooms grow on wood.

There are loads of recipes for shitaki mushrooms. I've used them in stir fries, but they tend to sort of disappear among the other veggies. A great way to sneak them in for those who don't care for the taste. They're also great in soups.

When we first started buying them, my mom and I weren't quite sure what to do with them, so we did what we often do -- threw garlic at them. Turns out they pair quite nicely with garlic. It's taken us a while to come up with a recipe we really like, but we think we finally nailed it.

In the recipe below, note that it's somewhat difficult to measure shitaki mushrooms. I sliced them and used a half cup to measure, but note that it is not a level half cup -- they were sticking up out of the measuring cup. I only used the caps. Save the stems for soup.

Simple Shitaki Mushrooms

1 teaspoon olive oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 and 1/2 cups shitaki mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon soy sauce

Over medium low to low heat, pour the olive oil into a frying pan and add the garlic. Let sit to flavor the oil while you slice the mushrooms. Add the mushrooms and butter, and turn over the mushrooms in the melting butter while they cook. Finally, add the soy sauce and cook a few minutes longer. At this point, you can set them aside for a few minutes and reheat before serving.



  1. YUM!

    And this book looks adorable.

    I can't believe theres only 54 days to go :)

  2. I can't wait to hear some of these cookie recipes, Krista! And read your book, too! Thanks for the delicious mushroom recipe...I love how easy it looks. :)

  3. Thanks, Krista! We love mushrooms here but I've never been quite sure what to do with shitakis. Love this.

  4. Start shopping, Juju! ; ) I love the cover of the book, too. I'm so lucky to have Teresa Fasolino as a cover artist.

    Elizabeth, the mushroom recipe is very easy. I love easy recipes for quick meals. And I'm definitely looking forward to baking and trying out those Christmas cookies!

    Julie, we didn't know what to do with them, either. I've tried cooking them wines and vinegars and all sorts of things. Turns out they like a little bit of butter!

    ~ Krista

  5. Love the contest! Great idea. Folks, I've read The Diva Cooks the Goose and it's fabulous, so don't miss it!!!!

    Re: Shitake - yes, the soy sauce makes it. You might even add a little white wine. Great layered on pasta or soy-soaked flank steak.


  6. Thanks for the plug, Avery! I'm hoping readers will like it.

    ~ Krista

  7. you have a goose recipe in the book??? I have been challenged to cook a goose... Any chance for an advance look at your recipe... I promise to buy the book.

    And forwarding my very favorite cookie recipe... tastes like a frosted Pecan Praline. An adult cookie you will love!

  8. Dave, I can't wait to see your recipe. It sounds wonderful! I see this as an opportunity for all of us to expand our cookie selections with friends' favorites.

    Believe it or not, there is *not* a goose recipe in the book. You can buy it anyway, though! ~just kidding~ I do have a great recipe for goose. My mother cooked geese for decades and now I do it every Christmas. I was planning to post it closer to Christmas, but I'll send it to you sooner so you'll have it when you need it.

    ~ Krista

  9. Your contest rocks, Krista. I can't wait to see what cookies you pick to bake up. You may be counting the days to Christmas, but I'm counting down the days to reading THE DIVA COOKS A GOOSE. :)

    Have a great Monday!
    ~ Cleo
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  10. That's very sweet of you, Cleo! I am counting the days until I see the book in my hand.

    In the meantime, though, I'll have to suffer by eating all those Christmas cookies. Poor me! ; )

    ~ Krista

  11. These cutters look cute and the recipe looks great no one around here likes mushrooms except for me. More food for me I suppose lol.

    I will send one of my recipes soon.

  12. Thanks, Babs! The cookie cutters are very cute. I had never seen a bee or a birdhouse, not to mention a football helmet! Good luck in the contest!

    ~ Krista

  13. Mmmmm. My mouth is watering with all this talk about cookies! And mushrooms. I just got back from the grocery store with all the fixings for two recipes from Jean Anderson's new cookbook, FALLING OFF THE BONE, which features tougher meats which require longer cooking. Now that the weather's cooler, I'm ready for my kitchen stove to do double duty!