Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Season: Candy Cane Hot Cocoa?! Don't Mind if I Do!

Good morning bloggers! Welcome to an early edition of Everyday Meals. I'm your talented hostess, Mandie. Today, we are having another feast in celebration of Christmas. We have an appetizer, the main dinner, dessert, and a drink to go with it all. Everything we are making today is INCREDIBLY EASY. In my personal opinion, the easier the meal, the better. I mean, who has time for an 8 hour meal in a hot kitchen? Not me! This meal will take a total of 2 hours (or less, if we're good). So, grab those aprons and meet me in the kitchen!

Christmas Potato Soup

You will need:

  • 15 cloves garlic, peeled 
  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil 
  • 6 slices bacon 
  • 4 medium leeks, sliced 
  • 2 (14 ounce) cans chicken broth 
  • 1.5 cups water 
  • 2 pounds round red potatoes, peeled and chopped 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper 
  • Water
  • 1/2 cup dairy sour cream
  • 1 Toasted Star per bowl
  • Sauteed Red Onion 
  • Snipped chives

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. 
  2. Use a 2 to 3 inch star-shaped cutter to cut stars from the center of firm-textured white bread. 
  3. Brush lightly with melted butter and place on baking sheet. 
  4. Bake for 6 minutes or until lightly toasted. 
  5. Cool on a baking sheet and tore in an airtight covered container until serving.
  6. In the same preheated oven, place garlic cloves in custard cups, then drizzle with olive oil. 
  7. Cover the cups with foil. 
  8. Roast in the oven for 25 to 35 minutes or until the cloves feel soft when pressed, then set aside.
  9. Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp and drain on paper towels. 
  10. Crumble the bacon and place in a storage container. Cover and chill the bacon.
  11. Cook the leeks in the bacon drippings for about 5 minutes or until softened but not browned. 
  12. Add the broth, water, potatoes, salt, and pepper. 
  13. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, then simmer, uncovered for 10 to 12 minutes. 
  14. Stir in the garlic.
  15. In food processor, pour half of the soup mixture. 
  16. Cover and process until smooth. 
  17. Repeat with the remaining soup. 
  18. Add the bacon and ladle the soup into bowls. 
  19. Top with sour cream, sauteed onions and chives. 
  20. Float the Toasted Stars on top. 
  21. Enjoy!

Ready to continue? 

Beef Tenderloin

You will need:

  • 1 (6 pound) trimmed beef tenderloin
  • 4 garlic cloves, quartered into 16 pieces
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

  1. Heat the oven to 450 degrees. 
  2. Make 16 incisions in different parts of the tenderloin and insert a piece of garlic in each. 
  3. Rub oil over the tenderloin. 
  4. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  5. Roast for about 50 minutes, checking after 40 minutes, or until thermometer registers 130 degrees in the thickest part of the roast.
  6. Let rest, covered loosely in foil 10 minutes before slicing.
  7. Enjoy!


Frosted Holiday Sugar Cookies

You will need:

  • 3.75 cups all purpose flour 
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1.5 cups granulated sugar 
  • 2 eggs 
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
  • vanilla frosting 
  • food coloring
  • colored candies
  • fruit rolls
  • jelly beans
  • green and red decorating gel
  • sprinkles
  • powdered sugar
  • cookie cutters

  1. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium sized bowl, then set aside. 
  2. Beat butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla in a large bowl with an electric mixer until fluffy. 
  3. Gradually add the flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until thoroughly mixed. 
  4. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for two hours. 
  5. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 
  6. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thick. 
  7. Cut out circles with a cookie cutter or other round object, such as a glass or round plastic container. Place circles 2 inches apart on un-greased cookie sheet. 
  8. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes, checking after 6 minutes. 
  9. Cookies will be done when edges are lightly browned. 
  10. Remove from oven and allow the cookies to cool on cookie sheets for 5 minutes.
  11. Using a butter knife, spread frosting on top of each cookie. 
  12. If you want to color the frosting, use food coloring and mix it beforehand.
  13. Decorate the cookies with sprinkles, powdered sugar, and candies. 
  14. To make holly berry cookies: Place two red candies or jelly beans toward the top of the cookie and draw on leaves with green decorating gel. 
  15. For Sugar Stars, Trees, and other shapes: Gently place a miniature cookie cutter on top of the cookie after it's frosted. 
  16. Carefully sprinkle a small amount of sugar into the cookie cutter with your fingers, being careful not to let the sugar fall outside. 
  17. Gently remove cookie cutter. 
  18. For Easy Frosting: You can completely cover a cookie with decorative sugar by holding the frosted cookie upside down and dipping the frosted end into the sugar to coat. 
  19. Easy Decoration: Use red decorating gel to write “Ho, Ho, Ho!” on your cookies. 
  20. For a Snowman: Cut a strip from a fruit roll, about 1/2 thick, and twist it into a rope. 
  21. Place the fruit roll up around the top of the cookie as ear muffs and add jelly beans for the muffs themselves. 
  22. Decorate the face with colored candies. 
  23. For a Poinsettia: Use cherry raisins to form the petals of a poinsettia. 
  24. Place a colored candy in the center.
  25. Enjoy!

Candy Cane Hot Cocoa

You will need:

  • 4 cups milk
  • 3 (1 ounce) squares semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 4 peppermint candy canes, crushed
  • 1 cup whipped cream
  • 4 small peppermint candy canes

  1. In a saucepan, heat the milk until hot, but not boiling. 
  2. Whisk in the chocolate and the crushed peppermint candies until melted and smooth. 
  3. Pour hot cocoa into four mugs, and garnish with whipped cream. 
  4. Serve each with a candy cane stirring stick.
  5. Enjoy!

I hope you've all had fun preparing this delicious feast. I hope you all have a very Merry Chrismas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa. Happy blogging to everyone and I'll catch you all on the flip side! <3