Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Holiday Cooking: bring an appetizer

We have a lot of holiday parties to go to this year AND we'll be hosting the family Christmas this year. I have started the menu planning process which means going through my shelves of cookbooks and my bookmarked cooking websites looking for recipes and some cooking inspiration. So, as we countdown until Christmas, I will be posting those selected recipes in hopes that A.) you may get some ideas B.) my friends/family will get a sneak peek at the goods.

Gougeres: French cheese puff pastries

I found the recipe and picture on David Lebovitz's website. He's my "go-to" for french desserts and his Paris Chocolate & Gastronomy Tour is on my bucket list. I just have to say, there is some pretty stellar food photography on this website, so don't look at it if you're hungry. David uses this camera. Jealous.

Spiced Southern Pecans

This recipe comes from "The Gift of Southern Cooking" by Edna Lewis and Scott Peacock. Edna Lewis is the matron of true southern cooking. We're talking about the real stuff here, like chowchow, tomato gravy, and chicken hash, along with all of the more well-known southern recipes (ie cornbread, etc). These pecans are like the candied nuts you get at the Brewer's games or the County Fairs only with a fuller spiced flavor, not heat.

Boil 1 lb. pecan halves for 2 min. then drain in colander. Toss pecans in bowl of: 4 C sugar, 2 1/2 tsp. Ceylon cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. nutmeg, 1/2 tsp. salt. Fry in 340 degree oil for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. To get an extra thick coating of goodness, lift pecans out of oil and drain well, then coat them in the sugar/spice bowl again and fry again.

Traditional Italian Anise Biscotti

I like shopping at Groppi's Food Market because I can discover a lot more flavors and inspiration there versus a supermarket. Anise one of those flavors like fennel that is strongly reminiscent of licorice. Small and extremely easy to make things like biscotti are my answer for what to bring to a party; what to give as gifts/stocking stuffers; or what to freeze and have on hand just in case we run out of real food at Christmas.
The recipes that I liked the most were the traditional ones from: Emeril Lagasse at FoodNetwork and Williams-Sonoma (pictured above).


  1. Hello - I am a filmmaker in Atlanta, GA. I wanted to let you know about my documentary about Edna Lewis and Scott Peacock. It can be viewed in its entirety on Internet at either of these two websites.



    My website, http://bbarash.com/bb_friedchicken.htm

    has more information about the film and the story of Miss Lewis.

    Bailey Barash
    bbarash productions, LLC

  2. Correction on the website to view the film on Edna Lewis it is


  3. That sounds great! I will definitely check it out. Thanks for the tip!



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