I’ve brought it upon myself to cook dinner every night during winter break if we’re not eating out (and also to learn how to whistle, become a Chinese yoyo master, and a juggling prodigy, but first things first). I just thought I’d share some of my favorite recipes for this holiday season. Enjoy!
Last night I decided to make eggplant soup, which I found a recipe for on AllRecipes, since we had a bit of eggplant left. It turned out delicious, but it wasn’t such a good idea after I realized that I didn’t have a blender. But I’ll share it here, in case any of you do, or want to be like me and have to mash everything up in batches with a wooden roller. Here is my slightly modified version, depending on what I had at hand.
EGGPLANT SOUP (serves two people and one very hungry sister)
-1 eggplant, cut in half lengthwise
-1 tomato, cut in half
-1/2 large onion, cut in half
-3 pieces of garlic
-1 chicken bouillon cube
1) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
2) Place your tomato, eggplant, garlic, and onion onto baking sheet. Drizzle and spread vegetable oil over the tops and bake in the oven for about half an hour, or until they have some brown spots on them.
3) Take four cups of water and put on high on the stove. Add a chicken bouillon cube. Peel the skin off of the eggplant and place the eggplant, tomato, garlic, and onion into the pot. Stir around for a while (and mash a bit with your spoon) until soft. Once the water starts bubbling (when it’s boiling), you can turn it down to medium heat.
4) You’re supposed to puree in the blender in batches, but I realized that I actually broke our blender and we didn’t get a new one yet (long story), so I actually took the solids out and mashed them in a bowl with a roller. It was hard work, and the consistency wasn’t the same as if I had done it in a blender. But it still turned out delicious 🙂 Yeah, so puree or mash until smooth. If you puree it’ll have the consistency as a thickish soup, but mine was more like a watery soup.
5) Place on the stove again at medium heat and stir, stir, stir. Season with salt and pepper to taste. I left it on for about twenty minutes more before serving it and then adding clumps of goat cheese, which balanced out the flavor of the eggplant nicely.
During Thanksgiving break, I helped my cousin and his girlfriend make the most wonderful dish ever. Surprisingly, it has Brussels sprouts in it. Normally in books, the protagonist dumps his Brussels sprouts down the toilet. But if he had THIS dish, he would be eating it in no time 🙂
ROASTED BRUSSELS SPROUTS (serves…not sure actually. It was a predinner snack and in a house of about twelve people, it was gone in about half an hour with someone randomly picking at it every few minutes)
-Brussels sprouts (as much as you need, we used about 1 ½ pounds)
1) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
2) Take the Brussels sprouts and remove the leaves into another dish, throwing out the yellow ones. Keep peeling leaves until you can’t peel anymore, and then also place the core of the Brussels sprouts into the dish. What we actually did was use the core of the Brussels sprouts for another delicious dish of Brussels sprouts and bacon.
3) Put the Brussels sprouts onto baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil over it. Then shake a generous amount of salt and pepper over it. That way, the bitter taste of the Brussels sprouts won’t be as strong. Some people also put everything into a large plastic bag and shake it to spread the olive oil, salt, and pepper around.
4) Put in the oven for about 30-45 minutes, or until the leaves are crispy. We left them a little too long in the oven so some of them turned a little brown. The ones that tasted best were the green ones. 🙂
Every year my sister asks for hot chocolate. Every year I make this homemade kind with milk, whatever chocolate we have, and candy canes. For this recipe, I’ll just use Hershey’s milk chocolate in squares. The hot chocolate to the right is actually Bob Evan’s hot chocolate, which was delicious by the way 🙂
PEPPERMINT HOT CHOCOLATE (serves one)
-Milk (the only milk we have is 2% Horizon Organic, so that’s what I use)
-Candy canes (I use about half for each cup)
-Hershey’s milk chocolate (4 of those squares), but if you find this too sweet then you can use semi-sweet chocolate
-Marshmallows or whipped cream (optional)
1) Pour the milk into the mug. I’m not really sure, but I think that’s about 1 1/2 cups.
2) Crush the chocolate and candy canes into small bits and pour into the mug along with the milk.
3) Microwave. Stir every twenty seconds so the chocolate doesn’t clump at the bottom. Microwave until the sides and bottom of the mug is hot and when you stir, you feel no more chocolate at the bottom.
4) Take out and garnish with marshmallows and whipped cream if desired. Enjoy!
AllRecipes has this amazing email subscription that gives you the best recipes. For the month of December, they’ve been having a cookie countdown, and one of the recipes was the Magic Cookie Bar: a mixture of graham crackers, semi-sweet chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, walnuts, and coconut. Naturally, I tried it, taking out the butterscotch chips and adding almonds in addition to the walnuts, and also a sprinkling of crushed candy canes at the top. However, I didn’t add enough milk, so my Magic Cookie Bars didn’t stick together. So they kind of turned into Magic Cookie mess…but it still tasted delicious. You can subscribe to these newsletters by creating an AllRecipes account. Here’s the FAQ. Here’s also their collection of Christmas recipes…I know I’ll be making some of these over winter break!