Sunday, December 6, 2009

Holiday Faves from Fantastic Friends

This year, on the first Thanksgiving since our wedding, my Hotcake and I decided to stay in for an intimate celebration. Although the food was delicious and the day with my Hub was precious, there's truly nothing like a home cooked meal with my family. The dishes I grew up with have been passed down from generation to generation, and whether made by my mom, aunt or grandma, I can taste love in every bite.

But what's also wonderful about family recipes is they can be shared with friends, who in many ways become part of our family. This Thanksgiving, I was a very lucky Tart as a good friend did just that. Rusty, our resident "Tart-taster," dropped off a little clay pot full of heaven...

"Why wouldn't I?"

...Annie's Challah and Onion Roll Stuffing, passed down from none other than Annie Schwimmer, Rusty's super special mom. Remember when I said our food was delicious? Well, it was thanks to this stuffing. It sure wasn't the turkey or green beans that slowly made their way to the edges of my plate. I ate stuffing. I am still eating stuffing.

And now, we're sharing it with you. Do you know how lucky you are??

Annie's Stuffing (Chicago)

1 bunch of celery, chopped
4 small onions, chopped
3 Tbsp. of Thyme, chopped
salt to taste
pepper to taste
2 eggs
1 Challah loaf (w/poppyseeds if available)
10 onion rolls
1/2 quart chicken stock (we used homemade turkey stock)
4 sticks butter (one stick equals 8 Tbsp.)

Let the bread stale for a few days or break apart and crisp in oven.
Preheat oven to 350
Melt butter in large saute pan, add celery and onion and cook until onion is translucent.
Toss torn pieces of bread into a large pot.
Add celery and onion to pot. Add a few pinches of salt, pepper and all of thyme.
Mix well with wooden spoon. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well. If cool enough, use your hands.
Slowly add chicken stock. Consistency should become mushy but not watery. Season to taste.
Transfer stuffing to two casserole dishes so that it stays extra moist. Cover with foil, cook for 30 min. Take foil off and cook for another 15-20 min.
Enjoy and remember to try and eat those green beans.

A few other friend favorites we'd like to share with you...

Dave's Cranberry Sauce
(from Epicurious)

Danielle is still eating this cranberry sauce on sandwiches. Let it go, Danielle.

Here's a great alternative to pumpkin pie...

Vivian's Flourless Chocolate Cake
w/raspberry sauce
(from the Gourmet Cookbook)

8 oz. good bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), chopped
2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
6 large eggs
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus additional for dusting
10 inch springform pan

Put a rack in middle of oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter pan, line bottom with a round of parchment or wax paper, and butter paper.

Melt chocolate with butter in a medium metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, stirring until smooth. Remove bowl from heat and whisk in sugar. Add eggs one at a time, whisking well after each addition. Sift cocoa powder over chocolate and whisk until just combined.

Pour batter into pan. Bake until top has formed a thin crust and a wooden pick or skewer inserted in center of cake comes out with moist crumbs adhering, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool cake in pan on a rack for 10 minutes, then remove side of pan. Invert cake onto a plate and reinvert onto rack to cool completely.

Dust cake with cocoa powder before serving.

Raspberry Sauce

1 10 oz package of frozen raspberries in syrup, thawed
2 table spoons sugar
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, or to taste

Combine raspberries, with their syrup, sugar, and lemon juice in a blender or food processor and puree. Pour mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, pressing hard on solids; discard solids.

Serve chilled or at room temperature.


  1. looks so lovely! cranberry sauce lives on... don't give it up!

  2. mmm can taste the stuffing already....
    thanks for sharing....