BITES AND BOOKS FOR CHRISTMAS

by | Dec 16, 2020 | Karna Small Bodman | 7 comments

by Karna Small Bodman

How will we all celebrate Christmas this year while staying safe and praying for the best? We Rogues have some ideas to share with you: holiday recipes to enjoy along with a few gifts for family and friends.

For a lovely breakfast treat Jenny Milchman offers this recipe for her Raspberry Sour Cream Muffins: 

  • Preheat oven to 375 and line a 12 cup muffin tin
  • In 1st bowl, combine zest of one orange and ¾ cup sugar, ½ cup melted butter, 1 cup sour cream, 2 beaten eggs
  • In 2nd bowl, mix 1 ½ cups flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, ½ teaspoon salt
  • In 3rd bowl, dust 1 ½ cups raspberries with 2      teaspoons flour, reserve a few for the tops of the muffins
  • Combine ingredients, fold in berries, fill muffin tin, top with reserved berries, sprinkle with sugar, bake 18-22 minutes….enjoy!
Liv Constantine suggests a book described as a moving account of an author’s relationship with her grandmother, Nobody Will Tell You This But Me by Beth Kalb. Well known author Jodi Picoult says, “I have not been as profoundly moved by a book in years.” This story recounts both family lore and family secrets spanning four generations. 
The New York Times Book Review writes, “I delighted in Bobby’s joy. I cried twice.” And the host of Good Morning America said, “Told in her hilarious grandmother’s voice, this memoire chronicles a family’s story.”

Liv also contributes a recipe for hors d’oevres, Pomegranate Pistachio Crostini:

  • Preheat oven to 400
  • Arrange 36 slices of French bread baguette on ungreased baking sheet, brush tops with butter, bake 4-6 minutes then cool

Mix and spread over the toasted bread:

  • 1 tablespoon melted butter 
  • 4 ounces softened cream cheese 
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds
  • ½ cup finely chopped pistachios
  • 2 ounces dark chocolate candy bar, grated.
Serve, of course, with your favorite cocktail or wine.

Carla Neggers suggests a lovely book, The National Trust Book of Afternoon Tea which is chock full of recipes that go perfectly with a cup of tea – a nice gift for someone who enjoys the quintessential British ritual. You’ll find recipes for sandwiches, tarts, cakes, scones, preserves along with everything you need to know to brew the perfect pot of tea. 

And here is Carla’s suggestion of a simple topping to add to mashed or baked potatoes, melt atop baked salmon or spoon onto grilled burgers.  

Simply mix together: 

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Chill for 2 hours to blend the flavors (and you can freeze it for a month)

Lisa Black contributes a quick treat you can make and give as a luscious gift, what she calls her Foolproof Fudge:

  • Melt a 12 oz. bag of chocolate chips (semi sweet or milk chocolate) with
  • A 14 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk
  • Remove from heat, stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Put in a wax-paper lined pan, cool completely before cutting.
I’d like to suggest you top off your holiday meal with a cup of cappuccino. You don’t need to have a fancy coffee/cappuccino machine. Just brew a cup of coffee, then top it with foamed milk from this frother which makes a great Christmas gift as well. You  simply pour a small bit of milk in this frother (that sits on a stand that’s plugged in) — push a button and in about 20 seconds you have froth you spoon on top of your coffee.  To clean it, just rinse it out (don’t put it in the dishwasher though). 
One final recommendation of a book for a Christmas gift is Carnegie’s Maid by Marie Benedict. I so enjoyed this story about a (fictitious) Irish maid hired to serve in one of Pittsburgh’s grandest households. She hides the secret of her past while learning about the business tycoon’s investments, and, in the process, inspires Andrew Carnegie to eventually devote his vast fortune to the creation of libraries across the nation. Readers and authors are forever grateful to this man for his contribution to education and enjoyment for all. 

Now, do you have a favorite holiday recipe or gift idea you would like to share? Please leave a comment and tell us. Thanks for visiting us here on Rogue Women Writers and a very Merry (and safe) Christmas to you!

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7 Comments

  1. Valerie Constantine

    Wonderful recipes and good book suggestions to get us into the holiday spirit! I think I'm going to make a cup of tea, pick up a book and put the art of hygge (as Carla described in her blog last week) into practice with some candles and a cozy seat. I'll be snuggled up and reading for a while, so thank you, Karna, for some great suggestions.

  2. Lisa Black

    These recipes all sound too delicious (and the books too)!

  3. Carla Neggers

    Yum! These suggestions are getting me I the Christmas spirit. Thanks, Karna!

  4. Rogue Women Writers

    Thanks, Val – and keep us posted on what you're reading over the holidays. Merry Merry….Karna Small Bodman

  5. Rogue Women Writers

    And of course, I've been assured that there are zero calories over Christmas…Karna Small Bodman

  6. Chris Goff

    All the recipes sound so yummy. I'll have to substitute something for the raspberries, as I'm deathly allergic, but they sound grand. Thanks, Karna, for gathering.