Last night we had a HUGE holiday feast. All afternoon that kitchen was full of music, cookie and pie baking, ham roasting, soup simmering, laughing and general merry-making. My roommates and I all invited a couple of friends, and everyone brought a dish to share- we ended up with quite the feast: Split Pea and Butternut Squash Soup, Chickpea Salad, Edamame bead and mandarin salad, roasted turnip and apples, maple glazed ham (for those carnivore types), broccoli salad, homemade buns, Moroccan oranges, maple glazed apple pecan pie, cranberry orange cookies, ginger bread cookies, chocolate clusters, milk candies, du vin rouge, and homemade eggnog!
It was a fabulous mix of friends, food, and lively banter.
After cleaning up a bit, we bundled up our full bellies and went "tobogganing" (with cookie trays and plastic sheets) on the mountain. It was a fabulous night.
Here recipes of what i made for the feast:
Split Pea and Butternut Squash Soup
- Olive Oil
- 1 large yellow onion, sliced
- 1 + Tbsp ginger, minced
- 1 tsp cumin seeds, toasted and ground
- 4 bay leaves
- 2 tsp tumeric
- 4 cups water
- 1 cup split yellow peas, dried
- 4-5 cups water and vegetable bullion
- 1 medium butter nut squash, peeled and diced
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Sour cream and chives (to garnish, and thus - optional)
Place a large stock pot over medium heat. Add the oil, onion, and cumin. Cook the onions until they start to caramelize.
Add the bay leaves, tumeric, water and peas. Lower the heat to a simmer (185 degrees F) and cook until the peas are soft, about 90 minutes give or take 15 minutes.
Add the vegetable stock and diced squash. Raise the heat until the soup comes to a light boil (210 - 212 degrees F) and cook for 20 minutes. At this point, remove the bay leaves and star anise. Puree the soup either through a wand or a blender. Return to heat and allow to simmer for another 30 minutes.
Top with sour cream and chives and serve.
Cranberry Orange Cookies
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
2 tablespoons orange juice
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups chopped cranberries
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest
3 tablespoons orange juice
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
In a large bowl, cream together the butter, white sugar and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg until well blended. Mix in 1 teaspoon orange zest and 2 tablespoons orange juice. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; stir into the orange mixture. Mix in cranberries and if using, walnuts, until evenly distributed. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Cookies should be spaced at least 2 inches apart.
Bake for 12 to 14 minutes in the preheated oven, until the edges are golden. Remove from cookie sheets to cool on wire racks.
In a small bowl, mix together 1/2 teaspoon orange zest, 3 tablespoons orange juice and confectioners' sugar until smooth. Spread over the tops of cooled cookies. Let stand until set.