Gift Certificates make great gifts--especially when the certificate is for a fun experience like learning some new tips and techniques for cooking! We have all of our cooking classes--the day classes, weekend classes and week long classes on sale at 20% off for Christmas gift giving.
You may purchase an open ended gift certificate that will be good for all of 2020 and the lucky recipient can then choose the favorite topic and timing that is just right for them. Our day classes have many different themes from Southwestern to Baking and new for this year will be a vegetarian class or two. Our most popular classes are Southwestern such as the Green Chile Fiesta and Tamale Rolling--also huge favorites are the Barbecue and the Take a Tortilla And.... We also do private classes and team building classes for groups. Healthful cooking tips are always included.
Now is such a busy time--with gift shopping and wrapping. With a gift certificate--we are just one phone call away and will be working this coming weekend--so call us at any time to secure the best certificate for you. We prepare the certificate and send it to you electronically--so it is very quickly and easily handled.
On another note--there is all the baking and cooking--getting ready for Christmas. One tradition I have always had is making Stollen for Christmas morning to munch on with champagne or hot cocoa white sharing gifts. (Stollen is originally a folded loaf loaded with nuts and candied fruits and coated with butter and powdered sugar. Dresden Germany is credited with originating the original Stollen.) Many times, I make breaded bacon bites as well as an assortment of fresh fruit to serve alongside. I am sharing my favorite Stollen recipe that I make every other year and freeze one of the loaves for the next year.
The best of all stollens—I worked on this recipe for years and feel it is well worth the extra effort. For years I’ve been making a recipe every other year for serving on Christmas morning with champagne.
Temperature: 325 F
Baking time: 1 hour
Yield: 2 large loaves
¾ cup unsalted butter
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon mace (if you do not have mace, substitute more nutmeg)
Grated rind of 1 lemon
Grated rind of ½ orange
¼ cup dark rum, brandy or sherry
1 cup milk 1 package active dry yeast
¼ cup warm water
6 cups all-purpose flour, approximately
1 cup raisins
1 cup currants (if unavailable, substitute more raisins)
¼ pound each candied orange peel, lemon peel, and citron
1 slice candied pineapple
1 cup toasted almonds1 ½ pound candied whole red and green cherries
¼ cup melted butter
1. Cream butter, add sugar gradually and cream until fluffy. Blend in salt, nutmeg, mace, lemon and orange rind.
2. Add eggs. One at a time, beating well after each addition. Add liquor and milk.
3. Soften yeast in water and stir into mixture. Add flour until dough is easy to handle. Turn out on a lightly floured board and knead until the dough is satin smooth and the gluten is well developed.
4. Do not add more than ½ cup flour into the dough while kneading as too much flour will make the bread dry and coarse.
5. Mix together all fruit except cherries, then dredge with ¼ cup flour, making sure each piece is covered.
6. When the dough is smooth, add the fruit and almonds, a small amount at a time, until the fruit is spread throughout the dough and all is used.
7. Poke holes in the dough with your forefinger and place a cherry in each hole. This prevents mashing the cherries.
8. Divide the dough in half and place in large well-greased bowls; brush generously with melted butter and set a warm place to rise. Since the dough is heavy with fruit, it will require about 8 hours to rise.
9. To form, turn out on a lightly floured board, punch down and divide in half. To make typical stollen or crescent shaped loaves, first pat the dough into an oblong shape, then fold in half lengthwise.
10. Place loaves on a greased baking sheet; brush with butter and let rise until doubled.
11. Preheat oven to 325F during last 10 minutes of rising. Bake for 1 hour, brush several times with melted butter as the loaves are baking. When baked, dust generously with powdered sugar just before serving. Serve warm.
Reprinted with permission from Jane Butel’s Freezer Cookbook.
SPICY BACON BITES
A rather unlikely appetizer, but very tasty, especially before a brunch.
Cooking time: about 10 minutes
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
1 egg or 2 egg whites, beaten until frothy
1 Tablespoon ground pure hot red chile or to taste
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 cup finely ground toasted fresh bread crumbs
6 slices thickly cut bacon, cut into 2-inch pieces
1. Preheat the oven to 375F. Place the egg in a shallow pie plate and add 2 Tablespoons water, the chile powder and mustard; mix well. Place the crumbs on a paper plate.
2. Set a baking sheet next to the crumbs. Dip each piece of bacon into the egg mixture, then the crumbs; place on the baking sheet. Bake until golden and crisp, about 10 minutes. Drain and serve warm.
Reprinted with permission from Jane Butel's Quick and Easy cookbook.