Holiday Sugar Cookies

1 cup butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 Tbsp milk
2 tsp vanilla
4 cups flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt


  1. Beat together butter and both sugars
  2. Add eggs, milk and vanilla
  3. combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl
  4. Stir into batter
  5. Chill 3 – 4 hours
  6. Roll 1/3 of dough into 1/8″ sheet
  7. Cut with cookie cutters
  8. Bake at 375° for 8 – 10 mins
  9. Decorate with sugar crystals, nonparielles or icing (recipe below)

•  2 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
•  2 Tbsp light corn syrup
•  1 1/2 to 2 TBSP plus 1 tsp milk
•  Food coloring (optional)

1. In a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, corn syrup, and 1 1/2 tablespoons of the milk until smooth.
2. Add food coloring, if desired.
3. Spread one cookie with glaze, using a table knife or offset spatula. If it doesn’t smooth out after 1 minute, dribble in additional milk, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, until the glaze reaches the right consistency.

If you are decorating with dots or sprinkles, be sure to do it before the glaze hardens too much.

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Beef Tenderloin with 5 Onion Sauce

  • 3 1/2 pounds of pretrimmed beef tenderloin
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 2 large yellow onions, sliced and separated into rings
  • 2 large red onions, sliced and separated into rings
  • 2 bunches of green onions
  • 12 shallots
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup cognac
  • 1/2 cup of beef broth

Brown tenderloin on all sides in hot oil in heavy pan or dutch oven.  Remove and reserve drippings in pan.  Add butter and saute yellow and red onions for 5 minutes, add green onions, shallots and garlic and saute another 10 minutes.  Stir in cognac and beef broth.  Reduce until the consistency is gravy-like.  Place tenderloin on top.

Bake uncovered at 400° for 45 minutes or until meat thermometer reads 145°.  Remove tenderloin from roasting pan.  Reserve onion and juice in pan.  Let meat stand loosely covered for 10 minutes. Cook onion mixture over medium heat stirring constantly for 3 – 5 minutes or until liquid evaporates.  Serve with meat.

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Creme Brulee

  • 3 cups of half and half
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • light brown sugar
  • 9 large egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • strawberries for garnish

Early in day or one day ahead:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°.  In a 2 quart saucepan over medium heat, heat half and half until tiny bubbles form around the edge of the pan.
  2. Meanwhile, in heavy 3 quart saucepan over medium heat, heat butter and 3/4 cup of packed light brown sugar to boiling; boil 2 minutes, stirring constantly.  Gradually whisk in warm half and half until mixture is completely smooth.  Remove from heat.
  3. In medium bowl, with wire whisk beat egg yolks and vanilla extract until blended; slowly beat in half and half mixture until well mixed.
  4. Pour half and half mixture into 12 4 ounce ramekins.  Place ramekins in small roasting pan.  Carefully pour boiling water into pan to come up half way on the sides of ramekins.  Bake 1 hour or until just set (will be slightly soft in center).  Refrigerate ramekins 3 hours until chilled.
  5. Up to 4 hours before service, preheat broiler.  Sieve brown sugar on top of ramekins to almost cover.  Place ramekins into jellyroll pan and broil 3 – 4 minutes until sugar melts.
  6. Refrigerate until ready to serve.  Serve within 4 hours or sugar will not be crisp.


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Stuffed Pork Roast with 2 Sauces

Pork Roast

  • 4 Pound center cut pork loin boned
  • Pecan Bread Stuffing
  • Cranberry Coulis
  • Onion Creme Sauce OR
  • Five Onion Sauce

Preheat oven to 400°. Spread 1/4 of the stuffing over the pork loin, roll and tie with string.  Spoon remaining stuffing into a baking dish cover and set aside.

Place the roast on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Set roast in oven and immediately lower temperature to 350°.

Bake stuffing for 30 minutes. Roast until meat thermometer registers 160°.  Remove the roast from the oven and let stand 15 minutes before carving.

Cut roast into slices, stuffing may fall out.  Center extra stuffing on each dinner plate and place 2 slices of pork over top.  Serve with Cranberry Coulis and one of the other sauces.

Pecan Bread Stuffing

  • 8 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 pounds of onions thinly sliced
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 2 oz prosciutto ham
  • 1/2 cup French bread crusts trimmed
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Saute onions in butter until soft. Transfer half the onions to a food processor, reserving the remaining onion for Onion Creme Sauce.  Add the pecans, ham, bread and S/P and mince.  Chill before using.

Cranberry Coulis

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1 pound cranberries
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Combine water and sugar in saucepan and bring to a boil.  Make sure sugar is dissolved.  Add cranberries.  Lower heat, cover and simmer until cranberries have popped about 5 minutes, Transfer to a food processor and puree.  Strain through a sieve, add s&p to taste.  Heat through before serving.

Onion Creme Sauce

  • 2 cups of whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • onion reserved from stuffing
  • salt and pepper

In saucepan combine the creme, broth and onion.  Cook, stirring occasionally until mixture is reduced to 2 1/2 about 30 minutes.  Let cool slightly.  Transfer to a food processor and puree.  Strain puree into a bowl.  discarding any unblended bits of onion.  Stir in salt and pepper to taste.  Heat through.

5 Onion Sauce

  • 2 large yellow onions, sliced and separated into rings
  • 2 large red onions, sliced and separated into rings
  • 2 bunches of green onions
  • 12 shallots
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup cognac
  • 1/2 cup of beef broth

Saute yellow and red onions for 5 minutes, add green onions, shallots and garlic and saute another 10 minutes.  Stir in cognac and beef broth.  Reduce until the consistency is gravy-like.

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Potato Pie with Salmon

  • potatosalmon6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 medium russet potatoes
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons cream cheese
  • 3 tablespoons creme fraiche (or sour cream)
  • 5 ounces sliced smoked salmon
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh chives


  1. Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat; let solids sink to bottom. Skim foam. Carefully pour off clarified butter, discarding solids.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice potatoes a little less than 1/8 inch thick, and lay on a kitchen towel. Heat a large ovenproof skillet (preferably cast-iron) over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons clarified butter; swirl to coat. Arrange some potatoes in concentric circles. Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and some freshly ground pepper to coat. Repeat with remaining potatoes to form 2 more layers. Pour 3 tablespoons clarified butter down sides of skillet to seep under potatoes. Brush underside of a medium heavy skillet with remaining clarified butter; set over potatoes as a cover. Reduce heat to medium. Cook until underside is golden and crisp, 5 to 7 minutes more. Flip potatoes using 2 metal spatulas. Cover with skillet. Cook until potatoes start to brown, about 4 minutes. Remove top skillet. Bake until underside is crisp, 7 to 9 minutes.
  3. Remove galette from skillet; transfer to a wire rack. Let cool for 10 minutes. Beat cream cheese with creme fraiche until fluffy; spread over potatoes. Top with salmon. Sprinkle with chives. Cut into wedges.

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Quinoa and Broccoli Salad

  • 1 1/2 cups red or white quinoa, rinsed, drained
  • 1 pound broccoli, trimmed, cut into small  florets
  • 9 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil,  divided
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground  black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon  juice
  • 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice  vinegar
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced  shallot
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf  parsley
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh  cilantro
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh  mint
  • 4 ounces feta, cut into 1/4-inch  cubes
  • 4 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted,  divided


  1. Preheat oven to 450°. Bring quinoa and 4 cups water to a boil  in a medium saucepan. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until quinoa  is tender but not mushy, 12–15 minutes for red quinoa or 8–10 minutes for white.  Drain; return quinoa to hot saucepan. Cover and let sit for 15 minutes. Fluff  with a fork and transfer to a large bowl.
  2. Meanwhile, toss broccoli with 2 Tbsp. oil on a rimmed baking  sheet.  Season with salt and pepper and toss to evenly coat broccoli. Roast,  stirring occasionally, until nicely browned and cooked through, about 15  minutes. Let cool slightly; add to bowl with quinoa.
  3. Whisk remaining 7 Tbsp. oil, lemon juice, vinegar, and shallot  in a small bowl.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Add parsley, cilantro,  mint, feta, and 2 Tbsp. pine nuts to quinoa; pour vinaigrette

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Asian Sesame Chicken Salad


  • 2 wonton wrappers
  • Canola oil, for frying
  • 2 tablespoons sliced almonds
  • 4 cups romaine lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces, loosely packed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 6 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast, grilled and sliced thinly on a bias
  • ¼ cup Dressing (recipe follows)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Dressing  Makes 1 ¼ cups

  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • ¼ cup toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • ¾ cup canola or vegetable oil



1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. To prepare wonton strips, cut wonton wrappers into 1/4 inch strips. In a deep skillet, pour canola oil to a depth of 2 to 3 inches. Heat oil to 365°F. Carefully drop wonton slices into hot oil and fry for about 30 seconds, or until crisp and golden. Remove with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

2. Arrange almonds in a single layer on a sheet pan. Toast in the oven for 5 minutes, toss nuts, then toast for an additional 5 minutes, or until golden. Remove from pan to cool.

3. To make the salad, toss the lettuce, cilantro, wonton strips, chicken, and dressing in a large mixing bowl until combined. Place the mixture on a serving plate. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and almonds and serve.

Asian Sesame Dressing:

1. Combine all ingredients except canola oil in a medium mixing bowl with a wire whisk.

2. Once ingredients are combined, slowly pour in the oil while whisking to form an emulsion.



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Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa


  • 1/2 cup chopped peeled mango
  • 1/2 cup chopped green tomato
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
  • 4 teaspoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder


  • 2 (6-ounce) tilapia or cod fillets
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2 teaspoon  Old Bay seasoning
  • 4 (8-inch) whole-wheat flour tortillas
  • 1 cup mixed salad greens

1. Make salsa, combine the first 7 ingredients in a small bowl; toss well.
2. To prepare tacos, preheat broiler.
3. Place fish on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray; sprinkle fish evenly with seasoning. Broil 6 minutes or until desired degree of doneness.
4. Heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Lightly coat tortillas with cooking spray. Add the tortillas to pan, 1 at a time; cook 1 minute on each side or until lightly toasted. Divide fish evenly among tortillas; top each taco with 1/4 cup greens and 1/4 cup salsa. Serve immediately.

Serves 2


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Paella – Mom Style

Be as creative as you like with the fishes.  Mix and match as you see fit.

  • 1 lobster or 2 lobster tails
  • 6 medium size raw shrimp
  • 6 small clams
  • 6 mussels
  • 1/2 lb chorizo or smoked sausage
  • 1 1/2 lbs chicken cut up
  • s&p
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 oz cubed pork
  • 1/2 cup onions
  • 1 tsp garlic
  • 1 G or R pepper cut into strips
  • 1 lg tomato chopped
  • 3 cups long grain rice
  • 1/4 tsp saffron
  • 6 cups boiling water
  • 1/2 cup peas thawed
  • 2 lemons


  1. Shell Shrimp but keeps tails on
  2. Cut lobster into serving pieces
  3. Clean mussels and clams

In the same skillet:

  1. Season chicken and then brown pieces – remove when cooked
  2. Cook sausage, slice and brown slices. – remove when cooked
  3. Cook lobster 2 – 3 mins – remove when cooked


Remove remaining oil from pan.  Add olive oil and brown pork cubes.  Add the vegetables and cook until is is thickened

Cook Paella:

  1. Heat oven to 400°
  2. In 14″ pan or paella pan combine sofrito, rice, salt and saffron
  3. Pour in boiling water and bring to boil, stirring constantly – then remove from heat immediately
  4. Arrange the meat and fishes on top of the rice
  5. Scatter peas on top
  6. Set pan on the floor (or bottom) of oven.  Bake uncovered 25 – 30 minutes
  7. Do NOT stir paella once it is in the oven
  8. When done, remove from oven and drape a kitchen towel over paella and let it rest 5 – 8 minutes
  9. Garnish with lemons and serve.

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Pumpkin Bread

2 cups sugar
2/3 cup butter softened
15 oz can pumpkin
2/3 cup milk
4 eggs beaten
3 1/3 cup flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
2/ cup raisins
2/3 cup nuts

Blend sugar and butter in a mixing bowl, add pumpkin, milk and eggs.  Set aside.  Combine flour, baking soda and powder, salt and spices in another bowl; stir into pumpkin mixture.  Add raisins and nuts.  Spoon into 2 loaf pans.  Bake at 350° for 70 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

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