Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas Foods - Sweet and Savoury

December  19, 2012

There are 5 more days until Christmas Day and it's time to make a few more treats for my family and friends.  Today was an  'in day' the snow was coming down quite heavily along with the winds to blow it all around.  Beautiful sight if one is staying home but not so good if you are on the roads.

Each  year and for many years now I have made one of the family's favorite sweet snacks  -                                                  Poppycock

It's crunchy, salty and sweet made with home popped popcorn (made the old fashioned way - in a pot with oil and a bit of butter) another favorite that the family always ask me to make for them. 
We had popcorn as a snack yesterday so with the leftovers I decided to make my Poppycock.

Pam's Poppycock

Ingredients you will need.
The  brown sugar, corn syrup and  butter  heating up to a boil

 Once the butter, sugar and corn syrup have come
to a boil, stir to make sure it all comes together and
is smooth.
 Pour this over the popcorn, nut mixture and mix well
with a greased spoon.  Scoop out onto greased pans
and put into the oven

Set your oven to  200 degrees

  Scoop mixture onto  greased pans and place in
the 200 degree oven, for   30 minutes, mixing every
10-12 minutes.
    Take out from oven and let cool, break into pieces
and store in jars or plastic bags.

 5- 8 cups  popcorn
 1-2 cups nuts
 (I used mixed but it can be your choice)
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
(any kind - light or dark)
1/2 cup butter
 Pinch cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
 In a large bowl add  your popcorn and nuts,  mix together
 In a medium saucepan, combine the butter, brown sugar and corn syrup
 bring to a boil and stir until smooth.
Take off stove and add the cream of tartar and  baking soda
   Pour over the nuts and popcorn, stir well and then
divide mixture onto two large baking sheets that have been
 Place in 200 degree oven for  30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes
After the  30 minutes, removed from oven and let cool, once cooled
break up into pieces and store in clean glass jars or plastic Ziploc bags.
I usually keep mine in gallon glass jars.
When making my Poppycock today, I forgot to add the  baking soda - no worries it still came out crispy and sweet!
Enjoy with a cup of your favorite tea or coffee.
Holidays means slowing down moving at a more relaxed pace....
On those days when  everyone seems to get up at a different time of the morning, some sleeping in longer than others,  breakfast is at a later time and then lunch ends up a bit later as well.
I like to make up a batch of Pizza Bun Mix that I remember my Mother making and having in the fridge ready for us to put on some bread/buns and toast up at our leisure.
I remember these buns being served at many family gatherings, baby showers, wedding showers, they are always a hit with both kids and adults - if you have a batch of the mix in the fridge you are always ready for visitors!
So today I decided to mix up a batch of
Pizza Bun Mix
Ingredients you will need to make the Pizza Bun Mix

Put all ingredients in a bowl, mix until  combined
add salt and pepper to taste.

Spread mixture on bun/bread   - enough to cover the
bun/bread  and place in oven/toaster oven
Bake at 350 degrees for 5-9 minutes and then
broil until bubbly

 Pizza Bun, a nice snack, a meal if you add a bowl of
homemade soup or even with a salad.
Great for those on the go!
Note:  I have also added black olives and mozzarella cheese
 to the original recipe - feel free to change it up in
any way that your family likes.
 1 medium onion, chopped fine
1/2 green pepper, chopped fine
1 can mushrooms  (stems & pieces) chopped fine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can tomato paste
1 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated
1/4 - 1/2 cup oil
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.   Spread some of the mixture
onto buns or bread and bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes and
broil until bubbly.
NOTE:  I have substituted red pepper for the green and shallots for the onion
 Our family loves raw vegetables and salads so we  will have one or the other
with our lunch or supper.  This salad is  one of the family's favorite and can be made ahead of time: 
 7 Layer Salad
The completed salad

The ingredients you will need.

Slice your lettuce as 'semi' fine

Dice the celery

 Dice the green pepper

 Dice the onion, then place in order - lettuce, celery, green pepper
and onion

In a small bowl mix up  your dressing of Mayonnaise and grown sugar

Spread the dressing over layers of vegetables,
top with the drained peas and shredded cheese.
Cover and set in fridge for at least 1 hour or better
4 hours .
Serve, making sure to scoop down to the bottom
getting a bit of each layered vegetable.
1 head lettuce, shredded
1 cup celery, diced
1 large green pepper, diced (red is good too)
1 medium onion, diced
1 16- oz can  peas drained
1 - 11/2 cups mayonnaise (lite works too)
2  tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
In large bowl, layer your vegetables,
 top with the mayonnaise dressing
 Add the  shredded cheese of top
Cover with plastic wrap and put in
the fridge for at least 1 hour but 4 hours is best
for the flavours of the dressing to blend.
"May the nourishment of the Earth be yours,
May the clarity of the light be yours,
May the fluency of the ocean be yours,
May the protection of the ancestors be yours.
And so may a slow wind work these words of love around you,
an invisible cloak to mind your life."
John O'Donohue