The Edwards Agency

Home & Garden

Dining In: Traditions--old and new

recipes Entertain and impress family and friends by bringing the tradition of carving to your table. Follow these simple tips to expertly carve the holiday turkey with ease and style:
  1. Insert carving fork into meaty part of drumstick. Starting on side toward carver, place carving knife at joint between drumstick and thigh and cut through skin to joint.
  2. Separate leg from body by pressing leg outward with carving knife and bending it back with carving fork. Lift to extra platter. Disjoint wing and separate from body in the same manner.
  3. Make a horizontal base cut across the bottom of the breast with the carving knife.
  4. Slice breast downward with straight, even strokes, beginning halfway up the breast. Continue slicing breast by beginning at a higher point each time until the chest bone is reached.
Gingerbread People
   3/4 c. butter, softened
   3/4 c. packed brown sugar
   1/4 c. molasses
   1 egg
   3 c. flour
   2 tsp. ground cinnamon
   2 tsp. ground ginger
   1 tsp. ground allspice
   1/2 tsp. baking soda
   Commercially prepared icing tubes

   Beat butter, brown sugar, and molasses until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes; beat in egg. Combine dry ingredients. Stir into butter mixture. Gather into a ball. Wrap and refrigerate overnight.
   Divide into two balls. Roll out each ball to 1/4-inch thickness on lightly floured surface. Cut with cookie cutters dipped into flour. Transfer to greased baking sheet one inch apart. Repeat with remaining dough.
   Bake at 375 F, 6-10 minutes or until no indentation remains when touched. Place cookies on wire rack; cool thoroughly. Decorate as desired.

Grandma's Rum Pudding Cake
   No-stick spray
   2 3/4 c. flour
   1 1/2 c. sugar
   3 1/2 tsp. baking powder
   1 tsp. salt
   1 pkg. vanilla instant pudding mix
   1 c. vegetable oil
   1/2 c. milk
   1/2 c. rum
   4 eggs
   Glaze (recipe follows)

   Preheat oven to 325 F. Spray no-stick spray on a 10-cup fluted tube pan. In a large mixing bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and pudding mix. Add oil, milk, rum, and eggs. Mix on low speed until ingredients are moistened, then on high speed for 2 minutes. Pour into prepared pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 70 minutes or until done. Remove from oven and pierce top very thoroughly with toothpick. Immediately pour glaze over top. Cool completely before removing from cake pan.

Glaze
   1 stick butter
   1/4 c. water
   1 c. sugar
   1 oz. rum

   In a saucepan, combine butter, water, and sugar. Boil mixture for one minute. Remove from heat and add rum.

Cheddar Herb Wreath
(A bread machine recipe)
   1 c. lukewarm water (75 F to 85 F)
   1 pkg. (14 oz.) Italian herb bread machine mix
   1 packet yeast (included in bread mix)
   2 Tbsp. butter
   1 c. shredded sharp Cheddar Cheese (about 4 oz.)

   Set bread machine to dough setting. Add all ingredients except cheese in the order suggested by your bread machine owner's manual. When dough is ready, remove from machine and knead in cheese. Divide dough into three equal pieces. Roll each piece to form a rope about 18 inches long.
   Entwine the three strands, working from outside edges toward center to form a braid. Join the two ends together forming the braid into a wreath. Place wreath on baking sheet; cover and let rise in warm draft-free place until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes. Lightly brush with milk.
   Bake at 375 degrees about 40 minutes or until done (should sound hollow when tapped on bottom). Cool on wire rack. Best served warm. Makes one wreath.

Tree Appetizer Torte
   4 pkg. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
   8 oz. goat cheese, softened
   15 thin slices Provolone cheese (approx. 3/4 lb.), divided
   1 1/2 c. prepared pesto, divided
   1 c. chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, well drained
   1/2 c. pine nuts, toasted
   Thinly sliced French bread, toasted (brush with olive oil before toasting, if desired)

   Wet a single layer of cheesecloth and squeeze dry. Line a tree-shaped pan with cheesecloth, allowing cloth to extend over sides. Beat cream cheese and goat cheese until very creamy and smooth, about 5 minutes. Layer ingredients in prepared pan as follows:
   2 c. cream cheese mixture; 5 slices provolone; 3/4 c. pesto; 5 slices provolone; 1 c. cream cheese mixture; chopped sun-dried tomatoes; pine nuts; 5 slices provolone; 3/4 c. (remaining) pesto; and 2 c. (remaining) cream cheese mixture.
   Fold hanging cheesecloth over top. Refrigerate several hours or overnight. Unwrap top of mold. Unmold appetizer onto serving platter; remove cheesecloth. Garnish with roasted red pepper circles and stars, fresh basil leaves and additional toasted pine nuts. Serve with toasted French bread slices.