Thursday, December 18, 2014

Recipe of the Week: Christmas Around the World - English Trifle

Trifle is an English dessert made with thick layers of custard, whipped cream and sponge cake, which is often soaked in sherry.  The earliest use of the name trifle was for a thick cream flavored with sugar, ginger and rosewater.  The recipe was published in England in 1596 in a book called "The good huswife's Jewell" by Thomas Dawson.  Sixty years later, eggs were added and the custard was poured over alcohol soaked bread.

It is a recipe most often served after Christmas Day Lunch in England.

Recipes can be simple to complex and can include everything from blueberries and bananas to eggnog, gingerbread and Oreo cookies.






Decadent English Trifle


10 oz. sponge cake, halved and cut into thick slices
10 oz. fresh strawberries (or any other berry of your choice)
6 tbsp sweet sherry (you could also use brandy or port)
2 cups thick custard (plain vanilla pudding)
2 cups double whipping cream, softly whipped
Handful , toasted sliced almonds (or any other nuts on hand)


Line the bottom of the dish or glasses with the cake slices

Slice the berries (hang onto a few for decoration) and arrange evenly over the cake.  Press slightly with a fork to release juices.  Sprinkle with sherry.

Spoon over the custard, again in a thick layer.

Finish with a thick layer of cream, either spooned over or piped using a piping bag.

Decorate with berries and a few toasted nuts.

This trifle can be made in a large deep glass dish or into individual glasses. 
Omit sherry if serving to children (better yet, this would probably put them right to sleep)!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

50.5/52 December in Seattle Weekend Wrap Up!

Every year, Brian and I head up to the north end of Seattle to a little town called Edmonds, WA.  Last Saturday we tasted wine and cheese at Arista, shopped at small local retailers and soaked in some holiday cheer in this cute little town.

Before heading up to Edmonds, we stopped off at Wight's Home and Garden to pick out a new tree topper.  Wight's is one of the northwest's premier home and garden stores (very much like our Molbak's adventure a few weeks ago).

Their store is decorate with about 15 themed Christmas trees....and it's hard to get out of there without a few treasures!

 I love a man who knows how to shop!

After lunch at Scott's, we headed home to put the topper on our tree!

Now only 3 more sleeps until Christmas vacation!!


Sunday, December 14, 2014

Menu Plan Monday: December 15-18th

Welcome Monday!

It's the week before Christmas holidays so a bit of a clean up of the fridge and pantry.  Brian is down towards the end of the week and we may head into downtown Portland to see the lights and have a drink with friends.

Remember to check out Laura's site for more organizing ideas!


Monday: Beef Stroganoff over egg noodles with Asparagus
Tuesday:  Clam Chowder and Denver Beer Bread (a packet I picked up in May)
Wednesday: Chick and Princess Rebecca Lane Christmas Party! Garden Burgers and Fries
Thursday:  I think we are all out doing something!  Kitchen closed!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Old Photo Friday: Christmas Memories Part III

WHO: Mike, Steve, Stacy and Sandra (brothers with sister, I am the niece)
WHAT: Christmas Eve
WHERE: E Street - Springfield, OR
WHEN: 1980-ish

Christmas Eve around 1980, probably one of the few with all the Suter/Brady kids (minus Aunt Judy).  My Pop wrote on the back of the picture this inscription:

Mike - Steve - Stacy
Sandra - she looks like you and Mom

Aunt Judy sent a box of old photos for my Pop's 70th birthday last December and this photo was in the box.

Why am I the only one really smiling?  It's Christmas!!!!  Is Uncle Mike the house?  Doesn't Steve look like a young Jon Bon Jovi?!

Happy Holidays!


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Recipe of the Week: Christmas Around the World - Tourtiere (French Canadian Meat Pie)

Tourtiere is a meat pie originating from lower Canada or Quebec, usually made with finely diced pork, veal or beef.   Sometimes wild game is added to enhance the taste of the pie.  Although not exclusive to Quebec.  It is a traditional French-Canadian dish served by generations of families throughout Canada.  In the New England region of the US, especially Maine, Rhode Island and Vermont, late in the 19th century, immigrants from Quebec introduced the dish.

A traditional part of the Christmas and New Year's Eve meal it is also sold in grocery stores throughout the year.

As a kid, every Thanksgiving or Christmas there was always a mince meat pie, typically made from venison, on the table.  I was not a big fan, but this dish brings back a lot of memories of that holiday classic.




1 1/2 cups finely chopped russet potatoes
2 tbsp canola oil
1 1/2 lbs ground pork (you could also use ground lamb or beef or a combo)
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 small yellow onions, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
1/2 cup apple cider
1/2 tsp celery seed
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
Salt and black pepper
1 egg, mixed with 2 tsp milk (for egg wash)
1 box pie pastry (our you could make your own pie dough)


Bring a 4 qt saucepan of water to a boil; add potatoes and cook until tender, about 6 minutes.  Drain and mash until smooth; set aside.

Heat oil in a 4 qt saucepan over medium high heat.  Add pork and cook until no longer pink, about 4 minutes.  Add garlic, onions and carrot.  Cook, stirring often until soft and pork is browned well, about 20 minutes.  Add cider, celery seed and spices.  Season with salt and pepper and cook until all liquid is evaporated, about 3-5 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in the mashed potatoes.  Let filling cool completely.

Heat oven to 400F.  Place pie dough in 9" pie plate and add filling into pie dish and smooth top.  Place remaining pie dough on top and crimp the edges with your fingers or a fork.  Brush egg wash and using a knife, cut 4 2" slits in the top of the pie.

Bake until pastry is golden brown and filling is heated through, about 45-55 minutes.