12 Days of Christmas, Day 9: [Recipe] Suzi’s Cream Cheese Rugelach

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I’m sure when you think of a crescent shaped pastry, you think of croissants. Same here. Until today. Now I will also be thinking of rugelach.

Rugelach is a Jewish pastry, filled with sweet fillings and rolled into a crescent shape. Rugelach is traditionally eaten during the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah.

My good friend Suzi passed along this recipe. I’ll admit that I had never eaten rugelach before trying this recipe. Now I’ll never look back. This recipe is absolutely delicious. The dough is so tender and light, and the filling possibilities are endless.

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12 Days of Christmas, Day 8: [Recipe] Crosby’s Molasses Apple Gingerbread Cake

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Try your gingerbread a different way this year with this lovely recipe from Crosby’s Molasses. I made this cake based on their Peach Gingerbread Cake recipe.

Gingerbread is one of those recipes that no matter when you smell it, you think of fall and winter, specifically the holidays. The spicy combination of cinnamon and ginger combined with molasses just makes me think of curling up in front of my Christmas tree with a cup of tea and some gingerbread. Cookies or cakes, doesn’t matter to me.

Visit the Crosby’s Molasses website for many more recipes using molasses. Crosby’s is a Canadian maritime company, currently based in Saint John, New Brunswick. Their molasses is like dark liquid gold. It’s my go to brand of molasses for baking cookies and cakes, and for drizzling on warm biscuits with butter.

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[Recipe] Apple Gingerbread Cake

Adapted from Crosby’s Molasses website

2 cups flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
2/3 cup butter, melted
1 cup milk
½ cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 large apples, peeled, thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour a 10″ spring form pan.

Stir together flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices.

In another bowl, whisk together the melted butter, milk, molasses, eggs and vanilla.

Make a well in the dry ingredients. Add the wet to the dry and combine gently but thoroughly.

Pour into prepared pan and arrange the apple slices on top.

Bake for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.

12 Days of Christmas, Day 7: [Recipe] Tomato Barley Soup

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Who doesn’t love a nice hot bowl of soup on a cold winter’s day? I know I certainly do. There’s just nothing like staying tucked in on a snow day with a pot of soup simmering on the stove. Such a comforting thought.

This tomato and barley soup recipe was passed along to me by my good friend Geneviève. It is a wonderful recipe, and so flexible. You can change up the seasonings and broth, and you can add meat to the soup too if you’d like. Sometimes I fry up a bit of ground beef to add to this soup.

Thank you Geneviève, for a great recipe. Thank you too, for being a good friend. I hope our friendship continues to grow in the years ahead of us.

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[Recipe] Tomato Barley Soup

1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrots
2 tsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp oil (any oil works)
1 can diced tomatoes (Italian seasoned work well)
1 carton broth (approximately 4 cups – I use low sodium)
1/4 cup uncooked barley
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper

Note: If using a can of plain diced tomatoes, add some herbs and spices to the soup, a couple of teaspoons of your favourites.

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In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the onions, celery, carrots, garlic and oil. Saute for 5 to 10 minutes, or until all vegetables are almost tender.

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Add canned tomatoes, broth, barley, and ground black pepper.

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Stir thoroughly and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 35 to 40 minutes, or until barley is tender.

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12 Days of Christmas, Day 6: [Recipe] Butterscotch Oat Squares

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A couple of summers ago, we had our friends, The Freeburns, come to visit us. During their visit, we spent a day at the King’s Landing settlement, just outside Fredericton. While we were there, we walked through one of the very old buildings where two women were cooking a fudgy oat square over hot coals. We tried some and loved it.

Being the crazy food person that I am, I immediately asked for the recipe. They told me they didn’t really follow a recipe, but told me the ingredients. So few ingredients – it sounded so simple.

Months later, I’m looking through a recipe box that I got at an auction. This recipe box is packed full of recipes, all very worn and weathered, with titles on them like ‘Aunt Alda’s Lemon Pudding’, and ‘Mrs. Black’s Raspberry Whip’. Flipping through the recipes, I found this gem. Butterscotch Oat Squares. My mind instantly went back to our visit to King’s Landing and the fudgy oat squares we enjoyed there. I made the squares and much to my sheer delight, they were just what I was looking for!

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12 Days of Christmas, Day 5: [Recipe] Buffalo Chicken Dip

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For quite some time now, I’ve been thinking about buffalo chicken dip. I see it all over Pinterest, and I’ve always been intrigued. I am completely addicted to hot foods, so a buffalo chicken dip is right up my alley.

The problem with all of the pins and recipes I’ve seen though is that they use canned chicken and ranch dressing mix. I’m not a fan of ranch anything, really, and I suppose you can use canned chicken, but wouldn’t it be tastier with real chicken? I also like my buffalo with blue. It’s for all of those reasons that I knew I had to come up with my own recipe.

This is my buffalo chicken dip recipe – a creamy, cheesy base, with all of the stuff I think of when I think of buffalo chicken – chicken, a bit of a buffalo kick, and the tang of blue cheese.

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