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Recipes for the Holidays

From Wally Siebel:

Gorgonzola Lasagna

  • 8 ounces lasagna noodles
  • 4 red peppers
  • 2 red onions, sliced into ½ inch thick rounds
  • 2 TBs lemon juice
  • 3 tsp fresh thyme or ¾ tsp dried thyme
  • 2 TBs olive oil
  • 1 small head escarole, washed, trimmed and sliced crosswise into 1-inch wide strips
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 4 oz. Gorgonzola cheese, broken into small pieces
  1. Preheat broiler. Arrange the peppers in the center of a baking sheet with the onion slices surrounding them. Broil the vegetables until the peppers are blistered on all sides and the onions are lightly browned --- 10 to 15 minutes. (You will need to turn the peppers a few times, the onions once.) Put the peppers in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside. Separate the onion slices into rings and reserve them as well.
  2. Cook the lasagna in 3 quarts boiling unsalted water with the lemon juice for 7 minutes --- the pasta will be slightly underdone. Drain the pasta and run cold water over it.
  3. Peel the peppers when they are cool enough to handle, working over a bowl to catch the juices. Remove the stem, seeds and ribs from each pepper. Set one pepper aside and slice the remaining three into length-wise strips about ¾ inches wide. Strain the pepper juices and reserve them.
  4. Quarter the reserved whole pepper; puree the pieces in a food processor or a blender with the pepper juices and 2 tsp of fresh thyme or ½ tsp dried thyme. Preheat the oven to 350.
  5. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the escarole, ¼ tsp salt, the remaining thyme, and a generous grinding of black pepper. Sauté until the escarole is wilted and almost all the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat.
  6. Line the bottom of a greased baking dish with a layer of lasagna. Cover with half of the escarole and sprinkle with 1 TB parmesan. Spread half the pepper strips over the top, then cover with half the onion rings. Repeat with another layer in the same order, this time topping the onion rings with half the pepper puree. Cover the second level with a final layer of lasagna, and spread the remaining pepper puree over the top. Scatter the gorgonzola cheese on top, then sprinkle on the remaining parmesan.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes. Let the dish stand for 10 minutes to meld flavors before serving.

From Carole Berard:

Ricotta Cheesecake with Pomegranate Sauce

(taken from Celebrations, Italian Style: Recipes and Menus for Special Occasions and Seasons of the Year by Mary Ann Esposito)

  • 1 TB unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 16 ounce container skim milk ricotta cheese, well drained
  • 1 pound mascarpone cheese or cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  1. Preheat over to 325. Grease a 9-inch springform pan with the butter. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper and grease the paper with the remaining butter. Generously dust the pan with flour and shake out excess.
  2. In a bowl, with an electric mixer, beat the cheeses until smooth. Beat in the sugar. Beat in the egg yolks one at a time, until well blended. Fold in the flour.
  3. In another bowl, with clean beaters, beat the egg whites with the salt until stiff peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the cheese mixture. Pour the batter into the pan, and smooth the top with a spatula.
  4. Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
  5. Turn off the oven and leave the cake in the oven with the door ajar for 30 minutes. Remove the cake to a rack and let cool completely, then cover and refrigerate the cake for at least 2 hours.
  6. To serve, run a knife around the edges of the cake to loosen it. Release the spring on the pan and remove the form. Put a serving dish over the top of the cake and invert it onto the plate. Remove the parchment paper.
  7. Spread the pomegranate sauce evenly over the top of the cake or along side.

Pomegranate Sauce

  • Combine 3 TBs cornstarch, and ¾ cup sugar in a saucepan. Slowly stir in 2 cups of the juice and stir well. Cook sauce over medium heat until it coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and cool. The sauce can be made ahead and chilled.

Jackie's Lemon-Cranberry Pound Cake
(adapted from a Food Network recipe)

Nice for a brunch, or possibly dessert after a big holiday dinner --- the lemon flavor and fruit is a nice light taste for the end of a meal.

  • Preheat oven to 350. Butter and flour a bundt or chiffon cake pan.

  • Make the cranberry filling: Empty one 12 ounce bag of fresh cranberries and ¾ cup of sugar in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes, until it's a jam-like sauce. Cool. (In a hurry? You could substitute a can of cranberry sauce…or maybe even some apricot preserves.)

  • Whisk 6 TBs milk, 4 whole eggs and 2 egg yolks and 2 tsps vanilla. Set aside.

  • Whisk 3 cups flour, 1 & ¾ cups sugar, 2 TBs grated lemon zest (fresh is best), 1 & ½ tsps baking powder and ½ tsp salt. Add 3&1/4 sticks of unsalted butter which has been cubed and at room temperature and beat with a mixer until moistened. Add half the milk-egg mixture, beat one minute. Add the rest of the milk in two batches, beating one minute each time.

  • Put 2/3 of the batter in the pan. Spoon the cranberry mixture in a ring around the middle of the batter, being careful to NOT let the mixture touch the pan. Top with the remaining batter and smooth. The goal is to keep all the fruit mixture enclosed on all sides by batter, so the fruit doesn't stick to the pan. Bake about 55 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

  • While the cake is baking, make the syrup: Dissolve ¼ cup of sugar and ½ cup lemon juice in a saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat.

  • When cake comes out of the oven poke all over the top with a skewer, then pour the warm syrup on top. Let cake cool in pan for 10 minutes. Then run a knife around the cake to loosen it in the pan and carefully invert it on to a rack or a plate. When it's cool, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and leave it overnight.

  • Before serving, whisk 1&1/2 cups of confectioners' sugar and 2 TBs of lemon juice until smooth. Drizzle over the cake.

Shrimp and Andouille Sausage Gumbo

From Wally Siebel on the 2008 Holiday Recipe Show.

All measures are approximate and subject to change according to your taste and whim:

  • 4 oz veg oil
  • 2 tbl flour
  • 1/2 lb. small shrimp (30-40 count), raw
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 cup diced green pepper (or red)
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 can diced tomato (28 oz) with liquid
  • 1 cup fish stock (NOT fish sauce!) OK to sub chicken stock
  • 1 tbl thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • tomato paste as needed
  • dash cayenne pepper
  • salt &pepper to taste
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 tbl file powder (available at Potsdam Food Co-op)
  • 1 link Chef Rick's andouille sausage (from Potsdam Big M), cut into small but identifiable pieces
  1. Saute onion, pepper, celery and garlic in half the oil until soft
  2. Add remaining oil, then stir in flour
  3. Add tomatoes and fish stock, cook until thickened
  4. Add thyme and bay leaves
  5. Simmer for half hour
  6. Stir in file powder, s&p
  7. Increase heat to just under a boil, add shrimp, cook through
  8. Add tomato paste for color
  9. Taste, add andouille, simmer again, then taste. If not enough heat, add dash of cayenne
  10. Garnish with green onions

Gumbo should be thick, almost stew-like. Enjoy!

French Canadian Meat Pie

From the ‘tastypoint’ of a Carpet bagger transported from the state of Indiana to the North Country in Old Forge, one of the delectable surprises bequeathed from the Gaspe settlers to our region is the Christmas specialty our neighbors would share with us: the French Canadian Meat Pie. My friend Pat Morin would present us with a perfect Meat Pie during that season and her mentor Cecelia Buckley (95 yrs in Jan 08) wrote out their version.

Contributed by Miriam Kashiwa, Old Forge, often privileged recipient of the delicacy

  • 1 1/4 lb. ground pork
  • 1 1/2 lb. ground beef
  • 1 1/2 lb. ground veal
  • 1 c grated and peeled potatoes
  • 1/2 c grated onion
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp dried savory
  • 1/4 tsp rubbed sage
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 c plus 2T water (divided)
  • 1/4 c dried bread crumbs
  • 1 egg

Procedure: Step I

  1. In a large skillet, over medium heat, combine and cook the pork, beef, veal , potatoes and onion until the meat is no longer pink. Drain mixture.
  2. Stir in the garlic, seasonings, part of 1/4 c water and egg combined with remaining water. Bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes stirring frequently.
  4. Remove from heat; cool to room temperature.
  5. Stir in bread crumbs and remaining water.
  6. Stir into the meat mixture.

Step 2

  1. Line 9” pie plate with bottom pastry; trim even with edge.
  2. Fill with meat mixture.
  3. Roll out remaining pastry to fit top of pie, place over filling.
  4. Trim, seal and flute edge. Cut slits in pastry .
  5. Cover edges of pastry loosely with foil.

Step 3

  1. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.
  2. Remove foil and reduce heat to 375 degrees.
  3. Bake 30 – 35 minutes ...longer or until crust is golden brown and filling heated through.

Yield: 6 – 8 servings


St. Paddy's Day Lamb Stew

  • 3-4 lbs. lean lamb stew meat
  • 2-3 tbs.olive oil
  • 2 med. onions sliced in half and cut in half rings
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 3 large white potatoes cubed
  • 3 large parsnips cut in 1/2 inch slices
  • 3 carrots cut in 1/2 inch slices
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • Water to cover meat
  1. In a stockpot, saute garlic and onion in olive oil over medium heat until onion is soft.
  2. Add lamb and brown meat.
  3. Add water just covering, salt, pepper, and simmer in covered pot for 2 hours.
  4. Check several times and add water if needed.
  5. Add potatoes, carrots and persnips, cook until veggies are tender.
  6. Serve with warm Irish Soda Bread and cold Guinness

Note: If you need to thicken add 1 tbs. cornstarch mixed with 1/4 cup of cold water to stew and simmer.

James Doyle

"Panic Present" Pork

We live in North River, a pretty good distance from holiday mall shopping. Therefore, one must plan ahead to be all shopped and wrapped by Christmas Eve. The one guy who never quite gets this concept is my husband Tom! On December 24, he starts to panic and rushes to Hudson River Trading Company only 10 miles away in North Creek. Here he can purchase all kinds of Adirondack-y things for the family but he never feels that he has bought enough for me, his dear wife. So he scurries to the back room, knowing I love to cook, where all the food-stuffs are on display and he buys a few "Panic Presents"--this year including a jar of Blueberry Chutney. Hmmm! how in the world would I put this to use? Well, a houseful of kids and grandkids as well as a couple of pork tenderloins in the fridge forced the issue:

  • 2 Pork Tenderloins-1 to 1-1/2 pounds each,
    sliced into 1/2 inch rounds
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1/2 t. pepper
  • 1/4 c. canola or vegetable. oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 c. sliced mushrooms (optional)
  • 1/4 c. ruby port wine*
  • 8-10 ounce jar of Blueberry Chutney*
  • 1 1/2 C chicken broth

*You can substitute any type of fruit chutney, jam, or preserves for the Blueberry Chutney. Use ruby port for dark fruits and golden port for light fruits.

  1. Put flour, salt, pepper in a gallon plastic bag. Add pork slices, half of them at a time, and shake.
  2. Heat oil a large skillet. Brown pork slices on each side and remove to a plate. Cover with foil to keep warm.
  3. Saute onion, garlic, mushrooms in same pan until soft.
  4. Deglaze the pan with the port.
  5. Stir in the chutney and broth. Return the pork to the pan.
  6. Continue to cook over medium heat until slightly thickened and meat is cooked through, about 8 minutes.
  7. Serve with rice, polenta, or grits.

Susan Forrest, North River, NY

Candy Cane Cookies

From Bridget Collins given to Carol Ciesla Pearsall about 1968


  • 1 cup soft shortening (Crisco)
  • 1 cup sifted confectioner's sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • 2 ½ cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  1. Stir together both sets of ingredients to form a pliable cookie dough; divide in half; add ½ teaspoon red food coloring to one half.
  2. Measure out one teaspoon of red dough and one teaspoon of white dough. Roll each teaspoon into a 4" strip.
  3. Twist the strips together, putting a candy cane crook in one end.
  4. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Continue with the remaining dough.
  5. Bake at 375 degrees for 9 minutes (cookies should be cooked, but not brown, time varies with different ovens, check after 8 minutes.)

Our cookie tray includes candies as well as cookies. The all time favorite candy is this fudge. The initial recipe was from a jar of marshmallow crème. Over the decades (I first made this fudge for a class bake sale in 1960) the recipe on the jar lid was the same so when I was asked for the recipe I directed the person to the crème - and then the company was sold and I couldn't find the crème. Recently Kraft Marshmallow Crème is back on the shelves. But the recipe has changed. Here is the one I have used since that first panic of what to bring for the bake sale. I have tried it using butter, different brands of margarine, different kinds of vanilla and different kinds of marshmallow (because I couldn't find the crème I needed) as well as different kinds of chocolate. All are good, but our favorite is as follows:

Fantasy Fudge

a.k.a. Library Fudge to the group who worked on the addition to the Town of Johnsburg Library

  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup Carnation evaporated milk
  • ¾ cup Parkay margarine
  • 7 oz. jar of Kraft marshmallow crème
  • 12 ounces of Nestles semi-sweet morsels
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (preferably Orlando)
  1. Combine sugar, margarine and milk in a 3 quart saucepan, bring to a boil.
  2. Stir 5 minutes over medium heat to soft ball stage (238 F.)
  3. Remove from heat; stir in chocolate pieces.
  4. Add marshmallow crème and vanilla; beat until well blended.
  5. Pour into a greased 13 x 9 inch pan. Cool; cut in squares.
  6. Variation: One cup of chopped nuts may be added after the marshmallow crème if you like nuts in your fudge. This fudge does not need refrigeration to harden or store. And beating time is very short.

Mme. Jehane Benoit is well known in her native Canada, our neighbor to the north. I first heard of her when her The Canadiana Cookbook was given to me in 1987 by my neighbor Grace Huggard. Having enjoyed this dish season I wanted to use the recipe during sugaring season for the series "The Recipe Box" that was printed in our local paper. In tracking down permission, I found out the recipe is on the internet and considered public domain. The recipe was never reprinted locally, so I submit it to you - straight from the book.

Jambon de la Cabane a Sucre

  • 8-10 lbs. ham
  • 3 quarts apple juice or maple sap
  • 2 cups maple sugar
  • 1 teaspoon hot dry mustard
  • 2 tablespoons ground cloves
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 cups raisins

Note: When baked for a sugar-house party, the ham is boiled in sap instead of apple juice. I usually freeze 6-9 quarts of pale sap at sugaring time to make this delight off-season.

  1. Bring the apple juice or the maple sap to a boil and place ham in it. Cover and simmer over low heat for 3 hours, or until the ham is tender. Remove meat from liquid and trim off the rind only.
  2. Place the sugar, mustard, cloves and water in a saucepan and add one cup of the cooking juice and 2 cups of raisins. Simmer 5 minutes, then place ham in dripping pan and pour sauce over it.
  3. Bake at 300 degrees F. for 30 minutes.
  4. Thicken the juice to taste with browned flour, blended with cold water. Serve the delicious raisin sauce with the warm ham (which is equally good cold)."

Carol Pearsall

Long Thin Ginger Cookies

This recipe has been a standard must-have Christmas cookie from the Martinson family, brought to me by my mother Marjorie Januszkiewicz. It wouldn't be Christmas without them.

Joan J. Dashnaw, Fort Edward, NY

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup molasses
  • ½ pound butter
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 teaspoons ginger
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon cloves
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 cups sifted flour
  1. Boil molasses and melt butter into it.
  2. Pour over sugar, milk, spices and soda.
  3. Add flour.
  4. Put through cookie press in long strips on ungreased cookie sheet using bar plate. (Flat on bottom and spikes on top.)
  5. Cut strips to cookie size 2-21/2 inches long with a knife dipped in water.
  6. Bake at 350 F for 10-12 minutes.
  7. Remove entire strip from pan. (I use opened-up brown paper bags to put cookies on.)
  8. When cool & brittle, break along marks to form cookies.

These will keep for a long time, and stay melt-in-your mouth crispy, in an air-tight can.

Steven Sauter's Cream Cheese Brownies

Perfect for bringing to a holiday gathering.

Cream Cheese Batter:

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 6 ounces cream cheese
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Blend butter and cream cheese. Gradually add sugar, beating well. Stir in eggs, flour and vanilla. Set aside.

Chocolate Batter:

  • 8 ounces German sweet chocolate
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 &1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt (less if you use salted butter)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a pan (a rectangular cake pan works fine.)
  2. Break up chocolate and melt with butter in a bowl, in the microwave or on the stove over low heat. Stir and set aside to cool to lukewarm or cooler.
  3. Beat eggs until thick and light in color; slowly add sugar, beating well. Add dry ingredients and mix. Stir in melted chocolate mixture, vanilla and almond extracts.
  4. Spread about half of the chocolate batter in the pan. Add cheese mixture, spreading evenly. Top with spoonfuls of chocolate batter. Zigzag with a spatula or knife to marble. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Cut when cool.

This recipe is adapted from The Recipe Hall of Fame Cookbook.

Jan Hagel's Holiday Cookie

This is a Dutch recipe handed down from one generation to the next and given to me by a friend from her mother-in-law's collection. This recipe is extremely easy, extremely forgiving, and extremely popular. The only caveat is that you must use real butter. Submitted by Amanda Barnes.

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • One egg (separated)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp.salt
  • sliced almonds
  1. Cream together: butter and 1 cup sugar. Mix in well, one egg yolk.
  2. Sift together: flour, 1 tsp. cinnamon, and salt
  3. Mix ingredients thoroughly. (Use your hands, providing they are clean enough.)
  4. Press flat on a greased cookie sheet that has a rim ( 11" x 17").
  5. Brush on one egg white, slightly beaten. Sprinkle on 1/4 cup sugar mixed with 1/2 tsp. cinnamon and as many sliced almonds as you think you need.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. Cool and cut into squares or
  7. If you like crispy cookies, bake a bit longer until cookie is dark; if you wish a softer, chewy cookie bake until it is a golden brown, but not dark.

Mrs. Lowell's Chocolate Filled Cookies

Submitted by Daun Martin of DeKalb Junction

  • Yield 60 cookies
  • 1 C sugar
  • 1 C brown sugar
  • 1 C leaf lard (rendered)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • pinch salt
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 package chocolate nonpareils
  1. Preheat oven to 350
    Cream sugars and fat. Add eggs, vanilla, salt, soda, baking powder and cinnamon. Mix well. Stir in flour until just mixed.
  2. Pinch off a piece of dough about the size of a walnut in a shell. Push the nonpareil into the dough and smooth dough around it.
  3. Bake on greased cookie sheet for 10-15 minutes or until just brown on top. They get better as they get older.

Tom and Jerry

A traditional North Country hot toddy for the season. Recipe contributed by a listener:

  • 1 ounce dark rum
  • 1 ounce brandy
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 6 ounces hot water or coffee
  1. Separate egg in two bowls. Add rum and brandy to yolk and beat together until frothy.
  2. In the other bowl beat egg white until it peaks, add sugar, and beat until stiff. Fold into the liquor mixture.
  3. Pour into a mug and top with hot water, hot milk or hot coffee. Serves one.

Egg Nog

Submitted by 2006 caill-in host Martha Foley

I learned this recipe from my mother, who grew up in Charlotte, NC, in the 'teens and twenties. She credited it to my grandfather, who was from Indiana. On Christmas - Christmas Eve, I think - people in Charlotte would open their homes for a sort of rotating open house. You might be having egg nog at your neighbor's house, while they were back at yours.

  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • 1 pint milk
  • fresh nutmeg
  • bourbon, rum, brandy (or applejack, our favorite) to taste
  1. Separate eggs. In a large bowl, beat whites until fairly stiff, adding ½ cup sugar as you go.
  2. In another bowl, beat the yolks until they're like soft butter, adding the other ½ cup of sugar gradually.
  3. Fold yolks into whites. Add cream and milk and stir until smooth. Add nutmeg to taste. You can whip the cream just lightly for better texture. You can also float little islands of whipped cream on top - over-the-top! Garnish with more nutmeg.
  4. I let people add their own alcohol. It's kind of a messy extra step, but guests are often more comfortable mixing their own, and then you don't have to worry about having a separate bowl-ful for kids.

Lobster Bisque

Submitted by 2006 call-in guest host Wally Siebel

  • 2 pcs bacon, diced, defatted
  • 3 tbl. each celery, onion, carrot finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup green & red sweet pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
  • parsley/oregano/marjoram/paprika/black pepper

  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 4 tbl. flour
  • 1/2 cup sherry
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2-1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1 11.3 oz. can lobster meat
  1. Melt 1/2 stick butter. Add bacon and vegetables, sautee lightly.
  2. Add lobster, stock, 1/2 the sherry. Bring just to a boil, simmer 15 mins.
  3. Cool slightly, add dash each of herbs. Puree in blender, reserve.
  4. Make roux with remaining butter and flour. Wisk in reserved lobster stock and cream. Simmer 5 mins and serve.
    Note: you may want to reserve some pieces of lobster in advance for garnish

Making Latkes

Judith Glasser December 2005

I am not sure which of you who said that it sounded as if I was using a food processor for making the batter. Actually it is a blender. I find that if you put in the eggs, onion, salt, and pepper first and make a slurry of those, and then drop in the potatoes a handful of chunks at a time, you get the same texture we used to get with the pointy part of a grater, but without the occasional pieces of my fingers. Also, when you have the prospect of making 120 lbs of potatoes worth of latkes, using “hand” methods is out. It is important that the potatoes be a dry sort, such as russets. This technique does not work with wet potatoes such as red potatoes.

  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 blender bowl of chunked onions
  • a slosh of salt
  • ten grinds of fresh pepper
  • 4 cups russett or other "dry" potatoes
  1. Turn on the blender until the batter is a slurry, then add potatoes until you have the blender bowl mostly full (four cup marker or so).
  2. Pour the batter into a colander that is sitting in a mixing bowl large enough for it to fit in easily. Spoon the batter onto a greased griddle (do not use much oil) and when the pancakes are cooked and browned on one side, turn them over to the other side until browned.
  3. Serve hot with applesauce and or sour cream. One quart of batter serves four as a side dish. To make them taste authentic to my palate (though the ones at the food festival are vegetarian) they should be fried in chicken fat.

I enjoyed the show this evening. Have a good holiday!

Making Panettone

Marley Hickson December 2005

This is a cross between bread and cake and so delicious. I’ve only seen them in the store at Christmas, usually priced close to $20. So to be able to make several, it seemed worth spending a little time.

This is the sort of project that needs to be done on a day when one is at home. The four risings will take an unknown amount of time, so you’ve just got to keep an eye on how it’s going. Do start early. My research tells me that panettone is either baked “flat” or in a cylindrical pan. I assume “flat” means taking the dough and putting it onto a greased sheet for it’s last rising and then baking. I imagine that the loaf doesn’t get very high, since the dough is very soft and floppy.

The traditional form in which to bake a panettone is a paper pan. For the nutty purist, like me, you can order some from:

I’d guess two of the 6” paper forms would be right for one recipe of dough. I used one 8” form and found that the crust was so brown by the time the center was cooked, (190 degrees on an instant thermometer,) that I chose to trim both the side and bottom to remove some of it. I used a baking stone to stand the forms on, otherwise I think I’d use a clean baking sheet for support. I think other ways of supporting the loaf would work well too. I would try using a ceramic baking dish I have that is near 6” diameter and make a 10” high collar of clean brown paper from a grocery bag to line it , buttering all well. Or use a double layer of parchment paper to make a collar. Several coffee cans could be used, keeping in mind that the dough will increase in volume more than regular bread dough.

One of the recipes I found said that Italian bakeries that specialize in panettone have special holders to hang the breads upside-down in as soon as they come from the oven, until they are cool. Apparently the side walls can be weak and collapsible. Somebody suggested using two skewers through the loaf and suspending it until cool. I used a couple of strong bamboo skewers, all I could find in my kitchen to fit the bill, and sent them through the middle of the loaf as levelly as I could, which took a few goes, and hung the loaf between the backs of two chairs. I was relieved to find the inside didn’t suffer any from this torture.

I recommend using a standing mixer to knead this dough. If you haven’t got one, borrow from a friend and bake a batch of cookies as a thank you present while the bread is rising. You won’t want to be giving the panettone away after all this work. At least, not until next time! This is so delicious you’ll be ready to fine tune your approach and do it again.

I wonder just how flat a flat loaf would be…

Ed.-- Marley's favorite panettone recipe is from Italian Cooking & Living

Hi Martha,
here is the recipe for beet salad that Lou promised I would share (and I'm glad to do it, it's not a secret)
Inger Curth December 2005

Beet Salad

  • 1 can pickled whole beets
  • 1 medium boiled potato (cold)
  • 1 medium apple
  • 1 teaspoon sharp creamy mustard
  • 1 tablespoon salt gherkins
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  1. Finely chop beets, potato, apple and gherkins, and mix with mustard, salt and pepper; lastly fold in the sour cream, mix well.
  2. Let stand overnight in refrigerator. As a side dish, it works well with ham or beef.

Serves about 4 people.
Happy eating!

Hi Martha,
Here's the recipe for Creme de Menthe Squares I called in. I've had it for a while -- it's written on the back of an old computer data entry card.
Cheryl Craft December 2005

Creme de Menthe Squares

  • 1+1/4 C butter or margarine (total)
  • 1/2 C cocoa
  • 3+1/2 C confectioner's sugar(total)
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 2 C crushed graham crackers
  • 1/3 C green creme de menthe
  • 1+1/2 C semisweet chocolate chips

This is a 3-layer candy:

  1. Melt 1/2 C butter and cocoa in a heavy pan, then remove from heat. Stir in 1/2 C sugar, egg, vanilla. Add graham crackers and stir. Press into the bottom of an ungreased 13x9x2 inch cake pan.
  2. Melt 1/2 C butter and stir in creme de menthe. Add the remaining sugar and beat until smooth. Spread on top of 1st layer, then chill 1 hour.
  3. Melt the last 1/4 C butter and chocolate chips - a microwave oven works pretty well for this. Check progress by stirring periodically. Spread the melted mixture over the mint layer. Cut into small squares after the top layer has set up. If your house is very warm, refrigerate the pan briefly before attempting to cut!
    Share with friends who are not afraid of a few carbs.

Pork and Apple Pie

from Martha Foley: "We have this for Christmas Eve, a variation on the French Canadian traditional tortiere." December 2005
  • 1 ¼ lb. ground pork
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large stalk celery, copped
  • 1 c. stock (could use chicken or beef, or a blend)
  • 2 T. flour
  • 1 t. cinnamon
  • 1 t. salt
  • ½ t. ground cumin
  • ½ t. nutmeg
  • ¼ t. black pepper
  • 2 medium cooking apples (Northern Spys my favorite)
  • pastry for 2 9-inch crusts
  1. Brown pork, but don't overcook. Add onion and celery. Cook till soft. Stir in flour, reduce heat and cook 2-3 minutes or so. Add stock. Stir and cook again till thickened a bit. Add seasonings and cook for 3 minutes. Taste for seasoning (the fun part) and set aside.
  2. Prepare crusts.
  3. Chop apple and add to pork mixture, and transfer to the pastry-lined pie plate.
  4. Cover with top crust, vent and decorate. This can make quite a spectacular dish at the table, with a special pie plate and cutouts of trees, stars, apples, pigs or whatever made from the scraps of crust and arranged on top.
  5. Preheat oven to 400 F. Bake 35 to 40 minutes, till crust is golden and browning.
E-mail your favorite holiday recipes, tips, and kitchen anecdotes to

Holiday Cooking Call-in

Host Jackie Sauter is joined by cook and food enthusiast Carol Berard to share holiday recipes and tips with callers. The call-in is an annual NCPR holiday feature.  Go to full article

Holiday Food and Festivities Call-in

Hosts Martha Foley and Jackie Sauter talk with guests Wally Siebel, Carol Berard, George Arnold and callers about favorite holiday recipes and traditions.  Go to full article
Host Martha Foley (foreground) presides at the festal board with Walter Seibel, Jackie Sauter and Carole Berard

Holiday Food and Festivities Call-in

Host Martha Foley is joined by Jackie Sauter, Wally Seibel and Carol Berard, cooks and food enthusiasts all, to share holiday recipes and tips with callers. The call-in is an annual holiday feature.  Go to full article

Holiday Food and Festivities Call-in

Host Martha Foley is joined by Jackie Sauter, Wally Seibel and Carol Berard, cooks and food enthusiasts all, to share holiday recipes and tips with callers. The call-in is an...  Go to full article

Holiday Food and Festivities Call-in

Host Martha Foley is joined by Jackie Sauter, Wally Seibel and Carol Berard, cooks and food enthusiasts all, to share holiday recipes and tips with callers. The call-in is an...  Go to full article

George Arnold’s Thanksgiving Squash

  • Use two kinds of winter squash – butternut and acorn
  • Equal portions of sweet potatoes and carrots
  • All these should be diced to uniform size
  • Simmer each separately so uniform doneness – lightly tender – then cooled.

To assemble:
Saute all in clarified butter mixed with a little oil, with a little chopped shallots, some pecans, salt and pepper, and fresh sage. Toss is some fresh cranberries.

Baked Clams, from Laurie in Canton

  • 2 dozen Littleneck clams – steam and SAVE the liquid
  • 2 cups bread crumbs
  • 3 (or more) cloves garlic
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup olive oil

Blend all or chop fine. Fill clams shells and bake 20 minutes at 300 F. Drizzle on reserved clam liquid

Wally Siebel’s tip: add anchovy paste, perhaps some finely chopped red and green pepper to the filling

Dye Those Easter Eggs Twice!

My Pennsylvania Dutch Grandmother, Carrie Lauer who lived in Dover Pa., loved to make red beet eggs for her grandchildren. We carry on the family tradition every Easter. After my daughter finds all the hardboiled eggs we dyed the week before, we peel the eggs and dye them again as pickled beet eggs. They're delicious and fun to take to lunch where inevitably you can gross out your friends by unwrapping and biting in to a deep purple egg.


  • 10 -18 hardboiled eggs
  • 2 cans small whole beets
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup vinegar
  1. Combine beets and liquid, vinegar, and sugar in pot and heat to boiling.
  2. Turn off heat, let simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Pour over peeled eggs.
  4. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 days. The longer they soak the purpler they get and the better they taste. The beets are great too.

The Lowes

Marie Rose's Molasses Cookies

The following is a cookie recipe from my friend Marie Rose of Potsdam (Marie died in 2007). The recipe came from Marie's mother, Veneita ("need") Wells. For a number of years, a batch of these cookies was my Christmas present to Marie's and my mutual friends, the Stanley Northrop family. Mari had recommended it was something she was sure they liked. She gave me the recipe in 1978.

I have fond memories of driving from our home in the middle of Potsdam in the 1970s out to Stanley's with my clean glass gallon jar and visiting a while and coming home with a jar of cold, fresh-from-the-cow, unpasteurized, unhomogenized milk. I made the yogurt from that milk, and we all drank the milk raw. Stanley knew everything anyone needed to know about producing clean, safe milk. Our children (now grown) remember making snow ice cream with Stanley's fresh, thick cream and maple syrup or chocolate sauce.

…But I've digressed. Here is the recipe:

Melt in a large enamel pan:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar


  • 2 cups unsulfured molasses
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar


  • 7 cups flour (I use whole grain)
  • 1 tablespoon ginger
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 4 teaspoons baking soda

Add dry ingredients to first four ingredients in large pan.


  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup water
  1. Stir well. Cover and let stand about 2 hours or refrigerate overnight (this is important).
  2. Drop by tablespoonfuls on greased cookie sheet.
  3. Bake at 325-350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes. This makes 10 dozen cookies. They keep well.

(Did I mention, they're good with milk?)

Mary-Ann Cateforis, Potsdam NY

Almost Failed Fudge

In my 60 years I had never made fudge. I've never admitted to liking chocolate. I have always been on some diet or other, none of which allowed chocolate and certainly not fudge. Now that I am recently married and retired, I have been on a cooking quest. This Christmas I have been baking and I set out to conquer FUDGE. I tried a box fudge, made in a microwave. Not bad. Feeling more confident, I tried the Never-never ever-ever fail fudge; yeah, right. I threw that in the trash. I tried peanut butter fudge. Something happened; it didn't solidify - not even in the freezer; that also went in the trash..

Does everyone run into these problems? It's like Chinese cooking; it's all in the preparation. First, butter your dish or butter your foiled dish. Second, get a candy thermometer. Third, read and follow a verified recipe. I happen to like looking at recipes online and reading the reviews by others: " I made it exactly. What happened?" or "I made it exactly but I substituted this for that" or " My husband hates it and the kids love it". Each to his or her own methods, I suppose. If you are really desperate for cooking tips, hang out at the post office.

So I picked four recipes to try. One included 16 marshmallows - nobody told me they had to be fresh; therefore it turned to cement and was thrown out. One called for marshmallow Fluff - it, too, was a bit old but it came out ok. When it was time to stir it, I called on my hubby to stir it. Another called for coffee liquor. I substituted Amaretto - not the same. When I ran out chocolate pieces, I used mint flavored chocolate chips. That was a hit! I tried different cooking methods; microwave versus boiling. I think the microwave is easier in that you stir in the chocolate after the milk and sugar is heated up. Boiling to get to soft ball stage took from 15 minutes for one batch to over an hour for another. My legs fell asleep standing there.

After a day of boiling, microwaving, stirring, setting and chilling, I kept three batches of the five I made. I've wrapped them and put them in gift baskets with the chocolate candies ( by far the easiest thing to put into molds), the peanut brittle ( another challenge) and the fruitcake...... ah, but THAT is another story of cooking questing.

Vera LaRoe, Raymondville, NY

A Beach Christmas

The hiking trip had been magical. For almost a week my husband and I wandered along a popular but serendipitously uncrowded coastal “track” on the south island of New Zealand, camping each night on a different beach. Under the tree ferns, to the jazzy accompaniment of bell birds, we walked our way through our supplies. We woke on Christmas morning, the last day of our trip, with only a handful of rice and lentils for dinner that night.

Not being Christian I wasn’t really bothered, but Rich was a bit downcast at the meagerness of our feast. At the trailhead days before, two items on a bulletin board had caught my eye. A notice allowed campers to catch and eat fish and seafood. And, our arrival at the last beach coincided with the lowest tides of the month. I made plans for a shellfish dinner.

Rich had never gathered mussels and was slightly apprehensive about the process. He envisioned sneaking up on them with bait, traps or shovels. I refused to explain, preferring to wait until the tide had ebbed at sunset, walking out to an exposed boulder and pulling off large greenshell mussels. Now shipped around the world, this New Zealand delicacy was not widely known at the time.

We steamed a bucket of them on the beach and ate happily, smugly imagining the folks back home in the snowy Northern Hemisphere. The rice and lentils stayed in the pack.

Ellen Beberman

Aunt Betty's Fudge

Put in heavy saucepan:

  • 5 cups white sugar
  • 1 square unsweetened cooking chocolate
  • 1 – 13 oz. can evaporated milk
  • ½ lb. butter

Bring to a rolling boil and boil for 8 minutes, stirring constantly.

Put in large bowl of mixer:

  • 24 oz. of semi-sweet chocolate bits
  • 16 oz. of marshmallow fluff (2 small jars or 1 large tub)
  • 1 Tbl. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. peppermint extract (optional)
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Pour hot sugar mixture into bowl. Mix at "candy" speed for 10 minutes. Pour into 9 x 13 pan. Cool.

Fudge has been part of my limited cooking repertoire since I was about 10 years old. Growing up I made it on the stove with a candy thermometer and remember being quite particular about the temperature and testing the syrup for when it would form a ball. At some point, my Aunt Betty shared her recipe for fudge with me and I have been making it this way ever since.

My first year as a pastor (1979), I was serving a small church in East Craftsbury, Vermont. One of the Christmas traditions of the congregation was to present the Christmas Pageant in the evening, followed by a party in the fellowship hall. I decided to make Aunt Betty’s fudge – cut it into squares – and put several pieces in small plastic bags to hand out to all the children – and adults as long as the supply lasted.

The fudge was well received, and so I did it a second year. What I learned later is that once you do something two years in a row – it becomes a tradition. So, this has been my Christmas tradition in each parish I have served since. Fudge and Christmas go together. It is my way of thanking everyone during the season and wishing them a “Merry Christmas.”

Initially I always made fudge with nuts and a hint of mint (my preferences). One year, however, a young child could not eat the fudge due to his nut allergy. Since then I have always made one batch with nuts and one without so everyone who likes chocolate can have some.

In a Canadian grocery store, I found small aluminum containers (5-1/8 x 4-1/16 x 1-5/8 inches) that take just one pound of fudge – perfect for gifts for family, friends, and those who have touched our lives in the last year. Since being in Sackets Harbor, I have filled these tins with fudge for a variety of fund-raisers as well. Each batch makes 5 to 6 one-pound allotments (depending upon whether there are nuts).

Rev. Cynthia L. Walton-Leavitt, Sackets Harbor

Winter "Strawberries"

from Bobbie Lehigh of Edwards

  • 1 cup fresh cranberries, ground or chopped fine
  • 4 medium apples (about 2 cups) ground or chopped fine
  • 1 1/2 - 2 cups sugar, to taste
  1. Mix together and chill at least one hour to realize the strawberry
  2. Try with homemade biscuits and cream for a wonderful shortcake! Store in refrigerator. Best used within a week.

Bittersweet Chocolate Mousse

The origin of this recipe is a New York Times Sunday Magazine from the late 1960s. It is easy, for the most part, and could be made any time of the year. My family would not have Christmas without it. My children, now adults, traditionally dip a finger into it as it chills in the refrigerator leaving marks that are covered with the whipped cream. Submitted by Amanda Barnes.

  • 5 eggs, separated
  • 3 tbs. rum
  • 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate -
    no need to be fancy, you can use Nestle's
    chocolate chips
  • 5 tbs. cold water
  • whipped cream (optional but certainly a good garnish)
  1. Beat the egg yolks with the rum until well-mixed but not frothy.
  2. Melt the chocolate with the cold water over hot but not boiling water.
  3. Cool slightly and stir into the egg yolks.
  4. Beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry, and stir in 1/4 of the whites into the chocolate mixture.
  5. Fold in the remaining whites.
  6. Pour into either individual serving dishes or a single serving bowl.
  7. Chill well.
  8. Serve topped with whipped cream ( whipped with sugar) and chocolate curls if
    you feel really fancy.
  9. Yields 6-8 servings

Date Nut Bread

Recipe by Irene Fiegel Pearsall (known by her grandchildren as Mommas) from the recipe box of Carol Pearsall. "We enjoy this bread on Christmas morning sliced and served spread with cream cheese. Orange slices or wedges are served as a compliment."

  • 1/2 pound pitted dates
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup boiling water
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 Tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  1. Cut dates into quarters, sprinkle with soda, pour boiling water over: set aside to cool.
  2. Beat egg yolk, add vanilla, sugar, pinch of salt and melted butter. Mix with date mixture. Fold in nuts and flour.
  3. Pour batter (very thick) into greased and floured pan(s).
  4. Bake in a slow oven (325 degrees F.) 1 hour or until done.
  5. Makes 1 regular loaf pan or 2 - 3 small loaves.

Jackie's Mom's Easy to Make and Everyone Loves Pumpkin Cake

Submitted by 2006 call-in host Jackie Sauter

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 & ½ cups vegetable oil
  • 2 cups pumpkin pie filling
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 & ½ cups chocolate chips
  1. Cream eggs and sugar.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and mix well.
  3. Pour into greased and bundt or tube pan.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 60 to 70 minutes, until a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Chopped Meat (steak tartare)

Submitted by 2006 call-in guest host Wally Siebel

  • 3/4 lb. beef tenderloin, center cut, ground once
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 tbl diced onion
  • finely chopped parsley
  • salt & pepper
  • capers
  1. Gently mix meat with 1 egg yolk, onion and parsley, salt & pepper.
  2. Form into 2 mounds. With back of spoon, make indentation and carefully place remaining yolks.
  3. Garnish with additional parsley and pepper. Serve additional onion and capers on the side.
  4. Serve with lightly toasted baguette slices or you favorite crackers.

Fruit Pizza

Easy to make, fun to decorate for the holidays. Submitted by 2006 call-in host Jackie Sauter


  • ¾ cup butter
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 & ½ cups flour
  1. Mix until crumbly.
  2. Pat into 12" pizza pan and bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes.


  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Blend together and spread over cooled crust.


  • Assorted fruit, sliced thin, drained well.
  1. Arrange fruit on top --- kiwi, grapes, mandarin orange sections, bananas, strawberries, apple slices, etc. Be creative with colors and designs. You could use red and green fruits for Christmas. You can even spell out words or paint pictures with the fruit.


  • 1 cup water or clear apple juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  1. Mix water, juice and sugar and heat in a small saucepan
  2. Mix cornstarch with a little of the liquid until smooth and add to pan. Stir constantly until smooth and thickened, about 2 or 3 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat. Cool to lukewarm and use a spoon to spread the glaze carefully over the fruit. (You may have more glaze than you need.) The glaze adds sweetness and flavor, and the lemon juice keeps the fruit from turning brown, so don't skip this step.
  4. This recipe can be easily doubled --- use a rectangular cookie sheet or similar pan.