Monday, December 22, 2008

Cooking With Herbs for the Holidays

It is the personal thoughtfulness, the warm human awareness, the reaching out of the self to one's fellow man that makes giving worthy of the Christmas spirit. ~Isabel Currier

Today I have some elegant, but easy recipes using fresh and dried herbs for the holidays.

Lemon Basil Cookies

1/4 cup butter
3 ounces cream cheese
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons dried basil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tsp. lemon peel
1 package lemon cake mix
1/2 cup crushed walnuts or pecans

Mix together the butter, cheese, yolk and juice. Add the cake mix, and blend well. Stir in the nuts, peel and basil.Chill for 1/2 hour or more. Roll into small 1/2 inch balls and place on greased cookie sheet. Parchment paper works well. Flatten with a fork dipped in sugar. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes. Place in a pretty tin with parchment paper in between layers of cookies. A lovely gift on it's own or given in a gift basket with tea, a pretty mug and an herb recipe book.

Caramelized Onion Dip

1/3 cup herb or wine vinegar
3 tablespoons honey
1 large clove garlic, or two small, minced
2 cups sweet onions, diced
1 tsp. olive oil
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 cup plain yogurt, low fat or nonfat
1/3 cup mayonnaise, regular or light
1/3 cup sour cream, light or regular

Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and garlic. Cover and cook on low for about 8 minutes or until soft. Watch so the garlic does not scorch. Add the vinegar, honey and pepper-stir well. Bring to a boil over medium heat, and cook for 10 minutes without the cover or until the onion is caramelized and turns a golden brown. Stir occasionally. Combine the onion mixture with remaining ingredients in a bowl. Cover and chill to develop flavors.

Marinated Mushrooms

1 pound button mushrooms
1/3 cup olive oil
3 tsp. red wine vinegar
1/4 cup scallions
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
3 tsp. minced fresh parsley

Pack the mushrooms into a sterile glass jar. Combine the remaining ingredients with a
whisk. Pour over mushrooms and seal the jar. Chill for several hours or overnight shaking occasionally.

Parsley Butter Balls

1/2 cup butter
1 tablespoon fresh minced parsley
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. chopped fresh basil
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/2 cup minced parsley

Cream butter until light. Blend in all ingredients except for 1/2 cup parsley. Chill until firm. Shape into small balls and roll in parsley. Place these on a pretty plate covered with cellophane or plastic wrap that has been twisted at the top and tied with raffia. Give along with a baguette or French rolls and a set of holiday or herb themed spreaders.

Can you have too many fudge recipes? Look here:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Leave us a tip, a comment or just say hi!