By Rena Malai
Folks in Prince William may be packed to the brim with food by now, but a few more recipes can’t hurt. Especially if those recipes involve booze, desserts and carbs, the perfect accompaniment to those stressful joyful holiday times. So, eat, drink and be merry! Happy holidays, from our family here at Prince William Living to yours.
Easy Hot Spiced Cider
This cocktail, courtesy of our friends at KO Distilling, takes no time at all to mix up, and a second round is mandatory.
1.5 ounces bourbon (we recommend Bare Knuckle)
Pinch of nutmeg
Add bourbon to a heat-proof mug. Heat up desired amount of apple cider in a crockpot or saucepan and pour into mug. Garnish with cinnamon stick and pinch of nutmeg. Makes one serving.
Holiday Maple Bourbon Eggnog
Maple syrup combines with rich eggnog for a smooth drink, perfect for holiday company. Thank you, again, to KO Distilling for this tasty treat!
1.5 ounces bourbon (we recommend Bare Knuckle)
1/2 ounce of maple simple syrup (see directions below)
Dash of cinnamon bitters (we recommend Fee Brothers Barrel Aged bitters)
3-4 ounces of eggnog (your brand of choice)
Make the simple syrup by heating a 1:1 ratio of maple syrup and water in a small saucepan. Set aside to cool. In a glass tumbler, add ice and simple syrup. Top with eggnog and cinnamon bitters. Makes one serving.
‘Senator Russell’s’ Sweet Potatoes (sweet potato casserole)
A well-known tradition on American holiday tables, this casserole can serve as a side dish or a dessert.
10 same-size sweet potatoes
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup melted butter
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup melted butter
1 cup chopped pecans
Wash and grease sweet potatoes and place on cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil. Bake until done, at least 1 hour. Cool; peel sweet potatoes and place in mixing bowl. Add granulated sugar, eggs, vanilla and ½ cup melted butter.
Spoon into 2-quart shallow casserole or 9x13x2-inch Pyrex dish. Combine brown sugar, flour, 1/3 cup melted butter and pecans. Sprinkle over top of potatoes. Bake at 350° until bubbly, at least 30 minutes.
Spicy Vegan Madras Stuffing
A blend of south Indian spices makes for a supremely flavorful and unique stuffing that goes with virtually any main dish.
One loaf of slightly stale white bread
Two tomatoes, roughly chopped
½ red onion, roughly chopped
1 jalapeno pepper (leave the seeds for more heat)
One handful of fresh cilantro leaves
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon fresh minced ginger
1 teaspoon of mustard seeds
1 teaspoon of garam masala
1 teaspoon of chili or cayenne powder
Salt to taste
3 tablespoons canola oil or ghee (clarified butter)
Rip up the bread into bite-sized pieces and set aside. In a blender or food processor, add tomatoes, onion, jalapeno, cilantro, garlic and ginger. Blend into a smooth paste, adding a dash of water if needed.
In a large stock pot or saucepan, heat up 2 tablespoons of oil or ghee over medium heat. Add paste and mustard seeds and heat for two minutes. Add garam masala, chili powder and salt, and cook for an additional two minutes. Add bread and toss thoroughly to coat. Cook uncovered for 15 minutes, stir
thoroughly, and then cook for an additional 15 to 20 minutes or until a golden brown crust forms on the bottom. Stir to break up stuffing and serve. Makes 3 to 4 servings.
PWL Fave Red Velvet Cookies
Red velvet cake (and cookie) lovers, rejoice with one of our all-time favorite cookie recipes.
1 and 1/2 cups + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg, at room temperature
1 tablespoon milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon red food coloring
Toss the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside.
Using a handheld or stand mixer, beat the butter on high speed until creamy, about one minute. Scrape down the sides and the bottom of the bowl as needed. Switch the mixer to medium speed and beat in the brown sugar and granulated sugar until combined. Beat in the egg, milk and vanilla extract, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Once mixed, add the food coloring and beat until combined. Turn the mixer off and pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Turn the mixer on low and slowly beat until a very soft dough is formed. Beat in more food coloring if you’d like the dough to be redder. The dough will be sticky.
Cover the dough tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and chill for at least one hour. Chilling is mandatory.
Preheat the oven to 350°. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
Scoop 1.5 tablespoons of dough and mold into a ball. Place nine balls onto each baking sheet. Bake each batch for 10 minutes.
The cookies may have only spread slightly; that is ok. Simply press down on the warm cookies if you’d like them spread out more. Allow to cool for at least 25 minutes.
Most importantly, enjoy each sip, savor each bite and soak up each moment with family and friends this holiday season. We wish you warm moments and much happiness!
Rena Malai is a journalist and freelance writer. She has covered a variety of topics from technology and policy to food and lifestyle. She lives in Prince William and is a native Washingtonian.