This year’s Festive Food Fair contains 40 recipes from 37 bloggers in 13 countries (and I’m sure even more countries of origin). Our main festivals of focus were Diwali (Hindu), Eid-ul Adha (Islamic), Chanukah (Jewish), Thanksgiving (North American) and Christmas (Christian).
Thanks to everyone for participating. I know there were a lot more holiday food blogging events this year!
Here we go . . .
Panakam (Festive Lemonade)
Paru from Brindavan Recipes
This thirst-quencher is cooling relief after festival rituals and Paru particularly associates this drink with the Rama Navami festival. It’s simple and flavoursome, using pre-made lemonade, cardamom, fresh ginger, saffron and rose petals. Gentle, refreshing and elegant.
Peanut Butter & Banana Milkshake
Anna from Morsels & Musings
This is one of mine and was inspired by memories of my cousin's milk obsession and the candy bars of America. Sweetened with honey, this salty-sweet shake would make a great accompaniment to Thanksgiving dessert.
Cranberry Bread & Pumpkin Bread
Katie from Thyme for Cooking
Sourced from her extensive collection of Church Cookbooks, Katie baked two breads/tea cakes. Cranberry Bread is flavoured with orange juice, vanilla and walnuts while the sweet and spicy Pumpkin Bread contains cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and crystallised ginger.
Vegan Chestnut-Coconut Buns
Bee & Jai from jugalbandi
North Western, USA
I read from this post that no feast from Kerala is complete without a pudding known as pradhaman. But with a craving for bread, Bee and Jai used pradhaman ingredients to create an inspired, slightly sweet bread flavoured with chestnut, coconut milk, jaggery, cardamom and saffron.
Chris from Mele Cotte
Atlanta, Georgia, USA
These six braid Challah loaves were tricky to get the hang of, but once in the rhythm Chris was able to create an intricate effect. Topped off with black and white sesame seeds, these traditional challah loaves would complete any Chanukah table.
Swedish Apricot Nut Bread
Chelsea from Rolling in Dough
Denver, Colorado, USA
Fearing that her baked gifts will end up in Colorado’s annual Fruitcake Toss, Chelsea did some research to find a less brick-like fruitcake and, in a moment of genius, renamed her product as a bread. Made with orange juice, citrus zest, apricots and walnuts and tucked in for the night in cosy Calvados, Chelsea produced a golden bread that won’t get chucked in the name of sport.
Cookies & Tea Time Treats
Maninas from Maninas: Food Matters
These divine donut-like treats hail from the Dalmatian Coast in Croatia and are a traditional Christmas offering. A batter is mixed with vanilla sugar, lemon and orange zest, loza (grape brandy) and dark rum then sprinkled with icing sugar. Served with more brandy and eaten with a little laughter.
Cinnamon Hazelnut Biscotti
Smita from Smita Serves You Right
Rochester, New York, USA
Baking goodies is a popular thing amongst food bloggers and I am positive the gifts are always welcome for those that receive them. This recipe was shared by a self-confessed chocolaholic who professed her undying love for these chocolate-free biscotti. Flavoured simply with hazelnuts, cinnamon and sugar, the recipe seems to be a fool-proof offering to the festive baking gods.
One-Pan Christmas Cakes
CakeLaw from Laws of the Kitchen
Here CakeLaw leans on Nigella Lawson for a one-pan fruit cake recipe that doesn’t need to be prepared months in advance. This cake is bursting with sultanas, raisins, currants, raisins, citrus zest, glace cherries, chestnut purée, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg.
Double Jam Short Bread Cookies
Margot from Coffee & Vanilla
Using some swish little cookie cutters, Margot produced these delightful shortbread biscuits using vanilla sugar and sandwiching a dollop of sweet strawberry conserve. Links to the source of the cookie cutters are also included.
Candied Orange Peels
Meryl from My Bit of Earth
Lawrence, Kansas, USA
Orange peel is soaked overnight in salty water and then boiled repeatedly to remove any bitterness. Once this process is complete, the peels are cooked in sugar syrup until translucent and then rolled in fine sugar to produce glittering, magical Christmas sweets.
Gretchen from Canela & Comino
Gretchen is spreading Christmas cheer in Peru by delivering hot chocolate and delicious panettone to villages in the mountains and jungle. Although Italian by origin it seems Peruvians have made panettone an integral part of their Christmas traditions and in preparation Gretchen prepared two types of mini-panettone: chocolate and cranberry.
Oma's Hazelnut Cookies
Christa from Calendula & Concrete
Christa conjures a beautiful image of her childhood: cooking her grandmother’s cookies was an activity for the whole family and involved an old fashioned nut grinder to pulverise hazelnuts into a fine meal. These pretty cookies are flavoured with cinnamon and lightened by meringue.
Sour Cream Raspberry Brownies
Mansi from Fun and Food
Fremont, California, USA
After declaring her long-lasting passion for brownies, Mansi shares her favourite brownie recipe where sour cream adds a moist, velvety texture and raspberries provide a refreshing, tart break from the chocolate.
Appetisers & Starters
Japanese Carrot Sticks
Anna from Anna’s Cool Finds
Mill Valley, California, USA
During the festive season we’re all pretty busy and this recipe provides a great appetiser in minimal cooking time. Rice vinegar, salt and sugar are boiled together and then carrot sticks are marinated in the mix 4 hours, creating a tangy, crunchy veggie snack.
Soutzoukakia (Smyrna Sausages in Tomato-Wine Sauce)
Laurie from Mediterranean Cooking in Alaska
Anchorage, Alaska, USA
Smyrna was a Greek city on the Turkish mainland whose populace returned to Greece in the 1920s and introduced wonderful recipes to the mainstream Greek diet. This includes Soutzoukakia, flavoursome beef and pork sausages made from onion, fresh parsley, garlic, cumin and a special type of paprika known as Aleppo pepper. The sausages are then smothered in a spicy tomato-red wine sauce.
Ruth from Once Upon a Feast
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Come Chanukah, the smell of frying latkes fills the homes of many North American Jews. Ruth manages to offer up her own recipe for potato latkes, as well as roasted smashed potatoes and roasted chicken with shallot and ginger glaze.
Patatesli Sigara Boregi (Potato Cigarette Borek)
Binnur from Binnur's Turkish Cookbook
Just imagine biting into these gorgeous crispy pastries filled with potato, onion and flavoured with red pepper. Binnur recommends you serve them with Turkish-style tea.
Flambéed Caipirinha Scallops
Desie from maybahay
Inspired by her favourite summer drink, the Brazilian Caipirinha, Desie creates her own special dish to treat her friends. Scallops are fried in lime, sugar and butter then a dash of Cachaça brings on the flames.
White Bean & Artichoke Dip w Whole Wheat Tortilla Chips
Kalyn from Kalyn's Kitchen
Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
Perhaps it’s just my recent obsession with all things savoury and dip-like, but Kalyn’s appetiser seems like a perfect start to a family feast: something to munch on while everyone arrives. Whole wheat flour tortillas make excellent oven grilled chips while the blend of cannellini beans and artichoke hearts mixed with garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, parmesan cheese and rosemary come together in a moreish dip.
Potato & Pumpkin Latkes
Rinku from Cooking in Westchester
Valhalla, New York, USA
Rinku blended cultures to join in “the feel good spirit of Chanukah” by combining this traditional Jewish snack with her own Indian heritage. Armed with a good quality grater, she used red pumpkin, idaho potatoes, green chillies, garlic, shallots and a little coriander. She declared the result a happy success and advocated that cooking beyond cultural boundaries leads to wonderful flavour discoveries.
Ayone from Food is Love
It’s garlic dip. With those simple words you already know it’s going to taste amazing! Ayone and Sayangku combined their Middle Eastern and Indonesian heritage by creating this dip of potatoes, garlic, mayonnaise and yoghurt and serving them with grilled meats from other national cuisine (or fries!).
The Main Course
Iska from ISKAndals.com
Auckland, New Zealand
Iska is getting together with friends over Christmas and she plans to cook this hearty soup made of pasta, chicken, eggs, onions, veggies and milk. This Pinoy dish is comfort food Filipinos and very popular during the rainy season.
Elly from Elly Says Opa!
Chicago, Illinois, USA
This rustic savoury pie of cornmeal crust and greens is a regional variation of the famous Greek dish spanakopita. What’s better is that this specific recipe is an action-packed lesson from Elly’s grandmother, who comes from Karditsa in central Greece. The stuffing consists of dandelion leaves, spinach, swiss chard, leeks and fresh dill combined with crumbled feta while the crunchy crust is made from milk, cornmeal and butter.
Murgh Malai Kabab (Chicken Kebabs)
Nabeela from Trial and Error
San Jose, California, USA
This dish is a good way to begin any family feast. Chicken thighs are marinated overnight in yogurt, sour cream, coriander, ginger, garlic, garam masala, red chilli powder and lime before oven roasting to juicy perfection.
Fishes for Loaves
Sarah from What Smells So Good?
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
To celebrate the Catholic Feast of the Seven Fishes, Sarah creates a dish inspired by the Loaves and Fishes story of Jesus. For this she poaches cod fillets in a wine, tomato and caper sauce and garnishes with fresh coriander. I’m sure after one taste you’ll wish the supply was never ending, just like the Bible legend.
Fried Fish in Soy Sauce & Ginger
Tigerfish from Teczcape - an escape to food
Sunnyvale, California, USA
Reminded by an old proverb that Chinese New Year feasts are not complete without a sumptuous fish dish representing abundance for the coming year, Tigerfish shares this crunchy recipe. Fish fillets are coated in corn flour and deep fried, then served with a sauce of Chinese cooking wine, sesame oil, dark soy sauce and crushed ginger.
Duck in Orange Sauce
HappyCook from My Kitchen Treasures
HappyCook makes an effort to spoil her husband and daughter on special occasions. Their dish of choice is duck with orange sauce, made from rich fried duck breast and a sauce of onions, carrots, garlic, thyme, bay leaves, white wine, orange zest and juice and a little Grand Marnier. Served with potato croquettes, it’s a feast fit for royalty.
Mäsový Koláč (Chicken Meat Pie)
Zlamushka from Zlamushka's Spicy Kitchen
This traditional Slovak dish is an example of how leftovers can be lifted to new levels and become meals in their own right. After Sunday roasts of stuffed chicken, the delicious stuffing was turned into a pie. Stale bread rolls, chicken liver and eggs are mixed simply with salt and pepper then blended into a paste that’s basted in butter and baked until crispy. Decadent and delicious.
Gay from A Scientist in the Kitchen
Los Banos, Laguna, Philippines
This Filipino stew is usually served at parties and special occasions and Gay and her family certainly cook it a lot! They use their home raised turkey meat with loads of garlic, soy sauce, potatoes, red and green bell peppers, green olives, capers, tomato sauce, liver spread and peanuts.
Iga Kambing Guling (Barbequed Lamb Ribs)
Ayone from Food is Love
These marinated ribs (lamb or goat) are an indulgence for Jakarta wedding parties or families during Islam’s Eid-ul Adha celebrations. The traditional recipe calls for an open fire and a marinade made of coriander, garlic, nutmeg, white pepper, Kecap Bango (sweet soy), palm sugar, vinegar and salty soy sauce.
Gajar Ka Halwa (Carrot Halwa)
Meeta from What's For Lunch, Honey?
Originating in Northern India, this is one of the subcontininent’s most famous sweets turning the boring old carrot into a heavenly dessert. Grated carrots are softened and flavoured with milk, cardamom, cinnamon, almonds, cashews, pistachios and sweet raisins. It’s eaten with gusto during Diwali, a five day Hindu religious festival when Indian desserts are given centre stage.
Bûche de Noël
Julius from Occassional Baker
Vancouver, British Colombia, Canada
This Christmas log is pure decadence: dark chocolate génoise sponge rolled around white chocolate mousse and all encased in Swiss meringue buttercream frosting. Julius goes further with delightful meringue mushrooms to make the dessert go that little bit further.
Nabeela from Trial and Error
San Jose, California, USA
Rich cream, fragrant basmati rice, saffron, brown sugar and spicy cardamom pods flavour this thick, luscious Indian dessert. Slivered almonds and raisins are also added for flavour and texture. Nabeela warns that this artery-clogging dessert is very popular during the Islamic festival of Eid ul Adha, so watch your waistline!
Mom's Christmas Pudding
Deborah from The Humble Housewife
Memories of baking this pudding with her mother adds sentimentality to this traditional recipe, making it doubly delicious for Deb. In fact, Deb tells us these kinds of Christmas puddings are very, very traditional. Her family recipe includes mixed spice, nutmeg, breadcrumbs, brown sugar, currant, raisins, sultanas, mixed peel, glace cherries, ground almonds, treacle or molasses, grated apple, Irish Whiskey and, of course, Guinness.
Manju from Three Tastes
Oahu, Hawaii, USA
Manju managed to her friend to share his recipe for one of the best cheesecakes ever. Full of Thanksgiving flavours, light and creamy rather than dense, this cheesecake seems to have converted Manju to a dessert-lover. The base is made from Lebkuchen (German ginger cookies) and pecans while the filling is cream cheese, pumpkin purée and a spicy combination of cloves, ginger and allspice.
Riskrem (Rice Cream)
Mallory from A Sofa in the Kitchen
Bellingham, Washington, USA
Harking back to her Norwegian ancestry, Mallory makes the ultimate Scandinavian comfort food and Christmas dessert. Milk, pearl rice, sugar, salt and vanilla are cooked until soft and after it cools down whipped cream is folded through to make it light and fluffy. Traditionally a whole almond is hidden within and the finder wins a small prize, so watch out for your teeth!
Pecan Pie w Bourbon Cream
Mansi from Fun and Food
Fremont, California, USA
Instead of buying a pecan pie this year, Mansi made her own version laced with nutty amaretto, vanilla and rich dark corn syrup. Served with boozy bourbon cream this all-American dessert was a decadent Thanksgiving treat.
Deeba from Passionate About Cooking
Gurgaon, New Delhi, India
Kheer is a very popular dessert in India and is similar to Middle Eastern style rice puddings: rich, creamy and chilled to counteract the heat. Deeba flavoured her kheer with saffron, fresh nutmeg, cardamom, raisins and almonds for a gorgeous finish. This rich dessert would be popular all year round but would also have its place at any Diwali feast.
Pumpkin Pie w Candied Pecans
Anna from Morsels & Musings
This is my second contribution to FFF. It was my first attempt at baking a pumpkin pie and remembering my grandmothers advice I made a great version spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves and topped off with pecan pralines. The pie crust is also a combination of cookies and candied nuts.
For those interesting in finding festive food recipes sources from the blogosphere, here are links to round-ups of various festive food events in 2007:
Monthly Mingle: Traditional Feasts
Jihva: Festive Series
Christmas Cookies from Around the World
Fun Monday: Holiday Traditions
A Spoonful of Christmas (food gifts)
If you know of others, please leave a comment or send an email so I can include the link.
Hopefully we can do it again next year!
Tags: morsels and musings food blog food and drink australia recipes festive food fair christmas recipes christmas food festive recipes festive food holiday recipes holiday food festival recipes festival food party recipes party food entrees mains desserts cookies breads appetisers snacks drinks food blogging event