Yay! Happy Holidays!

You guys rule. Thanks for stopping by, for leaving comments, for correcting my typos, for guessing as to Cupcake’s whereabouts and for being friendly fellow travelers out there in internetland. Cupcake and I are both wishing you the happiest of holidays and the tastiest of new years. We raise our cocoa cups to you! Cupcake & Miss G.

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Candy Cane Crunch Ice Cream with Shortbread Stars
Recipes Candy Cane Crunch Ice Cream with Shortbread Stars

*This post marks Day 24 of Miss Ginsu’s 2008 Advent Calendar. Merry Christmas Eve! If the weather outside is frightful, the first thing you’re thinking of might not be ice cream. But die-hards (like me) think about ice cream year-round — the holidays are no exception. I haven’t done an ice cream recipe in a few months, but I wanted to make this one a little more snazzy and festive for Christmas Eve — thus, the addition of those stripey little canes.

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Recipes Day 23: Christmas Gumbo

*This post marks Day 23 of Miss Ginsu’s 2008 Advent Calendar. In my neighborhood, ‘tis the season of the big carp slaughter. Apparently it’s traditional for Polish folks to eat fresh carp for Christmas (part of the traditional “fish on holy days” tradition, no doubt) so the fishes are currently swimming about in cold-water pools waiting to be chopped up for dinners across the ‘hood. Likewise, in Italy, southern folks celebrate the feast of the seven fishes over the holidays.

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Day 22: Eggnog Flan

*This post marks Day 22 of Miss Ginsu’s 2008 Advent Calendar. After falling in love with the divine flan at a local taco place, I thought it’d be a good idea to combine a lifelong passion for eggnog with the decadent flan genre. In case you’ve never made flan, it’s kind of a two-step process. The first step involves making a caramel sauce that coats the bottom of the pan. Thereafter, a custard mixture is poured over the caramel and it’s baked, then flipped over to put the caramel at the top, making the process very like a tarte tatin or a pineapple upside-down cake.

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Recipes Day 21: A Festive Frybread

*This post marks Day 21 of Miss Ginsu’s 2008 Advent Calendar. Since today marks the first day of Hanukkah (as well as the shortest day of the year), I thought it’d be appropriate to commemorate the miracle of the oil with a frybread recipe… a treat for anyone, really. It’s interesting to note that just about any culture that eats bread has its own version of frybread. The classic Donut. Southern Hushpuppies.

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Recipes Day 20: The Scarborough Loaf

*This post marks Day 20 of Miss Ginsu’s 2008 Advent Calendar. Like me, you may know a few vegetarians. Like me, you may have once been one of those vegetarians. In those days, I was always a little befuddled at the holidays. I mean, feast foods are pretty proscribed for omnivores (1. roast something 2. add starchy sides). Those who shun meat are left without a lot of festive “center of the plate” foods.

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Recipes Day 19: Cookie o’ the Week… Peppermint Snowflakes

*This post marks Day 19 of Miss Ginsu’s 2008 Advent Calendar. I recently ran across the coolest snowflake cookie cutter set; It included tiny pieces to help cut out the decorative bits on the arms of the snowflakes. Pretty slick, but I had no real need to buy it. Then it occurred to me that such a thing would be just the ticket for a new take on that stained glass cookie that’s made with a basic cut-out recipe and crushed candy that melts into the open spaces.

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Recipes Day 18: Warm Gingerbread w/ Bourbon Custard Cream

*This post marks Day 18 of Miss Ginsu’s 2008 Advent Calendar. I really wanted to make a Warm Gingerbread Bread Pudding, which seemed like it’d be a decadent holiday dessert for the snowy, blustery days leading up to Christmas. But in order to make a bread pudding, one really needs stale bread. And honestly, who has a bunch of gingerbread laying around getting stale? So I gave up that idea for quicker, more simple — but still truly tasty — Warm Gingerbread with Bourbon Custard Cream.

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Recipes Day 17: Sweet & Spicy Candied Nuts

*This post marks Day 17 of Miss Ginsu’s 2008 Advent Calendar. I’ve been trying not to fixate on financial news, but I recently read a prediction that if bad news keeps rolling in, people may want to want to burrow into their homes and watch movies on the couch. They think the pricetag on going out might be a bit too dear for a tough year. If that’s true, and we’re all turning down the thermostats and stuffing ourselves into our living rooms, I hope we’ve all got good company and tasty snacks as we watch our Netflix or pay-per-views or whatever we happen to be watching.

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Recipes Day 16: Almond & Olive Oil Cake

*This post marks Day 16 of Miss Ginsu’s 2008 Advent Calendar. Compared to cookies or layered bars, or — heaven forbid — strudle , a basic cake is such a simple, lovely treat. Just a few steps. Just a little time in the oven. Just a few ingredients. Cake is essentially just flour, butter, sugar and eggs, right? Well, as I discovered on last summer’s foray to Rome, sometimes cake is flour, olive oil, sugar and eggs, which is both delicious and a good option for people who need something dairy-free.

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About Me

Miss Ginsu is a nom-nom-nom de plume of Leitha Matz, who worked at Tabla and FreshDirect in NYC, wrote about the food scene from 2004 to 2009 in Brooklyn and presently lives in Berlin. Occasionally seen on TV cooking segments, Leitha has also written for FreshDirect, contributed to Cee Cee Berlin, The Food52 Cookbook and has been interviewed/quoted in The Food Keeper as well as The Washington Times and Salon.

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