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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Recipes Day 15: Brandied Caramel Sauce

*This post marks Day 15 of Miss Ginsu’s 2008 Advent Calendar. Seems like a great year for the home-cooked gift, doesn’t it? A little something tasty in a pretty jar. Something you can’t just get off a grocery store shelf. Something that says, “I didn’t drop a bunch of cash, but there’s a whole lotta love in here.” Last season, I recommended you bless friends and family with your own candied orange slices, citrus bitters, do-it-yourself vinaigrettes, a spicy tomato chutney, little lemon loaves and a tangy citrus curd, among other things.

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Recipes Day 14: Lemon-Ginger Bath Cookies

*This post marks Day 14 of Miss Ginsu’s 2008 Advent Calendar . There are those gelid winter days on which some part of me believes I’ll never be warm again. These are the moments when I pine for a wood-scented sauna, but settle for a hot, spiced bath instead. J’s mom makes awesome soaps, but anything having to do with lye is a bit terrifying to me. I also love fizzy bath bombs notmartha has a great post on that… I just haven’t been able to lay hands on liquid glycerin and spherical molds yet.

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Day 13: A Homespun Holiday

*This post marks Day 13 of Miss Ginsu’s 2008 Advent Calendar . I got my holiday tree this week, and I realized it’s one of those annual purchases that never creates buyers’ regret for me. The pine scent, the warm glow of the lights and the homey little ornaments all add up to great joy for the few weeks it comes to visit. Digging through the holiday box, it also struck me that the oldest and most humble ornaments are the best ones in the bunch.

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Recipes Day 12: Cookie o’ the Week… Citrus Pignoli

*This post marks Day 12 of Miss Ginsu’s 2008 Advent Calendar. Welcome to the second Cookie o’ the Week! Last week we sampled a Dutch delight, and this week, we’re moving south. As a wee little thing, I sold (and ate) many, many boxes of Girl Scout cookies. They seemed mighty fine at the time (especially the Thin Mints nibbled straight out of the freezer), but that was before I discovered Pignoli Cookies , an Italian confection made up of little more than pine nuts, sugar and almond paste.

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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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