Recipes Day 11: Herein We Go a Wassail-ing

*This post marks Day 11 of Miss Ginsu’s 2008 Advent Calendar. When I lived in Minneapolis, one of my friends organized annual holiday caroling. It was probably my favorite thing about the whole holiday season. We spent far more time “practicing” than caroling (you can accurately insert “goofing around” for the quoted material above), but it was good fun for all. We stuck to the classics, and Here We Go a-Wassailing was always on the list.

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Recipes Day 10: Dough for Play

*This post marks Day 10 of Miss Ginsu’s 2008 Advent Calendar . Even if you don’t have kids, you may find yourself in the company of little folks around the holidays. And wet, mucky, sleety days mean it’s not so fun to go outside and play. If you’re anticipating small guests, (or maybe just playful older guests), you can plan ahead and make some homemade play dough for a nice kitchen-table activity.

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Recipes Day 9: A Holiday Halva

*This post marks Day 9 of Miss Ginsu’s 2008 Advent Calendar. I find it really interesting that the Christmas season is supposed to be about the birth of Christ, and yet modern-era Christmas celebrations don’t feature anything that calls to mind the early Christian-era foods… that is, the foods of the Middle East. Rather than eating something like pita with hummus and baba ganoush or Spiced Ground Lamb, we feast on roasted turkey or baked hams for the holidays.

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Recipes Day 9: Superb English Tea Scones

*This post marks Day 9 of Miss Ginsu’s 2008 Advent Calendar . Somehow, we Americans tend to fixate on the Victorian era, particularly in London, as the point on the time-space continuum for maximum Christmas revelry. I think we can blame Dickens for this. These days, we don’t travel in open sleighs, we don’t open the shutters and throw up the sash to spy St. Nick on the lawn, and you won’t catch us wearing furry beaver muffs or lighting lanterns around our homes unless it’s for reasons of historical romance, but these visions all somehow seem holiday-appropriate to us.

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Recipes Day 8: Citrus-Ginger Fruitcakes

*This post marks Day 8 of Miss Ginsu’s 2008 Advent Calendar. If you were reading last year, you’ll know I’m batty for citrus around the holidays. It’s just so fresh and tasty this time of year. So this is a fruitcake I can really get behind. Essentially a buttery poundcake filled with candied ginger and citrus, it’s a far cry from the much-maligned shelf-stable drugstore version. Although most fruitcake recipes call for store-bought candied fruit, it’s really easy and economical to make your own, as I discovered last year.

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A Day for Goooools and Globlins
A Day for Goooools and Globlins

I’d intended on making chocolate skulls with white chocolate and dark chocolate detailing. They were going to be So. Very. Cool. Unfortunately, the white chocolate refused to come out of the plastic skull molds. Instead, they looked like globby white chocolate messes. I needed a Plan B. Stat. Thanks to some handy pepitas, shredded coconut and chow mein noodles, Plan B was hatched… and out came these cute little globlins. My roomie called ‘em that.

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What to Buy For the Eater

After getting a few nifty gastronomy-centric gifts for my birthday this year, I realized another Miss Ginsu gift guide might be in order. Thus, I give you: What to Buy for the Eater The basic philosophy is this: if you already know your recipient loves food, all you have to do is just select one of the secondary characteristics listed below and voila … they’re gift-ified! (And since most of the stuff here costs less than $30, you shouldn’t have to smash the piggybank to make ‘em smile.

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Recipes Seis de Mayo: Brownie Tamales

So, Seis de Mayo . You might be thinking: Why not Cinco de Mayo ? It’s a perfectly reasonable question. As it turns out, Cuatro de Mayo was unreasonably busy for my coworkers and I, but we still really wanted an excuse to cook and eat a Mexican-themed potluck. As far as potluck themes go, you really can’t go wrong with Cinco de Mayo. I mean, c’mon… it’s got the tasty built right in.

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Recipes Irish Cheddar Mac & Cheese: Inspiration for St. Pat’s Hangover Brunch

I’m a bit sad to report that in America, St. Pat’s day creeps closer and closer to Halloween with each passing year. This year I saw the now-ubiquitous Mardi Gras-style plastic beads joined by kelly green handlebar moustaches, flowing green nylon wigs, sparkling green eye shadow and green short-shorts. And that was just on my subway commute. I didn’t dare hit the bars. I don’t mean to sound like a hater, but hosting a St.

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Recipes Blueberry-Banana Pancakes: An Easy Everyday Pancake

In honor of miserably cold weather, the glories of a homespun breakfast and the last few days of Pancake Month, I got up a little early to make pancakes for myself today. Blueberry-Banana Wholegrain Pancakes, to be precise. Donuts can be tasty, but they tend to make me crash out with sugar shakes… and that’s not exactly setting myself up for success. The hot bowl of steel-cut oatmeal or my very own homemade granola are delicious — and very satisfying — ways to wake up, but that’s what I eat pretty much every day.

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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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