Roasted Chestnuts and Whovian Cookies 

Photo by Gretchen E.K. Engel

The time from Thanksgiving to New Year’s is a time for feasting. Here is a sampling of my favorite holiday treats.

1. Oysters

I’m from the Midwest and live in the Southwest.Even though  I’ve never lived near an ocean, oyster dressing is a must have for Thanksgiving, and Christmas if I can get by with it. Fortunately my husband loves oyster dressing too. I also love oyster stew, and it has to make an appearance as well.

2. Heavy cream

I was introduced to heavy cream in my coffee by of all people my doctor when I lived in Phoenix. He also happened to be my Sunday school teacher, and it was at a church social where I picked up the cream habit.

I also keep cream for a variety of recipes including truffles. This year I’m making eggnog and bread pudding. I jumped the gun and bought my heavy cream too soon. It was about ready to expire so tonight I made creme brûlée.

3. Roasted Chestnuts 

I discovered these a year or so ago. They’re so delicious and easy to do. Score the nuts then stick them in a 450F oven for 20 minutes. We had chestnuts once when I was a kid. Not sure how we fixed them or if we ate them raw, but I wasn’t a fan. So glad I gave them a second chance.

4. Cheese and Sausage 

Whether they come from a gift basket or the grocery, I look forward to indulging in cheese and crackers. It’s one item we don’t limit to the holidays, but we do eat it more often, add the summer sausage, and are more likely to splurge on a pricier type.

5. Gingerbread Anything

What some people are with pumpkin spice, that’s how I am with gingerbread flavored things. Soft gingerbread cookies are my favorite. I made a batch last night that mostly turned out fine but one cookie spread out thin and looked like Cassandra from Dr. Who. I wish I’d snapped a photo but got caught up in the Cardinals game. I could almost picture it saying, “moisturize me.”

6. Eggnog 

Because I’m obviously not getting enough milk fat from cheese and coffee with heavy cream, I need to supplement with this nutmeg laced beverage.

I’m going to try making it for Christmas this year using Alton Brown’s “Good Eats” Recipe with egg whites.

Obviously, I’m not exactly going for celery and carrot sticks, so how do I do this without gaining a million pounds?

Moderation. Not eating rich treats unless I love them, eating my normal healthy meals except when we’re going to parties or having a holiday dinner, and keeping active. The last has been the biggest challenge. I’m off the exercise wagon right now. But we’re joining a gym after the new year, and it’s ski season.

What are your favorite holiday foods?


About Gretchen E K Engel

Chemical engineer by day, spec fiction writer by night

2 comments on “Roasted Chestnuts and Whovian Cookies 

  1. I am sooooo with you on gingerbread. I’ll take gingerbread over pumpkin spice any day.

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