Believe it or not, fruitcake is a well-loved dessert known throughout the world. It is only in the United States that this cake is the butt of jokes, probably because they were, at one time, mass-produced for mail order and tended to be dry and of questionable age. Some say the ridicule can be traced to Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show, but research shows "fruitcake trashing" occurred much earlier in the 20th century.
Though celebrated by some as the delicious tradition it is intended to be (National Fruitcake Day is December 27), others applaud this dense loaf laced with fruit and nuts only when it is flying through the air on National Fruitcake Toss Day, January 3 (or the 7th, depending on which website you visit).
Historically speaking, some believe that ancient Egyptians sent fruitcake to the afterlife with their deceased loved ones. We do know that they did not become common, though, until Roman times, when pomegranate seeds, pine nuts, and barley mash were mixed together.
Preserved fruit, spices, and honey were added during the Middle Ages. Sugar became a main ingredient in the 1500s in the American Colonies, and alcohol was widely used starting in the 1800s. Somewhere along the way, nuts became a staple, as well.
Today, fruitcake is served year 'round in Australia, but is generally enjoyed as a Christmas cake across Europe, India, and parts of the Caribbean.
So, will you buck the trend in the U.S. and give this recipe a try? If you don't like it, you can always save it for January 3!
No-Bake Graham Cracker Fruitcake
3/4 c. sweetened condensed milk
3 c. mini marshmallows
1/2 c. orange juice
1 box + 1 inner seal pkg graham crackers
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1 c. raisins
1 c. dates, chopped
1 c. nuts, chopped
16 oz. assorted candied fruit, chopped
Combine milk, marshmallows, & orange juice in large bowl. Let soak 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until marshmallows soften & dissolve slightly. Crush graham crackers into fine crumbs & mix with spices. Add fruits & nuts, stir. Slowly add liquid mixture and stir by hand until well combined.
Press fruitcake into non-stick, lightly greased, or waxed-paper-lined bread pan or mold, cover with plastic wrap, and then with foil. Refrigerate for 2-3 days for flavors to combine. Slice & enjoy.
Instead of the listed fruit, experiment with craisins, dried apples, peaches, mangoes, blueberries, and/or strawberries, or get crazy and use gumdrops, gummy bears, gummy worms, and/or chocolate chips. If you use dried fruit, soak it in additional orange juice (or brandy) in a glass or ceramic bowl (not metal) a few hours or overnight to soften.
'Tis the season to warm your body and soul with hearty comfort foods. Nothing says autumn more than a pot of wonderful, homemade soup simmering on the stove. Give this seasonal favorite a try. Pumpkin isn't just for lattes! We think you're bound to love this soup.
In large pot, combine the first 8 ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes, uncovered. Using a food processor or blender, puree soup in small batches. Return soup to pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for another 30 minutes, uncovered. Remove from heat and stir in heavy cream. Pour into bowls and garnish with as many toppings as desired.
Terrific BBQ Recipes
Fantastic recipes just in time for your late summer get-together!
Tequila Baby Back Ribs
|2 Tbsp. chili powder||1 tsp. cayenne pepper|
|2 Tbsp. paprika||1 tsp crushed red pepper|
|1 Tbsp. garlic powder||1 chopped onion|
|1 Tbsp. salt||1 lg. handful chopped cilantro|
|1 Tbsp dried oregano||3-4 cloves garlic, diced|
|2 tsp. cumin||1 bottle (fifth) tequila|
|1 tsp. black pepper||1 lemon, halved|
|1 tsp. white pepper||2 limes|
Combine all the above and season 2 full slabs of ribs, each cut in half. Refrigerate 2-4 hours. Put half of 1 slab in 1-gallon ziploc bag, layer with onion, cilantro, and garlic. Place other half on top, repeat with onion, cilantro, and garlic. Pour in half bottle tequila. Add juice of half lemon and 1 lime. Seal. Repeat with other slab. Marinate at least 4 hours. Grill with onion, cilantro, and garlic at 350 degrees until done.
Honey Mango-Glazed Baby Back Ribs
|1 c. honey||4 ripe mangos, cubed|
|2 full racks, baby back ribs||1 tsp. pepper|
|1 can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce||1 Tbsp. salt|
Remove ribs from packaging, rinse and pat dry. Remove membrane from backside of ribs. Place ribs in shallow pan, sprinkle salt and pepper evenly and set aside. In a small saucepan, add chipotle/adobo, mango and honey. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until cooked down and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Using the slow and low method of BBQ'ing, set temperature to 225-240 degrees. If using coals, let them burn off and move over to one side of the grill. Wrap the ribs and 2/3 of the sauce mixture in aluminum foil tightly and place on grill. Close lid. After 2 hours, flip the ribs and let cook for another 2 hours. Open the aluminum and remove ribs, place them on grill and brush on remaining sauce and let cook another 30 minutes.
Sweet-Tart: Refreshing & Lemony Recipes for Summer
Summer is here, and it's time to celebrate all things lemony! These refreshing treats are sure to please at your next get-together.
Frozen Raspberry Yogurt Lemonade Pops
In a saucepan, heat lemonade concentrate & water over medium heat just until the concentrate is thawed. Remove from heat & cool. In a blender, place 3/4 c. of the cooled mixture, 1/2 c. of the raspberries, & 1/4 c. of the yogurt. Blend on medium until smooth. If you don't like the seeds, press this mixture through a small strainer to remove them. Divide the mixture among ice pop molds & freeze slightly.
Distribute the remaining raspberries in molds. Combine the remaining lemonade mixture & yogurt and spoon evenly into molds. Return to freezer until firm, about 4 hours.
Mix well. Serve over ice with a lemon wedge garnish.
Mix ice, soda & sliced limes. Add cherries & garnish with mint leaves. Serve immediately.
Mix together and serve immediately
Strawberry Lemonade Icebox Pie
In a blender or food processor, blend strawberries, honey, & water until pureed. Set aside. In a separate bowl, mix lemonade concentrate with sweetened condensed milk until combined. Set that aside, too.
With a mixer, whip heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add powdered sugar & whip until it stiffens. Gently fold into lemonade mixture. (The pureed mixture is still kept separate.)
Pour half the strawberry puree on the bottom of the crust. Top with lemonade filling, smoothing evenly. Spoon on the remaining puree in evenly spaced dollops and swirl with a toothpick or knife. Freeze at least 6 hours before serving. Store leftovers in the freezer.
What's your favorite summertime recipe? Tell us in the comments!
For the vast majority of Americans, Super Bowl Sunday is a national holiday. Big gatherings, team jerseys, and food. Lots and lots of food. In fact, according to Wikipedia, roughly 28 million pounds of chips are consumed just on this day. Add to that 1.25 billion chicken wings and 8 million pounds of guacamole!
Perhaps you're looking for some great ideas to add to the menu. Read on!
Combine all ingredients in a small baking dish and bake for 20 minutes at 400°. Serve with tortilla chips.
Dill Pickle & Ham Pinwheels
Pat pickles dry with a paper towel. Cover each pickle with 1 oz. of the cream cheese & wrap with ¼ of the ham. Repeat with the remaining pickles & refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Slice into 1" pieces & enjoy!
Combine all ingredients & toss gently. Serve with tortilla chips.
Buffalo Chicken Dip
Place shredded chicken & hot sauce in skillet & heat over medium heat until heated through. Stir in cream cheese & ranch dressing. Cook, stirring until well blended & warm. Mix in shredded cheese & stir until melted. Transfer to the crockpot to keep warm & serve with tortilla chips.
Place Oreos in a large Ziploc bag and smash. Heat white chocolate chips in microwave on high for 30-second intervals up to 2-3 minutes, stirring until melted. Mix popcorn & melted chocolate in a large bowl until well-combined. Slowly add the cookies & mix. Turn out on waxed paper until cool. Break into pieces & enjoy.
After the big game, when you find yourself wishing for a media room or better entertaining space, give us a call. We will guide you to the perfect home!