Sunday, December 14, 2008

Holiday Challenge


This month's challenge for our "Iron Chef"-inspired group cooking blog is Holiday foods, dishes, and edible gifts! Once again, I teamed up with my friend/cooking buddy for this challenge. And as a side project, our other friend challenged us to make the ultimate gingerbread house. Since that fit nicely with the Holiday Challenge theme, we'll be entering that as well.

We did three recipes this time around. As a tribute to the Chicago Holiday tradition, we made a vegan version of the Marshall Field's Chicken Pot Pie. Being lifelong Chicagoans, we both hold a place in our hearts for the Field's Pot Pie, especially now that Field's is no longer, and despite the fact that neither of us eat chicken anymore. We got the original recipe from the Marshall Field's cookbook, and made our substitutions accordingly. It turned out so well that we'll be featuring it as the main course at our holiday dinner party next weekend.

We also made some warm Glogg to go with it, which is warm Swedish spiced wine. My Swedish-American uncle used to make Glogg for our family New Year's Day party every year, so it's definitely been part of our family holiday tradition. He passed away this year, so I decided I wanted to try my hand at making it, in his memory.

The recipe we tried out turned out ok, but we decided it could stand to use more liquid (ie, wine) since the garnishes seemed to overwhelm the final product. In fact, there was enough "garnish" left over for our friend to make another dessert out of the extras!

Finally, our most time-consuming recipe this round was definitely the Gingerbread House. Since the friend who came up with this challenge is vegan, we made vegan versions of everything. The gingerbread itself turned out really yummy (and stable), but the frosting recipe we used was not that great. The "glue" was very drippy, so our whole diorama looked very melty :( And yes, we ended up making a diorama, not a house.

See the above links to view the individual recipes! :)

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