Tis the season for cooking and baking! Ever since I posted about the food I cooked for Halloween, I've had many requests to cook for pot-luck parties... which is how I ended up cooking furiously this Christmas season.
First cooking frenzy was for Christmas at Karen's place... I made Buffalo-Style Chicken Fingers (recipe here). Picked this recipe because it could be prepared the day before, left in the freezer overnight and baked in just 20 mins. I think my freezer container wasn't quite air-tight enough and all the cripsy bits got soggy. Sigh.
I also made Bacon and Cheddar Stuffed Mushrooms recipe (here). This was pretty effortless... but I was a bit annoyed as one packet of mushrooms were mouldy so I ended up only making half the amount that I was planning to make.
And inspired by a friend's suggestion, I decided to try making Baklava (recipe here). For those who have never heard of Baklava, it's a Greek dessert with alternating layers of filo pastry and chopped nuts with honey syrup poured over it. This was extremely time consuming - chopping the nuts, buttering each layer of pastry, doing laying the nuts and filo pasty one layer at a time... I would rate the end result as just barely decent for a first attempt. Not sure if I would try it again though...
Second cooking frenzy was for Christmas Eve dinner at Victor's house. By request, I made Shepherd's Pie which I've made many times before with relative success. And I've made it so many times now that I don't really follow any one recipe strictly... This is real comfort food on a rainy X'mas Eve :)
Also did a portion of Spicy Chicken Wings which I've made many times before... seems to get less spicy each time round as I get lazier with measuring out the ingredients for the marinade... and made more Bacon and Cheddar Stuffed Mushrooms (which were all eaten up before all the guests arrived!).
Christmas baking this year didn't turn out as well as last year. I attempted to make Cranberry-Pistachio Biscotti from Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook (recipe here).
The recipe sounded easy enough... but the biscotti turned out to be more like cookies (i.e. it didn't have the dry-ness that biscotti is supposed to have) so I decided not to give any away... which means that I'm stuck eating a whole container of Cranberry-Pistachio all by myself!
Seems like all the stuff I made this Christmas falls under the category of HKBHJ (ho kua boh ho jiak) - Hokkien for "doesn't taste as good as it looks"...