Holiday Recipes

December 2013 Ariella McManus

One of my favorite things about the holidays is the food; cooking being one of my particular passions. From my house to yours; Bon Apetit and Happy Holidays!

Spiced Beef


  • 1 cup sea salt
  • 2 1/2 pounds beef brisket, boned and untied
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1 bay leaf, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • black pepper to taste
  • pickles and bread to serve (optional)

1. Rub the salt into the beef and leave in a cool place overnight.

2. In a bowl, mix the brown sugar, allspice, cloves, nutmeg, bay leaf, and ground black pepper. Remove the beef from the salt and juices and wipe dry with paper towels. Sprinkle with the spice mixture and leave in a cool place overnight.

3. Lightly warm the molasses and pour it on the meat. Allow to marinate for 1 week, turning once a day.

4. Roll up beef and secure it with kitchen string. Put it into a large pan of boiling water with the carrots and onion. Bring to a boil, lowering the heat. Cover and simmer for 3 hours. Let cool in the liquid.

5. Transfer the beef to a board or a large plate. Balance another board on top, weigh it down for at least 8 hours. Carve and serve the meat cold with pickles and bread, if desired.

Divinity Fudge


  • 2 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup white corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Stir the first four ingredients together in a saucepan over low heat until sugar is dissolved.

2. Boil without stirring to 265 degrees F on a candy thermometer or until a little mixture that is dropped in cold water forms a hard, almost brittle ball.

3. Remove syrup from heat and slowly pour over stiffly beaten egg whites, while beating with a mixer until mixture loses its gloss and a small amount dropped from a spoon holds its shape.

4. Fold in nuts and vanilla.

5. Pour into a greased 9"x 9"x 2" pan or dropped by spoonfuls onto waxed paper to cool.

6. Store in tins.

Recipe makes approximately 1 1/2 pounds.



  • 3 cups very cold milk
  • 2 cups very cold heavy cream
  • 2 cups dry white wine (with or without alcohol), chilled
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 4 large egg whites
  • Ground nutmeg

1. In a large bowl, stir together the milk, cream, wine, 1 cup of the sugar, and the lemon zest. With an electric mixer set on high, beat for 3 minutes or until frothy, then transfer to a punch bowl, cover, and chill.

2. In a small, heavy saucepan, combine the remaining 1/2 cup sugar with the water. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Wash the sides of the saucepan with a brush dipped in cold water. Lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, without stirring, for about 10 minutes, until the syrup reaches the soft ball stage (238 degrees F) or until 1/2 teaspoon of the mixture dropped into a saucer of cold water forms a soft ball. Remove from the heat.

3. In a large bowl with an electric mixer set on high, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. With the mixer running, add the hot sugar syrup in a slow steady stream, beating until the egg whites stand in stiff peaks. Top the wine mixture with the dollops of egg white, sprinkle with nutmeg, and ladle into cups.

Recipe makes approximately 2 quarts or 16 4-ounce servings.