I was bummed when I saw that December doesn’t have a fifth Thursday this year, which meant I wouldn’t be able to do a Grinch Who Stole Christmas bonus recipe. Still, when I sat down to decide whether I should make Who Pudding or Green Grinch Hot Chocolate as my dessert this month, I simply couldn’t choose. So I made both!
The pudding is based on a delicious homemade chocolate pudding recipe from Moms Need to Know (I also used some tips from Bunny’s Warm Oven). Of course, you can just add some food coloring to instant pudding if you want, but what kind of a food blog would I didn’t give real, from-scratch chocolate pudding a try? As for the hot chocolate, it’s a peppermint version of the white hot chocolate that’s going to appear in my cookbook next year!
So if you’re not quite ready for Christmas to be over, cook up some rich, chocolatey Who pudding and steaming Green Grinch Hot Chocolate for a sweet winter treat. 🙂
Every year on my anniversary, I like to write a post that reflects on one aspect of my wedding and highlights its wider significance to my marriage. On my first anniversary, I wrote about my wedding ring; year two, the flowers in my bouquet; and year three, the priest’s sermon. I was planning on telling the story about my wedding dress this year, but as I was hanging the jingle bell ornaments on our Christmas tree, I realized that this is a perfect year to talk about the special significance of those bells.
Is this more of an appetizer than a side dish? Probably. As soon as I started planning my Grinch Who Stole Christmas menu, I knew I wanted to incorporate Grinch hearts, but I wasn’t exactly sure how. It wasn’t until early this past week that I decided on making fruit skewers with dip, and by then I’d already made Who Hash for my appetizer. So here they are as a side dish! In the end, all that matters is that they’re delicious, right? 😉
And they definitely ARE delicious—easy too! Just cut your strawberries into shape with a small heart cookie cutter and slice the ends off your grapes at an angle. Slide them on a skewer, and you’re done! The fruit dip is easy too. It’s got a tasty coconut yogurt base blended with cream cheese and honey for added creaminess and sweetness. It’s a sweet snack you can feel great about eating, Grinch or not!
I love a good cookie exchange. It’s a great chance to experiment with something new or whip up a crowd-pleasing classic. A couple years ago I made pumpkin madeleines with cream cheese frosting for a cookie exchange by riffing on my go-to madeleine recipe, and I was oh so pleased by how well they were received (definitely one of my prouder baking moments).
Sadly, I won’t have a chance to attend any exchanges this year, but I volunteered to bring some homemade cookies to my family’s Christmas get together. I decided to make Jo’s Christmas gingerbread from my Little Women menu. They couldn’t be more festive, and gingerbread is a favorite treat of the Little Mister (while I was recipe testing for my cookbook, he ate all the limbs off a poor gingerbread man before we could stop him).
Cookie exchange or not, I figure I’m not the only one who wants to try a fun new cookie recipe for the holidays. I’ve made loads of book-inspired cookies in the past that are perfect for Christmas, so I decided to share a few of them below! There’s Jo’s gingerbread of course, but also Sherlock Holmes’ brandy snaps, Romeo and Juliet’s Italian sandwich cookies, and many more. So bake up some bookish fun for Christmas! Your bibliophile friends will thank you. 🙂
Grinch-themed things are all over the internet this time of year, so when it came time to put together my Grinch Who Stole Christmas reading kit, inspiration was everywhere! Of course, I didn’t want to throw together a list of Hallmark ornaments and pajama pants and call it a day. I wanted something a little more thoughtful. So I hunted high and low for what I consider to be the most unique, high quality Grinchy gifts. I found festive candles, Grinch-Starbucks crossover mugs, funny shirts, and so much more!
Ah, the roast beast! This wouldn’t be a Grinch Who Stole Christmas menu without it, right? When I first started planning this menu, I instantly knew we’d have roast beast for an entree, but I wasn’t sure what form it would take.
My first goal was to figure out exactly what kind of beast we’re talking about here. In the book, it’s drawn with what could be a hoof or a trotter, which had me thinking beef or pork. However, it also has what could be a tuft on its tail (or a chop holder like you see on lamb shank crown roasts). It DOES say the beast is rare, though this could be in reference to it scarcity, rather than its cook time. I’m sure all this vagueness was a deliberate choice on Seuss’s part, since the Whos would most likely be eating an imaginary animal, but it wasn’t super helpful from a meal-planning perspective. Since the source material left it pretty open-ended, I decided to go with beef, since it’s a hooved animal like the picture and can be cooked rare.
Instead of a pot roast recipe (which I’ve done before), I decided to try something different: roast beef sandwiches! I was intrigued by the idea of making French dip sandwiches in the slow cooker, which I hadn’t tried before, so I tracked down a great recipe from Celebrating Sweets and whipped it right up.
It was delicious and super easy! The broiled provolone drapes the juicy beef and tender onions in a blanket of cheesy goodness, and the French rolls soak up the au jus perfectly—making them soft and flavorful without falling apart. I am SO making this again soon! 🙂
Our Tea of the Month is here, and of course it had to be something Christmasy! 🙂 Adagio Teas (the company I use to design my teas) offers lots of festive options, such as gingerbread, chestnut, and a Christmas spiced tea. I’ve used several of these in the past and wanted something different, so I decided to start with their candy cane tea. With the sweet peppermint flavor as a base, I knew I could go in two directions: further sweeten in with a chocolate tea or balance the sweetness with a bit of lemon tea. I tried both and loved it with lemon! Grab a tin of this for Christmas to share with friends, and if you feel your heart grow a couple sizes, don’t worry. That’s normal. 😉
Hey, all! December is here at last and with it our final Book of the Month for 2017: The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. I’ve been looking forward to this menu for a long time, so let’s get started!
Our appetizer for this menu is Who Hash, which the Grinch steals from the icebox on Christmas Eve. Dr. Seuss doesn’t give a description of it, so I decided to use it as a chance to get creative!
It seems a little strange that a few months ago I’d never made hash in my life, and now I’ve made TWO hashes in as many months (you can check out my Stranger Things Pumpkin Hash here). I decided to make a pepper and sausage hash this time, with an eye towards making it different from the hash I made last month. This hash features juicy Italian sausages that have been cut into disks and sauteed in an iron skillet with onions, red potatoes, and Christmas-y red and green bell peppers. It’s bright and satisfying with a bit of a kick—I can see why the Grinch would like it! 😉
Oh, year’s end. I can’t believe how quickly you sneaked up on me. One minute I’m hunkering down to wait out the last few weeks before my baby’s born; the next minute said baby is zooming around on all fours trying to eat all my books (RIP Eva Ibbotson omnibus). Add in writing a cookbook, and this year has been quite a whirlwind.
There are lots of ways I’ve wanted to expand, improve, and otherwise stretch my creative muscles with my blog format this year. However, I knew it was best to put them on hold until the chaos subsided. Now that things are finally starting to approach some semblance of normal, the time has come to dust off those ideas and take them for a spin! After all, the New Year is supposed to be all about new beginnings, right? So I’ve got lots of fun new blog plans—both big and small—in the works for 2018.
And today, we’re setting the very first of those ideas in motion! Y’know how I always choose the Book of the Month in advance and leave a hint on Twitter? Well, for January 2018 I wanted to do fairy tales, but there are so many great ones I had trouble choosing, especially since I wasn’t sure which ones you guys would most like to see on a menu. And then I thought, “Why not ASK them?”
So here’s the plan…
Below you’ll find a poll with a list of 6 Grimm’s fairy tales. Vote for your favorite or add your own! The 4 with the most votes with be featured in my January menu. The poll will be open for all of December, and I’ll make sure to pin it to my Twitter page so you can check progress. Who knows, if we get a big turnout, voting for the January Book of the Month might become a new Alison’s Wonderland tradition!
Thanks for voting, and may the most magical tales win! 😉
What Grimms' fairy tale do you most want to see a recipe for in January?
Hansel and Gretel 25%, 10 votes
10 votes - 25% of all votes
The Twelve Dancing Princesses 20%, 8 votes
8 votes - 20% of all votes
Little Red Riding Hood 13%, 5 votes
5 votes - 13% of all votes
Rumpelstiltskin*13%, 5 votes
5 votes - 13% of all votes
Snow White 10%, 4 votes
4 votes - 10% of all votes
Rapunzel 10%, 4 votes
4 votes - 10% of all votes
Cinderella 10%, 4 votes
4 votes - 10% of all votes
Total Votes: 40
November 29, 2017
- December 31, 2017
Voting is closed
- It is possible to vote for multiples (but no more than 3).
- If you decide to add a new fairy tale to the list, be sure it's from the Brothers Grimm (I'm planning on doing a Hans Christian Andersen menu at a later date).
- If you change your mind, don't worry! The poll is set up so you can change your vote if you want.
Our Book of the Month for THIS month will be announced on Thursday!
Check my Twitter for a hint about what it will be! 🙂