Novel Baking~ Nigella Christmas

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I’m back with The Novel Bakers for a little Nigella Christmas! While Nigella is currently enduring trial by media, and disturbing for me to watch, there is plenty of Christmas cheer and joy to be found in the pages of her cookbook:

Nigella Christmas: Food Family Friends Festivities *****

“Christmas is a time for family and friends, for tradition and treats. But, let’s face it, when the pressure to feed and entertain builds up, the festive season can begin to lose its sparkle…

Here is everything you could wish for to make your life and your Christmas easy and enjoyable: from party canapés, cocktails and manageable mass catering to sumptuous Christmas cakes and puddings; from no-fuss brunch to quick and easy homemade presents (chutneys, preserves and other delectable standbys) and edible tree-decorations. There are mouth-watering recipes with a seasonal twist and simple menus for feeding friends over the extended holiday season with minimum stress and maximum enjoyment.”

Nigella Christmas

There is plenty in this cookbook to please and tempt your taste buds and celebrate the holiday season~ from cocktails & appetizers, stress-free suppers, edible gifts to the Christmas day feast.

I found a couple of recipes to share for Nigella Week with The Novel Bakers celebrating the cranberry and that are make ahead and easy~ my favorite kind of recipes with the busy holiday season!

Wild Rice, Turkey, Cranberry and Pecan Salad

Wild Rice, Turkey, Cranberry and Pecan Salad is keeper recipe! Quick, satisfying, can be made ahead, pretty for serving for a ladies’ lunch and dresses up leftover turkey.

For a quick week night meal with the busy holiday season,  substitute a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store for turkey. 

I made a few changes substituting chopped baby spinach for parsley as in our favorite orzo salad, added more cranberries,  and used a combination of long grain and wild rice.

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Wild Rice, Turkey, Cranberry and Pecan Salad

Adapted from Nigella Christmas

Serves 6 – 8

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Ingredients

2 pkg  (8.8 oz) Uncle Ben’s Long Grain & Wild Ready Rice (ready in 90 seconds) or substitute 3 cups wild rice

¾ cup dried cranberries

4 cups cold cooked turkey, diced or shredded

2 tablespoons cranberry sauce or *jelly

2 tablespoons lime juice

¼ cup olive oil

*1 teaspoon sugar  (I used cranberry jelly which was tart, so I added 1 teaspoon sugar to the dressing.)

½ cup pecan pieces or halves

½ cup chopped baby spinach

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Cook rice according to package directions, allow to cool. Add dried cranberries, and diced turkey to cooked rice.

Make a dressing by whisking together the cranberry sauce or jelly, lime juice, oil and sugar.

Turkey, Cranberry, Wild Rice and Pecan Salad

Toss the dressing through the rice, cranberries and turkey. Add the pecans to the salad with chopped spinach.

You can find a printable recipe, here.

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“I don’t promise you can cook yourself calm, but I believe it makes sense to snatch moments when you can quietly busy yourself in the kitchen–frankly doing nothing much more effortful than stirring– and give yourself up to the encompassing warmth that comes from a sense of purpose, the benediction of productivity.”

Cranberry and White Chocolate Cookies

Cranberry and White Chocolate Cookies

“…even if you are not usually a white chocolate eater, you will, I think, find these persuasive, perhaps even having to eat a second one straightaway just to make perfectly sure.”

I had to gild the lily or the cookie for Christmas, drizzling them with some melted white chocolate chips and eat another one straightaway :)

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Make ahead up to 5 days, cooling and storing in an airtight container between sheets of parchment paper.

 Ingredients

1 cup all-purpose flour

 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

 1/2 teaspoon salt

 1 cup quick-cooking oats

9 tablespoons (1 stick plus 1 tablespoon) soft butter

 1/2 cup dark brown sugar

 1/2 cup sugar

 1 large egg

 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 1/2 cup dried cranberries

 1/2 cup pecans, roughly chopped

 3/4 cup white chocolate chips (more if drizzling cookies with melted chocolate)

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Preheat oven to 350°F. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and oats. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine butter and sugars. Beat until smooth. Add egg and vanilla, and mix again.

Add flour mixture and beat until well blended. Add cranberries, pecans and white chocolate chips, and mix gently until blended. Refrigerate bowl for 10 minutes.

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Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll tablespoons of dough into balls, and place them 1 1/2 inches apart on baking sheets. Press each ball gently with a fork to flatten it into a fat disk. Place sheets in oven on two racks. Bake just until cookies are pale gold, about 15 minutes; they will still be soft when hot. Let cookies harden on sheet for 5 minutes, remove to cool on a wire rack.

 Drizzle with melted white chocolate chips if desired.

Makes approx. 30 cookies

You can find a printable recipe, here.

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Visit Jain and Michael Lee for more delicious fun~

 a quiet life

Rattlebridge Farm 

 

The Novel Bakers return on Wednesday

for a Merry Nigella Christmas!

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Thank you for your visit, also sharing with:

 Metamorphosis MondayThe Scoop,

Inspire Me TuesdayWow Us Wednesdays,

Home Sweet Home,

 Tablescape ThursdayFoodie Friday

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  19 comments for “Novel Baking~ Nigella Christmas

  1. December 9, 2013 at 5:25 am

    Both the salad and cookies sound great Mary! I see the Noel Log Cake in the pictures, one of these days I’d like to try making one of them! Have a great week:@)

  2. December 9, 2013 at 6:12 am

    Ooooo, YUM! That Wild Rice, Turkey, Cranberry and Pecan Salad sounds WONDERFUL!! I think I love your dishes you’ve used just as much as the recipe. LOL Very cute choices!
    Did you try the cranberry English muffins that are out right now? They are delish, esp. if you’re a cranberry fan. Thomas makes them but only for a short time. I’ve stocked my freezer! LOL

    Thanks for this delicious post, Mary…well done, as always.

  3. December 9, 2013 at 6:41 am

    I love this cookbook — love the recipes, the photos — and I think I saw it first here. I found a copy at Half-Price books a couple of years ago and whenever I see one, I get it and share at Christmas time. The salad is one of my favorites and now I have to try the cookies. Merry On!
    ox

  4. December 9, 2013 at 7:11 am

    I love Nigella. I think she will weather this storm. She is a victim of a crazy ex-husband that just wanted to hurt her. I think she was honest and stepped up and refused to let him hold her hostage. I believed her. These recipes look delicious.

  5. December 9, 2013 at 7:29 am

    Love this salad recipe and the cookies. Your pics keep me inspired. I still have a long list of things to try of yours.

    I made a Yule Log years ago for a dinner party. Thinking back I don’t know how I did all the entertaining I did. Must check out Nigella’s cookbook.

  6. Cheryl
    December 9, 2013 at 7:51 am

    So very happy to see The Novel Bakers back!…and what a nice book to be featuring. You are off to a great start with today’s post. Can’t wait to see all you girls have in store for us this week. :)

  7. December 9, 2013 at 8:31 am

    Oh it all looks so amazing! I am definitely going to have to try an few of these recipes! I too am a big Nigella fan and it breaks my heart to think what she must be going thru….To have such a magnifying glass on her and be judged….if everyone had that same magnifying glass on them I’m sure they’d be more supportive and kind :-)

  8. December 9, 2013 at 8:59 am

    oh you did this book proud! i love all your collages of the mouthwatering delights, some i have yet to make and are on my calendar for today!

    your salad looks WONDERFUL! i am not a nut person, perhaps nutty, but not one to seek out nut recipes so i must have glossed right over this page, but i do love all the other ingredients and i know i will be adding this into my repertoire SOON. its so pretty too, i adore your shots, mouth watering… who knew rice could be so tantalizing!

    and who doesn’t love cookies, especially when gilded ;-)

    oh that was DELIGHTFUL! both you and mlw have my tongue wagging, my kitchen is stocked to the brim for some more fun in the kitchen with nigella today, i only wish i had that chicken salad to sustain me through all my dessert baking today!

    thanks so much for such a glorious morn in the kitchen, i mean su casa!

  9. paula
    December 9, 2013 at 9:14 am

    Looks yummy Mary!! and the serving dish the book is laying on is so pretty!!

    Have a Super Day!
    Paula
    IN.

  10. December 9, 2013 at 9:38 am

    Oh Mary, the salad and the cookies sound perfect for the holidays. I’m invited to a ladies luncheon and the salad will be great for me to take. Of course, your pictures always make for wonderful inspiration. I wonder what will happen to Nigella?? I haven’t been out in days… we’ve had ice covered roads with no mail or newspapers. I hope we thaw soon!! xo

  11. Rattlebridge Farm -- Foodie Friday
    December 9, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    I’m still cooking (and hoping the sun pops out) today. Last night we feasted on Nigella’s ribs, and I found a gnawed bone on Will’s sofa–he swore the poodle was the culprit. lol Not so sure. My DH loves rice, but I was on the fence about the wild rice salad until I saw your mouthwatering photos. It looks wonderful and is perfect for the holidays. Your collages are gorgeous, too. Hope you have a wonderful week!

  12. franki
    December 9, 2013 at 6:26 pm

    YUM! franki

  13. December 9, 2013 at 8:40 pm

    That salad sounds FABULOUS!!! I made a chicken salad last Friday to take to our clubhouse party and added Craisins, chopped walnuts and sliced grapes. I will definitely be making this and the COOKIES too! I just got a rotisserie chicken today.

  14. December 9, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    Oh Mary, I freaked when I saw that you were doing Nigella’s book, but hey, no such thing as bad publicity right! I have always enjoyed watching Nigella, she reminds me of the Barefoot Contessa, no fuss, just great food. I can’t wait to check her book out and the recipes you have made sound great! The Novel Bakers never fail to stimulate the eyes, and the appetite! Looking forward to more :)
    Jenna

  15. December 11, 2013 at 11:32 am

    I love Nigella! Nigellissima is one of my favorite cookbooks. Lovely post, my dear!

  16. December 12, 2013 at 10:41 pm

    That looks delicious. I pinned the cranberry, wild rice, turkey salad. Yum

  17. December 13, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    Hello there! Would you mind if I share your blog with my myspace group?
    There’s a lot of people that I think would really appreciate
    your content. Please let me know. Thanks

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