I’m back with The Novel Bakers for a little Nigella Christmas!
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.”
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 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.
Wild Rice, Turkey, Cranberry and Pecan Salad
Adapted from Nigella Christmas
Serves 6 – 8
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
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.
Toss the dressing through the rice, cranberries and turkey. Add the pecans to the salad with chopped spinach.
“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
“…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 :)
Make ahead up to 5 days, cooling and storing in an airtight container between sheets of parchment paper.
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)
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.
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
Cranberry and White Chocolate Cookies
White chocolate, dried cranberries, pecans and oats make this a satisfying and delicious cookie to add to your holiday baking! Drizzle with additional melted white chocolate if desired.
Servings: 30 cookies
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
Make ahead up to 5 days, cooling and storing in an airtight container between sheets of parchment paper. Can also bake and freeze cooled cookies up to 3 months and thaw at room temperature.
Visit Jain and Michael Lee for more delicious fun~
a quiet life
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:@)
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.
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!
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.
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.
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. :)
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 :-)
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!
Looks yummy Mary!! and the serving dish the book is laying on is so pretty!!
Have a Super Day!
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
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!
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.
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 :)
I love Nigella! Nigellissima is one of my favorite cookbooks. Lovely post, my dear!
That looks delicious. I pinned the cranberry, wild rice, turkey salad. Yum
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