When I want to go on a fun shopping trip, I don’t have to go very far! I just drive 5 minutes from my house and all the shopping I need it on one avenue…Central Avenue. And what is one of my favorite shops to visit when I’m looking to buy a new cookie platter, candy molds and fondant all in one place?? The answer is always Breezy’s! It’s like Michael’s, Williams-Sanoma and Crate & Barrel combined for Jewish entertaining. In fact, I just bought the most beautiful baby pink cake stand and I can’t wait to showcase it soon. But today we aren’t here to talk about the store. We’re here to talk about the cookbook! Breezy (yes, that’s her nickname and not just the name of the store) has turned her love of entertaining and cooking in to an almanac filled with her favorite foods to serve her family and friends.
Breezy’s Mix & Match features the classics, such as Apple Crisp, Chicken Pot Pie and Sugar Cookies and also ventures into more a bit more daring territory with Wasabi Butter, Kani Salad and Stuffed to the Chicken Kishka. With Breezy’s helpful hints on almost every page of the cookbook, you can learn new ways to adapt and make her recipes your own. I always believe in taking risks and trying new things in the kitchen so if you are up for the challenge, Breezy’s recipes are up for it too! The ingredients Breezy uses throughout the book are all easy to find at your local supermarket and you don’t have to be a pro to follow her simple and easy directions.
What comes next? You’ve made the recipes so now it’s time to show them off by throwing a party! Well, it’s a good thing Breezy’s Mix & Match is filled with tips for throwing a great party with the right decor, finger foods and desserts. She even has an entire section of the cookbook devoted to entertainment. You can learn great tips on how to entertain for kids, for a sit down meal and for a buffet! Breezy even includes a sample menu for each type of meal, which is very helpful when you have to put together a party in a pinch.
If you are a novice chef or you really love the classics, Breezy’s Mix & Match is a fun cookbook for you. But for those that buy a cookbook for new and innovative ideas, Mix & Match might not be on your holiday gift list. While the recipes look delicious, they aren’t necessarily pushing any culinary boundaries. They are traditional, simple and you probably have a version of many of them in your kitchen (or wherever you keep your cookbooks) already. As one of my friends said about the cookbook: “It’s a compilation of all of my favorite recipes that I’ve been cooking for years in my home. Now I have them all in one place!”
Now on to the giveaway! One lucky winner will receive a copy of Breezy’s Mix & Match Cooking & Entertaining Almanac. Winner will be announced on Thursday, December 13th.
Breezy has also shared her recipe for Gingerbread Biscotti with us! This recipe is not in her cookbook but certainly gives you a taste of what you can get from her cooking and entertaining almanac!
- ½ Cup Margarine
- ½ Cup Sugar
- ½ Cup Light Brown Sugar
- ¼ Cup Molasses (preferably Dark)
- 2 Eggs
- 1½ Cup Flour
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 tsp Baking Soda
- 1 tsp Cinnamon
- ½ tsp Ground Ginger
- ½ tsp Nutmeg
- ¼ tsp Ground Clove
- ¼ tsp Salt
- ½ Cup Sliced Almonds (Optional)
- 1 lb. White Chocolate (For melting, Optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350.
- In a large mixing bowl (I use my mixer) add the margarine, sugar, brown sugar and molasses. Combine it until it is all smooth.
- Add the eggs one at a time.
- In a separate bowl add all the dry ingredients together. (This is to make sure that the spices spread evenly throughout the batter and don’t clump in sections, because NO ONE wants a mouthful of cloves!)
- Mix the dry mixture into the mixing bowl.
- You can add the almonds now if you want. (I put inside 1 loaf and left 1 loaf without)
- Take 2 baking sheets and cover them with parchment paper. This is IMPORTANT, if you don’t have parchment paper use a non stick cookie sheet and coat with Pam. The parchment sheet allows you to slice it into pieces with an even cut.
- Form the batter into 2 logs on each of the cookie sheets. Use well floured hands to do this.
- Bake in the oven for about 25-30 minutes.
- Then remove them from the oven. Lower the oven to 300 degrees.
- Slice the cookies and separate the slices. Put them back inside the oven.
- Leave them in the oven for 8 minutes if you like them soft or up to 20 minutes if you like them hard and crunchy. Keep in mind as they cool they will continue to harden.
- Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool completely.
- Use a double boiler to melt the chocolate. (For help with melting chocolate read Breezy’s Mix & Match page 193)
- Dip the cookies into the chocolate and then place them back on the parchment paper and stick in the fridge to cool for about 15 minutes.
- Now DEVOUR them! You waited this long, so sit down and enjoy them.