Ain’t No Ham Like the One I Know by L

Ham here. Ham there. Ham everywhere. In our house, Christmas dinner isn’t a dinner without a ham.

Hamon:Filipino Style!

Hamon:Filipino Style!

One of the guest stars at our family’s table during these holidays was the deliciously sweet and tender Filipino Hamon! It’s so simple to make and will leave your taste buds wanting more! This post will be short as I know many of you are busy getting ready to say farewell to 2012 and welcome the new year.

So, I’ll say on behalf of The Prague Basket, we hope you and your family had the merriest of Christmases and may 2013 bring you much fortune, happiness, love, joy and good ham!

Filipino Hamon  (best if prepared the night before serving)

All set for the carving!

All set for the carving!

1 Cured Pork Butt on the bone, with or without skin, it is up to you, so are the grams and kilos)

1 bottle of beer

1/2 container of pineapple juice

1 liter bottle of  7/up or Sprite

2 bay leaves

1/2 -1 cup of brown sugar (depends on how large your ham is)

Sliced pineapple rings

Maraschino cherries

Parsley

In a large pot, add all the liquid ingredients, ham and 2 bay leaves.

Let the marinade come to a boil and then turn the heat down.

Let the ham simmer for 30 minutes.

Then let it sit overnight. Be sure to rotate it at some point.

For the next day…

Heat oven to 200 celsius or 400 fahrenheit.

Place ham in a large baking pan.

Take a brush and glaze the ham with the liquid marinade.

Then rub the ham with brown sugar. Make sure it is evenly coated.

Bake for 30 minutes.

Garnish with sliced pineapple rings, maraschino cherries and parsley.

Best way to have leftover ham!

Best way to have leftover ham. A post-Christmas ham and cheese sandwich!

Party Popcorn! by Nikki

Kinda sweet and salty

Kinda sweet and salty

One of my favorite dinners when I am too lazy or tired to cook is a bag of microwave popcorn… accompanied by a good Czech beer. I ate this a lot during the summer- usually in front of a movie or lame, summer TV show. Popcorn is a great snack… and during the holidays, I can remember digging into the big tin of flavored popcorn- you know the big one that was given as a gift! I never cared much for the cheesy popcorn or the fake buttered popcorn- give me the sweet stuff- caramel corn! This popcorn is a combination of sweet and salty- kind of like my personality! Made with lots of butter, cinnamon and sugar it is a compliment to the salty popped corn. I took a big bag of this tasty popcorn to our staff holiday party earlier this week. Many people couldn’t believe it was homemade… it tastes that good! Add this to your holiday party snack table and your guests will thank you!

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Cinnamon and Sugar Popcorn

Ingredients:

2 bags of natural, microwave popcorn (popped!)

1/3 cup butter

2/3 cup white sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat oven to 120 degrees C or 250 degrees F

Melt butter in a saucepan then add all ingredients.

Stir until bubbly!

Place popcorn into a large mixing bowl, pour glaze on top and mix very well until evenly coated. (or as best as possible!)

Place into a baking pan lined with wax paper and bake for 10 minutes.

Let cool completely before packaging!

Enjoy

It’s snowing outside… so let’s make cake! by Nikki

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It’s finally snowing in Praha

By snowing, I mean the frequency in which the snowflakes are falling from the sky is beginning to cover the sidewalks and slowly the patio, the outdoor chair, and the skylight windows are beginning to disappear under a blanket of snow. If you currently live in Prague, you might remember the first snow actually happened at the end of October this year. I had a friend visiting from the US and the weather suddenly turned winterish and made sight seeing more difficult! But over the past few weeks, the air has begun to chill more and more and today- it is snowing a beautiful winter white snow.

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chopped, fresh cranberries and pecans… so festive

It is the beginning of the December holiday season and with this time of year come the multitude of parties and festivities. As I hear of my friends beginning to decorate the Christmas tree or celebrate Hannukah or Ramadan and participate in other various December traditions, I am, as usual, baking my way into the new season. While November was a month of gratefulness and many pumpkin based recipes, I find myself ready for December and using fresh cranberries. This week, I am using fresh, whole cranberries and pecan halves in my favorite summer cake recipe.

roughly chopped pecans and cranberries replace the usual berries in this cake

roughly chopped pecans and cranberries replace the usual berries in this cake

Yes, this triple berry summer cake recipe is delicious- everyone LOVES it. But since winter is upon us, we will now use cranberries and pecans to change this cake into a festive December treat! Joy the baker’s recent post about Cranberry Orange and Pecan Coffee Cake made my mouth water and my brain (and stomach!) began to think I needed to eat this very cake with my coffee soon… inspired by her festive December recipe, I replaced the zest of lemon in the original triple berry cake recipe with orange zest.

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my coveted cathedral bundt in silicone

Instead of using my traditional bundt pan, I used my cathedral shaped bundt pan. Thanks to my dear friend A for this amazing birthday gift…

mmm

mmm

My REALLY hot oven, blasted the heat and caused the edges of my cake to become a bit darker than I prefer… but the smell of this citrusy cake is gorgeous! And from the bird’s eye view, you can see the result of the cranberries bursting during baking… all red and festive! Enjoy!

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a heavenly scent

Cranberry-Orange Pecan Buttermilk Bundt
Adapted from Joy the Baker and Smitten Kitchen

Ingredients:

Cake
2 1/2 cups (355 grams) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons (10 grams) baking powder
1 teaspoon fine sea salt or table salt
1 cup (8 ounces or 225 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 3/4 cups (340 grams) granulated sugar
Zest of 1 medium orange
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup (175 ml) buttermilk

1-2 cups(100-200 grams) roughly chopped pecan halves
2 cups (350 grams) roughly chopped fresh cranberries (You can add more to change the tartness of your cake!)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F or 170 degrees C

Grease a 10-cup Bundt pan, either with butter or a nonstick spray, lightly flour and place in the fridge while making the cake batter.

In a medium bowl, whisk or sift 2 1/2 cups flour (leaving 2 tablespoons back), baking powder and salt together and set aside. In another bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, vanilla, and lemon zest until light and impossibly fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes. (I use a regular mixing bowl and a hand mixer but you can also use a stand mixer!) With the mixer on a low speed, add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl between each addition. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to batter, beating until just combined, followed by half the buttermilk, another 1/3 of the flour mixture, the remaining buttermilk and remaining flour mixture. Scrape down from time to time and don’t mix any more than you need to.  With a silicon spatula, gently fold the cranberries and pecans into the cake batter.

Spoon the batter into your greased cake pan then spread the top smooth. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, rotating the cake 180 degrees after 30 (to make sure it browns evenly). The cake is done as soon as a tester comes out clean of batter. Enjoy!