Entertaining: Kelley Moore Shows Her Appreciation

Holiday gifts that won't collapse your budget
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’Tis the season of giving, and after exhausting your creativity on gift ideas for those nearest and dearest, trying to find simple, cute gifts for coworkers, your child’s teachers, party hosts and others in your life can make even the most intrepid shopper head down the dreaded fruitcake path. Well, step away from the cake: Kelley Moore’s culinary-inspired gifts suit both the DIY artist and the grab-and-go type—without causing a serious budget crisis.


Sugar, Spice and Everything Nice
Cocktail glass rimmers make a spirited gift. These homemade mixes are easy and can be made in large batches for multiple sets. Kelley’s recipes for a peppermint “Sugar” mix; a cinnamon and sugar graham cracker “Spice” concoction; and a chocolate, cherry and almond “Everything Nice” mix are easy to follow and can be presented in tins wrapped with a festive ribbon. For kids, these sweet rimmers pair nicely with a mug of hot cocoa. Supplies: Handmade labels printed on label paper; round metal containers, $2 each, red and checked ribbon, about $3/yard, and clear plastic box,  $1.15, all from Packaging Specialties (SoDo, 515 S Michigan St.; 206.762.0540; ps-stores.com)


Hot Cakes Confections salted caramel sauce

Spoonful of Sugar
Former Theo Chocolate chocolatier Autumn Martin tops molten chocolate hot cakes with an equally indulgent delight. Martin’s salted caramel sauce from her  can be drizzled on holiday desserts, but sweet, sticky licking can be had straight from the jar by adding two teaspoons tied with a wide ribbon. Substitute an antique silver spoon to create a more expensive, girlfriend-worthy gift. Supplies: Green ribbon, about $3/yard, Packaging Specialties (SoDo, 515 S Michigan St.; 206.762.0540; ps-stores.com); Hot Cakes Confections salted caramel sauce, $8  (hotcakesconfections.com); silver teaspoons, $1.99 each, Cost Plus World Market (multiple locations, including downtown, 2103 Western Ave.; 206.443.1055; worldmarket.com)


Pass the Cheese, Please
Portland-based Urban Cheesecraft’s prepackaged cheese-making kit comes with ingredients to create homemade artisan mozzarella or ricotta. Simply add a black ribbon, a sweet sentiment, and you have the perfect hostess gift when you’re already late for the party. Supplies: Black grosgrain ribbon, about $3/yard, Packaging Specialties (SoDo, 515 S Michigan St.; 206.762.0540; ps-stores.com);  Urban Cheesecraft mozzarella and ricotta cheese-making kit, $29.99 at Metropolitan Markets (multiple locations, including Lower Queen Anne, 100 Mercer St.; 206.213.0778; metropolitan-market.com) or at urbancheesecraft.artfire.com

Recipe of the Week: Kale Gougères

Recipe of the Week: Kale Gougères

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These delicate, one-bite appetizers set the tone for a festive night

Recipe of the Week is contributed by Seattle-based award-winning cookbook author, urban farmer and Seattle magazine contributor Amy Pennington.

The holiday season is a lovely time for inviting friends and loved ones into your home and putting out a wow-worthy spread of nibbles and meals. This year, bypass the usual towering platters of cheese and charcuterie and mix it up by offering gougère. This egg-based, cooked dough is easy to make and infinitely affordable, making them a no brainer for any budget.

These delicate, one-bite appetizers set the tone for a festive night. The dough can be made well in advance and frozen, allowing eager hosts to bake them just before serving. The addition of finely diced kale adds some healthy green to this petite, savory snack. This easy, fast-cooking nosh comes together quickly—you’ll have them made, shaped and baked in about half an hour. 


Kale Gougères

Excerpted from Fresh Pantry, Skipstone Publishing
MAKES ABOUT 2 DOZEN

1 cup water
6 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
¾ cup all-purpose flour
4 eggs
Zest of 1 lemon
3 kale leaves, blanched, squeezed dry, and finely chopped (about ½ cup)
2 green onions, finely chopped

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a large saucepan, bring the water, butter, salt, and nutmeg to a boil over high heat. Remove the pan from the stovetop and stir in the flour until well combined. Reduce the heat to medium-high and return the saucepan to the stovetop. Mix the dough, continually and vigorously, until it comes together in a smooth, sticky mass and starts to pull away from the sides of the saucepan, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Remove the saucepan from the heat and immediately add the eggs, one at a time, by beating quickly with a wooden spoon, until all the eggs are incorporated. Stir in the zest, kale, and green onions until well combined.

Transfer the dough to a pastry bag fitted with a large 1/ 2-inch tip. You may also use a plastic bag, with the corner cut off to form a small hole. Pipe rounds of dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, about 1-inch wide (make sure their edges don’t touch). You may also drop small rounds of dough using a small spoon. Bake the gougères until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.

If not serving these immediately, freeze rounds of dough on baking sheets and, once frozen, store them in a resealable plastic bag in the freezer until ready to use.

PANTRY NOTE: Depending on your tastes, try these with grated cheese— sharp cheddar or Gruyère work equally well. Add a filling to these gougères for an even more delicious snack; flavored cream cheese, a smoked fish paste, or puréed vegetables make delicious fillings. Pipe in the filling of choice as if you were filling a donut and serve immediately. Leftover gougères hold in an airtight container for about two days before going stale.