In today’s issue of The Roanoke Times, you’ll find the Best of Holiday Shopping 2013, a 56-page special section that includes gift ideas, holiday entertaining and festive decor around Southwest Virginia.
This section includes the results of our 2013 reader poll of the best places to shop and visit during the holiday season. We put out a ballot with 38 categories, so the issue includes the winners in those categories, as well as suggestions by Roanoke Times staffers.
To see some of the Best of Holiday Shopping 2013 content online, click here.
Also included in that section are a variety of recipes contributed by members of the Roanoke Times staff. I asked them to submit their families’ favorite traditional holiday recipes and they came through with some nice ones. I’ll be sharing those on the blog over the next week or so. To see all of the recipes, simply go to the categories on the right side of your screen and choose “Best of Holiday recipes.”
If you’d like to share a recipe of your own, we’d love to see it! Feel free to share it in the comment section of any Best of Holiday recipes post.
To start, check out these recipes for Mary Whelchel’s chocolate pound cake and Dan Casey’s crab cakes.
Whelchel Family Chocolate Pound Cake
Submitted by Mary Whelchel, manager, Retail Advertising
This is a very old recipe that has provided the Whelchel family a wonderful dessert for many family reunions and holidays. I generally don’t think chocolate when I think of pound cake, so this is a nice variation. The frosting/glaze makes a fudge-like coating over the dense cake, which is delicious. As oven temperatures vary, be careful not to overcook.
1 cup butter, softened
1⁄2 cup shortening
2 1⁄2 cups sugar
5 eggs, slightly beaten
1 Tbsp. vanilla
3 cups flour
1⁄2 tsp. baking powder
1⁄2 tsp. salt
4 Tbsp. cocoa
1 cup evaporated milk
For the icing:
1/4 cup butter
Two squares chocolate
One box powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Cream, as needed for moisture
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Cream together the butter and shortening. Add sugar, eggs and vanilla.
3. Sift together flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa.
4. Add dry ingredients, alternating with milk, to the creamed mixture. Bake in a greased and floured tube pan for 80 minutes, or until the cake tests done.
5. For the icing: In a saucepan, melt butter and chocolate. Add powdered sugar and vanilla. Add cream as needed to make the icing smooth for spreading.
Dan Casey’s Crab Cakes
Submitted by Dan Casey, metro columnist, News
When you mince the red bell pepper, there’ll be a lot of juice. Put the minced bell pepper in a paper towel and squeeze until it soaks up the juice. Makes 10-12 crab cakes, depending on how big you make them.
2 lbs. backfin crab meat
1⁄3 red bell pepper, super finely minced
1⁄3 cup fresh parsley, finely minced
1 Tbsp. mayo
1⁄2 stick unsalted butter, melted
2 eggs, beaten
1 to 2 tsp. spicy brown mustard
3 to 4 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
1 cup corn meal
1 tsp. ground habenero pepper (or 2 tsp. ground cayenne)
1⁄2 stick unsalted butter, melted
1. Carefully pick the errant shell out of the crab meat.
2. Mix all ingredients for the crab cakes together, being careful not to separate the crab meat too much.
3. Mix the corn meal and pepper together.
4. Form the crab cakes into 3-inch balls, then dust liberally with the coating mixture and form into patties. Refrigerate for 3 or more hours.
5. Put the crab cakes in the bottom of a broiler pan. Melt 1⁄2 stick unsalted butter and pour over crab cakes. Broil on high until brown (15 or 20 minutes).