I find that November can be a boring, dark month, and the weather isn’t always ideal for spending time outdoors. With the November Time Change the days are shorter, the nights are longer and colder, and our ‘nesting’ instinct seems to kick in. Here are a few ideas and recipes for Ottawa Foodies, to make this month a bit more interesting.
Spend a few nights in The County and stock up on wine, beer & spirits for the Holiday Season! Just a short drive from Ottawa, Prince Edward County offers a huge selection of wineries, microbreweries and distilleries. You can avoid the summer crowds, and have an easier time finding accommodations. My favourite stops include Kinsip House of Fine Spirits where you can sip on creative cocktails, while watching the fancy chickens hunt and peck. There are many beautiful restaurants to choose from, but I always enjoy Pomodoro in Wellington where they prepare beautiful and hearty pasta dishes and classic Italian starters and mains, and the prices are very reasonable.
If you can’t make it to The County then head over to City Hall on Thursday November 7th for Outstanding in Their Fields event put on by Savvy Company. Sample wines from Ontario at this Taste & Buy event!
Another idea for November is to get a head start on your holiday baking and freeze some cookies for guests to enjoy or to give as a gift. Better yet, organize and host a cookie exchange! Gather your friends on a Sunday afternoon and bake up big batches of cookies to share, and store for the holidays. Decorated cookies keep well dry, like these ginger people below. Scoop and bake cookies (this month’s recipe) can store well frozen and unbaked.
This month I am sharing our popular Red Apron Ginger Cookie recipe. This cookie makes a great hostess gift and is a popular seasonal cookie. You can also roll the dough into balls and freeze them, to be baked off at a later time so you can always have fresh baked cookies on hand.
Ginger Molasses Cookies
4 cups granulated sugar
3 cups butter, softened
1 cup molasses
9 cups all purpose flour
2 ½ tablespoons of baking soda
1 ¼ tablespoon of cinnamon
½ tablespoon of salt
½ tablespoon of ground ginger
½ tablespoon of ground cloves
¼ tablespoon of nutmeg
zest from one orange
½ cup candied ginger, chopped
1 cup of granulated sugar, for rolling
Preheat your oven to 325F. Beat the sugar and butter together until light in colour & fluffy, scraping down the bowl occasionally. Add the molasses and beat while adding the eggs one at a time.
Sift the dry ingredients together. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, along with the zest and candied ginger, stirring until just incorporated. Scoop out the dough to your desired size and roll each ball in the remaining granulated sugar.
Note 1: Use ice cream scoops to form your cookies. You can buy them at CA Paradise in a variety of sizes and it makes scooping cookies, scones, and batters fast and easy and your cookies will all come out the same size!
Note 2: At this point you can freeze your cookie balls and save them to be baked at a later time.
Place cookies on a baking sheet. For thick chewy cookies you can leave the ball round. If you prefer a thin cookie, you can flatten them gently. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until nice and brown. Remove from baking sheet onto cooling rack. Store in an airtight container. These cookies keep well for a week or two!