Special Holiday Recipe Edition

By Teresa Brown

Since 1993 a holiday edition of the staff newsletter has included a variety of traditions and recipes that are enjoyed by our Libraries staff. Once again we are sharing some of your favorite recipes. Enjoy.


Christmas Cocktail

Submitted By Teresa Brown courtesy of Chef Sandra Lee


  • 2 tablespoons fresh pomegranate seeds
  • 8 ounces Champagne or sparkling wine
  • 2 ounces pear juice
  • 2 ounces pomegranate juice


  • Place 2 Champagne flutes into the freezer to chill for 10 minutes.
  • Remove the glasses from the freezer.
  • To each glass add: 1 tablespoon pomegranate seeds, 4 ounces Champagne, 1 ounce pear juice, and 1 ounce pomegranate juice.

Serves 2.


Roast Prime Rib with Thyme Au Jus

Submitted By Teresa Brown

Recipe courtesy Bobby Flay
Prep Time: 10 min
Inactive Prep Time: 30 min
Cook Time: 2 hr 0 min
Serves: 6 to 8 servings


  • 1 bone-in prime rib (6 to 7 pounds)
  • 8 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • Salt and coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 4 cups beef stock
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves


  • Thirty minutes before roasting the prime rib, remove from the refrigerator and let come to room temperature.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Make small slits all over the prime rib and fill each slit with a slice of the garlic. Season liberally with the salt and coarse pepper, place on a rack set inside a roasting pan and roast for about 2 hours until medium-rare, or until a thermometer inserted into the center of the meat registers 135 degrees F. Remove the meat to a platter, and tent with foil to keep warm.
  • Place the roasting pan on top of the stove over 2 burners set on high heat. Add the wine to the pan drippings in the pan and cook over high heat until reduced, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Add the stock and cook until reduced by half. Whisk in the thyme and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Slice meat as desired and serve with thyme au jus.


Overnight Lettuce Salad

By Diana Grove, DPIA


  • 1 head of lettuce, torn to bite size pieces.
  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut to bite size pieces
  • 1 large sweet onion, diced
  • 1 pound bacon cooked and crumbled


  • 1 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese


  • Layer ingredients in the order given above. Combine mayonnaise and sugar. Spread on salad. Top with parmesan cheese.


Roasted Brisket

By Teresa Brown, INSDIE


  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound baby carrots
  • 5 ounces mushrooms, sliced (about 2 – 2 1/2 cups)
  • 2 1/2 pounds raw lean beef brisket, trimmed
  • 82 ounces canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 3/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons sugar


  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • Spread onion slices and garlic on bottom of a nonstick roasting pan; top with carrots and mushrooms. Arrange beef over vegetables.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine tomatoes, paprika, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, lemon juice and sugar; stir to dissolve sugar.
  • Pour tomato mixture over brisket and vegetables; tightly cover with a sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Roast for 2 hours and then remove from oven; uncover, stir and use pan juices to baste meat. Return brisket to oven and roast for about 1 hour more, uncovered, basting every 15 minutes.
  • Remove pan from oven and let stand for 10 minutes before slicing into 1/4-inch thick pieces. Serve meat and vegetables with sauce spooned over top. Yields about 3 ounces of beef plus 3/4 cup of vegetables and sauce per serving.


Macaroni and Cheese

By Diana Grove, DPIA


  • 1 1/2 cup Macaroni (boiled)
  • 1/2 cup margarine
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon. pepper
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 8 oz. Velveeta
  • 1 3/4 cups milk


  • Blend and melt together margarine, salt pepper, flour Velveeta and milk. 
  • Pour over macaroni in 9 x 13 pan.
  • Can double recipe and still fit in pan.


Grandma's Suet Pudding

By Claire Alexander, EAS


  • 1 cup finely shredded suet (that means scraped with a paring knife into thin curls)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup molasses, medium or light
  • 1 egg

Mix wet ingredients together.


  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 rounded tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Sift dry ingredients into the above mixture. Mix together.


  • 1 cup chopped nuts
  • 1cup raisins cut in half (Yes, they did that…me I use currants or just don’t worry about someone getting a bite that is all raisin.)
  • 1 cup chopped dates

Blend into the above mixture.
Turn into a buttered pan and steam for 3 hours.
Serve warm with hard sauce or lemon sauce or ice cream.


Toasted Butter Pecan Cake

By Wendy Kelly, UGRL


  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter, softened, divided
  • 2-2/3 cups chopped pecans
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk


  • 2 packages (one 8 ounces, one 3 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 2/3 cup butter, softened
  • 6 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons milk


  • In a small heavy skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Add pecans; cook over medium heat until toasted, about 4 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  • In a large bowl, cream sugar and remaining butter until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk. Beat just until combined. Fold in 2 cups reserved pecans.
  • Spread evenly into three greased and waxed paper-lined 9-in. round baking pans. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  • For frosting, in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter, confectioners' sugar and vanilla until smooth. Beat in enough milk to achieve spreading consistency. Spread frosting between layers and over top and sides of cake. Sprinkle with remaining pecans. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: 12-16 servings.


Peppermint & Chip Biscotti

By Candy Sheagley, HSSE


  • 1 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup soft butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon  Peppermint extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon Baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup crushed peppermints (coarse chips)
  • 1/2 cup mini chips


  • Mix sugar, butter, extract and eggs.
  • Stir in flour, salt, and baking powder.
  • Stir in candy and chips.
  • Dough is stiff and sticky.
  • Divide dough in half; shape each into a 10 x 2 log.
  • Bake at 350 on parchment covered or greased sheets, 30-35 minutes until light brown.
  • Cool 15 min, cut into 1/2” slices using a serrated knife.
  • Place cut side down on paper covered sheets and bake an additional 15 minutes.
  • Remove from sheets, cool.
  • Optional….dip ends in melted chocolate or drizzle with chocolate.


Date Bars

By Frances Christman, ENGR


  • One  8-ounce package pitted dates, coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/2  cups Tropicana Pure Premium® orange juice or Dole® 100% orange juice
  • 2 1/2  cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2  cups firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2  teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 3/4  pound (3 sticks) margarine or butter, chilled and cut into pieces
  • 2  cups Quaker® Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)
  • 1 1/2  cups shredded coconut, divided (optional)
  • 1  cup chopped nuts (optional)


  • Heat oven to 350°F.
  • In medium saucepan, combine dates and orange juice; bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat; simmer 15 to 20 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; cool slightly.
  • In large bowl, combine flour, sugar and salt.
  • Cut in margarine with pastry blender or two knives until mixture is crumbly.
  • Stir in oats, 1 cup coconut and nuts; mix well. Reserve 4 cups oat mixture for topping.
  • Press remaining oat mixture evenly onto bottom of ungreased 13 x 9-inch baking pan.
  • Spread date mixture evenly over crust to within 1/4 inch of edges.
  • Sprinkle with reserved oat mixture.
  • Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup coconut, patting gently.
  • Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until light golden brown.
  • Cool completely in pan on wire rack.
  • Cut into bars.
  • Store tightly covered.



By Wendy Kelly, UGRL

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 minutes


  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • peanut oil for deep frying


  • Beat eggs slightly. Add sugar and salt. Add flour and milk alternately, blending until smooth. Stir in vanilla. The batter should be about as thick as pancake batter. If it isn't, add more flour, a tablespoon at a time. If it is too thick, add a teaspoon of milk at a time.
  • Heat 3" of oil in a deep fryer to 365 degrees. (A deep frying thermometer is very helpful, and I highly recommend it.) Place a rosette iron in the hot oil for 60 seconds. There's no way to take the temperature of the iron; it just has to be hot.
  • Dip the hot iron into the batter, making sure NOT to let the batter run over the top of the iron. If you do, the rosette will be impossible to remove. Immerse the coated iron in the hot fat and fry 25-30 seconds until light brown. Slip off onto a paper towel. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar or powdered sugar when cool.
  • Makes about 36 rosettes.


Cranberry Streusel Pie

By Patrick Whalen, HSSE


  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups fresh or thawed frozen cranberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 unbaked pie shell

Streusel Topping

  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar , packed
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts


  • Thaw frozen cranberries in refrigerator.
  • Cream together butter and sugars.
  • Beat in egg and vanilla.
  • Sift together flour, baking soda and salt.
  • Stir into egg mixture (dough is very thick).
  • Fold in cranberries and walnuts.
  • Spread carefully into pie shell. 
  • Bake at 350 degrees for about 50 minutes or until pie tests done with a wooden pick.
  • While the pie bakes, blend topping ingredients until crumbly.
  • Sprinkle topping over pie as soon as it’s removed from the oven: place an inverted bowl over pie and let steam 20 minutes.


Mrs. Claus Cinnamon Cookies

By Diana Grove, DPIA

Mrs. Claus Cinnamon Cookies
By Diana Grove


  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking power
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup nuts, finely ground


  • Cream together: butter, sugar, vanilla, and egg. 
  • Add dry ingredients.
  • Combine 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 2 tablespoons sugar. 
  • Roll walnut size balls in cinnamon and sugar mixture.
  • Bake in 350 oven for about 12 minutes.


Hanukkah Cranberry-Nut Rugalach

Submitted By Teresa Brown, INSIDE


  • Cooking spray
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries, finely chopped (coat knife with cooking spray before chopping to prevent sticking)
  • 1/4 cup walnut halves, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sugar, granulated
  • 8 ounce package Pillsbury crescent rolls
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar


  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly coat a cookie sheet with cooking spray.
  • To make filling, combine cranberries, walnuts and granulated sugar in a small bowl; set aside.
  • Roll out crescent rolls on a lightly floured surface (use 1 tablespoon flour) to an 11-inch square. Separate along perforations into 8 triangles. Cut each in half lengthwise, making 16 long triangles.
  • Spoon a generous teaspoon of filling onto each triangle, leaving bare pastry at top and bottom of triangle. Roll each triangle from wide end to narrow tip.
  • Spread out rolled wedges on prepared cookie sheet. Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit 5 minutes.
  • Move rugalach close together so they are just touching each other. Place powdered sugar in a sieve and dust over rugalach. Yields 1 cookie per serving. (Note: These cookies taste best served warm. Reheat for 5 minutes in a preheated 325°F oven. Do not microwave – it will toughen the dough.)


Heath Candy

By Beth Robertson, PUP


  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 sticks BUTTER
  • 3 tablespoons water


  • Cook all over medium high heat until the mixture “smokes” or “hard crack” on candy thermometer. Stirring constantly
  • Pour onto foil-lined cookie sheet.  Spread evenly. 
  • Break up a large Hershey candy bar and place on top of candy mixture, as it melts spread evenly over the top.
  • Let harden, crack and enjoy.


Green Tambourine


Claire AlexanderMany holidays are observed in December so it’s time to think of having a green holiday season.  

Those of you who decorate trees might be able to use some suggestions from Earth911: http://earth911.com/blog/2008/12/01/5-ways-to-green-your-christmas-tree/. I must admit to being surprised that real trees won out over artificial trees in the green category. Back when we thought artificial were better for the environment than real ones, I opted for none, as I do with many artificial options. That real potted trees are good is self evident, but another link discusses artificial vs. cut trees: http://earth911.com/blog/2009/11/25/real-vs-artificial-christmas-trees/

Since I don’t have a tree, I didn't know there are now LED lights! Be amazed with me at the savings in energy those would create if everyone used them! Also mentioned is a recycle program to take your old lights and provide a discount on new LED lights.

Gift wrap is another area that I have gone green with over the years. When I was a child we made scenes on box lids and covered them with cellophane so that the box could be opened, wrapping intact.  We could then use the boxes over with new ribbon until they wore out. We learned not to write names as part of the art after having one box that always had to be used for the same person. Later on I quit using new commercial wrapping paper altogether. I save and reuse paper, and sometimes I use Sunday colored comic pages.  When my girls were young, they painted on large newsprint paper and I wrapped gifts in that. Grandparents loved it and the girls were proud of their artistic abilities. Some of my friends make cloth gift bags and use pillow cases for larger gifts. There are many alternatives to buying new commercial gift wrap that accomplish the secrecy of gifts and allow for the fun of unwrapping.

I hope you enjoyed last issue’s guest column. Please consider sharing your green thoughts and knowledge for future columns by sending them to me.

Happy Holidays!


  • Roast Prime Rib with Thyme Au Jus
  • Overnight Lettuce Salad
  • Roasted Brisket
  • Macaroni and Cheese
  • Grandma's Suet Pudding
  • Toasted Butter Pecan Cake
  • Peppermint & Chip Biscotti
  • Date Bars
  • Rosettes
  • Cranberry Streusel Pie
  • Mrs. Claus Cinnamon Cookies
  • Hanukkah Cranberry-Nut Rugalach
  • Heath Candy
  • Green Tambourine
  • Announcements
  • Editorial Note
  • Eight Gifts that Don't Cost a Cent
  • For Perfect Cookies
  • Special Gift Giving Ideas
  • Tippy Update
  • Featured Profile
  • Connect with Purdue Libraries
  • Holiday Helpful Hints
  • Grandma's Rum Cake
  • What's Cooking?



Annual Staff Recognition,
Welcome New Staff
and Arts & Craft Show

Thursday, December 17, 2009
1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
STEW 279

All-Staff Meeting
with President Cordóva
and Provost Woodson

Tuesday, January 19, 2010
3:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Lunch & Learn Series
Anthony Cawdron
"Eat, Drink & Be Wary: Business and Special Etiquette"

Monday, January 25, 2010
Noon - 1:00 p.m.
MEL Corporate Study Room
Register Here


EDITOR's note

The following ideas, helpful hints, suggestions, and Rum Cake recipe have been compiled by me over the years from family and friends. Hope you enjoy them.



eight gifts that don't cost a cent

The Gift of Listening
But you must really listen.  No interrupting, no daydreaming, no planning your response. Just listen.

The Gift of Affection
Be generous with appropriate hugs, kisses, pats on the back, and handholds. Let these small actions demonstrate the love you have for family and friends.

The Gift of Laughter
Clip cartoons. Share articles and funny stories.  Smile. Your gift will say, “I love to laugh with you.”

The Gift of a Written Note
It can be a simple “Thanks for the help” note or a full sonnet. A brief, handwritten note may be remembered for a lifetime and may even change a life.

The Gift of a Compliment
A simple and sincere “You look great,” or “You did a super job,” or “That was a good meal,” can make someone’s day.

The Gift of a Favor
Every day, go out of your way to do something kind.

The Gift of Solitude
There are times when we want nothing better than to be left alone. Be sensitive to those times and share it with others.

The Gift of a Cheerful Disposition
The easiest way to feel good is to extend a kind word to someone.



for perfect cookies

Use unsalted butter, not whipped or light. If you use margarine, use unsalted sticks with at least 80 percent fat.

If dough for rolled-out cookies gets too soft to work with, refrigerate or freeze until firm.

Use an oven thermometer and adjust temperature setting as necessary.

Place cookie dough only on cool cookie sheets.

Bake one cookie sheet at a time in middle of oven except when directed otherwise.

Make sure there are at least 2 inches of space between baking pan and side of oven and door so air can circulate properly.

Check cookies at minimum baking time.

When rolling out cookie dough, place the dough between two ¼-inch thick rulers the same width apart as your rolling pin. Then roll the rolling pin over the rulers until the dough is even.

Let cookies cool completely before icing. For fun patterns, put frosting in a plastic food storage bag; cut off one corner and squeeze frosting through the corner.

Use colored candies, sprinkles or shaved chocolate to decorate iced cookies. String licorice makes great bow ties and dried cranberries make excellent buttons on gingerbread men and women.


special Gift giving ideas

Fill a scrapbook with pictures of your child. Include artwork your child has created and mementos of times they have spent with their grandparents. Have your child inscribe the inside cover with a personal message to their grandparents.

When you gather with family for this holiday season, turn on a tape recorder and ask everyone to share a story about growing up and the things they remember most about a special Christmas or person. Send a copy to someone who couldn’t be home for the holidays.

Give homemade coupons for free baby sitting services or any other home chore such as mowing the lawn, raking leaves, cleaning the garage, or mopping the floors. Or present a child with a coupon for a once-a-month outing to a favorite place.

Donate to a local or favorite charity in memory of a loved one.

Tuck bath goodies (soap, powder, lotion, and a loofah) into a lush bath towel. Roll up and tie with a fancy ribbon.

Fill a beautiful tea cup or mug with a selection of teas and a sprig of holly. Tie a cheerful ribbon around the handle.

Spread joy. Let someone step ahead of you in line at the grocery store or at the mall.

Donate blood.  It’s not just in times of crisis that our hospitals are in short supply.

Bring your family and friends together for a group cleanup of a local park or school playground.

Create a gift box of little bottles of toiletry items and deliver them to a local nursing home.


Tippy update


Tippy checking out the tree in the Union. Photo by Teresa Brown.

Check USAIN Conference for more
information about the conference to be held at Purdue in May 2010.

Have a Tippy photo? Send it to Marianne Bracke. View other Tippy photos here.


Featured profile

(St. Nicholas)

North Pole
Gift Giver & Promoter of Good Will to All

Q.  What do you enjoy most about your job and why?
A. Bringing joy and laughter to children and teaching them the true spirit of giving to others.

Q.  How long have you worked in this profession?
A. For several centuries.

Q.  What is one unforgettable experience that has happened to you?
A. Seeing the eyes of a child "light up" when they sit on my lap to tell me what they'd like for Christmas. 

Q.  What’s your favorite book, Web site, movie, or database?
A. The Purdue Libraries, of course. 

Q.  Coffee, tea, water, or soft drink?
A. Ho, Ho, Ho. I have a fondness for milk and cookies!

Q.  What do you like to do for fun?
A. Share the joy of the holiday season with the world. 

Q.  Feel free to include any information about yourself that you would like to share with the staff?
A. Mrs. Claus and I wish each and everyone of you joy, love, and peace this holiday season and in the New Year.


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Holiday helpful hints

Use your holiday cookie cutters as napkin holders for your table. Tie a festive ribbon on the cookie cutter to add a little color or spray them gold and silver.

Keep tinsel icicles from clinging together by putting them in the freezer for half an hour before hanging them on the tree.

For stronger homemade garlands use waxed dental floss. Popcorn, cranberries, and everything else will glide right on.

Use the skirt of an old prom dress or bridesmaid dress for your tree skirt.

Put leftover candy canes in the canister where you keep your tea bags. Whenever you brew a cup of tea, add a piece of candy to the brew for a tasty, minty treat.

Use a hole punch to make a hole in the top left-hand corner of your Christmas cards. Use an ornament hook through the hole and hang the cards on your tree or a ribbon above a doorway.

Make your own gifts bags by using brown or white paper lunch bags. Fold the top over about 2-inches and punch two side-by-side holes (about two inches apart) through it. Thread the holes with ribbon and tie.

Using permanent marking pens have family members sign and date your holiday tablecloth. This makes a great family heirloom to be enjoyed for many years.

Include a copy of your favorite cookie recipe in your holiday card.

Fragile ornaments should be packed in plain paper. Don’t use newspaper because the ink can stain the surface of your treasures. Store in original packaging to prevent breakage.

Create a treasure hunt with clues for a child to find a gift that’s too big to under the tree, such as a bicycle.

Store wreaths from the attic rafters so they don’t get crushed.  Drape a plastic dry cleaning bag or garbage bag over each on to keep them dust free.

Pack ornaments and decorations away room by room labeling each box as you go.  Next year start in one room and work your way through the house without all the fuss and mess of having things spread all around the house.


Grandma's holiday rum cake

Before you start, sample the rum and check for quality. Good isn’t it? Now select a large mixing bowl, measuring cup, etc., and check the rum again, for quality of course. It must be just right. Try it again! With an electric mixer, beat 1 cup butter in a large, fluffy bowl. Add 1 teaspoon sugar and beat again; meanwhile, make certain that the rum is of the finest quality, just take a sip. Add 2 large eggs and 2 cups of fried fruit and beat until very high. If the fruit gets stuck in the beaters, just pry it loose with a screwdriver. Sample the rum again, checking for consistency. Next, stir in 3 cups baking powder, a pinch of rum, 1 seaspoon toda, and 1 cup pepper or salt. Anyway, don’t fret. Just tample the rum again and mist in ½ pint of lemon juice, fold in chopped buttermilk, and the strained nuts.  Tample the rum again! Now add 2 bablespoons sbrown sugar, or whatever color is available. Mix swell. Grease over the take pan and churn on the coven to 250 degrees. Pour the whole mess in the oven. Shake out the take after mifty finutes. Be true to tample the rum swhile swaiting! Cherry T’is muss and a Nappy Yew Near!


what's cooking?

All of these recipes will be posted on the Libraries intranet site. You are also invited to add your recipes at any time.


Copy Deadline

Copy for the December 22 issue is due by December 18, 2009. Send to Teresa Brown.