DAA Daily

Festive Food!

By Izzy Murray
Arts and Entertainment Editor
The Pawprint

Holidays are always fun times of year, with parades, family, and of course, food. Food is an important part of culture, and therefore, cultural celebrations. But what food is a good holiday food? A good celebration drink? Let’s ask baker-lawyer Shawn Murray what he thinks.

What is your favorite holiday? Why?  

“Christmas.  Everything is so festive, the food is wonderful and most importantly, we can spend time with family and friends.”

What is, personally, your favorite holiday food and drink?  

“Chocolate Yule Log with vanilla bean Italian Meringue Buttercream filling and a dark chocolate ganache frosting.  [As for drinks] definitely eggnog, sans the rum, as I really just like the flavor of eggnog alone.”

What easy food or drink would you make for a special occasion? Why?

“Grilled wild Alaskan salmon, with vanilla pound cake, topped with fresh fruit and homemade whipped cream.”

How do you make that?

“You can prepare the cake in advance — really pretty simple to make, yet deliciously moist — , then toss it on a plate with fresh blackberries, maybe, and a good dollop of fresh whipped cream. The salmon is incredible, but simple to grill, coated with with only a bit of olive oil and salt and pepper.”

What is a recipe you like to make for holidays?

“Hot chocolate!”

Hot Cocoa
(Courtesy of Alton Brown – Food Network)

2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch process
2 1/2 cups nonfat dry milk powder
1 teaspoon fine-grain salt
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 pinch (or more to taste) ground cayenne pepper*, optional
Hot milk or water to serve


Combine the confectioners’ sugar, cocoa powder, milk powder, salt, cornstarch and cayenne in a large airtight container. Secure the lid and shake vigorously to combine, and remember to shake prior to every extraction.

To serve: Place 2 tablespoons of the mix in a mug and add about 2 fluid ounces hot water or milk. Stir to combine. Fill the mug with more hot water or milk and enjoy.
Really, as seen with Mr. Murray, holiday foods are rather subjective. Some people like cake, others like pie, some people like to make “incredible salmon,” which, from personal experience I can say is, in fact, incredible. What food do you like for holidays?

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