Sunday, December 14, 2008

Where in the World Sara Been?

Hello dear friends. Sorry I have been away. Unfortunately my computer woes are far from over...thus my long absence. It's not looking good for my trusty laptop, it might be laid to rest soon...even though it did decide to cooperate tonight. But to make it up to you are three new recipes below. Hopefully these recipes will get your creative juices flowing this Holiday season. Enjoy!

Maple Roasted Crown Ring Of Pork Roast

Maple Roasted Crown Ring of Roast

10 pound crown ring with ends Frenched
1 teaspoon sage
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon rosemary
1 Tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
4 Tablespoons of butter
1 ½ cup apple cider
½ cup maple syrup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Completely rub the roast down with the butter. Stir together the spices and rub into the buttered roast. Mound the stuffing into the roast and then add apple cider to the bottom of the pan. Bake the extra stuffing in a baking dish. After about 30 minutes drizzle the ¼ cup of the syrup over the roast. Repeat this process 30 minutes later. Cover the stuffing after it reaches golden brown with foil but not the roast. Bake for 2 ½ hours or until the roast reaches 155 degrees internal temperature. Remove from the oven and let sit 15-20 minutes covered with foil

I forgot to take a picture when it was still a Crown Ring...The stuffing you see is the one from Thanksgiving.

Mix Up Your Vegetables

Roasted Cauliflower with Candied Carrots and Pecans

1 head of Cauliflower-separated into florets
4 carrots, sliced
½ cup pecans
5 Tablespoons olive oil
4 Tablespoons honey
4 Tablespoons brown sugar
salt and pepper

On two separate sheet pans, toss the cauliflower and carrots in olive oil and salt and pepper. Bake at 450 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Set cauliflower to the side and keep warm. To the carrots add the pecans and sprinkle with brown sugar. Drizzle with honey and bake again for 5 more minutes. Sugars should be bubbling when you remove from the oven. Make sure to mix the sugar onto all of the carrots and pecans. Toss with the cauliflower.

Easy Holiday Appetizer

Sugared Sea Scallops Wrapped In Prosciutto

14 Large scallops
14 slices prosciutto
½ cup brown sugar
Salt and pepper
Olive oil

Wrap the prosciutto around each scallop and pin with a toothpick. Lightly brush with olive oil and then roll in brown sugar- press the sugar into the scallop. Lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake on a sheet pan for 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Serve hot and crispy.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Pear and Cream Cheese Crostada with Cinnamon Caramel

Ladies and gentleman...may I introduce....the yummy! Oh yes, this is a good one....totally simple...but ever impressive. If making a pie makes you nervous, this will ease your may never go back to a traditional pie. Make will be so happy if you do!

Cinnamon Caramel

¾ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup heavy cream
pinch of salt
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

In heavy 2-quart saucepan over moderately high heat, combine sugar with 1/4 cup water and bring to boil. Continue cooking, swirling pan occasionally (do not stir), until light golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cream, cinnamon, and salt. Return to heat and bring to boil. Remove from heat and keep warm.
Look at all those yummy juices all bubbly and delicious!

Butter Crust
2 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter very cold and cut into pieces
¼ cup ice water

In a medium sized bowl, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Add the butter pieces and, using a pastry blender or 2 dinner knives held between your fingers, cut the butter into the flour and continue until the mixture is crumbly and looks like the size of peas. You can also pulse in a food processor.
Add the water one tablespoon at a time, mixing in between additions (or pulse). You'll notice that a solid piece of dough is forming. If the mixture is still dry and crumbly add another tablespoon of water. The dough is ready when it holds together without crumbling. Best if refrigerated for about an hour.
Shape into a ball and flatten slightly. Try not to overwork this dough with your hands. A quick knead is fine, but your hands give off heat and if you handle it too much it will lose the tenderness and flakiness that makes pie dough so good!

Pear and Cream Cheese Crostada

6 Large pears sliced
1 orange zested and squeezed
1 cup cream cheese
¾ cup sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of cloves
pinch of salt
3 Tablespoons flour

Combine all the ingredients excluding the brown sugar and cream cheese in a bowl and toss. To make a large crostada, use all of the butter crust recipe or split it in half and make two smaller crostadas. You want to roll the dough out just like a pie crust and place it on a pizza stone. If you don't have a pizza stone, a large sheet pan will do (I suggest foiling it first). Spread the cream cheese onto the center of a rolled out pastry crust and sprinkle with the brown sugar. Next add the pear mixture and loosely fold the edges of the crust toward the center. Brush the crust with cream or a beaten egg. Sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 35 minutes or until center is bubbly and crust is golden.

Check back soon for an appetizer.

Monday, December 1, 2008


I am soooo excited. This is my favorite time of the year. I love all of the beautiful and delicious food that comes at this time of the year. I love the crazy...I am the this time of year. I am a cooking maniac....I just can't stop mixing and scooping...and baking. If I sound a bit crazed...I am sorry-there isn't anything I can do about it...I'll be back to my normal (whatever that may be) self by January first. So buckle up gals (and gentlemen if there are any of you reading this) and get to the store. You will need plenty of sugar, flour and butter...and oh yes don't forget the sprinkles. So with no further adieu...your first Holiday recipe.


1 cup heavy cream
2 cups milk
6 eggs
½ cup butter
¼ cup sugar
1 vanilla bean
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp. nutmeg
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ cup flour
pinch of salt
1 lb. Danish, croissant, sweet bread (broken into pieces)
1 cup raisins
¼ cup currants
¼ cup almonds
1 Tbsp. orange peel

In a saucepan bring the milk, cream, sugar, and bean to a simmer. Beat the eggs until light and temper the hot mixture into the cold mixture.
In a bowl, mix the spices, flour, almonds, orange peel, salt, and baking soda. Add the pieces of bread and toss with the melted butter.
In another bowl reconstitute the raisins and currants in a small amount of water, juice, or brandy.
Combine the custard, raisins and currants, and bread mixture together. Soak for ten minutes, and then place into a buttered 8 cup pan. Cover with plastic wrap and place into a water bath. Bake at 350 degrees for an hour and a half. Cool to room temperature and then invert onto a plate. Pour brandy over it and light with a match.
Serve immediately with sour cream sauce.

Sour Cream Sauce

2 cups sour cream
½ cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp. orange peel
1 Tbsp. Vanilla
3 Tbsp. orange juice

Whisk together sour cream, sugar, orange peel, vanilla, and orange juice. Refrigerate