Thursday, November 27, 2008

Count Your Blessings

For each new morning with its light, For rest and shelter of the night, For health and food, For love and friends, For everything Thy goodness sends. - Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)



Boycott the Can




Cranberries 101

3 cups fresh cranberries

1 cup juice (apple, cranraspberry, grape)

1 cup sugar



Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 12 minutes or until mixture is slightly thickened, stirring occasionally






I love to add a can of mandarin oranges (drained) or a cup of fresh raspberries to mine.



Saturday, November 22, 2008

Stuff It!

This is a super yummy recipe for stuffing. I prefer a white bread stuffing to a corn bread stuffing personally. Although this is yummy either way, I don't think you can top stuffing that has been cooked in the bird. I again must apologize for my crummy camera (hint hint to anyone in my family who just might want to gift me one for Christmas) I just can't seem to get the pictures to look as delicious as the food.


APPLE HERB STUFFING

1 ¼ lbs. pork sausage
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
13 to 14 cups 1/4-inch day-old French bread pieces(crusts trimmed)
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
4 cup turkey stock
2 cups finely chopped peeled tart green apple (about1 1/4 pounds)
1 1/2 cups minced onion1 cup minced celery
3/4 cup minced fresh parsley
1 tablespoon ground sage
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme, crumbled
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper



Combine the sausage with the cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. Toss the bread in 1 cup of the butter and bake in a 350 degree oven until toasted. Meanwhile in a heavy pan, cook sausage slowly, so that it is not dried out Melt remaining butter in same skillet over low heat. Add apple, onion, and celery and cook until vegetables begin to soften, 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in parsley and cook 2 to 3 more minutes. Add mixture to bread and toss gently. Blend in remaining ingredients. Taste and adjust seasoning. Add the stock at your will adjusting for texture. You will want it to be drier if you are stuffing a bird. If serving stuffing separately (without turkey), cover and bake 1 hour in 325°F oven.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

November is National Pomegranate Month



Pomegranates are a great fruit to add to a holiday meal. I especially like to add them to salads because not only do they lend a sweetness but also a nice nutty flavor. But these poor fruits are very neglected because they are so messy. Here is a great solution to the pomegranate dilemma.


Fill a large bowl 3/4 of the way with warm water. Cut the pomegranate into fourths. Submerge the pomegranate in the water and break the seeds(arils) from the surrounding pulp.

The arils will sink tot he bottom and the pulp will float to the top.



Then all you have to do is remove the pulp that is floating at the top and collect the arils at the bottom. The best part is your hands will not be stained red and you will have plenty of pomegranate seeds to enjoy!

Don't Make This Dressing if You Have a Drug Test Coming Up

The third installment to the Thanksgiving menu is Pear Salad with Poppy seed dressing.



PEAR SALAD

4 cups various greens (Boston, Bibb, spinach, freesia, endive)
4 large pears –ripened
4 slices good bacon – cooked (I like to use prosciutto)
¼ cup pomegranate seeds
¼ cup feta or Gorgonzola cheese
¼ cup candied pecans

Combine all ingredients and toss with dressing.

POPPY SEED DRESSING

½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons dry mustard
¼ teaspoon salt
4 Tablespoons cider vinegar
3 Tablespoons red onion, minced
¼ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup olive oil
1 Tablespoon Poppy seed

In a blender combine all ingredients except poppy seeds and blend well. Add the poppy seeds and stir with a spoon.

Instead of frying bacon (or in my case prosciutto) I prefer to cook it on a parchment paper lined sheet pan. Oven temperature should be 350 degrees. The prosciutto cooks in about 8 minutes. Bacon will take about 15-20 minutes.



Once again, the tasty food is a victim of my crummy camera.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Fall Vegetables With Horseradish Sauce

The next instalment to the Thanksgiving menu is an interesting twist on a vegetable dish. I know that the horseradish sounds strange but I promise that you will be pleasantly surprised. No one will be able to pinpoint that the flavor is horseradish. This recipe is very simplistic but offers a rich flavor and makes for an elegant side dish. Feel free to change up the vegetables. In the pictures you will see that I added a parsnip as well as some brussel sprouts.

FALL VEGETABLES WITH HORSERADISH SAUCE

1 ½ lbs. green beans, cleaned
1 lb. carrots sliced
½ cup butter
3 Tbsp. drained bottled horseradish
3 Tbsp. cider vinegar
3 Tbsp. honey
salt and pepper to taste







On a baking sheet arrange the carrots drizzle with a small amount of olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. On a separate sheet, arrange the beans and drizzle with olive oil and bake for about 10 minutes. Vegetables should be al dente. In a saucepan melt the butter over moderate heat, stir in the horseradish, the vinegar, the honey, and salt and pepper to taste. Toss the vegetables with the butter sauce and serve.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Whatever Child...

Eldest Child "Those do not look like proper pumpkin pies."
Me-death look
Eldest Child "They look all yellow or something."
Me "I know, I know, the pictures didn't turn out very well."
Eldest Child- panicked look "Oh is that your website"
Me "Yes"
Eldest Child "Oh gosh I'm sorry...i didn't know...it's just that they looked like......" Eldest Child-quickly evacuates the room.
Me " I know, I know...they look all yellow or something...thanks a lot."

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Easy as Pie




We have recovered! I finally got my computer back into my hands today. And so as I promised-the first of a series of great 101 Thanksgiving recipes. Have no fear...these recipes are tried and true. The first is a recipe for a great pie crust. This recipe will make 2 crusts. And then following that there is a simple recipe for Pumpkin pie. Make sure you have some fresh whipped cream to serve with it. For a special flare add a bit of cinnamon to the cream. Make sure you check in often...there is a lot of good stuff on the way!

CRUST 101

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

Directions 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!




PUMPKIN PIE 101

Recipe for CRUST 101
1 16 oz. Can packed pumpkin
pinch of salt
1 ¾ c whipping cream
3 egg yolks
1 egg
zest of one orange
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. nutmeg
½ tsp. ginger
¼ tsp. cloves

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Roll out pie dough on a floured surface to 1/8 inch thickness. Gently lift the dough to cover the pie plate and press in the dough so that it's completely flat against the pie plate. Trim the extra crust and leave at least one inch of crust on the edges. Tuck the extra crust under and press the edges with the tine of a fork to make a decorative border. Place pie dough in the freezer while you make the filling.
Mix all ingredients thoroughly. Pour into pie shell. Bake at 375 degrees for 45-55 minutes. You can tell it's done when a knife, inserted into the center of the pie, comes out clean. Cool and serve with Cinnamon whipped cream.

I wish the picture of these pies had turned out a bit better. I can tell you they were sure yummy!



Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Viruses

My computer received a special little virus via an e-mail last week and unfortunately has been quite ill. I hope to pick it up at the shop later today. And I have been dealing with a virus of my own. So needless to say: due to the excessive amount of viruses inhabiting my home, I have been unable to post anything for a week. But I have some great stuff for you...so check in Thursday for the first selection of a great Thanksgiving menu.