Thursday, November 25, 2010

2010 Thanksgiving Menu

Turkey:  Brined in PW Favorite Brine
Balsamic Green Beans
PW's Cornbread Sausage Stuffing(minus the apples)
Mashed Potatoes with Cream Cheese
Pretzel Jello Salad with Blackberries
Jannet's Rolls
Homemade Orange Cranberry Sauce

No Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake
Bobby Flay's Pumpkin Bread Pudding(added white chocolate chips to mine)

Turkey:  Brined for less time because it is injected with a solution, just overnight.  Rinse again, season inside cavities.  Put neck in bottom of pan with 1 onion wedged into 8 slices.  Cover bottom of pan 1/2".  Cooked upside down on rack for one hour at 375.  Flip over for remaining time, truss and cover with melted herb butter(fresh parsley, rosemary, kosher salt, black pepper, white pepper, and French Thyme).  Add a foil tent and reduce heat to 325' for 3-4 hours.  Remove foil tent last hour or remove tent and turn on broiler for a few minutes to brown up the top of turkey.

Potatoes:  Added 1 whole cube of cream cheese, 1 stick of butter, milk, salt & pepper to taste.

Stuffing:  Used PW's recipe ingredients, minus the apple.

Rolls:  Doubled Jannet's recipe.  Makes 64 rolls!  Divide dough between 4 9x9 baking pans.  Before baking, brush with melted butter and sprinkle with kosher salt.  Bake 15-20 minutes.

Balsamic Green Beans

This year I decided to try adding my favorite way to saute onions and mushrooms with the green beans and I'm glad I did!

8 slices of bacon
2 lbs. green beans
1 onion, diced
several Tbls.-1/4 cup good Balsamic Vinegar
3 Tbl. brown sugar
Kosher salt & fresh ground pepper to taste
sliced almonds

Cut bacon into small 1" pieces and put in a medium size stock pot.  Add diced onions.  Cook on medium-high heat until bacon is cooked through and onions are almost translucent.  Add approx. 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar and cover.  The liquid will help cook the onions.  Put lid on.  Check often as you do not want the onions to burn, then it becomes bitter.  When onions are translucent remove lid and add remaining balsamic vinegar and brown sugar, salt & fresh ground pepper to taste.  Cook on low until liquid is reduced by half. 

Trim ends of green beans and cut in half, into bite size pieces.  Rinse well and steam in microwave cooker until fork tender but still bright green(about 6 minutes).  Drain beans.  Add mixture to onion/bacon mixture and toss to coat well.  Add sliced almonds and mix well.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Rootbeer Cookies

My FAVORITE cookie. Rootbeer extract is hard to find, but I have found it online.
Rootbeer Cookies
1 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. butter, softened
1 egg
1/4 c. buttermillk
1 tsp. root beer extract
1-3/4 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

Mix brown sugar, butter, and egg until fluffy. Stir in buttermilk, rootbeer extract, flour, soda, and salt, and mix until smooth. Cover and refrigerate for about an hour. Heat oven to 400'. Place cookies 2" apart on cookie sheet and bake for 6-8 minutes. Let cool on rack and glaze with recipe below.

Rootbeer Glaze for Rootbeer Cookies
2 c. powdered sugar
1/3 c. butter, softened
1-1/2 tsp. root beer extract
2 Tbl. hot water

Mix powdered sugar and butter. Stir in rootbeer extract and hot water. Place wax paper under cooling rack. Spoon glaze over the cookies. This glaze will do a double batch of cookies.

Dana's Grape Salad

3-4 pkgs of red and green seedless grapes(just get a good mix of each)
8 oz cream cheese, softened (Fat-Free OK)
1 c. sour cream
1/2 c sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix and enjoy!

Cranberry Delight Salad

1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons mayonnaise (either regular or light)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 can (16 oz) whole berry cranberry sauce
1 can (8 oz) crushed pineapple
3/4 c chopped pecans
1 cup heavy cream, whipped

In a large mixing bowl, combine cram cheese, mayonnaise and sugar; mix well. Stir in cranberry sauce, pineapple with its juice, and pecans. Fold in whipped cream. Pour mixture into an 8x8x2 inch pan. Freeze until firm. Let thaw 5-10 minutes before serving.
This is copied from the Lion House Desserts cookbook, however, I usually use a graham cracker crust instead, shortbread is my favorite, and I double up the lemon mixture. You can never have too much lemon custard in my opinion. This is the dessert I'm "expected" to bring to Thanksgiving and Christmas get-togethers.

Lion House Lemon Truffle Pie

Baked 9-inch pie shell
½ cup water
2 Tb. Sugar
1 egg
1 Tb. Cornstarch
1 Tb. Sugar
Zest of ½ lemon
1 ½ Tb. Fresh lemon juice
1 ½ tsp. butter
1 cup vanilla chips
1 8-oz. package cream cheese
½ cup whipped cream, sweetened
1 Tb. Toasted almonds

Put water and 2 Tb. Sugar in saucepan and bring to a boil. In a large boal, mix egg, cornstarch, 1 Tb. Sugar, and zest of lemon. Slowly add hot water to egg mixture in bowl; then pour entire mixture back into pan. Heat until thickened, stirring often. Remove from heat and add lemon juice and butter. Stir until mixed and cool.

Pour 2/3 of filling in bowl. Add vanilla chips to the filling remaining in pan. Stir until chips are melted. Place cream cheese in bowl. Add filling with vanilla chips to cream cheese and beat together. Spread this mixture in bottom of pie shell. Spread remaining 2/3 of lemon filling on top. Chill for 2 hours.

Top with whipped cream and garnish with toasted almonds or sprinkle toasted almonds over whipped cream and serve on side. Makes 1 pie.

One Dish Turkey/Chicken & Stuffing Bake

Great for leftovers!

1 1/4 c. boiling water
4 Tbl. butter or marg.
4 c. seasoned stuffing mix
4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 can(10 3/4oz.) condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/3 c. milk
1 Tbl. chopped fresh parsley.

Mix water and butter, add stuffing, mix lightly. If using leftovers, skip the water/butter/stuffing mix, and just measure out cooked stuffing, about 6 cups.   Spoon stuffing across center of 3 qt. shallow baking dish. Arrange chicken on each side of stuffing. Sprinkle paprika over chicken. Mix soup, milk, and parsley. Pour over chicken. Cover and bake at 400' for 30 minutes or until chicken is done.

Mashed Cauliflower

1 lg. head Cauliflower
1 pkg. cream cheese
milk or half and half
salt and pepper

Steam cauliflower until very soft, add cream cheese and mash with a potato masher with with tines that are close together. Add milk or half and half until you reach the desired consistency. Add salt and pepper. Serve just as you would mashed potatoes. Can also be topped with grated cheese, bacon bits, chives, etc....

If you like, add a few wedges of Laughing Cow Cheese.  Yum!

Potato, Mushroom, Sausage "Stuffing"

4 Tbl. Olive Oil
3 shallots, finely chopped(or 1 c. sweet onion)
3 cloves garlic
3 lb. mashed potatoes(russet, red, or gold)
1 1/2 lb. portabello mushrooms, chopped
3 lb. sweet Italian Sausage
2 tsp. rosemary
1/2 c. finely chopped chives
1/2 c. Italian parsley
2 tsp. thyme
Salt & Pepper to taste

Over med. heat, combine 2 Tbl. oil, shallots, and garlic. Saute until soft. Add shallots and garlic to potatoes. Over med. heat combine 2 T. oil and chopped mushrooms. Saute until golden brown and most of the liquid has evaporated. Add to potato mixute. Cook Sausage, breaking it up so that it isn't clumped, about 5-7 minutes. Add to potato mixture. Add rosemary, chives, parsley, thyme, salt and pepper, and mix throughly. Cover with foil and cook at 325' for approximately 20 minutes. Remove foil and cook for another 10 minutes. If using dried herbs, cut measurements by half. This replaced the traditional Thanksgiving and Christmas stuffing in our family. It seems like a lot of steps, but it's SO worth it.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Blueberry "Crack" Cookies

1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 stick butter flavored shortening
2 eggs
1 tsp. real vanilla

2 cups uncooked quick-cooking oats
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. baking soda

1 package white chocolate chips
2 cups frozen blueberries

Preheat oven to 350'. In large mixing bowl cream brown sugar, sugar, shortening, eggs, & vanilla on high speed for about 1 minute, scrape sides of bowl as needed to incorporate all the ingredients.  Add oats, flour, salt and baking soda and mix well.  Add white chocolate chips and fold in slowly with mixer.   Fold in frozen blueberries just until mixed.  Immediately scoop onto parchment lined cookie sheets, 2" apart.  Bake at 350' for 11-13 minutes, or until slightly golden brown.  Let rest 5 minutes and then remove to cookie sheet.  Refrigerate any leftover cookies, but know, these are best eaten warm.

The kosher salt really makes this recipe amazing, just a hint of salt that makes all the flavors explode.  You'll see why, this why this recipe is "Blueberry Crack", and you'll never look at blueberries the same way again.  And since I added real fruit, they're totally healthy ;)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Pumpkin Spice Dump Cake

1 large(1lb. 14oz) can pumpkin puree
4 large eggs
1 can(12 oz.) evaporated milk
1 cup white granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. pumpkin spice
1 package spice cake mix
1 cup chopped pecans(optional)
1/2 cup or 1 stick butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9x13 pan with non-stick spray.  In a large bowl whisk together pumpkin, eggs, milk, sugars, and pumpkin spice.  Pour into pan.  It will be runny, but it will set up.  Sprinkle evenly with dry spice cake mix.  Sprinkle nuts of you want to use them.  Drizzle melted butter evenly over cake mix, the more even, the better.  Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or when it doesn't "jiggle".  If it starts to get too brown while cooking cover with a loose sheet of foil.  Allow to cool.  Serve with ice cream(butter pecan is the best) or whipped cream.