Running with kitchen shears.

breakfast, lunch, dinner, cupcakes, tastiness.

This Thanksgiving I learned… December 1, 2008

Filed under: food,Holidays — Mox. @ 8:16 am
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-the reason that I always make my pies a couple days ahead of time (I had been doing it for convenience/time management before…this year I realized most of them have to chill overnight)

-that in the future, I will definately be figuring out a timeline before hand for dish preparation times

-that just because you screw up on a recipe and forget to put something in or forget some special step doesn’t mean someone won’t think it’s the best stuffing they’ve ever had

-chopping herbs and vegetables ahead of time and having them ready in containers in the fridge will save much stress

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Your regularly scheduled holiday guilt… November 6, 2008

Filed under: food,Holidays — Mox. @ 8:07 pm
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Thanksgiving’s Moveable Feast

 

Published: November 23, 2006

Boston

A RECENT article in the Montreal newspaper La Presse quoted growers as claiming that within a few years Canada would be a larger producer of cranberries than New England.

That the article was written in French only pointed up the hurtfulness of the boast. Canada is already the biggest harvester of lobster, that other quintessential symbol of New England — even if the Pilgrims regarded it as little more than trash fish, unworthy of a place of honor at the original Thanksgiving table (the only sure items at which were deer and wildfowl, according to Kathleen Curtin and Sandra Oliver’s “Giving Thanks”). Bad enough already that Wisconsin produces more cranberries than Massachusetts. Must we cede to Canada those too-tart, hard-to-love, health-giving remnants of a time when New England agriculture had national significance? For the rest of the New York Times article, click here.

 

 

Gobble gobble crunch crunch gobble November 3, 2008

Filed under: food,Holidays,recipes — Mox. @ 7:28 pm
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I ordered my fresh Thanksgiving turkey today-it’s going to be a 12-16 lb free ranger. It’s my first year to use a fresh turkey as opposed to the rock solid frozen ones you pick up at Wally World and have to defrost for 6784 days before discovering that on Thanksgiving day it still hasn’t thawed and you have to run cool water through it until your arms ache from holding it up before you can cook it. I’m interested to see the difference in taste and appearance between this lovely free range supposedly “happy” turkey and what I’ve used for the past few years. Will it be knock your nose off different, or more of a subtle nuance? I also finalized my menu this evening. I’m going to have 9 people attending, including myself and Mr. Rogers. This year’s menu consists of:

Roasted Dry-Brined Turkey (new recipe to try from Martha Stewart Living’s Nov 08 issue)

Some sort of store-bought bread picked out by my husband (his contribution)

Kicked Up Deviled Eggs

Ginger Cranberry Sauce (again, new from MSL Nov 2008), and 1 can of the canned stuff for my mom who can’t handle the seeds right now that are in the fresh made

Green Bean Casserole (same recipe as last year,not my favorite, but well liked by others)

Twice Baked Potato Casserole (same as last year)

Sweet Potato Pie

Pea Salad (brought by my mom)

Pumpkin Pie

All of the recipes except for the new ones should be here on my blog if you’re interested in checking them out for your meal this year. Have a happy one!

 

Smoke and a pancake? Bong and a blintz? Coffee Cake for your Faja. June 24, 2008

Filed under: food,Holidays,recipes — Mox. @ 7:28 pm
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J and I were on…let’s say a tight…budget for Father’s Day but still wanted to do something special for my father-in-law since we’d be out of town on the actual day (visiting my father-I think we’re gonna switch next year as we did the same for Mother’s Day and it would really only be fair). I decided I would make something he could have for breakfast on the day so he wouldn’t have to do much work at all (HAH like that’ll stop him from working-really, he works too hard).

Cinnamon Coffee Cake

-2 1/4 c white flour
-1/2 tsp salt
-2 tsp cinnamon (divided use)
-1/4 tsp powdered ginger
-1 c firmly packed brown sugar
-3/4 c white sugar
-3/4 c canola oil
-1 c chopped pecans
-1 tsp baking soda
-1 tsp baking powder
-1 large egg, beaten
-1 c milk (can be buttermilk for added yumocity, we just used what we always have, vanilla soy milk)

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a 9×13″ baking pan.

2. In a large bowl, mix the flour, salt, 1 tsp of the cinnamon, ginger, both sugars and canola oil. Remove 3/4 c of this mixture and to it add the nuts and the remaining tsp on cinnamon. Mix well, and set aside to use as a topping.

3. To the remaining batter, add the baking soda, baking powder, egg and milk. Mox to combine all the ingredients. Small lumps in the batter are ok.

4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the topping mixture evenly over the surface and bake for 40-45 minutes.

Makes 12-16 servings

 This recipe was adapted from Real Simple.

We ended up meeting my father-in-law at Golden Path to Stomach Discomfort (also known as Golden Corral) for Father’s Day breakfast on the way to my parents’ house, so he didn’t get to eat this the day of. He did eat it for a snack later that day and breakfast the next, though. I made the mistake of substituting in the only nut-like items I had in the house-pine nuts. DO NOT DO THIS. I thought this made the topping icky, but J thought it was delicious. The cake itself was lovely and soft. Definately good. I’m going to make this again with buttermilk and pecans.

 

 

Christmas Dinner Recipes February 1, 2008

Filed under: food,Holidays,recipes — Mox. @ 1:27 pm
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All-in-all, as far as percentage of total entrees tasting delicious, I’d have to say this was my most successful holiday meal yet. Every dish received praise, especially the Twice-Baked Potato Casserole. I was really pleased with the way my Granny Doris’ roll recipe came out.

Cola Basted Ham
-1 (8-10 lb; 1.5-2 lbs per person) ham
-2 (12 oz) cans Coca-Cola (this year I did Dr. Pepper-just as good!)

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
2. Rinse the ham and pat dry.
3. Place ham, fat side up, in a shallow roasting pan. Baste with some of the cola and cover with foil.
4. Bake for 15-18 minutes per pound of ham, or until the ham reaches an internal temperature of 140-145 degrees F. Baste with cola about every 30 minutes during cooking.

*Notes on this recipe: I love it! It’s easy and delicious. I use this recipe every year.

Spaghetti Squash
Squash:
-1 spaghetti squash (2.5-3 lbs)
-1/2 c. water

Herbed Butter Sauce:
-3 Tbs. butter, melted
-1/4 c. chicken broth
-1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
-1 tsp. fresh oregano leaves
-1/4 tsp. salt
-1/8 tsp. black pepper

1. Squash: Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Cut squash in half lengthwise, starting at the stem end. With a spoon or melon baller, remove seeds. Places squash halves, cut-side down, in roasting pan. Add water. Cover with foil.
2. Bake at 350 degrees F for an hour or until squash is fork-tender. Remove from oven, keep covered.
3.Herbed Butter Sauce: In glass bowl or measuring cup, combine butter and chicken broth. Heat in microwave on HIGH power for 1 minute. Remove thyme leaves and oregano from stems. Add to butter-broth mixture.
4. Using fork, shred squash into strands. Place strands in large bowl. Add sauce, salt and pepper; toss.

*Notes on this recipe: I HATED spaghetti squash when I was little-I’ve since changed my mind, even though the squash was a pain in the butt to cut in half. However, for just a little bit of effort, I was rewarded with a delicious side dish.

Twice-Baked Potato Casserole
-8 medium baking potatoes, about 4 pounds
-1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, at room temperature
-1/2 c. (1 stick) butter, softened
-1 pint sour cream
-2 c. (1/2 lb) shredded sharp cheddar cheese (divided use)
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-1.5 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp. pepper
-1/4 c. chopped chives, for garnish
-6 slices bacon, cooked crisp, drained and crumbled, for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Pierce potatoes and place on baking pan. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, until very soft.
2. Peel and mash potatoes in large bowl with potato masher or back of fork. Add cream cheese, butter, sour cream and 1 cup of cheddar. Stir well. Add garlic, salt and pepper, and stir again.
3. Spray a 13×9″ baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Place potato mixture in dish, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate casserole until ready to bake.
4. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 F, remove plastic wrap and bake casserole 30-35 minutes until hot. Sprinkle remaining 1 cup cheddar cheese over casserole and return to oven for about 5 minutes, until cheese melts. Garnish with chopped chives and crumbled bacon before serving. Makes 10-12 servings.

*Notes on this recipe: I didn’t use “baking potatoes”- I used 4 lbs. of Yukon Gold potatoes because I love them (especially mashed) and they had a ‘buy one 5lb. bag, get one free’ deal at Albertson’s. Also, I RARELY every use chives-98% of the time, I substitute the green ends of green onions/scallions and it works perfectly. It SAYS the chives and bacon are just garnish but they really added an extra little bit of deliciousness to the recipe.

Granny Doris’ Hot Rolls
-3/4 c. sugar
-1.5 tsp. salt
-1 pkg. dry yeast 
-2 eggs
-2/3 c. soft shortening (Crisco)
-3 medium baking/mashing potatoes
-7.5 c. all-purpose flour

1. Scrub, peel, and cut potatoes into small pieces. Boil in a large saucepan until fork tender. Reserve 1.5 c. of the cooking water. Mash the potatoes very well (try to get all chunks mashed) to make approximately 1.5 c. mashed potatoes.
2. Mix water, sugar, and salt together in a very large mixing bowl. Add yeast. Then add eggs, shortening, and mashed potatoes. Mix flour in, one cup at a time, starting with a spoon, and when it gets more difficult to stir, by hand. Knead the dough until smooth and place in a large greased bowl. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
3. Pinch of small amounts and form into the roll of your choice. Let rise until doubled in size. 
4. Preheat oven to 400 F and bake until the tops of the rolls are lightly browned. Dough can be kept in the refrigerator for several weeks (be prepared for dough to continue to rise in the fridge-use a container that can hold it!).

*Notes on this recipe: Again, I used the Yukon Gold. If you have too many potatoes for 1.5 cups of mashed, save them for the Twice-Baked Potato Casserole, or just mash, season, and eat! I made my rolls into little balls, then put 3 little balls together to make a little 3-leaf clover looking thingy.

 

Thanksgiving 2007 Menu and Recipes January 31, 2008

This year’s menu consisted of:

-Seared Turkey Breast with Roasted Root Vegetables and Chardonnay Gravy

-Cornbread Stuffing-Green Bean Casserole*

-Sweet Potato Casserole+

-My Mom’s Fruit Salad +

-Fearing’s Sweet Corn and Queso Mashed Potatoes (recipe by Dean Fearing of…Fearing’s)* -Cranberry Sauce

-premade Sara Lee rolls

-Candy Bar Pie*

Marbled Pumpkin Cheesecake that ended up being Traditional Pumpkin Pie* due to a lack of graham cracker crumbs that I didn’t notice until it was too late
______________________________________________________________

*=Items that I tried for the first time that will stay in my recipe file for future usage
+=Items that are staples and have been made eleventy billion times before

 I did  just a turkey breast this year because it was going to be just the two of us and I didn’t want the hassle or cost of an entire turkey. I should have just gone with a small turkey. The breast was just as much, if not more, work than a small turkey.

I didn’t like the gravy-Chardonnay seems a bit too sweet to me for a gravy.The stuffing was alright, but I’ve made better.

^^^^^^

Recipes for the staples and new things this year that we liked:

Green Bean Casserole: (Campbell’s recipe)
– 1 can (10 3/4 oz) Cream of Mushroom soup (can be fat free or low sodium), doesn’t have to be Campbell’s brand
-1/2 cup milk ( I use whole milk solely for cooking)
-1 tsp. soy sauce (didn’t realize we were out until I started making it-I used an equal amount of oyster-flavored sauce)
-Dash of pepper
-4 cups cooked cut green beans (2 cans well drained)
-1 1/3 cups French’s French Fried Onions
________________

MIX: soup, milk, soy sauce (in our case oyster-flavored sauce), pepper, green beans and 2/3 cup onions in 1 1/2-qt. casserole (an 8″ pie pan will also work).
BAKE: at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes or until hot (I’m not sure how you’re supposed to determine if it’s hot or not…)
STIR: Sprinkle with remaining onions. Bake 5 minutes.

Sweet Potato Casserole:
– 3 medium sweet potatoes
– 1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)
– 1/2 t. cinnamon
– 1/2 stick of butter, softened
– 1/3 c. granulated sugar
– Shake of nutmeg
– Large Marshmallows (Jet Puft of course!)
___________________________
1. Prick and boil sweet potatoes for around 40-50 minutes and check for doneness; usually a knife can be stuck through easily. Cool and peel. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Put potatoes in a 2 quart buttered casserole dish (again, an 8 or 9″ pie pan will work), and add all ingredients except marshmallows.
2. Mash potatoes and ingredients REALLY well (if you don’t mash the sweet potatoes well enough, they’re stringy and that’s gross) – you may use an electric mixer or mash by hand. Heat through (about 20 minutes). Raise the oven temperature to 400 degrees F and add marshmallows on top. Heat for 5-10 minutes.

My Mom’s Fruit Salad (as in my actual mom):
– 8 oz cream cheese, softened
– 1 pint heavy whipping cream
– 2-3 Tbs. powdered sugar (I use 3 because I like the whipped cream to be a little sweeter, but start with 2)
– I tsp. vanilla extract
– 2×15 oz cans of fruit cocktail (drained very well and patted dry with a paper towel)
________________________

In a medium mixing bowl, whip softened cream cheese.
In another medium mixing bowl, whip heavy whipping cream with the powdered sugar and vanilla extract until fluffy.
Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese, then fold in the fruit cocktail until evenly distributed.
Chill for at least 30 minutes.

Fearing’s Sweet Corn and Queso Mashed Potatoes:
-6 russet potatoes, peeled
-5 tablespoons butter (divided use)
-2 garlic cloves, minced
-1 shallot, minced
-2 ears yellow corn (kernels sliced from cob)
-3 oz queso fresco
-1 pint half-and-half (or less, to taste)
-Salt, to taste
_________________________________

   Place potatoes in large pot and cover with water. Bring water to boil. Reduce to simmer; cook potatoes for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a fork. Drain.
   Place potatoes in large bowl and mash by hand for homestyle (slightly lumpy) mashed potatoes, or with an electric mixer for smoothness.
   Bring medium saute pan to medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon butter. Add garlic and saute until very light brown, about one minute.
   Add shallot; saute for 1 minute. Add corn kernels and saute for 2 minutes.
   Remove pan from heat and add mixture to mashed potatoes. Fold in cheese. Stir to combine well; taste for seasoning.
   Melt remaining 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) butter. Add melted butter.
   Slowly add up to 1 pint half-and-half, stirring well so consistency is not too thin. Add salt to taste, and stir.
   Keep warm until served. Makes 4 servings.
*I used about 3/4 pint of half-and-half and it made the potatoes a little too thin for my liking. Also, I don’t know if I had gigantic potatoes or something, but when I made it, it made WAY more than 4 side-dish servings. This won’t be going into the holiday recipes, but I’m going to be keeping it with the regular recipes.

Cranberry Sauce :
-4 cups fresh cranberries
-2 cups apple juice
-3/4 cup sugar
-1/4 teaspoon orange zest

___________

Place all the ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, stirring occasionally, and cook until the liquid has slightly thickened, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat, let cool, cover, and refrigerate in a serving dish. 
Yield: Makes 8 to 10 servings (2 cups)

Candy Bar Pie
-5 Snickers candy bars (2.07 ounces each), cut into 1/4″ pieces
-1 pastry shell (9 inches), baked*
-12 oz. cream cheese, softened
-1/2 cup sugar
– 2 eggs
-1/3 cup sour cream
-1/3 cup peanut butter
– 2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
– 2 Tablespoons heavy whipping cream
 

 _______________________

Place candy bar pieces in the pastry shell; set aside. In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add eggs, sour cream and peanut butter; beat on low speed just until combined. Pour into pastry shell. Bake at 325 degrees F for 35-40 minutes or until set. Cool on a wire rack.
  In a small heavy saucepan, melt chocolate chips with cream over low heat until smooth. Spread over filling. Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight. Cut with a warm knife.
Yield: 8-10 servings.
*Note: I used a Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust. This pie is great if you love cheesecake, which J does. I don’t love it so much, so I wasn’t as much of a fan.

Traditional Pumpkin Pie
-1 recipe Pastry for Single-Crust Pie (see below)
-1 15 oz. can pumpkin
-2/3 cup sugar
-1 tsp. ground cinnamon
-1/2 tsp. ground ginger
-1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
-3 slightly beaten eggs
-1 5 oz can (2/3 cup) evaporated milk
-1/2 cup of milk
.

________________

1. Prepare and roll out Pastry for Single-Crust Pie. Line a 9″ pie plate with the pastry. Trim to 1/2 inch beyond edge of pie plate. Fold under extra pastry; crimp edge as desired.
2. For filling, in a mixing b owl combine pumpkin, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Add eggs. Beat lightly with a rotary beater or fork just until combined. Gradually stir in evaporated milk and milk; mix well.
3. Place the pastry-lined pie plate on the oven rack. Carefully pour filling into pastry shell.
4. To prevent overbrowning, cover edge of the pie with foil. Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil. Bake about 25 minutes more or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Refrigerate within 2 hours; cover for longer storage.

 Makes 8 servings.

Pastry for Single-Crust Pie:
Stir together 1 & 1/4 cups all-purpose flour and 1/4 tsp. salt. Using a pastry blender cut in 1/3 cup shortening until pieces are pea-size. Using 4 to 5 tablespoons cold water, sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the water over part of the mixture; gently toss with a fork. Push moistened dough to the side of the bowl. Repeat moistening dough, using 1 tablespoon of the water at a time, until all the dough is moistened. Form dough into a ball. On a lightly floured surface, use your hands to slightly flatten dough. Roll dough from center to edge into a circle about 12 inches in diameter.

**I used a Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crust that I had left over and followed the directions on the box instead of making it from scratch, as it was about 3 in the morning and I was frustrated over having to make a pie instead of a cheesecake.