Monthly Archives: November 2011

Egg Nog Bundt Cake

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I was looking for a new bundt cake recipe and I came across this one from http://www.foodlibrarian.blogspot.com  She did a great series of recipes for “I like big bundts.”

I love this recipe as the main ingredient is Egg Nog! Yummy! Such a perfect recipe for this time of year, as we always have egg nog in the house. It came out very moist with just a hint of egg nog. The family really enjoyed this one. 🙂

Ingredients:

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temp
2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup store-bought refrigerated (rather than canned) eggnog
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray 12-cup Bundt pan with Pam or butter and flour generously.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg in a large bowl.

Using a stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream the butter with sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Scrape sides of bowl. Slowly stream in the eggs, 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time. Scrape sides of bowl.

On low speed, alternately add dry ingredients in three additions and eggnog in two additions. Don’t over mix. Add the vanilla beat until just blended together.

Spoon into bundt pan and smooth the top with a spoon or spatula.

Place pan in the oven. Bake until a skewer inserted comes out clean or with just a few crumbs, about 55-65 minutes.

Place bundt on a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes.

Cranberry Brie Appetizers

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I saw this recipe on one of my favorite sites yummymummykitchen.com. I decided to make my own cranberry relish , as I could not find any anywhere! This was such a great light snack before our dinner.

Ingredients:

Cranberry relish
1 block of Brie
Carr’s Water Crackers

Place brie on cracker, top with relish. So simple, yet so yummy!

Candied Sweet Potatoes

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My Star created this recipe “on the spot” for Thanksgiving. He loves candied yams and last year we made them from the can (yes the can), but this year we bought the box of sweet potatoes that were on sale for I think $2.99 and Joe just created this awesome side dish. I think this was the winner for the night! Everyone was raving about this dish, so sweet and delicious.

Ingredients:

1 box of sweet potatoes (about eight)
2 sticks of butter
1 cup of brown sugar (packed)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon ground all spice
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 stick of cinnamon (broken in half)
Mini marshmallows (about half the bag)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Pierce sweet potatoes with fork and wrap in foil. Bake for approximately 35-45 minutes. Remove from oven and cool to handle. Peel potatoes by inserting knife and making a shallow slice.

Cut potatoes in chunks and place in 9 x 13 casserole dish.

Melt one stick of butter in saucepan add sugars, molasses, vanilla, all spice, nutmeg and cinnamon. Heat until almost boiling. Lower to med/low and simmer for 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Pour over sweet potatoes, add the remaining stick of butter (yes, more butter..but it’s soo good) cut into 8 slices and place on top.

Bake covered with foil for 30 – 35 minutes, basting as needed. If you want to add marshmallows, remove half of the syrup and top with mini marshmallows and bake for the remaining 10 minutes.

Bacon Wrapped Asparagus

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I bought asparagus for our Thanksgiving dinner and was thinking and googling what do with it and really didn’t find anything that spoke to me. 🙂 I love making roasted asparagus and grilled asparagus during the summer when it is fresh and thought why not take bacon (which I had in the fridge) and wrap some asparagus and roast it? Hello awesomeness!

Ingredients:

Fresh Asparagus (I used two bundles)
Bacon (any flavor)
EVOO
Salt
Pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Rinse asparagus and cut. The easiest way to do this is take one stalk and snap it in half. Use that stalk as a guide and line up with the remaining asparagus and chop. You can save the ends for soup, just freeze them for later.

Place the asparagus in large bowl or pan and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss to coat. I decided to make bundles of 8 spears of asparagus, as we had 6 people for dinner. If I had more people over, I probably would have made bundles of 4. Take one strip of bacon and starting from the end wrap around til you get to the top.

Place on foil lined cookie pan with rack on top. I use one of our cookie cooling racks, which works out just perfect. Make sure you spray the rack with Pam so they don’t stick.

Bake for approximately 20 minutes until bacon is crispy or to your liking.

Cranberry Relish

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I needed Cranberry Relish to make these amazing brie appetizers. I searched and searched and could not find it anywhere. So I found this recipe and I tweaked it for my liking.

Ingredients:

1 bag of Ocean Spray fresh cranberries
2 cup orange juice
1/3 cup honey
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup sugar (start out slow and taste it, mine was tart so I needed to add this amount)
Zest of one orange

Place all ingredients in a sauce pan and stir to mix. Bring to a simmer and cook for 20 to 30 minutes or until berries are tender and syrup has formed.

Turkey Brine

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This is the recipe that my Star used for the first time last Thanksgiving. We are now believers of “once you go brine, you will never go back.” It truly was the most juiciest turkey we have ever tasted. We had about 15 people over last year and everyone loved it! My one friend was worried that it was going to be too salty. Definitely not the case. Yes you do need a lot of salt in this recipe, as it helps prevent bacteria growth. So, if you are going to buy your Vegetable Stock/Broth do not get the one with lower sodium.

1 gallon vegetable broth, homemade or canned
1 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup packed brown sugar, light or dark
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
1 1/2 teaspoons allspice berries
1 1/2 tablespoons candied ginger, chopped

Combine the broth, salt, sugar, peppercorns, allspice and ginger in a large stockpot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir until the salt and sugar dissolve. Remove from the heat. Cool to room temperature and refrigerate the brine.

24 hours before you would like eat, combine the brine, water and ice in a 5-gallon bucket. Place the thawed turkey, with innards removed, breast-side down in the brine. If necessary, weigh down the bird to ensure it is fully immersed, cover and refrigerate. If you do not have enough room in your frig, you may place it in a large cooler. We leave it in the kitchen covered with tin foil and about half way through the process add more ice.

Buffalo Chicken Tortilla Pizza

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Last night I made the Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches and we have plenty, plenty of left overs. What to make for lunch lunch today? Buffalo Chicken Tortilla Pizza! One of the many great recipes you can make with buffalo chicken.

Ingredients:

Whole wheat tortilla
Left over Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken
Mozzarella cheese
Hot peppers (optional)
Blue Cheese Dressing

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Layer some buffalo chicken on top of tortilla, add shredded mozzarella cheese and peppers.

Bake for approximately 20 minutes.

Add some blue cheese dressing.

Delicious!

Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches

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We have been kinda in a buffalo chicken mood lately and I have no idea why…hmm. Anyway, I was planning on making something totally different tonight, but I knew that I was going to be out all day running errands and meeting with my “other daughter” Bree for a nice lunch and I would not have the time nor the energy to cook. 🙂

My Bree!

This is one of the reasons why I like to do crock pot recipes. You just dump the ingredients set it on low and let it cook all day. By the time you get home, there’s dinner! I love it!

Ingredients:

3 – 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 – 17.5 oz bottle of Crystal Hot Sauce (as we like) or Franks Wing Sauce
1 package of Hidden Valley Ranch Salad Dressing Mix
2 tablespoons butter
Rolls (any type)

Place chicken breasts in crock pot. Add the ranch dressing mix and about 1/2 the bottle of hot sauce. Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours.

Once the chicken is cooked, shred the chicken, add the butter and remaining hot sauce (wing sauce). Let the butter melt. Stir and serve on rolls.

My Star added some blue cheese salad dressing on top of his sandwich. You could even add some crumbled blue cheese. Enjoy!

Reuben Casserole

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One of the first things my Star and I found out about each other in the beginning of our relationship was that we both are REUBEN LOVERS!

It is true, whenever we go out for lunch to a local diner, bistro, cafe or a pub we both always order the Reuben, which must be corned beef not pastrami, duh! We were in Philly last week for an appointment and it was such a gorgeous Fall day that we decided to make a whole day of it. We walked around Philly for a bit and ended up on South Street. I love South Street! They have such unique shops, Read the rest of this entry

Thanksgiving Menu!

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We absolutely look forward to Thanksgiving every year! Bring on the turkey and, best of all, the LEFTOVERS! It is such a great holiday, as it’s all about eating, being with the ones you love, and what we are truly thankful for.

I am starting to plan out our menu and this is what I have so far:

First, we must always, always, always, start the day with some homemade Bloody Marys. This is something that my Mom has done since as long as I can remember and she truly does make the best Bloody Marys. She has tried to show me how, but there is no measuring involved here it’s just pour some of this, some of that, add this, add that. Really, Mom?

Brined turkey (my Star’s recipe, which is absolutely amazing, so moist!), it did take some convincing to get him to reveal his process, but I have my ways….. 🙂

Candied yams

Cranberry dressing

Mashed potatoes

Homemade biscuits

Vegetable side dish, which I am still trying to figure out. If anyone has a great dish they would like to share, please post it under comments. My sister-in-law, Shelly, has a great baked asparagus dish, but I never got the exact ingredients/measurements and I pretty much just winged it and the results were meh! Hint, hint….Shelly.

Salad (not sure of this either, again if you would like to share one, please comment)

Dessert – thinking of something with apples

But the best part is the leftovers! We created a dish a few years ago, which we named “Turkey Stromboli.” Details will come later, but here is a picture of me making it.

You will love this recipe!

I cannot wait to eat! Bring on Thanksgiving!