Saturday, November 24, 2007
Thursday, November 22, 2007
A match made in heaven - brined turkey and oyster dressing
Brooke made her Butternut Squash Crab Bisque again this year. It is SO good. We add extra red pepper to spice it up. Click here for the recipe. I got no pictures of her bisque. It was GONE.
Drunken Carrots (so named, the first time I made these years ago, by Steve's late Granny)
2 pounds carrots, sliced thin or cut julienne
2 tbsp butter or olive oil
1/4 cup sweet vermouth OR white wine - both are delicious
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tbsp chopped parsley for garnish
Heat a frying pan and add carrots and butter or oil. Saute' until they just begin to brown. Add the vermouth and simmer for 5 minutes, uncovered. Stir them often. Check for salt and pepper. Little should be needed. Garnish with parsley.
Okay, so I didn't add the parsley. Sue me.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
First off, in order to be admitted in the door by my mother-in-law, I must bring TWO cranberry dishes. I've made them for years. First, Brooke's favorite:
1 package fresh cranberries (but stick them in the freezer at least the day before making this dish)
1 medium naval orange
1/2 - 2/3 cup sugar
1 tbsp brandy (optional - brandy is not something I have on hand and it's too expensive to buy for a tablespoon)
1/2 cup chopped nuts (also optional - we don't like it with nuts - we're nutty enough)
Coarsely chop cranberries in a food processor. Remove to a bowl. Take ends off the orange, cut into eighths, remove seeds, and process until chopped fine. Add to cranberries. Stir in remaining ingredients. This tastes better if made at least one day before serving.
4 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
1 cup raisins
1 1/2 cups sugar (or less)
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cloves
1 cup water
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 large apple, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
Place cranberries, raisins, sugar, spices, and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce and simmer, 15 minutes or until berries pop. Add onion, apple, and celery; simmer until thickened, about 15 minutes. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate. SO good and very different.
from River Roads Recipes Volume 1
2 10-oz packages chopped frozen spinach
4 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp finely chopped onion
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup reserved vegetable liquor (this is a Southern way of saying the water left over when you drain the spinach)
1/2 tsp black pepper
3/4 tsp celery salt
3/4 tsp garlic salt
6 oz jalapeno cheese, grated or cut into cubes (I use pepper Jack)
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
red pepper to taste
Cook spinach and drain, reserving liquor. Melt butter in a large, nonstick skillet. Add flour and stir until blended and smooth. Do not allow to brown. Add onion and cook until soft, but not browned. Slowly add vegetable liquid and milk, stirring over low heat until smooth and thickened. Add seasonings and cheese. Stir until melted. Combine with spinach. Taste and add salt and red pepper as needed.
You may serve immediately or turn into a buttered casserole dish and top with plain breadcrumbs. Heat in the oven until bubbly and hot.
Mama's Sweet Potato Casserole
This is one of those "to taste" recipes. I'll try to approximate.
4 large sweet potatoes, baked until soft, then removed from the skins
about a cup of brown sugar (I start with 1/2 cup and add more if I need it)
1/2 - 3/4 cup of light cream
1/2 cup softened butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tsp (or more) of cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg - you should taste a hit of nutmeg, but it shouldn't be overpowering
a dash of cloves
Mash the whole bunch together until (kinda sorta) smooth. If you want it to be perfectly smooth, toss it in the food processor. I used to process, but this year I simply used my trusty ol' potato masher and it was perfect. Taste it and adjust sugar and spices if necessary.
For topping, either marshmallows or a brown sugar/pecan topping. I prefer the brown sugar/pecan, DH prefers the marshmallows. We alternate for marital peace.
If you're doing marshmallows, bake at 350° for 30 minutes, THEN top with marshmallows and pop it back into the oven until the marshmallows are puffed and golden brown on top.
If you want brown sugar/pecan topping, with a pastry blender (or a fork or your fingers) mix 1 cup roughly chopped pecans, 1 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup flour, and 6 tbsp softened butter. Sprinkle over the top of the unbaked sweet potato casserole and bake at 350° for 30 minutes.
You can make this ahead and just not bake it until the day you're serving it.
Monday, November 19, 2007
Saturday, November 17, 2007
We're proud of your riding accomplishments this year, baby! Keep up the good work!
Monday, November 12, 2007
He really was a small little guy, probably less than two inches long. We released him outside on Brooke's lantana.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Here's what I made to bring. Morgan made Connie's Famous Guacamole.
I also made Wilted Spinach Salad with Candied Pepper Bacon. YUM!!! I doubled this recipe. It's from a Pampered Chef cookbook, Spin on Salads.
Bacon and Salad
4 slices thick-cut bacon
1 tbsp packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
1 6-oz package fresh baby spinach
1 medium Granny Smith apple, cored and sliced into thin wedges (I used my handy-dandy Apple Corer Peeler Slicer with the peeler disengaged - worked wonderfully!)
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion wedges
salt and coarsely ground pepper
2 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and cut into wedges
1 tbsp reserved bacon drippings
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp Dijon mustard
For bacon, line a small bar pan with parchment paper. Arrange bacon slices in a single layer; sprinkle evenly with brown sugar and pepper. Microwave on HIGH 3-5 minutes or until crisp; drain on paper towels. Reserve 1 tbsp bacon drippings. Cut bacon into 1/2 inch pieces and set aside.
Wash spinach and drain well. Combine spinach, apple, and onion. For dressing, whisk bacon, brown sugar, vinegar, and mustard in a microwave-safe bowl until well-blended. Microwave on HIGH for 2 minutes or until bubbly. Right before serving, pour dressing over spinach mixture; toss gently to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Top salad with egg wedges and bacon pieces. Serve immediately. Yield: 4 servings.
I also made Brown Sugar Shortbread. This was quick, easy, and delicious. I think I will need to make another batch next week for the family. It was just a little sweet and would be delicious with a steaming mug of something hot, like tea or cocoa. It's also a Pampered Chef recipe from the book Delightful Desserts.
1 cup pecan halves, chopped, toasted, and divided
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
Preheat oven to 350°F. Coarsely chop pecans. Heat a small saute' pan over medium high heat until hot. Add pecans and toast 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently, until nuts are golden brown. Remove pecans from pan and set aside.
In a small bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, and salt. Mix well. In another bowl (or in your KitchenAid mixer), beat butter and brown sugar until creamy. Add flour mixture and half of the pecans. Mix well. Dough will be crumbly. (Well, it will be unless you use your KitchenAid mixer. I also let mine knead the dough for me and took it out when it was smooth.)
Turn dough out onto floured cutting board; knead gently just until dough holds together. Form dough into a ball, then flatten into a disk and place on a round pizza stone. Using a floured roller, roll dough out into a 10-inch circle, about 3/8 inch thick. Sprinkle remaining pecans over dough and gently press nuts into dough.
With pizza cutter, lightly score dough (cut about 1/8 inch deep) into 16 equal wedges. This will make cutting baked shortbread easier. Bake 35-40 minutes or until a deep golden brown.
Cool 10 minutes on baking stone. Using pizza cutter, cut into wedges; remove to cooling rack and cool completely. If you have any left, you may store them in a tightly covered container. But shame on you if you have any left. :^D
Here's our gumbo and salad. Yum! We had SO MUCH delicious food!
I love birthday parties where the guests receive gifts as well as give them!
Here are the birthday girls! Hope you had a great day, ladies!
And.....LSU won their game!
Friday, November 9, 2007
Scrappin' Supplies: Cardstock - Really Rust, Purely Pomegranet, Old Olive, Whisper White, and Fall Flowers Designer Series Paper. Ink - Old Olive and Chocolate Chip Craft Inks. Accessories - Clear embossing powder, Prima flowers, and copper brads.
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
She was whispering secrets in Brooke's ear. I don't know what Luna was saying, but Brooke probably can tell you!
Monday, November 5, 2007
Sunday, November 4, 2007
When we got him, he looked so mouse-like with his snowy coat and pink pigmentation - thus his name was a nod to Stuart Little. But at 12.5 pounds, Stewart is not so little anymore!
Morgan is so glad to have a cat of her very own.
Saturday, November 3, 2007