Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Well, it's just a few hours until Thanksgiving officially is here. Are you ready? I thought I'd share a very quick recipe for Homemade Cranberry Sauce that is delicious. I grew up eating the cranberry sauce from the can. That's all my mother ever bought. I didn't have the homemade stuff until I was married and had my first holiday at my mother-in-laws house. I fell in love with the tart, fresh flavor of the cranberries. I've made several different recipes through the years, like Cranberry Apple Relish which I have also posted. This is the quickest recipe and will only take you about 15 minutes! There's definitely time for you to make this before dinner!

Homemade Cranberry Sauce
From Lynda's Recipe Box
I used the juice from an orange plus enough water to make 1 cup of liquid. There is just a hint of orange in the taste. You could use all water, or another juice like apple or pomegranate if desired. You can also stir in chopped nuts after cooking.

12 ounce bag of fresh cranberries
zest from 1 orange
juice from 1 orange, plus enough added water to make 1 cup of liquid
1 cup of granulated sugar

In a 3 quart sauce pan bring the water mixture and the sugar to a simmer; add the cranberries and bring to a rolling boil. Turn heat down to medium low, still boiling, and cook for 10 minutes. Stir frequently. Stir in the orange zest and remove pan from heat. The cranberry sauce will be foaming, but as it begins to cool, it will disappear when you give it a stir. Or you may skim the foam off if preferred. Pour sauce into a serving dish and chill until time to serve. I hope you enjoy your deliciously sweet, but tart Cranberry Sauce
Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Sage Stuffing (or Dressing-whatever you want to call it!)

Here it is, 2 days before Thanksgiving. Time really flies by fast this time of year doesn't it? If you are hosting the meal on the big day I hope that you already have some of the preparations out of the way so that you can enjoy your time with family and friends. Our family had our big dinner this past Sunday. Now that our kids are all married, it seemed like a good idea to celebrate on a different day than Thanksgiving. That frees up the kids to go to the other side of the family on the big day. I mean, it's not really fun if you have to make it to 3 dinners in one day. So this worked well for us.
I thought I'd share my stuffing recipe with you today. Dressing or stuffing, I've called it both names. For years I've tried to make my stuffing like my mother-in-law used to. But she didn't follow a recipe, she had a method that she followed every year that produced a moist and spicy bread dressing that we loved. I'm getting closer. I think I would have nailed it this year, but I needed more sage. But this was still a yummy dressing full of fresh herbs that made tasty leftovers too. My photo was taken quickly, before we sat down to devour our food. Here is my method.
Sage Stuffing
From Lynda's Recipe Box
(Hint) You may use all bread if desired, instead of adding cornbread. To save time on the big day, prepare the corn bread 2 days ahead of your dinner. Also cube the bread at this time. Use a hearty white bread. It will then be dried out enough to stir up the day before your dinner. Just mix up the stuffing and place in a greased baking dish; cover and refrigerate. Take out of fridge about 30 minutes before placing in the oven, Bake and serve.

about 8 cups of white bread cubes- trim crusts from bread and cut into small cubes
about 4 cups of cornbread, cubed or crumbled- from this recipe, or your own recipe
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
3 tablespoons fresh sage, finely chopped- or about 1 tablespoons dried sage
1 teaspoon fresh thyme or rosemary, finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
about 1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 stick (1/2 cup), unsalted butter, melted
1 large sweet onion, finely diced
2 stalks celery, finely diced
2 large eggs, beaten
1 cup of unsalted chicken stock or broth, or more
1/3 cup half and half or heavy cream

If you need to dry the bread and cornbread more, place the cubes on 2 baking sheets and place in a 300 degree oven for 15-20 minutes until dry. Cool in pans, then transfer to a large bowl. When ready to stir up the dressing, stir in the herbs and the salt and pepper.

Melt butter in a heavy skillet over medium low heat. Add the onions and celery and cook until tender, about 5minutes. Pour into the bowl with the bead. Mix the eggs and half and half together. Pour over the bread. Add the chicken broth and toss all the ingredients together. if you need more broth stir it in. I used about 1 1/3 cup.

Transfer stuffing to a greased 2 1/2 quart to 3 quart baking dish. Cover with foil. (At this point you can refrigerate the stuffing for 1 day.) If ready to bake, place it covered, in the middle of the oven at 350 degrees for 25minnutes. Uncover and bake another 25 - 30minutes until golden. Remove from oven and enjoy.
Also check out my recipe for Sausage and Cornbread Dressing.

My daughter Hailey has started a food blog also. She'd be so happy if you stopped by to "hi" at Tasteful Cuisine.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

 I love cookies. My favorites are peanut butter, oatmeal cookies and chocolate chip cookies. So when I found this recipe that contained all three ingredients in one cookie I was thrilled. I must say they taste amazing! Soft and chewy in the middle and crisp around the edges these are the perfect cookie in my opinion. The aroma while baking made it really difficult to resist when they were done. So I just gave in. They are just so delicious!  The dough freezes well too, making it easy to make ahead and thaw for later use. These Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies are going to be on my cookie trays this holiday season. Here's the recipe.
Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
adapted from Epicurious
This dough can keep in the refrigerator up to 1 week before baking. It also freezes very well. I baked about half the dough and froze the rest. I thawed it out about 2 weeks later and baked the rest. Perfect cookies!

1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2   cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 tablespoon vanilla extract, (yes, that right!)
3/4 cup regular peanut butter- either plain or chunky works
2 large eggs
1 1/2 bags (about 18 ounces, or more if you wish), of semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a food processor pulse 1 cup of the oats until fine. In a large bowl mix together the ground oats, the other 1/2 cup of rolled oats, flour, baking powder, soda, and salt.

In another bowl with a mixer beat together the butter and sugars until fluffy. Beat in vanilla and peanut butter and beat well. Add eggs one at a time. Gradually beat in the flour mixture, or mix it by hand if desired. Add the chocolate chips and mix until combined.. Chill cookie dough covered,  at least 2 hours, or up to 1 week.

To bake:
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Form rounded tablespoons of dough and place on baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Flatten balls just slightly. Bake in the middle rack of the oven 15 minutes just until pale golden. Cool on baking sheet 5 minutes an then remove cookies to cooling rack. Enjoy!