Monday, November 26, 2012

Simple & Amazing Cranberry Sauce


There were many years where our Thanksgiving table was always graced by the congealed cranberry sauce of the canned variety.  You know the one - It plops out of the can with a "thwack" and then is sliced into slivers before being served.  However, I had a wonderful revelation a few years back...HOMEMADE cranberry sauce.  Why had I not been making it at home all along??

It's incredibly easy and results in a much tastier accompaniment for that oh-so-delectable cornbread dressing that we look forward to all year long.  After all, we put so much love and care into the dressing, that it's a shame not to pair it with something homemade and delicious as well.

For the past several years, I've made this Double Cranberry-Apple Sauce.  But, I wanted to try something new this year - something a little easier and maybe not quite so tart.  This recipe for Simple & Amazing Cranberry Sauce was perfect.  Minimal ingredients, majorly easy and incredibly scrumptious.  This one is definitely going in my Thanksgiving folder as a new favorite.

Bon Appetit, my friends!  :)

Simple & Amazing Cranberry Sauce
Adapted from:  Savory Sweet Life


Ingredients 
(recipe can be doubled if feeding a big crowd)
12 oz bag fresh cranberries
3/4 cup orange juice
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
Optional: 2 oz gold rum

Instructions
Place all the ingredients in a sauce pan and cook on medium-high for 15-20 minutes or until most of the liquid has reduced – stirring occasionally. You’ll hear the cranberries popping – don’t worry, that’s what you want them to do. 

Remove from heat and serve. Cranberry sauce can be made days ahead and brought to room temperature or slightly heated before serving.

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Chicken (or Turkey) Noodle Soup - Put Those Leftovers to Good Use!


I've had a sick hubby on my hands over the past few days.  He better start feeling better soon, though, because there's a lot of good eatin' to be done tomorrow on Thanksgiving!  Something tells me that after that first bite of the cornbread & sausage dressing that he looks forward to for 364 days a year, he'll be much better!  (Speaking of Thanksgiving, this dish would be a perfect way to use leftover turkey!)

Last night, he was feeling extra sick and pitiful...sore throat, headache, etc, etc...It's just that time of year, I reckon.  I had some leftover chicken already cooked from the previous night, so Chicken Noodle Soup sounded perfect...easy, yet comforting.

There's just something about chicken noodle soup when you're sick, don't you agree?  In fact, when Brad and I were just dating, he had to work one night and wasn't feeling well.  I surprised him by showing up at work with some yummy Chicken Noodle Soup, and it put the biggest smile on his face....and made him feel a little better.  That's been his request ever since when he's feeling under the weather. 

This recipe is incredibly simple.  Brad LOVES carrots, so I doubled the amount to two and added a dash of garlic powder for extra flavor.  The freshly ground black pepper adds a nice little kick.  I finished it off with a garnish of fresh, minced parsley for bit of pretty color.

Bon Appetit, my friends!  :)

Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken (or Turkey) Noodle Soup 
Adapted from:  My Recipes.com


Ingredients:
4 cups Reduced Sodium Chicken Broth
Generous dash ground black pepper
 
2 medium carrots, sliced
1
stalk celery, sliced
1/2 cup
uncooked egg noodles
1 cup
shredded cooked chicken or turkey
Garlic powder, to taste 
1 tsp fresh parsley, minced, for garnish

Directions:
Heat broth, black pepper, carrot and celery in 2-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat to a boil.

Stir noodles and chicken in saucepan. Reduce heat to medium. Cook 10 min. or until noodles are tender, stirring often.   Season with garlic powder and garnish with fresh, minced parsley.


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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Parker House Rolls

Can you believe that Thanksgiving is right around the corner??  In the midst of all the football games, brisk walks around the neighborhood with autumn leaves tumbling through the air, cozy scarves, warm boots, pumpkin pies, and colorful drives through town surrounded by fall colors, isn't it wonderful to stop and think about all the things we have to be thankful for?  It's a season of treasured time spent with family and new memories made.  I love it.

As your family gathers around the dining table this year for your Turkey Day feast, what recipes and dishes will you be making?  Are they treasured family recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation, or will you be adding a new favorite this year?


Our meal always consists of a very traditional New England spread...Sweet Potato Souffle, Maple-Glazed Roast Turkey, Homemade Cranberry Sauce, Cornbread Dressing with Sausage, Broccoli & Cheese Casserole, Creamed Corn, an array of different desserts, and ROLLS...you can't forget the rolls!  After all, yeast rolls make for a PERFECT leftover turkey sandwich the next day.  And folks, leftover turkey sandwiches is where it's at!


I stumbled upon this recipe for Parker House Rolls in the November 2012 issue of Bon Appetit magazine.  The magazine's Features Editor, Carla, included this recipe along with a story of how she first made these rolls for her family's Thanksgiving feast 15 years ago.  She originally found them in The Fannie Farmer Baking Book from 1984, and they've been her favorite ever since.

You've probably already got most, if not all, of the ingredients this recipe calls for.  It's a simple one that's difficult to mess up.  They came out delicious and might just make an appearance of their own on my Thanksgiving table. :)

Bon Appetit, my friends!







Parker House Rolls
Ingredients:
1 envelope active dry yeast
1 cup whole milk
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
3 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 room temperature large egg
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup unsalted butter
flaky sea salt

Directions:
Whisk 1 envelope active dry yeast and 1/4 cup warm water (110°-115°) in a small bowl; let stand for 5 minutes.

Heat 1 cup whole milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until just warm. Combine 1/4 cup vegetable shortening, 3 tablespoons sugar, and 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt in a large bowl. Add warm milk; whisk to blend, breaking up shortening into small clumps (it may not melt completely). Whisk in yeast mixture and 1 room-temperature large egg. Add 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour; stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until dough forms. Knead dough with lightly floured hands on a lightly floured surface until smooth, 4-5 minutes. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl; turn to coat. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let stand at room temperature until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350°. Melt 1/4 cup unsalted butter in a small sauce-pan. Lightly brush a 13x9-inch baking dish with some melted butter. Punch down dough; divide into 4 equal pieces. Working with 1 piece at a time, roll out on a lightly floured surface into a 12x6-inch rectangle.

Cut lengthwise into three 2-inch-wide strips; cut each crosswise into three 4x2-inch rectangles. Brush half of each (about 2x2-inch) with melted butter; fold unbuttered side over, allowing 1/4-inch overhang. Place flat in 1 corner of dish, folded edge against short side of dish. Add remaining rolls, shingling to form 1 long row. Repeat with remaining dough for 4 rows.
Brush with melted butter, loosely cover with plastic, and chill for 30 minutes or up to 6 hours.
Bake rolls until golden and puffed, 25-35 minutes. Brush with butter; sprinkle flaky sea salt over. Serve warm.
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Friday, November 9, 2012

Cookbook Giveaway Winner


Thank you all SO very much for entering my latest giveaway for an autographed copy of "DADGUM That's Good, Too!" by John McLemore!!  It's an awesome cookbook, and I'm thrilled to be able to give one away to a lucky reader.

So, without further ado, the winning comment is:

COMMENT #30:
Andrea said... 
 
I follow you on Pinterest.
 
Andrea
November 5, 2012 6:31 PM  
 
Congratulations, Andrea!!!  Your cookbook will be on its way to you very soon!  :)