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132 posts categorized "18) Just Thanksgiving "

11/25/2022

~ Easy Cranberry-Glazed Rock Cornish Game Hen ~

With the Thanksgiving holiday just a few short days away, if you or someone you know is in search of an easy-yet-elegant alternative to roasting a large, cumbersome turkey, you really should consider the Cornish game hen. Once cooked, the Cornish hen is known for its tender meat which loves to absorb flavors from creative marinades or spice rubs -- and my super-easy, sweet-and-savory cranberry glaze is perfect for both the Thanksgiving or Christmas festivities.. The Cornish game hen, also known as the Rock Cornish game hen, is the USDA's approved name for a particular variety of broiler chicken. Connecticut...... View full recipe for "~ Easy Cranberry-Glazed Rock Cornish Game Hen ~"

11/20/2022

~ Elegantly Easy -- The Roasted Cornish Game Hen ~

Whether you are new to cooking and looking for something easy yet elegant to impress a small group of people with or a seasoned-pro looking for something easy yet elegant to impress a few quests with, you really should consider Cornish game hens. There's more. If you are a hungry single person in search of an easy, made-from-scratch entree, you really should consider a Cornish game hen. When I was a young chick (a new bride about 45 years ago), Cornish game hens were trendy and commonly served -- everyone, kids and adults alike, loves a succulent, personal-sized mini-chicken. I...... View full recipe for "~ Elegantly Easy -- The Roasted Cornish Game Hen ~"

11/06/2022

~ Gobble, Gobble -- Cranberry-Walnut Banana Bread ~

It happens every November, and, I'm reasonably certain I do not stand alone. Us ooks can't wait to heat our ovens and bake some goodies. In my kitchen, quick breads and pies are perfect for November -- cookies and confections can wait their turn until December. A loaf or three of banana bread or pumpkin bread, followed up by a short-list-selection of pies appropriate for the Turkey Day holiday (apple, pumpkin, pecan, sweet potato, etc.) keeps me happily occupied. Luscious anytime of year, but, perfect for November: For the dry ingredients: 1 3/4 cups + 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour...... View full recipe for "~ Gobble, Gobble -- Cranberry-Walnut Banana Bread ~"

10/25/2022

~ Let's Talk an Easy Turkey Breast for Thanksgiving ~

The frost was on the pumpkins, the leaves are off the trees, and Thanksgiving will be here in a few blinks of the eyes. If you are one of the many trying to scale back on cost without sacrificing taste or tradition, or have no need to cook an entire bird, or simply have no desire for all the fanfare, or, simply want some white-meat turkey for a few simple turkey sandwiches (in place of over-salted deli-meat), it's worth considering purchasing 1-2 turkey breasts this year in place of a giant bird. Two whole breasts will yield almost twice as...... View full recipe for "~ Let's Talk an Easy Turkey Breast for Thanksgiving ~"

06/20/2022

~ Fully-Loaded Twice-Baked Potatoes -- Three Ways ~

A twice baked potato is exactly what the name implies: It's a potato that gets baked in the oven twice. After the first bake, the potato is sliced in half and the light, fluffy soft-center is carefully scooped out, leaving the shell/the potato skin undamaged. The cooked center is then mashed, mashed-potato-style, with butter, salt, pepper and/or various seasonings or seasoning blends, and, creamy options like sour cream, yogurt and/or cream cheese. Then the fun begins: Add-ins, absolutely anything you want, usually family-friendly favorites (like the combination of bits of crispy chopped bacon and blanched chopped broccoli topped with shredded...... View full recipe for "~ Fully-Loaded Twice-Baked Potatoes -- Three Ways ~"

12/18/2021

~Crazy Good GF Chocolate Walnut & Craisin Cookies~

Dried cranberries, aka craisins, are one of my favorite dried fruits. They are at the top of my list right next to dried sour cherries -- with craisins being more available and affordable. So much so, there's always a bag on-hand in my kitchen for the sole purpose of snacking. Craisins are not just tart and sweet, they're tart and sweet on steroids. There's more. They are fantastic incorporated into any raisin or sour cherry cookie recipe (in place of the raisins or sour cherries). The recipe I'm sharing today is one of my favorite GF cookies to bake during...... View full recipe for "~Crazy Good GF Chocolate Walnut & Craisin Cookies~"

12/12/2021

~ Cranberry, Walnut & White Chocolate Chip Cookies ~

Dried cranberries, aka craisins, are one of my favorite dried fruits. They are at the top of my list right next to dried sour cherries -- with craisins being more available and affordable. So much so, there's always a bag on-hand in my kitchen for the sole purpose of snacking. Craisins are not just tart and sweet, they're tart and sweet on steroids. There's more. They are fantastic incorporated into any raisin or sour cherry cookie recipe (in place of the raisins or sour cherries). The recipe I'm sharing today is one of my favorite drop cookies to bake during...... View full recipe for "~ Cranberry, Walnut & White Chocolate Chip Cookies ~"

11/27/2021

~ Bell's Seasoning -- My Favorite Poultry Seasoning ~

Poultry seasoning. These two words get used generically in the writing of recipes, meaning, no brand name is mentioned -- Bell's, Durkee, McCormick, Penzey's, Spice Hunter, etc. This leads the reader to believe that all poultry seasoning is basically the same and all brands can be used interchangeably. In the wide world of spice blends, nothing could be further from the truth. Poultry seasonings are all relatively strong-flavored blends of ground, aromatic herbs and spices, and, they vary considerably from manufacturer to manufacturer. None of them contain the same list of herbs and spices, most are salt-free, many are all-natural,...... View full recipe for "~ Bell's Seasoning -- My Favorite Poultry Seasoning ~ "

11/24/2021

~Take All the Guesswork Out of Portioning All Poultry~

What size bird to purchase, no matter what the occasion, tends to be confusing because, simply stated, all poultry is not created equal. Seasoned cooks will tell you size doesn't always matter, because some fowl, duck for instance, may appear to be large enough to feed six people, but, you'd be lucky if you get enough meat from one to adequately feed three. If you've never cooked a duck before, one duck comfortably feeds two people -- and I had to learn this the hard way. Every cook, novice or expert, at some point, finds him or herself asking the...... View full recipe for "~Take All the Guesswork Out of Portioning All Poultry~"

11/21/2021

~Twelve Easy Steps to the Perfect Turkey Day Turkey~

So you're cooking your first turkey today. Congratulations and worry not. I'm sharing my uber-easy foolproof method, which I've been using since before you were probably born, and, it works great for all turkeys -- fresh (never frozen), frozen (and completely thawed) or organic, it works. Period. Ready? Set? Get your bird out of the refrigerator 1-2 hours prior to roasting (to take the chill out of it). Before opening the package, make a note of its poundage and weight (so you can follow the timing guidelines below). Place the bird in the sink (a lot of juices are going...... View full recipe for "~Twelve Easy Steps to the Perfect Turkey Day Turkey~"

08/09/2021

~An Inconvenient Truth - A Sweet Potato is Not a Yam~

Sweet potatoes were first introduced to North America when Columbus brought them over from the island of St. Thomas, where this large edible root, which belongs to the morning-glory family, is native to the tropical regions of the Americas. There are many varieties of sweet potato, but the two most widely grown commercially are a pale sweet potato and a dark-skinned variety Americans erroneously call "yam" -- the true yam is not even related to the sweet potato. The pale potato has a thin, light yellow skin and pale yellow flesh. Its flavor is not sweet, and, after being cooked,...... View full recipe for "~An Inconvenient Truth - A Sweet Potato is Not a Yam~"

02/17/2021

~Jiffy Mix Cornbread, Corn Casserole & Corn Pudding~

Three distinctly-different recipes with three decidedly-different results, all using one, inexpensive common-to-us-all, ingredient: Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix. At 59 cents for each eye-catching blue-and-yellow box, it's been a time-saving staple in my pantry for over four decades. I am not alone. A week ago, there was discussion, on one of my Facebook friend's pages, about store-bought cornbread mixes. We discussed the rising cost of them, and, which one us "cheaters" consider the best. As it turned out, almost unanimously (Martha White gets honorable mention), it was the Jiffy brand. We went on to share our favorite ways to "doctor it"...... View full recipe for "~Jiffy Mix Cornbread, Corn Casserole & Corn Pudding~"

02/11/2021

~In a Jiffy-Cornbread-Mix Triple-Corn Corn Casserole~

Baked corn casserole is a side-dish staple throughout the Midwest. Baked corn casserole with some self-rising cornmeal (or cornmeal plus baking soda and/or baking powder) whisked into it is a Southern side-dish staple. If you can imagine a loaded-with-corn casserole with the flavor and some of the texture of a corn muffin or wedge of cornbread added to it, you're no doubt salivating right now -- it's a "crossing of the streams" so to speak, the best of both, baked into one delicious side-dish. Jiffy corn muffin mix, has been a staple in my pantry for over four decades, and,...... View full recipe for "~In a Jiffy-Cornbread-Mix Triple-Corn Corn Casserole~"

02/08/2021

~In a Jiffy-Cornbread-Mix Double-Delicious Cornbread~

Breakfast, lunch or dinner, more-often-than-not, a corn muffin or wedge of cornbread is a welcome addition to the table. Served hot or warm slathered with butter and/or a drizzle of honey, puts it over-the-top. That said, while corn muffins and cornbread are easy enough to make from scratch (if you use enough yellow cornmeal on a regular basis to justify keeping a bag in your pantry), there is a popular and inexpensive way to speed the process up and still produce a seriously-delightful loaf of this beloved Southern staple. It's called Jiffy corn muffin mix, and, at 59-ish cents a...... View full recipe for "~In a Jiffy-Cornbread-Mix Double-Delicious Cornbread~ "

11/26/2020

~ Be Safe, Think Small, Turkey Day Charcuterie Tray ~

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti (Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2020)... View full recipe for "~ Be Safe, Think Small, Turkey Day Charcuterie Tray ~ "

11/15/2020

~ Crock of Baked Applesauce, Walnut & Herbed Brie ~

Small but mighty, and, falling into the category of somewhere-in-between-a-dip-and-a-spread, this easy-to-make appetizer is appropriate to serve at, or make-and-take to, any holiday gathering -- it's sublime. It's also a great recipe to keep in your back pocket in case you find yourself in need of a last-minute appetizer. There's more. If you're not a fan of cranberry sauce, it's great made with whole-berry cranberry sauce instead. While it can be prepared in a small shallow bowl, it's particularly pretty baked and served in a small crock -- presentation is, after all, everything. There's even more. It can be assembled,...... View full recipe for "~ Crock of Baked Applesauce, Walnut & Herbed Brie ~"

11/13/2020

~ Crock of Baked Cranberry, Walnut and Herbed Brie ~

Small but mighty, and, falling into the category of somewhere-in-between-a-dip-and-a-spread, this easy-to-make appetizer is appropriate to serve at, or make-and-take to, any holiday gathering -- it's sublime. It's also a great recipe to keep in your back pocket in case you find yourself in need of a last-minute appetizer. There's more. If you're not a fan of cranberry sauce, it's great made with chunky-style applesauce instead. While it can be prepared in a small shallow bowl, it's particularly pretty baked and served in a small crock -- presentation is, after all, everything. There's even more. It can be assembled, refrigerated...... View full recipe for "~ Crock of Baked Cranberry, Walnut and Herbed Brie ~"

11/10/2020

~Gobble Gobble -- Turkey-Day Cranberry & Brie Bites~

While these easy-to-make appetizers are perfect for any large-or-small fancy-or-relaxed Turkey-Day feast, they're great almost any time of the year. I've been know to serve them on occasion as a warm-up to one of my winner-winner roasted chicken Sunday dinners. As for the recipe, there really isn't one so-to-speak -- I came home with it "in my head" (as it was told to me) after enjoying a few at a mid-morning Christmas cookie-exchange brunch-party a few year ago. Perfect for our just-the-two-of-us Turkey Day feast this year: And, just four easy-to-gather-together ingredients too: 2 tablespoons all-purpose bench flour, for dusting...... View full recipe for "~Gobble Gobble -- Turkey-Day Cranberry & Brie Bites~"

11/08/2020

~ Fresh Strawberry, Brie & Biscuit Breakfast Crostini ~

Is there anyone who doesn't love to be invited to someone's home for breakfast or brunch? There's just something light-hearted, laid-back and downright bushy-tailed about sharing the first meal and few hours of the day in the company of family and friends. The best way I can describe the experience is: it's like waking up in the morning to find out it snowed and they cancelled school. Everyone "gets into the spirit of it" -- and, it doesn't have to be fancy-schmancy either. That said, if you've ever invited people to your home for breakfast or brunch, you know that...... View full recipe for "~ Fresh Strawberry, Brie & Biscuit Breakfast Crostini ~"

08/20/2020

~Mel's Savory Crispy-Topped Sweet Potato Casserole~

I keep sweet potatoes on-hand all year. I could, and occasionally do, make a meal just for me out of a pillowy-soft steaming-hot baked sweet potato (dripping with a few pats of melting butter and seasoned with a generous grinding of sea salt and a flavorful peppercorn blend). It's simple, straightforward, scrumptious, and, oh-so-satisfying. Even if it weren't super-nutritious, I'd simply slide the humble sweet potato off my "favorite foods list" and onto to my "guilty-pleasures-food-list", and go right on eating them anyway. I love baked sweet potatoes. That said: While beauty is in the eye of the beholder, the...... View full recipe for "~Mel's Savory Crispy-Topped Sweet Potato Casserole~"

05/12/2020

~Oh My Long Grain & Wild Rice-a-Roni Turkey Dinner~

As a creature of habit, Sunday is my day to roast something -- sometimes it's a long and lean eye-of-round beef roast, others times it's one or two plump roasting chickens or the biggest whole turkey breast I can find. Oddly, this "roast du jour" is rarely our Sunday dinner. I do it to have on hand to round-out a quick-to-make weeknight dinner or two, or to slice and eat in place of deli-meat in weekday sandwiches. Today I'm talkin' winner-winner flash-in-the-pan turkey dinner. Let's talk winner-winner flash-in-the-pan turkey dinner. A box or three of Uncle Ben's long-grain & wild...... View full recipe for "~Oh My Long Grain & Wild Rice-a-Roni Turkey Dinner~"

04/30/2020

~Cinnamon-Raisin English Muffin Breakfast Casserole~

I don't need to be entertaining a crowd to have a reason to make a giant-sized breakfast casserole. With Joe and I both working-from-home at present, having a fully-cooked breakfast pre-made and ready to slice and reheat in the microwave (by pushing a button) saves me a bunch of time on weekday mornings. There's also plenty to share a few squares with a couple of friends and neighbors. Here in our neighborhood, my friends call these acts of kindness "ding-dong drop-offs". Truth told, social-distancing foodie life in the 'burbs is better-than-good, it's very tasty. Muffins + sausage + apples +...... View full recipe for "~Cinnamon-Raisin English Muffin Breakfast Casserole~"

12/09/2019

~Gruyère & Olive-Tapenade French-Bread Appetizers~

Olive cheese bread was a trendy hot appetizer served with drinks at laid-back TGIF and fancy-schmancy holiday cocktail parties throughout the 1980's. For the obvious reason, the olives, they were particularly popular with martini drinkers. That said, olive cheese bread was just one of many spin-off recipes created by home cooks who were inspired by the introduction of the remarkably-tasty, frozen, store-bought, Stouffer's* French bread pizza into their lives. *Note: Making pizza on French bread was made famous in the 1960's by Bob Petrillose, the founder of the legendary Hot Truck on the campus of Cornell University in Ithaca, NY....... View full recipe for "~Gruyère & Olive-Tapenade French-Bread Appetizers~"

12/07/2019

~ Sweet-&-Savory-Glazed Buffalo-Chicken Meatballs ~

Everybody loves meatballs, and, rule of thumb: one can never make too many meatballs. When looking for a hot appetizer that is kid- and adult-friendly, relatively easy-to-make, can be made in advance, and, is perfect for a holiday party, a tailgate party, or any party any time of year, meatballs meet all the criteria. Sweet, savory and slightly-spicy, buffalo chicken meatballs, glazed in wing sauce, are a fun way to enjoy the flavor of chicken wings with more decorum and dignity than licking ones fingertips in public and disposing of a plate full of unsightly wing bones. Cocktail-size meatballs are...... View full recipe for "~ Sweet-&-Savory-Glazed Buffalo-Chicken Meatballs ~"

12/05/2019

~ Six Recipes for Fabulously-Flavored Holiday Fudge ~

Fudge is especially popular on the the boardwalks of the East coast in the Summertime. That said, it is also perfect for gift-giving during the holidays. Because it can be made several weeks in advance and stored (covered) in the the refrigerator, I like to make several flavors, then, assemble gift-boxes containing assorted flavors to share with family and friends. It's a fun, relaxing way to ease into the holiday spirit, and it's a great addition to a tray of assorted cookies too. This all-American confection dates back to the late 1880s. Fudge originated in America in the latter 19th...... View full recipe for "~ Six Recipes for Fabulously-Flavored Holiday Fudge ~"

11/30/2019

~Double-Cherry & Double-Vanilla Lover's Killer Fudge~

Cherry-vanilla is one of my favorite flavor combinations. Cherry-vanilla or black-cherry-vanilla cream soda, cherry-vanilla ice-cream, cherry-vanilla milkshakes, cherry-vanilla yogurt and cherry-vanilla biscotti are amongst my favorite things. While I didn't invent the idea for cherry-vanilla fudge, once I got my hands on a great base recipe for making fudge, cherry-vanilla was the first spin-off I made (for myself), and, after tasting it, I think you'll agree it's perhaps the best rendition in print or on internet, as, it uses a combination of dehydrated tart "sour" pie cherries and pure cherry extract, instead of neon-colored candied maraschinos (which taste nothing like...... View full recipe for "~Double-Cherry & Double-Vanilla Lover's Killer Fudge~"

11/28/2019

~Cinnamon-Apple Maple-Walnut Lover's Killer Fudge~

Maple-walnut ice cream and maple-walnut fudge. While they're my only two encounters with this sublime combination, meaning I've not tasted a maple-walnut pie or a maple-walnut cake, I was driven to re-create both of them in my home kitchen. My experience with the first was in Vermont, and it was a slow-churned unforgettable experience. My experience with the second was on the boardwalks of New Jersey, and, it was a creamy-dreamy unforgettable experience. Everyone remembers their first bite of fudge -- that creamy, semi-soft confection made with corn syrup and/or sugar, butter, cream and flavoring. Hands-down, the most popular flavor...... View full recipe for "~Cinnamon-Apple Maple-Walnut Lover's Killer Fudge~"

11/25/2019

~ Butterscotch & Bits-O-Toffee Brickle Lover's Fudge ~

Butterscotch, caramel, English toffee and American buttercrunch. These rich butter-and-sugar-based candies are all related, and, I have an affinity for them all. As a little kid, my hand gravitated to the bag of those little chewy squares of Kraft Caramels, and, when I got a little older, I always kept a few cellophane-wrapped Brach's Butterscotch hard-candies in my purse -- they were a way to enjoy an otherwise long and boring class at school or sermon at church. Everyone remembers their first bite of fudge -- that creamy, semi-soft confection made with corn syrup and/or sugar, butter, cream and flavoring....... View full recipe for "~ Butterscotch & Bits-O-Toffee Brickle Lover's Fudge ~"

11/22/2019

~Milk-Chocolate and Toasted-Coconut Lover's Fudge~

As one who in all seriousness does not crave chocolate, when I do eat it it, my taste leans toward milk chocolate, with Swiss Lindt being my chocolate of choice. Even as a kid, I pretty much turned my prissy little nose up at chocolate, with one exception. Every year for Christmas, mom would put a few Russel Stover milk-chocolate toasted-coconut wreaths in my stocking. For Easter, milk-chocolate toasted-coconut bird's nests went in my basket. I love them to this day. While I didn't invent the idea for milk-chocolate toasted-coconut fudge, once I had a great base recipe for fudge,...... View full recipe for "~Milk-Chocolate and Toasted-Coconut Lover's Fudge~"

11/20/2019

~Dark Chocolate Lover's Killer Dark-Chocolate Fudge~

Everyone remembers their first bite of fudge -- that creamy, semi-soft confection made with corn syrup and/or sugar, butter, cream and flavoring. Hands-down, the most popular flavor is dark chocolate, with milk chocolate in second. Peanut butter, butterscotch, maple and vanilla are all contenders for the third spot. When I was growing up, Agnes was our next-door neighbor. She loved to bake, and throughout the years her sweet treats made their way to our table often. Every year, on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Eve, Agnes joined our family for dinner and graced our dessert table with a plate of fudge...... View full recipe for "~Dark Chocolate Lover's Killer Dark-Chocolate Fudge~ "

11/18/2019

~ Gobble Gobble: Rich and Creamy Turkey à la King ~

Talk about a tasty use for turkey leftovers. Turkey à la king is a spin-off of chicken à la king -- an all-American comfort-food creation. At this time of year, with Turkey Day just around the corner, it is, obviously, a very tasty use for leftover turkey. That said, by using quick-to-cook stovetop-poached or oven-roasted turkey tenderloins, it is a wonderful alternative if you want to serve turkey in a non-traditional way for a more laid-back or take-to-a-potluck feast. Make no mistake, we're not talking "cream of canned any kind of soup" thrown into a skillet or a casserole. À...... View full recipe for "~ Gobble Gobble: Rich and Creamy Turkey à la King ~"

11/15/2019

~Gobble Gobble: Get Tangled Up in Turkey Tetrazzini~

When one writes a cooking blog long enough, one learns that sharing vintage recipes is as important as sharing trending, innovative new ones. Experience has taught, "what's old is always new to someone", and cooks of all experience levels appreciate learning about it. Experience has also taught: "what's old has often been lost to someone", as many times, these retro classics, which evoke fond memories, have sadly, been lost (grandma never taught it, shared it, or worse, never wrote it down), or tossed (instead of being handed down from generation to generation). About vintage recipes: What's old is always new...... View full recipe for "~Gobble Gobble: Get Tangled Up in Turkey Tetrazzini~"

11/12/2019

~ Gobble Gobble: Divine Parisien-Style Turkey Divan ~

Turkey divan is a spin-off of chicken divan -- an all-American casserole invention. At this time of year, with Turkey Day just around the corner, it is, obviously, a very tasty use for leftover turkey. That said, by using quick-to-cook stovetop-poached or oven-roasted turkey tenderloins, it is a truly wonderful alternative if you want to serve turkey in a non-traditional way for a more laid-back or take-to-a-potluck feast. Make no mistake, we're not talking "cream of canned any kind of soup" thrown into a casserole dish. This dish is indeed real-deal creamy, comforting and divine. While we're all familiar with...... View full recipe for "~ Gobble Gobble: Divine Parisien-Style Turkey Divan ~"

11/09/2019

~ Let's Talk about Roasted Turkey Breast Tenderloins ~

While my family always celebrates Turkey Day with a traditional dinner, with all the pomp and circumstances leading up to the moment when the oven-roasted and well-rested turkey gets carved and served, there are many folks, both novice and experienced cooks, (single men and women, young couples, elderly couples, etc.) who neither need nor want, or, don't have the time for an entire turkey. There are other folks, for whatever the reason, simply want to eat some turkey for the sake of the day and move on. That's why I'm talking about turkey tenderloins. While we're all familiar with whole,...... View full recipe for "~ Let's Talk about Roasted Turkey Breast Tenderloins ~"

11/07/2019

~Let's Talk about Poached Turkey Breast Tenderloins~

We're all familiar with chicken breast tenderloins. Weighing in at about 2-3 ounces each, these 4 1/2"-5" long, thin strips of chicken are the tenderest part of the chicken. I love them, and use them often, because, quite frankly, they are superior to the last-luster, "rubber chicken" boneless, skinless breast. Whole, chopped, sliced or lightly-pounded, they cook quickly. They can be poached or simmered, pan-fried, deep-fried, stir-fried, or grilled-panned to use in any recipe that requires cooked chicken -- appetizers, soups, salads, sandwiches, or casseroles, and, dishes like chicken curry, Parmesan, Milanese, Oscar, Piccata, etc. They're versatile. While we're all...... View full recipe for "~Let's Talk about Poached Turkey Breast Tenderloins~"

10/13/2019

~Cinnamon-Swirl Turkey, Apple & Apple Butter Panini~

Do you need a fancy-schmancy panini press to make a panini sandwich? No, you don't. Simply place your sandwich in a grill pan and place a heavy (cast-iron works great) skillet on top and you'll get the similar results, except, unlike cooking on a panini press, you will have to stop to flip the sandwich over half way through the process. Don't have a grill pan either? Worry not. Use a nonstick skillet with a cast iron skillet on top. As long as the sandwich is pressed, you can still call it a panini -- even without the grill marks....... View full recipe for "~Cinnamon-Swirl Turkey, Apple & Apple Butter Panini~"

07/07/2019

~Southwestern Cheese-Topped Corn & Bean Pudding~

From chicken and ribs to rib-eye, flank and skirt steaks, during the months of July and August and into the Fall, the food that comes off our grill is frequently alla the American Southwest. My family craves those bold flavors, and, my Southwestern-style corn and bean pudding, a spin-off of my Midwestern-style baked corn casserole is my go-to side-dish. Placed on the table next to a crispy garden salad full of just-picked tomatoes and cucumbers: there's no need to call my family to the table twice. Serve an in-season fruit cobbler for dessert? They'll follow me anywhere. Fresh vs. canned...... View full recipe for "~Southwestern Cheese-Topped Corn & Bean Pudding~"

05/12/2019

~ Briny, Garlicy & Herbaceous Greek-Olive Tapenade ~

My pantry and/or refrigerator are never without a can or two of inexpensive, mild-flavored ripe, black olives and a big jar of tangy green pimiento-stuffed olives too. Throughout the year, I toss either one or both, whole into garden salads, or, slice and use them to top an occasional pizza. That said, at the end of a long Summer's day, there is nothing like a well-chilled cocktail out on the deck with a salty snack to nibble on. A cracker or two with a slather of soft brie or chèvre topped with a dollop of tapenade is a favorite, but,...... View full recipe for "~ Briny, Garlicy & Herbaceous Greek-Olive Tapenade ~"

04/03/2019

~Spicy Southwestern-Style Candied Sweet Potatoes~

April showers bring May flowers, tick-tock, and so starts the prime-time grilling season. Across the country, home cooks and grill-masters are already concocting their secret recipes for sweet and savory wet sauces and spice-is-nice dry rubs. Once the chicken and ribs start hitting the grill grids, neighborhoods everywhere will be filled with the ethereal smell of barbecue. Get out the paper plates and napkins, place the side-dishes on the table, pop a beer and pull up a chair. Speaking of side-dishes (notice how I snuck that in), while Northeastern Deutsch-Amish potato-salads, macaroni-salads and coleslaws reign undeniably supreme (as far as...... View full recipe for "~Spicy Southwestern-Style Candied Sweet Potatoes~"

03/25/2019

~ Chorizo con Huevos -- Mexican Sausage and Eggs ~

Porcine (bacon, sausage and ham) have always been at the top of my what-meat-to-eat-with-my-AM-eggs list, and, I'm here say, Mexican-chorizo is quickly becoming my new muse. Chorizo con huevos, a Mexican sausage and scramble egg breakfast staple, is as delightful to eat as it is easy-to-prepare. Traditionally, fried chorizo crumbles get doused with a scrambled egg mixture and the two are served as one, as a protein-packed scrambled egg breakfast. It's commonly served with some Mexican adobo rice, refried beans, and, soft flour or pliable corn tortillas. That's the extent of the fanfare. It's simple, straightforward, slightly spicy, and, seriously...... View full recipe for "~ Chorizo con Huevos -- Mexican Sausage and Eggs ~"

02/04/2019

~Onion & Garlic Cauliflower & Gold Mashed Potatoes~

Smashed, mashed or whipped potatoes -- you love them, I know you do, everyone does. Cauliflower -- maybe you love it, maybe you don't, but if you do, you'll love the combination of buttery-rich mashed cauliflower and potatoes laced with bits of onion and garlic. It's the divine intervention of the creamy-comforting side-dish food world -- it happens when the mild- and slightly-nutty flavored sun-soaked "cabbage flower" meets the sun-starved, earthy and starchy potato. Make no mistake, when boiled and mashed, cauliflower is great, but it's: mashed cauliflower -- just because it's the same color, doesn't make it "just like"...... View full recipe for "~Onion & Garlic Cauliflower & Gold Mashed Potatoes~ "

11/23/2018

~ Sweet Potato, Apple & Sausage Bundt-Pan Stuffing ~

Stuffing baked in a bundt pan makes for a picture-perfect presentation that brings a smile to everyone. From a practical standpoint, it feeds a crowd (or a small gathering of stuffing lovers) and it's very user-friendly: it easy to portion, slice and serve at the table or on the buffet line, and, slices are especially convenient on closed or open-faced turkey sandwiches. Stuffing slices can be wrapped, stacked and frozen too -- for those times when one has to have a slice of stuffing. Nicely-sliced stuffing is not new-to-me -- it's old-school brilliance. My grandmother always baked her stuffing in...... View full recipe for "~ Sweet Potato, Apple & Sausage Bundt-Pan Stuffing ~"

11/20/2018

~ Nicely-Sliced: Stuffing in a Bundt Pan Stuffing Ring ~

Nicely-sliced stuffing is not new-to-me -- it's old-school brilliance. My grandmother always baked her stuffing in two loaf pans because it was an efficient use of oven space. As a savvy cook, she figured out that two, high, narrow loaf pans took up less oven space than a low, shallow casserole while yielding about the same amount. Her stuffing loaves baked on either side of the roasting turkey with miscellaneous other casseroles strategically placed on the remaining upper rack. Some fun facts about making stuffing in a bundt pan: Making Thanksgiving stuffing in a 12-cup bundt pan does not take...... View full recipe for "~ Nicely-Sliced: Stuffing in a Bundt Pan Stuffing Ring ~"

11/17/2018

~ Sweet & Savory Herbed Sweet Potato Dinner Rolls ~

I love potato bread and any type of slightly-sweet and pillowy soft potato rolls in general. Unless I am specifically looking for a crusty, semi-firm roll for a specific reason, rolls of the 'tater-type are my all-purpose sandwich roll of choice -- that includes hamburger and hot dog rolls too. That said, I like the sweet potato even more than I like the red, Russet or gold potato. As long as I can find sweet potatoes in the grocery store, which is about nine months out of the year, I keep them on hand always, as, for me, a humble,...... View full recipe for "~ Sweet & Savory Herbed Sweet Potato Dinner Rolls ~"

10/15/2018

~ Apple, Candied Pecan & Cheesecake Bundt Cake ~

Spice is always nice, but, let's all admit, when the cool weather hits, the aroma of spices baking in the oven or braising on the stovetop simply smell better -- they go from smelling mouth-wateringly good to ethereal. In this over-the-top moist, tender, calories-be-damned cake you'll find a batter loaded with loads of diced tart apples and candied pecans sandwiched in between two slightly-sweetened cream cheese, cheesecake-esque layers. The spice is right too: apple pie spice -- My grandmom used it, mom used it & I adore it: apple pie spice. Cheese-cake & candied pecans in their apple cake was...... View full recipe for "~ Apple, Candied Pecan & Cheesecake Bundt Cake ~"

03/30/2018

~Vegetarian Herb Gravy for Whatever Floats the Boat~

An all-purpose gravy that goes well on almost anything? You betcha. One basic recipe, made with a few pantry staples, and, in a few minutes (tick, tock), voila: a great gravy that carnivores and vegetarians can sit down to enjoy, together, in harmony. Yes indeedy, sans pan drippings, a luxurious gravy to drizzle over all things gravy goes on: chicken-fried or smothered anything, meatloaf or hamburger steaks, open-faced bread-, biscuit- or waffle- sandwiches, French fries or poutine, rice or noodles, steamed or roasted vegetables, etc., etc., etc. Read on: Got drippings leftover from a roast? Add them along w/the stock....... View full recipe for "~Vegetarian Herb Gravy for Whatever Floats the Boat~"

01/02/2018

~Swiss Chocolate, Cherry & Almond Puff Pastry Braid~

Imagine eating a freshly-baked, still-warm chocolate croissant at your favorite coffee shop. Just thinking about one of those divinely decadent indulgences makes me happy. Now imagine it super-sized, more than enough to feed four, with sweet cherries and crunchy almonds added to it too. Need I say more? Valentine's Day will be here before we know it, and, if you're looking to surprise the chocolate lover in your life with something truly sweet, stash the ingredients on this list in your pantry and freezer, then, start counting the days to February 14th. Tick, tock. From appetizers to entrées to desserts......... View full recipe for "~Swiss Chocolate, Cherry & Almond Puff Pastry Braid~"

12/31/2017

~ Sweet Sausage, Apple & Cheddar Puff Pastry Braid ~

We all have our favorite breakfast and brunch casserole recipes -- I'd be lost without mine. They taste great, they're easy to prepare, and, some can even be made ahead, but, let's face it: casseroles aren't elegant. They're low-key, family-style, comfort food -- the blue jeans of the food world. Newsflash: Occasionally, it's necessary to dress up -- and that extends to the food. If I told you I have a small repertoire of AM meals that make a stunning presentation, taste as good as they look, and, are relatively easy to prepare, would you want the recipes? I thought...... View full recipe for "~ Sweet Sausage, Apple & Cheddar Puff Pastry Braid ~"

12/28/2017

~ Cloudberry Jam, Brie, Almond & Puff Pastry Braid ~

Circa 1980-1985 -- better known as the cloudberry jam period of my life. One of Joe's business associates (a man from Norway temporarily working here in Happy Valley) introduced us to a Norwegian specialty: small squares of grilled bread cheese topped with cloudberry jam. It was served as an appetizer at a cocktail hosted by Rolf and his Swedish wife. I fell in love with this cheesy treat immediately -- and said so. When I reciprocated the invitation, I was gifted a jar of the jam, a small brick of bread cheese and a package of stroopwaffes as a hostess...... View full recipe for "~ Cloudberry Jam, Brie, Almond & Puff Pastry Braid ~"

11/20/2017

~ Thanksgiving to Tailgate: Stuffing Stuffed 'Shrooms ~

For the family cook, entertaining for Thanksgiving is a labor of love, but, if he or she is a college football fan too, that can mean entertaining for a tailgate party as well, which can be overwhelming. That said, if you've got a game plan in place in advance, transitioning your formal Turkey Day feast into a relaxing tailgate on your coffee table, can be almost effortless. One of my gameday-after-the-holiday tailgate menus is: stuffing stuffed mushrooms with turkey-club sliders. Any leftover stuffing* recipe can be used to stuff mushrooms. I Love My Mom's Cracker Stuffing Casserole. It's lightly and...... View full recipe for "~ Thanksgiving to Tailgate: Stuffing Stuffed 'Shrooms ~"