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Baked Oatmeal-Cranberry Apples

February 4, 2016

We used to have baked apples as an afternoon school snack; it was a treat best enjoyed in the fall and winter on a cool day. This variant can be prepped ahead of time and then popped in the oven just before you want them. If you have extra filling and topping, don’t fret! Place it in a little baking dish and cook alongside the apples to get a mini apple crisp.

You will need:

  • 4 apples (I used honeycrisp)
  • 4 T unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/2 c brown sugar, divided
  • 1/2 t ground cinnamon, divided
  • 1/4 4 t ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 c walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 c dried cranberries, roughly chopped
  • 4 T flour
  • 1/4 c old-fashioned oats
  • Pinch of salt

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking dish with foil.
  2. Using a spoon, core and scoop out the middle of each apple. You want to leave at least a 1/4 inch of the sides left and no more than a 1/2 inch from the bottom. This will create a shell to fill and bake.
  3. Discard the seeds and pieces with core. Cut off any peel from the apple bits.
  4. In a small sauce pan, combine the apple bits with 2 tablespoons of the butter, 1/4 cup of the brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon of the cinnamon, the nutmeg, walnuts and cranberries.
  5. Heat over medium-low heat for 10-12 minutes. The apple should be tender and most juice cooked off. Remove from heat.
  6. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, oats, remaining brown sugar, salt and remaining cinnamon.
  7. Cut the remaining two tablespoons of butter into rough pieces. Cut the butter into the dry ingredient mixture until it is integrated and crumbly.
  8. Fill the apple shells with the apple-walnut filling.
  9. Top generously with the crumb topping.
  10. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the topping is golden and crispy.
  11. Serve warm with a little ice cream (or even fresh cream or yogurt!).

20160118 Baked Apple 01.JPG

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Pomegranate Moscow Mule

January 30, 2016

20160102 Pom Mule 02

Prep the mix for this drink before your next winter party, and you’ll make your guests very happy: quick prep and a lovely cocktail as the result!

You will need:

  • 6 c pomegranate juice
  • 2 c lime juice
  • 1/2 c honey
  • A few sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • Ice
  • Vodka
  • Ginger beer

Then you will…

  1. Stir together the pomegranate juice, lime juice, and honey in a large bowl.
  2. Transfer to a serving pitcher or other beverage container.
  3. Drop the rosemary sprigs into the mix.
  4. Chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
  5. When ready to serve, add ice to your glass and fill about 1/3 of the way with mixer.
  6. Add 2-3 oz vodka and top off with ginger beer.
  7. Give your drink a swirl and enjoy!
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Slow Cooker White Bean and Sausage Cassoulet

January 25, 2016

This is a simple and hearty winter dish that takes very little time to prep. You can make it in a slow cooker or bake it at 300 in a dutch oven; once you get it started, you just need to sit back and relax for about 6 hours until your meal is ready! Perfect for a quiet afternoon with family or your favorite book.

Note: if you have ever wondered “what do I do with the Parmesan rind after I use all the yummy cheese,” you can add it to soup stock. It adds a lot of nutty deliciousness to soups and dishes like this one.

20160107 Cassoulet

You will need:

  • 1 lb sausage, uncased (I used mild Italian)
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 c (~ 8 oz) dried white beans (I used Great Northern)
  • 2 cans (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes with their juices (I used some seasoned with basil, garlic and oregano)
  • 3 c low-sodium chicken stock
  • 3 t fresh thyme, de-stemmed and roughly chopped
  • 1 Parmesan rind (optional)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Then you will…

  1. In a large nonstick skillet (or your Dutch oven if using), brown the sausage with the onion and garlic over medium heat. Stir frequently to break up the sausage.
  2. Remove from heat and transfer to your slow cooker (or leave in the Dutch oven).
  3. Mix in the white beans, diced tomato, chicken stock and thyme.
  4. Add the Parmesan rind if using.
  5. Cook on LOW for 7-8 hours or HIGH for 5. The beans should be soft and plump.
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Serve with crusty bread and your favorite salad.
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Duchess Potatoes

January 22, 2016

This is a fun variant on mashed potatoes. You get the creamy mashed potato goodness on the inside, and then the outside is slightly crispy and golden with butter. So much fun!

20151225 Duchess Potato 02

You will need:

  • 3 lb russet potatoes (about 9 medium), peeled and cut into large pieces
  • 1 c milk
  • 1/2 c + 4 T butter, divided
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 eggs, beaten

Then you will…

  1. Place the potatoes in a large pot of cold water. Salt the water.
  2. Bring the water to a boil and cook the potatoes until they are easily pierced with a fork.
  3. Drain the potatoes and return to the pot.
  4. Place on a warm burner and allow any excess water to boil off.
  5. Mash with the milk and 1/2 cup of butter.
  6. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Mix in the eggs until well combined.
  8. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Grease a cookie sheet.
  9. Drop potatoes by spoonfuls onto the sheet. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  10. Bake for 15 minutes, until golden brown.

 

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Green Beans with Mustard Sauce

January 16, 2016

These green beans are a simple side dish that goes well with beef, pork or even fish. You can use fresh green beans if they look good at the market or frozen if that’s what you have on hand.

You will need:

  • 1 box (16 oz) frozen whole green beans
  • 1 T Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 t pepper
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zested
  • 3 T olive oil

Then you will…

  1. Heat a medium pot of salted water to a boil.
  2. Cook beans until crisp-tender, about 5 min.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the mustard with the pepper, salt, lemon juice, lemon zest and olive oil.
  4. Drain the beans and toss with the mustard sauce.

20151225 Mustard Beans

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Yorkshire Pudding

January 10, 2016

Yorkshire pudding is a classic part of the traditional British Sunday roast, served with beef and gravy. It is an egg-y bread dish that is made with a simple batter of eggs, flour and milk. It doesn’t look like much, but it packs lots of flavor from the roast drippings. Originally it was served as a first course, so that guests would be full before they moved on to the more expensive meat course.

20151225 Yorkshire Pudding

You will need:

  • 1 c flour
  • 1 c milk
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 2 eggs

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Heat a 9x9x2 or 11x7x1.5 pan in the oven.
  2. Pour 1/2 c of the beef roast drippings into the pan.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients until smooth and light.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan with the drippings.
  5. Baked 25 minutes until puffed and golden.

 

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Roast Beef Tenderloin with Mushroom Madeira Sauce

January 5, 2016

This is a special entree that we served for the holidays. The garlic, rosemary and mushrooms make it extra special.

You will need:

  • 4 lb beef roast tenderloin
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 T rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 t thyme, finely chopped
  • 1 t pepper
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zested
  • 8 T butter
  • 1/2 c shallot, chopped
  • 1 1/2 c Madeira wine
  • 8 T flour
  • 24 oz beef stock

20151225 Roast Beef

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 550 degrees.
  2. Rub two cloves of garlic over the beef roast. Discard the pieces.
  3. Cut the remaining two garlic cloves into 8 pieces. Insert into the roast on the fatty side.
  4. In a small bowl, mix together the rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper.
  5. Rub the seasoning into the roast.
  6. Place the beef in a roasting pan, fat side up. Put in oven and reduce temperature to 350 degrees. Roast until medium done (~20 to 35 minutes per pound; 155 degrees on the inside), basting every 30 minutes. Allow to rest at least 15 minutes before serving.
  7. In a large nonstick skillet, melt two tablespoons of the butter.
  8. Saute the mushrooms with the lemon juice and zest until they are golden. Set aside.
  9. In the same skillet, melt two tablespoons of the butter and saute the shallot until golden and soft.
  10. Toss with the flour. Allow to cook for 1-2 minutes.
  11. Mix in one cup of the Madeira wine and cook until reduced by half.
  12. Add the beef stock and simmer until thickened as desired. (I mixed about a half cup of the stock with some of the roast’s drippings, after draining off the fat, to pick up more flavor from the roast. Then I poured this into the sauce).
  13. Stir in the mushrooms.
  14. Add the remaining butter and 1/2 cup of the Madeira. Heat through.
  15. Season to taste.

20151225 Madeira Gravy

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