Archive for the ‘Holiday’ Category

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Sweet Potato Casserole

November 18, 2017

I love my 2015 version of sweet potato casserole. However I tried something new this year for the holidays. It’s a little lighter and fluffier, because you use an electric mixer to whisk it together.

You will need:

  • 6 sweet potatoes
  • 2 c brown sugar, divided
  • 1/2 c finely chopped pecans
  • 1/2 c flour
  • 1/2 t ground cinnamon
  • 12 T unsalted butter, divided
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 t vanilla extract
  • 1/2 c whole milk
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9×13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. Poke your sweet potatoes all over with a fork and place on the prepared baking sheet.
  3. Bake until they are soft, roughly one hour.
  4. While the sweet potatoes bake, mix together one cup of the brown sugar with the pecans, flour, and cinnamon. Add tablespoons of the cold butter and cut in until well combined. Set aside.
  5. Remove the sweet potatoes from the oven and allow them to cool enough to handle.
  6. Peel the sweet potatoes. Discard the peels and place the potatoes in a large mixing bowl.
  7. Mash the sweet potatoes with the butter until smooth.
  8. Blend in the eggs, remaining cup of the brown sugar, vanilla, and milk using an electric mixer until smooth, light and fluffy.
  9. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Spread in the prepared baking dish.
  11. Sprinkle the pecan mixture on top of the sweet potatoes.
  12. Bake until golden brown, about 35-45 minutes.
  13. Allow the casserole to rest at least 5 minutes before serving.

20171111 Sweet Potato

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Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins

January 30, 2017

I made these for a new year’s brunch; they were quick to bake the day prior and tasted great. I love the pumpkin and warming spices. I am also a huge fan of tart cranberries. I had some leftover fresh cranberries from Thanksgiving that I’d frozen. You could use them whole, but I decided to chop them up slightly in the food processor.

You will need:

  • 1/2 c unsalted butter, melted
  • 5 T unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 c brown sugar, divided
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 c pumpkin puree
  • 1 T + 1 1/2 t ground cinnamon, divided
  • 1/4 t ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 t ground ginger
  • 1/4 t ground cloves
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
  • 1 c fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 3/4 c old-fashioned oats

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin tray with paper liners.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the 1/2 cup of melted butter with 1/2 cup of brown sugar.
  3. Stir in the eggs and pumpkin puree, whisking until smooth.
  4. Stir in 1 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, the nutmeg, the ginger, the cloves, and the baking soda.
  5. Mix in the flour until just combined.
  6. Fold in the cranberries.
  7. Spoon batter into the muffin cups until each one is about 3/4 of the way full.
  8. In a small bowl, combine the 5 tablespoons room temperature butter with the remaining 1/2 cup of brown sugar, the tablespoon of cinnamon, and the oats.
  9. Crumble the topping on each of the muffins. Gently press into the top.
  10. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden and a tester in the middle comes out clean.
  11. Allow to cool 10 minutes in the pan and then remove and finish cooling on a wire rack.

20170101-pumpkin-cranberry-muffin-01

 

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Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes

November 16, 2016

We recently celebrated a Friendsgiving, complete with seven babies. I wanted to bring a dessert that was easy to eat one-handed, so I adapted this pumpkin pie cupcake recipe and it worked great! It tastes a lot like pumpkin pie but in a cupcake form. If you really like the smooth custardy consistency of pumpkin pie, this probably won’t be your favorite dish. However, it has all the same flavors and doesn’t require a fork!

20161112-pumpkin-cupcakes-01

You will need:

  • 1 can (15 oz) pure pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 c brown sugar
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 3/4 fat-free evaporated milk
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 t ground ginger
  • 1/2 t ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 t ground cinnamon
  • 2/3 c flour
  • Whipped cream (Optional)

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease a muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the pumpkin together with the sugars, eggs, vanilla, evaporated milk, salt, baking soda, baking powder, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and cinnamon.
  3. Whisk in the flour.
  4. Scoop 1/4 c of the batter into each muffin cup.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until set in the middle.
  6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool 25 minutes.
  7. Gently remove from the pan and allow to finish cooling on a wire rack.
  8. If desired, top with whipped cream and a dash of cinnamon or nutmeg before serving.
  9. Extras should be refrigerated.

20161112-pumpkin-cupcakes-02

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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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Spritz Cookies

December 20, 2015

The dough for this family cookie recipe is a simple one. The trick is having a cookie press on hand to form the actual cookies. Spritz cookies are particularly yummy with tea, cocoa or hot cider.

20151219 Spritz Cookies

You will need:

  • 1 1/2 c unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 1/2 t almond extract
  • 4 c flour
  • 1 t baking powder

Then you will…

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together thoroughly.
  3. Mix in the egg and extracts.
  4. Mix in the flour and baking powder until smooth.
  5. Do not chill; dough should be at room temperature.
  6. Fill a cookie press with the dough. Press out cookies through the press onto a baking sheet.
  7. Top with sprinkles, if desired.
  8. Bake for 6-8 minutes until the bottom is starting to turn golden.
  9. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.

 

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Maple-Roasted Butternut Squash with Cranberries

December 13, 2015

This sweet and spicy roasted butternut squash is the perfect fall side dish. It is quick to prepare and would be lovely next to roasted pork, chicken or turkey.

You will need:

  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 T good quality maple syrup
  • 2 T light brown sugar
  • 1/2 t ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 t cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 t ground nutmeg
  • 2 c cranberries
  • 1 c pecans, roughly chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Place the butternut squash into a 9×13 baking dish.
  3. Add the olive oil, maple syrup, brown sugar, cinnamon, cayenne and nutmeg. Stir to coat the pieces.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring at fifteen minutes.
  5. Stir in the cranberries.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes.
  7. Stir in the pecans. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Bake for another 10 minutes.

20151115 Squash Cranberry Roast

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