Monday, November 22, 2010

Fall Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette

I forgot all about this salad. I've had it ready to post for a few weeks. I served this at my book group and everyone seemed to really like it. I made some changes to the original posting based on some of the reviews. The dressing is a bit tart, you could substitute red wine vinegar for the cider vinegar to make it less tangy. I used a container of mixed greens that I bought from the store to make the preparation go a little quicker.

Fall Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette
adapted from
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup cranberries
1/4 cup olive oil
2 TBSPs white sugar
1/8 tsp kosher salt
1 pinch freshly ground black pepper

2 red Anjou pears, diced, with a few reserved slices for garnish if desired
1/2 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup crumbled Gorgonzola or Feta cheese

1. In a saucepan, combine vinegar and cranberries. Cook over medium heat until cranberries soften. Remove from heat; add olive oil, sugar, salt and pepper. Place in blender and mix until smooth. Refrigerate until chilled.
2. In a large bowl, combine the Romaine lettuce, endive, diced pears, walnuts and Gorgonzola. Toss and drizzle with enough dressing to coat.
4. Divide among salad plates and garnish with pear slices.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Classic Pecan Pie

Pecan is my favorite Thanksgiving pie. This is the recipe my Mom has always used, and I've been making for a few years now. It's actually the Karo syrup recipe. It's very easy and so much better than store bought. I like to use the light syrup because I always have it on hand. If you like more of a molasses flavor then use the dark. I also use chopped pecans instead of halves. I like a little real whipped cream on the top too.

Classic Pecan Pie
adapted from
1 cup Karo® Light OR Dark Corn Syrup
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
2 TBSPs butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups (6oz) chopped pecans
1 (9in) unbaked deep-dish pie crust

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Mix corn syrup, eggs, sugar, butter and vanilla using a spoon. Stir in pecans. Pour filling into pie crust.
3. Bake on center rack of oven for 60 to 70 minutes. Cool for 2 hours on wire rack before serving.

 Ready to bake.

Cranberry Jello

This is my one and only must have (besides the turkey) at Thanksgiving. I have had this jello at every Thanksgiving I can remember. It's not actually like jello, because it's so full of fruit. Sometimes I like to add a little mandarin orange too. It's almost like dessert, and don't forget whipped cream on the top. It's great for Christmas too.

Cranberry Jello
1 (3oz) small package cranberry jello (or you can use cherry)
½ cup sugar
¾ cup boiling water
1 small can (8oz) crushed pineapple, UNDRAINED
1 cup ground cranberries (about 6 oz)
1 cup ground Granny Smith apples (about 1 1/2 medium apples)

1. Combine jello and sugar in a large bowl.
2. Add boiling water and stir until jello and sugar are dissolved.
3. Add fruit; mix well.
4. Pour into a 2 quart dish, 8 x 8 inch pan, or individual serving cups.
5. Chill overnight or until firm.

Serve with whipped cream, if desired.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Creamy Brussels Sprouts

Thanksgiving is not extraordinary without a fresh vegetable. We have this weird family joke about my Dad not allowing us to talk about Brussels sprouts at the dinner table, so last year I made this and took it to my parents house for Thanksgiving. Most everyone tried it, and those who did liked it. If you like cabbage, then give these a whirl. Of course, the bacon and cream make it all the more flavorful!

Creamy Brussels Sprouts
4 slices peppered bacon (you can use regular bacon, just add a little more pepper)
2 lb. Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved through stem end
3/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
3/4 cup whipping cream
Cracked Black Pepper

1. In 12-inch skillet cook bacon over medium heat until browned and crisp. Drain on paper towels, reserving 2 tablespoons drippings in skillet.

2. In skillet add Brussels sprouts to drippings; cook and stir over medium heat 4 minutes. Add broth, salt, and pepper. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat. Simmer, covered, 5 minutes. Uncover; cook 2 to 4 minutes or until liquid is nearly evaporated. Add cream. Cook 4 minutes more or until thickened.

3. Transfer sprouts to serving dish. Sprinkle with crumbled bacon and cracked pepper. Serves 8.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Cinnamon Rolls

This recipe uses a bread machine. It makes it so much easier in my opinion, because I can just put the ingredients in and forget about it for an hour and a half. They still take about 3 hours start to finish, but most of that is rising/baking time and there is no kneading for you. If you like a thinner more glaze like frosting, then add a little milk. Update 2/14 - OK I'm changing this recipe up a little because it's my blog and I can. I make this a lot, but end up using 1 less egg, less flour and less cinnamon and sometimes using a little white sugar with the brown. The dough was too dense and I want a bit fluffier of a roll. I feel like the cinnamon was overwhelming too. Guess I'll need a new pic. :) If you want the original post it's called Clone of a Cinnabon on

Cinnamon Rolls
adapted from

1 cup warm milk (110 degrees F)
1 egg, room temperature
1/3 cup margarine, melted
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tsp salt
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 tsps bread machine yeast

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup white sugar
1 TBSP ground cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, softened

1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
 Place ingredients in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select dough cycle; press Start. After the dough has doubled in size turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, cover and let rest for 10 minutes. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon. 
 Roll dough into a 16x21 inch rectangle. 

 Spread dough with 1/3 cup butter and sprinkle evenly with sugar/cinnamon mixture. 

 Roll up dough and cut into 12 rolls. 

 Place rolls in a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking pan. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

 Bake rolls in preheated oven until golden brown, about 15 minutes. While rolls are baking, beat together cream cheese, 1/4 cup butter, confectioners' sugar, vanilla extract and salt. Spread frosting on warm rolls before serving. 

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Candied Yam Soufflé

We have this every year for Thanksgiving, and it is always the most loved dish. I made some yesterday so I could get the recipe on here, and I had forgotten how good it is! I follow the recipe exactly, except for maybe adding a few extra marshmallows. (I did change some of the directions from the original recipe to make them a little clearer.) There is a lot of butter in the topping and you can cut it down a bit if you prefer.

Candied Yam Soufflé
Lion House
6 medium yams
1/3 cup milk
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 TBSP lemon juice
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
1 cup pecans, chopped
1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows

To make soufflé, boil, peel, and mash yams. In a large mixing bowl, beat together yams, milk, sugar, eggs, lemon juice, butter, and vanilla. Pour into casserole dish.

To make topping, combine brown sugar and flour in a medium bowl. Chop butter into1/2 inch pieces and add to bowl. Cut butter in with pastry blender until it is about pea size. Add pecans and mix well. Sprinkle on the top of yam mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes. Remove from oven and top with miniature marshallows. Return to oven and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes, or until marshmallows are golden brown.
Makes 10-12 servings

These pics are of the recipe halved.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

I really like to eat pumpkin seeds, but don't make them every year. I'm not a fan of separating them from all the pumpkin gunk. I've got a couple of variations. The first is my "original" flavor and the second has a bit of a kick. 

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Original (pictured above)
1 cup raw pumpkin seeds, rinsed and dried
1 TBSP butter, melted
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Combine pumpkin seeds, butter, salt and Worcestershire sauce. Stir until seeds are evenly coated. Spread the pumpkin seeds out on cookie sheet, and bake at 300 for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Honey Sriracha (pictured below)
1 cup raw pumpkin seeds, rinsed and dried
1 TBSP honey
1 TBSP sriracha sauce
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 TBSP salt

Combine pumpkin seeds, honey, sriracha, vinegar, and salt. Stir until seeds are evenly coated. Spread the pumpkin seeds out on cookie sheet, and bake at 300 for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.