Thursday, November 21, 2013

Cranberry Orange Sauce

I made this cranberry orange sauce yesterday and it is now patiently waiting in the freezer with my rolls and pie crusts for next Thursday! I tried a little something different, combining what my mom does (orange marmalade) with a recipe I read online (orange juice) and used a little of each. I really like the flavor and extra texture from the little pieces of orange rind in the marmalade. I realized when I got ready to take a pic that I have no pretty little glass bowls! I put it in a tea cup, and have to admit, it's pretty cute. :)

Cranberry Orange Sauce
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup orange juice
1 cup sugar
4 cups (1 12-oz package) fresh or frozen cranberries
1/2 cup orange marmalade

1. In a saucepan bring water, orange juice, and sugar, to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add cranberries, return to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer for 10 minutes or until cranberries burst.
2. Remove from heat and add marmalade. Stir until combined. Cool completely at room temperature and then chill in refrigerator. Cranberry sauce will thicken as it cools. Keep covered in refrigerator up to a few days or freeze.
 Makes about 3 cups.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Oven Baked Fries

We like to have french fries or tater tots with burgers, BLTs, hot dogs, sloppy joes, anything with a bun really. We end up eating them almost once every week. So rather than buy a 2 dollar bag of frozen tots or fries, I bought a 5lb. bag of potatoes (that I got for $1.28) and made my own. It was an easy enough process and I loved the result. Seasoning plays a huge part in the taste of these since they are basically slices of baked potato, so I added my favorite fry seasoning. Then I went a little further and topped with some cheese. :) Don't forget to spray the foil or they will stick. In order for them to evenly cook they need to be placed in a single layer. I have tried to make 2 large pans and rotate them halfway through baking, but it didn't seems to work well. One of my pans was not as crispy as the other. So just use your largest cookie sheet and cram as many on there as you can. If your potatoes start to turn a little brown before you're done cutting them up, cover them with water until ready to use. Make sure you serve the fries immediately because they won't stay crispy for long. You could also leave the skin on the potatoes if you're into more rustic fries (this pic is skin on).

Oven Baked Fries
2 1/2 lbs. russet potatoes, peeled (or not), and cut into same size fries
2 TBSPs of canola oil
1/2 TBSP salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp onion powder
Shredded cheese (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line a heavy-duty baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray.
2. Place the cut potatoes in a large bowl. Drizzle oil over the potatoes and toss with your hands until evenly coated. Arrange the fries in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.
3. Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until bottoms start to brown. Remove from oven. Using tongs, flip each fry, keeping the potatoes in a single layer. Continue baking until the fries are golden and crispy, 10-15 minutes longer.
4. While fries are baking, combine spices in small bowl.
5. When fries have finished baking, remove from oven and sprinkle with seasoning. If topping with cheese, sprinkle with cheese and return to oven just until cheese had melted. Serve immediately.

Ready to Bake (no skins)


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Thanksgiving Recipes

I wanted to do a post with all my usual Thanksgiving recipes in one place. It'll make it a little easier for me when I need to find them, AND for my mom and sisters. I'm having my first Thanksgiving without my family this year, but they are having their first Thanksgiving without ME.  :) This is a picture of my plate from last year. Below you will find some of the recipes and a few others that I make.

We'll go clockwise starting at 12.

Cranberry Jello

Candied Yam Soufflé

Cranberry Orange Sauce

Turkey - I've never cooked my own Thanksgiving turkey, but will be this year. We bought an infrared fryer and I'm excited to try it.

Party Potatoes

Gravy - My mom has always done the gravy. This year I will be trying a make ahead recipe that you can freeze.

Rolls - My mom made the one in this pic, but I like to make these Bread Machine Rolls. They are great for leftover turkey sandwiches. I make them a few days ahead of time and freeze them.

Beans - Plain jane green beans, no recipe needed.

Salad - It's hard for me to eat veggies at Thanksgiving when there is so much yummy other stuff. I like having a good salad though. I think that a guest brought this one last year, but I have a few green salad recipes that are great. Strawberry Spinach Salad, Autumn Chopped Salad, Fall Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette. I'd like to make a salad similar to these but with pomegranate seeds. Maybe I'll try that out too. Update - made was amazing Pear Pomegranate Salad.

And in the center, Cheesy Stuffing Cups. I made it in a baking dish instead of a muffin tin.

Not pictured from this year's plate is Creamed Corn, but it's definitely a favorite!

 Pineapple Cheese Ball We can't forget about this guy! I love this cheese ball. It's a perfect appetizer to set out while you're putting the finishing touches on everything. Also love this super easy appetizer of pepper jelly and cream cheese.

Thanksgiving dessert is like a whole different meal! I looked back through my pics from previous years and found this one from 2011. We always have lots of pie. My favorite is Pecan Pie and it's the only Thanksgiving pie recipe I have on my blog. Of course there is Pumpkin Pie, my SIL makes sweet potato pie, and I make apple pie using canned filling, (it's what the hubby likes). Those are the regulars. I have also made this Pumpkin Sandwich Cake to shake things up a little. Looks like in this pic I made a chocolate tart, macadamia nut pie, and we also had chocolate pecan. I use this Pie Crust recipe and sometimes this easier shortening only recipe here.