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You’re full of Bolognese

Bolognese-tagliatelle

Ragu Bolognese is practically the Holy Grail of sauces for Italian food lovers. This sauce is absolutely fabulous.  It’s very easy, but it is time consuming. Something to do to “pasta-time-away”. Often referred to as "Tagliatelle Bolognese" because it originated in Bologna, Italy and is often served with the tagliatelle noodle.

THIS IS NOT A STANDARD MEAT SAUCE. Unlike traditional meat sauce, Bolognese has a very small amount of tomato and absolutely NO garlic! It has a creamier texture and a deep richness that is just fabulous.

So, Let’s do this:

½ stick of butter

1 large onion, finely chopped

10 small carrots (or 3 large), finely diced

3 stalks of celery, finely chopped

Note:  I actually chop these ingredients in a food processor so they are nice and small.

2 to 3 pounds of meat--I do half ground pork and half ground beef chuck (Don’t obsess over exact amounts and use the beef with the highest fat content) Salt the meat before you throw it in the pot.

2 cups of whole milk (do not use cream)

Pinch of nutmeg

1 cup of white wine

1 cup of red wine

1 cup of beef stock

28-ounce can of whole San Marzano tomatoes—broken up with your hands.

Salt/Pepper

Bolognese-vegs

Melt the butter in a large stockpot over medium heat and gently fry the onions, carrots and celery.  Do this for about 5 minutes until they are softened. (Easy)

Add the meat to the pot one handful at a time so you can break it up as you go along.  The meat does not actually ever get browned, but more along the lines of softened.  Cook the meat until you can no longer see any pink. (Still Easy)

Add the milk and nutmeg and cook at a simmer until it is completely absorbed.  The milk provides a creamier element and breaks down the meat to make it extremely tender. (This will take a solid 30 to 40 minutes). (Easy, but long)

Add the wine after the milk has completely absorbed.  Bring all of this to a boil and then reduce to a simmer until it is fully absorbed.  (this will take about 20 minutes). (Easy and a chance to drink some wine)

Add the San Marzano tomatoes (juice and all) and the beef stock.  Wait to adjust salt and pepper until this has all reduced.  This is what the sauce will look like at this point.  A little saucey slash soupy. (Almost done)

bol-saucey

 

Cook the sauce at a very, very gentle simmer for 3 hours uncovered. (Yes, I said 3 hours---this is a must).  It is possible to shorten the time to 2 hours by increasing the heat, but you will really need to babysit it so it doesn't burn. Honestly---at the low simmer you can go about your business and just check on it periodically. 

The good news:  this will keep in the fridge for 3 days and it freezes very well.  Bolognese is even better the next day. When you rewarm the sauce it may be a little thick.  Simply add a little water (maybe a cup) or beef stock.  When it is completely finished your Bolognese will be thick and rich and taste amazing.  The finished product looks like this (I hope you can see the difference from the pic above, even though it isn't significant)

bol-done

 

 

The pasta of choice is usually tagliatelle or pappardelle.  My family prefers it with rigatoni.  Basically, you need heartier pasta to handle the density of the sauce.

Bolognese-papp

Photo credit:  Tagliatelle Bolognese: notquitenigella.com; Pappardelle Bolognese: seriouseats.com.

 

Misty's Seafood Stew

Seafood-Spaghetti-Recipe-Spaghetti-Frutti-di-Mare-2

Before we get started let's review the various forms of fish/seafood stew/soup/sauce 

Zuppa di Pesce

“Soup of fish”:  originated in Italy-the original region mainly used shellfish and is really more like a stew that is served with crunchy bread

 

Cioppino

“Chopped Stew”: originated in San Francisco by a fisherman who would chop up the scrap pieces of fish and make a chopped stew---go figure.  Cioppino utilizes more white fish than it’s fish stew cousins

 

Bouillabaisse 

Means to boil down (originated in a Provence of France and is much more like a soup versus a stew.  Plus, saffron is a common ingredient)

 

Frutti di Mare 

“Fruits of the Sea”  (originated in coastline city in Italy and is more like a sauce served with linguine or fettuccine)

**I cannot get a solid answer if it is Frutta or Frutti

If you know—let me know**

Forget all of those, because my recipe is a cross between all the above and is the best.  Therefore, I have given it a really clever name that goes with my never-ending plight to become a household name:

Misty’s Seafood Stew

Unknown

Read my rules first before you begin!!!

1).  If you use any frozen seafood you are dead to me. (Retraction—the calamari can be frozen)

2).  Cook each type of seafood independently.  This isn’t a typical stew or soup where you throw it all in and walk away.  That will make Misty’s stew too fishy, the shrimp too squishy and Misty angry. 

3).  Use fresh herbs!  No explanation needed on that one.

4).  Pasta and fresh crunchy bread is mandatory---my stew requires both!

5).  Aside from these stipulations feel free to adjust the remaining ingredients to your own personal taste.  You like a kick?  Add some pepper flakes.  Fan of octopus?  Boil or grill it and toss it in.

6).  I avoid white fish when making this and suggest you do the same---it can make it a tad fishy

 

We will do this recipe for 4 people

clams mussels-myrecipes.com

Here is how I calculate the seafood required:

3 large shrimp per person (go with the 10 to 12 per pound size or at minimum the 12 to 14)

4 Clams per person

4 mussels per person

2 Jumbo Scallops per person or 3 medium-sized

1 calamari tube per person (you can omit if this isn’t your thing)

Octopus optional

 

Here is how you cook those tasty creatures:

Gently fry the shrimp in olive oil.  Only use a tablespoon or 2—set aside

Steam the mussels and the clams in a cup of chicken stock—set aside

Gently fry the scallops in a little a smidgen of olive oil---set aside

Boil the calamari for few minutes until it is firm—slice into rings--set aside

 

Get out your big stockpot

Here is what you will need:

8 cloves of minced garlic

1 medium onion chopped---not diced

A handful of fresh parsley-coarsely chopped

Another handful of fresh basil-coarsely chopped

White wine: ½ cup for the stew, 1 cup for you to drink

28-ounce can of whole San Marzano tomatoes—pureed in

a blender or food processor

15-ounce can of basic tomato sauce

¼ cup olive oil

Salt

Coarsely ground pepper

Red pepper flakes optional

1-pound of linguine or fettuccine

 

This is so easy it will “gill” you

chopped onions and garlic-athriftymom.com

Boil your pasta so it is slightly undercooked (one minute less than the box tells you—drain-set aside)

Warm the olive oil in the pot and add the garlic and onions

Salt the onions a little so they don’t turn yellow

Cook the onions and garlic over medium heat to gently sauté them for about 5 to 7 minutes

Add all of the tomato products and bring to a gentle boil

Add the wine/drink your wine.

Add about a teaspoon of your coarsely ground pepper.  Hold off on the salt until all the seafood goes in.

Toss in all of your cooked seafood and one cup of the reserved clam/mussel juice.  Continue to simmer.

Let this all incorporate for a few minutes and then add your fresh basil and parsley.

Check to see if you need to add salt.  Add red pepper flakes if you want a little more kick to it.

This is truly the best if cooked one day ahead---but, is still pretty damn good on the day of!!

Run your pasta under vey hot water.  You can toss it in the big pot of Misty’s Seafood Stew or place in bowls with the sauce spooned over.

Some people just like it in the stew form with bread so I suggest the latter before the former.

Serve with delicious crunchy bread and a basic salad!!!

Zuppadi Pesce

 

Credits: (frutti di mare:ciaoflorentina.com), (chopped onions: thriftymom.com), (clams/mussels: myrecipes.com)

 

MOTHERSDAY RULES

IT'S THE THOUGHT THAT COUNTS!!!!!!

Meaning:  spend more than 24 hours or 24 seconds on a person who spends so much time when it comes to planning a gift for you.  The woman deserves more than a gift card you picked up on your way to her house.

****My Mother's Day gift to all the great Mom's is a cookbook I make for my family members when they get married---it's at the very bottom of this post.  Have a great Mother's Day to you all!!!!

 RULES OF MOTHER'S DAY GIFTING

#1:  If your Mom specifically asks for something---figure out a way to get it.  Even if you see no need for a food dehydrator---she does.  Get it.  So, the following rules only exist if she didn’t ask for any of these things.

#2:  Know your Mother!  Don’t buy a garden hoe for a woman who hates gardening or an Ipad for a woman who can barely send an email. I don't even favor the garden hoe for the gardening Mom, but....whatever.

#3:  Do not buy her any type of cleaning mechanism.  Get her a cleaning woman or go over to her house when she isn’t home and surprise her with a clean house. You will never see your Mom looking like this when recieving an Oreck---EVER.

mom-vacuum-dailyedge.ie

#4:  You should be shot if you buy her anything that says “Best” or “Greatest” or “World’s Greatest” Mom unless you are under the age of 10. That includes, but is not limited to:  T-shirts, mugs, hats, trophies or plaques.  Really???? You get on us abut Mom jeans, but you deem this appropriate???

mothers-tshirt

 

#5:  Don’t bling out your Mom with glitter.  This includes, but is not limited to: Jeans, Shirts, Hats, Purses, Makeup, Phone cases.

Just shoot me if you see me wearing this!

mom-hat etsy.com

#6:  Don’t buy a gift that may send a subtle message that may not be favorable, for example:

Treadmill:  you’re out of shape

Weight Watchers gift plan:  you are FAT

Laser hair Removal:  you are Sasquatch

Wrinkle Cream:  you look OLD

#7:  Do NOT buy any gifts you can’t afford. It will just end up costing her money--- You could do other things:

Clean the house while she is gone

Fix that thing in the house that is driving her crazy

Lay her mulch for her/help her with the yard

Clean her car....inside and out

Clean the garage, the basement, the attic or all of the above

Watch a movie with her

#8:  Do NOT buy her a gift that is really for yourself. For example: TV, Xbox, Car-Care Package, Grill, Pressure Washer, Rims.  I think you get the idea.

THIS INCLUDES GETTING A TATTOO FOR HER

mothers-tattoo-journal.com

#9:  Don’t say “Thanks for being the Mother of my child” by hopping on line and ordering the ProFlowers special you heard about on Mike and Mike.

 

#10:  Lastly, do not buy useless items.  I don’t care how clever the commercials are.  We have no use for:

The Tiddy Comfort Strap (unless you are looking to get the strap)

A Frigging Star named after your Mom (I would rather you gamble away my gift money)

moms-tiddymom-star homcast.com

A Chia Pet>>>>> Even if it is the leader of the Free World

mom-chia

 

My personal favorite:  The GoGirl.

 A porta-potty of sorts that women can take with them in the event an oversized azalea is no where to be found for the emergency moments in life.

moms-urine

 

 Misty's Cookbook

Beverages

Lemonade Stand Martini

One can frozen lemonade or pink lemonade

Water

Three Olives Brand Vodka—Berry Flavor

Empty contents of frozen lemonade into a pitcher, add two containers full of water, one container full of the Berry flavored vodka and mix.  Add fresh mix of berries and serve cold.  So tasty, so refreshing….large quantities make a great punch at parties!!!

 Key Lime Martini

2 ounce Vanilla Vodka

1 ounce Malibu Coconut Rum

Juice of half a lime

Splash of pineapple juice

Shake contents in a shaker with ice for a straight-up martini and garnish with lime or pineapple.  Shake contents in shaker and pour over ice for a less potent version.

Pomegranate Champagne Fizz

1-ounce Quality Gin

1-ounce pomegranate juice

½ ounce lemon juice

¼ cup champagne

Mix first three ingredients, top with the champagne….great for brunches

Sangria Flora

Seems as if all Sangrias taste the same…this one has elderflower liquer which has a tropical flavor.  Light and tasty, a must-try in the summer months!

One 750-milliliter bottle of Sauvignon Blanc

1 and ½ cups elderflower liqueur

¼ cup Cointreau

6 strawberries

6 raspberries

2 peaches

1 orange

1-pound green and red grapes

Combine all ingredients in a pitcher and let stand at room temperature for 3 hours, or cover and refrigerate overnight.  Serve in wine glasses over ice.

Fun—Useless Information:

In the 1500’s most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May, and they still smelled pretty good by June. However, since they were starting to smell . .. . brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor. Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.

More….

England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a bone-house, and reuse the grave. When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the graveyard shift.) to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be, saved by the bell or was considered a dead ringer...

Appetizers and Dips

Shrimp Dip

½ C celery-chopped

6 ounce can of canned shrimp…yes canned

½ C onion-chopped

¼ C mayo

4 ounces cream cheese

1T lemon juice

Mix together, add shrimp last, serve with crackers…so tasty!!!!

Layered Crab Dip

12 ounces cream cheese, softened

2T Worcestershire Sauce

1T lemon juice

2T mayonnaise

1 small onion, grated

Dash of garlic salt

1C shrimp cocktail sauce

6 ounce can crab meat

Combine cheese, Worcestershire, lemon juice, mayo, onion and garlic salt.  Spread on an attractive glass platter.  Spread the cocktail sauce on top leaving a half-inch edge to reveal the cheese underneath.  Sprinkle with the flaked crabmeat and serve chilled with crackers.

Very Basic, But Very Tasty Vegetable Dip

1C Hellmann’s Mayo

1C Small curd cottage cheese

1 Pkg Hidden Valley Ranch Powder Dressing Mix

Combine all ingredients…it is loved by all ages!!!!

Reuben Dip

16-ounce can or jar of sauerkraut well drained

½ pound corned beef, from the deli, shredded

8 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded

8 ounces Swiss cheese, shredded

1-cup Hellmann’s Mayo

2 T Thousand Island Dressing (optional)

Mix together all ingredients, spoon into greased casserole dish.  Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes.  Serve warm with rye toasts or rye bread!!!!!

Easy Fruit Dip

8 ounces cream cheese

1 small container marshmallow whip

Beat the 2 ingredients together…serve with fruit!!

Crab Cakes

I have tried many crab cake recipes and always come back to this one.  I serve them with the Bloomin’ Good Sauce or the Creamy Caper Sauce.  Both are excellent!

4T Butter

2T Shallots-minced

4T Celery-minced

1 lb Lump Crab Meat…don’t chince here!!

2t Colemans Dry Mustard

2t Dijon

1C Heavy Cream

Pinch cayenne

1T Chives

1C Bread Crumbs

Breading:

Butter for frying

Flour

Eggs

3C Bread Crumbs

In a large sauté pan, melt butter sauté shallots and celery for 2 minutes.  Add crabmeat and cook for 2 more minutes.  Remove mixture from pan.  In the same pan combine the mustards, cream, cayenne and chives.  Over high heat reduce mixture for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and add crab mixture with the cream mixture, add the breadcrumbs and mix well.  Spread this mixture on a cookie sheet and allow to cool.  This will make 12 very large crab cakes.  I prefer smaller cakes so it usually yields at least 24 for me.  You can go with your own personal preference.  After cooled down, form into cakes.  Coat cakes with flour; dip into egg and then coat with breadcrumbs.  Pan fry cakes in melted butter until golden brown on the sides.  These don’t require a lot of frying since they are already cooked through.  These can be made up to 2 days ahead and stored in the fridge.  Reheat on low before serving with desired accompaniments.

 Bloomin’ Good Sauce

This is the sauce used with the Bloomin’ Onions at Outback Steakhouse.  It is great with Shrimp, crab cakes, deep fried vegetables….you name it.

1000 Island Dressing

Hellmann’s Mayo

Horseradish

Combine equal portions of each, mix well and sprinkle some chopped chives on top for an attractive presentation!!

Creamy Caper Sauce

1 cup Mayo

½ cup drained capers, chopped

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

½ cup chopped fresh chives

2 T olive oil

1T fresh lemon juice

Whisk all ingredients in a bowl, can be made 2 days ahead.  Cover and refrigerate

 Capone’s Sausage and Cheese Tartlets

1 pound bulk Italian Sausage

2 cups shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese

1 cup Ranch Dressing

4 ounces Pitted Ripe Olives (Chopped)

¼ t Cayenne Pepper (Or less if you want it less spicy)

4 Packages Phyllo Tart Shells

-In a large frying pan brown the sausage until it is no longer pink and drain excess oil. Add cheese, cayenne, ranch dressing, and olives. Cook over low heat until cheese is melted. Spoon mixture into Phyllo Shells and place on baking sheet. Bake at 350* for 8 to 10 minutes. Serve warm. This makes about 48 tartlets.

Buffalo Wing Dip

4 chicken breasts cooked-shredded

1 bottle ranch dressing, regular sized bottle

1 regular sized bottle of buffalo sauce

8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese-divided in half

8 ounces cream cheese

Shred the chicken and mix all ingredients together.  Top with additional shredded cheddar cheese.  Bake 30 minutes at 350.  Serve with nacho chips and celery.

 More useless info….

Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky. The combination would sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up. Hence the custom of holding a wake

 Asian Lettuce Wraps

Don’t forget the Sake.

16 Bibb or Iceburg Lettuce leaves

1 pound ground chicken

1 T cooking oil

1 large onion-chopped

2 garlic cloves-minced

2 T soy sauce

¼ cup hoisin sauce

½ t ground ginger

1 T rice wine vinegar

Asian Chile Pepper Sauce (optional and to personal taste)

8 ounce can water chestnuts, drained and finely chopped

4 green onions-chopped

2 t sesame oil

In a skillet brown the ground chicken in the cooking oil, drain if necessary.  Set aside.  In the same pan, cook onion, add garlic, soy, hoisin, ginger, vinegar and Chile pepper sauce if using.  Stir in chopped water chestnuts, green onions and sesame oil until onions are wilted. Approximately 2 minutes.  Return ground chicken to the pan and scoop into lettuce wraps. 

Even More Useless Information:

Again, in the early 1500’s urine was used to tan animal skins, so families would pee in a pot all day & then it was taken and sold to the local tannery....if you had to do this to survive you were considered "Piss Poor"!

But even worse---were the really poor folks who couldn't even afford to buy a pot...........they "didn't have a pot to piss in" and were the lowest of the low.

Salads and Soups

Corn and Black Bean Salad / Salsa

Salad:

2 cups frozen corn (1pkg)

1 T olive oil

1 jalapeno chili, seeded and finely chopped (may use canned)

1 (15oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 lg red bell pepper cut into small pieces

1-cup cherry tomatoes, cut into small pieces

4 green onion, cut on diagonal into ¼ inch pieces – or ½ c chopped onion

(Alternatives: use a can of diced tomatoes w/ chili’s instead of the tomatoes and chili’s for a quick alternative)

Dressing - Whisk this together:

½ c bottled Italian dressing

2 -3 T chopped cilantro

2T limejuice

1 garlic clove – minced ( or 1 t minced from a jar)

½ t ground cumin

½ t Tabasco

¾ t salt

To prepare salad:

Heat olive oil in in a large skillet – add corn, jalapeno, and red pepper – cook until the corn in slightly roasted3 – 5 minutes – stir frequently. Transfer to a large bowl. Stir in black beans, onion, and tomato.

Pour dressing over the corn mixture and refrigerate.

Serve with tortilla chips or as a side salad

Strawberry Spinach Salad

This is a simple salad; the dressing is wonderful and can be utilized on many salad varieties.

Salad:

12 ounces of fresh spinach  (mixed baby greens works as well)

1 quart strawberries sliced

2 tsp sesame seeds

½ red onion sliced very thin

Dressing:

1/2C cooking oil

1/2C red wine vinegar

¼ tsp Worcestershire

1/2C sugar

¼ tsp Paprika

2 tsp grated onion

Fresh Broccoli Salad

Salad:

2 bunches of broccoli cut up in to bite-sized pieces

1 lb. Bacon cooked and crumbled

2/3 C raisins

½ purple onion chopped

3C-shredded cheddar

1/2 C sunflower seeds

Mix all ingredients together

Dressing:

2C Hellmann’s Mayo

2/3 C sugar

5T red wine vinegar

Mix together and toss with salad.  Allow salad to get cold before serving.

Autumn Harvest Salad

6 ounces fresh Mesculin Mix

1 Bartlett Pear-cut into bite-sized pieces

½ cup crumbled feta

2T sunflower seeds

4 ounces Honey Mustard Dressing

¼ cup dried cherries

Toss all ingredients together.  A very crunchy, refreshing salad that is actually good all year round!

Asian Chicken Salad

I made this last Christmas Eve and it was devoured (despite the lure of the machonka and babulky).  I spared everyone the dressing recipe and replaced it with a very viable replacement.  The dressing recipe is lengthy, and requires many ingredients that are not usually on-hand.  Trust me…the Briana’s works just as well!

6 to 8 chicken breasts, grilled or baked, cut into pieces

1 large head of Napa Cabbage, sliced

½ head of purple cabbage sliced thin

2 red peppers, julienned

2 orange peppers, julienned

2 yellow peppers, julienned

4 green onions, sliced

1.2 cup sliced radishes

½ cup sliced pea pods

½ cup sesame seeds

Rice noodles

Mix ingredients for salad (reserve rice noodles until just before serving time, so they stay crunchy)

Briana’s brand Asian Ginger Dressing

This makes enough to serve a 3rd world country, but also keeps well...so you can have it on hand in the fridge…just keep the rice noodles out of the salad and dressing to the side, and you can have it on hand for a quick, healthy snack.  The chicken is not mandatory, and I rarely use it!!!

Mushroom Soup

3 T Butter

¼ C shallots-finely chopped

2 celery ribs-finely chopped

1 C chopped onion-chopped

1 carrot-finely diced

2 pounds of assorted mushrooms, diced

1 T parsley finely chopped

½ C chicken stock

2 pints whipping cream

Salt/pepper

Melt butter in a saucepan, cook shallots, celery, onion and carrots until slightly wilted.  Add the assorted mushrooms and cook until softened.  Add chicken stock and whipping cream and cook on med-low heat until flavors blend.  Do not allow soup to boil.  Add parsley, salt and pepper and enjoy!  

Hot Chicken Salad

(Great for a Brunch!)

2 cups cooked Chicken (diced)

2 cups cooked Rice

1 t Salt

2 t Lemon Juice

1 cup Celery (chopped)

1 cup Hellman’s Mayo

2 cups of condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup

Salty Potato Chips

½ cup Slivered Almonds

Mix all ingredients except potato chips. Spray a 9x13 pan with “Pam”. Place mixture in the 9x13. Crumble the potato chips and sprinkle over the top. This can be made a day ahead, or preheat oven to 350* and bake fore 45 minutes.

More Useless Information

The King noticed the barrels of pistachios were running low and suspected theft.  He ordered his men to dye the pistachios red…at the end of the day, the king would walk among the peasants and ask them to show their hands…if he saw the dye on their hands, he knew they were thieves and we’re said to be caught “RED-HANDED”!!!!

 

Pastas and Sauces

Primavera Casserole Pasta

8 ounces penne pasta

2 and ½ cups broccoli

2 C cauliflower florets

2 medium carrots sliced

3 T butter

2 garlic cloves-minced

1 tsp. Dried thyme

1 C shredded mozzarella cheese

1 C shredded Monterey jack

1 C shredded Muenster or Fontina cheese

1/3 C Parmesan

Cook pasta according to directions, when one-minute remains add the vegetables to slightly blanche them-Drain.  In a 9x13 pan add the melted butter, garlic and thyme.  Mix the pasta, vegetables and cheese together and place in the pan…top with the Parmesan…Bake 15 minutes at 350 degrees.  This is great to make ahead.  If you do, allow the pasta to cool before adding the cheeses and bake until the cheeses melt.

Homemade Macaroni and Cheese

1T cooking oil

16 ounces of pasta…elbow, penne, ziti..you make the call

9 T butter, melted

½ C shredded Muenster

½ C shredded Cheddar

½ C shredded sharp cheddar

½ C shredded Monterey Jack

1 ½ C Half-and-Half

8 ounces processed cheese  (Velveeta)-cubed

2 eggs, beaten

¼ tsp. Salt

1/8 tsp pepper

Cook pasta according to directions minus one minute, drain.  Mix 8 of the 9 Tablespoons melted butter into the pasta.  In a bowl, combine the shredded cheeses.  Add the half and half, 1 and ½ cups of shredded cheese mixture, cubed Velveeta and eggs with the pasta.  Season with salt and pepper.  Place in a 2 or 3-quart casserole dish and sprinkle with the remaining shredded cheese and remaining 1 T of butter.  Bake at 350 for 35 minutes and bubbling around edges.

Misty’s Sun-Dried Tomato Cream Sauce

(Great over Ravioli, Tortellini, or Chicken.)

3T Butter

2T Garlic (minced)

½ cup sliced Mushrooms

2 cups fresh Spinach Leaves

1 cup HEAVY Whipping Cream

¼ cup chopped Sun-Dried Tomatoes (dried)

1 cup Chicken Stock

1 t Dried Basil

-In a small bowl hydrate the sun-dried tomatoes in the chicken stock by microwaving them for about a minute. Let them sit. In a saucepan melt the butter, add the garlic and mushrooms and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add the spinach and cook until wilted. Add the cream and sun-dried tomatoes along with the stock. Cook until thick. Add basil.

.Marinara Sauce

4T Olive oil

5 Garlic cloves-minced

1 large onion-chopped

2-28 ounce cans of ready-cut peeled tomatoes

1-6 ounce can tomato paste

5 fresh basil leaves chopped or 1 tsp dried basil

Fresh parsley, chopped

Salt/pepper

Parmesan cheese

In a large saucepan, heat oil, lightly brown garlic and onions…but do not brown.  Add tomatoes, with juice, crushing with your hands, add paste and one can of water.  Let simmer 20-30 minutes. Add basil, parsley, salt/pepper after 20 minutes.  Add Parmesan to taste.

Misty’s Sunday Sauce

This takes a few hours and goes so well with the Capone meatballs and crusty Italian bread!!  It makes a vat…which means there is plenty to freeze for future use.

10 garlic cloves-minced

olive oil

3 large onions-keep whole, peel the skin

1-2 pounds of pork neck bones or pork spare ribs

2-28 ounce cans of crushed tomato

2-28 ounce cans of tomato sauce (I prefer Hunts)

2-14 ounce cans of tomato paste

***Again, I use Hunt’s products to keep the tomato products consistent

1T sugar

Fresh basil/Fresh parsley

Salt/pepper

This is one of those recipes that evolved over the years, and I hope evolves for Missy and Nick.  Fry the neck bones in the olive oil, when brown on the sides add the garlic.  Don’t allow the garlic to burn, or the pork,  cuz the sauce will have a burnt taste.  Add the tomato products and match each can with the equivalent in water. Throw in the onions-whole.  Mix well and bring to a boil.  Stir-Stir-Stir- Don’t let the bottom burn!!!!  Reduce heat and simmer, stirring often.  Add salt/pepper, sugar and herbs.  I go with a hand full.  I add whole onions to keep the sauce smooth.  The neck bones are delicious to eat. When the sauce is nearly done…you will see it thicken after a few hours, toss in some meatballs and serve with your favorite pasta.  Ours is cavatelli.  If you wish to expedite this process, you can add an additional can of paste.

Capone’s Italian Meatballs

2 pounds Ground Chuck

½ pound Ground Pork

2 cups Italian Flavored Bread Crumbs

4 Eggs

1 cup Milk

1 cup Fresh Parsley (chopped)

½ cup Grated Romano or Parmesan Cheese

2 T Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper

3 Garlic Cloves (minced)

1 Onion (minced)

Place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix. Let stand for ½ hour and shape into meatballs. Fry gently in olive oil or bake for about ½ hour at 350*. (DON’T FRY THEM! IT IS MESSY AND SUPER FATTENING). Place in your favorite sauce and cook in the sauce for about an hour.

Beef Stroganoff

Not sure who sent this recipe…but the email read Nana2cats

1 # Round Steak cut in small thin pieces

1 - 4oz can sliced mushrooms drained

(Can substitute sliced fresh)

2 - Tablespoons Oil

1 - Envelope Dry Onion Soup

2 - Tablespoons Flour

1 cup milk

1 cup water

1/2 cup Sour Cream

In a large skillet with lid brown meat in oil. Add drained mushrooms, onion soup, flour, milk and water and mix well. Cover and cook on low heat 45 - minutes to an hour until meat is tender. Remove from heat and stir in Sour Cream. Heat back up and serve over Cooked Buttered Noodles ENJOY

Grandma’s Chili

2 lbs. Ground Sirloin or Ground Round

½ lb. Bob Evan’s Sausage

Bacon Fat

1 Small Can Tomato Sauce

1 Large Chopped Onion

1 Large Green Onion (cut into small pieces)

1 Can Light Red Kidney Beans

3 to 4 cans (10 ounces) Tomato Soup

Salt and Pepper

Corn Starch

Saute the onions in the bacon fat. Add both meats, salt and pepper, and cook until medium brown. Drain most of the fat off. Add 1 cup water and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add green pepper, cook for 15-20 minutes. Add kidney beans, tomato soup, tomato sauce, and 1 can water. Cook on low for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. If necessary, add cornstarch to thicken.

Grandma’s Meatloaf

1 cup Breadcrumbs

1 cup Evaporated Milk

2 Eggs

Tabasco Sauce (a shake or two)

Worchestire Sauce (a shake or three)

1 lb Ground Veal

1 lb Ground Pork

1 lb Ground Chuck

Mix all ingredients together thoroughly

Put a few dabs of bacon grease on a cookie sheet. Place the formed loaf on the pan. Add a couple more dabs of bacon grease right on top of the loaf. Bake at 350* for an hour and a half.

Marinade for Lamb

1C Balsamic Vinegar

2 Garlic cloves, minced

Salt/pepper

2T Dijon mustard

½ tsp thyme or rosemary…depending on your preference

½ C Olive oil

Whisk together, marinade rack of lamb, or lamb chops for a few hours or overnite, Grill.  The marinade can they be heated n a sauce pan and brought to a boil to kill bacteria, add 1 to 2 T of butter and pour on top of grilled lamb.

Swedish Meatballs

1lb Ground Chuck or Ground Sirloin

1 lb Ground Pork

3 T Butter

2 Celery Stalks (finely chopped)

1 Small Onion (finely chopped)

1 Slice of White Bread shredded to small pieces

Handful of Oatmeal

2 Eggs

Crisco or Lard

Salt & Pepper

½ cup Milk

1 jar Franco American Beef Gravy

1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup

In a small fry saucepan fry celery and onions in butter. Let cool. Mix all ingredients together (including the cooled celery and onions). Form small balls. Brown the meatballs in Crisco or Lard and drain.

Sauce: Use jar of Franco American Beef Gravy and can of Cream of Mushroom Soup

Mix Meatballs with Gravy and Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Serve as is, or over rice.

Pecan Crusted Pork Tenderloin

2 Pork Tenderloins

¾ t salt

½ t black pepper

2/3 C ground pecans

2/3 C dry breadcrumbs

½ t dried thyme

½ t garlic powder

Mix those ingredients together.

1 and ¼ C heavy cream

3T olive oil (or more)

½ C white wine or chicken stock

Onion-Garlic Jam (sold at Heinen’s in the jelly aisle)

Soak tenderloins in the cream for about 30 minutes.  Roll tenderloins in the breadcrumb/pecan mixture and sear in the oil until brown on all sides.  Transfer to a cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes.  Meanwhile, deglaze the browned bits from the pan and add ½ cup chicken stock or white wine.  Stir in the jam, whisk in well.  Serve over the tenderloins.

Chicken or Veal Piccata

1 lb thinly sliced chicken or veal-pound slightly with a meat tenderizer

Flour-season with salt and pepper

2 garlic cloves minced

Butter

Olive oil

Juice of one lemon

½ cup white wine or chicken stock

3T heavy cream

Parsley

Capers (optional)

Dredge chicken or veal in seasoned flour and fry in melted butter and olive oil.  Don’t overcook, but cook through.  Remove pieces as they cook.  Fry garlic slightly, add additional butter or oil if needed.  Add chicken stock or wine along with the lemon juice and bring to a boil, scraping up pieces in the pan.  Reduce heat and add heavy cream and stir to thicken the sauce slightly, place chicken back in the pan and sprinkle with parsley.  Add capers, if desired

Grilled Hangar/Flank/Triangle Tip with Caramelized Onions

Basically, you can use Hangar, Flank or Triangle Tip.  Use your favorite, what’s available, or better yet…whatever is cheapest at the moment. 

2-3 lb piece of meat

Marinade

½ C Soy Sauce

 Juice of 1 orange, 1 Lime and 1 Lemon

2 Garlic cloves minced

2T Olive oil

Caramelized Onions:

2T Olive oil

1T Butter

2 lbs Spanish onions, thinly sliced

½ tsp salt

½ tsp Cayenne Pepper

1-12 ounce can of Beer…do not use dark beer or stouts

Mix marinade ingredients; allow meat to marinate for a few hours.  In large sauté pan melt butter with oil add onions and cook over high heat, stirring often.  Add salt and Cayenne.  Cook until the onions brown…about 7 to 10 minutes depending on pan.  Once they have browned, reduce heat to low and cook for 15 to 20 minutes.  Add the can of beer and cook for another 5 to 10.  Check for flavor.  If you want more kick add more cayenne.  These onions are so good. Every person I have given the recipe to has told me they are picking at the onions as they cook…time consuming, but can be made a day ahead and warmed.  Grill meat to desired temperature, slice at an angle and smother with onions.

Even More….

Houses had thatched roofs---thick straw that was piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof. Hence the saying "It's rainingcats and dogs."

Secret Family Recipes

Pierogi Dough…or is it Pirohy Dough?

4 large eggs

1 t. salt

1 C sour cream

3 cups flour

Patience/Ibuprofen for pending back pain

Mix in a bowl eggs, salt and sour cream, slowly incorporate flour.  Let the dough sit under a towel for about ten-fifteen minutes.  Rollout dough and using a round cookie cutter or rim of a glass (more than likely the one you have been consuming alcohol out of, since this will drive you crazy) cut out 3-inch round circles.  Place filling inside, boil in batches and flash freeze.

Potato-Cheese Filling

4 medium Idaho potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes

1 medium onion-chopped

¼ cup butter

½ cup shredded cheddar cheese

Salt/pepper

Place potatoes in a pan and cover with cold water, cook until tender, drain, mash by hand.  Meanwhile, sauté onions in the butter and cook until tender.  Combine onions with potatoes, along with the salt and pepper and let cool slightly.  Add cheese and refrigerate until filling is firm.  Place a loving spoonful onto your 3-inch rounds of dough, fold over and seal.  Pinch the edges firmly.

Sauerkraut Filling

27 ounces sauerkraut, drained-squeeze out excessive water

½ onion-diced

2 tsp butter

Salt/pepper

Melt butter, brown onions, mix with sauerkraut.  Allow to cool.

Potato Pancakes

4 large onions-peeled and grated

1 small onion-peeled and grated

½ cup milk

1 tsp salt

1 beaten egg

2T flour

Oil to fry

Mix potatoes and onions, add milk, salt, egg and flour.  Mix well and drop by spoonfuls in oil.  Brown on both sides and serve hot.

Bread Stuffing

This is a MUST HAVE and a staple at Thanksgiving. You’ll be surprised-it’s easy to make!

1 of Pepperidge Farm White Bread (use any brand you like)

-Bread should be DAY OLD, not freshly baked

-Soak in water and squeeze almost dry

1 Large Onion (chopped)

3 med Celery Sticks (chopped- including the leaves)

¼ cup Parsley (chopped)

Salt and Pepper

4 Eggs (beaten)

2 t Poultry Seasoning

-Saute the onions, parsley, and celery in the butter. Beat the eggs with the poultry and seasoning. Mix onions, celery, and parsley mixture with the egg mixture and the bread. Place in a greased 9x9 pan. Bake at 325* for 45 minutes.

Gobble this up! Barbeque Sauce

½ Green Pepper (chopped)

½ cup Onion (chopped)

1 t Butter

½ cup Ketchup

½ t Worschestire Sauce

½ t Pepper

1 cup Canned Tomatoes

½ cup Sweet Pickle Juice

1 T Brown Sugar

Fry onions and garlic in the butter in a large saucepan, add remaining ingredients and cook at a simmer for at least one hour. Press through a strainer.

Mashed Potatoes

8 large potatoes, peeled and cubed

6-8T of butter (yes…use real butter…live large!!!!!)

½ cup milk

Plenty of salt

Place potatoes in pan, cover with cold water and bring to a boil.  Cook until they are broken up with a fork.  Drain.  With a hand mixer, mash the potatoes until no longer chunky.  Add butter, and beat in, add milk and add salt in increments.  Potatoes need a lot of salt, but don’t overdo it.  Continue to beat until smooooooth.  Additional milk may be needed; the secret is to do it in small doses so they aren’t too thin!!!

Stuffed Cabbage

Boil cabbage and let cool or freeze cabbage and let it defrost to soften the leaves

3-4lbs of meatloaf mix

1 cup cooked rice

1 large onion diced

Butter

Salt/pepper

3 eggs

Sauerkraut-well drained

Condensed Tomato soup

Melt butter and cook onions until softened.  Let cool.  Mix onions with the rice, heavily salt and pepper.  Mix this with the meatloaf mix and eggs and form balls.  Place meatballs in the cabbage leaves and roll-up. Chop up end pieces of cabbage and mix with sauerkraut.  Lay this chopped cabbage and sauerkraut mixture at the bottom of a roasting pan.  Take condensed tomato soup and thin down with half can of water and spread across the layer.  Lay the pigs in the blanket on top and lay another layer of chopped cabbage and sauerkraut, along with thinned tomato soup to cover generously.

Bake covered at 400 degrees for 45 minutes, uncover and lower heat to 300 and cook another 30 to 45 minutes until cooked through. If you feel the sauce is too thin.  Take a cup of water and thicken with flour or cornstarch and inject throughout the pan to thicken and cook a little longer. 

 Yes…there is more

Bread was divided according to status. Slaves got the burnt bottom of the loaf, Servants got the middle, and the land owner got the top, or the “upper crust”.

 

Seafood

 Scrumptious Scampi’s

2T Olive Oil

4T (or more) Butter

4 Garlic Cloves (minced)

2 lbs Scampi’s

¼ cup White Wine

1t Parsley

1t Dried Basil

Salt & Pepper

Breadcrumbs

Combine all ingredients except butter and breadcrumbs. Be sure the scampi’s are clean and de-veined. Preheat over to 400*. Spray a cookie sheet with Pam. Place scampi’s on cookie sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and slice up the butter among the Scampi’s, sprinkle with the breadcrumbs just to lightly coat. Bake an additional 5 minutes or until butter has melted through.

Serve with crunchy bread to soak up butter.

Firecracker Shrimp

Firecracker is probably an understatement!!!!

20 jumbo shrimp

Cornstarch

Vegetable Oil for frying

Sauce:

¼ Tomato paste

2T water

1T Teriyaki Sauce

1T white wine

1 tsp sugar

¼ tsp salt

2T Chinese chili paste…Asian

2 Garlic cloves-minced

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp red pepper flakes

Heat veg. oil in pan, lightly dust shrimp with cornstarch and cook shrimp for a minute until golden in color and cooked through.  Combine all Sauce ingredients and mix well.  Toss shrimp with firecracker sauce and serve.  I will add some sauted pea pods or Napa cabbage for color…but not necessary.  These suckers have a kick…but for some reason people go to town on them!!!

MMMMMMMMMussels

Be sure to have some crunchy bread close by to dredge up the tasty sauce!

36 mussels (approx)

3T Olive oil

3T butter

6 garlic cloves-minced

2T fresh parsley-chopped

4 basil leaves-chopped

Salt/pepper

1T lemon juice

1 cup white wine or chicken stock

In a deep pan heat oil and butter, lightly fry garlic—don’t burn! Add mussels, lemon juice and wine/stock cover and cook on high until boils.  Let simmer for about 8 minutes, or until mussels open.  Add herbs and salt and pepper.  If sauce is to watery, continue to boil uncovered and add a few more Tablespoons of butter.

Lobster Bisque

8T Butter

4T Flour

½ cup chicken stock

2T lobster base (Minors brand)

2 cups heavy cream

Meat of 2 lobster tails or one whole lobster

Melt butter, add flour and make a blond roux.  Add chicken stock and lobster base.  Whisk well.  Add the cream and bring to a simmer, but not a boil.  So, so, so tasty!!!!

Make it stop!

After a day of hunting the man would bring home his kill, and if lucky obtain pork, which made them feel quite special. When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show it off. It was a sign of wealth that a man could, "bring home the bacon." They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and “chew the fat”.

COOKING TIPS

Not a huge garlic lover are? (Don’t eat any of My food)--If a recipe calls for minced garlic, just use a whole garlic clove. It is less pungent but still delivers enough flavor.

Add a few teaspoons of lemon juice to your rice before it boils and it will be whiter!

Too much Salt? If this happens and the dish is still cooking…just add some sliced potato wedges to the pan. Potatoes need salt when cooking and will soak up the excess salt.

A typical bottle screw cap of your olive/vegetable oil, marinades or cooking wine is considered a teaspoon. So the next time a recipe calls for a tsp of oil just use the bottle cap.

When using a sticky ingredient like honey or molasses - rub the inside of the measuring cup with butter or cooking spray and it will just easily pour out of the cup, with less mess.

To rid yourself of fruit flies, place ½ cup of apple cider vinegar and 2 T of dishwashing liquid on the counter…the flies are drawn to it and die.

Foggy windshield…get an chalk eraser from a local drugstore…or a local relative (if you know any teachers) and use it to wipe off the fog!!!

Take bananas apart when you get home from the store...it slows down the ripening.  The inside of a banana skin will stop the itch of a mosquito bite.

To keep celery crisp, stand it upright in a pitcher of cold, salted water and refrigerate.

To keep strawberries fresher, longer.  Store in an airtight container, unwashed and layered between paper towels.

When using green onions save the white ends (with roots) and put them in a glass jar with little water. The onions will grow back and you will always have green onions handy.

 To keep a cake plate clean when frosting, slide waxed paper around the edges of the cake so as you frost and pull them out when complete.

To keep cheese from sticking to knives or graters, spray with cooking spray.

 If you get stung by a bee…place a raw, sliced onion on the bite.  The onion serves as a natural anti-inflammatory and diffuses the itching power of the sting.

If you get burned---soak the burn in egg whites.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Misty’s Cookbook

A compilation of my most requested recipes and more!!!

 

Thank you:  Youtube: Mother's rule, dailyedge.ie (vacuum), etsy.com (awesome mom hat), gogirl.com, chiapet.com, homcast.com (star), amazon.com (tshirt), tattoojournal.com (tattoo).

 

 

 

 

 

T-Minus Turkey

Screenshot 2016-10-28 20.32.03

Ahhh!!!  Thanksgiving.

A day we pause and give thanks to all the blessings we have in life.

A day to reflect on all the things we are thankful for.

A day that can drive any hostess to drink.

So—let’s try and put the “Thank” back into Thanksgiving.

Goal:  The only food needing preparation this November 24th will be the turkey.  Everything else is finished and simply has to be warmed up before serving.

Let’s GO!!

Hostess not Hostress

  • Use foil-disposable tins whenever possible during preparation

        (Any dollar store has them for—you got it---a dollar)

  • Rent plates, wine glasses and even tablecloths.  They are oddly inexpensive and do not need to be washed before returning them.  You simply place them back in the bins they provide upon delivery.  My research revealed that a typical plate rents for .40 cents.  Wine glasses are the same.  So, a party of 15 people would look like this:

15 dinner plates: $6.00

15 salad plates:  $6.00

15 wine glasses:  $6.00

Tablecloth: $10 each

Total:  $28.00 plus tax and delivery

****SO WORTH IT****

T-Minus 21 Days

Meaning---NOW

  • Delegate:  Don’t be a martyr. If Aunt Susie wants to bring the pies—let her.  If Uncle Ted is such an expert on wines—he can feel free to bring a few bottles and enlighten all of you. Tell a family member to bring the ice/cornbread or dinner rolls.
  • Go to the grocery store as early as you can to avoid crowds and insure you get all you need
  • Buy all non-perishables, frozen items, spices and dairy that won’t expire
  • Cranberries
  • Marshmallows
  • Pecans
  • Sugars
  • Flour
  • Pie Crusts
  • Dry ingredients for stuffing
  • Salt/pepper/thyme/sage/parsley/cinnamon/nutmeg/clove/ginger/allspice
  • Eggs
  • Canned pumpkin
  • Butter
  • Heavy whipping cream (check expiration date)
  • Frozen corn
  • Frozen spinach
  • Panko or breadcrumbs
  • Turkey/beef and chicken stock
  • Tins
  • Hellman’s Mayonnaise
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Garbage bags/paper towels/toilet paper
  • Cooking spray
  • Whip cream
  • Maple syrup for sweet potatoes
  • Coffee/creamer/sugar/sweetener
  • Rent plates, etcetera if going this route—if not, buy paper plates or dig out the plates/glasses/silverware/napkins/tablecloths/platters that you plan to use
  • Buy your frozen turkey if you have the freezer space
  • Buy pop or tea or lemonade
  • Buy wine/beer/alcohol/washes
  • Decide on a centerpiece (pumpkins and gourds always work)
  • Get headcount

T-Minus 7 Days

  • Buy root vegetables:  sweet and regular potatoes
  • If you are preparing a turkey that is over 18 pounds you will need to defrost it in the fridge for 5 days.  So, if you have purchased a large turkey begin the defrost.  If you have not made this purchase you should do so today.
  • If you’re dinner table is in a separate room and you have not rented your dishes—SET THE DANG TABLE!! You can invert the wineglasses if you wish.  Get this task done as soon as you can.
  • Consider making a pretty napkin ring—we can discuss this later
  • Make your cranberry relish (it is good for at least a week)

T-Minus 4 days (Sunday)

  • Clean your house
  • Stock bathrooms with toilet paper
  • Place your frozen turkey (18 pounds or under) in the fridge to defrost
  • Set that table if you didn’t do it earlier.  Even if you rented the plates, etc...you can still get most of it prepped
  • Place frozen pie sheets in the fridge to defrost
  • Set up the bar area
  • Get remaining groceries  
  • Celery/onions/garlic
  • Fresh parsley, thyme and sage
  • Fresh spinach (1 pound)
  • Gruyere or Swiss cheese (1 pound)
  • Oranges (for turkey)/lemons/limes
  • Bread for stuffing if you are going that path
  • Salad ingredients (I think salad is a waste at this meal, but you make the call)
  • 6 turkey thighs or wings for gravy

 

T-Minus 2 days (Tuesday)

  • Make Pumpkin pies and refrigerate (I follow the recipe on the can)
  • Make sweet potatoes (recipe follows)
  • Make mashed potatoes (recipe follows)
  • Make spinach gratin (recipe follows)
  • Make gravy (recipe follows)
  • Make bread stuffing (recipe follows)
  • Prep your bird for baking on Thursday
  • Make a to-do list so you don’t forget anything and don’t stress that you are forgetting something

Here we go!!

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallows

Thanksgiving-sweetpotfoodandwine.com

 

10 sweet potatoes

Vegetable Oil to rub on potatoes

1/3 cup Maple Syrup

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 stick of butter, melted

3 cups mini marshmallows

1 cup pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Stab the sweet potatoes with a fork 4 or 5 times.

Rub some oil on them

Place them on a cookie sheet lined with foil and bake for about an hour

Remove from oven and when they are cool enough to touch, but not completelycooled slice them in half vertically

Scoop out the flesh and place in a bowl.  Scoop out the flesh from the 2 extra sweet potatoes

Place the shells on a wire rack and put back in the oven for about 10 minutes to firm them up

Add the maple syrup, butter and cinnamon to the bowl of flesh and mix with a masher or beater

Fill the shells with this mixture

REFRIGERATE AT THIS POINT

Thanksgiving Day: remove the potatoes from the fridge and allow to come to room temp.

Top the potatoes with marshmallows and pecans

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes and broil them for about a minute to get the marshmallows browned

 

Make Ahead Turkey Gravy

Thaksgiving-gravy-skinnykitchen.com

6-8 turkey thighs or wings

2 onions, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

2 celery ribs, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, sliced

10 cups of turkey stock or chicken stock

1 tsp thyme

1 tsp parsley

Salt and pepper to taste

1 cup flour

Preheat oven to 450 degrees

Place turkey parts, carrots, onions, celery, garlic, and herbs in a tin roasting pan (so you can throw it away when you are done)

Roast for about and hour to hour and a half (don’t fret on this)

Place the cooked turkey parts in a large saucepan or Dutch oven and add the stock.  Toss in a bay leaf if you have one

Bring it to a boil and skim the surface if needed

Reduce heat to a simmer and let cook for a solid hour

Strain the turkey and solid parts so you only have the liquid remaining.

Let it sit so the fat rises to the top

Take about one half cup of the fat and place it in a pan (if you don’t have enough add a few Tablespoons of butter )

Add the flour and whisk vigorously for 5 to 7 minutes to make a roux and breakdown the flour so it won’t create lumpy gravy

Slowly incorporate the turkey stock you prepared with the flour mixture, whisking aggressively

Simmer until it thickens

Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate (you can also freeze it for a month)

Thanksgiving Day: warm in a pan and adjust salt and pepper taste

 

Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes

Thanksgiving-mashed-harrysfresh.com

5 pounds potatoes (some people prefer Yukon Gold)

3 cups heavy cream, hot

8 Tablespoons butter, melted

Salt

Dried or fresh parsley (optional)

 Preheat oven to 450 degrees

***These potatoes will see a little loose, but they firm up after refrigeration

Pierce the potatoes and microwave all of them for 15 minutes.  Put the potatoes directly on your oven rack and bake about 30 to 40 minutes.

Using a towel to hold the potatoes pull out the flesh and discard the skins.

Working in batches, beat the potatoes on a high speed.  Scraping so you don’t have lumps.

Slowly ship in the hot cream and butter.  Salt to taste (remember potatoes need a good amount of salt)

Place the whipped potatoes in a glass bowl and cover with plastic wrap very tightly.

Thanksgiving Day:—poke a few holes in the plastic wrap and microwave for about 7 minutes---then stir them.  Cover them with the plastic again and microwave again for another 7 minutes.  Season accordingly. Feel free to add a little more melted butter if you want them to have a looser texture.

 

Simple Cranberries (with options)

Thanksgiving-cranberry-foodnetwork.com

1 cup sugar

1 cup water

½ tsp. salt

3 cups of cranberries

Put the sugar, water and salt in a saucepan and cook until dissolved.  Add the cranberries and cook until about two0thirds of them pop open.  Let cool and refrigerate for up to a week.

Option:  Add the zest of an orange to the sugar water and 1 Tablespoon of Triple Sec

Option 2:  Add a teaspoon of ginger and ¼ teaspoon cinnamon into the sugar water. Stir in 1 cup of chopped, peeled pears or apples.

 

Spinach Gratin (abandon the Green Beans—please)

Serves about 8 to 10

thanksgiving-spinach-cookscountry.com

2 slices of white bread torn into pieces

1 stick of butter, melted

2 cups of shredded Swiss cheese or Gruyere

1 onion chopped

6 cloves of garlic finely minced

3 Tablespoons of flour

4 cups of half-and-half

8 ounces of chopped fresh spinach, stems removed

1 Tbs.  Dijon mustard

Couple of dashes of nutmeg

2-10 ounce boxes of frozen spinach---thawed and squeezed of water really well!!  Try and find whole leaf spinach so it won’t be stringy

½ cup chopped parsley

Zest of one lemon

Pulse the bread in a processor until it is fine.  Mix the bread with 3 Tablespoons of the melted butter, ½ cup cheese, salt and pepper.  Set aside and put this bread mixture in an airtight container or Ziploc bag.  Refrigerate.

Cook the chopped onion in the remaining butter and lightly fry the garlic for about 30 seconds to a minute. 

Stir in the flour and cook for about 2 minutes.

Slowly whisk in the half and half and bring to a simmer.  Let this simmer for about 10 minutes until it is thickened and reduced slightly. 

Stir in the curly leaf spinach and allow to wilt.  This will take about a minute.

Remove from the heat and add the Dijon, nutmeg, salt, pepper remaining cheese. 

Stir in the frozen spinach and place in a 9 by 13 pan.

Refrigerate.

On Thanksgiving:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees

Bake the gratin for 20 minutes.

Grab that breadcrumb mixture and sprinkle it on top of the spinach evenly.

Sprinkle the parsley and lemon zest along the top.

Bake an additional 10-15 minutes until bubbly and the breadcrumbs get golden.

 

Corn

Thanksgiving-corn-barbarabakes.com

I like to keep this basic.

Put a large bag of frozen corn in a colander inside a bowl. 

Chop some parsley (optional) and place on top.

Cover and refrigerate.

Thanksgiving Day: place the corn in a microwave safe bowl.  Add a stick of butter, salt, pepper and microwave for 5 minutes---done.

 

Bread Stuffing

thanksgiving-stuffing-amish365.com

¾ cup butter

2 celery stalks, chopped

1 large onion, chopped

15 slices of white bread cubed

1 tsp. salt

½ tsp. dried thyme

½ tsp. dried sage

½ tsp. dried parsley

½ tsp. pepper

Melt the butter in a pan and cook the onions and celery until softened.

Mix the onion-celery mixture with the cubed bread, thyme, sage, parsley, salt and pepper.

Place this mixture in a greased casserole dish.  Cover with foil and refrigerate.

Thanksgiving Day:  Bring the stuffing to room temperature.  Keep it covered and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.  Uncover and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

 

 

T-Minus Zero Days

Thanksgiving countdown

The Countdown is OVER------

This is based on a 12 to 14-pound turkey, which serves about 10 people generously. 

Larger turkeys tend to be less moist, so I suggest cooking 2 small turkeys in lieu of one massive turkey.  You can cook both in the oven at the same time.  Just allow space for circulation.  This will not affect the cooking time. 

What do you need and why?

 

Turkey (obviously) I prefer a thawed, enhanced turkey.  If you buy a fresh turkey you should brine it.

Wine (for your drinking pleasure)

Fresh herbs are your best bet, but you can use dried:  thyme, sage, parsley 1 Tablespoon of each fresh herbs, one teaspoon of each if dried).

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon of each of the following: pepper, garlic powder, paprika

1/3-cup mayonnaise (this will make the turkey moist and give it a nice golden color)

4 Tablespoons olive oil

2 Tablespoons cider vinegar

2 cups chicken stock

2 oranges

Let’s go over some basics: 

Calculate your time frame:  If you plan to eat at 2pm the turkey should be in the oven no later than 10:00 am.  Eating at 6pm then you should have it in the oven by 2pm. 

***The prep for the turkey will take an hour so take that into consideration. 

Discard the giblets and whatever else is tucked inside that turkey.

Rinse it out and off and wipe it dry with a paper towel.

Place a wire rack inside a large roasting tin.

Tuck the wings under the turkey and place on top of the rack.

Now---pull the legs upward and slide a metal skewer under the bone of the fattest part of the drumstick all the way through to the other drumstick. 

MAKE SURE YOU SKEWER THE LEGS!!!  This will allow the white meat and dark meat to cook at the same rate.

Cut the oranges and squeeze on top of the turkey and in the cavity.  The oranges will help breakdown the meat so it is ultra moist.  If you can slide you hand under the skin and squeeze the oranges directly on the breast that would be a bonus.

Mix together the thyme, parsley, sage, salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika.

Rub half of this mixture all over the turkey.

Let the turkey sit for about an hour to get to room temperature.

Mix together the mayonnaise, olive oil, cider vinegar and the remaining herbs.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees

Brush half of the mayo mixture over the surface of the bird.

Place a piece of heavy-duty foil over the breast.  Tuck the foil into the cavity of the turkey.  Allow the foil to drape gently over the tops of the legs.

Pour the chicken stock into the bottom of the foil tin.

Bake at this temperature for 2 and ½ hours. 

REMOVE THE TURKEY FROM THE OVEN AT THIS POINT AND INCREASE THE OVEN TEMPERATURE TO 425 DEGREES.

Remove the foil from the turkey and slather the remaining mayo mixture all over your coveted bird.

Return the turkey to the oven once it has reached 425 degrees.

Bake for an additional 30 to 40 minutes or until your thermometer reads:

160 degrees for the breast

175 degrees for the drumsticks

Let the turkey sit for 30 to 45 minutes

*****While the turkey sits you can now warm up the sweet potatoes, gratin, corn and stuffing in the oven.  Warm the gravy on your stovetop and microwave the mashed potatoes.  Don’t forget to put out your cranberries.

Carve and you are good to go with your Thanksgiving Feast!!

 

Photo credits:  sweet potatoes: foodandwine.com; mashed potatoes: harrysfresh.com; corn: barbarabakes.com;  gravy: skinnykitchen.com;  gratin: cookscountry.com;  cranberries and turkey: foodnetwork.com;  stuffing: amish365.com; centerpiece: epicurious.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DERBY DINNER

 Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth and do all of this the day of your party.  Most of this can be made ahead and warmed for the eating portion of your party.  The race is only 2 minutes long so the entire event is more about the build-up and guessing/betting.  No need to get a Charley Horse while throwing this even together.

Hope you are as hungry as a horse---cuz' all of these recipes are delicious.  That comes straight from the horse's mouth---ha ha.

Around the Bend

Black and Blue Salad

Kentucky Peachy Bibb Salad

Down the stretch

Chicken and Biscuits/Sausage Gravy

Pecan Crusted Pork with Apricot reduction

Horse of a Different Color

Rainbow Roasted Potatoes

Black and Blue Salad:

kd-blackand blueiowaeatsgirl.com

Blackberries

Blue Cheese

Kentucky Bibb lettuce

Pecans

Berry Pasture Vinaigrette:  In a blender of food processor

½ cup fresh blackberries

¼ cup Balsamic vinegar

¼ cup Olive Oil

2 T. honey

Salt/pepper

Kentucky Peachy Bibb:

kd-peachsaladmidwestliving.com

2 Bibb lettuce heads

4 ripe Peaches

¼ cup Pecans

¼ cup Feta

¼ cup Dried Cranberries or Raisins or both

Sweet Horse Dressing:  whisk in a bowl

1/3-cup balsamic vinegar

½ cup olive oil

¼ cup orange juice

2 T. Honey or Agave

Chopped green onion or chives

Chicken, Biscuits with White Sausage-Bacon Gravy: 

kd-chicken-sausagegravy

Give yourself a gift horse (but, don’t look it in the mouth) and buy some fried chicken and Pillsbury Biscuits.  You can put this sausage gravy on horse manure and it would taste heavenly.

1 lb.  Ground pork sausage (Jimmy Dean and Bob Evans do a good job)

4 slices of bacon

½ onion, diced

1-teaspoon salt

3 T. flour

2 teaspoons pepper

2 cups half and half

3 T. butter

Rinse the bacon with water so it fries well and place in a pan and cook over a medium heat for about 5 minutes.  Add the crumbled pork sausage and cook until the sausage loses its’ distinct pink color.  Add the diced onions and salt and cook until the bacon and sausage are fully browned.  Stir in the flour and the pepper and cook for about 2 minutes and then add the butter to be sure the flour is broken down.  Slowly add the half and half until it is all fully incorporated and thickened.

Warm the chicken; cook the biscuits according to instructions and coat with the gravy.

Pecan-crusted Pork with Apricot reduction

kd-pecanporksheknows.com

2 pork tenderloins (there is usually 2 in each package)

1 cup chopped pecans

1-cup breadcrumbs

1-cup heavy cream

1 T. dried thyme

3 cloves of garlic minced

1 cup apricot preserves

1 cup or more of chicken stock

Vegetable Oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Pour about an inch of vegetable oil in a fry pan and warm the oil over medium heat.  Heavily salt and pepper the pork on all sides.  Soak the pork in the heavy cream for about 15 minutes.  Mix together the pecans, breadcrumbs and dried thyme.  Roll the pork in the breadcrumb mixture and transfer to the pan with oil.  Brown the pork on all sides and transfer to a foil-lined cookie sheet.  Bake in oven until the thermometer reads 160 degrees.  Pull out the pork and let sit until it is cool enough to slice.

Pour off some of the oil and add the butter to the pan with the garlic and sauté for a few minutes---don’t burn the garlic.  Add the chicken stock and scrape up the bits.  Add the apricot preserves and mix until well incorporated.  (This can be done ahead of time and rewarmed). When you are ready to serve, pour the apricot mixture over the sliced pork. 

Yum!

RainbowRoastedPotatoes

kd-potatoessavorysweet.com

3-pound bag of multi-colored baby potatoes or fingerlings (feel free to add some yams or sweet potatoes for color)

10 cloves of garlic minced (enough to kill a horse)

1 teaspoon of the following dried herbs:  thyme, parsley, basil, oregano, salt and pepper

Vegetable oil:  enough to generously coat.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Slice the potatoes in half and mix with the garlic, herbs and oil.  Spread the potatoes evenly on a foil-lined cookie sheet so they don’t lay on top of each other and bake for about 20 minutes. Set-aside until party time to reheat for 5 to 10 minutes.