Wednesday, November 27, 2013

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!
I had to work and have been sooo busy up till now, that I haven't been able to blog what I was cooking for Thanksgiving dinner. I hope you all have your dinners planned and are able to spend your Thanksgiving day with family and friends and all those you love and are thankful for. I"m so thankful for my family and friends, and that I'm blessed to live where I do and have all the necessities of life. 
My Thanksgiving day will be loaded with the usual. I"m Brine ing the Turkey , and making the Mashed potatoes from this recipe. I will also do this Green Bean Casserole , I made it last year and we loved it! It's the best Green bean casserole ever. I always do my sweet potatoes like this , I know it's easy but when it's good and that's how you've always made them why change?? I also make my gravy from the turkey juice and I cook the turkey neck in a little chicken broth , then combine the the turkey juice and the neck broth with a mixture of water and cornstarch and bring to a boil to thicken. I add a little rosemary and thyme for seasonings with salt and pepper. I use Mrs. Cubbison's dressing, I make it like the directions on the back of the box but add a little more seasoning, like Thyme, Rosemary and sage... and I cook in my crock pot. I put on high in my crock pot for 1 hour then turn down for another hour and it's perfect! YUM. 
My hubby likes the canned cranberry jelly, so I'm serving that, but I'm also trying this fresh Cranberry Raspberry sauce... thought it sounded yummo! 
These are the Rolls I will make, soooo good. I'm making Pecan Pie , Pumpkin Pie and this year I"m trying two new pies.... Cranberry Apple pie (it looked sooo good I must give it a try) and Key Lime Pie  I LOVE Key lime pie. All that should last us for the day and for a couple of days after . Enjoy
Happy Thanksgiving and Hug those you are with :)


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Pumpkin "unroll" or Pumpkin cake

I LOVE pumpkin roll... it's always been a holiday favorite. Sometimes though, I just don't feel like rolling it! It's a lot of trouble to roll the cake and let it cool, what if you want some while it's still slightly warm? So I made the 'Libby's famous pumpkin roll, but I was rebellious and didn't roll it! AND it was delicious anyway! I love their cream cheese frosting.. more cream cheesy with less powdered sugar than a lot of cream cheese icing recipes. I dare you to make it  and NOT roll ... YUMMO!

Pumpkin (Unroll) Cake
Cake Ingredients:
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup LIBBY'S® 100% Pure Pumpkin

Frosting:
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Dash of salt
1 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped

Directions:
FOR CAKE:PREHEAT oven to 375° F. Grease 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan. ( used my favorite brownie pan)
COMBINE flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt in small bowl. Beat eggs and granulated sugar in large mixer bowl until thick. Beat in pumpkin. Stir in flour mixture. Spread evenly into prepared pan.
BAKE for 13 to 15 minutes or until top of cake springs back when touched. (If using a dark-colored pan, begin checking for doneness at 11 minutes.)  Cool on wire rack.
FOR Frosting:BEAT cream cheese, 1 cup powdered sugar, butter and vanilla extract in small mixer bowl until smooth. Spread cream cheese mixture over cooled cake. (it's okay if it's still a little slightly warm) Sprinkle with chopped nuts if desired. 

Cut into squares and serve! YUMMO!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

French Onion Soup

Autumn time is a great time for soups I think...it's chilly, windy, and you just need comfort food. I had tons of onions from my garden and some were starting to 'grow' again in my pantry and I needed to use them  up. I thought why not make French Onion Soup. I have never made it before, and I've actually only eaten it maybe once in my life time, but I'm ALWAYS up for trying new things. I found a recipe that looked good on Tasty Kitchen Food Blog and one on Allrecipes.com that had a lot of good reviews. But honestly, the one on Tasty Kitchen didn't have many seasonings in it, and the other didn't use as much onion, so I took what I thought sounded good from the two recipes and this is what I came up with. It was YUMMO!!! I served this as a starter dish for my Sunday afternoon dinner. We had grilled steaks and steamed veggies after. It would be good just as a light supper alone too. I will definitely make this again! Give it a try!

French Onion Soup
1 stick Butter
4  Large Onions or 6 medium, halved (cut from root to tip) and sliced in thin strips
1 teaspoon Salt
1 cup Dry White Wine --(I found cute little bottles of Sutter Home Pinot Grigio Wine, exactly one cup size bottles, worked perfect then you don't have to open a huge bottle of wine, since I don't drink it!) The alcohol cooks out after all, but you can leave this out if desired and use more Chicken broth.
4 cups Chicken Broth
4 cups Beef Broth
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 heaping teaspoon minced garlic (2 cloves)
1 teaspoon Thyme
1 Tablespoon dried parsley
1 bay leaf
1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
4 thick slices French Bread or Baguette
8 slices Gruyere Cheese (or you can use Swiss, I like Gruyere)
1/2 cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Melt butter in heavy soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add the onions and teaspoon salt and cook covered for 20 minutes. Place soup pot with the onions in the oven with the lid slightly ajar to ensure the onions will brown. Allow this to cook in the oven for 1 hour, stirring at least once during the cooking time so the onions won't stick and burn.
Remove pot from the oven and place back  on stove-top over medium heat. Stir, scraping off all the brown, flavorful bits. Turn off the heat and pour in the wine. Turn the heat back on to medium, bring this mixture to barely a boil, and simmer for 5 minutes, allowing the wine to reduce slightly and the alcohol to cook off. Next, add the broths, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, Thyme, Parsley and Bay leaf. Bring this to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer for 30 to 45 minutes.
Now while your soup simmers for that last 30 minutes, preheat your broiler. Slice enough of your french bread for the amounts of servings you need. I was making 3 bowls, but I had a baguette so I cut 3 slices of bread per bowl (you want the top of the bowl to be covered by bread and cheese). Place on a baking sheet and broil for 2 to 3 minutes per side until it's browned and crispy. Remove from heat but don't turn off the broiler yet.
When soup is done, remove the bay leaf, then add the Balsamic Vinegar and season with salt and Pepper to taste.
Arrange oven safe Ramekins (or small oven safe bowls, I used 3, use as many as you need so everyone gets a bowl) on a baking sheet. Ladle the soup into your bowls to about an inch from the top. Place crispy bread on top of the soup, then comes 2 or 3 slices of the Gruyere cheese, and then sprinkle a Tablespoon or 2 of Mozzarella cheese on top of that.
Broil for 5 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown.
Serve Immediately. Enjoy!!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Sticky Coconut Pecan Spice Cake

Have I ever said how much I LOVE coconut, pecans and caramel, and cake... and YUMMO??? Well, when I ran across this recipe here and I had to try it. And it was delish! The spice cake is from scratch, and the frosting reminds me of German Chocolate cake, only you toast the coconut and pecans ahead of time and it's so delicious. You MUST give this cake a try. We served ours with Ready whip but it's great with ice cream. I didn't wait for my cake to cool completely... it was slightly warm when I iced it. YUM!

Sticky Coconut Pecan Spice Cake
makes 1(8-inch) 2- layer cake
For the Cake:
1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
1 cup boiling water
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground clove
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom (I used Jamaican Allspice, didn't have Cardamom)
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 Tablespoons (4-ounces) butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 extra large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the Icing:
1-1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
1 cup pecan halves
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
8 Tablespoons (4-ounces) butter, cubed
3 extra large egg yolks
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Whipped Cream or Ice cream to go on  the warm cake when serving

For the Cake:
Toast your coconut and pecans according to the directions for the icing below. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350º F.  Lightly spray two 8-inch round cake pans with nonstick baking spray and line with rounds of parchment; set aside. ( I used Wilton's Cake release, just brush on pan, then you don't need parchment paper).
In a medium bowl, combine oats, water, buttermilk, and spices; let stand for 15 minutes.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars until blended, about 3 minutes.  Add the eggs and vanilla; beat to incorporate.  Add the flour mixture and beat just until combined.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the oat mixture; beat until combined.  Divide the batter between the prepared pans and bake for about 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then invert the cake onto a wire rack and cool completely. (Mine was slightly warm)
For the Icing
Preheat the oven to 350º F.  Toast coconut on a baking sheet until browned; stirring occasionally, about 7-10 minutes or until golden brown.  Toast pecans on a separate baking sheet until fragrant, about 10-12 minutes. Coarsely chop pecans when cooled; set aside with coconut.
In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, simmer brown sugar, cream, butter, yolks, and salt, stirring constantly.  Cook until mixture thickens, about 8-10 minutes.  Remove from the heat and add the vanilla. Cool until barely warm to the touch, then fold in the coconut and pecans. Divide the icing between the layers, spreading to the edges. 
 Slice the cake and serve with dollops of Whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream.  Enjoy!