Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving Leftover Biscuits

We spent Thanksgiving in a cabin in the woods; just my hubby and me. I packed up the food to take with us and we drove most of the day on Thursday, Thanksgiving Day. So, I made our turkey dinner on Friday.

Saturday morning arrived and we had turkey leftover, like most folks do. However, no bread or rolls for sandwiches and no mayo or mustard either. So, I baked some biscuits and made a compound butter with thyme, sage and garlic. I threw in some dried cranberries and put in the microwave on low to melt the butter enough to help soften the cranberries. Opening the biscuits, I used a teaspoon to drizzle the butter mixture onto one side and then places turkey slices cut to fit the biscuit.

I think it may have been the best turkey sandwich I have ever had!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving Hints

Warm your Thanksgiving serving platters to make your meal extra-special. No room in your already over-crowded oven? Put the platters in an empty dishwasher (and it should already be empty for easy clean-up following the feast) and run on the dry-cycle. It will heat them up perfectly.

The giblets that come enclosed in your turkey usually include the heart, liver, neck and sometimes the gizzard. All are great for flavoring the gravy stock, except the liver, which will make it bitter. Add a pound or two of turkey wings (either smoked or not) to your stock as well to really punch up the flavor.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

What to do with winter squash

I love winter squash and have cooked it in many ways. But, as with most foods, simple is almost always the best when you have really good food.

Cut the winter squash into wedges. Don't bother peeling it. Lay it on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, and season with a savory spice blend like chili powder or adobo and with salt and red pepper flakes. Then roast in a 425F oven until softened and golden brown in spots.

Splash a little red wine vinegar over it when it comes out, and some fresh or dried herbs, like mint or oregano. This is great either hot or room temperature, and is a refreshing change from the standard sweet topping for squash.


What to do with all the leftover Halloween Candy?

Halloween Trick-or-Treat Bread Pudding

4 slices stale bread, spread lightly with butter, and cubed (about 3 cups)
8 to 10 mini candy bars, chopped into chunks (mainly chocolate, but all types mixed up works well.)
1/2 cup or so dried cherries
1 14 ounce can evaporated skim milk
2 large eggs, beaten with fork
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine cubed bread, candy chunks from 8 mini candy bars, and dried cherries in cooking-sprayed 1-1/2-quart baking dish. Scald milk and half-and-half. In bowl, combine eggs, sugar, salt, brandy, and cinnamon. Add scalded milk slowly to egg mixture, stirring to combine. Pour liquid over bread mixture in pan. Sprinkle top with remaining candy chunks. Bake in preheated 350-degree F. oven 50 to 60 minutes, or until firm and browned on top. Serve warm or at room temp topped with whipped cream or ice cream. Serves 4 to 6.

Yes, you can make risotto in your rice cooker!

Rice Cooker Recipe for Asparagus Risotto


2 tablespoons butter, divided
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup shallots or onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup white wine or vermouth
1 cup Arborio rice
3/4 pound asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 3 cups)
3 cups chicken stock or broth (24 ounces)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for garnish
salt and freshly ground pepper


Set your rice cooker for the "Quick Cook" or "Regular" cycle. When the bottom of the pan gets hot, add one tablespoon of butter and the olive oil and allow butter to melt. Add the shallots or onion and saute, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 4 minutes.

Add the wine, stir to combine, and cook until the wine heats and the most of the alcohol evaporates, about 4 minutes. Add the rice, stir to coat evenly with the contents of the pan, and cook for about 5 minutes, until the grains of rice are mostly translucent, and only a dot of white remains.

Add the asparagus, stirring to combine, and saute for a minute or two.

Add the stock all at once. Stir to combine. Close the cover and turn off the rice cooker, then reset for the "Porridge" cycle if you have a Fuzzy Logic rice cooker; or the "Regular" cycle if you have an on-off rice cooker. Set your timer for 20 minutes. Every 7 minutes or so, open the rice cooker and give the rice a stir to recombine the liquid into the rice. (If you have a fuzzy-logic rice cooker, you don't have to check and stir)

When the cycle shuts off or 20 minutes have elapsed, check your rice. A little liquid should remain, and rice should be "al dente," or slightly firm to the bite but not hard. If there is still a lot of liquid left but rice is done, you might need to carefully spoon out some of the liquid that's on top. If the rice is not yet done, give it a stir and cook for another few minutes, checking often.

When rice is cooked, add 1 tablespoon butter and parmesan cheese, stir to combine and melt cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

I love Brussels sprouts. I can eat them raw or cooked. But, I also know that many people don't like them. I am always looking for new ways to cook them. Here is one that most won't be able to resist. After all, what doesn't taste good with bacon??

2 ounces slab bacon, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1/2 cup walnut pieces
2 (10 ounce) packages fresh Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 - Preheat oven to 375F
2 - Cook bacon and walnuts in a large oven-proof skillet over medium heat until bacon begins to crisp and walnuts are toasted, about 4 minutes. Transfer bacon and walnuts to a bowl using a slotted spoon; set aside.
3 - Add Brussels sprouts to skillet and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Transfer pan to oven and roast for 30 minutes. Add bacon and walnuts and continue to roast until sprouts are cooked through and golden, about 10 to 15 minutes more.


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Menu 11/17 - 11/24/2011

Menu 11/17 - 11/24/2011

Thu 11/17 - BBQ Cowboy Burgers, Fries, Slaw
Fri 11/18 - Buffalo Wings, Carrots and Celery Sticks
Sat 11/19 - Popcorn Shrimp, Roasted Ranch Potatoes, Red Cabbage Slaw
Sun 11/20 - Autumn Beef Stew with Cranberries in slow cooker
Mon 11/21 - Pizza
Tue 11/22 - Chicken Alfredo over Brown Rice in Rice Cooker
Wed 11/23 - Asparagus Risotto in Rice Cooker
Thu 11/24 - Turkey, Sweet Potatoes, Corn Bread Casserole

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tonight is curried lentils and kielbasa in the rice cooker

Curried Lentils and Kielbasa

1 bag lentils
1 pound ring kielbasa
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
1 envelop onion soup mix
2 tablespoons curry powder (or more if you like it very spicy)
1 14 ounce can tomatoes
1 onion diced

Add all ingredients into the rice cooker and press cook.