Thursday, November 18, 2004

Mashed Potatoes

Very very easy.

Boil three potatoes per person. Idahoes are very nice.

Peel potatoes. Chop in half. Boil for about an hour or until the tip of a knife goes clear through the potato without any resistance. Drain potatoes in a large collander. Return the potatoes to the pot (now emptied of water but still on a low flame....this will help to evaporate whatever moisture is want the potatoes to be dry before you start to mash them). I find a metal masher is best. Once you have started to break them down add a splash of whole milk, a dash of salt, and a chunk of butter.....adjust the milk, salt, and butter according to the number of potatoes in the pot. Mash quickly, turn the flame off, and cover the potatoes until ready to serve.

Herbed Stuffing with Sausage

This is delicious warmed up when leftover. I can never quite decide whether I like the stuffing out of the bird or that baked in a casserole better.

1 large package of stuffing crumbs (I prefer those made by Pepperidge Farm)
1 large onion, chopped
1 16 ounce package of pork sausage (preferably Jones Sausage)
2 cups celery, chopped fine
Bell's seasoning to taste

Prepare the stuffing as directed on the back of the package.....butter boiled in water, et cetera. Meanwhile, cook the onions and celery together (in butter). After the onions and celery start to melt a bit add the sausage in pinchfuls to the pan. Cook thoroughly until the sausage meat is firm and clearly cooked all the way through. In the meantime, the butter/water mixture should be coming to a boil. Dump the entire package of stuffing crumbs into the pot. Wet thoroughly with the hot butter/water mixture. Pour the sausage-onion-celery mixture into the pot. Then, add a teaspoon or two of Bell's seasoning to the mixture. Pack this into the neck cavity of the bird and to the interior chest cavity of the bird. Sew the bird up with a needle threaded with black thread, the better for seeing once the bird is cooked. Any leftover stuffing can be baked in a casserole dish.

Green Bean Casserole

This is, I understand, a classic dish for the holidays, though not particularly a favorite of mine.

1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon soy sauce
dash of freshly ground pepper
4 cups cooked cut green beans
2 cups French fried onions

Combine the soup, milk, pepper, beans and 1/2 of the onions in a 2 quart casserole. Bake at 350 degrees farenheit for 25 minutes or until hot. Stir. Cover with remaining onions. Bake for 10 minutes longer.

Toffee Squares

Simple and sweet!

1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 cup nuts (optional)
1 cup chocolate chips

Mix the butter and brown sugar together. Add the vanilla, then the flour, nuts, and chocolate chips. Bake at 350 degrees farenheit for 25 minutes.

McCarra's Cornbread

Very nice served warm with a bit of butter spread upon it.

2 cups corn meal
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
2 cups buttermilk
1 tablespoon molasses
1 teaspoon soda

Preheat oven to 450 degrees farenheit. Beat the soda, eggs, and buttermilk together. Add the molasses and stir well again. Beat in two cups of cornmeal and the salt. Pour into a buttered square pan. Bake for 25 minutes. Cut into squares while still in the pan. Keep warm until serving.

Special K Treats

A tasty treat!

1 cup sugar
1 cup white syrup
1 cup crunchy peanut butter
6 cups Special K cereal
1 package chocolate chips
1 package butterscotch chips

Cook the sugar and white syrup together for one minute. Add the peanut butter and six cups of Special K cereal. Spread onto a buttered cookie sheet. Melt one package of chocolate chips and one package of butterscotch chips. Spread each over the cereal mixture. Let cool until firm, then cut into squares.

Bing Cherry Salad

This is a sweet dessert, not what I would generally consider a "salad" which would be a savory mixture of vegetables and dressing.

16 ounces crushed pineapple
16 ounces Bing cherries, halved
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup miniature marshmallows
9 ounces non-dairy whipped topping

Drain pineapple and cherries. Reserve 1/4 cup of the juice from the cherries. Mix juice with the cream cheese. Add remaining ingredients. Chill for several hours before serving.

Crunchy Cheese Sticks

A cheesy, crunchy appetizing snack!

1 pound of frozen puff pastry
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons thyme and oregano (dried)
black pepper (freshly ground)
2 eggs (beaten)

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees farenheit. Add herbs and ground pepper to cheese, combining well. Beat the eggs in a pie plate or baking dish large enough to dredge the sheets of puff pastry. Immerse both sides of the defrosted dough in the beaten eggs and dredge gingerly in the herb-cheese mixture. Place the seasoned dough on wax paper. Using a sharp knife or a pastry wheel, cut dough into one inch wide strips. Twist strips into a spiral shape and place one inch apart on a baking sheet covered in foil. Bake for fifteen minutes, then remove carefully from the sheet. These are best served fresh but can be kept for up to five days in a tighly sealed container.

Pumpkin Pie

Delicious with a dollop of fresh whipped cream.

1 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk.
1 16 ounce can of pumpkin (two cups)
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 nine-inch frozen prepared pie crust

Preheat oven to 425 degrees farenheit. Mix condensed milk, pumpkin, eggs, salt, and spices together. Pour into crust. Bake for 15 minutes at 425 degrees. Then, reduce the heat to 350 degrees and continue cooking for 40 minutes or until a knife inserted one inch from the crust comes out clean. Cool. Garnish as desired prior to serving.

Cranberry Conserve

Very tasty along with your Thanksgiving turkey, gobble gobble!!

4 cups cranberries
2 cups water
2 cups sugar
1 Granny Smith apple peeled, cored, and diced
1 cup raisins
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Cook the cranberries in the water until their skins pop open. Add the sugar, raisins, apple and orange juices. Stir. Boil together for twenty minutes. Remove from the heat and pour into a serving dish. Chill in the refrigerator for several hours before serving.