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Showing posts from November, 2012

“Christmasizing” with Cranberry-Grape Compote

The turkey is over and done with ~ the fall décor stashed away ~ readying me for “Christmasizing” the house the last few days.  The short tree in the living room was trimmed with lights and ornaments, only to be dismantled the next morning, and replaced with a 7.5-foot slim tree, and even more trimming.  

What I really wanted to do was get in the kitchen and do a little cooking. There was a bag of cranberries waiting in the refrigerator for a makeover, and I was happy to oblige.  I like the canned variety, but always like to try something new.  

The credit for this recipe goes to Martha Stewart.  Plump, juicy red grapes complement tart cranberries perfectly.  Fresh or frozen cranberries can be used, with there being no need to thaw frozen ones. 

This is a great sweet/tart accompaniment for savory meats such as steak, turkey, pork chops, and probably even wild game.  If you like cranberries and grapes, it’s worth a try!

Cranberry-Grape Compote Adapted
1 package (12-ounces) cranb…

Turkey Potpies

Way back here, I told you about my kitchen gadget fetish, especially this one ~ the Breville Personal Pie Maker.

I’ve made fruit mini pies in the pie maker, and finally got around to making savory pot pies.  I used leftover turkey from Thanksgiving, but use your choice of meat, or go vegetarian with no meat at all.  Use whatever vegetables you have on hand, or a bag of frozen mixed vegetables works well. 
The next time, I will be adding mushrooms.  Or maybe I’ll try tuna with a combo of vegetables, or a shepherd’s pie, or maybe even quiche. 
Traditional pie making will always be around, but with this little gadget, mini pies couldn’t be any easier or quicker to make.   Dinner or an afternoon treat will be ready in no time!  

Turkey Potpies
1 tablespoon butter 1 tablespoon flour 2/3 cup whole milk 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 1 cup diced cooked turkey ¼ cup cooked onion ¼ cup diced cooked potato ¼ cup diced cooked carrot
¼ cup corn ¼ cup green beans Salt and freshly ground pepper 1 p…

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone

Jean Leon Gerome Ferris (1863-1930)

First Thanksgiving Poem
If I had been a Pilgrim child
Among the fields and forests wild
Where deer and turkey used to roam,
A cabin would have been my home
With fireplace and earthen floor
And bearskins hanging at the door.

I would have gathered berries bright
For candles fragrantly alight,
And dug for clams and picked the corn
And laid the table smooth and worn.
Or hunted nuts hard-shelled and good
And helped in any way I could,
With time to laugh and play and run
When Indian children came for fun.

And on the first Thanksgiving Day
I would have met with friends to pray
And thank the Lord for all his care
In keeping us together there.

Margaret Hillert

Norman Rockwell  (1894 - 1978)

On this Thanksgiving Day it seems more important than ever to count our blessings. May God bless you and yours with Peace, Good Health, Prosperity and Much Happiness.
Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!

Oven-Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Onions

I’m crazy for sweet potatoes ~ unfortunately I’m the only one in this house who is.  On the other side of the coin, he’d like cooked carrots for dinner, and I’d rather never.

When I was growing up, I loved this time of year, as Mom would bake sweet potatoes frequently.  Ummm, mmm!  A nice big sweet potato, with just a lump of butter, and a little salt and pepper would do.  Now, I’m into peeling them and roasting them also.

~ Sweet potato blossom ~ kind of looks like a Morning Glory, doesn't it...
This recipe is from Cooking Light Complete Cookbook.  Here’s what it says about the dish:  “The gently flavored potatoes and onions develop a richer, more complex sweetness as they caramelize.  This recipe requires only one dish and is pretty much hands-off cooking.”  That sums it up, except to say these roasted sweet potatoes and onions are delectable and dulcet!

Oven-Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Onions
4 medium peeled sweet potatoes, cut into 2-inch chunks 2 sweet onions, cut into 1…

Dressing or Stuffing with Variations

Growing up on the farm in Pickerington, Ohio, it was always dressing; never stuffing, and it stayed dressing, after moving to Louisville later.  It never had cornbread in it. 

Here’s the scoop (I think!):  If it’s not cooked in the bird, it’s dressing ~ if it is cooked in the bird, it’s stuffing.  Sometimes I stuff the bird, sometimes I don’t, and other times, I do both; but it’s all dressing to me.
Last weekend, I made an early Thanksgiving dinner for some people we were happy to have visit.  Along with all the usual Thanksgiving dishes, I wanted to try this recipe from Christopher Kimball’s, The Yellow Farmhouse Cookbook.  This is one of my favorite cookbooks, sort of unique as it is filled with old farmhouse “receipts” which are in the spirit of farmhouse cooking ~ using simple ingredients, simply prepared, and updated, or not, by Keller. 

This is a basic country dressing, made a touch more elaborate with the addition of apples and dried cherries.  Pecans, walnuts, or almonds, may be…

Mary’s Roast Beef

I don’t know Mary, but I savored every bite of her roast beef!

Instead of the oven for roast beef, this time I used the slow cooker, and a recipe from Southern Living Slow-Cooker Cookbook.   It’s the way to a tender roast that nearly falls apart at the touch of a fork for mouthwatering deliciousness.  It turns out succulent, juicy and good enough for company too, I think.
This simple recipe has the beef cooking in gravy, with chopped onion and garlic, along with dried basil.  Nothing can be easier and more tasty than this roast beef served alongside mashed potatoes laden with gravy!
But, to tell the truth, while I thought it was delicious and would like to cook it again, Bill wants no part of a sirloin tip roast prepared this way again!  
To each his own…

Mary’s Roast Beef
1 (2½ to 3-pound) beef sirloin tip roast 2 tablespoons oil 1 medium onion, quartered and sliced 3 garlic cloves, chopped 1 cup brewed coffee ¾ cup water, divided 1 beef bouillon cube 1 teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon seasone…

Creamed Spinach

You may know from my blog, that growing up, Dad had plenty of gardens.  After he retired, he established the first community garden in Louisville, and later created the display garden at the Louisville Zoo, maintaining it for several years.  

Along with the produce from those gardens, he had a large garden at home, which yielded even more produce.  There was never a lack of fresh vegetables growing up, nor later when Bill and I had our own home.  Oh, I had a garden at our house too!

The produce was all fresh and delicious, except for the broccoli.  It’s great frozen, but tastes totally different to me when fresh. Spinach is another matter ~ I adore it, no matter if it’s fresh, frozen or canned.  I even liked it when I was a kid.  I was the one at school who ate the other kids’ spinach to avoid reprimands from the lunchroom monitors.  I was happy to do them the favor, and eat their spinach.
Nowadays, we usually enjoy spinach with just a little salt and pepper, but when I want to doctor it…

The Winner of Tate's Cookie and Bar Tower is...

Reeni @ Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice

Congratulations, Reeni, in winning the Tate’s Bake Shop Cookie and Bar Tower!

Head on over and visit Reeni’s blog, for some Savory Sweet and Sassy!  Lots of great recipes there!
And to everyone who participated ~ thank you very much for your participation in the contest!

Congratulations, Reeni!  Tate's Cookie and Bar Tower will be in your hands soon!

Marinated Saucy Chicken

It doesn’t get much easier than this to bake a chicken dish for dinner.  On the day before serving, bring together the ingredients and let marinate in the refrigerator over-night, then pop it into the oven for dinner and serve it.  

The savory sauce of paprika, sour cream, garlic, lemon juice, and seasonings blends into a tempting marinade for chicken breasts.  Sour cream may not be what comes to mind as a marinade, but the slightly acidic characteristic of sour cream helps to tenderize the meat, while the thickness of it, holds the seasonings into place and bakes into a smooth sauce.
Serve this with buttered egg noodles or mashed potatoes ~ it’s the perfect tasty dinner at the end of a busy day!

Marinated Saucy Chicken
4-6 chicken breasts 1 cup sour cream 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 teaspoon celery salt ½ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon seasoned pepper 1 teaspoon sweet paprika 2 tablespoons lemon juice 2 teaspoons Roasted Garlic Worcestershire sauce Breadcrumbs 4 pats butter
Blend toget…

“He toasted his bacon on a fork and caught the drops of fat on his bread; then he put the rasher on his thick slice of bread, and cut off chunks with a knife, poured his tea into his saucer, and was happy.”

~ D.H. Lawrence, Sons and Lovers

ᴡᴏᴏ ʜᴏᴏ!!!

ᴡᴏᴏ ʜᴏᴏ!!!

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