“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


1 package (12-ounces) cranberries
3 cups seedless red grapes
1 cup sugar or Splenda
1/8 teaspoon salt
½ cup water


In a large saucepan over medium-high, bring cranberries and

Place all ingredients in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat, and simmer until most of the cranberries have popped and grapes are falling apart, 10 to 15 minutes.
Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
Compote will thicken as it cools.
Serve at room temperature.


Be sure to visit my friend, Linda’s blog, @My Kind of Cooking for great tips and delicious easy recipes! 

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 pie dough round for 8-inch pie
1 frozen all-butter prepared puff pastry sheet, thawed


In a frying pan, over medium-low heat, melt the butter. 
Whisk in the flour and cook until light golden brown, about 2 minutes.
Remove from the heat.
Whisk in the milk.
Place back on medium heat and bring to a boil, whisking occasionally.
Boil, whisking until the mixture starts to thicken, about 2 minutes.
Remove from the heat. 
Stir in the Worcestershire sauce.
In a bowl, combine the milk mixture, meat and vegetables.
Stir until well blended.
Season to taste with salt and pepper, set aside.

Preheat the pie maker until ready to use.
Meanwhile, using the pastry cutter, cut the pie dough into 4 large rounds and the puff pastry into 4 small rounds.
Working quickly, place each large pie dough round into the pie maker.
Mold the dough into the wells to form the bottom crusts.
Divide the filling among the crusts and spread evenly.
Place a small puff pastry round over each filled crust.
Bake until the crusts are browned, about 10 minutes.
Using a fork, lift one edge of a pie just enough to slide a small offset spatula under the bottom and transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly.
Repeat with the remaining pies.
Serve warm.

Potpies ~ Delicious way for leftover Thanksgiving turkey!

Be sure to visit my friend, Linda’s blog, @My Kind of Cooking for great tips and delicious easy recipes! 

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
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-inch pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
¾ teaspoon McCormick garlic-pepper blend
½ teaspoon salt


Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Coat a 13” x 9” baking dish with cooking spray.
Combine all ingredients in the dish, tossing to coat.
Bake for 35 minutes, until fork tender, stirring occasionally.

Sweet Potatoes, delectable and dulcet!

Be sure to visit my friend, Linda’s blog, @My Kind of Cooking for great tips and delicious easy recipes! 

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 added, as well as chestnuts, prunes, raisins or browned sausage meat.  As it only takes a half-hour to bake, it can be put in the oven at the point when the turkey is done, since the bird has to rest for at least 20 minutes before carving.

I will be making this again on Thanksgiving Day! 



Poultry Dressing


4 cups homemade bread cubes, rice, cornbread or barley
4 tablespoons butter
1½ cups chopped onion
½ cup chopped celery
¼ cup chopped parsley
¼ cup scallions or chives
1½ cups dried cherries, or raisins, apples or prunes
½ cup pecans, or walnuts, toasted (optional)
½ pound sausage meat, crumbled and browned
2 tablespoons minced fresh sage, thyme or oregano
¼ cup white wine
¼ to ¾ cup chicken broth, do not use so much as to make it mushy
Salt and pepper, to taste


Heat butter in a skillet and sauté onions for 5 minutes over medium heat.
Add celery and scallions; sauté for 2 minutes.
Mix together all ingredients in a large bowl.
Be light with the liquid, starting out with only ¼ cup broth.
Heat oven to 375 degrees.
Butter a 2-quart baking dish and add dressing.
Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes.
Remove foil and for an addition 15 minutes or until the dressing is brown and crisp on top.


Just what do you serve on Thanksgiving ~ stuffing or dressing?

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 seasoned pepper
2 teaspoons dried basil
Flour for gravy

Sear roast on all sides in hot oil in a large skillet.
Place roast in a 4-quart slow cooker.
Add onion and garlic to skillet, and sauté until tender.
Blend in coffee, ½ cup water, bouillon cube and next 3 ingredients.
Transfer to slow cooker.
Cover and cook on LOW 6-7 hours or until tender.
Transfer roast to serving platter.
Measure drippings, and return to slow cooker.
For every cup of drippings, add 1 tablespoon flour to the remaining ¼ cup water.
Whisk to blend flour and water.
Stir mixture into drippings.
Cook, uncovered, on HIGH 5 minutes or until gravy thickens, whisking frequently.
Serve gravy with roast.
6-8 servings


Be sure to visit my friend, Linda’s blog, @My Kind of Cooking for great tips and delicious easy recipes! 

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!

Popeye's source of super-human strength!

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 up, this is the recipe.  It’s quick and tasty!

Creamed Spinach

2 tablespoons butter
¼ cup onion, minced
2 tablespoons flour
½ teaspoon each, salt and seasoned pepper
2 (10-ounce) bags fresh spinach
¾ cup half and half
¼ cup Gruyère cheese, grated


In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter.
Add onion and sauté until soft.
Whisk in flour and seasonings.
Stir in half and half and cheese and heat well, stirring until sauce has thickened slightly.
Place spinach in sauce in batches and cook until wilted, covering after each addition.
Adjust seasonings if needed.
Serve immediately.


Be sure to visit my friend, Linda’s blog, @My Kind of Cooking for great tips and delicious easy recipes! 

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


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, ReeniTate'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!

Sour cream sauce


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
4 pats butter


Blend together in a small bowl, sour cream and next 7 ingredients.
Coat chicken breasts with sour cream mixture.
Arrange in buttered baking dish and marinate for 1 hour or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Sprinkle with bread crumbs and place pat of butter on each.
Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes in 350 degree oven.

Creamy delicious and tender!

Be sure to visit my friend, Linda’s blog, @My Kind of Cooking for great tips and delicious easy recipes! 

Take a minute to enter my giveaway for Tate’s Bake Shop Cookie and Bar Tower, if you haven’t already.  You just might be the happy winner if your name is drawn this Thursday!

You know,

nobody can ever

cook as good as

your Mama.

~ Paula Deen

You know, nobody can ever cook as good as your mama. Paula Deen
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/paula_deen_431843?src=t_cook
You know, nobody can ever cook as good as your mama. Paula Deen
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/paula_deen_431843?src=t_cook


Jules-Alexandre Grun

ᴡᴏᴏ ʜᴏᴏ!!!

ᴡᴏᴏ ʜᴏᴏ!!!



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