Saturday, November 20, 2010

Cranberry Sauce

One of my favorite parts of Thanksgiving!

1 bag fresh cranberries
1 c sugar
1/2 c water
1/2 of an orange, juiced

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan.  Cook over medium heat, stirring ocassionally, until the cranberries burst, about 20 minutes.  Cool for at least two hours.

The Dirty Dozen

I want to be an all organic family.  It's just not my reality at this point, though.  If you're in the same boat, here's where to start going organic.  Dairy is the first thing that should be switched to organic, followed by meat.  After those two groups, it's on to produce.  Here are the 12 fruits and vegetables to buy organic.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Orzo Salad

I got this recipe from my friend Jen.  I like to eat it for lunch with a little fresh lemon juice squeezed on top.

Orzo Salad 

4 cups chicken or veg. broth
1½ cups orzo
1 (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 can black olives
1½ cups grape tomatoes, halved
¾ cup finely chopped red onion
2 c fresh spinach, chopped
½ cup chopped fresh basil leaves
¼ cup chopped fresh mint leaves
¾ c crumbled Feta Cheese
About ¾ cup Red Wine Vinaigrette, recipe follows
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Red Wine Vinaigrette
½ cup red wine vinegar
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons salt
¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Pour the broth into a heavy large saucepan. Cover the pan and bring the broth to a boil over high heat. Stir in the orzo. Cover partially and cook until the orzo is tender but still firm to the bite, stirring frequently, about 7 minutes. Drain the orzo through a strainer. Transfer the orzo to a large wide bowl and toss until the orzo cools slightly. Set aside to cool completely. Toss the orzo with the beans, tomatoes, spinach, onion, basil, mint, and enough vinaigrette to coat. Season the salad, to taste, with salt and pepper, and serve at room temperature.

For the Vinaigrette: 

Mix the vinegar, lemon juice, honey, salt, and pepper in a blender. With the machine running, gradually blend in the oil. Season the vinaigrette, to taste, with more salt and pepper, if desired.

I don't think I've ever put the mint in this - Whatever fresh herbs you have will work (basil is really good, parsley). Add whatever fresh veggies you have on hand. Be sure to use a "good" quality red wine vinegar or else it will be to vinegary.

This post links to The Happy Housewife's Lemon Recipe post.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Scalloped Potatoes

My daughter is not a potato lover by any means.  She does gobble these up, though!  I'm thinking they may make a Thanksgiving appearance this year!

This is not a healthy dish.  It's cheesy, gooey, and good, but not healthy.

You can easily adjust this recipe for the amount of people you'll be serving.  For that reason, there are no exact measurements.  You'll need a lot more for 10 people than you will for one!

Scalloped Potatoes

Russet potatoes, one per person
All-purpose flour
Butter, diced
Cheddar cheese, sliced

Butter a baking dish.  Preheat oven to 350°.

Peel potato(es), then slice.  Place a single layer of potatoes into the buttered dish.  Season lightly with salt and pepper.  Dot with butter.  Place a single layer of cheese slices over top.  Sprinkle lightly with flour.

Repeat layers until you've used up all of your potatoes, ending with a layer of cheddar slices.  Do not sprinkle flour over the top layer.

Pour milk over the dish, until it comes up just below the top layer of potatoes.

Bake for at least 1 hour, until potatoes are tender.  (A serving for one takes about an hour, a serving for six takes about an hour and a half.)

Let sit 5 minutes before serving.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Classic Stuffing

I just cannot believe that Thanksgiving is next week!  I guess it's time to share some holiday recipes!  I like to do everything from scratch on Thanksgiving.  Well, most days, but especially on Thanksgiving.  :)  This stuffing is very easy, but tastes like you slaved.  To lessen the work on Thanksgiving day, I usually take care of the celery and onion the day before, and just heat it for a few seconds in the microwave on Thanksgiving day, to loosen it up when adding it to the bread.  Love it!

Classic Stuffing

1 lb. loaf wheat bread
3 stalks celery, diced
1 small onion, diced
4 tbsp butter
3 tsp  poultry seasoning
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4-1/2 chicken broth (vegetarian broth if you prefer)

On Wednesday:
Take the loaf of bread out of the bag, and let sit out at least 8 hours, preferably 12 or more.
Saute the celery and onion in butter until soft.  Let cool, then place into a container in the refrigerator.

On Thursday:
Cut the bread into cubes.  Place in a deep 3-quart baking dish.
Heat celery and onion for just a few seconds in the microwave.  Add to bread.
Add poultry seasoning.
Add egg.  Using hands, gently but thoroughly combine the bread mixture.
Add chicken broth, just enough to help mixture "stick" together.  Take care to only add a little at a time, as you don't want it wet, just bound together.

Bake at 350° for 30 minutes.  Keep warm until serving.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Here's what's cookin' this week!

Chicken Wreath, fruit
Shrimp Fried Rice
Breakfast for dinner
Tomato soup & Grilled cheese

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Buffalo Chicken Dip

Several of my friends make this, and they all have different recipes.  I made it for the first time yesterday for a surprise birthday party.  It was gobbled up!  This is the recipe I used:

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 c hot sauce (I used Frank's Red Hot on her recommendation)
1/2 c ranch or blue cheese salad dressing
1 stalk celery, minced
2 lg. cans chicken, drained
1/2 c shredded mozzarella

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, hot sauce, and salad dressing.  Stir until smooth.  Stir in celery and chicken.  Pour mixture into a pie plate or other 2-quart dish.  Sprinkle with mozzarella.  Bake 20 minutes.

Serve with celery sticks and tortilla chips.