Friday, November 22, 2013

We Remember JFK

 As we express our gratitude we must never forget 
the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them.
John F. Kennedy
Today the nation pauses and pays tribute to the 35th President of the United States, John F. Kennedy, on  the 50th anniversary of his assassination. This date evokes among many thoughts and memories of that tragic day November 22, 1963. President Kennedy was a visionary who strove for equality and human rights.
Kerry Kennedy, daughter of the late Robert Kennedy, wrote a thought provoking article for the Huffington Post titled:  Honor His Life, Not Just His Death remembering her uncle JFK.

follow this link to read the entire article://

Butternut Squash and Cranberry Pilaf
recipe serves: 6 
Cook's notes: Serve the side dish at room temperature. You may not need all the dressing for this dish. If serving the dish the next day, add more dressing. It can be served on mixed greens as a salad. Precut butternut squash can be found in the produce section of the store. 
This dish is a perfect accompaniment to a holiday meal. 
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into small cubes or 2 cups butternut squash cubed from the produce section
  • 1-1/2 cups wild rice, rinsed
  • 6 cups vegetable or chicken stock 
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 3/4 cup toasted pecans or walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Citrus Dressing:
  • 1/4 tsp. cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 Tablespoon minced fresh ginger or 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 3 Tablespoon honey
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
1. Whisk to combine the spices, juices and honey. Drizzle in the olive oil whisking until the oil is thoroughly incorporated or use a blender. Add salt and white pepper to taste. Set aside.

2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray. Add the butternut squash and toss with 1 Tbsp. olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Roast squash for 20 - 25 minutes or until softened and slightly caramelized. Remove from oven and cool.

3. While squash is roasting, combine the stock and rice in a large saucepan. Cover and bring
mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes until the liquid is
absorbed and the rice is tender. Rinse in a colander.

4. While rice is cooking, heat a large sauté pan over medium high heat. Add the 2 Tb. of olive oil, garlic and chopped onions. Sauté for about 6 minutes until onions translucent. Reduce heat and continue to cook onions until slightly caramelized. Remove onions and garlic from the pan and set aside.

5. Add pecans or walnuts  to sauté pan and cook over medium heat, until toasted - watch closely so they don't burn! 

6. In a serving bowl add the cooked rice, butternut squash, onions/garlic and dried cranberries. Start with 1/3 cup of the citrus dressing. Mix well and adjust seasonings. Add in as needed. Serve immediately or refrigerate till serving. 
Garnish with minced parsley if desired. 
Another option is to skip toasting pecans or walnuts and garnish with cashews.

Mixed Berries Trifle
Cook’s notes: Use a glass stemmed compote dish to showcase the dessert. Make the custard the day before and refrigerate. Assemble the trifle the day it will be served.

  • 1 small pint of raspberries and blueberries

  • 1 quart sliced strawberries

  • optional adding in 1 pint of blackberries

  • 2 tsp. orange-flavored liqueur

  • 1 large prepared angel food cake torn in chunks
  • 6 large egg yolks

  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup of flour
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 1 cup of whip cream-whipped
  • ½ tsp. vanilla
  • 2 TB. Amaretto or 1 tsp. almond extract 
  • Whisk yolks in a saucepan, add in sugar, flour and blend well
  • Bring half and half to a simmer in another saucepan and then add to yolk mixture
  • On low heat use a whisk as mixture thickens cook about 1-2 minutes do not let boil as mixture will curdle
  • Remove from heat and stir in vanilla, almond extract or Amaretto
  • Run mixture through the blender to make sure it is a smooth consistency 
  • Place in a bowl to cool, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate
  • Just before assembling the trifle, whip the whip-cream and fold into the custard mixture
  • Assemble early in day of serving: rinse fruit and pat dry on paper towels, add all fruits in a bowl and drizzle with Grand Marnier, divide torn cake into thirds as well as fruit and custard, bottom layer of serving glass with 1/3 cake pieces, 1/3 of the custard and 1/3 of the mixed fruit, repeat two more times, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 

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