Friday, November 18, 2016

Early Weekend Round-Up

Say Good bye to Autumn and Hello to Winter
What a difference a day makes-first big snowstorm of the season
It's an indoor day for sure, lots of snow with blustery winds and frigid temps! Even the schools are closed.

View across the lake but a blur

With only 6 more days left to plan, shop and cook-Ever Ready to the rescue with some of the best.
All recipes have been previously posted
Appetizer Platter
Cook's notes: How easy is this! Arrange cheese, salami, pepperoni to create this festive looking turkey. And your guests will not feel too stuffed for the main event. 
Cranberry Meatballs
Cook’s notes: Meatballs can be made with ground venison, ground chuck or hamburger. Using prepared meatballs from the frozen food section is a time saver. The sauce is enough for 2-24 oz. bags of pure Angus beef meatballs.

Meatball Ingredients:
  • 2 lbs. meat
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ cup dry breadcrumbs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • ½ tsp. thyme
  • ½ tsp. parsley flakes
  • 1/3-cup chili sauce
Meatball Directions:
  • Combine and shape into 54 1-inch balls.
  • Place meatballs on a lightly greased cookie sheet and cover with foil.
  • Bake 25 minutes, remove meatballs, drain on paper towels, cool. 
Sauce Ingredients:
  • 1 can (16 oz.) jellied cranberry sauce
  • 1 (12 oz.) jar chili sauce
  • ¼ cup marmalade
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 TB. soy sauce
  • 2 TB. red wine vinegar
  • ½ tsp. red pepper flakes
Sauce Directions:
  • In a saucepan over medium low heat combine all ingredients.
  • Cook about 20 minutes stirring occasionally.
  • In a large pot add meatballs, pour sauce over and bake covered @325 degrees for an hour. A crockpot on low can also be used and cook about 5 hours. 
Honey-Sage Sweet Potatoes, Pears, Cranberries and Walnuts
Cook's notes: Combine colorful vegetables and a fruit with simple seasonings on an ordinary roasting pan that results in a delicious autumn side dish. Sprinkle vegetables and fruit mixture with a dash of pumpkin pie spice and the dish is irresistible. One butternut squash can be substituted for sweet potatoes.
Recipe adapted from Midwest Living and serves 4.

  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled, halved lengthwise and cut into 1-1/2 inch cubes or 3 cups butternut squash cubes
  • 1 red onion, cut in 1/2 inch wedges or caramelize onions ahead of baking
  • 2-3 ripe pears, unpeeled, cut into 1/2 inch thick slices
  • 3 tsp. olive oil or Blood Orange Olive Oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tsp. white balsamic vinegar, Cranberry Pear White or Honey Ginger White Balsamic
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts 
  • dash of pumpkin pie spice mix
  • 1 TB. honey
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh sage or thyme or 1 tsp. dried sage or thyme
  • Line a rimmed baking pan with parchment paper.
  • In a bowl toss together sweet potatoes, pears, onions and olive oil.
  • Spread mixture evenly on the baking pan. Drizzle with white balsamic vinegar and a dash of pumpkin pie spice. Salt and pepper.
  • Roast at 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  • Last 10 minutes of baking time add in walnuts and cranberries. 
  • Serve roasted vegetables and pears on a platter, drizzle with honey and sprinkle with sage or thyme.

Mixed Greens with Apples, Grapes and Pecans Drizzled with Maple Cider Vinaigrette
Cook’s notes: Maple Cider Vinaigrette is enough for 4-5 salads.
Salad Ingredients:
  • Mixed greens about 6-8 cups to serve 4-5 people (I used a combination of baby spinach leaves and chopped Romaine)
  • 1 large Granny Smith apple and 1 Honeycrisp apple, diced
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1-1/2 cup halved red seedless grapes
  • 1 cup candied pecans or toasted pecans
  • Optional: ½ cup crumbled blue or feta cheese
Salad Dressing Ingredients:
  • 3 TB. apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. apple pie spice mix
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Salad Directions:
  • Mix greens with apples, grapes, onions and pecans.Dressing Directions:
  • In blender add all ingredients and gradually add in olive oil. Mix well, cover and refrigerate until needed.
Apple Cream Cheese Torte with Gingersnap Cookie Crust
Cook’s notes: Wrap outside of an 8 inch spring form pan that has 2- 3/4 inch sides with foil.Crust Ingredients:

  • store bought gingersnap cookies
  • 5 TB. melted butter
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon or ½ tsp. Saigon cinnamon
Filling Ingredients:
  • 1-8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg at room temperature
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
Topping Ingredients:
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon or ½ tsp. Saigon cinnamon
  • 2 Granny Smith, peeled and diced
  • 1/3 cup crumbled almonds
Crust Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • In a food processor crumble enough store bought gingersnap cookies to equal 2-1/2 cups of crumbs.
  • Add to food processor melted butter and cinnamon to cookie crumbs. Pulse 1-2 times.
  • Pat cookie crust mixture in bottom of spring form pan. Place in freezer for 5 minutes. Remove and bake for 5-6 minutes . Watch carefully so as not to over brown. Reduce heat to 350.
Filling Directions:
  • Proceed with recipe by beating all filling ingredients together. Pour filling over gingersnap crust.
Topping Directions:
  • In a bowl mix 1/3 cup sugar with 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • Chop 2 Granny Smith apples and mix into cinnamon/sugar mixture.
  • Place apple mixture on top of cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle with almonds.
  • Bake about 40 minutes or until crust is golden, apples are tender and filling set.
  • Refrigerate any leftovers.
Cranberry Cherry Sauce
Cook's notes:This sauce is flavorful and a perfect side when served over turkey, chicken, pork or salmon. It can be made a few days in advance and kept refrigerated. Also can be used as a basting sauce for grilled meats. Don't skip the wine part. For some inexplicable reason it really enhances the sauce flavor :)

  • 2 TB. cornstarch mixed with 1/4 cup cran-cherry juice
  • 12 oz. cran-cherry juice
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 large cinnamon sticks broken in half
  • 1/4 tsp. allspice
  • 1-5 oz package dried tart cherries
  • 1-12 oz bag fresh cranberries
  • 1/4 cup dry red wine like a Merlot, Cabernet or Malbec
  • Whisk 2 TB. cornstarch into 1/4 cup cran-cherry juice and set aside
  • In a saucepan add 12 oz. cran-cherry juice, 1 cup of water, brown sugar, allspice, and cinnamon sticks.
  • Bring mixture to boil over medium heat stirring till sugar is dissolved, add cherries and reserved cornstarch mixed with 1/4 cup cran cherry juice and cook 2 minutes until sauce slightly thickened. 
  • Add in cranberries and cook till berries pop about 7 minutes over medium heat.
  • Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl, stir in wine. 
  • Cool and remove cinnamon sticks
  • Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until serving.
Sausage Cranberry Apple Cornbread Stuffing 
Cook's notes: Cooking tip- Dry cornbread and white bread cubes out on a cookie sheet for several hours or crumble up pre-made cornbread onto a baking sheet, and toast in a 250 degree oven for about an hour. If you've got stale bread rip it up and toast it too. This preparation can be done a day ahead. Optional adding in 2 cups cooked wild rice. The entire dish can be made a day ahead. Recipe serves 8.

  • 1/4 cup butter 
  • 3 medium celery stalks, chopped (1-1/2 cups)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped (1 cup)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 package of Jimmy Dean Sage Sausage or turkey sausage.
  • 6 cups crumbled dry corn bread or 6 cups corn bread stuffing mix (equal to two 8-ounce packages)
  • 6 cups dry white (like artisan or sourdough) or wheat bread cubes
  • 2 cups peeled and chopped Granny Smith apples
  • 1 cup dried cranberries, cherries, or raisins
  • 2 TB. snipped fresh sage leaves or 1-1/2 tsp. dried sage 
  • 1 TB.snipped fresh thyme leaves or 1 tsp. dried thyme leaves
  • 1 TB. dried parsley flakes
  • 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 4 cups chicken broth-low sodium
  • Heat broth in a separate pan and keep warm.
  • In a large Dutch oven cook sausage, drain and set aside. 
  • Melt butter in same Dutch oven over medium heat. Saute celery, garlic and onion about 5 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat.
  • Stir in crumbled corn bread, bread cubes, apples, cranberries, sage, thyme, salt, and pepper into onion mixture. Add in sausage. Mix in enough hot broth to moisten stuffing, tossing lightly to combine. More warm broth can be added as needed. 
  • Spoon stuffing into a 3-quart greased baking dish. Bake, covered, in a 325 degrees for 30 minutes. Uncover; bake for 15 minutes more or until heated through and to desired moistness.

1 comment:

  1. Merry Thanksgiving. No snow here yet in southern Minnesota. Just rain and grey skies, almost night-time like.

    Thanks for sharing all of those recipes. You inspire me to try new dishes.