Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Stuffed Cranberry Sauce

Every Thanksgiving, I poured through cookbooks and scavenged the Internet for a new cranberry relish recipe, or cranberry sauce recipe. I prepared my newest conquest and after the meal was complete, I still had 2 gallons of my cranberry dish left. But, open a can of that jellied cranberry sauce and the bowl was licked clean. One day, I found the following recipe by Paula Dean. I love it. It is a great way to jazz up the dreaded canned cranberry sauce and everyone loves it.

Stuffed Cranberry Sauce

1 8-ounce package of cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoons of a good quality mayonnaise (I like Hellman's)
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1 can jellied cranberry sauce, chilled

Beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add mayonnaise and mix well. Fold in the pecans.

Open the cranberry sauce and remove from the can in one piece. Slice in 1/4 inch slices. I usually get about 8 to 10 slices. Lay 1/2 of the slices flat. Divide cream cheese mixture evenly among those slices. Place the remaining slices on top and press lightly. Cut each sandwich in half and plate it up.


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Roasted Beef Brisket

Tonight is the first night of basketball for my girls. They will come home exhausted, hungry, and with lots of homework. So, a little homecooking is just what the Mom ordered. This is a family favorite recipe from a cookbook called, "Cooking from Quilt Country," by Marsha Adams. I did make a few adjustments by increasing the garlic and spices used.

Roasted Beef Brisket

5 pounds fresh brisket
6 garlic cloves
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons black pepper
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup water
1 large onion
3 bay leaves

The night before serving, place brisket in a 9 x 13 glass baking dish. Peel and mince garlic. Make a paste with the garlic and kosher salt. Add paprika, pepper and lemon juice to the mashed garlic and salt mixture. Spread on both sides of the meat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, preheat oven to 425 F. Turn brisket fat side up in baking dish. Add 1/2 cup water and bake, covered, for 45 minutes or until the roast is browned. You can add more water if necessary - just be sure it does not stick to the bottom of the pan. Next, slice the onion and place on top of roast. Add an additional cup of water and the bay leaves. Cover, reduce oven temperature to 350 F., and bake it for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and slice. Return meat to pan, keeping it in its original shape. Spoon juices over the meat, cover, and bake for an additional 1 1/2 hours. Check occasionally to be sure it does not bake dry. If the roast does appear dry, I like to add a beef broth.

Helpful Hint: I like to grate my garlic using a small grater or a rasp. Then I add the salt to make the paste. The mincing and mashing takes much longer and the result is pretty much the same.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Baked Potato Soup

It is cool outside and the leaves are falling from the trees. I can think of nothing better than a big bowl of piping hot soup. Baked Potato Soup is a favorite in our house and is pretty much a staple on "snow days." Even my meat and potatoes husband goes back for seconds!

Baked Potato Soup

2/3 cup butter
2/3 cup flour
7 cups milk
4 large baking potatoes, baked, cooled, peeled and cubed, about 4 cups
10 to 12 strips bacon, cooked, drained, and crumbled
1 1/4 cups shredded mild cheddar cheese
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

In a large Dutch oven or stockpot over low heat, melt butter. Stir in flour; stir until smooth and bubbly. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly, until sauce has thickened. Add potatoes. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until soup begins to bubble. Reduce heat; simmer gently for 10 minutes. Add remaining ingredients; stir until cheese is melted. Serve baked potato soup immediately.

This baked potato soup recipe serves 6 to 8.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


I spent the evening preparing the menu for Thanksgiving dinner. The entire crew is looking forward to a day of great food and family fun.

Brined & Herb Roasted Turkey
Mashed Potatoes and Gravy
Sausage, Sage & Cranberry Stuffing (served in a roasted pumpkin)
Stuffed Cranberry Sauce
Sweet Potato Casserole
Mashed Root Vegetables
Broccoli & Cheese Casserole
Green Bean Casserole

Watch for recipe postings!