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Category Archives: Holiday Specific

Italian Stuffing

Adrianna

My sister, Adrianna is half- Italian and her mother’s family has some incredible authentic recipes. This stuffing requires a considerable amount of preparation, but the results are well worth the effort!

Preparation Time:
Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 bags stuffing mix
  • 8 carrots
  • 1 whole head celery
  • ½ bushel parsley
  • 5-6 cloves garlic chopped fine (to taste)
  • 1 Spanish onion
  • ½ bag walnuts chopped very fine
  • ½ Parmasan cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • Large container free range chicken broth
  • 4 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup cranberries or raisins

Instructions:

Prepare vegetable, walnut, and cheese mixture:

  • Cook onion and garlic until slightly brown.
  • Add vegetables and cook until they are “aladante.”
  • Add walnuts to vegetable mixture and cook some more.
  • Add Parmasan cheese after the vegetables are cooked.
  • Cook cheese and vegetables together. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Prepare egg, stuffing, broth mixture:

  • Separately, beat eggs and add to stuffing. Allow to melt.
  • Add chicken broth to eggs. Stir.
  • Add olive oil.

Combine all ingredients:

  • Mix cranberries/raisins into veggie mixture and add to stuffing.
  • Put into mixture in a pan. Bake for ½ hour until it’s brown.
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Super Sweets

Adrianna

These are my sister’s version of mashed sweet potatoes. Generous amounts of butter, brown sugar, and sour cream are added to sweet potatoes/yams. If you are on a diet, I would try one of the other sweet potato recipes on this site, but if you are looking for a moment of indulgence, these fit the bill.

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Serves 5-6

Ingredients:

  • 5-6 yams (1 yam per person)
  • 1 1/2 cubes of butter (6 sticks)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 16 oz. whole milk or sour cream
  • Cinnamon and salt to taste

Instructions: 

  • Boil water and cook yams, leaving skin on.
  • Drain yams in cold water and peel.
  • Place yams in a bowl. Stir in butter and allow it to melt in hot yams.
  • Add cinnamon, brown sugar, and milk/sour cream.
  • Mix all ingredients using a masher or whipper until fluffy.
  • Sprinkle a little cinnamon and/or salt on top.
 

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Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Apples

I concocted this recipe for Christmas 2011, knowing I wanted to make something with sweet potatoes and apples to go with my homemade cranberry sauce and green beans. After some Google searching, I found a recipe I liked, but thought it was too bland. So, I doubled the measurements for the non-sweet potato ingredients and it was a hit!

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Makes 4-6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups mashed sweet potatoes (about 5 medium sized sweet potatoes)
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 2 large apples, peeled, cored, and diced (I suggest Granny Smith because the tartness of the apples offsets the sweetness of the other ingredients)
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • Dash of cinnamon to taste

Instructions:

  • Prepare Sweet Potatoes:
    • Add sweet potatoes to boiling water and cook until tender. You know they are done when the skin starts to fall off in the pot).
    • Place sweet potatoes in metal strainer. Run cold water over them for a couple minutes to cool them off.
    • Once the sweet potatoes are cool enough to handle, gently peel skin off with your fingers.
    • Mash in a large bowl using a potato masher or large fork. Set aside. (Be sure to measure potatoes before mashing to confirm you have enough).
  • Prepare Apple and Butter Mixture:
    • Melt butter in a large saucepan.
    • Add diced apples and cook until tender.
  • Combine Ingredients:
    • Add apple and butter mixture to the mashed sweet potatoes and stir until well blended.
    • Stir in apple juice, brown sugar, salt, pepper, and cinnamon.
  • When ready to serve, heat over low heat until hot.
 

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“Eggs Fantastic” Casserole

Aunt Jaymie
Original Source:  Gatherings Cookbook, by The Junior League

“Eggs Fantastic” is Aunt Jaymie’s family holiday breakfast. Not the healthiest meal in the world, but everything in moderation, right? After all, the holidays only come once a year. You won’t need to eat lunch after this.

Preparation Time:
Cooking Time:

Ingredients:

  • 12 eggs
  • 1/ 3 cup sour cream
  • 1 pound bulk sausage, any type
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • ¼ pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • ½ pound cheddar cheese, grated
  • ½ pound mozzarella cheese, grated
  • ½ pound Swiss cheese, grated
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Salsa

 Instructions:

  • Beat eggs & sour cream.  Pour into buttered 13 x 9 casserole dish.  Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, or until eggs are set.
  • Saute sausage, onions & mushrooms.  Season with salt & pepper.  Drain fat.  Spread meat mixture over eggs & top with grated cheeses.  Bake at 325 degrees until cheese melts & casserole is heated through, about 30 minutes.

Serving Suggestion:
Serve with salsa.

Aunt Jaymie’s Tips:
Bake the egg base the night before, sauté the sausage & grate the cheeses.  (Skip the onion & mushrooms). Then it’s quick to put together and bake.

 


 

 

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Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Aunt Jaymie
Original Source: Food Processor Cookbook

While this recipe does not have the same heritage and tradition as my grandmother’s German Coffee Cake, which I make for Christmas every year, it is much easier to make. I made the sour cream version for Thanksgiving this year to test it out before Christmas! My father and brother could not decide which cake they liked better, so they asked me to make one of each next time. We’ll see about that! : )

Preparation Time: 40 minutes
Baking Time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 ½ cup pecans
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Instructions:

  • Mix together flour, baking powder, and salt. Reserve.
  • Chop pecans, brown sugar, and cinnamon in food processor with steel blade until mixture consists of fine crumbs. Reserve.
  • Cream butter in processor, adding sugar slowly in a stream.  Add eggs & process until smooth.  Add sour cream & vanilla  & process.  Add flour mixture in two batches, processing with quick on / off pulses.
  • Pour half of batter into buttered tube pan.  Sprinkle with ½ topping mix.  Repeat.
  • Bake at 350 degrees about an hour.

Aunt Jaymie’s Tips:
Use an angel food cake pan, greased & floured, that has a removable bottom.

 

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Pumpkin Bread (Trader Joe’s)

There are days when you don’t have time to prepare a loaf of bread from scratch and that’s when high quality mixes can be a blessing. Trader Joe’s has some of the best bread mixes I have tried and I often pop a loaf in the oven when I need a break from homework or just want something to snack on. All you have to do for their pumpkin bread is add eggs, oil, and water to the mix, pop it in a pan, and you’re done. Your friends will never know you didn’t spend hours in the kitchen waiting for the dough to rise. This particular mix is only available in the fall, so stock up on it! My roommate Michelle suggests eating a warm slice with a glass of milk. Yum.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Baking Time: 55 to 60 minutes

Ingredients (from side of box):

Pumpkin bread with homemade glaze.

  • 1 full package of mix
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries (optional)
  • 1/2 cup almonds (optional)
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar and small amount of milk (if maxing glaze)

Instructions (from side of box):

  • Prepare: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a standard 9×5 pan with butter or cooking spray.
  • Mix: Combine eggs, oil, and water in a medium bowl. Add mix. Fold together with rubber spatula until batter is smooth (approximately 1 to 2 minutes). For holiday bread, add cranberries and/or almonds.
  • Pan: Spread batter in pan, filling corners and leveling top.
  • Oven: Bake for 55 to 60 minutes. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before removing from pan. Yields 10 to 12 slices per loaf.
  • If making glaze: Combine 1/2 cup powdered sugar with milk, adding teaspoons at a time to desired consistency.  Spread over warm loaf. Cool before slicing.
  • Muffins: Follow mixing instructions. Portion batter into lightly greased standard muffin tins, 2/3 full. Bake at 400 degrees for 18 to 20 minutes.
  • For high altitudes: Add 2 Tbsp. water to above ingredients.

Trader Joe’s Baking Tips:

  • All ovens bake differently. Always double check your oven temperature with an oven thermometer before baking.
  • Check bread at the minimum baking time by inserting a toothpick in several locations. If the toothpick comes out clean, the bread is finished. If not, bake for an additional 5 minutes.
 
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Posted by on November 5, 2011 in Breads, Desserts, Holiday Desserts

 

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Simple Green Beans

Aunt Anni

(Based on a recipe from Julia Child’s cookbook)

Aunt Anni gave me this recipe for Thanksgiving 2010 when I suddenly found myself in charge of holiday food preparations while I was in the middle of studying for finals and writing papers during my first semester of graduate school. Since I was short on time, I started calling all of my aunts asking for quick, easy recipes and these green beans fit the bill.

Ingredients:

  • Green beans
  • Salt
  • Water
  • Butter and seasonings to taste

Instructions:

  • Bring a pot of water to a boil
  • Add a good amount of salt (~ 2-3 tsp. for a medium saucepan full of water)*
  • While the water is boiling, wash and trim the beans (Aunt Anni just chops about a quarter inch off both ends by the handful)!
  • Once the water is boiling, toss in the beans, bring water back to a boil, and cook the beans until they start to turn bright green (about 3-5 minutes for haricot vert and 4-5 minutes for regular beans).
  • Drain beans in a colander. Immediately turn on cold water and add a large handful of ice to the beans in the colander. Mix the ice around so that all the beans are cooled.**
  • Once the ice has melted, return the drained beans to their saucepan.
  • When you are ready to eat, reheat the beans with butter and seasonings (but watch the salt, since the water was so salty!) You can do this up to an hour ahead of time.

*Make sure you use a pot that is large enough for the beans to “swim” a bit. You don’t want them to be too crowded or else they won’t cook evenly.

** The ice gives the beans a pretty bright color and seals in the flavor.

 

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