Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Need a really special Christmas Gift?

I just discovered these little monogrammed treasures at Phine & Whimsey!  Candles are a perfect Christmas gift for your discriminating friends and these are particularly gorgeous!


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Whose Side Are You On?

The great cranberry debate; canned or homemade?  Well I grew up with my grandmothers, aunts and my mother opening a can of cranberry sauce.  It always came out of the can with the ridges intact and went to the table exactly that way.  Now I will admit as a kid, it was one of the few things I liked at Thanksgiving; the sweet yet tangy flavor and the smooth consistency was a delight to the senses!
When I started cooking myself one of the first holiday meals I tackles was Thanksgiving and the cranberry sauce was my highest priority to investigate and make my own.  Over the years I have developed this easy cranberry sauce that is a continual crowd pleaser and has made its way into a specialty dessert of mine; Lemon cranberry Cake.
But for today let’s just stick with making the basic cranberry sauce.
2 Packages Fresh cranberries
2 Apples
2 Pears
1 Lemon
1 Cup Sugar
½ Cup Orange Juice

Rinse and pick over the cranberries to make sure you don’t have any bad ones.
Peel, core and chop the apples and pears.
Finely grate the lemon peel and then juice the lemon.
Place all the ingredients in a large enamel pot and cook over low/medium heat for about 45 minutes stirring every few minutes.  The berries will pop and the sauce will thicken slightly.

Remove from the heat and chill.  The sauce will be very thick when chilled.
Thanks it, that’s all you have to do to make a super delicious homemade cranberry sauce!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

KC in the Kitchen: Kraft Feeding America A touch of Love

KC in the Kitchen: Kraft Feeding America A touch of Love

What a Tart!

Need a quick and easy dessert?  Something that you can make from what you have on hand?  Well almost? Something that your family will love and the kids can actually do themselves?  What A Tart just may be your answer!
I keep pre made pie crusts in the fridge at all times; I guess it’s the lazy way but let’s face it…..they are pretty good and we don’t always have the time or energy to make our own pie crusts….hey, but if you prefer you certainly can do this tart with your favorite homemade crust!
With a little sugar, a pie crust and a bit of fresh fruit you can have a delightful dessert in no time at all!  Right now big juicy fresh blackberries are available in the local markets; but you really can use most any fresh fruit.  Apples, Raspberries, Blueberries, Cherries, Pears or whatever you have locally that is fresh!
For this tart, I cut the blackberries in half lengthwise because they were huge!  I actually got 12 tarts from one box of blackberries; more than usual.  Normally I plan on 6 to 8 tarts from one box of berries.
Ingredients for 4 Tarts:
1 pre made pie crust
8 tablespoons sugar
Fresh fruit to cover tart ( about ¼ cup per tart)

Pre heat oven to 375
Cut pie crust in quarters
Trim into an oval/circle it doesn’t have to be exact but keep the trimmings for the top
Roll the edges and then pull the edges through your fingers at an angle
Top with fresh fruit
Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons sugar per tart
Make leaves or other design with crust trimmings.  The leaves are just a small oval with three diagonal cuts on each side!
Place leaves on top of each tart
Bake on non stick (or coat with non stick spray) cookie sheet for about 30 minutes
You can brush tarts edges and leaves with a beaten egg wash if desired; I do sometimes but when my daughter makes them she doesn’t.
You can top with a dollop of whipped cream for extra joy but my family loves them even without and never seems to notice if I don’t give them the extra topping!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Kraft Feeding America A touch of Love

Kraft if teaming with Feeding America with the goal of donating 100,000 meals beween November 8th and November 22nd!  For each video using Kraft Cheeses with a touch of Philly Kraft will
donate 40 meals!  For every photo using Kraft Cheeses with a touch of Philly Kraft will donate 20 meals!  Just upload your photos or videos to the Real Women of Philadelphia web site @ http://www.realwomenofphiladelphia.com/ and while there take advantage of the $1.00 off coupon for Kraft Cheeses with a touch of Philly!
Here is a video giving you all the details and below the video is a photo of Fresh Corn Muffins that I made using Kraft Shredded Mozzarella with a touch of Philly.  The muffins were an absolute cheesy delight!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Bacon Baked Potato Surprize

I’ve been roasting cauliflower a lot lately; break it into small flowerets, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper then pop into a medium oven for about 30 minutes.  The will brown around the edges and are just a perfect snack or tidbit to serve with a glass of wine before dinner!  Oh yes, you can serve them as a side veggie but I can never wait to get them to the table!
Unfortunately my daughter will have nothing to do with them; no thank you is about as close as she will come to touching raw or cooked cauliflower!  So I decided to figure out a way to sneak some into something she would eat…Hence bacon baked potato surprises were invented.
Must say that these potatoes ended up being a hearty main dish and were perfect served with a mixed green salad, making it a nice inexpensive dinner!  Did Marina like them?  Oh yes she loved them and went right to the refrigerator the next day after school to grab a leftover bacon baked potato surprise and pop it into the microwave.  Proof positive that she REALLY liked them!
 Oh by the way, she never realized that they were filled with cauliflower; my husband and I could taste the cauliflower, the cheese and the potatoes so no worries that some of the flavors are lost!
1 large Idaho baking potato per person
1/2 cauliflower broken into small flowerets
1/2 cup grated mozzarella per person
1/2  cup cheddar per person
1/4 cup sour cream per person
2 slices cooked and chopped bacon per person
Salt and pepper

Scrub and pierce your potatoes and bake until done in a 450 degree oven
Place cauliflower on baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper
Bake cauliflower  at 375 until slightly softened and brown around the edges, about 25 minutes
When cauliflower is done chop quite fine
Scoop out potatoes and reserve skins to refill
Mix potato, cauliflower, bacon, salt, pepper, sour cream, mozzarella and ½ of the cheddar cheese
Fill potato skins and top with remaining cheddar
Return to oven for 15 minutes or until heated through and serve with a mixed green salad.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Piggy Panini

Everybody loves a Panini!  What is so special about a Panini? You can get them in every freeway rest stop along the freeways in Italy!  Yep, that’s right and boy are they good!  Prosciutto, mortadella and a dozen other fillings and combinations are all waiting in the deli showcase.  Whether or not it’s grilled is up to you.  

Big crusty loaf of country bread; figure one full Panini per person
2 slices of cooked bacon per Panini
1/3 avocado sliced per Panini
3 slice mozzarella per Panini
2 slices cheddar per Panini
3 slices tomatoes per Panini
Butter for the outside of your Panini
Butter the bread
Layer mozzarella, tomatoes, bacon, avocado and cheddar on each slice of bread
Top with another slice of bread
Butter the bread and place into pre heated Panini press
Toast for about 5 minutes
Cut sandwiches in half and serve hot
If you do not have a Panini press any grill will do!!!!  Even a frying pan in pinch!