Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thanksgiving List

We're heading up to my sister's house for Thanksgiving so we can meet the newest member of our family! Since Anne is still recovering we're all bringing bits and pieces of the feast so it's easier on her.

Anne's MIL is bringing: the Turkey, yams, and an apple dessert.

Our Mom is up there, so she and Anne are making: green bean casserole, rolls, and stuffing

I'm bringing: the appetizers (family tradition of cheese ball and crackers and chex mix), pumpkin pie, and I saw this so I'm making it, Cranberry Waldorf Salad!

I don't think the cheese ball recipe is up on the blog yet so I'll post that soon.

Happy Thanksgiving to all! Be careful traveling!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


I decided to try some new pumpkin recipes to celebrate Fall. My friend Katy told me that Australians think Americans are weird because we tend to only eat pumpkin for dessert. I LOVE pumpkin pie, so I decided to try some other recipes...

Both were fantastic. I don't have a blender, so I couldn't do the last step of blending the soup. But it was still good.

Pumpkin Risotto
Preparation - 10 min | Cooking - 30 min | Yields - 6

  • 4 cups hot water
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 4 teaspoons MAGGI Instant Chicken Flavor Bouillon
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 cup uncooked Arborio rice
  • 1 cup LIBBY'S® 100% Pure Pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves or chopped fresh sage leaves
  • 1/2 cup (1.5 ounces) shredded Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Ground black pepper to taste
Combine water, wine and bouillon in large measuring cup; set aside.

Heat oil in large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 minutes or until onion is tender. Stir in rice; cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes. Stir in pumpkin and thyme.

Stir in 1 cup broth mixture. Reduce heat to medium; continue adding broth mixture, 1 cup at a time, allowing each addition to be absorbed before adding more broth. Rice should be tender but firm to the bite and mixture should be creamy. This should take 20 to 25 minutes. Stir in cheese and butter until melted. Season with pepper.

Variation (I didn't do this): For Pumpkin Mushroom Risotto, add 4 cups (about 12 ounces) wild mushrooms (mixture of shiitake, oyster and crimini) with the onion and garlic and proceed with recipe.

Creamy Pumpkin Soup
Preparation - 10 min | Cooking - 25 min | Yields - 5 servings

  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons packed brown sugar
  • 1 can (14 1/2 fluid ounces) chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 can (15 ounces) LIBBY'S® 100% Pure Pumpkin
  • 1 can (12 fluid ounces) Evaporated Milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and sugar; cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until soft. Add broth, water, salt and pepper; bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low; cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Stir in pumpkin, evaporated milk and cinnamon. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

Transfer mixture to food processor or blender (in batches, if necessary); process until smooth. Return to saucepan. Serve warm.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Black Beans

I just had to get this recipe from my great aunt after she served it to me for lunch the other day. I tried to make it from memory, but I botched it. So I'm looking forward to trying again, now that I have the recipe. Now my aunt labeled this soup but didn't serve it that way. She used a slotted spoon and just served the beans and veggies over rice. It was very yummy that way with corn muffins on the side!

Black Bean Soup
1small onion chopped/diced
2 carrots finely chopped/diced
Saute in 1-2 T oil and cook until tender.
Add 2 crushed cloves of garlic.
Saute about 1minute - do not brown (makes the garlic bitter)
2 cans of black beans
1/2 tsp. thyme
1 cup chicken broth /bullion
1can diced tomatoes
Cook over low heat for 5 min or until it starts to bubble.
3 T apple cider vinegar.
dash of Cayenne pepper (optional)
Cook over low heat for about 15min. or longer

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

White Bean & Artichoke Pasta

Sorry I've been neglecting posting! I have an awesome and SUPER simple recipe to make up for it.

Anne, you can make this for charles if he can eat any of it just yet, because it's a pasta dish but, get this folks, has NO cheese! And trust me, it doesn't need it. Not even to sprinkle on top. Mom pulled this out of a Simply Recipes magazine. And Erin, to the best of my knowledge this is also vegan, I know you cook like that sometimes, hopefully you can use this!

White Bean & Artichoke Pasta

Cook 3/4 lb fettuccini pasta using the directions on the box. Don't forget to make your boiling water "salty as the sea"
Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water

In a pan over the stove, heat 1/4 cup EVOO and saute one can of chopped artichokes, one can of white beans (Canelloni) and 2 cloves of chopped garlic. Heat all items through, don't let garlic brown. (Heat everything together at once instead of sauteing the garlic first and burning it to death like I did).

In a food processor, pulse 1 cup of toasted bread to make breadcrumbs. Add 1 tsp of dried oregano. While pulsing, add one tablespoon of EVOO. In the pasta pot, mix drained pasta with the bean/garlic/artichoke mixture and the breadcrumbs. Toss to serve.

The flavors are immense in this, you won't believe it and don't skimp on the EVOO when mixing the beans/artichokes/garlic. You don't even need to sprinkle cheese on top.

yum! (i'm having leftovers for lunch today at work).

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

My Christmas List

Well, I have started thinking about my Christmas baking this year. In fact, I've decided already what I will be baking this year - made the shopping list and baking will begin before too long. My main requirement this year was quick and easy, like something I could fit within a nap time.
Hopefully I'll be posting pictures and recipes as I get baking... So here's my list.
Swirled Peppermint Sugar Cookies
Saltine Toffee Cookies
White Chocolate-Covered Pretzels
Microwave Peanut Brittle
Candy-Coated Almonds
Have you made your list yet?

Monday, November 3, 2008

Holiday Treat

Every year at my grandmother's Christmas party, there is a Christmas gift that each family receives. And covets. It is the carmel corn that my aunt Ann makes. And yesterday, my friends, Christmas came early!!

Aunt Ann came to see our new home here since she just lives about an hour away and she brought lunch. And dessert. Carmel corn in the cutest little Halloween bags. I'd share a picture but there are none because it is all very gone now. And I had to fight for my share as Peter kept returning to the pantry the whole time I was visiting!! But rest assured, I had a whole cereal bowl to myself.

So I've never used this recipe yet. But I wouldn't let Aunt Ann leave until she wrote it down for me. Which she graciously did. I've put the ingredients on my Peapod order, but I'm wondering if I'll be able to wait until Wednesday to make a batch of it. I might have to take them off Peapod and make a run to Dominick's. We'll see.

I can't wait for our Christmas treat!

Without further ado....the recipe:

Carmel Corn
26 c popped popcorn (about 1 c unpopped)
1 c butter or margarine, melted (or half and half...whatever)
1 3/4 c light brown sugar
2/3 c light corn syrup
1 t salt
Heat oven to 225 degrees. Heat ingredients on stove top over medium to medium-high heat until it reaches a low boil stirring constantly. This will take about 20 minutes. Then let boil without stirring for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in
1/2 t baking soda
1 t vanilla
Pour over popcorn kept warm in the oven. You'll need either several cookie sheets with sides or a very large roasting pan to hold the popcorn. Stir every 15 minutes or so for 1 hour at 225 degrees. Pour onto wax paper or paper bags to cool.
*Add a cup or two of spanish peanuts, but don't be alarmed when they fall to the bottom of the pan and don't stick to the mix. Aunt Ann said they just don't stick well.
*Aunt Ann recommends using Domino's brown sugar as she has found it to melt the best thus resulting in the best carmel corn ever!