- After three people told me about this sweet treat this week, I couldn’t wait to try them. Each friend had a slightly different variation. The recipe I used comes from an old edition of Cooking Light. They taste as good as they look. The chrystallized cranberries will stand alone on a pretty plate or one friend served them with cheesecake. They are my favorite treat of this holiday season.
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups fresh cranberries
- 3/4 cup superfine sugar (this can be purchased or simply run regular sugar through a food processor until super fine)
- Combine granulated sugar and water in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring mixture until sugar dissolves. Bring to a simmer; remove from heat. (Do not boil or the cranberries may pop when added.) Stir in cranberries; pour mixture into a bowl. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.
- Drain cranberries in a colander over a bowl, reserving steeping liquid, if desired. Place superfine sugar in a shallow dish. Add the cranberries, rolling to coat with sugar. Spread sugared cranberries in a single layer on a baking sheet; let stand at room temperature 1 hour or until dry.
- Note: The steeping liquid clings to the berries and helps the sugar adhere. Store in an airtight container in a cool place for up to a week.
Looking for a great side dish for the holidays? A dear friend shared her fabulous find over Thanksgiving. Thanks Kelly, vegetables never tasted so good. The recipe comes from a Neiman Marcus Cookbook that was published in 1991. Enjoy!
1 ½ cups sharp cheese, grated
1 can (4 oz) chopped green chilies
2 cans (16 oz each) whole green beans, drained
2 cans (16 oz each) whole kernel corn, drained
Salt and pepper
½ pound Monterey Jack cheese slices
¾ cup sour cream
Grease a 3 quart casserole dish or 9×9 pan. Layer ingredients in this order: ½ cup cheddar cheese, ½ can chilies, ½ can green beans, ½ can corn, salt and pepper. Repeat. Add remaining ½ cup cheddar cheese on top. Cover with slices of the Monterey Jack cheese. Just before putting in the oven, beat eggs and sour cream together, pour over vegetables and sliced cheese. Bake one hour at 350. This may be frozen after baking. Serves 12
I can’t believe this recipe hasn’t been on the blog before now. I’ve made it a zillion times. I found it originally at epicurious.com, and it really saved me Christmas 99 when I was sick and had in-laws in town for 8 days. I made it twice, using different fruit and nuts each time. It is unbelievably easy and perfect for someone who isn’t a morning person. With the fruit and maybe some bacon (which you could cook on a rack in the oven at the same time), you have a complete breakfast.
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
1-2 T. sugar or cinnamon sugar12 3/4-inch-thick French bread slices
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup sugar
2 T. maple syrup
1 t. vanilla
1/2 t. salt
2-4 T. Grand Marnier (optional, but add whatever looks right)
Place melted butter in bottom of heavy large baking pan with 1-inch-high sides. Sprinkle sugar or cinnamon sugar over butter (to caramelize). Arrange bread slices in pan. Beat eggs, milk, sugar, syrup, vanilla, Grand Marnier, and salt to blend in large bowl. Pour mixture over bread. Turn bread slices to coat. Cover with plastic and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Top with fruit and/or nuts if desired (such as dried cranberries, sliced almonds, walnuts, and/or pecans, or you could top with fresh fruit after baking instead). Bake French toast 10-12 minutes, until golden. Turn bread over and continue baking until golden, about 5-10 minutes longer. Transfer cooked toast to plates and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve immediately, passing maple syrup.
I served this the other night at my annual cookie exchange, and I loved the combo of sweet/creamy/crunchy. I recommend serving it with a very thin cracker – yum!
- 17 1/2 ounces frozen puff pastry, thawed
- 1 (400-gram) wheel Brie
- 1/2 cup dried cherries, (plus a few extra for garnish)
- 1/4 cup cherry preserves
- 1 tablespoon brandy or cognac, (optional)
- 1/2 cup shelled pistachios, (plus a few extra for garnish), lightly toasted
- 1 egg, lightly beaten with 1 teaspoon water (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Lay puff pastry flat on a non-stick or parchment-lined baking sheet or pie pan. Slice wheel of Brie in half horizontally to create two thinner Brie rounds. Place one Brie round (rind-side down) onto pastry dough. In a small bowl, mix together cherries, preserves and brandy. Spread evenly over Brie and scatter pistachios on top. Place other Brie round (rind-side up) over filling. Fold pastry edges up over Brie, and press together to seal. Flip entire package so that the seam is underneath. Brush top with egg wash if desired.
Bake 15 to 20 minutes, until pastry is golden brown. Let cool 5 minutes before serving. Garnish sparingly with additional toasted pistachios and dried cherries.
My business partner Jeremy shared this recipe for a different margaritas. I hear people call them beer-garitas. I did make a couple tweaks to the recipe, and I thought they were really good and easy!
In a large glass pitcher, combine -
- One can of frozen concentrated limeade (keep the can!)
- One limeade can-full of 7up (Glad you kept the can? Oh, and I used Fresca)
- One limeade can-full of blanco tequila (YES. A WHOLE CAN. I WANNA SEE “SURFACE TENSION” KEEPING IT IN.)
- Two full bottles of cold Corona (we used Corona Light)
- One shot of triple sec
- Squeeze a fresh lime or two in there, then toss the whole thing in. Looks festive.
Stir, and serve over ice!
We can hardly call this a recipe, since there are only three ingredients. The flavors of these ingredients are wonderful. These easy breakfast hits are great made ahead and stored in the freezer until you are ready to serve them. We share them with love, as these are a staple in our family holiday gatherings. I recently made these for a school breakfast and used a pizza cutter to make small wedges. Whip up some scramble eggs while these bake and you have a complete breakfast.
2 lb ground breakfast sausage (Owens or Jimmy Deans)
2 packages of English Muffins
2 jars of Old English Cheese (these come in small jars and are found near the Parmesan cheese in my grocery store)
Brown and crumble sausage in a large skillet (using a potato masher for this step makes it very easy), add the jars of cheese mixing and cooking until warm and melted. After the cheesy sausage mixture is warm and combined, use a fork to pack 2-3 Tablespoons of the sausage/cheese onto the English muffin. Cover the muffin with a thin layer. Put the ready muffins on a cookie sheet and quick freeze (10-20 minutes). Once semi frozen, place muffins in a large ziploc bag and freeze. When ready to serve, preheat over to 375. Cook on a cookie sheet for 15-20 minutes until heated through. If you are serving a large group, using a pizza cutter to make small wedges is a helpful tip. You may easily half this recipe, using one package of each ingredient.
Here’s another recipe from my fabulous weekend at my freinds’ Brad and Kirk’s lovely lake house. We served it with carne asada, cowboy beans and a big bowl of guacamole – it was all so good! This salad was fresh and delicious.
3 ears corn, shucked
1 poblano chile
3 tablespoons canola oil, divided
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon finely chopped canned chipotle chile
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 avocado, cut into chunks
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
1/2 cup slivered sweet onion, rinsed, patted dry
- 1. Heat grill to high (450° to 550°). Rub corn and poblano with 1 tbsp. oil. Grill both, turning occasionally, until poblano is mostly blackened, 5 to 10 minutes, and some corn kernels have browned, 10 to 20 minutes. Let cool.
- 2. Cut corn kernels from cobs into a large bowl. Peel and seed poblano, cut into 1/2-in. pieces, and add to corn. In a small bowl, whisk remaining oil with lime juice, chipotle chile, and salt.
- 3. Stir avocado, cilantro, and onion into corn mixture along with chipotle dressing.
- Note: Nutritional analysis is per 1/2-cup serving.
Is it just me, or is it sometimes shocking to believe that a recipe is from Cooking Light? This dish definitely doesn’t seem light, but who am I to argue with cheesy, sausage-y goodness?
I had this for brunch at my friend Brad’s lake house in the Hudson Valley. It may have been that it was such a beautiful setting, really fun friends, or just an overall great time.But we served it with biscuits and homemade jam, cherry tomatoes with goat cheese, and fried eggs. And it was perfection.
In case you’re wondering, yes, that is a record player in the background. My friends are just that cool.
Serves 4 (serving size: about 1 cup)
1. Preheat oven to 400°.
2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage to pan, and sauté for 5 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Remove sausage from pan; drain. Wipe pan with paper towels. Melt butter in pan. Add onion; sauté 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add mushrooms; sauté 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add potatoes and salt; sauté 5 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally.
3. Stir in sausage and broth. Remove from heat. Spoon potato mixture into an 11 x 7-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray; top with cheese. Cover and bake at 400° for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 15 minutes or until golden. Sprinkle with thyme.
I have something serious to tell you today. I’ve updated my favorite pancake batter. If this doesn’t sound earthshattering, well you don’t know how seriously we take our pancakes. Lately my son has been claiming mac and cheese as his favorite food, but I know that’s just because he’s not thinking about breakfast. Pancakes reign supreme in our household.
These are better than you can get in a restaurant, and you can make them in less time than it takes to get you there. Whip these up for family and friends, and you’ll get rave reviews. Double it if you have more than 3-4 people (or big eaters). And don’t mix the wet with the dry ingredients until you’re ready to cook, for maximum fluff factor. If you never want your guests to leave, serve with Sugared Bacon.
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Whisk egg and butter into “soured” milk. Pour the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and whisk until lumps are gone.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and coat with cooking spray (I wipe it off with a paper towel immediately, so the first batch looks as good as the last). Pour 1/4 cupfuls of batter onto the skillet, and cook until bubbles appear on the surface. Flip with a spatula, and cook until browned on the other side.
I got this recipe off Pinterest, and I decided to make it and a recipe I’d found for the “perfect blueberry muffin” on the same day for a playground date. This one won our taste test hands down! I substituted 1/2 T vinegar with the rest of 1/2 cup milk for butter milk, and it worked great! It’s quicker and easier cleanup than muffins too.
½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tsp. lemon zest or more — zest from 1 large lemon
7/8 cup* + 1 tablespoon sugar**
1 egg, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
2 cups fresh blueberries
½ cup buttermilk
* 7/8 cup = 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons
** This 1 tablespoon is for sprinkling on top
1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Cream butter with lemon zest and 7/8 cup of the sugar until light and fluffy.
2. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Meanwhile, toss the blueberries with ¼ cup of flour, then whisk together the remaining flour, baking powder and salt.
3. Add the flour mixture to the batter a little at a time, alternating with the buttermilk. Fold in the blueberries.
4. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan (or something similar) with butter or coat with non-stick spray. Spread batter into pan. Sprinkle batter with remaining tablespoon of sugar. Bake for 35 minutes. Check with a toothpick for doneness. If necessary, return pan to oven for a couple of more minutes. (Note: Baking for as long as 10 minutes more might be necessary.) Let cool at least 15 minutes before serving.