Cranberry Nut Bread

Now that Thanksgiving is over, I was thumbing through my recipes and I came across another family favorite.  I remember always having Cranberry Nut Bread during the holidays.  I think my favorite memory of this bread was on skiing trips.  I grew up very close to a ski resort and every Saturday and Sunday would spend the day skiing with my friends.  My mom always packed goodies for me to eat and one of my favorites was cranberry bread slathered with cream cheese and put together as a sandwich.  These were highly sought after as my friends were always hoping she would pack extras (and she typically did).  Always great with coffee, tea or my favorite; sandiwiched with cream cheese.  Perfect to bake one for now and freeze one for later.

cranberry-nut-bread

Cranberry Nut Bread
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Ingredients
  1. 4 cups flour
  2. 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  3. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  4. 1 teaspoon salt
  5. 2 cups sugar
  6. 2 cups chopped pecans
  7. 2 cups chopped fresh cranberries (coarse chop)
  8. 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  9. 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  10. 2 oranges, grated then juiced
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, grease 2 - 8 1/2 x 5 inch loaf pans.
  2. Mix dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add cranberries and pecans, mix. In a 2 cup measure, melt butter, add grated orange peel and juice from both oranges. Add enough water to make 2 cups. Add liquid and eggs to dry ingredients. Mix well with a wooden spoon until all ingredients are incorporated. Divide dough between the two prepared loaf pans. Bake for one hour or until tester comes out clean. Cool slightly and turn out of pans to finish cooling.
  3. Freezes beautifully.
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Frozen Pumpkin Pie

Looking for an easy dessert for Thanksgiving that you can make today and serve on Thanksgiving?  This recipe is a great additional to any Thanksgiving menu.  I have always been one that loves to plan ahead and make ahead when entertaining, so I can relax and enjoy the day.   This Frozen Pumpkin Pie is delicious and so very quick and easy.  You start with a graham cracker crust, pumpkin, spices and ice cream blended together and frozen.  It is in your freezer and ready when you are.

frozen-pumpkin-pie

Frozen Pumpkin Pie
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup canned pumpkin
  2. 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  3. 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  4. 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  5. 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  6. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  7. 1 quart vanilla ice cream, softened
  8. 1 graham cracker crust
  9. Sweetened whipped cream, chopped nuts (optional)
Instructions
  1. Blend first five ingredients. In a large bowl, stir ice cream with a wooden spoon until smooth. Quickly stir in pumpkin mixture until blended Immediately pour into prepared crust. Cover and freeze util firm. Garnish with whipped cream and sprinkle with nuts, if desired.
Notes
  1. Sweetened whipped cream
  2. In a mixing bowl combine 1 cup heavy cream and 2 tablespoons confectioners sugar, whip until stiff peaks form.
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Mom’s Green Bean Casserole

I am not sure if I have ever mentioned that everything my mom cooked was from scratch.   Why I mention this is that traditional green bean casserole includes a can of soup.  Well, in my mom’s kitchen, she would never use a can of soup in any recipe.  Too many unnatural ingredients and too much sodium to pass my mom’s cooking standards!  So this recipe, is the perfectly titled; Mom’s Green Bean Casserole.  Made with ingredients that you do not need to Google to find out what they are.  This is absolutely delicious and a perfect side dish for your Thanksgiving table.  

moms-green-bean-casserole

Mom's Green Bean Casserole
Serves 8
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Ingredients
  1. 2 tablespoons butter
  2. 2 tablespoons flour
  3. 1 cup sour cream
  4. 16 oz. green beans, cooked ( I used frozen french cut)
  5. 6 oz. shredded swiss cheese
  6. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  7. 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  8. 3 oz. french fried onions
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium saucepan, melt butter. Blend in flour and stir over low heat until smooth. Stir in sour cream. Cook over low heat until combined and slightly thickened.. Add beans, cheese and salt and pepper. Toss gently. Pour into a 1 1/2 quart casserole dish. Bake for 25 minute or until hot and bubbly. Top with onions, return to oven for 5 minutes.
Notes
  1. This recipe can be made ahead and refrigerated. You will need to increase the baking time if the casserole is cold when you put in the oven.
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Overnight Blueberry Sausage Breakfast Cake

While sorting through my recipe file; I came across this recipe that I received from a dear friend years ago.  I was once a member of a neighborhood quilting group that would get together frequently and work on combined quilting projects.  It was at one of these meetings that one of the members brought this breakfast cake.  One of the reasons we all requested this recipe is that you make it the night before, refrigerate overnight and bake in the morning.  With the holidays approaching, I thought this would be the perfect recipe for all busy cooks.  I have even made this one step easier, I used precooked turkey sausage crumbles that you can buy in the grocery next to the breakfast sausages.  I like using turkey sausage since it is leaner and precooked makes it even easier to use and a time reducer.  Having overnight guests?  This is the perfect make ahead breakfast treat.   

overnight-blueberry-sausage-breakfast-cake

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Overnight Blueberry Sausage Breakfast Cake
Serves 10
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups flour
  2. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  3. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  4. 1/2 cup butter, softened
  5. 3/4 cup sugar
  6. 1/4 cup brown sugar
  7. 2 eggs
  8. 1 8 oz. container sour cream
  9. 1 # turkey sausage precooked crumbles or pork sausage, cooked and well-drained
  10. 1 cup blueberries
  11. 1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
  12. Blueberry Sauce
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder and baking soda, set aside. In a large mixer bowl, beat butter and sugars on high speed until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mix well after each addition. Add flour mixture and sour cream alternately to egg mixture, until all is just combined. Fold in sausage and blueberries. Pour batter into a lightly greased 9 x 13 inch pan. Spread batter evenly and sprinkle with nuts. Cover and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, remove from the refrigerator while the oven is preheating. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 35 - 40 minutes or until a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 8 -10 minutes, serve warm. Top with blueberry sauce.
Notes
  1. Blueberry Sauce
  2. 1/2 cup sugar
  3. 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  4. 1/2 cup water
  5. 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
  6. 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  7. In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch, water and blueberries. Cook over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Stir constantly. Cook and stir two more minutes. Stir in lemon juice and serve. If mixture seems too thick, add water one tablespoon at a time until it reaches your desired consistency. This sauce can be made the day before and refrigerated. The sauce can be reheated in the microwave.
  8. Serving a smaller crowd? You can easily make 1/2 of the recipe, bake as above in a 9 inch pie pan.
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Vidalia Onion Dip

Vidalia Onion Dip was another one of my mom’s favorites that I discovered on a well used recipe card in my card file. You know this is a good recipe when she commented on the number of people that requested that she bring this over and over again.  You might wonder how I know these little facts, my mom (and now I do this same thing) wrote copious notes inside covers of her books, note books and recipe cards, these notes included everything from when she served it last, where she served it and any noteworthy fact she wanted to remember.  My daughter served this last weekend; after a day in the stadium watching our favorite college team play football.  This dip was perfect to serve on a beautiful fall day celebrating with great friends. This recipe is now a three generation favorite in our family!

vidalia-onion-dip

Vidalia Onion Dip
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups finely shredded Swiss cheese
  2. 2 cups chopped Vidalia onions
  3. 2 cups mayonnaise
  4. 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Combine first three ingredients. Pour into a greased casserole dish, top with grated Parmesan cheese. Bake 325 degrees for 40 - 45 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Serve with crackers.
Notes
  1. This recipe can be made ahead up to 2 days. Just refrigerate until you are ready to bake.
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Layered Crab Dip

This recipe has been a family favorite for many years.  I know it originated years ago and I think it is time for a Layered Crab Dip revival.  My mom always made this as well as her friends, this was their signature go to appetizer.  I am sure the fact that it is quick, easy and delicious is the reason they all made this recipe.  All I can say, I made it this past weekend, served it with water crackers and it was fantastic.  This goes back to the old saying “Mothers are always right” I know mine was with this recipe!

layered-crab-dip

Layered Crab Dip
Serves 8
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Ingredients
  1. 12 oz. cream cheese, softened
  2. 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  3. 1/2 medium onion, grated
  4. 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  5. 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  6. 1/2 - 3/4 cup seafood cocktail sauce
  7. 12 oz. fresh jumbo lump crabmeat
  8. 2 tablespoons minced Italian parsley
Instructions
  1. Assemble dip in the following order; spread on a serving plate
  2. Layer 1 - cream together the cream cheese, Worcestershire sauce, onion, lemon juice and mayonnaise; spread on serving plate.
  3. Layer 2 - spread cocktail sauce over cream cheese layer.
  4. Layer 3 - Spread crabmeat over cocktail sauce.
  5. Layer 4 - Top with minced parsley
  6. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
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Cheddar Riesling Soup

Recently, I was working on a dinner party menu and wanted to serve soup for the first course.  Since the days are getting cooler, I wanted to serve the soup on our porch near our chimenea with a crackling fire burning.  I also decided to serve soft pretzels along with the soup.  This soup turned out delicious, creamy and light, and just the accompaniment for dipping pretzels or crusty bread.  

cheddar-riesling-soup

Cheddar Riesling Soup
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Ingredients
  1. 5 tablespoons butter
  2. 1/4 small onion, diced
  3. 1 clove garlic, minced
  4. 4 tablespoons flour
  5. 3 cups vegetable broth
  6. 1 1/2 cup heavy cream
  7. 1 1/2 cup Riesling
  8. 1 ring kielbasa, large dice
  9. 1 3/4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Instructions
  1. In a medium saucepan, melt butter, add onion, cook until onion is transparent. Add garlic and cook and additional minute. Stir in flour, cook until mixture bubbles, stir constantly. Slowly stir in broth and cream. Add Riesling and kielbasa, bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook slowly 30 - 40 minutes. Stir frequently. Stir in cheese and combine until all of the cheese is melted. Simmer for an additional 10 minutes, stir frequently. Serve.
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Harvest Bread

After a beautiful weekend exploring the Virginia countryside, I came home and decided it was time to pull out my mom’s recipe box and find a fall recipe.  This bread features fall’s best – pumpkin, walnuts, chocolate chips and topped with a spiced glaze.  I have to add, the aroma in your kitchen while it is baking is sensational.  It embraces the best of fall, crisp weather, turning leaves, apples, pumpkins and fall spices – what more can I say – I just love the change of seasons!

harvest-bread

Harvest Bread
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup butter, softened
  2. 1 cup sugar
  3. 2 large eggs
  4. 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  5. 1 3/4 cup flour
  6. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  7. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  8. 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  9. 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  10. 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  11. 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  12. 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
  13. Spice Glaze
  14. 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  15. 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  16. 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  17. 1 - 2 tablespoons milk
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease one 9 x 5 inch loaf pan.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the pumpkin and mix well. Combine the dry ingredients and stir into the creamed mixture. Fold in the chocolate chips and walnuts. Pour the batter into the loaf pan. Bake for 70 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes in the pan, remove from pan and top with glaze.
Notes
  1. Spice Glaze
  2. Combine powdered sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg, stir in milk. Spread over warm loaf.
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Corn Soup

Fall is soup season and there is nothing better than a delicious bowl of soup.  This one is especially good for Mexican food lovers.  I know you can still find fresh corn at the markets however if you can’t, this soup is also delicious if you use frozen corn.  Easy to prepare and even better when you top with your favorite Mexican toppings, including fresh tortilla chips.  I think fresh homemade tortilla chips are such a  treat, for in this soup; I used corn tortillas however, they are equally delicious when you use flour tortillas.  I remember when my children were young,  fresh tortilla chips were one of their favorites.    They are so much better than chips in the bag.  You can even sprinkle hot flour tortilla chips with cinnamon sugar for a wonderful treat.  After you try these, you may never buy bagged chips again!

corn-soup

Corn Soup
Serves 6
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Ingredients
  1. 3 1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
  2. 1 cup chicken broth
  3. 4 tablespoons butter
  4. 2 cup milk
  5. 1 teaspoon cumin
  6. 1 clove garlic, minced
  7. 1 4-ounce can diced green chilis
  8. 3 dashes Tabasco sauce
  9. salt and pepper, to taste
  10. canola oil, enough to cover 1/4 inch of medium frying pan
  11. corn or flour tortillas
  12. diced tomatoes
  13. 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
  14. 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  15. condiments to top soup
  16. chunky salsa
  17. sliced black olives
  18. sour cream
  19. sliced green onions
  20. diced avocados
Instructions
  1. In a blender, puree corn and chicken stock. In a stockpot, melt butter, add minced garlic and cook until fragrant, add corn puree. Simmer over low heat for 10 minutes, stir frequently. Add milk and cumin. Heat to boiling, reduce heat and stir in green chiles, salt, pepper and Tabasco. Cook 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Cut tortillas into pieces. Heat oil in heavy skillet. When hot, fry tortillas until golden brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels. Salt while hot. Put equal amount of chicken and diced tomatoes in each bowl. Add cheese to simmering soup. Ladle soup into bowls, top with desired condiments and tortilla chips.
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Beef and Tomato Rice Bowl

Looking for a quick to fix and delicious dinner?  After returning from a weekend trip to Atlanta, GA I was excited to get back to my kitchen and start cooking; there is no better way to spark culinary enthusiasm than a visit to a great food city.   We had lunch at Ponce City Market, an incubator for new entrepreneurs and a venue for seasoned chefs.  Holeman and Finch one of my long time favorites in Atlanta now has a burger bar in the market and they are hard to pass up, delicious patties and the most marvelous homemade ketchup.  We also had to try pork buns, fresh jerky, homemade bitters and the list could go on and on.  There were several spots serving rice bowls and that inspired me to put together this recipe.  Ginger marinated beef along with tomatoes, green pepper, onions, and mushrooms.  I tossed it all with a sriracha tomato sauce that is perfect over rice.  A quick, easy and delicious meal in under 30 minutes.

beef-and-tomato-rice-bowl

 

Beef and Tomato Rice Bowl
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. 1 tablespoon sugar
  2. 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  3. 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  4. 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  5. 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
  6. 2 green onions, diced
  7. 1 pound sirloin, thinly sliced across the grain
  8. 1 medium onion, cut into wedges and separated
  9. 1 green pepper, seeded and cut into wedges
  10. 8 oz. sliced mushrooms
  11. 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  12. 1 cup tomato juice
  13. 3 large tomatoes, seeded and cut into wedges
  14. salt and pepper, to taste
  15. 3- 4 teaspoons sriracha, or add in 1 teaspoon increments until your desired taste
  16. hot cooked rice
Instructions
  1. Combine 1 tablespoon of sugar, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, 1 tablespoons cornstarch, ginger and green onions. Mix until combined. Slice beef, pour marinade over the beef and refrigerate 1 hour or overnight in the refrigerator.
  2. In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the beef in batches and quickly stir-fry. Cook the beef until browned, remove to a plate and reserve. Add the onion, green pepper and mushrooms to the skillet. Stir-fry for 2 minutes, cover and cook an additional 2 - 3 minutes.
  3. Prepare the sauce - combine the remaining 2 tablespoons of cornstarch, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and tomato juice. Add the sauce and tomatoes to the vegetables. Add the beef. Add salt, pepper and sriracha. Cook until thickened and hot. Serve over hot rice.
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