November 2014 archive
Wow. Getting this post ready for today has been a lot harder than it should have been. I was busy this morning with going to the “Thanksgiving Feast” at my kids school and then trying to get things cleaned around my house. (my in-laws, parents, brother and sister’s family are all coming for Thanksgiving next week, so excited, but lots of cleaning) So I had given myself just enough time to make the cheese ball and photograph it before it got dark and then, life happened. I found I was out of green onions and had to run to the store, and then I tried to “hurry” the process by putting the mixture in the freezer instead of the refrigerator and that worked too well. When it came time to make the mixture into a ball and photograph it, it was frozen solid. But I am committed to getting you guys this recipe because it is perfect to have out while people are wanting to munch on something before “the big meal,” or to bring as an appetizer to a holiday party.
I started making cheese balls after buying one for a work party years ago and realizing that there had to be something better out there. It was waxy and very artificial in flavor. I was told that cheese balls were easy to make, so I gave it a try and they are! You can make one, I promise.
I like this particular recipe because it has lots of bright, fresh flavors. It also is really pretty with the red, orange, and green specks throughout it.
If you’ve never bought pimientos before, they come in a clear glass jar, they look like little red squares and are by the artichokes, most of the time. When I first wanted to make this, I had no idea what a pimiento was and ended up with pimiento cheese.
After the mixture has been refrigerated (don’t be dumb like me and stick it in the freezer) for a minimum of 4 hours, it comes together beautifully. Just take the entire mixture, in your nice, clean hands, and shape it into a ball. Then immediately drop it in to a bowl, that you’ve already prepared, with nuts. Roll the nuts onto all sides of it and, bam! you’re cheese ball is done! See, I told you it was easy.
Cheddar Cheese Ball Printable Recipe
AnneOpinion- from Better Homes and Gardens
1 C grated cheddar cheese
3 oz cream cheese
2 T butter
2 T milk
1 T finely chopped green onion
1 T diced pimiento
1 t Worcestershire sauce
Dash Tabasco sauce (I do 3 shakes)
1/2 C finely chopped pecans or walnuts
Put cheddar cheese, cream cheese and butter in a bowl and allow to come to room temperature. (for me, I normally have it out for about 2 hours) Add milk, onion, pimiento, Worcestershire sauce, and Tabasco. Beat with hand mixer until combined. (don’t do this too long or you’ll break down the green onion and pimiento too much) Cover and chill 4 to 24 hours. Shape mixture into a ball. Roll in nuts. Let stand 15 minutes or wrap in plastic wrap and return to refrigerator until ready to serve. Serve with crackers.
When my husband and I got married we quickly learned that we had two very different ideas of what pies were required for Thanksgiving dinner. I had grown up having fruit pie. Apple, pumpkin, cherry, sweet potato, and pecan. He had grown up with the standard pumpkin, but from there he thought that chocolate cream, banana cream, coconut cream, well basically any cream pie was required. Consequently I have normally made a minimum of 7 pies for Thanksgiving, sometimes for only 4 people. Somewhere along the way I acquired this Peanut Butter Pie recipe from my mother and it has become a favorite and a must with our Thanksgiving dinner. It’s the one that is always gone first and has been requested, by more than one child, for their “birthday pie.” It’s loved by young and old and gets two thumbs up around here.
Peanut Butter Pie is light, not too sweet and has the coveted peanut butter/chocolate combo that is loved by 90% of America. (please note, that’s not a scientific fact, I just made it up)
I love this pie because it is SO EASY! Especially when I buy a premade Oreo crust. I have made a crust in the past, but most of the time I take the easy way out and buy one. The Peanut Butter Filling takes 5 minutes to make, tops.
The best part is everyone will rave to you about how good it is and in your head you’ll be thinking “and it only took me 5 minutes to make!” To them you should say “Thanks, I love being able to make things from scratch.”
Don’t forget that this pie has to freeze for 4 hrs before you can eat it, so plan ahead!
Peanut Butter Pie Printable Recipe
3 oz cream cheese, softened
2 T butter, softened
1/3 C Peanut Butter
1 C powdered sugar
1/4 C milk
8 oz Cool Whip
Oreo Pie Crust
Peanut Butter Chips and Chocolate Chips for garnish
Cream butter and cream cheese together until smooth. Mix in peanut butter. Add powdered sugar and milk. Mix until smooth with no lumps. Fold in Cool Whip. Pour mixture into pie crust. Sprinkle with peanut butter chips and chocolate chips. Freeze for a minimum of 4 hours. Take out 10 minutes before serving.
Technically today we are talking about Thanksgiving dressing but I think that most of us call it stuffing whether it’s cooked in or out of the bird.
Making stuffing is one of the fond memories I have from my childhood. I remember sitting with a loaf of bread and a bowl on the night before Thanksgiving, watching an old musical like “The Sound of Music” or “My Fair Lady” and tearing the bread into bite size pieces for my mom to use in the stuffing the next day. It all felt very cozy and peaceful and I loved that I was getting to “help” with dinner even though I was young.
When I first started making stuffing for my family I used my mother’s recipe. It was fairly simple and just had bread, seasonings, celery and onion. A few years ago we were having a Thanksgiving dinner for just our family so I decided I could be adventurous and try something new. I was watching “The Chew” and they had a contest for the “best Thanksgiving stuffing” and Antoinette’s Thanksgiving Stuffing won.
I had been on the lookout for a new recipe for a few years as I watched Food Network and looked at recipes that I found on the internet, and I finally settled on this one and I loved the results. Here’s why:
I wanted a traditional stuffing, but memorable. I liked the idea of sausage in my stuffing. I think that it adds a complimentary taste to all of the traditional components (celery, onion, and poultry seasoning).
I love the cremini mushrooms. They add a nice “meatiness” and good flavor.
I was intrigued by the idea of cooking all of the ingredients separately. This does take a little extra time but I believe that it is worth it. The flavors of the onion, mushroom, and celery are each able to “pop” on their own and the flavors aren’t muddled together.
You can use fresh bread or you can buy the dry cubes. I’ll be honest with you though, the dry cubes seems like a racket to me. Fresh bread will only take one loaf and it will take about 5 minutes to cut up, or have a child do this job, and let them make some fun memories of how they “helped” with dinner. 🙂
I’ve reduced the amount of celery and sausage from the original recipe. I feel like stuffing should be mostly bread with other things in it and not the other way around.
If you are looking for an amazing turkey recipe to go with your stuffing, I cannot recommend this recipe from Kate @ Our Best Bites enough. It was mind blowing for me how good it was and the gravy that you get from it is to die for. (you might think that I’m overselling it, but trust me, I’m not)
Thanksgiving Stuffing Printable Recipe
AnneOpinion- adapted from “The Chew”
12 C fresh bread cubes
1 T Poultry Seasoning
4 tablespoons canola oil
1 lb Sweet Italian Sausage
1 1/2 cups chopped Fresh Celery
1 medium Onion (chopped)
Salt and Pepper to taste
8 oz Cremini Mushrooms (chopped)
3 cups chicken broth
1 stick of butter
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Tear or cut bread into bite sized pieces. This can be done ahead of time and bread can be left out to dry, or fresh bread can be used. Add the cubed bread to a large bowl and sprinkle with the poultry seasoning. Toss to coat.
In a medium sized saute pan over medium-high heat add 1 tablespoon of oil and then add sausage. Remove once browned and add to the bowl.
Sauté separately the celery and onion until just translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add to the bowl once cooked. Add more oil to the pan and cook off the cremini mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper, and once cooked, add to the bowl of stuffing ingredients.
Have fun trying! Anne
I wish that I had a great story to tell you about my memories of Hawaii and how amazing and relaxing it is there and how having King’s Hawaiian Rolls makes me feel for a moment like I’m back there, but alas, I have no memories of Hawaii. Never been there. My husband’s grandmother lives there so I’ve had many yummy things from Hawaii that she has sent us over the years (thanks Grandma Shinners!) and I even have a couple of Hawaiian recipes that my friend Becky has shared with me (Aloha Becky!) so I am left to my imagination as I eat these things and dream of Hawaii. King’s Hawaiian Rolls are right in there with them. These soft, sweet and squishy rolls have such a unique flavor and are so good with any meal that I serve.
I have been seeing recipes for King’s Hawaiian Rolls all of Pinterest recently and given that they are not the cheapest rolls to buy in the store, I decided to given them a try and see if they really were as good as the ones you can buy. To make my recipe I looked at Cheerios and Lattes’ recipe, La Petite Brioche’s recipe, and Kitchen Meets Girl’s Recipe. All of them were really similar. There was slight variations between the three. I combined parts from each to make my rolls. I made 15 rolls and 1 loaf of bread. Here’s what I thought.
These rolls are really good. They have their own flavor that you won’t find anywhere else. They were very soft.
I wouldn’t make a loaf of bread again with it. The bread was way to crumbly for my taste.
The family loved them. They were inhaled very quickly.
I don’t know if I would say that they are “just like the store bought ones,” but they are pretty close.
I wished that I had had a little bit of pineapple juice left to brush on them as soon as they came out of the oven. If you add moisture to the top of your bread or rolls you want to do it as soon as they come out of the oven. This helps the top to be more moist. If you miss and forget, don’t do it later. You’ll just make the bread soggy.
This is a fairly forgiving roll recipe, so if you are new to bread /roll making, this is a good one to start with.
If you are wondering how to get the beautiful round shape, check out this video from Mel at Mel’s Kitchen Cafe.
Let me know how your roll making adventure’s go!
First, let’s talk making homemade cheesecake. I have made many a cheesecake over the years and after having many of them come out of the oven looking beautiful, only to have huge cracks appear as they cool, I decided to do some research. So a number of years ago I read as much as I could about making the perfect cheesecake, and I’m going to share what I found with you.
Gluten Free Pumpkin Cheesecake Printable Recipe
2 1/2 C ground pecans
1/4 t ground cinnamon
1/3 C sugar
3 T melted butter
24 oz cream cheese, cubed and softened
1 C sugar
4 eggs, at room temperature
1 T vanilla
1 T lemon juice
15 oz pumpkin
1 t cinnamon
1/4 t nutmeg
1/4 t ginger
1/4 t cloves
1/2 t salt
Melted butter for greasing the pan
Stir together ground nuts, cinnamon, and sugar. Mix in melted butter. Press evenly and firmly in the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan. Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Cook at 350 degrees for 12 minutes. Allow to cool. Set oven to 325 degrees.
Place two paper towels flat on a baking sheet or counter top. Spread pumpkin on towels and press additional paper towels on the top. Leave alone and allow the towels to continue to absorb the moisture. Whip cream cheese and sugar in mixer bowl until combined and smooth. Add eggs one at a time, mixing between each addition. Add pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and salt. Mix until smooth, making sure to scrape down the sides.
Place the pan over two pieces of foil and wrap the pan in a double layer of foil. Place pan in a roasting pan or the bottom of a broiling pan. Butter the sides of the spring form pan using a pastry brush and making sure to not get butter in the crust. Pour the filling into the springform pan.
Depending on which you’re comfortable with, you now put water in the outer pan and place it in the oven, or place the pan on the oven rack, pour the water in, and close the oven. Cook for 55-65 minutes. Turn off the oven. Leave the cheesecake in the oven with the oven door left cracked open. Leave everything alone for 2 hours. Take cheesecake out of the oven and remove from water bath. Remove foil and allow to cool on the counter for another hour. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hrs.
Brown Sugar Whipped Cream Printable Recipe
Have fun trying! Anne
“No!” with no hesitation. The only fish that I had really eaten was fish sticks, and I was not a fan. Fast forward to my adult life where I’ve learned that I need to retry things to see if I really don’t like them, or just think that I don’t. Two examples: Peas, hated them as a kid, I LOVE them as an adult. Olives, hated them as a kid, still HATE them as an adult. (I guess some things have to remain a constant)
So, back to fish. I now realize that fish sticks are not a fair assessment for judging all fish and have given many a try, and liked most of them. I now realize that the price of quality fish can be quite costly for a large family. This means that sometimes you have to be creative when making fish for a number of people. Lucky for me, Melissa d’Arabian at the Food Network, was wonderfully creative with these salmon cakes.
These salmon cakes use canned salmon which makes them very affordable.
If you’ve never bought canned salmon before, here is a warning: They pack it straight from the ocean, skin, bones and all. The first time cleaning out the bones was a pain because I didn’t know what I was doing. Hopefully I can spare you some of my pain. What you want to dump the can onto a plate. Gently let it separate into natural sections, this is normally around 3. You should now see a spine (or two) with large bones coming off of it. Remove these. Rub off any skin with you finger. You don’t have to be too obsessive about this. As long as you get the large bones, you’ll be fine.
You can buy salmon, canned without the bones. This, however, is more than twice the price per ounce and much less cost effective. The five minutes spent getting the bones and skin out is definitely worth the cost trade.
I normally get 10-12 out of a recipe, and I double it for my family. Everyone really likes them
I like them bright, bright flavor that the green onions add. I prefer them to the onions cooked in bacon fat that Melissa has you do.
The Panko bread crumbs add a nice crispness to the outside crust. If you’ve never used Panko breadcrumbs before, add them to your list!
Just before eating, squeeze a lemon wedge over your cake. It add a wonderful pop of flavor.
I hope that you and yours enjoy this dish as much as we do!
Salmon Cakes Printable Recipe
2 slices of bacon, cooked and crumpled
1 cooked Russet potato, cut into small cubes
1/2 C Mayo
2 t Dijon mustard
1/2 t sugar
Zest of 1/2 a lemon
2 green onions, sliced into small pieces
1 (14-ounce) can wild salmon, check for large bones
1/2 C Italian breadcrumbs
1/2 C Panko breadcrumbs
2 T grated Parmesan
1/4 t pepper
1/2 C canola oil
Fresh lemon for garish
Mix the bacon, onion, egg, mayonnaise, mustard, sugar, and lemon zest in a bowl. Add the salmon and potato, mixing gently after each addition. Form the mixture into 12 small patties. In a shallow dish, combine the bread crumbs, Parmesan, and pepper, to taste. Coat the patties in the bread crumb topping. Heat 1/4 cup of the oil in a large saute pan over medium heat, and cook the salmon cakes in batches until golden, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Add more oil, as necessary. Serve with lemon wedges for squeezing lemon juice onto the cakes just before eating.
Have fun trying! Anne
Do you ever have things around your house that you just stop noticing? Apparently that is what happened to me with the arrangement of velvet roses that I have on the nightstand next to my bed. I dust the nightstand, but don’t think too much of the flowers, that is until Boy 5 spilled a glass of water on the nightstand this week. I hurriedly put the vase on the floor and started clearing everything off as quickly as I could to avoid water damage to anything. Once danger was averted I started to put everything back when I looked down and suddenly saw them: Old Lady Flowers! You know how when you go to an elderly woman’s home and they have old floral arrangements that look like they’re from 20 years ago and probably haven’t been dusted since then. Well, that’s what I had, except that I like to think that the roses look timeless and not dated. The dust was so bad that I couldn’t even bring myself to take a picture of it to post. I mean, we’re just getting to know each other and I don’t want to drive you away with pictures of disgusting things in my home. I will, however, show you a picture of three of the rose heads so you can see just how dusty they were. Ewe!
There is a little bit of a reason that they have gotten so bad. They are velvet roses, and as such, the dust clings to them and I’ve never found a good way to get them clean. This time I was determined. I found 3 different ideas of how to do it. I tried each of them, and here is what I found.
The first way, and the rose on the far right, worked least effectively. It was simply dusting the flower by blowing it with a hair blow dryer. This one, as you can see, yielded the worst results. It got a little bit of the dust off, but still left much of it on.
The second way, and the rose in the middle, is by using a can of compressed air and once again, blowing the dust away. This was much more effective and worked pretty well. I wouldn’t recommend this over the third method though because it didn’t work quite as well, and it blew the dust into the air. (and as you can see, it was a lot of dust)
The third way, and the one that I felt worked the best, was to dust was using a vacuum hose. To use this method, take the hose attachment for your vacuum. Slide the leg of an old pair of pantyhose over it until the “toe” of the pantyhose is at the “mouth” of your hose. This will help keep the flowers and leaves from being damaged and ensure that nothing gets unexpectedly sucked up. Hold the pantyhose in place by gripping your hand around the vacuum hose, turn the vacuum on and watch the magic happen as your flowers transform from a soft grey color to the brilliant color they once were.
You may think it’s a miracle when you’re done, but no, that’s just what cleaned up looks like. ;0)
Let me know if this works for you too!
Have fun trying! Anne
Cornbread, like chili, has a huge variety of opinions on how it should be. Some people like it dry, choosing to eat it in a bowl with milk. Some like it with whole corn, green chilies, or bacon to add a fun texture difference. Other enjoy their cornbread more cakelike. I tend to be in the last category, but I do enjoy many in the second one. The first (which can taste like sawdust in your month) not such a fan of.
After posting the recipe for Lazy Anne’s Chili on Monday, I decided that I need to share with you my favorite recipe for cornbread. Give them a try together. You won’t regret it!
I called this recipe Corncake for a reason. It’s really more like a cake that has some cornmeal in it. I was first given it by my good friend Becky, and once I tried it I had to have the recipe!
Did you see how it calls for 1 cup of melted butter?!? You know it’s going to be good with that information alone.
I like to make mine in cupcakes (or squares). This gives me individual servings to place in the chili bowls, and it looks much cuter.
I made 24 pans of this recipe for a big BBQ last summer. It got rave reviews by all, and that also let’s you know that this recipe isn’t too hard to make if I made 24 in one evening.
Don’t get concerned when you mix the melted butter and the cold milk and the butter starts to harden in little pieces. It’s totally normal and expected.
Hope you enjoy this cornbread as much as we do!
Corncake (aka super moist cornbread) Printable Recipe
1 C melted butter
2 C milk
2 C Bisquick
1 C sugar
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 C cornmeal
Preheat oven to 350. Place melted butter, milk and eggs in a bowl. Whisk together (don’t be distressed when the butter starts to harden into little pieces from the cold milk). Add dry ingredients and whisk together thoroughly. Pour into a greased 9×13 pan or 2 dozen cupcakes. Bake 9×13 for 25-30 minutes; cupcakes for 15-18 minutes. Serve in the bottom of bowls of chili or with butter and honey.
Have fun trying! Anne
Today we’re talking chili. Chili is one of the few dishes that is truly an American food. Chili finds it’s origins in Texas from the late 1800’s, but since that time it has traveled all over the USA with every region and everyone putting their own spin on it. Beans, no beans, white, hot-n-spicy, green…and the list goes on.
I love a good chili on a cold day and having chili for Halloween is a family tradition for us. In fact this year I wasn’t going to make it because Halloween was going to be 93 degrees, and like I said, I like chili on a nice cool day. My children started to riot when I said I was just going to make hot dogs for dinner (just keeping it real for ya), so we had chili.
Shortly after we moved into the first home we received a small package in the mail from Marlboro. Now, we are Mormon. That means we don’t smoke, chew, drink alcohol, heck we don’t even drink coffee. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t for us but since it wasn’t addressed to anyone in particular I opened it and there was a cookbook inside with the top 50 recipes from a chili contest sponsored by Marlboro. The top five were at the beginning and over the year’s “Lazy Man’s Chili Soup with Beans” has become a favorite around here, with a few changes (of course).
I love this chili because it is flavorful, but not spicy. I know that super hot and spicy is a must for some with chili, but when cooking for children and crowds I find that “this will burn your mouth off” is not the way to go.
This chili is super quick to put together. After browning the hamburger, all of the other ingredients are just a matter of opening containers and mixing it together.
I like that it has corn. My kids are getting veggies with dinner and I didn’t have to make anything else.
Our favorite way to eat this chili is to put a piece of cornbread in the bottom of our bowl, scoop some chili over it and then top it with sour cream and cheese.
This also works great for chili dogs. (try a chili dog with cheese and Fritos; you’ll thank me for it)
Other topping you might want to try are saltine crackers, green onions, diced fresh tomatoes, and tortilla chips.
Lazy Anne’s Chili Printable Recipe
adapted from Marlboro Chili Roundup
2 lbs ground beef
1 pkg (or 3 T) ranch seasoning and salad dressing mix
1 pkg (or 1/4 C) taco seasoning mix
1 can (10 oz) tomatoes & green chilies (mild)
2 cans (14.5 each) diced tomatoes
3/4 C diced onions (use frozen one’s for the lazy way; or fresh if you want to do some work)
1 can (12 oz) chili beans
1 can (11 oz) corn- drained
1 can (29 oz) tomato sauce
Brown the ground beef in a large pot. Drain the beef and return to the pot. Add the ranch mix, taco seasoning, tomatoes and chilies, tomatoes, onions, drained chili beans, drained corn and tomato sauce. Cover and cook on medium heat for 35 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve with your choice of toppings. Some ideas are sour cream, shredded cheese, Fritos, green onion, fresh diced tomatoes, saltine crackers, or tortilla chips.
Also great on hot dogs for chili dogs, or served over cornbread.
*I normally brown my meat and then put everything in the crockpot on low for the day.
Have fun trying! Anne