Rosemary Shortbread Cookies

These little shortbread wonder’s were a great choice for the Holiday’s. I thought about what to make and seems there is so much chocolate during the holidays I would make plain stuff but with a twist.

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups of flour
2 tbsp chopped fresh or dry rosemary
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup powder sugar

In a bowl sift together flour, rosemary, and salt.

In a bowl beat butter and sugar on medium until well blended.

Reduce speed and add flour mixture slowly. Blend until the mixture is crumbly.

Gather the dough and make into two balls wrap in plastic wrap and put it into the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Heat your oven to 350 degree’s. Remove one dough ball a a time and roll it out to 1/4 inch or so thick on parchment paper. Using your cookie cutter cut out the shapes place on the cookie sheet and return to the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Then bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Do not let your cookies brown – on the bottom a bit is ok. Transfer to a cookie rack to cool and get the second ball a going.

Thing I did wrong but they turned out ok

1. Did not re-chill after I cut them out prior to baking
2. Used dried Rosemary
3. Beat the crap out of it because the dough was so stiff when i took it out

 

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Mama’s Standard Stuffing

Well this Thanksgiving my Mama now lives with us. How convenient because everyone loves her stuffing. She makes just your standard stuffing but her love makes it everyone favorite. I watching with eager anticipation to see the secret ingredients and alas basic, so it must be the love,. When I was little all I did was grab a handful as I passed the bowl prior to her cooking it.

Ingredients

One chopped onion white or red
3 to 4 celery stick chopped
Homemade croutons or enough dried bread squares to fill a large brownie pan ok or a bag of store bought if you must
Enough chicken stock to coat everything about 2 cups
1/2 cup of butter melted that is one stick
1 finely chopped garlic clove

Season to taste with salt and pepper you can personalize your stuffing with so many different herbs like rosemary, sage, basil, thyme it endless

Mama puts all the bread cubes into a large bowl adds the onion, celery and garlic. She then takes the butter and chicken broth that have been mixed together on the stove in a pot and slowly pours it over the mix. She does this a small amount at a time she wants the bread coated but not soaked to become mushy. You will be surprised how fast that bread soaks up the juices.

Let it!

Seasons with your herbs of choice .We use salt and pepper and a little rosemary and dill.

I do not know how do you decide. Well Rosemary and Dill is what Mama likes and has always used no rhyme or reason. NEVER questions your Mama!

Now put it into a baking container we use a large brownie pan. Cook the stuffing at 350 for 45 minute to one hour. You can make it the day before and cook it for 30 minutes then put it into the oven for 30 minutes prior to your dinner.  You can uncover it 10 minutes before to crisp the top if desired.

I

I made a stuffing with Mexican chorizo sausage and adobe chili spicy but it was gone before I could get some on my plate. Luck I ate some before I served it.

 

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Croutons

Croutons are the easiest and most often used condiment in our kitchen. We use it in salads. stuffing and believe it to top off soups. Yup to make the stuffing for the holiday and everyday. Here you really need to remember there is no such thing as left over bread. Not in this home!

Take any bread and cube it. Let it sit over night this will let it get a bit stale. This is good. Now grab you ingredients

Once the bread is dried this may take a couple of days. They can be put in the oven over night without the oven on. Keep them on a large cookie sheet to dry not stacked in a bowl. The bowl below is full with dried cubes.

Once they have dried put them into a large bowl and coat with olive oil and seasoning. You can keep them plain if you want. I drizzle with olive oil and coat with salt, pepper and nothing more because I never know what I am going to use them for. I may be wanting to add herb when I know that it is for a particular dish.

Once they are seasoned to your taste put them into an oven set at 350 and cook for about 10 minutes then turn them over and continue until they are golden brown. Take them out of the oven and let them cool. I keep them in a large mason jar but a zip lock bag keeps them good for about a week.  They never last longer in our home. Hubby eats them as a snack.

 

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Mustard Crusted Whole Chicken

Mustard Crusted Whole Chicken

1  whole chicken
1 egg
1/4 cup honey
¼ cup prepared mustard
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 tbs chopped parsley
1 apple

Clean your chicken save the gut’s for your chicken stock
Stuff an apple in its ass. I love putting a fruit in the cavity of chickens it really bring a slight yet delicious flavor to any chicken recipe.

I do all the work in the stock pot where the chicken will cook. Put your chicken into the pot you plan on cooking it in yes I use my large iron pot.

Now in a small bowl whisk the egg then add the mustard, honey, parsley  and salt and pepper to taste mix this up well. It should be a moist paste. Now you can coat you chicken with the crusty paste.

Complete cover the top of the chicken and as much of the sides as you can. Set your oven to 375 degree’s cook your chicken until the internal temperature is 175. Take your chicken out and let it cool for approximately 20 minutes.

Once cooled carefully take the chicken out of the pot and cut and serve.

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Broccoli Frittata for dinner

Frittata is an Italian dish did you know that? Making a frittata is so simple and can be as plain or creative as you like. I always like to find out what a food is prior to cooking it I did not get all brainyack on it just general information. Original recipes cook the eggs prior to baking and then add the ingredient’s and finish it off in the oven. I mix all the ingredients together and bake it in the oven till done. Well here is the recipe.

Ingredients

4 cups chopped steamed broccoli
3 scallion onion chopped
1 finely chopped garlic clove
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup milk
8 eggs
salt and pepper to taste

Steam your broccoli. Steam it to the texture you like I am a crunch head so I like mine a bit firm and knowing it will cook more in the oven it is steamed just so slightly. I then pan fry the broccoli and onion to just brown. Once cooked set aside you want it to cool slightly never add hot ingredients to raw eggs it will cook them. Pop it in the refrigerator while you mix the other ingredients.

Alright while that cools let’s get our wet ingredient’s together. In a large mixing bowl add your eggs, milk, water and seasoning. Whisk them together until well mixed. Now add you broccoli and onion and cheese. Once this is all mixed up pour it into your pan. Spray or grease your pan. You can use a round cake pan, oven safe skillet or what I like to use an iron skillet.

Cook this in a 375 degree oven for 30 minutes. Increase the temperature to 400 for the next 15 minutes to brown the top and when a fork comes out clean it is done. Remove from the oven and let it cool down for about 20 minutes and serve.

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Grama’s Cranberry Sauce

This cranberry sauce has been made by my Mama for years. Ok truth be told I do not like cranberry sauce. Unless it is a chutney or jam. There now you know. But everyone besides me loves it. The grand ole’ Turkey Fry is always at our house. I like it a bit on the tangy side as they do in Europe here in the good ole USofA we sweeten everything. Making this please suit yourself and your guest’s taste.

This is a very simple recipe as they all are for cranberry sauce.

Ingredients

4 cups of fresh cranberries or 1 bag of cranberries
1/2 cup sugar
one orange
zest from the one orange
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground nutmeg

Cooking cranberry sauce is probably the easiest thing to do during the holiday’s. You simply drop all the ingredients into a sauce pot and let it simmer till the little red cranberries pop open and all the flavors get together and thickens. Cranberry sauce has so many delightful uses during the holidays. From the usual Turkey garnish to cookies cakes and biscuits it is one of those great seasonal fruit’s. There is an endless list of things you can add to your cranberry sauce to personalize it. People add wine, almonds, ginger, cinnamon, maple syrup. Have fun

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Dad’s Banana Bread

Baking Banana Bread was something my Daddy did very well. I have finally gotten him to give me the recipe and I made little loaf’s for the Holiday gift giving. I have this notion that our parents make things and we think they are the best in the world. Truth be told it is just the love and time they put into it that makes us love it so much. I looked at other recipes for banana bread and the results were rally almost identical. Love family and baking and cooking.

When ever a banana starts to get over ripe I bag it and put it in the freezer for baking

Banana Bread Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups of flour
    2/3 cup of sugar
    2 teaspoon baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1 cup mashed banana – - good and ripe
    1/3 cup of shortening
    2 tbs whole milk
    2 large eggs
    1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Daddy’s Banana Bread

In a large bowl sift all your dry ingredients and set aside.

With an electric mixer beat the banana, shortening, and milk

Add the eggs (one at a time)  mix completely prior to adding the second egg

Add the flour mixture slowly mixing while adding

Add your walnuts

Grease and flour you baking pans. Pour your batter into your baking pan or pans.

Bake your banana breads accordingly. This mean the oven is at 350 degrees. If it is a regular loaf pan cook for approximately 45 to 60 minutes. I baked mine for 45 but kept an eye on it because they are in smaller pans. Look when it starts to get a beautiful brown top put a toothpick through the top and if it comes out clean you are good to take them out. Let them cool on a wire rack.

 

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Nanny Lilly’s Brisket

Here are some of the tips for your brisket. One is the size and that depends on the amount of people you have. I can feed about 10 people with a 4 pound brisket sliced thin. But at Hanukkah we do have a lot of food. So my advice is think shrink. The brisket will shrink about half the size. All the ingredients are flexible so you are cooking to taste. If you do not have a lot of cooking experience do not fret tatala,  it all works out in the end. Even if your Au Jus is weak or strong it just takes more water or more seasonings. All good.

Ingredients

One 4- 5 pd brisket  (remember it shrinks to half the size)
1 large onion
2-3  garlic cloves not chopped
4 cups of beef stock or 2  au jus packet’s
6 carrots
6 baking potatoes
vegetable oil

Beef Broth 4 cups (enough to just come to the top but not cover  the brisket) If you get Au Jus  packets it makes about 3 to 4 cups of juice .

Do everything in the pot you will use to cook your brisket.

I use an iron kettle. Put some oil in the pan and brown your onions in the pan. This will make flavor in the pan for the au jus. Once browned remove your onions the pan should be greasy and yummy with all that flavored stuff in the bottom of your pot.

Now add a little more oil and put the brisket in it when it is HOT with the fat side down and brown the brisket on both sides.

You want a nice crust but not burnt this will hold the juices in when you cook it in the oven.  Oh go now and set the oven to 375 degrees.

Once it is browned add the liquid and the onions, potatoes and carrots all around it. (I know the carrot and potatoes are not in my pot)  You can season it with pepper I do not add salt there is enough in the au jus mix.

 

Cook your brisket covered for about 4 hours till you can stick a fork in it and it is soft. Cook it the day before you want to serve it that way the day you cut it it is easier to cut when it is cold.

Then put it sliced back in the pan with the au jus and warm it all up. Put your potatoes and carrots in a separate pan.

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Split Pea Soup by Nanny Lilly

This Split Pea soup I adore and who would have thought that I would. Nanny Lilly use to make this soup and she won my palate over. I have such fond memories of this woman and with my cooking there is not a day that I cook do I not think of her and the incredible meals she would create.

No matter when you went to her home she always had food waiting or she would grab it out of the freezer and that was it. I know she is watching me and is proud!

One ham bone from the holiday dinner with ham still ham scraps
2 bags of split peas – 16 oz each
8 + Quarts chicken broth/stock
2 tablespoon onion granules Or (one finely chopped white onion)
2 table spoon garlic granules Or 2 finely chopped garlic cloves)
6 carrots chopped and finely diced
2 bay leafs

Put your pea’s in a strainer and clean and then a large bowl and let them soak for at least three hours

Place your ham bone and ham pieces in a large stock pot and cook on simmer for three hours. I take my time with this soup the longer it cooks the better the taste.

Once the stock is cooked I take my bone out and scrap the meat off and chop it up fine. Removing any skin or grit or fat remaining.

I then replace the bone and the meat into the stock. I will then add my seasoning.

I see a lot of recipes that call out for chopped onions and garlic. I like my soup thick and clean no bit’s except for my ham and carrot.

Alrighty than now add your carrot. Simmer your soup until it is the consistency you like. I keep an extra bag of pea’s just in case I want it thicker. This soup will thicken up with time.

I use my immersion blender to blend the soup.

I let my soup sit overnight (once cooled refrigerated)and start my pressure canning the next morning.

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Twinkies

Well I have wanted to make these for the longest time and today with the rain and the cool weather why not? So I gathered all the ingredients. I got my recipe from the Chew show. They made them the other day. I had to make the little molds to put them in it was daunting but ok.

I also put some into cupcake molds to see if that will work after all it is just a shape. Wrong the cupcakes were to brown on the bottom and not as fluffy. So no go with the cupcake tray.

Ingredients

Nonstick cooking spray or vegetable oil
1/2 cup cake flour
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons milk, preferably whole
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 large eggs, at room temperature (separated)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tarter

Filling Ingredients below

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Use aluminum foil to make molds or use mini loaf pans. I made the molds . There are a lot of ways to make the molds here is a link or two if you want to get industrious.

Make you Twinkies

Whisk the flour , baking soda and salt together in a bowl and set aside

Heat the milk and butter in a small sauce pan over low heat until the butter melts.
Remove from the heat and add the vanilla.
Let it sit
Put the egg whites in your mixer and beat till you have them just foamy

Now add 6 tablespoons of the sugar and the cream of tarter continue to beat till you get the nice soft peaks. Put this in a bowl and set aside

Now put your yolks into the mixer (Same bowl no need to clean it) and mix them with the rest of the sugar on medium high speed until it is thick and well blended. This take 4 to 6 minutes.
Turn off the mixer add about a ¼ of the egg whites and incorporate them

Now add the rest of  egg whites but do not mix it yet

Grab the flour and sprinkle it on top of the mixture turn on your blender  mix on low just until blended but not completely combined count to 10 and stop

Ok grab your butter mixture and make a well in the center of the egg mixture and pour the butter in

No more mixing fold this all together until the mixture is combined evenly

This is crazy cool it get’s like bread starter and is bubbly and light. Truly Twinkie magic. Fill the little molds about half way full.

Bake until the cakes are just light brown and they spring back

Ingredients for the Filling

6 tablespoons unsalted butter (room temperature)
1 ½ cups of confectioner sugar (Powdered Sugar)
½ tsp vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup of marshmallow fluff
2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 tablespoons condensed milk

I

In a bowl with a mixer beat the butter, confectioner sugar,vanilla extract ,salt and marshmallow fluff until blended. Add the cream and condensed milk and beat till just smooth. Transfer the frosting to a pastry bag fitted with a ¼-inch round tip. Or use a plastic bag with one corner cut out. Pipe frosting into three spots on the underside of the Twinkies, careful not to over fill . You think no stuff is going in but if you watch really carefully you will see the Twinkies expand slightly with the filling. Very Exciting.

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