Winter Fruit Salad

I was looking for a new recipe to cook for our company Thanksgiving gathering. This recipe was especially appealing because it required nothing more than pulling out of the fridge at meal time. Since I was working the front desk, this sold me. Additionally, this dish is very visual appealing and vegetarian friendly.

Winter Fruit Salad with Maple Lime Dressing by Julias Album
FullSizeRender (15).jpg2 red apples, cored and diced
2 pears, cored and diced
4 clementine oranges, peeled and separated
3 kiwi fruits, peeled and sliced
½ c. dried cranberries
1 c. pomegranate seeds (one pomegranate)

Dressing
2 T. maple syrup
1 T. fresh lime juice (half lime)

Mix and serve.

Notes:

  • Cut open pomegranate and place in a bowl of water. Poke with fork to loosen seeds. Let it sit for a little bit. Then, peel back pomegranate peel and pull out seeds with fork or fingers. Pour bowl of seeds through strainer to remove water.
Advertisements

Stuffing from Scratch

It’s 5AM and I’ve been awake for about an hour now. After 30 minutes of tossing and turning in bed, I had a bit of a panic attack when I remembered that my uniform for work was in the laundry. I jumped out of bed and found myself sorting laundry in the closet as to not wake my fiancé.

I guess that is a bit of news I’d hadn’t shared here. My boyfriend proposed to me at dinner a few weeks ago. It was our 16 month anniversary and we were eating at Houlihan’s in Leawood. It was where we had gone on our very first date. We had planned to go to dinner early because the Kansas City Royals were playing game five of the World Series at 7PM. We were standing outside the restaurant talking about our first date and how we stood outside the restaurant talking after a long dinner. I turned around to walk in and Jeremiah spun me back around before getting down on one knee. I was a little in shock. If I was, you should have heard all the people around us. The people dining on the patio and getting in/out of vehicles were like “Is he prosing?” “Did she say yes?” Of course, without a doubt in my mind, I said yes. We went into the restaurant and the server asked us how it was going. I said, “We just got engaged.” He was like, “Congratulations!” I was like, “It was a minute ago just outside the restaurant. This is where we went on our first date.” The table next to us asked if he could take our photo when he overheard us. He told us how it was he and his wife’s second marriage but when you find the right one, it’s meant to be. The restaurant was so sweet and the manager brought us champagne and dessert to celebrate. Phone calls were made while we waited for our lovely dinner – the George Banks Sea Scallops with risotto and fresh arugula (one of my absolute favorite dishes of all time). As you all know by now, the Royals won it in game five beating the Mets in extra innings. It was also my mother’s birthday so this is certainly a day we will never forget.

Unfortunately, I haven’t been sleeping very long since our engagement. I wake up with ideas about our vows or what food should we make during our engagement photos. The date is set for July 2016 so I need to get cracking on these details. The venue is pretty much set, the guest list has been made, our wedding app/website has been created, half the attendants have been asked (including our adorable 3 ½ month old ring bearer), and the photographer has been selected. However, I have no idea what my dress will look like or what colors I want. I also need to email my hairdresser to see if she’s available. Every hinges on what time my hair can be done. Oh let’s hope she’s available because I have zero skill when it comes to doing my hair. I better email her right now, this is really important.

So since I’m awake and my laundry is in the wash, I decided to write a blog post for all of you. It is Thanksgiving week. Can you believe it? Normally, I would have already scoped all the Black Friday ads and had a plan for our day after Thanksgiving adventure. This year, I’m worried about whether or not I need to schedule a dress outing the Saturday after Thanksgiving with my mother and sister. I’m also not sure what on earth to get my fiancé for Christmas in our $75 spending limit?

In honor of it being Thanksgiving week though, I have decided to share with all of you one of the recipes Jeremiah and I will be making for my family. This is a recipe we learned last year while taking a cooking class at the Culinary Center of Kansas City. Not to worry my vegetarian friends, I’m including modifications for you to enjoy this recipe as well. I made both recipes for our Thanksgiving work potluck last week.

stuffingApple, Sage, & Sausage Sourdough Stuffing by Rachel Ciordas
12 oz. turkey breakfast sausage
1 tsp. oil
2 c. chopped onion
2 c. chopped apple
2 c. chopped celery
2 T. chopped fresh parsley
2 tsp. dried rubbed sage
1 tsp. dried thyme
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. dried marjoram
½ tsp. black pepper
12 c. cubed sourdough bread
1 can fat-free, less sodium chicken broth

Cook sausage until browned. Add onion, apple, and celery. Sauté for 3 minutes. Stir in seasonings. In a large bowl, combine sausage mixture, bread, and broth. Spoon the stuffing into a sprayed 11 x 7 baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees covered for 15 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 20 minutes.

Nutrition: Makes nine (1 c.) servings. 208 calories, 5 g. fat, 11.9 g. protein, 28.9 g. carbs, 2.1 g. fiber.

Notes:

  • Rachel said to not use green apples for this recipe. They are not sweet/juicy enough to sauté.
  • Did you know you can eat the leafy part of celery? It’s actually really flavorful.
  • I brought two loaves of fresh French bread at Spouts. I cubed 1 ½ loaves and let it sit out in a bowl overnight. I used the extra bread for a brioche French Toast.
  • I used the local brand of ground sausage. It added some extra flavor. 
  • I’ve found the lowest sodium chicken broth is Rachael Ray’s brand.
  • To make it vegetarian friendly, I substituted veggie broth and removed the sausage. In its place, I put some dried cranberries. After my luncheon, Jeremiah and I mixed the leftovers. It was good so feel free to add cranberries to the original recipe.
  • For a little crisper stuffing, bake covered 15 minutes and uncovered for 35-40 minutes.

Cranberry Orange Sauce

I know all of you are frantically planning your Thanksgiving dinners. A few weeks ago, my boyfriend and I took a class at the Culinary Center of Kansas City. It was the second class we had taken there. The theme for the class was “Everything But the Bird.” At the end of the class, Jeremiah and I were ready to cook fresh dishes for our families. I made this one up today. My teacher served it over cheese and crackers. I bet it would also be good on a post Thanksgiving turkey sandwich. Super easy so I hope you will give it a try.

Cranberry sauceCranberry Orange Sauce with Apricots by Rachel Ciordas
12 oz. fresh cranberries
½ c. dried apricots, chopped
½ c. unsweetened applesauce
½ c. orange juice
¼ c. fruit preserves

Combine all ingredients and cook over a medium-high heat until cranberries pop (about 10 minutes). Cool and serve at room temperature.

Notes:

  • I used apricot preserves.
  • You can use frozen cranberries. I got these on sale last week for $.98 at Sprouts. I threw a bag in the freezer to cook up this recipe again. 

Turkey Leftovers

Sure, who doesn’t love a traditional turkey dinner on Thanksgiving? In my family, that means both turkey and ham. My nephew prefers ham and my grandfather won’t eat bird meat. With six people eating this feast, it leaves a lot of leftovers. My question after eatting leftover for a day or two is: what else can I make with? Below is a recipe from the December2013/January 2014 issue of Taste of Home’s Simple and Delicious that my family will be trying.

Turkey cordon bleu

Photo from Taste of Home website

Turkey Cordon Bleu Casserole by Kristine Blauert
2 c. uncooked elbow macaroni
2 cans cream of chicken soup
3/4 c. milk
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. prepared mustard
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. sage
2 c. cubed cooked turkey
2 c. cubed fully cooked ham
2 c. shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/4 c. crushed butter flavored crackers (I’m using Ritz – they are Brock’s fav)

Cook macaroni (or pasta of your choice) according to the package directions. Meanwhile, mix soup, milk, Parmesan cheese, mustard, and seasonsing together. Add meats and mozerella cheese. Drain pasta and add soup mixture. Pour into a 13 x 9 pan and top with crackers. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Notes:

  • You can cover and freeze this casserole. Thaw in the fridge overnight and bake as directed.

Nine Must Have Thanksgiving Recipes

Today is probably the last day you are debating – what are we having for Thanksgiving? I thought I would share a few of my favs in case you are looking for a new recipe to try on Thanksgiving or with the leftovers.

PineappleThanksgiving Side Dishes

1. Maple-glazed Carrots – I don’t like vegetables but I love this recipe. The sweet taste will go great with ham or turkey.

2. Pineapple Casserole – Sweet and crunchy

3. Orange Fluff – My mom is going to try this with cranberry Jello, cranberries, and oranges this year. I’m looking forward to this Weight Watchers recipe.

In Addition to Pie

4. Pumpkin Snickerdoodles – a fall flare to a classic recipe

5. Pumpkin Crunch – even my sister will eat this and she doesn’t like pumpkin pie

6. Pumpkin Bread Pudding – the sauce is incredible

Turkey BakeNo Wasting Leftovers

7. Creamed Turkey on Mashed Potatoes – hands down the best elementary school lunch recipe

8. Turkey Dip with Rosemary Au Jus – a flavorful spin on French dip

9. Turkey Crescent Roll Bake – a great way to use up all those leftover

Turkey Crescent Roll Bake

I think this recipe came from a Pillsbury email around Thanksgiving time 2011. Always looking for something different to do with leftover turkey, I thought I would give it a try. Pretty simple and contains all the flavors you love of your Thanksgiving feast.

Leftover Turkey Crescent Bake
1 1/2 c. turkey cubed
1/2 c. turkey gravy
2 c. prepared stuffing
1 package of crescent rolls
1 c. cranberry sauce

In a large saucepan, mix stuffing, turkey, and gravy. Heat to boil over a medium heat, stirring occasionally. Spoon into ungreased 13 x 9 pan. Separate crescent rolls into four rectangles. Place on stuffing mixture, leaving space for steam to escape. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Top with cranberry sauce before serving.

Nutritional Facts: (Makes 6 servings) 430 calories (160 from fat), 17 g. fat (5 g. saturated fat, 2.5 g. trans fat), 45 mg. cholesterol, 740 mg. sodium, 49 g. carbs, 1 g. fiber, 20 g. sugar, 19 g. protein.

Notes: Buy reduced fat and low sodium products, use all white meat, and omit cranberry sauce to make healthier.

Pumpkin Crunch

I can’t believe I almost forgot to share this pumpkin recipe. It’s perfect for your holiday feast.

I got the recipe from on our volunteers at SAFEHOME. Nothing better than a personal chef as volunteer. She made lots of great recipes for our monthly tours. I made this recipe for my family two years and last year for our Komen Thanksgiving luncheon. It was a big hit. I hope you enjoy this dish that got me to eat finely chopped nuts.

Pumpkin Crunch
1 package of yellow cake mix
1 can of pumpkin
1 can evaporated milk
3 eggs
1 1/2 c. sugar
4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. chopped pecans
1 c. melted butter

Preheat oven 350 degrees. Grease a 13 x 9 pan. Combine pumpkin, evaporated milk, eggs, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and salt in a large bowl. Pour into a pan. Sprinkle dry cake mix over pumpkin mixture. Top with pecans. Drizzle with melted butter. Bake 50-55 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely serve with whipped topping. Refrigerate leftovers.

Giving Thanks

Yesterday, my co-workers and I hosted a special thank you luncheon for our Komen Kansas City volunteers. These women and men are some of the most passionate volunteers I have ever worked with. It was just our little way of saying “thank you” for your ongoing commitment to ending breast cancer.

The following is a recipe I made for the first time for this Thanksgiving themed meal. A few of our volunteers requested this recipe for pumpkin bread pudding. I found it a few weeks ago in the coupon section of the paper. I had to go to C&H Sugar’s website to get the sauce recipe so I’ll provide you with both to save you a step.

Pumpkin Bread Pudding

  • 4 cups white bread, cut into cubes (about 7 slices of bread)
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 cups milk (I used skim milk)
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin purée
  • 1 cup C&H® Granulated Sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon rum or brandy (I substituted vanilla extract)
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves, ground
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 13×9 baking pan. Dry bread cubes on cookie sheet in oven for 10 minutes. Place dried bread cubes in sprayed pan. In large mixing bowl, whisk together all pudding ingredients except butter. Pour mixture over bread cubes. Let sit for 10 minutes to make sure bread is fully soaked. Dab butter over top. Bake 40 to 45 minutes. Pudding should be set in center, but not dry. When baking, pudding edges will puff up higher on the sides, but will deflate once it’s removed from the oven.

Crème Anglaise Sauce

  • 1 cup milk (I used skim milk)
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoons ginger, ground
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup C&H® Granulated Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In small saucepan, bring milk, cream and ginger to a boil. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 15 minutes. In medium mixing bowl, beat yolks with sugar until pale and thick, 3-4 minutes. Strain cream mixture through a fine strainer over egg mixture, discarding ginger and skim from sauce. Stir constantly until blended. Return to saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with wooden spoon, just until thickened. Do not boil or sauce may curdle (this happened to me – see Quick Tip). Add vanilla. Pour into small container; cover and chill. Warm sauce before serving over warm bread pudding.

Quick Tip – If sauce curdles (which it did for me), remove from stove and whirl in a blender. As hot liquids tend to splash (and they did for me), be careful the hot sauce does not splash out of the blender while blending.

Note: I used an empty water bottle to pull out the egg yolks. Crack egg in bowl. Invert empty water bottle with air deflated over egg yolk. Release and as air fills bottle it will pull up egg yolk into bottle. To release into recipe, deflate air and yolk will release into your bowl. It wasn’t as simple as it looked on The Today Show but it worked. I would recommend using a bottle with less ridges to make it work right. Dispose of water bottle after doing this. Save egg white for future egg white omelets.