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Showing posts from December, 2012

Balsamic-roasted cauliflower

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Roasting vegetables is my favorite method to savor the flavor of fresh vegetables.  I go against the school of cooking thought that veggies should be crisp, al dente,  pasta yes, my veggies no. Roasted, grilled, or sauteed are my standard cooking methods for vegetables.
I love this dish because the syrupy vinegar adds a wonderful flavor to the cauliflower.  I make this dish with either cauliflower or Brussels sprouts.  The toasted pecans add added texture and flavor to the dish.  I could go on and on about how yummy this tastes!

1 head cauliflower, break florets into bite size pieces or
1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half through the center
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper black pepper
1 tablespoon syrupy balsamic vinegar, I like to use fig balsamic vinegar*

Preheat oven to 400 degrees
In a large bowl toss cauliflower with oil and pecans. Place cauliflower in baking dis…

Aunt Anna Marie's Baked Stuffed Potatoes

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I remember the first time I helped my Aunt Anna Marie makes these richly flavorful potatoes when I was a young girl. Aunt Anna Marie was a wonderful cook: you know no recipes just cook by experience and instinct. She was having a large family party with one of my jobs being to make about 100 baked stuffed potatoes.  Oh did I mention that Aunt Anna Marie was an Italian war bride so following  Italian tradition we were cooking in the basement kitchen since the main kitchen is for show. As she busied herself with the more important entrees she would stop by to check on how I was progressing with the potatoes instructing me to add a little of this, a pinch of that.  I loved every minute of cooking with my aunt.
After I started cooking for my family I added Aunt Anna Marie's baked stuffed potatoes to my repertoire making them my own.  I don't remember why but I always make these potatoes for Christmas eve dinner bring back memories of helping my Aunt Anna Marie so many years ago.

Mandi & Elaine's Lattice Candied Apple Pie

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Pies as I say over and over are so wonderfully fun to make and delicious to eat!  I made this apple pie with my daughter Mandi along with a classic pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving dinner.  I changed the recipe up for a change by adding dried cranberries, pecans and brandy.

Mandi & Elaine"s Lattice Candied Apple Pie

Pastry:
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons shortening
4 to 5 tablespoons cold water


Measure flour and salt into a bowl. Cut into shortening thoroughly with a pastry blender.  Sprinkle in the water, 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing with a fork until flour is moistened and dough almost cleans the side of the bowl(1 to2 teaspoons water can be added if needed).


Gather the dough into a ball, then shape, divide the dough in half and shape into 2 flattened rounds.) Roll the dough 2 inches larger all around than the inverted pie pan. 


Filling:
7  Gala Apples, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1 cup chopped peca…

Christmas Morning Baked French Toast

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I love do ahead recipes when you are having a large group and want to spend time with friends and family: not doing last minute cooking!  My Christmas Morning French Toast Casserole is do ahead, easy and delicious.  Did I mention that it smells heavenly baking! 

Christmas Morning French Toast

1 loaf Italian bread ( 16 ounces)
8 large eggs
2 cups half and halfa
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
crumb topping
1/2 cup fresh cranberries
Maple Syrup ( if desired, I don't think it is needed as the topping takes the place of maple syrup)

Slice Italian bread into 20 1-inch slices.  Arrange slices on a 9 x13 baking dish( spray with cooking spray)  in two rows, overlapping the slices.  In a large bowl combine eggs, half and half, milk, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and beat with a mixer or whisk until blended. Pour egg mixture over the bread, slowly, making sure to evenly cover all the bread.   Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.

Crumb Topp…