Sunday, November 25, 2012

Mashed Potatoes

  • 5 pounds Russet Or Yukon Gold Potatoes
  • ¾ cups Butter
  • 1 package (8 Oz.) Cream Cheese, Softened
  • ½ cups (to 3/4 Cups) Half-and-Half
  • ½ teaspoons (to 1 Teaspoon) Lawry's Seasoned Salt
  • ½ teaspoons (to 1 Teaspoon) Black Pepper

Preparation Instructions

Peel and cut the potatoes into pieces that are generally the same size. Bring a large pot of water to a simmer and add the potatoes. Bring to a boil and cook for 30 to 35 minutes. When they’re cooked through, the fork should easily slide into the potatoes with no resistance, and the potatoes should almost, but not totally, fall apart.
Drain the potatoes in a large colander. When the potatoes have finished draining, place them back into the dry pot and put the pot on the stove. Mash the potatoes over low heat, allowing all the steam to escape, before adding in all the other ingredients.
Turn off the stove and add 1 ½ sticks of butter, an 8-ounce package of cream cheese and about ½ cup of half-and-half. Mash, mash, mash! Next, add about ½ teaspoon of Lawry’s Seasoning Salt and ½ a teaspoon of black pepper.
Stir well and place in a medium-sized baking dish. Throw a few pats of butter over the top of the potatoes and place them in a 350-degree oven and heat until butter is melted and potatoes are warmed through.
Note: When making this dish a day or two in advance, take it out of the fridge about 2 to 3 hours before serving time. Bake in a 350-degree oven for about 20 to 30 minutes or until warmed through.

Turkey Gravy

  • drippings from 12-14 pound Roasted Turkey
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth or water
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • optional: other herbs, seasonings to taste
  1. Skim off most of the fat. Simmer for about 10-15 minutes stovetop, stirring occasionally. Use a slotted spoon to remove celery, onion, and any large pieces of drippings. Continue to simmer.
  2. Combine flour and broth or water in a small mason jar with a lid; shake it up to combine. Gradually whisk in the flour/liquid mixture into the drippings until smooth. Lower temperature.
  3. Add salt and pepper, and any other seasonings to taste. Whisk well before transferring to serving dish.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Pumpkin Cranberry Bread

Wet ingredients
1 3/4 cup canned pumpkin (one small can-425g)
2/3 cup butter, melted (150g)
2/3 cup water (160ml)
4 eggs

Dry ingredients
3 1/2 cups flour (455g)
3 cups sugar (600g)
2 tsp baking soda (10g)
2 tsp baking powder (10g)
1 tsp cinnamon (5g)
1 tsp nutmeg (5g)
1/2 tsp cloves (2.5g)
1/2 tsp salt (2.5g)
1/2 cup [coarsely] chopped walnuts or pecans (60g) (optional)
1 cup [coarsely] chopped fresh or dried cranberries (120g)

Preheat oven to 350F/180C degrees. Combine the eggs, pumpkin, butter, and water in a large bowl. In another bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients, plus the nuts and cranberries. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and mix with a wooden spoon by hand. Mix until the batter is combined, but don’t over mix. Grease the pans, and distribute the batter equally in the pans (should fill each about half way up). Bake for 1 hour.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Pumpkin Pie Bites

2 refrigerated ready-to roll pie crusts or you can make your own, which I did

8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Pumpkin-shaped cookie cutter

1/2 cup chocolate morsels
vegetable oil
re-sealable plastic bags

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Use cookie cutter to cut 12 pumpkin shapes from each pie crust. You will need to roll the dough thinner than it comes out of the box.
Press dough shapes into a 24 cup mini muffin tray. (Make 12 at a time, alternating cups to make sure pie crusts don’t overlap each other.)
Apply egg whites from one egg to the top edges of each pie.
Mix cream cheese, sugar, canned pumpkin, remaining 2 eggs, vanilla and pumpkin pie spice together until thoroughly combined.
Spoon mixture into each pumpkin-shaped pie crust.
Bake for 12-15 minutes.
Remove pies to cool and repeat with second pie crust. Place the muffin tray in the freezer to cool it quickly for re-use.

Makes 24 pies. Keep refrigerated.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Blueberry Streusel Muffins

2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup whole milk
2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen

Streusel Topping:
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350º. Line muffin pan with paper muffin liners.

To prepare streusel topping mix with sugar, flour, butter, and cinnamon with a fork. Sometimes I use my hands to get it fully incorporated so that it has the texture of wet sand. This makes a generous amount of streusel topping which probably could be halved but I like a lot on my muffins.

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside
In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, vanilla and milk. Add flour mixture and stir until just combined.

Gently fold in blueberries.

Divide batter evenly into 12 muffin cups. Sprinkle muffins with streusel topping.

Bake at 350º for 20 to 25 min, until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Makes 12 jumbo muffins.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Candy Cane Kiss Cookies


1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/4 cups butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon peppermint extract, optional
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup Candy Cane flavored Hershey's Kisses, finely chopped
granulated sugar
additional, unwrapped Candy Cane Kisses- about 30


1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Make room in either refrigerator or freezer for your cookie sheet.
2. In large mixer bowl, combine powdered sugar, butter, extracts and egg. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often until creamy (2-3 minutes). In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Add to wet mixture and beat, scraping bowl often until well blended (1-2 minutes). The mixture will be a bit crumbly. Stir in chopped Kisses.
3. Shape dough into 3/4-inch to 1-inch balls; roll in granulated sugar. Place 1-inch apart on cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until set. As soon as they come out of the oven, press a Candy Cane Kiss in the center of each cookie. They'll crack a little around the edges, so just use your fingers to kind of hold the cookie together while you set the kiss inside. Put cookie sheet (with cookies) immediately into the freezer (preferred) or refrigerator so that the Kisses will set quickly. As soon as you press them into the cookie, they will begin to soften... so if you can get them into the freezer then they will keep their Kiss shape.
4. Store in a covered container- at room temperature for up to a week. In the freezer they should be ok for a couple of weeks.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Basic Pancakes


3 1/3 cups milk
2 eggs
1/3 cup oil
3 cups flour
3 Tablespoons sugar or sucanat
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
melted butter

Combine all ingredients, except butter, in a large mixing bowl, whisking until smooth. There may be a few lumps, but that is fine. Heat large skillet or griddle until droplets of water sizzle when sprinkled onto cooking surface. Brush griddle with melted butter. Pour batter, about 1/3 cup at a time onto griddle. This should spread itself into a medium circle. Cook until bubbles form in batter and start to pop. Flip with a pancake turner. Brush the cooked tops of cakes with more melted butter. Cook a minute or two more. Stack on a plate until all are cooked. This should make about 24 pancakes. (Cool, wrap, and freeze any extras.)

Friday, November 9, 2012

Reese's Peanut Butter Temptations

About 40 (13-oz. pkg.) REESE'S Peanut Butter Cups Miniatures or 12 (0.8 oz. each) REESE'S Peanut Butter Cups, quartered
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter , softened
  • 1/2 cupgranulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoonvanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cupsall-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoonbaking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoonsalt

  • Directions

    1. Heat oven to 375°F. Remove wrappers from candies. Line small muffin cups (1-3/4 inches in diameter) with paper bake cups.
    2. Beat butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, peanut butter, egg and vanilla until light and fluffy in large bowl. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; add to butter mixture, beating until well blended. Shape dough into 1-inch balls; place one in each prepared muffin cup. Do not flatten.
    3. Bake 10 to 12 minutes until puffed and lightly browned; remove from oven. Immediately press peanut butter cup or piece onto each cookie. Cool completely in muffin pan. About 3-1/2 dozen cookies.