REINDEER NIBBLES

REINDEER NIBBLES
2/3 cup honey
2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla extract
4 cups regular oats (uncooked)
1 cup unsalted peanuts, slightly chopped
1 1/2 cups golden raisins
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 cups melted CandyQuick

  • Preheat oven to 300°.
  • Whisk together the honey, peanut butter and cinnamon in a small sauce pan over medium heat, stirring constantly until thoroughly heated through. DO NOT BOIL.
  • Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
  • In a large bowl pour peanut butter mixture over the oatmeal, stir to combine.
  • Spread oats in a jelly roll pan sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Bake for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally
  • Return oats to large mixing bowl and stir in peanuts, chocolate chips and raisins.
  • Spread oat mixture back into jelly roll pan and return to oven.
  • Turn oven off and let cool in oven for 90 minutes, stirring occasionally and keeping the door closed.
  • Remove from oven.
  • Melt CandyQuick in 30 second increments until pourable.  Stir after each 30 seconds.
  • Pour CandQuick over oat mixture and freeze for 1 hour.
  • Break apart into pieces.
  • Store in an airtight container.

NOTE: The pieces that are at the bottom make a great granola!

BUTTERMILK ROLLS

A batch of homemade bread is a necessary evil for any holiday feast. These rolls are buttery and golden  and just plain delicious!

BUTTERMILK ROLLS makes 24 rolls
1/2 cup warm water
2 envelopes active dry yeast 1/4 ounce each)
6 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon sugar, divided
2 LARGE eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup buttermilk (NOT low-fat)
1 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
4 + 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided and melted
3 1/2 + 4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
Flaky Sea Salt

  • Combine warm water, heat and 1 teaspoon of sugar, set aside until foamy, about 5 minutes or so.
  • In a medium bowl stir together eggs, buttermilk, kosher salt, 4 tablespoons butter, and remaining sugar until well blended.
  • Add yeast mixture and 3 1/2 cups of the flour, stirring until dough forms.
  • Sprinkle for surface with remaining flour.
  • Turn dough out onto floured surface and knead until slightly elastic. Add addictional flour as necessary.
  • Place dough in greased bowl, turning to coat dough.
  • Cover with saran and chill at least 8 hours or overnight.
  • Grease 2 – 12 cups muffin tins.
  • Punch chilled dough down and turn out onto a floured surface.
  • Divide dough in half.
  • Roll one half of the dough to a 12×16 rectangle 1/4 inch thick.
  • Brush with melted butter.
  • Cut into 12 equal pieces.
  • Gently roll each piece into a round and place in muffin tins.
  • Repeat with the other half of the dough until all rolls are ready for baking.
  • Brush again with any remaining melted butter.
  • Cover with a cheesecloth towel and let rise in a warm place 1-1 1/2 hours until double in size.
  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Bake rolls 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
  • Brush again with butter and transfer to cooling rack for 15-20 minutes

DOUBLE APPLE BUNDT CAKE ala Dorie Greenspan

Here is another Dorie Greenspan cake that topped my list from when I did the meme several years back.

DOUBLE APPLE BUNDT CAKE

2 cups ALL PURPOSE flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon QUALITY ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 ½ cups sugar
1 cup apple butter
2 eggs
2 medium apples, peeled, cored and grated
1 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped
½ cup plump golden raisins

  • Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350°.
  • Butter a 12 cup Bundt pan.
  • Dust the interior of the pan with flour, then tap out the excess.
  • Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt. Set aside.
  • Working with a stand mixer beat the butter and sugar on medium speed, scarping the bowl as needed for 3 minutes or until the mixture is smooth, thick and pale.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, beating for about 1 minute after each addition; until you have a light, fluffy batter. Reduce the mixer speed to low and beat in the apple butter. It may appear to curdle the batter, don’t worry it will be okay.
  • With the mixer still on low speed add the grated apples and mix to completely blend.
  • Add the dry ingredients, mixing only until they disappear into the batter.
  • Using a rubber spatula, fold in the nuts and raisins.
  • Turn the batter into the Bundt pan and smooth the top of the batter with the rubber spatula.
  • Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until a think knife inserted deep into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  • Transfer the pan to a cooling rack to cool for 5 minutes before inverting and cooling the cake to room temperature.
  • If possible, once the cake is completely cool, wrap well in plastic and let it stand overnight at room temperature to ripen the flavors.
  • If you’re not going to ice the cake, you can dust it with confectioners’ sugar just before serving.

OPTIONAL GLAZE:
1/3 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons fresh orange or lemon juice

  • Put the sugar in a small bowl and stir in a squirt or two of either orange or lemon juice. Keep adding the juice a little at a time until you have a glaze that falls easily from the tip of a spoon.
  • Drizzle the glaze over the top of the cake letting it slide down the curves of the cake in whatever pattern it makes.
  • Let the cake stand until the glaze dries before slicing.

BUFFALO CHICKEN PULL APART BREAD

I found this recipe for Buffalo Chicken Pull-Apart Bread on Facebook, you know one of those that they show you in video form in 30 seconds or less AND looks really scrumptious?  I was thinking of making it as an appetizer when our son and family are here at Christmas time, but needed to test it first. Well, it was HUGE success and I now make it more regularly.

Well, this recipe did not disappoint.  I made some of my homemade Farmhouse Buttermilk Dressing to go with it and the combination was addicting! Instead of an appetizer we added a salad and made it a meal.

BUFFALO CHICKEN PULL-APART BREAD
2 packages Pillsbury pizza dough (I used 1 recipe of my homemade pizza dough)
2 cups chicken, cooked and shredded (I used original recipe Costco Rotisserie chicken)
1 cup Buffalo sauce (I used Frank’s Original Hot Sauce)
1/4 cup scallions, chopped (I used more, about double – we like onions)
2 1/2 cups grated pepper jack cheese (I used regular jack cheese)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 jalapeno, sliced (OPTIONAL – I didn’t use)
Ranch dressing for dipping (I used a batch of Farmhouse Buttermilk Dressing)

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • In a bowl toss together the chicken, buffalo sauce, green onions and half the cheese.
  • Roll out dough and cut into 3×3 inch squares (about 30 squares total). **SEE NOTE
  • Brush each square with the melted butter.
  • Top each square with a spoonful of chicken mixtures and then a sprinkling of the remaining cheese.
  • Brush loaf pan with butter.
  • Stack each square on top of each other in your loaf pan with the chicken side up.
  • Brush top of bread with remaining butter.
  • Top with remaining cheese.
  • Bake 40-50 minutes until golden and set.

NOTE:  The original recipe had you doing each square one at a time, but I found it much easier to do them all at once and then stack them in the loaf pan while it was standing on end for a more even and less messy build.

SHARING with FOODIE FRIDAY and TASTY THURSDAY.

FRENCH PEAR TART

8 or 9 years ago when I was a new food blogger, I joined a MEME group known as Tuesdays with Dorie where we made a different recipe from her cookbook, Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan, each week. Of ALL the recipes we made this was one of my all time favorites! It is PERFECT for this time of year!

FRENCH PEAR TART
SHELL
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick plus 1 tablespoon very cold unsalted butter
1 large egg yolk

  • To make the dough, put the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse a few times to combine.
  • Scatter the pieces of butter over the dry ingredients and pulse until the butter is cut in coarsely.
  • Add egg and process in long pulses about 10 seconds each until smoother.
  • Turn the dough out onto a work surface and knead just to incorporate any dry ingredients that might have escaped mixing.
  • Gather dough into a ball and flatten into a disk. Wrap well and chill for at least 2 hours or for up to 1 day.
  • Butter the tart pan and press the dough evenly along the bottom and up the sides of the pan.
  • You want to press the crust in so that the pieces cling to one another and knit together when baked, but you don’t want to press so hard that the crust loses its crumbly texture.
  • Freeze the crust for an hour before baking.
  • To partially bake the crust, center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375°.
  • Butter the shiny side of a piece of aluminum foil and fit the foil tightly against the crust.
  • Bake the crust 25 minutes.
  • Then carefully remove the foil. If the crust has puffed, press it down gently with the back of a spoon.
  • Bake for another 3 to 5 minutes, then transfer the pan to a cooling rack.

PEARS
3 medium pears, firm but ripe
1 lemon
1 cinnamon stick
4 cups water, optional
1 1/4 cups sugar, optional

  • Peel the pears.
  • In a saucepan just large enough to hold the pears, whisk together the water and sugar until the sugar dissolves.
  • Add the cinnamon stick and the juice of the lemon.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Add the pears to the boiling syrup, reduce the heat so the syrup simmers to GENTLY poach the pears for about 15 minutes. They should be tender when pierced with a knife.
  • Remove from heat and set pan aside to cool the pears to room temperature.

ALMOND CREAM
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup ground blanched almonds
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 large egg, room temperature
2 teaspoons dark rum or 1 teaspoon PURE vanilla extract
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

  • Add butter and sugar to a food processor and process till mixture is smooth and satiny.
  • Add the ground almonds and continue to process until well blended.
  • Add the flour and cornstarch, process,.
  • Add the egg, processing for about 15 seconds more, or until the almond cream is well blended.
  • Add the rum or vanilla and process just to blend.
  • Scrape the almond cream into a container and either use it immediately or refrigerate it until firm, about 2 hours.

ASSEMBLY & BAKING

  • Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350°.
  • Line a baking sheet and set aside.
  • Cut the poached pears in half.
  • Core them and make sure to pat them dry so that their liquid won’t keep the almond cream from baking.
  • Fill the baked crust with the almond cream, spreading it even with an offset metal icing spatula.
  • Thinly slice each pear half crosswise, lift each half on a spatula, press down on the pear to fan it slightly.
  • Place it, wide-end toward the edge of the crust, over the almond cream. The halves will form spokes.
  • Put the crust on the lined baking sheet, slide the sheet into the oven and bake the tart 50 to 60 minutes.
  • The almond cream will puff up around the pears and brown. Transfer the tart to a rack to cool to room temperature.
  • Right before serving, dust the tart with confectioners’ sugar..

NOTE:  Almond cream pairs well with a variety of fruits such as apricots, peaches and apples as substitutes or combinations.

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TUNA NOODLE or CHICKEN NOODLE CASSEROLE

TUNA NOODLE CASSEROLE
1 large can tuna, drained WELL (a combination of salmon and tuna works well also)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 small can evaporated milk
1 bunch green onions, chopped or sliced thin
1 shallot, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups cooked egg noodles or pasta of choice
1 can Le Seur peas, drained WELL (optional)
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese**
1 cup crushed potato chips##
Fresh ground salt and pepper, to taste

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Whisk together soup and milk until well blended.
  • Fold in tuna, onion, garlic, peas and cheese.
  • When well blended gently fold in noodles and pour into a prepared baking dish.
  • Top with crushed potato chips and bake 30 minutes until bubbly and heated through.

NOTE**Gram’s original recipe called for 1 cup velvet cubes, but I never touch the stuff so adapted it to real cheese

NOTE##Grams always used potato chips, but I also like to use a buttered bread crumb or cracker mixture.

 

CHICKEN NOODLE CASSEROLE
1 1/2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken (can substitute a LARGE can of chicken)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 bunch green onions, chopped or sliced thin
1 shallot, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups cooked egg noodles or pasta of choice
1 can Le Seur peas, drained WELL
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese**
1 cup crushed potato chips##
Fresh ground salt and pepper, to taste

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Whisk together soup and milk until well blended.
  • Fold in tuna, onion, garlic, peas and cheese.
  • When well blended gently fold in noodles and pour into a prepared baking dish.
  • Top with crushed potato chips and bake 30 minutes until bubbly and heated through.

NOTE**Gram’s original recipe called for 1 cup velvet cubes, but I never touch the stuff so adapted it to real cheese

NOTE##Grams always used potato chips, but I also like to use a buttered bread crumb or cracker mixture.

SHARING with FOODIE FRIDAY and TASTY THURSDAY.

CLASSIC BEEF STROGANOFF and/or DEVILED STEAK TIPS

CLASSIC BEEF STROGANOFF
1 1/4 pounds sirloin tips, trimmed of fat and cut into 1 inch pieces
2 teaspoons Bragg’s liquid aminos
2 tablespoons butter
3/4 pound mushrooms, sliced thin **
2 teaspoons hot water
1 tablespoon Coleman’s dry mustard
1 teaspoon sugar
Fresh ground black pepper
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 large shallot, diced fine
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoons Wondra flour
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 cups beef broth
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon fresh chopped flat leaf parsley

  • Poke each piece of meat with a fork
  • In a mixing bowl toss meat pieces with Bragg’s liquid aminos, cover and marinate 1 hour.

 

  • While meat is marinating prep mushrooms.
  • In a large skillet melt butter over medium high heat.
  • Add mushrooms and sauce until soft and caramelizeng.
  • Drain mushrooms and set aside.

 

  • Whisk together the water and mustard powder with the sugar, and some pepper just until a smooth paste forms. Set aside.
  • Pat meat dry with paper toweling.
  • Season with fresh ground pepper.

 

  • Heat oil in large skillet over medium high heat.
  • Add beef pieces and sear on ALL sides, reducing heat as necessary to prevent burning. Transfer eat to plate.
  • Add Add onions and saute until caramelized and browning.
  • Add in the tomato sauce and flour, stirring to blend.
  • Stir in beef broth, mustard paste and wine until well blended and bring to a SLOW simmer, cooking until slightly reduced and starting to thicken.
  • Fold meat pieces and mushrooms into the sauce and cook a couple minutes more until heated through.
  • Remove from heat and fold in sour cream.
  • Serve immediately over buttered noodles.
  • Sprinkle with parsley.

*NOTE*: I prefer thin sliced mushrooms, but some prefer larger mushrooms in which case you should use 1 pound and quarter them.

OR You can make this version of the same basic style meal – just depends on your flavor palette:

DEVILED STEAK TIPS serves 4-6
2 pounds boneless chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 1 inch cubes
2 1/2 tablespoons avocado oil
1 shallot, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons Wondra flour
3/4 cup beef broth
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon creamy horseradish
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Fresh ground sea salt and black pepper

  • Pat beef dry.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • In a large skillet heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium-high heat.
  • Add half the beef and cook until well browned on all sides, turning as needed, about 6-8 minutes.
  • Remove beef with a slotted spoon to a bowl and add second batch.
  • Remove second batch with slotted spoon.
  • Add remaining oil to the pan.
  • When oil is hot, add onion and season with salt, sautéing until soft.
  • Add garlic and season with pepper.
  • Add in flour and stir to blend, cooking until golden.
  • Whisk in tomato sauce, beef broth, vinegar, horseradish, mustard and water. Be sure to scrape up any browned bits from the pan bottom.
  • Return beef and any accumulated juices to the skillet.
  • Simmer, stirring occasionally 1 – 1 1/2 hours until sauce is thickened and meat is tender.
  • Season to taste and serve over buttered noodles.

SHARING with FOODIE FRIDAY and TASTY THURSDAY.

BACON HERB ROASTED TURKEY

BACON HERB ROASTED TURKEY
1 pound bacon, chopped
2 sticks butter
1 shallots, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup dry sherry
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 green onions, sliced
1/4 cup, chopped flat leaf parsley
3 sprigs fresh thyme, stems removed
3 sprigs fresh rosemary, stems removed, chopped
3 sprigs fresh tarragon, stems removed, chopped
15 pound turkey, rinsed, drained and innards removed and reserved for gravy
1 medium red onion, peeled and quartered
1 large lemon, rested and quartered
1 blood orange, quartered
2 tablespoons avocado oil
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons fresh ground Himalayan salt
2 teaspoon fresh ground tricolor pepper
5 large carrots, washed and trimmed
5 stalks celery, washed and scraped

  • Pulse together the bacon, shallots, garlic, sherry, green onions, mustard, tarragon, thyme and rosemary until you have a smooth paste.
  • Refrigerate until chilled through. I like to make this part on Tuesday so it is well chilled.
  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Lower oven rack to bottom.
  • Arrange carrots and celery on bottom of roaster in a basket weave pattern.
  • Place onion, lemon and orange quarters in turkey cavity.
  • Tie legs with food grade twine or baking bands.
  • Whisk together the lemon zest, avocado oil, salt and pepper.
  • Carefully separate skin from the body without tearing or piercing the skin.
  • Insert the bacon paste between skin and meat, massaging into an even layer.
  • Coat the outside of the turkey with the oil.
  • Pat brown sugar over oil.
  • Place the turkey in the roaster on top of carrot and celery grid.
  • Tent loosely with foil.
  • Bake 20-25 minutes per pound or until turkey reaches 150° (in the thigh). Baste ever 20 minutes or so.
  • Remove foil and bake uncovered until skin has browned and temperature has risen to 160°. Continue basting every 15  minutes or so. You want the skin to crisp, but NOT dry out.
  • Remove turkey from oven, tent with foil and allow to rest 20 minutes or so.

TRADITIONAL SOUTHERN STYLE GREEN BEANS akin to RAZOOS

TRADITIONAL SOUTHERN STYLE GREEN BEANS akin to RAZOOS – serves 4
These green beans are cooked low and slow until soft and tender in a bacon-infused broth making them super yummy and a family favorite for any holiday.

3 slices bacon, diced
1 pounds green beans ends snapped off and longer beans snapped in half
1 large shallot, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon fresh ground Himalayan Pink salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon butter

  • In a large skillet brown and crisp bacon. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon to drain on paper toweling.
  • Add shallot and garlic to skillet, sautéing until fragrant.
  • Add green beans, water, chicken broth and seasonings to the skillet.
  • Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium-low.
  • Cover and simmer for 1-2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  • Drain beans and add butter.
  • Check beans for seasoning and add extra salt and pepper to taste.
  • Sprinkle with bacon and toss to distribute the bacon and butter.

SHARING with FOODIE FRIDAY and TASTY THURSDAY.

NAVY BEAN & HAM SOUP with GARLIC CHEESE BISCUITS

NAVY BEAN & HAM SOUP

1 ham bone with meat on it
2 stalks celery, sliced thin
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 large carrots, chopped
1 large shallot, chopped
3-4 fresh thyme sprigs
cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
Frank’s red pepper hot sauce
1/4 cup finely grated cheddar cheese

  • Soak the beans in room temperature water overnight.
  • Cover ham bone with water. Sprinkle generously with cayenne pepper, salt, thyme sprigs and black pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer for 2 hours or ham falls off the bone.
  • Strain the stock and separate into 2 separate 8 cup portions. Freeze 1 portion for your next batch of soup.
  • Return the stock to your pan and add the vegetables.
  • Bring to a boil. Add beans and ham pieces. Lower to a simmer for 2 hours.
  • Sprinkle with a few drops of Frank’s red pepper sauce and some grated cheese.
  • Serve with Garlic Cheddar Biscuits.

GARLIC CHEESE BISCUITS
2 cups biscuit baking mix
1 1/2 cups finely shredded Cheddar cheese
2/3 cup milk
1 clove finely minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons margarine, melted
2 teaspoons dried parsley
1 teaspoon garlic salt
2 tablespoons butter

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Lightly grease a cookie sheet.
  • In a large bowl, combine baking mix, 1 1/4 cups of the Cheddar cheese, minced garlic and garlic powder.
  • Stir in milk.
  • Drop batter by heaping tablespoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheet.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes.
  • Brush biscuits with melted butter, and sprinkle with parsley, garlic salt and remaining cheese.
  • Bake for 5 more minutes, or until lightly browned on the bottom.

BLACK-EYED PEA CHILI

So what do you do with left over pot roast and a can of black-eyed peas? Why, you make chili of course!  I just happened to have all of my normal chili ingredients on hand also.  I prefer Williams Chili Seasoning packet, but I had a coupon for the Mrs. Dash so we gave it a try.  It was okay, but the Mrs. Dash won’t become my go to seasoning.
MANY people swear by starting their year out with black-eyed peas for luck.  I’m not a superstitious person, but hey it can’t hurt! As a kid I HATED black-eyed peas, but I recently found the Trappey’s brand and they are fantastic! Hubs and I ate them plain and polished off the whole can. In fact they were so good that I can’t wait to try their other beans in soups, field peas, navy, black-eyed peas with jalapenos, etc…
BLACK-EYED PEA CHILI

1 can Trappey’s Black-eyed peas with bacon
+/- 2 cups shredded left over pot roast
1 can original Rotel tomatoes
1 1/2 cups V8
1 small HUNT’S tomato sauce
1 tablespoon Frank’s red hot sauce
1 package Williams Chili Seasoning packet
salt and pepper, to taste
water to desired consistency*
cheese bread or corn muffins
sour cream and onions to garnish

  • Mix together everything except the bread and garnish in a stock pot.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer several hours until you can smell the chili calling you to the kitchen.
  • Ladle into bowls and garnish.
  • Enjoy!

NOTE*: I use about 2 cups.  I like to start thin and simmer until thick (2-3 hours) to allow the flavors to blend together.

RED CHICKEN CHILI ~ ANOTHER WINTER MUST MAKE

QUICK & EASY CHICKEN CHILI
3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, frozen
2 cups homemade chicken broth, frozen
1 can cream of potato soup
1 jar dried beef, chopped
1 Williams chili mix package
1 can chopped green chilies
  • Place frozen chicken breasts on the bottom.
  • Pour green chilies over chicken pieces.
  • Top with cream of potato soup.
  • Top with frozen broth.
  • Sprinkle chili seasoning mix on top of chicken broth.
  • Top with beef pieces.
  • Slow cook on high for 2 hours. Reduce to low for 6 hours. Or cook on low 10 hours.
As the slow cooker heats up, the broth will melt absorbing the chili seasoning mix which will then be absorbed by the potato soup and by the end of the day you have a huge bowl of wonderful yummy goodness perfect for a crisp fall evening. Serve with cheddar cheese biscuits.