November 22, 2012

Nani's Cranberry Whip Salad

This is a family favorite. Its been around forever & its always served at Thanksgiving & Christmas. This amount serves 20ish people a decent spoonful for a side dish or dessert, plus leftovers.

4 cans of Ocean Spray whole-berry cranberry sauce (don't try using jelly, it won't work)
4 small tubs of Cool Whip
bags of mini marshmallows
  • Put cranberry sauce into a mesh sieve over a bowl or the sink. 
  • Mix a bit so it isn't "can shaped" anymore. 
  • Let sit a while (20-30mins) so some of the juices can run off. 
  • Juices can be dumped.
  • After the sauce has sat a bit put it into a large bowl.
  • Mix with all remaining ingredients. 
  • Cover with plastic wrap & let sit a few hours (overnight) before serving.
  • YUM!
My grandma likes to add chopped pecans. I leave them out. I also go heavy on the mallows.

Green Bean Supreme (Its NOT what you think)

This recipe has been made by my mom for years. While this is similar to the traditional "green bean casseroles" that most people expect at Thanksgiving & Christmas this is actually NOTHING like the traditional. Its cheesy & yummy.

2lbs French Cut Frozen Green Beans (barely cooked, very well drained..I actually press mine a bit in the strainer)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 jar of Old English Cheddar Cheese
1 small jar of stems & pieces mushrooms (optional, only add if you like extra mushrooms)
1 big can of French's French Fried Onion Rings (24oz)
2c. cheddar cheese (shredded. I prefer sharp. My mom prefers medium.)
  • Drain/press barely cooked green beans, very very well. 
  • If you HAVE to use canned beans (cause you can't find frozen French cut beans) then still use french cut canned but they don't need to be cooked & they need to be drained even better.
  • Mix soup & old english cheddar very well. Eliminating as many lumps as possible.
  • Add beans to soup/cheese mixture & mix well.
  • Add shredded cheese and about 3/4c of onions. Mix well.
  • Put all into a greased casserole dish.
  • Bake at 350 degrees until cheese is melted & its all starting to bubble which is usually about 30mins.
  • Top casserole with the rest of the fried onions.
  • Put back into the oven & bake until onions are crispy/browned. 
  • Allow to sit a few minutes before serving.
This year I have a decent sized group coming over and a BIG turkey to roast. So I crock-potted  the entire mixture just till it was warm & bubbly, since really the beans are already cooked. The fried onions I toasted on the stove in a non-stick pan and topped the entire crock-pot with the crunchy fried onions before it was time to eat. 

November 21, 2012

Sweet Potato Casserole a'la Ruth's Chris Steakhouse

This recipe IS the original & official recipe from Ruth's Chris Steakhouse. Yes, I am best friends with one of the Executive Chefs wives. Have been for years. Feel privileged.

Honestly, some people try to imitate this and it ends up not so good. This is SO yummy. My oldest daughter seriously won't go without it at holidays & she'll eat it for breakfast if I let her. Please get over your mothers chunks of sweet potatoes or yams and molten marshmallows. This is what you really should be serving. Plus you can eat it as a side dish OR a dessert. (Seriously a spoonful of this and a spoonful of vanilla ice cream...don't say I didn't warn you.)

1 batch serves 2-4 people depending on your sweet tooth.
Preheat oven to 350.

Crumble Topping:
1 c. brown sugar
1/3 c. flour
1/3 c. melted butter
1 c. chopped nuts (RC uses pecans. Almonds are good too.)
  • Mix together all of the above & set aside.
Sweet Potato Mixture:
3 c. mashed sweet potatoes
1 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1/2 c. butter
1 tsp. vanilla (I only use Mexican vanilla...but thats a personal thing.)
  • Beat eggs well.
  • Mix eggs, sugar & butter well.
  • Add salt & vanilla, mixing well.
  • Add sweet potatoes & beat well. 
  • Pour sweet potato mixture into a well buttered baking dish.
  • Sprinkle top with crumb topping. 
  • Bake for 30 minutes.
  • Allow to set for approximately 30 minutes before serving.

November 16, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

I'm used to cooking for a crowd, but thank goodness with Kiar I can totally split the work and still get great food. Plus, splitting the work is so much better! So dinner for 13 it is this year. 

Roasted Turkey
Herbed Turkey Gravy
Green Bean Supreme
Ruth's Chris Sweet Potato Casserole
Cranberry Whip Salad
Dessert (Thinking pumpkin cake...hmm.)
Sparkling Cider

Brussel Sprouts
Mashed Potatoes

November 2, 2012

Dairy Free Corn Chowder

Victoria is going dairy free for a week for scientific research where her migraines are concerned. I'll blog about that separately. I was craving corn chowder...and chowder screams butter & cream. But this recipe turned out SO yummy. I found a recipe online & altered it tremendously for our families liking.  We were all super impressed. Served with Italian bread which is also dairy free. Victoria also tried out "Earth Balance soy free natural buttery spread" tonight on her bread, while most of the family still consumed a bit of real butter...except me, I just dipped in my chowda.

2 Tbsp olive oil
2 onions (diced)
24 oz fresh or frozen corn (not canned)
1 Tbsp ground pepper
1 Tbsp garlic powder
32 oz  chicken stock (use veggie if you want to go vegan)
1 small jalapeno (cut in half)
6 small/medium yellow skinned potatoes (diced)
8 stalks of celery (chopped)
4 c. almond milk
1 Tbsp paprika
1/4 c. all purpose flour
olive oil
salt to taste

  • Saute onion & corn in olive oil.
  • Add pepper & garlic.
  • Add halved jalapeno and saute for a few minutes.
  • Add chicken stock & simmer for 10 mins.
  • Remove jalapeno.
  • Add potatoes, celery, almond milk & paprika.
  • Stir well to incorporate.
  • Bring back to a boil till potatoes are soft. (
  • Reduce to low...barely a simmer.
  • Remove about 4 cups of the solids (potatoes, corn & celery) from the mixture using a slotted spoon.
  • Place the removed items into your blender.
  • Add about 2 cups of the hot liquid to the blender.
  • Blend briefly, then add back to the rest of the soup.
  • Mix well.
  • Take 1/4 cup of flour & put it into a bowl. 
  • Mixing the flour with a few tablespoons of olive oil till it makes a thick "roux". This should be paste-like, not creamy. 
  • Using a whisk add the roux paste to the soup & mix well. 
  • Set simmer a few more minutes.
  • Add salt to taste.
  • Serve with bread (dairy free is available).