Archive | November, 2010

Corn Casserole

27 Nov

I came across this recipe from the Southern Living magazine back in the mid 90’s.  I made this for a holiday dinner and it has been a part of all holiday dinners ever since.  This is a family and friends favorite with the exception of Mariya who is not crazy about it but that’s ok, more for the rest of us!  I rarely deviate from the holiday meals as those dishes are typically only made at those times.  Sometimes I will make 2 of these casseroles if I have a big turkey for all those fabulous leftovers because there never seems to be enough and this holiday proved to be the same.  I actually prefer this using a cornbread mix versus straight cornmeal.  I think it’s moister and I prefer the texture but I provided both options.

Adapted from Southern Living magazine

Corn Casserole

Makes 8 side dish servings

  • 1 15 1/4 oz can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 14 1/4 can cream-style corn
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 1/2 stick margarine or butter, melted
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal or cornbread mix

In a large mixing bowl combine all ingredients and stir until moistened.

Pour corn mixture into a 2 quart greased casserole.  Bake in a 350F oven for 50-60 minutes or til lightly browned and set in the center.


Marinated Turkey

27 Nov

Another old recipe tried and true.  This came from Parents magazine that I received a years subscription when I had Mariya over 24 years ago.  I made this for our thanksgiving dinner that year and have been doing it ever since.  The turkey will be so moist and flavorful and succulent however, the bird is not a thing of beauty.  The turkey cannot be stuffed either so I do a stuffing on the side.  I cook this in a turkey bag breast side down so make sure this is in a very large pan because there will be so much liquid and the breast is just sitting in this baking for several hours to create the most delicious turkey ever!

Adapted from Parent’s magazine

Marinated Turkey

  • 4 carrots, cut into chunks
  • 2 large onions, cut into chunks
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 12-15 lb turkey
  • 1 cup chardonnay wine or cooking sherry

Place carrots and onions in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade.  Process until finely chopped.

Place chopped vegetables into a large bowl.  Stir in flour, oil, garlic powder and pepper.  The mixture should be pasty, if not, add a little more flour.

Coat the turkey inside and out with the mixture.  Set the turkey on a tray and cover lightly with foil or place into a turkey bag.  Place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours up to 24 hours.

Roast following directions from the turkey, basting frequently with wine or sherry, then with the pan juices as they accumulate.

French Country Slow Cooker Chicken

15 Nov

I was in need of another recipe for chicken cooked in a crock pot and I came across this one from now known as  This stew reminded us so much of our last night in Paris, it was Mariya’s birthday.  We had been running the streets all day and returned to the apartment.  We decided we would take our last ride on the Metro to the Champs Elysees and eat at an outdoor cafe.  Well it start raining, long and hard and now it was almost 9pm.  We were hungry and not wanting to go out far we decided to go down to the corner cafe and/or market.  We stepped outside and it had stopped raining.  We ran back into the apartment to get our umbrellas and take the chance.  We arrived on the Champs and found a cafe whose outside seating was dry and had a wonderful dinner of roasted chicken and gravy with frites, salad, bread and of course wine.  The gravy was seasoned with mirepoix which is onions, carrots and celery.  We were soaking it up with the bread and the frites were perfect in every way.  It was a wonderful end to a fantastic day and the trip of our lives.  This stew embodies the flavors of the roasted chicken and gravy we had that night so when we need to savor that moment having this stew brings it all back for us.

Adapted from a recipe found on

French County Slow Cooker Chicken

serves 6-8

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 carrots, sliced
  • 4 celery ribs, sliced
  • 1 1/2-2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 2 teaspoons herbs de provence
  • salt and black pepper
  • 1 (10 3/4 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1 (1 ounce) envelope dry onion soup mix
  • 1 cup white wine (or apple juice)
Place onion, carrots, and celery in slow cooker. Arrange chicken over vegetables. Sprinkle with the herbs de provence, salt, and pepper.

Pour soup over chicken. Sprinkle with dry onion soup mix and then pour in white wine. Cover; cook on HIGH 3 to 4 hours, stirring once during cooking.  Shred chicken in the pot and continue to cook for another 1/2 hour.

Serve over rice or noodles.

Red Velvet Cupcakes with White Chocolate Filling and Mascarpone Frosting

12 Nov

We have already established that we are going to make red velvet cupcakes for Mariya’s wedding.  Actually it is one of 3 types of cupcakes.  I saw this recipe in one of the Better Homes and Garden Christmas magazines.  Imagine if you may the beautiful red velvet cupcake filled with a lovely white chocolate whipped cream and topped with mascarpone frosting!  I was literally drooling and knew I had to try it.  I made these for a friend’s birthday as she also loves red velvet and they were a HUGE hit!  With these cupcakes I recommend eating all around the outside and save the creamy filling center and pop it in your mouth for an orgasm of the taste buds, seriously though.  We have voted unanimously these will be the red velvet cupcakes for the wedding.  As an added note, be careful when whipping the cream.  Pay attention to it and don’t do like I did and turn my back until all of a sudden liquid started spraying all over the kitchen because I overbeat the cream and created butter and milk!  What a mess but so worth it.

Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens

Red Velvet Cupcakes with White Chocolate Filling and Mascarpone Frosting

Makes 18-22 cupcakes

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup cooking oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk or sour milk*
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 ounces red food coloring
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • White Chocolate Whipped Cream
  • Mascarpone Frosting

Preheat oven to 350F.  Line muffin pans with paper baking cups; set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.  Add oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla.  Beat with electric mixer on low to medium speed for 2 minutes.

Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling about 2/3 full.  Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Remove cups from pan and cool on wire racks.

Prepare the White Chocolate Cream and Mascarpone Frosting.  Transfer the whipped cream to a decorating bag fitted with a large round tip.  Push the tip into the center of the cupcake and force some of the whipped cream inside the cake.

Generously pipe or spread the frosting onto the tops of the cupcakes,

*to make sour milk, place 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice in a measuring cup.  Add enough milk to make 1 cup, stir and let stand for several minutes.

White Chocolate Whipped Cream in a small heavy saucepan melt 3 ounces white chocolate chips and 1/4 cup heavy cream.  cook and stir over low heat until chocolate is almost melted.  Remove from heat and stir until smooth.  Set aside until cooled about 15 minutes.  In a large mixing bowl beat 3/4 cup heavy cream until soft peaks form.  Add the cooled chocolate mixture and beat until stiff peaks form.

Mascarpone Frosting in a large bowl combine 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese, and 1/4 cup softened butter.  Beat with mixer on high speed until smooth.  Add in 1 teaspoon vanilla.  Gradually add in 4 cups powdered sugar, beating well.  Beat in 2-3 teaspoons milk, 1 teaspoon at a time until spreading consistency.

Berry Blue Cheese Spread

10 Nov

Any reason I can find to cook or bake I am all about it!  We are celebrating a co-workers birthday so I decided to also do a dip along with cupcakes (recipe to follow).  I adore appetizers and can make a wonderful meal that would cause me to float in the air sighing in deep contentment (see my facebook page where I was in heaven enjoying an artisan ciabetta bread, supreme brie cheese and a bottle of pinot grigio).  Good food makes me very happy and this dip is another reason.  I’ve made this dip before to share with friends and co-workers.  I prefer outside the office to enjoy with a lovely bottle of wine but I digress.  I like the funky ingredients of this and it all works.  I’ve also become a fan of blue cheese but in moderation and this dip fits that bill.  With the holidays coming up this is just in time.

Adapted from Better Homes and Garden

Berry Blue Cheese Spread

makes about 2 cups

  • 1/2  cup  dried blueberries
  • 1  cup  boiling water
  • 1  8-oz. pkg.  cream cheese, softened
  • 6  oz.  blue cheese, coarsely crumbled
  • 2    green onions, chopped
  • 1  clove  garlic, minced
  • 1/2  cup  coarsely chopped pecans
  • Assorted whole grain crackers or cracker bread, broken

Place dried berries in a small bowl. Pour boiling water over berries. Let stand for 1 minute. Drain; set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl beat cream cheese and blue cheese by hand until nearly smooth. Stir in drained berries, green onions, and garlic just until combined.

Coarsely chop pecans by hand and stir in cheese.  Refrigerate a few hours so flavors can meld together.

IHOP Pumpkin Pancakes

8 Nov

IHOP serves pumpkin pancakes every fall.  They are so light and fluffy and pumpkin goodness.  I came across this copycat recipe on the internet a few years ago and have been making these ever since.  I love to serve them with a ginger syrup or more recently a pomegranate maple syrup. 

IHOP Pumpkin Pancakes

4 servings

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 canned pumpkin
  • 1/4 granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon each baking powder and baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon each cinnamon and allspice

Heat skillet over medium heat.  Coat pan with cooking oil.

Combine eggs. buttermilk, butter, pumpkin, and sugar in a large bowl.

Combine remaining ingredients in a small bowl.  Add dry ingredients to wet and mix well.

Pour batter into the hot pan.  When batter stops bubbling flip the pancakes and cook on the other side til done.

White Chili

1 Nov

The only thing I like about the weather getting cooler is the yummy crockpot stews and getting ready for the holidays.  Since Halloween fell on a Sunday what better to make prior to trick or treat but a white chili in the crockpot.  It’s so simple to just dump in all the ingredients and let it cook while preparing the outside for the evening’s festivities.  What a great night we had too but in the meantime we feasted on the chili before and afterwards.  There is one ingredient I added and it was a seasoning salt mix that I bought when we were in Cabo earlier in the year.  I acquired this from the Hotel California in Todos Santos.  This town is what is known as Pueblo Magico, a magical town designation.  I’ve only come across a couple of these towns and they are truly a treat.  While browsing the shop at Hotel California I picked up the seasoning.  I only added a teaspoon but it did add a special touch to the chili.  Since this is not something easily recreated I will just list the other ingredients.  Either way this chili is great!

White Chili

serves 8

  • 1 lb bag great northern dried beans
  • 2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 small can chopped green chilis
  • 3 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon mexican oregano
  • 1 8 oz pepper jack cheese shredded

Soak the beans overnight.  Drain and rinse well.  Add all ingredients except cheese to crockpot.

Cook on high for 6-8 hours.  Remove chicken and shred.  Return to crockpot and cook for another 1/2 hour.

Serve with pepper jack cheese on top.