Saturday, December 31, 2011

Just a Tiny Note From Me to You

Happy New Years Everyone!


May you party hard and eat until you pass out... well, maybe not *that* much...
Either way, have FUN!

Friday, December 30, 2011

A Snack to Ring in the New Year

Good afternoon bloggers! As you can all tell, EMEF has under gone a transformation. I figured, a new year is approaching and we needed to spruce things up a bit. Speaking of new year, New Year's is a day away and we need to think of what we will be munching on tomorrow as we count down to midnight. Personally, I love snacking on taquitos. If you don't know what a taquito is, it's a rolled up tortilla with some sort of yummy filling, such as beef or chicken. The taquito is then fried and devoured. Did you know that taquitos were invented in San Diego, California by a man named Ralph Pasqueria, Jr.? Okay, so now that you've had a little time to take in some knowledge as well as our changes, let's get in the kitchen and make some munchies!





Homemade Chicken Taquitos





You will need:






  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup salsa verde
  • juice from 1/2 a lime
  • 1 teaspoon chile powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • A pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chopped scallions
  • 2 cups chicken, cooked and shredded
  • 1/2 cup extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup Pepperjack cheese, shredded
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • cooking spray






Are you ready to conquer the taquito beast? Let's do it!






  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. 
  2. In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese with the salsa, lime juice, cumin, chile powder, cayenne, onion powder, garlic, cilantro, scallions, and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt.  
  3. Fold in the chicken and cheeses.  
  4. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if necessary.
  5. Working 3 tortillas at a time, stack them on a microwave-safe plate and cover with plastic wrap.  
  6. Cook for 30 seconds or until the tortillas are soft and pliable. 
  7. Spoon 2 to 3 tablespoons of filling onto the lower third of each tortilla, and roll tightly.  
  8. Place them seam side-down on the prepared baking sheet.  
  9. Repeat with the remaining tortillas and filling.
  10. Spray the taquitos lightly with cooking spray and sprinkle with salt.  
  11. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the tortillas are crisp and golden brown.  
  12. Serve with salsa, sour cream, and guacamole.
  13. Enjoy!






Thank you all for joining me today. Also, thank you for sticking with me this entire year. You make my life enjoyable and I'm really grateful for all of you! Enjoy New Year's Eve and I will catch you on the flip side. Happy blogging to all! <3

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

New Year, New Food

Good afternoon fellow bloggers! Welcome to our New Year's Edition of Everyday Meals! Today, we are serving up a dish that screams New Year. When you think of special occasions, what do you think of food wise? My mind goes straight to FANCY food. I'm talking steak, baby. Yes, steak. That is only half of what we are serving up today. So, now that I have you guessing, let's step into the kitchen and get cooking!





New Year's Surf n' Turf





You will need:






  • 2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped green onion
  • 1.5 teaspoons minced garlic, divided
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 5 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon browning sauce, optional
  • 8 beef tenderloin steaks
  • 24 uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined






Are you ready to do this? I am!






  1. In a large skillet, saute the mushrooms, onion and 1 teaspoon garlic in 2 tablespoons oil and 2 tablespoons butter until tender. 
  2. Add the wine, cook and stir for 1 minute. 
  3. Stir in the parsley, basil and browning sauce. 
  4. Remove from the skillet and keep warm. 
  5. In the same skillet, cook steaks in 2 tablespoons oil and 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat for 5 to 8 minutes on each side or until the meat reaches desired doneness (for medium-rare, a meat thermometer should read 145 degrees; medium, 160 degrees; well-done, 170 degrees)
  6. Return the mushroom mixture to the pan and heat through. 
  7. Meanwhile, in another skillet, combine the remaining butter and oil. 
  8. Add the shrimp and remaining garlic. 
  9. Cook and stir until the shrimp turn pink. 
  10. Serve with the steaks.
  11. Enjoy!







I hope you all join me for more spectacular New Year's recipes. I'll catch you on the flip side. Thank you for joining me and Happy New Year to you!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Season: An All Day Event for Our Taste Buds

Good afternoon and welcome to a shiny, new edition of Everyday Meals! I'm your ecentric hostess, Mandie. Christmas is practically on top of us. Tomorrow is Christmas Eve. What is your family planning on eating come the 25th? Well, for my family, we like to start out with a nice breakfast. We keep what we eat at minimum, knowing that we will be snacking throughout the day. For some families, they like to have 3 meals a day. That is what we are going to accomplish. I have 3 delicous meals planned out for you all: breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It's going to be a long day, so grab your "kiss the chef" aprons and let's meet in the kitchen!





Christmas Morning Croissant Casserole





You will need:






  • 4  plain croissants 
  • 1 tablespoon butter 
  • 2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms 
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onion 
  • 4 eggs 
  • 1 cup milk 
  • 1 cup shredded Swiss cheese 
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese 
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese






Ready?






  1. Split the croissants in half and place the bottoms cut side up in one layer in a rectangular casserole.
  2. Melt the butter in a frying pan.
  3. Saute the mushrooms and green onion until tender and until the liquid has evaporated, then set aside.
  4. Beat together the eggs and milk.
  5. Pour half of the egg and milk mixture over the croissants, layer the mushroom mixture and cheeses on top, then pour the remaining milk and eggs on top.
  6. Position the croissant tops over the bottoms, cut side down.
  7. Let stand over night in the refrigerator.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until set.
  9. Cover with foil if it browns too quickly.
  10. Plate and enjoy!







Now, for our brunch special...





Cinnamon Flop Brunch Cake





You will need:






  • 2 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 1.25 cups sugar
  • 1.25 cups milk 
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder 
  • 1 pinch salt 
  • 1 large egg 

FOR THE TOPPING:

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar 
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon 
  • 1/4 cup melted butter 
  • chopped walnuts







  1. Set the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Prepare a greased 13x9 inch baking dish.
  3. In a bowl mix the 2 cups flour, 1.25 cups white sugar, milk, vanilla, baking powder, pinch of salt and egg until just combined.
  4. Be careful not to over mix.
  5. Pour into the prepared baking pan.
  6. Generously spread brown sugar and cinnamon on top.
  7. Sprinkle chopped walnuts over top.
  8. Drizzle melted butter on top, as well.
  9. Bake for about 30 minutes.
  10. Cut, serve, and enjoy!







Are you ready to make Christmas dinner? I am!





Garlic Prime Rib





You will need:






  • 10 pounds prime rib roast 
  • 10 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil 
  • 2 teaspoons salt 
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper 
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme







  1. Place the roast in a roasting pan with the fatty side up.
  2. Loosen the fat from the meat by cutting with a sharp knife.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together the garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme.
  4. Spread the mixture under the fatty side and all over it as well.
  5. Secure the roast with kitchen twine.
  6. Let the roast sit out at room temperature for no longer than one hour.
  7. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.
  8. Bake the roast in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees and continue roasting for an additional 60 to 75 minutes.
  9. The internal temperature of the roast should be at 145 degrees for medium rare.
  10. You may cook the roast longer if medium rare does not suit your tastes.
  11. Allow the roast to rest for 10 to 15 minutes before carving so the meat can retain its juices.
  12. Carve and enjoy!






Well folks, I thank you for joining me for this pre-Christmas celebration. I hope you and your families enjoy the holidays. Be sure to over-eat, sleep on the sofa, and unwrap your fair share of presents! I'll be back either tomorrow or Monday for the beginning of our New Years Feast! Happy blogging to all! <3

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Season: Candy Mania!

Good afternoon bloggers! Welcome to a brand new, sugary sweet edition of Everyday Meals. As you may have already picked up from my subtle statement, we are indeed making candy. In my household, we make chocolates every year and I wanted to share some equally delicious candy recipes with you all. I want to share a little knowledge with you about peppermint bark, considering that we are making a form of it today. Sit tight and enjoy! Peppermint bark consists of peppermint candy pieces, like candy canes, in white chocolate on top of dark chocolate. Peppermint bark can refer ro any chocolate with peppermint pieces in it. There are of course, variations of peppermint bark. They can include a two-toned layered type, squares, Hersey's kisses, salsa, and peanut butter cups. That's interesting! Now that we know a little about what we are wokring with, let's get in the kitchen and make some candy!





Green Mint Bark





You will need:






  • 1 package (10 to 12 ounces) white baking chips
  • 12 ounces green candy coating disks
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 3 candy canes, crushed







  1. Line a baking sheet with foil, then set aside. 
  2. In a microwave, melt the chips, making sure to stir until smooth. 
  3. Spread the melted chips into a 13 x 9 inch rectangle on a prepared baking sheet. 
  4. In a microwave, melt the candy coating and stir until smooth. 
  5. Stir in the extract. 
  6. Spread the candy coating over the white layer and sprinkle with candy. 
  7. Chill for 10 minutes or until firm, then break into pieces. 
  8. Store in an airtight container.
  9. Enjoy!






Ready for the next recipe?





Cranberry Orange Truffles





You will need:






  • 12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cubed
  • 4 egg yolks, beaten
  • 1 cup dried cranberries, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons thawed orange juice concentrate
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract

For the Coating:

  • 12 ounces white candy coating, chopped
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped almonds
  • 1 ounce bittersweet chocolate, melted
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries







  1. In a double boiler or metal bowl over simmering water, heat the chocolate and butter until melted, stirring frequently. 
  2. Whisk a small amount of the mixture into the egg yolks. 
  3. Return all to the heat, whisking constantly. 
  4. Cook and stir until the mixture reaches at least 160 degrees and coats the back of a metal spoon. 
  5. Remove from the heat and stir in the cranberries, orange juice concentrate and extract. 
  6. Cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. 
  7. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until easy to handle. 
  8. Shape into 1 inch balls. 
  9. In a microwave, melt the candy coating. 
  10. Dip truffles in the coating and allow any excess to drip off. 
  11. Place on waxed paper-lined baking sheets and immediately sprinkle with almonds. 
  12. Drizzle with bittersweet chocolate and garnish with dried cranberries. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm. 
  13. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. 
  14. Enjoy!






And finally, our last recipe...





Homemade Marshmallows





You will need:






  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 3 envelopes unflavored gelatin
  • 1 cup cold water, divided
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Optional toppings: 

  • melted chocolate 
  • hot fudge
  • caramel ice cream topping

Optional garnishes:

  • baking cocoa 
  • confectioners' sugar 
  • crushed assorted candies
  • chopped nuts
  • colored sugars 
  • sprinkles







  1. Line a 13 x 9 inch pan with foil, then grease the foil with butter and set aside. 
  2. In a large metal bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over 1/2 cup water and set aside. 
  3. In a large heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, salt and remaining water. 
  4. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. 
  5. Cook, without stirring, until a candy thermometer reads 240 degrees.
  6. Remove from the heat and gradually add to the gelatin. 
  7. Beat on high speed, in a mixer until the mixture is thick and the volume is doubled, about 15 minutes. 
  8. Beat in the vanilla. 
  9. Spread into the prepared pan. 
  10. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 6 hours or overnight. 
  11. Using foil, lift the marshmallows out of the pan. 
  12. With a knife or pizza cutter coated with cooking spray, cut 1 inch squares. Dip or drizzle marshmallows with toppings if desired. 
  13. Coat with garnishes as well. 
  14. Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place.
  15. Enjoy!






I hope this entry has been as fun for you as it has been for me. Thank you for joining me once again and may you all have a Happy Holiday. I'll catch you all on the flip side! <3

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Season: Candy Cane Hot Cocoa?! Don't Mind if I Do!

Good morning bloggers! Welcome to an early edition of Everyday Meals. I'm your talented hostess, Mandie. Today, we are having another feast in celebration of Christmas. We have an appetizer, the main dinner, dessert, and a drink to go with it all. Everything we are making today is INCREDIBLY EASY. In my personal opinion, the easier the meal, the better. I mean, who has time for an 8 hour meal in a hot kitchen? Not me! This meal will take a total of 2 hours (or less, if we're good). So, grab those aprons and meet me in the kitchen!





Christmas Potato Soup





You will need:






  • 15 cloves garlic, peeled 
  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil 
  • 6 slices bacon 
  • 4 medium leeks, sliced 
  • 2 (14 ounce) cans chicken broth 
  • 1.5 cups water 
  • 2 pounds round red potatoes, peeled and chopped 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper 
  • Water
  • 1/2 cup dairy sour cream
  • 1 Toasted Star per bowl
  • Sauteed Red Onion 
  • Snipped chives







  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. 
  2. Use a 2 to 3 inch star-shaped cutter to cut stars from the center of firm-textured white bread. 
  3. Brush lightly with melted butter and place on baking sheet. 
  4. Bake for 6 minutes or until lightly toasted. 
  5. Cool on a baking sheet and tore in an airtight covered container until serving.
  6. In the same preheated oven, place garlic cloves in custard cups, then drizzle with olive oil. 
  7. Cover the cups with foil. 
  8. Roast in the oven for 25 to 35 minutes or until the cloves feel soft when pressed, then set aside.
  9. Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp and drain on paper towels. 
  10. Crumble the bacon and place in a storage container. Cover and chill the bacon.
  11. Cook the leeks in the bacon drippings for about 5 minutes or until softened but not browned. 
  12. Add the broth, water, potatoes, salt, and pepper. 
  13. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, then simmer, uncovered for 10 to 12 minutes. 
  14. Stir in the garlic.
  15. In food processor, pour half of the soup mixture. 
  16. Cover and process until smooth. 
  17. Repeat with the remaining soup. 
  18. Add the bacon and ladle the soup into bowls. 
  19. Top with sour cream, sauteed onions and chives. 
  20. Float the Toasted Stars on top. 
  21. Enjoy!






Ready to continue? 





Beef Tenderloin





You will need:






  • 1 (6 pound) trimmed beef tenderloin
  • 4 garlic cloves, quartered into 16 pieces
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper







  1. Heat the oven to 450 degrees. 
  2. Make 16 incisions in different parts of the tenderloin and insert a piece of garlic in each. 
  3. Rub oil over the tenderloin. 
  4. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  5. Roast for about 50 minutes, checking after 40 minutes, or until thermometer registers 130 degrees in the thickest part of the roast.
  6. Let rest, covered loosely in foil 10 minutes before slicing.
  7. Enjoy!






Next...





Frosted Holiday Sugar Cookies





You will need:






  • 3.75 cups all purpose flour 
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1.5 cups granulated sugar 
  • 2 eggs 
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
  • vanilla frosting 
  • food coloring
  • colored candies
  • fruit rolls
  • jelly beans
  • green and red decorating gel
  • sprinkles
  • powdered sugar
  • cookie cutters







  1. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium sized bowl, then set aside. 
  2. Beat butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla in a large bowl with an electric mixer until fluffy. 
  3. Gradually add the flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until thoroughly mixed. 
  4. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for two hours. 
  5. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 
  6. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thick. 
  7. Cut out circles with a cookie cutter or other round object, such as a glass or round plastic container. Place circles 2 inches apart on un-greased cookie sheet. 
  8. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes, checking after 6 minutes. 
  9. Cookies will be done when edges are lightly browned. 
  10. Remove from oven and allow the cookies to cool on cookie sheets for 5 minutes.
  11. Using a butter knife, spread frosting on top of each cookie. 
  12. If you want to color the frosting, use food coloring and mix it beforehand.
  13. Decorate the cookies with sprinkles, powdered sugar, and candies. 
  14. To make holly berry cookies: Place two red candies or jelly beans toward the top of the cookie and draw on leaves with green decorating gel. 
  15. For Sugar Stars, Trees, and other shapes: Gently place a miniature cookie cutter on top of the cookie after it's frosted. 
  16. Carefully sprinkle a small amount of sugar into the cookie cutter with your fingers, being careful not to let the sugar fall outside. 
  17. Gently remove cookie cutter. 
  18. For Easy Frosting: You can completely cover a cookie with decorative sugar by holding the frosted cookie upside down and dipping the frosted end into the sugar to coat. 
  19. Easy Decoration: Use red decorating gel to write “Ho, Ho, Ho!” on your cookies. 
  20. For a Snowman: Cut a strip from a fruit roll, about 1/2 thick, and twist it into a rope. 
  21. Place the fruit roll up around the top of the cookie as ear muffs and add jelly beans for the muffs themselves. 
  22. Decorate the face with colored candies. 
  23. For a Poinsettia: Use cherry raisins to form the petals of a poinsettia. 
  24. Place a colored candy in the center.
  25. Enjoy!






Candy Cane Hot Cocoa





You will need:






  • 4 cups milk
  • 3 (1 ounce) squares semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 4 peppermint candy canes, crushed
  • 1 cup whipped cream
  • 4 small peppermint candy canes







  1. In a saucepan, heat the milk until hot, but not boiling. 
  2. Whisk in the chocolate and the crushed peppermint candies until melted and smooth. 
  3. Pour hot cocoa into four mugs, and garnish with whipped cream. 
  4. Serve each with a candy cane stirring stick.
  5. Enjoy!






I hope you've all had fun preparing this delicious feast. I hope you all have a very Merry Chrismas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa. Happy blogging to everyone and I'll catch you all on the flip side! <3

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Season: A Feast Fit For a King (Or Queen)

Good afternoon trusty bloggers! Welcome to a brand new edition of Everyday Meals. As always, I'm your chipper host, Mandie. Today, I bring you a feast fit for a king (or queen...). I come baring scrumptious gifts for you and your family for this upcoming Christmas. We will start with the hardest task at hand, our turkey. You may cue the suspenseful sounds now if you'd like. ^_^ After we pop our turkey in the oven, things will get easier, trust me! I know not everyone likes slaving away in a hot, stuffy kitchen ALL day during the holidays, so I will make this as painless for you as possible, or at least, I'll try. I'll meet you back in the kitchen so we can spread some holiday cheer!





Herb-Roasted Turkey with Maple Gravy





You will need:






  • 18 pound turkey 
  • 1 head of garlic, halved horizontally 
  • 1 medium onion, quartered 
  • 20 sage sprigs 
  • 20 fresh thyme sprigs 
  • 20 parsley sprigs 
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper 
  • 3 cups rich turkey stock 
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter 
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour 
  • 4 tablespoons maple syrup






Ready?







  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Rinse the turkey inside and out and pat dry, then trim the neck skin.
  3. Stuff the turkey with the garlic, onion, sage, thyme and parsley sprigs.
  4. Season inside and outside with salt and pepper.
  5. Transfer the turkey to a large, lightly oiled roasting pan and roast it for about 3 hours, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in a thigh registers 175 degrees. Cover the turkey with foil if the skin begins to look very brown.
  6. Transfer the turkey to a cutting board and let rest for 30 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, pour the pan juices into a heatproof bowl and skim off the fat.
  8. Set the roasting pan over 2 burners on high heat until sizzling.
  9. Add 1 cup of the Rich Turkey Stock and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits stuck to the bottom and side of the pan, then add to the pan juices in the bowl.
  10. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter.
  11. Add the flour and cook over moderately high heat for 1 minute. 
  12. Add the pan juices and the remaining 2 cups of turkey stock to the saucepan and cook, whisking, until the gravy is thickened and no floury taste remains, about 5 to 10 minutes, adding flour as necessary.
  13. Stir in the maple syrup and season with salt and pepper.
  14. Strain the gravy into a gravy boat.
  15. Carve the turkey and serve with the gravy.
  16. Enjoy!






Oven Roasted Honey Glazed Sweet Potatoes





You will need:






  • 3.5 pounds sweet potatoes, cut into 2 inch pieces 
  • 1/2 cup butter 
  • 1/4 cup honey 
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice 
  • salt 
  • fresh ground pepper







  1. Set oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Pat all the potato cubes thoroughly dry using paper towels.
  3. Arrange the sweet potato cubes in a lightly-buttered 13x9 inch dish.
  4. In a small saucepan stir together the butter, honey and lemon juice until the butter melts.
  5. Pour the butter mixture over the sweet potatoes, then toss well to coat.
  6. Sprinkle with salt and lots of black pepper.
  7. Bake uncovered for about 40 minutes or until just fork-tender.
  8. Stir with a spoon and enjoy!






Creamy Potato Salad





You will need:






  • 5 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into small chunks 
  • 6 hard-boiled eggs, cooled and peeled 
  • 1/2 cup dill pickles 
  • 1.5 cups Miracle Whip 
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard 
  • 1/4 cup dill pickle juice 
  • 1/4 cup half and half 
  • 2 tablespoons sugar 
  • 1.5 teaspoons salt 
  • 1 teaspoon paprika 
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper







  1. Boil the potatoes until just tender when poked with a fork, then remove and drain.
  2. Place the potatoes into a large bowl and let cool to room temperature. 
  3. Mash half of the potatoes then add them back in with the chunks.
  4. Cut the eggs in half then remove the yolks. 
  5. Place the yolks into a small bowl used for mixing.
  6. Add the egg whites and pickles into a food processor then chop until finely diced. 
  7. Stir into the potatoes.
  8. Gently mash the yolks with a fork then mix in the mayonnaise, mustard, pickle juice, cream, sugar and spices.
  9. Whisk the mixture until creamy then pour over potatoes. 
  10. Gently stir until the potatoes are coated.
  11. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
  12. Enjoy!






Cranberry Maple Carrots





You will need:






  • 2 pounds baby carrots, peeled if necessary 
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries 
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup 
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon rosemary, finely chopped
  • salt 
  • pepper







  1. Place carrots in a saucepan and cover with salted water. Bring to a boil over high heat.
  2. Reduce heat to medium and boil for 3 to 4 minutes or until almost fork tender, then drain well and set aside.
  3. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat, then add carrots to the melted butter, along with the cranberries.
  4. Cook, stirring frequently, for 3 to 5 minutes or until carrots begin to brown.
  5. Stir in maple syrup, then add ginger, rosemary, salt and pepper.
  6. Cook until the carrots are tender, shiny and caramelized.
  7. Plate and enjoy!






I hope you all have had fun cooking with me today. I hope to see all of you back soon! I'll be back with more jolly recipes for you. Happy Holidays and happy blogging to all! <3

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Christmas Season: Santa, Frosty, and Rudolph!

Good afternoon bloggers! Welcome to another holiday edition of Everyday Meals. Today, you are joining me as we take a teensy break from normal meals in order to make some festive treats that will delight everyone in your circle of friends and family. These sweet treats are, as they say, excellent for "kids from 1 to 92"! Before we begin, I want to pass a little festive history on to you and yours. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer appeared for the first time in 1939, courtesy of writer Robert L. May and publisher Montgomery Ward. Originally, the book had been created to save Montgomery Ward money, seeing that previous years, they had been buying and giving away coloring books for Christmas. Did you know that Robert L. May had considered the names "Reginald" and "Rollo" for the reindeer before finally deciding on "Rudolph"? In the book's first year, it sold 2.4 million copies! That's amazing! Now, my little reindeer lovers, please note that we are NOT just using a reindeer theme in this entry. Stay tuned to find out which other characters we have featured!





Rudolph the Red-Nosed Cookie





You will need:






  • Chocolate or plain cookie dough
  • 3 inch teardrop cardboard pattern
  • Pretzels
  • Frosting
  • M&M's
  • Red hots







  1. Roll out the cookie dough to a 1/4 inch thickness. 
  2. Set the cardboard pattern on the dough. 
  3. With the point of a sharp knife, cut out the reindeer's head. 
  4. Bake as directed on the cookie dough package.
  5. Let cool, then break apart the pretzels to form antlers and attach them at the top of the reindeer's head with dabs of frosting. 
  6. Add M&M eyes and don't forget the red hot nose! 
  7. This will make 40 Rudolph cookies.
  8. Enjoy!







Ready for our next treat? Let's go!





Frosty, the Crunchy Snowman





You will need:






  • 1 bag of 8 inch pretzel rods
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • mini chocolate chips
  • orange decorating gel
  • fruit roll ups, various colors
  • gummy rings
  • gumdrops







  1. To make a batch, melt 1 cup of white chocolate chips in the top of a double boiler.
  2. One at a time, dip one end of an 8 inch pretzel rod in the melted chocolate and use a plastic spoon or knife to spread the chocolate two thirds of the way down the rod.
  3. Set the pretzels on a sheet of waxed paper and press on mini chocolate chips for eyes and buttons. 
  4. Use orange decorating gel to add a carrot nose.
  5. When the chocolate has hardened, stand the pretzels in a mug or glass and tie on strips of fruit roll up for scarves. 
  6. For each hat, stretch a gummy ring over the narrow end of a gumdrop and secure it on the pretzel rod with a dab of melted chocolate.
  7. Enjoy!







Last, but not least... drum roll please!





Cheese Ball Santa





You will need:






  • 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • 4 ounces Sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 tablespoon softened butter
  • 1 tablespoon minced onion
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon tomato paste
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • Red bell pepper
  • 2 cups whipped cream cheese
  • 1 Radish slice
  • 1 carrot stick
  • 1 pretzel
  • black olives 
  • crackers
  • 1 cherry tomato







  1. Make Santa's face by blending the first eight ingredients in a large mixing bowl. 
  2. Spoon the mixture onto a large piece of plastic wrap and shape it into a ball.
  3. Tightly wrap the cheese and chill it for 1 hour. 
  4. Unwrap the cheese ball and place it on a large serving tray.
  5. Drape new plastic wrap over the cheese, then flatten and shape it into a face. 
  6. Remove the wrap and turn the red pepper upside down for Santa's hat.
  7. Spoon the whipped cream cheese into a sealable pint-size plastic bag. 
  8. Seal the bag and make a small snip in a lower corner to create a pastry bag.
  9. Use piped-on whipped cream cheese to stick a radish-slice pom-pom to the hat. 
  10. Pipe on more cream cheese for a hatband, eyebrows, and a beard.
  11. Press on a carrot nose, a pretzel mouth, olive eyes, and cracker ears. 
  12. Add cherry tomato halves for rosy cheeks.
  13. Chill and enjoy!







I hope you all have had a blast creating festive, character themed snacks to share this upcoming holiday! I will be back soon with plenty of holiday treats and eats. Happy holidays and happy blogging to all! <3

Monday, December 5, 2011

Christmas Season: Goose and Peanut Brittle

Good afternoon bloggers! Welcome to another festive entry to Everyday Meals. I'm your jolly hostess, Mandie! Before we begin, I want to note just how fast Christmas has decended upon us. It crept up lightning fast! Okay, okay... maybe not THAT fast, but almost! When people think of Christmas and food, they generally turn their minds toward ham and turkey. However, there is more out there than just those two stereotypical meals. In fact, we will be utilizing a goose as the main item in this blog entry today. I want to give you a little background on this item before we begin. Sit tight and have fun!
Domestic geese were found to be in Egypt, Rome, and Greece at least 3,000 years ago. After Rome's fall, the geese traveled over to America, where they were used for supplying meat, eggs, fat, down, and feathers. As the turkey and chicken industry began booming, the domestic geese declined. Did you know, as of 2001, there were at least 9 types of different geese? I know! That's a ton of options! Now that you all have had a little history lesson, let's get in to the kitchen and make ourselves a holiday goose!





Roast Goose with Currant Stuffing





You will need:






  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 large tart apple, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 6 cups toasted fresh bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup currants or chopped raisins 
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
  • 1/4 cup minced parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon each salt and black pepper
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • 1 goose, giblets removed






Ready?






  1. In a small saucepan, combine the onion, apple, and 1/4 cup broth and bring to a boil. 
  2. Lower heat and simmer for 5 minutes or until the onion and apple are tender. 
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine onion mixture, bread crumbs, currants, almonds, parsley, sage, salt, and pepper. 
  4. Toss 1/3 cup broth with the bread crumb mixture. 
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 
  6. Rinse the goose, drain, and pat dry. 
  7. Prick the skin on the lower breast, legs, and around the wings with a skewer. 
  8. Stuff and truss the goose. 
  9. Then place the goose, breast-side-up, on a rack in a large roasting pan. 
  10. Insert a roasting thermometer in its thigh without touching the bone. 
  11. Spoon the remaining stuffing into a lightly greased 1.5 quart casserole, then cover and refrigerate. 
  12. Roast the goose for 2 to 2.5 hours or until the thermometer registers 175 degrees. 
  13. Drain the fat often. 
  14. Bake the covered casserole of stuffing alongside the goose during the last 30 minutes of roasting. 
  15. Let the goose stand for 15 to 20 minutes. 
  16. Carve the goose and discard the skin.
  17. Enjoy!







Are you ready for a little dessert? Me too!





Peanut Brittle





You will need:






  • 2 tablespoons softened butter, divided
  • 1.5 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1.5 cups peanuts
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda 







  1. Place a large piece of foil on a baking sheet and butter it with 1 tablespoon of the softened butter.
  2. Combine the sugar, corn syrup and salt in a large heavy saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium heat. 
  3. Add the peanuts and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Reduce the heat to medium-low. 
  4. Cook for about 30 minutes, or until a candy thermometer registers 300 degrees.
  5. Remove from heat and immediately add the remaining tablespoon softened butter and baking soda. 
  6. Quickly stir to combine and pour onto buttered foil in a baking pan.
  7. When the peanut brittle has cooled, break it into pieces. When it's completely cooled, store covered, in an airtight container.
  8. Enjoy!






I hope you all are having a festive holiday season. I'll be back with more fun and yummy recipes for Christmas! Happy Holidays to everyone and happy blogging to all! <3

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Christmas Season: Tenderloin and Pie

Good afternoon bloggers! I come to you all today with the Christmas season in mind. I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving, but now it's time to quickly move on to the upcoming holiday and all of the joyous foods that accompany it. I'm starting you all off with a meal that has a Christmas-y note to it and we will finish off with a bang. Before I begin, I would like to take a moment and give you a little background on egg nog. No Christmas would be complete without this treat. Where eggnog gets it's name is debatable, even today. No one is certain where exactly eggnog may have originated from. One thing that we are certain of is, in Britain, the drink was popular among the aristocracy. Dairy and eggs were rarely consumed by the lower classes due to high cost and lack of refrigeration. Those who could afford milk and eggs, mixed it with brandy, sherry, or Madeira to make a drink similar to the modern alcoholic eggnog. The drink crossed the Atlantic Ocean to the English colonies during the 18th century. Okay, now that we know a little about this seasonal favorite, let's get to the grill and make something wonderful to eat!





Cinnamon Pork Tenderloin





You will need:






  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons sherry or chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1.5 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 pork tenderloins






Ready?






  1. In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the first six ingredients. 
  2. Add the pork, then seal the bag and turn to coat. 
  3. Refrigerate the meat in the bag for 4 to 6 hours. 
  4. Drain and discard the marinade. 
  5. Grill the pork, covered, over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees, turning occasionally. 
  6. Let stand for 5 minutes before slicing.
  7. Enjoy!






Let's move on to something everyone enjoys the most... dessert!





Eggnog Pie





You will need:






  • 2 cups eggnog
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 package cook-and-serve vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 tablespoon rum or 1/2 teaspoon rum extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 pastry shell, baked
  • Whipped topping







  1. In a large saucepan, cook the eggnog, milk and pudding mix over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. 
  2. Remove from the heat and cool slightly. 
  3. Stir in the rum and nutmeg. 
  4. Pour the pudding mixture into the crust. 
  5. Chill the pie until the pudding mixture is set. 
  6. Garnish with whipped topping and sprinkle with nutmeg if desired.
  7. Enjoy!







I hope you all can take a moment and remember what the Christmas season is all about. Stop into your local Macy's or any other store. They normally post up donation stands or boxes for donated gifts. Share the spirit with a family or children in need this year. I'll be back with more holiday delights soon. Have a great day and happy blogging to all! <3

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thanksgiving Edition: Everything You Need for the Holidays!

Good afternoon bloggers! I come to you all today with apologies and an ENTIRE Thanksgiving meal planned out for you all. I can honestly blame my disappearance on having no life and no time between sick husbands, Thanksgiving shopping and my 2nd anniversary. But not to worry! As I stated before, we have a feast for the entire family to enjoy. It's going to be a long blog, so let's cut the chatter and meet in the kitchen. See you there!





Turkey Roulades





You will need:






  • 1 cup diced and peeled tart apple
  • 1 cup diced fresh mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 5 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 4 turkey breast tenderloins
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs







  1. In a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, saute the apple, mushrooms and onion in oil until tender. 
  2. Remove from the heat, then stir in the spinach, lemon juice, lemon peel, 1/4 teaspoon salt and nutmeg. 
  3. Make a lengthwise slit down the center of each tenderloin to within 1/2 inch of the bottom. 
  4. Open the tenderloins so they lie flat and cover with plastic wrap. 
  5. Flatten to 1/4 inch thickness. 
  6. Remove the plastic, then sprinkle the turkey with pepper and remaining salt. 
  7. Spread the spinach mixture over the tenderloins to within 1 inch of the edges. 
  8. Roll the tenderloins jelly-roll style, starting with a short side and tie with kitchen string. 
  9. Place the egg and bread crumbs in separate shallow bowls. 
  10. Dip the roulades in egg, then roll in crumbs. 
  11. Place the roulades in an 11 inch x 7 inch baking pan coated with cooking spray. 
  12. Bake uncovered, at 375 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 170 degrees. 
  13. Let stand for 5 minutes before slicing.
  14. Enjoy!






Ready for more recipes? Great! 





Sweet Potato Casserole





You will need:






  • 6 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 cup butter, cubed
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 can crushed pineapple, drained
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 15 large marshmallows







  1. Place sweet potatoes in a large kettle and cover with water, then bring to a boil. 
  2. Boil gently until the potatoes can easily be pierced with the tip of a sharp knife, about 30 to 45 minutes. 
  3. Drain and cool slightly. 
  4. Peel the potatoes and place in a large bowl, then mash. 
  5. Stir in butter and sugar until the butter is melted. 
  6. Add pineapple, eggs, vanilla, nutmeg and salt. 
  7. Spoon the sweet potatoes into a greased 2 quart baking dish. 
  8. Top with marshmallows. 
  9. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.
  10. Enjoy!






Here's another recipe...





Green Bean Casserole





You will need:






  • 1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2  packages frozen cut green beans, thawed
  • 1.33 (One and One Third) cups French Fried Onions







  1. Mix the soup, milk and pepper in a 1.5 quart baking dish. 
  2. Stir in the green beans and 2/3 cup French Fried Onions. 
  3. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until hot. 
  4. Stir well and top with the remaining 2/3 cup onions. 
  5. Bake for 5 more minutes until the onions are golden. 
  6. Enjoy!






Sausage, Apple, and Cranberry Stuffing





You will need:






  • 1.5 cups cubed whole wheat bread
  • 3.75 cups cubed white bread
  • 1 pound ground turkey sausage
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup chopped celery
  • 2.5 teaspoons dried sage
  • 1.5 teaspoons dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 Golden Delicious apple, cored and chopped
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 1 cooked turkey liver, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup turkey stock
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted







  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. Spread the white and whole wheat bread cubes in a single layer on a large baking sheet. 
  3. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes in the preheated oven, or until evenly toasted. Transfer toasted bread cubes to a large bowl. 
  4. In a large skillet, cook the sausage and onions over medium heat, stirring and breaking up the lumps until evenly browned. 
  5. Add the celery, sage, rosemary, and thyme, then cook, stirring, for 2 minutes to blend the flavors. 
  6. Pour the sausage mixture over the bread in the bowl. 
  7. Mix in the chopped apples, dried cranberries, parsley, and liver. 
  8. Drizzle with turkey stock and melted butter, and mix lightly. 
  9. Place in a bowl and cover to keep warm.
  10. Enjoy!






Cranberry Sauce





You will need:






  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 package fresh cranberries







  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, dissolve the sugar in the orange juice. 
  2. Stir in the cranberries, and cook until they start to pop, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, and transfer to a bowl. 
  3. The Cranberry sauce will thicken as it cools.
  4. Enjoy!






I hope you all had a blast cooking with me tonight. I will catch you on the flip side. If I'm not around before the holidays, may you all have a Happy Thanksgiving and be prepared for Christmas treats coming soon! Happy blogging to all! <3

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Thanksgiving Edition: Orange Glazed Turkey Breasts

Good evening bloggers! Welcome to another wonderful edition of Everyday Meals. I'm your hostess with the mostest, Mandie. We are continuing our Thanksgiving adventures tonight. Before we begin, we are going to take a stroll into our classroom and learn a little bit about the origin of Thanksgiving. Please, take a seat and stay tuned! Thanksgiving traces back to 1621 at a celebration in Plymouth in present-day Massachusetts. The Plymouth colony did not have enough food to feed half of the 102 colonists, so the Wampanoag Native Americans helped the Pilgrims by providing seeds and teaching them to fish. As for the date of Thanksgiving, in the era of the Founding Fathers until the time of Lincoln, many states had decided on various dates for Thanksgiving. The first Thanksgiving celebrated on the same day in all of the United States was in 1863 by presidential proclamation. How interesting is that? Okay, enough with the history lessons. I think it's time for us to get into the kitchen and start prepping for our Thanksgiving feast!






Orange Glazed Turkey Breasts





You will need:





  • 1 turkey breast, bone-in, about 5 to 7 pounds
  • vegetable oil
  • salt and pepper
For the Glaze
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 6 ounces orange juice concentrate
  • 2 tablespoons sweet orange marmalade
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger





Ready?





  1. Heat the oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Rub the turkey breast lightly with vegetable oil.
  3. Sprinkle the turkey breast with salt and pepper.
  4. Place the turkey on a rack in a roasting pan.
  5. Roast for about 2 to 3.25 hours, depending on size of the turkey breast.
  6. A meat thermometer will reach 170 degrees when the turkey is done.
  7. If necessary, tent with a piece of buttered or oiled foil during the last hour.
  8. For the Glaze: In a small saucepan combine all of the glaze ingredients and bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
  9. Baste with glaze a few times the last 20 minutes of cooking time.
  10. Let the turkey stand for 10 minutes before carving.
  11. Enjoy!








I hope you all had a blast learning another fabulous Thanksgiving recipe. I will catch you all on the flip side. Have a great weekend and happy blogging to all! <3

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Thanksgiving Edition: Meals for the Masses

Good morning bloggers! Welcome to a brand new Thanksgiving edition of Everyday Meals. Today, we have a special treat. Normally, I would post one recipe for the entire family to prepare, but not today. In order to fully comprehend what I'm getting at, let me explain. This upcoming Thanksgiving, I decided to split from the normal and prepare Thanksgiving for just my husband and I. It'll be our first holiday cooking together and I really enjoyed the idea of this. However, I know you all have families of your own and relatives who will be joining you for the holidays, so in respect of that, we have a full-sized turkey for the bigger crowds and a meal perfect for only a handful. Let's get in the kitchen and start prepping these birds!





Herb Roasted Turkey with Apples and Root Vegetables





You will need:






  • Olive Oil No-Stick Cooking Spray
  • 1 (10 to 14 pound) whole turkey, thawed if frozen, giblets removed
  • 1/2 cup 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves, crushed
  • 3 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 4 medium parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch slices
  • 6 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 large red cooking apples, such as Gala
  • 3/4 cup pecan halves






Ready?






  1. Heat oven to 325 degrees. 
  2. Coat a roasting pan with olive oil no-stick cooking spray. 
  3. Rinse the turkey with cold water and pat dry. 
  4. Place the turkey breast side up in the prepared pan. 
  5. Whisk olive oil with thyme, 2 teaspoons salt, garlic powder, pepper and paprika in small bowl until blended. 
  6. Reserve 1/4 cup olive oil mixture for the vegetables and 1 tablespoon to brush the turkey with after roasting. 
  7. Brush turkey with the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil mixture, discarding any not used. 
  8. Roast the turkey for 3 to 3.5 hours or as recommended on the turkey packaging. 
  9. Insert a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the breast. 
  10. Roast until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. 
  11. Begin preparing vegetables about 30 minutes before the turkey will be done. 
  12. Combine sweet potatoes and parsnips in large microwave-safe bowl. 
  13. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave on HIGH for 5 minutes. 
  14. Stir and cover the vegetables, then microwave on HIGH for an additional 5 minutes. 
  15. Coat TWO (2) 15x10 inch baking pans with olive oil no-stick cooking spray. Stir the reserved 1/4 cup olive oil mixture, brown sugar and 1 teaspoon salt with the hot vegetables until evenly coated. 
  16. Core the unpeeled apples and cut into 1/2 inch thick slices, then cut in half cross-wise. 
  17. Add the apples and pecans with the vegetables and toss to coat. 
  18. Layer the mixture evenly in the prepared baking pans. 
  19. Remove the turkey from the oven. 
  20. Increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees. 
  21. Brush the turkey with reserved 1 tablespoon olive oil mixture. 
  22. Let the turkey rest for 20 minutes. 
  23. Roast the vegetables for 15 to 20 minutes or until fork tender. 
  24. Place the turkey in center of large serving platter. 
  25. Arrange the roasted vegetables around turkey. 
  26. Serve with pan drippings, if desired.
  27. Enjoy!







Are you still with me? Great! Let's continue now.





Cornish Hens with Almond Stuffing





You will need:






  • 1 celery rib, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 2 cups crushed seasoned stuffing
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons slivered almonds, toasted
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 Cornish game hens
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon paprika







  1. In a large skillet, saute the celery and onion in 1 tablespoon butter until tender. 
  2. Stir in the stuffing, broth, almonds, parsley, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper. 
  3. Spoon about 1 cup stuffing mixture into each hen and tie the legs together with kitchen string. 
  4. Place the hens breast side up on a rack in a shallow roasting pan, then cover with foil. 
  5. Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes. 
  6. In a small microwave-safe bowl, melt the remaining butter with garlic and paprika. 
  7. Uncover the hens and baste with butter mixture. 
  8. Bake, uncovered, for 20 to 30 minutes longer or until the juices run clear and a meat thermometer reads 180 degrees for hens and 165 degrees for the stuffing.
  9. Enjoy!






As we can all tell, this is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to holiday cooking. Kudos to you people who pull this off yearly! You can't hear my round of applause, but it's there. I will be back soon with more Thanksgiving recipes and ideas for everyone. Happy blogging to all! <3

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Thanksgiving Edition: Elegant Turkey Wellington

Good evening bloggers! Welcome to a brand new Thanksgiving edition of Everyday Meals. I'm your happy hostess, Mandie. From now until Thanksgiving, we will be prepairing meals fit for the upcoming holiday. Today, we will be preparing an elegant twist on Wellington. When people think of Wellington, it's an automatic response to think of beef Wellington. We will not be using beef tonight, but turkey instead. Before we begin, we will have a little history lesson. The origin of the name, beef Wellington, is unclear. Most theories point to Arthur Wellesley, the 1st Duke of Wellington. The earliest accounts of beef Wellington were in 1966 in a cookbook. The term "Wellington" is sometimes referred to informally to describe other dishes in which meat is baked in a puff pastry, such as our own today. Now that we've taken a moment and learned something new, let's get in the kitchen and make something fantastic!





Elegant Turkey Wellington





You will need:






  • 1 package frozen puff pastry
  • 1 cup dried wild mushrooms, diced
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon tarragon
  • 4 turkey breast cutlets
  • 1 tub herb-flavored cream cheese
  • 1 egg, beaten

For the Sauce:

  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3/4 cup canned cranberry sauce






Ready?






  1. Thaw the puff pastry according to package directions. 
  2. Place the diced mushrooms in 1 cup of broth to re-hydrate. 
  3. Place the onions, 2 tablespoons of butter and 1 teaspoon salt in a pan. 
  4. Cook the onions for 10 minutes at medium temperature, adding water if needed. 
  5. Add the mushrooms and the tarragon in with the soaking broth. 
  6. Continue cooking for another 10 minutes or until all the liquid is evaporated and the onions are caramelized.
  7. Season the turkey cutlets with salt and pepper. 
  8. Cut the cutlets in half. 
  9. Place the turkey in a skillet with 1 tablespoon of butter and brown on each side, then remove from the pan. 
  10. Cut the puff pastry into 4 pieces, saving some pastry for decoration. 
  11. Place 1/4 of caramelized onions and mushroom mixture on top of each piece of puff pastry. 
  12. Place one piece of turkey on top, followed by 2 tablespoons of cheese. Top with a second piece of turkey. 
  13. Fold the sides of pastry towards the middle and moisten, then press to seal. 
  14. Turn the pastry over, place in shallow baking pan and brush with beaten egg. 
  15. To decorate, cut leaves from the leftover pastry by using a small cookie cutter. 
  16. Attach to the center top of pastry and brush with egg. 
  17. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes, or until the pastry is golden. 
  18. To create the sauce, add wine, balsamic vinegar and 1 cup chicken broth to a sauce pan. 
  19. Cook until the liquid is reduced by half. 
  20. Swirl in the cranberry sauce to finish. 
  21. To assemble, spoon 1/4 of the cranberry sauce in the center of plate, followed by the pastry-wrapped turkey.
  22. Enjoy!







I hope you all had a blast preparing this dish. I know it was a little tougher than our other dishes, but rest assured, your significant other (or friends) will enjoy this dish. I will be back soon with more Thanksgiving inspired dishes. Have a fantastic evening and happy blogging to all! <3

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Candy Corn Cheesecake

Good afternoon bloggers! If you are just joining us for the first time, I welcome you. I'm your host, Mandie. Today, I am re-writing this blog. I wrote it previously and deleted it by accident. So, needless to say, this would have been posted hours ago. We will be making a delicious candy corn cheesecake in celebration of Halloween. Before we begin, I would like to share a little background about this delicious treat. Candy corn was created in the 1880's by George Renninger of the Wunderle Candy Company. The 3 colors mimic the appearance of kernels of corn. Did you know that Brach's is the top retailer of candy corn? They sell enough candy corn each year to circle the Earth 4.25 times if the kernels are laid end to end. The NCA (National Confectioners Association) estimates that 20 million pounds of candy corn are sold annually and can be found in multiple colors for the various holidays that they are being used on, such as Valentine's Day, Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving. That's pretty cool, huh? Okay, now that we've had a little schooling, let's get to baking!





Candy Corn Cheesecake





You will need:






  • 2 cups finely crushed Oreo cookies
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 3 packages cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 8 ounces mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
  • 8 ounces sour cream
  • 1.5 cups honey
  • 1.5 cups granulated white sugar
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • yellow color paste (or gel)
  • orange color paste (or gel)
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream, for topping
  • candy corn, for topping decoration






Ready?






  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. Spray a 10 inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. To Prepare The Crust: In a medium bowl, mix cookie crumbs and butter. Press the mix into the bottom of the prepared pan. 
  4. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven and let cool.
  5. To Prepare The Cheesecake: In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, mascarpone, and sour cream. 
  6. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add honey and sugar, then beat until combined. 
  7. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. 
  8. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down sides of bowl, and beat until smooth. Reduce the speed to low. 
  9. Add flour, cream, and vanilla, then beat until combined. 
  10. Divide the batter into thirds, reserving one-third of the batter white. 
  11. In one bowl, add a small amount of yellow color paste, then whisk until combined and add more color until desired hue is reached. 
  12. In a second bowl, repeat this process with the orange color paste.
  13. Pour the yellow batter into the baked cookie crust. 
  14. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, just until set and no longer jiggly. 
  15. Remove from the oven and let cool for 20 minutes.
  16. Pour the orange batter on top of the baked yellow layer. 
  17. Bake again for another 30 to 35 minutes, just until set and no longer jiggly. Remove from the oven and let cool for 20 minutes.
  18. Pour the remaining untinted batter onto the baked orange layer. 
  19. Bake one last time for another 30 to 35 minutes, just until set and no longer jiggly. 
  20. Remove from oven and let cool completely.
  21. Refrigerate for 24 hours. 
  22. Gently run a sharp knife around the edge of the pan, then release the sides. 
  23. Slide a long, sharp knife under the bottom of the crust and carefully slide the whole cheesecake onto a platter, removing the bottom of the pan.
  24. In a medium bowl, whip 1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream at high speed until stiff peaks form, then spread the whipped cream on top of the cheesecake. 
  25. Use candy corn to decorate.
  26. Enjoy!







I hope you and your children have a wonderful halloween weekend carving pumpkins, making delicious sweets and trick or treating. I'll catch you all on the flip side. Next week, we start our Thanksgiving celebration. Happy blogging to all! <3

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Fang-tastic Dracula Cupcakes

Good afternoon bloggers! Welcome to another spooktacular edition of Everyday Meals. I'm your host, Mandie. Today, we will be baking Dracula cupcakes. I'm going to touch on the subjects of vampires and Dracula just a bit before we actually begin though. Vampiric entities have been recorded in many cultures and may go back to "prehistoric times", but the term vampire was not popularized until the early 18th century, after an influx of vampire superstition into Western Europe from areas where vampire legends were frequent, such as the Balkans and Eastern Europe. The vampire has many names from many different areas such as vrykolakas in Greece and strigoi in Romania. John Polidori's 1819 novella The Vampyre established the archetype of charismatic and sophiticated vampire. It was said that this story influenced Varney the Vampire and eventually, Bram Stoker's Dracula. Bram Stoker defined the vampire's modern form and also spawned numerous film, television, and theatrical interpretations that we are familiar with today. Phew! I think after that explaination, that I am ready to make some cupcakes! Let's go!





Fang-tastic Dracula Cupcakes





You will need:






  • 24 cupcakes, baked in paper liners
  • 2 cans chocolate frosting
  • 3 quart-size ziptop freezer bags
  • 1 can vanilla frosting
  • 24 mini cupcakes or plain muffins
  • 4 red licorice strings, cut into 1.5 inch pieces
  • Chocolate sprinkles
  • 12 Tootsie Roll Midgees






Ready?






  1. Bake your cupcakes according to the box instructions.
  2. When they are done baking, let cool for 10 minutes before beginning the frosting process.
  3. Spoon 3⁄4 cup chocolate frosting into a ziptop bag and snip off a tiny corner. 
  4. Frost the larger cupcakes with the remaining chocolate frosting.
  5. Spoon 2 tablespoons of vanilla frosting into a ziptop bag and snip off a tiny corner. 
  6. Smoothly spread 1 tablespoon of the remaining vanilla frosting onto each mini cupcake.
  7. Pipe double arches on the mini cupcakes with chocolate frosting for the hairline, but be sure to pipe to the edge of the cupcake, then fill in for hair. 
  8. Place red licorice on the faces for mouths and 2 sprinkles lengthwise on each for eyes. 
  9. Pipe vanilla frosting onto the licorice for fangs. 
  10. Place the mini cupcakes on their sides on top of the larger cupcakes.
  11. On a cutting board, roll out each Tootsie Roll Midgee into a 2 inch circle. Cut out an 11 x 2 inch square from each, then cut the square diagonally to make 2 triangles. 
  12. Place 1 triangle onto each side of face (the frosting will keep it in place), slightly folding the long tip ends for collar.
  13. Chill in the fridge until ready to enjoy!






At first, I was a little confused about how to make this recipe, but all in all, it's really simple. The mini cupcakes threw me through a loop, but I finally figured this cute little cupcake out! Anyway, I am glad you all could join me for this awesome recipe and I will catch you all on the flip side. Happy blogging to all! <3

Monday, October 24, 2011

Graveyard Pudding

Good afternoon bloggers! Welcome to another frightfully amazing edition of Everyday Meals. I'm your host, Mandie. For this entry of Everyday Meals, we are venturing into the graveyard... well, not ACTUALLY, but we will be taking our time and creating one for dessert! I learned about this dish years ago, but obviously, back then I was too young to understand the recipe and what went into this dish. Finally, I managed to stumble across this delicious treat again and I feel compelled to share it with you all. Let's cut the chatter and get into the kitchen for a bit of fun!





Graveyard Pudding with Whipped Cream Ghosts





You will need:






  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into bits and softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3.5 cups milk
  • 3/4 cup cold heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons confectioners' sugar
  • 1 package chocolate sandwich cookies, crushed
  • Gummy worms, garnish






Are you ready?






  1. In the top of a double-boiler, or in a metal bowl set over a pot of barely simmering water, melt the bittersweet and unsweetened chocolates, stirring, until smooth. 
  2. Add butter and vanilla and stir to incorporate, then remove from the heat. 
  3. In a bowl, beat the egg yolks. 
  4. In a medium, heavy saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, and salt. 
  5. Add the milk in a stream, whisking constantly. 
  6. Bring the mixture to a boil, whisking constantly to keep lumps from forming and remove from the heat. 
  7. Add 1 cup of the hot milk mixture to the yolks and whisk until smooth. 
  8. Add the beaten yolk mixture to the saucepan with the hot milk and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. 
  9. Simmer, whisking constantly, until thick and smooth, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the melted chocolate mixture. 
  10. Transfer to a large bowl. 
  11. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing down on the surface to prevent a skin from forming, and refrigerate to cool. 
  12. In a medium bowl, whip the cream until soft peaks start to form. 
  13. Add the confectioners' sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks start to form. 
  14. Fold half of the whipped cream and most of the crushed cookies into the cooled pudding mixture. 
  15. Spoon into a 9 inch square glass baking dish. 
  16. Sprinkle with the remaining cookies. 
  17. Spoon the remaining whipped cream in blobs on the top for "ghosts" and garnish with gummy worms, slightly poking them down into the surface. Serve immediately, or refrigerate until ready to serve.
  18. Enjoy!






I hope you all have enjoyed creating something that will entice friends and family this upcoming holiday. Have a wonderful afternoon and evening. I will catch you all on the flip side. Thanks for joining me and I hope to see you all again! Happy blogging to all! <3

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Halloween Treats: Frankenstein and Frankenstein's Bride Cakes

Good afternoon bloggers! Welcome to a brand new, spooky edition of Everyday Meals. I'm your ghastly hostess, Mandie. Today, I've got a double whammy for you all. I'm sure most of you have heard of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, yes? And I'm sure many of you have heard of The Bride of Frankenstein (also subrooted from Mary Shelley's book). Today, we are taking the spooky couple and making cakes out of them! Here's a little trivia before we begin... Mary Shelley was 18 when she conceived the idea of Frankenstein. She and her love (later husband), Percy Bysshe Shelley, visited Lord Byron at the Villa Diodati by Lake Geneva in Switzerland. The weather was cold and dreary that summer and the group stayed indoors. Mary, her lover, and Lord Byron had turned their conversation toward galvanism and returning a corpse or body parts to life, when Lord Byron suggested that each of them write their own supernatural tale. Mary Shelley had dreamt her story and thus, the story began... Well, let's wrap up our history lesson and get to baking some spooky snacks!





Frankenstein Cake





You will need:






  • 1 package chocolate cake mix
  • 1 package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 carton frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • Moss green paste food coloring
  • 1 can chocolate frosting
  • 1 Swiss cake roll or "Ho Ho"






Ready?






  1. Prepare the cake batter according to package directions. 
  2. Pour the batter into a greased and waxed paper-lined 13 x 9 inch baking pan. 
  3. In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth. 
  4. Drop the mixture by tablespoonfuls about 1 inch apart onto the batter. 
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes or until the center is firm when lightly touched. 
  6. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pan to a wire rack to cool completely. 
  7. To make Frankenstein, cut a piece of cake for the head (about 10 inches x 7 and 3/4 inches) and neck (about 2.5 inches x 4.5 inches). 
  8. Cut two pieces for ears (about 2 and 3/4 inches x 1/2 inch). 
  9. Save the remaining cake for another use. 
  10. Position the head, neck and ears on a covered board. 
  11. Place 1/4 cup whipped topping in a small bowl and tint dark green with moss green food coloring. 
  12. Cut a small hole in the corner of a small plastic bag and insert a round pastry tip #3, then fill with the tinted topping. 
  13. Set aside. 
  14. Tint the remaining whipped topping moss green. 
  15. Frost the face, neck and ears, building up areas for the forehead, nose and cheeks. 
  16. With the reserved dark green topping, pipe the mouth, stitches on the neck and forehead, and eyes with pupils. 
  17. Cut a hole in the corner of another pastry or plastic bag and insert the pastry tip #233. 
  18. Fill with chocolate frosting and pipe hair 1.25 inches from the top of the head to the forehead and about 4 inches down both sides of the head. Cut the cake roll in half width-wise and place on each side of the neck for bolts. 
  19. Store in the refrigerator to chill.
  20. Enjoy!






Let's take a moment to breathe before we begin on our Bride. Okay, are we ready? Let's go!





Frankenstein's Bride Cake





You will need:






  • 1 package yellow cake mix
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 8 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Purple and green paste food coloring







  1. Prepare the cake mix according to package directions. 
  2. Pour the batter into two greased and floured 9 x 5 inch loaf pans. 
  3. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. 
  4. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pans to wire racks to cool. Place cakes end-to-end on a 22 x 8 inch covered board. 
  5. In a large bowl, cream the butter and shortening until light and fluffy. Beat in 6 cups confectioners' sugar, milk, vanilla and salt. 
  6. Beat in enough remaining confectioners' sugar to achieve spreading consistency. 
  7. Set aside 1/4 cup white frosting for hair. 
  8. Remove 3 cups frosting and tint purple. 
  9. Tint the remaining frosting green. 
  10. For the bride's face, frost the top and sides of one cake with green frosting. 
  11. Frost the second cake with a thin layer of purple frosting. 
  12. Insert a medium star tip in each of two pastry bags, then fill one bag with the remaining purple frosting and the other with the reserved white frosting. 
  13. Pipe wavy purple hair with streaks of wavy white hair on the bride. 
  14. Decorate the bride using assorted candies. 
  15. For eyes, use halved marshmallow, halved black raspberry candy and black shoestring licorice. 
  16. Add a Jordan almond nose. 
  17. Make a smiling mouth and dimples using red shoestring licorice, red colored sugar and halved red raspberry candy. 
  18. For ears and earrings, insert gummy stars and candy corn into the side of the cake. 
  19. Attach spice gumdrops for bolts. 
  20. Use black shoestring licorice and black licorice pastels for scar. 
  21. Add a spider made with a black raspberry candy and black shoestring licorice strips.
  22. Place in the refrigerator to chill.
  23. Enjoy!







I hope you all had fun making these cakes. In my opinion, Halloween is not complete without something Frankenstein. I will catch you all on the flip side with more Halloween treats. Happy blogging to all! <3