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


  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 


  • 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!


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


  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


  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