Goodcookbecky's Blog

Letting the juices of life (or food) drip from my chin!


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Turkey Club Crescent Sandwiches

Turkey Club Crescent SandwichesI love these sandwiches. I usually make them every year for special events at our church for choir. I first encountered this combination of ingredients at the Brea Bistro in Brea, CA.  Unfortunately, the Brea Bistro is no longer in business.  The sandwiches are simple to make.

Turkey Club Crescent Sandwiches

Inspired by the Brea Bistro

Serves 12

Ingredients:

  • 12 store bought crescent rolls
  • 1 jar Marie’s Dressing (Cesar Dressing)
  • 24 thin slices roasted turkey
  • 12 slices crisp bacon
  • 1 package alfalfa sprouts
  • 1 can whole berry cranberry sauce

Instructions: Slice the crescent rolls, creating a top and bottom half.  Spread some dressing on the bottom half of the crescent roll.  Place two pieces of sliced turkey on the dressing.  Top with bacon, then alfalfa sprouts and about 1 tablespoon of cranberry sauce and place the top half of the crescent roll on the cranberry sauce. Printable Recipe

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Roasted Chestnuts

I remember walking along the streets of Salzburg, Austria in the winter season and sampling the roasted chestnuts that street vendors sold.  It was a nice treat for the winter season.  In the United States, it seems, we only sing about chestnuts roasting over an open fire, but few have made them or even tasted them.  As I went through my local market to buy the ingredients I needed for Christmas dinner, I saw them and they had a helpful sign that gave instructions on how to roast them.  I took a quick picture of it, because I knew in the hustle and bustle of Christmas preparation I would forget the specifics.

Roasted Chestnuts:

Preheat your oven to 425 F and clean the chestnuts.  Carve an X with a knife, being sure to puncture the skin of the chestnut completely (I found this easiest to do at the top of the chestnut, where it tends to be softer than the rest and has done the job for me — other sites recommended on the side, but I came close to cutting off my fingers and I am rather attached to them thank you!).  Place the chestnuts in a pie pan and bake for 25 minutes.  Allow to cool and peel while still warm.  You can serve them with melted butter and salt or cinnamon.  My husband finds them a little tedious to peel, but once peeled finds them delicious.  Try them and you will like them, but they are a bit pricey.  Well worth it for an occasional treat.

A Pun for the Season:

A group of chess enthusiasts checked into a hotel, and were standing in the lobby discussing their recent tournament victories. After an hour, the manager came out of his office and asked them to disperse.  “But why?”they asked, as they moved off.  “Because,” he said, “I can’t stand chess nuts boasting in an open foyer!”

 


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Raclette

Many of you are familiar with Cheese Fondue which has its roots from Switzerland.  Raclette is another Swiss innovation.  It is melted cheese (broiled) that is served over boiled baby potatoes and accompanied by pickled vegetables, pickles and olives.  A few models of Raclette ovens have a grill pan on the top of the broiling elements where you can cook meats, seafood, bacon or grill vegetables if so desired.  My parents gifted us with a wonderful Raclette oven a few years ago (link) and we have enjoyed it over the past few years.  My daughter especially likes shrimp and though I know that shrimp and cheese do not typically get served together I do make some for the kids.  There is even a Raclette cheese.  I buy mine at Trader Joe’s, but you can find them at well stocked grocery stores from time to time.  I have had success in freezing the cheese too – to keep it until the day I make it. If you cannot find Raclette cheese Gruyere will make an excellent substitute as it is similar in taste and texture.  Preheat the Raclette oven for about 10 minutes before using.  The cheese is melted in non stick trays under the broiler.  The meats and vegetables are grilled above on the grill pan if your Raclette oven has that option.

Melt the cheese and serve over boiled baby potatoes that you have roughly mashed with your fork. Season with caraway seed if desired, and dried minced oregano.  Serve with pickled vegetables, roasted bell peppers, pickles and an assortment of olives.  For meats I cooked Filet Mignon cut into 1 inch pieces and jumbo shrimp that had been peeled and cleaned.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Hazelnut Chewies

Okay, move over… this one is a winner!  I will be making these for Christmas annually!  They are very good.  Plus they use Nutella (Chocolate Hazelnut Cream  spread from Europe — I grew up with this stuff and to have a cookie that uses it is downright divine!)  I found this recipe in America’s Test Kitchen’s Holiday Cookies 2010 issue.  It was also featured as one of the winning cookie recipes last year that was submitted by readers.  Yum Yum. Allow time for chilling the dough.  I set out to make these and then after I had preheated the oven it said to chill the dough 1 hour to 24 hours.

If you read my blog entry about Lemon Curd Cookies you know that Hazelnuts are sometimes hard to find.  I found them at my Winco Food’s market, but Trader Joe’s does carry them from time to time if you are lucky enough to be near one.

Hazelnut Chews

From America’s Test Kitchen Holiday Cookie (Holiday 2010) page 3

Makes 7 dozen cookies

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cups Nutella spread (1-13 oz jar)
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp instant espresso powder, (I used a Starbucks sample for a flavored coffee)
  • 1/3 cup milk

Roll in:

  • 2 cups hazelnuts, toasted and chopped fine in a food processor
  • 1 cup powdered sugar (confectioners)

Preparation:

  1. Combine the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt) in a bowl and set aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl, beat the Nutella, butter and sugar until light and fluffy about 2 minutes.  Add eggs, vanilla, instant coffee and mix until well combined.  Reduce speed and add the dry ingredients and milk.  Just until combined. Fold in 1/2 cup toasted chopped hazelnuts (oops I missed that and they turned out great anyway).  Divide dough into 2 quart size bags and refrigerate for 1-24 hours.
  3. Adjust the oven racks to the two middle positions and preheat the oven to 375 F.  Line 2 cookie sheets with either parchment paper or silicone mats (I love my silpats)  Place chopped hazelnuts in one large pie dish and 1 cup of powdered sugar in another small bowl.  Scoop 1 Tbsp of the chilled dough and form it into a ball.  Roll the dough first in the chopped hazelnuts and then in the powdered sugar and then place them on the cookie sheet with plenty of space between them (about 2 inches between).  I fit 12-15 on my cookie sheet (4 to 5 rows of  3).  Bake at 375 for 10 minutes.  Rotating the pans half way through and switching them in position with upper and lower sheets.
  4. Remove them from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes or so before removing the cookie to a wire rack to cool completely.  These also freeze nicely!

Printable Recipe

 


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Spritz Cookies

I have wanted to make these for a few years now and this year I finally did.  I found the recipe on allrecipes.com again.  It is an easy to make cookie.  The only change I made was that I used lemon zest instead of orange zest because I did not have any oranges in the house.  They make nice and buttery cookies.

Spritz Cookies

adapted from allrecipes (http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Butter-Snow-Flakes/Detail.aspx )

Makes 6 dozen small cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Sift together dry ingredients and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, mix the softened butter and cream cheese and beat until light and fluffy.  Add the sugar, egg yolk and beat until light and fluffy.  Stir in the vanilla and lemon (or orange) zest.  Gradually add in the flour mixture a little at a time.  Mix until combined.

Load your cookie press and press the cookies (one trigger pull per cookie) onto an ungreased cookie sheet.  Have the kids decorate them with sprinkles.  Bake at 350F for 12-15 minutes until golden along the edges.  Do not overbake them. Remove them from the oven and cool the cookies removing them onto a wire rack.  Freeze for later use, or place in an air tight cookie tin for a few days.

As for cookie presses.  I really like the one I purchased at Williams Sonoma (it had metal cookie shaped disks and a stainless look press)

Printable Recipe


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Mom’s Raisin Gravy

Here is a recipe for Ham.  With Easter looming just days away, I think I need to start thinking about the menu for that.  When I was growing up my mom would prepare a raisin gravy to go with the ham.  I have to admit, as a child I did not enjoy it much, but now that I am an adult, I cannot have ham without serving this on the side.  It is a good and simple recipe.  I hope you enjoy it as well — maybe it will be a walk down memory lane to your childhood too!

Mom’s Raisin Gravy – Verna

Ingredients

1/2 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp Vinegar
2 Tbsp Cornstarch
1/2 cup Raisins
1/2 tsp Prepared Mustard
1/2 cup Lemon Juice
Lemon Zest
1 1/2 cups Water

Instructions

Combine all ingredients and heat over medium heat, until a nice consistency. Serve with Ham.

Printable Recipe


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Pumpkin Waffles

Here is a recipe I found quite by accident.  It is pumpkin waffles.  Yes, I know it’s more of a seasonal thing to have pumpkin waffles, but I say pumpkin is one of those things you could and should have year round.

The site Bread and Breakfast Inns has a lot of recipes and links to Bed and Breakfasts around the country.  This particular recipe I changed a little.  I did not make the Maple flavored whipped cream, but instead served it with real Maple Syrup and Whipped cream from the can.  I like easy! Plus I have kids who have no patience when it comes to waiting for their food.  This is especially my husband’s favorite way to make Waffles.  One recipe was not enough for my family of 5 I made 1 1/2 times the amount and that is what is listed here.

Pumpkin Waffles -( adapted from http://www.lanierbb.com/recipes/data/4050.html)

Serves 6-8

Combine dry ingredients:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/4 + 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 + 1/8 cup sugar
  • 6 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ginger

Combine:

  • 2 1/4 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree (from can is fine)
  • 6 egg yolks (reserve egg whites)
  • 1 1/2 cups melted butter
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Beat until stiff:

  • 6 egg whites

Directions:

  1. Preheat waffle iron.
  2. Combine dry ingredients. Combine wet ingredients.  Combine dry ingredients with wet ingredients and mix together until combines.
  3. Beat egg whites until stiff and gently fold into the waffle batter.  It should be nice and light and airy.
  4. Bake Waffles in waffle iron.  Serve with warm Maple Syrup and whipped cream if desired.

Printable Recipe