I 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
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
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.
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!”
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.
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.
From America’s Test Kitchen Holiday Cookie (Holiday 2010) page 3
Makes 7 dozen cookies
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
2 cups hazelnuts, toasted and chopped fine in a food processor
1 cup powdered sugar (confectioners)
Combine the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt) in a bowl and set aside.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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)
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
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
1 1/2 cups Water
Combine all ingredients and heat over medium heat, until a nice consistency. Serve with Ham.
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.
I am a passionate cookbook collector. In my 17 years of marriage I must have by now in my possession over 200 cookbooks. I was for a few months a member of a cookbook club. I got to buy the cookbooks at a good price and they would send them to me. One such nugget is the Black Dog Restaurant Cookbook. In this cookbook there are a few recipes that I have made over the past few years. These cookies are not hard like Gingersnap cookies. They have a nice soft chewy texture. My daughters who are not big fans of ginger are big fans of these cookies and I think they are great for Christmas or any other occasion. Just hum the tune from Sesame Street: “C is for Cookie”. 🙂
Here is a recipe from the book that I adapted.
Black Dog Restaurant Ginger Cookies
Makes 8 dozen cookies. I freeze some for later.
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh ginger
1 1/2 cups canola oil
3 cups sugar
3/4 cup molasses
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
5 1/4 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. ground cloves
7 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar in the raw to roll the cookies in before baking
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Blend the ginger with 1/2 cup of the oil. I use a hand blender. Process until well minced.
In a large mixing bowl, mix 3 cups sugar, molasses and eggs. Strain the ginger/oil liquid and add the strained ginger infused oil to the sugar mixture. Add remaining cup of oil to the mixture and mix until smooth.
In a separate bowl, combine the salt, cinnamon, baking soda, cloves and flour. Ad the dry ingredients to the wet mix and blend well.
Line your cookie sheets with parchment paper for easier clean up. Scoop the cookie dough with a small ice cream scoop, form into balls (I find if I moisten my hands with a little water the dough does not stick to me.) Roll in sugar in the raw (regular sugar works fine too- I love the texture of sugar in the raw)
Place on prepared cookie sheet and bake for 8-12 minutes, just until the tops crack and cookies are flat.
Leave on the cookie sheet a few minutes to firm up before removing them to wire racks to cook completely. Enjoy!
Here is a salad I had at a friend’s house and just HAD to have a copy of the recipe! It has a strong dressing, but is quite delightful! I have to say though, it can upstage your main course — so if you are not eating it as a main meal – which you could, serve it with something like Spaghetti and Meatballs – not your elaborate meal. It is really good. I have an immersion blender which makes the dressing a snap to make – a regular blender would do the job too though! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
The combination of spiced nuts, feta cheese, Craisins and the dressing is really outstanding! The kids may not care for the dressing though — serve it on the side – it is a good idea anyway that way you don’t overpower the lettuce greens… Start with a couple of teaspoons of dressing and toss and see where it takes you.. you can always add more, but not take it away!
Trisha’s Festive Tossed Salad
Serves 4 Main Dish Portions or 6 Side Salads
1 cup Pecans — coarsely chopped
3 Tbsp Butter
1/4 cup Sugar
1 tsp Pepper
12 cups Mixed Baby Salad Greens — torn
3/4 cup Craisins
4 ounces Cheese, Feta — crumbled
1/4 cup Vinegar, Red Wine — Dressing ingredient
1/4 cup Oil, Vegetable — Dressing Ingredient
1/2 cup Parsley, Fresh — Dressing Ingredient
1/4 cup Onion, Red — chopped Dressing Ingredient
2 cloves Garlic cloves — Dressing ingredient
1/2 tsp Oregano, Dried — Dressing Ingredient
1/8 tsp Salt — Dressing Ingredient
1/8 tsp Pepper — Dressing Ingredient
In a skillet, cook and stir pecans in butter until toasted, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in sugar, pepper and salt. In a salad bowl, toss the greens, cranberries, cheese and walnuts.
Place the dressing ingredients together in a blender; cover and process until smooth. Drizzle desired amount of dressing over salad and toss to coat. Serve immediately.
(Word to the wise, the dressing is quite potent so use with caution.) This salad was renamed “killer salad” by my family. I always have requests for it when I bring it to potlucks or have company over.