I am having fun today searching my blog for special treats and recipes I shared over the last seven Decembers. You can click on the posted link and it will take you to the original blog post and the recipe! I must start out with my favorite sugar cookie recipe!
Looking for a few colorful recipes this one caught my eye. Perfect for some Christmas eve appetizers this red and green taco dip is surely festive!
Hot fruit compote is so easy and incredibly good with breakfast on a cold, snowy, Christmas morning. Okay, so it may not be cold and snowy where you are (or where I am) but the hot fruit compote is still my sous-chef dish-washing mom’s favorite!
Speaking of breakfast … this Apple Sage Sausage recipe was a huge hit every time we served it at our bed and breakfast.
I am having a blast taking a walk down memory lane from Christmas’ past! I hope you enjoy these pictures and recipes too!
Oh! Brine Your Turkey! I know many of you deep fry your turkeys and I hear that is an awesome way to tuck in the moisture and flavor. I haven’t ever eaten deep-fried turkey but I have brined a few and highly recommend as the way to go!
My family can attest to the fact that if it is “broccoli” I love it! Add the au gratin and I am all in!
Another favorite au gratin comes in the form of Brussel sprouts. Ah, so yummy!
Looks like I need to stop looking backward and get to the kitchen for some Christmas weekend cooking! Before I sign off I would be remiss for not including this Peppermint Fudge Cake Roll. Enjoy!
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Christmas is quickly approaching! And you know what that means!? Party time! Christmas parties and potlucks are some of my favorite get-togethers of the whole year, but there’s always the question of what to bring. No one wants to be the person whose dish doesn’t get eaten. So how do you know what will be popular? My advice, bring a classic. Stick to the normal crowd pleasers and then dress them up in their Christmas best! I know time is always an issue, so here are some of my favorite simple treats for potlucks that I’ve found on Pinterest. Whether you’re hosting or just attending, these are guaranteed to get gone.
However, if you’re looking for something a little fancier, keep reading.
My mom’s birthday was right before Thanksgiving, and I made her a classic chocolate cake with whipped ganache. I found the inspiration on, you guessed it, Pinterest, and was able to easily recreate it! The design looks elaborate but is really very simple. It would make a stunning dessert for Christmas dinner. Here is the Pinterest picture I found.So here’s what I did. I’ll be willing to bet most of you already have a killer chocolate cake recipe, so I won’t bore you with mine, but I would recommend jazzing it up with espresso or your favorite liquor (I used Bailey’s Irish Cream). I filled and iced the layers with a traditional whipped ganache (also flavored with Bailey’s), and then covered it with a soft ganache. After that, I simply piped rosettes and topped them with my favorite Lindor chocolate truffles.
Here’s where I first started piping, but the ganache was too soft so I had to re-whip it. You may need to do this after icing the cake.
This is the re-whip.
The tricky part was the basket in the middle. This cake would still be spectacular without it, but it does add a very dazzling showpiece. I had never made a basket like this before and was able to get it on the first try. It really isn’t as complicated as It looks. I know you can do it if you have time!
You make the baskets by drizzling melted almond bark (or tempered chocolate if you’re brave) over some air-filled water balloons (I happened to have those on hand because I’m a child) and set them up in some cups. Put those babies in the freezer to chill, then just pop the balloons. Tips! Make sure you POP the ballon instead of letting the air slowly seep out. I did that at first and it made the chocolate break because it was too slow. You just gotta rip it out like a band-aid. Also, make more than one. Even I, being the culinary genius that I am, make lots of mistakes. 😉 I think at least two of the four that I made broke.
After you finish decorating, cut the cake with a HOT knife to get those beautiful, picture-perfect slices.
Well, there it is! I hope you can wow your friends with this fabulous cake! Merry Christmas!
It’s that time of year when all things turn orange, and I am not just saying that because I live in the very orange state of Tennessee!
Recently we had some little-people visitors and I wanted to give them a treat before they left for home. I was thinking of something not-too-sugary but still fun to eat! I remembered this fun Popcorn cake I made a couple of years ago at Christmas.
This was the perfect combination with lots of popcorn held together with melted marshmallows. Adding a few drops of orange food coloring turned this into a perfect autumn treat!
I tossed in a small handful of candy corn to make it a true fall celebration!
This recipe is a fun kids-in-the-kitchen kind of treat. It is easy and definitely a hands-on recipe kids like to make! Let your imagination run wild with the possibilities for this dessert.
Have fun! ~Catherine
Click here for a few more details when making this cake!
Every once in a while I get out of the kitchen and make way for my Sous-chef dishwashing mom to create something wonderful! That is exactly what happened recently after she was leafing through the fall Southern Living magazine and came upon this recipe.
The minute she saw it she knew it was meant for us! Even though I adore Southern Living magazine, I leave it to mom to let me know what I need to see and read! We have several cast iron skillets — and even though skillet is well-worn and not too pretty — oh my what a nicely browned, flaky crispy crust it makes! This recipe works in a regular pie plate, but dig out the cast iron if you have one.
I was reading through the recipe before typing this blog post and I read “The rich, bourbon-y caramel sauce makes the tender, lightly spiced apple filling, and flaky crust even more irresistible.” Whaaat? Bourbon? Maybe Jack Daniels?
Hmmm …. I am going to have a little chat with my Sous-chef Apple-pie making momma because I am pretty sure she didn’t include a local hometown ingredient. (Have I ever mentioned that we live only a couple of miles from the only place on earth where Jack Daniels Whiskey is made? ) I am sure we are now going to need to make another one and include a little Jack. Maybe their Tennessee Honey. Yum.
The recipe calls for Fuji apples. Mom used Fuji. Although this recipe works made with most apples, you will want to get the Fuji if you can because the tart-sweet flavor works well with the sweet caramel, and the apples hold their shape when baked instead of turning to mush.
Mom made a second pie and I asked her to use up some Macintosh apples we had on hand. BIG MISTAKE! They really did turn to mush and just made one big gob of apple in the center of the pie. (Not pretty, not too tasty either.)
The recipe calls for two store-bought refrigerated piecrusts, but you can use your favorite homemade pie dough recipe if you prefer. If you use store-bought, we suggest Pillsbury. For $1 or more per box, you can get Kroger brand or another brand. Don’t do it, the crust will be a disappointment. If you have time to make your own crust you can check out my favorite recipe and a little tutorial:
Mom was concerned that the pie crust wouldn’t stretch up and over the skillet edge. We discovered it really doesn’t need to. Just place the crust in the skillet up to the edge and gently fill. Then when placing the top crust crimp edges of bottom and top crusts together.
Place the skillet in a preheated oven on the middle oven rack until the crust is golden, the apples are tender, and the filling is bubbly, about 55 minutes to one hour. IMPORTANT: Cover the pie loosely with aluminum foil after about 40 minutes to prevent excessive browning — or earlier if the pie begins to over-brown on the top.
Let the pie cool completely before serving to allow the filling to set. This is also important so that each piece will come out picture perfect!
Besides the really flaky crust, the homemade salted caramel sauce is what separates this pie from all the rest! The caramel sauce goes in the pie and on top of the pie! Oh my goodness, can’t you just taste it?
Top each serving with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and extra caramel sauce, there is plenty to go around!
Thank you to my Sous-chef Dish-washing Apple pie-Making momma for this wonderful dessert!
Nothing says "southern" quite like making an all-American apple pie in a cast iron skillet! Top it with homemade caramel sauce and you will be the talk of the town!
Author: Adapted by Catherine Daugherty
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 6-8 servings
1 (14.1-oz.) pkg. refrigerated piecrusts
1 cup packed light brown sugar
½ cup unsalted butter
3 tablespoons half-and-half
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon bourbon or whiskey *(optional)
3 pounds Fuji apples (about 4½ medium apples), peeled and cut into ½-inch-thick slices
2½ tablespoons cornstarch
1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon water
Fit 1 piecrust on the bottom and press up sides of a 9-inch cast-iron skillet. Transfer skillet to refrigerator, and let chill while assembling caramel sauce and apple filling.
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Stir together light brown sugar, butter, half-and-half, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium-high. Cook, stirring, until butter melts and mixture begins to bubble, about 5 minutes. Cook, stirring, until mixture begins to thicken, about 2 more minutes. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla extract, and, if desired, bourbon or whiskey*. Let caramel sauce cool to almost room temperature, about 30 minutes.
Toss apples with cornstarch in a large bowl.
Pour ⅓ cup caramel sauce over apples, and toss to coat. Reserve remaining caramel sauce for serving. Pour apple filling into prepared skillet.
Place remaining piecrust over apple filling. Crimp edges of bottom and top crusts together.
Using a sharp knife, cut 6 to 8 (1-inch) slits in top crust for steam to escape. Whisk together egg yolk and water in a small bowl; brush over crust.
Bake pie in preheated oven on middle oven rack until crust is golden, apples are tender, and filling is bubbly, about 55 minutes to 1 hour, shielding loosely with aluminum foil after about 40 minutes to prevent excessive browning. Transfer pie to a wire rack, and cool completely, about 3 hours. Serve with reserved caramel sauce.
*Bourbon or Whiskey optional for a little boozy-flavoring.