Monday, November 28, 2011

Cranberry Sauce

I usually make some kind of cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving. This year I happened to pick up some lovely blackberries when I got my cranberries and thought they'd go perfectly together. I've been using my Thanksgiving cranberry sauce on everything from pancakes to yogurt.

What you need:
1 cup juice (I used a berry blend)
1 cup white sugar
1 package fresh cranberries (12 oz.)
1 apple, cored and diced
1 pear, cored and diced
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots or other dried fruit
1 cup blackberries
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

What to do:
Boil juice and sugar until the sugar dissolves.

Reduce the heat to a simmer and stir in remaining ingredients.

Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. The cranberries will burst. Remove from heat, and let cool to room temperature.
How sweet it is!
Tip Junkie handmade projects

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Stuffing

When it comes to Thanksgiving food I am all about the stuffing... bread stuffing... not cornbread stuffing or dressing or whatever you call that fake stuffing stuff. I always bring stuffing to Thanksgiving at the In-Laws and they call my stuffing Yankee dressing. But you know what? They love it or at least they say they do.
What you need:
  • 1 pound sliced bread, toasted and cubed (about 10 cups)
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 1 cup finely chopped celery
  • ½ cup minced fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage (1 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme (1 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper or to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ cup pecans toasted and chopped
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup chicken stock
What you do:
Melt butter in a large pan.

Add onion and celery to the butter. Cook vegetables until tender, stirring often.

Remove vegetables from heat and stir in parsley, sage, thyme, salt, pepper and nutmeg.
 I love fresh herbs in my stuffing!

Add the bread cubes and mix well.

Mix in the pecans and dried cranberries.

Stir in chicken stock, a little at a time, until the stuffing is lightly moist.

Do a little taste check to make sure the seasoning suits your fancy. (but don't eat it all, your family wants some too)

Turn into a shallow buttered baking dish.

Bake in a 350 degree oven until the top has a crust and the stuffing is heated through, about 30-40 minutes.

Trouble almost loves stuffing as much as me. See, he turns into a caveman and has to use his hands to eat it.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

2K Stables

We spent last weekend visiting one of my oldest, nearest and dearest friends. She and her family own 2K Stables, a horse boarding facility outside Houston in Hockley, TX.

We met tons of horses.
BIG beautiful horses...
and sweet little horses.
Both Trouble and Mr.Perfect loved riding!

Trouble fed the chickens...
then proceeded to catch a chicken. Only a boy would enjoy catching chickens... and only their parents would enjoy watching the chicken catching occur.
2K is even home to a few goats who seem to eat just about anything. By the way, a goat tried to eat my jacket when I was 3 and now I keep my distance... unless they are baby goats or very, very cute goats.
Thank you 2K for some wonderful memories!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Cowboy Lasso Wreath

A while back I found this old lasso at a flea market. I thought the addition of a bow would turn it into a great Cowboy Christmas wreath.
Yes... I've already started pulling out the Christmas decorations. I'm one of those people who decorates for Christmas after Halloween and waits until after the New Year to take it all down.

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Monday, November 7, 2011

Chocolate Cake with a Kick

In our house chocolate cake is king. Mr.Perfect loves it straight out of the oven with a big glass of milk. Of course this cake has a little kick of coffee flavored liqueur which makes it even more yummy!

What you need:
  • 1 box chocolate cake mix
  • 1 box instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 1 cup yogurt (I used Greek)
  • 3 eggs
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup coffee flavored liqueur
  • 1 cup chocolate chips or chopped chocolate (I used Trouble's Halloween candy)
  • powdered sugar
What you do:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, combine cake mix, pudding mix, yogurt, eggs, oil and coffee liqueur.

Beat until ingredients are well blended.

Fold in chocolate chips...or in my case stolen Halloween candy. 

Spoon into a greased and floured bundt pan.

Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes or until cake springs back when touched. Cool 10 minutes in pan, then turn out and cool completely.

Dust cake with powdered sugar.

Mr.Perfect loved this cake because it had his two favorite ingredients... chocolate & liqueur.
Tip Junkie handmade projects

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Crock-Pot Rosemary Chicken

Rosemary in our backyard
It seems like I'm always cooking chicken. My favorite method of cooking it is in the crock-pot. I used to be a big fan of throwing a whole chicken in the cooker on low for 6 hours. But recently I got a little wild & crazy and started cooking it on high for about 3 hours with some rosemary and it's just fantastic!

What you need:
  • aluminum foil 
  • whole chicken, giblets removed (I don't even like the word giblets!)
  • lots of fresh rosemary or your favorite fresh herbs
  • small onion, peeled
  • salt & pepper, to taste
Make three aluminum foil balls (3 to 4 inch) and place them in the bottom of the crock-pot.

Rinse the chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Place the chicken in the crock-pot on the aluminum foil balls.

Stuff the cavity of the chicken with rosemary and the onion. (I even jam some rosemary under the skin...double yuck!) Set crock-pot on high and cook chicken for about 3 hours.

The house or, in my case, the backyard smells of delicious roasted rosemary chicken. Yes that's right, I usually put my crock-pot on the back porch because Mr.Perfect works from home and isn't a fan of smelling dinner all day... we're a strange bunch!
 Easy and way better than a grocery store roasted chicken.