Hope you have a fantastic day with family & friends ……
[photo credit: photo by adza//styling: courtney lake]
There are three things I can’t stand: racism, homophobia and canned cranberry sauce. Something about the fact that it takes the shape of the can weirds me out. Bleh! As a kid, I would pile my plate full with everything else at Thanksgiving in the hopes of avoiding the dreaded sauce, yet my Grandma always found a way to wedge a quivering sliver of it on my plate. I would build a green bean moat around it and go about my way enjoying the rest of my meal knowing that it would be meeting a quick deal under my napkin and eventually the trash can.
It wasn’t until a few years ago that I was introduced to the whole concept of fresh cranberry sauce. It totally blew my mind – BOOM! Tangy, sweet and fresh tasting this quick cranberry sauce is the perfect palette awakener during a meal that can be bogged down in heavy foods. Even better is that after the meal it done, try the sauce on a turkey sandwich in lieu of sandwich spread. Totally delish and since it’s made from fresh fruit, I like to think it counteracts the two slices of pie I will most likely have on Thanksgiving……
Wash and pick over cranberries. In a saucepan bring to a boil water and sugar, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add cranberries, return to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer for 10 minutes or until cranberries burst.
Stir in orange zest and remove from heat. Cool completely at room temperature and refrigerate.*
* Don’t worry if the sauce looks runny. It will thicken as it cools.
For more quick and easy dishes, check out my Recipe section…..
[photo credit: photo by adza//recipe & food styling: courtney lake]
We are going to take a bit of a break from Motivational Mondays as we enter the holiday season. I figured why serve you up some inspirational sayings about the holidays and keeping calm when I can show you how to do it!
I stress out about many things; work, relationships, global warming, will Olivia on Scandal ever find true love….you know, those important things in life. However, one thing I don’t stress out about is holiday meals. Maybe it’s because I spent years planning corporate events or my brief stint in culinary school but I created some “rules” to insure I don’t end up in some corner clutching a turkey crying. I mentioned last week that I was lucky enough to share those rules with the ladies at Joyus.com in a video segment on how to host the perfect party.
One of the questions during the show was about how to handle ensuring that food comes out at the same time and is still warm. Unless you have a commercial size kitchen, it can be difficult to time it perfectly to ensure that all your food comes out precisely 5 minutes before dinner begins. I recommend you invest in a good quality chaffing dish and think about what items can be served at room temperature. I love making side dishes that can be served hot or at “cold” for a meal.
I recently perfected my recipe for green beans with mushrooms and roasted red peppers and couldn’t be happier with it. Fancy enough to serve during the holidays yet super quick to put together. However, the best part is that it tastes even better at room temperature or out of a fridge for a late night ‘nosh fest……
Blanche green beans in salted boiling water for approximately 4 minutes. Drain green beans and place in sauté pan on moderate heat. Add oil and butter to the pan. Add garlic and sauté for 4-5 minutes. Add mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Saute mushrooms 3 to 5 minutes and add green beans back to the pan.
Add sherry and simmer for 2 minutes. Transfer green beans to serving bowl and add roasted red pepper slices. Lightly toss and finish with salt and pepper.
*Feel free to substitute home-made roasted red peppers but be sure to add 1 additional tablespoon of olive oil.
[photo credit: photo by adza //recipe & styling: courtney lake]