Monday, November 30, 2009

Barefoot Blogger's November Recipes

I'm finally catching up on my November posts for the Barefoot Bloggers. I have already made and previously posted both of the recipes chosen for this month.

Thanks to Lisa of Lime in the Coconut for picking the Company Pot Roast. Its a simple and comforting meal for a cold fall evening. It pairs nicely with Ina's Baked Potatoes with Yogurt and Sour Cream.

Thanks also to Suzie of Munch and Nibble for picking Ina's creme brulee recipe. Although, Suzie picked Ina's original version, I previously made Ina's Raspberry Creme Brulee which is the same basic formula with a few changes to spices and liquor. The raspberry creme brulee is one of my all time favorite desserts. For a classic creme brulee, this is my go to recipe.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Cranberry Fruit Conserve

I have to admit for many years I was not a fan of whole berry cranberry sauce or fresh cranberry relish. When I host Thanksgiving I always serve both whole berry and jellied cranberry sauce since there always seems to be fans in both camps. This recipe has changed my opinion of whole berry sauce. Simple combination of flavors produces an fantastic result. The combination of citrus juices adds a wonderful depth of flavor. Ina recommends using this for day after Thanksgiving sandwiches and I can see why. I can't imagine finding another recipe I would like better than this one.

Cranberry Fruit Conserve
  • 1 (12-ounce) bag of fresh cranberries, cleaned
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and chopped
  • 1 orange, zest grated and juiced
  • 1 lemon, zest grated and juiced
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Cook the cranberries, sugar, and 1 cup of water in a saucepan over low heat for about 5 minutes, or until the skins pop open. Add the apple, zests, and juices and cook for 15 more minutes. Remove from the heat and add the raisins and nuts. Let cool, and serve chilled.

Source: Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa Parties, Clarkson Potter, 2002.

Triple Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms

I've been looking for a good stuffed mushroom recipe and this one is definitely a winner in that category. I think you could easily vary the cheeses in this recipe and even add sausage, bacon, or pancetta to make them truly over the top. These were a perfect starter for our Thanksgiving meal.

Triple Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms

48 med. white mushrooms (2 lbs)
1 package (10 oz) frozen chopped spinach, thawed
4 oz feta cheese, crumbled
2 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. finely chopped green onions
1/2 c freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350. Using damp paper towel, wipe mushroom caps clean; remove and discard stems or save for another use. In colander squeeze liquid out of spinach until dry.

2. In large bowl, mix spinach, feta, cream cheese, green onions, and 1/4 teaspoon salt until well combined. Fill each mushroom with heaping teaspoon spinach mixture, tip with Parmesan.

3. Transfer to 15 1/2 by 10 1/2 jelly-roll pan; bake 20 minutes or until mushrooms are tender and filling is golden brown.

Source: Paula Deen, Good Housekeeping Magazine, November 2009.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Menu

Here is the menu for our Thanksgiving feast. Recipes and reviews to follow!

Apple Cider

Triple Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms
Pastry Wrapped Raspberry Baked Brie (from Central Market)
Marinated Cheese
Mixed Nuts

Cape Cod Chopped Salad
Apple Cider Brined Turkey
Sausage and Herb Stuffing
Vanilla Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Coconut Marshmallow Topping
Mashed Potatoes
Cranberry Fruit Conserve
Jellied Cranberry Sauce
Cloverleaf Rolls

Pumpkin Banana Mousse Tart
Pear Ginger Crumble with Vanilla Ice Cream

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

All Sold Out Chicken Pot Pies

Finally a recipe to blog! Seems like November is just flying by me at a warp speed. I made two absolutely delicious recipes this month and then forgot to get pictures of them. Otherwise, we have been enjoying several of our favorite meals that have already appeared here. I can't tell you how long I've had this recipe tagged to make. I've probably already mentioned in my blog that the Pastry Queen is one of my favorite cookbooks. Since purchasing that book several years ago I have added Rebecca Rather's additional books to my collection including her newest one, The Pastry Queen Parties. I had the opportunity to visit the Rather Sweet Bakery in Fredericksburg, Texas and I highly recommend it to anyone in the area. I also attended a cooking class hosted by Rebecca which was also fantastic. So with the weather turning cold and grey and this recipe popping up on several blogs I read I knew it was time to try it. Be warned, this is not a fast recipe to make. I estimate in preparation alone I spent well over an hour. I can say the time spent was well worth it. This was fantastic. Next time I will probably add some carrots as they are a requisite vegetable in a pot pie for me. I omitted the hot sauce to make it kid friendly. I also omitted the red bell pepper as it didn't seem right in a pot pie to me. I love the additional vegetable suggestions of turnips, asparagus and corn. I think any combination in this recipe would be great. This is comfort food at its very best. Now, if I had only made Rebecca's incredible recipe for Mexican chocolate cake to go with it!

Other Pastry Queen Recipes:
Tropical Carrot Cake
Tuxedo Cake
Larger Than Life Pumpkin Praline Cheesecake

All Sold Out Chicken Pot Pies

Yield: 6 servings


  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1 medium-size yellow onion, chopped

  • 1 large russet potato, peeled and diced

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 red bell pepper, diced

  • 8 ounces button mushrooms, sliced

  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 purchased cooked rotisserie chicken or 1 whole stewed chicken, cooled

  • 8 ounces fresh green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces (optional)

  • 1 (8-ounce) package frozen peas (optional)


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

  • 1 cup all purpose flour

  • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade

  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (optional) Dash of hot pepper sauce, such as Tabasco

  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter

  • 3 cups all purpose flour

  • 10 ounces chilled cream cheese

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper

  • 1 large egg

  1. To make the filling:

  2. Melt the butter in a large sauté pan set over medium heat. Add the onion and potato; sauté for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, bell pepper, and mushrooms and sauté about 15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. Stir in the crushed red pepper and add salt and pepper to taste.

  3. While the vegetables are sauteing, skin the chicken, pull the meat off the bones and shred the meat or cut into bite-size pieces. Place the green beans in a microwave-safe bowl and add enough water to cover. Cover the dish and microwave on high power about 10 minutes, until the beans are tender. Drain thoroughly. Stir the beans, peas and chicken into the vegetable mixture. Set the filling aside.

  4. To make the cream sauce:

  5. Melt the butter over medium heat in a large saucepan. Add the flour and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the chicken stock and cook the sauce over medium heat until it thickens to the consistency of a cream soup. Add the cream, hot pepper sauce, and salt and white pepper to taste. Pour the cream sauce over the chicken filling and stir to combine. Fill individual 1’/4-cup capacity oven-safe bowls three - quarters of the way to the top with the creamed chicken filling.

  6. To make the crust:

  7. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Cut the butter into 16 pieces. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, pulse the butter and flour until crumbly. Add the cream cheese, salt, and white pepper. Continue pulsing just until the dough forms a ball.

  8. Set the dough on a flat surface dusted with flour. Use a floured rolling pin to roll the dough out to 1/4-inch thickness. Measure the diameter of the pot pie bowls—mine are about 4 inches across—and cut out dough rounds that are 1 1/2 inches larger in diameter. Whisk the egg in a small bowl. Lay the dough rounds on top of the pot pies, making sure the dough hangs evenly over each bowl. Brush the dough lightly with the beaten egg. Bake the pies for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown. Serve immediately.

Rather Sweet Variation

Pot pies lend themselves to all manner of vegetable additions, such as diced carrots, fresh corn kernels, diced turnips, sliced celery, cut-up asparagus spears, or sliced wild mushrooms. Just add them to the sauté mix and enjoy.

My friend Suzie Humphreys Mayo is often on the road for work and likes to make sure her husband eats well while she’s away. She double wraps the pot pies in plastic wrap and pops them in the freezer. Her husband bakes them at 350 degrees F for about 30 minutes and dinner is ready. (The pies will keep frozen for 2 to 3 weeks.) Miss Emily, the eighty- seven-year- old mother of another good friend, loves to have a stock of frozen pot pies in her freezer. I never put green beans in hers; she prefers peas.

Source: Rebecca Rather, The Pastry Queen, Ten Speed Press 2004.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Spiderweb Cupcakes

I made these to take to our pre-trick-or-treating Halloween party. I was really happy with how they came out. To save time, I did use a boxed cake mix and pre-made frosting. The spiders are made from gum drops that have been rolled out. These were fun and easy to make.