New Recipes for a New Year

Monday, November 29, 2010

Spinach Salad


October on the River Cam, Cambridge England
2 bags baby spinach
4 hard boiled eggs, sliced
1 can, drained, water chestnuts
1 cup, bean sprouts
10 slices bacon, cooked crisp
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 navel orange, peeled and segmented


1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup ketchup
3/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1 medium onion, minced
1 TBS Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 tsp salt


Hard boil eggs, plunge into cold water and peel.  After cooling, slice eggs into thin slices.  Drain water chestnuts and slice thin.  Cook 10 slices bacon until crisp, drain, cool and crumble into bits.  Peel navel orange and cut into segments, remove membrane and cut each segment into three or four pieces.  Assemble salad by putting spinach into boil, add water chestnuts and bean sprouts.  Arrange oranges and eggs on top.  Sprinkle with slivered almonds and bacon.  Add dressing to single servings, do not toss.

Prepare dressing in sauce pan.  Add sugar, ketchup, olive oil, cider vinegar, minced onion, Worcestershire Sauce and salt.  Heat until all ingredients are heated through and sugar is dissolved.  Serve warm with salad.

Notes from Liz

It is easy to make 1/2 this recipe to serve 4 or 5.  The full recipe serves 10

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sugared Cranberries

Carolina Wren at my bird feeder

2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups water
2 cups fresh cranberries
3/4 cups superfine sugar


Combine granulated sugar and water in sauce pan over low heat, stirring mixture until sugar dissolves.  Bring to a simmer, remove from heat.  ( Do not boil or the cranberries may pop when added.)  Stir in cranberries, pour mixture into a bowl.  Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.

Drain cranberries in a colander, over a bowl, reserve steeping liquid, if desired.  Place superfine sugar in a shallow dish.  Add the cranberries, rolling to coat with sugar.  spread sugared cranberries in a single layer on a baking sheet, let stand at room temperature, 1 hour, or until dry.

Use as a garnish for a plate of cookies, around a cake, topping for ice cream, etc.  They are good as a light snack with a cup of tea or coffee.

Notes from Liz

The reserved sugar sauce can be used to make cranberry sauce or as a sweetner for homemade lemonade or ice tea.  I make these at Christmas but they are delicious anytime you have fresh cranberries.

Kale Chips


October in Cambridge England
1 bunch fresh Kale greens
Olive Oil
Sea Salt or Kosher salt


Break Kale in "chip size" pieces, discard thick ribs. Wash Kale and spin dry in salad spinner.  Put Kale in large bowl and add a very small amount of Olive Oil (for the whole bunch - about 1 TBS).  Add salt and toss thoroughly.  Heat oven to 350 degrees F or 175 degrees C.  Line cookie sheet with parchment or spray sheet with spray olive oil.  Spread seasoned Kale in one layer on cookie sheet.  Bake for 8-10 minutes until edges are slightly brown.  After cooking, remove from cookie sheet to paper towel.  Put in bowl and serve warm.

Notes from Liz

You can try a few TBS of parmesan cheese, or a sprinkle of Chipotle Pepper.  You can experiment with flavors.  I like using the parchment paper to reduce the oil.  They are delicious and good for you.

Gorgonzola and Cranberry Cheese Ball


Birches in East Ruston, Great Britain
2 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese
1 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
1 cup dried cranberries
2 TBS each finely chopped:
Onion, Celery, Yellow and Red Sweet Peppers
1/2 tsp hot pepper sauce ( I used Scotch Bonnet)
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts


Let all cheese come to room temperature.  Add cranberries, onion, celery, yellow and red sweet peppers.  Add 1/2 tsp hot pepper sauces.  Mix well with your hands.  Divide in half.  Chop walnuts in food processor until they are medium pieces (not fine).  Make cheese mixture into two balls, roll in nuts.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate.  Remove from refrigerator and let come to room temperature.  Serve with crackers.

Notes from Liz

You could use pecans instead of walnuts.  You can add more pepper sauce for a little more "bite".  This will store and remain fresh for up to two weeks.  If you are going to store it, do not roll in nuts until you are ready to serve it.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Cranberry Sauce

For Thanksgiving, just add cranberries!


1 lb cranberries
2 cups sugar


Wash and remove over-ripe berries.  Drain throughly, and put in saucepan.  Water adhering to the berries is all that is needed.  Add sugar and cook over low flame.  Cook 8 minutes after boiling begins.  Cover and remove from fire.  Do not remove cover for at least 20 minutes.  Cool and refrigerate.

Notes from Liz
Since I work in cranberry country, Carver, MA,  I get all of my berries directly from the growers. (So do you, via Ocean Spray!) Most of the Carver bogs sell to Ocean Spray.  Originally the pilgrims were introduced to the berries by the native american and they were called "Crane Berries) due to the long curving stem on each berry. (As legend says....).  There are two ways to harvest the berries, wet or dry.  Wet harvesting involves flooding the bogs and floating the berries for picking.  Picking can be done mechanically in the wet harvest.  The berries are loaded into very large plastic bins with huge hooks.  Helicopters pick up the bins and load them on trucks.  Wet harvest berries are used for "product"...cranberry juice, sauces, etc.  Dry harvest is picked by hand and it can also be loaded by helicopters or by the workers. Dry harvest berries are sold whole.  This is cranberry trivia.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Christmas Cheese Ball

Casey looking picture perfect!

4 pkgs softened cream cheese
1 1lb shredded cheddar cheese
2  8 ½ oz crushed pineapple/
drained completely-use cheese cloth for best results
1 onion minced in food processor
2 cloves garlic minced
2 TBS Worcestershire Sauce
12 oz chooped pecans

Mix well ( you have to use your hands) Refrigerate until firm.
Chop pecans in food processor.
Roll cheese mixture into balls and roll in pecans.  Wrap in clear wrap and store  until ready to serve.  It tastes best after a day or two –the flavors mix well.  Serve with wheat thins!

Makes 4-6 Cheese Balls

Notes from Liz
This recipe was created when I was asked to make "something" to give as gifts to the nurses when Larry was in medical school.  This was a surprise and not in the budget.  I had six cans of pineapple and someone had given us 3 lbs of pecans.  I had to by the cheese and this is what I made.  Now after 38 years, it is THE Christmas gift my friends request.  I make 15-20 every year - that means I have made between 600 and 800 of these.  I will be make 20 more for Christmas 2010! Necessity was the mother of invention and tradition.

Hot Chocolate Mix Supreme

Not a day for the beach

2 1/2 squares unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

In saucepan or double boiler, combine chocolate and water until chocolate is
melted. Add sugar and salt and simmer for 4 minutes. Let cool.

Whip cream, add vanilla, mix thoroughly.

When chocolate is cooled, mix into whipped cream and refrigerate or freeze.

This is the Chocolate Mix to make Hot Chocolate by the cup:

Add 2 Tablespoons Hot Chocolate Mix Supreme to one cup milk and heat thoroughly.

Makes 12 Mugs

Monday, November 22, 2010

Gingerbread Cookies

Christmas at our house

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark molasses
1/4 cup water
2 1/2 cups flour
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp soda
3/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp all spice


Cream butter and sugar together with an electric mixer on medium speed.  Add molasses and reduce speed to low.  Mix all dry ingredients together.  Mix dry ingredients with creamed mixture.  Add 1/4 cup water and blend into the dough.  Form dough into ball, cover, and chill for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Roll out dough, on a lightly floured surface, to 1/4 inch thickness.  Cut with cookie cutter (dip sharp edge into flour).  Place on an ungreased cookie sheet.  Decorate as you like.  Push decorations into dough (ex:  raisins, m and m's, etc).  Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack.

Yield 2 dozen, 2-3 inch cookies or 1 dozen larger cookies.  Store in air-tight container until ready to serve.

Notes from Liz
Gingerbread cookies are delicious anytime of year but we make them every year for Christmas.

Cranberry Orange Nut Bread

Orleans Cranberry Stand

2 cups all purpose flour, sifted
1 2/3 cups sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 orange, grate rind and juice of orange
1 egg, beaten
2 TBS oil, put in measuring cup and fill
to 3/4 cup with hot water
1 cup fresh cranberries, halved
1 cup chopped pecans


Preheat oven to 350 degrees, grease and flour 2 loaf pans.  Mix dry ingredients with orange rind.  Add cranberries and pecans and stir into dry ingredients.  Add water, oil, egg, and orange juice.  Mix thoroughly.  Bake for 1 hour or until toothpick inserted in the middle of the bread, comes out clean.


Mix the juice of one orange with 1 cup sugar and heat over low heat until sugar dissolves.  Keep warm.

Remove bread from oven and pour half of glaze over each loaf of bread (while bread is hot).  Cool in loaf pans.

Notes from Liz
My daughters call this Christmas Bread.  We have this for breakfast on Christmas morning.  I created this recipe when someone gave me a lot of fresh cranberries.  I have made this in large batches for gifts.  You can easily make 8 loaves by using 4 times the ingredients.  I always use the disposable loaf pans because the glaze is very sticky and no fun to clean up plus ....who has 8 loaf pans?  It takes the same amount of time to make 2 as 8 (well a little more chopping time for nuts and berries) It is worth it!

Pumpkin Bread


Fall in Maine
4 cups all purpose flour, unsifted
3 cups sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 16 oz can of pumpkin
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs, beaten
2/3 cup water


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease three loaf pans.  Mix dry ingredients throughly in a large bowl.  In another medium bowl, beat pumpkin, oil, eggs, and water together.  Add to dry ingredients, Stir just until dry ingredients are blended.  Do not over stir.  Bake 1 to 1 1/4 hours (until toothpick inserted in the center of loaf comes out clean).  Cool in pans for 10 minutes, then remove from pans and cool on rack. Makes three loaves.  Freezes well if wrapped in aluminum foil. Serve warm or cold. Is good with apple butter.

Notes from Liz
Canned pumpkin is best for making this bread.  It has a smooth quality that makes the bread light and not too dense.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Turkey Gravy for Roast Turkey Dinner

The Feast

Reserved liquid from roasting pan
4 cups chicken stock
Giblets from Turkey
1/3 cup all purpose flour
2/3 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste


Drain and strain liquid from roasting pan into 3-4 quart pan.
Heat over medium heat until bubbling

Boil giblets in 4 cups chicken stock, finely chop giblets, reserve broth and add to liquid from roasting pan

Put 2/3 cup milk in small deep bowl.
Add 1/3 cup flour on top of milk and whisk until flour is blended well into milk

Slowly whisk milk/flour mixture into hot liquid from roasting pan.  Continue to whisk until gravy mixture begins to thicken slightly.  (You can add more milk/flour if it does not thicken.  Always put flour on top of milk or it will form sticky lumps) Heat thoroughly but do not boil.   Add finely chopped giblets and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve hot

Makes about 6-7 cups.

Notes from Liz
This is a southern milk gravy.  It is very easy to make if you stir and whisk frequently until it is finished.  Keep it warm without boiling. I always make extra for left overs (it is VERY good on the Southern Stuffing Balls).

Roasted Turkey

A different species of Turkey!

Fresh Turkey              
Kosher Salt
2 Onions
3 Carrots
4 Fresh sage leaves


Twenty-four hours before cooking, remove neck and giblets from cavities of fresh turkey. Thoroughly rinse the turkey.  Rub turkey with kosher salt, on skin and cavities.  Place in large pan or bowl and add water to half full.  Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours.  Turn turkey in bowl or pan so that the other half soaks in the water until time to roast.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.                                                                                                                                           Peel onions and Carrots and chop into large pieces and stuff largest cavity of Turkey with the chopped vegetables.  Add 4 fresh sage leaves.  Tuck legs under skin to close cavity.  Place Turkey in roasting pan, breast side up. Insert meat thermometer.  Add 4 cups of low sodium chicken broth.  Place lid on roasting pan and place in oven.  Roast for 1/2 of roasting time and remove lid.  Continue to roast turkey and baste every 20 to 30 minutes.  The turkey will be done when the thermometer reads 185 degrees.

Total roasting time:
6-8 lbs         = 2 to 2 1/2 hours
8-12 lbs       = 2 1/2 to 3 hours
12-16 lbs     = 3 to 3 3/4 hours
16 to 20 lbs = 3 3/4 to 4 1/2 hours
20 to 24 lbs = 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 hours

Plan to have the turkey done 20 to 30 minutes before serving time.  Remove Turkey from Oven and let "rest" for 20 to 30 minutes before carving. (See Turkey Gravy Recipe).  Carve and enjoy.

Notes from Liz
Traveling Turkey:  For the past 15 years or more, I have prepared the turkey and then packed it up and traveled to the Whiman's house.  Here is the method.  Cook the turkey as directed above but take it out of the oven 45 minutes before the recommended cooking time. Remove all but 2 inches of broth and cooking juices.  Reserve the broth for gravy.  Put the lid on the roasting pan and put the whole pan into a prepare large plastic storage bin that has a tight sealing lid.  Line the bin with multiple layers of newspaper. Put the whole roasting pan in the bin and cover with more layers of newspaper and then put the tight sealing lid on the bin.  The turkey will stay hot and continue to cook.  It can be served up to six hours later and be perfectly cooked and remain hot as long as you do not remove the lid.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Southern Stuffing Balls

Another tradition, Thanksgiving with at the Whimans!

4 cups crumbled corn bread
(you can use the corn bread stuffing in
a bag or you can make your own!)
4 cups crumbled bread
(you can use the bread stuffing in a bag.
I prefer unseasoned)
1 stick melted butter
3 T dried sage
2 tsp black pepper
2 onions, minced fine
5 stalks celery, chopped fine
6-8 cups chicken broth


Boil the onion and celery in the chicken broth until onions and celery are tender.  Set aside to cool thoroughly.  Melt the butter.  Put cornbread and bread stuffing into large bowl, add sage and black pepper, and butter.  Strain the onions and celery out of the chicken broth, reserve broth.  Add the onions and celery to stuffing mix.  Mix with your clean hands until mixed well.  Add chicken broth until the stuffing mixture easily makes a two-three inch ball.  Roll stuffing into balls and put on greased baking sheet. They do not expand, so you can fit many stuffing balls on one sheet. (These can be made a day ahead and cooked on Thanksgiving day.)  Cook at 400 degrees for 35-45 minutes-until lightly browned and "crispy".  Serve with turkey gravy.

Notes from Liz
Stuffing balls are a southern Thanksgiving tradition.  Each family has a recipe.  This is my grandmother, "Granny"  Lucy Berry's recipe.  When I serve stuffing balls, I usually stuff the turkey with large cut pieces of onion, celery, and carrots-seasoned with poultry seasoning and salt.  I don't serve these vegetables but they flavor the turkey and the broth for the gravy.    Make extra because they are wonderful with left over turkey!

Caribbean Island Lime Shrimp


    In November, Think Sun!
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
  • 1/2 cup orange juice concentrate
  • 1/8 cup tequila (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp Triple Sec or Cointreau orange liqueur  (optional)
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1/4 cup minced sweet onion
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, or more to taste
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 to 1-1/2 pounds fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined

Measure 1/4 cup olive oil, lime juice, orange juice concentrate, tequila, Triple Sec, cilantro, garlic, sweet onion, curry powder, salt, turmeric, cumin, cayenne pepper, and black pepper into a large zip-top bag.
Seal and squish contents to mix. Add shrimp to marinade, squeeze out all the air, and seal. Turn bag to coat shrimp. Refrigerate for 1 hour. (Do not over-marinate or the citrus acids will "cook" the shrimp.)

Heat a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 Tbsp
olive oil to hot pan and swirl to coat. Remove shrimp from marinade, reserving marinade, and place in a single layer in the hot pan. Cook for 1 minute, then flip the shrimp to the other side. Do not overcook the shrimp or it will become rubbery. Add the reserved marinade to the pan. Cook 1 minute, then remove shrimp and keep warm. Continue cooking the marinade until it reduces to a thin sauce. Turn off heat, return the shrimp to the pan, and toss in the sauce.

Stir sauce and shrimp into 4 cups cooked white rice.  ( I use Success Boil in Bag rice).

Serve hot.  Serves 4-6

Notes from Liz:
You may make the marinade a day in advance.  Since the citrus "cooks" the shrimp, do not add the shrimp until one hour before cooking.  I have tried this recipe with chicken and the flavors do not absorb uniformly in the chicken, the shrimp is better.  This recipe doubles easily