Monday, November 25, 2013

Turkey for Two!

Turkey is a must at Thanksgiving! But who wants to buy an entire turkey for only two people? It is just to much food and such an expense. This quick and easy dish will solve all your problems. If you wish, you can purchase a much larger turkey breast in order to have leftovers. Just remember the cooking time will increase as well.

Turkey Cutlets with Herbed Reduction Sauce

Serves: 2        Cook Time: 25 min        Prep Time: 5 min

  • 2 boneless skinless turkey breasts, seasoning with salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 1 1/4 turkey broth
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 2 sprigs sage
  • 2 tablespoons minced onions
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit. Heat saute pan until oil shimmers and smokes. Add turkey breast skin side down. DO NOT TOUCH for 3-4 minutes and repeat on other side. Transfer turkey to sheet pan. Place in oven and bake 5-7 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165F.

Deglazing with Wine
Adding Herbs and Stock
Final Reduction

Add wine to deglaze the pan. Reduce by wine half and add onions. Next add broth, thyme, sage, salt and pepper and cream. Reduce by about half or until it coats the back of the spoon. Serve with Turkey. Don't forget these classic sides: Stuffing with Dried Cranberries and Herbs and Herbed Infused Mashed Potatoes.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

A starchy side fit for Thanksgiving!

I can't imagine a Thanksgiving that didn't have mashed potatoes on the menu. Every year I would help my mom make them in the kitchen with our hand mixer or potato masher. They were very simple, milk, potatoes, salt and pepper. Then one year, we decided to use a ricer to make this delectable side. The resulting mashed potatoes were light and airy. I haven't made them any other way since. This technique makes a huge difference in texture. It prevents you from getting that gluey mashed potato. The best part is a ricer only costs 5 or 10 dollars. Which is not much to pay for perfect mashed potatoes! So enjoy these mashed potatoes and change it up with any herbs you'd prefer or have on hand.

Herb Infused Mashed Potatoes

Serves: 8-10        Cook Time: 35 min        Prep Time: 15 min
  • 1 1/2 lbs. yukon gold whole
  • 1 1/2 lbs russetts whole
  • 2 rosemary sprigs
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 1/4 cups cream
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk
  • salt and pepper to taste


Cover potatoes with cold water. Place on medium high heat and cook until easily pierced with a knife.
Meanwhile, place butter, milk, cream and herbs in a saucepan. Bring to simmer and reduce heat to low and cook for 10-15 minutes.
Drain potatoes. Cut in half and push through a ricer. Removing the potato skins from the ricer as necessary. Add heated milk mixture to potatoes and combine thoroughly. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

My family's favorite stuffing!

This stuffing recipe has become somewhat legendary in my house hold. It has been perfected over the years. I usually quadruple it so there is enough leftovers. This stuffing even gets better the next day. I know this recipe seems strange without dried bread. I have found that stale bread absorbs too much liquid and makes it incredibly soggy. If you prefer your stuffing that way, then add more broth. Once you try this stuffing, you will never go back to anything else!

Stuffing with Dried Cranberries and Herbs

Essential Ingredients
Serves: 8-10   Cook Time: 45 min      Prep Time: 15 min
  • 2 cup diced onion
  • 3 cups diced celery
  • 1 cup butter
  • 4 springs thyme
  • 4 springs sage
  • 1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
  • 1 loaf  brownberry white bread, cubed
  • 1 loaf kings hawaiian bread, cubed
  • 3/4 cup chicken, turkey or vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon powdered sage
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste


Sizzling Aromatics
Cranberries add great color
All Ingredients Combined

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Melt butter over medium heat. Add onion, celery, thyme and sage. Let cook 10-15 minutes covered or until tender. Add dried cranberries and cook another 5 minutes covered. In very large bowl, combine bread and onions, celery, and cranberry mixtures.  Gently mix and add broth, dried thyme, powdered sage and salt and pepper to taste. Cook stuffing in  9x13 dish covered with aluminum foil for 30 minutes. Turn oven up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and bake 15 minutes more or until golden brown. Enjoy this stuffing! I guarantee you won't forget it!

Delicious Stuffing

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A new spin on a Thanksgiving favorite!

Cranberry sauce is a classic for the holiday feast. I don't know anyone that celebrates with out it. I know this is not the jellied can stuff, but it tastes exceedingly better. I wanted to put a spin on the classic version, so changed it up a bit with using the lambic. Apple cider maybe used, if you don't want the alcohol. I encourage you make this dish for your Thanksgiving feast. It's a very easy dish to make and tastes wonderful!

Sauce Ingredients

Apple Lambic Cranberry Sauce

Simmering Cranberries

Serves: 4-6   Cook Time: 15 min      Prep Time: 5 min

  • 1 12 oz. bag cranberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup apple lambic or apple cider
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored and diced
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • salt to taste


Combine all ingredients in sauce pan except ground cinnamon. Bring to simmer and boil for 10-15 minutes. After it is done cooking add ground cinnamon and stir to combine. Remove cinnamon stick and allow to cool before serving.

Final Presentation

Monday, November 18, 2013

Baked potato or gourmet side?

Sweet potatoes are a nutritional power house in the kitchen. They contain high amounts of Vitamin A&C, B6, Potassium and Manganese. Plus, they are easy to bake and add great color to any plate. Normally, a baked potato is not a stunning side dish. This recipe brings them to an entirely different level. The piped compound butter and maple pecans elevate this dish. It makes a gourmet presentation. Keep the compound butter in the freezer for future use. The pecans can be used on salads, cheese plates, or eaten as a snack.

For another plating option, you could scoop out the flesh of the potatoes and combine it with some of the butter. Then place in a casserole dish. Heat up and top with pecans before serving. This would make an excellent dish to prepare for Thanksgiving day!

Sweet Potatoes with Spiced Butter and Maple Glazed Pecans

Serves: 5           Cook Time: 1 hour        Prep Time: 15 min

Sweet Potatoes

  • 5 Sweet potatoes, washed

Spiced Butter

  • 1 stick butter,softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/8 teaspoon cardamom
  • half of orange zested
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • salt

Maple Glazed Pecans

  • 2/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup chopped pecans


Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place potatoes on parchment lined sheet tray evenly apart. Cook for 1 hour or until soft when pierced with a fork.

Combine butter, spices, salt, zest and juice. Then either pipe on sheet tray or place in saran wrap and form into a roll.

Bring maple syrup up to a boil. Then add pecans. Cook until thick and syrupy about 3-5 minutes. Place on a parchment lined sheet pan and let cool. Break apart and store in cool dry place.

Tip- Compound butter is a a butter that has spices, herbs or even fruit added. This adds extra flavor and the combinations are endless. It is often used as a sauce on steaks or fish. I encourage you to experiment with this in your own kitchen!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

An elegant dessert that's perfect for entertaining!

Poached pears are an elegant dessert that can be made ahead of time. Therefore, it's wonderful for entertaining. Just make the pears the day before and let it sit overnight to chill. When your guests come over, impress them with this beautifully plated dessert.

As well as being an exquisite dessert, it sneaks in some nutritional benefits too. The amount of calories in poached pears is far less than the average dessert. They are high in fiber, vitamin C and potassium for a nutrient boost. Enjoy this dessert without all the guilt.

Raspberry Lambic Poached Pears


Serves: 5           Cook Time: 40 min        Prep Time: 10 min

  • 5 pears, peeled and stem in
  • 1 750 ml bottle raspberry lambic
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup pure cranberry juice
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 strips orange zest
  • 3 cloves
  • 4 ounces creme fraiche
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • mint and fresh raspberries for garnish


Reduce to a syrup
Simmering pears

Combine lambic, sugar, vanilla, bean, orange zest, cloves, cinnamon, and cranberry juice in sauce pot. Cook until sugar dissolves and mixture simmers. Add pears and simmer pears 20-25 minutes or until tender. Make sure to immerse all sides of pear in liquid to color evenly. Remove and let cool. Meanwhile reduce the sauce until thick and syrupy, about 20-30 minutes. Remove cloves, cinnamon and vanilla bean. For creme fraiche, combine it with powdered sugar, cream and vanilla. Slightly whip with whisk. Plate with raspberries, mint, creme fraiche and reduced sauce.

Beautifully Plated Pear

Monday, November 4, 2013

Thanksgiving side!

Green beans and Thanksgiving are like peanut butter and jelly. It's hard to have one without the other. Instead of the canned green bean casserole, give this a try. This dish is healthier than the original. It lacks all the preservatives and sodium, which provide off flavors and aftertastes. It is sure to impress your guests and it can be elevated to another level with homemade onion straws for garnish. When making it for company, blanch the green beans first and store in the fridge. On the day of the big event, saute the mushrooms an add your green beans to the mix.

Blanched and Shocked Green Beans

Sautéed Green Beans with Cremini Mushrooms

Sauteing Mushrooms

Serves: 4-6           Cook Time: 5 min        Prep Time: 5 min

  • 3/4 lb of green beans, end trimmed                          
  • 8 oz. cremini mushrooms, sliced                                
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil,divided
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • salt and pepper to taste


Steam green beans until al dente or they still have a little crunch. Cool rapidly under cold water. Set aside. Heat 1 tablespoon oil and butter in skillet until smoking. Add mushrooms and do not stir for 2-3 minutes. This creates a caramelization on the mushrooms, which gives a great boost of flavor. Once caramelization has occurred, stir your mushrooms and continue to cook until soft. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside. Heat remaining tablespoon of grapeseed oil until smoking. Add green beans and saute until heated through. Add mushrooms and season.

Beautiful Beans
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