Monday, November 22, 2010

THE food fest.

You may have guessed already, based on yesterday’s NONpost, but I am beat.  No Monday Food Fest tonight.  I know, I know... Pretty soon this blog will be all excuses and no... anything else.  
Well I promise that won’t happen.  And just so you know I’m seriously going to keep my word, I thought I’d fill you in on the yumminess I will be making for THE food fest later this week.  This year my mom IL, dad IL and brother IL will be flying out to spend Thanksgiving here (yea!) and the whole family will be at my brother and sister’s house for the big day.  I’m in charge of bringing the cranberry sauce, the Pumpkin Pie in a Cake, and the stuffing.
As for cranberry sauce, I was always under the impression that I hated the stuff.  And this is why: until I got married and spent my first Thanksgiving away from home at my in laws home, I had only ever eaten cranberry sauce from a can.  And I assumed this was just how it was done.  I know you won’t believe me when I tell you I was 26 before I realized that people still MADE their OWN cranberry sauce, but I assure you it is true.  I watched mr load his whole plate with the stuff, slathering it on everything, and I graciously took a dollop, just so I wouldn’t be rude... and on first taste I was a convert.  I could not believe the yummy goodness in my mouth.  And you know what was even better?  Until I had REAL cranberry sauce on my turkey, I never liked turkey either.  So that one Thanksgiving when I was 26 changed every Thanksgiving to come for me.  The cranberry sauce recipe is my mom IL’s, and I’m not sure where she got it (but again, I hope it’s not a secret family recipe or I’m in trouble).
Sweet Cranberry Sauce
1 C sugar
1/2 C frozen orange juice
1/2 C water
1 12 oz bag of cranberries
Bring the sugar, OJ and water to a boil.  Add the cranberries.  Simmer while stirring, for 10 minutes.  Here’s the BIG SECRET: make sure all the cranberries “pop.”  You may have to smoosh them against the side of the pot with the spoon to force them to pop.  If you don’t do this, you will get pockets of extreme bitterness here and there and it won’t be nearly as tasty.  Chill.  Garnish with sliced oranges and serve cold.
You’ll have to wait for pictures of all this goodness... but I guarantee it’s delicious and looks great too.
The Pumpkin Pie in a Cake recipe was one I made for Monday Food Fest back in September.  The original (messed up) version is here, but I just made it the other night and tweaked it a bit.  I got rave reviews, so here is my updated version:
Pumpkin Pie in a Cake
Grease a 13x9 pan.
Preheat your oven to 350.
1 box of yellow cake mix
1 stick of butter, room temperature
1 egg
Set aside 1 Cup of yellow cake mix for use later.  Beat the rest of the cake mix, the butter and egg in a medium mixing bowl.  When well combined, press the batter into the prepared pan for a “crust”.
1 30 oz. can of pumpkin pie filling 
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
1/3 C. sugar
1 TBS flour
3 eggs
2 tsp cinnamon 
Beat the above ingredients together until the mixture lightens in color and texture.  Pour this into the pan on top of the crust. 
1/4 C sugar
1/2 stick chilled butter
1 C reserved cake mix
1 C chopped pecans
Beat everything except the pecans in a medium bowl.  When it is combined and crumbly, add in the pecans and mix with a spoon.  Spread this evenly over the filling.
Bake this in the oven for 75 minutes or so.  The cake should look very moist, but shouldn’t “jiggle” when it’s moved.  Let the cake cool.  Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.
And mr admitted to me last night that my cake is even better than pumpkin pie.  And he’s a tough critic.
The stuffing recipe is one I made up about three years ago and mr has asked for it ever since.  He and I both like our stuffing a little more on the “dry” side.  I can’t stand super mushy stuffing... it’s a consistency thing.  So here’s the version I made up.  It’s chicken stuffing, but jazzed up.
Jazzed Up Stuffing
3 TBS butter
1 small white or yellow onion, chopped well
1 C pecans, chopped
4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
 Sauté together the above ingredients for about 1 minute.  Add:
1 small granny smith apple, cored and chopped well
Sauté until the onion is tender and translucent.  Add:
1 box of chicken stuffing mix
1 C dried cranberries
Stir together well.  Add:
hot water, to desired consistency - adding about 4 TBL at a time.  I usually only use about 10 TBL.  Stir constantly.  After the water has been added and stirred and the stuffing is at the desired consistency, take off heat.  Serve warm.
And that’s that!  Hope you all are planning lots of yummy goodness for this coming Thursday!

1 comment:

Ashley said...

That all sounds yum! Happy Thanksgiving!!

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