Cooking, American Style recipes only

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Cooking, American Style RECIPES ONLY

  • International Center
  • at Catholic Charities Community Services
  • October 1, 2013
  • Instructor: Virginia Guilford

Recipes from Oct 2013 Cooking American Style

  • Butternut Squash Soup
  • Molasses Cookies
  • Gingered Pears in Phyllo Cups
  • Cider Reduction
  • Braised Pork Chops with Pears & Onions
  • Apple Crisp
  • Macaroni & Cheese
  • Steaks with Mushroom Red Wine Sauce
  • Warm Spiced Apple Cider
  • Halloween Spider Cupcakes
  • Coconut Ghost Ice Cream Balls
  • Aunt Betty-Bob’s Brownies
  • Thanksgiving Turkey
    • Roasted Turkey
    • Sausage Cornbread Pecan Stuffing
    • Turkey Gravy
  • Pumpkin Pie
    • Pie Crust
    • Pumpkin Filling
    • Whipped Cream

Class 1 Recipes

  • Butternut Squash Soup
  • Molasses Cookies
  • Gingered Pears in Phyllo Cups

Butternut Squash Soup

  • Ingredients
    • 2 Tablespoons butter
    • 1 medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped
    • 2 ½ pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1” pieces (about 6 cups)
    • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
    • 1 Tablespoon salt
    • Dash of Pepper
    • 1 ¾ cups chicken broth
    • 1 ¾ cups water
  • Directions
    • Melt butter in a 5-quart saucepan. Cook onions in butter, stirring occasionally, until they are softened & golden.
    • Add pieces of squash, the thyme sprigs, salt, chicken broth, water. Increase heat to high, bring to a boil.
    • Reduce heat to low, cook for 12 – 15 minutes, until squash is tender.
    • Using an immersion blender, puree the soup. Add pepper, and additional salt if needed.

Butternut Squash Soup Variations

  • You can substitute vegetable broth for chicken broth, if you want to make a vegetarian option
  • Add different spices, including fresh ginger, coriander, whole black peppercorns, curry, cumin, cayenne pepper
  • Add shrimp, chopped apple, sweet potato
  • Substitute apple cider or orange juice for part of the water
  • You can use other kinds of winter squash. Winter squashes are squashes with firm skin such as pumpkin, acorn squash, delicata, hubbard, kabocha.
  • Serve the soup in cups or bowls with garnishes such as:
    • Croutons
    • Pieces of cooked bacon
    • Toasted squash seeds
    • Sour cream or crème fraiche
    • Thinly sliced rounds of jalapeño peppers

Molasses Cookies

  • Ingredients
    • 12 Tablespoons butter
    • 1 cup granulated sugar
    • ¼ cup molasses
    • 1 egg
    • 1 ¾ cups flour
    • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
    • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • Directions
    • Preheat oven to 350°F
    • Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Stir in sugar & molasses. Lightly beat egg and add to mixture.
    • Stir flour with spices, salt, & baking soda. Add to butter/molasses mixture.
    • Put a sheet of aluminum foil on a baking sheet. Spoon tablespoonfuls of batter onto foil, leaving space for cookies to spread. Use a second baking sheet as needed.
    • Bake 8-10 minutes at 350°F, until cookies begin to darken slightly.
    • Let cookies cool on foil. Peel away foil from cookie bottoms when cookies are cool. Cookies will be soft.

Gingered Pears in Phyllo Cups

  • Phyllo Cup Ingredients
    • 6 (13-by-17-inch) phyllo sheets 
    • 6 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • Pear Filling Ingredients
    • 2 pears, Anjou or Bartlett
    • 3 Tablespoons butter
    • 1/3 cup brown sugar
    • 2 Tablespoons crystallized ginger
    • Dash salt
    • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • Phyllo Cup Directions
    • Preheat oven to 475°F
    • Brush each sheet of phyllo dough with butter. Create stack of 6 buttered sheets. Cut into 12 rectangles.
    • Push phyllo rectangles into muffin cups.
    • Bake 10 minutes. Let cool.
  • Pear Filling Directions
    • Peel, halve, & core pears
    • Melt butter in frying pan, add brown sugar, cook 3 minutes on medium, until sugar has dissolved.
    • Add pears, ginger & salt; cook until pears are tender.
    • Stir in chopped walnuts
  • Fill phyllo cups with pear mixture. Top with whipped cream.

Phyllo Cup Technique

  • Arrange a sheet of phyllo on a large cutting board and brush the top with melted butter. Add the next sheet of phyllo and brush with butter. Continue until you have a stack of 6 sheets of phylllo.
  • Using a sharp knife, cut the phyllo into 12 approximately 4-by-4-inch squares.
  • Fit 1 square snugly into each well of a 12-well muffin pan, gently pressing the phyllo into the bottom and up the sides of each well.

Class 2 Recipes

  • Cider Reduction
  • Braised Pork Chops with Pears & Onions
  • Apple Crisp

Cider Reduction

  • Ingredients
    • 8 cups fresh apple cider
  • Directions
    • Put apple cider in a 6-8 quart saucepan.
    • Bring cider to a boil over high heat.
    • Let it boil, stirring occasionally, until the cider is reduced to 2 cups.
    • Will keep for 1 month in refrigerator, 6 months in freezer.

Braised Pork Chops with Pears & Onions

  • Ingredients
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • Olive oil
  • 4 thick pork chops
  • 1 large red onion, cut in wedges
  • 2 Bosc pears, cut in quarters, core removed, skin left on
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • Salt & pepper
  • Directions
  • Sauté garlic in olive oil in a large heavy skillet.
  • Add pork chops and brown over medium high heat.
  • Tuck red onion wedges & pear quarters between the chops.
  • Mix together balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar & honey. Add to pan. Add salt & pepper
  • Continue to cook in the oven at 450°F for 30 – 45 minutes, or until the chops are tender.

Apple Crisp

  • Ingredients
  • 6 tart apples, peeled & sliced
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice or apple cider reduction
  • ¾ cup Quaker oats
  • ¾ cup flour
  • Dash salt
  • 8 Tablespoons butter (1 stick)
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • Heavy cream for whipping, or vanilla ice cream
  • Directions
  • Preheat oven to 350°F
  • Toss the apples with 1 tablespoon of the brown sugar, cloves, cinnamon, and lemon juice or cider. Place in 1 1/2 quart lightly buttered baking dish.
  • Combine the flour & oats & salt in a separate bowl; cut in butter with a pastry blender or two forks, until it resembles coarse crumbs. Add chopped pecans.
  • Spread topping over apples, bake at 350°F degrees for 30 minutes.
  • Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or softly whipped cream

Peeling, Coring & Slicing Apples

  • Cut the apples into quarters
  • Draw the knife around the core of the quarter, cutting it out.
  • Using your knife against your thumb, slice away the peel of the quarter.
  • Slice the quarter into 3 or 4 thinner apple slices

Class 3 Recipes

  • Macaroni & Cheese
  • Steaks with Mushroom Red Wine Sauce

Good & Plenty Macaroni & Cheese

  • Macaroni and cheese is a classic, home-style dish. Children love it, and so do adults. Many people say that it is the ultimate comfort food. Cheese-y and rich, with a brown crust, it can be served as a main dish (maybe with sautéed spinach and a sliced-tomato salad on the side) or as a side dish in a larger dinner. It is a popular side-dish to serve with baked ham or barbecued spareribs.
  • Any leftovers can be frozen in single-serving ziplock bags or freezer containers, and reheated in the oven or microwave.
  • This recipe is from a famous little take-out place called Good and Plenty To Go, which is now closed. So if you want the famous Good & Plenty Macaroni & Cheese, you will have to make it yourself!

Good & Plenty Macaroni and Cheese

  • Ingredients
  • 1 lb elbow macaroni, cooked
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cups milk
  • 8 Tablespoons butter (1 stick)
  • 6 Tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups yellow cheddar cheese, shredded (about 8 oz of cheese)
  • 2 cups Muenster cheese, shredded (about 8 oz of cheese)
  • Directions
  • Preheat oven 350°F
  • To cook the macaroni: Bring a large pot of water to a full, rolling boil. Add the macaroni, stir once or twice. Cook 9 minutes until the macaroni is tender. Place a colander in the sink, and pour the macaroni and water into it. Allow the water to drain away.
  • To make the white sauce: Heat milk and cream in a saucepan until it is warm; set aside. Melt butter in another sauce pan; whisk in flour. Let the butter and flour cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring constantly with the whisk. Remove from heat and add the warm milk & cream. Stir together.
  • To make the cheese sauce: Shred the cheese using the large holes on a shredder. Add most of the shredded cheeses to the warm white sauce. Stir to melt the cheese. Set aside a handful of the shredded cheese (about ½ cup) to put on top.
  • Put the cooked macaroni in a large 2-quart buttered dish or pan. (It is good if the pan is not too deep – you want to have plenty of golden brown crust. You can use 2 pans if you don’t have a pan that is the right size.) Stir cheese sauce into macaroni. Top with the reserved shredded cheese.
  • Bake at 350°F until brown and bubbly on top – about 25-30 minutes

Making a Roux or White Sauce

  • Roux = Butter and flour cooked together is called a roux. The roux is added to a sauce to thicken it and give it a rich flavor.
  • A roux can be light in color, if it is only cooked for a few minutes, or it can be darker, if it is cooked longer.
    • A light roux is the basis for a white sauce.
    • A darker roux is the basis for the sauce for many French dishes, including Cajun French Jambalaya.
  • White Sauce = White sauce is a sauce made by cooking together flour and butter into a roux and adding warm milk. The sauce can then be flavored with cheese or other flavorings.

Ingredients – Milk & Cream

  • Heavy Cream = 36% butterfat
  • Whipping Cream = 30% – 36% butterfat
  • Half and Half = 10.5% – 18% butterfat
  • Milk and Cream = There are many different kinds of milk and cream products. They are sold in gallon, 2-quart, 1-quart, pint, and half-pint containers. Basically they differ in the amount of butter fat they contain.

Ingredients – Types of Milk

  • Organic Milk & Cream
  • Ultra-pasteurized Milk & Cream
  • Cow/Goat/Sheep Milk
  • Soy/Rice/Almond Milk

Ingredients – Small Pasta

  • Elbows
  • Ditalini
  • Radiatori
  • Farfalle or Bowties
  • Macaroni is a kind of small pasta used in casseroles

Steaks with Mushroom Red Wine Sauce

  • True American-style steaks are grilled on a barbecue grill. But you can also make a good steak with a nice red-wine sauce on the stove top.

Steaks with Mushroom Red Wine Sauce

  • Ingredients
  • 4 filet mignon steaks
  • Olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Blackened Steak Magic or other seasoning blend
  • 4 Tablespoons of butter
  • 8 mushrooms, sliced. Use the brown Baby Bella mushrooms, if possible
  • 1 cup red wine (a Cabernet, such as J Lohr Cabernet Sauvignon is good.)
  • Directions
  • Pat meat dry with paper towels. Put in a shallow dish or plate and sprinkle olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and seasoning on the meat.
  • Heat the frying pan over high heat. Add a splash of olive oil and swirl around so that the bottom of the frying pan is lightly covered with oil. Add the steaks.
  • Cook on the first side for about 5 minutes, or until the steak has a dark brown crust. Then turn the steak over, and cook for about 5 minutes on the other side. Test for doneness with a meat thermometer (meat should be at 120 for medium rare), Remove the steaks from the pan, and place on a platter.
  • Add the butter to the pan (do not clean the pan), and swirl until it is melted. Add the mushrooms, and cook, stirring all the time, until the mushrooms are dark and cooked through – about 2 minutes. Then add the red wine, and cook over high heat until the wine and mushrooms and the pan drippings are reduced to a thick, syrup-y sauce. Pour the sauce over the steaks and serve.

Types of Steak

  • Filet Mignon - leanest, most tender. From the tenderloin
  • Boneless Strip Steak or New York Strip Steak - marbled and tender with abundant flavor
  • T-Bone & Porterhouse – combines the filet mignon & strip steak together, with the t-shaped bone that separates them.
  • Rib eye – juicy and flavorful; cut from the rib
  • Sirloin – less tender, but with a bold flavor.
  • Flank steak – cooked medium rare, and sliced in thin crosswise slices for London Broil

Testing Steak for Doneness

  • Doneness –
  • Rare
  • Medium Rare
  • Medium
  • Medium Well
  • Well
  • There are several ways to test for steak doneness
    • Cut into the meat with a knife (the meat should be pink for medium rare),
    • Test with a meat thermometer (120 for medium rare), or
    • Touch the meat with your finger – the meat should feel like your ear lobe for rare, like your cheek for Medium-rare, and like the tip of your nose for Well-done 

Class 4 Recipes

  • Warm Spiced Apple Cider
  • Halloween Spider Cupcakes
  • Coconut Ghost Ice Cream Balls
  • Aunt Betty-Bob’s Brownies

Warm Spiced Apple Cider

  • Ingredients
  • 32 allspice berries
  • 24 cinnamon sticks
  • 24 cardamom pods
  • 12 whole cloves
  • 12 strips of orange peel
  • 1 gallon apple cider
  • Directions
  • Combine spices & cider in a large pot.
  • Bring to a simmer over medium heat, and cook until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Cider can be kept warm over very low heat. Strain before serving, reserving some cinnamon sticks for garnish if desired.
  • Makes 16 1-cup servings.

Halloween Cupcakes

  • Cupcake Ingredients
  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • Frosting Ingredients
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tube black decorating gel
  • 18 plastic spider finger rings
  • Cupcake Directions
  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Mix all ingredients together with an electric mixer or a wooden spoon.
  • Fit paper cupcake liners into three 6-cup muffin pans.
  • Pour batter into the 18 cupcake liners.
  • Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Let cool.
  • Frosting Directions
  • Mix butter, powdered sugar, milk & vanilla together with an electric mixer or a wooden spoon until frosting is smooth.

Ingredients & Techniques

  • Decorating the Cupcakes
    • Frost cupcake tops with white frosting. (Or add a dash of red food coloring and a dash of yellow food coloring to the frosting to color it orange for a more Halloween-y effect.)
    • Draw concentric circles on top of the white or orange frosting with black decorating gel.
    • Using a toothpick, pull out from the center to the edge of the cupcake to create a spider web design.
    • Place a plastic spider ring somewhere on the spider web.

Coconut Ghost Ice Cream Balls

  • Ingredients
  • 1 quart vanilla Ice cream
  • Flaked coconut
  • Chocolate chips
  • Directions
  • Place wax paper on a baking sheet
  • Using an ice cream scoop, scoop out round balls of ice cream. Drop into a bowl of flaked coconut, and roll to coat ice cream.
  • Add 2 chocolate chip ices.
  • Place in freezer until ready to serve.

Aunt Betty Bob’s Brownies

  • Ingredients
  • ½ cup butter (1 stick)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (Ghirardelli is a good brand)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup flour plus 1 teaspoon for the pan
  • 1½ cups pecans, roughly chopped or whole
  • PAM oil spray
  • Directions
  • Preheat oven 350 degrees. Prepare a 7”x10” pan by spraying it with PAM and then shaking the teaspoon of flour around the pan to spread the flour all over the bottom & sides.
  • Melt butter in saucepan. Add sugar, cocoa powder & vanilla to the melted butter and whisk together. Let this mixture cool for 5 minutes. Stir in eggs & flour and mix with a whisk until blended. Stir in pecans, and scrape the batter into the prepared pan.
  • Bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool for 30 minutes. Cut into squares.

Techniques - Prepare the Baking Pan

  • If you don't have a 7” x 10” size baking pan, you can just use a flat cookie sheet and create a pan by folding up a piece of heavy aluminum foil into a pan shape - create sides that are about 1.5" high.
  • Make sure to use a pan of the correct size – too big and the brownies will be dried out; too small and they will be undercooked.
  • To grease & flour the baking pan for cakes and brownies:
  • Spray with PAM Add flour & shake

Class 5 Recipes

  • Thanksgiving Turkey
    • Roasted Turkey
    • Sausage Cornbread Pecan Stuffing
    • Turkey Gravy
  • Pumpkin Pie
    • Pie Crust
    • Pumpkin Filling
    • Whipped Cream

Roasted Turkey

  • Turkey is a popular choice for Thanksgiving dinner.
    • Wild Turkeys are native to North America, and the domestic turkey is descended from them.
    • Turkey was served at the first Thanksgiving
    • The whole family is often invited to dinner, and a big turkey will provide enough for a large group of people.
      • You will want enough turkey to serve for Thanksgiving dinner and to have leftover turkey for sandwiches
      • Allow approximately 1 pound of turkey per guest.
  • Alternatives to a whole turkey are a turkey breast, a roasted squab or small chicken, a whole stuffed fish, individual stuffed acorn squashes, or pumpkin-filled ravioli.

Roast Turkey with Gravy and Sausage Cornbread Stuffing

  • Ingredients
  • 1 13-16 lb turkey
  • ½ cup Butter for rubbing on the turkey skin
  • Stuffing
  • You can also roast the turkey with just some lemon halves and celery leaves inside the carcass, or roast it with nothing at all inside. It will cook faster with no stuffing
  • Cooking Times for stuffed turkey
  • 10-14 lbs – 4 hours
  • 14- 18 lbs – 4½ hours
  • Cooking times for unstuffed turkey
  • 10-14 lbs – 3 hours
  • 14- 18 lbs – 3½ hours
  • Directions
  • Thaw the turkey, remove neck and pack of heart & gizzards from the interior of the bird. (You can cook these pieces and add them to your stuffing or feed them to your dog or cat, or you can just throw them away.)
  • Just before you are going to roast your turkey, stuff it with your choice of stuffing.
  • Set the turkey, breast up, on a rack in a large roasting pan. Rub softened butter on the outside of the skin of the breast and on other parts of the skin.
  • Roast at 325°F until done (when turkey doneness button pops or at 165° on an instant read thermometer), basting with more butter every hour or so.

Sausage Cornbread Stuffing

  • Ingredients
  • 12 Tablespoon butter
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 apple, cored, but not peeled
  • 1 lb breakfast sausage
  • 3 cups crumbled cornbread
  • 3 cups crumbled wheat bread
  • 3 cups crumbled white bread
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • Salt & Pepper
  • ½ cup chopped Italian parsley
  • 1 ½ cups chopped pecans
  • Directions
  • Melt ½ butter in a large skillet, add onions. Sauté until tender, about 10 minutes on low to medium heat. Put cooked onions in a large mixing bowl.
  • Cook apples in remaining ½ of the butter in the same pan, until tender, and add to bowl.
  • Cook breakfast sausage until no pink remains, about 10 minutes. Add to bowl.
  • Add cornbread, wheat bread, white bread, and spices & salt & pepper to the bowl. Stir together until well mixed. Cool completely in refrigerator.
  • Just before stuffing the bird, stir in chopped parsley & pecans.
  • Using a large spoon, put stuffing into turkey cavity just before roasting.

Stuffing a Turkey

  • Using a spoon or your hands, place stuffing into large opening. Tuck the ends of the legs under the strip of skin across the opening, or tie them together.
  • You can also spoon more stuffing into opening under the skin by the neck.
  • When turkey is finished cooking, remove stuffing from the cooked turkey with a spoon. Place in a serving dish; keep warm.

Turkey Gravy

  • Remove the roasted turkey from the roasting pan. Place on a carving board to rest for ½ hour before carving.
  • Remove roasting rack from roasting pan, and place pan with drippings (browned bits and turkey fat) over med heat on the stove.
  • Add 1/3 cup flour to the pan drippings. Add butter if the pan seems too dry. Stir with a whisk until smooth. Let cook for 3-5 min..
  • Add 2-3 cups of water, and stir in. Let cook until thickened.
    • If gravy is too thick, add more water.
    • If gravy is not thick enough, mix a bit more flour with a small amount of water and stir it into the gravy.
    • If gravy is lumpy, cook longer, stirring with a whisk, until smooth.
  • Pour into a gravy boat. Place on the table.
  • Save extra gravy for use with turkey leftovers.

Ingredients & Techniques Carving the Turkey

  • Traditional
    • Bring the roasted whole turkey to the table, carve in front of guests
    • Slice turkey breast vertically, in thin slices
  • New
    • Carve in the kitchen, present turkey in pieces on a platter
    • Remove the turkey breast from the carcass, slice across the grain, for better taste

Pumpkin Pie with Whipped Cream

  • Pumpkin Pie is the classic Thanksgiving dessert.
    • Pumpkins ripen in the early fall, and can be stored without refrigeration for several months, so they are available in November for Thanksgiving dinner.
    • Pumpkin pie uses spices like cinnamon and cloves which are thought of as fall and winter tastes.
  • Other popular pies to serve at Thanksgiving are apple pie and mince pie.

Easy Pie Crust

  • Ingredients
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ¼ cups Crisco
  • 5 Tablespoons rum
  • 1 egg
  • Directions
  • Stir the salt into the flour, and combine flour and Crisco using a pastry cutter or a fork.
  • Beat the egg together with the rum, and add the egg & rum to the flour mixture. Stir until the dough comes together in a ball.
  • Divide the ball into 3 parts. Each part makes a single pie crust
  • Freeze extra dough.

Mixing the Pie Dough

  • Mixing the pie dough - blend the Crisco and flour together using a pastry blender
  • Form the dough into a ball

Rolling Out Pie Dough

  • Place enough dough for a single crust between 2 sheets of waxed or parchment paper.
  • Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out into a thin circle, slightly larger than the pie pan.
  • Peel off the top layer of paper. Invert the flat circle of dough over the pie pan. Remove other layer of paper.
  • Crimp the edges of the pie dough. Poke a few holes in the bottom of the pie with a fork.

Pumpkin Filling

  • Ingredients
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • Dash salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 15-ounce can of Libby’s pure pumpkin (not pie filling)
  • 1 12-ounce can of evaporated milk
  • 3 Tablespoons molasses
  • Whipped cream for serving, optional
  • Directions
  • Preheat oven to 450°F degrees.
  • In a small bowl, mix together, sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger, and cloves. Beat eggs together in a large bowl. Add sugar mixture and pumpkin; stir to combine. Stir in evaporated milk & molasses until well combined. .
  • Pour mixture into uncooked pie shell and bake for 15 minutes.
  • Reduce oven temperature to 350°F degrees; bake until filling is set, 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Remove pie from oven and let it cool on a wire rack for 2 hours.
  • Serve with whipped cream, if desired..

Whipped Cream

  • Ingredients
  • ½ pint heavy or whipping cream
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (optional)
  • Directions
  • Pour cream into a medium mixing bowl.
  • Beat with an electric mixer, rotary beater, or whisk, until thick and stiff. (Don’t beat too long, or you will turn the cream into butter.)
  • Add sugar & vanilla, if desired.

Easy Side Dishes

  • Prosciutto-Wrapped Melon – wrap cubes of cantaloupe or honeydew with thin slices of prosciutto. Secure with a toothpick.
  • Pomegranate Orange Fizz – Put 10 mint leaves & ½ teaspoon sugar in the bottom of each tall glass. Crush with a spoon until leaves form a paste. Add ½ cup orange juice & 2 Tablespoons pomegranate molasses. Add rum or brandy, if desired. Add ice and club soda.

Easy Thanksgiving Side Dishes

  • Carrot Sweet Potato Puree – Steam 1 pound of peeled carrots until tender, place in a large bowl. Bake 3 large sweet potatoes until tender, scoop out the flesh, add to carrots. Add 2 Tablespoons of butter, ¼ cup sour cream or crème fraiche, salt, pepper, and a dash of nutmeg. Blend with an immersion blender until smooth.
  • Roasted Kale, Raisins & Garlic – Preheat oven to 400. Toss together kale (stems removed), a handful of golden raisins, & 3 or 4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced. Spread on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and coarse salt Roast in oven until kale darkens and raisins plump up, about 12 minutes. Add salt & pepper to taste.

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