Friday, December 4, 2015

2 Crust Lemon Pie

In my hubby's family, this pie is a Thanksgiving tradition...well almost.  The family recipe is a secret, and so I am sharing one that is almost the same, but super delicious as well :)  The cinnamon and sugar on the top is super tasty and the lemon custard is just perfect.  It definitely cuts all the sweet taste you get on your plate when you do the pie sampler plate for dessert like I do.  The tart yummy lemons are super tasty.  Try won't be disappointed!  

2 Crust Lemon Pie

1-1/4 c. sugar (softened)
1/2 stick butter

Mix together until fluffy.  Then add: 

2 T flour
1/2 c. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. lemon rind
1/2 c. water
1/2 tsp salt
3 beaten eggs (take a little bit of white to brush over top)

Place 2nd crust over top, brush with egg white and cut slits in top. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.  Bake at 375 for 30-35 minutes.

Recipe Source:  I can't remember!  I emailed this to myself a few years back and didn't include the link for myself.  

Sausage Stuffing

I love this pic for a couple reasons. 1) It encompasses how our winters are here...frosty.  We never get a lot of snow (at least the 3 winters we have lived here).  It is a lot of gray skies, fog, and frost with a few ice storms mixed in.  2) This stuffing turned out awesome for Thanksgiving.  It reminded me a lot of the one my Grandma makes...minus the sausage.

The flavors were spot-on if you ask me, and after putting a small drizzle of turkey gravy on top...forget about it!  This is definitely a keeper and will be made for years to come!  And yes, I know the appropriate term for this is dressing...but where I come from it's stuffing no matter what.  That is all :)

Sausage Stuffing

Serves 10-12

1 1/2 loaves of sliced white sandwich bread (about 35-40 slices) 
48 oz chicken stock
2 cups diced celery (I like to use the inside stalks first, leaves and all)
1 1/2 TBSP poultry seasoning
1/2 tsp salt  
1 lb breakfast sausage 
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 cup butter

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Break bread slices up into bite size pieces.  Place onto two cookie sheets and toast in the oven for about 30-40 minutes.  Check and turn bread every 10 minutes.  You only want it slightly brown, but dry through out.  Cool completely and transfer to a extra large bowl. 

In a large pot add chicken stock, diced celery, poultry seasoning and salt.  Bring to a boil and cook for 20 minutes. 

Meanwhile, in a large pan break up sausage and brown over medium high heat.  Drain onto a paper towel and add to bread.  Using the same pan, melt butter over medium high heat and add in diced onions.  Saute until translucent and slightly browned.  Pour onions and butter over bread and toss together. 

Slowly ladle in seasoned chicken stock and celery over the bread mixture and stir to combine.  Don't add in all the stock at once because you might not need it all.  Just add enough till the bread is completely moist, but not drenched. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place stuffing into a 9x13 pan and bake for 40 minutes. 

You can make this ahead.  Once you've placed it in a 9x13, cover well with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator.  When you are ready to bake it, let it sit on the counter for 30 minutes and bake it for 40-50 minutes at 350 degrees.  

Recipe Source:  My Name Is Snickerdoodle

Double Chocolate Mint Cookies

 Do you ever just trust a person when they share a recipe?!  There are a few bloggers/friends if they say something is good I trust them whole-heartedly!  This recipe comes from one of those bloggers and I was not disappointed :)  These cookies turned out soft and delicious.  My family loved them minus my child that hates anything that contains mint.  

I had a bag of the regular Andes mint chips to use from the baking aisle, but the Andes peppermint pieces would be AMAZING, too I'm sure :)

Double Chocolate Mint Cookies

1 cup (8 ounces) butter, cool room temperature (not warm or overly soft!)
3/4 cup (5.5 ounces) lightly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup (3.75 ounces) granulated sugar
2 large eggs (3.5 ounces)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups (10 ounces) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (2 ounces) natural, unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup (3 ounces) crushed or finely chopped regular or peppermint Andes mints (In baking aisle or holiday section)
Additional 1/2 cup or so crushed or finely chopped Andes mints for rolling

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two large, rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat liners.

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer (or in a large bowl with an electric hand mixer), cream the butter, brown sugar and white sugar together until well-mixed, 2-3 minutes.

Add the eggs and vanilla extract and mix.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.

Add the dry ingredients to the batter and mix until just combined (it's ok if there are a few dry streaks). Mix in the chocolate chips and 1/2 cup crushed Andes mints until combined and no dry streaks remain.

Scoop the dough and shape into heaping tablespoon-sized balls (I use a #40 cookie scoop) and gently roll the tops into the additional crushed mints, pressing lightly into the plate or bowl of crushed mints so they stick to the top of the cookie dough ball.

Place a couple inches apart on the prepared baking sheets and bake for 10-11 minutes (watch closely and don't overbake; the edges will be set with soft middles).

Let the cookies cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet and then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Recipe Source:  Mels Kitchen Cafe

Apple Pecan Spinach Salad

I love finding me a good salad recipe!  Thought I'd throw this one in amidst my seriously indulgent December food posts :)  I would not recommend leaving any ingredients out.  They balance each other very well AND the dressing is seriously super yummy!  So if you need a new potluck dish or a side for a Christmas dinner, this one is easy to put together and is tasty.  Enjoy :)

Apple Pecan Spinach Salad

Yield: About 7 - 8 servings

10 oz baby spinach

3 small gala apples or 2 medium, cored and thinly sliced
1 cup pecans, toasted
4 oz feta cheese, crumbled 
1/2 cup dried cranberries
12 oz bacon, cooked and crumbled (optional)
1/2 small red onion, sliced into thin strips (optional)

Maple-Cider Vinaigrette
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
2 tsp dijon mustard
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

If using red onion, place slices in a colander and run under warm water for about 10 seconds, tossing once, to remove harsh bite. Drain well.

In a large salad bowl toss together spinach, apples, pecans, feta, cranberries and optional bacon and red onion. Drizzle desired amount of dressing over salad and toss to evenly coat. Serve immediately after adding dressing.

For the dressing:

Add all ingredients to a medium mason jar. Cover with lid and shake to blend well (or alternately just blend well in a bowl with a whisk).

Recipe Source:  Cooking Classy