Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Morning-After Cranberry Sauce Muffins

This is the first year I ever made fresh cranberry sauce.  The reason I made the sauce this year is that we were having 25 people over.  I did not want my guests to think that we eat canned sauce.  I did have to buy a few cans of the "jellied" kind of sauce because that is what my son and husband eat.  I tried to keep the cans hidden but I did not succeed.  I doubled the sauce recipe that I got out of my All*You magazine so I had lots of extra sauce. I will give you the recipe I used at the end of this post. The recipe for the muffins comes from http://www.seriouseats.com/. The post about the muffins credits the recipe to chef Michael Harr of Butterfield 9 restaurant in Washington, D.C.  I did not make these muffins the morning after Thanksgiving but since cranberry sauce does not spoil quickly it should be fine to use for a week or two after the holiday.  The muffins taste great.  I can't really imagine throwing out three cups of perfectly good cranberry sauce so this is a great way to use it up.  I almost forgot to mention that I don't actually eat cranberry sauce with my Thanksgiving turkey dinner. 

When I started mixing the batter for the muffins, I realized that there is no mention of cinnamon in the ingredient list but it is mentioned in the body of the recipe.  I also added a teaspoon of vanilla just for fun.  Oh, did I mention that I put the oatmeal into the food processor and "powdered" it first.  I found that the recipe makes about 18 cranberry sauce muffins.  The recipe on serious eats website did not say how many muffins the recipe would make.  I guess it depends on what size muffin tins you use.

Morning-After Cranberry Sauce Muffins
by Chef Michael Harr


1 cup flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup oats (powdered)
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1-1/2 cups of left over cranberry sauce (fresh or canned whole berry)
1/2 cup skim milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg


1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F.  Line muffin tin with paper baking cups.

2.  Put oatmeal into food processor until it is powdered.

3.  In a large bowl, combine regular flour, whole-grain flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt; mix well.  In a medium bowl combine milk, oil, cranberry sauce and egg; blend well.  Fold into dry ingredients all at once; stir until dry ingredients are moistened.

4.  Fill muffin cups about three-quarters full.

5.  Bake for about 20 to 22 minutes or until golden brown.  Break off that seductive muffin top, then inhale the rest!

Cranberry Apple Cider Sauce
from All*You Magazine


3 cups apple cider
12 oz. fresh cranberries
(about 2 cups)
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
Pinch of salt
1 medium Golden Delicious apple, peeled, cored, cut into 1/4-inch dice


1.  In a large saucepan, bring cider to boil and cook until reduced to 1 cup, about 40 minutes.

2.  Combine reduced cider, cranberries, sugar, spices, salt and apple in medium saucepan.  Cook over low heat, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Simmer sauce until thickened and cranberries have popped, stirring occasionally, 10 to 12 minutes. (Sauce will thicken more when cool.)


The Creative Cook

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Left Over Pot Pie

It seems that this is my year for posting about how to deal with leftovers. I found this interesting leftover recipe in an email. This Leftover Pot Pie looks like a nice way to use up leftovers from any holiday meal.  The original recipe says you can substitute any type of leftover meat for the turkey.  So, I'm thinking that you could even use up some leftover Christmas ham in this recipe if you so desire.  I haven't tried making this pie myself yet but it looks like a yummy and economical way to forget you're eating your holiday meal for the 3rd or 4th time. You may want to make this into a deep-dish pie by adding a bit more meat, gravy and vegetables.  

Leftover Pot Pie


2 cups leftover turkey, chopped or shredded
2 cups turkey gravy (or turkey stock)
2 cups mixed vegetables
2 (9-inch) unbaked pie shells
2 tablespoons cornstarch (optional)
1/4 cup cold water (optional)


1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C);

2.  If you are using stock, bring the stock to a boil.  Add cornstarch to cold water, and blend until smooth, whisk into stock to thicken;

3.  Line a 9-inch pie plate with pastry.  Mix turkey and vegetables together and place into pie crust.  Pour gravy or thickened stock over turkey and vegetables.  Cover with remaining pie crust.  Cut slits into the top of the crust to release steam.

4.  Place pot pie on a cookie sheet to prevent stock from overflowing into your oven.  Cook in center of oven until crust is golden brown, approximately 1 hour.  Slice and serve hot.


Friday, November 26, 2010

Day After Thanksgiving Turkey Rice Soup

It is the day after Thanksgiving and big surprise, we have left over turkey!  My sister made 30 pounds of turkey and there were just 25 of us.  Two of those 25 were babies so they did not eat much.  We did share the leftover turkey and give some to the other guests but I was still left with two Ziploc bags of turkey!  I thought a soup would be the perfect idea.  I found this recipe on http://www.allrecipes.com/. It is definitely tasty but I made a few alterations.  I did not have a whole turkey carcass but I did have a wishbone that I threw into the soup instead.  I also used mashed potatoes to thicken the soup rather than stuffing.  Initially I thought we did not have stuffing but after I made the soup I did find a bag of it in the fridge.   I used much much more chicken broth and water than the recommended 2-1/2 quarts.  If you use just the recommended amounts the soup will be more like a casserole.  Just sayin.  Another change I made is that I used brown rice rather than white rice because that is what I had in my pantry.  I also had to cook the rice quite a bit longer than 25 minutes.  The last change I made to the recipe is that I left out the peas.  My son doesn't like peas. The soup is really good if you make a few tweaks and it is a great way to use up some extra turkey!

Day After Thanksgiving Turkey Rice Soup


1 picked over turkey carcass
1-1/2 cups leftover stuffing
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 onion, peeled and sliced
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon ground sage
4 quarts chicken broth (increased from 2-1/2 quarts)
4 cups water (added by me)
garlic powder to taste
ground white pepper, to taste
2 cups (uncooked) regular long-grain white rice
1 (16 oz) package frozen green peas


1.  Place the turkey carcass in a large, deep pot, and add the stuffing, celery, carrots, onion, bay leaves, poultry seasoning, sage, and chicken broth.  Pour in water to cover.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat to medium, and simmer for about 1 hour, skimming off any foam.  Remove the carcass and any bones.  Pick any meat off and return to the pot, discarding bones and skin.  Remove the bay leaves. 

2.  Season to taste with garlic powder and pepper.  Stir in the rice and return to a boil over medium-high heat.  Lower heat to medium, and simmer 20 minutes.  Stir in the peas, and continue to simmer until rice is tender, about 15 minutes.  (Times were increased by me.)   Adjust seasonings to taste. 


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

I haven't done much with pumpkin this year on my blog but I did see an article about making toasted pumpkin seeds for a snack in Parade Magazine. Since I happened to still have my Halloween pumpkin sitting on my kitchen table I thought "hmm, maybe I'll make some toasted pumpkin seeds!"  I have never tried doing this before so it would be a new and interesting idea.  I also thought it would be fun to share it with all of you.  So, I proceeded to cut the pumpkin in half and scrape out the seeds (kind of yucky) then I picked off the membranes and washed them off in the kitchen sink.  The next step is to spread the cleaned seeds into an oiled baking sheet; dry them in a 300 degree oven for 30 minutes.  Take out and toss with 2 Tbsp melted butter and seasonings (for sweet:  1-1/2 Tbsp brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and a pinch of nutmeg; for savory: 1/2 teaspoon course salt, 1-1/2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese, and a pinch of black pepper).  Roast at 375 degrees for 7 minutes and you're done!

These pumpkin seeds are easy to make, quick and yummy to eat.


The Creative Cook

Monday, November 15, 2010

Mediterranean Vegetable Soup

I have not been posting much lately and I am sorry.  But the good news is that I have been cooking.  I have made a few good soups recently that I want to share with you.  This one is very much a reminder of my childhood. My grandmother used to make escarole and so did my mother.  This is a very comforting soup.  I happened to have a can of white northern beans in my cupboard so that is what I used for this recipe. I think that I mixed chicken, vegetable and beef broth together but if you are cooking for a true vegetarian, then please use just vegetable broth. The soup will taste wonderful no matter which base soup broth or stock you use.

Mediterranean Vegetable Soup
from www.cooks.com

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, halved lengthwise and sliced
2 stalks celery, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups chicken or beef broth
2 cups water
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, not drained
1 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
1/4 tsp oregano
salt and pepper to taste
1 15 oz can cannelini or white beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup pasta bows
Parmesan cheese (optional)
1 small head escarole (optional)

Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onion, carrot and celery, and saute until tender, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic, broth, water, tomatoes, basil, oregano, salt, pepper and beans.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.  If escarole is being used, wash, tear into 2 inch pieces and add to soup 15 minutes before soup is done, or at the same time as the pasta.

Add the pasta bows and cook 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally until the pasta and escarole is tender.

Serve sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.


The Creative Cook