Cranberry Relish

I really feel like I have been making this for 20-something years, and when I get right down to – that’s not too far off the mark. Yikes. How old am I? Well the other option is not being older (ie: dead), so I will take what I can get. More Cranberry Relish for me and my friends. And not being dead …D&D_2286

I grew up with the cranberry sauce in a can – with the funny little ridges. And do not get me wrong, I loved that stuff. No, really loved it, but this recipe was just such a lucky, fortunate fluke – sometimes you just have to take the wins where you can get them.

So many people think, ugh – horseradish, but honestly. Give it a go – even if you only do a half recipe while the fresh cranberries are on sale (at the Publix). You might just find a new favorite.

Other advantages – keeps well in the fridge for months; is excellent with other roasted meats, esp. chicken and pork; and amazingly good on the obligatory leftover turkey sandwich on white bread with bleu cheese dressing (miss you, Walt). Oh, and good on a cheese plate as well – sweet and sour with a little heat from the horseradish. I have a friend that I make this for that uses it on a peanut butter and “jelly” sandwich. O…kay. I will never do that but I am glad he does and enjoys it. To each his own.

How do I explain the cloves? This recipe is the only reason I buy ground cloves.
Definition – “the dried flower bud of a tropical tree, Syzygium aromaticum, of the myrtle family.” Means nothing, thank you dictionary.com. Oh, and “Food Lover’s Companion,” my go to food bible – again – thanks for nothing. Just spend the money and get the tiny jar of ground cloves. It is kind of like allspice in way – hard to explain, complex, but in this case, very necessary.

2 packages (6 cups) fresh cranberries
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups fresh orange juice
1/3 cup prepared horseradish, just drain it a bit
1/2 tsp ground cloves

Rinse cranberries, removing any that seem suspect. Combine sugar and orange juice in a large saucepan. Heat on medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Add cranberries and mix until the cranberries start to burst. Simmer for a bit. Let cool completely. Mix in the horseradish and the cloves. Refrigerate.  This will keep for months. And that is an excellent thing. Because you never know when you are going to need it. Yes, need it.

Always check the horseradish and cloves before making. Usually, this is when I buy horseradish and cloves for the year. Cloves keep a little better, but you might need to add more than usual, but I have learned my lesson with the horseradish. Unless you have access to a horseradish root (lucky devil), get the freshest prepared horseradish you can – if it somewhere close to local – all the better. This is the time of year, I use horseradish a lot.

11 November 2017 – appetizer potluck at work for sweet potato ham biscuits

D&D_136318 November 2017 – gifts – Sandy, Traci, Joyce, Doug, Tony. Elaine, Josh … etc.

20 November 2017 – Thanksgiving

Cranberries on sale – at the Publix right now – 2 packages for $3. Excellent. I will just keep making this for the next month for sure. There is never enough cranberry relish and never enough friends to share it with.

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Me taking pictures again. Not horrible, but not great either. Rhino in the bkgd.

Source: Since 1998 or so – Southern Living, I think, or maybe not. Who knows at this point, and does it really matter if you’ve been doing it for almost twenty years?

Cranberry Relish 

I have been making this relish for a very long time and you either like it or you do not – it is either a horseradish thing, or more likely, a cloves thing. I really do not think there is a middle ground here. I am forever in debt to my lovely mother in law – who is now my only mom for the great gift of lots of serving bowls*. I know I use this one year after year, but it is really beautiful. Indeed. dd_1651

I started making this just after the Boy and I came back from England. And I shared it with a really good friend the first time. Now I share with lots of friends – and that makes me really happy. I am 90% sure this is a recipe from Southern Living Magazine.

2 packages (6 cups) fresh cranberries
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups fresh orange juice
1/3 cup prepared horseradish, just drain it a bit
1/2 tsp ground cloves

Rinse cranberries, removing any that seem suspect. Combine sugar and orange juice in a large saucepan. Heat until sugar is dissolved on medium heat. Add cranberries and mix until the cranberries start to burst. Simmer for a bit. Let cool completely. Mix in the horseradish and the cloves. Refrigerate.  This will keep for months. And that is an excellent thing. Because you never know when you are going to need it.

For friends this year:

Traci 
Sandy
Joyce
Elaine
Josh
Tony
Ham

I am on my second batch and I am sure there will be a third batch. I just tell people when your canning jar is empty, let me know and I will fill it up again with cranberry relish. Because this is the time for fresh cranberries.

That being said, frozen cranberries (fresh cranberries that you shuffle off into the freezer), work for this too. No, really, they do. And I do freeze fresh cranberries, because you never know when you want cranberries with horseradish, especially in the summer. Yes, for a summer turkey sandwich with bleu cheese dressing and cranberry relish. That is good stuff.  And Tony says make the sandwich on Hawaiian rolls – I cannot believe I did not think of that before – duh.

* Need to get pictures of all the serving bowls she gave me – they are pretty much amazing.

 

 Sugar Cookies with Hershey Kisses

Another cookie at the request of someone to help me push my limits. I cannot remember the last time I purchased Hershey Kisses – it might be never, but someone at my beach local requested a Hershey Kiss cookie and I was loathe to do it with the traditional peanut butter cookie part. Guess that’s my prejudice – it is not a combination that I care for. So I found this recipe for a sugar cookie, to my mind, a more neutral base.

It is the hazard of being a food blogger: You make something, but do not get to shoot photos because a certain 20-something year old lives with you or at least stops by often eats everything before you have the chance to take pictures. Damn it. Well, guess that means I will have to make this again sometime soon. I do have a shite load of Hershey Kisses still left in the pantry, sort of like all those M&M’s I have in pantry.

It is not that I do not like chocolate, I just don’t seem to be distracted by it like lots of people (read: women) are. A chocolate kiss here and there is nice, but I can let an open bag sit in the pantry for just about ever. It is always the way it has been for me.

1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
1 large egg
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoons baking soda
2 tablespoons milk
35 Hershey’s Kisses, unwrapped, um … duh
1/2 cups powdered sugar (optional – for rolling – really, not optional in my opinion)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Sift over a piece of waxed paper, flour, salt, and baking soda.

Beat butter, egg, sugar, and vanilla until blended. Slowly blend the dry ingredients and the milk into the butter mixture.

Shape  cookies into 1 inch balls. Roll each ball in powdered sugar.

Place on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 8 – 10 minutes until the cookies are just slightly browned. Remove from the oven and let cool for 1-2 minutes. Press a chocolate kiss into the center of each cookie. Move cookies to a wire rack to completely cool. Makes around 35 cookies.

Bench Notes: This dough takes a little work. It is not easy. You have to man-handle it a bit to get round balls of dough, but it is certainly worth the effort. The Boy was my taste tester for the first one.

Yes, I do that. Bake the single cookie just to see how it works. Since I had never done something like this before – I mean with the Hershey Kiss – I figured it was a wise thing to do. Nothing worse that throwing a whole pan of cookies in the oven and not really having a clue how things are going to work. And then have to throw them in the trash can. That just about kills me. So I have learned my lesson – a test cookie is a good thing.

Maybe next time there will be a picture. Hopefully.

Oatmeal Raisin Pecan Cookies

Oatmeal cookies are some of my favorite cookies pretty much ever. In my opinion, they combine a lot of things I like – oatmeal, dried fruit, and nuts. Add a little sugar and bake and they are great “breakfast” cookies, right?  That is just how I justify eating lots of them for breakfast –  no guilt involved.dd_1588

This is a new recipe for me, but certainly not my only oatmeal cookie recipe. I feel like a bit of an expert in this area, but maybe that is just because I’m the odd one that likes oatmeal cookies when everyone else is picking up the chocolate chip cookies. Fine – more oatmeal cookies for me. But I do think raisins and nuts – walnuts or pecans – need to be involved.

This recipe was a request, but you really never have to ask me to make an oatmeal cookie twice. Huge fan — as long as no chocolate is involved. That is just the worst thing – um, pretty much ever. You see an    oatmeal cookie and have expectations of raisins, and then damn – ugh – it is chocolate chips – so. very. gross. It gives me the heebie-jeebies just thinking about it.

2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup chopped pecans (our local pecans – Renfroe’s)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
12 Tbs unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
2 Tbs pure grade B maple syrup
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup raisins/sultanas

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spread oats on rimmed baking sheet and toast until lightly golden, about 6 minutes or so. Add pecans and toss, toast another 6 minutes until pecans are fragrant. Let cool. Turn off oven or lower to 350 degrees.

Sift over a piece of waxed paper flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir in oats and pecans.

In a bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add egg, syrup, vanilla and beat until incorporated. Add dry ingredients and beat on low until just combined. Add raisins and stir, scraping down the bowl. Let sit at room temperature for one hour to hydrate the oatmeal.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using a #20 or 2 ozs. disher, scoop dough onto parchment-lined baking sheet, spacing 3 inches apart – cookies will spread as they bake. Bake until cookie edges are golden brown and firm but centers are still soft, 15-17 minutes. Let sit on baking sheet for ten minutes (??) and then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Cookie dough can be made 3 days ahead and covered and refrigerated. Let dough come to room temperature before baking.

Source: Based on the original name of the recipe – I’m thinking Bon Appetit and their “Best of” series. Made a couple of changes, but the idea is still amazingly wonderful.

Cranberry White Chocolate Pecan Oatmeal Cookies

I thought this might be my longest recipe title for a cookie, but I now know that is not the case – just wait for it. I make cookies (or just bake) for people, it makes me happy – the Boy, friends, co-workers (who are also friends), and even occasionally I make something that the MotH* enjoys. This was a recipe I told my friend from Iowa about and made these cookies for them. As I have said many times, I do love a “breakfast” cookie (definition: any cookie w/oatmeal and nuts), but I have to admit that I was not sure about this recipe the first time I saw it about four years ago. I guess it was just the white chocolate, or any kind of chocolate for that matter,  because all the other flavors and the ones I added made this an instant favorite of mine, but I was still hesitant about the white chocolate. But once I tried these – thanks Dana! – I was so sold on them. They seem like a fall cookie, but as you can tell, I made them this spring for my Iowa friends – who I miss.

D&D_1305And I ate these cookies for breakfast. Yep. I did. Hello, oatmeal and pecans. Love me some “breakfast” cookies.

2/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg – yes, freshly grated
6 ozs dried cranberries – yes, by weight
2/3 cup white chocolate chips (or a 4 oz bar chopped up) Ghirardelli as usual
1 cup chopped pecans, Renfroe’s as usual – local is best.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Over a piece of waxed paper, sift together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg and then add the oats.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time of course, mixing well after each and then add the vanilla.    Add flour mixture, which includes the oats, to the butter mixture in a few additions, mixing well after each. Stir in cranberries, white chocolate chips, and pecans.

Drop by rounded teaspoons (or cookie scoop) onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

*Man of the House

Source: My friend Dana –  have no idea where she found this, and kind of don’t care. I like recipes from friends. We both added things to the recipe. She added cinnamon, vanilla, and walnuts. I added freshly grated nutmeg and pecans to replace walnuts because we have amazing local pecans, and kept the vanilla and cinnamon. Duh.

I think I could make these cookies every week and eat all of them, but I just do not.

White chocolate surprises me on a regular basis. I do not expect to like it, but there are several cases where I do.

Carrot Cake

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Carrot Cake

This is a recipe from a friend. It is her grandmother’s recipe. I love grandmom recipes. I have so few from either of my grandmothers that I just love those grandmom recipes from friends. When a recipe goes down through a couple of generations it means something: It works; it is a favorite; it is loved; it is important. That has a certain Siren call to me.

To my way of thinking, that is largely what this site is all about. Leaving behind what is important to me, and hoping that The Boy finds them worth something in the future. That sounds a bit depressing, but I do not mean it in that way.

From my friend Elaine – from her Grandmother. This is a half recipe. It makes a 2 layer cake, but you could double it to make a 4 layer cake which is what the original recipe does.

Cake:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs, plus one large egg yolk
3/4 cup canola oil
1 1/2 cup grated carrots
1 1/2 cup chopped pecans (local Renfroes) *
1 tsp orange zest

Prepare two 9 inch round pans with baking spray, line with parchment and spray parchment. Preheat ove to 350 degrees.

Sift together over a piece of waxed paper the flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Add to the bowl of a stand mixer. In a large measuring cup add canola oil and eggs. Whisk with a fork to combine. Slowly add to dry ingredients while on low. Add carrots, pecans, and orange zest and mix until just combined.

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Carrot Cake – for The Boy to take home.

Pour into prepared pans and bake for 30 minutes, turning half way through. Do the toothpick test. Remove and cool on a wire rack in the pan for 10 minutes. Turn out, remove parchment, and cool completely.

Frosting:
8 ozs cream cheese, softened
4 Tbs unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp orange juice
8 ozs powdered sugar, sifted**

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and orange juice. Once smooth, sift in powdered sugar (sifting keeps the frosting smooth).

Once cakes are cooled, frost those layers, and the sides if you want. But we did not do it.

Notes: This is the first time I’ve made the recipe and I’ve made just a half recipe because I only have two 9 inch round pans – that’s how it goes. I have been using a recipe from Mrs. Fields (you know, the cookie lady) since about the time The Boy was born and it has been a huge birthday cake for him for donkey’s years. But this was so much better. I think the canola oil (my choice of vegetable oil because it so neutral) made it so unreally moist.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to be ugly about the originally recipe that I made, but this was one of those – wow! – moments. I am just going to say that some times, really old recipes are the best. Next time, I will add raisins because they really add something to carrot cake.

This is the L year. Ugh. This will be a theme. Unfortunately.

Wednesday Night Cooking (Baking) School

 

Lemon Lemon (Lemon) Loaf – or triple lemon cake, if you prefer

This recipe originally made two 9″ x 5″ loafs, but since I only have one 9″ x 5″ pan which is perfect for my mom’s banana nut bread and the other one is 8″ x something,  I decided to just half the recipe and deal with it. This, therefore, is for one loaf. I have to say I love my loaf pans – they are the Williams-Sonoma gold touch and pretty much amazing. I totally recommend them, no, really – I have no dog in this fight. They are far and away the best baking pans. Baking so evenly and made in the USA – that’s right – just like my Nordic Ware – which are bundt pan magic.* I just keep adding to my gold touch collection – 2 9″ round cake pans, 9″ x 13″ baking pan, and the list goes on. Hey W&S, please send me the 12 cup cupcake pan just because I’m kind of nice (sometimes), well not really. D&D_IMG_0825-Edit

This is one of the softest cakes I’ve ever made. The texture is so light that it seems etherial. It is great plain, but outstanding with syrup and glaze. It makes a great breakfast – hardly surprising, I know.

I like to bake for others, but sometimes, like this, I just want to make something I think I will like. And that usually means lemon-something. Can’t help it. But I did share this around and I think it was well received.

3/4 cup cake flour
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup + 2 Tbs sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
zest of two good sized lemons
1 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 sticks unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/4 cup sour cream, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract

3 Tbs lemon juice
3 Tbs sugar

1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 – 3 Tbs lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9 x 5″ loaf pan with cooking spray. Line with parchment and spray again.

Sift flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt over a piece of waxed paper.

Put eggs, sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a food processor and pulse until combined. With food processor running, drizzle the butter through the feed tube. Add the sour cream and vanilla and pulse to combine. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.

Sprinkle the flour mixture, one third at a time, gently fold. Do not overmix. Add batter to loaf pan, and bake for 20 minutes. Rotate pan, reduce oven to 325 degrees and bake for 30 – 35 minutes more or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan for 15 minutes.

In saucepan, heat lemon juice and sugar over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Heat for a few more minutes until it thickens just slightly. Remove from heat and cool slightly [saying slightly quite a bit].

Line a sheet pan with parchment and invert loaf onto pan. Using a skewer, poke holes into top of loaf. Brush top with lemon syrup. Let soak into the cake. Let cake cool completely, at least 30 minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk together confectioners’ sugar and 2 Tbs lemon juice. Should be thick, but pourable. Pour the glaze over top and let it drip down the sides. Let lemon glaze harden, about 15 minutes.

D&D_IMG_0830-EditSoaked unglazed loaves will keep wrapped in two layers of plastic and frozen for up to 6 weeks.

Glazed loaves will keep for 3 days, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, at room temperature.

I think they get better after the first day.

16 October 2015

This is a half recipe of the original from Epicurious from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking. The food processor part of this really surprised me, but it did work.

*I will not even go into how many Nordic Ware bundt pans I have. I think it might be not natural. But I still love them!