Holiday Cooking

My Turkey Stuffing recipe

One of my favorite sides on Thanksgiving this year was the stuffing. I created my own recipe this year and it came up great! Here I’m sharing it with you. This stuffing recipe is to be cooked outside of the turkey so you may prepare it ahead of time, which is an added bonus for me.

Ingredients

1 apple, 4 chicken sausages, 1 cup pitted green olives ( any kind), 1 cup dried cranberries, 1/2 cup of mixed nuts ( sunflower seeds, almonds and pecans), 1 cup Sherry cooking wine, 1/4 cup chicken broth, toasted bread crumbs for stuffing. 1 TBSP Oregano and Salt and pepper to taste.

Directions

Cook the sausage in a heated pan with a tablespoon of oil. When it’s starting to brown add all other dry ingredients. Add oregano, salt and pepper. Mix well. Then, add the Sherry wine and the broth. Let it cook until it simmers for a little bit (5 to 10 minutes) and add more wine if you notice the mix is too dry. It will be done when all liquid has been absorbed. At this point it’s ready to serve.

Enjoy! ๐Ÿ™‚

One of the things I like the most about this recipe is the apple and how it absorbs the sherry wine flavor and the extra punch of flavor from the green olives. This really came out as a great stuffing!

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Pumpkin Seeds at Home

After Halloween we’re left with pumpkins of all sizes here and there. Here’s a simple pumpkin seed recipe. Everyone at home loves this pumpkin seeds recipe.

Ingredients:

– Pumpkin seeds

– 1 tsp of butter

– 1 pinch of salt

Directions:

– Heat up oven at 345 F.

– Take the pumpkin seeds out of a pumpkin. Wash them throughly and place on a round baking pan or big plate where you can spread them out well. Let them air dry for about 4-6 hours or overnight.

Heat the butter until it melts and add the salt. Mix well. Add the seeds to the butter mixture. Cover a baking pan with a baking sheet. Place the seeds on the pan making sure they are well spread appart.

– Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until seeds are brown.

– Enjoy! ๐Ÿ™‚

Potato Bake

This potato bake recipe is now my family’s favorite. It’s great for brunch on Sundays.

Ingredients

1 bag frozen fried potatoes ( store bought)

1 cup of milk

Deli Ham or deli turkey or pre cooked sausage or deli sausage

Mozzarella cheese

Parmesan cheese

Onion ( white or yellow onion, diced)

Sweet peppers

1 Tablespoon butter

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Set oven to 400F degrees. Place the potato fries on a baking dish. Set aside.

Add 1 TBSP butter to a pan at medium heat. When butter has melted add the deli Ham ( or turkey or sausage.) Let it cook until it starts to brown on the edges. Add onions and sweet peppers ( optional ) and continue to saute until all ingredients are mixed in and well cooked. Add the warm cup of milk and mix well. Let the mix continue to cook until the milk starts to simmer. Pour the mix over the potatoes on the baking dish. Top with mozzarella cheese ( lots !!)

Let it bake for 40 minutes. Check the cheese and if it has completely melted you may add some more or parmesan cheese.

Enjoy! ๐Ÿ™‚

Very Easy Homemade Crackers Recipe

This recipe is so easy and so delicious that after making it twice, my kids already learned the recipe! I hope you try it out. It’s also very non-expensive as you probably already have all the ingredients you need in your pantry.  It’s our family favorite! Yum!

This recipe yields 30 crackers with each  being 4×2 inches ( rectangular shaped) approximately.

Ingredients

2 cups of flour; 1 Tsp salt; 1 Tablespoon of sugar; 1 Tsp baking powder ; 4 Tablespoons of meltes butter; 1.5 cups warm water.

Directions:

1. Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl. 

2. Add water to dry mix. Start mixing in the bowl and add more water little by little until you get the correct consistency before kneading.

3. Add flour to a clean counter surface. Add flour to your hands.

4. Place the dough from the bowl into a clean counter. Knead by hand adding additional flour as needed. When the dough is no longer sticky, take a rolling pin and stretch out the dough. It should be about 1/4 or 1/8 inch thick when ready. Both thicknesses work fine. It depends on your preference.

5. Cut the dough into strips of approximately 1 inch wide. Cut each strip into rectangles or squares ( your choice) and with a fork pinch the dough. The pinching of the dough is fun but also important to get the oven heat to bake the cracker all throughout. ( My kids do the pinching of the dough, it’s their favorite part!)

6. Prepare baking pans by covering with a small amount of butter. Place the crackers into the baking pans.

7. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 10 minutes or until golden on top.

Below is a short video showing you thickness of the dough and how to cut it.

My cracker shapes are very original as my kids are the ones involved in that part of the process, and having tons of fun with it. ๐Ÿ™‚
Once you take the crackers out of the oven, let them cool. Then store them in an air tight container. Although I typically skip this step as these crackers don’t last long at home.. I never really get to store them. ๐Ÿ™‚ 
Enjoy!

Crackers in the oven.

Ready! 

Lentils and Quinoa

Served Lentils and Quinoa

Lentils and Quinoa

Quinoa has been recently been given a boost in popularity due to its many benefits! What I like the most is that itย is extremely low inย  carbohydrate and it fills me up muchย more than pasta,ย riceย or bread, without the calories! ๐Ÿ™‚ It is very low in cholesterol and sodium and it has magnesium and phosphorus. It’s a great source of manganese, all great nutrients so important for me and my family.
In terms of flavor I ย must say I had to try several recipes to start to enjoy and learn how to prepare it well. My husband and kids followed my footsteps and now I have to prepare double portions since they all want some.
Here is my favorite recipe. It is perfect as comfort food and great for any time of the year. That said, I can also see this recipe making a great cold weather crock pot or potluck meal.
  1. Prepare lentils per package directions. Prepare 2 cups of lentils. When seasoning, only add salt, pepper to taste and one basil leave. It’s best if you prepare the lentils from scratch. I recommend that you avoid the temptation to use canned lentils. The flavors will be better if you do not use canned lentils.
  2. Prepare quinoa per package directions. Prepare 1 cup of quinoa. When seasoning the quinoa, add:
    1. 1 tsp Salt, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp paprika, 1 tsp black pepper, 1 tsp cayenne pepper, 1 tsp red pepper flakes and 1/2 tsp nutmeg. If you don’t enjoy spicy foods then change the red pepper flakes part to 1/4 tsp.
  3. Mix the two preparations in one saucer or pot when both of them are ready. Let them cook for at least 10 minutes together. Add peas and carrots to the mix and allow the mixture to continue to cook for another 10 minutes, mixing well.
  4. Optional: Sprinkle dry parsley on top of each serving.
  5. Serve and enjoy!
Some pics to illustrate the process.. and to explain why I love this dish so much. ๐Ÿ™‚
Quinoa

Quinoa in the Bag

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Fully cooked Lentils

Mix of Lentils and Quinoa

Fully Cooked Lentils and Quinoa Cooking with Peas and Carrots.

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Yum! It’s ready to enjoy!