Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Sauteed Spinach with Caramelized Red Onions and Pine Nuts

When my family lived in London for two years we had an amazing housekeeper/nanny who was also a fabulous cook. This is her recipe she made for us all the time because my kids loved it so much. This is how I got my kids to eat spinach. Thanks Emmie!


3 5 oz. bags of washed baby spinach
2 small red onions sliced
2 T brown sugar
1/3 C pine nuts
2 T margarine (divided)
1 tsp seasoned salt (I use Jane's Crazy Mixed Up Salt)


In a large saute pan melt 1 T margarine and add the seasoned salt. Add the pine nuts and toast until lightly golden in color and remove from pan.
Melt the remaining 1 T margarine in the same pan and add the onions and saute until softened. Then add the brown sugar and continue to cook over medium high heat until caramelized. Remove from pan and set aside. Add spinach to the pan and cook until just wilted.

Place cooked spinach on a shallow serving dish and spread out to cover the dish . Place the onions on top of the spinach and spread out. Then top with toasted pine nuts and serve warm.

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Secret Recipe Club - Chinese 5 Spice Peanut Brittle

It's The Secret Recipe Club time again!!  This month we got a great blog Tami's Kitchen Table Talk.....this was really nice and exciting since Tami is also our Group D Hostess!  As I looked through her blog I found so many different recipes that I wanted to make but when I saw this recipe for Chinese 5 Spice Peanut Brittle I knew I HAD to make it.  Nanci and I have been talking about finding a good recipe for peanut brittle so it was a no brainer when I came across Tami's recipe.  I really love addition of Chinese 5 Spice into the peanut brittle.  Chinese 5 Spice is a combination of Szechuan peppercorns, Star Anise, Fennel, Cinnamon and Cloves. I'm a huge fan of Sweet and Savory so I couldn't wait to try it.  Also this brittle is made solely in the microwave, what could be easier than that?  I was right, it was easy and super delicious.  Everyone who tried it LOVED it.  I'm very excited to find this recipe and I'm already trying to concoct other ways to make "brittle" using this method.  Maybe pistachio brittle or curried almond brittle the combinations are endless.  Thank you Tami for letting us make something from your blog, it was a lot of fun and very yummy!


½ C. light corn syrup
1 C. white sugar
1 C. dry roasted peanuts
¾ tsp. Chinese 5 spice powder
1 tsp. butter
1 tsp baking soda


Make sure to measure all ingredients carefully. Very light grease a baking sheet with cooking spray and set aside. Do not be tempted to oil the pan with a heavy hand because that will result in oily brittle.  I used the Reynolds Wrap Release Foil and it worked perfectly.  In a large glass bowl that will fit into the microwave, stir together the corn syrup, sugar, peanuts and 5 spice powder until thoroughly mixed together.  Microwave on high for 6 minutes.  Stir in the butter and microwave for an additional 30 seconds.  Remove from microwave and gently stir in baking soda until the mixture is light and foamy.  Now you need to work quickly!!  Using a rubber spatula that has been sprayed with cooking spray, scrape the mixture out onto the greased baking sheet. Smooth out to a thin layer and allow to cool for at least 1 hour.  Once cool, break the brittle into pieces and store in a well-sealed container.

Here's a variation we made with cashews and pistachios!  So delicious

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Chestnut and Blue Cheese Stuffed Dates with Almonds

This is a very simple and quick appetizer idea for any occaision.  We served these as one of the appetizers before Thanksgiving dinner. 


20 dates, pitted
20 whole almonds
1/3 cup of chestnuts, roasted and cut into small chunks
1/3 cup of blue cheese, crumbled


Split dates donw the center and carefully remove the pit.  Do not cut date in half.  Stuff 1 or 2 pieces of roasted chestnuts down into the bottom of date, next stuff to the top with blue cheese crumbles.  Lastly, top each date with a whole almond.  Place dates on a lined baking sheet and bake in a 400 degree F. oven for about 7 minutes or until hot and cheese is melted.  Let cool slightly before serving so your guests do not burn their mouths on the hot cheese.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving 101 - Cranberry Jello Mold

We have had this jello mold at every Thanksgiving meal since I can remember. We are not sure where it originated but I am guessing my Mom or one of her friends found it in a Women's magazine sometime in the 70s. it has become one of those traditional side dishes that everyone looks forward to once a year on Thanksgiving.


1 box of red jello 6 oz. or 2 3 oz. boxes
1 C cranberry juice cocktail
2 C boiling water
1 1/2-2 C peeled diced apples
1/2 C whole berry cranberry sauce
1/2 C chopped walnuts
1 C mandarine orange slices

Preparation :

Dissolve jello in boiling water. Add cranberry juice. Add 3/4 C jello mixture to bottom of mold. Place in refrigerator to chill with bowl of jello for 1/2 hour.
Place oranges in the mold and put back in refrigerator and check jello in 1 to 1 1/2 hours to see if jello is slightly firm.
Add mixture of apples, cranberry sauce and chopped walnuts to the bowl of jello and pour into mold. Place back into refrigerator until set.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Giveaway Winner!!


And the winner of the Thirty One Gifts Thermal Tote is.....................................Karen! 

# 8 choosen by Random.org

kzc said...

The tote is perfect for bringing lunch to work everyday!

Shared on my FB page


Thanksgiving 101 - Sweet Potatoes 2 ways

It's the age old question......what kind of sweet potatoes are we making this year for Thanksgiving?  Everyone seems to have an opinion and everyone likes them a different way.  A few years we made 2 different types of sweet potatoes but with the other million sides our family serves at Thanksgiving we have to narrow it down to one.  Here are two of our family's favorites....although there is a 3rd which I didn't post today.....Sweet Potato Pie.  I promise to post that recipe soon.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Toasted Marshmallows

 Roasted Maple Sweet Potatoes


Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Toasted Marshmallows:
4 large sweet potatoes
4 tablespoons margarine
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
salt and pepper to taste


Bake sweet potatoes, skin on in a 400 degree F. oven for 30-45 minutes until very tender.  Let cool enough to handle and then slice each potato in half and with a spoon scoop out the potato from the skin and place in a large bowl.  Discard the skin.   Add margarine and maple syrup and mash well or use a hand mixer to whip the potatoes until smooth.  Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine.  Transfer whipped sweet potatoes into a oven proof dish and top with mini marshmallows in a single layer.  Place potatoes back in oven for just about 5 minutes until the marshmallows on top are golden brown.  Watch the potatoes carefully so the marshmallows don't burn.  Serve immediately.

Roasted Maple Sweet Potatoes:
4 large sweet potatoes
6 tablespoons margarine
4 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Peel potatoes and cube.  Place potatoes on a sheet pan lined with foil.  Dot potatoes with margarine and sprinkle with brown sugar.  Drizzle maple syrup over the top of potatoes.  Place in oven and let roast for about an hour checking every 15 minutes and stirring with a spoon.  The potatoes will burn on one side if you do not move them around every so often.  They are done when they are fork tender and nice and caramelized.  Tranfer to serving dish and serve immediately.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving 101 - Cornbread Stuffing (non-dairy)

I have been trying for a few years now to find a good cornbread stuffing recipe. It is not as easy as you would think. Also I need to use a cornbread that contains no dairy since we serve it with a meat meal. I think I finally found one now. We just tested it today for Thanksgiving and it came out delicious. I found it on the website California Kosher Cooks. For the cornbread you can use any recipe you like and substitute soy milk for the milk. I actually found a boxed mix that uses water instead of milk and it came out great.
This stuffing tastes a lot like the traditional stuffing we make every year just slightly sweeter with the corn bread. I think it might become a new family favorite!


1 small pan baked cornbread
1 small loaf whole wheat bread, cubed crusts removed
1 1/2 cups chopped celery
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
3 cups vegetable broth, with 1 1/2 sticks margarine melted in it
1 C chopped mushrooms
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp sage
1 tsp poultry seasoning
1 1/2 tsp salt


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Saute onions, celery, and mushrooms in margarine until softened.

Crumble cornbread in a large bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Mix well. Place in a well-oiled 9 x 13 pan.

Bake 30-45 minutes covered, then 15 minutes uncovered.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thanksgiving 101 - Edible Turkey Center Piece

This is a great idea that I got from my friend Maria.  She made it last year for Thanksgiving and posted a picture on Facebook and I knew it would be a big hit at the kids table for Thanksgiving.  The only change I made was to replace the cheese cubes with pineapple chunks since we always have a kosher Thanksgiving dinner and we can't serve cheese with a meat meal.  The kids LOVED this.  They sat at the table and started eating it as their "appetizer".


1 small round watermelon
1 bunch of red grapes
2 cans of pineapple chunks
1 bosc pear
2 mini marshmallows
1 slice of red bell pepper
1 slice of yellow or orange bell pepper
long skewers
tooth picks


Begin by placing the watermelon in a small bowl so it won't roll around.  Attach pear to the front of watermelon by using a few tooth picks.  Stick tooth picks halfway into watermelon and then push the pear onto the toothpicks to hold it in place.  Attach the marshmellow eyes using one toothpick per eye.  Next cut the red pepper into a "gobbler" shape and attach to side of pear with a toothpick.  Do the same with the yellow or orange pepper for the turkey's beak.  Prepare the "feathers" by alternating between grapes and pineapple about 2/3 of the length of a skewer.  I made all the fruit skewers in advance and kept them on a covered sheet pan with foil in the refrigerator to stay cold until just before all the family arrived.  About 15 minutes before I placed all the fruit skewers into the top and back of the watermelon to look like feathers.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thanksgiving 101 - Braided Napkin Ring Dinner Rolls

I wanted to come up with some fun ideas for the kids table.  When searching on the internet for new edible center piece ideas I found this super smart idea of making edible napkin rings out of bread.  I think the kids are really going to love this.  I made homeade whole wheat challah for these fun napkin rings but you can just as easily use frozen bread dough or a boxed bread mix.  I like this particular challah recipe because it has 1 cup of finely grated carrots in it.  I love the little orange specs in the dough and why not get some extra veggies into the kids, while they have no idea it's there.  For these napkin rings you will need 3-4 empty paper towel rolls covered in foil, lightly greased to make the shape of the rings.  Below the recipe are a few pictures of the process.  I hope you will try this!


2 cups whole-wheat flour
2 cups unbleached flour
1 package active dry yeast
11/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup warm water (110 to 115 degrees)
1/4 cup vegetable oil, plus more to coat bowl and top of dough
3 tablespoons honey
2 eggs, divided
1 cup peeled, finely grated carrots


Combine whole-wheat and unbleached flours.  Place 2 cups flour mixture,
yeast and salt in a large mixing bowl.  (set the other 2 cups flour mixture off to the side)

Heat warm water, oil and honey in a saucepan or microwave oven until
very warm, about 115 to 120 degrees. Add water mixture to flour-yeast
mixture, beating until well blended. Add 1 egg, carrots and enough
reserved flour to make a soft dough. (I needed about 1 1/2 cups of reserved flour)

Turn dough onto a floured board. Knead 5 to 10 minutes, adding additional
reserved flour as needed (I used the remaining 1/2 cup of flour) to make a smooth and elastic dough. Place dough in an oiled bowl.  Oil the top of dough. Cover with a towel; let rise in
a warm place until double in size, about 1 1/2 hours.

While waiting for dough to rise, Wrap 4 paper towel tubes in foil; grease lightly. Grease baking sheets.

Roll dough on lightly floured surface into two 12×6-inch rectangles. Cut dough into strips (6×1/2-inch) to make 48 strips.  Braid 3 strips of dough together and wrap around prepared tubes, pinching ends of dough to seal. Repeat with remaining dough.  Place on a greased baking sheets. Cover with a towel.
Let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

Beat remaining egg and use to brush tops of braids, all the way around. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven 20 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown.

Monday, November 14, 2011

500 Facebook Fan Giveaway!

Well maybe we should call this a 600 fan giveaway since we now have over 600 facebook "likes"!!  This is so exciting for us.  We love that people are interested in our blog and recipes and we hope that others really do try to make many of the recipes.  We love feedback so if you do make something from our blog please let us know how it worked out for you.  I also love seeing how others put their own twist on a recipe that we have posted.

So now on to the GIVEAWAY!  Our prize has been donated by Alexis who is a Thirty One Gifts consultant.  If you haven't heard of Thirty One Gifts please go to Alexis' website here and check out all the fantastic products. Alexis has generously offered to give one of our readers a THERMAL TOTE in Black Parisian Pop.

This bag is perfect for traveling with lunch and drinks or any other goodies that you want to keep either cool or warm or dry.  I love the Parisian Pop because Black and White is just classic and goes with everything.

You can find this item (#3000) on page 6-7 in the catalog here.  Here is the tote in a different pattern.

The color Black Parisian Pop looks like this below:
The tote is in the center on the white shelf directly under those boxes.

So if you would like to take part in our giveaway please see the rules below:

1.  Please become a follower of our blog.  Just click the button that says "join this site"  You can find it on the left side bar of the blog directly underneath the picture of the 4 of us.

2.  Please become a fan of our Facebook page HERE.

3.  Leave a comment below letting us know what you would use your Thermal Tote for and let us know if you are a follower of both the blog and the facebook page.  Also don't forget to leave your email address so we can easily contact you if you are a winner!

4.  You can get an extra entry if you share this giveaway on facebook.  Please don't forget to tag Everyday Sisters (by typing in @everydaysisters in post).  Don't forget to come back here and leave another comment so you will get the extra entry.

The winner will be announced on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday November 24, 2011.  Please pass this on to your friends, everyone is welcome to participate.  Please NOTE - we can only ship to the US and Canada so sorry if you live overseas.

Thank you to everyone who has helped to make our blog such a big success!!

Ellen, Nanci, Karen and Susan

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Everyday Sisters Sharing Sundays #21

It's time for Everyday Sisters Sharing Sundays again.  This week's theme is THANKSGIVING!  Please post your favorite Thankgiving recipes.  I know we are always looking to change it up each year.  I would love to try a new sweet potato or stuffing recipe!!

Our Rules:
1.  Please become a follower of our blog.
2.  Please share a link back to your actual recipe post, not to your main blog page.
3.  Please link back to our blog so others can join in the fun.
4.  Leave us a comment about what recipe you are linking up.
5. Have fun!

Here are the featured recipes from last weeks theme -

Fabulous Dinner Rolls by Lark's Country Heart

Funfetti Cake Balls by The Kitchen is my Playground

Simple Soup for Toddlers by Little Mommy Big Appetite

Almond Joy Brownie Bites by Flour Me with Love

Baked Mac n Cheese (no boil) by Everyday Mom's Meals

Now on to our FAVORITE holiday!  THANKSGIVING!!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Chocolate Dipped Cranberry Almond Biscotti

I needed to make something "international" for a potluck luncheon that I was invited to at my former job.  I also needed to make something that I could totally complete the day before because I wouldn't have anytime the morning of the luncheon.  I opened my cabinets and saw cranberries, almonds and dark chcocolate and thought BISCOTTI.  It's Italian and delicious would also taste perfect the following day.  So here we have Chocolate Dipped, Cranberry Almond Biscotti.  Now the trick was to make sure my husband didn't eat it all before the next day.


1/4 cup margarine
1/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups white flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teasoon salt
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 1/2 cup of dark chocolate chips, melted for dipping


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with a silpat or grease baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.  In a large bowl cream together margarine and sugar, add eggs and almond extract and mix until combined well.  In a med bowl using a wire whisk, mix together flour, baking powder and salt.  Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients a little at a time.  This makes a very stiff dough, you may need to use your hands to mix at the end.  Add cranberries and almonds and incorporate with an electric mixer or your hands.   Divide dough in half and using your hands form dough into a long thin, flat loaf on lined baking sheet.  You should be able to make two 10-12 inch loaves that are about 4 inches wide and 1 inch in thick.  Bake in the oven for 25 minute or until the edges of the loaves are lightly brown.  Remove from oven and slice each loaf into 1/2 inch slices.  Lay slices down on baking sheet and return to oven for an additional 10 minutes.  Remove biscotti from oven and let cool on a wire rack.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Upside Down Inside Out Pumpkin Praline Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting Filling

I created this recipe for the 2nd Improv Cooking Challenge.  The mandatory ingredients were pumpkin and cream cheese.  I wanted to do something a little different and fun rather than just do a pumpkin cupcake with cream cheese frosting.  So I came up with this upside down inside out pumpkin praline cupcake with cream cheese frosting filling.  They really do taste as good as they look.  And if you don't like cream cheese frosting, no problem, just leave it out.  Infact if you leave out the cream cheese frosting and serve these hot from the oven they taste like the most decedant pumpkin pudding cake with hot praline caramel.  It's a MUST try.


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 15 oz can of pure pumpkin
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Praline topping:
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons heavy cream
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup pecans, chopped

Cream cheese frosting filling:
1/2 cup regualr cream cheese
1/2 cup whipped cream cheese
6 tablespoons butter
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla


First, prepare the cream cheese frosting filling - Whip together cream cheeses and butter until combine well.  Add vanilla and mix in.  Next add powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time until you reach desired consistency.  Put frosting into a piping bag with a metal tip and set aside.

Next, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line muffin tins with aluminum liners.  Spray liners generously with non-stick cooking spray.  To make the prailine topping, place butter, heavy cream and brown sugar in a small saucepan on the stove.  Heat on med/hi heat and stir until butter is completely melted and ingredients are combined.  Take pan off stove and add in chopped pecan, stir to combine.  Spoon 2 teaspoon of prailine mixture into the bottom of the greased cupcake liners.

In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  In a large bowl beat egg, sugar, pumpkin, vanilla and cinnmamon.  Spoon pumpkin mixture into cupcake liners ontop of prailine mixture.  Fill liners 3/4 of the way up.  Bake at 350 degrees F for about 20-25 minutes.  Set aside to cool.

Once cupcakes are cool place your metal tipped pastry bag into the top of each cupcake and squeeze about 1 tablespoon of cream cheese frosting filling into each cupcake.  Once done, invert cupcake (topside down) onto a serving plate and carefully remove cupcake liner.  Serve with a fork!

Linked to Sweets for Saturday

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Everyday Sisters Sharing Sundays #20

It's time for Everyday Sisters Sharing Sundays again.  This week's theme is CHILD FRIENDLY FOODS!  Please post any recipes   
   that would be popular for our youngest and pickiest eaters. 

Our Rules:
1.  Please become a follower of our blog.
2.  Please share a link back to your actual recipe post, not to your main blog page.
3.  Please link back to our blog so others can join in the fun.
4.  Leave us a comment about what recipe you are linking up.
5. Have fun!

Here are the featured recipes from last weeks theme - SWEET and SAVORY!

Butternut Squash Casserole by Mele Cotte
Post image for Butternut Squash Casserole (with Streusel Topping)

Onion Chutney with Red Wine by U try it

Spicy Brown Sugar Bacon by Cook Lisa Cook

Bacon Wrapped Pineapple Bites by Aunt Nubby's Kitchen

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Baked Buffalo Wings

We had some friends over for Sunday football a few weeks ago and my husband requested wings.  I was trying to watch what I was eating and wanted to come up with a way to make chicken wings that still tasted great but that weren't fried and didn't need butter.  This was so super simple and other than the chicken skin were very healthy.


3 lbs of chicken wingettes and drumettes
1 cup of Franks wing sauce, buffalo flavor (no fat, no calories)
salt and pepper to taste
3 stalks of celery cut into small sticks
2 carrots cut into small sticks
1 container of fat free sour cream
1 packet of ranch dressing powder mix


Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.  Place chicken wingettes and drumettes on a cookie sheet sprayed generously with non-stick cooking spray.  Sprinkle chicken with a little salt and pepper.  Bake in oven for 45 min - 1 hr until chicken is golden brown and the skin is very crispy.  While the chicken is cooking make the ranch dipping sauce by combining the FF sour cream and the ranch dressing packet and mixing until completely combined.  Pour one cup of the Frank's wing sauce into a very large bowl.  Remove chicken from oven and place directly into the large bowl with the wing sauce.  Using tongs quickly toss the wings in the sauce until all pieces are coated well.  Serve hot wings with the dipping sauce and some cut up celery and carrots.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Chocolate Covered Krispy Pops

I bought a HUGE container of orange sprinkles to make some Halloween candy for a party and then never used them for that.  So I decided to make a "fall" treat with my kids to keep them busy one day and use up some of these sprinkles.  The kids had a great time and stayed busy with this project for quite some time and I think the end result is super cute.  There's nothing better than a rice krispy treat....well unless it's a chocolate covered rice krispy treat with sprinkles!


6 cups of rice krispy cereal
3 tablespoons of butter or margarine
1 bag of mini marshmallows or big marshamallows
a pinch of salt
non-stick cooking spray
1 bag of milk chocolate chips
1 bag of white chocolate chips
sprinkles (any color)


Spray a large pot with non-stick cooking spray.  Melt butter over med/hi heat, add marshmallows and stir until completely melted.  Add a pinch of salt and stir to combine.  Remove marshmallows from heat and dump in all 6 cups of rice cereal at one time and with a spoon sprayed with non-stick cooking spray stir quickly to combine all the cereal with the marshmallow mixture.   Let cool for about a minute and then spray your hands with non-stick cooking spray and take a small amount of rice krispy and marshmallow mixture and begin to roll into balls.  Place balls onto a greased baking sheet.

Let the balls cool completely.  Next melt white chocolate chips in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring inbetween until completely melted.  Dip the tip of a popsicle stick in the melted chocolate and then push into the rice krispy ball and set back on the baking sheet to harden.
Once the chocolate is completely hardened ( you can speed up the process by placing all the balls w/sticks into the refrigerator for 10 minutes) dip 1/2 the balls one at a time in the melted white chocolate using a spoon to help cover the ball completely. 
As my daughter, demonstrates below
Place the dipped pops into a piece of stryofoam to let harden.  And you can have your other helper sprinkle each of the pops lightly with sprinkles. (I don't suggest dipping the wet pop into sprinkles because it will become too heavy and most of the chocolate will end up falling off).
Next melt the milk chocolate and repeat the process again.