Christmas Eve Party: Sesame Brittle

I was doing some recipe searching for a project I’ll post about later and sesame seeds were heavily featured. That put me in mind of Sesame Brittle. I thought it might be nice to have it to crumble over ice cream on the Sundae Bar on Christmas Eve.

Such a simple recipe. No candy thermometer needed. I always use oiled wax paper, but I’m wondering if oiled parchment would work better. The heat of candy on the wax paper melts it in places. Difficult to peel off.

Sesame Brittle

  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
  • salt

saucepan, wax paper (or parchment) and baking sheet Continue reading

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Christmas Eve Menu

Every year, around Thanksgiving, I ask my Christmas Eve guests what they want at our annual soiree.

This year we settled on fairly simple, yet tasty menu:

Oven Fried Buttermilk Chicken 

This will be a tweaked recipe – kind of combining two of my favorite recipes. I’ve done a couple of practice batches – can’t have too much oven fried chicken! – and once I have it perfected, I’ll post.

Loaded Mashed Potatoes

I’m doing my no boil mashed potatoes (recipe here) and serving it fully loaded with sour cream, bacon and cheddar cheese. Also gravy.

Cajun Gravy

This will be a spicy mix of sausage, bacon, minced chicken hearty gravy.

Bacon, Tomato, Green Beans

Pretty simple – tossing green beans with bacon (and bacon grease) and sliced grape tomatoes in a skillet until tender.

And finally, dessert will be the ever popular Ice Cream Sundae Bar

Premium vanilla bean ice cream served with choice of toppings – caramel, chocolate, peanuts, walnuts and sliced bananas

Photos and recipes to follow.

 

Thanksgiving Files: Stuffed Mushrooms

Stuffed Mushroom AppetizersStuffed Mushrooms ready to go into the oven just before company arrives

Want something different for Thanksgiving?  Stuffed mushrooms might fit the bill. I searched around for recipes, but I had an idea that I wanted to use wild rice, so I just went from there. Who needs a recipe? I used large button mushrooms because they were appetizers, but I think it would work with portobello mushrooms for a main course or nice side.

Pop Quiz: Is wild rice actually rice? Answer: Nope, it’s a grass.

The best way to cook wild rice, is to bring a saucepan filled with water to a boil add salt and (well washed) wild rice, reduce heat to simmer and cook for 60 minutes, or until the rice is cooked. You’ll want it chewy, try not to overcook it, because then it just gets mushy. Drain as you would pasta, don’t rinse.

Wild Rice Stuffed Mushrooms

  • 12 large white mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup or more of cooked wild rice
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • fresh rosemary

Preheat oven to .

Butter a shallow baking dish.

Snap stems off mushrooms and chop. Place the mushroom tops, bottom up, in the baking dish.

Melt butter in a medium size skillet. Add garlic and mushroom stems. Cook over medium heat, stirring, 3 minutes. Add rice and mix well. Salt and pepper to taste.  Remove from heat and add Parmesan cheese. Spoon wild rice mixture into the mushroom caps. Top each with two or three leaves of rosemary.

Bake in a 400°F oven for 10-15 minutes or until hot.  Serve warm.

You can put the mushrooms together ahead of time (I did it the night before), cover and refrigerate and bake just before company arrives.

 

So Bummed….

I was in the kitchen cooking and when I stepped into the living room, Gabe was snuggled in between Bixby’s big ole paws, both sleeping. I was about to snap a picture when Scout came bounding in and disturbed the tableau.

Here is Gabe sitting next to the patio door wanting to join Bixby outside. He even went to the back door – which luckily I saw him because it tends to be only partially closed so the dogs can let themselves in and out (at least until I replace the damaged screen door). I pulled it shut tight and got a plaintive mew from the little guy.

Speaking of photos, totally forgot to get some of the stew prep in the Multi-pot. So also bummed about that.

Tonight’s menu is: Beef Stew, fresh bread, salad and chocolate chip cookies. I’ll have photos and recipe links tonight or tomorrow.


 

The Beauty Of Bread

I used the second batch of the dough I made the other day for hamburger rolls. I like them large and flat, because I make my burgers really flat and don’t like them overwhelmed by bread. These rolls were delicious.

I’ve put together another batch of dough for tomorrow. Friends are coming to dinner and I’m making Bourbon Beef Stew and fresh bread.  I’m going to use the Multi-Pot. My plan is to pressure cook it early in the day and let it sit in the slow-cooker function for the remainder of the day.

Hopefully, I’ll remember to take photos.

And guess who has her first birthday tomorrow??? Pictures for sure of the birthday girl.