Christmas Eve: Turkey Dinner with Traditional Side Dishes

Bald Eagle 1 5 12

Bald Eagle from my hike the other day. Wish I had my camera, not just my cell phone

Would we still have turkey if it had become our national bird  instead of the Bald Eagle?

The menu is set for Saturday.  I’m doing an Orange Glazed Turkey.  The sides will be Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Oven Baked Stuffing, Green Beans with Bacon and Onions, Spinach-Raspberry-Walnut Salad and Homemade Cranberry Sauce.  Appetizers will be Tomato-Basil Crostini, Chips w/Dip and a Raw Vegetable tray.  Dessert will be a Dark Chocolate Torte with a Dark Chocolate Ganache (this recipe with a chocolate ganache* instead of confectioner’s sugar) and Fruit Pie Cookies.

I’m still trying to decide if  I’m going to mull cider or not.

I’ll add more recipes as I go along.

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*Chocolate Ganache

  • 6 oz dark chocolate
  • 6 oz heavy cream

Double boiler (I use a metal bowl over a saucepan with about an 1 inch of water)

Place chocolate and cream in top of boiler, bring water in bottom half to a boil, reduce heat to med-high and let chocolate melt, stirring occasionally. When completely melted, remove from heat and stir until cream and chocolate are completely mixed. Let cool and pour over cooled cake.

Chicken and Rice Wraps

This recipe takes advantage of what’s available from the garden these days.  Substitute raspberries, peaches or plums if you like.

Chicken and Rice Wraps

  • 2 chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
  • 1 cup baby spinach leaves
  • 1 cup sliced strawberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup cooked brown or wild rice
  • 4 large tortillas (flavored ok)

Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup Raspberry Dressing
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • Fresh mint

Mix together chicken, spinach, strawberries, pecans and rice. Mix together dressing ingredients, toss with chicken mixture. Let sit 15 minutes or more. Roll 1/4 of mixture in each tortilla.

7-UP Lemon-Poppy Seed Cake with Raspberry Drizzle

 

 

NOTE:  (6/1/11)  This cake came out rather dry.  I added extra flour to counter high altitude.  It didn’t need it.  I suspect that at lower altitudes it may not need as much flour as the recipe calls for.  You may want to reduce the flour from 3-1/4 cups to just 3 cups.  That should keep your cake moist.

As I said earlier, I have another birthday at work this week and the request was for Raspberry Poppy Seed Cake. I wanted to honor that, but I had a very intriguing recipe for a 7-UP cake that I wanted to try. So I modified it to satisfy the birthday request. I think it turned out ok, but a little dry. I’ll update on how it was received by the birthday boy.

7-UP Lemon-Poppy Seed Cake

(with raspberry drizzle)

You’ll want to prep the lemon, lime juice and zests ahead of time. You can use any lemon-lime soda, but not sugar free because it doesn’t create the right texture for the cake.  I used Sierra Mist because it has natural flavors. You’ll need 2 lemons and 3 limes to complete the recipe.

  • 2 ½ cups sugar
  • 5 large eggs, room temperature
  • ½ cup (4 oz) 7-UP or other lemon-lime soda (not sugar free)   
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp lime zest
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 ½ sticks (1 1/4 cups) melted UNSALTED butter, cooled slightly
  • 3 ¼ cups flour
  • 2 tbsp poppy seeds

Bundt or Angel Food pan, greased and floured

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Mix sugar, eggs, soda, zests, lemon juice, lime juice, butter and salt until well blended. Add flour in three sections, mixing until blended, but do not over blend. Fold in poppy seeds. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 75-90 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes, or until cool to touch, then remove from pan to cool completely, about 2 hours.

Glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp lime juice

Whisk together until smooth. Pour over the top of cooled cake. Let set about 10 minutes until set.

Raspberry Drizzle:

  • 1 cup raspberries
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Small saucepan (not aluminum)

Bring ingredients to a low boil, stirring constantly. Lower heat, mash raspberries, and let simmer until thickened. Spoon cooled mixture over individual slices.

Something Sweet

A sweet little treat with no guilt:

Mixed Berry Smoothies

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup ea:  blueberries and raspberries, frozen
  • 4-6 whole strawberries, frozen
  • opt: 1 tbsp ground flax and 1 scoop whey powder

blender

Add all ingredients to the blender and blend well.  This makes 2 thick smoothies.  For more of a milkshake consistency, add 6 ice cubes and blend well.

Thursday Night Menu – Northwest

Thursday Night Menu and Recipes

I debated between fish and beef for a while. In the end, these flavors won out.  On the board tonight:

  1. Grilled Salmon w/Orange Glaze
  2. Tomato & Bell Pepper Soup
  3. Hearty Bread
  4. Raspberries & Blackberries w/whipping cream

Grilled Salmon w/Orange Glaze:

  • ½ cup orange marmalade
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil (or olive oil)
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp crushed garlic
  • 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 4-6 oz salmon fillets, boneless, skinless
  • ¼ cup sesame seeds (toasted, opt)

Combine marmalade, oil, ginger, garlic & vinegar. Brush glaze on each side of salmon, grill 5 minutes each side. Garnish with sesame seeds.

Tomato & Red Bell Pepper Soup:

  • 4 large, ripe tomatoes, halved
  • 1 red onion, peeled quartered
  • 1 large red bell pepper, halved & seeded
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked & crumbled

grilling basket &  saucepan

Toss tomatoes, onions & bell pepper with oil, season with salt & pepper. Place vegetables in grilling basket, cut side down and grill for 6 to 8 minutes. Add vegetables, garlic, chicken broth, vinegar, sugar to blender and puree. Pour into saucepan, bring to a low boil, stirring constantly, add cream & basil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Garnish with bacon when served.

Shopping List

  • 4 oz orange marmalade
  • 2 oz white wine vinegar
  • 4-6 oz salmon fillets, boneless, skinless
  • 2 oz  sesame seeds (toasted, opt)
  • 4 large, ripe tomatoes
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 16 oz chicken broth
  • 8 oz heavy cream
  • fresh basil leaves
  • 4 slices bacon
  • 1 pint raspberries
  • 1 pint blackberries
  • hearty bread loaf

Also: toasted sesame oil (or olive oil),  ground ginger, crushed garlic, apple cider vinegar

Spinach-Raspberry Salad

Spent the morning at the Farmer’s Market and later this week I’ll go to the local farm stand (and by local, I mean 1/2 mile away).  Fresh pasta and sauce tomorrow and I’ve been asked to bring a salad to a dinner this week, this is what I’ll be taking:

 Spinach-Raspberry Salad:

  • 8 oz  fresh spinach leaves
  • ½ pint fresh raspberries
  • 4 oz chopped pecans
  • Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing
  • 2 oz mild bleu cheese, crumbled

Serving bowl

Wash and thoroughly dry spinach & raspberries, add to serving bowl with pecans, toss with dressing and add crumbled bleu cheese.  Serves 4

Farmer’s Market Week: Pear-Raspberry Salad

Fresh and fruity.

Pear-Raspberry Salad:

  • 8 oz walnut halves
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp crushed garlic
  • 16 oz baby greens
  • 2 ripe Bartlett pears
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries
  • 2 oz blue cheese, crumbled
  • 1 cup raspberry vinaigrette dressing

baking dish & serving bowl

In baking dish, toss walnuts with oil, soy, ginger, salt & garlic.  Heat in a 250° oven for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until walnuts are crisp. In serving bowl add lettuce.  Seed and slice pears, add to lettuce, along with raspberries, bleu cheese, & walnuts.  Toss with dressing.