Monday, October 31, 2011

Kick-butt sea salt caramel sauce

Although all the recipes on this blog work well, or I wouldn’t be writing about them, occasionally I make something that I could imagine eating in the finest restaurants.
   The sea salt caramel sauce for Lauren Chattman’s Pear Cake with Sea Salt Caramel Sauce (click for the recipe), is just such a kick-butt kitchen creation.
   My husband and I agreed the sauce was good enough that it could adorn desserts in the best eateries. The sea salt, or fleur de sel, added an unusual and welcome twist.
   It certainly is addictive, and begged to be eaten by the spoonful on its own or draped lovingly over a scoop of ice cream.
   Mind you, the pear cake of the recipe isn’t too shabby, either.
   While the sea salt in the caramel sauce of the recipe gives it a new edge, the pear cake gives the whole dessert an old-fashioned feel, especially if broken up into pieces and served in bowls with the sauce drizzled on top.
   Both the cake and sauce were easy to make.
   The recipe calls for an Anjou pear, but I think any type of pear will work. I toasted the walnuts in a skillet on the stovetop, tossing them over medium heat until they started to brown slightly.
   Fleur de sel can be found in the spice section of many large supermarkets, or in gourmet foods stores.
   For the cake, butter and sugar are combined until fluffy, then three eggs are beaten in one at a time. After pear or regular brandy is stirred in, a mixture of flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt is added to the wet ingredients alternating with milk. Chopped pear, raisins, and toasted chopped walnuts are stirred in. The cake is baked in a nine-inch round cake pan for 45 to 50 minutes, then put out on a wire rack to cool completely.
   The sauce is made by bringing sugar and water to a bowl in a small saucepan (stir to dissolve the sugar into the water.) The mixture continues to boil until it turns a light amber color. (I found this took about four minutes.)
   When the syrup is an amber color, heavy cream (I used whipping cream) is stirred in. After the bubbling subsides, remove the pot from the heat (I let the initial large foaming action subside, then stirred it while it bubbled for about 30 seconds more), and stirred in butter and sea salt until the butter is melted.
   The cake is served with the sauce on the side. The cake can be stored in a cake saver or wrapped in plastic wrap at room temperature, while the caramel sauce can be stored in the fridge and warmed in the microwave as needed.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Sweet and Sour Chicken is easy,
and not at all goopy

Takeout sweet and sour chicken can often be goopy and very sugary, making for a less-than-happy culinary experience.
   But I’ve found a recipe that creates a very good version of the dish without the extra sauce and sugar.
   And it’s easy to make, hence the name, Easy Sweet and Sour Chicken (click for the recipe) from BBC Good Food magazine.
   The dish is family-friendly. Serve it with some rice (I recommend jasmine) and you’ll have a terrific weeknight meal on your hands.
   The recipe I linked to above is on the BBC Good Food website, but it differs from the recipe I used from The Good Food Cookbook in one major way.
   In the website version, the dish is cooked entirely in the microwave. In the book version, everything is cooked in a skillet.
   I suppose it would depend on your preference and whether or not you had a large enough microwave to handle the large dish needed to cook the ingredients.
   In the skillet version, the chicken, onion and red peppers are cooked in the skillet until the chicken is nearly cooked through, then the pineapple pieces and sugar snap peas are added and the ingredients cooked for another three to five minutes until the chicken is completely cooked.
   The sauce, comprised of ketchup, malt vinegar (sometimes labeled fish and chips vinegar), dark muscovado sugar (I used dark brown sugar instead) and garlic is added and the mixture cooked for another minute or two until the sauce is warm.
   The chicken can be served with a handful of salted, roasted cashew nuts on top.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Throw it all together, toss it in the oven,
and have an amazing supper with
Baked Sausages with Leeks, Apples and Cider

Throw everything into a baking dish, put it in the oven, put up your feet and relax, then have a delicious, warming supper.
   This is the rhythm of Baked Sausages with Leeks, Apples and Cider (click for the recipe) from British food writer Diana Henry.
   The dish was astoundingly easy to make. It’s really only the cutting of leeks and apples that require any effort at all.
   The recipe is included in Henry’s book, Pure Simple Cooking, which has dozens of similar recipes using the technique of cutting up ingredients, tossing them together and roasting them in the oven.
   After the arrival of her first baby, Henry no longer had the time to take hours in the kitchen preparing food, and so looked for ways to make things effortless. Pure Simple Cooking’s recipes are a result of that quest.
   We used mild Italian sausages in the dish – Italian sausages are a type of pork sausage as called for in the recipe. Instead of apple cider, we used fresh-pressed apple juice, not from concentrate.
   The recipe says to use a roasting tin (pan), which I’m sure would work well, but I used a 9x13-inch baking dish instead.
   Leeks that have been washed and cut, and apples that have been cored and cut into wedges, are scattered in the pan or baking dish, then the sausages are placed on top. After a drizzle of olive oil, the leeks, apples and sausages are tossed together.
   Butter is cut into small pieces then dotted over the main ingredients, and then cider or apple juice is poured over.
   The dish is baked for 50 minutes to one hour. About 15 minutes before it’s finished baking, wholegrain mustard is spread over the sausages and the dish returned to the oven.
   Serving this dish with mashed potatoes is a good idea – the potatoes soak up all the extra yummy pan juices and cider.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Pecan Crunch Pie: Ridiculously easy

The recipe for Pecan Crunch Pie (click for it) looked just a little too easy.
   Just five ingredients mixed together and put in the oven? No crust? No tricky filling?
   I was suspicious of whether or not it would be good, but it is a recipe from Cook’s Country, which I find to be notoriously reliable. And I welcome any chance to make a pie and not fool around with a pastry pie crust.
   So I tried it late one evening.
   Of course it was terrific. Why did I doubt it may not be?
   It satisfies all cravings for pecan pie with a slim fraction of the work. It was ridiculously easy to make.
   A couple of things, though. To me, it’s not really pie. It’s more like a cake. And it’s not crunchy, either -- slightly chewy is more like it.
   It’s an absolute must to serve the pie this way. Keep the pie stored in the fridge, and when it's ready to be served, take it out to warm up for just a few minutes. Serve the wedges with vanilla ice cream.
   Make sure, too, to grind your own graham crackers for crumbs, a direction not outlined directly in the recipe. I used a food processor to grind whole graham crackers.
   I used pre-chopped pecans and toasted them for about four minutes in a small frying pan.
   The recipe I linked to above is on a newspaper website, and it is exactly the same as the one I used.
   Eggs, sugar, baking powder and vanilla extract are beaten together with an electric mixer (I used a hand mixer) until thickened and tripled in volume, about five minutes. The graham cracker crumbs and pecans are folded in with a spatula.
   The batter is poured into a greased nine-inch pie plate, then baked for 30 minutes at 350 F.
   Before serving, the pie is cooled completely, at least one hour.

Friday, October 21, 2011

A whoopie pie for fall

A whoopie pie for every season. Sounds nice, doesn’t it?
   I’ve got one for fall: Whoopie Pumpkin Pies (click for the recipe), created by Pat and Gina Neely, hosts of the Food Network TV show Down Home with the Neelys.
   Canned pure pumpkin lends the slight pumpkin flavor to the creamy middle, sandwiched on either side by a billowy chocolate cookie.
   These cookies would be a fabulous treat for a Halloween party – both young and old will like them.
   Comments on the Food Network website seem to point to an error about the amount of sugar needed in the cookies when the recipe was originally posted, but it has since been corrected. The recipe is exactly the same as the one I used from the October 2011 issue of Food Network magazine.
   The whoopie pies are easy to make.
   Butter, sugar, egg, buttermilk and vanilla are beaten together, then a mixture of dry ingredients is added. The dry ingredients are flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Everything is mixed until just combined (I used an electric hand mixer rather than a stand mixer.)
   The dough is dropped by heaping tablespoons on parchment-lined baking sheets, and baked in the oven for eight minutes. The cookies are transferred to racks and left to cool completely.
   The filling is made by beating together cream cheese, butter, confectioner’s sugar (icing sugar), canned pure pumpkin (don’t use pumpkin pie filling), cinnamon and salt until smooth.
   To assemble a pie, the filling is spread on the flat side of a cookie and sandwiched with another.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Bringing out the big guns
to make Butternut Squash Soup

“It’s time to bring out the big guns,” my husband said he brandished the meat cleaver in the air over the butternut squash.
   He was about to cut the squash for some soup we were preparing to make.
   Cutting through the thick squash is no easy task, requiring a “big gun” knife.
   My husband cut through the squash at the point where the slimmer top meets the bulb-like bottom, then cut the bulb-like bottom in half.
   Then he peeled the squash, took out the seeds from the bottom, and cut the flesh into pieces.
   Thank goodness my husband has developed this butternut squash-cutting technique, which allows us to enjoy a fall classic: Butternut squash soup.
   We were making Giada De Laurentiis’s Butternut Squash Soup with Fontina Cheese Crostini (click for the recipe on the Food Network website).
   The soup was terrific. The squash and its slight sweetness was allowed to speak for itself. The soup was wonderfully creamy without cream.
   The crostini on the side could be considered optional, I suppose, but the pieces were a wonderful little side to the soup, especially when dipped into it before eating.
   Making the soup was a bit labor-intensive with the squash-cutting and all, but it wasn’t difficult to make.
   Chopped onion, carrot, and garlic are cooked in a stock pot. The squash, cut in pieces, chicken stock (we used store-bought chicken broth) and chopped fresh sage are added and the mixture boiled for 20 minutes.
   The mixture is then puréed with a blender. My husband used an immersion or hand-held blender, which is very easy to use and doesn’t require the soup being moved out of the pot. There is also instructions at the bottom of the recipe on how to use a food processor to purée the soup.
   While the soup is boiling and before it's blended, the crostini is made. Slices of baguette are drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with fresh sage and grated Fontina cheese. These are baked until the cheese has melted, about six to eight minutes.
   The soup is ladled into bowls and served with the crostini on the side.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Jacques Pepin's apple gallette: Absolutely brilliant

My husband and I have long been fans of super-chef Jacques Pepin.
   Several years ago, we bought a copy of his Simple and Healthy Cooking book, and instantly dug his reliable recipes, which yield delicious results.
   The October 2011 issue of Food & Wine magazine includes some of the recipes from his latest book, Essential Pepin: More Than 700 All-Time Favorites from My Life in Food.
   I was instantly drawn to the recipe for Country Apple Gallette (click for the recipe). Rux Martin, the writer of the article on Pepin’s new book and the editor of the book itself, said the gallette recipe has officially replaced her apple pie recipe.
   As a person who struggles with pie pastry, I liked Martin’s description of the pastry dough as “foolproof.”
   I set out last weekend to make the gallette. On Friday night, I made the pastry dough, which came together quickly and easily in a food processor, and left it to chill overnight in the refrigerator (although it can be used right away.)
   Saturday morning, I cut the apples for the gallette and rolled out the pastry in a rectangle (it was more like an oval, actually). I followed the easy instructions of layering apples, honey, cinnamon, sugar and butter on the pastry, then pulling up the edge over the apples to create a border.
   After baking the gallette for one hour as the recipe directed, I took it out of the oven.
   It looked as if disaster had struck.
   While the fruit looked fine, the pastry looked too brown on one side and a little burned on the bottom. On the other side, the pastry seam had opened, allowing honey to leak out onto the baking sheet and burn ferociously.
   I left the gallette to cool on the counter and went out for lunch, telling myself that I can’t win ‘em all.
   But when we got home in the afternoon, we were in for a mighty pleasant surprise.
   I cut up the gallette into pieces, and we gave it a try.
   It was delicious, and the pastry had a perfect flaky texture.
   Jacques hadn’t let me down!
   However, that's not to say I won't watch the gallette more closely the next time I make it and likely take it out before the hour is up.
.   The introduction to the recipe says Jacques especially likes the gallette because it’s easy to slice and can be eaten pizza-style, making it ideal for a buffet.
   It was absolutely true – we picked up the pieces with our hands and ate them, savouring the sweet apple taste. Nothing drooped or fell to the ground.
   What piece of apple pie can do that?

Friday, October 14, 2011

Skillet chicken dish will be the
apple of your plate's eye

Apples fairly scream autumn.
   This time of year, I’m always attracted to a nice-looking recipe that features the starring fruit of fall (with pears running a very, very close second.)
   Skillet Chicken with Cranberries & Apples (click for the recipe) from Eating Well magazine is a lovely dish that puts apples to terrific work. It also contains apple cider or juice to up the apple element of the dish.
   The apple cider or juice creates a light sauce that nicely coats the chicken, soft apple pieces and cranberries.
   The recipe says dried cranberries can be substituted for fresh if a less tart flavor is desired. I certainly didn’t want to have my mouth turned inside out by unsweetened cranberries, and so opted for Craisins sweetened dried cranberries instead, using just 1/3 cup (the recipe calls for a full cup of fresh or frozen berries).
   The recipe calls for one pound of chicken tenders. Since we were unable to find this, my husband simply cut boneless, skinless chicken breasts into pieces that were longer than they were wider.
   The suggestion to serve the dish with wild rice is a good one. We used a boxed wild/white rice blend with seasonings.
   The chicken is sprinkled with dried thyme, salt and pepper, then cooked in a skillet until browned. The chicken is removed and transferred to a plate.
   Thinly-sliced crisp red apples, sliced red onion, some of the apple cider or juice, dried thyme and salt are combined in the skillet and cooked until the apples are softened.
   Fresh, frozen or dried cranberries are added, and one tablespoon of flour is sprinkled over the contents of the pan. The chicken is returned to the pan, along with the rest of the apple cider or juice.
   The mixture is covered and cooked until the sauce has thickened and the chicken is cooked through.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Chef Recipes Made Easy promises to make chef magic with less time and fewer ingredients

Although I’ve never wanted to become a chef, I occasionally wonder what it would be like to have a chef’s magical powers.
   What would it be like to know how to combine flavors and types of foods to produce magnificent meals?
   This would be a something I would like to know.
   However, I’m perfectly content with trying out recipes created by chefs and enjoying the fruits of their imagination.
   That’s why I was instantly drawn to the Food & Wine magazine special publication Chef Recipes Made Easy: 50 of America’s Favorite Restaurant Dishes, on newsstands until Dec. 30, 2011.
   This publication offers the home cook a chance to make easier versions of famous chefs’ recipes at home, with far fewer ingredients and far less preparation time.
   Lidia Bastiniach, Mario Batali, Rick Bayless, Daniel Boulud, Tom Collicchio, Bobby Flay, Gale Gand and Wolfgang Puck are just a few of the chefs whose recipes are featured in Chef Recipes Made Easy.
   Here are the recipes I have my eye on to try if time allows. Many of the recipes can be found on the Food & Wine website.
   - Daniel Bouloud’s Orecchiette Bolognese. Bouloud’s version: House-made orechiette with a Bolognese sauce of venison, pork butt, chicken liver, veal sauce. Topped with fresh porcini mushrooms, chestnuts and butternut squash. Chef Recipes Made Easy version: Store-bought dried orecchiette, Bolognese sauce made with smoked ham and beef chuck. Topped with vacuum-packed chestnuts.
   - Andrew Carmellini’s Pappardelle with Lamb Ragu. Carmellini’s version: Fresh-made pappardelle with a ragu of house-ground lamb shoulder cooked in lamb stock. Chef Recipes Made Easy version: Store-bought pappardelle and ground lamb.
   - Andrew Carmellini’s Ghocchi with Wild Mushrooms. Carmellini’s version: Homemade gnocchi is cooked in homemade mushroom stock, then tossed with porcini butter and white truffle shavings. Chef Recipes Made Easy version: Store-bought gnocchi and chicken broth.
   - Nobu Matsuhisa’s Black Cod with Miso. Matsuhisa’s version: Black cod is marinated in sake-miso mixture for two to three days. Chef Recipes Made Easy version: Fish marinates overnight.
   - Mourad Lahlou’s Sauteed Chicken with Celery-Root Puree and Chestnuts. Lahlou’s version: Sous-vide equipment is used to poach fresh chestnuts and chicken breasts. Chef Recipes Made Easy version: Chicken breasts are sautéed in a skillet; vacuum-packed chestnuts.
   - Mark Sullivan’s Moroccan Chicken with Minty Date Couscous. Sullivan’s version: Chicken is marinated for two days; served with whole grain farro. Chef Recipes Made Easy version: Bird marinates for just one hour; quick-cooking couscous.
   - Rick Bayless’s Carne Asada with Black Beans. Bayless’s version: Steak served with fried plantains and fresh guacamole. Chef Recipes Made Easy version: Canned black beans are cooked in a chorizo-flavored oil; avocado slices stand in for the guacamole.
   - Jonathon Sawyer’s Grilled Steaks with Onion Sauce and Onion Relish. Sawyer’s version: Steaks are marinated overnight in fish sauce and olive oil. Housemade vinegar used to create pickled-onion relish and red onion-jalapeno sauce. Chef Recipes Made Easy version: Steaks marinated for two hours; jarred cocktail onions.
   - Donald Link’s Spicy and Sticky Baby Back Ribs. Link’s version: Eight spices in the rib rub; barbecue sauce made with homemade pork stock. Chef Recipes Made Easy version: Five spices in rub; canned beef broth in barbecue sauce.
   - Andrew Carmellini’s Pork Meat Loaf with Tomato-Chickpea Sauce. Carmellini’s version: Pancetta, ground pork loin and nearly 20 other ingredients comprise meatballs, which are braised in sauce. Chef Recipes Made Easy Version: Two meat loaves take place of meatballs; ground pork; loaves bake in the tomato sauce.
   - Michelle Vernier’s Lemony Semolina-Jam Cake. Vernier’s version: Cakes are baked in individual ring molds; flavored with Meyer lemon juice and Meyer lemon frozen yogurt. Chef Recipes Made Easy version: Cake baked in single springform pan; regular lemons used.
   - Megan Garrelts’s Graham Cracker Pound Cake. Garrelts’s version: Cake is served with sage-glazed figs and spiced walnut gelato. Chef Recipes Made Easy version: Figs and gelato are omitted.
   - Kristin Ferguson’s Pineapple Upside Down Cake. Ferguson’s version: Cake is baked as single servings and paired with homemade buttermilk ice cream. Chef Recipes Made Easy version: Cake baked in single round pan; store-bought ice cream.
   - Breanne Varela’s Chocolate-Chip-Pecan Cookie Bars. Not a lot of difference between the two versions!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Greek-Inspired lamb meatballs
make for impressive lunch leftovers

“What are you eating?” The person asked me, leaning over with interest.
   The man, a performer at the arts centre where I work, had just walked by as I was about to delve into lunch, which was leftovers from the previous night’s supper.
   “It’s lamb patties, served over naan bread, with hummus, fresh mint and cherry tomatoes,” I said.
   As it spilled out of my mouth, his eyes grew bigger and bigger. It did sound rather impressive, I must say.
   One of the rewards of cooking a good supper at night is the leftovers you can enjoy at lunch the next day and even beyond. There’s nothing quite like eating something magnificent while at work to perk up the day.
   In this case, I was eating Greek-Inspired Lamb Meatballs (click for the recipe), a recipe developed by Australia’s Donna Hay and featured on her new BBC Good Food channel show, Fast, Fresh, Simple.
   The meatballs were fresh and fantastic. Paired with the naan bread, hummus, mint and cherry tomatoes, it was a wonderful supper, then lunch.
   The meatballs are actually small patties, and the recipe even says to shape the lamb mixture into “flat patties” before cooking.
   Beware that the recipe's list of ingredients does not include the food items suggested for serving with the finished lamb patties. The flatbread, hummus, spinach, mint and cherry tomatoes aren’t mentioned until step 3 of the recipe. (We used store-bought hummus and naan bread and skipped the spinach.)
   The patties are easy to make.
   Couscous is placed in a bowl, then hot chicken stock (we used store-bought chicken broth) is poured on top. The couscous and stock are covered and left to stand until the stock has been absorbed – this took about 15 minutes.
   The couscous, ground lamb (minced lamb in the recipe means ground lamb), honey, finely-grated lemon rind (lemon peel) and chopped fresh rosemary are combined in a bowl (I used my hands), then crumbled feta cheese is added and mixed in (I used my hands again!)
   In a frying pan, the patties are cooked for four to five minutes each side.
   The patties are served on top of flatbreads spread with hummus, and topped with options of spinach, mint and halved-cherry tomatoes.

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Friday, October 7, 2011

Green olives and smoked mozzarella
add cleverness to gnocchi dish

A clever recipe, to me, is one that can be made quickly and easily but still has plenty of flavor thanks to some well-selected ingredients.
   That’s why Gnocchi with Fresh Tomatoes, Green Olives and Smoked Mozzarella (click for the recipe on the Food Network website) qualifies as a clever recipe in my books. The recipe is from iconic chef Mario Batali.
   The green olives add a welcome briny saltiness, while the smoked mozzarella actually does add a mild smoky taste.
   Both flavors are absolutely perfect with the tomatoes and the sauce it creates. We were lucky enough to use fresh tomatoes from my mother’s garden in the dish.
   I wasn’t able to find smoked mozzarella, but a worker at the local gourmet cheese store handed me a suggested substitution: Smoked caciocavallo, a type of stretched curd cheese. It worked very well.
   I venture to guess that smoked gouda may also make a possible substitute, but don't hold me to that!
   Instead of making homemade gnocchi, we used store-bought.
   In the case of the green olives, we used jarred, sliced and pitted green olives.
   We substituted fresh oregano for fresh marjoram, which is hard to find.
   One pound of fresh tomatoes are chopped into ¼-inch cubes, with all juices being reserved.
   In a sauté pan, the garlic and tomatoes and its juices are cooked. Off heat, the olives are added and stirred in.
   The gnocchi is boiled, drained, and poured into the pan with the tomato mixture, which is returned to the heat and tossed gently until bubbling.
   The marjoram (we used fresh oregano instead) and ¼ cup of cubed smoked mozzarella is stirred into the mixture until the cheese is melted.
   The recipe says to pour the tomatoes and gnocchi into a heated serving dish, but we simply served it from the pan.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Italian sausage works nicely in warm fall salad

When crumbled mild Italian sausage is used in a dish, it practically guarantees its deliciousness.
   My husband and I discovered this a few years back when we made Oriecchette with Fennel, Sausage & Tomatoes, the best pasta dish we have ever eaten.
   When I saw the recipe for Warm Lentil Salad with Sausage & Apple (click for the recipe) in Eating Well magazine, I was immediately drawn to it, hoping Italian sausage was an ingredient contained within it.
   The recipe calls for sweet turkey sausage, and Italian sausage is made from pork, but it didn’t matter to me anyway. I wanted to use mild or sweet Italian sausage, because a) I thought it would taste great in the dish, and b) I had a package of it in the freezer.
   I was right about Italian sausage working in this dinner-size salad. It worked wonderfully, in fact, because it is flavored with anise, which blends nicely with the other ingredients of fennel, apple and celery.
   The recipe calls for sausage with the casings removed, but you can buy uncased, bulk Italian sausage just as you would ground beef. (Hot sausage, rather than sweet, can also be used in the dish.)
   The dish is very easy to make, and is a fine choice for a weeknight.
   Olive oil, red-wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper are whisked together to make a dressing.
   The crumbled sausage is browned in a skillet, then minced garlic and lentils are added and heated through. Some of the red-wine vinegar dressing is added, and the skillet is removed from the heat. Finely-diced fennel, Granny Smith apple and celery are stirred in.
   Six cups of arugula or mesclun greens (we used mesclun greens, sometimes labeled “spring mix” or “baby greens) are tossed with the remaining dressing.
   A thin layer of greens is placed on plate, and the warm lentil-sausage mixture is served on top.

Monday, October 3, 2011

The November Issue: Great looking recipes from the Nov. 2011 issue of Cook's Country magazine

Occasionally on Recipes That Worked I recommend a cookbook or food magazine issue that I think is or looks as if it will be positively grand.
   Today I’m writing about the November 2011 issue of Cook’s Country magazine, on newsstands now. Danish Kleiners, a type of cookie, are on the front cover.
   My mouth was watering with anticipation as I looked at the amazing-looking recipes in the magazine.
   Here are the ones I would like to try if time allows:
   - Reduced-Fat Chicken Tetrazzini – I would love to make a version that doesn’t bring me back to the cafeteria at my dorm residence in university, and this looks like it may just be it.
   - Holiday Green Beans – In this recipe, the beans are essentially steamed in a bit of water. There are four yummy-looking variations on the basic recipe: Green Beans with Apples, Pecans and Rosemary; with Browned Butter, Hazelnuts and Sage; with Caramelized Onions and Bacon and with Cranberries, Walnuts and Blue Cheese.
   - Slow Cooker Holiday Glazed Ham – In this insanely-easy looking recipe, a cured, bone-in ham is cooked in a slow cooker for five to six hours, and is brushed with a glaze of dark brown sugar, apple jelly and Dijon mustard.
   - Creamy Root Vegetable Soup – Carrots, parsnips, leeks, celery and potatoes come together in a soup that uses just ½ cup of heavy cream.
   - Honey-Wheat Dinner Rolls – I may actually attempt making something with yeast after taking a look at this recipe, which seems quite simple. The dough is left to rise in an oven that was heated then turned off.
   - Smoky Indoor Ribs – When the sudden craving for something summer-like hits in the middle of cold weather, this looks like a good solution. Liquid smoke is used in the homemade barbecue sauce.
   - Meatloaf with Mushroom Gravy – Fabulous-looking comfort food with the interesting-looking ingredients of dried porcini mushrooms and saltines.
   - Sizzling Cheese Pinwheels – A retro, fun-looking appetizer. A mixture of cream cheese, sharp cheddar cheese, finely-chopped salami, scallions (green onions), hot sauce and Dijon mustard is spread on pieces of crustless bread, which are rolled up, cut in half, then rolled in bacon and baked in the oven.