Archive | October 2014

Cranberry Gems

My grandmother loved to bake and always used “real butter”.  Knowing that I loved the taste of “real butter” and it was something we only had on holidays at our house, at her house she would sneak me a small pat near the fridge and we giggled as we let it melt in our mouth.  One of the things she was famous for was her Gems, in this recipe I put my twist on it using a cranberry filling and a streusel topping.  If you find yourself with leftover cranberry relish around the holidays, you can use it up here.  I hope you give them a try!

Cranberry Gems

 

Crust

6 oz. cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

2 cups flour

Place all crust ingredients into a bowl and combine using a pastry blender, or a fork.  Press the ingredients together until combined and you can form a ball.  Place the dough in the refrigerator until chilled.

Filling

12 oz. bag of fresh cranberries

1/2 cup orange juice

1/4 cup water

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 1/2 tsp. orange zest

1 cinnamon stick

Combine all ingredients into a sauté pan and cook until thickened.  Use the back of a spoon to smash the cranberries.  Cook for about 25-30 minutes.  Remove cinnamon stick and set aside until ready.

Streusel Topping

6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into cubes

1/2 cup flour

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 cup quick rolled oats

1/3 cup sugar

1/8 tsp. salt

Combine all ingredients and press together using a pastry blender or fork.  Do not over mix, it should be crumbly.

Vanilla Glaze

2 cups confectioners sugar

1 Tbsp. milk

1/2 tsp. vanilla

Mix the glaze ingredients in a mug until smooth, you can adjust the thickness by adding more milk to thin it or more sugar to thicken it to your liking.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Roll the dough into 1 inch balls and place them in the cups of a mini muffin tin.  Press the dough out in the tin to create a pie crust in each tin.  Fill the crusts with the filling and top with the streusel.  Bake for 10 minutes or until the crust is golden.  Cool and then drizzle with the glaze.  Yield – 48 gems.

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Mexican Gumbo

Our youngest son loves the Mexican Gumbo at Qdoba.  He asked if I could try and recreate the recipe.  I used a rotisserie chicken and it comes together quickly.  Our boys are not a fan of beans…yet, but if I were making this for adults, I would add a can of black beans.  I hope you like it as much as we do.

Mexican Gumbo

mexican gumbo

Ingredients

1 large onion, chopped

2 cups carrots, quartered and sliced

15 oz. can of tomato sauce

10 oz. can of diced tomatoes and green chilies (such as Rotel)

3 cups Spicy V-8 (or store brand)

1 quart chicken stock

1/2 tsp. ground cumin

1 1/2 tsp. chili powder

1 tsp. oregano

1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

1# smoked sausage or kielbasa, cut in half and sliced

8 oz. frozen corn kernels (1/2 bag)

1 can black beans, drained (optional)

1 cooked rotisserie chicken, skinned, removed from the bone and chopped or shredded

Salt and pepper to taste

Steamed white rice

Method

Heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a stock pot (about 8 qts.) and saute onion and carrots until onion is soft.  Add chicken stock, V-8, tomato sauce, tomatoes and chilies, Worcestershire sauce and spices.  Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer until carrots are almost tender.

Add sliced kielbasa and frozen corn (add beans if using) and continue to simmer for 10 minutes.  Add the chicken and stir to heat.  Adjust the seasoning by adding salt and pepper to taste.

Serve in a bowl over hot white rice.  Enjoy!

Whenever I am making anything with chicken, Yoshi is ready to help! #chickenlove

Begging Yoshi