Cranberry and Dried-Cherry Relish

Makes 3 cups.

1 packages (12 ounces) fresh or frozen cranberries (no need to thaw if frozen but I always use fresh during the holidays)
1 cup dried cherries
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
1 cup sugar
2 cups water

In a large saucepan, combine cranberries, cherries, sugar and water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until most of the berries have burst and liquid is syrupy, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.

Cover, pressing plastic wrap directly on surface of relish and refrigerate.

Make Ahead: Can be made up to two weeks ahead and refrigerated.

This recipe from  Savoring Time in the Kitchen has been adapted from Martha Stewart

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Thanksgiving Teepee Cupcakes

Mix a cake mix according to the package directions. You will need to get a disposable aluminum baking pan. Turn the pan upside down and poke a few small holes (maybe a half inch wide). Fill your sugar cones two-thirds full of batter and stand them up in the holes in your pan like this:
They tend to topple as the batter rises, so you need to keep an eye on them in the oven. You may have to stick your hand in the hot oven and right the toppled ones. Be very careful when doing this. Hot ovens can burn you.

Stellar instructions, no?

Also, you should put your oven rack on the lowest shelf possible, so as to keep the tops from getting too brown. The bottoms will be very brown, but we will take care of that later on.

Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes, or until the batter springs back lightly when touched. Remove from the oven and immediately snip off the bottom of the sugar cone (which will now become the top of our teepee). You must do this immediately when the cone is still warm and soft. Otherwise, it will break into pieces.


You can also snip off the cupcake if it’s too rounded, ensuring that your teepee will stand flat. The bite you cut off goes in your mouth. Do not skip this step. It’s very important. You must not discard those bites. Eat them. Eat them now, dammit.

Then take three pretzel rods and stick them on the top of your teepee. I used bamboo skewers and/or toothpicks last year, but a reader gave me the pretzel rod idea, which I totally like better [thanks, tallkate!]. I also found the whole pretzel to be a little long, so I broke each piece in half before inserting it into top of the teepee.

Your teepees will now look like this:

While they are adorable, they are not quite done. Melt a handful of chocolate chips in the microwave and stir until smooth. Dip the bottom of your teepee in the chocolate like this:


Doing that kind of seals the cupcake in and prevents our friend gravity from pulling it downward. Then roll it in green sprinkles for grass (or autumn leaf sprinkles for leaves), or pink barbie sprinkles, if that’s your thing, and so on. I went for the grass and leaves. I’m such a traditionalist, I know:

Take a little of the melted chocolate and pipe around the pretzels to hold them in place (and provide a delicious bit of chocolate pretzel to eat later).

And voila! A happy little Indian village to decorate your table at Thanksgiving.

This AMAZING idea is from These Are a Few of My Favorite Things.

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Apple Balsamic Roasted Sweet Potato with Goat Cheese and Cranberries

Yield: 4

Prep Time: 10 Minutes

Cook Time: 30 Minutes

Total Time: 40 Minutes

And it has walnuts, too.

ingredients:

2 large sweet potatoes, cubed
⅓ cup Apple Balsamic Glaze
½ tsp Red Pepper Flakes
½ tsp Rosemary
¼ tsp Thyme
2 cloves Garlic, minced
Salt and Pepper to Taste
4 tbsp Garlic Olive Oil
¼ cup Chopped Walnuts
⅓ cup Dried Cranberries
¼ cup Crumbled Goat Cheese

directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Using a peeler, peel the skin off two large sweet potatoes. Cut into cubes. Place in large bowl. Toss with ⅓ cup Apple Balsamic Glaze, red pepper flakes, rosemary, thyme, garlic and salt and pepper to taste. Throughly coat sweet potatoes with ingredients.

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Drizzle baking sheet and aluminum with garlic olive oil. Pour all sweet potatoes onto the baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes. Gently remove baking sheet from oven, turn potatoes, and return to oven for 15 more minutes or until the sweet potatoes are fork tender.

Place in serving dish. Garnish with chopped walnuts, cranberries and goat cheese. Serve while warm and devour.

Recipe from Country Cleaver.

Au Pair Live-in Childcare is Flexible and Affordable.My name is Janine and I am a Local Area Representative for Go Au Pair. If you are interested in a cultural care experience for your family click here: http://www.goaupair.com/Northern-New-Jersey.aspx or feel free to contact me at AuPairRep [at] gmail DOT com.

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Pumpkin Pasta

recipe image
“Pumpkin puree is turned into a creamy, smooth sauce with just a hint of cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Toss with whole wheat pasta and Parmesan cheese, and you’ve got a kid-pleasing meal in under 30 minutes.”

INGREDIENTS:
6 ounces whole wheat penne pasta
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
3/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup nonfat milk
1 teaspoon margarine
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 pinch ground cloves
1 pinch ground nutmeg
1 pinch ground cinnamon
1 pinch ground ginger
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus
more for serving
DIRECTIONS:
1. Fill a large pot with lightly salted water and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Once the water is boiling, stir in the penne, and return to a boil. Cook the pasta uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the pasta has cooked through, but is still firm to the bite, about 11 minutes. Drain well in a colander set in the sink.
2. Heat the pumpkin puree, chicken broth, milk, margarine, onion powder, black pepper, salt, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger in a large skillet over low heat until heated through, about 5 minutes. Stir in the drained pasta, and toss with the Parmesan cheese.

This post was spotted on All Recipes.

 

Au Pair Live-in Childcare is Flexible and Affordable.My name is Janine and I am a Local Area Representative for Go Au Pair. If you are interested in a cultural care experience for your family click here: http://www.goaupair.com/Northern-New-Jersey.aspx or feel free to contact me at AuPairRep [at] gmail DOT com.

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EMPANADAS

 

Here is a recipe from Panama Living in honor of Go Au Pair’s Featured Country, Panama.

  • 5 cups flour (unsifted)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup shortening (Crisco preferred)
  • 1 cup milk

Mix flour, salt, and baking powder together in a bowl.   Cut in shortening until it resembles crumbly meal.  Gradually sprinkle in milk stirring until dough clings together.  Knead 10 times.  Let rest 1/2 hour.Filling:

  • 2 lbs. ground beef
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • hot sauce (optional)

Mix ground beef with all the ingredients except tomato paste.  Fry slowly in 1 tablespoon oil until cooked.  Mash around a bit so it’s crumbly.  Add 1 to 2 tablespoons tomato paste (so that it’s thick), stir very well.  Turn off heat and let filling cool.  Add as much hot sauce as you like.  On a very well-floured surface, roll dough as thick as you would for pie crust (can divide it into 2 parts if desired).  Cut 5″circles (using any container with 5″ opening) and place filling on center of each circle.  Brush beaten egg on lower edge of circles. Fold over and press edges with fork dipped in flour.  Fry in lard about 2 minutes on each side until brown.  Make sure there is enough lard to cover the empanadas— about 3 – 4″ deep.*Can be frozen unfried.  Stack between wax paper, sprinkling plenty of flour in between empanadas and wax paper, or they will stick together.

 

 

Au Pair Live-in Childcare is Flexible and Affordable.My name is Janine and I am a Local Area Representative for Go Au Pair. If you are interested in a cultural care experience for your family click here: http://www.goaupair.com/Northern-New-Jersey.aspx or feel free to contact me at AuPairRep [at] gmail DOT com.

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CANDY CORN SUGAR COOKIE BARS

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I am making this tonight! This treat is from Cookies & Cups. This recipe looks amazing and easy. Can’t wait to make it…and eat it!

Makes 30 bars

Ingredients

Cookie Bars
    • 1 cup butter, room temperature
    • 2 cups granulated sugar
    • 4 eggs
    • 2 tsp vanilla extract (I actually used Buttery Sweet Dough Bakery Emulsion
    • 5 cups flour
    • 1 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp baking soda
    • orange and yellow food coloring
Frosting
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup vegetable shortening
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp milk

How to Make

    1. Preheat oven to 375°
    2. Line a 9×13 baking dish with foil and spray lightly with baking spray. Set aside.
    3. In your stand mixer cream butter and sugar until fluffy and light, about 2 minutes.
    4. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until combined, scraping sides when necessary.
    5. Turn mixer to low and add in salt, baking soda and flour. Beat until combined.
    6. Divide the batter in half and color half orange and half yellow.
    7. Layer the orange dough in first, spreading to edges of pan and top with yellow dough, carefully pressing evenly on top of orange.
    8. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
    9. Remove from oven and cool completely.
Frosting
  1. Beat the butter and shortening together until smooth. Turn mixer to low and add in powdered sugar and milk. Turn mixer up to medium and beat for about 1 minute until fluffy and smooth.
  2. Spread the frosting on the cooled bars and cut into triangle shaped bars.

Notes

*If you are not layering the colors like I did, you can bake these in a 13×18 “jelly roll” pan for a thinner cookie bar. If you do this, you will need to increase the frosting by one half, so will have enough to spread over the entire pan. Recipe adapted from Recipe Girl

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Cheesy Artichoke French Breads

Cheesy Artichoke French Breads

serves 4 (depending on the size of your bread)

2 whole grain french baguettes (mine were about 9 inches long)

1/4 cup olive oil

1 14-ounce can of artichokes in water or brine, drained and chopped (about 10-12 hearts)

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 1/2 cups freshly grated parmesan cheese

1/3 cup grated mozzarella cheese

1/4 cup seasoned panko bread crumbs

fresh parsley for garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cut the baguettes in half lengthwise and brush with the olive oil. Equally distribute the minced garlic and chopped artichoke hearts. Top each with a good handful of cheese, about 1/3 cup each. Sprinkle on a few breadcrumbs. Bake for 8 minutes, then heat the broiler and broil for 2 minutes, or until cheese is golden brown. Garnish with chopped parsley.

Spotted on How Sweet It Is.

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