You know all of the shows, "Best Of" magazine, newspaper and internet articles? I want to know if they are really worth the fuss. I'm trying to find out if I'd recommend them to MY friends and family. And as often as I can, I'll give you the source of who gave ME the original recommendation.
Tis nearly time to gather with the family to open presents, eat yummy food and enjoy one another. Maybe you need a little alcohol to help with the celebration? Try this beautiful punch, makes a bunch and is super easy! My Dirty Santa Party girls loved it!
1 large bag of ice
5 cups 100% cranberry juice* 40 ounces, NOT cranberry juice cocktail
2 bottles very dry sparkling wine (750 ml bottles) , such as champagne, cava, or Prosecco (I used a brut Prosecco)
2 cups apple cider
1 1/2 cups diet ginger ale (12 ounces) (from 1 can or poured from a liter bottle)
1 1/2 cups dark rum or brandy (12 ounces)
2 oranges thinly sliced into rounds
1 cup fresh cranberries
Make sure all of the ingredients are well chilled. Fill a large punch bowl with ice. Top with the cranberry juice, sparkling wine, apple cider, ginger ale, and rum.
Stir gently to combine. Top with the orange slices and fresh cranberries. Enjoy!
Nigella could do or say anything and I’d go for it. Luckily, this recipe from cheeky Nigella is delicious. It’s her version of pasta alla puttanesca, and it’s got a bite! I love the saltiness that works perfectly with the spaghetti, and the light sauce is perfect for a simple meal. I heartily recommend it.
2 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced, crushed or grated
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or 1 to 2 tablespoons jarred or canned jalapeno peppers (preferably red), drained, sliced, and diced, or to taste
1 pound spaghetti
1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 1/4 cups chopped drained pitted black olives
2 tablespoons small capers, well rinsed and drained
2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves, for garnish, optional
Freshly ground black pepper
Bring a large pot of water, for the pasta, to a boil over medium heat, though you don’t need to get started on the sauce until the water is pretty well boiling.
Pour the oil into a wide, shallowish frying pan, Dutch oven, or wok, and put it over medium heat.
Add the anchovies and cook for about 3 minutes, pressing and pushing with a wooden spoon, until the anchovies have almost “melted”. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes or jalapenos and cook, stirring, for another minute.
This is probably the stage at which you will want to salt the boiling water and adding the spaghetti to cook, following the package instructions.
Going back to the sauce, add the tomatoes, olives, and capers to the pot with the anchovies and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring every now and again, by which time it will have thickened slightly. Taste for seasoning.
Just before the pasta is ready, remove and reserve about an espresso cupful of cooking water.
When the pasta is cooked as desired, drain and add the spaghetti to the tomato sauce, adding a little reserved pasta water, if needed, to help amalgamate the sauce. Scatter with chopped parsley, if there’s some to hand, and serve in slatternly style, preferably with an unfiltered cigarette clamped between crimson-painted lips.
Make Ahead Note:
The sauce can be made 2 days ahead. Transfer the sauce to a nonmetallic bowl to cool, then cover and refrigerate as soon as possible. Reheat gently in large saucepan, frying pan, or wok, stirring occasionally, until piping hot.
The cooled sauce can be frozen in a resealable container for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat as above.
Isn’t summer the best? My friend brought some delicious fresh veggies from her garden, so we had a feast! Below are the recipes for all of this yumminess.
BAKED GARLIC CHICKEN
INGREDIENTS 2 cups sour cream 2 tablespoons lemon juice 4 garlic cloves, minced 4 teaspoons celery salt 4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce 2 teaspoons paprika 1/2 teaspoon pepper 8 boneless skinless chicken breast halves 2 cups crushed butter-flavored crackers (about50) 1/2 cup melted butter melted 1/4 cup vegetable oil
DIRECTIONS In a large shallow glass dish, combine the first seven ingredients. Add chicken; turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 3-4 hours. Place cracker crumbs in a shallow bowl; roll chicken in crumbs until coated. Transfer to a greased 13x9x2 inch baking dish. Combine butter and oil; pour over the chicken. Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 50-60 minutes or until chicken juices run clear.
Break ends of green beans off and discard. Break each bean into bite sized pieces.
Place green beans and butter in a large pot. Cover with water.
Bring to a boil over medium high heat (add minced garlic now if you like and a pinch of salt) and continue cooking, stirring often, until water is almost completely cooked out and beans are very tender.
Salt and pepper to taste. And if you like red pepper flakes add them here and enjoy!
When I say easy, I mean easy. For real. 3 ingredients! I serve these when I make tacos…from a box. We all have nights when we just need to get dinner on the table and aren’t feeling particularly creative, right?
EASY REFRIED BEANS
15 ounces refried beans
1⁄2 cup salsa
1cup shredded cheddar cheese
Combine all in a saucepan and heat over medium heat until bubbly and warm.
Ahhh, the South. What do we do to healthy veggies? Add bacon, of course. Don’t knock it til you tried it. Shut up, Cholesterol, you’re fine.
SOUTHERN BACON-FRIED CABBAGE
6 slices bacon, chopped
1 cup onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large head cabbage, cored and chopped
2 teaspoons seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Cook the bacon in a jumbo cooker over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease and discard the rest.
In the same jumbo cooker, return the 2 tablespoons bacon grease. Over medium-high heat, cook the onion until it is soft, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to cook for an additional 1 minute. Stir in the cabbage and continue to cook and stir for 4-5 minutes. Add the seasoned salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder. Mix well.
Reduce heat to low, cover, and allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes.
Just before serving, mix the bacon into the cooked cabbage. Serve immediately.
I love fried okra, it’s always been a special summer treat in our family. This recipe is from the Southern Living Heirloom Recipe Cookbook.
2 pound fresh okra
3/4 cup Salt
2 cups plain cornmeal
Slice okra. Combine 3 qt. water with salt, pour over okra. Soak for 30 minutes, drain & rinse twice. Dredge okra, in batches in cornmeal. Pour oil in a dutch oven. Heat to 375. Fry okra in batches for 4 minutes. Drain on paper towels.