Thursday, November 24, 2016

I am so thankful for the cranberry relish!!

 For years, my children have enjoyed the benefits of having a Williams Sonoma around the corner.      I have always thought..... why make it when the store bought is so good!!!    My daughter enjoys using the relish on her Thanksgiving day leftovers panini sandwich.    The gravy is also delicious!!!

Fortunately, this year, I have a jar of the gravy base...  I am good.  My daughter was set on having that relish for her sandwich.   We looked all over EP to find a jar.    Unless, we wanted something with green chili mixed in...   we were out of luck.   Here is the substitute recipe I doctored around with.   We will definitely make this again next year.   Who knows, maybe next week.   Turkey gravy is next on my list to conquer.

Cranberry-Apple Relish

1 bag cranberries
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
1 apple, peeled and diced
1 cup maple syrup
2 oranges, zested and then the juice squeezed into the pan
maybe an 1/8 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice

Bring to a boil and simmer about 15 minutes.   Try to crush the pomegranates and cranberries as they cook.   However, they will naturally crush and burst as they cook.  Next time, I will also chop the apple in smaller pieces.  

I plan to pour it over a block of cream cheese and use a wheat think as the vessel.    I am now ashamed to say I have bought the jarred stuff previously.   The hardest part was zesting the oranges.   I am still not sure if I did that correctly.   

Until next time friends,  I hope you all find something to be thankful for other than the cranberry relish!!   

Saturday, November 12, 2016


Ok,   I have lived here on the other side of the world for 3 months.  It is obvious that I may have to learn to enjoy white queso.   It is also obvious that I may need to learn how to make it better at home.  Maybe I should do more than melt together velvetta and a can of rotel?   Who am I kidding here......  it is better like that than with the weird white cheese and chunks of green chilis!!!

However, there are some things that I may not get to eat again for quite a long time.   I will have to learn to make them!    Kolache's are on the top of the list!!!!   There is a gas station just south of Hillsboro, Texas on HWY 35.    All us Texan's refer to it as the Czech Stop.    My car just pulls off the interstate on its own and stops.   Half of the station is this cute little bakery with a case of kolaches in every flavor known to man kind.    There are always a dozen or more families lined up for this goodness.   Cream cheese, apple, strawberry, peach, blackberry, sausage, lemon.........  you name it and they have a flavor.

I found this recipe last summer in a regional Texas cookbook.    I think the next time I will substitute some apple pie filling for the cream cheese.  The cream cheese was really tasty...but I think my boys will enjoy apple a bit more.

Cream Cheese Kolaches

2 envelopes active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water (100*-110*)  honestly, I just used really hot tap water.
1  (8 oz) container sour cream, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 tsp salt
3 large eggs
4 1/2 cups all purpose flour

Combine yeast & water in a measuring cup... stir and let stand for 5 minutes.
Stir together the rest until blended in a large mixing bowl.  Add the yeast until well blended.

Using the dough hook, add the flour 1 cup at a time and beat at a medium-low speed for about 5 minutes until the dough leaves the side of the bowl and pulls together.   (I used a spatula to get it off the sides a bit during mixing.)

Cover bowl with lightly greased plastic wrap and refrigerate for 8-24 hours.

Turn dough onto a well floured surface and shape into 16 (2-inch) balls.  Place about 1 1/2 inches apart on buttered baking sheets.  Let it rise in a warm place until about doubled in size.    Maybe an hour to an 1 1/2 hours...  draft free .....

Now  make the cream cheese stuff!!!


8 oz. cream cheese, softened
6 Tablespoons sugar
1 large egg yolk  
1 tsp vanilla
dash of salt

Combine all that until smooth.

Preheat the oven until 350*.   Form an indentation in the top of the roll with a spoon or thumb.  Spoon about a tablespoon into the top.  Brush with egg white and water combination.
Bake about 15 minutes or until golden.