Monday, December 8, 2014

Holiday Dishes

Holiday Dishes is the name of this post as I cooked some of these dishes for Thanksgiving, but they can be prepared anytime.  When we were near Nashville visiting our daughter and family last summer I used their new spiral vegetable slicer gadget.  Of course the grandchildren loved to help me and enjoyed cooking the vegetable - a good way for them to eat more vegetable!  Back at home, I ordered my own Spiralizer from Amazon - there are several brands offered and mine was under $20.  It works very well.

Zucchini noodles can be made very quickly.  With the grandchildren, we cooked them in the microwave, with a little bit of water and butter, maybe for 3 or 4 minutes, and this was good.  For Thanksgiving I tried something different.  I made the dish again this week-end so I could take some photos.  First I "spiralized" 3 or 4 zucchinis.  I also sliced a red onion and two green onions and briefly stir-fried them.

I'll try to write the recipe, but it can be changed, according to one's taste.

Zucchini Noodles

3 to 4 zucchinis, 1 red onion, 2 green onions, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon butter, 1 tablespoon bacon fat, 1 teaspoon French thyme, 2 teaspoons Herbes de Provence (or rosemary, or basil or both) Smokehouse ground black pepper, salt and 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar - some chopped parsley.

Wash then spiralize the zucchinis into noodles.  Slice the red onion and the 2 green onions - separating the white parts and green parts.  Place the olive oil, butter and bacon fat in a large frying pan.  Add the red onion and white parts of the green onions.  Stir and fry for a minute or so.  Add the zucchini noodles, stir, then add the Smokehouse black pepper and salt.  (I like this pepper as it is strong and I usually cover the vegetables with it to get the dish a bit spicy.)  Then add the herbs, stir.  Add the balsamic vinegar - white or red balsamic.  Lower heat and cover.  No need to add any liquid as the zucchinis will render some liquid.  Cook for about 8 to 10 minutes, until tender but still crunchy (taste after 7 min. or so and stir.)  When ready add chopped green part of the green onions and chopped parsley.  That's it.

I have also made zucchini noodles, added some spaghetti sauce, basil and turkey meat balls - it is a lighter dish than made with regular pasta.

For Thanksgiving, I usually make my basic cranberry sauce - a recipe I found on a bag a long time ago and very easy.  Place 3/4 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup apple juice and 1/4 teaspoon allspice in a saucepan on medium heat.  Heat until sugar is dissolved.  Add 2 cups washed cranberries and stir.  Keep stirring until the liquid boils.  Lower hear and cook 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Cool.  I have some left as you can see below - it makes a thick sauce, not too sweet.

Since I had more cranberries I decided to make a cake - I made two - almost the same but with some variations.  Both were made like an upside down pineapple cake.  The first one contained 2 sliced apples, 1+ cup of cranberries and 1/2 cup pecans.  That was placed on the melted brown sugar and butter in a cast iron frying pan, then I poured the cake batter on top.  The batter had 2 eggs, sugar, butter, baking power, spices and 1 1/4 cup flour.  I baked it 40 minutes in 350 F oven.  My husband preferred that cake.

For the second cake I used only 1 sliced apple, 1+ cup cranberries and 1/2 cup pecans.  I used less flour (1 cup) but 3 eggs, separated - the white beaten stiff with white sugar, and 1 tablespoon Bourbon whiskey.  Baked it 45 minutes in 325 F oven, left it in the frying pan 10 minutes then placed it upside down on a plate.  I preferred the taste of that cake.

This cake looked quite different from the first one.  I placed the apple slices first in the number one cake and the cranberries and pecan first in cake number two.  Both cakes were good and not too sweet - if served warm, vanilla ice cream would be good with either cake.  Below is cake number 2.

Since cranberries were plentiful I also made some jam.  One of my daughters gave me a jar of jam last summer that she had bought at the Loretta Lynn's Ranch.  It was called FROG jam - which stands for fig, raspberry, orange and ginger jam.  This gave me the idea of making my own CROG jam - using cranberries, raspberries, orange peel and ginger.  The jam is delicious and not too sweet - good on toast but also can be used as a condiment with meat.

We went to a country restaurant some time ago and I enjoyed eating their steamed cabbage.  I have never made steamed cabbage, or any cabbage apart from placing pieces of them in my corned beef dish in the spring.  So I tried my own version last Saturday.  I quartered the cabbage and cut the stem off, then sliced it.  Shallots sounded right with the cabbage, so I chopped a couple.  I had half a bunch of fresh kale leftover from a turkey soup I made, so I sliced the kale as well.  It may not have been "steamed" cabbage, but it was very tasty and cooking it on low heat, quickly, it did not leave a cabbage smell in the kitchen.

Here is my recipe - 1 cabbage, washed, cored and sliced (add kale if available,) 2 shallots, sliced thin then chopped.  Place 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a large frying pan.  Add shallot and fry briefly.  Add cabbage and stir for a couple of minutes.  Season with salt and Hickory smoke black pepper (or regular black pepper and some Tabasco sauce to give it a kick.)  Add 3/4 cup chicken or turkey broth in which 1 teaspoon Liquid Smoke was placed.  Pour on cabbage and stir well.  Lower heat, cover and cook 6 to 8 minutes until done but still crunchy.  Voila!

Saturday was a good day for cooking as it rained in the morning.  It was cloudy and only 67 degree F (19 C.)  The back yard looked very golden with a thick cover of dead leaves.  The leaves had vivid colors as they were still coated with water when I took my photos.

On Sunday it was bright and sunny.  The colors in the backyard looked different.  It was warmer as well.

 With all the pine trees and ivy, the color green is still very present in our backyard.  I like  the way the sun plays with the dead leaves still standing on some of the trees.

Our cats were indoor, not even looking at the birds in the bird feeders.  Cody was asleep, hiding his eyes with his paws (maybe from the scent of the cut shallot...) and Mitsuko was watching TV - an old I love Lucy rerun - such was last week-end.




39 comments:

David said...

Vagabonde, Great photos as usual... I love your adaptation of the standard, if rarely seen anymore, pineapple upside down cake. Apples and cranberries...what a great concept! I'd love them all. The only TV our cat watches is when cats are on the screen meowing or screaming and of course, when birds are fliting around chirping as they go... Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

DJan said...

I recognized the spiralizer zucchini even before I read the post! I've enjoyed that little machine as well, and I was introduced to it by my sister. Looks like you're making some converts to healthy food, VB. Wonderful post! :-)

rosaria williams said...

Those vegetable noodles look so good that now I must have that contraption, for sure.
You have been cooking!

Nadege said...

Lovely food and recipes. I have a japanese spiralizer which makes finer spirals than this one. I hope your winter is not as severe as the last one. Keep warm and healthy!

ツ ✽ ღ Nancy ღ ✽ ツ said...

(^‿^)✿

Bonjour chère Vagabonde !

Toutes ces bonnes choses me mettent en appétit ! HUM ! Miam miam !

MERCI pour ce beau partage ! Tes photos sont belles !

GROS BISOUS D'ASIE vers la Géorgie

Bon mardi !!! :o)

Thérèse said...

Such a "vegetables celebration!"

Reader Wil said...

Chère Vagabonde!
Merci de cette recette!J'aime aussi les "noodles". Je mange souvent bami et autres repas asiatiques.
Bonne semaine!
Wil, ABCW Team.

Stewart M said...

What a seasonal treat!

Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

claude said...

Ben dis donc ! On se régale bien pour Thanksgiving !
Je rigole doucement, tu verras pourquoi plus tard.
C'est marrant ton truc à faire les légumes en spirales.
Pour Noel, je fais du foie gras, des huîtres, de la pintade avec une sauce aux morilles (pour les légumes je ne sais pas trop encore), fromage et bûchettes pour tout le monde.
Je suis retournée sur ton post précédent, c'est sympa de nous faire partager tes nombreuses visites.
Bises

Arti said...

Thanks for intro. me to the spiralizer. What an interesting kitchen appliance. As for your photos, they are beautiful as always. I have not seen green for a couple of months now. So it's great looking at your photos and see all those colours.

Cergie said...

Tu sembles une cuisinière hors pair et surtout très motivée ! Les nouilles de courgettes seraient une bonne idée pour faire manger des courgettes à mon petit fils de trois ("je aime pas les courgettes" "je aime les tomates" etc). Samedi dernier sa maman lui a fait fermer les yeux pour regoûter les brocolis qu'il a aimés...
Je crois me souvenir que ton père était d'origine arménienne, nous avons un couple d'amis qui sont tous deux arméniens de seconde génération en France, parlant l'arménien encore et elle, elle est la reine des petits plats concoctés... (Entre autres nombreux talents, comme le patchwork, le tricot, la couture etc...)

Frances said...

Vagabonde, I am slowly getting caught up with your most recent posts. I smiled at your spiral cut veg, having seen various versions of that slicer in some Christmas catalogues. No wonder your grandchildren enjoyed their veg more this way!

I promise to continue reading your posts...this time of the year does seem to have so much for us to put in our diaries.

A light snowfall fell here this afternoon...not enough to stick to the ground, but it was much preferable to the rain that preceded it.

xo to you and Jim

Jono said...

It's a good thing I already ate. Otherwise, I would be drooling on my keyboard!

Helen said...

I thank you for leaving such a generous comment on my very sad post ~ a few days prior to Galen's passing, I found myself thinking of him and it is inconceivable to think he is gone.
I also make our cranberry sauce with this recipe and I baked a marvelous cranberry banana bread with left over berries and really mushy bananas. Unbelievably good!
Happy Holidays .....

Nadezda said...

Hi, Vagabonde!
What an interesting thing your Spiralizer! No wonder that your grandchildren liked it. I love the second recipe and would like to cook this cake for Christmas.
You really are in fall now! Bright yellow and brown leaves, here we are between fall and winter: no snow, rain and temps +2..+6 C. Hope we'll have 'white' Christmas and New year.

Magic Love Crow said...

What a great post! Love all the food! Wow! I am hungry! I'm coming over to eat! LOL! The backyard looks beautiful! I Love Lucy! LOL! Take Care, Hugs ;o)

Jennifer A. Jilks said...

What a delicious post! I have done much cooking lately. Hubby, allergic to eggs, yeast, dairy, limits me. I've just lost the desire.
Maybe you will inspire me!

Al said...

The food looks delicious. Your cats are cute!

Hilary said...

I'm drooling over your post. I have looked at those devices before and thought about what I might use it for. Now I know. I love cranberry sauce and your recipe sounds interesting. I tend to cut way down on the sugar and add a fair bit of a fresh orange instead.. juice, pulp and zest. Yummy post!

Valerie said...

A fascinating post. Love those autumnal scenes/colours and your cats are cute! My sweet dog Jessie also watches TV with me and is very discerning: I enjoy who-dunnits and she growls whenever a "baddie" appears on screen!! (thank you for dropping by my blog}

This is Belgium said...

I enjoyed very much reading your comment today .. it just so happened that my good friend from Athens, GA was over at our house for lunch. She comes every year to spend the holiday season with family in Brussels.
I am delighted that you keep up with what is going on over here.
I will need some time to try out your holiday cooking !
Have a great sunny GA Sunday afternoon!
anni

Valerie-Jael said...

Thanks for visiting m< blog. Love all the photos, great pics of nature and love the cat watching Lucy! Your food has made me very hungry, and I love that spiralizer, must look if I can find one here. Hugs, Valerie

ツ ✽ ღ Nancy ღ ✽ ツ said...

(^‿^)✿

Un gentil petit coucou chez toi chère Vagabonde ce lundi matin.

J'adore venir flâner sur ton joli blog !!!
MERCI pour ce partage.

GROS BISOUS d'Asie

Bon début de semaine ❀.•*´¨`*•.✿

Jennifer A. Jilks said...

I do love your kitty, too!

sallie (fulltime-Life.com) said...

Awfully pretty out in your rainy yard and your kitty watching Lucy made me smile!!

But your food --- OMG --- everything looks so scrumptious ... great recipes and you're very talented at food photography! Fascinated with the spiral cutter and will investigate that -- we are trying to cut back on carbs. I cook a lot of spaghetti squash but the zucs sound like a great changeup!!!

EG CameraGirl said...

I'm sooo hungry after reading this post!

DeniseinVA said...

Great post and I was excited when I saw the spiral cutter. I bought one a couple of months back and have been trying to figure out what to do with it. I'm always that way with something new, I look at it for a while - a few months - and then jump in eventually, eventually, eventually, lol. Loved all your photos, and yummy recipes. Thanks so much. Enjoy your week :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Vagabonde .. that's great the grandchildren enjoy cooking with you .. and I love the look of those recipes.

Your photos of the surrounding areas ... it's a gorgeous time of year .. the colours of late autumn ...

Cheers and have fun in the build up to Christmas .. Hilary

Friko said...

These recipes sound excellent, I am going to copy all of them. I like simple cooking , not cooking vegetable or fruit to death. You also don’t seem to have spent a great deal of time over them, which is all to the good. I enjoy cooking but I don’t want to do it for hours and hours. There wouldn’t be enough reading time left.

I hope you are well, we must get in touch again.

If I don’t email before Christmas I wish you and your husband all the best for Christmas and the new year.

Ginnie said...

I just LOVE the way you experiment with food and cooking, Vagabonde. You always inspire me to try new things. One of my best surprises food-wise here in Holland has been spitskool, a type of cabbage that's maybe a bit sweeter than regular cabbage. I LOVE adding it to my stir-fry veggies. I also love cranberries, so, who knows, maybe I'll come back and write down some of these recipes. Thank you. :)

Jenny Woolf said...

Super recipes! I have some cranberries in my freezer, and a cake sounds like a good idea.

bayou said...

Hello Vagabonde, your mouthwatering pictures reminded me that one of those mandolines was on my wishlist. But nowadays, being mostly alone or two people to cook for, I wondered if it is not going to be another of these items which will stay in the cupboard more than being used. As does the pasta machine. Your blog title made me believe you would have your Christmas dishes on display ;-). I loved all your recipes and upside-down cakes are my favourites. Have a wonderful festive season, meilleurs voeux de la Belgique.

Shammickite said...

I love cooking, but don't do very much now that I live by myself, so I have nobody to cook for! I recently made a cabbage casserole.... layers of lightly fried onions, thin sliced potatoes, and par-boiled savoy cabbage, in layers with cheddar cheese, some butter on top, baked in the oven for about 40 minutes to make sure the veg are cooked and the cheese is melted, really good!

Kay said...

You are such an amazing cook. I love the idea of the spiralizer. Zucchini noodles sound so much healthier and we are trying to eat more veggies these days.

Linda said...

Beautiful photos.

Perpetua said...

Your holiday dishes look and sound delicious and that spiralizer is such a good idea. I love your woodland photos.

Carola Bartz said...

Your food looks delicious and makes me really hungry! Those zucchini noodles look interesting and quite yummy! I love your cat watching TV especially those almost transparent ears! Wonderful shots!

Vicki Lane said...

Oh, I am so intrigued by the spiralizer! And I fully intend to try one if not both of those cakes and make some CROG jam!

A Merry Christmas to you and your husband and a Happy New Year full of more wonderful posts!

Jeanie said...

It looks like a wonderful holiday with your family and the dishes you share here look delicious!The cakes especially look fabulous. Thanks for sharing the recipes.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...