Diva Tasting: Cranberry Bread….

I also like this with a side of crispy bacon and butter for breakfast.
Cranberry Bread dessert
Ingredients
1 Cup All-Purpose Flour
1 Cup White Sugar
1/4 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
2 Cups Cranberries
1 Cup Chopped Walnuts
1 Cup Butter, Melted
2 Eggs
1 Teaspoon Almond Extract
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease one 9 inch pie pan.
  2. Combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Stir in the cranberries and the walnuts, and toss to coat. Stir in the butter, beaten eggs, and almond extract. If you are using frozen cranberries, the mixture will be very thick. Spread the batter into the prepared pan.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 40 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted near the center comes out clean. Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream.

Diva Rambling: More T-Shirt Wisdom…

The best thing about the good old days was that I wasn’t good and I wasn’t old!”

The good old days were great; no denying. However, I tell the young one around me that I think it gets better every decade. We have a chance to make every day a good old day in our personal history. Never give that up. Make today one of the best good old days ever…..AND tomorrow too.

Namaste, The Queen Cronista

Diva Musing: Things A Narcissist Might Say….

More T-Shirt Wisdom….

Things A Narcissist Might Say. “As Long as everything is exactly the way I want it I’m totally flexible”

I often lament the constant flow of narcissists in our lives. This quote pretty well sums up their existence in a nutshell. The way to avoid the inevitable passive aggressive need to be the most beautiful elephant in the room is keep your distance. Its harder for others to be “Judgey Smurfs” if you are not around to judge. Its OK to do things that contribute to your well-being. Staying away from evil influences is one of those. It makes the mind freer to dream, to create, to relax and enjoy the real beauty that surrounds them.

Namaste, The Queen Cronista.

Diva Tasting: A Few Appetizers to Start the Holidays….

Some Holiday Starters
Yam Crostini Starter
Ingredients
2 Cups Diced Canned Yams
4 Tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, Divided
2 Teaspoons Chopped Fresh Sage
Salt And Ground Black Pepper To Taste
2 Tablespoons Butter
1 Leek, White And Light Green Parts Only, Thinly Sliced
1 French Baguette
1 Clove Garlic
1 (4 Ounce) Log Goat Cheese, At Room Temperature
1 Tablespoon Balsamic Glaze
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Pile the diced yam on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil and toss with your hands to lightly coat. Spread evenly and sprinkle with sage, salt, and pepper.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven until tender, about 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, melt butter in a medium frying pan over medium heat. Add leek and cook until softened and beginning to caramelize, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove roasted yams from the oven, add to the pan, and stir to combine.
  5. Slice the baguette at an angle into 1/2-inch slices. Brush both sides of each slice with remaining oil.
  6. Cook the preheated (on medium high) cast iron skillet until lightly browned, about 1 1/2 minutes per side.
  7. Remove from the grill and rub the garlic clove over the top side of each baguette slice 3 to 4 times. Spread goat cheese over each slice and top with a spoonful of the yam-leek mixture. Drizzle lightly with balsamic glaze and serve immediately.
Pear & Parmesan Crostini
Ingredients
1 Tablespoon Butter
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil, Divided, Or To Taste
2 Large Shallots, Chopped, Or More To Taste
1 Firm Bartlett Pear, Chopped, Or More To Taste
2 Teaspoons Chopped Fresh Thyme
Salt And Ground Black Pepper To Taste
1 Baguette
1 Clove Garlic, Halved
5 Tablespoons Grated Parmesan Cheese
Directions
  1. Heat butter and 1 teaspoon olive oil in a skillet over medium heat; stir in shallots. Cook and stir until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and let cool, 20 to 25 minutes.
  2. Combine pears, 1 teaspoon olive oil, thyme, salt, and pepper with the shallots; stir until evenly mixed. Cover and refrigerate shallot mixture for about 2 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  4. Slice baguette into rounds. Rub with garlic and brush with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Place on a baking sheet.
  5. Toast in the preheated oven until golden, 8 to 10 minutes.
  6. Top baguette rounds with shallot mixture and Parmesan cheese.
  7. Turn oven’s broiler on. Return crostini to oven and broil until golden and bubbly, 1 to 2 minutes.
Pear and Brie Tartlets
Ingredients
24 Mini Phyllo Tart Shells
1/4 Pound Ripe Brie Cheese, Cut Into 24 Small Chunks
1 Ripe Pear, Cut Into Small Dice
2 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
2 Tablespoons Honey, Or To Taste
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Line a jelly roll pan with parchment paper.
  2. Arrange tart shells onto prepared pan. Put a piece of Brie cheese into each shell. Sprinkle diced pear and a couple thyme leaves into each shell and drizzle with honey.
  3. Bake in preheated oven until cheese is melted and tarts are golden, 12 to 15 minutes.
Shrimp Turnovers
Ingredients
3 Tablespoons Butter
1 Tablespoon Canola Oil
1/3 Cup Diced Celery Stalk
2/3 Cup Chopped Green Onions
2 Dashes Hot Sauce, Such As Tabasco
1 Teaspoon Minced Garlic
1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
2 Tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
1 Pound Large Shrimp – Peeled, Deveined And Chopped
1/2 Cup Ricotta Cheese
1/3 Cup Cream
1 (16 Ounce) Package Frozen Phyllo Dough, Thawed
1/2 Cup Butter
Directions
  1. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat, and add the canola oil. Stir in the celery; cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the green onions, hot sauce, and salt; cook and stir until onions are wilted, about 3 minutes. Stir the flour, shrimp, ricotta cheese, and cream into the mixture; cook and stir until the shrimp turn pink, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
  3. Melt 1/2 cup butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat and keep warm. Stack two sheets of phyllo on top of each other, and cut into 3 strips about 3 inches by 12 inches. Brush the top of each strip with melted butter, and place a teaspoon of the shrimp mixture at one end. Fold phyllo dough over the filling, working back and forth from side to side to make a triangle. Seal the end closed with a little water or butter. Place triangle on an ungreased baking sheet. Repeat with remaining phyllo sheets and filling.
  4. Bake in preheated oven until tops are golden brown and flaky, 10 to 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
Broccoli Cheese Tartlets Starters
Ingredients
24 Mini Phyllo Tart Shells
8 Ounces Cream Cheese, Softened
1/2 Cup Shredded Asiago Cheese
1 Small Bag of Broccoli Slaw
1 Tablespoon Hot Pepper Sauce
Directions
  1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Place phyllo cups onto a baking sheet.
  2. Stir together cream cheese, Asiago cheese, broccoli slaw, and hot sauce in a bowl. Spoon mixture into phyllo cups. Bake in preheated oven until golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. Serve warm.
Crab and Artichoke Tartlets starters
Ingredients
20 Ounces Lump Crabmeat
12 Ounces Canned Artichoke Hearts, Drained And Chopped
8 oz. Cup Cream Cheese, Softened
1 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
6 Green Onions, Finely Chopped
3 Tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
1/8 Teaspoon Garlic Powder, Or To Taste
Ground Black Pepper To Taste
24 Mini Frozen Tart Shells, Thawed
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  2. Combine crabmeat, artichoke hearts, cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, green onions, flour, garlic powder, and black pepper together in a bowl.
  3. Spoon crabmeat mixture evenly into tart shells. Place filled shells on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  4. Bake in preheated oven until tart is golden and filling is bubbling, 25-30 minutes.
Sausage Cheese Tartlets
Ingredients
1 Pound Ground Italian Sausage
1/2 Cup Shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
1/2 Cup Shredded Colby Cheese
1/2 Cup Salsa
24 (3.5 Inch Square) Mini Frozen Filo Cups Thawed
1 (16 Ounce) Container Sour Cream
1 Bunch Green Onions, Chopped
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a miniature muffin pan.
  2. Place ground Italian sausage in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown and crumbly. Drain and remove from heat.
  3. Stir Monterey Jack cheese and Colby cheese into the warm sausage to melt. Stir in salsa.
  4. Place cups on a parchment lined baking sheet. Place a heaping tablespoon of the sausage mixture into each cup.
  5. Bake 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until cups brown.
  6. Transfer baked filled filo cups to a serving platter. Dollop each with approximately 1 tablespoon sour cream. Sprinkle with green onions.

Complete Thanksgiving Dinner….

In case you missed it the first time. 

Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner (Southern USA)

Turkey

Roasted Turkey

Ingredients

1 (18 Pound) Whole Turkey

1/2 Cup Unsalted Butter, Softened

2 Teaspoons Garlic Minced

Kosher Salt And Freshly Ground Black Pepper To Taste

2 Quarts Turkey Stock

Stuffing Bouquet:

2 Sprigs of Rosemary

1 Bunch Basil

3 Cloves of Garlic unpeeled

3 Tablespoons of Butter

1 Large Onion Quartered

Place all herbs and vegetables in a piece of cheese cloth and place in cavity of the turkey.

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Place rack in the lowest position of the oven.
  2. Remove the turkey neck and giblets, rinse the turkey, and pat dry with paper towels. Place the turkey, breast side up, on a rack in the roasting pan. Rub the skin with the softened butter, garlic , and season with salt and pepper by making a slit in the skin of each leg, breast connection. Position an aluminum foil tent over the turkey. Baste the skin with olive oil salt and pepper
  3. Place turkey in the oven, and pour 2 cups turkey stock into the bottom of the roasting pan. Baste all over every 30 minutes with the juices on the bottom of the pan. Whenever the drippings evaporate, add stock to moisten them, about 1 to 2 cups at a time. Roast until a meat thermometer inserted in the meaty part of the thigh reads 165 degrees F (75 degrees C), about 4 hours.
  4. Remove the foil and Raise the oven temperature to 400 degrees. Roast for 15-20 minutes longer at the higher temperature, until golden brown.
  5. Transfer the turkey to a large serving platter, and let it stand for at least 20 to 30 minutes before carving.

Best Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients

1 Whole Heads Garlic Roasted, Top Third Sliced Off And Discarded

Olive Oil

1 Tablespoon Sea Salt

5 Pounds Yukon Gold Potatoes, Cubed (Pealing Optional)

1 Cup Sour Cream

1 (4 Ounce) Package Cream Cheese Softened

1 Cup Butter

1/4 Cup Heavy Cream

Sea Salt And Ground Black Pepper To Taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Place garlic heads in a baking dish and drizzle each with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Bake in the preheated oven until garlic is soft and brown, about 45 minutes.
  3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and stir in 2 teaspoons sea salt. Cook potatoes in the salted water until tender, about 30 minutes. Drain.
  4. Transfer potatoes to a large bowl and add sour cream, cream cheese, butter, salt, and black pepper to the bowl. Cover bowl with a lid or a piece of aluminum foil and let mixture stand for 5 minutes to soften butter and cream cheese, about 5 minutes.

Squeeze roasted garlic from the cloves into the potato mixture; mash potatoes until smooth, creamy, and thoroughly combined. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Turkey Gravy

Ingredients

Remove Giblets And Neck From Turkey

1 Cup Chopped Onion

1 Cup Chopped Celery

1 Pinch Ground White Pepper, Or To Taste

2 (1.2 Ounce) Packages Dry Turkey Gravy Mix

3 (14.5 Ounce) Cans Chicken Broth, Or More As Needed

2 Cups Turkey Drippings

1/4 Cup Quick-Mixing Flour (such As Wondra®)

1/2 Cup Half n Half ® (optional)

Directions

  1. Remove the wrapping, and place the giblets and turkey neck into a large saucepan with onion, celery, white pepper, and turkey gravy mix. Pour the chicken broth over the mixture, bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, and simmer for 30 minutes. Allow the stock to simmer for 2 1/2 more hours. Stock should equal about 3 cups; add more chicken broth if necessary. Remove the giblets. Strain the stock into a saucepan; discard bones and spent vegetables.
  2. When the turkey is finished roasting, pour the drippings into a fat separator or bowl, and skim off the fat. In a bowl, whisk the quick-mixing flour with the pan drippings until smooth, then whisk the flour mixture into the stock. Bring the gravy mixture to a simmer over medium heat, whisking constantly.

Old Fashion Dressing

Ingredients

1 Cup Butter Or Margarine

2 Cups Chopped Onion

2 Cups Diced Celery

1/4 Cup Chopped Fresh Flat Leaf Parsley

12 Ounces Sliced Cremini Mushrooms

12 Cups Dry Bread Cubes

1 Teaspoon Poultry Seasoning

1 Teaspoon Dried Sage

1 Teaspoon Dried Thyme

1/2 Teaspoon Dried Marjoram

1 1/2 Teaspoons Kosher Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper

5 Cups Chicken Broth, Or As Needed

2 eggs, beaten

Directions

  1. Melt butter or margarine in a skillet over medium heat. Cook onion, celery, mushroom, and parsley in butter, stirring frequently.
  2. Spoon cooked vegetables over bread cubes in a very large mixing bowl. Season with poultry seasoning, sage, thyme, marjoram, and salt and pepper. Pour in enough broth to moisten, and mix in eggs.
  3. Transfer mixture to a sprayed 9×13 roasting pan.
  4. Bake in a 375 Degree Oven until golden brown on top. About 30-40 Minutes.

Green Bean Casserole

Ingredients

2 Tablespoons Butter

2 Tablespoons All-Purpose Flour

1 Teaspoon Salt

1/4 Cup Onion, Diced

1 Cup Sour Cream

4 (14.5 Ounce) Cans French Style Green Beans, Drained

4 Cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese (One reserved)

1 Cup Crumbled Buttery Round Crackers

4 Tablespoons Butter, Melted

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

  2. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in flour until smooth, and cook for one minute. Stir in the salt, onion, and sour cream. Add green beans, and stir to coat.

  3. Transfer the mixture to a 9×13 inch baking dish. Spread remaining shredded cheese over the top. In a small bowl, toss together cracker crumbs and remaining butter, and sprinkle over the cheese.

  4. Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the top is golden and cheese is bubbly.

PECAN PIE

Ingredients

1 Prepared Pastry Dough For 9-Inch Pie

2 Cups Pecan Halves

1 Cup Light Brown Sugar

1/2 Cup Butter

1/2 Cup White Sugar

1/2 Cup Light Corn Syrup

3 Tablespoons All-Purpose Flour

2 Tablespoons Milk

1 Tablespoon Bourbon

1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

1/2 Teaspoon Salt

3 Large Eggs, Whisked

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Roll pie dough in a 9 1/2-inch glass pie dish and crimp the edges. Cover dough in parchment paper and press paper down to line the dough; pour pie weights on top of the parchment paper and spread evenly over the bottom.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Remove parchment paper and pie weights to a bowl. Bake crust until lightly golden and set, about 10 minutes more.
  4. Spread pecans out on a baking sheet. Bake in the oven until lightly toasted, 7 to 8 minutes.
  5. Stir brown sugar, butter, white sugar, corn syrup, flour, milk, bourbon, vanilla extract, and salt together in a saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Remove from heat and cool for 5 to 10 minutes.
  6. Whisk eggs in a large bowl. Slowly drizzle sugar mixture into eggs, whisking constantly.
  7. Spread pecans out in the bottom of the crust. Pour sugar mixture over nuts and gently stir with a spatula to coat all of the nuts.
  8. Bake pie in the preheated oven until crust is golden brown and pie is set, 40 to 45 minutes. Cool completely.

Diva Rambling: Good Excuses….

A friend of mine recently sent me a stack of clippings and many were hilarious quotes on T-Shirts.  My choice today is:

“They Dared Me To” Is Always a Valid Excuse!!!!

I use to tell friends never dare me to do anything.  I will, unless it is illegal or harms another’s being or well being. 

Be brave, be daring, be the one who does not even see the box… let alone work inside it. Fearlessness and courage are your superpowers. 

Namaste, The Queen Cronista

Diva Tasting : Beef Stroganoff IV…

Beef Stroganoff IV 
Ingredients
2 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
3 Pounds Beef Chuck Roast, Cut Into 1/2-Inch Thick Strips
Sea Salt And Pepper To Taste
3 Tablespoons Butter
1 Medium Onion, Diced
Ounces Sliced Baby Bella Mushrooms
2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
2 Tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
1/2 Cup White Wine
2 Cups Beef Broth, Divided
1 Cup Creme Fraiche (Or Sour Cream)
1 Tablespoon Fresh Chopped Chives
Sea Salt And Pepper To Taste
1 Bag Of Egg Noodles Prepared To Package Directions
Directions
  1. Season beef generously with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat until nearly smoking. Stir in beef; cook, stirring constantly, for 6-7 minutes, until liquid evaporates and meat browns. Remove meat from the pan and set aside.
  3. Stir butter, mushrooms and onions into the pan; cook and stir over medium heat until the vegetables are lightly browned. Add garlic and stir for 30 seconds. Stir in flour; cook for 1-2 minutes until incorporated.
  4. Stir in wine and 1 cup of stock, scraping the bottom of the pan to release any browned bits. Bring to a simmer, cook for 3-4 minutes, until the sauce thickens.
  5. Return beef to the pan. Stir in remaining cup of stock; bring to a simmer and cook on low heat for about 1 hour with the lid on, until the beef is tender and the sauce is thick. Stir every 20 minutes.
  6. Stir in creme fraiche. Stir in chives. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve over Noodles with a good salad and Garlic Rolls