Thanksgiving Leftovers: Cranberry

Cranberry Chutney

As usual every one’s talking about what to do with left over turkey today, but what about the other left overs? Some are easy, use rolls to make turkey sandwiches, pies disappear quickly, but what about the cranberry chutney?

Cranberry chutney is actually a pretty good jam substitute. We use it like jam and enjoyed it on pancakes this morning. It would als be good on waffles and plain toast.

If you don’t have any on hand, it’s really simple to make and extra bonus, cranberries are probably on sale today at your favorite grocer. This year we went with the recipe originally from Southern Living in J’s favorite cookbook, Cooking Up a Storm.

Ingredients:
2 cups sugar (plain, white)
3/4 cup orange juice
2 bags fresh cranberries (they’re usually 12 ounces each)
grated zest of one orange

Directions:
Combine the sugar and the orange juice in a large saucepan and stir to combine. Add the cranberries and the orange zest (we just zested right over the saucepan). Turn the heat to medium and bring to a boil (lots of little bubbles) stirring often. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes or until the sauce starts to thicken and the cranberry skin begins to crack (this may happen before you reach a boil, that’s ok).

cranberry relish

 

If you like your chutney chunky ,but not too chunky, get out a potato masher and go to town. If you prefer a smoother texture, feel free to toss in your food processor or blender. Serve warm or chilled.

cranberry chutney

My opinion:
Way, way better than any store-bought canned chutney. It’s amazing on turkey and chicken. In fact, another left over dish we’ll be having this week is cranberry chutney covered baked chicken. The chutney has a sweet tart flavor and is great on any bread product where you would use jam. This dish will not be regulated to just Thanksgiving.

Avocado Deviled eggs


Recently, I was lucky enough to be the recipient of a House Party Avocados from Mexico party. Instead of going the traditional route, we opted to use the party for one of Mizzou’s away games. One of the most popular recipes of the day came from a dear friend, S, Avocado Deviled eggs. She got the original recipe from, All Recipes.

Ingredients:
6 eggs
1 ripe avocado
3 tablespoons sour cream
1 dash Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon chopped, fresh, dill
salt to taste
ground white pepper to taste (this really made a difference!)

Directions:
Place the eggs into a saucepan in a single layer and fill with water to cover the eggs by 1 inch. Cover the saucepan and bring the water to a boil over high heat. Remove from the heat and let the eggs stand in the hot water for 15 minutes. Drain. Cool the eggs under cold running water. (Or feel free to use your favorite hard boiled egg technique!) Peel once cold. Halve the eggs lengthwise and scoop the yolks into a bowl.Add the avocado and sour cream to the egg yolks and mash into a smooth, creamy mixture. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce, dill, salt, and white pepper until the mixture is very well blended; spoon into the egg white halves (This is easier using a icing pipping bag or a ziplock bag with the corner snipped off!) and garnish with chopped green onion (if you’d like).

My Opinion:
While S left off the green onions, we could have easily added them, but they were delicious without. These are really good and hard to eat just one. Perfect for something a little different than the traditional deviled eggs.

End of season pesto


I’m warming back up to Italian food. For awhile, nothing compared to the food I had in Florence, so I shied away from trying to perfect Italian at home. Luckily, J loves Italian style cuisine so we’ve dabbled in a few dishes (like Pizza Margherita and Eggplant Parmesan). We had a bumper crop of basil that needed to be used, so before the first freeze, (ok the second!), we harvested an armful and got to work making pesto. I found this recipe, but had to modify it a bit for our taste.

Ingredients:
2 cups packed basil leaves
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup parmesan (grated works best)
1/4 teaspoon sugar
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Add all the ingredients to your food processor (except the salt and pepper) and pulse it a few times. Taste. Add desired salt and pepper. Pulse again. We added the oil a little bit at a time, which left the pesto a little chunky, which we like. If you don’t, add the ingredients except the oil first, pulse, then add the oil slowly, pulsing in between. When it’s the consistency you prefer, pour into a clean mason jar, add a little olive oil on top, screw on the lid and freeze. Serve over your favorite pasta.

My opinion:
I was a bit surprised at how little this actually made. We only got two jars our of an armful of basil. Next year, I plan to make some early in the summer and then again at the end of the season so I end up with more pesto.

Crock pot Applesauce

I love homemade applesauce. But I never make it because I always thought it was too time consuming. Then Pinterest alerted me to this surprisingly easy version in a crock pot! The most time consuming part was peeling and chopping the apples. With a few tweaks, it tasted just like Gramma’s!

Ingredients:
8 to 10 apples of any kind (you might need more or less depending on the size of your crock pot)
2 cinnamon sticks (if you don’t have sticks, just use a few dashes)
1 teaspoon lemon juice (we actually used about 2 teaspoons)
5 tablespoons brown sugar (we ended up just using a quarter cup of light, use your best judgement and taste!)

Directions:
Peel, core and chop the apples. Put them in the crock pot. Add the brown sugar, cinnamon sticks and lemon juice. Cover. Cook on low for 6 hours. We stirred every hour for a total of six time. When the apples are cooked through, use a potato masher to make chunky applesauce. If you prefer your applesauce thinner, put it through the blender or the food processor.

My opinion:
We left out the lemon peel and fresh lemon juice from the original recipe because we didn’t have any lemons on hand. I was a bit saddened by how little 10 apples made! There was really only enough for about 2 and a half servings. I guess I’ll need a bigger crock pot!

Homemade Mag Mud

In honor of tailgate season (and Mizzou’s first SEC game against Georgia!) I wanted to share one of our most favorite tailgate dips, Mag Mud.

In Austin, Texas, is the most amazing restaurant, Magnolia Cafe. My very, very dear friend B insisted (it didn’t take much!) we go there whenever I visited her and it was always packed and always delicious. Regardless of time of day or night, B and I always started with their famed Mag Mud. It’s surprisingly easy and if you make it in a crock pot, last well through a long tailgate.

Ingredients:
1-2 cans black beans, drained (or if you prefer to soak your beans, feel free to do that instead just make sure they’re ready to go)
1 package Velveeta Queso Blanco, cut into squares
1 can Rotel, drained (we used medium, but go with the level of spice you want)
2 avocados, sliced
1 cup pico de gallo (store bought is fine!)

Directions:
Put the black beans in the bottom of the crock put. Turn crock pot to high. Wait about 20 minutes and add the cubed Velveeta. Stir. Let Velveeta melt (about 15 to 20 minutes). Stir. Add the drained Rotel. Stir. Serve with your favorite tortilla chips by topping cheese with avocado slices and pico.
*Note: The time depends on your crock pot. Ours has three levels, keep warm (low), Low (medium) and high. If your dip is a bit too runny (or slides right off the chips!), you can thicken it by adding shredded Mexican Blend cheese. We used about a half cup.

My opinion:
The original Mag Mud is layered, this one isn’t. Other than that, I can’t think of a single thing wrong with it. So good!