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A Homemade Holiday

The Start to Finish Guide to Building Timeless Memories

Welcome to the hustle and bustle of the rat race during the holidays. Focusing can be hard to do with so much to do this time of year. Sure, the holidays can be a stressful time, but for many, it’s one of the most enjoyable times of the year. Family that you don’t get to see that often makes a visit; memories are made and stories are shared. This start to finish guide will make it a foolproof holiday for anyone. Starting with aromatics, moving on to a holiday meal and finishing it off with a vivid tablescape, this guide will help you do it all without the stress.

Making Scents this Season
Aromatics have a way to lock places and times into memory. Have you ever walked past someone and smelled cologne or perfume that reminded you of someone special or a place you visited? Here’s how you can lock special memories into your loved ones’ minds this year. Nothing says, “Welcome home” better than the smell of oranges simmering with spices on the stove. Make your home memorable by warming this recipe on the stove or in a crock pot for a continuous smell of “wonderful.” The refreshing citrus of the oranges combines with the comforting warmth and spice of cinnamon, clove and other spices. Using this simple “stew” is a wonderful way to welcome guests into your home during the holidays or anytime throughout the year.
Simply remove the peel (as little white as possible) from two oranges. Put those in the little crock pot or sauce pan along with a palmful of whole cloves, whole allspice, and three or four cinnamon sticks. Cover with water and plug in the crock pot or turn the stove on to warm and let the smell work its magic!

Gather ‘Round the Table
Yum! A simply delicious holiday meal can be fixed without a lot of work. The holidays are about the time spent with loved ones versus the time it took you in the kitchen. With this meal plan, you’ll spend more time sharing laughs than stewing in the kitchen.

Citrus Olive Salad
Makes 6-8 servings

3 Tbsp. olive oil
3 Tbsp. orange juice
1/4 c. + 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 large clove garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
Dash crushed red pepper
4 large oranges
1/2 red onion
1 c. large olives, halved (a little less than 1 can)
Chives, chopped, optional garnish


In a jar or plastic container with a tight lid, combine the dressing ingredients: olive oil, orange juice, balsamic vinegar, garlic, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper. Shake until well incorporated. Slice the orange, removing the membrane portion of the orange. If time is an issue, you can always substitute mandarin oranges. Halve the red onion. Cut the half in half then slice thinly. Slice the olives in half. In a medium bowl, combine the oranges, red onion, and olives. Right before serving, pour on as much of the dressing as you prefer.

Rolled Maple Orange Glazed Stuffed Turkey 
Serves 8-10

8 lb turkey (deboned or boneless turkey breast)
3 Tbsp. softened butter
¼ c. maple syrup
Juice of one orange
Sea salt and ground black pepper to taste

Stuffing Ingredients:
2 Tbsp. butter
½ c. crispy bacon (chopped)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 c. breadcrumbs
1 ½ c. green apples, peeled, cored and chopped into cubes
Zest of one orange

To prepare the stuffing, melt the butter in a large frying pan over a medium high heat. Once the butter is melted, add bacon and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add in the onions and cook for a further 4-6 minutes until the onions are soft. Add the apple and cook for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in breadcrumbs, orange zest. Season the mixture with sea salt and ground black pepper. Allow to cool before covering and storing in the fridge until you are ready to use it.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Unroll the turkey or turkey breast and add stuffing mixture to center. Tie off with string to keep together and place in a large roasting pan. Rub with butter and season generously with sea salt and ground black pepper. Roast the turkey for approximately 2 ½ hours or until a meat thermometer reads 150˚F. If the skin is looking too brown, just cover with tin foil. Whisk together the orange juice and maple syrup and pour a little over the turkey every now and then to baste. saving half the mix to add to the gravy.
Remove the turkey from the oven and brush with maple syrup and place back in the oven for about 20 minutes more or until a meat thermometer reads 160˚F. Remove from oven and let rest 10-15 minutes before cutting. Scrape the juices from the bottom of the roasting tin into a small sauce pan along with the remaining maple syrup and orange juice and bring to a steady simmer until it reduces a little. Use remaining juice/gravy as side to turkey. Enjoy!


Crock Pot Greens

2 large bunches of collard greens (can combine turnip greens and kale)
1 lb. ham hock
1 sweet onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. white vinegar
1 tsp. sugar
¼ – ½ tsp. red pepper flakes
2 c. water
Salt & pepper to taste

In medium saucepan, sauté onion and garlic in olive oil until translucent. Place in the bottom of crock pot. Add greens to crock pot. Special note: If greens will not fit, you can do a quick sauté to wilt them so they will fit, but don’t overcook them during this special step. Add ham hock, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper and water. Cook on low for 6 hours or more if preferred. Greens will come out perfectly seasoned and taste great!


From Pillsbury

Orange Baklava Pinwheels

1 box refrigerated pie crusts, softened
2 Tbsp butter, melted
1 ¼ c. sweetened dried cranberries
1 c. chopped pecans
½ c. sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 Tbsp. grated orange peel
1 egg
2 Tbsp. water
½ c. honey

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper or spray with cooking spray. Unroll pie crusts and press each into 10 1/2” square. Brush with melted butter. Place cranberries, pecans, sugar, cinnamon and orange peel in food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. Spread half of mixture on each pie crust square. Roll up each pie crust into a log. Pinch edges tightly to seal. In small bowl, beat egg and water until blended. Brush egg mixture over each log. Cut each log into 10 slices. Place slices cut side up one inch apart on cookie sheet. Replace any dropped filling and reshape slices if necessary. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove pinwheels and place on cooling rack. Spoon a teaspoon of honey on each slice. Serve warm or cool.

Orange Spice Centerpieces

The key to a great table is an inviting one. Make your table pop with a few of these festive ideas sure to welcome guests all season long.

Wash and dry oranges. The number of oranges depends on the size of the table and size of the dish you wish to use to hold them. A great suggestion is to use a minimum of three oranges per dish for even the smallest of tables.

Poke cloves into oranges in any pattern of your choice. If you’re having trouble getting through the skin, use a toothpick to create the whole then insert the clove. You can also dot your pattern on the orange with a fine point marker. (Keep the dots small so they don’t bleed when the juice hits them.)

To dry the centerpieces, place them in a paper bag for a few days to weeks. The bag will draw out the juice and the oranges will shrink in size. If you choose this method to keep the centerpiece for a long time, make sure to watch out for mold during the drying process. Discard any that generate mold.

Add to a dish with green pine needles and pine cones that you’ve gathered form outside. You can accent with magnolia leaves as well. Use what you have from your yard to keep the cost of these beautiful centerpieces affordable.

Now it’s time to sit down and enjoy the time with family and friends. From our holiday table to yours, Happy Holidays!

YummyMummyKitchenRedWhiteBlue square

Yummy Red, White and Blue Celebration Recipes

We’re in the celebration months of the year when it comes to patriotic parties, outdoor barbecues and fun get-togethers. I think we’re all suckers for a fun-filled themed party, so here are a few ideas to bring the patriotic theme of true American red, white and blue into your recipes. Have fun and let’s celebrate an All-American summer!

Serves 8

For the crust:
2 c. natural granola (make sure it’s gluten free if you are on a gluten free diet)
1/2 c. walnut pieces
4 Tbsp. melted coconut oil
1 Tbsp. agave syrup

For the filling;
1 qt. vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt, softened to spreadable consistency

For the berry topping:
6 oz. fresh raspberries (about 1 1/4 c.)
6 oz. fresh blueberries (about 1 1/4 c.)
2 Tbsp. agave syrup
2 Tbsp. water
1 lemon
1 tsp. cornstarch

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a food processor, pulse crust ingredients until combined and granola is ground to crumbs. Lightly coat a 9-inch pie dish with cooking spray and press crust into bottom of dish and up the sides. Bake for 10 minutes. Cool completely.

In a small saucepan over medium high heat, stir together raspberries, 1 tablespoon agave syrup, 1 tablespoon water, juice of 1/2 the lemon, and 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch.

In another small saucepan over medium heat, stir together blueberries, 1 tablespoon agave syrup, 1 tablespoon water, juice of the other 1/2 of the lemon, and the other 1/2 teaspoon of cornstarch. Simmer both saucepans of berries until berries have broken down and sauce has thickened, stirring occasionally with a whisk, about 10 minutes. Cool and pour each sauce separately through a fine mesh sieve into small separate bowls. Let sauces cool completely.

Pour sauces into re-sealable sandwich bags. Snip a tiny amount off one of the corners of the bags. Alternating bags, pipe circles about 2-inches apart over the pie starting in the center and working outward. Drag a toothpick from the center of pie outward to the crust so that the berry sauces are pulled upward. Drag toothpick back in the other direction (from crust to center) about 2-inches away from the first line. Continue around the pie. Freeze uncovered at least 3 hours. Cover with plastic wrap until ready to serve. Serve with additional berries and any remaining sauces.


Blue Cheese Red Potato Salad

8 c. red potatoes, boiled and cubed
1/2 c. green onions, chopped
1/2 c. celery, chopped
2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 c. slivered almonds, toasted
1/2 tsp. celery seed
2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 c. crumbled blue cheese
2 c. sour cream
1/4 c. white wine vinegar

Combine potatoes, onions, celery, parsley, almonds, celery seed, salt and pepper in a large serving bowl; set aside. Mix together blue cheese, sour cream and vinegar in a small mixing bowl. Pour over potatoes, tossing to coat. Chill overnight and then enjoy as a side dish at your next barbecue.

All-American Apple Pie

Cinnamon-Pecan Crust
3 c. all-purpose flour
1½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
¼ c. pecans, finely ground
½ c. butter-flavor solid vegetable shortening
7-8 Tbsp. ice water

2 large Rome Beauty apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1 c. sugar
3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
½ tsp. cinnamon
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 c. heavy cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract

⅓ c. sugar
¼ c. light brown sugar
½ c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
½ c. cold butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
½ c. walnuts, chopped

To make crust, whisk together the flour, salt, cinnamon and pecans in a large mixing bowl.
Using a pastry blender, cut in shortening. Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and toss the mixture with a fork. Roll in a circle ¼-inch thick. Line a 10-inch deep-dish pie pan with dough; set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

To make the filling, toss apples with sugar, flour and cinnamon in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, combine egg and cream until smooth. Stir in vanilla. Place apples in prepared crust. Gently pour cream mixture over apple mixture. Bake pie in the lower one-third of oven for 20 minutes.

To make the streusel, combine sugar, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg in the bowl of a food processor. Process until well combined. With processor running, add the cold butter one piece at a time and process until crumbly. Toss in pecans. Remove pie from oven and shield crust with foil. Sprinkle prepared streusel over pie. Return to oven, and bake 45 minutes or until pie puffs.

chickenButtermilk Brined Fried Chicken
Serves 4-6

8 pieces of chicken
1 qt. buttermilk (I used Cruze Farm’s, if you can get it, I recommend it)
1 c. water
1/8 c. kosher salt
1 Tbsp. Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning
1 Tbsp. Frank’s Hot Sauce (or other vinegar based hot sauce)
1 Tbsp. Sriracha hot sauce
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 c. honey
Cayenne or hot Hungarian paprika to taste (optional)
A few sprigs of thyme (optional)

3 c. flour
3 tsp. baking powder
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
1-2 tsp. kosher salt (to taste)
1/2 tsp. freshly grated black pepper
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cayenne
1/4 tsp. paprika
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 c. buttermilk
Oil for frying (you need enough to come about 1/3 of the way up the pot or 2 inches)
Kosher salt for sprinkling

For the brine: Combine all the ingredients for the brine except buttermilk in a small pot and heat over medium, dissolving all the salt and honey. Remove from heat and cool by adding ice cubes and stirring. In a large mixing bowl combine buttermilk and cooled seasoned water. Rinse chicken and pat dry. Divide all pieces of chicken between two large Ziplock bags. Pour half of buttermilk brine in each, close, and place in the refrigerator overnight (or up to 12 hours).
1-2 hours before you fry, rinse the chicken under cold water and pat dry. Let the chicken come to room temperature, half an hour to one and a half hours, on a parchment lined baking sheet covered with paper towels. Preheat oven to 350°.

Mix all of the ingredients for the coating together in a large bowl, transferring half to a second bowl. Fill a third bowl with the 2 cups of buttermilk. The easiest way to coat the chicken is to have a line set up: uncoated chicken, flour coating, buttermilk, 2nd bowl of flour coating, wax paper-lined baking sheet for the coated chicken.

Pour the oil into your pot. It should come at least two inches and no more than 1/3 of the way up the side of the pot. Turn the heat to low, clipping a frying/candy thermometer to the side of your pot.

Dredge each piece in the coating, dust off all excess, dip into the buttermilk, and then into the second bowl of coating, letting the second coating be clumpier, but still patting to get rid of excess that might fall off in the oil. Place coated chicken on the wax paper lined tray.

Turn the oil up to high and let it come to about 350° F. When it reaches temperature, very carefully place 4 pieces of chicken at a time in the hot oil and fry, adjusting the temperature as needed to maintain a frying temperature between 310° -325° F. Fry dark meat first, as it takes longer. Fry the chicken for about 13-20 minutes, moving the chicken gently (you don’t want to knock the coating off!) after the first five minutes to prevent sticking and burning on the bottom. Be careful to monitor your chicken, watching the oil temperature closely and not letting the chicken get too dark.

Remove chicken from the oil with a spider or slotted metal spoon when it is golden brown, and place it on a cooling rack over a paper towel lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with kosher salt. Check the internal temperature with an instant read thermometer. Fully cooked chicken will read 160 degrees and can be served then if desired. If the temperature is lower than that, it must be finished in the oven.

Fry the second batch and then place it on the rack. Place the rack in the oven for ten minutes. Check the internal temperature to make sure the chicken is cooked through, let rest 10 minutes, and serve hot. If all the chicken is cooked through and you want to keep it hot, you can hold it in a 250 degree oven.

Maple-Mustard Grilled Corn with Bacon

12 ears corn, husked
Olive oil for grilling
1/4 c. maple syrup
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 pinch allspice
6 slices bacon

Brush 12 husked ears with olive oil. Grill on medium-high until tender, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup maple syrup, 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, and a pinch of allspice. Cook 6 slices of bacon until crisp, about 6 minutes; drain on paper towels. Finely chop bacon and set aside on a platter. During the last 3 minutes of grilling, baste corn with maple-mustard glaze. Roll corn in bacon. Serve immediately.