Posted at 10:11 am , on December 22, 2017
This cranberry relish is what we fondly refer to as “The Cranberries”. Joe’s mom (Joan) always makes this cranberry relish for the holidays and it’s been a favorite that we’ve enjoyed for many years. Joan always grinds her cranberries but since I don’t have a working grinder I used my food processor to get the same effect. It’s a simple mix of fresh cranberries, an orange, and some sugar. The contrast of sweet cranberry orange flavors really enhances any traditional holiday meal. My favorite thing is leftover roasted turkey or chicken, stuffing with a drizzle of gravy and cranberry relish piled on a toasted slice of crusty artisan bread. Yum, it doesn’t get much better than that!
Posted at 9:06 am , on December 19, 2017
This is Josh’s recipe for Crusty Artisan Bread. He’s always been the bread maker in this family and makes the most beautiful loaves of bread. He would tell you it doesn’t always come out perfect but I have yet to taste any bread that he has made that didn’t taste absolutely delicious! Since I can’t count of Josh for making the bread this year for the holidays (he is off on an adventure in Australia), I decided to give his recipe a try. He left me his big bread bowl and his oval dutch oven so I am using them for good luck. Josh told me not to over knead the dough, just incorporate the ingredients and let them sit out to proof for up to 24 hours. That was hard for me, I have made the artisan bread that you refrigerate but never let it sit out at room temp for that long. After agonizing over the process, I decided to trust his technique and it turned out great. I’ve made 3 loaves so far and they have all turned out as good as any you would find at a bakery. This one is the last loaf I made and it was incredibly light and airy with the perfect artisan crust. Practice does make perfect!
Posted at 9:23 am , on December 4, 2017
I love fig newtons, don’t you? They taste so different from other cookies. The dough is more like cake than cookie dough and is amazingly soft surrounding a fig paste that is flavored with a hint of orange. My opinion is that homemade newtons are more flavorful and aromatic than store bought. You can make the dough and fig paste ahead of time and refrigerate up to a week. This was a huge help to me as I didn’t have all day to make cookies. When I was ready, I just set the dough and paste out for about half an hour to soften at room temperature. The dough was cool but pliable and easy to work with and roll out. The fig paste was thick and sticky and I wasn’t sure how I was going to spread the paste onto the dough without making a mess. I dropped the paste onto a long sheet of plastic wrap and shaped it so that it was somewhat round and long like a rope. The paste didn’t stick to the plastic wrap and I was able to set the long strand of paste onto the dough and peel back the plastic. It made wrapping the dough around the fig paste quite easy. They baked perfectly in 18 minutes, golden and soft to the touch. And they look and taste just as good if not better than any you could buy at the store.