Recipes again, Holiday help!

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by skatemommy, Dec 7, 2011.

  1. skatemommy

    skatemommy Well-Known Member

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    Hi all, I see that one of our favorite threads has been closed (after two years!). My dilemma is that it looks as though I will have multiple guests Christmas Eve and Day. I am looking for side dishes that will reheat well. Last year I made Paula Deen's slow cooker mac and cheese and it was glorious for about an hour before all the liquid got sucked up and it dried out. Plan on serving ham for main dish and bakery desert...please easy sides that don't look like sh!t on a shingle after being reheated. Many thank yous!
     
  2. Aceon6

    Aceon6 Get off my lawn

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    We've had luck with vegetarian lasagne, oven roasted root veggies, and al dente green beans. YMMV.
     
  3. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    Rice pilafs are good too, because they reheat well, and you just fluff them up to look like a whole new dish instead of chopped through casseroles.

    Keep some chopped herbs on hand to garnish, and voila! (I always chop extra parsley, chives, cilantro, green onions etc and keep them in the fridge - so handy for adding a fresh touch to dishes without any work.)

    Here's one that a friend shared - huge hit at a party and we all asked for it. It's a cold salad, so even easier: Caribbean Rice and Black Bean Salad.

    Same with couscous - easy to make, reheats well and can be "re-presented" as a new dish. Best part is it's so quick to make that if you are running low you can just make a couple of extra cups and mix it in.

    Our basic favourite is with butter, ground almonds and garlic (big chunks stirred around for flavour, but you don't eat them). Easy enough to do a herb version, or perhaps something seasonal with cranberries, raisins, nuts and cinnamon or other festive spices.

    For a cold version, you can't go wrong with Greek style - finely chop tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, olives if you like them (I don't!), red onion, plus dried oregano and fresh mint, and olive oil of course, with wine vinegar and lemon zest or juice optional. When I serve it at BBQs, we put out a bowl of crumbled feta on the side for our vegan friend; otherwise I'd mix it in.

    Here's another great fall/winter dish for Pan Roasted Vegetables. We've been making this for years, and even people who claim not to like veggies can't get enough of it. It's a lot of work at the beginning with all the chopping, but it's something you can do a day or two in advance, and then just assemble later. And it reheats well, and looks pretty and colourful when served in a big bowl or platter.
     
  4. Andrushka

    Andrushka Well-Known Member

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    Some sort of seasoned rice does well reheated. Mash usually does well too. Green beans sauteed in olive oil,sea salt and garlic.
     
  5. Christina

    Christina Well-Known Member

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    So who posted a bread recipe in a thread somewhere, of 3c flour, 3T sugar and a beer?

    I tried it today, as I had a spare beer. My oven smells like beer, but the bread hasn't really risen much. Should it be thick and dense? Help, oh mysterious poster...
     
  6. zippy

    zippy Active Member

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    Could it have been me? I do beer bread all the time and it's fab - I take it to practically every event that requires you to bring food and it's always a hit. People think you put in a lot of work to make bread, when nothing could be further from the truth! Here's the recipe that I use - as you can see, it's pretty versatile in terms of spicing it up.
     
  7. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    Back to rice for a sec, here's an excellent recipe from Mark Bittman: Green Rice Pilaf
     
  8. Vagabond

    Vagabond Well-Known Member

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    It was Matryeshka:

     
  9. zippy

    zippy Active Member

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    ^Ah, ok. If the bread isn't rising, I recommend adding a tablespoon of baking powder. Mine always rises very well with the combination of 3 cups flour (I usually do 2 cups white and 1 cup whole wheat and teff flour), 1 tablespoon sugar, a pinch of salt, 1 tsp baking powder, and 1 beer. I also tend to add things like rosemary, garlic, dill, or cheddar cheese in various combinations. Then add some butter and mango chutney to a warm slice, yum!
     
  10. jeffisjeff

    jeffisjeff Well-Known Member

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    Can I ask for help too? I need to make cookies for a cookie exchange :)rolleyes:). I don't bake much and since we are expected to exchange the recipe as well as the cookies, I guess I won't be able to just slice up a tube of toll house cookie dough :p. Any suggestions for easy, but impressive ;), holiday cookies?
     
  11. Prancer

    Prancer Jawwalking Staff Member

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    I dunno about impressive, but these are easy, the recipe makes a lot, and the cherry is kind of festive :p. It's also a little different from peanut blossoms, which someone else is sure to make, or frosted sugar cookies (ditto). Your kids can help; mine liked putting the cherries in the middle when they were younger.

    http://www.tasteofhome.com/Recipes/Cherry-Almond-Chews

    These are also easy, the recipe also makes a lot, and they look fussier than they are:

    http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/Dipped-Gingersnaps

    They're my husband's favorite Christmas cookies. Be warned--they are SO SWEET.
     
  12. jeffisjeff

    jeffisjeff Well-Known Member

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    Thanks! The cherry ones look great, but I don't like almonds. Of course, they aren't for me... and they do look impressive. Anyway, looking at those recipes makes me realize how much stuff I'll need to buy (and then never use again) just to make cookies. My pantry just isn't stocked for baking. Shortening? Almond extract? Molasses? Coconut? Maraschino cherries? :wuzrobbed
     
  13. skateboy

    skateboy Well-Known Member

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    At Christmas, I love to serve this hot chocolate recipe:

    Half and half, made with Nutella and flavored with peppermint (or candy canes). Decadent, but soooooooooo good.
     
  14. Prancer

    Prancer Jawwalking Staff Member

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    Ah, well, then, have I got a recipe for you:

    Peanut Butter Cookie Cups

    Of course, you probably don't have a mini muffin pan. :shuffle: But if you do, you can pretty much let your kids make those. I always did. When people would ask for the recipe, I would give them my homemade peanut butter cookie recipe and directions :shuffle:.

    One of my least favorite things about the holidays is that there are so many claims on time you don't have. For people who love to bake for the holidays, it's fun, but for everyone else, it's mostly one more PITA.
     
  15. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

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    Nutella is vile. My opinion only. :D
     
  16. skateboy

    skateboy Well-Known Member

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    Whaaaaaattt?? Bite thy tongue! :lol:
     
  17. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    If you have youngsters coming for the holidays, the maraschino cherries could come in handy. When my niece was a tween, she loved having a proper cocktail along with the grown ups - maraschino cherries in ginger ale, aka the Shirley Temple. Good also for sleepovers with the kids.
     
  18. jeffisjeff

    jeffisjeff Well-Known Member

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    Those look great, but can I really share a recipe with:

    without being :eek: ?

    Oh yes I do! We love mini-muffins, but usually I just buy the mix, add some milk and pour. last week, I even randomly bought some festive mini-muffin baking cups.

    We used to do that as a kid. But, we're not having kids but our own this holiday and my kids don't drink soda of any kind.
     
  19. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    I actually applaud that (thinking of the giant bottles of Coke Zero I have to stock when my sister's kids come over :yikes:), but I think the holidays are a time for a few exceptions, no?
     
  20. jeffisjeff

    jeffisjeff Well-Known Member

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    Sure. I let them try soda on the odd occasion, but they don't really like it (particularly the bubbles) and have never asked for more than a sip. They are always offered soda at b-day parties and other kid-friendly events, but they always ask for water instead. Also, my son doesn't like maraschino cherries, so there you go.
     
  21. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    OK, perhaps others can use the tip :lol:

    My mother, bless her efforts, would not allow us to have soda as kids, nor sugared cereals, and even the Halloween candy was rationed out. She did however raise us on Cheez Whiz, hot dogs, Nestle's Quik and Cool Whip :scream:

    I never did develop a taste for soda - too bubbly growing up, and too sweet now.

    But I still enjoy the occasional box of Kraft Dinner.:shuffle:
     
  22. skatemommy

    skatemommy Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for all the tips! A rice dish/casserole sound excellent and I'll have some chicken stock on hand if things start to look a little dry.
     
  23. Prancer

    Prancer Jawwalking Staff Member

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    That's why I said:

    No one really knows the difference. Just find a peanut butter cookie recipe and use that. It will work fine as long as the recipe calls for smooth peanut butter and not crunchy. There have been times when I have made those with my regular peanut butter cookie recipe and it works perfectly well; it just isn't as sweet.
     
  24. BigB08822

    BigB08822 Well-Known Member

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    We got some really nice Nonstick Calphalon pans for Christmas. The manual says they are oven safe to 450 degrees but I am concerned because the handles have some rubber on them. I would trust the instructions but I did notice the picture on the front of the manual shows pans with solid metal handles and no rubber. Has anyone used these pans and put them in the oven? I would really like to be able to but the rubber parts make me nervous. I suppose I should just follow the instructions, they do come with a 10 yr warranty, after all.
     
  25. acraven

    acraven Well-Known Member

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    Brian, the information from the manufacturer certainly ought to be reliable, but unfortunately oven temperatures are not always precise. I checked mine when it was new, and it was running 25 degrees too low; i.e., if I set it at 375, the oven thermometer read 350. If your oven happens to run significantly hotter than it's supposed to be, I guess you could have a problem even if you're careful to set the temp below 450 when you're using the new pans.

    I didn't take care of my similar-to-Calphalon anodized aluminum pots the way I should have. I've started replacing them because of surface flaking--I think the result of having left things like tomato sauce in the pots too long rather than immediately transferring the food to a storage container.
     
  26. asdf334

    asdf334 Active Member

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    I think they're oven safe because the material you're seeing is silicone, and not rubber. Just be sure, not to use the pans under the broiler.

    Also, you can also find more info / ask them directly here.

    http://www.calphalon.com/ProductSupport/Pages/FAQs.aspx
     
  27. BigB08822

    BigB08822 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks! I will be careful with the temperature and to never broil. We will be taking care of them, never putting them in the dishwasher will be tough but these pans should last a lifetime if taken care of. Thanks for mentioning that other things, such as tomato sauce, can ruin the pans! I had never thought of that. I will make sure to transfer everything immediately after eating and to wash immediately.
     
  28. rfisher

    rfisher Satisfied skating fan

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    Be certain you buy the recommended cleaning materials. The non-stick uses a non-scratch type. You will ruin them if you use the cleaner for anodized pans. And invest in wooden spoons and non-stick spatulas. I never put any of my pans in the dishwasher. The problem with tomato sauce is the acid will react to the anodized aluminum. I use a differnt type of pan if I'm making spaghetti sauce. Take care of them and you will use them for a very long time. Oh, and do not use spray cooking oils on your non-stick pans. Ever. Just use a tiny bit of butter or olive oil instead.
     
  29. BigB08822

    BigB08822 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks again. Part of the gift was a set of wooden spoons, rubber spatulas, rubber whisks, etc. All the cooking utensils were safe for our new pots and pans. We also read about never using spray oils but I can't think of a time I have ever used that in a pot or pan on the stovetop. I only use that for baking in the oven. It is nice to know, though, just in case I ever had a bold idea. lol
     
  30. BigB08822

    BigB08822 Well-Known Member

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    I made these cookies tonight and they are the best chocolate chip cookies I have ever had. Crunchy on the outside, gooey and chewy on the inside and I love that you can make them really big like you see for sale at bakeries. I would recommend two things. Chill your dough for an hour at least before baking. I cut back the chocolate chips by 1/2 and only mixed in 1 cup. More than enough for me. Lastly, cut back a little on the vanilla. I will probably do 1 1/2 teaspoons next time. I like vanilla but I don't want it to be the main flavor I taste upon first biting in to the cookie. Anyway, trust me, if you want an amazing homemade chocolate chip cookie, do not hesitate:

    http://allrecipes.com/recipe/best-big-fat-chewy-chocolate-chip-cookie/Detail.aspx

    I baked for 15 to 16 minutes per batch.