Dec 28, 2012

25 Best Recipes of 2012

Here is a collection of my favorite recipes from 2012. Enjoy!

Filet Mignon with Red Wine Boysenberry Reduction and Fried Goat Cheese Rounds

I have got a fancy and delicious recipe for you guys, courtesy of the samples I received from Certified Steak & Seafood Company. If you missed the other one I posted, go check out the Chilean Sea Bass with Orange Mango White Wine Reduction.

For those of you that may not be goat cheese fans, this filet mignon is delicious if you skip making the fried goat cheese rounds, but I loved the contrast of the sweet berry sauce and the tangy goat cheese.

The quality of the meat was superb. This is a dish that you have to watch closely. If you are not familiar with filet mignon, you definitely do not want to overcook it and have it be grey in the middle. Here is a great article that should help you decide what temperature to cook your filet mignon. Remember that it will continue to cook even after you take it off the stovetop. My pieces were about two inches thick so remember that if you have a different thickness of meat that you may need to adjust your cooking time.

Dec 25, 2012

Creme Brulee French Toast

This Christmas morning I baked up a pan of these delicious Creme Brulee French Toast that I found at Channeling Contessa. They are sweet and decadent. You can use whatever type of bread you prefer, but I went with a thinly sliced cinnamon swirl bread. 

Since these are so sweet, be sure to have savory items to serve with it. We went with cheesy scrambled eggs and bacon. Enjoy!

Merry Christmas!

Dec 24, 2012

Chilean Sea Bass with Orange Mango White Wine Reduction

I made two fancy meals today. The first which I am posting about this evening is this Chilean Sea Bass. The second which will come shortly is a fantastic Filet Mignon. Yum yum yum.

I got an opportunity to sample these goodies from Certified Steak & Seafood Company. I haven't cooked a ton of Sea Bass before but it ended up to be pretty simple. The quality of the fillets I got was fantastic. I have to say I haven't made a dinner that I enjoyed this much in quite some time.

Onto the recipe! For the sea bass I thought going the citrus route would compliment it well, and I was right. I reduced an orange mango juice blend down to almost nothing so the flavors were very potent, then added butter and whisked it in to create a velvety smooth sauce. Delicious.

Dec 23, 2012

Cranberry Pineapple Punch

This recipe for Cranberry Pineapple Punch from Cafe Zupas was a big hit at our Christmas party. It has just the right amounts of tartness, sweetness and fizz. I used an ice tray like this one and cut lemon and orange slices to freeze inside of the ice cubes. You could also make an ice ring and fill it with citrus slices and float it in the punch bowl. Enjoy!

Christmas Cookie Tray 2012

Dec 22, 2012

Cherry (or Raspberry...or Lime) Divinity

Divinity is another one of my favorite Christmas treats. This is not for the faint of heart. It is sweet and much loved at our house. Most divinities have nuts which I omitted out of preference.

One note about the recipe. It says to heat to 250 to 265. We tried it on the higher end towards 265 and it was just a bit too hard. Next time around I will do 255. Enjoy!

Cherry or Apricot Kolacky Thumb Print Cookies

Besides the famous Snowflake Sugar Cookies, another Christmas cookie staple at our house are Kolacky Thumb Print Cookies. They are tender and sweet and one of our favorites.

We also make these using an apricot filling but we decided to be lazy this year and only make cherry.


Dec 19, 2012

Starbucks Double Glazed Pumpkin Scones

You guys. These scones are so so good. I've made scones a few times before and these are by far the best. A moist pumpkin scone is glazed twice. This recipe makes 6 scones, which isn't a ton but it was just right for our house. Basically just enough to last a day, when the scone is fresh.

This copycat recipe comes from Rumbly In My Tumbly. These would be perfect for breakfast with a cup of coffee during the Christmas Season.

Dec 18, 2012

Snowball Cookies

I prefer these cookies with no nuts. They are probably my favorite holiday cookie. Even though they only have a few ingredients, the texture and taste is outstanding.

Snowflake Sugar Cookies

Sugar cookies are a must for our Christmas get together. This recipe is an oldie but a goodie, coming from Betty Crocker's Cooky Book, published in 1963. It is a crisp sugar cookie with a sweet and sparkly garnish. Be sure not to over bake,, the cookies should just barely have a hint of browning, if at all. Enjoy!

Cherry Almond Thins

So far these delicious little Cherry Almond Thins have been the favorite of all the Christmas cookies baked this week. They are just the right amount of chewy and sweet. Please note that they are quite thin so if your oven is temperamental, you need to keep a really close eye on these to make sure they don't overcook. Enjoy!

Dec 14, 2012

Broccoli Cheddar Chicken Braid

Food braids are quite popular at the moment and I am happy to say that my first attempt at one turned out so delicious. I spied this recipe for Broccoli Cheddar Chicken Braid at Food Family & Finds. They used two cans of crescent rolls whereas I used two puff pastry sheets. I like the flavor of puff pastry more than crescent rolls but you can use whichever you prefer.

My other change was to sprinkle poppy seeds over the egg brushed puff pastry instead of fresh rosemary. Again this was more a matter of preference and using what I had on hand. Enjoy!

Dec 12, 2012

Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole with Corn Flake Topping

Delicious. That is this recipe summed up into one word. Many thanks to NancyCreative for this recipe. It is comforting and so tasty. Enjoy!


#1: I made this for our Christmas breakfast in 2013 and made the following alterations. I used the 28 oz. bag of Yukon Select Hashed Browns (Alexa brand) which have garlic, onion, white pepper and sea salt. I used a can of cream of celery soup instead of chicken. I added just a bit of shredded cheese to the top before adding the cornflake topping.

#2 (Our Favorite): I made this variation in March of 2014. I used a 28 oz. bag of Crispy Seasoned Potato Puffs (Alexa brand) which have seasonings of roasted garlic, black pepper, sour cream and chives. I used a can of cream of celery soup. This has a much better flavor I have found than the chicken. I added some dried minced onion instead of chopped fresh onion. I added one diced cured ham steak and mixed that in with all the hashbrown casserole ingredients. To the top, I added a thin layer of a shredded cheddar, then the cornflake topping as directed. Far and away this has been our favorite way to make this casserole.

Dec 11, 2012

Chewy Fruitcake Cookies

Some of you may be at this very moment wrinkling your nose at the thought of fruitcake. If ever there were a time to embrace fruitcake, it would surely have to be in a chewy, cookie form. Many thanks to Rock Recipes for this retro inspired treat.

One little tip for making cookies is that if you are using a mix in ingredient like chocolate chips, or in this case, candied fruit, is to reserve a bit and sprinkle it on the top of the unbaked cookie just before baking. That way you get a very pretty little cookie and the toppings aren't completely hidden.

For those that would like less of a strong flavor, I would say you could cut the amount of dried fruit down by half and still get a good flavor. As written it is a bit of a potent flavor, so if you love fruitcake I would say add the full amount of dried fruit, and if you are unsure, perhaps try half or three quarters of the original amount. Enjoy!