Monthly Archives: November 2010

Honeyed Apple Minis

I love baking with apples. I love the smell, the taste, the texture – all of it! But then when I get to marry the apples with honey, well, we are at a whole other level; they produce that tangy-sweet taste that I can’t resist. And when I add the walnuts, this dessert becomes a smooth, buttery filling for strudels, cakes, or muffins. What I’ve done for this recipe is I used the apple filling to make something a bit different; instead of putting the mixture into dough, I am putting the dough into the mixture.

You will need:

  • 4 medium-sized of your favorite apples, peeled, cored, sliced in quarters, and grated
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, ground
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/8 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
  • 5 sheets Fillo Dough, cut in pieces
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

 

Directions:

  • Preheat oven at 350.
  • Put the grated apples into a saucepan and cook for 2 minutes over medium-low heat.
  • Mix in the walnuts, honey, cinnamon, and nutmeg; stir and allow to cook together for 5 more minutes.
  • Add in the torn pieces of fillo dough and a teaspoon of baking powder; mix well and let it cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  • Spoon the mixture into 6 paper-lined muffin cups.
  • Put the muffin pan into the oven for 45 minutes.
  • Allow the dessert to completely cool down, about an hour, before removing the honeyed apples from the liners.

***These can also be made with a sugar substitute, like Splenda, but the taste will be somewhat different; it won’t have that tangy-sweet taste that I am talking about. However, if you are experiencing a major sweet tooth attack, but are trying to diet, make these with Splenda instead of the honey.

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Filed under Home, Macedonian Cuisine, Sweets. Now. Please.

Green Beans with Zucchini

I heard through the grapevine that on Thanksgiving someone was going to bring the Green Bean Casserole, but since it was through the grapevine, I was a bit skeptical. What if it was just a passing thought or suggestion? I played it safe and made a different dish with green beans just in case.

At the grocery store – no more farmer’s market ;( – I picked up a variety of squash, including acorn and butternut, I got some zucchini and eggplants – I couldn’t help myself; everything looked so deliciously colorful! I used the acorn for the vegan pasta dish, the eggplants will be used for some quick sandwiches over the weekend, but the zucchini was added in with the green beans. I was excited about this dish because it is one of my favorites and it does not have the high amount of calories that a traditional green bean casserole has! And, yeah, one of my guests did bring a green bean casserole. šŸ™‚

You will need:

  • 2 tbsp. evoo
  • 1 onion, halved and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
  • Ā½ cup vegetable broth
  • 3 cups of green beans
  • 1 zucchini, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 fresh tomatoes, diced, or 1 cup of grape tomatoes
  • 1 cup of fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • Parmesan cheese, grated (optional)

Directions:

  • Wash the zucchini, cut it in half, lengthwise, then cut into 1-inch chunks.
  • In a large skillet, over medium heat, heat the EVOO, then add the onion, garlic and oregano; stir and cook until softened.
  • Pour in the vegetable broth and bring to a boil.
  • Throw in the green beans, reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring a couple of times.
  • Add the zucchini and tomatoes and continue cooking for 5 minutes.
  • Add the mushrooms, continue to cook until the vegetables are tender.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Sprinkle with parsley.
  • If you want, you can also add some freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

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Thanksgiving Leftovers

Now that you’ve cleaned up the Thanksgiving feast off the table, you are most likely wondering what to do with all the leftovers. You’re not alone; we are all doing the same thing. I have a lot of turkey that I need to take care of, and I have some stuffing, some gravy, and veggies. I’ll leave some turkey for hubby’s sandwiches, some for a soup, and the rest I am going to use up in this savory, day after Thanksgiving treat. It includes almost everything that we had yesterday. Hey – when you can’t think of anything else, just throw all the food in a large skillet, drizzle on some EVOO, and take it from there.

You will need:

  • 2 tablespoons EVOO
  • 4 generous portions of cooked turkey, white meat
  • 2 – 3 cups of leftover vegetables, or you can use your favorite frozen veggies
  • 2 cups of your leftover turkey gravy
  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth or water
  • 1 – 2 cups of leftover stuffing

Directions:

  • Place the skillet over medium heat, pour in the EVOO and add the turkey; cook until heated through, about 3 minutes on each side.
  • Stir in the vegetables, broth or water, and gravy; bring to a boil.
  • Put the stuffing over meat mixture and cover.
  • Simmer on medium-low heat for about 10 min. or until heated through.

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Cranberry “Cupcakes”

Did you know that during the early quarter of the 20th century, immigrants entering Ellis Island in New York City were served JELL-O gelatin as a ā€œWelcome to Americaā€? That’s right! So, I am going to serve this very American treat on a very American holiday.

Three words to describe these tasty cups; tart, sweet, flavorful. Oh, I just thought of a fourth one; EASY! Yeah, things in the kitchen don’t always have to be complicated. I learned about this gelatin dessert a few years back during the holiday season. I think it came from a 1970’s cookbook, if I’m not mistaken. They are the most beautiful centerpiece on any dessert table. Their appearance screams, “Happy Holidays”. And, one more great thing about these minis, they are about a 100 calories a piece!

You will need:

  • 1 can (20 oz.) crushed pineapple, in juice
  • 1 package (3 oz.) raspberry flavor gelatin
  • 1 package (3 oz.) strawberry flavor gelatin
  • 1 can (16 oz.) whole berry cranberry sauce
  • 2/3 cup walnuts, ground
  • 1 apple, chopped

Directions:

  • Drain pineapple, reserving juice.
  • Put the gelatin (just the powder) in a large bowl.
  • Add enough water to juice to measure 2 Ā½ cups; pour into saucepan and bring to a boil.
  • Pour the water into the gelatin mix and stir for 2 minutes until completely dissolved.
  • Stir in the pineapple, cranberry sauce, nuts, and apples.
  • Spoon into 24 paper-lined muffin cups.
  • Refrigerate for 2 Ā½ hours or until firm.
  • Remove desserts from liners before serving.

I took these “cranberry daisies” to a little girl’s birthday party and everybody loved them!

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Filed under Home, Sweets. Now. Please.

Taratur – Tar-ah-tour – Š¢Š°Ń€Š°Ń‚ŃƒŃ€

TaraturĀ is a traditional Macedonian summer side dish that is usually served with grilled meat. But for the reason that Orthodox Christmas Fast always starts right around Thanksgiving,Ā it has become a tradition in my house to serve it forĀ the last time of the year on Thanksgiving Day; it is our last indulgence before our strict Fast. Just as an FYI, during FastĀ we are on aĀ complete Vegan diet for six weeks; six weeks before Christmas – 7th of January – (our ChurchĀ still follows theĀ JulianĀ Calendar)Ā and six weeks before Easter.

TaraturĀ is similar to Tzatziki, but it is not the same. The variations are in the extra ingredients used in TaraturĀ and in the thickness of the yogurt; the yogurt used for TzatzikiĀ is as thick as a spread, whereas the yogurt for TaraturĀ is a lot thinner because Taratur is meant to be eaten with a spoon.

You will need:

  • 1 cucumber, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • salt to taste
  • 1 cup plain yogurt, like Dannon Non-Fat Plain Yogurt
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, ground
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 or 2 mint leaves or a teaspoon of dried mint

Directions:

  • Chop up the cucumbers and try to absorb as much of the moisture as possible by drying off the cucumber pieces with a paper towel.
  • Place the cucumbers in a bowl.
  • Mince the garlic and add it to the cucumbers.
  • Sprinkle on the salt and mix it all together.

  • Pour in the yogurt. If the yogurt is not thick enough, you can use 1/2 cup of sour cream and 1/2 cup of yogurt – blend them well before you pour the yogurt over the cucumber mixture.
  • Mix it all well and top it with the ground walnuts.
  • Sprinkle on the olive oil and add the mint.
  • Chill before serving it in an individual, cup-sized bowl.

Ā 

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