Monday, November 3, 2008

The Holiday Season Begins!

So dull and dark are the November days.
The lazy mist high up the evening curled,
And now the morn quite hides in smoke and haze; The place we occupy seems all the world.
~John Clare

I am astounded that it's already November and time to start planning our holiday gatherings, giving and dinners. I thought I would start out November with recipes that I've been sent from visitors to OFL.

Sheila Bynum sent in this great fall recipe:
Apple Stuffed Butternut Squash

1 medium butternut squash cut in half and seeds removed
2 medium apples chopped
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup of chopped walnuts
3 Tbsp. honey
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
2 Tbsp. butter melted

Place squash in 9x13 baking dish. In saucepan,melt butter and add apples and raisins, honey and spices saute on low.Remove from heat. Add walnuts and stuff in the squash sprinkle with additional cinnamon lightly. Cover with foil. Bake at 350 until squash is tender, about 30 minutes.

Here is a great Autumn/Winter recipe for Polish Sausage and
Cabbage! ~Lor in Canada

Polish Sausage and Cabbage
(I increase according to number of people I'm serving.)

1/2 Cabbage ~ course sliced
2 Onions ~ large, cut 1" slices
2 Potatoes ~ large, peeled and sliced in chunks
2 lbs. Polish sausage ~ cut 1" chunks
2 teaspoons Pepper; freshly ground
14 ounces Chicken Broth/Vegetable Stock
1/2 teaspoon Caraway seeds(optional)
1/2 cup Polish dehydrated mushrooms
(or button mushrooms~canned or fresh)

Place sliced cabbage in crock pot. Toss with potato, pepper and caraway seeds. Add sliced onion, mushrooms and Polish sausage. Pour chicken/vegetable broth over all; stir lightly. Cover and cook on Low setting for8 to 10 hours or on HIGH setting for 2 to 4 hours. This dish is delicious served with mustard or horseradish. Makes 4 servings(about 3 1/2 quarts). Serves: 4

Lor also sent in this wonderful cheesecake recipe!

Grandmother's Cheese Cake (Sernik Babci)
1-1/4 cups flour
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 egg
3 Tbsp. sour cream
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar

6 eggs
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 lb. farmers cheese or ricotta
2/3 cup melted butter
1-1/2 cups mashed potatoes (not seasoned)
(*Save mashed potatoes from the night before)
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup grated orange or lemon peel

For the dough, combine the flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl. Cut in the butter with a fork. Beat egg into the sour cream. Stir into the flour mixture then stir in the sugar. Knead the dough until well mixed and smooth. Roll dough on a floured surface into a rectangle. Line a 13x9x2 inch pan with the dough and bring dough part the way up sides.

For the filling, separate 1 egg and reserve the whites, beat remaining yolk and whole eggs with the sugar for 5 minutes at high speed of a electric mixer. Add the vanilla, beat at high until the mixture is soft. Press cheese through a sieve, blend cheese with butter, add potatoes,baking powder, nutmeg, and salt. Stir in orange peel. Fold into the egg mixture. Turn into prepare crust in pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 45-55 min. or until set. Cool well before cutting.

Here's another cheese ball recipe. The ingredients for this one sound a little strange, but it is very good!

Pineapple Cheese Ball

1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 (8 oz.) can crushed pineapple in juice, well drained
1 tbsp. finely chopped green bell pepper
(use red for Christmas!)
1 tbsp. finely chopped celery
1 tbsp. finely chopped onion
2/3 c. chopped pecans
1/2 tsp. salt
Dash of hot sauce (opt.)

Fold pineapple, bell pepper, celery, onion and 1/3 c. chopped pecans into cream cheese. Add salt and hot sauce. Form mixture into a ball; chill for 1/2 hour.After ball is firm, roll in remaining pecans to cover. Chill cheese ball overnight before serving. ~Enjoy, Miranda in Hawaii

On OFL we have step by step instructions for a cute Thanksgiving Tree with a picture. A great way to teach gratitude!

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