Thursday, November 29, 2012

French Dip Rollups

These little guys were SO easy to make and SUPER yummy!  You can customize them so many ways.  I wanted to go french dip style so I chose to do deli sliced roast beef and shredded cheddar.  I can think of so many different combinations that would be great too.  Pepperoni & mozzarella, turkey and Swiss, the possibilities are endless.

To make the french dip style here's what I did:

French Dip Rollups

1 can crescent rolls
sliced roast beef
shredded cheddar cheese
au jus

Roll out your crescent roll dough and lay triangles flat.  Top each triangle section with some of your meat and cheese.

Roll up and place on a baking sheet.  and place in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for about 15 minutes.  While in the oven, heat or mix your au jus.  (Note: you are not seeing things, in the picture I thickened my au jus to make it more like brown gravy.  You can do what ever suits your mood.)  Enjoy!

Monday, November 19, 2012

DIY Napkin Rings

These adorable napkin rings were SO easy to make.  I needed to make 31 of them for a bridal shower, so they did end up taking a LONG time to complete, but I feel like the finished product was well worth the time.  They did not go unnoticed.  A few people even asked if they could take a set home.  Seeing as I have no need for 31 napkin rings I was more than happy to let them go, as long as I got to keep a set for myself!!! :)

You only need three things to make these little cuties:
1.) Rope/Jute
2.) Toilet paper or paper towel rolls
3.) A loaded hot glue gun and plenty of ammo

They ended up costing me about $5 which was the price of the rope/jute material.  I had been saving toilet paper rolls for a while with visions of a completely different, unrelated craft in mind.

Cut your cardboard rolls in to desired width rings.  (I made the first one pretty wide & while it looked fine, it took too much time.  I quickly realised that smaller rings ended up looking just as nice.)

Begin gluing & wrapping around your ring. 

Once you reach the end, just spiral it down to the next row.

And tada!  You've got hand made adorable napkin rings that end up costing pennies!  How adorable would these look on your Thanksgiving table!!

Don't Forget the Cranberry Sauce!

My favorite holiday recipes wouldn't do you much good this year if i waited until after T-day to post them right??  So here's another blast from my holiday past...
I've been making homemade cranberry sauce for our holiday meals for as long as I can remember.  I was given a traditional family recipe to make when I was around 10.  Over the years I've switched it up a little here and there.  In the past I would add fresh raspberries (which I still think is great) but last year I tried adding some fresh chopped pear.  The fresh pears complement the cranberries so well!  I absolutly enjoyed the different texture.  I was so pleased that I will be doing it again this year.

If you've never had homemade cranberry sauce you should give it a try.  It doesn't take long to make and it is so much better than the stuff from the can! You can even make it a few days in advance.  (Dontcha just love make in advance recipes!)  Give it a try, you're family will be so impressed by your fancy skills!  Enjoy!

Pear Honey Cranberry Sauce
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup +/- water
1/2 cup white sugar
2 pears, peeled, cored and diced
1 (12 ounce) package fresh cranberries
1/2 cup honey
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

In a medium saucepan, add together OJ, sugar, pears, cranberries and enough water to just come to the top of the fruit. Cook over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil. Cook, stirring frequently for 3 minutes, add honey and cinnamon. Continue to cook until cranberries pop and the mixture thickens slightly, about 5-10 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice and lemon zest. Cool to room temperature, then store covered in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Holiday Mashed Potatoes

The countdown to turkey day is on!  Are you ready to get your aprons on?  I don't know about you, but in my holiday meal experience those final minutes in the kitchen tend to be a bit on the hectic side.  Chances are you've got ten thousand people in the kitchen, there's a giant bird to be carved, gravy to be made, rolls to be burned warmed... you know all those last minute things that can't be done in advance.  One of the things we scratched of the list years ago in our family was mashing the potatoes.  This recipe is SUPER basic, and WAY too delicious!  The greatest part, all the time consuming stuff can be done the day before.  All you have to do the day of the big meal is throw it in the oven and enjoy!  Do this, you'll thank me!

Holiday Mashed Potatoes

5 lbs Potatoes, peeled & cut
8 oz Cream Cheese
1 Cup Half & Half
½ Cup Butter, + more for top
1 tsp Onion Powder
1 tsp Season Salt
1 tsp Regular Salt
1 tsp White Pepper

Boil & drain potatoes.

Mix Cream Cheese and half & half until creamy, add hot potatoes & beat. Add melted butter & seasonings; beat well.

Spread in 9” x 13” baking dish. (Can be done the night before up to this point.)
Top with melted butter & paprika. Bake 35 - 45 min @ 350 degrees.