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Sunny Simmons Steincamp

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  1. This is a treat I make for my husband & youngest daughter when I get my hands on some really luscious ripe pears (which isn't as often as I'd like.) Not terribly fanciful, but might be good for a few of your stash. I drizzle peeled slices with melted butter, sprinkle them with brown sugar & blue cheese, then put them under the broiled just until things start to get melty & slightly browned. I finish with a little cracked black pepper. Homey. Enjoy the bounty!
  2. Something like this? 8 lbs. mushrooms 2 qt. red wine vinegar 1 cup red wine 1/3 lb. fresh garlic, diced 1 bunch parsley, diced 1 qt. olive oil salt In a large, non-metal container, mix together the vinegar, wine, garlic, parsley, and a little salt. Rinse mushrooms & drain well; trim off ends of stems & any bad spots. Pack the mushrooms in airtight non-metal containers. Add marinade to about 1 1/2 inch from the top, then top with olive oil. Cover & refrigerate. Invert container once a day while storing, to distribute marinade evenly. Can be served after only a day, but it is better if it is older than 4 days. Hope this helps!
  3. Seems like 2007 was the Year of Chocolate for a lot of folks. I don't care for it much myself (ok, so I find it pretty disgusting... I think I might be a little allergic,) but my family loves it, so I branched out. Discovered Dorie Greenspan's World Peace Cookies, learned to temper chocolate and make truffles, invented a confabulation that results in what I call a s'mores casserole, discovered the fun of making my own marshmallows (I guess that's not technically in the right category, is it?) and made so many cream puffs I think I could do it in my sleep. I'm sure I'm forgetting some things, too... but it's definitely been the year of sweets... my crew has enjoyed that, for sure!
  4. No... but I feel your pain. I wish I had the jocones to beg off of what I've come to be expected to produce, so I say, Viva la Apathie. Take the year off. Buy some great cookies, or make some easy but impressive ones. And here's my wish that you have a terrific holiday.
  5. Hee. Never seen those jarred apple rings, huh? They're, like, NEON. Although to be fair, I couldn't find those, so I used a substitute... and added green food coloring to make my kids happy. (Even though said kids are grown now.) You can see my rework of the recipe <a href="http://www.homewitch.net">here</a>.
  6. You're quite welcome... mine is in the oven right now! I did wind up using rum extract, and adding a bit of cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg to the batter... about 1/2 tsp. each. Hope yours comes out like you remember it! Edited to include a photo of the finished product: <img src="http://forums.egullet.org/uploads/1197769032/gallery_38722_5277_20698.jpg" />
  7. Funny you should mention this. If you're talking about the same thing I am, my ex mother-in-law used to make it, and when I made (several times, I might add) <b>merstar</b>'s Cranberry Swirl Coffee Cake, I thought to myself, "If I just put those apple rings in here instead of the cranberry sauce, it would taste just like Elizabeth's apple bread!" Be kind to those around you, though, and use either JUST the red ones or the green ones... I was always slightly nauseated when she used a mixture of both, and we wound up with something that resembled brain matter trailing through each slice. Below is <b>mer</b>'s recipe as written. What I would do is to substitute the mushed-up apple rings for the cranberry sauce and change the almond extract to either vanilla or perhaps rum. I'd also add some cinnamon to the batter, I think. The recipe as written turns out beautifully and was a stunning favorite all four times I've made it so far! Actually, I think I may make one of these this evening for our tree-trimming party... will let you know how that goes! 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature 1 cup white sugar 2 eggs 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 2 cups all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 cup sour cream 1 teaspoon almond extract 1 cup of fresh cranberry sauce DIRECTIONS: 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). (*Decrease the temperature by 25 degrees if using dark pan.). Grease and flour one 9 or 10 inch tube pan. 2. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs just until well blended. 3. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. With mixer running, (lower the mixer speed), add the flour mixture alternately with the sour cream or yogurt to the butter mixture until just blended. Do not overmix! Stir in the almond extract and mix only until just combined. Pour 1/3 of the batter into the prepared pan. Swirl 1/2 of the cranberry sauce into the batter. Repeat, ending with the batter on top. 4. Bake about 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 5. Let cool in pan on wire rack about 10 minutes. Cut around edge of the cake to loosen, then turn out and let cool completely on wire rack. Makes 1 - 9 or 10 inch tube pan (12 servings).
  8. Oh, gods, I HATE when this happens! (And it happens to me several times a year.) One thing I try to do is to make sure there are "filling" things... I spent several years eschewing meat, and a lot of times your options are limited to rabbit food... salads, sprouts, raw veggie trays, etc. I like to give vegetarians at least a couple of options that are hearty. Here are a few I've done in the past with success: Veggie Pizza Pies - either buy those little tart shells or you can make your own (I usually do; it's not that hard... just press pie crust dough into greased muffin tins,) bake them off slightly, and fill with a mixture of sauteed or (my preference) roasted veggies, marinara or your favorite pizza sauce, fresh grated parmesan, and chunks of buffalo mozzarella. I like to include eggplant in the mix; it's meaty and lends itself well, I think. Also roasted peppers, mushrooms, etc.. you know the drill. Top them off with a little more cheese & bake til bubbly. Not terribly fancy - unless you go nuts with the filling - but a general crowd pleaser. I have to mark them, visibly, as "vegetarian" or the general hordes will wipe 'em out. Mini Pitas - I make them about 3 1/2" in diameter, flatten out the poof once they've cooled, and top them with whatever strikes my fancy. A few that stick out in my head - hummus, a pile of red pepper & onion relish, and a dab of yogurt. A curried dry dal I make from lima beans (had that for dinner last night!) with a slice of hot pepper and some chutney & a sprig of mint. Spread with Boursin (or equivalent homemade herby cheesy spready stuff) and top with sliced avocado & alfalfa sprouts (not sure you can get decent avocados this time of year.) I've also done the refried beans/lettuce/cheese/mexi-rice/sour cream thing. But you get the idea... the possibilities are pretty wide open. Tabbouleh or large-gauge couscous salad, pea salad, or some other "hearty" salad with grains, beans, legumes, or something... served in endive or other pick-uppable leaves. If you have little cups, maybe single servings of vegetarian red beans & rice would work; I've never done it this way, but it's usually a hit with vegetarian guests when I just put it in a big chafing dish on a buffet. Hope everything goes swimmingly for your party... and I hope you share pictures after!
  9. Anytime of year is time for caviar! I'm so glad to see this thread. Perusing Hansen's website, it *looks* like you can order Beluga to be shipped anywhere in the US... have the regulations changed in the past, say, couple of weeks? Because Mom & and I were surfing the heck out of everywhere over Thanksgiving weekend, trying to find a source for it, and every single place that HAD Beluga noted that its shipment was restricted to "Florida delivery only." Can anyone explain? <b>adeqiulio</b>, lucky you. We've yet to find *any* place local to Richmond, VA that sells any type of caviar other than the Romanoff stuff -- you have to mail order anything else!
  10. I've really only started getting better with desserts over the past few years... I've not much of a sweet tooth, so it's never been a huge priority for me. But I still tend to want to focus on the other goodies, so my dessert offerings tend to be low-key. While I'm still hashing out my holiday party menu, I do have the desserts all but picked out... White chocolate truffles, rolled in different goodies and with different flavors (hazelnuts w/Frangelico, chopped pecans with Tia Maria, chopped Heath bars with B&B - my personal pick.) These can be made ages in advance and frozen; just my style. Mini cheesecake tartlets in those teensy phyllo cups Fudge brownies, precut in nearly bite-sized pieces Cream puffs - super easy to make, elegant, and ready to be filled with a variety of squooshy stuff (vanilla cream, chocolate mousse, preserves, and ice cream) And, lastly... cookies. LOTS of different cookies.
  11. If you figure that out, please let me know... I'm still working on how to get my overnight guests out of here before it's dinner time again EVERY week! I'm having an appetizer & cocktail party for New Year's, and haven't decided on a menu yet. Your choices sound terrific to me... kinda rustic & hearty... which I guess is a *really* good thing if your guests are going to be imbibing in quantity! The only thing I'd add is some sort/form of bread... again, something I learned to do when there is going to be a good deal of alcohol consumption. To be fair, the folks I usually feed are extremely partial to getting their "homemade bread fix" when they come here, so we may go through a larger amount than is usual & customary, as they say. I do know that I'll have made focaccia, pita, teensy versions of my everyday dinner rolls, and homemade "wheat thins" to be included in my holiday spread. Do you make your own dukkah?
  12. We've always used filet, no marinade... lots of dipping sauces. Funny, our traditional fondue day is Easter! **hugs** Sunny
  13. Berta, Mom and I rebelled several years ago for similar reasons... two or three days' worth of work, gone in a 60- 90-minute sit-down dinner, and then another three hours of hand-washing all the good china & silver while everyone else plays with their toys? No, thanks! Our solution? We go out to our favorite Vietnamese restaurant for dinner, and we keep light, snacky things around for grazing during the day. We do wind up with a lot of buffet-style goodies on Christmas Eve, however, and since we only started doing things this way a few years ago, we've been able to get away from the "must haves" we are stuck with at Thanksgiving. You might look over at the thread about things to make <a href="http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=109596&hl=">Before the Feast</a> for lots of good ideas. A few things come to mind that I've done for buffets that hold well in chafing dishes for extended periods: dirty rice and/or jambalaya, chili, almost any pasta dish (ravioli does especially well,) saltimboca, moussaka, pulled pork (bbq), my 5-cheese spinach & artichoke dip and/or hot crab dip, chicken & dumplings, and my favorite main-dish style baked beans. I'm sure everyone here will have tons more ideas (and I'm always looking for new ones, myself!)
  14. I once helped a friend bake 100 rolls for a community dinner. They were all wrapped in foil & ready to go when I left for home and my friend took off to pick up her kids from a neighbor's house. When she returned, the rolls were GONE. They looked all over the place... no sign of the rolls... until that night when my friend's son got ready for bed. Jake, their massive chocolate lab, had stolen all of the neatly packed rolls, eaten them all up, and hidden the foil in the covers of her son's bed!! What made it even funnier was that Jake left a great huge pot roast untouched, that was sitting on the stove top resting!!! Crazy dog. My dog Woody once scarfed a cooling pizza off the kitchen counter. He'd been suspected of doing so before, but we could never really pin it on him due to the number of people in my house. The time he was caught, it was because the pilfered pie was so hot it made him yelp when he burned his mouth on it.
  15. Yup, they sure were yummy. I do both oysters and fried chicken with buttermilk. For chicken, my grandmother taught me to turn the heat down & cover the skillet after browning on both sides, which I guess keeps the crust from getting too dark. You're right, though... it's a lot simpler process with oysters. I do flour + buttermilk + seasoned cornmeal for mine, and use corn oil. 375°F til they "look right." This thread is making me hungry, which is saying something coming off a 3-day stomach virus!
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