White and Wild Rice Stuffing with Dried Fruits and Kale | Pacific Merchants Giveaway

rice stuffing

I had every intention of making a yellow rice to show off the lovely pieces I received from Pacific Merchants. I could even see the photos in my head: brilliant, saffron-colored rice nestled against a white baker and cozy, warm, wooden bowls. Dotted with peas and cilantro. Because green equals healthy. Then I read a tweet or a facebook update, I don’t recall which, about a rice-based stuffing, and I immediately scrapped my old idea for this new one.

I love it when you get ideas! Plus I hear there is a very keen giveaway!

Special Holiday Desserts for a Crowd: PCO’s Dessert Hit Parade

special holiday desserts

I have brought you a couple of round ups recently. First, there was the Thanksgiving Side Dishes Round Up with over 74 fantastic sides. Next up was last month’s Progressive Eats round up of Easy Holiday Cocktail Party Recipes and then I rounded it out with a kind of awesome round up of 105 Thanksgiving Desserts! Yay! You might want to go ahead and bookmark those bad boys right now.

I will be headed back to Charlotte tomorrow because there are some kinks in the services that dad should be getting to help his knee heal. Sigh. So, another round up it is! This time, I’m sharing my own special holiday desserts for a crowd. I am one of those people who makes Big Fat Desserts. Even though it’s just me and The Beloved here, I love making large desserts that can be cut into a ton of pieces. Yes, our neighbors seem to appreciate it! While I do have some individual desserts on the blog, I think when you have a crowd over for a special holiday meal, slice and serve is the way to go (especially if you are short on ramekins)!

More desserts! Hooray!

Cream Cheese Panna Cotta (Tart)

cream cheese panna cotta

Since I was working with such a dark chocolate shell, I wanted to be sure the filling contrasted nicely. The butterscotch color of peanut butter or, well…butterscotch…would have worked nicely here. But my brain was stuck on making a black and white tart.

I saw that Roxana from Roxana’s Home Baking shared a splendid pumpkin pie panna cotta tart in a rectangular shell a few days ago, and something clicked. Why hadn’t I ever thought to serve panna cotta in a tart shell? I don’t know, but I decided that my tart shell-less panna cotta days would soon be over. After all, cool-creamy against crunchy-crumbly equals delicious.

Panna cotta in a tart shell! Smart–gimme!

Veggie Oat Taco Mince |OATrageous Oatmeals Review

tacos3crop

Friends, I served Kathy Hester dinner. I know Kathy Hester. Kathy Hester is a friend of mine. And I am no Kathy Hester. She thinks way more outside the box–or the cardboard cylinder–than I do.

When I heard about her idea for an Oatmeal book, I was all “Well, that’s interesting, but I can totally add different nuts and fruits to my oatmeal without a book, thankyouverymuch. But wow, folks, did she show me. Let me start by giving you just a sampling of the recipes from each chapter.

Ooh, let me see!

Chocolate Sable Tart Dough | Filled with…Potential

tart shell 001

Hello, friends! Today, I’m going to show you how to make chocolate sable tart dough. Sable is French for sand, so sable dough is sandy. It’s crunchy and crumbly. In other words, it’s a short crust–a crust in which little gluten is developed so the gluten strands are short. The best way to keep gluten from forming is to coat the flour with fat. And that’s exactly how we build this dough.

Mix dry ingredients.
Mix in butter thoroughly until you can’t see it anymore.
Mix in wet ingredients a bit at a time until the dough comes together in a big fat lump.

Well, that sounds easy. Let’s do it!/span>

105 Delicious Thanksgiving Desserts Recipes Round Up

thanksgiving

I grew up in a family with very British roots. Our main dessert on Thanksgiving and Christmas was an English Plum Pudding that was so purple it was almost black. Before serving, my Auntie Ev would light that sucker on fire. At Christmas, we’d all sing “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.” At Thanksgiving, we’d just sort of watch it burn.

Since the plum pudding was the star of the show, any other dessert we had was sort of a throw-away. A small apple pie. Maybe some cookies. Did I mention a small apple pie?

If you come from a family who only ate the same one or two Thanksgiving desserts every year, this round up is for you! With 105 delicious Thanksgiving desserts recipes to choose from, there is something here for everyone.

105 Dessert Ideas?! Sign me up!/span>

Top Eleven Must-Have Tools for Serious Bakers

tools collage crop

I have been baking for a very long time now. I went through a phase where I simply had to own every single baking tool out there. I probably used 90% of these tools only once or twice before getting them out and/or cleaning them seemed to be more trouble than any effort saved by actually using them warranted.

At this point, I’m in my less-is-more phase, choosing to spend my money on well-built multitaskers that will last for years rather than “but wait, there’s more” gadgets that aren’t very robust at all. I thought I’d share my top ten must-have tools for serious bakers with you so you can know my recommendations. I own everything on this list, and I use everything on a very regular basis. I hope my recommendations help you when it comes time for you to either replace old tools or purchase new ones. I want you to feel you’ve gotten your money’s worth!

My Top Eleven aren’t listed in order from most used to least used, or from most expensive to least expensive. Rarely will you need to use all ten tools for the same job. If you do have to use all ten items to make one dish, you might want to consider never making that particular dish again unless you are a fan of doing the dishes!

Yay for expert recommendations! /span>

Progressive Eats Easy Holiday Cocktail Party Recipes Round Up

PE round up

I am a member of the Progressive Eats blogging group, but this month I couldn’t play since I’m away from home helping out my mom and dad after he fell and broke his kneecap. Since I couldn’t participate by baking or cooking this time, I want to be sure to share all my fellow bloggers’ recipes, including the wonderful Susan from The Wimpy Vegetarian who took my place this month (thank you so much for your help, Susan)!

Progressive Eats is Barb’s (Creative Culinary) homage to the progressive dinners of the past, where each course would be served at a different home. I’ve been to a couple of progressive dinners, and they are so much fun. They do take a lot of time, however. Our cyber-version is a virtual progressive dinner where you can hop from blog to blog to enjoy each and every course!

This month, Barb hosted a Cocktail Party, and everyone contributed either a cocktail, an appetizer or a dessert. It’s a great line up, and since the holidays are fast approaching, I thought it would be helpful to share everyone’s recipes here.

Super helpful! Show me! /span>

The Great Thanksgiving Side Dishes Round Up

Thanksgiving

Hello, friends. I am currently staying with my parents, helping my mom with my dad who shattered his kneecap in a fall last week. Since I am not currently baking or experimenting, I reached out to my wonderful blogging friends and asked for help with a Thanksgiving Side Dishes Round Up. My friends really came through!

There is something here for everyone–starch lovers, leafy veggie lovers, sweet-tart cranberry lovers. So great! I hope that you will take the time to browse through these recipes, and it would make me so happy to know that one or three of them will be gracing your table this year.

I hope to be back to my more-or-less normal posting schedule next week, but I’ll have to see how things go with my folks. Until things are more settled, I am so grateful for my friends in the blogging community who have stepped up to fill this groaning board with delicious side dish options for your Thanksgiving table.

This is like having my own personal cookbook! Huzzah!/span>