Tag Archives: thanksgiving

Cranberry and Apple Cake 6-8 servings


Cranberry and Apple Cake 6-8 servings


This is an easy and fairly healthy dish to make when the holidays are here.  Actually, it’s good for anytime of the year.  You can vary it as to how you think that you want to enjoy it.  I personally like less cake so I cut the cake ingredients in half (shown in my picture).  There are other options as well.  It’s all up to you.  I like versatile recipes like that.  So, bon appétit and Happy Thanksgiving to one and all.


Step # 1Ingredients for the filling:

  • 12 ounces fresh cranberries, rinsed and picked over for stems if necessary
  • 1 Granny Smith or other good kind of cooking apple you like, cored and diced (I diced mine in the food processor).
  • 4 ounces Sun Dried Cherries (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon of grated orange rind/zest (about 1/2 of 1 large orange)
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice from that 1 large orange you just used
  • Orange segments from that 1 orange after you’ve juiced it. I put the segments in with the apple and diced it all together.
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon or some other similar spice that you enjoy
  • Some ground black pepper if you wish or even some pepper corns

Step #2 Ingredients for the cake (for more cake like, use the amounts I have listed; if you wish more of a topping like effect, as in my picture, use half of the amounts of these ingredients which also means less calories. )

  • 2 eggs at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla or any other extract you like or even brandy (I used brandy)
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Step # 3 Topping ingredients for the end result:

  • Some Turbinado Sugar to lightly sprinkle over all before placing in the oven
  • Some more cinnamon, whatever also to sprinkle over all before placing in oven


  • Pre-heat oven to 325F
  • Slightly oil or butter a 10-inch glass pie plate.
  • Step #1: Mix all of the ingredients together in a medium bowl. Let sit while you do Step #2.
  • Step #2: In another bowl, on medium-high, beat with an electric beater the eggs for 2 minutes. Then, on medium, add the remainder of the ingredients except for the flour and beat until just combined.  On low speed, slowly add the flour and salt till well combined.
  • Step #3: Pour the cranberry mixture into the pie dish. Spread the batter with a spatula over the fruit covering it as completely as you wish.  Top with ingredients listed in Step #3.
  • Bake in oven for about 55-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean and the fruit is bubbling around the edges.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature. Cool Whip, whipped cream or ice cream makes for a nice accompaniment.


Roasted Turkey Thigh


roasted turkey thigh

minnestrone cup Roasted Turkey Thigh

One Serves Two



Who says that turkey is just for Thanksgiving.  I love it year round. However, remember that if for a Thanksgiving dinner there are just 2 of you (or maybe even just your lonesome) this is a an easy turkey dish to make and have and still celebrate that turkey day without having to deal with the whole bird. But I divert. This is the day before spring and when I discovered this lovely 1.69 Lb. turkey thigh for $3.19 at Atkinsons’ the other day turkey sounded good to me so I bought it and had that evening a delicious and economical meal.


  1. 1 Turkey Thigh (or more if you are serving more than 2)
  2. 1/4 C. olive oil or butter if you don’t mind the extra cholesterol
  3. 1 Tsp. salt
  4. 1/4 Tsp. ground pepper
  5. 2-4 cloves of garlic—peeled or unpeeled-whole or roughly chopped
  6. 1 large carrot chopped in large hunks
  7. 1/2 onion sliced
  8. 2 celery stalks roughly chopped
  9. 4 sprigs of thyme
  10. 4 basil or sage leaves
  11. 1/2 C. turkey or chicken broth


  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Olive oil spray an ovenproof dish to accommodate your thigh(s) and veggies.
  3. Place the veggies and broth on the bottom of your dish.
  4. Gently loosen skin from the thigh and spread some olive oil over the meat; then insert the spices and garlic cloves. Smooth skin back over and spread the rest of the olive oil over the thigh.You can also use your olive oil spray to do this instead of using the 1/4 C. olive oil. Now salt and pepper the thigh.
  5. Place the thigh in the dish over the veggies and broth.
  6. Bake in the oven for 45 to 60 minutes or till a meat thermometer registers 175 degrees.
  7. Remove from oven, cover loosely with foil and let stand 10 minutes before serving.
  8. I sided this dish with a ramekin filled with freshly made thick minestrone topped with Parmesan and a fresh salad.  For desert, I served roasted pears.
  9. If you wish gravy, when you’ve removed the thigh and the veggies, thicken the drippings/sauce stove top in a pan over medium high heat with a bit of luke warm water in which you have well stirred a tablespoon or more of cornstarch.


For easy access and printing of this and past recipes, visit Margot’s blog http://blog.tempinnkeeper.com  Call Margot for personal cooking help or hosting

@ 721-3551.

Margot is a self-taught enthusiastic & passionate cook. Having been an inn-keeper for 5 years at her own inn, she accumulated a lot of good recipes which she loves to share.


Pommes de Terre a la Provence


Pommes de Terre a la Provence

One medium sized one will fill two 4 inch ramekins and will serve 2

Many of you may already know this, but Pommes de Terre in French literally means apples of the earth—and so what would that be?—a potato of course.  I just have always thought that’s such a cute name.  This is a very delicious dish and so easy to fix.  I’m sure it’s not light in calories or cholesterol, but every now and then a splurge is OK.



  1. 1 medium sized baking potato (Idaho of course), peeled and sliced relatively thin.
  2. Crème Fraiche- 1/2 C. total will do.  *see below for recipe you can make yourself–much better and more economical however you have to start making this the day before making this dish.
  3. S&P to taste.
  4. Chopped Italian Parsley for topping.


  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Pam oil or butter spray the ramekins
  3. Place some of the potato slices on the bottom layer. It’ll probably be around 3 slices.
  4. Spoon the Crème Fraiche over this layer, sprinkle lightly with S&P and continue doing this for however many layers will fit in the ramekin. You might need to make some more Crème Fraiche.
  5. Bake uncovered in a 350 degree oven for approximately 1 hour.
  6. Top with chopped parsley.
  7. If you wish to add a cheese to this mixture to accompany a meat or fish dish that has no sauce involved so that it wouldn’t conflict with a more complicated potato sauce, that would be very easy to accomplish.  You might think of Parmesan, Cheddar or Blue Cheese mixed in with the Crème Fraiche. You don’t need much to make a culinary imprint.  Also, spread a little on the top before putting in the oven.


You can also make this dish with other types of potatoes and/or just using  one large dish.  You will have to adjust your cooking times of course and I think for a larger dish, it could be as long as 2 hours or until tender.

  • Creme Fraiche-homemade: Easy but start making it the day before you make this dish. In a small bowl whisk 1/2 cup heavy wipping cream with 1/2 cup sour cream.  Cover well and leave out in a warm place for 12 hours.  Then stir and place in the refrigerator for another 12 hours.  At this point it should be perfect–thick, creamy and delicious.
  • Fresh Herbed Cream Sauce: No cooking here — simply blend 1/2 cup creme fraiche with 1 teaspoon each finely sliced chives and fresh tarragon. Add about 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Serves up to 6 people. Streak a little over pieces of grilled, baked or poached salmon, sole, or scallops. Herbs could be pureed with a little shallot and stirred into the cream for a pale green color.
  • Pan Sauces: Stir a generous tablespoon into defatted pan sauces after pan grilling poultry, fish or vegetables. Bring to a simmer, taste for balance, and pour over foods.
  • Soups: Reduce the amount of cream called for in your favorite creamed soup by half and substitute creme fraiche.
  • With Fruits: A few spoonfuls of creme fraiche lift fruit flavors. Try over berries, ripe peaches or nectarines, or on sauteed pears. The cream could be lightly sweetened, flavored with a little lemon, orange or vanilla.
  • Imagination is everything. Try creme fraiche in other dishes as well. Streak it over mousses and jelled sweets or savories. Finish an appetizer plate of marinated leek or grilled scallions and asparagus with a zig zag of creme fraiche. It is classic in Beef Stroganoff instead of sour cream.


Bon Appetit

Roasted Turkey Breast and that little blue button


IMG_3182 IMG_3184 IMG_3191

Roasted Turkey Breast and that little blue button

Probably 3- 4 servings for a 3 pounder

I really wanted to cook a pot roast, but oh my goodness, the prices of pot roasts were unbelievable.  What happened to a good price for a supposedly lesser cut of beef?  So I ended up buying a 3 lb. turkey breast with a bone.  It was well priced.  Turkey breasts can be so dry sometimes so I thought that I would experiment and try to cook it in a way to increase the moistness.  Indeed, the way I cooked it worked however, that little blue button that was inserted—supposedly to tell you when it’s done—no way.  So, beware because it’s not always correct.


  1. One 3 to 5 lb. turkey breast, bone in
  2. 2- 3 Tblsp. butter or olive oil (I used butter)
  3. S&P to taste
  4. Italian seasoning
  5. Bay Leaf
  6. One small sprig of fresh rosemary
  7. 1 large chopped carrot
  8. 2-3 stalks of celery, chopped
  9. 1/2 to 1 onion chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 325.
  2. Wash the breast, wipe it dry and season it with S&P and some Italian Seasoning.
  3. In a large oven proof skillet, melt the butter or heat the olive oil over medium high heat.
  4. Add the vegetables and sauté them for about 5 minutes—till they are glistening but not browned. Remove and set them aside.
  5. In the same skillet, over medium heat, brown the turkey breast that you have seasoned with S&P and Italian seasoning. Brown each side for about 4 minutes per side.
  6. Set aside the breast and place the veggies back in the skillet.  Then place the breast over them.  Add the bay leaf and rosemary sprig.
  7. At this point, I sprayed some olive oil cooking spray over the breast.  Place the skillet in the oven.
  8. I figured that it would take 1 ½ hour to cook (30 min. per lb.).  Every 15 minutes or so, I would baste the breast with the drippings and at the 1 hour point, the blue button popped out.  So, of course, I cut into the breast and no way, Jose—it was not done.  It did take another half-hour.  But all in all, this was an easy way to cook a turkey breast and it turned out super moist and tender.

Cranberries, Cranberries–4 nice and delicious recipes


jellied cranberry sauce with fuji apple cranberry Clementine and Pumpkin Seed Conserve




Cranberries are so versatile and freeze easily and well.  They also are very healthy for you.  However, their grand color makes them a favorite for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  But don’t forget that “red” in Valentines day.  Frankly I think that this is a great fruit to use anytime of the year.  So please do enjoy these 4 recipes which are among my favorites.

Cranberry and Dried Fruit Compote (serves 6)


  1. One 12-ounce bag fresh cranberries
  2. 3/4 cup golden raisins
  3. 1/2 cup dried cherries
  4. 1/2 cup dried black mission figs, quartered
  5. 2/3 cup sugar
  6. 1- 1/4 cups water


  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the cranberries with the raisins, cherries, figs, sugar and water.
  2. Bring to a boil and cook over moderately high heat until the cranberries burst, about 6 minutes.
  3. Place into a bowl and refrigerate until chilled, about 3 hours.

Make Ahead: This compote can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks. Serve chilled or warmed.

Jellied Cranberry Sauce with Fuji Apple (serves 6)

(This turns out like a loaf that can be sliced with a serrated knife.)


  1. One 12-ounce bag fresh cranberries plus more for decorating purposes
  2. 1 large Fuji apple, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  3. 1 cup sugar
  4. 3/4 cup water
  5. 1 sprig or more of rosemary (for decorating purposes)


  1. Line an 8-by-4-inch loaf pan with plastic wrap and spray the plastic wrap with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine the cranberries with the apple, sugar and water. Bring to a boil and cook over moderately high heat, stirring frequently until the cranberries are completely broken down and the sauce is very thick, about 15 minutes.
  3. Place the cranberry sauce into the prepared pan and refrigerate until chilled, about 3 hours or longer, however, make sure to keep the loaf in the frig. before serving.  Don’t let it get to room temp before serving or you’ll be spooning it instead of slicing it.  No matter though, it’ll be good either way.
  4.  Invert the jelly onto a serving plate and remove the plastic wrap.
  5.  Garnish with fresh cranberries and rosemary sprigs. Slice with a serrated knife before serving.

Make Ahead The cranberry sauce can be covered in plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 2 weeks. Serve chilled.

Cranberry, Clementine and Pumpkin Seed Conserve


  1. 3 Clementine
  2. 1 1/4 cups sugar
  3. 1 cup water
  4. One 12-ounce bag fresh cranberries
  5. 1/2 cup roasted pumpkin seeds  (see note below how to roast seeds)


  1. In a medium saucepan, cover the Clementine with water. Bring to a simmer and cook over moderately high heat until the skin softens, about 8 minutes. Drain and let stand until cool enough to handle. Coarsely chop the whole Clementine and discard any seeds. Wipe out the saucepan.
  2. In the same saucepan, combine the chopped Clementine with the sugar and water. Bring to a simmer and cook over moderate heat until the Clementine peel is sweet, about 30 minutes. Add the cranberries and cook over moderately high heat until they burst, about 6 minutes.
  3. Put into a bowl and refrigerate until chilled, about 3 hours.
  4. Fold in the pumpkin seeds just before serving.

Make Ahead The conserve can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks however, don’t put the seeds in till just before serving.

Note: To roast seeds, place seeds in a large sauté pan so there’s only one layer and cook over medium heat, shaking and stirring oven, till seeds brown and pop (anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes). They are best done right before using; however, you can store in a tight container for a day or so.

Compote of Ruby Cranberries with Sun-Dried Cherries(serves 6)

I love this recipe because it has a zing to it


  1. 2/3 C. dark brown sugar
  2. 12 oz. fresh or thawed cranberries
  3. 4 oz. sun-dried cherries
  4. 12 whole black peppers
  5. 1 C. water
  6. A pinch of salt


  1. In a medium-size heavy saucepan put 1 C. water, brown sugar, a pinch of salt and 12 whole pepper corns.
  2. Bring to a boil; add cranberries and cherries and return to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes or until the cranberries have popped and the sauce has thickened.
  4. Cool to room temp, cover and refrigerate till cold.

Make Ahead The compote can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

Red and Green Salad Featuring Pears, Cheese and a Cranberry Vinaigrette


5 pearsRed and Green Salad featuring Pears, Cheese and a Cranberry Vinaigrette

Serves 8




1/2 C. cider vinegar

splash of balsamic(careful! put balsamic in bottle’s cap before pouring into dressing; taste before adding more)

1/4 C. whole cranberries

1/4 C. olive oil

2 Tsp. sugar

1/8 Tsp. salt

Ground pepper to taste


2 firm Bartlett pears or Anjou pears ( or apples if you prefer)

2 heads romaine lettuce, rinse dried, torn into bite-size pieces

2 medium heads Belgian endive, wash,dried, and chopped

Additional add-on ingredients:

1/2  C. chopped toasted walnuts

1/2 C. crumbled Gorgonzola cheese or other blue cheese



  1. Combine vinegar and cranberries in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until the cranberries are softened—7-10 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and add olive oil, sugar and S&P.
  3. Place in blender and mix until smooth.  Refrigerate until chilled.


  1. Core and julienne one pear; core and dice the other
  2. Combine the romaine, endive, diced pears, walnuts and Gorgonzola in a large bowl.  Drizzle with enough dressing to coat and toss gently.
  3. Top with julienned pear.

Bon Appetit.

For easy access and printing of this and past recipes, visit Margot’s blog http://blog.tempinnkeeper.com  Call Margot for personal cooking help @ 721-3551.

Margot is a self-taught enthusiastic & passionate cook. Having been an inn-keeper for 5 years at her own inn, she accumulated a lot of good recipes which she loves to share.

Holiday Cranberry Bread


Holiday Cranberry Bread Holiday Cranberry Bread-001Holiday Cranberry Bread

1 loaf yields about 12 slices

This is such a delicious quick bread and it is a breeze to make.  A sliced piece comes out looking so colorfully festive and when you top it with some cream cheese it’s the best. Actually this recipe makes me think of my Mother who was from Holland.  She would slice a thin piece of this kind of loaf and place it in the middle of two pieces of toasted regular bread that had lot’s of butter on it and enjoy it that way.  Oh well, no different than using left-over turkey, cranberry sauce and left-over turkey dressing as a sandwich filling—which I do love and I bet a lot of you do to.



1 C. sugar

1 Tblsp. grated orange peel (I didn’t have an orange so I used a lemon which turned out just great)

3/4 C. water

1/3 C. orange juice

2 Tblsp. oil

1 egg


2 C. all purpose flour

1 ½ Tsp. baking powder

1 Tsp. salt

½ Tsp. baking soda

(last add-ins)

1 C. halved fresh or unthawed frozen whole cranberries (I had fresh which I briefly put in the blender)

1 C. chopped nuts—any kind that you like.  I used almonds.


  1. Heat oven to 350.
  2. Pam spray 9X5 loaf pan (I used a glass one which worked just fine.)
  3. In a large bowl combine the liquid ingredients (I used a whip); blend well.
  4. Add dry ingredients (I sifted mine) until moistened.
  5. Stir in cranberries and nuts.
  6. Pour into greased pan.
  7. Bake at 350 for 50 to 60 minutes.  (Here in Ketchum, 50 minutes did the trick.) An inserted toothpick in the middle of the loaf should come out clean.
  8. Cool 10 minutes at least before removing from pan.
  9. Cool totally and try not to eat it all at one sitting.  Wrap tightly and store in frig.
  10. Hints:  No need to use a mixer or beater. Also, you can make 3 small loafs and bake for 30 to 35 minutes. I haven’t tried freezing, but I’m sure that would work.  Make sure to wrap in plastic wrap to keep the loaf moist when storing in frig. or freezing.

Bon Appetit!!!

For easy access and printing of this and past recipes, visit Margot’s blog http://blog.tempinnkeeper.com  Call Margot for personal cooking help @ 721-3551.

Margot is a self-taught enthusiastic & passionate cook. Having been an inn-keeper for 5 years at her own inn, she accumulated a lot of good recipes which she loves to share.

Scalloped Yams and Parsnips


IMG_2786scalloped yams and parsnips with orange

Scalloped Yams and Parsnips

Serves about 10-12

No one will guess what the middle layers (parsnips) are.  This is really a delicious dish full of good nutrients and though tasting very rich, is really quite light on the belly.  This is a perfect dish to accompany your plentiful Thanksgiving fare. It’s also an overnight dish so that makes it a bit easier for the cook making the big day fixings on Thanksgiving Day.

3 ½ lbs. yams

1 ½ lbs. parsnips

1 orange

1/3 C. brown sugar divided in 2 parts

4 oz. (1 cube)  unsalted butter divided in 2 parts

2 tsp. grated nutmeg


2 C. boiling water

2 Tblsp. honey

Pam spray 9 X 12 baking dish or 10” round pyrex

Preheat oven to 400

  1. Peel yams and parsnips and slice in ¼ inch thick slices. Roughly divide the yams in 3 parts and the parsnips in 2 parts to make layering easy.
  2. Zest 1 orange and after juice it. Then take the remainder of  the orange and place in a blender with a splash of water if necessary. Blend on liquidize and use half or more for this dish.
  3. Put in a dish the orange zest; put in a dish the pulverized pulp;  put  ½ of the brown sugar and the 2 oz. (1/2 a cube) of the sweet butter in a microwave dish, micro a minute or so  and then put in the nutmeg, and S&P to taste. These ingredients will be sprinkled over your five layers.
  4. Make 3 layers of yams with 2 layers of parsnips in between sprinkling on each layer the mixture ingredients listed in #3.
  5. Mix together orange juice, some more pulverized pulp if any is left, and the 2 C. of boiling water and pour over yams and parsnips. If you wish you can add 1 heaping Tblsp. of honey to this mixture.
  6. Cover the baking dish tightly with foil and bake in the upper third of a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes.  Reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake 20 minutes more.
  7.  Put in frig. overnight.
  8. The next day remove dish from frig. and heat in microwave the other ½ of the brown sugar, 2 Tblsp. honey, and the other 2 oz (1/2 a cube). of butter and pour over top of dish.
  9.  Let dish get to room temp and place in a 375 degree oven for approximately 20 minutes or when more of the liquid is absorbed and the top is brown.  To decorate even more, you can sprinkle a bit of cranberry sauce on top.

Mayflower Pumpkin Cookies & Raisin or Currant Sauce


Pumpkin Cookies straight from the Mayflower

Makes about 5 dozen cookies

 This recipe supposedly came over with the Pilgrims on the Mayflower.  Supposedly, they lasted so well because of the rum in them.

 ½ C. unsalted butter at room temp or slightly softened in micro

1 C. brown sugar

2 eggs (not necessary to pre-beat)

1 ¼ C. pumpkin puree

2 C. flour

1 TBLSP (yes that much) baking powder

1 tsp. cinnamon

¼ tsp. nutmeg

¼ tsp. salt

2/3 C. currants or raisins

1 teaspoon vanilla and ½ teaspoon brandy and ½ teaspoon rum or any combination of the three to add up to 2 teaspoons full.

  1. Cream butter and sugar with electric beater.
  2. Add eggs, pumpkin, vanilla, brandy, rum, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Beat more with beater.
  3. Sift the flour and baking powder into mixture and beat till well combined and smooth.
  4. Stir in the raisins or currants till evenly distributed.

Drop by spoonfuls on greased or parchment papered cookie sheet. (I love the parchment paper.)

Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes (I baked at 375 for 10-12 minutes in our altitude). The bottoms should be SLIGHTLY brown. Even if they feel and look soft, take them out and let them rest on the cookie sheet for about 1 or 2 minutes.  Remove them to a rack or to laid out paper towels and let them cool.  You can freeze them. They taste great at any time, how ever, I find that they are even more flavorful the next day.

These are wonderful at anytime of the year because amazingly enough, the pumpkin is not overwhelming.  However, they definitely have a spicy taste.


Raisin or Currant Sauce

For a lovely desert, these cookies can be served with a very good vanilla ice cream with a bit of the following sauce to be placed on top of the ice cream.  The sauce recipe comes from my barely surviving 1953 edition of my beloved Rombauer’s Joy of Cooking cookbook. Oh my gosh, that book is almost 60 years old.  I received it as a wedding present.

Raisin or Currant Sauce

About 1 2/3 Cupfuls

Boil for 15 minutes:

1 ½ C. water

1/3 C. raisins or currants

¼ C. sugar

1/8 tsp. salt


2 Tablespoons butter

Stir into that until blended:

1 tsp. flour

Add the hot sauce slowly.  Stir and cook until it boils.


A ¼ tsp. or more of rum and a touch of ground or grated nutmeg or some grated lemon rind.