Cream Cheese Cranberry Stuffed Celery

Cream Cheese Cranberry Stuffed Celery
Recipes in this Post

Thanksgiving Day, and I have an extra bunch of celery after making the stuffing, what to do with it? We were having a small dinner party, and I think it’s nice to have a little appetizer with your wine whilst waiting for the big attraction, the turkey.

I wanted to make something that would stick with the theme of the dinner. Usually, I stuff celery with blue cheese and cream cheese, but this time, I wanted something different. Stalk the pantry, and there, in the front, is a bag of dried cranberries. Perfect!

This was a real hit at our gathering. Thankfully, as chef, I made one for myself to taste test. Good thing, because I didn’t get one when I set the tray out – it was gone in minutes. My guests really liked them!

When you make this, please use the hearts of celery. If you cannot get hearts, then at least remove the tough strings. There is nothing more embarrassing than biting into a piece of celery and having strings hanging out of your mouth! Just take a knife, start at either end of the stalk, and pull the strings out. That’s better!

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Turkey Tetrazzini

Recipes in this PostTurkey Tetrazzini

This is something that I really love, and when I don’t have left over turkey, I have been known to go to the store and get the frozen one – you know which one I mean. But, this dish is really best fresh, made from the left over turkey at your feast.

I have found other recipes that called for peas, no sherry, white wine, etc. Well, it’s just not the same thing! This is the Turkey Tetrazzini you have been looking for, that you remember, that you crave, the one with celery, mushrooms and sherry cream sauce. You can make a lot of this, put it into individual serving trays and freeze it for some night when you don’t want to cook, but you want something comforting.

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Southern Spicy Vidalia Hot Wings

Southern Spicy Vidalia Hot Wings
Recipes in this Post

We’ve been eating a lot of chicken lately, especially fried chicken. That’s because I finally make excellent bacon fried chicken, and don’t like seeing good shortening go to waste. One of my favorite ways to have chicken is Buffalo Wings. Spane’s father, Douglas, gave me a recipe from the bar where Buffalo Wings originated, when he was frequenting the establishment and became friends with the owner.

Different Strokes for Different Folks

Most Buffalo wings are made with a Louisiana hot sauce, quite often Franks. It’s good, but, I wanted to experiment a little. There is a nice Southern company, Glory Foods, that makes wonderful canned Butter Beans. I love ’em. When I was at the market buying wings, I saw that they also make Spicy Vidalia Hot Sauce. Spicy and slightly sweet, I thought that would make an interesting change from the usual Louisiana style hot sauces associated with this dish. I was right, that sauce was perfect, and it has not become my favorite hot sauce.

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Apartment Vegetable Garden

Plants in this PostApartment Vegetale Garden in a Drawer

Has this happened to you? Have you had a vegetable start growing roots in your refrigerator? Green onions have done that to me numerous times, and I have always thrown the root part out. This time when that happened, I said “If you can live in my refrigerator, then you can live outside in dirt.”

We live in an apartment, and we don’t have a patio or yard, and yet I have always wanted to grow at least some of my own food. Well, Charlie, as my friend called him, started me on our apartment vegetable garden. I will be updating this post regularly as the vegetables grow.

We already had a basil plant that was doing fine living on top of the outside of the air conditioner. We even named her Lucille, but her name is pronounced the way that Little Richard did it in his song by the same name, Lucille. I have provided a video if you don’t remember it.

My good friend, who is the director of United States Soldiers Assistance Center and board member of Heal Children with Cancer Worldwide, suggested I use an unused dresser drawer for my garden. She was right, and the garden is doing fine.

Apartment Vegetable Garden

Apartment Vegetable Garden


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Stuffing Turkey Meatloaf Ring

Recipes in this PostStuffing Turkey Meatloaf Ring

I love it when I suddenly have something I didn’t know I had. A few days ago, when Spane and I went to one of the wonderful Armenian stores, the check out lady gave us a loaf of Stone bread. I put it up on top of the refrigerator, and forgot it was up there. We don’t eat a lot of bread, so that’s not a surprise. I should have put it in the freezer, but… When I checked it two days later, it had really turned into its namesake, stone.

What to do with bread that has turned to stone that you know has really good flavor? Why turn it into stuffing mix! The stuffing mix that comes in the box has bread that I swear is dryer and harder.

Bread in the bag

Bread in the bag

I only had one problem. It was a big loaf of bread, not sliced, and too hard to cut with a knife. I tried whacking it with a skillet, but that didn’t work too well either. I thought to myself, what is the heaviest thing in the house? Me! So, I put my bread in several plastic bags (hey, finally, a good use for plastic bags), put some flat shoes on, and stepped all over the bread. Let me tell you, the sound was great, and the bread crumbled just the way I wanted it to.

I also had some ground turkey in the freezer, and cranberry sauce in the pantry. That sounded to me like a great head start on Thanksgiving!

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Thanksgiving Sides – Cranberry Compote and Oyster Cornbread Dressing

Recipes in this PostCranberry-Riesling Compote Recipe adapted from Bryan Voltaggio, Range, Washington, D.C.

This year, like last year, I’m going to my friend’s for Thanksgiving, and like last year, I’m bringing something. It’s also my son, Spane’s birthday today, November 21, 2012, and he has requested Chocolate Cake with Mocha Frosting I made for his 7th birthday party. Since his birthday this year is the day before Thanksgiving, he is going to have his birthday party in December – so watch for recipes!

I have talked about going to my Grandmother’s house and wonderful turkey that came out of her Nesco Roaster. My Grandmother always had the best dressing on her table, that my Aunt Flora made every year. It was Oyster Cornbread Dressing, and it is my favorite dressing to prepare.

But, we always had canned cranberry sauce, that I really never liked. I have been making cranberry sauce for years, but today I found a new recipe that I’m going to make this year. It’s from Chef Bryan Voltaggio.

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