Mimi’s Cranberry Sauce

Mademoiselle’s cooking for Thanksgiving and Mimi sent her a Greenberg Turkey!  But, you cannot have your turkey without cranberry sauce.  This recipe is so easy that you should NEVER use the stuff from the can again.  If you are lucky to have any left after Thanksgiving, it stores just like jelly and is great on sandwiches until its gone!

Mimi's Cranberry Sauce
The basic cranberry sauce your grandmother made!
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Prep Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 Cup Water
  2. 1 Cup Sugar
  3. 1 Bag Cranberries
Instructions
  1. Bring water to a boil.
  2. Add sugar slowly stirring constantly until dissolved.
  3. Add cranberries, let simmer until popped.
  4. Cool to thicken.
Notes
  1. We are purists. No orange juice or zest. However, some people love the extra flavor this adds. If you want a hint of orange add 2Tbsp orange juice and a teaspoon of zest. Chopped pecans are also an option.
Because I Say So http://www.becauseisayso.com/

Halloween Entertaining for a Hungry Group

Mademoiselle LOVES Halloween.  Mimi and Mademoiselle would begin heated costume negotiations each August only to culminate in the ultimate Halloween costume choice for Mademoiselle.  Tradition also called for an Open Door party with food, drinks and treats!  Our menu:  Chili and all the fixings and MDC margaritas!  

Mimi's Chili
A delicious hearty chili with beans
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Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
2 hr
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
2 hr
Ingredients
  1. 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  2. 8 Large Garlic Cloves
  3. 1 1/2 cups chopped onion (one small yellow/one small white)
  4. 1 1/2 lbs. ground chuck
  5. 1 1/2 lbs. ground round or sirloin
  6. 5 Tablespoons Chili Powder
  7. 1 Tablespoon ground Cumin
  8. 1 Teaspoon ground dried Basil
  9. 1/2 Teaspoon dried Oregano
  10. 1/2 Teaspoon dried Thyme
  11. 1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  12. 1 32 oz. box chicken stock
  13. 1 12 oz. bottle beer
  14. 1 6 oz. can tomato paste
  15. 1 can prepared chili beans
  16. 1 can prepared kidney beans
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in large dutch oven or stock pot.
  2. Food process onion and garlic into small pieces. Sauté under medium to high heat until translucent.
  3. Add both meats and cook until brown, continually using spooin or spatula to break up the meat into small bits.
  4. Once browned, add chili powder, cumin, basil, oregano and thyme. Stir well. Cook for a few minutes.
  5. Mix in crushed tomatoes, chicken broth, beer and tomato paste. Simmer until thickened to desired consistency, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
  6. Mix in beans. Simmer until ready to eat.
Notes
  1. You can alter the fat in the chili by the fat content you use in the meat. You can adjust the heat by adding more or less chili powder or a bit of cayenne. We make a double recipe of this chili to feed everyone, but be prepared that it takes a big pot for 3-6 lbs of meat!
  2. Serve with chopped red onion, avocado, chopped cilantro, sweet hot jalapeños, fresh jalapeños, sour cream, shredded cheese and any other hot sauce of choice. Don't forget the Fritos and cornbread too!
Because I Say So http://www.becauseisayso.com/

Potato and Bacon Frittata

 

Mademoiselle loves to expand her culinary skills!  She needed to make a quick brunch for a few friends so I sent over this super easy Potato and Bacon Frittata recipe.  It could even be a big hit for Father’s Day, if you are in charge of cooking!  So easy and delicious!

 

Potato and Bacon Frittata
Serves 6
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 Tablespoons Butter
  2. 2 Cups Frozen Hash Browns either plain or with peppers and onions (We use Alexia)
  3. 6 Large Eggs
  4. 2 Tablespoons Milk
  5. 1 Cup of Shredded Cheddar (We use smokey cheddar)
  6. 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
  7. 1/4 Teaspoon Pepper
  8. 6 Slices of pre-cooked bacon (crumbled)
Fresh garnishes
  1. Chopped Herbs
  2. Chopped Tomatoes
  3. Chopped Avocado
  4. Chopped Scallions or Chives
Prepare egg mixture
  1. Combine eggs, milk, salt and pepper, set aside. If using herbs add them here.
In a non-stick skillet or seasoned and well-greased cast iron skillet
  1. Melt butter over medium heat.
  2. Add frozen potatoes and cook until browned, but not too crisp.
  3. Pour over potatoes. As the egg mixture starts to cook, gently lift the edges of the frittata with a spatula tilting pan to promote even cooking. Continue lifting and flowing egg underneath the frigate until the center is cooked. If you have difficulty cooking center place a lid on top for 2-3 minutes or turn over gently.
  4. Remove from pan to platter. Sprinkle with cheese. Cover for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.
  5. Add bacon. Add other toppings or place chopped toppings or salsa on the side.
Notes
  1. If you use a cast iron skillet you can serve stove-top to table!
Adapted from GLinda's Recipe Repertoire
Adapted from GLinda's Recipe Repertoire
Because I Say So http://www.becauseisayso.com/

Perfect Pancakes and Waffles

Mademoiselle calls and asks for this recipe regularly!  So, here it is for easy access and for us to share.  It was Mimi’s mother’s weekly go-to recipe to feed five hungry kids, each wanting either a pancake or a waffle.  The recipe works perfectly for both and makes a particularly spectacular blueberry pancake.  However, Mimi asks that you make her one important promise before you enjoy this recipe.  Only use real maple syrup!  That fake stuff does not do justice to the taste of the batter!hard-laugh

 

Perfect Pancake and Waffle Batter
A versatile buttermilk pancake and waffle mix.
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Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
  2. 2 Teaspoons baking powder
  3. 1 Teaspoon baking soda
  4. 1/4 Teaspoon salt
  5. 3-4 Tablespoons Sugar
  6. 2 Large Eggs, Lightly Beaten
  7. 3 Cups Buttermilk
  8. 4 Tablespoons melted butter
  9. 1 cup blueberries (optional)
Instructions
  1. Heat waffle iron or a griddle to 375 degrees. Butter griddle and waffle iron.
  2. Whisk dry ingredients together in large mixing bowl.
  3. Make a well in the center of dry ingredients.
  4. In another bowl or large measuring container combine buttermilk and eggs, mix well.
  5. Melt butter and let cool.
  6. Add cooled butter to liquids.
  7. Add wet ingredients into well of dry ingredients and mix quickly with a whisk.
  8. Using a 1/2 cup measure ladle onto griddle for pancakes or waffle iron.
  9. For, pancake wait until bubbles appear on top and then turn. About 2 minutes per side.
  10. Keep heated in a 175 Degree oven.
Notes
  1. Keep buttermilk powder on hand in the pantry so if you do not have the fresh buttermilk, you can make this substitution.
  2. Use only fresh blueberries. Frozen make the batter too runny. If using, simply scatter a few berries into the batter right after you pour on the griddle.
Adapted from GLinda's Recipe Repretorie
Adapted from GLinda's Recipe Repretorie
Because I Say So http://www.becauseisayso.com/

Hey MDC, What are You Having for Cinco De Mayo? The MDC Margarita, of Course!

MDCMargaritaFBThe MDC loves a good cocktail, especially a good margarita! The MDC has his favorites, but he believes the rule of 3 is the key to the perfect margarita.

The MDC Margarita
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Margarita
  1. 1/3 Cointreau
  2. 1/3 Tequila, your choice, but for a lighter flavor use Silver Patron; if you're after a bit more flavor MDC recommends Don Julio Repasado
  3. Split the last 1/3 evenly between Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice and simple syrup (see recipe below)
  4. Simple Syrup
  5. 1 cup sugar
  6. 1 cup water
  7. Boil water, add sugar to dissolve. Cool. Keep refrigerated.
Instructions
  1. Squeeze fresh lime juice to desired quantity then combine with simple syrup
  2. Add to cocktail shaker
  3. Add same amount of Cointreau
  4. Add Same amount of Tequila
  5. Add cup ice, shake vigorously, pour over ice in glass that has 1/2 rim salt covered, present with lime slice on rim, served on linen napkin then on silver platter. A truly luxurious serving and one heck of a cocktail. A drink must always be stiff, yet well-presented.
Notes
  1. If you are like Mimi, who needs hers a little sweeter, the MDC includes a little more (1 Tbsp) homemade simple syrup. The MDC gives his preferences in this week’s serendipitous finds!
  2. Notes: Don’t use margarita mix (for amateurs only). If you simply must use a mix, only use sweet and sour mix versus the standard margarita mixer.
Because I Say So http://www.becauseisayso.com/

Mademoiselle’s Chicken Pot Pie Cheat

Mademoiselle loves an easy recipe!  I know its Spring, but I have two friends under the weather and I need to make them a dinner.  Chicken soup sounds yucky, so how about Mimi’s easy chicken pot pie cheat.  It is so easy and quick, it is delicious and it refrigerates and freezes beautifully.  It is the perfect, “get well soon” gift.

Chicken Pot Pie
Serves 8
A quick easy no sauté chicken pot pie!
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Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
1 hr
Crust
  1. 2 Ready Made Pie Crusts - We use Immaculate Bakery Pre-Made Crust, but Pillsbury works too.
Filling
  1. 1 cup Sour Cream
  2. 1 Can Cream of Chicken Soup
  3. 2 Cups Mixed FROZEN Vegetables or pre-cooked vegetables of your choice
  4. 2 1/2 Cups Rotisserie Chicken or Canned White Meat Chicken
  5. 1 Tablespoon Butter
  6. 1 Tablespoon 1/2 and 1/2
  7. Salt
  8. Pepper
  9. Celery Salt
  10. Garlic Powder
Preheat Oven to 350 Degrees
  1. Butter or Cooking Spray a 9" Pie Pan
  2. Place One Crust on Bottom
In a medium bowl
  1. Mix sour cream, canned soup and butter until creamy.
  2. Add seasonings to taste.
  3. Add chicken.
  4. Add FROZEN mixed vegetables.
  5. Pour chicken and vegetable mixture into pie shell.
  6. Top with second crust.
  7. Crimp edges.
  8. Insert pie bird or cut 5 small slits in top of pie crust (1 middle and 4 1" in from crust edge at 12, 3,6, and 9 o'clock)
  9. Cover pie crust edge with metal or silicone pie protector (or aluminum foil).
  10. Place in middle rack of oven and bake for 30 minutes.
  11. Remove pie edge protector.
  12. Bake an additional 15 minutes or until crust is golden brown and bubbly filling is coming through slits.
Notes
  1. If you are a vegetarian, just use cream of celery or cream of mushroom soup and omit chicken, but add cooked chopped broccoli, cauliflower and lima beans.
Because I Say So http://www.becauseisayso.com/

Old-School Pre-Game Hors d’oeuvres

Mademoiselle is practicing her entertaining skills and always looking to replicate family recipes.  She’s been asking for a couple lately so we thought we would share, just in case you need some tried and true old-school appetizers, for the new “pre-game” set.  So, if you are hungry for a couple of hearty appetizers try Mimi’s Artichoke Dip and Garlic Cheese Roll! Enjoy!

Artichoke Dip
A delicious baked appetizer.
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Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 14 oz. cans artichokes (whole or quartered) drained.
  2. 1 cup mayonnaise (We use Hellman's with olive oil, plain works too)
  3. 1 cup grated parmesan cheese plus 1/4 more parmesan cheese
  4. 2 Tablespoons minced shallot
  5. 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  6. Garlic Powder
  7. Salt
  8. White Pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat Oven to 350 Degrees
Using a food processor
  1. Combine all ingredients, adding garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Pour into an ovenproof dish.
  3. Top with remaining 1/4 parmesan cheese.
  4. Bake for 20-30 minutes until bubbly and lightly golden brown at corners.
If you do not have a food processor
  1. Chop up artichokes into small chunks. Combine all ingredients same as above.
Notes
  1. Best served with hearty wheat crackers (Pepperidge Farm Harvest Wheat), Triscuits or melba toast rounds.
  2. Mimi is a purist, but you may also add kale or spinach for an even heartier dip.
Adapted from Mimi's Mom
Adapted from Mimi's Mom
Because I Say So http://www.becauseisayso.com/
Garlic Cheese Roll
A delicious slightly spicy and highly addictive cheese spread!
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Prep Time
20 min
Prep Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 lb. Sharp Cheddar Cheese, Shredded (not from a bag)
  2. 1 8 oz. package Cream Cheese
  3. 2-4 cloves fresh garlic (diced/minced or crushed)
  4. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  5. 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  6. 3 dashes Tabasco sauce
  7. 1 Tablespoon worcestershire sauce
  8. 1 Tablespoon mayonnaise
  9. 2 Tablespoons paprika
  10. 2 Tablespoons chili powder
In the bowl of a food processor or electric mixer with paddle attachment
  1. Blend two softened cheeses.
  2. Add all other ingredients EXCEPT paprika and chili powder.
  3. Mix until smooth.
  4. Set aside.
In a separate bowl
  1. Mix paprika and chili powder together.
  2. Spread evenly on a piece of waxed paper or parchment placed on a flat surface.
  3. Dust hands lightly with flour and shape cheese mixture into roll/ball or shape of choice.
  4. Roll in paprika and chili powder mixture.
  5. Wrap in waxed paper and refrigerate for 12-24 hours before using. The longer it sits the better it gets!
Notes
  1. You can also add chopped fresh herbs (chives, rosemary, parsley) to the paprika and chili powder mixture for additional flavor.
  2. Serve with your favorite crackers, veggies or charcuterie meats!
Adapted from Mimi's Auntie
Adapted from Mimi's Auntie
Because I Say So http://www.becauseisayso.com/

 

Serendipitous Spring Awakening

Easter was early this year and we are ushering in Spring with a fantastic refreshing cocktail! If you have not had a Spring Awakening cocktail – now is your chance. You can follow the recipe or add your own twist with your favorite fresh juice and garnish with flowers or herbs! Enjoy!

Spring Awakening
A refreshingly delicious cocktail!
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Ingredients
  1. 3/4 oz. Gin (We use Hendricks)
  2. 3/4 oz. Lillet Rouge
  3. 3/4 oz. Triple Sec
  4. 3/4 oz. fresh pink grapefruit juice
Instructions
  1. Tools: shaker, strainer, fine strainer
  2. Glass: coupe
  3. Rinse a chilled coupe with absinthe. Rim glass with sugar. In a shaker, combine the remaining four ingredients, shake with ice and fine-strain into absinthe-rinsed coupe.
Notes
  1. You can also use strawberry puree or your favorite juice in lieu of the grapefruit juice. If you do not have Lillet on hand you can substitute champagne! And, don't worry if you don't have any absinthe, it is purely optional and you may be better off in the morning without it!
Because I Say So http://www.becauseisayso.com/

Mimi’s Ode to the Ripe Banana: Banana Bread

Celebrate National Banana Bread Day!  Although, there are no known origins of this holiday, it is homage to the banana!  It is a tribute to all the cooks who developed banana bread recipes to use up those overripe bananas.  Mimi’s bread always gets rave reviews.  It makes three large loaves or delicious cupcakes too!  You can even make a simple cream cheese icing to sweeten things up!  Now go make some banana bread!  

Mimi's Banana Bread
Mimi likes to talk about her banana bread and its special powers. Its ability to make your house smell like heaven, please the pickiest of eaters, keep your teenager at home on a weekend, make your housekeeper stick around for another hour free of charge, keep your postman delivering at the door, and your vendors ready to return on a moment's notice if they think you will give them a fresh-baked loaf or even one from your freezer.
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Prep Time
20 min
Total Time
1 hr 50 min
Prep Time
20 min
Total Time
1 hr 50 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 pound (4 sticks) Unsalted Butter
  2. 4 Eggs
  3. 10 Ripe Bananas
  4. 4 Cups Sugar
  5. 4 Cups All Purpose Flour
  6. 4 teaspoons Baking Soda
  7. 2 teaspoons Kosher Salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 325°. Butter and flour three loaf pans or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl or mixer bowl, combine the softened butter, eggs, sugar and bananas. Mix until somewhat smooth. Batter will have some banana lumps. In another large bowl add remaining dry ingredients of flour baking soda and salt. Sift dry ingredients together.
  3. Fold the flour mixture into the butter banana mixture until well incorporated. Pour into prepared loaf pans. Bake for approximately 1½ hours, checking with a wooden pick inserted into center at the one hour mark, until it comes out clean. Cooking time can vary depending upon whether you use glass or metal loaf pan.
Notes
  1. The secret to this recipe is very ripe bananas. Mimi has a freezer full of ripened to almost black bananas which she simply thaws to room temperature in the sink. They are so ripened that they mix into the wet ingredients without processing or smashing. They will seem very gooey but that is the secret to this recipe’s success. Add them straight to the wet ingredients from the peel.
Because I Say So http://www.becauseisayso.com/

Tempting Tapioca

TapiocaOh baby it’s cold outside! Let’s enjoy a warm comforting dessert on a cold night. This recipe is so easy, and the results are so yummy!

Tapioca Pudding
Serves 6
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 Egg
  2. 2 3/4 Cups Milk
  3. 1/3 Cup Sugar
  4. 3 Tablespoons Tapioca, (we prefer small pearl tapioca)
  5. 1-2 Teaspoons Vanilla
Instructions
  1. In a medium saucepan, whisk egg and milk.
  2. Add sugar and tapioca.
  3. Let set a few minutes.
  4. Stir.
  5. Bring to a full boil, over medium heat stirring constantly. (Be sure it's medium heat and not high as the tapioca will not fully cook and expand.)
  6. Remove from heat.
  7. Stir in vanilla to taste.
Notes
  1. Cool briefly and pour into small serving dishes if serving warm. If serving chilled, place plastic wrap directly on top of tapioca and refrigerate. You can serve with or without fresh or stewed fruit on top.
  2. For best taste use whole milk or 2%, but other milks can also be used.
Because I Say So http://www.becauseisayso.com/