Thursday, November 27, 2008

We've Got Presents Under the Tree for Turkey Day!

Happy Thanksgiving Everybody! Before we get to the Rest of the Recipes (yup...We've. Got. Four. More. For Ya!), Uncle Lynn wanted to announce the winners, selected by Random Drawing, of our Great New Pop'rs Thanksgiving Giveaway! So, drumroll, please...

These five Great Gals win a complete box of Pop'rs...all eight flavors! Of course, you all know that Pop'rs are the Fun and Nutritious Seasoning that really encourages everyone to Eat Their Veggies!

So, e-mail me your info, ladies (, and we'll get those Pop'rs Prizes right out to ya!

We'll round out this Thanksgiving Feast with four Great New Recipes from Michelle, over at Honest & Truly. Take it away, Michelle!

Mojito Granitas ("Because I can't quite give up summer," she says!)
2 1/2 c water
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c lightly packed fresh mint leaves
8 limes, juiced
Zest of 3 limes (use the zest from the limes you juice and zest first!)
4 T rum

Add the water to a nonreactive saucepan. Bring to a boil, add the sugar and lime zest. Stir until all the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and add all but about a dozen of the mint leaves (stems and all).Cover and let stand 10 minutes. Remove cover and let cool to room temp. Chop reserved mint leaves finely. Strain mint/sugar water mixture into a 13x9 pan (NOT a nonstick one). Add lime juice, rum and mint leaves, and place in the freezer. Every 30 minutes or so, pull from the freezer and use a fork to scrape up all the frozen bits, which will fluff them. Keep doing this for about 3-4 hours until it's all frozen and fluffy. Serve (to adults) and enjoy!

White Chocolate Party Mix
4 c. Cheerios
6 c. Rice Chex (or the knockoff brand like I used)
3 c. pretzel-shaped or waffle-cut pretzels
3 c. M&Ms
2 c. craisins (my inspiration, ha!)

1 1/2 lb premium white chocolate (I tried this with Hershey's premium white chocolate chips and with the white chocolate chips from our local buy in bulk yummy stuff store. Hershey's was far superior. Definitely don't use almond bark. Find the best white chocolate you can and use it. It makes that much of a difference. And I've also found that the white chocolate chips Aldi sells work great, too!)

Place the white chocolate in a very heavy saucepan or in a double boiler and melt over medium low heat. Cover the pot to ensure the heat is being evenly distributed and not just cooking the bottom part. After about a few minutes, turn off the heat and begin stirring until it is fully melted.While the chocolate is melting, place the remaining ingredients in a very large bowl or roaster pan or something that will allow you to stir it without having everything go flying everywhere. Gently mix the dry stuff together without breaking anything (read: Rice Chex).Use the spatula to drizzle the white chocolate onto the dry stuff. Only do about a quarter or so of the chocolate at a time and mix well in between or you'll end up with massive gobs of chocolate and lots of dry other stuff.You'll want to put waxed paper on a counter. I have sheets of it, and it fills up about six sheets. I got smart somehow and realized that if you have a damp counter, the waxed paper sheets will stay in place while spreading the mix rather than sliding all over the counter.

Once the mix is all mixed, pour it out onto the waxed paper and use the spatula to spread it out so that it hardens into manageable chunks. Once it hardens (less than an hour in the middle of summer for me), you'll want to break it up a little more, but not too much.

Italian Dippy Dip
1/2 c. Kalamata olives

8 sundried tomatoes
1 14 oz can of artichoke hearts
1/3 c. dried parsley
3 cloves garlic
8 oz neufchatel cream cheese
8 oz regular cream cheese (Neufchatel is a naturally lower fat cream cheese. Whenever I cook or bake with cream cheese, I always use half neufchatel and half cream cheese. Because fat wasn't removed, it doesn't get that yucky rubbery texture or other issues that low-fat cream cheeses do. As always, make sure your cream cheese is at room temperature before starting.)
1/2 t. salt

Chop the olives. Do lots of chopping so that it gets into nice little pieces small enough that you'd want to put them into your mouth as part of a dip. Chop the artichoke and sundried tomatoes. Mince the garlic finely.Place all your ingredients into the bowl. The order doesn't really matter. I do like to put the cream cheese in first though. Stir it up with a spatula. You don't want to overstir but definitely want to get it all mixed in and well-distributed. Just put it into a nice bowl and serve with crackers or veggies or whatever you like.

Orange Chocolate Shortbread Cookies
This cookie came about as I was trying to create a cookie for the cookie sale that the animal shelter I volunteer for has every winter. I wanted something unique that would draw people to it without being too weird and over the top.As I thought about it, I realized that orange is always one of my favorite holiday flavors, and chocolate just seems to go naturally with it. (Of course, my husband thinks chocolate goes naturally with everything–and who am I to contradict him?) One of my favorite treats is the chocolate oranges that Kraft makes. I've always looked for a recipe that incorporates those flavors, but I never managed to find a recipe for a cookie with orange flavoring, so I decided this challenge would fit the bill. I based it very loosely off a shortbread recipe, since that was the cookie that seemed to hold its shape the best. Most shortbreads are far too dry for my tastes and crumble too readily to work well for this type of cookie. I didn't want a moist cookie that wouldn't stand up to the filling or would overwhelm the citrus flavor with sweetness either. Of all the variations I've tried, this seems to have won the most fans. That and they're surprisingly easy to make (and very forgiving, too)!

Cookie Ingredients
10 T butter, unsalted @ room temperature
3/4 c. brown sugar
zest of one orange
juice of one orange
1 egg
3/4 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
3 c. flour

Filling Ingredients
1/2 c. cream
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate
2 T Grand Marnier
1/2 c. powdered sugar

Make the filling first and let come to room temperature before starting the cookies. To make the filling, follow these steps:

1. Scald cream in a heavy saucepan.
2. Remove from heat and add chocolate, stirring until fully melted.
3. Add Grand Marnier and stir.
4. Slowly add powdered sugar and stir until combined.Set aside until cookies are cooled.

To make the cookies:

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Cream the room temperature butter and brown sugar.
3. Add the orange zest and orange juice, then the egg. Mix until well combined.
4. Add the baking soda and salt, then mix again.
5. Slowly add the flour and stir until fully combined. The dough should be fairly stiff.
6. Roll small amounts of the dough into balls and place onto greased cookie sheet.
7. Before baking the cookies: Using a clean finger or back of an ice tea spoon, make a large, deep divot into each ball (the bigger the divot, the more filling fits!).
8. Bake each set of cookies 11-13 minutes until firm. These cookies do not crack when done. As soon as each batch comes out of the oven, carefully use the spoon to reaffirm the divot.

Let cookies cool 10 minutes. Once cookies are cool to the touch, use the ice tea spoon to carefully fill each divot with thickened chocolate filling. Let cookies sit 2+ hours for filling to set. Makes approximately 4 dozen cookies.


annie kelleher said...

omg did i really win?? i NEVER win!!! im so excited!!! im doing a happy dance and its not even 6 AM!!! thank you thank you thank you!!!! i will email you my address right away! have a wonderful thanksgiving!!! big hugs to you!!!! im doing handsprings and cartwheels!!!

Queenie Jeannie said...

Oh wow!!! I won!!! COOL BEANS!!!!

Thank you!

Kathleen said...

Wow, I won! I can't wait to try these...especially to balance out all of the junk food and baked goods we'll be consuming in the next month. Thanks so much for hosting this!

Tracy P. said...

That's a whole lot of yumminess! Congrats to the winners and Happy Thanksgiving!

Anonymous said...

Happy Thanksgiving to the Pop'rs family!!!

These recipes sound great! I swear I'm gonna just come back to this blog when I have time and just print off pages of recipes..

Susie said...

Happy Thanksgiving:-)

Michelle said...

Oh yay! I can't wait to try these. Although Little Miss ate about 12 baby carrots at lunch today, we don't usually get enough veggies in (fruit, no issues!). I can't wait to see what they think of these and what they like them on the best. I'll be sure to report back! Thanks, and Happy Thanksgiving!

Ritch in Love said...

Wanted to say, "Gobble! Gobble!" to one of my favorite bloggers! Happy Turkey Day!

AndBabyWillMake4 said...

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Melissa B. said...

Happy Thanksgiving, and Congrats! to Your Winners!!