Written on November 18, 2013 at 4:00 am , by Naomi Robinson
You know what’s better than a double-crusted blueberry pie? One with a streusel topping. I couldn’t help it, so I had to try it to see if it would be overkill or a great add-on. The verdict, the streusel and crust in every bite–killer. I’m pretty sure you are going to love this as much as I did, especially, since it’s not only simple in design, but also in preparation.
Of course I made my blueberry pie as mini pies, but feel free to stick to the recipe by making it one large one. Sure, it’s a little more work to make a few minis, but the payoff is definitely there.
I love the way minis lend themselves to a great presentation and there’s just something about small desserts that always seems to elicit a few extra oohs and aahs.
Aside from that, if you have a family like mine—there better be enough crust to go around or else you’ll end up with a pie pan full of filling. I’m serious, they will pick through the crust like it’s their own personal pie. See how I solved that problem—mini pies.
To get started on this recipe, click here. To add the streusel (I used silvered almonds for the nuts and coarsely chopped it), click here for the recipe and add it to the crust in the last 20 minutes of bake time.
Written on November 14, 2013 at 9:06 am , by BHG Guest BloggerHi! I’m Wini Moranville, author of The Bonne Femme Cookbook: Simple, Splendid Food That French Women Cook Everyday. I also blog at chezbonnefemme.com. I’ve been writing for the Better Homes and Gardens family of publications for over 15 years, and I’m so honored that they featured my French stew recipes in the current edition of BHG Soups & Stews magazine, available on newsstands now.
Last spring, when the Soups & Stews editor asked me to develop recipes for his magazine, the timing could not have been better. I was actually in France, staying in a little apartment by the Mediterranean Sea. The weather had just hit a cold spell, and I was craving something warming and hearty—but something that tapped into the finesse that is France.
The answer was blanquette—a French stew that’s finished with a tumble of fresh vegetables plus a touch of luscious cream to make it white—blanquette comes from the French word blanc (white).
Blanquette is traditionally made with veal, but I turned to my French butcher to inspire other versions. That day, he had absolutely beautiful chunks of lamb stew meat, which simmers to tender perfection. At the vegetable market, leeks and green onions snagged my attention—they simply go great with lamb. Not a lamb fan? Boneless beef short ribs also work wonderfully.
Once home, I followed the classic recipe for any blanquette: You braise the meat with flavorful ingredients—wine, herbs, veggies, and broth. Later, you strain the cooking liquids, which become the base of an amazing sauce that’s enriched and thickened with a beurre-manié (a fancy name for a super-simple flour-butter mixture). Finish with bright, fresh veggies, and you’ll have a vivid, fresh, and refined stew that your guests won’t soon forget. PS: Leftovers taste wonderful.
Try the recipe, and be sure to pick up Soups & Stews magazine, which offers two more fabulous variations on the blanquette theme: Chicken Blanquette and Pork Blanquette, plus my favorite go-with: Any-Night Baked Rice.
Written on November 13, 2013 at 9:00 am , by Michael Wurm, Jr.
I’m always on the lookout for unique ideas for cocktails Throw in a seasonal twist and that instantly makes it a winner in my book. As the Thanksgiving holiday quickly approaches and get-togethers with family and friends abound, it’s always helpful to have a deliciously fresh cocktail idea in your back pocket when you hear you the doorbell ring.
Today I’m pulling inspiration from BHG’s recipe for Apple Cider Punch. Being a fan of the always classy martini, I’m upping the ante a smidge and turning this punch into a martini.
With an apple cider base, this martini is perfect for the fall. The touch of citrus gives it a flavor that is bright and fresh.
My favorite addition to this drink, however, is the splash of sparkling wine or champagne to finish it off. The bubbles dress this drink up for any fall holiday celebration.
To keep things simple, I garnished this martini with a few slices of fresh apple. I love the way the bubbles gather around the slices. It’s a clear sign that you are in for a treat. Now, let me tell you how to mix one of these up.
Here’s what you’ll need for one martini:
3 ounces apple cider
2 ounces orange juice
1 ounce vodka
1 ounce sparkling white wine or champagne
Fresh apple, sliced
In a shaker filled with ice, add apple cider, orange juice, vodka, and the juice from one lemon wedge. Shake vigorously. Pour into a martini glass, leaving room at the top for a splash of sparkling white wine. Float an apple slice or two in the martini as a garnish.
And that’s it, friends. A delicious martini with all the flavors of fall and a little bubbly to boot! It certainly will be a star at your next party.
Michael Wurm, Jr – Inspired by Charm
Written on November 12, 2013 at 8:30 am , by BHG Guest BloggerI’m Paula Biggs from Frog Prince Paperie, and am very excited to be posting today for Delish Dish! You can also find me on my website where I like to post inspiration and tutorials for DIY celebrations and tips to make entertaining easy.
Every once in awhile I am asked to a gathering with the note to bring a dish; there aren’t many things that bring on a sense of panic for me than the words “pot luck.” It is completely unreasonable, I know, but I do have a fear that my lonely dish will sit on the serving table completely untouched. Definite fear of party failure working here! This bringing-home-a-full-tray-of-food-aphobia keeps me on the hunt for a crowd pleasing casserole that is guaranteed to vanish before the party’s over. After making these Cheesy Pasta-Stuffed Shells from the BHG.com site, I think I have a permanent pot-luck winner.
The creative presentation is what really sets this macaroni and cheese recipe apart. Tiny shells are made up as macaroni and cheese, then stuffed inside jumbo shells and baked on top of a bed of sauce with a mound of gooey mozzarella cheese melted on top. It is a feast for the eyes as well as the tummy.
It’s really hard to mess with a good thing–as this recipe was 100% perfect all on its own–but I did make a few changes when I baked this up. In general, any combination of really good melty cheese is going to produce a phenomenal macaroni and cheese dish. This recipe calls for Gruyere, sharp cheddar and mozzarella. As luck would have it, the grocery store I popped into to pick up my ingredients didn’t have Gruyere. It’s a cheese smaller stores probably aren’t going to carry, and costs much more than the average block cheeses usually do. So instead, I bought a block of Swiss cheese. It was fabulous with the cheddar! Emmental cheese or Gouda cheese would also be good substitutes for Gruyere cheese in this dish.
This Cheesy Pasta-Stuffed Shells recipe is incredibly flexible, just as a good mac-and-cheese recipe should be. I made a few batches and threw in different ingredients into the pasta/cheese mixture before stuffing the shells. Chopped spinach was a welcomed add; a few more vegetables never hurt anyone, and the greens made this casserole feel like a more balanced meal. For extra flavor, chopped prosciutto is wonderful or you could try some Italian sausage, pepperoni or even some seasoned ground beef. Olives, tomatoes and mushrooms are also interesting additions. There is certainly a lot of room for culinary creativity.
Next time a “bring a dish” event comes my way, I know I’ll be ready. These pasta stuffed shells will be gone in a flash, and I’ll get to happily take home an empty pan!
Written on November 11, 2013 at 6:00 am , by Naomi Robinson
It’s high time I got around to making some pull apart bread. Although, I should mention not only have I never tried it, but I’ve never even made it. So this Apple Spice Pull Apart Bread was a perfect start.
And apparently, it was also as up to snuff as any from-scratch pull apart, according to those around me who aren’t new to it. I think everyone’s favorite part is that it takes only 10 minutes to prep and 25 minutes to bake. That being the case, I did two runs with this recipe, since I like my baked goods heavily spiced.
If you do as well, double the cinnamon, add ½ teaspoon of nutmeg and ¼ teaspoon of all spice—that’s it, a very small tweak for my personal preference. Next time, I’m going to try this with some pears and cardamom—as you can see, this recipe is really easy to make your own.
Click here to get started.
Written on November 6, 2013 at 8:30 am , by Kristin Porter
Growing up, Monday night was Spaghetti Night at my house. I have very vivid memories of my Mom tossing a brick of frozen ground beef into a deep pan then pouring in a big jar of spaghetti sauce after it browned.
While the sauce warmed she’d cook two types of pasta. Angel hair for my brothers and me, and rigatoni or “sewer pipes”, as we used to call them, for my Dad. After everyone got served she’d eat whatever was left, bless her heart!
Yes, spaghetti night has a very special place in my heart, which is why I’ve started the weekly tradition at my house. Normally I saute a mix of half ground beef and half mushrooms, which I zip through the food processor until they’re the same texture as the ground beef, then add a jar of my favorite marinara sauce. That being said, I might have to start making an exception for Best-Ever Bolognese Sauce.
Normally when I hear the phrase “Bolognese sauce” I think of a thick and hearty, slow-cooked-all-day-type of sauce. Best-Ever Bolognese Sauce meets the thick and hearty requirement, but slow cooked all day? No way! This recipe gets that same deep and savory flavor in just 20 minutes, making it ideal for busy fall and winter weeknights.
Carrots, onions, and garlic are sauteed with ground beef then simmered with half & half and chicken broth with a splash of vinegar. Crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, and Italian seasoning are added then the mixture is simmered again until thick and bubbly. Serve with freshly cooked spaghetti noodles and garlic bread for sopping up every drop of this luscious sauce!