Blog - biscuits and such
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Melted Brie & Cranberry

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You know that dish that everyone gobbles up around the holidays and ooohs and ahhhs over, relishing in consuming countless calories of delicious pre-New Years Resolution goodness?  This is so that dish in my family.  My Aunt Lori brings this to every family gathering and it is a hit, every time.

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When I was trying to come up with a good appetizer to include in my Thanksgiving spread this year, this one immediately came to mind.  At first I pushed it out of my head because I thought it was too common, too traditional.  But then I thought- that’s what people want on Thanksgiving.  Sure, they’ll take a little twist here and a little spike of new flavor there, but for the most part, around the holidays, we want tradition. And for my family, this is tradition.

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You’ll be happy to know that, since this is a food blog and I was entering this recipe into a recipe contest (after all), that I did add a twist.  Usually when this dish is served in my house it’s strictly brie and puff pastry.  Which, by itself, is one of of the most delicious things ever.  I mean, soft cheese and puffy buttery dough?  Please. But, being a professional and all, I added a little of my  homemade cranberry sauce.  I know.  I’ll take that invitation to MENSA now for my groundbreaking ideas.

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Even if my twist isn’t revolutionary, I’m happy to report that it is delicious.  It adds a burst of flavor to the dish, not to mention a beautiful layer of color, which is important while you’re trying to show up the rest of your family during the holiday season.  Not that I try and show up my family.  Though my sister does make these oreo balls that I’m perpetually trying to one-up.  But that’s a story for another day.  What I’m saying is- delicious.  Perfect for the holidays.  Gobble gobble gobble.

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Don’t forget, springing this recipe onto your springpad, either from b&s or my springpad page, will automatically enter you to win $100!  And if you’re feeling generous, spring all my thanksgiving 2009 recipes to help me win $500!

Melted Brie & Cranberry

1 sheet puff pastry

1 round of brie

1/4 cup fresh cranberry sauce (recipe here)

Spread the puff pastry out. Place brie on top. Spread cranberry sauce onto the brie. Fold up the edges of the pastry so that a circle is formed.

Bake at 350 for 35 minutes. Allow to rest 5 before serving

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Thanksgiving Spread

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Thanksgiving is, and has always been, my favorite holiday.  For most people, whatever winter holiday they prescribe to, Festivus, if you will, is their favorite.  I mean, those holidays come with presents!  But I like Thanksgiving.  Presents just get in the way of what I see as the best part of any big family holiday, the food.  I mean please people, who cares about your new homeless American Girl doll when there is BRIE CHEESE COVERED IN PUFF PASTRY.  And the very best foods come out at the holidays.  We throw caution to the wind and soak things in butter, deep fry them, and load them with more calories than usual.

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In fact, my family took it to the extreme- competitive eating.  We started a tradition among the six siblings where you would weigh in Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, and weigh out Saturday or Sunday.  Whomever gained the most weight over the course of those few days would be the reigning champion eater until the next year.  Inevitably my brother Ryan always won.  He’s the youngest, the gangliest, and the one with the most unstoppable appetite.  My sisters and I burnt out after 5 or 6 twice baked potatoes, but the boys could just keep on going.  It was almost nauseating.  If it hadn’t been so incredibly hilarious.

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This year I am participating in a different kind of Thanksgiving competition- a recipe based one.  My favorite life organizational site, Springpad, has pitted their partner food bloggers against each other in a Thanksgiving meal blog-off.  Starting today you are able to visit my Thanksgiving spread on Springpad and spring my recipes into your holiday plans.  The incentive for me, besides fame and glory, is the chance at $500.  The incentive for you, dear readers, besides the benefit of my delectable recipes on your table, is the chance to win $100, just for springing a recipe. That’s free money with which to buy yourself a Festivus present.

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Starting tomorrow I will also be posting the recipes here, my ideal holiday spread.  Baked Brie with Cranberry Sauce, Potatoes au Gratin, Bacon Wrapped Green Beans, Roasted Mango & Habanero Glazed Turkey, and finally, the long awaited Caramel Turtle Pie.  Starting today they’re all available on Springpad, and as they go up on b&s you’ll be able to spring them via the “save it” button.  Either way you do it, put your springing powers to good use because the more collective springs my Thanksgiving spread gets, the closer I am to $500!  Which will totally come back to you in good ways, I’ll pay it forward with more of the recipes that keep you coming here.  Additionally, for our complete list of holiday favorites, visit here.  Stick with us this holiday season and your table with be the envy of all.

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Oven Roasted Kabobs

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I know, logically, that it’s not winter yet.  I also know that I should stop whining about the fact that the seasons are changing and just embrace it, because it’s going to be a very long winter.  But did anyone else notice that it was 30 degrees on Saturday? I mean, seriously?  That’s BELOW FREEZING.

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It’s times like these that many people say oooh, it’s chilly!  Let’s light a fire!  Let’s have soup!  Sometimes I’m that person.  Sometimes I can curl up in a heavy blanket with a bowl of thick, creamy, life-giving soup.  And when I am in that mood, I’m so happy.  But that’s usually like October 15.  When by “change of season” I really mean “it’s 60 degrees out.”  Not when it’s 30 degrees out.  That’s when I close my eyes and try and magic myself somewhere tropical.

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Unfortunately for me I have yet to successfully magic myself anywhere, which means that I have to resort to recreating some of my summer favorites inside my cold apartment.  Take the shish kabob.  A summertime favorite ’round the world.  A combination of marinated meats and veggies all skewered and cooked over hot coals.  How could you go wrong?!?  You may be thinking that “cooked over hot coals” is the imperative phrase here, something tricky to recreate in the winter let alone in an apartment with no balcony or yard.

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Wait for it… THE OVEN!  Shish kabobs, marinated and placed on a rack, can be roasted in the oven with essentially the same results as a grill.  I mean, you lose the grill flavor and the pass time of grilling things, but still- this means shish kabobs year round!  You can vary the vegetables (and meats) that you use, but pretty much everything tastes good skewered.  It’s the on-a-stick principle.  That’s why fairs and renaissance festivals have the best food.

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Apartment Kabobs

Marinade:

2/3 cup red wine vinegar

2/3 cup olive oil

4 tbsp honey

Paprika

Cayenne

Garlic

Cumin

Chipotle

Cinnamon

Coriander

Kabobs:

1 steak, cubed

1 white onion

1 green bell pepper

1 cup cherry tomatoes

1 cup mushrooms

1 cup tomatillos

1 eggplant

Chop steak, onion, pepper, and eggplant.  Put the steak in one bag and the veggies in another.

Use a food processor or immersion blender to combine the marinade ingredients.  Pour half with the meat and half with the veggies.  Marinate overnight.

Line a baking sheet with tin foil.  Place a cooling rack on top.  Stick different combinations of veggies and meat on skewers and line up on the rack.  Roast at 400 for 15 minutes, or until meat is cooked.  Let cool.

Serves 6.

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