A Blast from the Past – Make Ahead Holiday Recipes

 

Make Ahead Turkey Dinner - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

I’m leaving for the Philadelphia area Tuesday, so I’m in a hurry today – just like everyone else.  Here are several great ‘make ahead’ dishes from 2014.  Preparing several dishes ahead of The Big Day makes everything so much easier.  Enjoy!!

Click on recipe title, which will bring you to that recipe!

small red heart

Here’s the one thing you DON’T make ahead – Roasted Turkey Breast (or Turkey) with White Wine, Apples & Oranges – and Savory Gravy

Roasted Turkey Bre

Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes with Sour Cream and Chives

Make-Ahead Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

Make Ahead Sweet Potatoes with Cinnamon, Nutmeg and a Splash of Brandy

Sweet Potatoes with Cinnamon, Nutmeg and a Dash of Bourbon - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

Make Ahead Herbed Stuffing with Baby Bella Mushrooms

Make-Ahead Turkey Dinner - "Herb Stuffing with Baby Bella Mushrooms" - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

Green Beans with Browned Butter and Sesame Seeds – Browned Butter Can Be Prepared Ahead

Prepare Ahead Green Beans with Browned Butter and Sesame Seeds

Homemade Cranberry Sauce with Apple and a Touch of Cinnamon

Homemade Whole-Berry Cranberry Sauce with Apple and a Hint of Cinnamon - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

Too Cold to Grill Outside? Try Italian Sausages Baked in the Oven – Perhaps with a Side of Baby Bella Mushrooms with Balsamic and Sage . . . Two Ideas Too Easy to Even Be Called ‘Recipes’!

Sausages cooked this way make excellent grinders, subs or po’boys!!

baby bella mushrooms with balsamic and sage (2)

I was pleased with how delicious these oven-baked Italian sausages turned out!  As you can see in the photo, the sausages were brown and juicy.  I am never again going to bother browning sausages in a skillet again!  No matter how hard I tried, even with a splatter guard, I’d always end up with grease splattered all over my kitchen.

To cook sausages in the oven, simply place sausages on a broiler pan and pierce each one a few times with a sharp knife.  Bake at 400 (F) for 30 minutes.  (It sure beats making a big mess!)

++ Line the bottom of the broiler pan with foil for an easy clean up.         

Baked Italian Sausages 001

 ++  If you don’t own a broiler pan, line a cookie sheet with foil and place a cooling rack on top. cooling rack

 

 

Place broiler pan containing sausages in a preheated 400(F) degree oven for 30 minutes.  ++  Don’t forget to ‘prick’ the sausages at least on one side so the fat can drain out.

You can turn the sausages once, but it’s not necessary. I turned them the first time I tried this, the day before Christmas, but yesterday I forgot simply because I was on my computer .. checking on ‘My Yellow Farmhouse’.

++  If you do turn the sausages, you might want to cook them a bit longer – until both sides are nicely browned and crisped, but its not necessary.

I prepared a spaghetti sauce last night with some of the oven baked Italian sausages (I used both sweet and hot), plus the ‘Baby Bella Mushrooms with Balsamic and Sage’. I’m keeping some of the sauce for myself and sharing some with one of my neighbors. She’s Italian-American – I hope she likes it!!   

How to Prepare ‘Baby Bella Mushrooms with Balsamic and Sage’

baby bella mushrooms with balsamic and sage (2)
Baby Bella Mushrooms with Balsamic and Sage

I think you’ll like the earthy flavor the dried sage adds to this dish.  And a bit of balsamic adds a whole other level of flavor.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Tbs. butter
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 (16 oz.) package sliced Baby Bella Mushrooms  
  • 2 Tbs. good-quality balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 – 3/4 tsp. dried sage 
  • 1 Tbs. roughly chopped Italian parsley
  • freshly ground pepper 

++ See if you can find a package of good-sized Baby Bella Mushrooms.  The ones I found were large and meaty, a bit like Portabella mushrooms. In fact, Portabella mushrooms would be wonderful prepared this way!

Put 1 Tbs. butter and 1 Tbs. olive oil in a large skillet.  Allow butter and olive oil to heat a bit before adding 16 oz. sliced Baby Bella (or Portabella) mushrooms.  Cook, stirring often, until mushrooms begin to soften.

Baby Bella Mushrooms with Balsamic and Sage

Add 2 Tbs. good-quality balsamic vinegar and 1/2 – 3/4 tsp. dried sage, 1 Tbs. roughly chopped Italian parsley and some freshly ground pepper. 

Continue to cook just a few minutes more, stirring often, until mushrooms are fully cooked.  That’s it!!  

++ Don’t make the mistake of over-cooking mushrooms.  If juice starts pouring out of the mushrooms, you’ve cooked them too long.

A terrific hogie, sub or po’boy can be made with a combination of sweet and hot Italian sausage and these mushrooms. Or, the sausages and mushrooms could be added to a big pot of spaghetti sauce, as I did last night. (I’m planning to serve ‘Baby Bella Mushrooms with Balsamic and Sage’ as a side for a nice, fat steak or a juicy chicken breast.)  Enjoy!

Baked Italian Sausages 003
Quick ‘n Easy Oven Baked Italian Sausage
baby bella mushrooms with balsamic and sage (2)
Baby Bella Mushrooms with Balsamic and Sage

 

Roasted Cauliflower and Red Pepper Gratin with Toasted Pine Nuts

++ This can be prepared GLUTEN FREE  !!

++  UPDATE – – EVEN BETTER WHEN MADE A DAY AHEAD !!      I just discovered that the next day the flavor of the roasted red peppers and cheddar cheese is infused throughout and the cauliflower is lovely & creamy !!  It tastes a lot like a very special version of Mac & Cheese.

It amazes me, now that I’m actually paying attention, how many fabulous recipes can be found which are healthy AND delicious.  Not only am I losing weight in my effort to eat healthy, I also have a lot more energy.  LOOK OUT WORLD !!

If you think you don’t like cauliflower, this may be the recipe to change your mind !  This is NOT your mother’s (or grandmother’s) ‘boiled all to hell’ cauliflower.  A light cheese sauce graces the roasted cauliflower with loads of flavor and there’s a tiny bit of heat from the cayenne pepper. And, except for garlic salt with herbs, there’s no salt in this recipe.  (This was my dinner last night, that’s how much I enjoyed this dish.)

INGREDIENTS

  • 7 cups cauliflower, cut into pieces 2″       ++ Uses 1 head of cauliflower, with perhaps a bit leftover
  • 1 red pepper, cut into 1/4′ strips
  • 1 – 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 Tbs. flour      ++  For ‘Gluten-Free use 1 Tbs. cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic salt with parsley      ++  Or garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. salt-free seasoning      ++  I like ‘Mrs. Dash – Garlic & Herb’
  • 1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 14 – 1/3 cup pine nuts       ++  a.k.a. pinola nuts        ++  You could also use walnuts or pecans
  • 2 Tbs. butter
  • 1 1/4 cups 2% milk      ++  I used 1% & that worked fine!
  • 1 1/4 grated Cheddar cheese

SET OVEN AT 425 (F)       TOTAL COOKING TIME – 25 MINUTES    (10 MINS, THEN 15 MINS.)                                           

Mix together cauliflower pieces, red pepper strips and 1 – 2 Tbs. olive oil.

Roasted Cauliflower Gratin with Toasted Pine Nuts

Spread vegetables evenly on baking sheet with sides.  

Roasted Cauliflower Gratin with Toasted Pine Nuts

Roast veggies in a 425 (F) oven for 10 minutes.  While cauliflower is roasting, toast pine nuts and prepare cheese sauce.

                                       Roasted Cauliflower and Red Pepper – After 10 Minutes

cooked -Roasted Cauliflower Gratin with Toasted Pine Nuts

TOASTED PINE NUTS  

In a small (ungreased) frying pan over medium heat toast pine nuts, shaking pan occasionally, until nuts become lightly browned.

CHEESE SAUCE

In a small bowl mix together 1 Tbs. flour  (For ‘Gluten-Free use 1 Tbs. cornstarch), 1/4 tsp. garlic salt with parsley, 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper, 1/4 tsp. salt-free seasoning and 1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Once butter is melted, add the flour and spices.  Whisk together and cook, stirring with whisk, for about a minute. 

Slowly add 1 1/4 cup milk and continue whisking until mixture is well blended.  Continue to simmer sauce for 4 – 5 minutes if using flour, whisking occasionally.  ++  If using cornstarch, the simmering time will be less.   ++  If sauce becomes too thick when using cornstarch, add a bit more milk.

REMOVE SAUCEPAN FROM HEAT.  Add 1 1/4 cup shredded cheese and whisk until cheese sauce is smooth.  Add toasted pine nuts.

Remove baking sheet from oven after 10 minutes.  Using a spatula, gently turn the partially cooked cauliflower and red pepper strips.  Drizzle cheese sauce slowly over veggies.

Return baking sheet to oven and roast for another 15 minutes, or until tops of cauliflower are nicely browned.  Serve & Enjoy !!

Roasted Cauliflower Gratin with Toasted Pine NutsRoasted Cauliflower Gratin with Toasted Pine Nuts

Green Beans with Browned Butter and Sesame Seeds – Browned Butter Can Be Prepared Ahead !

++  The prep work for this recipe can be done one night before – or earlier in the day.  ++

Green Beans with Browned Butter and Sesame Seeds is the last recipe in a series of 6 ‘make ahead’ recipes, all of which can be prepared – or prepped – a day or two ahead, which will help to make your busy life a bit easier!  By preparing a few dishes each night for two nights, all you’ll need to do the day of The Big Feast is roast the turkey, make the gravy and cook the green beans.

I’ve been preparing green beans this way for a few years but today it was a bit different as I had to list amounts and cooking times – I usually just ‘wing it’.  Guests often ask, “How did you make these beans?”  Well, now they know!

Everything was very casual the night of the ‘taste testing’.

Make Ahead Thanksgiving Dinner - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

My Yellow Farmhouse.com - Make-Ahead Turkey Dinner

  MENU

  • Mashed Potatoes with Sour Cream and Chives

https://myyellowfarmhouse.com/2014/11/13/make-ahead-turkey-dinner-recipe-no-1-mashed-potatoes-with-sour-cream-and-chives/

  • Sweet Potatoes with Cinnamon, Nutmeg and a Dash of Bourbon

https://myyellowfarmhouse.com/2014/11/15/make-ahead-turkey-dinner-recipe-no-2-sweet-potatoes-with-cinnamon-nutmeg-and-a-splash-of-brandy/

  • Herb Stuffing with Baby Bella Mushrooms, Celery and Onions

https://myyellowfarmhouse.com/2014/11/15/make-ahead-turkey-dinner-recipe-no-3-herb-stuffing-with-baby-bella-mushrooms/

  • Green Beans with Browned Butter and Sesame Seeds
  • Turkey Breast (or Turkey) with White Wine, Oranges  & + Savory Turkey Gravy

https://myyellowfarmhouse.com/2014/11/17/make-ahead-turkey-dinner-recipes-no-4-5-roasted-turkey-breast-or-whole-turkey-with-white-wine-oranges-and-apples-savory-turkey-gravy/

  • Bonus Recipe – Homemade Whole-Berry Cranberry Sauce with Apple and a Hint of Cinnamon

https://myyellowfarmhouse.com/2014/11/20/homemade-whole-berry-cranberry-sauce-with-apple-and-a-hint-of-cinnamon/

– – –

++ The amount of beans shown here should serve between 5 – 6 people, depending upon how many other sides dishes you’re serving.  I figure approximately a handful of fresh beans for each guest… but I have small hands, so this ‘method’ might not work for you! 

++ If you’re having lots and lots of guests and need to cook more beans, just double or triple the browned butter.  But remember, the cooking time for the beans will be a bit longer.

Ingredients and Method 

  • fresh green beans, rinsed  –  ends snapped       ++ You don’t have to snap both ends… although I usually do.
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 Tbs. butter
  • 1/8 tsp. Mrs. Dash ‘Garlic & Herb’ seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp, salt
  • 1 Tbs. sesame seeds

Rinse beans and snap off ends.  Snap beans in half if they’re are overly large.  (This step can be done either the night before or earlier in the day, just place the beans in a plastic zip lock bag and refrigerate.)

Greeen Beans with Browned Butter and Sesame Seeds - My Yellow Farmhouse.comGreen Beans with Browned Butter and Sesame Seeds - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

Place beans and 1/2 cup water into a large skillet with a cover.  Bring water to a boil.  Cover and allow to cook at a light boil for between 10 -12 minutes.  ++  Beans will not be fully cooked at this point.

Green Beans with Browned Butter and Sesame Seeds - My Yellow Farmhouse.comWhile beans are cooking (or the night before/earlier in the day) prepare the Browned Butter, which only takes about 5 minutes!

Place 2 Tbs. butter, 1/8 tsp. Mrs. Dash ‘Garlic & Herb’ seasoning and 1/4 tsp, salt in a small pan over medium heat.  It’s not necessary to stir the butter but you do have to watch it carefully !  After several minutes the butter will have foamed up considerably. Remove pan from heat and add 1 Tbs. sesame seeds.  Set browned butter aside until beans are fully cooked.

++  If you prepared the browned butter the night before (or earlier in the day) remove it from the refrigerator and rewarm in the microwave before adding it to the cooked beans.

Remove cover from skillet.  Lower heat a bit.  Continue cooking for another 5 – 6 minutes, stirring every once in a while.   ++ Any remaining water will gradually evaporate, which helps the browned butter to stick to the beans.    ++  Be sure not to overcook the beans – you want them crisp-tender!!

Add your prepared browned butter to the beans, mix well and serve.    Easy and delicious!

Happy Holidays to All – Enjoy !

Prepare Ahead Green Beans with Browned Butter and Sesame SeedsMake Ahead Turkey Dinner - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

‘Not Your Grandmother’s Potato Salad’ – Roasted New Potatoes with Creamy Parsley Dressing and Avocados

UPDATE – A Reddit follower said she swapped out the black olives for (drained) marinated artichoke hearts.  I LOVE that idea!!  

Our summer family tradition of ‘Swim & Feast’ continued last night and my contribution was Roasted New Potatoes with Creamy Parsley Dressing. This salad is fully-loaded with crunchy shredded carrots and celery, avocado, sliced black olives and hard-boiled eggs.  Most of us returned for second helpings – even the children!

The stars of this dish are the new potatoes which are roasted in the oven with red onion wedges and minced garlic. With the addition of chicken, salmon or ham etc. you’ve got yourself a great meal!

++ You don’t have to peel new potatoes – how’s that for easy?

++ This salad can be made the day before –  and it can also be served warm.

INGREDIENTS & METHOD 

Preheat oven to 425F      Total time for baking potatoes  35 – 40 minutes

  • 3 lbs. new potatoes  (I used White Delights which have a firm texture.)
  • 1 cup red onion, sliced thick
  • 3 large cloves of garlic, minced   (About 1 Tbs.)
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery (One stalk.)
  • 1 can (3.8 oz.) DRAINED sliced black olives
  • 6 hard boiled eggs, cut into large slices  (3 of the eggs are mixed into the salad – the other 3 are placed on top of the salad.)
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 Tbs. chicken stock  (I used “College Inn – Bold Stock)  ++ You can freeze the leftover stock or use it when making scrambled eggs instead of milk or in gravy etc. etc.
  • 1/2 tsp. salt – or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 3 Tbs. minced fresh parsley
  • One chopped avocado – placed on top of salad right before serving. (Why? Because avocados become brown when exposed to air.)

Rinse 3 lbs. new potatoes – no need to peel.  Cut into 1 1/2′  pieces.  Place chopped potatoes, 1 cup sliced red onion & 1 Tbs. minced garlic in a medium size bowl. Add 3 Tbs. olive oil – mix everything together. Place onto a greased 15″ x 10″ cookie sheet, spreading out potatoes etc. to form one layer.  Roast potatoes at 425 for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, stir potatoes and roast for 15 – 20 minutes more – or until you can pierce potatoes easily with a knife. (You don’t want to overcook them either or they won’t hold their shape in the salad.)

Place the cooked potatoes back into the medium sized bowl and add 1/2 cup shredded carrots, 1 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley, 1/2 cup chopped celery, 1 can (3.8 oz.) DRAINED sliced black olives and 3 sliced hard cooked eggs.

In a small bowl mix 3/4 cup mayonnaise, 3 Tbs. chicken stock1/2 tsp. salt – or to taste, 1/4 tsp. pepper and 3 Tbs. minced fresh parsley.  Pour sauce into bowl containing potatoes and mix well. Top salad with the remaining 3 (sliced) hard cooked eggs & sprinkle on a bit of minced fresh parsley.

** Just Before Serving – add 1 chopped avocado to top of salad.

You can serve salad warm. OR – you can let it sit in the fridge overnight, which gives the flavors time to blend. Enjoy!

‘Grab ‘n Go’ Crustless Quiche Squares

Above Photo  Shows Yield from Second (Smaller) Version of Recipe

Grab 'n Go' Crustless Quiche Squares - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

UPDATE – – Cathy from Australia told me she prepared Crustless Quiche Squares BUT she substituted cooked bacon for the broccoli. I love that idea!  Cathy calls them Bacon and Egg Squares and said they were a big hit with her four daughters!   'Grab 'n Go' Quiche Squares - with Bacon instead of Broccoli

When my twin sons were teenagers I had a repertoire (of sorts) featuring things they could ‘Grab ‘n Eat’  –  and by ‘they’ I mean my sons and their multitudinous friends … all of whom seemed to have bottomless stomachs.

Crustless Quiche Squares are a bit more ‘solid’ than most quiches due to the addition of a bit of flour, which is why they’re so easy to ‘grab and eat’ either for breakfast (as I did today), for a packed lunch or to serve as appetizers.  And they’re equally delicious eaten right from the fridge or at room temperature.

++  Today I made a smaller version of the original recipe, which works well for someone like me who doesn’t need to feed lots of teenagers!  That recipe follows the larger yield recipe below.

       THIS VERSION  MAKES A LOT   ……   USE A GREASED 13″ X 9″ PAN   

  (++ See below for recipe which makes fewer squares ++)     

Ingredients        

++ Oven temperature changes  – –    Bake at 400F for 15 minutes, …  then lower to 350F for 30 – 35 minutes.    

  • 10 eggs
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 2 medium Bermuda onions, sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped mushrooms
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped broccoli
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp. baking POWDER
  • 1/3 tsp. salt
  • 1 lb. (16 oz.)  small-curd cottage cheese
  • 1 lb. (16 oz.)  Monterey Jack Cheese – grated

In a large bowl, beat 10 eggs with an electric mixer for about a minute.  Set aside.

In a large skillet, over medium heat, melt 1/3 cup butter.  Add 2 medium Bermuda onions, sliced; 1 1/2 cups chopped mushrooms and 1 1/2 cups chopped broccoli. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.  Set aside.

'Grab 'n Go' Crustless Quiche Squares - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

Add 1/2 cup flour, 1 tsp. baking POWDER and 1/3 tsp. salt to the previously beaten eggs until combined.

Add 1 lb. small-curd cottage cheese and 1 lb. grated Monterey Jack Cheese and beat until combined.

Add sauteed onions, mushrooms and broccoli. Again, beat until combined.

'Grab 'n Go' Crustless Quiche Squares - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

Pour into greased 13′ x 9′ pan.    ++ Bake at 400F for 15 minutes………then REDUCE HEAT to 350F for 30 – 35 minutes.

Crustless Quiche Squares should be light brown when fully cooked, and a knife stuck in the middle shouldn’t stick.  Enjoy!

                                                                         + + + +

++ Directions for Making a SMALLER Batch of  ‘Grab ‘n Go’ Crustless Quiche Squares ++

++  Use a greased 9′ x 9′ pan

++ Oven temperature changes  – –    Bake at 400F for 15 minutes, …  then lower to 350F for 23 – 25 minutes.   
   

Ingredients

  • 5 eggs
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 medium Bermuda onions, sliced
  • 3/4 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 3/4 cup chopped broccoli
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking POWDER
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 lb. (8 oz.) small-curd cottage cheese
  • 1/2 lb. (8 oz.) Monterey Jack Cheese – grated

In a large bowl, beat 5 eggs with an electric mixer for about 30 – 40 seconds.  Set aside.

In a large skillet, over medium heat, melt 1/4 cup butter.  Add 1 medium Bermuda onions, sliced; 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms and 1/2 cup chopped broccoli. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.  Set aside. 'Grab 'n Go' Crustless Quiche Squares - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

Add 1/4 cup flour, 1/2 tsp. baking POWDER and 1/4 tsp. salt to the previously beaten eggs until combined.

Add 8 oz. (1/2 lb.) small-curd cottage cheese and 8 oz. (1/2 lb.) grated Monterey Jack Cheese and beat until combined.

Add sauteed onions, mushrooms and broccoli. Again, beat until combined.

'Grab 'n Go' Crustless Quiche Squares - My Yellow Farmhouse.com

Pour into greased 9” x 9′ pan.    ++ Bake at 400F for 15 minutes………then LOWER HEAT to 350F for 22 to 23 minutes.

Crustless Quiche Squares should be light brown when fully cooked, and a knife stuck in the middle shouldn’t stick.  Enjoy!

++ Recipe adapted from ‘The Frugal Gourmet’

Grab 'n Go - Crustless Quiche Squares - My Yellow Farmhouse.com