Best Oatmeal Cookies Ever!

These are my favorite since I can add pretty much anything I want. Today it was dried raisins and cranberries and fresh nectarine….very yummy!

Best Oatmeal Cookies Ever

1/4 cup butter or vegatable oil
1/2 cup applesauce
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground clove
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 3/4 cups flour
2 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup raisins
1 large nectarine finely diced

Heat oven to 375. Cream together butter, apple sauce and sugar. Mix in egg and cinnamon, clove and nutmeg. Mix in baking powder and soda. Mix in flour and oats. Mix in cranberries, raisins and nectarine. Spoon out onto a greased cookie sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the edges are light brown.

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Update: Cranberry Relish Recipe

Yesterday I got the actual recipe from my mother. I was pretty close but not quite when trying to recall the recipe. So I updated the post. And I made it last night. I have yet to taste it but I know it’s going to be good.

HERE is the Cranberry Relish Recipe. Enjoy!

Thanksgiving Menu

Ok, so here is what our Thanksgiving menu is looking like:

smoked turkey ^
smoked oyster dressing *
apple cranberry dressing *
mushroom dressing *
cranberry relish *
mashed potatoes and gravy ^
brussel sprouts ^
green bean casserole (from scratch) *
carrot and raisin salad *
2 pumpkin pies ^

^ – Mom is making
* – I am making

Today I am going to make the cranberry relish since it needs to sit a couple days. I am also going to prep all the veggies for the dressings and have them in bags ready to cook so I will have less prep to do before dinner. Plus, I work from midnight to 9 am that day and the less I have to do the better….

What is for Thanksgiving?

We can’t decide what to have for Thanksgiving. Mom asks me what I want and I say I don’t know, and I ask her what she wants and she says she doesn’t know and we are starting to sound like Abbot and Costello with all the round and round we are doing about dinner that night. There are only going to be the five of us, one my one year old son, so we don’t need to go all out.

Two things are for sure, lots and lots of stuffing, preferably at least two different kinds (I love cranberry and apple stuffing, Hubby likes oyster stuffing); and the other thing for sure is the Cranberry Relish my grandmother used to make. Other than that I have no clue.

We have had ham and turkey and lamb for dinner before but none of those sound good. And we have had all kinds of different side dishes and none of those sound good either. I just don’t know what we will have.

So, what do you have for Thanksgiving? What is the main dish? What are the side dishes? Any ideas????

OOPS!

It seems to be my week for forgetting. I forgot to thaw the pork chops for dinner tonight so I’ll pass along my tip for quick thawing meat. It takes about 1-2 hours depending on how much meat you are thawing but I’m working with about a pound of pork chops that are all bunched up, not laid out nicely and stacked flat. If you have a larger chunk of meat, like a tritip or a roast (I don’t thaw roasts, I cook them from frozen, but I know some people like to brown a roast before sticking it in the crock pot or oven) it will take longer.

Today’s brine is water, salt, pepper, sugar, bay leaves, celery seed, garlic powder, onion powder, dried thyme, fresh thyme and cranberries. Yum.

Quick Thawing Tip:
Take your meat and put it in a zip-top bag. You can add a brine (I did) or a marinade if you want but you don’t have to. Get out as much air as you can. Put the bag with the meat in a bowl or other vessel that will hold the whole thing with an inch or two above the bag. Fill the bowl with cold water and set your sink to dribble a little bit of cold water into the bowl and leave it running. The barely running cold water will provide convection and thaw your meat evenly without letting it get into the unsafe food temp zone of 40-140 degrees. This works great and I’ve done it many times when I realize it’s 4:00 and I haven’t thawed that piece of meat for dinner. It really doesn’t use much water but if you are worried about wasting you can just fill the bowl, let it sit 30 minutes then dump it out and refill it with cold water. It will take longer this way but it’s better than waiting for it to thaw on it’s own or trying to defrost in the microwave. I don’t know about you but I always end up cooking the outside of the meat and the inside is still frozen when I use the microwave.

Cranberry Relish

Ok, so since we were talking about Thanksgiving foods and side dishes I thought I would post my Granny’s cranberry relish recipe, as well as I know it anyway.  She never wrote it down but I’ve helped and watched her make it enough times that I’m pretty sure this is how it goes:

Granny’s Cranberry Relish

1 pound fresh ripe red cranberries
1 granny smith apple
1 large navel orange
2 stalks celery
1/2 to 1 cup sugar

Wash the apple and orange, remove stems and seeds but leave the peels on. Cut into chunks. Also clean the celery and chunk it up. Rinse the cranberries and pick through them removing stems, leaves and bad looking ones. Ok, my granny used a old meat grinder but you can use a food processor/blender or cut it all by hand.

(Meat grinder instructions)
Feed everything but the sugar through the meat grinder, mix it up, if it’s not fine enough for you can can put it back through a little more.

(Food processor/blender instructions)
Working in small batches put some of the fruits/veggies into the food processor and pulse until everything is in smallish pieces making sure to scrape down the sides so nothing gets liquefied and there are no large chunks left. Use a potato masher to mush the mixture up a bit so there is some juice out of the mixture. You want it to be kind of like pickle relish, small uniform pieces with some juice.

(Hand chopping instructions)
Mill your knife through the fruit and veggies until they are all in smallish chunks and about the same size. Save juice that is on the cutting board after chopping. This will take a while and please be careful cutting the cranberries, you may want to half them before you start chopping them. Use a potato masher to mush the mixture up a bit so there is some juice out of the mixture. You want it to be kind of like pickle relish, small uniform pieces with some juice.

Add sugar to mixture and let sit in the fridge for 2-3 hours. Taste it after letting it hang out in the fridge and add more sugar if desired. It’s best after a day or two in the fridge, just make sure you stir it up every 12 hours or so so it gets well mixed and the flavors combine. You can keep it in tight sealed containers in the fridge for a long time, I’ve kept some for more than a month and it was fine and still very tasty.