It has been an intriguing week at the Uhrig home. That old saying about, ‘Don’t let any grass grow under your feet,’ has totally been the story at our home these past few days. After hosting the family Thanksgiving we’ve continued our focus on winter preparations. Completing dangling projects, stocking the shelves and preparing for winter, it’s actually a good feeling.
This week I decided to share not one, but two recipes for the holidays or winter season. Probably one of my favorite appetizers or sides is bruschetta. Bruschetta’s offer unique ways to enjoy small amounts of ‘leftovers’. A little of this and a little of that and a bruschetta is born. My family enjoys them the most when served as a side to a soup or stew. I have to admit, it certainly makes soup night a great deal more fun!
Yesterday we received one of the most fabulous gifts! One of my regular guests owns a fish farm outside Little Rock, Arkansas. I received a text telling me they were in town and they had ten pounds of catfish for us! To say we were elated is an understatement. My assistant, Bonnie and I each took home five pounds of catfish filets. We’ll have wonderful meals this winter from this beautiful gift.
I’ve received gifts of fresh fish in years past, but nothing like this. During the exchange I also learned how they contain the fish for a couple of weeks before they’re dressed. They have tanks where they transition the catfish gradually to clean well water. This basically cleans the fish out, along with the removal of the bottom feeder ‘taste’. As dad always says, ‘When the snow flies we’ll be eating quite well.’
In the next few days we will be hosting a ‘ladies gathering’, a birthday party and an office party, in our home. Though some dread these busy times of food prepping and guests I adore every moment. I swear I should have been an innkeeper! It will be great to share the spirit of this beautiful season with all our friends. Not to mention our son, Phillip’s 17th birthday.
The new wassail recipe is right off the press. It’s super simple to make on top of the stove, in a crockpot or large coffeemaker. I’ve called it ‘Sparkling Wassail’. Remember to let the juices & spices mull for at least an hour to acquire the right taste.
The fireplace is glowing, the carols are playing and the week is going to be splendid. Simply yours, The Covered Dish. www.thecovereddish.com.
1 quart cranberry-raspberry juice
2 cups pear nectar/juice
3 ounces frozen white grape juice
4, (4 inch) cinnamon sticks
Fresh Ginger: Peel and slice into nickel size rounds about an 1/8th of an inch thick.
Use 5-6 rounds.
Mix all ingredients together in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Cover if at all possible and mull ingredients for at least an hour before serving. Yields 6, (8 ounce) servings.
8 oz. cream cheese, softened 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons butter, softened 1 10 oz. loaf baguette bread,
1 small jar (approx. 3.2- 3.5 oz.) artichokes cut into 20 diagonal pieces
drained and chopped 1 red pepper, chopped fine
4-6 green onions, chopped fine feta cheese crumbles
4 strips bacon, cooked and chopped fine butter flavored vegetable
1/2 teaspoon Black Kettle Seasoning * spray
Blend the softened cream cheese and butter together. Stir in the artichokes, onions, bacon, seasoning and cayenne pepper. Blend well; set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line pan with baguette bread and spray top side with butter flavored vegetable spray. Bake for approximately 8 minutes. If you prefer more crunch, increase the baking time to 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and spread the cream cheese mixture thinly over the bread. Sprinkle on the feta and lastly a bit of red pepper for color. Return to the 350 degree oven 8-10 minutes longer. Remove and serve warm.
- A favorite seasoning salt may be substituted.