Anna Weicht

The Partner in Crime

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November 30, 2017

If you are looking for a fall or holiday candy bar that is homemade, look no further!  These pecan bars are absolutely delicious.  It's hard to resist caramel, chocolate, and pecans.  Also, the crust is a delicious shortbread that compliments the other flavors perfectly!  I got this wonderful recipe from the 2000 issue of Land O Lakes: Top 50

I've made these bars multiple times, and I can say with certainty that with a few simple ingredients you will have a mouthwatering treat.  If you make these bars for friends and family, be prepared to get recipe requests.  With Christmas soon to be upon us and holiday baking soon to begin, make sure to have these yummy bars on the baking list.  They most definitely will delight!

Bon Appetit!

Tips:

Pecans are the stars of this cookie bar, but by all means, have fun and try a different nut or combination of nuts.

Preparation time is 30 minutes.  Baking time is 18 to 22 minutes.

Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

I...

November 28, 2017

This is my favorite part about left over turkey - making soup!  I have been making this soup for over 25 years, and I hope to be making it for many more years to come!  It is a delight to the eyes and to the taste buds.  I served this soup to a large family gathering not to long ago, and everyone loved this meal.  Serve it with crusty artisan bread, and it makes a hearty meal that will fill up anyone.  If you have never made stock, I encourage you to give it a try.  It is very easy to do; you just need some extra time for it to simmer on the stove top.  The homemade turkey stock is a perfect base for the other ingredients in the soup, and everything together makes for a winning combination that you and your family will love!

Bon Appetit!

Tips:

After the meat is removed from the carcass, you may need to break the carcass for it to fit in your pot.  The longer the stock ingredients simmer, the more flavor the liquid will have.  Let it simmer for at least 2 hour...

November 21, 2017

For years I bought the canned cranberry sauce for our Thanksgiving meal.  With a big meal to prepare, I didn't want to be bothered with something that people seemed to enjoy from a can.  Then I read that cranberry sauce can be made a couple months in advance, and it keeps well in the refrigerator.  With this enlightening information, I decided to try out a recipe.  This simple recipe comes from the Serious Eats website.  It is simple to prepare, and it is just as good, if not better than the canned stuff.  My family gave this sauce a big thumbs up, and that vote of confidence is all the approval I need!

Bon Appetit!

Tips:

As noted in the introduction, you can make this cranberry sauce a couple of months ahead of time.  Store in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator until ready to use.

When removing the peel from the orange, make sure to get the outer layer of the orange and not the white pith.  The pith would make the cranberry sauce bitter.

Preparation time is...

November 17, 2017

I love these cookies!  They are soft and sweet.  When the autumn weather begins to have that chill in the air, these cookies are a must on my baking list!  With real maple syrup and a dash of maple extract, they have a wonderful autumn taste.  The spices enhance the flavor and add to how yummy they are.  If you are looking for a new cookie recipe for your fall baking, I highly recommend these spiced maple cookies.  My family and friends absolutely love them!  I'm sure yours will too.

Bon Appetit!

Tips:

With most cookie recipes, I like to add the flour to the creamed butter mixture in two to three batches at a time to ensure all the ingredients are mixed well.

As a way for the cookies to have a nice look to them, refrigerate the cookie dough for an hour before baking.  This is an optional step.  The cookies can be baked right away, but I prefer the way they look when I've refrigerated the cookie dough.

Always keep a close watch on your cookies while baking!...

November 14, 2017

In America, turkey is a must for Thanksgiving!  It is a tradition to get together with family and friends and give thanks for what we have, while we eat a big meal.  The turkey is often the center piece of a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.  It is also sometimes made for Christmas too, depending on preferences. 

Preparing and roasting a turkey can be intimidating, especially when you are entertaining guests at the same time.  This recipe however is simple and delicious.  It is perfect starting point for those who have never done a turkey as well as a great turkey for those experienced cooks who want to make the most of their holiday cooking time.  The basic preparation and instructions come from the book - barefoot contessa: how easy is that? by Ina Garten.  It is a simple recipe that delivers spectacular results.  This turkey is truly delicious.  I'm sure that cooks old and new will enjoy it, so give it a try!

Bon Appetit!

Tips:

I'm not a big fan of...

November 9, 2017

A big part of the Thanksgiving meal is dinner rolls.  These crescents are great as they are easy to do, and you can make them ahead of the event.  They are also pumpkin and very festive!  You can make these rolls a month in advance and freeze.  It saves a lot of time during the holidays, and you get homemade rolls rather than store-bought with your meal.

These pumpkin dinner crescents are absolutely fantastic!  Whenever I serve these to guests, they cannot say enough good things about them.  I got this wonderful recipe from the 2004 edition of the Betty Crocker: Holiday publication.  They are fun to make, and if you have never made homemade crescent rolls I encourage you to give these a try!  You will love the results.

Bon Appetit!

Tips:

As mentioned in the intro, you can prepare and bake these rolls in advance.  Place completely cooled rolls in gallon-sized freezer bags and freeze up to a month.  When ready to serve, place the roll filled freezer bags on the kitch...

November 8, 2017

This is the recipe that I use when I need lots of whipped cream during the holidays.  I figured it would be a good post for readers who have never done whipped cream before, or even those who want a bit of a refresher (if they haven't done whipping cream in a while) during the holidays.  Any extra can be stored in a refrigerator.  If it starts to liquefy, you can simply re-whip it!  It's very easy.

Bon Appetit

Tips:

Place the whipping cream, bowl, and beaters in the freezer for about 10 minutes before making the whipped cream.  The process will go faster if everything is very cold.

Total time is 15 minutes.

Ingredients:

2 cups whipping cream

2/3 cup powdered sugar (also called confectioner's sugar)

1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

Beat the whipping cream at high speed with an electric mixer, until soft peaks form.  Add the powdered sugar, and mix until stiff peaks form.  Add the vanilla; mix well.  Yields about 2 1/2 cups of whipped cream.

(edited by Anna Weicht)

November 7, 2017

This is one of those recipes that takes a bit more effort, but the results are worth it!  I confess that for many years, I bought the pre-packaged stuffing/dressing at the store.  A few of my family members thought that they didn't like stuffing/dressing, until I decided to make it by scratch.

The nice thing about this recipe is you can make it a day ahead of time.  This is great, because we all know holiday cooking can be exhausting!  I usually get another person to help with the chopping of the herbs and veggies, so it isn't too much work for one person.  This recipe is by Victoria Granof and was published by Bon Appétit in 2012.  If your dressing or stuffing is just ho-hum, I really encourage you to try this.  Those family members that thought they didn't like dressing, now, it's one of their favorite foods for the holiday!

Bon Appetit!

Tips:

You can make this one day ahead to help with holiday planning.

Total time is 2 hours and 40 minutes.  For make ahead: cool time...

November 2, 2017

The fourth Thursday of November is Thanksgiving.  I love this American holiday, because it is a time to pause in our busy lives and be thankful for what we have.  With any celebration, what makes it special is the friends and family that are there - sharing it with you.  The food, of course, is also an important tradition and aspect of the holiday.  It wouldn't be a proper Thanksgiving  without a pumpkin pie.  I decided to share my favorite pumpkin pie recipe with you.

This pie (to me) has the right amount of spice.  The four eggs make a nice custard filling too.  The brown sugar gives it a richness, and I always enjoy adding some whipped cream as a finishing touch.  I hope you give this delicious pumpkin custard pie a chance, and if you do, please let me know what you think of it!

Bon Appetit!

Tips:

The filling is made for a deep dish 9-inch pie.  If you do not have a 9-inch deep dish pie plate, don't worry!  I pour the extra filling in greased one-cup r...

November 1, 2017

I always know that it is truly autumn when I start seeing a lot of squash recipes in magazines.  I found this tasty recipe by Rachel Ray in People magazine.  If you're a vegetarian looking for a showcase main entrée, look no further!  These four cheese butternut squash make a lovely presentation for entertaining or holiday events.  They are a bit involved, but so worth the effort!  They are that delicious!  Everything tastes better with cheese - right?

Bon Appetit

Tips:

"To tell if the squash is cooked through, gently pierce the meat of the squash with a pairing knife," says Rachel Ray.  "It should slide in easily with no resistance."

Make sure you check that the squash is cooked all the way through.  Mine took an extra 20 minutes to cook.

You can also adjust the cheeses to your taste.  I'm not a big fan of pecorino cheese, so I put in about 1 ounce pecorino and added more Parmigiano-Reggiano.

If you feel that the squash shell is not sturdy enough, tie it with string like...

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