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Favorite Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Kelly McCombs - Saturday, November 19, 2016
                                                                                   Photo by Justin Bernhaut

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, we have compiled a list of some of our favorite side dishes and desserts for you. The turkey should always be the star of the show, of course, but having some delicious sides to pair with it make the meal perfect!


First up is a delicious Corn Pudding that is so rich, it is the perfect comfort food. This recipe is also super easy because you will be using packaged cornbread mix. The perfect mix of corn on the cob and corn bread, this is one recipe that is sure to be a crowd pleaser.


Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream

1 package (8-1/2 ounces) corn bread/muffin mix

1/2 cup 2% milk

1 can (15-1/4 ounces) whole kernel corn, drained

1 can (14-3/4 ounces) cream-style corn


Directions:

  1. 1. Preheat oven to 325°. 
  2. 2. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. 
  3. 3. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. 
  4. 4. Beat in sour cream. Gradually add muffin mix alternately with milk. 
  5. 5. Fold in corn.
  6. 6. Pour into a greased 3-qt. baking dish. 
  7. 7. Bake, uncovered, 45-50 minutes or until set and lightly browned.


What’s Thanksgiving without cranberry sauce? This recipe puts a spin on the traditional canned version by adding orange marmalade and cilantro. This is very easy to make ahead and will keep for up to 4 days in the refrigerator. If you do plan on making this ahead of time, don’t add the cilantro. You can add it in just before you serve.


Ingredients:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

1 cup orange juice

16 ounces cranberries (fresh or frozen)

1/2 to 3/4 cup orange marmalade

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro (optional)


Directions:

  1. 1. In a saucepan, over medium heat, melt the butter.
  2. 2. Add the ginger and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
  3. 3. Add the sugar, orange juice, and cranberries.
  4. 4. Cook until the cranberries burst and the sauce thickens, about 15 minutes.
  5. 5. Stir in the marmalade to taste (depending on desired sweetness).
  6. 6. Turn off heat. Stir in the pepper and cilantro just before serving.
  7. 7. Serve warm or at room temperature.


One of my favorite potato sides to make for Thanksgiving is this Skillet Scalloped Potatoes with Chive Butter. Super cheesy and easy to make, someone in my family has made this for the last few Thanksgiving meals, and it is always the first thing we run out of.


Ingredients:

2 tbsp. unsalted butter

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 onion, diced

2 tsp. fresh thyme

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 c. heavy cream

1/2 c. chicken stock

1/4 c. chopped chives, plus more for garnish

1 c. shredded fontina cheese

3 to 4 Yukon gold potatoes, sliced thinly on mandolin


Directions:

  1. 1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. 
  2. 2. In a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter and add garlic, onion, and thyme. Cook until mixture is softened, 3 to 5 minutes. 
  3. 3. Add 1 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, heavy cream, and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Turn off heat and mix in chives and half of fontina.
  4. 4. Add potatoes to skillet and arrange in any pattern, keeping slices vertical to ensure even cooking. 
  5. 5. Bake 40 minutes. Sprinkle remaining fontina all over and bake until cheese is melty and crust is golden brown, 10 minutes more.
  6. 6. Garnish with chives and serve immediately.


One of the most recognizable side dishes that can be found on most tables is a Green Bean Casserole. Usually made with canned ingredients, this recipe is made with only fresh ingredients. Talk about a delicious comfort food!


Ingredients:

Nonstick cooking spray, for greasing

5 cups sliced green beans

4 1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1 cup panko breadcrumbs

1 cup grated Parmesan

1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons canola oil

1 1/2 cups diced onions

2 cups sliced baby Bella mushrooms

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream

1/2 teaspoon House Seasoning, recipe follows

1/2 teaspoon salt

HOUSE SEASONING:

1 cup kosher salt

1/4 cup garlic powder

1/4 cup black pepper


Directions:

  1. 1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 1 1/2-quart baking dish with nonstick spray.
  2. 2. Boil the green beans in the chicken broth for 20 minutes, and then drain, reserving 1 1/2 cups of the chicken broth.
  3. 3. Mix together the breadcrumbs, Parmesan and 2 teaspoons of the oil in a small bowl. Set aside.
  4. 4. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté the onions until translucent, 2 to 3 minutes, and then add the mushrooms and continue to cook for 3 to 4 minutes longer. Remove from the heat.
  5. 5. Pour the reserved 1 1/2 cups chicken broth back into the pot the green beans boiled in and bring to a boil. Add the green beans to the skillet with the mushrooms and onions.
  6. 6. While that is coming to a boil, combine the cornstarch and 1/4 cup water in a small bowl to make a slurry. Slowly pour the slurry into the boiling broth, whisking constantly as it thickens, about 2 minutes.
  7. 7.  Pour the thickened mixture over the green beans and add the sour cream, House Seasoning and salt. Stir well.
  8. 8. Pour into the baking dish and sprinkle with the panko and cheese mixture. Bake until the casserole is hot, about 10 minutes, and then broil until the breadcrumb topping is slightly browned, 1 to 2 minutes.
  9. 9. Mix together the salt, garlic powder and pepper.

Switching to the dessert side of things, everyone is used to the traditional Pumpkin Pie or Apple Pie at their Thanksgiving table. Why not showcase some of the different fruits available during the Fall? This Brown Butter Pear and Cranberry Cobbler is one of my personal favorites to bring to my family’s table on holidays!

Ingredients:

6 tbsp. plus 3 tbsp. butter, cut up

2 lb. ripe Bartlett or Anjou pears, peeled, cored and chopped

1 1/2 c. fresh or frozen (thawed) cranberries

3/4 c. plus 1/4 c. sugar

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 c. all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/8 tsp. salt

1/2 c. heavy cream

1/4 c. cornstarch

Directions:

  1. 1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. 2. In 12" skillet, melt 6 tablespoons butter on medium. Cook 5 to 7 minutes or until golden brown and fragrant, swirling frequently.
  3. 3. Stir in pears, cranberries, 3/4 cup sugar, cinnamon. Cook 5 minutes or until pears begin to soften, stirring frequently. Cool.
  4. 4. Meanwhile, in food processor bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Pulse in remaining 3 tablespoons butter until fine crumbs form; transfer to medium bowl. 
  5. 5. Stir in heavy cream until dough just comes together, kneading once or twice.
    1. 6. In large bowl, toss pear mixture with cornstarch; transfer to 9" pie plate or 2-quart baking dish. With hands, scoop dough onto pie in small mounds. Bake, on foil-lined baking sheet, 40 to 50 minutes or until top is golden brown and pears are tender. Serve warm or at room temperature.



From our family to yours, we wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving, spending time with loved ones and making memories!


Our Favorite Seattle Eateries

Kelly McCombs - Friday, August 26, 2016

                                                          (Photo Credit: Jennifer Richard, thestranger.com)

Seattle is known for is incredibly diverse and unique restaurant scene. Whether you are in the mood for deliciously fresh seafood, an incredible Cuban cured meat sandwich, or some of the best bakery treats around, Seattle is the place to be. Let’s continue our adventure and go over some of our favorites!


Topping the list today is one of the most unique and extravagant dining options. Altura, located on Broadway East in Seattle, strives to make your dining experience one that you will remember. No two nights at Altura will be the same, as the chef prepares a different menu every day. Each meal is between five and seven courses with “small bites” in between. While this restaurant is on the pricey side at $137 per person, the delicious food and atmosphere is certainly worth it. Sitting at the bar while watching the chef cook is one of the best seats in all of Seattle!


Next up is one of my personal favorite restaurants, Lark, on East Seneca St. Lark is popularly known as one of the premier artisan-focused restaurants in all of Seattle. They only use locally grown, organic ingredients, and only those that are currently in season. In the mood for something a little less fancy, but in keeping with the Lark philosophy of fresh, organic and in season? The owners also own a beautiful bar named Bitter/Raw and a delicious sandwich and coffee counter called Slab. Each of these locations comes highly recommended. You are sure to have a delicious meal and a wonderful experience here!


If I am in Seattle and feeling like a nice, juicy burger, my go-to stop is Red Mill Burgers! There are two locations of this delicious eatery available to you, and both of them will have a line out the door if you hit the timing right. Red Mill Burgers offers a large variety of flame-grilled burgers with every topping imaginable. They even offer vegetarian options and a few different chicken sandwich options. Family owned and operated, Red Mill is a friendly and vibrant burger joint. They were even named on the list of the Top 20 Burgers You Must Eat Before You Die on the Oprah Show and in GQ magazine! Sounds like eating here is a necessity!


Heading in a completely different direction, one of the most raved about bakeries in all of Seattle is Bakery Nouveau. Chef William Leaman has won numerous prestigious awards and been feature in so many dining publications that there are too many to count. Bakery Nouveau offers two locations, one in West Seattle and one on Capitol Hill, with the decadent smells traveling outside the bakery for blocks. Each location offers a large variety of breads, chocolates and other delicious sweets such as French macarons, cookies and even sweet and savory breakfast pastries. If you have a sweet tooth, this is a must-see place for you!


Looking for something a little different? While Dough Zone Dumpling House is a small chain of restaurants, they serve some of the best Chinese comfort food in all of Washington State. Offering a large variety of dumplings and noodle dishes, this unique eatery will have you craving more locations so that you can go anytime!


This is only a small selection of our favorite restaurants in Seattle. There are literally hundreds of wonderful places to eat anywhere you go. The thing about Seattle is there is a beautiful mix of cultures and flavors all over the city. If you ever get the chance to visit, we hope that you find our lists useful on your travels!


Summer Cocktail Recipes

Kelly McCombs - Friday, July 08, 2016


                                                                                         Photo Credit: www.foodandwine.com


Given the intense heat and humidity in NY the last week or so, I thought it was a good time to bring you some summer cocktail recipes. These are some of the most satisfying and refreshing drinks around, which make them perfect for your next summer get-together!



We’ll start off with a cocktail that contains one of my favorite fruits, watermelon. The Watermelon-Tequila Cocktail is perfect for those summer months when watermelon is in season and can be found pretty much everywhere. Paired with tequila, this drink is super easy to make and will certainly hit the spot!



Since everything is better frozen, especially during the heat of summer, why not try Fruity Wine Slushies? You’ll need a blender for this recipe, but the combination of pinot grigio with frozen peaches and strawberries is enough to make your mouth water. It’s a delicious and quick way to cool down, too!



One of the classic staples of any summertime get-together is the Strawberry Daquiri. Most people have had one or at least know what it is, so this recipe is sure to be a crowd pleaser. These are also easy to make in large quantities to pass around at your next BBQ!



A twist on the classic Mimosa is the Peach Melba Mimosa. You’ll also need a blender for this one to puree some frozen raspberries and peaches, but it will be worth it! This fresh and light cocktail is one that you could even have for brunch!



One of my favorite things to drink during the summer is lemonade. This recipe for Strawberry-Basil Bourbon Lemonade kicks it up a few notches! The addition of bourbon and the combination of basil with strawberries make this “grown-up” lemonade the perfect summertime beverage after a long hot day.



If you’re looking for a fizzy drink, why not try the Citrus Fizz? Another easy recipe, this one can even be made with our Saratoga Sparkling Water! I always find citrus to be so refreshing when it’s a hot day outside, and this one packs a punch with both orange and lime juices.



We hope you have enjoyed a few of these delicious and refreshing beverages , and as always, please drink responsibly!

Weekend Brunch Recipes You'll Love

Saratoga Water - Thursday, March 24, 2016

As we head into the weekend and start to finalize plans, don’t forget everyone’s favorite activity. Brunch. The temperatures outside are just right for a mid-morning weekend brunch. Make one or all of the recipes below for your family and friends. They’ll love getting together and eating the delicious spread. Why? Because everyone loves brunch.

Classic French Toast
Taking it back to the basics, French Toast is the perfect brunch staple because it allows for so many different toppings and combinations, from basic powdered sugar and maple syrup to spreading the toast with a layer of mascarpone, sprinkling coconut flakes and topping with strawberries and agave nectar. Using the right bread for the job is important (brioche, challah, sourdough), as it will result in a French Toast that is just the right amount of thick-crispy-chewy-ness. Beware, these French Toast recipes might just send you over the edge!

Egg White Frittata with Lox and Arugula
The best part about frittatas is that you can add just about any ingredient and the result will still be delicious. This recipe from Food Network is especially fluffy, light and full of flavor! The protein from the salmon and egg whites make it a great healthy option to balance the few bites of french toast you may have eaten. 

Fruit Salad with Herbs and Mint-Maple Syrup
No brunch is complete without a fruit salad. Gather your favorite combination of seasonal berries, melons and tropical fruits and use this simple recipe to create your choice of a refreshing mint or rosemary herb syrup to mix in with the fruit.

Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Candied Bacon
Take your side of bacon to the next level by making this incredible candied bacon from the Kitchen Joy Blog. You can even add in cayenne pepper if you’re looking for a little mid-morning wake up call. The cayenne is completely optional, but either way, this savory and sweet finger food treat will not disappoint.

Arnold Palmer
Iced tea. Lemonade. That’s it! Who knew two ingredients could create such a legendary, refreshing drink? The key is to pour over ice, serve with a lemon wedge and get the ratio right. The common misconception is that the two liquids are mixed in equal parts, but the real Arnold Palmer has clarified that the proper ratio is 3:1—three parts iced tea to one part lemonade. Add a little Saratoga Spring Water to your recipe for a sparkling Arnold Palmer.

Mimosa

Turn this recipe into “bottomless” mimosas when you swap out the four champagne flutes for a pitcher. If your kids are begging to take a sip, make them a virgin mimosa with Saratoga Spring Water’s Orange Tangerine Flavored Essence Sparkling Water.

Bloody Mary

Spicy, salty, tangy, this classic brunch staple lends itself to many variations. Think of a Bloody Mary as not just a cocktail, but a one-stop-shop for booze and food. Try adding bacon, celery, cubes of cheese, olives, even shrimp for an adult-style shrimp cocktail. The possibilities are endless. See for yourself with this recipe from Eater.
 




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