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Potatoes Loraine

Potatoes Loraine stacked on a dish

If you enjoy French fries but don't want to deep fry, then you are facing the same problem we have. Loraine after a lot of trial and error has created a method of cooking potatoes in the oven that taste like French fries, I kid you not!

What actually happens is that the potatoes fry in the small amount of olive oil that is used to coat them.

We do sprinkle some Italian spice blend seasoning on them, prior to placing them in the oven, which probably goes against all of the rules of French fry lovers, but we prefer that to the standard French fry seasoning of adding a ton of salt.

Béarnaise Sauce

Earl and I both enjoy the tangy taste of Béarnaise sauce with vegetables such as asparagus, carrots and broccoli. We also like to have it at times with fish, eggs (especially poached eggs) and red meat, namely fillet mignon which are beef tenderloin steaks.

This recipe can easily be doubled.

I have read that you can successfully freeze and defrost Béarnaise sauce in ice cube trays or small ramekins, but I have never attempted to do it.

Candied Sweet Potatoes

These candied sweet potatoes are always part of our Thanksgiving dinner, whether we are on our own or have guests. I learned how to make this dish, as a small child, while helping my mother with the cooking at Thanksgiving.

Now Mom wasn't a great cook but she did have a couple of winning dishes and this is definitely one of them. They are very simple and easy to make but more importantly, as Tony the Tiger would say, they taste great!

Plus, they are sweet, so how can they not be good?

Leeks Steamed

Just recently Loraine and I discovered the excellent natural flavor of steamed* fresh leeks. Although we had used leeks in soups and other dishes as a replacement or to augment onions, we had never actually had them as a vegetable side dish.

*Note: I call the cooking method steamed, but I'm not sure that steamed is technically correct. The leeks are not boiled because they are not completely immersed in water, but some of the sliced leeks are in the buttered water.

Orange Cinnamon Cranberry Sauce

Sometimes it's the little things in a dinner that can make a big difference. Over the years I tried and modified many cranberry sauce recipes and yet at the end of the day, the Ocean Spray cranberry sauce, in a can, was as good, without all the work. But then, I created this recipe, I'm sure it was based on somebody's recipe but I reworked it to get it to be the greatest cranberry sauce of all times, bar none.

If you don't believe me, then try it for yourself!

Pineapple Corn Muffins

This is based on a Chef John recipe. Loraine found the corn muffins dryer than she likes. In my opinion corn muffins are always dry and that is why they need some butter spread on them before eating. The flavor of the pineapple combined with the corn meal was quite good and we would make them again.

We think that rather than eating them as standalone muffins they would probably be better with an entree such as chili or maybe even a stew.

Potatoes Earl

Potatoes Earl is my combined version of Potatoes Anna and Cottage Potatoes. I use it as a bed for meat or chicken on a plate. The potato bed that I create is approximately 7" in diameter and contains two layers of potatoes.

On their own, in our opinion, they make an excellent alternative to French fries and I have been caught taste testing far more than necessary while cooking!

Stuffing

Whenever I serve my stuffing I get good to great reviews and guests seem to take second helpings which usually signifies satisfaction (or they haven't eaten in a week). The interesting thing is; I don't have a recipe for it and because of that I never make it the same twice!

The backbone of the stuffing is golden raisins and garlic and butter croutons (a PC product). As well, there is always ground sage, salt, pepper, onion or shallot and chicken broth. There could be other types of dried fruit such as apricots, apples, cranberries and/or currants. There may be some garlic, mushrooms, carrots and/or celery and once I put some spinach in because it was in the refrigerator and if I didn't use it, it would end up in the trash can. Just for interest sake, I love spinach, but it did nothing for the stuffing.

Sweet & Sour Red Pepper & Onion

This is a quick and easy to make side dish that goes great with basic roasted chicken, pork, beef and veal. It is important to the overall flavor of the dish that the red pepper is firm yet ripe. Although you can use almost any kind of onion in this recipe, a sweet onion seems to provide the best for texture and flavor.

This recipe can easily be scaled up if you need a side dish for guests or a larger family.

The dish also reheats well in a microwave. It is best to cover the dish with a paper towel rather than plastic wrap as you don't want the red pepper and onions to steam.

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