Over the past two weeks we’ve had the pleasure of sharing the recipes from our Woodland Wonderland Dinner with Rue Magazine, (a fruit filled ice ring, roasted sweet potatoes, wintery kale salad, braised short ribs, and sweet potato creme brûlée). But like all good things, our dinner must come to an end. And what better way to end than with a side dish to put all other side dishes to shame. Homespun Atlanta’s roasted cauliflower with apples, cranberries, and sage. A spot on seasonal dish that as delicious as it is easy to make.
So enjoy and here’s to hoping at least one of these dishes (if not all) will make it on to your table this holiday season. Truly, MKR
I like to live life by the motto, eat dessert first. So when Homespun Atlanta showed up to our Woodland Wonderland Dinnerwith creme brulee in tow that’s exactly what I did. These little ramkins filled with caramelized butternut squash and topped with fresh whip, red wine soaked cranberries and candied walnuts were little bites of heaven and trust me are worth the effort in making. Enjoy Loves! Truly, MKR
2 to 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, organic, or raw
Soaked Red Wine Cranberries
Heat oven to 300°. Place 8 to 10 1/2-cup ramekins, custard cups, or oven safe demitasse cups in a large metal baking pan.
In a medium saucepan, combine the heavy cream, half-and-half, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Heat over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture just begins to boil.
Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl, beat egg yolks with the 1/4 cup of granulated sugar until thick and lemon-colored.
Slowly add about 1/3 of the hot mixture to the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Add the egg mixture back to the saucepan, whisking constantly until thoroughly blended. Whisk in the butternut squash puree and the vanilla.
Pour the hot mixture into the ramekins or cups, distributing evenly, about 1/2 to 2/3 cup per ramekin.
Pour very hot or boiling water into the baking pan, so it is at a depth of about 1 inch, or about halfway up the side of the ramekins or cups you're using. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until the custard is set in the center, but not overly stiff. It will jiggle slightly. Remove the ramekins from the baking dish and place in the refrigerate. Refrigerate for about 4 hours, or overnight.
Just before serving time, sprinkle about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of sugar over each custard and, using a kitchen torch, melt and caramelize the sugar. Or, place the ramekins in a baking dish and put under to broiler for 1 to 2 minutes, just until browned and caramelized.
The star of our Woodland Wonderlanddinner with Rue Magazine was definitely the braised short ribs garnished with brussel sprout leaves, roasted turnips, and sugared blackberries from Homespun Atlanta. By using a dark roast coffee rub and plenty of vegetable and herbs as just the right aromatics Chef Jason’s recipe will soon become a household staple. Enjoy! Truly, MKR
*The Team: Concept & Styling, Mandy Kellogg Rye of Waiting On Martha || Braised Short Ribs, HomespunAtlanta || Photography, Rustic White
One of my favorite dishes from our Woodland Wonderland shoot was the glazed sweet potatoes courtesy of Homespun Atlanta, (I was actually eating them cold I couldn’t stay away)! Surprisingly easy to make these are sure to be a perfect side for your holiday table. Truly, MKR
One of my favorite parts of our Woodland Wonderland shoot was the delicious food by Homespun Atlanta. Beginning with the wintery kale salad and ending with the butternut squash creme brûlée I promise Chef Jason’s dishes are ones that will make it on to your holiday table this year and for years to come. Truly, MKR
Punch is back big time and what better way to jazz up your next party than with a fancy-schmancy punch bowl ice ring? Of course what you put in your ice ring will depend on what your punch actually is, but for our Woodland Wonderland dinner I filled my ice ring with blueberries, raspberries, oranges, and rosemary and added it to a bowl full of champagne. By keeping it simple with champagne it allowed the fruits and herbs of the ice ring to truly shine. So TGIF my Loves, and Cheers! Truly, MKR
Using a bundt pan layer half the raspberries, blueberries, oranges, and rosemary fill half way with water and orange juice. Repeat with remaining fruit and herbs, fill the bundt pan to the top with water.
Place in freezer and freeze overnight.
When ready to serve allow the ring to sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes. If it's still difficult to remove from the pan run it under warm water.
You last heard me talk about the love I have for my Nespresso VertuoLinehere, but during this time of year that my Nespresso machine gets used more than anything else in my house. For the obvious early morning rise and caffinate of course, but also Nespresso is perfect for the after dinner coffee. Why is that (other than the obvious reason) you ask? Because Nespresso has the ability to make everyone happy. Decaf for the mother in law, no problem. Black for dad, easy. Espresso for the Mr., sure. Half calf with extra chocolate sauce for mom, coming right up. Nespresso VertuoLine allows everyone to have exactly what they want with the touch of a button and the hostess can just sit back and relax instead of catering to everyone’s need for something different.
So this year instead of storing and making ten different kinds of coffee use that time and create a coffee toppings bar like I did. All you need is a few different types of Nespresso capsules, marshmallows, toffee or peppermint swizzle sticks, a gingerbread houseor two, and toppings like whip cream, chocolate sauce, and peppermint flakes. Oh and don’t forget the Baileys! Nothing goes better with Nespresso’s Vanizio than homemade whip cream, chocolate sauce, and a pour or two of Baileys. Cheers! Truly, MKR
P.S. Right now Nespresso is offering a $100 credit with the purchase of any Nespresso machine $199 and above!
In preparation for the many celebrations this time of year naturally brings I’ve been trying to step outside my comfort zone and create new cocktail combinations. Case in point; my Bruleed Grapefruit & Gin Fizz. By combining the sugary-caramelization from bruleeing with the natural tartness of grapefruit and topping it all off with a dash of lime and a sprig of thyme you’ll be toasting this season with the most perfect of sips. Cheers! Truly, MKR
Place each half grapefruit fruit side up on a cookie sheet.
Mix the brown and white sugar together, then divide evenly among each grapefruit half covering the fruit.
Broil in oven about 10 minutes or until the sugar beings to caramelize turning a deep amber brown.
Remove from oven and let cool.
Once cool begin to make your cocktail by combining the gin and grapefruit juice, stir lightly to combine. Top off your cocktail with club soda, a spritz of lime, and ice if desired. Garnish with Thyme.
One of the first purchases we made when moving to the South was the cult-esqe Southern staple, Big Green Egg Smoker. And while I’ll admit to being a tad skeptical at first, now I can’t imagine cooking without it. Everything just seems to be better with a little bit of smoke behind it: pizza, vegetables, fruits, Thanksgiving turkey, and today’s recipe, Smoked French Onion Soup. French Onion Soup has always been one of my absolute favorite cold weather treats and I’ve been perfecting my recipe, incorporating bits and pieces from many different recipes, for years now. I love how Tyler Florence chooses red wine over white and Martha Stewart calls for Gruyere rather than a combination of Swiss and Parmesan. For my recipe I’ve subbed the beef stock for vegetable, making the dish completely vegetarian. I’ve also chosen Southern, sweet Vidalia onions instead of yellow onions and smoked them to elevate and really bring the flavors to a whole other level of comfort. Enjoy! Truly, MKR
4-5 large vidalia onions (if you can’t find vidalia, yellow onions will work just as well)
4 garlic cloves chopped
1/2 cup red wine
4 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 quarts vegetable broth
1 medium-large baguette, sliced
1 pound smoked Gruyere, sliced
2 bay leaves
4-6 sprigs of thyme, plus additional for garnish
Salt and pepper to taste
*If you don’t have a smoker simply skip to step 4*
In a large bowl add 3-4 large handfuls of mesquite or hickory wood chips, cover with water and let soak for 1 hour.
While the chips are soaking, preheat smoker to 500 degrees. When ready, add chips to the smoker, bringing the temperature down to the desired heat of 150 degrees. Cut the tops and bottoms off of the onions and remove their outer layer of skin. Place the onions directly on the grate of your smoker, on indirect heat for approximately 1 hour, no more than 2, (you want to smoke the onions, not cook them).
Cut the baguette into 1″ inch thick slices and place on a cookie sheet. Toast in the oven at 350 degrees for 5-8 minutes or until golden brown. You can also do this step the night before to save time.
Once the onions are smoked, slice and set aside.
Melt the butter in a large pot over medium/high heat. Add the onions, garlic, bay leaves, four sprigs of thyme, salt and pepper to taste, and cook until the onions are soft and caramelized, stirring constantly. It should take about 20-25 minutes to properly caramelize, however smoked onions will likely take less time to soften and caramelize.
Add the red wine to the caramelized onion mixture and bring to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, reduce the heat to a steady simmer until the wine evaporates, about 5 minutes.
Remove the bay leaves and thyme sprigs and on a low heat add the flour, stirring to fully coat all of the onions. Continue to cook on low for about 8-10 minutes then add the vegetable broth and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
Ladle the soup into bowls and place baguette slices on top and cover with sliced Gruyere. You may need to use more than one slice of cheese depending on how big your bowls are. Place the bowls onto a cookie sheet to catch any spills as your soup will likely bubble over, and broil until the cheese is fully melted and begins to turn a golden brown.