Maple Glazed Baby Carrots

Maple Glazed Baby Carrots -- A Pinch of Joy
Maple Glazed Baby Carrots -- A Pinch of Joy

They are really good, my sister Vee said, when telling me about the glazed carrots she’d made. That was a couple of years ago and I’ve had the recipe in my “let’s try this” stack ever since. Last time we visited her family, she made Maple Glazed Carrots with Pecans. And she was right – again! They are good! But let’s just keep that between us okay – she doesn’t need to go gettin’ the big head!

I’ve gotten lazy and grab a package of frozen vegetables to microwave instead of cooking the real deal. This recipe starts with baby carrots – no need to peel and slice. Put a cup or so of water in a medium pan, add carrots, cover and bring to boil. Steam/boil until carrots are crisp tender when pierced with a fork. That only takes about 15 minutes. So easy, it was not worth the fussin’ on my part –. The glaze is simple.   The predominate flavor is the maple as the dressing just enhances it without competing or changing it. Glaze the carrots, add nuts and you have an impressive dish. That is really, really good.

Back to the “big head”  — I worked for a season in a children’s program with an elderly volunteer who was a gifted teacher. She could explain complex things so simply anyone could get it, keep the room organized and things moving. But she was old school and did not believe in praising children because, she said, they would get the “big head”. They were told, rather sternly I thought, what they needed to do to improve. We worked with her gifts and others praised the effort and all was well. But I’m so glad not everyone thinks praise gives people the “big head”!  We all need an “atta girl”. Vee, here is yours! And thanks for sharing!

Maple Glazed Baby Carrots

Yield: 8 servings

Serving Size: 1/2 cup

Maple Glazed Baby Carrots

An impressive dish for holidays and guests -- or just the family. Impressive and delicious!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 2 pounds baby carrots
  • ¼ cup light catalina dressing
  • ¼ cup maple flavored syrup
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped pecans

Instructions

  1. Put water in medium pan, add carrots and cover. Cook 12 –14 minutes or until tender, then drain.
  2. Mix dressing and syrup, stirring frequently, until glaze is thickened.
  3. Add carrots and butter. Stir until butter is melted and carrots are covered with glaze.
  4. Add pecans and stir to distribute.
http://www.apinchofjoy.com/2014/11/maple-glazed-baby-carrots/

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Celebrate Simply . . . Thanksgiving

Celebrate Simply . . Thanksgiving -- A Pinch of Joy
Celebrate Simply  . . Thanksgiving -- A Pinch of Joy

Celebrations add richness and depth to our lives.  They are a time to connect with others in our family and beyond.  They call to mind our collective history in ways that can be adapted to the individual.  The first time I heard of lasagna for Thanksgiving dinner I was surprised!  But it is a perfect illustration of the dynamic nature of celebrations!  They change to fit the situation and times in a way that is significant to the persons celebrating and, in the process, strengthen the bond of family and friends. 

I love to look at beautiful holiday tablescapes and gorgeous seasonal layered vignettes. I love to create them.  But sometimes the weather does not cooperate nor is there time or energy for such things.  Still celebration calls for something out of the ordinary.  So . . .   make the celebration special but focus on creating a warm welcome and good food.  Celebrate simply. 

Autumn Banner on stair rail -- A Pinch of Joy

The welcome begins at the front door entry with an Autumn Banner.   Decorating note and totally off subject: All the woodwork in the house was stained a super dark Seventies color when we moved in.  I painted it white – eventually — and left the handrails dark for a bit of contrast.  Wheels suggested when I painted the stairs that I leave the edges dark.  I figured okay — we can always paint them white when we see how silly THAT looks!  :-)  But we liked it and many visitors comment how much they like that little touch.  Ya never know!  The bottom of the stair wall was painted white and the trim added when we did the dining room.  The light yellow is a soft butter color IRL and is the neutral for the downstairs hall.  The darker, almost gold color, is the upper hallway. 

Buffet vignette

The buffet needed a little festive color so a quick gathering of ceramic pumpkins from here and there, the turkey turreen that usually sets on the kitchen counter and a few fall colored  flowers.  This took five minutes and will be disassembled the next day, but it is a nice splash of color. 

Table setting -- A Pinch of Joy

The table runner is a piece of fabric the length of the tablecoth and folded in thirds.  The centerpiece is a gold square plate with a glass hurricane from the living room, a flameless candle, more flowers, a couple of little gourds.  See the wheat?   That is a family tradition.  Wheel’s father gave me a handful from his wheat field one year and they have made their appearance on our Thanksgiving table ever since.  Those few stalks represent family, the importance of agriculture and amber waves of grain, the historical movement of pioneers ever westward looking for good land with bright hopes for the future and so much more. 

IMG_2268a

The charger under the plate just happened to match the dark stripe of the fabric and the napkin matched the light stripe!  How’s that for lucky coincidence?!  Napkin rings were on clearance one year at Kroger’s for maybe a quarter each after the holidays.  And the colors in them blended beautifully.  Buy only what you truly like and it’s amazing how things will go together!  Not always but often enough. . .

Fall Wreath -- A Pinch of Joy
A fall wreath hung on the lighted corner cabinet is another quick and colorful touch to make the day out of the ordinary!

                               Wishing you and yours
           a bright and special Thanksgiving celebration! 

Some dishes you might like to consider for the Thanksgiving Feast: 

Orange Glazed Cornish hens  OR  Elegant Crusted Pork Tenderloin  
Holiday Sweet Potatoes 
Potato Nests                  OR    Scottsdale Potatoes
Sesame Green Beans    OR      Bacon Pecan  Green Beans
Sunny Broccoli Salad     OR      Wicked Good Simple Sweet Slaw    OR Cauliflower Bacon Salad
Fruity Cranberry Relish  OR     Frozen Cranberry Salad
Caramel Apple Salad     OR      Snickers Surprise Salad
Honey Banana Bread    OR     Lemon Poppyseed Zucchini Bread    OR Spicy Pumpkin Bread
Cheesecake Bars           OR      Pumpkin Bars
Blushing Peach Pie         OR     Spiced Pineapple Carrot Cake

I’m so glad you stopped by today!   Be sure to follow A Pinch of Joy so you don’t miss a thing! 

Subscribe by email  on the sidebar  or follow on Facebook, RSS feed, bloglovin’  twitter  and check out my  pinterest boards.   If you found this helpful or inspiring please share below!  Your support of A Pinch of Joy is  appreciated!

Dirty Bones

Dirty Bones - Halloween treat from A Pinch of Joy
Dirty Bones - Halloween treat from A Pinch of Joy

Meringues are really very easy to make. You just need to be aware of a few facts before starting. No big deal, because everything in life is easier when you know a few facts ahead of time.

  • Room temperature eggs are easier to separate and will whip faster than cold eggs. If you don’t have time to let them set – or if like me, you forget to set them out – you can set them in a bowl of warm water to speed up the process.  
  • Separate eggs very carefully one at a time over small bowl. When separation is successful, place yolks in one bowl to set aside for another use. Put egg whites one at a time into larger bowl for whipping. If there is the slightest bit of yolk in a separated white, do not add it to the larger bowl. THROW IT OUT. Or better yet, put it aside for another use. Even the slightest trace of yolk will keep the whole batch from forming peaks.
  • Soft peaks mean that you can see the tracks of the beater in the beaten egg whites. Egg whites are no longer yellowish and foamy but turn white and more on the fluffy side. If you lift the beater and it makes a little lift that “droops” you have a soft peak. A stiff peak will stand in sharp points when the beater is lifted. Another way to determine stiff peak is to draw the flat of a knife or the handle of a wooden spoon through the beaten egg whites. If they stay separated, stiff peaks. If they run back together, keep beating.
  • Add sugar slowly, but continuously. It helps the sugar to dissolve for crispy meringues. You can also run the sugar through the food processor to make smaller granules to help it dissolve more thoroughly. It will seem like you are taking forever to get all the sugar in, but the time also counts toward making stiff peaks. Oh yeah, mind games will get you through :-)
  • Slip cookies into oven preheated to 225 degrees, bake thirty minutes, turn off oven and go to bed. Do not open oven door from the time you put the cookies in until you get up the next morning. If you must do something, you can check by turning oven light on and peering through the door about 20-25 minutes into baking time to see if meringues are turning brown. If they are, turn the oven off.

H A P P Y   H A U N T I N G

Dirty Bones

Yield: 24 cookies

Serving Size: 1 cookie

Dirty Bones

A crunchy, chewy, creepy Halloween treat!

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 5 egg whites, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon almond flavoring
  • 2 chocolate cookies, such as Oreos with middles removed, crushed

Instructions

  1. Let eggs set for 30 minutes to reach room temperature.
  2. Separate white from yolk and set yolks aside for another purpose.
  3. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar in large bowl at medium speed until soft peaks form.
  4. Continue beating at high speed and begin adding sugar very slowly, two or three tablespoons at a time. This may take three minutes or more.
  5. Continue beating at high speed until stiff peaks are formed. This may take 15-20 minutes. Meringue should be shiny and smooth.
  6. While egg whites are beating, preheat oven to 225 degrees and prepare two baking sheets by lining with parchment paper. Prepare pastry bag with #10 or #12 plain tip. (OR zipper bag with corner cut off to make half inch opening.)
  7. When meringue reaches stiff peaks, add extract and beat just until blended.
  8. Fill pastry bag. Pipe a figure eight or s-shape and move tip to form straight line of meringue about 2-3 inches long and finish by moving tip to pipe a second figure eight or s-shape at the bottom. Lift piping bag with swirling motion to break flow at end while keeping meringue fluffy. Repeat until both cookie sheets are filled.
  9. Crush chocolate cookies and sprinkle over “bones” to give illusion of dirt clinging to bones.
  10. Bake for 30 minutes. Turn off oven. DO NOT OPEN OVEN DOOR. Leave cookies in oven overnight.
http://www.apinchofjoy.com/2014/10/dirty-bones/

Need more Halloween ideas?  Check these links:  Preschool Party Snacks and Games      How to Make Pom Pom Spider   How to Make a Halloween Wreath  Elegant Halloween    Fun Foods for Kids Halloween Party  Candy Corn Fudge   Grasshopper Guts     Smashed Frogs    Zombie Brains   Dirty Bones   Witch’s Brew aka Cider Smoothie   Halloween Fudge

I’m so glad you stopped by today!   Be sure to follow A Pinch of Joy so you don’t miss a thing! 

Subscribe by email  on the sidebar  or follow on Facebook, RSS feed, bloglovin’  twitter  and check out my  pinterest boards.   If you found this helpful or inspiring please share below!  Your support of A Pinch of Joy is  appreciated!

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