Challah Bread Stuffing for your Thanksgiving Feast!

From our Family Recipe Book to yours:  Our Famous Starky Challah Bread Stuffing for Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving is kind of a huge deal in our house.  We’ve been hosting Thanksgiving dinner for so many years and although new dishes might make an occasional appearance, the tried and true family recipes prevail.  Making challah from scratch has been a family activity since I can remember and nothing smells better coming out of the oven.  It never lasts long and gets demolished the same day…sometimes without any butter or jam.  Grandpa Saul always proclaimed about the challah in his booming, craggy voice;  “it eats like cake!”  For the Thanksgiving feast, there is no better bread to use for stuffing than challah.  It’s eggy, slightly sweet, and has a dense texture that holds up to gravy. Since we have to be genius about oven space on Thanksgiving Day, we went way outside the box and tried cooking the stuffing in a crock pot last year.  Skeptical, we held our breath and watched as the stuffing puffed up, browned up nicely on the edges and was held on warm while everything else baked in the oven.  It got a little baste of turkey drippings at the end and then was tasted-oh my!  The stuffing was tender & moist and served right out of the crock pot vessel which kept it nice and warm for the second wave.  We share this method with you as it sure did save time, pans and space when you are in high gear to get this dinner on your Thanksgiving table! Our challah recipe is not listed here; they...

Orange Garlic Shrimp Recipe from the Starky’s Test Kitchen

This week’s inspiration came from an unlikely place…the bottom drawer of our home refrigerator. You know those adorable little clementine oranges that you purchase in big quantities in the netted bag? We love to buy those, eat about 3 and then forget about them. Weeks later there they sit, too cute to throw out, too mushy to eat, just taking up space. So the question is:   “What can you do with over-the-hill mini oranges?” The answer came when we were discussing making dried porcini mushroom “dust” to coat lamb chops. What if we dried the clementine peels in the oven, pulverized the peels and used them as a dry rub? As fate would have it, we came across a Bon Appetite article about dehydrated fruit peel and vegetable “powders”…we knew we had to try it with those aged little clementines. Maybe something amazing would happen.   Bingo! We peeled (easily) all the old clementines, juiced all the oranges (for smoothies), and spread the misshapen peels on a parchment paper lined baking sheet with sides. The peels took about 3 hours to dry completely in a 200 degree convection oven. They must be very dry and brittle as any remaining moisture would prevent them from being ground into a powder. This will vary depending on your oven and the thickness of the peels. They should “crack” when you break one in half.   The aroma in your house will be insane. The equipment you need to finish the job is a cheapy coffee grinder. We had an old one from years ago, but you can pick one up in...

Cinnamon Scones from the Test Kitchen

This week the Starky’s Test Kitchen is bringing you a little sweet breakfast treat to surprise your Valentine! We make scones often at Starky’s and they are buttery, light, and super flavorful. Usually we follow the same simple recipe and just play around with additions of chocolate, cheese, nuts, or fruits. It’s great way to kick off the day with a steamin’ hot cup of Joe. The Test Kitchen usually would not even think of offering a “healthier” treat considering the decadence of Valentine’s day. But, recently we have been watching our health a little more closely. We still want deliciousness, texture, and overall satisfaction with our baked goods, but here and there we can add some more healthful elements/additions/substitutions to make what we eat just a little better for us. This is not your traditional scone…it has some ingredients that the purists will not like. The texture is crunchy on the outside with a  soft crumb that is almost muffin-like inside. It hit all our buttons for a perfect breakfast treat. We’d like to share with you our healthier version of a simple scone recipe! <h1>Cinnamon Cottage Cheese Scones</h1> 1 cup 4% cottage cheese 1 egg 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 cup white flour ½ cup whole wheat flour ½ cup oats 1 tablespoon baking powder ½ teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons sugar (we use the organic here) 5 Tablespoons butter-cut into small pieces and kept very cold ½ cup cinnamon baking chips (we used Hershey) Schmoo: This is the glaze that we brush on top of our scones and muffins…it is optional, but gives baked goods a shiny, crackly...

An Old Family Recipe from our Holiday Playbook to Yours!

Happy Holidays from our Starky Family to yours! We’re sharing a great old family recipe with you today that Mom always makes the day after our big Holiday Feast.  The recipe is pretty old and has southern roots from our dear neighbor Theresa Hadley.  It differs from a “stew” as the vegetables and beef are chopped into smaller pieces which gives the soup a hearty and silky texture.  We’ve revamped the flavors and cooking methods in the test kitchen this week and have taken out the gluten, heavy fats, and dairy so all of your guests will be able to enjoy this lovely, hearty soup.  Advanced preparation makes it easy to create and stow in the freezer if you are the organized type.  Paired with a chewy loaf of bread or a salad of winter greens, pears and walnuts, we know you will enjoy this recipe as we have for years! MOM’S STEAK SOUP serves 8 2 pounds mushrooms, chopped 1 cup carrots, chopped 1 cup celery, chopped 1 cup parsnip, chopped 1 cup onion, chopped 1 medium leek, washed and chopped 3 cloves garlic, smashed and minced Prep and chop all of your vegetables and aromatics and have them standing by.   2 pounds of round steak, cut into bite size chunks 2 tablespoons corn starch Salt and pepper to taste 2 Tablespoons olive oil Toss the steak cubes with salt, pepper and cornstarch.  Heat a soup pot over medium high heat and add the olive oil.  When the oil is hot, add the steak cubes.  Do not stir or disturb them for a few minutes, you want each...

Boozy Cranberry Conserve Recipe

We’re sharing a great recipe with you this week that is not from the Starky Test Kitchen; it’s an old family recipe that has been made for many years in our own kitchen at home.  I suppose most Americans consume cranberry sauce about once a year as an obligatory part of the Thanksgiving dinner. This cranberry conserve recipe takes the average cran sauce to new & delicious places and can be served in a variety of different ways at any time of year.  It’s also so ridiculously easy.  Our family cannot get enough of this marvelous, tart, sweet, boozy condiment. Now we’re sharing it with you…your guests will devour it! BOOZY CRANBERRY CONSERVE RECIPE 1 package fresh cranberries (or frozen, we always have a bag or two in the freezer) 1 cup sugar Juice and zest of 1 medium sized orange 1/2 cup golden raisins (don’t skip these, it’s worth the trip to the market to get the golden raisins instead of regular brown raisins) 1 ripe pear, peeled, seeded and chopped 1 big apple, peeled, seeded and chopped (Gala is nice for this as it maintains its shape) 1/4 cup Orange Liquor (we used Patron Orange) Pour the cranberries and fresh orange juice into a 4 quart sauce pan. Pour the sugar over the top and give it a good stir. Turn the burner to medium low and cook, stirring occasionally as it starts to bubble. When the berries start to release their juices, add the golden raisins, apples and pears. Turn heat to low and let the sauce bubble gently for about 10 minutes. With a potato...