Butter, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme: How to make a compound butter

Yes, I am spending an entire post writing about butter. Butter is an essential part of Thanksgiving. You rub it all over the turkey, spread it on warm rolls just out of the oven, put butter in the stuffing, melt it on top of roasted squash, cream together in the mashed potatoes and use it to finish off the gravy. I could keep going! I hope Julia Child would be proud.

butter

Because butter is such a big part of the meal, I like to make it more flavorful. It is very easy to do. Make a compound butter. That is a fancy name for a butter that you add flavor to. I usually make it a day or two before Thanksgiving. You can even make it today!

Rosemary, Sage, Thyme and Lemon Compound Butter

compound-butter-mixture

Ingredients

1 ½ cups of unsalted butter (3 sticks), softened/room temperature

1 Tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary

¼ teaspoon finely chopped fresh sage

1 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme

zest of one lemon

1 teaspoon of salt

A pinch of pepper

Directions

compound-butter

With a fork, mash together all of the ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Take 3-4 tablespoons of the butter and place on a small rectangle of parchment paper and make it into a roll. Place in fridge to cool, until Thanksgiving morning. Take it out, unroll it onto a plate and it will be ready for your table! This can be for your table for your guests to melt on warm rolls. The remainder of the butter should be covered and placed into the refrigerator until Wednesday night. Leave it on the counter so that it is spreadable on Thursday when you start to cook.

compound-butter-roll

If your stuffing mix or stuffing already has seasoning, use plain butter. Otherwise you can use this on any other part of the main meal.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions about your Thanksgiving meal!

Other helpful Thanksgiving posts:

Appetizer ideas for Thanksgiving

Cooking your Thanksgiving Turkey

Easy Thanksgiving Side Dish: My Favorite! Acorn Squash

I guess Thanksgiving is coming soon!  – Great make ahead mashed potato recipe!

Happy Cooking!

A week of Easy Breakfasts and Photos from Celebrating Julia’s 100th

Everything on the internet and in stores is throwing it in my face that fall is approaching. I love the fall, but can’t believe the summer has flown by so fast. (Note to self: must go to the beach this weekend!) As we all start the sometimes dreaded gearing up for fall, or just need some more ideas for breakfasts, I thought I would post some of my ideas and some links to other peoples ideas.

These need to be quick but yet enough to fill the kids up. When I do my menu plan, I add breakfasts, so my husband can just look at the board and know what to give the kids if I’m in the shower and if I am getting breakfast together, it is one last thing to think about! Here is an example:

Monday: Cheerios and Fruit. I had a proud mom moment on Sunday. These don’t happen all to often, but when they do, shout it from the roof tops! I took Karina (almost 5 years old) with me to the grocery store. We were in the cereal aisle to get Cheerios, the kids’ cereal of choice. Karina saw all the choices of different flavors of Cheerios, Dulce de Leche, Chocolate, Fruit (kind of like Fruit loops) and more. I don’t know how I managed to avoid this until now, but she for the first time, was in awe and wanted all the sugary cereals. I then pointed to the purple and white box of Cheerios, the Multigrain ones, and said how about this one? and she said Ok! Its purple! No one else witnessed this to my dismay, but now I share it with you because I want documentation before she gets wiser 🙂 She even excitedly ate her “special” Cheerios the next morning. We usually serve it with bananas or apples or whatever fruit is on hand.

Tuesday: Oatmeal and fruit. We use the Quaker Maple and Brown sugar, Low sugar version, for ease (probably not the healthiest), but I have been pinning all sorts of oatmeal recipes and just need to try some out. Like this blueberry and raspberry baked oatmeal one from So, how’s it taste? or this one from Weelicious for an overnight oatmeal that cooks in the crockpot.

Wednesday: Toast and fruit. Whole wheat bread, toasted with peanut butter or jelly or for fun some days, Nutella 🙂 Serve with strawberries, pineapple or whatever fruit is on hand.

Thursday: Eggs and Fruit. This can be as simple as just putting one egg per child in a microwaveable bowl that has been sprayed with Pam. Whisk egg  and add a little cheese, salt and pepper.  Microwave for about 1 minute, flip and microwave again for about 30 sec (time will depend on your microwave and how many eggs you have). Then cool and cut into pieces and serve. I (or my husband, who mainly takes care of breakfast) also sometimes add cottage cheese instead of shredded cheese or ricotta.

Friday: Cereal and Fruit again 🙂

Saturday: Eggs or toast, depending on what we have planned. If we are not rushing out of the house, I make a frittata or egg hash, which are great ways to use up leftovers. Last weekend I had a little bacon left from all my Julia Child cooking, so I diced it up and sauteed it in a non stick pan (about 4 strips). Then once the fat had rendered out and bacon started to get crispy, I added about 1/2 a palmful of sliced green onions and 1 minced clove of garlic and cooked for a few more minutes. Then I added about 1/4 cup of some of the leftover mashed sweet potato from the gnocchi I made on Julia’s Birthday and let that heat through. Season with salt and pepper. In a separate bowl, I whisked 4 eggs (for our family of 5) with about 1/4 cup milk (whatever kind you have, cream is always tastier, but not as healthy), salt, pepper and a handful of shredded cheddar. When whisked, I poured it into the sweet potato, bacon and onion mixture and cooked until eggs were ready, stirring and flipping occasionally. Served with strawberries. It was a big hit!

Sunday: Pancakes. You can serve them plain with syrup and fruit or make blueberry pancakes, apple pancakes, whatever your imagination can come up with. You can make them circles or cut out with cookie cutters to make shapes or if you have the special pancake molds (like these) you can eliminate the waste. I have Mickey Mouse shaped molds that were a gift. They are very fun easy to use. You can use them for eggs as well.

I usually buy Aunt Jemima’s Whole Wheat pancake mix and then add in fruit, either mashed bananas or blueberries. Sometimes I experiment a little more, like a few weeks ago when I added about 1/4 cup of ricotta cheese and the zest of one lemon to my regular blueberry pancakes. It was delicious! I also made some colored pancakes in honor of the Olympics from scratch, but the recipe made pancakes that were too dense. I’m back to my boxed mix for now, until I find the right recipe from scratch.

 

Tips for quick breakfasts:

(1) I always make extra pancakes and freeze them to be pulled out one morning for breakfast and cooked in the toaster or microwaved.
(2) I save the ends of our loaves of bread each week and put them in the freezer. Once I have enough, I pull them out on a Saturday night and put them in the fridge. Sunday morning I make French toast with them. Again make extra and freeze for easy meals during the week.
(3) Make breakfast for dinner one night a frittata or quiche and freeze the leftovers to take out and heat up for breakfast.
(4) yogurt with cereal and fruit parfaits. 1 scoop yogurt, next granola or cereal, next blueberries or raspberries, then repeat.

Other breakfast ideas: Smoothies, Waffles (frozen or in your waffle maker if you have one), muffins (whatever your favorite are blueberry, zucchini, sweet potato, sky is the limit!), or breakfast quesadillas.

Where I find breakfast ideas:
Pinterest Breakfast Recipes to Try
Weelicious
Our Best Bites (who just posted an overnight oatmeal recipe this morning!)
The Kitchn

Here are some photos from my week of celebrating Julia Child’s birthday. Fun but exhausting!

 
 Roast chicken with potatoes and carrots (not exactly Julia’s recipe, but a “Julia-like” version)

 Quiche Lorraine. Delicious! Next time I would not blanche the bacon as she suggests. It took all the bacon flavor out of it.

 Potato Leek Soup. Delicious! So simple! Just potatoes, leeks, salt, water and parsley for garnish.

Julia’s Boeuf Bourguignon with Sweet Potato Gnocchi

Happy 100th Birthday to Julia Child!

Next Wednesday, August 15, 2012 marks the date that would have been JuliaChild’s 100th birthday. Restaurants around the country are doingspecial menus to honor Julia Child. PBS has lots of specials on TV among otherfun things on their website. Cooks and Bloggers around the country are writingand cooking to honor her memory. Here is one with 8 ideas on how to honor Julia from Robin Shreeves at the Mother Nature Network. I am going to try to make one recipe a daynext week from one of her cookbooks to honor her legacy. The French Chef was the first cooking show Iwatched on TV growing up. We watched a lot of PBS. She pioneered the era of cooking shows whichhas now exploded with popularity to a point I’m sure she probably couldn’t evenhave imagined. We all like to pretend we are cooking on a cooking show in thekitchen (don’t tell me you have never done it!) while making a meal and veryfew of us will ever get the chance to, but she made gourmet cooking accessibleto home cooks.

I have been reviewing Julie Child recipes from Mastering the Art of French Cooking to find some easyones and maybe one challenging one to make this week. If you are bored with your regular weeklymeals, picking a theme and sticking to it one week a month or however often youhave the energy for, can help spice things up (pun intended)! Or choose one night a week to make a newrecipe or make one of those hundreds you have pinned on Pinterest.
Pick a Julia Child recipe to make this week inhonor of what would have been her 100th birthday. Don’t beintimidated. You don’t have to pick sweet breads or duck, or a fancy multi-step,multi-ingredient recipe. Make a quiche, roast chicken, pork chops, boiledartichokes or buttered green beans. It’s still a Julia Child recipe. Her goalwas to make gourmet cooking accessible to home cooks.
These are some of the recipes I’m hoping to make this week:
Chocolate Almond Cake, p677. Supposedly one Julia’sfavorites.
Boeuf Bourguignon, p.315. I’ve never made it and think Iwill while watching Julie and Julia.
Potato Leek Soup, p.37. One of my favorites. I’ve never madeJulia’s recipe though.
Quiche au fruits de mer, p.149. Sounds really fancy, butreally is just eggs, shallots or onions, butter (of course), lobster, shrimp orcrab, cheese, cream, tomato paste, salt and pepper. She also adds Madeira ordry vermouth, but I don’t have those and don’t usually by whole bottles ofthings for a couple of tablespoons, so I’ll use something else like whitebalsamic vinegar. I might even buy the crust. Shhh…don’t tell.
Crepes, p.190. These are just fancy pancakes that my kidswill hopefully love!
Moules A La Mariniere, p. 227. This is one of the onlyrecipes that I am repeating. I’ve made it before and loved it!
Poulets Grilles a la diable (Chicken Broiled with Mustard,Herbs, and Bread Crumbs), p.265. I chose this recipe because I already haveeverything for this in the house! It is similar to how I usually make chicken,but with basting. I don’t usually baste. Maybe I’ll do it, if I can stop thetwins from reaching into the oven.
Roasted Pork marinated in Marinade Simple (Lemon Juice andHerb Marinade), p.376. I also chose this one because I have most of the ingredients.
Artichauts au Naturel (whole boiled artichokes), p. 424. Probablythe easiest of the recipes. We’ll see what the kids think of these.
I’ll probably pick a couple other vegetable recipes too.
If you don’t want to cook, go out and have some oysters anda glass of champagne and have a toast to Julia Child!
#CookforJulia