Thanksgiving is right around the corner! It’s a great time to spend with family and friends over -delicious home cooked meals…or catered food (don’t worry, we won’t tell anyone!)
No matter who you are or where you are from we all have something to be thankful for! At Crystal, we are proud to have our staff members from various cultural backgrounds. Here is a list of recipes from our staff’s kitchen table to share with yours!
We wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Egyptian Macaroni Bechamel:
1 box of Ziti Pasta
2 tablespoons of Canola/Vegetable oil
2 pounds of Ground beef
2 Onions (chopped)
1 can Tomato Sauce
3 tablespoons of Butter
6 tablespoons of Flour
3 cups of Whole Milk
1 teaspoon Salt
¼ teaspoon Pepper
- Prepare pasta according to directions on the box. Cook until about ¾ of the way done.
2. Preheat oven to 360° F
3. In a separate pan, heat the 2 tablespoons of oil. Sauté chopped onions until they become a translucent yellow color
4. Meat Sauce: Add ground beef to onions. Stir and combine until the meat is brown and cooked. Then add the tomato sauce to the meat/onions, mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste.
5. Continue to simmer meat sauce mixture until it thickens slightly. From start to finish, meat sauce should take about 20 minutes to prepare.
6. Bechamel Sauce: In a separate pot, melt 3 tablespoons of butter. Add the flour and stir until fully combined with butter. When flour/butter/milk mixture becomes a golden color, add milk to the pot. Stir continuously until smooth and thick.
7. Whisk 2 eggs together and add to flour/butter/milk mixture (fully cooled). Add the teaspoon of salt and ¼ teaspoon of pepper.
8. Add about ¼ of béchamel sauce to entire cooked pasta and combine well. Put half of the pasta in the bottom of an ungreased baking dish. Top with a layer of the whole meat sauce mixture. Top meat sauce layer with remaining pasta.
9. Cover the top of the pasta/meat layers with the remaining béchamel sauce. Crack and whisk 1 egg and spread over the top of the béchamel.
10. Bake for about 1 ½ hours or until the top becomes golden brown.
Italian Knot Cookies:
Biscotti di Nodo
MAKES 3 TO 3 1/2 DOZEN
3 cups King Arthur™ Unbleached, All-Purpose Flour
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons orange zest
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
4 to 5 tablespoons evaporated milk or half-and-half
1 teaspoon almond extract
Green or red food coloring, optional
- Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the orange zest and juice. Beat in the dry ingredients gradually, and beat well to mix. The dough will be soft; wrap it in waxed paper and refrigerate it for 1 hour to make it easier to handle.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly grease 2 cookie sheets.
- Place the dough on a well-floured surface. Pinch off small egg-size pieces of dough and roll each piece into a rope about 7 inches long and the width of your middle finger. Tie into a loose knot and place 1 inch apart on the greased cookie sheets. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until lightly browned. Transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool slightly. Frost when still slightly warm.
- To make the frosting, in a bowl, combine the sugar and 1/4 cup of the milk and beat until smooth. Add more milk if necessary to make a thin frosting. Beat in the almond extract. Add food coloring if desired.
- Dip the top of each cookie into the frosting, shaking off the excess. Place them on racks and sprinkle with colored sprinkles. Let the frosting dry before storing. These will keep in an airtight container for up to a week; or freeze them for up to 3 months.
Colombian Coconut Rice Pudding:
1 cup rice, rinsed
4 cups water
Pinch of salt
2 cups whole milk
1 can (12 oz) of coconut milk
1/4 cup cream of coconut
1 can (14 oz) sweet condensed milk
1/2 cup raisins
- Place the rice and the water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook for about 5 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the salt and stir well. Cook uncovered for approximately 30 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to low and add the milk, coconut milk, cream of coconut and condensed milk. Stir with a wooden spoon. Cook for 1 hour, or until the rice pudding thickens to desired consistency.
- Add the raisins and stir well, remove from heat, and let it cool at room temperature. The consistency should be very creamy. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.
Although the weather has been teasing with warm temperatures, here in the Tristate we know better than to be misled! We have seen some harsh winters over the past few years, so it is important that your car is ready to take on what is to come!
Here are a few things to check on to help WINTERIZE your car!
- Cooling System
The level, condition, and concentration of the coolant should be checked periodically along with the drive belts, clamps, and hoses. It is important that your engine runs at a constant temperature that not too hot or too cold, so servicing your coolant system is a must!
- Wiper Blades
Make sure your wiper blades are not worn out. They are an affordable item that makes a huge difference in your driving experience! No matter the weather, make sure the road ahead is Crystal Clear!
Measure your tire tread to see if you are due new ones! With our Black Friday blowout sale coming up, this is the perfect time to get new ones!
- Oil Change
Changing the oil is an imperative part to your basic tune-up. With our monthly special and other discounts, you can get a full maintenance service to prep yourself for the cold. Click on the image for more deals!
Stay warm, friends!
You may know someone who in despite of hardships still maintains a positive attitude…and I was lucky enough to meet someone who is just like that, Quaid Mobus! The Watching Hills Regional High School hosted the first ever Quaid Mobus 5K, a race to help raise awareness and funds for spinal cord injury research and aid.
One day, Quaid went on his ATV like he had in the past, and after an unfortunate accident he became paralyzed in his arms and legs. Despite the severe injuries, Quaid and his family did not lose hope, and took on the fight to help Quaid get better.
I had the honor to meet Quaid, his parents Cindy and George, and his sister Cailyn . His positivity amidst difficulty touched us all.
Local community residents were excited to race! Some people even brought their pets along! Blackjack from the Harlem Wizards came to support, and showed us some basketball tricks.
Quaid and his family truly moved our hearts!