Less Stress Thanksgiving 103 CIR with Lola Rizer & Chef Michele

Written by on November 10, 2017

Less Stress Thanksgiving

103 CIR with Lola Rizer

November 2017

Chef Michele Koeniger, CDM, CFPP, CEC

Executive Chef Tamarack


Spinach Artichoke Dip w/Boursin

1 (10-oz.) box frozen spinach, thawed

2 (15-oz.) cans artichoke hearts (packed in water), chopped

1 (5.2-oz.) package Boursin

1-1/2 c. shredded white Cheddar

1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan

2 cloves Garlic, minced

1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

kosher salt


  1. In a small slow-cooker, combine spinach, artichokes, Boursin, cheddar, Parmesan,

garlic, and crushed red pepper flakes. Season with salt, cover, and cook over high heat, 1 hour.

  1. Stir until creamy, then reduce heat to low. Continue cooking 30 minutes to 1 hour. Serve

with pita chips and bread.


Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip

2 (8 oz.) pkg. Cream cheese, softened

1 (11.5 oz.) Jellied cranberry sauce

1/2 cup Cilantro, chopped

3 each Green onion, sliced

1 teaspoon ground Cumin

1 Tablespoon crushed Red Pepper Flakes

1 Lemon, zest & juice


  1. In a medium size bowl, combine all ingredients.
  2. Blend well.
  3. Serve with buttery crackers.


Caramelized Onion and Bacon Pull-Apart Bread

1/4 pound bacon (3 to 4 slices), cut into 1/4-inch dice

3 large onions, thinly sliced (about 8 cups)

1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

One 1 1/2-pound round rustic loaf of bread, such as sourdough or Italian

4 ounces smoked Gouda, shredded

4 ounces mozzarella, shredded

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Heat a large skillet with a lid over medium-high heat and add the bacon. Cook, stirring

occasionally, until the bacon is golden brown, about 9 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a plate using a slotted spoon. Add the onions to the skillet and cook, covered, stirring occasionally and scraping up the stuck bits on the bottom of the pan as needed, until the onions release their juices and are caramelized, golden and soft, about 30 minutes.

  1. Combine the butter, thyme, 1 teaspoon salt and some pepper in a medium bowl. Stir in

the onions until the butter melts and becomes saucy.

  1. Meanwhile, with a large serrated knife, shave 1/4 inch off the bottom crust of the bread..

Make 1-inch wide crosshatch cuts on the top of the bread, three-quarters of the way through to the bottom. Put the bread on the prepared baking sheet.

  1. Spoon 3/4 of the onion mixture into all of the slits. Mix together the Gouda and

mozzarella in a small bowl, then stuff three-quarters of the cheese inside all of the slits.

  1. Spoon the remaining onion mixture on top, followed by the remaining cheese.
  2. Cover the bread loosely with foil and bake until the filling is warm and the cheese is

melted, about 25 minutes.

8.Transfer to a platter or cutting board and top with the bacon and parsley. Serve



Bacon Cracker Appetizers

1 sleeve country club-style crackers

3/4 cup crumbled Blue Cheese

1 pound thinly sliced bacon


  1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.
  2. Lay the crackers face up on a large rack over a baking sheet (or broiler pan). Scoop about 1 teaspoon of the blue cheese onto each cracker. Cut the package of bacon in half (or cut pieces individually) and carefully, so the cheese doesn’t fall off, wrap each cheese covered cracker with one half piece of bacon, completely covering the cracker.
  3. It should fit snugly around the cracker, but not be pulled too tight. Place the bacon-wrapped crackers onto the rack.
  4. Place the baking sheet in the oven for about 2 hours. Serve immediately or at room temperature!

Spiced Pecans

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon dried ground orange peel

1 pound pecan halves

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar

2 tablespoons water


  1. Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Mix the salt, cumin, cayenne, cinnamon and orange peel together in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. Place the nuts in a 10-inch cast iron skillet and set over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, for 4 to 5 minutes until they just start to brown and smell toasted. Add the butter and stir until it melts. Add the spice mixture and stir to combine. Once combined, add both sugars and water, stirring until the mixture thickens and coats the nuts, approximately 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Transfer the nuts to the prepared sheet pan and separate them with a fork or spatula. Allow the nuts to cool completely before transferring to an airtight container for storage.
  5. Can be stored up to 3 weeks.


Seasoned Crackers

1 (12 ounce) package oyster crackers

1 (1 ounce) package ranch dressing mix

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

1/4 teaspoon granulated Garlic

1 teaspoon crushed Red Pepper Flakes

3/4 cup vegetable oil


  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees F (95 degrees C).
  2. Whisk together the oil and seasonings; add crackers and toss to coat evenly.
  3. Spread evenly on large baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes.
  4. Stir after 10 minutes and continue baking 10 minutes more.

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