Cook a New England Boiled Dinner with Annalee


Holidays and good food just go together. That’s why food-related designs have been part of the Annalee collection for many years. And what could be better than pairing a great home-cooked meal with a festive display of Annalee decor. Adding an Annalee design (or two) to your kitchen or dining table will help make any holiday, or any occasion, that much more special.

Country Cookie' with Annalee's ElvesAnnalee knew that good food and her whimsical dolls went well together. It’s one of the reasons she gathered together hundreds of recipes and published the cookbook Country Cookin’ from Annalee’s Elves back in 1988. Annalee asked everyone at her Factory in the Woods to contribute their favorite recipes to the book. Of course, she included many of her own. The result was a culinary smorgasbord of delicious delights. With the book long out of print, the elves thought it was about time to get cookin’ again and share some of these wonderful recipes again.

St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated all over the world, but in New England, the home of Annalee Dolls, it’s common for families and friends to gather round for a traditional New England boiled dinner to enjoy the holiday.

Annalee New England Boiled Dinner

A New England boiled dinner is actually the traditional meal served for St. Patrick’s Day: Corned beef and cabbage and hearty side of johnnycake (cornbread). And for dessert, nothing warms the body and soul more thoroughly on a cold New England day than some warm apple crisp. So let’s get cookin’. And don’t forget to decorate your table with an assortment of Annalee Irish Collection dolls. Happy St. Patrick’s Day. And good luck to all.

Corned Beef and Cabbage Recipe –
Serves 6

  • 3 – 4 lbs. corned beef brisket
  • 2 onions, peeled and diced
  • 6 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 6 potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 2 turnips or parsnips (or both) into chunks
  • 1 small cabbage, cut into wedges
  • 1 tsp. whole peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Water
  1. Place the corned beef brisket in a large pot and cover it with water. Add the peppercorns and bay leaf.
  2. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 3 hours or until the beef is tender.
  3. Remove meat from the water, cover and keep warm.
  4. Add the onions, carrots, turnips, and potatoes to the pot and bring it to a boil. Then reduce heat and simmer for another 30 minutes.
  5. Add the cabbage wedges to the pot and simmer for an additional 15 minutes or until the cabbage is tender.
  6. Remove all vegetables from the pot and let them rest for a few minutes before slicing the beef.
  7. Serve the New England Boiled Dinner hot, with the vegetables arranged around the sliced beef.

Annalee Boiled Dinner Johnnycake Shortbread

Johnnycake Recipe

  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil (or 1 tbsp. shortening)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons molasses (optional)
  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F and grease an 8- or 9-inch square baking dish.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt until well combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, vegetable oil, and eggs (and molasses) until well beaten.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Do not overmix.
  5. Pour the batter into the greased baking dish and smooth out the top with a spatula.
  6. Bake the johnnycake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  7. Remove the johnnycake from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving. Serve with butter or honey.

Annalee Apple Crisp

Apple Crisp Recipe

  • 6 cups sliced apples (about 6 medium apples)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
  • 2/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the sliced apples with lemon juice and set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  4. Cut the softened butter into small pieces and add it to the flour mixture. Use a pastry cutter or your hands to mix until the mixture is crumbly.
  5. Grease an 8- or 9-inch square baking dish with butter.
  6. Spread the sliced apples in the bottom of the baking dish.
  7. Sprinkle the crumbly flour mixture over the apples, covering them evenly.
  8. Bake the apple crisp for 40-45 minutes or until the topping is golden brown and the apples are tender.
  9. Remove the apple crisp from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before serving. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

Cooking Hints for Annalee’s Kitchen

Is your brown sugar hard? A slice of soft bread placed in the package will soften the sugar in a couple of hours. Need it faster, just use a cheese grater to help get the amount you need.

Is your butter too hard? Soften it by inverting a small heated pot or pan over the butter for a while. You can also use a grater to help to soften the butter.

Add these Annalee cooking designs to your collection: