Monthly Archives: November 2012

Thanksgiving Dinner and Delicious Leftovers

Standard

Thanksgiving dinner was a success! Matt and I had a wonderful meal and I thoroughly enjoyed putting my own twist on a few classic recipes. We did, however, miss our families and look forward to spending time with them on Christmas. Our Thanksgiving menu included: homemade cranberry sauce, semi-homemade cornbread stuffing, chive and cream cheese mashed potatoes, homemade yeast rolls, and of course turkey and from scratch gravy. I also made a few desserts! You can check out my quick and delicious apple pie recipe and be on the lookout for Matt’s favorite dessert, cream cheese pumpkin roll. We had a lot to be thankful for this year and I am so glad I was able to prepare such a flavorful meal for my well deserving husband.

The turkey was fantastic! I stuffed the cavity with oranges, lemons, sage, thyme and fresh sprigs or rosemary. I made a compound butter with sage, thyme, rosemary, and fresh cracked black pepper that I spread on the skin of the turkey. I basted the turkey regularly with pan drippings and some melted butter infused with the same herbs I listed above. It was so good! I’m glad we have a lot of leftovers!

One of Matt’s favorites sandwiches is the Turkey Cranberry sandwich from Paradise Cafe and Bakery. I decided to draw inspiration from that when looking for a way to repurpose our leftovers. I used my homemade cranberry sauce (Never made it? It’s so easy! Throw a bag of cranberries into a small stock pot with 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water, a splash of orange juice and apple cider, as well as a generous pinch of cinnamon and orange rind and let it simmer on the stove until the cranberries break down and the sugar thickens the sauce. It only takes about 20 minutes and is a thousand times more delicious than the canned variety!) and avocado on this sandwich and it really made the sandwich fantastic. I also added a generous sprinkle of my semi-homemade cornbread stuffing (I’ll fill you in on this recipe later!).

Read the rest of this entry

Advertisements

Quick and Delicious Apple Pie

Standard
Quick and Delicious Apple Pie

This is the first year I have ever embarked on cooking the whole Thanksgiving spread from start to finish. Matt and I decided that it would be best to stay local this year because we both had a lot of studying we needed to get accomplished before classes resume on Monday. Traveling unfortunately is both time consuming and expensive but we look forward to traveling for Christmas. Anyhow, I decided to get a few of my desserts out of the way before the mashed potatoes, turkey, and stuffing extravaganza begins tomorrow. Living in an apartment doesn’t necessarily make the task of cooking Thanksgiving too easy with only one stove and a few burners to utilize. I took a few shortcuts with a few of my dishes to help speed things up a bit. Be on the lookout for the rest of my Thanksgiving recipes this week; the menu includes: semi-homemade cornbread stuffing, homemade cranberry sauce, cream cheese and chive mashed potatoes, gravy, and of course turkey! (with perhaps a new twist!). Plus Matt’s favorite Thanksgiving dessert will be making an appearance. So as you can see, I’m going to be very busy the next several hours…and then onto black Friday shopping!

 The Ingredients:

Make one 9 inch pie

  • Pie crust…either homemade (check out Smitten Kitchen recipe; I’ve used it before and it is delicious!) or store bought (I took this route this time because I have so many tasks to get done before the meal tomorrow! I recommend Immaculate Ready to Bake All Natural Pie Crusts)
  • 4 Granny Smith Apples
  • 4 Golden Delicious Apples
  • For the filling:
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tsps sugar
  • 2 tbs brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Splash of apple cider (if you have some like we did!)

Read the rest of this entry

Pesto, Pine nut, & Prosciutto Pizza

Standard

One of our favorite pizzas in the city is from a restaurant called Osteria. It is divine but…a little expensive (a small pizza goes for about 20 dollars). I knew I could come up with just as delicious version at home at a much, much, much cheaper price! It’s a really quick meal to throw together on nights that I’m too busy to spend too much time in the kitchen. With a little help of pre-made ingredients, you can have this meal prepared from start to finish, including cooking time, in about 20 minutes. It’s way better (in my opinion) then standard delivery. I know pine nuts can be a pricy ingredient, but if you store them in your freezer they will last for about 6 months! I often make my own pesto in the summer, but during the fall and winter months I rely on a very good quality store bought kind because it’s easier when fresh items aren’t as readily available (plus I’ve been so busy studying for exams as of late, I don’t have much time to make my own).

The Ingredients:

  • Pre-made pizza dough or your favorite homemade recipe (we buy ours from Whole Foods for around $2.50 and it’s made fresh daily)
  • Fresh mozzarella
  • Homemade or store-bought pesto
  • Prosciutto
  • Pine nuts

Read the rest of this entry

White Cheddar, Chive, and Sage Biscuits and Chorizo Gravy

Standard
White Cheddar, Chive, and Sage Biscuits and Chorizo Gravy

Homemade biscuits are one of my favorite things to make…not too mention they are simple and delicious! Once you try them, you’ll honestly never go back to buying canned biscuits again. I have a recipe that’s from right near my hometown that I have been using for years, with fantastic results every time. Today I decided to add 1/4 cup of aged white cheddar, 1/2 tsp of chives, and a small amount of chopped sage to my favorite biscuit recipe.  I hope that you’ll give them a try soon! You’ll have them prepared and in the oven in less than 10 minutes.

I know for some, the idea of making homemade gravy is a little daunting. I have a slurry maker from Pampered Chef that makes this task super easy. All I do is add a few tablespoons of flour to about a cup of milk with fresh cracked black pepper and within 5 minutes of cooking a delicious gravy is formed. If you don’t have a slurry maker, you can make this without problem by whisking together the flour and milk together before adding it to your pan. It’s really that simple!

The Ingredients:

  • 1 lb of chorizo sausage or sausage of your choice; ours was spicy chorizo so I didn’t have to add many spices but if you buy plain I’d recommend adding red pepper flakes, black pepper, and fresh herbs
  • 3 tbs flour
  • 1 cup of milk + more to add to pan until desired amount of gravy is made
  • Salt and fresh cracked black pepper

Read the rest of this entry

Chicken Pad Thai II

Standard
Chicken Pad Thai II

Lately, I have been obsessed with Thai food. For whatever reason I have become insatiable when it comes to the stuff. It took all I had tonight not to order it while studying for my big exam this week. Anyhow, I decided to experiment a little and see what I could come up with the other day. I was pleasantly  surprised with my new twist (considering I’ve only made it a few times before). It was perfectly citrusy and spicy at the same time. I think it tastes a little more authentic then my original Pad Thai recipe I adapted from one of my cook books. You’ll have to give it a try and see which one you prefer. Hopefully, my cravings will subside long enough for me to share the recipe before I find myself in the kitchen making another batch. Also, this recipe is easily adapted and will taste great if you decide to add shrimp or tofu in place of chicken. I hope you enjoy it!

The Ingredients:

Makes 4-6 servings

  • 8oz package of Pad Thai noodles–I used Brown Rice Noodles made with 100% whole grain
  • 2 tsp canola oil
  • 2-3 cloves of fresh garlic
  • 3/4-1 lb chicken breast; if you put chicken in the freezer a few minutes before slicing, it makes it a lot easier to slice into thin strips 
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 pound bean sprouts; they were out at Whole Foods, so if I could have I would have totally added these to this recipe
  • 1 ounce chives–roughly chopped
  • For the sauce:
    • Juice of 2 whole limes- mine were small, you could probably get away with using one large lime 
    • 3 tbs fish sauce
    • 1 tbs sugar
    • 2-3 tbs of Sriracha; we like things spicy, so adjust based on your heat preference
    • 2-3 large shallots, finely diced
    • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped peanuts Read the rest of this entry