Tuesday, November 22, 2011
-deviled eggs (don't really have a recipe for this! I will write down what I do when I make them)
-pepper jelly over cream cheese, served with crackers (appetizer- better than it sounds!)
-cranberry sauce (the recipe on the back of the bag of cranberries)
-salad (this Apple Harvest Salad, my mom made it recently and said it was great)
-rolls (a slightly altered version of these from Southern Plate)
-macaroni and cheese (altered version of this one, which is the BEST mac and cheese and the recipe behind my blog's name!)
-fudge (altered version from the back of the marshmallow fluff jar)
Our friends will be making the turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, stuffing and dessert. Then the day after T-Day my husband and I will have our own little Thanksgiving! I will be making a batch of mashed potatoes (recipe coming) and sweet potato casserole, so we'll have those in addition to whatever leftovers we bring home. Usually I would cook a turkey and make gravy too but we want to cut back on the amount of meat we use and decided against the turkey.
I know my blog doesn't have many readers, but for whoever does read this (hi Angela!), what are you making?
Saturday, November 19, 2011
Last weekend we went to a potluck of sorts. Everyone brought/made some kind of pasta dish and we made homemade pasta (I now have about 2 1/2 pounds of homemade fettuccine in my freezer, yes!). Our contribution was Cincinnati Chili. It's supposed to be served over spaghetti so it did fit the theme of the evening even though everyone else brought Italian sauces. Also I've wanted to try Cincinnati Chili for years because it sounds so intriguing. As a cinnamon freak, the cinnamon and other spices piqued my interest, and anything served over pasta with shredded cheese on top is worth trying! After looking into it more, I learned that Cincinnati Chili was created by Macedonian and Greek immigrants. My favorite cuisine is Greek/Lebanese/etc so it's not too surprising that a Greek spin on chili would be appealing! And I was definitely not disappointed. The Cincinnati Chili turned out amazing! The flavor was great, a little different, still recognizable as chili. The flavor was very rich and deep and just generally yummy. My husband was a tad uncertain the first night but he happily ate leftovers with me for a couple of nights after that.
This is the base recipe that I used. Now I realize that hard core Cincinnati Chili fans would probably be highly offended because I used ground turkey and beans in my chili (you're supposed to use ground beef and then top it with kidney beans at the end), but that's how we like chili and I see no reason not to make recipes in ways that will appeal to us the most. Feel free to make the recipe as described though with 2 pounds of ground beef instead. Another thing to note is that I read it's more authentic if you boil the meat instead of browning it in a skillet. Boiling it results in much smaller pieces of meat. To do this, fill a large pot with cold water, add the ground meat and break it up thoroughly with your hands, then boil it until cooked through. Drain and proceed with the recipe.
1.25 lb ground turkey
2 16 oz cans pinto beans, drained
2 1/2 C beef broth
16 oz can tomato sauce
1/4 C chili powder
1 1/2 t onion powder
1 t ground cinnamon
1 t ground cumin
1/2 t salt
1/4 t ground allspice
1/4 t ground cloves
1/4 t cayenne pepper
2 T cider vinegar
1/4 C chocolate chips
Brown ground turkey in a skillet. Alternatively, you can cook the meat by placing it in a large pot of cold water and using your hands to thoroughly break it up, then boil until cooked through. Place in a 4 quart slow cooker with remaining ingredients except chocolate chips and stir to combine. Cover and cook on high for 2-3 hours or low for 5-8 hours (the amount of time isn't all that important). Stir in chocolate shortly before serving. Serve over spaghetti topped as desired with shredded cheddar and diced onions.
Yield: about 8 servings
Saturday, November 12, 2011
Garlic Roasted Broccoli
2 T olive oil
1 clove minced garlic
1/4 t salt
1/4 t pepper
2 heads broccoli, cut into florets
Preheat oven to 350 and line a 9 by 13 pan with foil. In a gallon Ziploc bag, combine oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Add broccoli, seal bag, and toss around until broccoli is evenly coated. Arrange in baking dish and bake until lightly browned and crisp tender, 15 to 20 minutes depending on the size of your florets and how cooked you want them. Serve the broccoli with lemon wedges so everyone can squeeze on as much as they like.
Yield: 4-6 servings
Monday, November 7, 2011
These pears are one of the things that was served a couple of times a month. The lunch ladies even served the pears on lettuce leaves so they looked pretty! If you haven't had pears with whipped cream and mini chocolate chips, you should definitely try it. The combination of flavors and textures is very good and is actually the only way my husband will eat pears because usually he hates the texture. You can use peaches instead if you want and pineapple is nice too.
canned pear halves
sweetened whipped cream
mini chocolate chips
Place pear halves in bowls. Top each with a little whipped cream, then sprinkle on the mini chocolate chips!
Sorry about the lack of a photo. You can click the link above if you want to see what it looks like!
Lentils and Rice
1 1/2 t salt
When the lentils and rice are done, saute the onions in a small amount of oil over medium heat until they're browned, stirring frequently. This will take about 10 minutes. Top the lentils and rice with plain yogurt and the cooked onions.
Yield: 8 servings
I know the recipe sounds plain because it's just sauteed veggies with salt and pepper, but they're really good. In the past I've tried adding spices and stuff to fajitas but they always ended up tasting like tacos that way! You can add a lot of additional flavor with condiments, and my favorite is chimichurri. From what I've read, it's Argentinean and usually made as a marinade for meat, but it's fantastic on fajitas too :) The chimichurri recipe is the result of my experimentation so I can't really say whether or not it's authentic. No picture of it unfortunately because we had salsa in the fridge to use up instead but chimichurri is great and VERY green :D
Note: You could add shrimp or a little bit of steak or chicken cut in strips if you want. If you do shrimp or steak you could probably toss it in with the squash. Chicken would be best cooked first and then removed from the skillet and added again at the end because of course you want to make sure it gets cooked through completely.
1 bunch cilantro, stems torn off and discarded
4 T olive oil
3 T white wine vinegar
2 T lime juice
1/4 t salt
1/8 t cayenne pepper
Place everything in the bowl of a food processor or blend and puree until well combined. Serve over fajitas.
3 T olive oil
1 onion, halved then sliced into 1/3 inch half rings
1 bell pepper, seeded and sliced into 1/2 inch strips
1/2 lb mushrooms, quartered
1 zucchini or summer squash, cut into 1/2 inch half moons
about 15 tiny grape tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 t salt
1/4 t pepper
small flour tortillas
chimichurri or salsa
guacamole (roughly mash an avocado with a little salt and lemon or lime juice)
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add onions and bell peppers and cook about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until veggies have nice saute marks and start to soften. Add mushrooms and cook about 5 minutes more, then add squash and cook about 3 minutes. Add garlic and saute another minute, then add tomatoes. Cook them just long enough to heat through and blister the skin. You don't want them to break up. Season veggies with salt and pepper. Place skillet on the middle of the table with flour tortillas and condiments on the side so everyone can put whatever they want on their fajitas.
Yield: About 8 fajitas