Friday, December 30, 2011

Family Dinner--post 2

So I kind of backed into an appetizer.  I needed something no bake as my one, single oven will be in use for the bird.

I could do cheese and crackers, but those choices were so overwhelming.  Maybe because I am always trying to up my veggie intake, I opted for crudites.  And what a beautiful, rainbow-esque crudites it will be.  I have red bell peppers, carrots, yellow grape tomatoes, broccoli, and these beautiful and fun carrot-shaped radishes.  I bought premade dips...ranch because while I hate it, it does seem to be popular; and french onion, because, really who doesn't like onion dip.

Tomorrow will be a crazy busy cooking day.  I have to salt the bird--inside and out, wrap in plastic wrap and continue to chill.  I will also be making my cheesecake.

Have I told you about my pumpkin cheesecake?  I am using parts of three different 4 fork recipes (on epicurious).  The piece de resistance is the pecan caramel sauce that gets served with it.  Oh, and there is bourbon throughout.  Yum!

Other cooking/prep work includes blanching the broccoli, and prepping the remaining cruidites.

I will also have Josh add the leaves to the table so I can set it.

Today I am supposed to be cleaning my house.  You can see how enthusiastic I am about that.

Dinner tonight is a pasta casserole from the freezer.

What are you having?

happy cooking

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Family Dinner--post 1

So I'm having the family (Josh's--mine lives in SC) for dinner on January 1, 2012.

We will be having turkey with all the fixin's.   Okay, maybe not ALL the fixin's.  Just the ones I really like!

What are they, you ask?  First and foremost is cranberry sauce.  In fact this cranberry sauce.  I know, it has more cherries than cranberries...but it is oh-so-yummy.

And I can make it advance.  Like today.  I think I will.

The rest of the meal is stuffing (maybe boxed, maybe not--haven't decided), green beans, and the star is the turkey.  I saw Michael Symon (on the Chew) prepare it in a very unique way.  You soak cheese cloth in this wonderful butter/herb/stock/lemon potion and cover the breast with a double layer of the cloth.  No need to open the oven for basting.  When your bird is cooked you will be rewarded with a perfectly golden skin.  Woohoo!

Now I have to see how much Madeira I have (subbing for Marsala) for cranberry sauce.

Dinner tonight is sausage/pepper/onion baked rigatoni.  How 'bout you?

happy cooking

Friday, December 9, 2011

Crazy Cooking

So I am about to continue my cooking for  Sunday's Pioneer Luncheon.

Okay, so far I've only toasted the pecans for the ham glaze.  That's something!  It still counts. 

I need to finish the glaze this afternoon.  Apple cider, bourbon...yum.  Crushed toasted pecans, molasses, dry mustard.  YUM!  I've done this's really good.

Tomorrow, after FS, I have to make Moroccan Spiced apples.  Small dice; tossed in EVOO and baked for 10 minutes and then tossed with this yummy spice mixture, and baked again.

I will also make my Flourless Chocolate Cake tomorrow.  Good thing I got my WT done today. Yay Josh for that one!

Sunday, I will rush home after the meeting to bring my oven up to 425 in order to bake the ham. (It's really just a matter of warming it.  It's fully cooked and spiral cut...and I got it for $.99 a lb!  WOOOHOOO!)  While the degrees are warming, I will press the glaze all over the ham and line the platter with the kale that I purchased on Wed.

Maybe I will warm the apples. Probably I'll let MC do that at her place.

Now, my only dilemma is whether to bake the ham cut side down or not.  Any thoughts?

happy cooking

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Pot Roasted Chicken with Sweet Potatoes and Onions

...and parsnips... 'cause I love 'em!

So I belong to the "Cooking Club."  Most of the time I throw the magazine with out making any of the recipes.  This issue (Winter 2012) has a recipe that I am  going to make.  Tonight, in fact.

I'm not going to retype the recipe, but I can give you the highlights.

1.  mix S&P, poultry seasoning, and thyme with softened unsalted butter
2.  coat chicken (in my case bone-in, skin-on breasts and thighs) with half butter mixture
3.  brown poultry in olive oil and remove
4.  add onions, garlic (parsnips) and sweet potato rounds in stages
5.  stir in remaining butter mixture
6.  add chicken back to the pot, nestling in one layer over veggies
7.  press a parchment round over everything, put the lid on the pot and bake for one hour at 350

This is dinner tonight.  How 'bout you?

happy cooking

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Sausage gravy or meat sauce?

What was intended as one thing snowballed into another.  Why?  Mostly, I think, because I was shopping while hungry.

I went into a local market to get Fat Free Half and Half.  (My super-fabulous market doesn't carry the half-gallon size.)  $20 later I came out with more Italian sausage and ground beef.

I had to go to a second local market (honestly, other end of the same strip center) to get ice cream.  Again, $20 later I came out with a focaccia (which was already stale, as it turns out) and a host of junk food things for my lunch.  Okay, not entirely junk food...there were peppers and onion with the cheese and Doritos.

So when it came time to make the gravy, I dug some bacon out of the freezer, used all of the sausage, the ground beef, and just for good measure, I threw in a flank steak.  After 2 hours in the pot with tomatoes and wine, the flank steak shredded beautifully.

All in all Josh was thrilled.  It's not really my cup of tea (or gravy), but I cook for the man that loves me.  He has 4 lunches out of it (one today, 2 tomorrow...he's working a late shift, and one for the weekend).  There's also a container of sauce in the freezer.

Dinner here tonight is pizza.  What are you cooking?

happy cooking