Sunday, December 16, 2007

Thanksgiving 2007

So I've been pretty slack on the food blogging lately. Here are the pics from our Thankgiving. Actually on Thanksgiving Don and I dined at Waffle House on bacon, egg, and cheese sandwiches...we entertained the weekend after. Thank you to Kim, Ceteka, Sibley, Jennifer, Eric, and Chon for joining Don and I for dinner and Trivial Pursuit.

Turkey with White Truffle Gravy

For the turkey I just coated it with some melted butter and added kosher salt and fresh pepper. I roasted it on 325 and covered it with aluminum foil halfway through. Tips on prepairing a turkey.
I served the turkey with a truffle gravy - I got the recipe from Cooking Light magazine.

Truffle Gravy
4 cups water
2/3 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup chopped carrot
1/3 cup chopped celery
6 black peppercorns
4 parsley sprigs
2 thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
3 1/2 Tblsp all-purpose flour
1 tsp white truffle oil

To prepare gravy, while turkey roats, heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Coat pan wiht cooking spray. Add reserved turkey neck and giblets to pan; cook 5 minutes, browning on all sides. Add 4 cups water and next 7 ingredients (through bay leaf); bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer until liquid is reduced to about 2 1/2 cups (about 1 hour). Strain through a colander over a bowl. Discard solids. Return mixture to the saucepan; stir in 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. Place a zip-top plastic bag inside a 2-cup glass measuring cup. Pour turkey pan drippings into back; let stand 10 minutes (fat will rise to the top). Seal bag; carefully snip off 1 bottom corner of the bag. Drain drippings into strained stock in saucepan, stopping befoe fat layer reaches opening; discard fat. Combine 1/2 cup stock mixture and flour in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Stir flour mixture into stock. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat, simmer 3 minutes or slightly thickened. Remove from heat; add oil, stirring with a whisk.

Cranberry Salsa

This is a cranberry salsa that I served before dinner with blue corn chips. I actually got the recipe from a lady at work:
1 bag fresh cranberries
4-5 scallions coarsely chopped
1 cup cilantro (her recipe said 3, it was way too much and I had to add more cranberries)
1 1/2 cup mint leaves
2 Tblsp jalapeno pepper
1 Tblsp orange zest
1/4 cup orange juice
1/2 cup honey
2 Tblsp fresh lime juice
2-3 dashes Tabasco
Chop all ingredients from cranberries down to orange zest in a food processor. Combine the last 4 ingredients and mix into the chopped ingredients. Place in fridge for at least 1 hour and serve with blue corn chips (it's prettier that way).

Raspberry Chipotle Sauce with Cream Cheese

I served this before dinner as well. Thanks to Ceteka for introducing this raspberry chipotle sauce (which I purchased at Whole Foods). I just poured some of the sauce over some cream cheese and served with water crackers. I've also used the sauce on chicken and pork tenderloin. It's amazing. I recently saw in Kroger that the company (Bronco Bob's) also makes a chipotle bacon sauce I think - which I will totally be purchasing.

Green Bean Casserole

To make my green bean casserole, I simply follow the directions on the back of French's Fried Onions. I use two regular sized cans of cut green beans.

Squash Souffle

I got this recipe from Gourmet magazine about a year ago.
3 Tblsp unsalted butter plus additional greasing
3 Tblsp all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 package frozen winter squash puree, thawed (I used Cascade Farm winter squash that I
found at Whole Foods)
1 cup coarsely grated swiss cheese
1 Tblsp packed brown sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg (I used just powdered nutmeg)
3 large egg yolks
4 large egg whites

Generously butter a 2-quart shallow ceramic or glass baking dish.
Melt butter in a 2-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat until foam subsides, then add flour and cook roux, whisking, 2 minutes. Add milk in a slow stream and boil, whisking, then reduce heat and simmer, whisking occasionally, until thickened, about 3 minutes. Whisk in squash, cheese, brown sugar, salt, cayenne, and nutmeg until combined (mixture may not be completely smooth), then transfer to a large bowl and whisk in yolks.
Beat whites with a pinch of salt in another bowl with an electric mixer until they just hold stiff peaks. Fold one fourth of whites into squash mixture to lighten, then fold in remaining whites gently but thoroughly. Spoon into baking dish and bake, uncovered, 15 minutes. Loosely cover top with foil and bake until puffed, golden brown, and just set, 25-30 minutes. Serve immediately with freshly ground pepper.

Sage Stuffing

This recipe was my great grandmother's. First, I made a pan of buttermilk corn bread (I just used the recipe on the back of the corn meal bag). Crumble the cornbread into a large mixing bowl. I also baked 1 can of flaky biscuits (I used Pilsbury) and crumbled those and combined them with the cornbread. Next, add some dried sage. I used ALOT of sage (6 Tblsp maybe?). I mixed everything together and placed in a brown paper bag overnight. The next day, I sauted a chopped yellow onion and 2 stalks of chopped celery with some butter and combined it with the bread/sage mixture. Next, I added 2 cans of chicken broth (you can also use the broth from the turkey) to the mixture, 1 raw egg, 2 hard boiled eggs chopped, and about 3 more tblsp of sage. I mixed everything together and baked in the oven on 350 until browned (20-30 minutes?).

Sweet Potato Casserole

For the sweet potato casserole, peel 4 sweet potatoes and cut into large chunks. Boil the sweet potatoes until tender with fork. Drain and place back into pot. Add 3 tblsp butter, 1 tbsp packed brown sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg. Mash sweet potatoes and ingredients. Add just a bit of milk until creamy. Place mixture in a glass dish. For the topping, melt some butter in a sauce pan and add some brown sugar (3 tblsp butter and 4 tblsp brown sugar?). Spread the mixture on top of the sweet potato mixture. I am not sure about the amounts of butter to brown sugar ratio for the topping, I usually just wing it. Next, sprinkle some chopped pecans on top and then crumble some cornflakes over that. Bake in oven on 350 until corn flakes begin to brown.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Steak Tacos

They taste even better than they look.

1 lb flank steak
3 tblsp soy sauce
3 tblsp worcestershire sauce
1 tblsp barbeque sauce
1/2 tblsp garlic sauce

First, combine above ingredients and marinade steak in mixture. I had planned on doing so for 30 minutes or so but ended up not cooking them that night so they marinaded for 24 hours.

2 tblsp garlic powder
2 tblsp cumin
2 tblsp paprika
1 tsp chipotle powder
3 tsp kosher salt

Cut the steak into slices. Combine above ingredients and coat steak slices in the mixture. Heat 1/8 cup of oil over medium heat and cook steak slices. While steak is cooking, warm flour tortillias in oven.

Red cabbage
1/4 cup sour cream mixed with juice of 1 lime
vidalia onions and bell peppers (baked in 350 degree onion for 10-15 minutes)
guacamole (avocado, chopped cilantro, juice of 1 lime, chopped tomato)
shredded colby jack cheese

I served with a side of black beans - I took the beans from the can and added a tablespoon or two of the sauce that was left over after cooking the steak.

Roasted Beet Salad

fresh beets
goat cheese
baby spinach
extra virgin olive oil
balsamic vinegar
brown sugar

To roast the beets, place each one in aluminum foil as you would when baking a potato (do not pierce with a fork though). Place in 400 degree oven for about 40 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes and then remove skin by roughly rubbing your finger tips along the skin. It is easier if you do this under cool water.
While the beets are roasting, candy the walnuts. Place 1/2 tblsp butter and 1/2 tblsp brown sugar in a pan over medium low heat. Add chopped walnuts (a small handful) and heat while turning for 3-5 minutes.
I made a dressing with 2 tblsp extra virgin olive oil, 1 tsp balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper. I'm not 100% sure on the measurements, I just eyeballed it and tasted to make sure it was ok.
Toss the spinach in the dressing and divide onto plates.
Top with crumbled goat cheese, walnuts, and beets.

Summer Salad

This was a side dish I made for cookout with friends.

3 ripe avocados
2-3 limes
1 vidalia onion
fresh cilantro
fresh mint
1 tomato
1 cucumber
kosher salt
fresh ground pepper

Dice the avocado, onion, cucumber, and tomato. Keep the toss the avocado in the juice of the limes (this will keep them from turning brown) in a large bowl. Add the onion, cucumber, and tomato. Finely chop the cilantro (1-2 tblsp) and mint (1/2-1 tblsp). Mix all remaining ingredients together.

Turkey Burger

This is something I make fairly often because it is easy, healthy, and quite tasty. We think they are good enough on their own and don't use a bun or cheese.

1 lb ground turkey
1 package onion soup mix
1/2 vidalia onion
fresh basil
1 tblsp chopped garlic
kosher salt
fresh ground pepper
3 tblsp soy sauce
3 tblsp worcestershire sauce
1/2 tblsp herbes de provence

I cooked mine on a George Foreman grill because it's fast and easy and we don't have a grill right now. If you use ground turkey breast, I would suggest adding an egg as the turkey breast has less fat and they will tend to dry out and not hold together as well in cooking.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Roasted Pear Salad

I made this about a month or so ago, but never got around to posting it. We ate this as our side with dinner. Use you need 1/2 pear per person.

1 pear, halved and peeled
1/2 lemon
1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles
fresh ground pepper
2 tsp white wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
mixed greens

Preheat oven to 400. Toss pear halves in lemon juice and them place on a greased baking dish. Stir cheese and pepper together and fill pears with the mixture. Bake for 20 minutes. Whisk vinegar and oil. Toss greens with dressing and place pear in center. Serve.
*I also added some homemade candied walnuts to ours. While the pear was baking, I placed a few tablespoons of chopped walnuts in a pan with a small amount of butter and brown sugar. I heated and stirred for five minutes maybe and placed them on a paper towel until I was ready to top the salad with them.


This was my first attempt at ceviche, and it turned out pretty well. This recipe makes enough for an appetizer for about 4 people. Don and I actually just ate it as our dinner though.

1/2 lb tilapia
1/2 peeled, deveined shrimp
3 limes
1/4 grapefruit
1/2 red onion
4 garlic cloves
kosher salt
fresh ground pepper

Just in case you aren't familiar with ceviche, do not cook the fish or shrimp. Cut the fish and shrimp finely. Add the juice of the limes and grapefruit. The acid from the citrus fruit is what cooks the fish. Chop other ingredients and add all but the onion to the fish and citrus juice mixture. Stir ingredients together and place red onion on top. Refrigerate for an hour. Stir red onion into mixture and garnish with avocado slices.

We ate ours with tortilla chips, but crackers work as well. I did not add a jalapeno to this since I don't like spicy hot food. If you do, I would suggest adding one. Next time I think I will also use 1/2 of a grapefruit instead of 1/4.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Sauted Plums with Pistachio Ice Cream

Yum. I didn't get a good picture of this dessert, they were all pretty blurry. It looked much tastier in person and it was. I made it for 3 people, and used one plum per person. I got the idea for this recipe from a Bon Appetit magazine.

3 plums cut into slices
1 tblsp butter
1 tblsp brown sugar
pinch of allspice
pistachio ice cream

Over medium low heat, melt butter and add brown sugar along with allspice. Saute the plums until they become tender (~5 minutes). Spoon over ice cream. There will also be some sauce left in the pan from the plums. I recommend spooning some of that on top as well as it is oh so tasty.

Monday, August 13, 2007


A tasty appetizer or snack.

2 tomatoes
1 red onion
lots of basil
1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1-2 tblsp minced garlic
kosher salt
fresh ground pepper
2 tblsp margarine
1/2 loaf french bread

In a sauce pan, melt butter and 1 tblsp of garlic. Slice bread into 1/2 to 1 inch slices. Pour butter/garlic mixture on tops of sliced bread. Bake in oven (350 degrees for 5-10 minutes) until browned and crispy.

While bread is baking, chop tomato, onion, and basil. Combine all remaining ingredients in a bowl and mix. Place in refridgerator. Serve mixture over bread.

Baked Tilapia with Pineapple Salsa

A light dinner I cooked tonight. I added a side of sauted spinach as well.


2 filets of tilapia
1 tsp margarine
1-2 tsp balsamic vinegar
kosher salt
fresh ground pepper
4 slices of lemon

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place tilapia filets in a baking dish. Spread margarine over top of fish, sprinkle salt and pepper, drizzle balsamic over each filet, and place 2 lemon slices on each. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until fish flakes with a fork.

Pineapple Salsa

1 small can crushed pineapple
2 slices of red onion (~1/4 inch thick) finely chopped
1-2 tblsp chopped cilantro
juice from 1/4 lime

Combine all ingredients and refridgerate while fish bakes. Once fish is done cooking, serve with salsa on top.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Grilled Chicken Gnocchi in Lemon Cream Sauce

We had a similar dish a Cafe Intermezzo a few weeks ago, and it was pretty tasty so here's my attempt to recreate it.

Grilled Chicken

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast
1 tbls dried rosemary
1 tbls dried sage
1 tbls herbes de provence
1 tbls ground pepper
1/2 tbls kosher salt
1/2 tbls garlic powder

I combined the seasonings and then sprinkled each side of the chicken with the mixture. I then grilled the chicken on a George Foreman grill.


I purchased the gnocchi premade from Trader Joe's. To cook it, I placed the gnocchi in boiling water for 3-5 minutes.

Cream Sauce
1 Shallot
1 tbls margarine
1 cup light cream
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup baby bella mushrooms
1/4 cup fresh parmesean cheese
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
4-6 fresh sage leaves
4-6 fresh basil leaves
2 sprigs fresh thyme
fresh ground pepper to taste

First, I melted margarine in a pan and sauted shallot and mushrooms. I then added the cream and lemon juice. After about 3 minutes, I added parmesean cheese, the herbs, and pepper. Once cheese is melted, the sauce is done. ( I also added artichoke hearts to ours as well since I got a 5lb can from work).

I cut up the grilled chicken, and then tossed it with the sauce and gnocchi.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Glazed Pork Chops with Georia Chutney and Spinach Salad

Spinach Salad

1 bag baby spinach
1 sweet onion
1 tsp margarine
3 tblsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tblsp lemon juice
1 tsp balsamic
kosher salt
fresh ground pepper
dried cherries
sunflower seeds
fresh grated Parmesan cheese (goat preferred)

Saute 1/2 of a sweet or white onion w/ a little bit of margarine until it becomes slightly translucent. For a light dressing I combined 3tblspoons of EVO with 1 tblspoon lemon juice, 1 tsp balsamic, pinch of kosher salt, and 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper in a small bowl. I then tossed 1/2 of a bag of baby spinach with the dressing. *taste dressing before you toss in spinach ours could have used some more lemon and I'm not 100% sure on the measurements since I just threw things in. Place spinach on salad plates and add onions, dried cherries, sunflower seeds, and we used Parmesan b/c that's all we had, would be better with goat cheese.

Pork Chops

2 butterfly pork chops
3 tblsp soy sauce
1 tblsp honey
1/4 tsp ground ginger

2 butterfly pork chops. Combine 3 tblspoons soy and 1 tblespoon honey with 1/4 tsp ground ginger. Pour sauce on both sides of Pork chops. The first time I made this I browned pork chops in skillet with 1 tbls olive oil over medium heat. I browned both sides (2-3 minutes maybe on both sides). Place pork chops in dish and then pour over any remaining sauce. I then sprinkle kosher salt and fresh ground pepper on each side. Bake in pre heated oven of 325 for 20-25 minutes. (check at 20 minutes, depending on thickness and whether you browned them in skillet, they might be done).

Georgia Chutney

2 Cups frozen peaches cut into bite size pieces
1 cup chopped sweet onion
2 packed tspoons light brown sugar

Place ingredients in a small pan over medium low heat. Cover. Allow to simmer ~25 minutes, Stirring occasionally. Since we only had 2 pork chops, we had left over chutney. You may want to cut the ingredients in half if only for 2 people. Should be done in 15-20 minutes if you do that.

Morroccan Chicken with Parmesan Couscous and Vegetables

So this chicken is really, really, yellow. Like disgustingly yellow. It reminds me of a scene from the movie National Lampoons Vegas Vacation...the scene where they are in the buffet line and they have pan after pan of disgusting slop. One of the pans contained a blue gelatinous slop. I'm pretty sure this chicken was in the pan next to the blue stuff. Anyway, it's the turmeric in the chicken that makes it look so freaky...but it was tasty. This is how I made my buffet line slop:


Boneless, skinless chicken breast
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 Tbls chopped cilantro
1 Tsp turmeric
1 Tsp cumin
1 Tsp ginger
1 Tsp coriander
3/4 Tsp salt
1/2 Tsp pepper

Combine everything except chicken in a large zip lock storage bag. Blend well. Add chicken and shake to evenly coat chicken with mixture. Place on grill until done, or I did ours in the oven on the broiling pan at 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes, turning once.


Bird's Eye Steamers frozen Spring Vegetables in Citrus Sauce

Parmesan Couscous

1 can chicken broth (~2 cups)
Box of couscous (just over 1 cup)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Boil chicken broth, remove from heat, add couscous and stir in cheese. Done in 5 minutes.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Hanger Steak with Sweet Potato Fries and Broccolini

I used a hanger steak in this recipe, however any steak will do. Hanger steak is kind of hard to find, I usually get it from Whole Foods or DeKalb Farmer's Market. Mmmm, cows are yummy. I usually tenderize my steaks first and then marinate them for 24 hours. I would have prefered to do the steak on the grill, however we don't have one at the moment, so I broiled it in the oven.

Hanger Steak

1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup light soy sauce
1/2 Tbls garlic powder
1 Tbls bbq sauce (I used Heinze honey bbq)

Tenderize both sides with a meat tenderizer. Marinate over night. Pour remaining Marinade on steak and add to both sides kosher salt, fresh pepper, Herbes de Provence. Cook on grill or broil in oven. I like my cow still bleeding-as it reminds me that I'm higher on the food chain, so usually cook mine medium rare.


1/2 - 1 Tbls margarine
1 Tbls minced garlic
1/4 lemon
Kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper

Place in boiling water for 3-5 minutes. Remove and toss with margarine and minced garlic. Squeeze juice from lemon and salt and pepper to taste.

Baked Sweet Potato Fries

2 small sweet potatoes
1 Tbls margarine
1/2 - 1 Tbls cinnamon

Peel 2 small sweet potatoes and cut into fries. Melt 1 tblsp margarine. Toss fries and margarine in a bowl along with cinnamon. Once fries are well coated, place on a baking pan. Bake for about 30 minutes at 425 degrees, turning once.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Shrimp with lemon cream sauce

This is a shrimp dish that I served over a parmesan risotto with a side of roasted garlic spinach. We drank a bottle of Stump Jump, which is a Grenache/Shiraz/Mourvedre blend (~$11). First I attempted to roast the garlic...this did not turn out so well. First took the skin off the cloves (which I think was my mistake), and placed on a baking sheet with olive oil. I placed them in the oven on 400 degrees for 30 minutes. They came out kind of burnt and I extracted the insides. Next time I will not attempt to bake individual skinless cloves, actually I probably won't bother roasting the garlic again for the spinach as it's more trouble and time consuming than it's worth. Anyway, here's the recipe:

Lundberg Risotto - Creamy Parmesan (Whole Foods or Dekalb Farmer's Market)
*Takes ~25 minutes to make

Bag of baby organic
1 Tbls extra virgin olive oil
1/2 Tbls margarine
Roasted garlic cloves
Salt & Pepper

*Heat olive oil over medium heat in skillet and add spinach. Once spinach reduces about
halfway add garlic cloves and margarine. Once done, add salt and pepper to taste.

1 lb medium shrimp
2 minced shallots
1-2 Tbls minced garlic
~ 1 Tbls Herbes de Provence
~1/4 Cup Light Cream
White cooking wine (maybe 1/8 cup?)
4 chopped green onions
Fresh basil
Pakage of mixed mushrooms (Crimini, Shitake, and Oyster), any mixed package will do
Lemon juice (1/8 cup?)
Freshly Grated Parmesan
Salt & Pepper

*Peel and depoop shrimp. Over Medium/Medium Low heat, melt margarine in skillet and add mushrooms and shallots. Saute in pan for about 2 minutes. Add lemon juice, white wine, and light cream. Stir (you might want to taste sauce at this point). Add basil, green onions, Herbes de Provence, Salt & Pepper, garlic, and shrimp. Cook while stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes (until shrimp is done). Once shrimp are almost done, add a small handful of freshly grated Parmesan cheese.