Tomorrow is the big day of gathering with family and friends, and eating copious amounts of food. After the big food hangover you are left with a refrigerator filled with leftovers to get you through the next few days or week. Sure, the good ole turkey sandwich will do for one of those after T-day meals but here are a few other ideas to help you keep those bellies full and leftovers out of the kitchen.
Cheers to a Wonderfully Delicious & Happy Thanksgiving to you and your families!
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place a well greased baking dish to the side.
In a large bowl combine stuffing, turkey, eggs, 2 cups cheese, parsley, salt and pepper. Stir until well combined.
Pour mixture out into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining cheddar cheese over the top and place into the oven. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until cheese is melted and casserole is cooked through.
In a large heavy duty pot, add onions and olive oil and place over medium high heat. Saute onion for one minute and then add in the red pepper and jalpeno. Continue to saute for another minute. Next add lime zest, juice, turkey (or chicken if using), one cup of fresh cilantro, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper and continue to stir until well incorporated.
Next, slowly add the turkey stock into the pot and gently stir. Continue to cook for another 10-15 minutes until hot. Remove from heat.
To serve: place a handful of tortilla chips into the bottom of the serving bowls. Next ladle soup over the tortillas filling the bowl but leaving room at the top. Sprinkle 2 Tablespoons of cheddar cheese over the soup servings followed by a dollop of soup cream and a Tablespoon of cilantro. Serve.
I love to hear about family traditions, especially during the holidays. Some are serious traditions, like remembering those that are no longer with us by doing something special that they would have appreciated. Other traditions can be funny, like wrapping up the same present over and over and passing it on to a different family member every year. Last week, while having lunch with a friend we were talking about these and I asked her if she had any Thanksgiving traditions to share –– and she did. Her family, of several siblings, and their kiddos gather together at one house and bring foods that they are thankful for. These aren’t necessarily Thanksgiving dishes that are brought. It’s a combination of things from Key Lime Pies, to marshmallow dishes, to savory meats, to even breakfast foods such as waffles. After this conversation I couldn’t stop thinking about waffles so I decided to pull out the ole waffle maker and whip up some Cinnamon Swirl Pumpkin Waffles. Although we are a traditional Thanksgiving Day dinner family these might just end up making an appearance on our table this year.
Drizzle with cinnamon swirl mixture before serving.
In a large bowl combine pumpkin, milk, eggs, and butter and stir until well combined. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and stir until well combined. Add flour mixture into pumpkin mixture and continue to stir until well combined. Turn on waffle iron.
In a small bowl combine confectioners sugar with butter and cinnamon. Stir until well combined, then add in one Tablespoon of water at a time until desired consistency is reached, then set aside.
Once waffle iron is ready, add waffle mixture a 1/2 cup at time until iron is almost full but not completely -- waffle mix will spread out upon closure. Close waffle iron and cook to desired temperature or until the setting of your choice is complete. Remove waffles from the hot iron, top with cinnamon swirl mixture then maple syrup (and butter if desired) and serve. Continue process until all of the waffles are made.
During the holidays my mother would always make a “special” drink for us kids. It was basically sprite (which was a treat in itself) mixed with rainbow sherbert aka the sugar bomb. I have many fond memories of slurping copious amounts of this down while gaining many pink and orange mustaches over the years. To this day, she will still make this on special occasions, just now it’s for the grandkids and sometimes I will sneak a sip in for old times sake. I think this might be what got me started with craving bubbles in the first place during the holiday time. There’s just something about a glass of sparkly goodness that makes this girl happy. This year, I am making these slightly sweet and tangy Pomegranate Ginger Sparklers –– a not-so-big sugar explosion but still full of flavor. Don’t worry this cocktail is both adult and kid friendly, as I’ve included how to make the non-alcoholic version in the recipe below. This is the officially kick-off to the festivities and cheers to you!
Use the back of a spoon to peel ginger easily.
Smash, muddle, or squish those seeds into the ginger mix.
Place a small pan over high heat. Add in water, sugar, and ginger and bring to a boil. Continue to boil while stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves and the mixer is reduced by half. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.
Once cooled, place 1/2 of the pomegranate seeds into the mixture, in a separate bowl if necessary, and mash together until most of the seeds are popped. Strain mixture into a small pouring pitcher.
To assemble drinks. Pour 1-2 ounces of the ginger mix into each serving glass. Slowly add in sparkling wine (or water/sprite if making non-alcoholic version). Leave a little room at the top, sprinkle in a few pomegranate seeds and serve.
While my holiday food frenzy has already begun, for most, the holiday hoopla begins next week. You have your mind elsewhere (and that’s ok), or really, your mind is everywhere because it can all be a bit overwhelming. Well, I am here to help (hopefully), while you are busy planning that perfect turkey brine or fry time, picking out all of your vegetable friendly side dishes, cranberry sauces, rolls, cocktails (!), and of course pies, don’t forget to make something to keep everyone out of the kitchen: appetizers. I always recommend easy ones or the make ahead type, because frankly, who’s got time? Try this easy Pumpkin Seed Pesto Crostini. Blend it all together just before your guests arrive or make the pesto ahead of time. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly over the top of the finished pesto (pressing down) then cover the dish with a lid, or squeeze a bit of lemon juice over the top to keep it’s lovely color over night, then cover with a lid. Toast the crostini the day before and you are good to go. Want more starters for your feast? Below I’ve added a few more ideas for you to try. Keep the wine close and happy cooking!
Here are a few other great appetizers to pull together this season:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor add pumpkin seeds, olive oil, parmesan cheese, garlic, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Pulse until well combined and set aside.
Slice baguette into 1/4"-1/2" rounds, place onto a cookie sheet and toast for 4-8 minutes or until slightly golden in color. Remove from the oven and top each slice with a heaping teaspoon of pesto and serve.
Note: If making ahead of time, place a piece of plastic wrap directly over the top (pressing down) then cover the dish with a lid, or squeeze a bit of lemon juice over the top to keep it's lovely color over night, then cover with a lid. Toast the crostini the day before and you are good to go.
We have been huddled in the house for the last couple of weeks with some sort of virus — blah. First it was my youngest, followed by my oldest. These boys are very needed when they are ill too — geesh! Don’t get me wrong, I love them and enjoy all of the extra cuddling but it certainly made these last two weeks seem very long. I have come to realize thatwith this “cooler” weather and steady stream of boys lingering around the house I am finding my own comfort in two spots of warmth. One, I never realized just what I was missing until now that I have a car with seat warmers. Yay, for modernconveniences. They are truly amazing and have helped me with all of those mad dashes out into our 30 degree mornings for our under the weather supplies or school runs. Two, my other favorite way to warm up is with soup (or maybe a hot toddy, but that’s another post) and more specifically this Creamy Eggplant Soup. Creamy, spicy goodness in a bowl of warmth making days at home not so bad after all.
Watch the video here and/or grab the recipe below:
Place a heavy duty pan over medium high heat. Add in the butter, garlic, eggplant, potatoes, celery, and onion. Stir together well and let cook until everything is tender, about 20-25 minutes. Once tender add in the cumin, red pepper (if using), parsley, salt and pepper and stir together well and cook for another 5 minutes.
Next add in the vegetable stock and stir together until well combined. Cook until soup starts to thicken -- about 30-40 minutes. Finally, turn off the heat and slowly stir in the cream. Once well combined, serve soup.
I believe I have an aversion to the cold. I am not sure exactly when it all started. I remember a time when I loved the snow –– the magic of the holiday lights glowing on frosty, white dunes, sled-riding down our neighbors hilly driveway, and bundling up in so many layers of clothes that you could hardly move. Then, coming inside, slightly sweaty but rosy cheeked and slurping up as much hot coco with marshmallows as I could –– these were good times. Now, I am a complete wimp when it comes to the cold weather. Is it an age thing? or just living in the southern half of the states for so many years thing? I am not sure. One thing that I do know is that these “colder” days require more oven time. The oven not only helps to warm up the kitchen (and the house) but it’s great for making hearty fare even if you don’t leave your house all day due to the weather conditions. Who me? This Butternut Squash + Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie will warm you up right down to your very soul and on the (super) plus side you can eat it inside your cozy house. Stay warm my friends.
Place a large pot over medium high heat and add in potatoes and butternut squash and enough water to cover them by about a 1/2". Bring to a boil and cook until softened throughout -- about 10-12 minutes. Once softened drain off all of the water well. Add in heavy cream, egg yolk, honey, and salt and mix together until well combined and fairly smooth and set aside.
Place a heavy duty pan over medium high heat and add in ground meat and garlic. Stir and cook until meat has browned and cooked through completely. Drain off any excess oil, stir in green onions and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degree. In a small pan, add butter and flour and place over medium high heat. Whisk together until smooth and butter has melted completely. Next add in water and Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Stir until well combined and sauce is smooth. Pour mixture over the cooked ground meat and stir together well.
Place meat mixture into the bottom of a pie pan or 9" dish oven safe pan and spread out evenly. Next, top meat mixture with the butternut squash and sweet potato mixture and spread out evenly. Place into the oven and cook for 20-30 minutes or until cooked through and slightly golden on top.
Remove from the oven and serve.
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