Thursday, November 27, 2008
Then the kids and I are headed off shortly to cheer on Rob, and our friends Mike and Liz in the Turkey Day 5K. Then it's home for brunch (Storebought Quiche - I only have so much time!, salad, fruit and bagels, and it sounds like Liz is making Mimosas). Then I'll start the serious cooking.
Right now I've got to get the turkey in the brine (it needs to be in there 6-8 hours). Then I'll probably dice the potatoes. When we get back from the 5K and have eaten brunch, I'll get the Garlic Parmesan Mashed Potatoes done and in the crockpot, I'll get the turkey in the oven by 2, and then work on the stuffing and Mushroom Strudel. Liz is making Shallot and Toasted Hazelnut Green Beans, and Maple Glazed Carrots (curtesy of Williams-Sonoma recipes). We pick up Jessy and John from the airport shuttle drop off at 4pm, and then we'll aim to eat dinner at 5:30pm.
I've got appetizers too! At about 3 I figure I'll set them out. I have smoked salmon spread and crackers, olives, and Italian Cashews. We have Syrah and Riesling for the wines.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I wish you a day filled with those you love, and a healthy, hearty meal. Let's take time today to thank God for all the things he has provided for us, and to pray for those who have less than we do today. There are so many people, here and especially in India today who are grieving instead of celebrating, and I am praying that God will wrap His arms around them, and that above all else they will know His love.
God's blessings on you today and always.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Today I'm getting groceries and picking up the Turkey. I'm going to dice potatoes for the mashed potatoes, make the pumpkin and pecan pies, make the filling for the strudel, and make the bread mixture, and the sausage mixture for the stuffing. Or I should say, I'm going to try! I figure whatever I get done will be helpful tomorrow. Tomorrow our friends and Rob are going to run the Turkey Day 5K, and then come home for brunch and to help with food. Rob and the kiddos will go pick up our other friends that are flying here in the afternoon.
On Friday the guys are going to go out mountain biking or something in the morning, and then come home between 2-3pm and let all the ladies get out. I was thinking of taking them to Boulder (never been) and then to the Indulge Wine Bar here in Highlands Ranch at night.
Saturday we are taking all our guests (and the kiddos of course!) to Breckenridge as they have never been there before. Then we have babysitting at night and we're going to go up to Denver for dinner.
I am so thankful for good friends, a healthy beautiful family, and this beautiful state that we live in. Happy Thanksgiving! and may you find many things to be thankful for in your life as well.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Today began the process of getting that Thanksgiving meal onto the table Thursday night.
There wasn't too much I can do today. Not only because I am babysitting two other kiddos in addition to my own, but just because that's about all I can do. Today I made the Double Cranberry Chutney from the recent Vegetarian Times magazine. I've never been a Cranberry Sauce fan, but I've never had it made from scratch either, so I thought I'd give it a try. It certainly smelled wonderful, and looks good too. I'm even contemplating leftover Cranberry Chutney over Ice Cream already......
Also the other thing I am doing today is making my grocery list for tomorrow. I wasn't able to get groceries today or yesterday as I've been babysitting, but that's okay. I can't pick up my turkey until tomorrow anyway. I ordered my turkey from The Vitamin Cottage. It's a Free Range Organic Turkey making it's way here from CA. Not frozen, so it should be yummy!
(Also of note: Vitamin Cottage now also has Healthy Eating on a Budget - Family of 4 under $20 for healthy meals)
pictures to come! We got a new camera! I just need to have Rob show me how to upload the pics.
Double Cranberry Chutney
Vegetarian Times November/December 2008
"The simple flavors of this sauce will satisfy the traditionalists at the table, while the chunky, chewy consistency will win over any foodies in the group"
My notes: This was easy to make with my new handheld juicer from Pampered Chef. It was however way more expensive to make for the little bit of chutney that came out of it. It says it serves 16, which maybe because you just use a little, but I maybe have 2 1/2 cups of chutney, and it cost $18 in ingredients. I wasn't budgeting out that much for chutney let me say! I think it's because I had to buy a whole bottle of Port ($5.99 for the cheapest) and it called for 4 cups of cranberries, and those Ocean Spray bags have about 3 1/2 cups, so I had to buy two). It better be as good as it looks! I used organic oranges, lemons, and sugar.
2 Tbs. fresh orange juice
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
4 cups fresh or frozen cranberries ( 2 - 12 oz packages)
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup ruby port
1/2 cup dried cranberries
3 Tbs finely diced crystallized ginger
2 Tbs. grated orange zest
1 Tbs. grated lemon zest
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1. Whisk together orange juice, lemon juice, cornstarch and mustard in a small bowl. Set aside.
2. Combine cranberries, sugar, port, dried cranberries, ginger, orange zest, lemon zest, cloves and a pinch of salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar.
3. Stir cornstarch mixture into saucepan. Reduce heat to meduim-low, and simmer 10 to 15 minutes, or until sauce is thick and berries have burst. Cool, and serve chilled or at room temperature.
Note: This recipe can be done a few days ahead; the extra chilling time with help the flavors marry.
Per 1/4 cup serving:
0 g protein
0 g fat
23 g carbs
0 mg chol
11 mg soduim
2 g fiber
19 g sugars
Thursday, November 20, 2008
We don't usually eat much meat and dairy, but hey, it's Thanksgiving! We're going all out :)
(click on the link below the picture that says "play now" to see the video. I'm all about the video. I don't think I've made a turkey before on my own. The video makes it seem do-able!)
For the vegetarian main dish:
Mushroom, Cheese and Vegetable Strudel
It's from my Vegetarian Times mag, but they don't have the recipe on their website. HOWEVER, I found this awesome blog post where someone has the recipe, and step by step pictures on how to make it
Also, this has less than 300 calories per serving!
Artichoke, Sausage, and Parmesan Cheese Stuffing
A recipe from my beloved Epicurious.com. :) (read the reviews for extra tips) I might break the recipe in half, and use imitation italian sausage in half of it to keep it vegetarian.
Let me know if anyone wants any of these recipes.....
My Mom's Garlic Parmesan Mashed Potatoes
Double Cranberry Chutney
(from the newest issue of Vegetarian Times)
Pecan Pie with Whole Wheat Pastry Crust
Pumpkin Pie with Whole Wheat Pastry Crust
I'm going to TRY, if I have time, to make some homemade Vanilla Ice Cream in
I was going to make a healthy Green Bean side dish, but it got vetoed in favor of that
Green Bean Casserole that everyone has had at least once in their life. Rob's plan is to ask our friend Mike (who is famous for making it) to make it while they are here, and he wants to record a video of Mike calling to ask his mom for the recipe. It's a guy thing. ;)
You'll notice that I went for a really traditional menu this year! I think as my kids get's older, I am starting to appreciate tradition more. And all of these things are things we love, and really we look forward to that pie each year, and those mashed potatoes, and we are sad when they are not there. So it's once a year, but if will build fond memories, and make my kid's want to come home for Thanksgiving when they get older, then hey - who am I to argue with tradition? :)
Plus I get to use our Christmas party to do all the interesting appetizers etc that I want to do this season. So now on to plan the menu for that.....yum!! Bring on the holidays!!
I did however still get to go observe the Culinary School of the Rockies Chef Track class on Tuesday night! (Thank you hubby) Wow, that was an adventure! It was fun, interesting, busy, intense, and eye-opening. I really felt like I was in a Chef's kitchen for the night. There were two Chef's teaching the class, and I didn't count, but I think about 16 students. The class is 15 weeks long and meets Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesdays from 5-10pm (really more like 11pm). There was maybe 45-60 minutes of teaching in the classroom and in the kitchen. Then they are broken up into two teams, given the menu for the night and a time to have it done by. It felt a little bit like Iron Chef America (is that the right show? I saw it in on a hotel TV once....two teams competing to get a menu done at a certain time) At first it was awkward because I wanted to ask questions, or ask them about the process, but everyone was racing and juggling so many things, I also didn't want to get in their way. Eventually people starting to grab me to help with things, and I had a blast. I was able to talk with people about why they chose the class, and what they hoped to do with their knowledge when they get out. I opened about 10 West Coast Oysters (I think my hand still hurts:) chopped, peeled, helped with presentation. Then about 10pm we sat down and ate!
I had NO idea Lobster bisque was so labor intensive. My guess is you'd want about 5 hours to do this right. We had about 3 1/2. Neither teams bisque was perfect, but nobody was complaining much when we ate it either :). Here is the menu for the evening.....
Sunday, November 16, 2008
picture from http://superspark.wordpress.com/
BAKE: 1 hour
COOK: 10 minutes
Makes 6 servings, about 2/3 cup each
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 small green pepper, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 medium tomatoes, chopped (about 4 cups)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1/4 teaspoon dried basil leaves
1/4 teaspoon fennel seed
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons margarine or butter
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
10 g fat
2 mg cholesterol
290 mg sodium
15 g carbohydrate
3 g protein
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
(credit to CookingLight.com for the recipe and picture.)
My notes: To make this vegan, simply leave out the sour cream. It's still delicious without.
The jalapeno in the salsa is the only thing you need to leave out if cooking for toddlers. I recommend making two batches, one with the jalapeno and one without.
I also added a little more veggie broth as it was cooking, as it seemed to get too thick to me.
6 servings (serving size: 1 cup chili, 1 tablespoon sour cream, 1 lime wedge, 3 chips, and and about 2 1/2 tablespoons avocado salsa)
2 teaspoons canola oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 (4.5-ounce) can chopped green chiles
2/3 cup uncooked quick-cooking barley
1/4 cup water
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained
1 (14.5-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can vegetable broth
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
6 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream
6 lime wedges
18 baked tortilla chips
Avocado Salsa (see below)
Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and bell pepper; sauté 3 minutes. Add chili powder and next 4 ingredients (chili powder through green chiles); cook 1 minute. Stir in barley and next 4 ingredients (barley through broth); bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes or until barley is tender. Stir in cilantro. Serve with sour cream, lime wedges, chips, and Avocado Salsa.
Note: Store chili in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
(Totals include Avocado Salsa)
Calories: 313 (29% from fat)
Fat: 10.1g (sat 2.2g,mono 4.8g,poly 1.6g)
Patsy Jamieson, Cooking Light, MARCH 2002
1 cup (serving size: about 2 1/2 tablespoons)
1/2 cup finely chopped peeled avocado
1/3 cup chopped seeded tomato
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon finely chopped seeded jalapeño pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
Combine all ingredients; toss mixture gently. Serve salsa immediately.
Calories: 59 (79% from fat)
Fat: 5.2g (sat 0.8g,mono 3.2g,poly 0.7g)
Patsy Jamieson, Cooking Light, MARCH 2002
Sunday, November 9, 2008
2 servings (serving size: 1 sandwich)
16 asparagus spears
3 tablespoons fat-free mayonnaise
1 tablespoon commercial pesto
2 (2-ounce) slices sourdough bread, toasted
2 (1-ounce) thin slices ham
4 (1/4-inch-thick) slices tomato
2 (1-ounce) slices part-skim mozzarella cheese
Freshly ground black pepper
Snap off tough ends of asparagus. Steam, covered, 2 minutes or until crisp-tender.
Combine mayonnaise and pesto in a bowl, and stir with a whisk. Spread 2 tablespoons pesto mixture onto 1 side of each bread slice. Layer each slice with 8 asparagus spears, 1 ham slice, 2 tomato slices, and 1 cheese slice. Place on a baking sheet; broil 3 minutes or until cheese melts. Sprinkle with pepper.
343 (30% from fat)
11.5g (sat 4.3g,mono 4.7g,poly 1.1g)
Cooking Light, MAY 2001
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Makes 6 servings, 1 cup each
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Last night we tried these Sprouted Corn tortillas (wheat free) and they were yummy. I used a veggie crumble (think garden burgers, but in a ground beef form) that was already seasoned with taco seasonings. I then shredded lettuce, grated some raw cheddar cheese, halved some cherry tomatoes for the kiddos, and got out some spicy peach salsa for mom and dad. It was yummy - but definitely for us the salsa made it. Otherwise it would have been bland.
Tonight I have leftover veggie crumbles so I'm making taco salad: romaine lettuce, corn, black olives, raw cheddar cheese, veggie crumbles, and whatever else I throw on there at the last minute. I'm serving it with Guiltless Gourmet baked Chili Lime chips, Evan's fresh raw salsa, and some guacamole. I can't wait until Rob gets here! :)
While we were in the midwest the Culinary School of the Rockies called twice, and offered for me to come in and observe a class. I called them back and I'm going in on the 18th to one of their classes that is apart of the Chef Track. It's focus will be on Fish and Seafood, and then finish the night off with a multi-course dinner and wine pairing (every night they do! can you imagine!!).
I get to listen to the lecture and participate as much as I want making the meal. I hope to get my hands in there as much as possible. I hope it's everything I hope it will be, and maybe I'll get to be a student there when little Analise makes her way to Kidnergarden!
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Monday, November 3, 2008
I was really happy with this recipe, and so was my husband and three kids. I think it combined the satisfying feeling of having eaten some midwestern comfort food, with the feeling of eating something new and adventurous at the same time. You could serve this as a vegetarian main dish, or my husband said he would also enjoy it over the holidays in lieu of mashed potatoes. All I know is I want to eat it again really soon! :)
I only wish I had my camera so I could have taken a picture of it!! We've got to get a new one soon. so sad. It was beautiful and rustic and I wish I could have shared it with you.
Here is a pic from someone else's blog, which I came across when I was searching for images to share. It's a before picture....you would then wrap the sides up.
When the sides are wrapped around it, it will look more like this:
and now that I saw that fruit one, I'm going to need to make one of those too!! :)
Asparagus and Goat Cheese Crostata
NOTE: This recipe forgets to tell you what to do with those chives they mention. I would assume to add them in with the potatoes.
2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. kosher salt
8 oz. unsalted butter, cold, cut into ½-inch cubes
1 large egg, lightly beaten
4–5 Tbsp. ice water
For egg wash:
1 large egg
1 Tbsp. water
6 small new potatoes (about 8 oz.), washed and thinly sliced
¾ c. heavy cream
zest of 1 lemon
1 Tbsp. fresh chives, chopped
1 Tbsp. kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 lb. tender spring asparagus
2–3 oz. goat cheese
Put flour and salt in food processor and pulse to combine. Add butter; pulse until butter is the size of peas. Add egg and pulse to combine. Add 4 Tbsp. of water and run machine until dough comes together in moist clumps. Add another Tbsp. of water and pulse again if too dry. Dump onto plastic wrap, shape into a disk, wrap, and refrigerate at least 2 hours. (Can be kept in the refrigerator overnight.)
Egg wash: Whisk together egg and water. Set aside.
Preparation: Slice potatoes less than 1⁄8 of an inch. In saucepan, add potatoes, cream, lemon zest, and salt and pepper, to taste. Bring to a boil. Turn heat down and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender and cream has reduced to almost a glaze. Set aside to cool.
Blanch asparagus for about 1–2 minutes. Remove from skillet and immediately plunge into an ice bath to stop the cooking. Remove asparagus and dry on a clean towel. Cut into 2-inch pieces and set aside.
Roll out dough, ¼-inch-thick by at least 12 inches in diameter. Layer the potato mixture in center of crostata, place asparagus on top, and finish with crumbled goat cheese. Fold dough border over filling, letting it drape gently over potato mixture.
The crostata will have a rustic, freeform appearance. Brush egg wash over folded dough. Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes, or until crust is golden brown. Remove from oven and let sit for at least 10 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve.
Sunday, November 2, 2008
(The only bummer is that I am pretty sure we lost our camera on the trip!!!! I am still hoping that it will turn up somewhere, at one of the last places we stayed, or in one of the dark scary corners of the van, so we'll see. I HOPE to have pictures soon to share. )
I am finally feeling a bit more back in the swing of things, after a whole week of trying to catch up. I still have a few phone calls to catch up on, and letters and packages to get in the mail, but overall I can tell I'm starting to get back into our life here. First of all, I actually feel like going to the gym tomorrow. :)
Also, another way I can tell, is that I have made my way back into the kitchen. After the typical couple of scattered unorganized trips to the grocery store the first week we were home, I finaly went this AM with an actual list, and we finally had a put together lunch and dinner. Speaking of...I've got to run and finish dinner (Asparagus and Goat Cheese Costata) and then I'll post recipes later. Enjoy the last few hours of the weekend!!!
Side note: I just realized I posted this yesterday and then never even wrote about the title!! hehe! The reason for the title was that when I got home from being out of town, it was so much fun to see how the in season produce had changed while we were gone. They had persimmons (eat them hard like an apple, and my favorite way is chopped up on a lettuce salad with maybe walnuts and goat cheese - yum!). They also had Pomegranites, which are SO yummy. The first time I opened one a couple of years ago I was shocked by what they looked like on the inside. Now pomegranites are more popular and so maybe you have opened one yourself. The kids think it's so funny to have a fruit where you ONLY eat the seeds, and I have to agree. But oh, those seeds are so yummy! They are also great sprinkled over salad. Or you can throw some in a Martini for some extra flair. An easy trick to help the mundane process along of getting the seeds out is to submerge the piece you are working on in a bowl of water. And thank you to my mom for showing me that you can also freeze them! So if you don't want to open more then one a season (and it makes a lot of seeds, about 1 1/2 cups) just freeze a bag, and take a few out every once in awhile when you are getting bored with salads. yumm!