Monthly Archives: November 2007

Taco Salad Night

So tonight I got creative with some ground beef, black beans, taco seasoning, and other stuff (romaine lettuce, blue corn tortilla chips, a perfectly ripe avacado, a little shredded montery jack cheese, and a spoonful or 2 of leftover salsa verde). The whole thing was dusted with some powdered cumin and garnised with parsley masquerading as cilantro since we didn’t have any. 🙂 

Dessert got a little too toasty, but was cinnamon sugar “chips”…flour tortillas brushed with melted butter and sprinkled with sugar, cinnamon, and a little salt. Bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes, or until browned and crispy (but not quite as long as I baked mine. 🙂   ). Let cool, then break into smaller pieces and serve. I like to serve them with ice cream, but we were sans ice cream tonight!

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Naughty or Nice?

Tonight’s dinner was based around a leftover Honey Mustard Marinated Chicken Breast (pre-marinated…bought it at Wegman’s), and some “Naughty or Nice” pasta from a school fundraiser. The pasta is so cute! I bought one for just about every holiday…a few for Christmas, actually. It’s regular, all natural pasta in fun shapes.

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I made the pasta with Wegman’s Alfredo Sauce (the kind you get in the refrigerator aisle), and topped it with some black pepper and fresh parsley. To go with the pasta, I cooked the chicken breast until it was almost done in a skillet with olive oil, then cut it into slices and finished it off in the pan. For extra flavor, I added maybe a half tablespoon of butter to the pan and cooked it for about 1.5 min….I’m totally newly addicted to brown butter. 🙂  The dinner was complete with a salad of romaine and balsamic vinagrette. Mmmm.

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Thanksgiving 07, Part II

Thanksgiving 07 was a success!  The menu:

Roasted Cashews with Garlic and Sage (Recipe from Food and Wine, Nov. 07 issue)
Cheese and crackers (we had a cow cheese and a sheep/goat cheese combo separated with a line of grape vine ash…all American because I decided it was appropriate, TG being an American holidlay and all. 🙂  )
Cranberry Pear Bellinis (Recipe from Everyday Food, Dec. 07 issue)

Herb Roasted Turkey with White Wine Gravy (EF, Nov. 07)
Mushroom Sage Stuffing (EF, Nov. 07)
Cranberry Ginger Relish (EF, Nov. 07)
Green Bean Salad with Crispy Shallots and Bacon (EF, Nov. 07, omitting watercress and adding crumbled bacon)
Truffled Smashed Root Vegetables (adapted from a combination of recipes from Cooking Light, Nov. 07)

Maple Nut Tart (EF, Nov. 07) with Fresh Whipped Cream
Flambeed Irish Coffee (adapted from watching the chef make it at the Accomac. Totally wish I had a pic of this. 🙂  )

First, I totally splurged and bought the kitchen scale I’ve been wanting from Williams-Sonoma, and I took a photo shoot of it weighing my breadcrumbs because I was so excited!

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More stuffing preparation: I was excited that we were adding mushrooms to the mix this year. We used shiitakes, baby portabellas, and oyster mushrooms.

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So we got a Heritage Free Range Turkey this year from Mary’s (www.marysturkeys.com) This means that instead of living 3 months in a cage and being fed growth hormones, artificial whatever, etc., our turkey lived at least 8 months, was fed natural food, and was free to roam around. We ordered it from Wegman’s, and were so excited to try it out. There was hardly any fat on the bird, and the meat was a litte more dense than a broad-breasted white (typical turkey). I actually think we cooked it a tad too long, but our meat thermometer is acting a little funky.  Here are some pics of our turkey…

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Mary’s Turkey packaging – visit www.marysturkeys.com!

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The turkey has gotten a butter rub down and is in its final prep stages.
Thank God my husband doesn’t mind raw poultry. 🙂

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He’s all done and crispy! Mmm.

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The plating process begins (see cashews as well!)

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I just think this is a cool shot…my husband is totally hired to take pics. 😉

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The final table set up (we just had 6 people)

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…and finally, a fuzzy pic of the Maple Nut Tart, pre-display.

Thanksgiving 07, Part I

So the cooking festivities began last night with a spontaneous trip to Williams Sonoma for a food scale (which I’ve been wanting for about a year and a half now…woooooooo!) and the making of Cranberry Ginger Relish.   Recipe from Everyday Food, November 2007 issue.

Serves 8

  • 1 bag (12 ounces) fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar or red-wine vinegar

Directions

  1. In a large saucepan, bring cranberries, sugar, ginger, and 2 tablespoons water to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until most of the cranberries have popped, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in vinegar.
  2. Remove relish from heat. Let cool to room temperature, and serve (or refrigerate in an airtight container up to 3 days).

It came out really well. Here’s a pic of my cranberries, bubbling away!

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