Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012


Side Dishes

Main Course


Tracey's Texas Caviar

My girl Tracey brought this as an appetizer for our girls' vineyard trip up near Warrenton. Saying it was a crowd pleaser would be an understatement.  It was eaten up in maybe ten minutes and then it was all we could think about.... other than the wine of course!  The ingredients balance each other out perfectly... a little heat from the jalapenos and the sweet sauce, ugh, AMAZING!  The longer you marinate, the better.  I only had a couple of hours the last time I made it and it still tasted fabulous.  You just want to give the sauce some time to soak into the beans...mmmmmm.

1 Can Black-Eyed Peas
1 Can Shoepeg Corn
1 Can Black Beans
1 Jar Pimentos (diced)
1 Can Jalapenos (small)
1 Red Onion (chopped)
1 Cup Celerey (chopped)
1 Cup Olive Oil
1/2 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Cup Sugar

Rinse the first 5 ingredients in a colander.   Place the rinsed items into a large bowl.  Add the chopped onion and celery.

In a small sauce pan, add olive oil, vinegar and sugar.   Heat over medium until the sugar disolves (about 10 minutes).  Pour the sauce over the bean mixture.  Place the bowl in the refrigerate overnight.  Before serving, pour off the liquid.  Serve with Tostitos.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Pumpkin White Chocolate Chip Cookies

These are seriously the perfect fall treat.  The pumpkin puree makes the cookies so moist and have a muffin-like consistency.  You guys know I'm not a baker so I tried to stick to 100% to the recipe.  Luckily my good friend Allison was here to help teach me the baking ways :)  She tried to influence my dough rolling, but apparently I didn't understand. Make sure you use 2 T balls for your cookies or they will turn out like mine, monster blobs.... delicious monster blobs, but definitely not the prettiest cookie in the world! These would be a brilliant add-on to your Thanksgiving dessert menu if you are still searching! 

Recipe from Tasty Kitchen

2 1/4 Cups Flour
1 teas Baking Powder
1 teas Baking Soda
1 teas Cinnamon
2 teas Pumpkin Spice
1/2 teas Salt
2 Sticks of Butter (yikes...I said it was a treat!)
1 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Cup Pumpkin Puree 
1 Egg
1 teas Vanilla
2 Cups White Chocolate Chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

You need a big bowl, a KitchenAid Stand Mixer (or another big bowl and a hand mixer) and cookie sheets.

In the bowl, mix the first 6 ingredients until evenly combined.  In the mixer, add the butter, white sugar and brown sugar (it really helps if the butter is at room temperature).  Mix on medium speed for about 5-7 minutes or until the butter and sugar are creamed.  Now mix in the pumpkin puree, egg and vanilla.  With the speed on medium/low, add the dry ingredients little by little.  I would add a cup or so, wait until it was mixed and then add another cup.  When everything is combined, turn off the mixer and stir in the white chocolate chips.  

It was hard to roll legit balls because the dough is so moist.  Try to get two T of the dough in a round shape and place them a couple inches apart on your cookie sheet.

Bake the cookies for 12 minutes (our cookies were huge so we ended up baking them for about 15). 

(I have no idea why the picture has a yellow tint to it.)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Prosciutto Mozzarella Paninis

Some nights I just want to blink and have a warm, delicious dinner appear instantly.  The easiest way to save time and still eat something homemade is to try to simplify recipes and maximize ingredients already hanging out in your pantry. We had made a Veal Saltimbocca the night before that used similar ingredients so everything was prepped and ready to go.  The combination of smooth mozzarella cheese and salty, thin slices of prosciutto is seriously the perfect pair.  It can dress up chicken, veal or a sandwich with little thought or effort.  A+ panini right here!  

Loaf of French Bread
6 Slices Prosciutto
1 Fresh Mozzarella Ball (4 Slices)
1 Tomato (sliced)
1 Cup Spinach
Room Temperature Butter

Heat your panini maker to medium heat.

Cut your loaf of bread into thick slices.  Spread butter onto both sides of each slice.  Lay two slices of mozzarella on two of the slices of bread.  Top with 1/2 cup spinach, two slices of tomatoes and 3 slices of prosciutto.  

 Place the top of the sandwich on your layers.  Cook each panini in the maker for about 3 minutes each side or until the cheese is melted and the bread is crisp. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Chicken Sausage, White Bean and Spinach Pasta

This meal happen by accident.  I was originally making Ellie Krieger's Pasta with Escarole, White Beans and Chicken Sausage that I had made a couple of weeks ago until we couldn't find escarole and started craving more of a comfort food dish.  Added a little wine and cream cheese to really hit the spot.  Turned out fabulous and will definitely be a repeat dinner at our house. Doesn't hurt that it goes from pan to table in 20 minutes!

1 Box Bowtie Pasta
1 Cup Spinach
1 lb Italian Chicken Sausage (casing removed)
1 14oz Can Cannellini Beans (rinsed)
1 8oz Reduced Fat Cream Cheese
1 Small Onion (chopped)
2 Garlic Cloves (minced)
1/2 Cup White Wine
3/4 Cup Chicken Stock (reduced sodium)
1/2 teas Red Pepper Flakes

Adapted from Ellie Krieger


Cook the pasta according to box directions and set aside.

In the mean time, heat a large skillet over medium high heat.  Add the sausage, breaking apart with a wooden spoon.  Add the chopped onion and garlic.  Cook until sausage is brown.  Add the wine.  Cook for 2-3 minutes.  Add the beans and chicken stock.  Cook for 5 minutes.

Stir in the cream cheese until melted and add the spinach until wilted.  Then, gently fold in the cooked pasta. Season with red pepper, salt and black pepper.