Monday, November 29, 2010

Roasted Vegetable Frittata

If you are feeling like most people out there, after a huge Thanksgiving feast, you'll welcome some healthy meal ideas. I saw this recipe in Ina Garten's new cookbook & I've been dying to try it. I love the idea of using roasted vegetables in a frittata. It's something I have never seen before, yet so brilliant...gotta love Ina!
I've made frittatas & quiche with just about everything under the sun...yet, for some reason it never occurred to me to use roasted veggies!
I am a big vegetable fan & of all ways to prepare them, roasting is my favorite. I love that they get all caramelized...releasing their sugars & their flavor intensifies.
Hence, the reason I knew I would love this! I was so right. It's delicious! Even DH, who is not the hugest "baked egg" concoction fan, loved it.
I have adapted the original recipe quite a bit. As usual, I cut way back on Ina's recommended fat & salt quantities. It can easily be adapted to your taste, or what you have available on hand...any vegetable that is well suited for roasting would work.
This will be a go to recipe for me, when I am looking for something light & easy for weeknight dinners.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pecans

One last Thanksgiving worthy recipe before the biggest eating day of the year is here. If you've never been a fan of brussels sprouts, you must try these! This dish is very similar to the roasted brussels sprouts recipe I posted here a few years ago. But, this one has pecans added. So, so good! I had them prepared with pecans for the first time by my step-mother & after that my "old" roasted brussels sprouts recipe became this one.
I have always liked brussels sprouts. But, I remember as a kid, I was pretty much the only one who liked them. It seems that most people grew up having them boiled to death...wet, soggy, little orbs. Nowadays, it seems they are everywhere in the foodie world...people taking brussels sprouts to a whole new level...shredded in slaws, pan-fried with bacon, even deep fried {as I saw recently on the Food Network}. I happen to love them like this the best. It's so simple to make & your guests will be blown away that they actually loved brussels sprouts!

Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce

This year we are having a Thanksgiving potluck dinner at my brother-in-law's house. I am bringing several of which is cranberry sauce. Of course, I wanted to make the real stuff {although DH loves the canned jelly variety}. I saw this recipe & loved the idea of combining the flavors of cranberry & pomegranate. It also calls for the use of Meyer lemons, which happen to be in season now.
I adapted the recipe a bit...mostly, just the addition of some extra sugar. The tartness of the cranberries & lemons need it. Making your own cranberry sauce this year couldn't be easier...

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thanksgiving Recipe Ideas...

The past week or so I've been thinking of adding some Thanksgiving appropriate posts to the sidebar, or somewhere on my homepage. I wanted them to be easy to access when people are in the planning stages of their holiday menus. But, I was having trouble getting it all to fit & work the way I wanted. Then, while visiting a blogger friend's site {Hi Winnie!}, I noticed she had done a round-up type of post, showcasing everything she had that would be Thanksgiving friendly. I thought...that's what I was looking for!
So, here are some recipes from over the past several years, which would work well for your Thanksgiving feast. Some are traditional, some are not. Some would be great as side dishes, some as a main course option for any vegetarians out there. Then, of course, some desserts!

Fall Bruschetta,
Roasted Shrimp Cocktail, Grilled Baba Ghanoush, Mini Crab Cakes, Harvest Pumpkin Soup & Crudités with Ranch Dip

Main Course & Sides:
Mashed Sweet Potatoes, Chestnut Stuffing with Leeks & Apples, Shallot & Goat Cheese Tart, Ham & Asparagus Strata, Garlic Roasted Cauliflower, Buttermilk Biscuits, Roasted Caprese Salad, Warm Orzo Salad with Beets & Greens, Fennel & Orange Salad, Creamed Spinach, Wheat Berry, Date & Walnut Salad, Yukon Gold & Sweet Potato Gratin,
Arugula Salad with Lemon-Parmesan Dressing,
Bulgur Salad with Wilted Chard & Green Olives & Caesar Salad

Guinness Stout Ginger Cake, Apple Crisp, Pumpkin Purée {to make your Pumpkin Pie from scratch}, Rustic Apple Crostata, Red Wine Cake & Pineapple Upside Down Cake

I hope to cram in a few final recipes this week...
Have a great Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Chestnut Stuffing with Leeks & Apples

When I was a kid, my grandmother would serve roasted chestnuts after dinner this time of year. They frequently capped off all of our special gatherings...especially Thanksgiving & Christmas. I think I was probably the only kid who actually liked them. My husband's family has the same tradition & to this day I still love 'em.
I made this stuffing for the first time last year. I chose this recipe because we were hosting Thanksgiving & one of our guests was a vegetarian {but, really I just liked the idea of having a stuffing with chestnuts in it!}. If you love chestnuts, you will love this recipe...if not, not so much. But, the other leading flavors...the leeks & tart apples make it worth a try.
I halved the recipe here, but it can easily be doubled, if you're serving a large crowd.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Garlic Roasted Cauliflower

I am love, love, loving the new cookbook from the Barefoot Contessa, called How Easy is That? That woman, in my opinion, is genius! Every single page, in every single one of her cookbooks, is filled with stuff I'd love to make. I love her no frills, basic style.
This is the first recipe I made out of the new cookbook. This Fall, I am trying to lose a few, rather than pack on the winter layer. I have been eating tons of veggies...something that's not as easy to do come winter time, when all the farmer's markets are gone & the garden is barren. This recipe takes boring old cauliflower to a new level. It's packed with flavor, yet very healthy.
I have adapted her original recipe slightly. For the most part, cutting way back on the oil & salt. Something I tend to do with all of Ina Garten's recipes...she can be a bit heavy handed with the fat & salt!
I have this one, and all of her cookbooks listed in the kitchen tools section above, for those interested in checking them out.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Baked Pasta & Mini Meatballs

This is the perfect cold weather, family meal. It's easy to make it ahead, store it & heat it up when you're in a pinch...trying to come up with something quick to make for dinner. Something that the whole family will eat. This recipe is my spin on the classic Baked Ziti. I added some mini meatballs, because I knew my kids would go nuts for them.
It deviates from my traditional meatball recipe, because I have added some ground pork to these. I thought it would keep the meatballs moist, since they are getting fried, simmered & then baked. It worked.
The sauce is a version of the Tomato Sauce with Onions & Butter I made recently, from Marcella Hazan. So good! I'm a seriously hooked on that stuff. I added a bit of garlic & pureed the sauce through a food mill...the smoother texture goes over better with my kids. But, you can easily leave it chunky...or, even use a good quality jarred sauce to save time.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Some Things I Just Love...

Some recent finds on the internet that I just love...

a. I've owned the keyring I have now for about 10 years. It's worn out to the point that on several occasions my keys have fallen off...thankfully, when I've been aware of it. I love the mixture of leather & metal in this one from Sundance...the initial monogram...and especially love the screw closure. No more lost keys.

b. I'm in organization mode lately. I hate having headphone cords tangled up in my purse. I love this creative & lovely looking iPod case. It's made of felted wool with a leather closure that doubles as a headphone wrangler. Love this.

c. How cute are these Superhero shoes!? They fit any sized kids shoe & can be ordered in custom sizes for bigger folks. They also come in tons of colors & textures. Check out all the cool stuff on SmallFly's Etsy page!

d. I am constantly in search of a simple, efficient way to organize our busy schedule. I love this clipboard calendar from Fibers & Twigs. You order the very reasonably priced PDF online, print & hang from a clipboard in any convenient spot. I've been using it for a few months now & love it!

e. Every year, I say I'm going to get going on everything Christmas early enough that I won't be nuts come holiday time. But, yet, I never do. I am slowly, but surely getting in the holiday mindset & these little ceramic dove ornaments caught my eye. I love how simple & delicate they are. I think they'd make such a sweet gift.

f. More organization! I love these magnetic strips from Three by Three. The possibilities are endless. Inside kitchen cabinet doors, on a wall in your kitchen, or office. I use them for hanging all the reminders I need in my life, recipe cards, photos, memos, name it.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Hot Artichoke Dip with Tarragon

Artichoke dip has been a favorite with my family for years. We have it most often at my father's house, as an appetizer, served with Triscuit crackers. This recipe varies slightly from my family's method, because it has the addition of tarragon & sour cream.
Changing up the ingredient list might be considered sacrilege to some of the parties involved. But, one of the only herbs in my garden that has managed to survive these colder days, has been tarragon. I have tons of it! So, when I needed an easy appetizer for a recent party & saw this version, using tarragon, I went for it.
It met mixed reviews here. I happen to love tarragon, so I enjoyed it very much...while, DH, was left wondering why I would mess with the original?
Either way, it's an optional addition. Not a big fan of tarragon? You can easily leave it out. With, or without it, this recipe is one of the simplest, yet most delicious "throw together" appetizers I know.