11.25.2012

My Thanksgiving Roundup


It's been a busy week! My lovely parents came into town on Wednesday evening and we've been going non-stop for most of the week. I haven't seen them since last Thanksgiving (yes, a full year. I know...I'm a bad daughter)! But what can I say, we just moved across the country, I don't have much vacation time and you know...life happens. Needless to say, its been too long.

So this week we've had a lot of catching up to do, and a whole lot of eating.

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. You wake up, eat a decent breakfast, start cooking, open wine super early (I actually waited until about 11:45am), cook some more, drink some more, add some cheesy appetizer, a little more wine and FEAST!

Here's my run down...
My favorite veggie on Thanksgiving. I saute them in olive oil then add lemon and salt. Yumm.

This is a pre-dinner nap. 

My first ever homemade stuffing - made from homemade bread with fresh rosemary, sage, and parsley. Turned out to be the highlight of my dinner.

The pre-roasted carrots.
Tossed with olive oil, lemon, honey with salt, pepper, and cayenne.  Roast at 400 for about 30 minutes or until they are tender and beginning to brown and caramelize.
Learned this one from Strudel by the way.

Mom and I cooking. I have tickle her to make sure we smile in photographs. 

Starting the b-sprouts. 

Turkeyyyy!
We did a brine that started the night before. One of Alton Brown's that consisted of salt, sugar and water.
I will never, not brine my future turkeys.  

Fresh. Bread. 

Dad mashing the potatoes.
His one job. 


The end result. 

Football.

Brussels, Green Beans, and Roasted Sweet Potatoes.
Sides are my favorite. I like a lot of them. 

The spread. Dinner is served.

My plate. First serving.

Then...food coma and maybe a board game.

Hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving!

Erica

11.20.2012

Pizza Pizza

Don't worry! This isn't an add for Little Cesar's, although I must admit, a couple of times I took advantage of their $5 "Hot and Ready" deal in grad school, and regretted it every.single.time.

So let's talk about good pizza!  Tonight we're going to Joe Squared to enjoy their Tuesday night special...buy 2 beers and get a free 10'' cheese pizza. Um, yes please! A couple of weeks ago (work has been super busy with registration and the last day to withdraw...college talk! and so I haven't had time to post, or cook real food much.) I was inspired by this recipe for a butternut squash pizza and the fact that I had 3 butternut squashes from my CSA. Minor detail.

Butternut Squash Pizza
Inspired by a recipe from Alexandra's Kitchen
Yield = one 12-inch pizza
1 Trader Joe's pizza dough
1 butternut squash (I think we only used half of one)
olive oil
kosher salt
2 cloves garlic
Fresh mozzerella
Fresh goat cheese
1 tomato
Thyme
Habeneros


1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Remove the skin: Slice the top of the squash about 1/2-inch under the stem to create a flat edge. Repeat with the other end. Cut crosswise through the squash just above the bulb — cutting the squash into two pieces makes the peeling process easier. Stand the squash (whichever piece you want to peel first) upright and, being careful not to slice off your fingers, run your knife down the sides of the squash removing the peel along the way. Repeat with bulb portion if desired. After peeling the bulb portion, cut it in half, scoop out seeds and discard. Cut the peeled squash crosswise into 1/4-inch thick slices. I used a mandoline, which saves time and creates uniform pieces, but using a knife works just fine, too. PS. Who knew butternut squash was so hard to cut?!



2. Place the slices of squash on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, season with kosher salt to taste, toss to coat, redistribute onto sheet in one layer and place in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until fork tender. You can also use this time to pre-bake your dough!



3. Meanwhile, peel and finely chop the garlic and add it to about 1/4 cup of olive oil. After prebaking the dough, brush dough with the garlic olive oil. (I made two different halves to accomodate Dan and I's tastes)Place slices of mozzerella and/or crumles of goat cheese over the garlic oil. Sprinkle with thyme to taste. Top with baked squash, tomato, and habanero slices. Bake until done. We like our pizza almost burned so our baking time was much longer than suggested :)


Enjoy! My half had the mozz, butternut squash, and tomatoes. Dan's half had goat cheese, butternut squash, tomatoes, and habeneros.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

-Abbie

11.09.2012

Spicy Ginger Apple Toddy

It's toddy time!


That's right folks, it's the time of year to drink hot boozy beverages. The booze warms you up and so does the drink. It's a win-win really.

And today, the weather turned chilly! Over the past few weeks it has been sunny and in the 70s and 80s, so I knew the weather would change sooner or later. It seems weird for me to think that now, 55 degrees is "freezing" outside. When I lived in Denver, we were ecstatic when/if it even reached 55 degrees on some days. I guess I adjusted nicely.

Anyway, onto the toddy. Mmm...freshly grated ginger, apple cider, a bit of lemon and most importantly, bourbon.



Since the summer, I've been trying my dardest to drink more liquor. I did pretty well with vodka and tequila, so now the time has come to try some more lady like liquors. Like bourborn.


I don't know why I think bourbon makes me feel like a lady, but it does. And I like it.

Right now, I've just been making cocktails with it. I had an Old Fashioned at the Food Blogger's Festival and that was hearty. Maybe one day I'll be able to be super classy and drink it on the rocks. I have to ease my way into this thing.

I feel like toddy's are a very fun way to get into a fall mood. This is my first attempt at one and I've grown quite fond of it.

Spicy Ginger Apple Toddy
Makes 1 serving
1 cup of apple cider
1 tsp of freshly grated ginger (about an inch peeled)
1 ounce of your favorite bourbon (2 tbsps)
1 lemon slice
1 cinnamon stick for garnish (cause its fun)
Honey to add a touch of sweetness (optional)

Add the cider and ginger to a small sauce pan. Heat over med-high until it just barely comes to a simmer. Remove from the heat and let the ginger seep for 3-5 minutes. Add bourbon and transfer to your favorite mug. If you don't like bits of ginger, feel free to use a fine mesh strainer. Personally, I really like ginger so I keep it - it adds more of a kick as it sits in the cup. Add the lemon and the cinnamon stick. Find a fireplace to sit and enjoy.

Happy Fall and Cheers,

Erica

P.S. Thanksgiving is in 2 weeks - whatt...?!

Oh! And P.P.S
Caroline! You won the Nature Box giveaway! Email us and I'll send you the details. Congrats!

11.03.2012

Nature Box Giveaway!


Happy November everyone! Now that October and Halloween are over, my pumpkins are carved and now molded, and my belly busted from a load of freshly popped popcorn and homemade dark chocolate raisins – I can move forward with life. And a diet.


had to share the pumpkins...



Air-popped Popcorn - so good!

With Thanksgiving and Christmas right around the corner;  the season of giving has started – and we have our first giveaway!! Exciting right?!
We are giving away a NatureBox!
I got to visit with the folks at NatureBox at their booth during the Food Blogger’s Festival a few weeks ago and just loved this concept.

I think it’s perfect for folks with a busy, healthy lifestyle. And, let's be honest - if you know me, you know I love snacks and I love getting things in the mail.


When I got a sample box in at the Festival, I was super excited because I didn't have to go grocery shopping that weekend - bonus!

This week I've been into dipping the dried apricots into sunflower butter. You get the sweetness of the fruit and the saltiness of the sunflower - it has been a good pre-run snack this week.

So, onto the giveaway. Here's what you need to do:

All you have to do is enter a comment below telling us about your favorite snack!

You can get a bonus entry if you:
Like us and Nature Box on Facebook
Follow @AbbieandErica and @Nature Box on Twitter

We will pick a name on November 9th and NatureBox will send you their November box full of 15-20 servings of snack across 5-6 types. What's in the box will be a surprise, but you can check out past boxes here. Keep in mind, they can't substitute items or specialize orders at this time. 

Yay for snacks! 

Erica
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