Cauliflower Soup

cauliflowersoup

It’s officially starting to feel like the precursor to winter. Snow on Thanksgiving?

To adapt, I’m kicking off my winter survival mode in the kitchen. So, beginning this week, the slow cooker will find a permanent place on the counter top as will the blender. Why? Because I slow cook meats and blend tons of soup—two hearty dishes ideal for wintertime.

Last night I made a terrific Cauliflower Soup. It wasn’t intentional. I noticed that I had a head of cauliflower in the crisper that needed to be used and, I had been sent a Cauliflower soup recipe earlier in the day that spawned my interest.

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So, I adapted a few recipes based on the available ingredients and created the tastiest, filling soup. This soup’s base is not thick and creamy like many recipes that use half and half or whole milk. Rather, this soup relies on chicken broth as the base. Additionally, the cauliflower is not pureed. Instead, there are nice full chunks of the vegetable in the soup that adds a nice crunch to the overall texture.

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I added in some shredded cheese and bacon bits before serving which definitely sealed the deal with my kids.

Try it for yourself.  Any additions?

Thanksgiving Menu

If you’re hosting Thanksgiving, there’s no doubt it can be stressful. One of the biggest challenges is juggling multiple dishes at the same time. Instead of trying to do everything at once, take a look at your menu and try to strategize and cook some of your dishes ahead of time so that, day of, you’ll be able to enjoy your guests just as much as the meal.

The more organized you are, the better off you’ll be. So, I’ve combed this website for some of my favorite dishes that are ideal for any Thanksgiving table. From appetizers to main courses to side dishes to desserts, you’ll find a nice variety of choices. And remember, if I can make them, anyone can. The recipes are not labor-intensive and can be tackled by the most novice cooks.

So, what are you waiting for? Scroll through and earmark some dishes you’d like to make this holiday.

But, above all else, make sure to celebrate FOOD and FAMILY and give thanks!

Enjoy:

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Appetizers

beef pot roast

 

Main Dishes

 

Hot_Broccoli_Cheese_Dip

Sides

Butternut Squash Soup

Soups

gingerbreadcake

Desserts

Thanksgiving: Potato Pie

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Who doesn’t have Thanksgiving on the brain?

With less than a week to go before the holiday, it’s in your best interest to start acquiring a hit list of recipes for your big meal. If you plan out your dishes now, you’ll have ample time to casually shop for the ingredients and perhaps make some of the food ahead of time.   With some thoughtful planning, on Thanksgiving morning you won’t be running around like a turkey with its head chopped off.

Can you imagine a Thanksgiving table without some version of mashed potatoes as a side? It’s like having Mac without Cheese; peanuts without butter; tic without tacs. Whether sweet potato or regular potato, your holiday won’t be complete without it. So, why not take a creative spin on the traditional dish? Give your guests a tasty surprise that leaves them clamoring for the recipe.

As I scoured Mom’s recipe archives, I came across a dish that peaked my interest for the Thanksgiving holiday: Potato Pie. While the pie boasts potatoes (and I just happened to have had 4 cans of Libby’s White Potatoes in my pantry), it also sneaks in some tasty Gruyere cheese as well as cubed ham. My family doesn’t eat ham so I decided I’d substitute the meat with some cubed breast of turkey.  Plus, if there are any left overs after your Thanksgiving meal (of which I’m certain there will be), you can use your turkey for second and third batches of the pie.

I decided to experiment with the recipe before the main event. Honestly, the recipe couldn’t be any easier to make and it requires very little culinary skill; although the outcome will fool your guests into believing your dish was either made by a trained chef, or it took more than 25 minutes to make. Feel free to go crazy making homemade crusts for your Pumpkin Pie. But, who wants to spend time twice-baking potatoes? To avoid the hassle of boiling and then sieveng potatoes, I actually used two cans of Libby’s Sliced White Potatoes (with non-BPA lining) as my base for the dish.

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The potatoes are soft enough so that when you place them in your blender or mix master, they mash up quite quickly (a lot easier than peeling, boiling, and using a hand masher).

In addition to the shredded Gruyere cheese, the sprinkling of Panko bread crumbs renders a nice flavorful crunch to the soft warm mash. Then, pair that with some warm cubed turkey, and your meal will be complete. Be forewarned, each bite is savory and quite filling.  You will definitely have leftovers to enjoy.

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I baked my “pie” in a 9.5” pie dish–it adds to the mystery of the dish. My kids were so curious. Any version of mashed potatoes they’ve ever eaten has been served in a bowl. Then, when they took their first bites and experienced the turkey and melted cheese, their excitement couldn’t be contained.

“This is awesome,” my 9-year old son proclaimed.

“Can we eat this again on Thanksgiving? ”

I smiled knowing one hurdle had already been accomplished. Now, onto the turkey brine….

Hope you enjoy.

 

Disclaimer:

I was compensated for writing this post on behalf of Libby’s table. However, all opinions expressed are, as always, my own.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quinoa with Pomegranate and Pistachio

Quinoa and Pistachio picture courtesy of AARP The Magazine

Are you starting to gear up for your Thanksgiving feast?

Maybe you’re starting to ear-mark some recipes you’ve come across in magazines or books?

Surprisingly, over Thanksgiving weekend, I don’t cook at all.  We head back down to Baltimore to visit our respective families and the minute I step out of the car, I assume the role of guest for the entire weekend.  It is a bit odd, the one non-denominational holiday that revolves around food and I’m not cooking at all.  But, I’ve come to relish in the fact that while everyone elses kitchen is probably brimming with activity and wafting with the aromas from the delicious medley of food, my kitchen is closed.

I’m psyched to share with you a recipe from  Stanley Tucci.  This dish is actually his wife’s gluten-free Quinoa With Pomegranate & Pistachio recipe.  It makes a tasty non-traditional side dish to complement the traditional offerings at your  festive meal.

Healthy and full of flavor, the recipe is ideal for parents and kids alike who are following gluten-free diets.  It can easily be customized with your favorite cheeses (feta, goat, etc.) and/or spices.  This is a perfect light holiday side dish (in place of stuffing) to complement your turkey or meat.

I know you’ll enjoy.

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