No Kid Hungry this Thanksgiving

filltheplate

As I spent the afternoon in my kitchen testing out some of Mom’s recipes for some holiday articles I’m writing.  I found myself needing a bunch of ingredients for the dishes.  Without hesitation, I nonchalantly ran out to the corner where I have not one but three different market options.  I quickly purchased my items and was home within a half hour.  One of the recipes calls for cheese; I purchased some small samples of Gruyere and Cheddar.  Another recipe calls for potatoes; I purchased two different varieties.  I was thinking “how lucky am I?”

What a luxury….

Then I was reminded about my commitment to Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry Campaign.

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.

Mango Guacamole

Apparently tomorrow, November 13th, is National Guacamole Day. I’m not quite sure who coins these days but, if it gives me another excuse to make and celebrate guacamole then, I’m happy.

It’s hard to believe 3 years ago I had never even purchased avocados from the store.  Now I feel as though they’re staples on my kitchen counter.  It’s also rare that you’ll find me without one or two avocados ripening in a brown paper bag in the pantry.

I still enjoy watching one of my first videos on “How to Make Guacamole”:

if you're reading this through an RSS feed, click over to the site to watch video

 

And, once you’re comfortable with basic guacamole and you’re ready to step up your game, you must try this flavorful recipe for Mango Guacamole:

 

Check out the lava rock Molcajete at www.imusausa.om.

Cinnamon and Raisin Quick Bread

quick bread

I have many fond memories of Mom making bread on any given Sunday during the fall and winter months.

The furnace was her special place for the ceremonial bowl bread rising process. Like a kid in a candy shop, she’d relish in sheer delight at the site of risen dough.  Then she’d fastidiously knead the dough and allow the allotted time for it to rise again. I never partook in these events.  I merely watched her with sheer amazement.

While I am no longer fearful of bread making myself (I’ve even made a Challah), I actually approach this culinary experience as if embarking on the most awesome science experiment. However, working with yeast is still a little stressful (for me) and takes lots of patience. If you add water that’s too hot, it’ll kill the yeast. Too cold, nothing will happen. And, you need to be able to block out a significant amount of time to wait for the bread to rise. Sometimes, making bread feels like the shuttle launch; all conditions need to be perfect to yield the ideal loaf.

For these reasons, it’s hard for me to deny a bread recipe that doesn’t require yeast or a rising: a quick bread recipe. The operative word here is QUICK. Honestly, this recipe is as simple as your most basic recipe instructions: combine your ingredients, put in the oven to bake, enjoy.

I found this quick bread recipe over at Weelicious (one of my favorite food blogs).  It peaked my interested because it sounded healthy and delicious: Cinnamon Raisin Quick Bread.  Healthy and delicious? Plus, after a quick glance through my and fridge, I had all the ingredients on hand – even the no sugar applesauce. Who wouldn’t want a nice warm piece of Cinnamon Raisin bread slathered with butter for breakfast?

I whipped this bread up in no time and 50 minutes later, the apartment was bursting with the warm comforting aroma of baked cinnamon.

While the consistency of the bread is very moist, without butter or jelly on top, there isn’t much flavor. I did use regular flour in place of whole wheat flour from the recipe but that wouldn’t make much of a taste difference.  I would  recommend adding more plump raisins as well as doubling the amount of cinnamon— to give it more sweetness since there’s no added sugar.  Next time around, I might try adding some dried apples and dried cranberries.

Hope you enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

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