Posts Tagged With: Fresh Vegetables

Leftover Magic

Well guys, if you’ve noticed that I’ve been posting more recipes after taking a break from doing that, it’s because I have a new-found love for my kitchen.

Maybe because it’s huge compared to my last kitchen.

Maybe because we have a brand new refrigerator that I love to fill up with delicious things. And a new oven that is begging to be used. Every night.

Or maybe it’s because we went a long time while we were moving and packing and getting ready to move when we were eating pretty much only frozen pizza, hamburger helper, and other not so blog-worthy meals.

Well, last night was going to be one of those meals as well.

See, we brought home some leftover cooked meat from the fair. Things like steak that had been sitting too long to served but still tasted fine, burgers and hot dogs that were leftover at the end of the night…you get the idea.

Leftovers…getting old. Taunting me every time I open the fridge.

Well, last night, we were going to use some of those up.

And I have a half-gallon of milk that’s going to go bad in a few days I wanted to use.

And we haven’t had zucchini in awhile.

So I planned out dinner to be pretty easy. I would heat up the steak to make steak sandwiches, make Kraft mac’n’cheese with the milk, and then something more creative zucchini.

Afterall, I cook with zucchini all the time so it’s really not a big deal to whip something up that makes the leftovers and plain, easy macaroni feel more special.

But then I added extra milk to the macaroni because I knew Hubs wouldn’t be home for awhile yet and it would start to tighten up and get too sticky if I didn’t put extra moisture in there early on.

And the milk made it extra extra creamy tasting.

So I added some fresh ground pepper, and some chives, and some parsley. And more milk.

And, oh my goodness, so creamy and delicious.

My mouth is actually watering just thinking about eating the leftovers for lunch.

And then I started to work on the zucchini. I had planned to make some sort of zucchini fries, like I did here. But then I saw this post from The Pioneer Woman (Do you read her blogs? You totally should.) and I wanted to add some lemon to the party.

So this is what I ended up doing.

Lemon-Crumb-Coated-Zucchini-Fries.

(Yes, that’s what I’m calling them.)

1 1/2 cups bread crumbs.

2-3 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 packet of ranch seasoning

2 tsp lemon pepper seasoning

1 egg

1 Tbsp olive oil

2 Tbsp lemon juice

1 average-sized zucchini, sliced into thin strips

Combine all the dry ingredients. I did this in my blender since I used it to make the bread crumbs anyway.

All in there, ready for mixing.

Combine all wet ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add in zucchini pieces and toss to coat. 

I didn’t do a great job of cutting our fries in equal sizes…

Add in dry ingredients. Toss again to coat.

Spread the zucchini pieces out on a baking sheet. 

See how many crumbs? Crumbs=yum. In this case.

Then, since I had plenty of leftover “crumbs,” I didn’t want to waste them so I sprinkled them all over the top of the cookie sheet I would recommend you do this, too.

Then bake for 12 minutes at 350 degrees. Turn them, and bake for 12 more minutes.

By this time, some of your extra crumbs will be brown enough to taste. Do that. Yum. 

Turn again and bake/broil until your desired level of “brown-ness.” (We like things a little extra crispy in this house.)

See what I mean about the yummy crumbies?
(I think of Monica from FRIENDS when I say “crumbies”)

Then you’ll serve them ranch dressing, or just plain, because I didn’t think they needed anything else, but Hubs loves his condiments.

They tasted so fresh and yet creamy at the same because of the lemon and the cheese and the bread crumbs and the egg. Sooooo good. I’m telling you.

In the meantime, Hubs came home from work and asked what we were having. He’d forgotten that we had decided the night before to eat the leftover steak. And that no longer seemed very exciting to him. So he said, “Ok, but I want cheese on mine.”

Then we talked for a little bit about how if we added onions it would be a cheesesteak sandwich.

So we did that.

First, we sauteed the onions in butter.

I think onions and butter may smell a little like heaven.

And he chopped up the steak.

Cold steak looks awfully dry and boring.

And then we added the steak to the onions and butter.

Yup. This is way better than what I’d planned to do for dinner.

And then we melted cheese on top.

Yes, I put some of the leftover crumbies on my macaroni and cheese. No, I did not regret it.

(I went without the top bun because I just didn’t want it. I wold actually recommend some kind of hoagie roll for this, but since we were working with leftovers here, crumbly-sorta-old-hamburger-buns were all we had.)

Anyway, it ended up being a pretty spectacular meal.

And I was reminded once again, why I love spending time with the man I married. Because he’s fun. He’s creative. He’s spontaneous. He’s open to try new things. He will experiment with me. Play with me. Laugh with me. Eat ridiculously better than anticipated leftovers with me.

And then he’ll do the dishes.

Reason #47 husband roommates are the best.

Categories: Food Fun | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Life happens…

Hi all,

Did you miss me?

Have you noticed my absence lately? Have you wondered where I was? Why I wasn’t blogging all about our newlywed life?

(If you didn’t miss me, notice my absence, or wonder why I wasn’t blogging, be a dear and not tell it to my face, okay? Okay.)

Anyway, the reason I wasn’t blogging about our newlywed life was because I was simply too busy being a newlywed wife!

Things have been hectic and wonderfully busy in our little corner of the world lately.

We have housing developments and job developments all in the works. We’ve been to weddings and showers and parties dinners out with friends.

Here’s the gift I made my sister for her graduation party. She now has her doctorate of physical therapy!

We’ve been trying to keep up on cleaning the apartment and stocking the fridge while hunting for bargains at local garage sales.

Heck, we even took home a free kitten from a flea market to live happily ever after with my parents on the farm last weekend.

Our cute little tabby cat we got from the flea market for my parents. He stands out from all the black and gray long-hairs my parents have at their farm!

And we’ve been cooking at home together more than we ever did before.

These veggies and potatoes are Hubs’ new favorite. He can’t get enough! And I think they are pretty good, too. Add in pan-seared chicken and some grilled zucchini and yellow squash? That was a dinner for a king!

We were also healing. From our sunburns. Ouch. And ick. (We’re now both in the peeling stage, and I’m reminded even more often how different girls are from boys in that regard. While I’m disgusted at the way Hubs peels off flakes of skin, he’s excited and amused. Yuck, yuck, yuck. Good thing I love him!)

I guess the main thing we have been doing is settling in.

We’ve been married almost 11 months now and that means we’ve also been living in the city, together, for almost a year. (I can hardly believe that!) And with this, I am learning, comes the slow realization that this is home. This is our new normal. This is where we live.

I guess part of the reason I didn’t feel really “at home” in the city before now is because we just weren’t that busy. We weren’t really making a life for ourselves up here. It always felt as if we were visiting, or playing at living here.

All that’s changing though, and I find myself feeling both excited and sad about it at the same time.

I’m happy that we’re finally settling in. I’m sad that it means I’m settling in away from family and friends that are still so dear to me but that now live 2 or more hours away.

I know things change and can’t stay the same, but I’m finding myself both sad and sometimes homesick as well as overwhelmed with the joy I feel at being married to my best friend and amazed by the blessing it is to live together and make this life for ourselves.

So that’s what I’ve been doing–living and loving. What about you? What’s new with you? Any new developments, realizations, or adjustments in your neck of the woods?

Categories: Everyday Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

“Z”ucchini

It’s the last of the A to Z blogging challenge posts, and I’m excited to end with something I LOVE:

Zucchini.

Remember when I got those giant zucchinis from my grandma and wanted to use them all up?

Giant zucchini, how I learned to love you. Now I can't wait for more garden-fresh goodies!

Well, that began my love affair, and now, I’m hooked.

Here’s our most recent zucchini adventures.

Try them, they’re yummy!

Steak, with potatoes, zucchini, and red peppers, sauted with Italian seasoning. YUM.

And a bit less healthy, but so yummy, fried zucchini.

Start by slicing it pretty thin.

About a quarter inch works well for this.

Then it’s time for batter.

Egg wash and crushed cracker crumbs are perfect and delicious.

And then time for frying!

Turn then pretty often to avoid burning, especially if you slice them super think and make them more like chips.

We also baked some and they turned out good, but I think I’d use a bread crumb base for those to help them get more crispy and golden faster.

Still, they were delish!

Hubs liked them, too. And how could you not? Zucchini is awesome!

Your turn! How do you love to cook zucchini? 

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Our weekend…a food photo story.

This weekend, was busy.

So, instead of giving you a play-by-play of everything we did, I figured I’d give you a little bit to drool over and tell our weekend story through photos of food. With some other awesome stuff mixed in as well.

And actually, I’m going to start our “weekend” food photos with something we made and ate on Tuesday. Tuna patties. And fried potatoes. It was perfect and light before our volleyball game, after which we went to Applebee’s for half-price apps with friends.

I've never made these before and didn't use a recipe. They aren't exactly what I would do again, flavorings -wize, but it was still yummy.

Then, on Friday night, our weekend officially started with this meal on our little patio deck.

Tuna with lemon sauce, vegetables with potatoes, and corn bread. Hubs made this whole meal himself as a surprise for me.

After that we hung around the apartment and put away laundry, watched some TV, and spent a little QT together. We’re wild ad crazy newlyweds, can you tell?

Oh, and I made this for dessert.

It's strawberry salsa with homemade cinnamon chips. I got the idea from Liz's mom, who made it for the bridal shower last weekend. Super yummy.

Want my “recipe”? Check it out here.

On Saturday morning, I had to go to work, but only for a few hours because then it was time for the soccer game! (Whoo hoo Sporting Kansas City!)

We were blessed with special seats to this home opener because Wyatt was given tickets to the executive suite from his job because of the work he did in New York. (Remember when he was gone for a week and I hated it? Well, I guess there was some unseen good that came of it later!)

The view from the sweet suite we got to watch the game from. (See what I did there? Aren't homophones fun?!)

We were excited to see the food offerings, especially since it was all-inclusive. Free food and drink!

Super delicious free food. Those potatoes were the bomb. And yes, those are cloth napkins and real silverware...at a soccer game. Fancy-smancy indeed!

And the drinks were great, too!

A frosty, glass(!) glass of boulevard wheat with lemon while enjoying a great game? Don't mind if I do!

I wish I’d taken a picture of the four chocolate chunk cookies I indulged in, but I was too busy shoving them into my mouth. Sorry.

Needless to say, on Sunday morning, after all the rambunctiousness of Saturday night, we slept in and got up to make brunch before I had to go to work at noon.

Wyatt made waffles, and I made more of the strawberry dip from Friday night to put on them. Super yummy.  It made me not-at-all-grumpy for work that day, which is not usually how I leave for job#1.

I would recommend this to anyone on the day after a night of eating, drinking, yelling, laughing, and celebrating a great win.

Too bad we couldn’t share with the boys we drove to and from the game. They probably could have used a good morning meal to help cure the ails of evidence of all the fun they had the entire day before. It was St. Patty’s Day, after all, and they celebrated it up right!

Then, on Sunday evening when I got home from work, only slightly grouchy, we went for a long drive to begin our house-hunting process. We explored potential neighborhoods and worked up an appetite.

We went out to dinner, as we sometimes do on Sunday nights, and I didn’t take a picture of our “just okay” meals from the restaurant.

But the good food continued to tonight, which I know isn’t really the weekend anymore, but is still worth mentioning I think.

Baked zucchini, garlic mashed potatoes, and cube steak. (My family knows what that is...do you? Or is that a code name we use for something everybody else calls by another name?)

All in all, a great weekend of outdoor time (it was so nice out!), good food, friends, and fun.

P.S. If you’ve seen ads at the bottom on this blog, please know that I didn’t put them there. I guess WordPress decided I have enough traffic they could make some money off of my blog. It only shows up on a few posts and for those without a WordPress account. Please know that I do not endorse anything that is put there, nor am I getting paid for it. I’m currently looking into a way to get this resolved (including buying my own domain–exciting times!) Thanks for understanding!

Categories: Food Fun | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Strawberry Salsa and Cinnamon Sugared Tortilla Chips (& Liz’s library shower)

At my friend Liz’s bridal shower, her mom and sister made some super delicious food. (As the matron of honor, my responsibilities didn’t at all include food, and I was totally fine with that because their food is super cute and super good.)

See?

See this spread? Awesome!

The strawberry salsa was so good, I had to try it myself.

It went a little something like this:

About 15 strawberries, 3 kiwis, and 1 green apple, all in the blender.

I also added a little brown sugar and a splash of lime juice.

Then I used a pizza cutter to slice some tortilla shells into wedges.

They got sprayed with butter and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar.

Then this happened.

I won't lie, I licked my fingers. Butter and cinnamon. Yum.

And then I baked the chips in the oven on a cookie sheet for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until crispy.

This is pre-crisp. Still tempting to taste though.

And afterward, with the salsa and chips together.  So good. So fresh. So tasty.

Why aren't you making this right now?

It’s also great for breakfast, too!

Waffles with butter, syrup, and strawberry salsa? Yes please!

And for those who want to see photos from Liz’s library shower?

The shower was a library shower. Everyone brought a book with a special message for the bride, we had books all over the place, and some cute paper flowers. And great love quotes from books.

Books and paper flowers everywhere! So cute and so easy to make and decorate!

We had shelves for people to put their books and gifts on.

I made a paper book garland for the ceiling. Sorry the picture's not great. You can see it's cute, though!

Categories: Food Fun | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

We Resolve…Newlywed Style

As we’re laying in bed the other night, Hubs asks me, “So, what are your New Year’s resolutions?”

I don’t usually make resolutions because I don’t like to set myself up for failure and sometimes I think that resolutions are only made to be broken. Plus, when I want to make a change in my life, I don’t like to wait until New Years.

However, after reading Ali’s resolutions from 2011 in my favorite running blog, I realized I didn’t have to make life-changing goals that are vague and basically obsolete…I can make a bucket list of sorts, for the year, of individual goals and specific, tangible things I want to do or see. Sure, I can also have some more vague ideas of things I know I struggle with and need to work on, but as a rule, this year, since I’m going to be publishing this list to the world, I’d like to make sure they are things that are easily measured and recorded as whether or not we’ve accomplished them.

Also, since it’s the first full year Hubs and I will be spending together, I thought we should make our resolutions together. We are a team, after all, and most of our resolutions will involve each other anyway, right?

Ok, so here goes, our Newlywed Resolutions 2012:

1. Take a weekly walk together. Every week. Hubs hates to go on walks, so this will be tougher for him than me.

Our first annual New Year's Eve walk...and our first weekly walk! (In December, and yes, we're not wearing coats. In fact, Hubs is wearing shorts!)

2. Vacuum more. This should be easier with my new Oreck!

3. Work on portion control at meals, even when eating out and dishing up bowls of ice cream…we both need to work on this, as we both love to eat and can get carried away easily.

Yes, I love fried eggplant, but no, Hubs and I shouldn't have eaten this whole plate by ourselves...

4. Buy a house. I realize this is a tough one, but it’s top on Hubs’ list. Wish us luck!

5. Write at least five things that are just for me. I can worry about what to use them for later, if anything.

6. Run more races. I’d love to do another half…maybe a full 26.2? I’m young now, and my knees and ankles and hips will only get worse, right? I only ran 1 or 2 in 2011, and they were fun, so I’m ready for more.

7. Finish reading 8 books that I ALREADY own and have squished into our bookshelf. I’m terrible about buying new books instead of reading ones I already own but haven’t read.

See? It's full.

8. Use more coupons and take advantage of price matching. I also need to do a better job of keeping track of how much we spend and save.

9. Find a church home where we really feel connected to. I miss the fellowship I’ve been so used to my whole life. We need to be surrounded by people encouraging us in our walk.

Going to Myrtle Beach to do beach ministry with these people was an awesome time. I miss this family!

10. Go on another road trip. There’s something so special about traveling with the one you love, and we love the sense of exploring that comes with driving around on our own. Our honeymoon was some of the most fun we’ve ever had and we’re committed to doing this together again as often as we can.

Honeymoon road trip stop #4: Chicago!

I obviously could think of MANY other goals we have, things like being committed to saving money and being good stewards of our marriage. We also need to do things like find doctors up here in the city and making appointments and going to check ups. But I thought ten was a nice round number to focus specifically on for this year. We’ll keep doing all the other things we are currently working on as well. I’d also love to add, “Get a Career Job.” But I don’t want to rush God’s timing on that one. I’ll keep looking, but I don’t know the plans he has for me. (Good thing he does. *Jeremiah 29:11*)

And as a side note, I’d like to say how thankful I am that Hubs often does the dishes and cleans the kitchen for me. I love to cook and don’t mind doing dishes, but sometimes I get overwhelmed by how fast it gets messy again and it’s a huge blessing when he helps with that. I hope he resolves to keep doing that. (Just kidding. (Sorta.)

 

Categories: Love Stuff | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Turkey 2.0

As it is the week after Thanksgiving and thus, the time for leftover turkey recipes, I wanted to post our turkey adventure from tonight’s dinner for you guys.

Just to brief you:

1. It was delicious.

2. Wyatt and I had some quality kitchen time together.

3. We have plenty of leftovers for another great meal.

4. Giada De Laurentiis is my current foodie crush.

Picture from giadadelaurentiis.com

Even though we didn’t make our own turkey for Thanksgiving dinner (we made it the previous week), we brought home leftovers from the in-laws. It was great that day, and hopefully my mother-in-law won’t take offense, but I think it was even better tonight!

We started with this recipe from Giada, and per me, we mixed it up, as usual.

(of course, part of the reason we had to mix it up is because we didn’t have the bowls it called for)

We ended up making it like this:

First, we cooked up 4 slices of bacon in a skillet, you can chop it before or after. I chopped it before. When it’s done, set it aside to drain.

Why did we use bacon instead of pancetta? Because I don't know where to find pancetta and we already had bacon in our fridge.

Then, I cooked half of an onion, about a cup of chopped carrots, and 2 tbsp of butter for about ten minutes until it’s tender. I added 1/4 tsp dried chopped thyme, 1 tsp salt, and 1 tsp pepper. Note: by this time, your kitchen will smell delicious. Try not to eat everything before it’s done cooking.

While that was cooking, Hubs got home from work and asked if he could help. Yes! This was turning out to be a pretty big job and I hadn’t even started on the crust yet.

So, Wyatt followed this part of the directions pretty much exactly, but here’s what we ended up doing.

  • 3/4 cup flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

We don’t have a food processor, so Wyatt mixed this up in our mixer (the beautiful yellow one I love so much). Mix the dry ingredients together first and then add the butter and cheese, stirring it until the mixture is combined and crumbly. With the machine running, he added 1/2 cup buttermilk and the oil, letting it mix until it formed a ball.

I think it worked just fine in our mixer.

He rolled out the dough into a 12-inch diameter circle, about 1/2-inch thick.

It's like a really thick cornbread dough.

In the meantime, I was busy adding 2 tbsp flour and 2 1/2 cups low salt chicken broth to my skillet. Basically, it makes a roux, so you want to cook the flour in the carrot and onion and butter for a minute or two before adding the chicken stock. Then we added the bacon, 1 cup of peas, 1 cup of corn, and 3 cups of turkey (cut in small pieces or shredded) to the filling mixture.

It will look something like this. Yum.

Then I poured the filling into my baking dish.

I only spilled a little. Don't worry though, Wyatt put it back in the dish.

Then he put the crust on top of the baking dish, like this.

He's thrilled I was taking pictures instead of helping.

And it was ready to bake, in a pre-heated 400 degree oven.

Almost ready to eat!

 

By this time, Wyatt was super hungry and didn’t want to wait. But it doesn’t take that long, and it gives you time to clean up, considering this recipe made a huge mess in our kitchen.

Wyatt accused me of being a messy cook, which offended me at first. I’m not that bad. But then I looked around and realized that instead of being upset, I should just admit, agree, and start cleaning. It was a mess, and I might as well give in to it. I’ll chalk avoiding that fight up to simply being realistic and not wanting to make a fight out of an innocent comment. That’s a choice we all have so often. I only wish I had the self control to always choose sanity. I guess that’s something that comes with more marriage experience…

…So we cleaned and Wyatt did dishes. (I didn’t even ask him to, he’s so good about that. I hope that’s not a “newlywed thing” he outgrows some year down the road.)

And pretty soon (after about 20 minutes), this happened:

Golden brown goodness.

And then it was time for this.

As Giada would say, "Buon Appetito!"

(Keep in mind, since we didn’t have individual ramekins, we had to scoop it out and serve it in bowls, which resulted in having to spoon out the filling around the crust layer in our bowl. But it’s still yummy, so don’t worry about that.

And if we make it again, we’re going to add potatoes, which we’d boil first and then add into the filling mixture I’d also use less peas and maybe add other veggies. Be creative, you can do whatever veggies you like best!

Either way, it was a fabulous way to use up our turkey (not all of it, we saved some for sandwiches!) and had fun in the kitchen. There’s nothing like a meal prepared with kisses and flirting in the kitchen. It makes it taste better, trust me.

How great is it to be a newlywed and not only be “allowed” but also “encouraged” to make out while cooking?

I think we’ll be like that forever. I just made an executive decision. I better go tell Hubs.

Categories: Food Fun | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

To Turkey or Not to Turkey

Hubs loves Thanksgiving food. He’d eat it for every holiday, special occasion, or random meal he could get it. And I’ve been holding off on making anything like it because he has such high expectations and I don’t want to compete with his memories of the perfect turkey.

Let’s face it, there’s nothing worse than hearing, “It’s not like Mom used to make.” Not fun.

Plus, I’ve heard lots of horror stories of what a pain it is to cook a turkey, and just how easy it is to mess it up, dry it out, or get it just plain wrong. I wouldn’t say I was scared, but I certainly wasn’t eager to try it out.

But Friday night was the annual potluck-style Thanksgiving meal for our friends and it was mentioned that a turkey would be missing from the table. I didn’t want to take it on, but after much encouraging from Wyatt, and talk of having ham (which since Wyatt doesn’t like at all, really got him trying to convince me), I gave in and headed to the grocery store.

I came home with this:

It's as big as my head. And do I look scared? Nope!

Since there was going to be so many other dishes there, and probably another meat, whether ham or chicken, or whatever, I just got a turkey breast. It was basically a small turkey with the legs and wings cut off, about 5.5 pounds.

I had no idea what I was doing so I just set out trying to copy and combine several ideas and recipes I’d seen. Here’s what I learned in the process.

I used an apple, carrots, and onion on the inside cavities, and a butter and herb mixture on the outside to help with flavor and getting that great golden brown skin. (In my family, the skin is what most of us fought over before dinner. Yum!)

In the oven, fingers crossed!

I had read that roasting the turkey breast side down (instead of the usual way with that side on the top) keeps the white meat more moist and juicy since all the juices run down. So I tried it, and flipped it over halfway through the cooking process so the skin could get nice and brown as well. And I brushed it with the melted butter mixture (butter, thyme, rosemary, parsley, garlic, salt, pepper, and apple juice) every fifteen to thirty minutes.

Mmmm....melted herb butter.

Pretty soon,  (well, not “soon,” so much, considering it took like 2 and a half hours) it looked like this:

Ready to carve!

In the meantime though, I had fun watching these:

(Not homemade, frozen, but I didn't have enough notice for homemade, and they were still delicious)

Turn into this:

Ready to bake!

And by this time, Wyatt was home from work so he could help me carve. He’d never done that before, either, but I told him about Alton Brown’s tips, and he dug in.

He was excited since he got to use a big knife.

(P.S. Notice the wedding ring on the counter…I moved it to the shelf, and told him that, but he still forgot it that night. He blames me. I say, “how can you not notice it’s not on your hand? It drives me crazy when I don’t have mine!”)

And we ended up with this:

It tasted even better than it looks, so we were both pretty happy with our first turkey efforts.

And we got the wishbone!

Success!

And yes, my night didn’t end up so well, considering the way I spent all Saturday morning. (Maybe I should have wished to not get super sick!) But we had a great time Friday night with friends, laughing and hearing old stories, and eating good food, despite whatever got me…

So, even though I’m not sure if I’m ready to eat Thanksgiving dinner again (hopefully tomorrow!) I’m happy to report that the turkey adventure wasn’t so scary. Hubs pretty much only ate that, so I think it’s safe to say he liked it.

In fact, I think I wouldn’t be scared to try it again sometime!

What about you? Are you scared to cook a turkey or are you a pro? Either way, I’d love to hear about it!

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Dinner with Friends, and more…

Last night, Wyatt and I had the blessing of having my best friend and her fiance over for dinner. It was our first time cooking for others in our little apartment (other than breakfast or dessert of something small like that) and I admit I was a little nervous because we don’t really have an open kitchen so it’s hard to talk to people while we’re cooking. Still, it was super fun to have them over for good conversation and good food.

(Is it wrong for me to call my own food good like that? I don’t think so…)

We had burgers topped with blue cheese butter (that I made), bacon, lettuce, and tomatoes, twice baked potatoes, and baked zucchini fries. (You’ve seen several of these recipes before, so I’m not going to worry about pictures and recipes, except for this one.)

Pumpkin cupcakes with maple cream cheese frosting. Oh. My. Yum.

I used the last of my fresh pumpkin I roasted (read about that adventure here) instead of the canned puree that the recipe calls for. And I didn’t use toffee bits to top them, I used a little pumpkin cookie mix I had leftover from the crust of the four layer pumpkin dessert I made and some pumpkin pie spice. I also substituted the ginger and nutmeg with pumpkin pie spice.

And I admit I used canned cream cheese frosting and added, real maple syrup (more than it called for), vanilla, and a pinch of salt to make my frosting. I wanted to make the real stuff, but I already had the cream cheese frosting and I wanted to get it out of my cabinet. Don’t judge me.

Also, I used my little mini cupcake maker I got last year from Christmas.

How cute, right?

It makes the cupcakes a bit more dense, but still pretty good.

They take only a few minutes to bake, but you have to check them because they don't cook evenly.

But they are super yummy when they come out. And hot. Watch out, they’ll burn you.

Like little muffins, but cake.

And I got to use my pretty serving platter. Liz, my best friend, said they looked like something from Martha Stewart. I don’t know about that, but it made me feel good, none the less.

YUM. YUM. YUM.

Needless to say, I’ll be making these again. Maybe for my family for thanksgiving, if they’re lucky.

Oh, and in case you haven’t had enough of Halloween yet, I wanted to show you some more pictures of our Halloween parties.

Here’s my friend Liz and her fiance. At Halloween party number 1.

They’re Jack and Sally from Nightmare before Christmas.

At party number 2, Drew Woolery, our host, had a photo booth set up. So there were tons of crazy awesome pictures. Here’s some to share with you guys. (Thanks, Drew, for letting me post your photos!)

Good times with good friends.

It was a fun time.

I like the Ms. Frizzle outfit. Nice!

Perhaps a bit too much fun for the little one…

Poor thing! All those shirtless guys!

There was lots of creative costumes.

Mr. and Mrs. Pacman.

And of course, your newlyweds…

Our clue characters made another appearance.

Anyway, I have more stuff to share with you guys, so be on the lookout for more posts to come soon!

Don’t forget about the opportunity to ask us questions (Yes, US, Wyatt said he would answer questions, too!) so we can all get to know each other better!

Categories: Adventures | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Pumpkin Seed Specials

So, remember when I posted all about roasting my own pumpkin and said I couldn’t tell you about what I did with the seeds yet because they were a special surprise for a friend?

Well, if not, that’s what happened, and you should check it out here.

Anyway, it’s time to spread the news about my special seeds. I have to admit that I don’t really like pumpkin seeds. They’re a bit too crunchy for me I think. But I also think they’re a bit…boring.

So I decided to divide my seeds into three groups and make three different flavors. I’d love if any pumpkin seed lovers tried them and let me know what you thought. I tasted them, but since I still don’t really love them (something about the texture I think…) I’m not sure which is the best recipe.

So, recipe number one: Almost Basic Pumpkin Seeds

Before roasting...

Ingredients:

1 cup pumpkin seeds, rinsed

1 Tbs olive oil

salt and pepper

Instructions:

Place the seeds in a single layer on a baking sheet, top with oil, salt and pepper (sea salt and fresh ground black pepper will make this better!) and mix with clean hands to make sure seeds are evenly coated.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour, “stirring” every fifteen minutes to prevent burning. Add extra salt on the last two stirrings.

 

After roasting! I love how golden they turn.

Recipe number two: Hot and Spicy Pumpkin Seeds

See those red pepper flakes? These are too hot for me!

Ingredients:

1 cup pumpkin seeds, rinsed

2 Tbs butter

1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp chili powder

2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

1/2 tsp garlic powder

salt and pepper

Instructions:

Melt butter in a small sauce pan on stove, add Worcestershire sauce, spices, seeds, and salt and pepper (again, sea salt and fresh ground if possible!) Mix until seeds are evenly coated.

Spread onto a baking sheet and roast for 60 minutes at 350 degrees, “stirring” every fifteen minutes to avoid burning. Sprinkle with extra salt and pepper for the last two stirrings.

Ready to eat! (But not for me..)

Recipe number 3: Maple Brown Sugar Pumpkin Seeds

All ready for roasting. These smelled SO GOOD. I wanted to lick the skillet clean!

Ingredients:

1 cup pumpkin seeds, rinsed

2 Tbs butter

1 Tbs REAL maple syrup

2 Tbs brown sugar

1/2 tsp cinnamon

salt

granulated sugar

Instructions:

Melt butter in a small sauce pan, add maple syrup, brown sugar, cinnamon, and seeds. Stir until evenly coated.

Spread on a baking sheet and sprinkle lightly with the salt and sugar.

Bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes, stirring every fifteen minutes. Add extra sugar the last two stirrings.

These have an almost candy-like coating and they stay a bit sticky until they're cooled.

And there ya have it! My special seeds. Hope you guys enjoy!

They look so festive on our table in my pretty serving dish.

(Because as delicious as they were, Hubs and I still don’t love them. But I hope you do!)

 

 

 

Categories: Food Fun | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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