Friday, November 30, 2012

Gumbo with Chicken Sausage, and Shrimp




By now you know about my obsession errr love for soup. You also know that my dear boyfriend does not share this love with me. In fact it has gotten to the point that I don't even mention I am making soup until the last minute. That way he can't try to figure out something else to make for dinner! This little dilemma has led me to try to compromise a bit here and there. There either needs to be meat in the soup or I need to make something else on the side. 

Once I let this idea sink in (and stopped pouting because I wanted things to just go my way), I realized this wasn't such a bad idea. I have been asked for more sandwich recipes, and soup and sandwiches is a nice casual dinner or lunch idea right? I mean I love going out and getting the soup and sandwich combos. So I started writing ideas and looking online and through my books/magazines for even more. Gumbo just popped into my head as a great place to start. I have been wanting to make it for one, and there is a ton of meat in it. I mean how could he argue with a meal that has chicken, sausage, and shrimp in it? Right, he can't!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Maple Bourbon Pork Chops and Whipped Potatoes with Apples and Onions


Maple Bourbon Pork Chops and Whipped Potatoes with Apples and Onions


Do you ever have those moments when you are doing something and out of the blue ideas for something else just pop into your head? This has been happening to me quite often lately. When I am driving ideas for a recipe will just BANG hit me,which is awesome right? Well it would be if my ADD wasn't so dang bad. I mean just driving is a serious challenge for me at times. I have been known to be driving somewhere that I have been to a million times before, and at some point take the wrong exit on the freeway or turn down a wrong road. It is bad enough when I am alone, but when someone is with me it is a tad bit embarrassing! SO when these ideas pop into my head I have to say the ingredient list out loud over and over to try and help me remember. Again, not so bad when you are alone but if you have passengers they really think about exiting the car once it slows down to about 30 MPH!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Parker House Rolls with Sea Salt





Today is a bit of a rough one for me because it is the first anniversary of my Dad's death. I knew it would be hard, and it is. Kevin says that I have to be happy that he isn't here and sick anymore, and I am. But I would sure give anything to bring him back healthy. He was a wonderful man and a terrific supportive father. I know he would be so proud of me for what I am doing. I miss you Dad!!!

Ok, I was not trying to be Debbie Downer with that. The reason I told you is so you would understand the meaning behind this post. I mean I know I had talked over and over about wanting to tackle (and win) bread making. So far I have made pizza dough twice and both times it has been fantastic. But bread? Not so much. Up until this try I was 0 for 3. I mean I have just seriously been getting my butt kicked by a bowl full of dough! It is really quite sad when you think about it. I mean come on Bobbi, you can make pizza dough...sheesh!!
So when I started planning Thanksgiving I knew I was going to give the bread making one more shot. Why you ask? Oh and you aren't the first to ask, Kevin thought I was completely insane for trying it when I was already stressed out from planning a meal for 14 people. The answer? I am completely insane.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies




Happy Tinsel Tuesday everyone! Well, we made it through Thanksgiving with very little stress actually. I was very proud of myself. I am usually a wreck by the big day worrying about the food coming out right and on time, everyone being comfortable and entertained, etc. You know the feeling, by the time dinner is ready you are so stressed out you can't eat and want to go hide with a bottle of wine? Truly I expected to lose my mind because I had 12 people here and most of them were my son's girlfriend's family. They have been together for almost a year now, but the families have only gotten together a handful of times, so it was a true test of my sanity (and I always choke on test day). But I have to say this year was such a wonderful respite from the usual chaos. The families just click together in a way I have never seen before. I didn't freak out on little bit and enjoyed every single minute of the time we spent together!


Monday, November 26, 2012

Manic Monday Party #19


Hi everyone and Happy Manic Monday! "Tis the season, at least at our house, to decorate the house as bright and crazy for Christmas as possible. Oh nothing like this picture, but I have been know to come very close. Below is what I did to the apartment I was living in a few years ago. The neighbor used to bring her daughter by every time I decorated (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas) because she said it  made her smile.


It is also "Cyber Monday" so I am multi tasking today, decorate, work, shop. Crazy manic day here for sure, and I still have to figure out what to make for dinner. Kevin is a bit tired of Thanksgiving leftovers (although he may still be getting some). But I could definitely use some last minute ideas for a quick meal! So let's get to our wonderful features from last weeks party!!




Smoky Red Shredded Chicken Enchiladas from Sumptuous Spoonfuls  


Cranberry-Cheddar Quick Bread from What's Cooking?

What a wonderful group of recipes we had last week! It was hard to find the top three because everyone loved everything!! I can't wait to see what you all come up with this week.

So let's get down to business. If I have ever needed some manic Monday ideas today is the day so load me up with your last minute meal ideas!! 

As usual, the rules are;

Link up the picture to the post not your main blog page
Please link back to this page on your blog post.
Make sure to follow me on FacebookTwitter, and Pintrest. I will be tweeting, pinning, and posting your recipes all week long. 

Leave up to 3 recipes that will help with the last minute Manic Monday scramble, or fit in with the weekly subcategory if applicable.

Please grab one of my buttons from above or the side bar and add it to your post or a special linky party page if you have one.

Don't forget to leave me a comment. I love to know who is here and spread the word, the more the merrier!!

Remember to vote for your favorites and please don't forget to click on the other recipes and show them some foodie love too!







Wednesday, November 21, 2012

New York Style Cheesecake Cupcakes


This year I have vowed to overcome my baking issues. Oh don't get me wrong, I can bake a mean chocolate chip cookie, but anything more complicated than that and I have trouble. And bread? Oy don't even get me started on my issues with bread! But like I said, I am determined to conquer this. I am even planning on making homemade Parker rolls for Thanksgiving *crossing fingers* so pray for me, I know I am going to need it!!

I found these cupcakes on Pintrest. There were several blogs that had made them, so I picked the one that had the prettiest picture, hey you eat with your eyes first right? I know when I see a picture that makes me drool that it has to be a recipe I can at least work with. I just need to get better with my photography.

The family has been pretty happy with my baking plans though. I have only, knock on wood, messed up one batch of cookies so that is impressive for me. Plus the goodies I have made are disappearing very quickly. Now I am getting phone calls asking what I am making next. Yay me!!

Now, about these little dreams, all I can say is YUM! I love cheesecake, it is hands down one of my favorite desserts, my Cinnamon Roll Cheesecake being my all time fave, and these did not disappoint my cheesecake sweet tooth one bit! Seth and Heather both said they were fantastic and Kevin, well where do you think the rest of the cupcakes went? Another thing is that the recipe is super easy. I mean if I can do it without muttering a few colorful phrases under my breath then you know you can do it!!




New York Style Cheesecake Cupcakes
originally found on My Favorite Things


1 cup of all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
a pinch of salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup 
whole milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 graham cracker pie crust, finely crushed
cream cheese frosting  (recipe below)


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line cupcake pan with cupcake liners.

Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and butter in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment and beat on slow speed until you get a sandy consistency and everything is combined.

Add the milk and vanilla and beat on medium speed until all the ingredients are well mixed, make sure to scrape the sides of the bowl.

Add the egg to the batter and beat well for a few minutes.
Spoon the batter until two-thirds full and bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until light golden and the cake tops bounce back when touched. A tooth pick inserted in the center should come out clean.


Let the cupcakes cool slightly in the pan before placing on a cooling rack. Allow to cool completely.

When the cupcakes are cold, frost them and finish with a sprinkling of crumbled graham cracker pie crust.

Cream Cheese Frosting


2 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 oz. cream cheese, cold



Beat the confectioners' sugar and butter together in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment on medium-slow speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed.

Add the cream cheese in one go and beat until it is completely incorporated.

Turn the mixer up to medium-high speed and continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy. This should take at least five minutes. However, be careful not to over beat as the frosting can quickly become runny.

ENJOY!!


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Make Ahead Turkey Gravy




I know today is supposed to be Tinsel Tuesday, but I had several of my Facebook followers ask for this recipe when they found out I was making it yesterday. This year I am trying to get as many things done ahead of time so I am not in a time crunch on Thanksgiving day. I am entertaining my son's girlfriend's family, so there will be anywhere from 10 to 15 people here at the house. Small kitchen + lots of people = I need to try to de-stress as much as possible! I have a 26 pound bird to cook so that has me stressed out enough!

The whole time I was cooking up this gravy Kevin kept saying "Wow it smells good in here" and it did. It smelled like Thanksgiving in my kitchen! Talk about  making you hungry? I wanted my turkey right then and there. That is the downside of make ahead gravy. This recipe takes a bit of time but creates such a rich flavorful gravy it is worth it!! Kevin and I were dipping bread in the remnants at the bottom of the pot!! I think we could have easily made that dinner had there been much more in the pan (the gravy in the rubbermaid container was off limits!).

Monday, November 19, 2012

Manic Monday Party #18 Happy Thanksgiving!!


WOW, it is finally here. 3 more days and we will all be celebrating with our families. The stress of cooking will be passed and many of us will be in a turkey coma!! But when it comes to the next day we are faced with what to do with all of the leftover food. It is a perfect way to have some quick meals planned out. 

You can of course post whatever recipe you would like to share for Manic Monday, but this weeks sub category is What to do with Thanksgiving Leftovers. Do you have a family favorite, something that you always make with the leftovers every year? Or how about a new fresh idea to help people make some tasty treats out of that left over Turkey Day spread? Let's share them here!!

First lets share the top three posts from last weeks party....


BOOZIE BUNDT from Crumbs in My Moustachio


Pumpkin Pound Cake from Feed Your Soul


Sweet Potato, Chicken, and Apple Hash from Inspired by eRecipeCards.com


There were so many great recipes shared for the last party. I want to thank you all so much! It the biggest party yet! But I know the best is to come because we know how to party right?

So let's get down to business....

Link up the picture to the post not your main blog page
Please link back to this page on your blog post.
Make sure to follow me on FacebookTwitter, and Pintrest. I will be tweeting, pinning, and posting your recipes all week long. 

Leave up to 3 recipes that will help with the last minute Manic Monday scramble, or fit in with the weekly subcategory .

It would be really nice if you could grab one of my buttons from above or the side bar and add it to your post or a special linky party page if you have one.

Please leave me a comment. I love to know who is here and spread the word, the more the merrier!!

Remember to vote for your favorites and please don't forget to click on the other recipes and show them some foodie love!



Saturday, November 17, 2012

Leftover Turkey Soup for What to do with #Thanksgiving #Leftovers #SundaySupper



I love the holidays. All of the food, family, and fun. One of the things I especially love though is leftovers! I like to take the next few days and use them in tons of different ways. Leftover turkey sandwiches, Turkey Croquets, Turkey Casseroles, etc. But one of the families all time favorites is for me to make my turkey soup.

I love curling up with a big bowl of this soup the day after Thanksgiving. Everyone is still pretty full and I am tired from all of the cooking, so it usually ends up a family movie night, and more often than not the movie is National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. We all love that movie and it just kicks off Christmas for us. I give everyone a day off on Friday but I will have them out slaving away on Saturday putting up Christmas decorations LOL I mean I did feed them right? 

I do go a little overboard on the decorations sometimes, I will admit. When the kids were young we actually would have people bring their kids to see our house. The last few years we have toned it down, but since we moved into the new place Kevin has informed me that we are going to "light the whole place up". Alrighty then, this could get interesting!!

This year I am also very happy to be able to share my recipe with the #SundaySupper crew.  If you haven't heard about #SundaySupper yet let me explain. It is the baby of a wonderful woman and mentor Isabel from Family Foodie. It has been her mission to bring the family back around the supper table together. I am so proud and honored to participate in this with her and the many other fabulous bloggers who's posts for this weeks theme of What to do with Thanksgiving Leftovers are linked at the bottom of this page.






Leftover Turkey Soup

Broth:
1 leftover turkey carcass, picked clean of meat
4 cups chicken stock
6 cups water
1 carrot, chopped
3 stalks of celery, chopped
1 onion, halved
bay leaf

Soup:
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, minced
2 carrots, minced
2 stalks celery, minced
1 (16-ounce) package of noodles (Recommended Grandma’s Fresh Frozen Homemade Style wide egg noodles)
2 cups cubed turkey meat
1 to 2 cups leftover gravy if available
Salt and pepper
Fresh flat leaf parsley, for garnish (optional)

To make the  broth: 
Place all ingredients in a large stock pot. Bring to a boil and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.  Add water if the level drops below the carcass. Remove turkey carcass from pot and discard.  Strain both with a colander into another stock pot.  Discard remains in colander.  

Make the Soup: 
In stock pot the broth cooked in, melt butter.  Add minced onion, carrot, and celery.  Cook over medium heat until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. If using, add gravy and mix well until gravy is heated through
Add onion mixture and 4 to 6 cups of stock to stock pot and bring to a boil.  Thaw noodles according to package directions.  Add pasta and boil for time required on package. Add turkey and simmer for 30 minutes. Check seasoning and add salt and or pepper if needed.  Ladle into bowls and top each serving with a little fresh parsley if desired.
If any soup is left over, it will thicken up after refrigeration.  Just add a little water (or leftover broth) when reheating to thin it back down.

ENJOY!!

Breakfast & Brunch

Main Course

Soups, Salads, Sides & Starters

Sweets & Desserts

Wine Pairings for the Recipes Featured

Please join on us on Twitter throughout the day during #SundaySupper today,  November 18, 2012.  In the evening we will meet at 7pm EST for our weekly #SundaySupper live chat.
All you have to do is follow the #SundaySupper hashtag or you can follow us through TweetChat.
We’d also love to feature your recipe for Thanksgiving Leftovers on our #SundaySupper Pinterest board to share them with all of our followers, too.
Thanks for visiting this week!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Sausage and White Bean Soup



Yesterday was a cold, drizzly, windy day here in Western Washington. I know you are thinking "cold, drizzly, and windy in Washington? NO WAY!" But yes dear friends, it was miserable. On top of mother nature bringing me down, I felt like I was coming down with a cold. I wanted to curl up under the covers in my jammies, I wanted to watch cheesy 80's movies,I wanted my Mommy! But my jammies were in the laundry, and there were no 80's movies on TV so I knew I would have to settle with something warm and yummy in my tummy. I took up the challenge and I ransacked my pantry. I was very happy with what I found.

Ahhh soup, glorious soup. As you all know I am a lover of all things "soupish". Stews, Chowders, even Chili's make me such a happy camper during the cold dreary months here in the Pacific Northwest. Which by the way last pretty much from October to July so I have tons of soup days!

I know I have mentioned that Kevin does not share this love of mine. In fact it is quite the opposite. He looks at soup as maybe and appetizer? He is looking for the real meal that goes with it. Many a time he has to walk away disappointed, or with a grilled cheese sandwich to supplement his meal experience. 

This evening though was much different though my friends. On this evening he was not only perfectly content with the idea of this soup as the main meal, he went back for seconds and thirds!! I was afraid to get between him and the pot for fear of being stabbed with his spoon!!! I have to agree though, this really is one of my favorite soups. You have the meatiness of the sausage, the creamy white beans, and just enough heat to make your mouth warm and tingly but it doesn't blow the top off of your head. 

When a soup warms me, fills me up, and makes me want to curl up on the couch and purr with contentment, well I am just a happy happy camper!!


Sausage and White Bean Soup

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound sweet Italian turkey sausage
1 large sweet onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced
4 stalks of celery with leaves, diced
1/2 cup fresh flat leaf parsley leaves, chopped
3 teaspoons dried oregano
Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
1 cup dry white wine
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 15-ounce cans cannellini beans 
1 quart chicken stock

In a deep soup pot heat 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil over medium-high heat. Add sausage and  brown well, breaking it up into little bits. Remove sausage from pot and reserve.

To the pot add the remaining olive oil, onions, garlic, chili peppers, celery, parsley, oregano, salt, and pepper. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes or so, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent. Add the white wine, scrapping the bottom of the pan to release any brown bits there might be. Return the sausage to the pot. Add the crushed tomatoes, cannellini beans, and chicken stock.

Bring to a boil, once boiling reduce heat to a simmer, cover the pot and let it cook for 30 mins stirring occasionally.

ENJOY!!!





Thursday, November 15, 2012

Chicken, Spinach, and Noodle Casserole




Last night was a great night. Spur of the moment my kiddos (my son and his girlfriend) decided to pop by. It was happy for one because we needed his help moving my china hutch. But mostly because ever since we all got our own places I miss the crap out of them! It is funny, we all knew that we needed to move on and get places of our own. But dang it is so had to be away from them, at least for me.

It is funny, I spent a lot of the day on Monday unpacking boxes and putting things away in my dining room. We are having about 15 people here for Thanksgiving so I figured it might be a good idea to finally unpack the boxes that have been sitting there for a couple of months. Once I had the boxes unpacked and all of my china and crystal on my dining room table I started to look around at the room and decided I wanted to change how it was arranged. 

Now it was no surprise to my son, or would it be to anyone that has known me for a long time, but Kevin was kind of hit out of the blue with it. I move furniture all of the time. I have to get a "feel" for the room, and until it feels right I am constantly rearranging. He tried arguing with me about the need to move the hutch, but he eventually backed down. My son could have saved him the time, you will never convince me it doesn't need to be moved if I think it does!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Roasted Ranch Potatoes




Do you sometimes get stumped about what to make for a side dish? I know I sure do. I always defer to potatoes or rice when that happens. But potatoes and rice can get pretty boring right? Sometimes I come up with ideas right off the top of my head, other times I head to my good old standby Pintrest!! I have a TON of things pinned so there is plenty of things to choose from. This was one of the times my creative juices were just not flowing. I fired up the computer, popped on to Pintrest, and found this dish that I had saved as one I wanted to work on.

When I say "work on" I mean I find dishes that sounds awesome to me but I want to lighten them up maybe, or use some different ingredients. This was one I wanted to lighten up. I was a bit nervous about taking out all of the "good stuff". I thought maybe it would lose the flavor. But boy was I wrong! There is the familiar zip of Ranch dressing but a lighter version. YAY!!! A winner!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Tinsel Tuesday - Chai Sugar Cookies




Happy "Tinsel" Tuesday my friends. Yes, I know it is usually Tipsy Tuesday but I have decided to change that up just a bit for the Holidays. So Tuesday will be reserved for holiday themed posts. Cookies, cakes, side dishes, and yes, even drinks. Anything that puts you in a holiday state of mind.

I haven't really baked in about 5 years. In 2007 my daughter and I lived in a small apartment in San Diego. It had 4 apartments in each block of apartments. So that year I decided I would bake cookies for all of my neighbors and friends. I had bought countless magazines and cookie cookbooks, watched Food Network, and made notes like a crazy woman whenever I found anything cookie-ish. 

My daughter was on a Chai Tea Latte kick, so when she saw these beauties she begged me to make them. I actually made these and Chai Shortbread cookies. If you all are interested I will make those as well. They are great with tea or coffee!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Manic Monday Party #17

Ahhhh yes, Monday is here again. That pesky day that can send us all into a head spin, trying to balance work, family, etc. And somewhere in there a meal or two needs to be planned right? I don't know about you but especially at this time of year I wish I could clone myself because there just doesn't seem like there is enough of me to go around!!
That is why I am looking forward to this weeks Manic Monday. I have been doing a bit of baking this past week, which if you have been reading my blog for a while you know is a big thing. I have been baking cookies, cupcakes, and bread....well the cookies and cup cakes have been for a the most part good. The bread? I think it would have made a really good weapon but not sure anyone would want to eat it!! OH well, I will try again, I am determined this time!!
Enough about me, lets get on to this weeks features OK? After so many great shares these are the top three from last weeks party.

Savory Bread Pudding - Red Lobster Copy Cat Garlic Biscuits from Inspired by eRecipeCards.com


Slow Cooker Sauerbraten Beef in Gingersnap Gravy from Love Bakes Good Cakes



Hertzoggie Cookies from With a Blast







Some fantastic food last week. Very drool worthy!! So let's do it again this week! As always you are invited to leave up to 3 recipes to help with the Manic Monday meal planning scramble. This weeks subcategory is 
Holiday gifts from your kitchen. Are you known for a certain cookie or candy that you make at the holidays? Do you enjoy making homemade treats to give away? I would love to hear about it and to have you share those recipes with us all!!

Now on to the rules.....

Link up the picture to the post not your main blog page
Please link back to this page on your blog post.
Make sure to follow me on FacebookTwitter, and Pintrest. I will be tweeting, pinning, and posting your recipes all week long. I just love doing that!! 

Leave up to 3 recipes that will help with the last minute Manic Monday scramble, or fit in with the weekly subcategory .

It would be really nice if you could grab one of my buttons from above or the side bar and add it to your post or a special linky party page if you have one.

Please leave me a comment. I love to know who is here and spread the word, the more the merrier!!

Remember to vote for your favorites and please don't forget to click on the other recipes and show them some foodie love!