Here’s a link to our family’s St. Patrick’s day favorite! We mix it up and go with the red cabbage though. I guess it’s a nod to our German roots! Enjoy!
So my daughter LOVES dill pickles!!! I even bought her a box of pickle juice pops for Christmas one year. LOL! She and her husband were hosting the Super Bowl party and I decided to try my hand at making dill pickle popcorn to bring. Everyone loved it!!!! We had two separate viewing rooms and people kept stealing the bowl back and forth, so I think it was a hit!!! If you like salt and vinegar chips, you will love this flavor profile.
Dill Pickle Popcorn
Mix together all the seasonings in a small bowl. Then in a large bowl mix popcorn, potato chips and seasoning mix. Enjoy!!!
I have always wanted to try making paella and I recently made that happen! I was in a FB conversation about spices and my friend, John, mentioned that he grows saffron. The most expensive spice in the world! After my head stopped spinning, I told him we were going to have to talk about this. He asked, “Over wine?”. I answered, “Yes, and paella!” Guess who called me that afternoon asking when we were getting together for wine and paella? LOL! John and his lovely wife have an amazing wine collection and are generous with it, so I’m always happy to have them over for dinner! They bring amazing wine and I do my best to cook amazing food!
So special note about this recipe, how do you clean mussels? You want to buy the freshest mussels you can get. You start by going through your mussels and if any are opened, tap on the shell with your fingernail. If it closes, you’re good to go. If it does not, throw it away! Or if you have any with broken shells that have been exposed to air, throw them away. You will almost always have to throw away a few. I got lucky and only had to throw away 2 out of my 1 1/2 pound batch. Those mussels that are opened and won’t or can’t close will be fishy and can ruin the flavor of your dish. You then want to pull off the beard from each mussel, if they have one. This is the stringy thing coming out of the shell. Then scrub each mussel under running water with a stiff brush. I did this a few hours ahead of time and then put the mussels in a bowl of salt water and stored them in the fridge. This allows them to release any sand or grit in them.
So the paella turned out great and it really wasn’t hard to make! I hope you enjoy this recipe!
Serves 6-8 people
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 medium white or yellow onion, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1/2 – 3/4 pound boneless, skinless chicken, cut into bite size pieces
1 pound andouille sausage links, cut into bite size pieces
2 cups basmati rice
6 cups chicken broth, divided
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp saffron threads
Fresh ground pepper
1 1/2 pounds mussels, cleaned and de bearded
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined (I love to buy the EZ peel shrimp! They are already deveined and they are truly easy peel!)
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
5 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley chopped
You will need an enamel coated dutch oven that is at least 5 quarts in size or another large pan.
Put olive oil in pan and sauté onion and bell pepper until softened. Then add garlic and cook until fragrant another 2 minutes. Next add chicken and sausage and cook for another 5 minutes until partially cooked. Next stir in the rice, 5 cups chicken broth, red pepper flakes, crumble in the saffron, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Cover the pot and simmer over medium-low heat for about 15 minutes. Stir the rice gently and continue cooking for another 10 minutes until the rice is fully cooked. Taste the rice and add more salt and pepper, if needed. Add the mussels, shrimp, peas and green onions and stir. Place lid on pot and allow seafood to steam, check after 5 -7 minutes. If the shrimp are not turning pink and mussels are not opening and you didn’t notice much steam, add some of the remaining chicken broth and continue cooking until the seafood is just cooked. You don’t want to over cook it, as the seafood will get tough.
You can make the rice portion a little ahead and then stick in the oven on low for a while, but you want to wait until right before serving to add and cook the seafood.
Before serving, garnish the paella with parsley. Serve with lemon wedges.
I served the paella with a wilted spinach salad and home baked bread. It was a delicious dinner! The leftovers were yummy too!
I love to cook and I’m pretty proficient in the kitchen, but I was intimidated by this recipe. I don’t know why. Maybe because I’m not big on making my own crusts. This recipe really wasn’t hard at all and the crust came together beautifully! It was a great add to our Thanksgiving table, but would be good any time you have lemons on hand. Our Meyer lemons were ripening, so this was the perfect use of them!
I can’t take credit for this recipe. This came from Ina Garten AKA The Barefoot Contessa. I knew it must be good. Ina would never steer us wrong!!!
Lemon Curd Tart
For the Tart Shell:
12 tbsp unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), plus more for greasing, all brought up to room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
For the Lemon Curd:
4 lemons at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 extra large eggs, at room temperature
1/8 tsp salt
1. Mix the butter and sugar together in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until they are just combined. Add the vanilla. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt, then add them to the butter-and-sugar mixture. Mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together. Dump onto a surface dusted with flour and shape into a flat disk. Press the dough into a 10-inch-round or 9-inch-square false-bottom tart pan, making sure that the finished edge is flat. Chill until firm.
2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
3. Butter 1 side of a square of aluminum foil to fit inside the chilled tart and place it, buttered side down, on the pastry. Fill with beans or rice. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and beans, prick the tart all over with the tines of a fork, and bake again for 20 to 25 minutes more, or until lightly browned. Allow to cool to room temperature.
For the lemon curd:
1. Remove the zest of the lemons with a vegetable peeler or zester, being careful to avoid the white pith. Squeeze the lemons to make 1/2 cup of juice and set the juice aside. Put the zest in a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the sugar and process for 2 to 3 minutes, until the zest is very finely minced. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter with the sugar and lemon zest. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and then add the lemon juice and salt. Mix until combined.
2. Pour the mixture into a 2-quart saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 10-15 minutes. The lemon curd will thicken at about 175 degrees F, or just below a simmer. Remove from the heat.
3. Fill the tart shell with warm lemon curd and allow to set at room temperature.
Want a seasonal treat to share with friends, family and neighbors? Or just something to make your home smell fabulous and enjoy with your morning coffee? This pumpkin bread will fill the bill. It is so moist and delicious!!! I’ve been making it like crazy for the last month or so and everyone that has had it, just loves it! It’s pretty easy to make too!
I can’t take credit for this recipe. It comes from the Food Network Kitchen. I do like that the one recipe makes 2 large or 3 medium size loaves, so there is some for you and some to share! You could even add some raisins or nuts to this, if you like!
I hope you enjoy it as much as our family does!
The BEST Pumpkin Bread
3 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable or canola oil
15 oz can of puréed pumpkin
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp all spice
1/2 tsp ground cloves
2/3 cup water
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Butter and flour two large loaf or 3 medium loaf pans.
Blend together sugar and oil until well mixed. Next add the eggs and pumpkin and mix until combined. In a separate bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients and whisk until well combined. While the mixer is running spoon the dry mixture into the wet. About half way through add half of the water, then continue adding the dry ingredients and at the end add the remaining water.
Pour and equal amount of batter into each loaf pan. Bake for 60-70 minutes. To check for doneness, insert a toothpick in the center and it should come out clean.
Allow to cook in pans for 10 minutes and then turn out of pans and continue to cool loaves on a rack. It will slice cleaner when it has been allowed to cool for a while.
Enjoy!!! Happy Thanksgiving!!!
1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour two 9-by-5-inch loaf pans.
2 Whisk together the sugar and oil in a large bowl until well combined. Whisk in the eggs and pumpkin until combined.
3 Combine the flour, salt, baking soda, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon and cloves in a medium bowl and whisk until well combined. Add half the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and stir to combine. Add half the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and stir to combine. Add half the water and stir to combine. Repeat with the remaining flour and water.
4 Divide the batter between the prepared loaf pans. Bake until cake tester comes out clean and the loaves are golden brown, about 1 hour. Let the loaves cool in the pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from the pans and let cool completely, about 1 hour.
I love chorizo!!! So why not put it in your Thanksgiving dressing (or stuffing!)?!? The combination of fresh baked cornbread, chorizo and fresh veggies makes this stuffing a homerun. It is my absolute favorite dish on the Thanksgiving table.
I had an extra can of pumpkin puree hanging out and we were having a family birthday luncheon, so I thought we needed a pumpkin flavored dip. I’ve made hummus plenty of time. It’s so easy!!! Why not add that pumpkin flavor for a perfect fall dip! Our whole family loved this dip and it was so easy to make and healthy to boot!
If you’ve never made hummus, it’s one of those things where you just dump all the ingredients in your food processor and blend it up. That’s it!
This recipe has some spice to it with the cayenne pepper. I didn’t find it super spicy, but you can add that pepper a little at a time and taste along the way if you want to control the spice level.
I hope you like it! It’s a great add to your Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving appetizer table! And if you end up with a bunch of leftovers, you could use it to make this awesome Hummus Crusted Chicken!
I hope you and your loved ones have a blessed Thanksgiving! I’m always grateful for all of you that take the time to read my blog!
Spicy Pumpkin Hummus
1 – 15 oz can of pumpkin puree
1 – 15 oz can of garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained & rinsed
Juice of one lemon
3 tbsp tahini
2 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove
1 tsp Cayenne pepper (or less if you don’t want it as spicy)
1 tsp cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
Put pumpkin and garbanzo beans in food processor and blend until fairly smooth. Add all other ingredients and blend until smooth and completely blended. Scrape sides of bowl and continue to blend as needed.
This can even be made the day before as it’s one of those things that gets better as it sits.
Makes about 3 cups of hummus.
Yesterday, we had a little Kentucky Derby party at our house. Being that it’s a very southern thing, I thought the menu should follow suit. I’m a California native, but I was born into a family with southern roots. I grew up eating the jarred pimento cheese. You know the kind where you have a lovely drinking glass after you eat all the cheese? Well I thought I would get a little more authentic and make the pimento cheese from scratch. It was totally worth the effort! We have a new family favorite!!!
This definitely can’t be defined as a healthy food, but once in a while its OK to splurge, right?!? Anyway, it’s delicious and would be a great dip/spread to add to any party.
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 cups shredded white cheddar cheese
1 – 4 oz jar of diced pimentos
1/2 cup mayonnaise (I used light)
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 plus tsp cayenne pepper (Add more if you want it spicier)
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
Salt to taste
Put all ingredients in food processor and blend until smooth. I made mine a day ahead and it definitely tasted better the second day. Feel free to play with the spice amounts to get a flavor you enjoy.
Remember: Taste as you cook!
I never thought I would use my bundt pan this way!!! One of my favorite cooking shows is the Food Network’s “The Kitchen”. A panel of people from cooks to Iron Chef’s discuss various cooking techniques, recipes and tools. One of the regular hosts, Jeff Mauro, demonstrated the recipe for Hot Tub Chicken. Just the name peaked my interest! Who doesn’t love a hot tub!!! It’s not just fun, it also happens to be mighty delicious! This brined chicken with roasted veggies is moist and incredibly flavorful. So grab your bundt pan and let’s get going!!!
Don’t forget to save that chicken carcass to make your own chicken broth once your done carving that chicken.
Hot Tub Chicken With Roasted Fennel and Sweet Potatoes
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder
4 lemons, zested and juiced
2 cloves garlic, smashed
Chicken and Roasted Vegetables:
One 3- to 4-pound chicken, skin slightly separated from the muscle for marinade penetration
8 red, yellow or orange mini bell peppers, halved
1 medium sweet potato, sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
1 medium fennel bulb, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 small yellow onion, cut into 1/4-inch slices
2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup white wine
4 cloves garlic, smashed
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon butter
Special equipment: a bundt pan
For the marinade: In a bowl, whisk together the oil, salt, paprika, chili powder, lemon zest and juice and garlic.
For the chicken and roasted vegetables: Put the chicken in a large resealable plastic bag, add the marinade and marinate for at least 8 hours and up to overnight.
When ready to roast, position an oven rack in the bottom third of the oven (to leave clearance for the bundt pan and chicken) and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Toss the peppers, sweet potatoes and half of the fennel and onions in a bowl with the olive oil and some salt and pepper. Spread the vegetables out on a baking sheet, leaving the center clear for the bundt pan.
In the bottom of a bundt pan, add the wine, garlic, rosemary and remaining fennel and onions. Remove the chicken from the marinade (discard the marinade) and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Using a square of foil, cover the hole of the bundt. Stand the chicken upright on the bundt center over the foil. Roast until the chicken registers 165 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer, about 50 minutes. Let the chicken rest for 15 minutes before serving.
Meanwhile, strain the residual juices in the bundt pan and pour into a medium skillet. Bring to a simmer and cook until reduced by half. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and slowly whisk in the butter.
Carve the chicken and place over the roasted vegetables on a platter. Pour the pan sauce over the chicken and serve.
My husband loves stuffed mushrooms and we had some crab, so I thought I would put it to good use making crab stuffed mushrooms. These were delicious and the highlight of our New Year’s Eve dinner. I searched WordPress and found the recipe at the link attached. The only change I made was to use fresh crab rather than canned. It’s crab season and I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, so I wouldn’t dream of using canned crab unless forced to! These were easy to make and were delicious! They would be impressive to serve to dinner or party guests too!
Happy new year!!!