Thanksgiving Favorites

Yes, I have been a slacker lately, I have lots of new and delicious recipes but I just haven’t gotten around to posting them, it is on my to do list this week though. Since November seems like it is flying by and I wanted to post some of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes before the big Turkey Day.

Spiced Pear Sangria

Spiced Pear Sangria

 

 

Creamy Pumpkin Dip

Creamy Pumpkin Dip

 

 

Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Jalapenos 

Creamy Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Jalapenos

 

Spiced Rum Cranberry Sauce

Spiced Rum Cranberry Sauce

 

Roasted Vegetable Orzo with Parmesan Cheese

Roasted Vegetable Orzo with Parmesan Cheese

 

Chipotle Maple Acorn Squash

Chipotle Maple Acorn Squash

 

Spicy Pumpkin Hummus

Spicy Pumpkin Hummus with Beer

Enjoy!

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Mexican Corn Salad

Mexican Corn Salad

A smokey, sweet, fresh and zesty side to go with steaks or grilled chicken.

Mexican Corn Salad

5 ears of fresh corn on the cob,husks and silk removed

1 T olive oil

1/4 c crema ( a mexican sour cream found in the dairy section) or 3 T sour cream and 1 T mayo

1/4 t smoked paprika

zest of 1 lime

juice of 1 lime

1/2 cup crumbled Queso Fresco ( mexican crumbling cheese) you could substitute Parmesan or Feta but use less as they are stronger cheeses

1 T chopped parsley or cilantro

salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 Drizzle olive oil over corn and rub in ensuring all sides are coated. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. roast for about 20 minutes or until corn starts to char.

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Let corn cool so you are able to handle it and remove niblets from cob with a sharp knife. Mix together with remaining ingredients, season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve.

* you could grill the corn as well, that was my intention before it started pouring down rain.

Memorial Day Weekend Menu

Looking for some new recipes to celebrate your long weekend. Here are some of my favorites.

Oma's Potato Salad

Oma’s Potato Salad

Red White and Blue Strawberries

Red White and Blue Strawberries

Red, White, and Blue Salad

Red White and Blue Salad

Barbecued Orange and Jalapeno Ribs

Orange and Jalapeno Ribs

The Best Broccoli

The Best Broccoli: Lemon, Olive OIl and Parmesan

Sides can be boring, this one isn’t. Perk up your broccoli with this easy recipe but be careful it might steal the show.

Broccoli with Lemon, Olive Oil and Parmesan

1 head of broccoli, cut into florets

1-2 t olive oil

1 T lemon juice

1/4 c shredded or shaved parmesan cheese

1/4 t salt

Steam broccoli until crisp tender. I used a microwave steam bag this time, but any method with work, just don’t over cook it. Toss with oil, lemon juice, parmesan and salt. Serve.

Roasted Succotash Salad

Roasted Succotash Salad

Roasted Succotash Salad

This is bursting with flavor and super easy to make.

Roasted Succotash Salad

1 box frozen corn, thawed

1 box frozen lima beans, thawed

1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes halved

1 T chopped fresh basil

Olive oil

lime juice (from 1 lime)

salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees, toss corn and lima beans with about 1 T olive oil. I do this in a colander so I don’t use any excess oil. Place on a sheet pan and season with salt and pepper. Roast veggies for about 15-20 minutes or until corn get brown on the edges. Add to a mixing bowl with tomatoes, basil and squeeze the juice of 1 lime over the top, season with additional salt and pepper if needed. Great warm or room temperature so it’s perfect for pot lucks.

Creamy Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Jalapenos

 

I always thought I hated sweet potatoes/yams when I was young because the only way I had ever had them was canned at Thanksgiving with the marshmallows on top. Well then I realized that they could be used in as many applications as regular potatoes and they were fresh and delicious. This was one of my very first sweet potato recipes and is still my favorite, try this for Thanksgiving instead of the old mushy stand by.

Creamy Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Jalapenos

2 large sweet potatoes peeled and cut into 4ths

1 t salt

2 T butter

1 small jalapeno minced ( use more or less depending on your tastes and heat of your pepper)

2 t minced garlic

1/4 c cream cheese

1/4 c milk

salt and pepper to taste

Boil potatoes with salt in a large pot until tender. Drain potatoes and add to a bowl, add butter, jalapeno, garlic, cream cheese and milk, mash together with a potato masher or whip with a mixer until smooth. Season with salt and pepper and serve. This makes approximately 4 servings, can be doubled or tripled.

 

Rosemary and Tangerine Shrimp with White Bean Puree

 

Why is it that the best recipes come out of necessity? I was feeling lazy and did not want to go to the grocery store so I used all the leftovers in my pantry, freezer, and herb garden and they came together like magic. These shrimp were light, flavorful, easy and delicious. The rosemary and tangerine worked beautifully together, but I think oranges would be fine too. Great with the white bean puree, also dug up from the pantry, but would be good with rice or pasta as well.

Rosemary and Tangerine Shrimp

1lb frozen shrimp defrosted under cold water

1 tsp tangerine zest

juice from 2 tangerines

4 cloves of garlic chopped

1 T chopped rosemary

1 t salt

2 t olive oil

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl or large ziplock bag and add shrimp, marinate in the refrigerator for 1/2 hour.

Heat a large skillet over med high, remove shrimp from marinade and place in pan, saving marinade. cook for 5 minutes, turning once.

 

add marinade back to pan and bring to a boil, simmer for 1-2 minutes. Serve.

 

White Bean Puree

2 cans white beans, drained and rinsed

1 T lemon juice

1 tsp lemon zest

1 T parsley chopped

3 cloves of garlic

1/4 c water

Add all ingredients to a sauce pan, bring to a boil and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes. Mash, blend or use a food processor to make into a puree.

 

Twice Baked Cauliflower Casserole

 

Cauliflower replaces the higher carb potatoes or grits in this easy cheesy casserole.

Twice Baked Cauliflower

1 1/2 heads of Cauliflower, cut  into large pieces

1/4 c water

1/4 c cream

4 oz cream cheese

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

2 T butter

1/4 t cayenne pepper, 1/4 t salt

1/8 t black pepper

2 eggs (beaten)

6 strips of cooked bacon crumbled

Place cauliflower and water in a large pot, bring to a boil reduce heat to simmer and cover. Cook for about 7-10 minute or until cauliflower is soft. Drain Water. Add cream and butter. Using a hand held blender, puree the cauliflower until smooth. (you could mash, use a blender of food processor too)

Mix in cream cheese, cheddar, salt, cayenne and pepper. Add in eggs. Pour into a large baking pan and top with cooked bacon (omit for a vegetarian option).

 

Bake at 350 for about 30 min.

 

A Perfect Pair; Cheese and Sangria Wine Jelly

What goes better with cheese than wine?  I love little cheese plates for snacks and parties. I always like to serve them with fruit spreads to add a little sweetness and contrast. Apricot jam, Pear preserves etc.. but then I heard of wine jelly and thought, yum! I decided to incorporate some fruit and other flavors into mine, much like you would for a sangria. I am not a jelly/jam maker. I don’t have jars and tongs and all that jazz so I made a simple batch and just refrigerated it. Do plan ahead because even though this is easy to make it can take 1-3 days to get to a jelly like consistency.It will loosen at room temp, but re-jells when refrigerated. Serve as a side on a cheese plate, over cream cheese with crackers, or on top of grilled chicken or pork.

Sangria Wine Jelly

2 1/2 c of wine ( I used a Cabernet)

Juice from 1 Orange

Juice from 1 Lime

Juice from 1 Lemon

1/2 t cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon of zest from above citrus fruits

1 pkg dry pectin

2 1/2 c sugar

Add all ingredients to a medium sized sauce pan, bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Cool and add to an air tight container.  Refrigerate until set 1-3 days.

Served over Cream Cheese

Zucchini and Orange Salad

Sometimes you just have to pretend you are on the Food Network Show, Chopped. I end up with a little bit of this and a little bit of that left in the fridge and I need a side dish. Well zucchini and oranges were on sale this week and I guess I over bought and the Italian parsley was overtaking my whole garden. I guess that is what was in my “basket”. I have eaten stranger combinations in my life and I was going to have to throw it out any way, and if it works I look like a culinary genius. Game on.

So I got out my vegetable peeler and sliced my 2 zucchini into ribbons, Peeled and sectioned 1 orange and chopped my parsley, about 2T. Threw that into the bowl, added 1T red wine vinegar and about a Tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, some salt and pepper.

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So the moment of truth, Will Ted be calling my name to be Chopped? I liked it, really light and fresh, the citrus woke up the zucchini, which can be a dull and flavorless vegetable, especially when raw. Cue my husband entering for dinner, he sees I have a weird look and questions me and what I will be serving. I say with confidence, “Zucchini and Orange Salad”. Really he asks, I tell him to just try it it’s good. He does, but with caution and says” it’s not bad, better than I thought.” I think to myself, well I liked it, and he doesn’t really like vegetables anyway. But then I notice he keeps taking more and more from the bowl throughout dinner. I guess that makes me the Chopped champion.