Thanksgiving Menu Ideas

funny-sayings-580I realized today that there was no way on Earth that I was going to make all the amazing looking recipes that I wanted to before next Thursday. Its become seriously stressful, I’m thinking about taking the advice from the picture above. Every morning I wake up with my inbox full of new delicious dishes from cocktails, to turkeys and all the fixings in between. In the process of trying to planning my own holiday menu I put together about 30 others… But how do I choose what to make?! If I could have it my way we’d do 3 stuffings, potatoes 3 ways, Brussels sprouts 9 ways and I haven’t even got to dessert yet! So I decided to put together a few menu ideas. Mix and match from each menu, or supplement a few dishes on your own menu! I’ll be sure to let you know which ones make it onto my table! Happy cooking!

Traditional

Unconventional

Healthy

Favorite Holiday Dishes from Ski Boots in the Kitchen

Chicken Pot Pie

IMG_6002Happy November! I hope everyone had a fun and safe Halloween weekend. I am actually really glad that Halloween is over, its always so stressful trying to figure out a costume… and now that I am too old to have my mother stitch me a homemade costume from scratch I am left to piece together random pieces of clothing to make one. IMG_5933Exhibit A: this year I was a “Party Animal” (that is my friend Aly, she was a flamingo!) Bottom line is I am too busy (and lazy) to spend more than 30 minutes (and $15 dollars) on my costume. So now that Halloween is out of the way… we can start getting ready for the best holidays- Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah- You know… the eating holidays! With the weather getting colder and my Thanksgiving menu on my mind (and leftovers!) I thought chicken pot pie would make a cold November night a whole lot better!

As you already know, I am a HUGE fan of rotisserie chicken, it makes my life so much easier. Life is already complicated enough, why should cooking be complicated too? This recipe works great with rotisserie chicken or leftover turkey, and my favorite way to eat it is with a little homemade cranberry sauce. Hope you enjoy!

Chicken Pot Pie (Serves 6-8)

Ingredients:

  • 1 rotisserie chicken, meat removed and chopped (or use leftover Thanksgiving turkey about 3 cups chopped)
  • 1 cup thinly sliced carrots, rounds or half moons depending on size of carrots (2-3 carrots)
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • 1/2 cup sliced celery (2 stalks)
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/3 sweat onion, chopped (about 1/3 cup)
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 3/4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup cream or whole milk
  • 2 (9 inch) unbaked pie crusts (I use Pillsbury pre-made dough you can find it in the butter section)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees
  2. In a medium saucepan bring some water to boil, then add carrots, celery and peas. boil for about 5 minutes. Drain the vegetables and put in a bowl with the chopped chicken meat.
  3. In another saucepan melt the butter, add the onions and cook until they are soft and translucent. Stir in the flour until a thick paste forms. Slowly stir in chicken stock and milk or cream. Simmer over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the sauce thickens. remove from heat and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Place one pie crust in the bottom of a deep, 9 inch pie plate. Place the chicken and vegetable mixture into the pie crust. Pour the onion/cream sauce over the chicken. Cover with the top pie crust and seal the edges. Cut a few slits in the top to allow the steam to escape. (Option to brush the top of the pie with egg whites, it keeps the crust from drying out!)
  5. Bake in a preheated oven for 35-40 minutes or until the pie crust is golden brown. Cool before serving. I love to eat my chicken pot pie with a little fresh cranberry sauce! Makes it taste like Thanksgiving dinner! Enjoy!

Chocolate Peppermint Bark

IMG_1159Happy Monday! Hope you had a wonderful weekend and got all your Christmas shopping done… because Christmas is a week from Thursday, Oh My! Trying to find the perfect gift for co-workers, friends or neighbors is difficult, which is why I think food is always a safe bet! Delicious, homemade, baked with love, treats! I mean seriously, who doesn’t love a gift they can eat? Its better than an ugly pair of socks or an awkward Christmas tree ornament you’ll feel obligated to hang on your tree for the next 10 years.

After reading this hilarious article, 2014 Hater’s Guide to The Williams-Sonoma Catalog, I learned just how expensive chocolate peppermint bark is when you purchase it from the designer brand Williams Sonoma… $30 per tin!!! That’s right, I can almost fill my car with gas for the same price. Unless their bark has flecks of gold in it or it was literally made by elves in the North Pole, there is NO reason you should pay that much for candy.IMG_1147 I took it as a challenge to make an equally delicious, wait no, an even BETTER bark than WS, and I’m pretty sure this recipe takes the cake. Creamy, rich, chocolate ganache sandwiched between two layers of silky white chocolate and topped with crunchy peppermint candy. Are you drooling yet? Forget the cookies, Santa wants peppermint bark this year! Enjoy! IMG_1163

Chocolate Peppermint Bark (Makes 30-35 pieces)

Ingredients:

  • 20 ounces good white chocolate, coarsely chopped, divided
  • 15 peppermint candy canes, crushed, divided
  • 12 ounces good dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 6 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract

Directions:

  1. Turn a 9×12 inch baking sheet bottom side up. Cover securely with foil.
  2. Melt half of the white chocolate (I used Ghirardelli) in the top of a double boiler over just barely simmering water, stirring frequently. If you do not have a double boiler you can use a Pyrex bowl over a pot of boiling water, see picture above.
  3. Spread the white chocolate evenly on to the prepared pan. Sprinkle with 1/4-1/3 of the crushed peppermints evenly over the white chocolate. Chill until firm, about 15 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, melt dark chocolate, heavy cream and peppermint extract together in the top of a double boiler like you did with the white chocolate. Quickly pour the dark chocolate over the chilled white chocolate layer; spread evenly. Chill until firm about 20 minutes.
  5. Finally, melt the remaining white chocolate in the double boiler, stirring frequently. Spread white chocolate over the layers of chocolate. Sprinkle with remaining peppermint pieces; chill until very firm about 1 hour. Cut or break into small pieces and serve!

Zucchini “Latkes”

FullSizeRender-3It’s starting to feel a lot like the holidays around Park City. Every night I notice a new house lit up with festive twinkly lights. You know it’s almost Christmas when you spend your whole weekend dodging cars on the highway with Christmas trees loosely tied to the roof. If only we had a few inches of snow to blanket the ground, it would really feel like winter. For those people celebrating Christmas, there are still have two weeks to deck the halls and plan menus. Hanukkah, however, starts Dec. 16, and in the words of Adam Sandler, “Instead of one day of presents, we have eight crazy nights.” That also means eight nights of food… Yikes! Time to get planning on that menu of yours! One of the most classic Hanukkah dishes is potato latkes, delicious little potato pancakes topped with sour cream or other yummy toppings of your choice.

IMG_1085This year, I wanted to put a fresh twist on this classic dish and lighten it up with a fewer carbs and calories. Growing up my mother used to make zucchini fritters in the summer with fresh zucchini from our CSA. She would top them with plain Greek yogurt and applesauce. I took her recipe for fritters and added my own twist by incorporating leeks and green onions for a little something extra.

IMG_1075One thing I refuse to change is topping them with yogurt and applesauce. So, if you’re looking to mix it up a little this year and wow your family, substitute these fritters for your traditional latkes, just be sure to make a double batch, because everyone will be asking for more. From my mountain kitchen to yours, happy holidays to all!

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Originally posted by Ski Boots in the Kitchen on Dishing PC

Zucchini Fritters (Makes 10 fritters)

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium zucchini, shredded
  • 1 teaspoon coarse or Kosher salt, plus extra to taste
  • 2 scallions, split lengthwise and sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced leek (split lengthwise and sliced thin)
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Olive or another oil of your choice, for frying
  • Non-Fat Greek yogurt & apple sauce for serving

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees to keep fritters warm.
  2. Trim ends off zucchini and grate them either on the large holes of a box grater or, if you have one, using the shredding blade of a food processor.
  3. In a large bowl toss the shredded zucchini with 1 teaspoon coarse salt and a set aside for 10 minutes. Wring out the zucchini by pressing it against the holes of a colander with a wooden spoon to remove some of the water. This is an important step as it will keep the fritters from getting soggy.
  4. Return the shredded zucchini to the bowl. stir in scallions, leeks and egg. season with salt and pepper. In another dish mix together flour and baking powder. Sprinkle flour mixture over zucchini and mix well.
  5. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet. Drop a spoonful of the zucchini mixture into the skillet, (don’t over crowd the pan with too many fritters) using the back of a spatula flatten the fritter slightly. Cook them over medium-high heat until the edges of the fritter are golden brown, about 3-4 minutes. Flip and fry on the other side for the same amount of time until golden brown.
  6. Transfer to a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven while you finish the rest of the batter.
  7. Top with a dollop of yogurt and apple sauce, enjoy!

Sausage, Apple & Pecan Stuffing

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First, let me just say that stuffing might be my favorite part of Thanksgiving- that and cranberry sauce. I could probably eat stuffing and cranberry relish alone for dinner for a month and be happy- I would also be very fat. Second, let me say that stuffing is NOT a very pretty item to photograph. Its down right gross looking and I’m sorry. But I promise this recipe for stuffing is not gross and will become your favorite, guaranteed! I have made this dish two years in a row for our annual Friendsgiving and I always get so many complements on it! The combination of the maple breakfast sausage, the crisp apples and crunchy nuts make it super delish! If you have guests with nut allergies no worries- the recipe is equally as delicious with out the nuts! Happy cooking!

Sausage, Apple & Pecan Stuffing (serves 8-10)

Ingredients:

  • 1 12oz bag of Pepperidge Farm Cubed Herb Stuffing Mix
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 12oz package maple breakfast sausage, casing removed
  • 3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 large granny smith or fuji apple pealed and cubed
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
Directions:
  1. Remove sausage from its casing and cook in a medium skillet, using a wooden spoon to break it into small pieces, set aside. Grease a 9×11 baking dish and set aside.
  2. In a large pot, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add onions and celery, and cook 5 minutes. Add sage, thyme and parsley and cook another 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. Add dry stuffing, sausage, Parmesan, apple and chopped pecans and mix lightly to combined. Add chicken broth and mix again being careful not to over mix or make the stuffing soggy.
  4. Spread stuffing into greased baking dish cover with foil until you are ready to heat and serve. Before serving bake in a 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until heated all the way through.

Butternut Squash, Brussels Sprout & Apple Stuffing

Happy Friday! Today is a very special day- not just because its Friday and the weekend is just a few hours away. Today is Ski Boots in the Kitchen’s 2nd Birthday!! Happy Birthday blog! I made you some delicious stuffing to celebrate! Thank you to everyone that has followed me, made my recipes and enjoy this journey with me, it’s been so much fun! In celebration of our 2nd birthday we have a super awesome, shiny and new Ski Boots in the Kitchen logo created by my amazing sista Anabelle McLean!SBITK_Logo I don’t know about you but I am excited for some fall activities this weekend! I went out and bought a couple pumpkins to carve and I am planning on making my favorite Stew in a Pumpkin which was my very first post on the blog two years ago! If you have not tried this stew, please stop what you are doing and get your yourself to a grocery store STAT and start cooking. It is the best fall recipe… possibly ever!

I thought you’d enjoy some of the wildlife I’ve been seeing around Park City lately. All the deer and moose are out trying to fatten up before winter and I am doing the same in my kitchen! I have already started to think about the holidays and delicious recipes to share with your family and friends this Thanksgiving, Christmas and Hanukkah! This recipe for stuffing is an awesome way to get all your veggies- butternut squash, apples and cranberries add the perfect sweetness, while the pecans give the stuffing a lovely crunch! This recipe is so tasty, it will definitely become a new family favorite! Hope you have a great weekend! Cheers!

Lasagna-Stuffed Spaghetti Squash Butternut Squash, Brussels Sprout and Apple Stuffing (Click for printer friendly version)

(Serves 6-8)

Recipe from Food52

  • 1 pound butternut squash, cubed
  • 1 pound brussels sprouts, halved
  • 1 medium gala apple, cut into a 1/2 inch dice
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided into 2 tbsp and 1 tbsp
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 10 slices bread of choice: crusty sourdough, dry cornbread, whole grain, or, if you are gluten free, millet bread will work nicely. Prior to preparing the recipe, leave bread out for a day to become slightly dry, then cut into cubes.
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth (plus extra as needed)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup pecans or walnuts (optional)
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Toss the squash, brussels sprouts, apples, and shallots in 2 tbsp oil and season well with salt and pepper. Roast till vegetables are very tender and remove from oven. Reduce oven heat to 350.
  2. Heat other tbsp oil in a large pot. Saute the onion and celery till translucent (about 5-8 min). Add the bread cubes and allow them to get golden brown with the veggies in the oil. Add a dash of salt and pepper.
  3. Add the roasted vegetables, cranberries, pecans, and seasonings, gently toss to combine. Add the vegetable broth and stir the mix till the broth has almost entirely absorbed in the toasted bread. Transfer to a baking sheet and bake at 350 for about 20 minutes. Serve hot.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars

photo 4-23Happy third day of Fall! I totally planned on getting this post out on the first day of fall however, my last two weeks have been just slightly crazy with traveling and work, which has left me with little time to cook, eat or sleep for that matter!  I just returned from a week in New York City which was a blast and very busy! I got to see some friends and family between the work I was doing there. I also got to eat at some fun new restaurants! Two of my favorites were The Meatball Shop, where I stuffed my face with an espresso ice cream and chocolate chip cookie sandwich (drool) and Artichoke Basille’s with their classic artichoke pizza which was so rich and decedent I was only able to eat one piece (drool again)! If you’re in New York in the near future I highly recommend you check them out! Anyways, I got back to Utah and it was full on on FALL here.

Yellow and Orange leaves, a chill in the air and that overall feeling and smell of fall. It got me thinking I wanted some delicious pumpkin treats! I tweaked this recipe from another one I found by substituting coconut oil for butter, I was so pleased with the result! photo 5-15Rich and moist with just a hint of pumpkin and sweetness from the chocolate chips. The coconut oil gave it a wonderful texture and kept them from getting to dry! If you’d prefer to use butter you can easily substitute it back in, (if you must!) its a 1:1 ratio so you’ll use 1 cup of butter instead of oil. Coconut oil is a great vegan baking substitute and I love the flavor and texture it brings to my baked goods! Cheers to you, enjoy! photo-609

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars (click for printer friendly version)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin-pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup coconut oil, melted (put the coconut oil in the microwave for 10-15 seconds until it becomes liquid and easy to pour.
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 package (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13inch baking dish. In a medium bowl, combine flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt. set aside.
  2. With a standing or hand mixer beat coconut oil and sugar on medium speed until fully incorporated. Mix in egg and vanilla. Add pumpkin puree and mix well. (if you are using butter don’t worry if the mixture looks a little curdled.)
  3. Reduce speed to low and slowly mix in dry ingredients until fully incorporated. Fold in chocolate chips with a spatula.
  4. Spread batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake the bars for 35-40 minutes or until the top and edges are brown. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out with a few moist crumbs on it.
  5. This is the hardest part.. WAIT until the bars are almost fully cooled before cutting them. I obviously did not wait and they were very difficult to get out of the pan in once piece! Enjoy!

Recipe slightly adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod

Red, White and Blue Ricotta Bites

photo 1-41Happy 4th of July… A few days late! Sorry I have been MIA for the last few weeks, I have been all over the U.S. of A on vacation, visiting family and going to a lot weddings! 3 weddings in 3 weeks, its a new record for us.

I feel like my liver might be failing at this point, especially since we followed up our three week wedding tour with a 3 day 4th of July weekend, which was heavy on the BBQing and drinking too. OUCH. Not to mention its been about 700 degrees here in Utah and I haven’t had the slightest desire to get in the kitchen to cook. I did want to make a fun and festive appetizer for our BBQ that didn’t require going anywhere near the stove.

Thus, these little ricotta bruschetta bites were the perfect option. I picked up the fresh berries at the Canyons farmers market with my mother and father-in-law, they were so fresh and delicious! photo 3-30There is nothing better than plump fresh blueberries. These little ricotta bites are great anytime, not just the 4th of July and as the warm summer months continue you’ll be happy to have a no bake appy for your next gathering!

Ingredients:

  • 1 crispy french baguette, sliced into 1/4-1/2″ pieces
  • 1 small container of whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 container blueberries, rinsed and dried
  • 1 container raspberries, rinsed and dried
  • honey for drizzling

Directions:

  1. Arrange the sliced baguette on a platter. Using a knife, evenly spread a thin layer of ricotta cheese on the bread. Place one blueberry and one raspberry on top of the baguette. Finish with a drizzle of honey over the top of each piece of bruschetta.
  2. Serve and enjoy!

Chocolate Bark

Howdy friends! Its been another long break from blogging- I hate going too long with out posting something but I’ve been traveling a lot and busy getting the last of my holiday shopping finished. I was up until 1am last night wrapping my holiday gifts so I could ship them back East in time for Christmas. I thought I was so on top of things until I realized there was only one week until Christmas!

It’s not hard to believe that I love giving edible holiday gifts! Delicious holiday treats like cookies, candy and chocolates are always a welcomed gift at my house and people always appreciate a homemade gift. But lets be honest, with how busy the holidays get, finding time to bake 30 dozen cookies to give to all your friends isn’t always in the cards! Chocolate bark however only requires about 20 minutes of “cooking” and prep time before leaving it out to harden and voila… you’ve got a beautiful, homemade gift that everyone will love! I’ve always been intimidated with chocolate bark until I read this article from Food52 on how to make chocolate bark without a recipe- turns out its SO easy!

So I decided to experiment with two kinds and they both turned out great! The first bark is a classic made with dark chocolate, cherries, apricots and roasted peanuts. Feel free to swap the peanuts for almonds, cashews or pistachios or the cherries for dried cranberries or blueberries! The second bark I made was a dark chocolate and peanut butter swirl with cherries, coconut and pretzels. The salty sweet comb was to die for! Whip up a batch to bring to your holiday party this weekend, its sure to be a hit!! Enjoy!

Classic Chocolate Bark

  • 16 oz (4 bars) Ghirardelli 60% cacao bittersweet baking bar
  • 3/4 cup chopped apricots
  • 3/4 cup chopped salted peanuts
  • 3/4 cup dried cherries
  1. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray, set aside.
  2. Melt the chopped chocolate bars in a large Pyrex bowl set over a pot of boiling water until a few large chunks still remain. Remove from heat and continue stirring until all the large chunks have melted. Using a rubber spatula, pour chocolate onto baking sheet with parchment paper and spread evenly.
  3. Generously sprinkle apricots, peanuts and cherries over the chocolate. If you prefer to add more or less of each feel free!
  4. Set aside and let the chocolate cool for at least 2 hours. Chop into 1″-2″ pieces. Serve at room temperature and Enjoy!

Peanut Butter Pretzel Bark

  • 8oz (2 bars) Ghirardelli 60% cacao bittersweet baking bar
  • 8oz (2 bars) Ghirardelli semi-sweet baking bar
  • 1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1 cup chopped pretzels
  • 3/4 cup dried cherries
  • 3/4 cup dried coconut
  1. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray, set aside.
  2. Melt two of the 60% chocolate bars in a large Pyrex bowl set over a pot of boiling water until almost smooth. Remove from heat and continue stirring until all the large chunks have melted. Using a rubber spatula, pour chocolate onto baking sheet with parchment paper and spread evenly.
  3. Return the bowl over the boiling pot and melt the two remaining semi-sweet chocolate bars with the 1/4 cup peanut butter until smooth. Pour this mixture on top of other chocolate mixture and swirl using a fork or spatula.
  4. Sprinkle the chocolate with pretzels, cherries and coconut.
  5. Set aside and let the chocolate cool for at least 2 hours. Chop into 1″-2″ pieces. Serve at room temperature and Enjoy!

Miso-Creamed Kale

photo-454I’ve been on a kale kick lately, can you tell? I love how many different ways there are to prepare kale and that you can eat it just about every meal! I was looking for something different to serve for Thanksgiving this year, normally I make Brussels sprouts as my “green” side but since I always make them I thought I should branch out.

I found this recipe on Food52 and I was intrigued by the combination of ingredients. I’m a huge fan of Asian flavors, especially miso so I thought I would give it a try- I am so happy I did! This has become one of my new favorite side dishes and it will most definitely become a holiday staple!

Here are a few other pictures from our Thanksgiving feast, enjoy!

Miso-Creamed Kale (Serves 4 as a side)

  • 3 to 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch lacinato kale, stems removed, roughly chopped (you should have 4 to 6 cups packed kale)
  • 1/2 cup shimeji mushrooms with stems, or shiitake mushroom tops (or baby bella)
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup dry vermouth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon white (shiro) miso, or more to taste
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Put 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large, heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat. When melted, add the shallot and garlic. Cook over low heat without letting the garlic and shallots color, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the kale and continue to cook for a few more minutes until wilted.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small pan set over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon of butter. Add the mushrooms and cook until softened and cooked through, about 5 minutes. If the mushrooms become too dry, add another tablespoon of butter. Stir in the soy sauce, cook another minute and remove from heat. Set aside.
  3. Once the kale is wilted and soft, increase the heat to medium high, add the vermouth and cook until it’s just evaporated, about 1 minute. Add the cream and miso, stirring until completely incorporated. Reduce heat to medium and cook about 2 more minutes until the sauce reduces slightly and tightens up the around the kale. Taste for seasoning, add salt and pepper if you like (but don’t forget the mushrooms have soy sauce). Place the kale on a warm platter and scatter the mushrooms over the top. Serve immediately.