While Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of all time because the whole day is centered around food and cooking (which I obviously love!) I have to remember its also a day to be thankful for everything we have, whether its friends, family, health or wealth. Hopefully all of you are spending the day in good company and hopefully you all take just one moment to count your blessings- large or small. I am thankful for all of my friends, family and readers that have supported me through this blogging journey over the last year! Thank you for making my recipes, sharing them with your favorite people and enjoying good food and drink! That being said, this is one of my favorite holiday cocktails made with St. Germain Elderflower liquor! Its a light and refreshing cocktail that’s delightful anytime of year! Cheers & Happy Thanksgiving!
St. Germain Cocktail (Makes 1 drink)
1.5 oz St. Germain
4 oz Champagne or Prosecco
1-2 oz sparkling water
Pour St. Germain into a wine glass with a hand full of ice, top with Prosecco and sparkling water. Enjoy!
Happy Thanksgiving Week! Its Monday but technically its Wednesday since its a 3 day work week! Bonus! This weekend I did some Thanksgiving prep by making cranberry sauce and getting some grocery shopping done. We also had a Friendsgiving feast on Saturday night. It was a non-traditional potluck style Thanksgiving with ham and beef tenderloin in place of turkey but with all the traditional sides and fixing!
Everyone brought their A game with favorite family recipes and cocktails including multiple varieties of sweet potato dishes, scalloped and classic potatoes, Brussels sprouts, squash gratin, mac & cheese, cranberry sauce and stuffing- it was quite a spread and everything was delicious! We had a big crew, 32 people to be exact! It was the perfect way to kick off the holiday season with great friends and food! For our friendsgiving feast I made sausage, apple and pecan stuffing and Cabernet Cranberry Kumquat Sauce. I used Pepperidge farm herb stuffing mix as a base and added maple breakfast sausage, crisp apples and crunchy pecans for a delicious salty-sweet mix. The Cabernet Cranberry-Kumquat Sauce is a great recipe to make a few days ahead and is a fun flavorful twist on your classic cranberry sauce. The tartness of the kumquats and the rich sweetness of the wine combine to make the perfect side that will please all your guests!
I 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!
Bacon Bird with Turkey Neck Gravy
Green Bean Casserole
Heavenly Oatmeal Molasses Rolls
Pear, Brandy and Walnut Cranberry Sauce
Spinach, Sausage and Fennel Stuffing with Toasted Brioche
Happy hump day y’all! What’s better than starting your day off with a glass of wine? Beats me! Well if you haven’t realized, Thanksgiving is just over a week away! Don’t panic… there are plenty of things you can do ahead of time to make your day more relaxing! Buying wine (and lots of it) this week is one more thing checked off your list! Also think about your holiday table decor. If you’re planning on pulling out the nice silver and china- check now to see if you need to pull out the sliver polish! My table this year is a mix of vintage china, family silver and some new wine glasses (thanks to the wedding registry!) Its never to early to think about table settings – if you need some ideas, check out Martha Stewarts guide, she’s got your back. My motto is, the simpler the better! If you missed my post last week on Thanksgiving white wines, check it out. But now… on to the reds! Enjoy!
BenMarco Malbec 2011: $19
Winemaker’s Notes: Beautiful deep purple color with perfumed aromas of ripe red fruits and roasted coffee beans. It is lush and fullbodied with bright acidity. This wine really unfolds with some air so try not to slurp it down in a rush, and it shows why the Argentine people are in love with Malbec. Some Bonarda was blended in for greater complexity and to achieve better balance. Pairs well with a wide range of foods including beef, sausages, spiced or grilled pork, veal, medium-strong cheeses, and meat-based pasta sauces.
Grape: 95% Malbec and 5% Bonarda from Mendoza, Argentina
Rating: 90 points from International Wine Cellar
Belle Glos Meiomi Pinot Noir 2012: $20
Winemaker’s Notes: Meiomi (May-oh-mee) is a Pinot Noir that gets its fruit from the most noteworthy coastal areas in California. The wine is crafted, lush, balanced and luxurious. Three of the California’s most sought after coastal growing regions brilliantly meld together in this deeply flavored, stylish and truly balanced Pinot Noir; The wine opens up with aromas of ripe berries, fresh cranberry, candy apple and malted vanilla. At its most fundamental core, it is an approachable, food friendly wine with a style and place all its own.
Grape: 100% Pinot Noir from Monterey County (35%), Santa Barbara County (34%) and Sonoma County (31%), California.
Winemakers Notes: This is great, rustic, and gulp-able Montepulciano from the oldest winery in Abruzzi. Lovely floral fruit on the nose mingles with the characteristic pencil and earth notes of the grape. The wine is unfined, unfiltered, and fermented in cement tanks. A fantastic wine and an excellent value.
Let the count down to Thanksgiving begin! I’ve been getting more and more in to the holiday spirit these last few weeks. The Christmas lights around Park City are starting to pop up everywhere, lighting up the hillsides and making the town look festive. The snow we got over the weekend has helped make town look like a winter snow globe. I was feeling so festive the other night I dressed Piper up like an elf. She was not impressed. When getting ready for the holidays its important to have a plan when it comes to cooking at parties. Planning ahead of time for things you can make the day before will save you time, oven space and your sanity Thanksgiving day. Don’t have a plan yet? Check out Food 52’s “How to Hike a Mountain and Serve Thanksgiving Dinner on the Same Day” or see Bon Appetit’s Thanksgiving Checklist. Most importantly when planning for your big feast, remember that your oven will be occupied most of the day with the Turkey – Making hot appetizers hard to serve. The greatest thing about these two appetizers? They can be made a day in advance and require little to no oven time! That means more football, friends and family and less time in the kitchen! Baba Ghanoush is a classic Middle Eastern dish made from roasted or grilled eggplant which is pureed to make a delicious hummus like dip that can be served with fresh veggies, crackers or pita chips.
I always think this dip is better the next day, which makes it the perfect make ahead appetizer! It’s time to mix up the classic appetizer table and give your guests a surprising treat- plus Baba Ghanoush is fun to say!
Baba Ghanoush (Makes 1 1/2 cups)
1 large or 2 small eggplant(s)
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup tahini
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
2 large cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
2+ tablespoons olive oil (plus more for drizzling)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a baking sheet.
Place eggplant on baking sheet, and make holes in the skin with a knife or fork. Roast it for 35 to 45 minutes, turning occasionally, or until soft. Remove from oven, and allow it to cool before peeling the skin off or scooping the flesh from the skin.
Place eggplant, lemon juice, tahini, sesame seeds, and garlic in a food processor or electric blender, and puree. Slowly drizzle olive oil into mixture until smooth and creamy (you may need more than 2 tablespoons of oil for this). Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer eggplant mixture to a medium size mixing bowl, and drizzle with more olive oil. Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours before serving.
Pesto Ricotta Dip with Sun Dried Tomatoes
This ricotta dip is another super easy & quick app. Serve it with sugar snap peas, bagel chips or pita chips for a wildly delicious snack! For more than 6 people double the recipe- it goes quickly!
Pesto Ricotta Spread with Sun Dried Tomatoes (Makes 1 cup)
1 cup whole milk or part skim ricotta
2 tablespoons fresh pesto
2 tablespoons chopped sun dried tomatoes
Salt and Pepper to taste
Combine ricotta and pesto in a bowl until fully incorporated. Add chopped sun dried tomatoes and stir to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with bagel chips, pita chips or cut vegetables. If making the day before, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until you’re ready to serve.
Well now that Halloween is over based on all the stores and shops you’d think it was almost Christmas. Pottery Barn looks like the North Pole and Starbucks is already pushing their festive red holiday cups. Lets not move so quickly! Thanksgiving comes next! What is the only other thing on your Thanksgiving table as important as the turkey? WINE! Don’t forget in your holiday planning process that good wine is the most important part of the meal (to me at least!) Plus, its probably the only way you’ll get through those painfully awkward conversations with that aunt or uncle you haven’t seen in years- when they telling you about their beloved cat that passed away over the summer or how they’ve taken up cattle farming in Amish Pennsylvanian. Maybe that’s extreme but you get the idea. So for this weeks wine Wednesday I’ve pick three, awesome, all under $20 bottles of wine for your Thanksgiving table.
2011 Chehalem Inox Chardonnay: $19 The Chehalem Chard is the most expensive of the wines in this post but totally worth it. We are talking about Thanksgiving here so you want something special and something you wouldn’t drink every day. This wine is named after the French abbreviation for “stainless steel” and its crisp, bright flavors are hallmark of an unoaked Chardonnay. This is a crowd pleasing wine that will win over Chardonnay haters and please Chardonnay lovers. If you’re going to have one white wine at your table- I recommend this one!
Winemakers’ Notes: Bright, clean, flinty-briney, with mineral, lime and tropical fruit aromatics, this wine is all about freshness, bracing and balanced acidity and flavors that are linear, including ginger, white pepper, stone fruit, apple pie and slate. May be the best INOX we’ve made. (See full notes here)
Grape: 100% Estate-Grown Chardonnay from Willamette Valley AVA, Oregon.
Rating: Robert Parker & Wine Enthusiast: 88 Points
2012 Joel Gott Sauvignon Blanc: $10Another wine produced in stainless steel barrels, the Joel Gott Sauvignon Blanc is an affordable and refreshing table wine. With a slightly more reasonable price point then the Chehalem, this wine is refreshing, bright, and pairs well with food. It’s perfect for large parties thanks to its price and versatility and will please any white wine drinker!
Winemakers’ Notes: The 2012 Joel Gott Sauvignon Blanc has aromatics of guava, papaya, white peach, mandarin, Meyer lemon and lime. The wine fills the palate with fruit flavors and a round fullness, finishing with crisp, refreshing acidity. (See full notes here)
Grape: 100% Sauvignon Blanc from California
Rating: Wine Spectator: 89 Points
2012 Aveleda Vinho Verde: $8If you have never tried Vinho Verde you are truly missing out. This Portuguese wine has a light fizz to it (less than sparkling wine but still very noticeable) and makes for a perfect apéritif (pre-dinner drink) that pairs nicely with meats and cheeses and other appetizers. This wine is a light, refreshing and budget friendly alternative to champagne and a great way to start off your evening!
Winemakers’ Notes: Aveleda Vinho Verde is a fresh, fruity light wine that offers freshness to the palate and romanticism to the spirit. Its simple label and the deep green bottle reveal what you are about to experience: a vivacious and smooth white Vinho Verde that can be the perfect match for light meals, seafood or served as an appetizer. (See full notes here).
Grapes: Trajadura, Loureiro, Arinto, Azal
Rating: Wine Spectator: 87 Points
Check back next week for Wine Wednesday Thanksgiving Reds! You can also see the Bon Appetit article on how to pair your wine with classic dinner party dishes. (Read it here)
Happy 1 Year Blogiversary, Ski Boots in the Kitchen! It seems crazy to me that a year has gone by since I decided to start this blog. My first post was one of my favorite childhood fall recipes- Stew in a Pumpkin… I never thought a year later I’d be posting my 74th recipe! Stew in a pumpkin was a recipe my mom always made for us as kids and she still makes it for my nieces and nephew- we were always so excited to see the whole pumpkin on the table filled with stew! It’s usually a good excuse to carve pumpkins too!
My niece dressed up for Halloween and ready to eat Stew!
Stew in a Pumpkin
Carving pumkins with friends
Nothing says fall better than a Sunday afternoon watching football and eating some hearty stew or chili. One pot wonders, crock pot magic- whatever you like to call it soups are easy, cheap and feed all the hungry boys that have come over to your house, taken over your couch and drink all the beer! But serving chili without cornbread is like serving lamb without tuna fish… wait I think I meant to say, its like serving spaghetti with out meatballs (that was for all you Big Daddy movie fans…) anyways, you get the idea.What is worse than chili without cornbread? Dry, boring, stale cornbread that tastes like sawdust. That is kind of how I feel about a lot of cornbread, ohhh but not this recipe. The secret ingredients? Well not that secret because I’m going to tell you… Crushed pineapple, creamed corn and pepper Jack cheese!
Spread mixture into a baking dish
Don’t worry if the mixture looks curlded, thats normal!
Cream the butter and sugar together
This recipe was one my mother got out of Blanchard’s Cookbook but it was also one of the recipes I got at my bridal shower! Everyone that came to my bridal shower was asked to bring a copy of their favorite recipe for me to add to my collection! (that way I’ll always know your favorite dish when you come over for dinner!) This was the recipe Diane S. brought for me! So thank you Diane and mom for the recipe because it has become one of my favorites too! You’ll never think of cornbread the same after eating this deliciously moist and yummy treat! It would also make a great addition to your holiday meal and it freezes well too! So make up a big ol’ pot of chili, a big ol’ batch of cornbread and get the best spot on the couch. Enjoy!
I’ve come to the conclusion lately that cauliflower is an underrated vegetable. Mostly, I used to think it was just plain boring- and yes, when you steam it and serve it plain, I think there is nothing worse.
Its lack of color is another one of its pitfalls- a white veggie on a white plate – need I say again… boring! But its all about how you cook it and fix it up that makes you realize, cauliflower is far from boring. This cauliflower recipe would make a great addition to your Thanksgiving or Holiday meal- the brightness of the apple is pleasing to the eye and gives the dish a hint of sweetness. The nutty taste from the browned butter and toasted pecans give it that holiday essence and amazing flavor that is sure to please even the picky eaters!
1 small head cauliflower (about 1 1/2 pounds), cut into florets (about 5 cups)
1 small shallot, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
kosher salt and black pepper
1 red apple (such as Fuji or Gala), thinly sliced
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup pecans
Spread the pecans on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in a 350 degree oven, tossing occasionally, until fragrant, 6 to 8 minutes. Let cool, then roughly chop.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the cauliflower and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper and cook, tossing occasionally, until golden, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the thyme and ½ cup water. Cover and cook 5 minutes. Add the apple, cover and continue cooking until the cauliflower is tender, 5 to 7 minutes more. Remove from heat and transfer to a serving bowl.
In a small sauce pan melt butter on low heat until its completely melted. Once it is fully melted raise the heat to medium-high stirring constantly. The butter will begin to foam and brown. Once the butter has reached a medium caramel brown color remove from heat. Pour browned butter over Cauliflower and toss and sprinkle with the pecans.
We had another day of weird snow/rain/sleet- it was cool and crisp and all the tops of the mountains were dusted white. It makes for beautiful views and photos- but not so great when you’re leaving the store in the middle of a freak rain/snow downpour. Hopefully everyone enjoyed their Columbus Day- the state of Utah apparently doesn’t recognize this holiday, kids were in school and most businesses where open – unless of course you’re the state liquor store which uses any excuse to close. As I posted a few weeks ago, I’ve decided to post some great Thanksgiving recipes in the month of October! Over the weekend I asked people to post to Facebook what their favorite side veggie is and I got an overwhelming response for BRUSSELS SPROUTS – which are also one of my all-time favorites! If you haven’t seen my recipe for Maple-Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Rutabaga and Toasted Hazelnuts its also a winner! As promised here is an amazing recipe for Brussels Sprouts and thank you to everyone that gave their input for their favorite veggie! These Brussels sprouts are so delicious, the Beurre Noisette (which is just fancy French for browned butter- but sounds so much better) gives the recipe a wonderful nutty flavor that is balanced by the apple cider and nutmeg. The best part about cooking with fresh apple cider? Cocktails! I know you can see that little bottle of Myers’s Rum peeking out from behind the jug of cider. It always seems to find its way out of the liquor cabinet when there’s cider around, plus cooking is always better when you’re sipping on wine or my favorite fall cocktail, Rum & Cider. Thanks to the unwavering recipes from Food52 this rich, creamy and delicious dish is one of the better Brussels Sprouts recipes I’ve tried! Enjoy!
Glazed Brussels Sprouts and Apples in Browned Butter and Cream (Serves 4)
1 pound Brussels sprouts
1/8 teaspoon celery salt
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
2 ounces heavy cream
2 pieces bacon, chopped
1 apple, peeled, cored and chopped
4 teaspoons apple cider
1/2 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg; more to sprinkle at the end
Wash and trim the stems from the brussels sprouts. Cut in half, discarding any discolored leaves. Steam brussels sprouts over salted water until fork tender (7-10minutes). Drain and lightly sprinkle and toss with celery salt. Set aside.
In a separate pan, cook bacon until crisp- transfer bacon to paper towels to drain, then chop coarsely.
Over low heat, melt butter in a heavy pot. Once the butter is completely melted, turn heat to medium high. It will quickly begin to foam. Keep stirring the butter and moving around the pan. Once it hits the color and flavor you want (don’t let it turn black and burn- medium to dark brown is good), immediate reduce the heat to low and add the cream. Stir to completely incorporate the cream. Immediately add the apple pieces, bacon and brussels sprouts. Don’t worry if the sauce looks like its starting to separate- continue stirring!
With a large spoon, keep turning the brussels sprouts mixture in the cream/noisette sauce while the sauce thickens and the brussels sprouts mixture becomes glazed with the sauce (5-10 minutes). The apple pieces should be just cooked, not mushy. Add the apple cider and nutmeg. Continue to carefully turn the mixture in the glaze for another 2-3 minutes.
Turn out in a serving dish or the individual plates and add a pinch of nutmeg over the dish.
Happy October! The mornings are getting cooler, the nights are getting dark to quickly… fall is really here and I have no idea what happened to September. Since September slipped away without me noticing, I have a feeling October might go equally as fast and then… Its my favorite holiday… Thanksgiving! Which is why I’ve decided to dedicate the month of October to “Thanksgiving Menu Prep.” It’s time to pull out my collection of old Bon Appetit Thanksgiving issues, family recipes and classic Thanksgiving traditions, to find the best recipes for your Thanksgiving table. This year don’t showing up at your Thanksgiving feast with plain mashed potatoes and green bean casserole. It’s time to jazz up your menu with some fun, different and most importantly DELICIOUS dishes! This recipe for Harvest Pie from Morning Glory Farm on Martha’s Vineyard is one of my mother’s favorite holiday desserts. The flavors and spices of the pie are the definition of fall and the holiday season. The tartness of the cranberries balances the sweetness of the apples and raisins making for a truly awesome but not too sweet dessert. If you’re ready to mix up the dessert table from the plain (and over done) apple and pumpkin pies, this is your recipe! Top this pie with a dollop of fresh whipped cream or serve it a la mode. The original recipe calls for a streusel topping however, I prefer the recipe with a lattice pie crust which doesn’t overpower the fresh fruit with too much ‘stuff’. To make this pie super easy you can use Pillsbury pie dough from the dairy section of your grocery store (when in a hurry I cheat and use this… no one will ever know!), or if you’re feeling ambitious make your own dough. Streusel topping, classic crust or lattice top this pie will become your new favorite holiday dessert too! Enjoy!