Kids in the Sink

Shepherd's Pie

shepperdspie1It isn’t very often that my husband requests meals that aren’t pizza, spaghetti, tacos, or spicy chicken with noodles (recipe coming soon).  Every pay period, I menu plan.  When I’m near the end of my rope with recipes and I can’t take looking at another cookbook or food blog, I ask him if there’s anything he wants in particular.  As I said, he’s pretty easy.  He usually wants easy stuff.  That’s nice sometimes because it means he’s not hard to please.  But culinarily (is that a word?), I’m always ready to make something new and exciting.  He very, very rarely gives me a challenge in that department.

That is, until one day about a month ago.  On this evening before I was to go to the grocery store, I was making my menu and list as usual, and I still had two dinners to account for.  I asked him what he’d like and much to my surprise, he asked for something I’ve never made and had zero clue that he had even ever eaten before!  He asked for Shepperd’s Pie.  I’m a vegetarian.  I’ve made lots of meaty dishes before but I had never attempted something like this.  I started, of course, with my best foodie friend’s help.  Heather has a really funny history with this same dish, or some that resembles it.  See, her husband grew up eating it in a very specific way, and refuses to eat it any other way.  The way he likes it?  With boxed mashed potatoes and canned carrots and peas.

shepperdspie2

Heather, being the Godly wife that she is, makes this favorite for her husband but she (rightly so) does not eat it.  Needless to say, I knew I couldn’t ask her for her recipe.  My husband would have liked it, I’m sure, because as I mentioned, he’s not at all picky.  But I just wanted something more natural and homemade for my man.  And just by the way, it sounds like such a manly meal, right?! It totally is, but don’t feel weird eating it if you’re a lady.

So, this is the recipe that I settled on.  It was simple enough that I knew I could do it and it seemed like a pretty traditional take on Shepherd’s pie.  Since I’m a vegetarian, I can’t actually vouch for this recipe on my own.  I can, however, tell you that my husband enjoyed it immensely.  He loved it. I think you will, too!

-Melissa

shepperdspie3

Shepherd’s Pie

Ingredients:

For the filling:

1 1/2 pounds ground beef
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, minced
1 carrot, peeled and sliced to 1/4 inch thick
1/2 tbsp tomato paste
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 cup chicken broth
1/8 cup dry red wine
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp minced fresh thyme, or 1/4 tsp dried
1/2 cup frozen peas

For the potato topping:

2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch cubes (all I had were yellow potatoes, which worked well)
3 tablespoons melted butter
1/3 cup hot milk
salt and pepper, to taste
1 large egg yolk

Directions:

  1. For the filling: Season the ground beef with salt and pepper and in a large pot, brown the beef.  Transfer to a bowl. Set aside.
  2. Add oil to the pan and heat over medium-high heat until shimmering.  Add onion and carrot and a generous pinch of salt and cook until soft, about 4-5 minutes.
  3. Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Add broth, wine, and Worcestershire sauce and stir, taking care to scrape any brown bits from the bottom of the pot. Cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Add thyme and reserved browned beef, and bring to a simmer.  Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, for 25-30 minutes.  Meanwhile, make the potato topping.
  5. For the potato topping: Place the potatoes in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook until tender.  You can test this by sticking a fork in the potato and if it goes in easily, the potatoes are ready.
  6. Draining the potatoes and place back in pot to mash.  Mash with a potato masher and then add in melted butter, hot milk, and salt and pepper.  I used a hand mixer here to get the potatoes nice and whipped.  Lastly, add the egg yolk and mix until combined.
  7. To assemble: Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Stir peas into beef mixture and pour into a large baking dish.
  8. Drop large dollops of potatoes on top of the beef mixture and spread it out so that the potatoes evenly cover the beef mixture.
  9. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the potatoes begin to turn golden brown.  Let sit for 10 minutes and serve.

Source: Taste and Tell

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Shepherd’s Pie

shepperdspie1It isn’t very often that my husband requests meals that aren’t pizza, spaghetti, tacos, or spicy chicken with noodles (recipe coming soon).  Every pay period, I menu plan.  When I’m near the end of my rope with recipes and I can’t take looking at another cookbook or food blog, I ask him if there’s anything he wants in particular.  As I said, he’s pretty easy.  He usually wants easy stuff.  That’s nice sometimes because it means he’s not hard to please.  But culinarily (is that a word?), I’m always ready to make something new and exciting.  He very, very rarely gives me a challenge in that department.

That is, until one day about a month ago.  On this evening before I was to go to the grocery store, I was making my menu and list as usual, and I still had two dinners to account for.  I asked him what he’d like and much to my surprise, he asked for something I’ve never made and had zero clue that he had even ever eaten before!  He asked for Shepperd’s Pie.  I’m a vegetarian.  I’ve made lots of meaty dishes before but I had never attempted something like this.  I started, of course, with my best foodie friend’s help.  Heather has a really funny history with this same dish, or some that resembles it.  See, her husband grew up eating it in a very specific way, and refuses to eat it any other way.  The way he likes it?  With boxed mashed potatoes and canned carrots and peas.

shepperdspie2

Heather, being the Godly wife that she is, makes this favorite for her husband but she (rightly so) does not eat it.  Needless to say, I knew I couldn’t ask her for her recipe.  My husband would have liked it, I’m sure, because as I mentioned, he’s not at all picky.  But I just wanted something more natural and homemade for my man.  And just by the way, it sounds like such a manly meal, right?! It totally is, but don’t feel weird eating it if you’re a lady.

So, this is the recipe that I settled on.  It was simple enough that I knew I could do it and it seemed like a pretty traditional take on Shepherd’s pie.  Since I’m a vegetarian, I can’t actually vouch for this recipe on my own.  I can, however, tell you that my husband enjoyed it immensely.  He loved it. I think you will, too!

-Melissa

shepperdspie3

Shepherd’s Pie

Ingredients:

For the filling:

1 1/2 pounds ground beef
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, minced
1 carrot, peeled and sliced to 1/4 inch thick
1/2 tbsp tomato paste
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 cup chicken broth
1/8 cup dry red wine
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp minced fresh thyme, or 1/4 tsp dried
1/2 cup frozen peas

For the potato topping:

2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch cubes (all I had were yellow potatoes, which worked well)
3 tablespoons melted butter
1/3 cup hot milk
salt and pepper, to taste
1 large egg yolk

Directions:

  1. For the filling: Season the ground beef with salt and pepper and in a large pot, brown the beef.  Transfer to a bowl. Set aside.
  2. Add oil to the pan and heat over medium-high heat until shimmering.  Add onion and carrot and a generous pinch of salt and cook until soft, about 4-5 minutes.
  3. Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Add broth, wine, and Worcestershire sauce and stir, taking care to scrape any brown bits from the bottom of the pot. Cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Add thyme and reserved browned beef, and bring to a simmer.  Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, for 25-30 minutes.  Meanwhile, make the potato topping.
  5. For the potato topping: Place the potatoes in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook until tender.  You can test this by sticking a fork in the potato and if it goes in easily, the potatoes are ready.
  6. Draining the potatoes and place back in pot to mash.  Mash with a potato masher and then add in melted butter, hot milk, and salt and pepper.  I used a hand mixer here to get the potatoes nice and whipped.  Lastly, add the egg yolk and mix until combined.
  7. To assemble: Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Stir peas into beef mixture and pour into a large baking dish.
  8. Drop large dollops of potatoes on top of the beef mixture and spread it out so that the potatoes evenly cover the beef mixture.
  9. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the potatoes begin to turn golden brown.  Let sit for 10 minutes and serve.

Source: Taste and Tell

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Brussel Sprouts Grilled Cheese

brusselgrilledcheese3

I don’t like brussels sprouts.  Wrong.  I used to not like brussels sprouts.  These days, it is really very seriously competing for first place for my favorite vegetable.  It all started with this brussels sprout crostini.  My world was forever changed.  This grilled cheese, though, has even topped that amazing appetizer.

I got it.  You’re still stuck on the fact that we put brussels sprouts in a grilled cheese.  You’re still stuck on how everyone uses brussels sprouts as the example of the most detestable vegetable you could ever be asked to try.  The vegetable that kids shudder at.  Wrong.  All wrong.  The likelihood that you, too, would enjoy brussels sprouts in a chopped and sauteed fashion is pretty high.  In fact, I convinced my mom to try this sandwich even though she had strong opinions about them originally.  Strong, negative opinions, that is.  One bite and she was a convert.  This is the woman that often refuses to try foods that she previously disliked, because she’s just that sure that she won’t like it now.  I love my mom.  My hard-headed mom.  And I made her love a new vegetable!  I’m done trying to convince you.  I’m moving on. Jump on board or get off the train.  What does that even mean in a food blog context?

brusselgrilledcheese1

Crusty bread, salty butter, melted cheese, and tangy balsamic vinegar.  This might be what my heaven looks like.  Seriously. I want to eat it every day. I bought two pounds of brussels sprouts yesterday and I have three loaves of English Muffin Bread (I know, yet another shameless plug for this bread of ours but it is the best crusty bread for toasted sandwiches!) in the freezer and I’m ready to hunker down and eat me some veggie-stuffed grilled cheese.  Oh, and just let me add this, the sauteed brussels sprouts with a few shakes of balsamic vinegar are great on their own.  So, if I were you, and I have definitely been you, I would make extra and eat and/or serve them as a side dish because they reheat fantastically!  I dare you to not fall in love with this vegetable.

-Melissa

brusselgrilledcheese2

Brussel Sprouts Grilled Cheese

Ingredients:

1/2 pound brussels sprouts, stems removed and chopped or shredded
2 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
balsamic vinegar to taste
12 ounces of havarti cheese, shredded or sliced (I’ve also used provolone and tuscano with great results)
8 slices crusty bread bread
softened butter for spreading

Directions:

  1. Heat a large pan over medium heat and add olive oil.  Saute minced garlic for about 30 seconds and then add in brussels sprouts.  Season with salt and pepper and cook for about 5-6 minutes, until brussels sprouts are wilting and turning golden brown. Remove from pan and set aside.
  2. Return the pan to the burner over medium low heat.  Butter each slice of bread on one side and place butter-side down in the pan.  Top with cheese, brussels sprouts, balsamic vinegar, and more cheese.  Top with another slice of buttered side up bread.
  3. Cook each side until golden brown and serve hot.  And be ready for your opinions of brussels sprouts to be totally changed forever.  And ever.  Amen.

Source: How Sweet Eats

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Beany Baked Potato

beanpotato3

That is not a very flattering name for a meal.  Beany is not a good description or something that you would necessarily jump up and say, “Yeah, let’s eat that!” about.  But, nonetheless, I am not that clever in coming up with names for things so beany baked potato is what we have here.

Don’t let the name put you off, though.  This potato is some serious good eating.  And if you’re anything like me some people, you’re in need of some light meals in your arsenal.  My husband just told me to use the word arsenal.  I feel like it sounds militant but he said I’m a militant foodie so we’ll roll with it.  So, after binge eating for the whole month of December and half of November eating a little more than we should have over the holiday months, this meal is perfect to lighten the load.  It’s filling and good for you and super simple to make.  Served with a side salad or maybe some roasted broccoli, it would make a great meatless dinner or by itself as a light lunch.  I served it with just sour cream (greek yogurt, actually) and cheese but as I look at the pictures, I’m seeing now that it probably would have been delicious and even prettier with a bit of chunky salsa.  Definitely trying that next time.  Or you try it and tell us how it was.  Yeah, that.

Happy Monday, friends! Make it a good one!

-Melissa

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Beany Baked Potato

Ingredients:

4 freshly baked potatoes
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp chili powder
4 ounce can diced green chiles
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
3/4 cup water
salt and pepper to taste
For serving : cheese, sour cream/greek yogurt, avocado, cilantro, salsa
Directions:

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add olive oil and chili powder.  Saute until fragrant, a couple minutes.
  2. Add green chiles, black beans, and 3/4 cup of water to skillet and stir.  Cook until heated through and slightly thickened. I cooked for about 5-10 minutes because I wanted a thicker mixture.
  3. Slice hot baked potatoes down the middle and top each evenly with bean mixture.  Serve with desired toppings and enjoy!

Source: Everyday Food Magazine, December 2012

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Veggie Chili

vegchili3Ok, yeah, hi.  We did it again.  Last year around the holidays, we kinda quit blogging for a hot minute.  Or a month. Whatever, who’s counting? This year, it happened again.  It hasn’t quite been a whole month, though! So that’s progress, folks. Progress, I say.  And really, there were good reasons.  Heather and her whole crew got the God forsaken virus known as the flu.  Bad.  Really, really bad.  And me? Well, um… I was busy worrying if my friend and my Godchildren would make it through to see another day in a flu-filled world.  Alright, alright.  I didn’t have as much of an excuse.  Except that I got lazy and I was really enjoying my time at home with my husband and kids.  Sue me.  It’s not like you missed us that much, anyway.  No bigs, because we’re back.

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How’s 2013 treating everyone?  2012 was the year I lost all the baby weight and then some.  And then December came and I gained back some of my “then some.”  I was really enjoying the lighter side, fitting into jeans I couldn’t even wear in high school.  So now that it’s January, I feel ready to jump back on the wagon and start eating right again.  Not a diet.  That’s silly and trendy and no, I’m not getting a gym membership.  I am, however, going to fill the tires on the double jogger stroller with air (again) and commit to eating healthy and exercising more.  You know we’re mostly healthy eaters around here.  We don’t count calories and we don’t restrict ourselves too much.  Everything in moderation, right?  The moderation part is the part I have trouble with.  But, God willing, I’ll get it figured out!

This chili is a great way to start off the new year. It’s super cold in most places right now, and even here in NC.  Who doesn’t love a nice warm bowl of chili to warm them up on a cold night?  I love this chili because it’s so simple, quick, and healthy.  Another huge plus in my book is that it freezes well, so I can take a single serving portion from the freezer and have a home made meal in minutes.  It’s a win, friends.  With a big dollop of greek yogurt, maybe a pinch of shredded cheese and a couple crackers, this is the way to start out your new year!  Happy New Year, everyone.  We missed you!

-Melissa

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Veggie Chili

Ingredients:

2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
3-4 celery stalks, chopped
4 cloves minced garlic
3 tbsp chili powder
2 bell peppers, seeded and diced (we prefer red, yellow, or orange because they’re sweetest)
1 zucchini, diced
1 squash, diced
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 can stewed tomatoes
2 cups corn (frozen, canned, or fresh)
2 cups black beans (or one can, if not using homemade)
1/4 tsp salt

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Once hot, add onion, celery, garlic, and chili powder.  Saute until onions are almost translucent, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add bell peppers and saute for another 5 minutes.
  3. Add zucchini, squash, oregano, and cayenne and cook for another 5 minutes.
  4. Add tomatoes and cook another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Stir in corn, black beans and salt and cook at least another 5-10 minutes.  I like to to cook it a little longer to let the flavors meld together and let it the juices cook down a bit.  I probably cook it for a total of 45-50 minutes.

Source: A lady from some web forum somewhere on the internet back in 2007.  Sorry lady, I don’t know who you were.

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Spinach & Potato Hash with Eggs Sunny-Side Up

Hey guys. Are you five pounds heavier, too? Yeah, me either too.

You know what the best part about Thanksgiving is besides the turkey and family dysfunction donotdenyityouKNOWyouhaveittoo? No, it’s not the leftovers, although I too enjoy not having to cook for a month after, and it’s not the sweet potato casserole, although ours is pretty tight.

Let me just tell you guys what I’m dealing with over here. It’s really an act of God that you get a blog from me at all. Every other word, I am fighting off a child who is trying very hard to make it to the computer and destroy everything I’m working on. Sometimes, they win.

No. It’s the desserts. The chance to make desserts that are really bad for you and the opportunity to share them with others so that you don’t have to eat a whole pan of brownies yourself so that, ya know, they don’t go to waste. Wait, what?

And desserts are my Thanksgiving thing. It’s what I do since I don’t actually host a Thanksgiving and I may have a teeny problem making enough desserts for a family gathering of 30 when I only have a family gathering of 9. Whatever. It means I get to take home a lot of leftovers, including desserts.

So, here’s the deal. I may have almost single-handedly polished off 9/10 of the desserts that we brought back home. In, like, a day. But I mean, I wouldn’t want them to go to waste. Feel me? So, instead of eating brownies for lunch, I’ve been making this hash and oh.man.loving.it. You can pretty much throw any leftover potatoes and veggies that you have lying around and make it into a delicious and much better for you than brownies lunch or dinner. It’s a relatively easy and quick meal that will leave you feeling full and with the ability to resist that last pecan pie bar.

Maybe.

-Heather

Spinach & Potato Hash with Eggs Sunny-Side Up
Serves 1

Ingredients:

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided.
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-1 1/2 cups various types of potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces (Just use whatever you have lying around.)
1/2 red pepper, cut into strips
1/4 tsp cayenne, more or less to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup baby spinach
1 egg

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add 1 tbsp olive oil. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, about 15 seconds.
  2. Add potatoes and red pepper strips to skillet. Season with cayenne, salt, and pepper. Saute, turning often, until potatoes are starting to brown, about 10 minutes.
  3. Place skillet in preheated oven and cook until potatoes are fork tender, about 15-25 minutes, depending on the size of your potatoes. (I don’t have an oven-proof skillet, so I wrapped my handle in aluminum foil and it works just as well. Just don’t forget to use an oven mitt when you take it out!)
  4. While the potatoes are cooking, heat other tbsp olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Crack the egg into the skillet, and step away. Let the egg do it’s thing. It is ready when the edges start to curl and the whites are set. The yolk will be set, but still wobbly.
  5. When the potatoes are done, place them on a serving dish and toss with the spinach. The heat will wilt the spinach slightly and make it wonderful.Top with the egg and enjoy.

Source: Kids in the Sink original

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Bean Flautas

It’s the week after Thanksgiving.  You’re probably still tired of cooking (unless you’re like me who enjoys long and drawn out meal preparations, for the most part) and you’re definitely still full.  Maybe your pants aren’t fitting quite right… maybe that part is autobiographical.  Anyhow, we’re here to rescue you from the probably still leftover turkey and stuffing.  We’re bringing you a simple, healthy meal that’s as yummy as it is easy to make.

Bean flautas! They’re thin, crispy, and full of beany goodness.  Pair it with greek yogurt or sour cream and some salsa or hot sauce and I’ll be darned if you don’t have a delicious meal.  I also enjoy the amount that this recipe makes because it’s leaves plenty leftover for the rest of the week’s lunches.  I’m not sure about you but my favorite week day lunches come from the nights before.  Hot lunch? Yes, I think so.  Oh! And one more bonus! These freeze well! Just tray freeze them for an hour or so and then put them in a plastic freezer bag for storage.  They reheat crispy if you use an oven or toaster oven.  You’re welcome.  Happy week-after-Thankgiving-and-two-weeks-before-it-becomes-acceptable-to-eat-sugar-like-it’s-going-out-of-style! Eat well, for now.

-Melissa

Bean Flautas

Ingredients:

2 cups refried beans, or 1 can (we use homemade black beans and mash them)
3 ounces cream cheese
1/4 cup salsa
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
12 6-inch flour tortillas
olive oil, for brushing finished product

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment.
  2. Mash together all ingredients except tortillas.  A potato masher works well for this and a food processor does a good job, too.
  3. On each tortilla, spoon out about 2 tablespoons of filling in a vertical line along the bottom half of the tortilla.  Tightly wrap each tortilla and place them seam side down on the prepared baking sheet.
  4. Once all tortillas are rolled, brush each flauta with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and crisp. Serve immediately.

Source: slightly adapted from A Couple Cooks

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The Slacker's Thanksgiving Recipe Roundup

We know, we know, most of you probably have half of your Thanksgiving already prepared by today, let alone your menu finalized and prepared for. You probably made lists and timelines and prepared for months in advance for the big feast.

And that’s cool. If that’s your thing. But mostly, we kind of procrastinate. Ok, I (Heather) mostly always procrastinate. If Melissa made a Thanksgiving feast, she would most surely be a planner and list maker. But, neither of us are going to be hosting Thanksgiving this year, so we are procrastinators. Sorry. 

We know that our fellow procrastinators are out there, just scouring the recipe round-ups, looking for that last minute something. And we love you for that. And because we love you, we rounded up some of our own past recipes that would be a perfect addition to your Thanksgiving menu. All of these are pretty easy to throw together, but will taste like you spent hours in the kitchen.

Apple Pie Baked Oatmeal – Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, even on Thanksgiving. You’ve got to keep your energy up, cooking and hosting. So make this the night before, throw it in the oven in the morning while you are prepping other things, and you have a very easy, filling, and most importantly, delicious breakfast to get you through the day. Win.

Baked Pumpkin French Toast – Yet another throw in the fridge overnight, bake in the morning, enjoy. This french toast is totally wonderful. I mean, it has a streusel. Anything that has the word streusel in it, is automatically grounds for making and devouring. Start your cheat day off the right way, friends.

Deviled Eggs – You guys know us. We are Southern girls. And we’ve said it before, if you are southern and you are having a get together, which is defined as any occasion in which 5 or more people are involved, then you need deviled eggs. Enough said.

You Look Like Cap’n Crunch Sweet Potato Casserole – This sweet potato casserole is a huge hit at our Thanksgiving. My (Heather) mom requests it throughout the year, especially at Thanksgiving. We adapted the recipe for a challenge to make a Cap’n Crunch topping, which my husband now prefers, but you could top it with marshmallows or the original recipe called for a pecan/brown sugar topping. Whichever is your thing. Do you.

Roasted Broccoli – AKA the best broccoli of your life. This broccoli is so delicious and really should be a player on your Thanksgiving table. You won’t regret it. Trust.

Sixty-Minute Dinner Rolls – Dinner rolls. In 60 minutes. That taste like regular rolls that take forever to rise and rise and rise again. What else do we need to say?

Brown-Sugar Buttermilk Pie – This pie. I (Heather) have been waiting since last year for a reason to make this pie. And the reason has come. Tomorrow, I will be throwing this together and trying hard not to eat it before Thursday. You should do the same. It puts pumpkin and pecan pie to shame.

So that’s it. That’s all we got. Next year, we will be on top of things. Maybe. Probably.

Happy Thanksgiving all! Enjoy it with family and friends! Reflect on all of the things in our lives that the Lord has given us, and count your blessings, because they are great!

Oh give thanks to the LORD, call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples. -1 Chronicles 16:8

-Heather and Melissa

 

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The Slacker’s Thanksgiving Recipe Roundup

We know, we know, most of you probably have half of your Thanksgiving already prepared by today, let alone your menu finalized and prepared for. You probably made lists and timelines and prepared for months in advance for the big feast.

And that’s cool. If that’s your thing. But mostly, we kind of procrastinate. Ok, I (Heather) mostly always procrastinate. If Melissa made a Thanksgiving feast, she would most surely be a planner and list maker. But, neither of us are going to be hosting Thanksgiving this year, so we are procrastinators. Sorry. 

We know that our fellow procrastinators are out there, just scouring the recipe round-ups, looking for that last minute something. And we love you for that. And because we love you, we rounded up some of our own past recipes that would be a perfect addition to your Thanksgiving menu. All of these are pretty easy to throw together, but will taste like you spent hours in the kitchen.

Apple Pie Baked Oatmeal – Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, even on Thanksgiving. You’ve got to keep your energy up, cooking and hosting. So make this the night before, throw it in the oven in the morning while you are prepping other things, and you have a very easy, filling, and most importantly, delicious breakfast to get you through the day. Win.

Baked Pumpkin French Toast – Yet another throw in the fridge overnight, bake in the morning, enjoy. This french toast is totally wonderful. I mean, it has a streusel. Anything that has the word streusel in it, is automatically grounds for making and devouring. Start your cheat day off the right way, friends.

Deviled Eggs – You guys know us. We are Southern girls. And we’ve said it before, if you are southern and you are having a get together, which is defined as any occasion in which 5 or more people are involved, then you need deviled eggs. Enough said.

You Look Like Cap’n Crunch Sweet Potato Casserole – This sweet potato casserole is a huge hit at our Thanksgiving. My (Heather) mom requests it throughout the year, especially at Thanksgiving. We adapted the recipe for a challenge to make a Cap’n Crunch topping, which my husband now prefers, but you could top it with marshmallows or the original recipe called for a pecan/brown sugar topping. Whichever is your thing. Do you.

Roasted Broccoli – AKA the best broccoli of your life. This broccoli is so delicious and really should be a player on your Thanksgiving table. You won’t regret it. Trust.

Sixty-Minute Dinner Rolls – Dinner rolls. In 60 minutes. That taste like regular rolls that take forever to rise and rise and rise again. What else do we need to say?

Brown-Sugar Buttermilk Pie – This pie. I (Heather) have been waiting since last year for a reason to make this pie. And the reason has come. Tomorrow, I will be throwing this together and trying hard not to eat it before Thursday. You should do the same. It puts pumpkin and pecan pie to shame.

So that’s it. That’s all we got. Next year, we will be on top of things. Maybe. Probably.

Happy Thanksgiving all! Enjoy it with family and friends! Reflect on all of the things in our lives that the Lord has given us, and count your blessings, because they are great!

Oh give thanks to the LORD, call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples. -1 Chronicles 16:8

-Heather and Melissa

 

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Chicken Tortilla Soup

We aren’t big soup people around here. That’s probably because our definition of soup was largely based on our experiences with that little red and white can. And in my college days, there were many meals spent with a styrofoam cup of Ramen.

Yum.

So soup has always kind of been this thing that I never thought about making because I was pretty sure that I didn’t like it. But, we are trying to find ways to cut waste and cost around here, and soup can be pretty cheap. And with it getting cold, I decided to branch out a bit. Try something new. See how things go.

And they went well, friends. I found whole chickens on sale recently and decided to roast one for the first time, which was a major win, and I used the leftover meat and homemade stock made from the bones in this soup. And we all devoured it.

For several lunches and dinners.

Because it was that good. Throw some crusty bread in the mix to soak up all the goodness, and you have yourself a full on comfort meal.

It was good on day one, but on day two, after melding and making flavor magic in the refrigerator, it pretty much changed my whole opinion about soup forever. Hello, winter of the soups.

-Heather

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Ingredients:

3 tsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 cup diced tomatoes with liquid
4 tsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp onion powder
About 4 cups shredded cooked chicken, or the meat from one 3-4 lb. whole chicken
10 cups broth (I actually used half broth, half water and it was fine)
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 flour or corn tortillas, cut into thin strips
Cheddar cheese, cilantro, avocado, lime wedges for toppings

Directions:

  1. In a large pot, heat 1 teaspoon of oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add tomato paste, diced tomatoes and liquid, and spices. Cook until most of the liquid is evaporated, 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add the broth and bring to a boil; season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Add the chicken and simmer gently until warmed through. I let mine simmer for a few hours during the day and it was perfect.
  4. When you are just about ready to serve, preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  5. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the tortilla strips with 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and bake until crisp and golden, 8-10 minutes, tossing halfway through.
  6. Top the soup with avocado, cheese, cilantro, and tortilla strips. Serve with a lime wedge.

Source: adapted from Everyday Food January/February 2012

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