Monday, November 19, 2012

Holiday Green Beans - Caity

These green beans are a staple of all our holiday meals, particularly Christmas and Thanksgiving. I have been making them for a really, really, really long time. The recipe is from the American Girl Cookbook (it was Felicity's recipe to be exact) and it's been a really, really, really long time since I had an American Girl doll, so that should give you some sort of time frame.  

I stopped using the cookbook after a couple times of making the green beans and it disappeared a couple of years later. I don't remember what the original recipe was exactly but it has become something very simple, just a couple of ingredients with lots of flavor. I hope you enjoy and have a happy Thanksgiving!!!!! 

Serves about 4 (depending on how much you like green beans)

Two years ago: Thanksgiving Stuffing

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Fresh Cranberry Orange Relish - Cathy

When my kids were little, I always made a traditional, cooked cranberry sauce (recipe here)--with one simple addition that Erin always demanded (that recipe coming up!).  One year I decided to try a back-of-the-bag recipe that called for all raw ingredients, and we loved it! Especially Erin; so now our family requires two cranberry sauces for every Thanksgiving dinner! Since we always seem to do an extra summer turkey dinner--usually on the grill, and with not quite all the fixings, this means that we make this sauce twice a year. 

This year was an extra-special early Thanksgiving dinner, and we did do all the fixings, as it was a send-off to Keegan right before he went off to Marine boot camp on October 9.  He will be in boot camp through his birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's, so we wanted to have a big family meal for him to think of and sustain him during some of those long, lonely days.  

We had a big Thanksgiving feast on the patio with a lot of family and friends (served in two seatings because Caity had to fly out early back to Portland, but Erin couldn't get off work in time to sit down with everyone else. So some of us ate twice! Not admitting anything...).  

This Thursday we will be missing him and holding him in our hearts, but are lucky enough to have his girlfriend, Jaymie joining us from California!  It will be like having a part of him there with us, and we are so pleased.  And another year still, of Caity being able to make it home from Portland.  We know we're awfully lucky to still be able to get her here for Thanksgiving.

So here's just one part of the big day!  We hope that you all have a wonderful, delicious, and peaceful Thanksgiving with much to be thankful for.

Two years ago: Thanksgiving Stuffing

Pecan "Crack" Pie - Caity

Crack pie. I saw the recipe on Pinterest and was immediately intrigued. Why is it called crack pie? Is it because the filling cracks as it cools? Is it because it has crack in it?  Is it because it is so good you'll quickly want more? Now that I have tried it, I know it's because it is SO GOOD! 

Growing up, I never really liked pecan pie until I tried a pecan pie made by a family friend, Rhonda Dodson. She made her grandmother's recipe which was a combination of two classic southern pies, pecan pie and chess pie. It was amazing! The inside was sweet and dense and custardy without the use of corn syrup. I have made several different recipes for pecan pies and found that I never like the ones with corn syrup. In my opinion, they are too sweet and leak out all over the place. You cut your pie and the next thing you know, you have pie crust in pie filling soup.

Crack pie is somewhat similar to a chess pie, but also very different. This particular recipe comes from the restaurant in New York, Momofuku's Milk Bar, a restaurant well known for sweets and big tasty pies. I made some small changes and I decided to add pecans so that I had an excuse to make it for Thanksgiving. It would be good both ways if you really don't like pecans. 

This is a good pie for Thanksgiving because it's supposed to be served cold. You can make it up to 2 days beforehand and throw it in the fridge. This recipe does include a homemade oat cookie crust which is really amazing and I think you should try it BUT if you're short on time and desperate for a little crack (hahaha) then I think a graham cracker or regular pie crust would be okay substitutes. 

Two years ago: Thanksgiving Stuffing

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Wild Mushroom and Asparagus Fettuccine - Caity

It just about kills my mom when I tell her that I am cooking mushrooms for dinner. I refused to eat mushrooms nearly my entire life despite her best efforts. I would pick them out of anything she tried to hide them in. Now, I feel like I am playing catch up for all that I've been missing. Mushrooms are so good!

I like choosing a couple of different types of mushrooms to put in the fettuccine because they all taste different, and they are all so pretty! The nurse practitioner I work with goes mushroom hunting on the weekends. The last time I made this pasta, I used a couple of chanterelles she had picked the day before. I'm won't lie and say I wasn't a LITTLE nervous about eating them, but I am still breathing and from what she has told me, she is quite experienced in chanterelle hunting. 

This recipe is adapted from a recipe in the "Cooking Outside the Box: Easy, Seasonal and Organic cookbook". I bought it a long time ago from Anthropologie and this fettuccine was the first thing I've made from it. I think I'll have to test out more! The original recipe calls for prosciutto but I decided to use asparagus instead and I like it that way a lot. The asparagus cuts some of the creaminess which I really like. 

Serves 2 generously, or serves 4 as a light meal. 

One year ago: Crab and Brie Soup

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Acorn Squash with Jalapeño Lime Vinaigrette - Caity

This is a great autumn side dish (or anytime side dish really!). The richness of the squash is nicely balanced with the lime and cilantro vinaigrette. 

It makes a good amount of squash so if you're only cooking for a couple people, you could either cut the recipe in half, or re-use the leftovers. I used my leftovers in risotto with arugula and it was tasty!!!! This recipe is slightly adapted from the Smitten Kitchen blog.