Saturday, October 26, 2013

Preparing for the Feast - Thanksgiving here we come....!

All this being said, here is my amazing sourdough stuffing recipe. Stephanie (my sister) isn't crazy about it....she likes cornbread but I swear by this one (Kathleen....this is for you) - it is a blend of an old Sunset recipe and a new one from Cooking Light.

Thanksgiving is really MY holiday.  What could be better than hanging out with your friends, drinking great wine and playing bocce in the afternoon!  Oh yeah....there also football blaring in the background, my crazy family walking in the door with MORE food and plenty of laughter!

Yup...its the best but it is not without preparation.  I ran in to a friend last Friday who told me she was planning her big feast (first time I think) and we started swapping recipes.  Naturally, my husband (king of the bird) was there to offer his tips on smoking turkey (since Arlon wasn't there we missed the debate on "fried vs smoked" and the Turkey Cook Off from last year!).  Thanksgiving is SERIOUS business in our house.  VERY serious business - best not to get between me and the last piece of my Mom's raisin pie!!  I have been know to can my ethical, moral behavior and flat out LIE for my pie!

Mushroom Artichoke Stuffing 
Heat a large skillet with olive oil (about 1 tbsp).  Saute 12 oz of exotic mushroom blend (TJ's has a frozen bag but be sure to thaw them and chop them a bit), 1 tbsp chopped thyme and 2 tbsp fresh rosemary.  Add one package of thawed frozen artichoke hearts, lightly chopped, 2 tsp fresh garlic (but I use about 4 cloves smashed and chopped!), 1/2 tsp pepper and 1/4 tsp sea salt.  Saute for another 2 minutes.  In a separate bowl, combine  1 1/2 c chicken broth and 2 eggs.  Add 12 oz toasted sourdough bread cubes and 1/2 c grated machego cheese or dry jack then stir. Stir in the saute mixture and  spoon in to an 11x7 baking dish coated with cooking stray.  Bake in a preheated oven for about 45 minutes.  Top with 2 oz shaved Parmesan after baking.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Grizzly Winter Veggie Casserole

True to my word, I went to my sister's class (armed with my box of organic produce and a You Tube video on organic vs conventional) with my standard speech "eat fresh and eat local".  I am NOT a food demo gal and I think I could take a lesson from those ladies at Costco but I did have "helpers" (thanks Natalie and my sister Stephanie who prepped).  We chopped, diced and sauteed our way to a pretty tasty little dish:  Note the smiling faces and the empty 9x13 in the photo below!  Thanks guys!!  All members of the "clean plate club!"

Big shout out to Willey Farms.....good produce makes good food!

2 Crookneck Squash, cut in to 1/2 inch chunks
3/4 c crushed Ritz crackers (nope not organic but the flavor was yummy)
1/2 c sliced sweet red peppers
1 c grated cheddar cheese
3 tbs butter
1/2 minced jalapeno pepper
1/2 large onion chopped
2 tbs finely chopped cilantro leaves
1 fat clove of garlic minced
1 egg lightly beaten
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 healthy shakes of "Slap Yo Mamma" seasoning (or a suitable Cajun seasoning)

Preheat oven to 350.  Butter a medium baking dish or a 9x13 if you are doubling it.  In a microwave bowl, put the squash and the red peppers.  Micro for at least 5 minutes on high until soft. You can boil it but that takes time! Put 2 tbs butter in a frying pan and saute the onions and jalapeno and cook till translucent.  Add garlic and cook a bit more.  Drain the squash and peppers.  Mash lightly and add in the sauteed onions.  Wipe down the frying pan and add a tbs butter and brown the cracker crumbs then set aside.  Mix the squash mixture together and add in the beaten egg and the seasonings. Mix in 1/2 c cheese and 1/2 the crackers.  spread in baking pan.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese and remaining crackers.  Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until firm and golden brown.