No recipes. Just photos from our families to yours!!
Gigi invited me to spend Thanksgiving in Albuquerque and I said "Okay". I decided to ask my best friend Tremain if he'd like a special dinner before I headed to Albuquerque. A Thanksgiving dinner for two. He liked that idea. I asked what he would like for our dinner. Tremain said pizza. And why not? I made two pizzas. One traditional, sausage and pepperoni. One that involved food stuff found on a Thanksgiving table, turkey and cranberry. As I pulled the pizzas out of the oven Tremain said," Hell yeah. Gangstagiving!". And so, a new tradition is born. We had it with a simple green salad. Dessert this year is extra special. Last month my stepmother sent a cookbook of just pies. Dad's favorite dessert. I couldn't wait to try it! I found a pie that sounded as unique as our friendship Apple Butterscotch! Oh my stars and garters!!!! Soooo good. And for good measure a photo of Tremain and I completely satiated and in excellent spirits.
Happy Gangstagiving and bless us all!
Patty, Angie M & Annika
I know you've heard a lot of Arizona firsts from me this year, but alas there's more. For the last seven years, I've made a Thanksgiving spread and invited family to our Florida home to enjoy the meal and time together. This year, we went to some relatives' home to share our dinner together. It ended with throwing the football in the street. Here's a few pictures although none of the turkey because it was too good to slow down and snap a pic.
From our families to yours. Happy Thanksgiving and a wonderful holiday season!!
Amy, Georgia, Nikita, Angie C, Patty, Angie M and Anni
Angie M & Annika
We made homemade sugar cookies frosted them and dipped them in crushed candy cane's. They turned out super fun and yummy and a great holiday treat!!!
Angie and Anni
For my first challenge I made fudge with candy canes. Smashed..one side peppermint on top and one side Cherry canes on top,
I made peppermint bark. Super easy to make.
6 candy canes
11oz white chocolate
Line cookie sheet with aluminum foil.
Crush candy canes _ keep some chunks
Once melted pour out on cookie sheet. Smooth to make it even. Sprinkle with crushed candy canes. Put in fridge until chocolate has hardened. Break into pieces.. Enjoy..
Click below for recipe
Peppermint Hot Chocolate
Candy canes mean Christmas! Forget Thanksgiving...I like Angie's thinking. 😊 I even contemplated putting up the tree and decorations. I feel like it's just time. It's been a looonnng, stressful year, and we are ready for some holiday cheer. Ooo..that rhymed. *cheesing* I wanted to really incorporate the peppermint, but I'm not a fan of chocolate and peppermint like bark. That's when the glorious Pintrest showed me mini cheesecakes. These are particularly easy because the crust is literally a whole Vanilla Wafer Cookie at the bottom. It gets soft when covered with batter and baked but still holds its shape. Genius, I say! I waited to serve them to the judge when he got home from his first work trip with the new gig. He said, "They're good." I'll take it. 😉 Thanks Pintrest! You rarely let me down.
Heat half and half and whatever chocolate you prefer on stove over med low heat. Whisk constantly. When chocolate is melted, take off heat. Pour peppermint vodka in bottom of mug, pour hot chocolate over it. Add a candy cane to the mug or add whip cream and smashed candy canes to top of mug and enjoy. I have done vodka and peppermint to the whipped cream and as a side note, making your own peppermint cream or peppermint vodka is fun
This week we have a new addition to our group of lovelies. Angie M's mother Patty (Randy's auntie). We are always so thrilled when we have new additions.. Welcome to the party auntie!!
Angie & Anni, Paty (auntie), Amy, Nikita and Georgia
I find Arugula mostly in salad, so this week I was committed to finding a different way of preparing it. Matt's grandmother subscribes me to cooking magazines which I love to browse through and pick recipes to try. This week Paula Deen came in the mail. She highlighted a cranberry chicken with butternut squash and pasta salad. Yes, I know I said no salad, and where's the Arugula in that? This dish called for wilted Arugula (kind of like the way you prepare spinach.) It's mixed into a ditalini pasta and butternut squash with a honey dijon mustard dressing. Atop that sits the chicken with cranberries sauce drizzled. So delish!! And, as Matt pointed out, fun food to play with. Enjoy!
Unfortunately where I live it's hit or miss when it comes to food items. I've rarely been able to find arugula. Most often it's mixed with baby spinach. Come to think of it, I've found arugula all on its own one time only. Sadly it wasn't this time. I did find Amish egg noodles though! I didn't want to NOT contribute something. So I did get fresh spinach. I figured the spinach and arugula could be swapped out. And I chose a lovely soup for the cooler weather. So here ya go:
Click below for recipe
Quick Tortellini and Spinach (pretend that it's arugula) Soup
Pizza with Arugula I used a frozen DiGiorno pizza added arugula, Parmesan cheese, colby jack cheese, garlic, onions, red pepper flakes and celery seed. Baked in a 400 degree oven for 20 min and enjoy
In a large bowl combine diced potatoes, some olive oil and spices of your liking. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 10-12 min. Take out and stir while still on cookie sheet with some garlic. Cook another 10 min in oven. When done, mix in a bowl with arugala and squeeze fresh lemon juice over it. Enjoy hot or cold
I wanted to make something different than just a salad with arugula in it.. So my search was on. I'd like to say it was a success.. It was for me.. But.. The husband doesn't like anything with the name squash in it.. But I like it.. I loved the different textures and flavors.
Click below for the recipe
Arugula Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash and Cranberries
Angie M & Anni
So we found a goat cheese and pasta salad recipe online but I had to improvise a little... I was afraid of how it would turn out but I really like it...
So I didn't have all the ingredients I needed to make the dish from the Internet. I didn't have the right so pasta I use the regular organic spaghetti noodles that I had from Costco and I boil them in water with oil in it until the noodles are done. Then I cut up 2 cups of the arugula and chopped it and then I put that in with about a cup of cherry tomatoes and a half a cup of olive oil and instead of goat cheese I used on him about 7 ounces of ricotta cheese. Then for spices I used salt, pepper, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning to taste. I'm happy with it. I hope you all enjoyed your dishes this week too!
Angie M. and Annika
There is something profoundly satisfying about sharing a meal. Eating together, breaking bread together, is one of the oldest and most fundamentally unifying of human experiences.
Nikita, Amy, Angie C, Georgia, Angie M and Annika
So it was my week..
Like reading, food has a way of transporting a person to another place and time. This week I thought it would be fun to step out and try a classic dish from another country. With that I decided to make Chicken Marsala
A little background on it.
It is a variation of traditional Italian scaloppina dishes, of which there are many varieties throughout Italy. The dish dates to the 19th century, when it most likely originated with English families who lived in western Sicily, where Marsala wine is produced.
I decided to make a crockpot version this week because my very good friend Angie C's daughter Anna is visiting. I've been working early so I can get off early to spend the afternoons with her, but still want to put a good meal on the table.
Click below for the recipe
SLOW COOKER CHICKEN MARSALA
What is international food in America? We are such a blend of cultures that our own American food identity seems to be limited to hamburgers and hotdogs.
We eat international food almost daily in our house, and we're not even trying.
This week, we did step out of our comfort zone and tried some real French, Vietnamese, Japanese, and Greek cuisine.
Coq au Vin was on the menu! Quick tip: leftovers are even better.
We also tried Spring Rolls with Shrimp and a peanut dipping sauce. The rice paper was strange to work with because it had a slimy texture when wet and sticky texture when dried. We ate Gyros at a family party (Thanks again Kelly!), and I made pot stickers later in the week.
They are easy to prepare in the morning for a quick 10-minute cook in the evening after work. Of course, tacos were on the menu. I mean, we ARE on the southern border of the US.
Finally, there was Friday night pizza! That's Mexican and Italian added to the list. I'd call that International Week mission accomplished.
Click below for the recipe
Coq Au Vin:
This is an interesting one for us. Americans have odd notions as to what international cuisine actually is. Ruth Reichl once posted on her blog that General Tso chicken is a monstrosity that is strictly made in the U.S.A. Well excuse us! In our defense the majority of immigrants that arrived on our shores at the turn of the 20th century had to make do, didn't they? I was reading the New Times the other day (a newspaper Ms. Reichl was once employed by no less) and happened upon a chicken stir fry recipe in which ketchup was an ingredient. I found myself intrigued as it seemed thoroughly retro. I plan to make it soon. Over the summer I read an article in Saveur magazine about a young chef of Asian decent making himself known in Chicago. He fuses Asian with Midwest. There were several of his mother's recipes included in the article. The one that stuck out was rice with Pepsi in it. The writer of the article basically said don't knock it until you try it. And even now with international food markets and online shopping along with access to literally thousands of recipes you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who makes truly authentic recipes. What I am doing is cutting us all some slack on thus one. This should be a down right fun challenge for us all. It was for me. My meal was international with a decidedly American twist. I am not ashamed people! I first became aware of part of this meal way back in June of this year. A friend and I took a trip down Route 66. We stopped in Stroud to eat dinner. There's a place called the Rock Cafe. It was established in the 1920's. It has recently received recognition for several reasons. One is that the owner was the inspiration for Sally in the popular Disney/Pixar film Cars. Look it up! Next, it's frequented by famous people. Not sure what Bryant Gumble and Robert Plant were doing in Stroud, Oklahoma but they ate at the Rock Cafe. Maybe they're foodies. Finally, it was featured on the Food Network show were that putzy guy goes around the country to eat at diners and such. And the dish that was featured was the one I tried pork chops and spaetzle. I found myself asking our servro many questions about this dish. First, the pork chops were like butter! To be so tender! They actually cook them on the grill. When I asked what exactly spaetzle is the server kind of struggled for an answer. I thought at first it was some sort of dumpling. Then an egg noodle. The server shrugged her shoulders and said," Spaetzle is just spaetzle. ". And that really is the best answer. Love it for what it is. I had planned to look it up and make it once the weather cooled off a bit. Because it really is a bit of stick to the bones kind of meal. Then last week I found myself perusing this strange cookbook Gigi gave to me back in May. The General Foods Kitchens Cookbook. This copy is from 1959. It has some of the most unpleasant sounding recipes I've ever read. I'll spare you all. But oddly enough in the " international " cuisine section there's a recipe for spaetzle. Oh my stars and garters! And then Gigi informs us that the food challenge is International. It was meant to be. I would , at this point, like to mention that the country of origin isn't known. The debate is that it's either German or Austrian. For the sake of the food challenge we'll say it's German. Only because I paired it with schnitzel. The spaetzle recipe that is in this cookbook is not surprisingly bland. So I researched it a little and culled from several sources to make it my own. So it isn't authentic but it turned out to be very hearty and delicious. I went with a schnitzel recipe that Gigi sent to me a couple of years ago. I omitted the dipping sauce part in lieu of applesauce. Before I proceed with the recipe I want to point out that I strongly recommend a good quality butter for this. I believe that quality butter made a good meal into a great meal.
Click below for recipe
Yummy Chicken Tacos I put about 10-12 frozen chicken tenders in the bottom of the crock-pot. Sprinkled one packet of taco seasoning over the top. Poured one jar of chunky salsa (however you like it). I then sprinkled a liberal amount of cilantro over the top. I used dried but the original recipe calls for fresh. The juice from 1 whole lime goes next. Turn on low for 8 hours. As we got ready to eat, I made Mexican rice and black beans, cut up green onions and fresh cilantro. We made some awesome tacos. I topped them with cheese and sour cream. The leftovers were awesome. My pictures didn't turn out so I sent the one from the original recipe on Pinterest.
Georgia, Nikita, Amy & Angie C
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