And here we are again. The year is winding down, the mellow midwinter is on the horizon. We strange beings known as humans will give thanks, eat our weight in food, watch football or a Hallmark movie then tomorrow many of us will go forth and be willing to maim or kill another human in the middle of Walmart in order to save a few dollars on a flat screen television or the last mauve colored towel. The depravity is astonishing.
On Thanksgiving I work. Each shift at the casino has a potluck. This is my first year on 1st shift. The casino wasn't busy. The atmosphere was laid back. I made cranberry sauce (I believe the recipe is the one I used last holiday season- check the archives). I also made an Apple Butterscotch Pie and Snoop Dogg's Sweet Potato Pie. I took a quick photo of one of the tables in the break room. As you can see, no one went hungry. I may be far away from my family but I certainly have no reason to lament.
I awake every morning with a roof over my head and my crazy dog beside me on the bed. Who am I to complain?
I hope that are reading this had a joyous Thanksgiving and do consider giving a little of your time, treasure or talent during the holiday season.
Orchards have shared their treasures,
The fields, their yellow grain,
So open wide the doorway--
Thanksgiving comes again!
Nikita & Georgia
This year the husband and I were blessed to spend Thanksgiving with Nikita and her family
Everything was made by Nikita with the exception of the orange fluff.
Oh I peeled and cut both the potatoes and sweet potatoes
The food was amazing.. But it was the opportunity to break bread with one of my favorite people that made the day
Praying everyone had a joyful Thanksgiving,
Amy, Nikita, Georgia and Jen
So I chose gourds without much thought. This could have been a disaster but by providence I managed to concoct a damn good dish. So Yay!
I was in the produce section and noticed that they had some new offerings. One of which is vegetable noodles. Hell yeah. Now I don't have to invest in another one use appliance. I chose zucchini noodles and butternut squash noodles. That works. The packages for each contain recipes but I couldn't get jiggy with those. I wanted something more hearty and filling. I found a recipe in the October 2018 issue of Martha Stewart Living that I reworked a bit in order to use the butternut squash noodles. I am most pleased.
I learned a valuable lesson this week: there are two different kinds of Gourds - ornamental vs. edible. I bought some ornamental gourds for a centerpiece on my buffet then bought some butternut squash to bake into this fabulously moist cake. I was suspicious of using a vegetable as my primary ingredient in a dessert but was reminded how incredible zucchini bread is. Today, I hosted a Wreath Crafting Soiree where I served snacks, pasta salad, and this Winter Squash Cake. Some went back for two pieces including myself, and I had the pleasure of hosting Jen (our other Saturday Bites contributor) & her daughter Jade. Jade, who doesn't eat squash, loved the cake! MWWWAAHHAHAAAAA!!! My work is complete. Check out the recipe for realz ya'll!
My life is all about pumpkin right now.
I made this pumpkin streusel coffee cake this morning. After spending the day at the Festival of the Cranes I came home and had a little bite (or big)
The flavor and texture was most pleasant.
But.. pumpkin.. So of course it was selish
I won’t be making a dish this week. I was going to make butternut squash because I LOVE it…but nobody else will eat it. :-/ Instead I’m working on a big Star Wars themed birthday party for my daughter Jetta who just turned 5! 😊
Until next week..
Amy, Nikita, Georgia and Jen
Today is club volleyball tryout day for Jade! An exciting day in our household.
I made turmeric spice pancakes for breakfast. I used wheat flour instead of oat, and skim milk. They turned out pretty good. My hubby's was topped with raspberry syrup and almonds.
My contribution to this week's Saturday Bites can also be known as Comfort Food Pt. 2. I love turmeric's unique flavor. It's woodsy ( like cedar), buttery, and heady, to me. It's vibrant color is enough to pique the curiosity. I imagine it was the stuff of gold for the India Trading Company in the 18th century. I also understand that there's a special electronic juicer for turmeric root that is an absolute pain in the ass to clean. Food writer/chef David Lebovitz posted about his turmeric juicer on Instagram asking for suggestions as to how best to clean it. Apparently the struggle is real. From the comments that I read the best method was to bring the juicer outside and leave it on the curb. So that's one kitchen appliance that I have no plans of owning.
I've tried turmeric in many recipes but the truth is that I love it in the form of this warm, comforting drink known as golden milk or as moon milk. Moon milk is my favorite name for it. This is a blend of spices and milk lovingly warmed and to be enjoyed in the evening before bed. On a night such as this (brisk and rainy) a cup of moon milk and a cozy blanket are perfect to lull one to sleep. It's the warm fuzzies in the form of a drink.
As you can see I use a premade powder that I whisk into a pan of warm milk. Most prefer coconut milk but any will suffice. I use unsweetened almond milk myself. Stir in some coconut oil or ghee to sort of soften the taste. Turmeric is a bit intense and a smackerel of ghee mellows it out.
I purchase Gaia golden mix via Amazon. There's more than one brand but this is the one that I prefer. You can make it from scratch if you so choose. There are several recipes on the world wide web. For me that seems like much ado. But if you strive for authenticity this version of Moon Milk appears to be as close to the real deal as one can get:
If you make it from scratch do let us know how it turned out.
As for me, I am ready for teepy byes.
This week's challenge was....well - challenging. I must preface my story with the fact that my kitchen is all white. Yep, now you see where I am going. I made Honey Mustard Chicken Thighs with a Turmeric sauce paired with a Turmeric Coconut Basmati Rice. A two-fer! While the meal was delicious, the cleanup was horrendous. I did my best to ensure I did not get turmeric on my quartz countertops because they tend to stain when certain ingredients sit for even a second. I placed my Former-White-Rubber-Spatula-Now-Stained-Yellow on a napkin next to the stove after I had stirred the pot of chicken and sauce. The yellow sauce leaked through the napkin and left a large deep yellow stain on the countertop. Matt, being the handy hubby he is, was able to remove the stain with bleach and paper towels. Later during cleanup, we found little yellow spots where the sauce had slightly popped, so the cleanup effort was intense. Because of this, I would not make this dish again. I also ended up buying a container of Turmeric believing I had finished my last container. Well, I did not. Now I have two containers which I think is the whole reason Jen selected this challenge. LOL! Ugh.
I feel like I'm late in the game with the whole turmeric thing. Amy's been making moon milk for several years now.. Turmeric in a beverage didn't sound appetizing to me. So of course I thought I'd give it try. So I did..
It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I don't think it will be on my hot beverage rotation though.
The recipe calls for almond milk and coconut oil. Although I have almond milk in the house I wasn't sold on adding any kind of oil to a drink. So I replaced both with 1% milk.
Looks like we found several different ways to have turmeric. Now that I have it in my cupboard I may just have to try one of the other recipes,.
Until next week,
Jen, Amy, Nikita and Georgia
This week I chose comfort food.
Cooler weather always makes me think of those foods that give me the warm fuzzies.
This is probably my favorite comfort food meal..
healthy-ish Parmesan chicken and mashed potatoes
The chicken is pretty easy.
breadcrumbs, eggs, flour, Parmesan and whatever herbs and spices.
dredge in flour, then egg then breadcrumbs. Fry up in a med hot pan of olive oil. brown on both sides. Bake in 350 oven for about 30 minutes.
Mashed potatoes any way you like.
A bowl of salad and we had a complete warm fuzzy meal
Jen's hoping to have her comfort food later.
If not.. We will look forward to her contribution next week
Growing up one of my favorite comfort foods was milk gravy and toast. Mom always made the gravy in a cast iron skillet using flour, milk and bacon drippings. Slap that good shit on buttered toast and viola! It wasn't until I was older that I discovered the rest of the world uses sausage in their gravy and it smothers biscuits. Okay so....Mom couldn't bake biscuits to save her life. Bless her. I don't know why she went with bacon drippings over using sausage. Maybe bacon was cheaper or maybe because of rationing during WW2 it was a way of stretching out what little food families could get. Most in the south save bacon drippings in a coffee can for later use. So this is a fairly logical theory. Either way, milk gravy and toast was my favorite thing that Mom cooked. I will sometimes make it as Mom did when I want some comfort. But seriously, biscuits and gravy is where it's at.
Last week I received a belated birthday gift from Georgia. From Crook to Cook: Platinum Recipes from Tha Boss Dogg's Kichen by Snoop Dogg. Naturally everyone thinks two things: recipes containing weed or inspired when Snoop was baked and had the munchies. The other thing recipes from the hood. Someone asked if there's a recipe from jailhouse burritos. Jailhouse burritos are a thing, an ex-con introduced me to these completely unhealthy yet delectable treats. All of this aside, Snoop takes his food rather seriously. Yes, there is a brownie recipe and Uncle Snoop does mention that you can add his special blend of herbs and spices if you so desire. And there are a handful of OG recipes such as Spaghetti de la Hood (Which I made and give a 3 forks and knives rating) but there are other recipes such as cinnamon rolls with a bourbon glaze and seared filet mignon. The man loves food. And there is a recipe for biscuits and gravy. This version stood out because there are a couple of ingredients I had not heard of using until now. Nothing exotic but game changers all the same. Without further ado, I give you:
Biscuits with Tha Thickness Gravy
By Snoop Dogg
(Note: some call this Southern food others refer to it as Soul food. Both are correct! And it all just means delicious to me.-A)
Snoop's notes are a delight. On this recipe Snoop warns," This ain't for THE MEEK. It'll put your ass right back to sleep."
Now tell me this cute dish made of heart-shaped Egg-In-A-Hole Toast and Strawberry Jam Toast does not warm your heart?! I bought some new cookie cutters (101 Cookie Cutters) to be exact - Only $15! This idea popped into my head when making Christopher breakfast before the big game. He said it was the best toast he has ever eaten. Secret Ingredient: Butter! I melted a TON of butter in the pan and placed the toast (with heart-shaped hole) into the pan to soak it up and brown a little. Then the egg was dropped in. I have to admit that it WAS very yummy and adorable. It warmed me up this morning, so I was ready to cheer on my soccer star. BTW....we won 3-2. Great game!
We all have that one food that gives us the warm fuzzies
From Amy's great memories of milk gravy and toast (we all had a way of tearing the toast just right before covering in the gravy)
mashed potatoes (even now it's the one thing I want when I'm not feeling well)
Nikita's Egg in a Hole
All so yummy and made with love
Until next week,
Georgia, Jen, Amy and Nikita
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