I had an easy job for our family’s Thanksgiving meal – I was in charge of baking crescent rolls! My aunt and uncle provided everything else. Delicious.
On the way home we stopped by a house that’s gotten some media coverage for its awesome décor. It didn’t disappoint! Lots of interactive displays. (For anyone local, you can look it up on Facebook as the “Halloween Christmas House Tempe”.)
Happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours! This year had some challenges; and if I'm being entirely honest, I lost several hours of sleep leading up to this dinner. Our first Thanksgiving in Eastern Europe! You see, Thanksgiving is an American holiday. In Bulgaria, kids go to school and adults go to work like any other day. Without the connection through social media, it wouldn't have felt like a holiday at all. I wanted to stick to our traditional meal but finding certain ingredients can be impossible at times. After searching three grocery stores, I found turkeys. Two, to be precise. They were the same size and the tag that indicated the weight of the bird had been worn off. I still have no clue heavy our turkey was. Thank goodness I have a meat thermometer. Matt claims this turkey was the best he has EVER eaten. The secret? Butter bath. I rubbed two sticks of butter with garlic and thyme all over that bird. Paula Deen would have been so proud!
I've expressed my discontent with the lack of canned items. Zero canned pumpkin, so I roasted an actual pumpkin and made pumpkin puree. An important lesson when using fresh pumpkin puree is that real pumpkin retains a lot of water. You need to strain it in the fridge over night after roasting to allow the moisture to seep out. Or use a cheesecloth. I did not do either of these things and my pumpkin pie filling kept separating with the sweetened condensed milk. My mini pumpkin pies still turned out ok, but I could have reduced the baking time if there was not so much moisture.
Also, forget about Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup for your Green Bean Casserole. This, however, was a beautiful discovery that you can make your own with basic ingredients in under 5 minutes. AND it tastes infinitely better! Check out my video to make your mouth salivate. You're Welcome!
This year the husband and I decided to do something very different this year. Not stay home.
So we flew in to Baltimore. Picked up our favorite teenager and drove a few hours north to Philadelphia. Where we've spent the past couple of days seeing absolutely everything we could see and eating as many Philly cheesesteaks as we could.
Even the snowstorm that hit Albuquerque on the day we flew out could ruin our great time.
I think this may become a new Thanksgiving tradition. Not be at home for the holiday. No laboring in the kitchen for hours, no time spent cleaning up.
Just hours and hours of checking out the city where our country was born.
Who knows what next year will bring.. But.. I'm already looking forward to it
What a great year..
Nikita in another country still celebrating a very American tradition.
Jen and family seeing the sites and sounds of her area
Myself and my favorite people exploring a new place.
God is good
Jen, Nikita, Georgia, Amy and Amanda
This week I learned all about the differences between Mexican chorizo and Spanish chorizo. Both equally delicious but made totally different. Very interesting. I used Mexican chorizo and made baked chiles rellenos. Amazing!! Much lighter than the fried version and you can change this recipe by adding whatever you have on hand. I used Spanish rice and fire roasted diced tomatoes. I’m addicted to these, so delicious! Can’t wait to make them again.
Hope you have a great week!
Sweet Potato & Chorizo Mexican Skillet. I couldn't find chorizo in GA although mom says she has seen it before. So I used ground pork rubbed heavily with smoked paprika. It was very good.
Okay.. I have to start out the gate with.. I'm not a huge fan of chorizo. Not the flavor. Too the contrary. The flavor is delish.
But chorizo is greasy as greasy can be.
But I'm also all about trying new things.. And chorizo was the food challenge so chorizo was on the menu.
As you can see by the name, this is a breakfast dish. In this house breakfast is an all day kinda meal.
The grits used in this dish are from my trip to GA this past spring. From Nora Mill. They are my favorite and was happy to use the last cup for this dish.
For those of you who are a little gun shy of chorizo you may want to consider making this. The husband and I both REALLY enjoyed it.
Well there you go.. Chorizo prepared 4 different ways. (even though Nikita's was not chorizo the recipe called for it so she made the most with what she had)
Until next week when THE main meal is on the menu.
Amanda, Nikita, Amy, Georgia & Jen
Tacos are one of my favorite foods! I had a hard time deciding on what type of taco to make. I decided to make fish tacos. So light and delicious that there was no guilt felt after eating so many. I used a recipe from Chrissy Teigen’s cookbook Cravings for the fish but made the topping with what we had on hand. Cod was used instead of tilapia. We were all so eager to eat that I didn’t get a chance to take photos. There were no leftovers to see if this keeps, so that means this fish recipe is a keeper.
I made these tacos for Saturday Bites a couple of years ago. I decided to make them again because Georgia moved her blog and I don't think that this recipe survived the transition.
These definitely aren't the run of the mill, perhaps this is why I love them.
Grilled Kielbasa Tacos
From Bon Appetit
A hearty fare for cooler weather!
This week I chose for Jen (it was her babies birthday). So I went with an old standby. Tacos!
I don't know of anyone who doesn't like tacos. And I'm always up to try something new and different.
So I saw these lovelies on my Hello Fresh menu and thought these are some tacos I NEED to try.
So the tacos themselves were delish. If you haven't tried ground pork tacos yet you may need to add it to your next menu.
The kiwi salsa, although it was refreshing didn't do it for me.. Or the hubs.
Would I eat them again? Heck yeah.. just minus the salsa
Looking at these lovely food photos encourages me to step up my food photo game..
Another fun week in the books.
Until next week when Amanda has us all trying chorizo.
FYI, No Nikita this week because they flew into GA for her grandfather in laws 90th birthday
On a side note: All recipes survived the transition!
This pita challenge was perfectly timed as my family and I just returned from Israel last weekend. Boy, did I eat a LOT of pita there! I actually had hummus and pita during every meal including breakfast over our 4-day weekend and kind of figured I would be "hummus'd out." I was wrong. These Chicken Shawarma pitas have a layer of hummus schmeared all over then topped with garlic chicken, mixed greens, tomatoes, red onion, and homemade tzatziki. Much like Georgia's meal, the tzatziki stole the show. I ate this meal three more times after this dinner pic - it was THAT DELICIOUS!
The thing about living in a rural area is that grocery shopping can be a challenge. For example, finding pita bread. And I wasn't able to procure any freaking pita bread. However, I wanted to contribute something to the blog. I have this wonderful healthy recipe that I plan to make throughout the holiday season. So I'm using flour tortillas but it's supposed to be pita bread. Use your imagination.
A little late night pita dishes
Georgia, Jen, Amanda, Nikita and Jen
Halloween the holiday I love and hate!
The costumes! But clowns mmppphhh! The candy! Oh yeah I'm diabetic.
So I decided on a Halloween dinner for Trixie and I. And a naughty snack to nosh whilst watching Arsenic and Old Lace.
So my dinner came from Rachael Ray ( she's good for that)
Rachael Ray 30-Minute Meals
Howling Good Halloween
Curried Carrot Soup
(I forgot to buy chives but my spider web surprised me)
Steak Bites with Bloody Mary Dipping Sauce
As for my movie snackens the October is of Good Housekeeping had several different snack bag meals. These are to be made by topping snack-size bags of chips ( or cookies). I photographed mine on parchment paper so that it could be better seen. So I made the Loaded Potatoes using a bag of potato chips, bacon, sour cream, scallions and cheddar.
I made a treat for Trixie and set it on the table to cool off. Yeah...she got to it pronto. No photos but she loved it. Trixie was my lil' witch for Halloween.
And there's also a photo of my dinner from Diwali.
This years work Halloween theme was Edgar Allan Poe's Masque of the Red Death and we killed it!
I love working with a group of over achievers.
FYI, I made cupcakes to match every room. Swing back tomorrow for Sunday Bakery to see them
Nikita's Halloween contribution is spooky burgers.
Plus a few fun pics of her in the Holy City of Jerusalem.
To be honest with you I'm mostly indifferent to Halloween. I enjoyed the camaraderie with my team
The thing I was most grateful for was being able to "virtually" share Nikita's walk through Jerusalem. Dying if I'm lying. I was crying for joy as she was chatting with me the other morning. Sharing her journey with me. God is so good.
Until next week,
Amy, Georgia, Jen, Amanda and Nikita
How to join:
If you'd like to join our Saturday bites club send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org