Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving Yummyness!

I'm still stuffed from 3 Thanksgiving meals (yes, 3!) and can't even think of turkey right now, but I did want to go ahead and share the recipes I made because they were super yummy and I want to have them for next year! Hope you had a great holiday with family :)

Cranberry Sauce (a combination of a couple of recipes, but basically this one by Alton Brown)
1/4 c. cranberry juice (NOT cocktail...the 100% juice)
juice from one orange (approx. 1/4 c.)
1 c. honey
zest from one orange
1 bag fresh cranberries

Bring the cranberry juice, orange juice and honey to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for about 5 minutes, adding zest after a couple of minutes. Stir occasionally. Add the cranberries, and continue to simmer for 12-15 minutes (no more than 15). Continue to stir every minute or two. The cranberries will begin to burst, and I used a wooden spoon to kind of mash up the cranberries in the last few minutes of cooking.
Remove from heat, let cool for a few minutes, then pour into either a mold or serving bowls. Refrigerate overnight.

Cheesy Broccoli Casserole (I believe it was basically a recipe by Paula Deen, but of course now I can't find the original recipe)
2 bags frozen broccoli (1 family size, 1 large size I believe)
1/4 c. chopped celery*
1/4 lb. chopped mushrooms*
1/4 c. chopped onion*
*I eyeballed these measurements, and probably used more celery and less onion.
2 T butter
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 lb. velveeta cheese
1 c. grated cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Steam the broccoli in salted water for just a couple of minutes (basically to heat thru). Drain well--I drained it in the colander, then spread the broccoli out on a few layers of paper towels to absorb as much water as possible.
Saute the celery, mushrooms, and onion in the butter until very soft. Add the soup and velveeta, stirring often, until the cheese is melted and everything is combined well. Add salt and pepper as needed.
Combine the broccoli and cheese/soup/veggie mixture well, then pour into a greased casserole dish. Top with the cheddar cheese.
Either 1) put into a preheated 350* oven for about 20 minutes and serve; or 2) if made ahead of time, cover and refrigerate overnight. Bring to room temperature before cooking, and cook at 375* for about 30 minutes.

Streusel Stuffed Sweet Potatoes (From Tyler Florence's recipe)
This may be my favorite sweet potato recipe!
6 small to medium sweet potatoes
1 stick (1/2 c.) butter, room temp
3/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. toasted pecan pieces
1 c. (or a few handfuls) mini marshmallows

Scrub and prick the sweet potatoes, then bake in a preheated 400* oven until soft (about 45 minutes or so).
While the potatoes are baking, make the streusel: combine the butter, sugar and flour with a fork until crumbly. Add the cinnamon, salt and pecans.
(I made this the day before, so at this point, I put the streusel in the fridge, along with the cooled sweet potatoes.)
Cut the sweet potatoes in half length-wise, and use a fork to kind of tear up the insides (does that make sense?! haha). Place them in a baking dish, flesh-side up. Top each half with a generous amount of the streusel mixture, covering as much of the potato as possible. Sprinkle marshmallows over the streusel.
Cover with foil and bake in a pre-heated 375* oven for about 45 minutes, removing foil for last 15-20 minutes. (If you are making this directly after baking the potatoes, I think you can keep the oven at 400*, and just bake uncovered for about 20 minutes).
The streusel should get crispy, and the marshmallows will melt and brown. SO yummy!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Olive and Feta Stuffed Chicken

Okay, this is seriously awesome. I didn't know what to make for dinner, and called mom on the way to the grocery. She suggested this, and I made a few tweaks since Wesley would be eating it with me. I am seriously thinking I'll make it again tomorrow night!

olive oil
boneless skinless chicken breast
about 8 kalamata olives, diced*
about 1.5 T crumbled feta (I used the garlic herb kind)*
about 1/3 bag of frozen spinach
salt and pepper (and/or seasoned salt...I used Crazy Salt)
*I put both the olives and feta in the food processor to dice since I was feeding this to Wesley.

Preheat oven to 375. In an ovenproof pan, heat olive oil over medium to medium high heat. Cut the chicken to create a pocket. Combine the olives and feta, and stuff into the chicken. Season outside of chicken, and brown well in the olive oil. Once browned, add the spinach to the pan, season, and cover. Put the pan in the oven, cooking until the chicken is completely cooked through, about 10 to 15 minutes. YUM!