Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm in such a reflective and introspective mood these last couple of days. I think all of Ethan's thoughtful and rather serious-sounding holiday playlists have been making me a bit melancholy! I do have to say that I am quite thankful though. Yesterday, while I ran about getting things ready for the big holiday meal, I thought to myself at least twice, how fortunate I am. I live in a cute apartment, I am married to a very special man, I have lots of wonderful relatives and a few really good friends. I am lucky enough to spend an hour on my couch making little pomegranate turkeys for place settings. My life is so breezy that I can sit on my couch, watching shows from my DVR, in utter peace while MAKING SOMETHING AS SILLY AS POMEGRANATE TURKEYS! The thing is, I wish that everyone could have that luxury in our world.

I'm thankful for serious and silly things. I am so thankful to live in a civil country where I don't live in fear of my every move. I'm thankful for freedom and the right to choices. I'm thankful for health and health of those I love. I'm thankful for my sweetie pie baby nephew, Charlie. More to come on him! I'm thankful for hot cocoa and English Muffin toast. I'm thankful for a car that gets me around. I'm thankful for two amazing parents. I'm thankful for the Internet. I'm thankful a hubby that loves me no matter what. I'm thankful for holidays. I love holidays! I'm thankful for views. I'm thankful for my sister, I love her so! I'm thankful for a couple really great girlfriends that have stood the test of time! I'm thankful for second chances and opportunities not yet known. I'm thankful for strangers that smile back. I'm thankful for sunny summer afternoons. I'm thankful that God loves me. I could go on for days when I really stop and think about it. But, on a lighter note...

I'm thankful for the
Barefoot Contessa, Paula Deen, Molly Wizenburg (Orangette), and Martha Stewart! Thanks to the ladies and wonderful recipes, we enjoyed a quaint and delicious Thanksgiving! Wanna hear about the menu?

We had Brined Turkey with White Wine Gravy, Green Salad with Pears and Feta Cheese that Tara added to the meal, Martha's Sweet Potato Spoon Bread, Mashed Potatoes by Lucas, Paula Deen's AMAZING Good Old Country Stuffing, Ina's Thyme Popovers, Brussel Sprouts made two ways - Creme-braised and Hashed with Poppy Seeds and Lemon Juice from Molly. By request, I served canned Cranberry Jelly... the stuff with Ridges. I had to embellish it on my menu. My hand-written menus are quite corny, I know, I just can't resist them. Of course the meal ended with Pumpkin Pie, another Martha Stewart classic. Call me crazy, but after making pumpkin pie twice this season I have to vote for Libby's pumpkin puree over the organic stuff.

Can I get back to the stuffing now? I really have never been a big stuffing person. I always have some, but it's usually boring or dry, I don't know, I just never see the need for it. Sure, I've made some very gourmet stuffing recipes with Chestnuts and all kinds of other special ingredients. One year I made my own cornbread and then proceeded to make a recipe from Bon Appetit, another year I bought an expensive bag of dried bread cubes from a local bakery, blah, blah, blah... always disappointing. So, just when I was about to give up on making or liking stuffing I had a thought. Well, two thoughts really. I thought of Paula Deen, she knows the classic and girlfriend doesn't ever make bad food from what I can tell! I also thought that simple might be best on this one. It doesn't sound much more classic or simple than a recipe titled, Good Old Country Stuffing. I must share it with you.

Good Old Country Stuffing
adapted from
Paula Deen

Salt and Pepper to taste...
1 14oz. Pepperidge Farms cubed, herbed Stuffing Mix
2 C. White Rice, cooked
1 Pkg. Saltines, crushed
1 lb Sausage (Sage-flavoured if you can find it)
2.5 C. Celery, small diced
1 Lg. Onion, small diced
5-6 C. Chicken stock, low-sodium
1 T. Poultry seasoning
1 t. Dried Sage
3 Lg. Eggs, beaten
4 oz. Butter , separated

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter 9x 13 casserole. Combine stuffing mix, saltines, and cooked rice in a large mixing bowl. Saute pork sausage until cooked through and browned. Add onion and saute until transparent and golden - 5 to 10 minutes. Add celery and cook for a 3-5 minutes. Pour over bread and rice mixture. Add stock - mix, add salt, pepper, sage, and poultry seasoning. Add 3 beaten eggs and mix well. Pour into greased pan. Cut butter into little pieces and dot top of casserole. Bake until golden and done, 45 - 60 minutes.
Serves 8-10

I hope that you and yours also had a lovely and tasty Thanksgiving dinner. I would love to hear about YOUR traditions and Thanksgiving meal. I'm so excited that the season has begun. I look forward to all of it's charms and enticements. Let's raise one to good food and good living!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Tanned Beauties

I am downright obsessed with cookbooks. Thankfully, our local library system really has quite a nice inventory and I go to it regularly. I recently got my hands back on the Macrina Bakery cookbook. I just love Leslie Mackie's story and I think her shops are precious. It's been a long time since I have made peanut butter cookies. It's been a long time since I've HAD a peanut butter cookie!

Macrina's recipe looked promising and so sure enough, just a couple days later I could smell them coming from my oven. I hesitated for a only a moment when I saw that the recipe called for vegetable shortening. I just went with it people. If Leslie Mackie will turn to the stuff once in awhile, then so will I! The cookies really were lovely. They were big, perfectly round, and crinkly on top. Just what a cookie should be. The tan beauties were lightly crisped on the outside and chewy in the center. And whose heart doesn't skip a beat when seeing the classic hatched fork design on top?? If only I had gotten a decent picture of them for you! This is a sweet one though... I made myself a pot of Amelie tea and enjoyed a peanut butter cookie and one of my favorite kinds of fall evenings. I will get the recipe on here soon.


It has been nearly two years now since I first wanted to start a blog, and today it is finally happening! I decided that if there is ever a good day to start a blog then Thanksgiving Day is as good as any! I initially wanted to start a food blog. I read them often, love them, and get terribly inspired by them! But, for me, it's just too intimidating! So, I've decided to just start a blog about life and all of it's entrapment's.

I love the thought of being able to visually capture and document the captivating moments that happen during life. I will probably end up posting a lot of stuff related to cooking... but don't be surprised if you get some other little things thrown in here and there. I look forward to looking back through out the years and seeing all of the things that have inspired, charmed, made me ponder, and really- love living. I'm doing this for me. I hope you will like it.