I love the holidays. All of the food, family, and fun. One of the things I especially love though is leftovers! I like to take the next few days and use them in tons of different ways. Leftover turkey sandwiches, Turkey Croquets, Turkey Casseroles, etc. But one of the families all time favorites is for me to make my turkey soup.
I love curling up with a big bowl of this soup the day after Thanksgiving. Everyone is still pretty full and I am tired from all of the cooking, so it usually ends up a family movie night, and more often than not the movie is National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. We all love that movie and it just kicks off Christmas for us. I give everyone a day off on Friday but I will have them out slaving away on Saturday putting up Christmas decorations LOL I mean I did feed them right?
I do go a little overboard on the decorations sometimes, I will admit. When the kids were young we actually would have people bring their kids to see our house. The last few years we have toned it down, but since we moved into the new place Kevin has informed me that we are going to “light the whole place up”. Alrighty then, this could get interesting!!
This year I am also very happy to be able to share my recipe with the #SundaySupper crew. If you haven’t heard about #SundaySupper yet let me explain. It is the baby of a wonderful woman and mentor Isabel from Family Foodie. It has been her mission to bring the family back around the supper table together. I am so proud and honored to participate in this with her and the many other fabulous bloggers who’s posts for this weeks theme of What to do with Thanksgiving Leftovers are linked at the bottom of this page.
We would love to have you join this special Sunday Supper and bring your halloween party recipes. So many amazing recipes and this group is just a blast to be around. Our #SundaySupper chat will begin on Twitter at 7pm Eastern Time. Grab your Bewitching Brew and Ghoulish Grew and join the fun!
I have been so excited to see the fresh summer produce coming into the market. My little mind has been working overtime trying to come up with new and creative ways to use it all. When I saw the bin of sugar snap peas I knew that was what I wanted to work with. I had a recipe from the Food Network magazine for a Southern Supper menu and creamed peas were on it. I knew I wanted to start out with that and work my own twist into it. I really didn’t change it much, the addition of bacon was my thing. I mean everything goes better with bacon right? Heck ya!!
Seth was off work last night and earlier in the day he had asked me what I was making for dinner. I told him about the roast pork loin and the buttermilk pie and then mentioned the creamed peas followed by “I know you don’t like peas but…”. His response, God love him, was “Mom I like anything you make” aawwwww melt a Mom’s heart. So with that said I was very excited about the entire meal.
Kevin’s son Dylan’s girlfriend was here and, bless her heart, she helped me shuck peas for about 2 hours! That was the hardest thing about this dish. I was determined to use fresh peas instead of frozen because I knew there would be so much more flavor in the dish if I did. The only problem I found was that this early in the season there were a lot, and I mean a lot, of the pea pods that had teeny tiny little peas that weren’t even worth the effort of the shucking process. That was a bit annoying. But in the end we all agreed that the dish was well worth the effort! I hope you agree.
With the holidays coming and going my focus, of course, has been on creating and preparing dishes that could be part of a holiday meal. I mean, yes you really could use anything you want for a holiday meal but, I tried to stay along the lines of traditional with a new twist. This dish is one that I made for Thanksgiving 5 years ago from a recipe I found on Food Network. We loved it so I put it in the “recipe bank” for future use, but for whatever reason I associated it with a holiday meal only and never thought to pull it out for another night.
This year I went back through old recipes to get some ideas and came across this one again. I knew immediately I wanted to make it. I knew Miss Picky Pants wasn’t going to eat it because it has artichoke hearts in it (if I had gotten rid of them should would have because she loves brie) but I figured everyone else would be game for it.
I also thought it would go well with the meal because I was making standing rib roast with a garlic, rosemary crust so it fit into the slight Italian theme I had going. You know, cooking is like getting dressed, you want everything to match and compliment each other. It sounds good at least right?
The meal was a bit hectic because I hadn’t planned the times as well as I had for Thanksgiving, plus the roast took up the whole oven so I couldn’t sneak things under or along the side. But this dish really comes together well. A few steps, but well worth it, trust me!! I can guarantee I wont be saving this for the holidays anymore. Special occasions maybe, but it is too good to only pull out once in a while!
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 pounds spinach, washed (3 cups cooked and roughly chopped)
- 2 cups chopped yellow onions
- 1 tablespoon roughly chopped garlic
- 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning blend
- 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 3 (8 1/2-ounce) cans quartered artichoke hearts, tough outer leaves removed
- 6 large eggs
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 2 cups milk
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 12 to 14 cups cubed (1-inch) day-old French bread (about 1 loaf)
- 1 pound Brie, rind removed and cut into 1/2-inch cubes, optional
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
- 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
I don’t know about you but in my family rib roast was something we couldn’t afford for a long time. Once we were able to make the splurge, rib roast was reserved for the New Year’s Day dinner. We rang in the new year with yummy roast and lots of champagne (New Year’s Eve I was allowed to have a glass of champagne with the family, I felt so grown up!!).
So through the year the traditions dictated this:
Easter = Ham
Thanksgiving = Turkey
Christmas = Turkey
New Year’s = Rib Roast
For years I didn’t deviate from those traditional meals. Many years I passed up the New Year’s meal because I was married to a military man and inevitably he was gone for New Year. But for the other holidays I followed the “plan” without question. Then one year my ex and I decided we wanted to entertain at Christmas and go out for New Year’s. I didn’t want to miss my chance to make that luscious rib roast so we decided to make it at Christmas instead. Now it has become my new tradition. My kids are older so more often than not they have plans for New Year’s and Kevin and I have gotten used to a quiet evening out together and then home to ring in the New Year alone. This way I get to enjoy all of my favorite traditional meals AND spend a romantic evening with Kevin. The best of both worlds I believe that is called!
OK back to the roast. I do love meat just seasoned with salt and pepper and roasted to a nice yummy medium rare. The rib roast being the wonderful cut of meat could be served plain like that and still be wonderfully flavorful. However, since when could a true foodie pass up and opportunity to “guild the lilly” just a bit?
I have done several different rubs/crusts on my past rib roasts. Horseradish was the star last year. This year I decided the supporting players would be rosemary and garlic with a tad bit of red wine. When I threw the idea out at Kevin to ask him if it sounded good, he just looked at me with this funny look.
Me – Hey Honey I am thinking this year I want to do a crust for the rib roast with rosemary, garlic, and add some red wine to the pan. Does that sound OK?
Kevin – *insert strange look here*
Me – (confused) what is that look for?
Kevin – Why do you even ask me these questions? Everything you make is wonderful!
Me – Aaaaawwww
Yes, my dear friends, he won some points with that answer!!
So without further adieu let me present the star of our Christmas meal.
- 1/2 bunch rosemary, leaves finely chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, smashed and finely minced, 3 cracked and skin removed
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 (8 to 8 1/2-pound) bone-in standing rib roast
- Kosher salt
- 2 onions, chopped
- 3 carrots, chopped
- 3 ribs celery, chopped
- 1 cup red wine
- 2 cups beef stock
- 2 bay leaves
Hmmm I am sensing a theme here. The holiday’s…well yes, of course! What would the other one be….hhmmmm…..aahhh yes, RUM!! Seriously though, I am not hooked on rum. I do love the way it tastes in certain foods and around the holidays it just seems to come out in abundance, rum soaked cakes, cupcakes, balls, so it isn’t just me!
Actually this recipe was taken from one that used bourbon, but it was just too bitter for me. Plus I liked some of the aspects of the old family recipe. So I smooshed them together and WALA made one awesome recipe! Don’t take my word for it, ask the family. They get excited for the holidays because I make them. This year I played around with the idea of NOT making them. WOW you should have seen the looks on their faces. You would have thought I told them we were eating road kill or something. OK that was dramatic I know, but pretty much sums up the looks I got.
I have made this recipe with yams as well as sweet potatoes, and you are more than welcome to substitute them. However, with trying to make things a bit healthier I chose sweet potatoes because they are lower in calories and have a lower glycemic load. I also reduce the amount of marshmallows I use. I wanted to try it with out them completely but the family threatened to boycott Thanksgiving if I did!!
- 8 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/8ths
- 3 cups light brown sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup fresh orange juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 teaspoons orange zest
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup rum
- 1 stick butter, cut into pieces
With Thanksgiving past and Christmas on the horizon I was a bit shocked when Kevin suggested we make a turkey this week. We were just wandering around the grocery store picking up a few items when we stumbled upon the turkeys and they were on sale. He looked at me and said, “Do you want to make a turkey?”. I don’t know why it seemed strange to me at first to make a turkey at any other time of year besides the holidays, but the foodie in me kicked in and my response was “Heck ya!”. I knew it would give me the opportunity to try a new way of roasting my turkey.
I have to admit to the fact that, even though I am adventurous in writing new recipes and changing up old ones, I have never altered the way I make my turkey. It is the same way my grandfather and my mother made it. I guess it just seemed like a tradition (or laziness….let’s go with tradition though because it sounds better).
I was watching the show The Chew and they had one episode where all of the stars made their own version of roasted turkey. All of them sounded wonderful but one of them used a compound butter and that set off the light bulb in my head. A while back I made a chicken with compound butter up under the skin and it was fabulous! I have no idea why I never connected that wonderful experience with a turkey. I mean really? A turkey is just a big chicken right? OK, I decided to roll up my sleeves and give it a try.
Oh, one of the best parts about this recipe? No basting!! The butter bastes the turkey and crisps the skin.
If you are anything like me, the good old green beans casserole is one of the Thanksgiving side dishes you have had every Thanksgiving since you can remember. My Grandmother and then my Mother made the Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup green beans every year. As a kid I loved it, especially the fried onions that went on top. I always hogged them and loved them so very much.
Now as I have gotten older and want to eat healthier I have developed a love hate relationship with that dish. I love it so much for all of the wonderful memories it brings back, but hate the amount of fat and sodium it contains. Every year since my gastric surgery it has been such a dilemma for me. To make it or not to make it, that was the question. Of course the nostalgia won out every year and I made it anyway and just ate a small amount.
I had been wanting to find a way to enjoy my childhood favorite in a healthier way but hadn’t given it a shot until this year. Looking through my Everyday Cooking magazine I found a recipe for a new green bean side dish and I instantly knew I was going to give it a try. This last week has been testing recipes so I can plan my menu. I am so lucky that each and every recipe I have made has been met with lots of enthusiasm from the gang here. Now I may actually have to weed a few out otherwise we will have a spread that would feed twice as many people. Trying to walk that fine line between cooking everything that sounds good and not putting yourself into a food coma is a tough one!
If you like green beans and have been wanting a healthier version for this years Thanksgiving table, you have to give this one a shot. If you are a die hard have to have mushrooms fan you could saute mushroom in some butter with garlic, once they are nice and brown salt and pepper them and add a touch of heavy cream. Pour that over your green beans and then top with the onions. I opted to go very healthy and make the green beans the star of the show.