Monday, November 26, 2012

Guest Post?

Hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving!!! Between Friendsgiving and 2 other Thanksgiving meals, I still feel like I'm in a Turkey coma, haha.

I had a lot of fun relaxing over the last few days, but unfortunately, now it's back to reality. I will be spending most of my time in the library preparing for finals, taking finals, doing presentations, and writing a paper, until December 14th. BIG sad face. I will probably only be able to do one or two posts in the meantime, and then BIG happy face, I will have A MONTH of free time to blog!!

So, I was wondering if anyone, with or without a blog, would be interested in doing a guest post from now until mid-December? Any late fall or holiday recipes would be fantastic! Just looking for a recipe, a picture of the finished product, and preferably a few in between pics and a story about the dish. And of course, fresh is a must! :)

If you are interested, comment on this post or send a message to my facebook page. I can get you my contact info from there!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

"Friendsgiving" Highlights

One of my very favorite holidays is Thanksgiving! Okay, it's no Christmas, but it definitely shouldn't be overshadowed. It is an amazing ritual; historically rich, you get to eat an exorbitant amount of delicious comfort food, and it's a time to share with loved ones.

This year, I decided to host a "Friendsgiving" to share my food, and love, with some great friends. It's exactly like it sounds: Thanksgiving food, but with friends. On Sunday, I had 15 awesome people crammed into my apartment; I made the turkey, gravy, stuffing, Apple Cider Sangria, and Pumpkin Cheesecake. Then, my friends brought EVEN MORE food and drinks: Cornbread Dressing, Green Bean Casserole, Butternut Squash Risotto, Corn Pudding, Mashed Potatoes, more gravy, rolls, Cranberry Sauce, multiple bottles of wine, four kinds of beer... YEAH, it was a FEAST!! Not only did we stuff ourselves silly, but it was a great time to get in the holiday spirit and catch up with friends; there was much conversation, laughter, and football chatter. More than anything, it reminded me how thankful I am to have amazing people in my life (BY CHOICE! haha) that I can spend an extra holiday with! :)

Here's a few highlights from the meal (I totally forgot to take a pic of the sangria -- boo.). I'm going to try to post the recipes, but please let me know if there is any recipe in particular you would like to get your hands on! I was especially pleased with (and complimented on) my Roast Turkey and Pumpkin Cheesecake (w/ Bourbon Whipped Cream -- ohhh yeah).

Wishing you a wonderful holiday season! Many blessings to you, your family, and friends -- and of course, hope you EAT GREAT (fresh) FOOD!! :)
*First* Serving (after a few bites!)
Roast Turkey -- The brine was really great! Or so I'm told :)
Sourdough Sausage & Herb Stuffing (right)
Pumpkin Cheesecake w/ Graham Cracker Crust
Slice of Pumpkin Cheesecake w/ Bourbon Whipped Cream

Butternut Squash Mac 'n Cheese

Looking for an absolutely delicious & decadent side for Thanksgiving or a fall family meal? Well, here ya have it! This dish features pureed butternut squash and a mix of ooey-oogey cheeses, baked to perfection with shells, and topped off with a crunchy breadcrumb/cheese mixture. Without a doubt, this fall twist on a familiar classic will have everyone going back for seconds (my boyfriend definitely did!). So clearly, it's time to get (mac 'n) cheesy for the holidays...

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Thankgiving Recipe Compilation

Hey all, it's been a super busy semester (per usual), and I have been feeling guilty about my limited posting. I have a few Thanksgiving-esque recipes in the works, but I also thought heyyy, I already have some good stuff on my blog, so I compiled a few recipes to help people get to prepping for T-Giving. My goal is to post two more recipes this week, and then after my "Friendsgiving" Feast on Sunday, I will post my turkey, gravy, stuffing, Pumpkin Cheesecake, and Apple Cider Sangria recipes (hopefully) on Monday -- so keep checking back for new ideas to make your Turkey Day terrifically tasty!

For Thanksgiving:

Green Bean, Mushroom & Artichoke Casserole

Tired of Green Bean Casserole? Try my Green Bean & Bacon Salad for a cold & zingy side!!

Corn Pudding

Try a variation on my Roasted Grape, Goat Cheese, & Pecan Sweet Potatoes instead of your normal sweet potato casserole.

Lemon Meringue Pie

Super Fresh Cherry Pie -- I realize it may be hard to find fresh cherries, so try defrosted & strained frozen cherries instead!

How To: Perfect Pie Crust

Other Great Fall Recipes:

Spiced Apple Butter

Crispy Baked Sweet Potato Fries

~ Happy Thanksgiving Planning!! Plan fresh! :)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Spiced Pumpkin Beer Bread (w/ Cinnamon Whipped Cream)

By now, you all have probably picked up on my love of breads. BUT boy, was I in for a treat with this one. Yes, you read the title right: pumpkin AND beer. Could fall GET any better than slightly sweet, spiced, dense, pumpkin-y bread?? Ummm, no way. The bread has a subtle beer taste, but best of all, the beer gives the bread a wonderfully moist texture. I used a Pumpkin Ale (not pictured), but you can use whatever you like! I would suggest an ale or something similar.

A friend of mine invited me over for dinner the day I made this bread, so I thought this would also be nice as a sweet end to the meal (it was!). When I got there, I whipped up some Cinnamon Whipped Cream to make it slightly more decadent/desserty. It was pretty divine. It's not pictured, but I've also included the recipe for the whipped cream, if you want to go that route! This would also be lovely with a big ol' scoop of vanilla ice cream. Oooh, that sounds soo good right now. May need to go make some more...