Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Apple Cider Sangria

This a fun and festive holiday drink for any type of gathering. It's beautiful to look at, taste amazing, and looks good in any cup! To go along with appetizers for serving at holiday parties, I decided to throw this drink recipe into the mix too!

  • What You'll Need
    • 1 bottle of Pinot Grigio
    • 3 cups fresh apple cider
    • 1 cup lemon-lime soda
    • 4 cinnamon sticks
    • 2 ambrosia apples, chopped
    • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
    • 1/4 cup pomegranate arils
    • 1 orange, sliced

  • What You'll Do
    • Chop the apples and slice the oranges. Remove the arils from the pomegranate. Set all fruit aside. 
    • In a pitcher, combine the Pinot Grigio, apple cider, lemon-lime soda, and cinnamon. Stir well. 
    • Then add the fruit and cinnamon sticks to the pitcher. Stir. Cover with saran-wrap and place in the fridge for at least an hour. The longer it sits the better!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Walnut Sage Pomegranate-Jeweled Cheeseball

It's that time of year, when holiday parties are in full swing. And in honor of this holiday tradition, I'm sharing some of my favorite recipes this week for hosting a party. These recipes are simple and great for snacking purposes. I'm kicking it off with a classic, a cheeseball with a little flair!

  • What You'll Need
    • 1 cup shredded Vermont cheddar
    • 12 sage leaves
    • 2 TBSP butter
    • 4 oz mascarpone
    • 8 oz cream cheese
    • 1/2 cup walnuts
    • 1/4 TSP salt
    • 1/4 TSP pepper
    • 1 cup pomegranate arils
    • Townhouse Sea Salt & Olive Oil Flatbread Crisps 

  • What You'll Do
    • Heat a skillet and melt the butter. Once the butter is melted and sizzling, add the sage leaves and cook until crispy. Flip occasionally. Remove and set on a paper towel to let them crisp up a bit. Then crumble them.
    • In a bowl, combine softened cream cheese, the mascarpone, and Vermont cheddar. Using a hand mixer, beat together until well combined.
    • Stir in the walnuts, crumbled sage leaves, salt, and pepper. Mix on the lowest speed until fully mixed together. 
    • Take the cheese mixture out of the bowl and mold it into a ball. Roll it up in plastic wrap an store in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
    • Meanwhile, cut the pomegranate and get all of the arils out. Wash them off and set them on a paper towel to dry.
    • When you're ready to serve the cheeseball, mold it a little more for a smoother surface. Then roll it in the pomegranate arils. Use your hands to press the arils into the cheese so they stay. You may have to hand place some. 

**You can make this cheeseball a day ahead of time. If you are making it the night before, don't place the arils yet. And let the cheeseball come to room temperature before rolling in the arils so that the cheese becomes sticky enough.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Browned Butter Gnocchi

I'm going simple this week with food after spending HOURS in the kitchen prepping and cooking away for Turkey Day last week. I wanted to share a cozy and simple meal, and won't leave you  in the kitchen for very long! Plus, who doesn't love gnocchi?! And just in case you were stocking up on gnocchi meals, here's another gnocchi-filled recipe for these cold days, or one in which you're just simply craving a creamy and hearty soup.  

  • What You'll Need
    • 1 package of gnocchi (we try to always go with wheat gnocchi)
    • 2 1/2 cups chopped broccoli florets
    • 1 TBSP salted butter
    • 1 TBSP olive oil
    • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
    • Sunflower seeds (the amount you prefer)
    • Romano cheese (the amount you prefer)

  • What You'll Do
    • Cook the gnocchi according the the package directions, adding the cut broccoli florets during the last minute of cooking. Then drain. 
    • Over medium heat, heat the oil and butter in a large skillet. Cook until the butter starts to brown, but be cautious and don't let it burn. Add the gnocchi/broccoli mixture and the ground pepper to the skillet, tossing to coat evenly.
    • Spoon out your desired helping, then add the sunflower seeds and the Romano cheese. And just like that, your meal is prepared and ready to enjoy!

*This recipe is based on feeding two people with a slight amount of leftovers. To feed a family of four, just double the recipe. And so on for greater amounts. 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Quinoa & Black Bean Stuffed Peppers

I've got a recipe to spice up your day, whether you're in a sunshine state or watching the clouds roll in (like I am). Husband and I tried this recipe out a few months ago, and we were both pleasantly surprised with its delicious taste and filling qualities. Paired with some tortilla chips, salsa, and guacamole, you've got a healthy meal sure to please your taste palette. 

  • What You'll Need
    • Olive oil
    • 1/2 an onion
    • 2 medium carrots, diced
    • 2 garlic gloves, minced
    • 3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed
    • 3/4 TSP salt
    • 3 large bell peppers of your preference (my fave is yellow)
    • 1 can of black beans, drained & rinsed
    • 1 8 oz. can of tomato sauce
    • 1 TSP chili powder
    • 1/2 TSP cumin
    • 1/2 TSP oregano
    • 1/2 TSP paprika
    • 1 TSP cilantro (we used dried, but you can use fresh)
    • Reduced-fat mozzarella cheese (or to your liking)

  • What You'll Do
    • Preheat the oven to 375° and line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
    • In a saucepan, heat the olive oil, onion, and carrot until the vegetables have softened and the onion becomes translucent. Add the minced garlic and cook for about 2 more minutes.
    • Next add the quinoa, 1.5 cups of water, and the salt. After the water comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low and cover the saucepan, allowing it to simmer for 20 minutes or until all the liquid as been absorbed. 
    • In the meantime, get the peppers ready by washing them, cutting each one in half, from top to bottom, and removing the stem, seeds, and membranes. 
    • Arrange the peppers, cut-side up, on the baking sheet and coat in baking spray. Bake the peppers for 15 minutes and then remove them from the oven.
    • Back to the sauce: once the liquid as been absorbed, add the black beans, tomato sauce, and all the spices. Mix thoroughly and then divide the quinoa mixture amongst the 6 pepper halves. Pat down the filling in order to pack it in. 
    • Bake the stuffed peppers for 20 minutes and then top them with your desired cheese and amount, putting them back in the oven until the cheese has melted. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Chicken Marsala Stew

It's rainy and cold in my part of the woods, and a hot soup is going to make the perfect dish for dinner. Tonight we are having corn chowder, but a few weeks ago, husband I tried to come up with a new version of chicken marsala. We ended up with stew and it was great! 

So if you're looking for a recipe to warm you from the inside out, try this out!

  • What You'll Need
    • Olive oil
    • 2 chicken breasts
    • 6 carrots
    • 1/2 medium onion
    • Carton baby button mushrooms
    • Garlic salt
    • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
    • 1/4 cup flour
    • salt
    • 1/2 cup marsala 
    • 32 oz chicken stock
    • 8 oz. block cream cheese

  • What You'll Do
    • In a large pot warm the olive oil then add the chopped carrots and diced onions. Stir well then let brown. 
    • While the carrots and onions are browning, cut the stems off of the mushrooms and chop the caps up. Add the mushroom caps to the carrots and onions. Let the mushrooms brown, but not burn.
    • In a separate pan, cook the diced chicken until done. Set aside.
    • Next add the sprigs o thyme, the flour and salt. Season with garlic salt. Stir until well mixed then add the marsala. Scrape the bottom of the pot to help the marsala lift up any of the brownings. 
    • Add the chicken stock  and chicken. Then bring the pot to boil. Once it has come to a boil, put it on simmer for about 10 minutes.
    • Stir in the block of cream cheese. Once it has melted, taste test to see if more salt is needed. 
    • Serve in a bowl or in a bread bowl.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Toasted Turkey Sandwich

I'm sure most of you have more Thanksgiving leftovers than can fit it your fridge. That's certainly the case in my house, but slowly and surely they are being finished off. One of my favorite ways to eat the leftover turkey is on a toasted sandwich. I've been doing this since I was a little girl. So I thought I would share how I make those sandwiches today, and maybe you can be inspired to eat up your leftovers in a new way!

  • What You'll Need
    • Leftover turkey
    • Mayo
    • Lettuce
    • Bread
    • Salt & pepper

  • What You'll Do
    • Toast your bread, we used the leftover artisan bread I had made. 
    • Lather the toasted bread with mayo (I just do a thin coat of it)
    • Stack the turkey and lettuce on the bread.
    • Season with salt and pepper.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Corn Pudding

Thanksgiving is only two days away and I'm prepping like a mad woman! Today's recipe is a long-time and childhood favorite of mine. It's corn pudding and it's sure to win over anyone. It's a simple dish that is perfect for a last minute side to your Thanksgiving feast. Because what Turkey Day meal doesn't include some type or corn dish?! And this one certainly doesn't disappoint!

  • What You'll Need
    • 1 can evaporated milk
    • 1 can creamed corn
    • 2 cans whole corn, drained
    • 1/4 stick butter, melted
    • 1/4 cup sugar
    • 3 TBSP cornstarch
    • 1/2 TSP salt
    • 2 eggs

  • What You'll Do
    • Mix the sugar, cornstarch, and salt together.
    • Beat in the eggs, then add the evaporated milk, creamed corn, whole corn, and melted butter. Mix well.
    • Put in a greased glass casserole dish and bake for one hour at 350°.

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