De Ma Cuisine

Holiday Archive

Thursday

21

November 2019

1

COMMENTS

Roasted Brussels and Bacon

Written by , Posted in Dairy-Free, Dinner, Gluten Free, Holiday, Main Dishes, Meat, Pork, Quick and Easy, Roasting, Sides, Vegetables, Vegetarian

As I park the brussels in the oven, my mind goes to what I can do while they cook. I could start the laundry, do the dishes, plan next week’s Thanksgiving table decor… Dishes first. Then laundry. Then some quick pics of the dish before it inevitably becomes my lunch. Such is the life of a food writer who works from home. I’m constantly torn between the work and home to-do lists.

I can’t imagine that this is uncommon, for those who work from home. I have a dedicated office space. But, it’s in our house. So, I will hear the washer stop washing and know it’s time to change the load. I will see the full dishwasher and empty it.

This isn’t a complaint. I love working from home. I just need to be better at prioritizing work during work time, and home stuff during home time. I’m getting there. Slowly.

This dish is a mish mash of work and home. It may end up on our Thanksgiving table. But, I wanted to share it here in case you need some help with your menu. It’ll be great alongside the turkey and stuffing. But, it will also make a great, easy weeknight dinner. I might serve it alongside some polenta, or with a big salad and some cornbread.

If you’re gonna make it for Thanksgiving, it may be the easiest Thanksgiving side dish. Ever. Unless you’re a can of cranberry sauce lover. Are you? I’m not, but I’ll eat it gladly if it’s served to me.

I tossed some halved brussels sprouts with oil and salt. Then I added some chopped bacon. Optional, but delicious. If you don’t eat bacon, you could throw in some tempeh bacon at the end.

My brussles were a little old. Read: farty smelling. Opt for the freshest brussels possible.

I roasted them on high heat for a bit, then tossed them with some balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, and garlic.

After their tossing, they roasted for a bit longer. Then, done. I added a bit more balsamic, some spicy pepitas, and a bit of Maldon salt. It made for an easy, sweet and savory dish.

Happy Eating!

Roasted Brussels and Bacon

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 1.5 pounds brussels sprouts, ends trimmed, halved
  • 1 tablespoon oil (I used grapeseed)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 strips bacon, chopped (optional)
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • topping: more balsamic vinegar, Maldon salt, spicy pepitas

Directions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Toss the brussels sprouts with the oil and salt. Lay them cut-side down on a baking sheet and sprinkle the bacon around the pan. Roast until they’re beginning to brown, about 15 minutes.
  3. Whisk the balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, and garlic. Pour over the brussels sprouts and toss so they’re evenly coated and spaced out. Return to the oven and bake until sprouts and bacon are crispy, about 10 minutes more.
  4. Serve topped with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, a sprinkle of Maldon salt, and some spicy pepitas.

Friday

27

November 2015

0

COMMENTS

Potato Pancakes

Written by , Posted in Appetizers, Breakfast, Brunch, Cheese, Condiments, Dinner, Eggs, Gluten Free, Herbs, Holiday, Kid-Friendly, Leftovers, Lunch, Main Dishes, One Dish Dinners, Potatoes, Quick and Easy, Sides, Vegetables, Vegetarian

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It’s finally arrived. The day of my favorite meal: Thanksgiving. I don’t know if it’s favorite because it only happens once a year though. If I could only have one meal for the rest of my life, I don’t know that it would be this one… Then again, maybe it would.

It’s just the perfect mix of flavors, textures, and since it’s most often eaten surrounded by loved ones, it’s such a winner.

My perfect Thanksgiving plate includes: Turkey, dressing, green beans, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, rolls, and gravy to pour over almost everything. It’s a feast for sure. There’s always more than we need. Part of the fun of a meal like this is getting creative with the leftovers.

Today, I’m tacking the mashed potatoes. I usually just make a big pot of soup and call it good. But, here’s a way to use those potatoes, and maybe a few other dishes from dinner, in a non-soupy way.

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I combined the potatoes with some sautéed veggies (the possibilities are pretty limitless here: sweet potatoes, carrots, winter squash, mushrooms, peas, corn, bell peppers, garlic, greens, chile peppers, cauliflower, broccoli, summer squash…), spices, cheese, flour, baking powder, and an egg (to hold it all together).

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Then I dropped them onto a hot skillet with a bit of olive oil. Easy. Almost done.

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They didn’t need long to cook, just a few minutes per side.

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I topped each one with a dollop of yogurt with fresh herbs mixed in. The perfect little treat for a lazy, relaxing holiday lunch.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Potato Pancakes

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 33 minutes

Total Time: 48 minutes

Yield: 4

Serving Size: 4-5 pancakes per person

Potato Pancakes

Ingredients

  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1-2 C veggies (could be carrots, peas, mushrooms, sweet potatoes, winter squash, corn, garlic, greens, bell peppers, chile peppers, cauliflower, broccoli, summer squash), chopped, if needed
  • to taste salt
  • 1/4 C plain yogurt or silken tofu
  • 1 T fresh herbs (dill, parsley, basil, chives)
  • to taste salt
  • pinch cayenne
  • squeeze of lemon or splash of white vinegar
  • 1/4 C All Purpose flour (or gluten free)
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 2-3 C mashed potatoes (could also add green bean casserole or dressing/stuffing)
  • to taste salt
  • 1/4 t paprika
  • pinch cayenne (optional)
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1/4 C cheese, grated or cut into small cubes
  • 1 egg
  • 1-2 T olive oil, for frying

Instructions

  1. Heat skillet. Add 1 T olive oil. Sauté veggies with salt over medium-low heat for about 10-15 minutes, or until all veggies are tender, stirring occasionally.
  2. Combine yogurt or silken tofu through lemon or vinegar. Taste for salt. Set aside.
  3. Combine flour and baking powder.
  4. Combine sautéed veggies with mashed potatoes through cheese. Stir gently. Taste and adjust seasoning if desired. Stir in flour mixture, then stir in egg.
  5. Wipe out veggie skillet. Heat and add 1 T olive oil. When oil is hot, drop and flatten (slightly) 2T pancake batter. Cook over medium-low heat for about 3 minutes per side, working in batches until all batter has been used, adding more oil as needed. Place finished pancakes on a baking sheet lined with a cooling rack in the oven (set at the lowest temperature to keep them hot).
  6. Serve pancakes topped with a dollop of herbed yogurt.

http://www.de-ma-cuisine.com/potato-pancakes/

Tuesday

17

November 2015

0

COMMENTS

Thanksgiving Sides

Written by , Posted in Dinner, Holiday, Menu Planning, Sides

ThanksgivingTable-1

Thanksgiving is a week away. As I wrote in the post about prepping your kitchen for the holidays, now’s the time to finalize your menu. Are you going traditional? Are you mad about mashed potatoes and gravy? Serious about stuffing? Crazy for cranberry sauce? P… p… I can’t think of anything for pie… Pleased! Are you pleased about pie?!

I’ll stop now.

I love a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. I want a bit of each component in every bite. But, while I’m a traditionalist with this meal, I think there’s some fun to be had with the menu… if you’re willing.

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Here are my favorite Thanksgiving side dishes, with a non-traditional option for each. And, of course, we can’t forget about the turkey (or for a non-traditional option some Herbed Roasted Chicken Thighs).

Green Bean Casserole: Green Bean Fries

Mashed Potatoes: Twice Baked Potatoes or Crispy Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes: Sweet and Spicy Sweet Potatoes

Turkey Gravy: Mushroom and Savory Gravy or Pumpkin Bechamel

Stuffing/Dressing: Bread Pudding

Rolls: Apple Rosemary Flatbread

Pumpkin Pie: Apple Bourbon Gallette 

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I’ve heard that some throw the entire traditional Thanksgiving menu out the window (gasps… heart stops) and opt for something totally different. If you want to go that route, here are a few ideas.

Taco Bar with Eggplant and Summer Squash Tacos or Vegetarian Soft Tacos (or both!) – Tacos are quick and easy to make, and with guests assembling their own, everyone gets to choose just what they want on their plate.

Beef Stew and Cheddar Biscuits – One of my favorite comfort foods. I’d say that if I had to be without a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, I’d choose this as a substitute.

Red Choi Stir Fry with Tofu and Almonds and Spring Rolls with a Spicy Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce – You could prep many of the ingredients in advance, to make this quick and easy meal lightning fast. The spring rolls could be served as an appetizer (and could be fried or served cold), or with the meal.

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Lasagne!! Two great choices are a Classic Meat and Cheese Lasagne or a Vegetarian Lasagne – I’d serve either with a big green salad (which would probably end up being a Caesar, since that’s one of my favorites).

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After it’s all said and done, you’re gonna have some leftovers… More on that (and a Potato Pancake recipe that I think I could eat every day) the day after Thanksgiving.

Happy Eating!

Thursday

5

November 2015

0

COMMENTS

How to Prep Your Kitchen for the Holidays

Written by , Posted in Holiday, How To

PreppingKitchenHolidays-4

It’s hard to believe, but the holidays are just around the corner. Is it just me, or does it feel like it should only be June or July? It was just January… wasn’t it? In any case, ready or not, here they come.

Whether your hosting or a guest who’s bringing a side dish, there’s plenty that can be done ahead of time to get your kitchen ready for some holiday cooking. I’m a plan ahead, list making, organization loving kinda gal. I don’t like last minute changes, or coming to a busy time of year unprepared. So I make to do lists and a menu plan way ahead of time.

With this in mind, here are some ways you can feel one step ahead as we roll into the holidays.

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Four Weeks Ahead

Menu Plan

Come up with a rough idea of what you want to serve for your holiday dinner. Jot down a few ideas for other meals around that time too, especially if you will be hosting overnight guests, or people for more than one meal. Then, take a deep breath and jump in. (P.S. You’re so brave. I admire you. Way to go!) If you need some help getting started, I’ve done a menu planning series, plus have a few posts with holiday menu ideas (including brunch).

Invite Guests

Figure out who’s coming with plenty of time to adjust the menu and seating chart accordingly. You’ll want to ask if anyone has dietary restrictions or allergies. If you come across any, and if you’re letting guests share in the cooking load, have those with the restrictions bring a dish that they can eat (and let them know if there’s anyone else coming who eats the same way). This will save you or other guests from buying expensive ingredients that you may only use once. Plus, someone who always eats a certain way is more likely to be a pro at cooking that way. Of course, it’s also nice to have other dishes that they can eat too (just one thing for dinner would be super boring).

Order Meat

One of the reasons you want to have an idea of who’s coming and what you’re making is you need to order your meat ahead of time. Turkeys tend to go quickly, so you don’t want to be serving tofurkey to your carnivores just because you didn’t get your order in on time. If you’re not ordering and are buying from a local store or market, it’s still a great idea to pick up your meat in advance (if you’ve got room in the freezer, or have a friend who could store it for you). There will be better selection than the day before the holiday, and you don’t run the risk of them running out.

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Two Weeks Ahead

Nail Down the Menu

Figure out exactly what you’re going to be serving. List all items, including those being brought by others (and double check that they’re still planning to bring them). Write it down or type it out so it’s not just found in your head. This is a great time to figure out some ideas for what to do with your leftovers too.

Grocery Shop

Everything except the perishable items. If you wait until the week of or even the day before a holiday, you might be out of luck and Auntie Gertrude won’t get her canned cranberry sauce.

Make Your To Do Lists

My brain melts without organization. So, if I was going to host a big holiday dinner, I’d need many many lists of all the to dos. I’d want a list of the food to be served (with a note about who is preparing it, what serving utensils it will require, if it will need space in the oven etc). I’d make a schedule of the week leading up to the event, and the day of. For the day of (and probably day before), I’d go hour by hour with what will be done. I’d have a list of the household chores to be done and who is responsible for each one (guest rooms to prep, bathrooms to clean etc). Since others will want to know what they can do to help (cough, clean the bathrooms, cough), it may be helpful for each person to have a “honey do list”, that they can keep with them and mark things off as they go. Whether you do each list individually, or make one master list is up to you. I’d probably end up doing both, since I’m a bit obsessive when it comes to list making. Do whatever helps you to feel the least stressed.

Stock the Kitchen

Spices – I like to have salt (table salt and a good finishing salt), pepper, cayenne, paprika, coriander, chili powder, cinnamon, all spice, nutmeg, and ginger (the last four are what I use for pumpkin pie – you don’t have to buy the pre-mixed bottle) on hand. They might not all be used for a holiday meal, but I use them so frequently that they’d at least get used when transforming leftovers into something delicious.

Herbs – Fresh herbs are always my preference. But, if they’re not available, dried will work well too (just remember to use less since they’re more concentrated than fresh). In either case, for the holidays, I like to have basil, rosemary, parsley, thyme, oregano, marjoram, sage, and tarragon on hand. I don’t buy poultry seasoning since it can be made with herbs and spices that I have on hand (it usually consists of: thyme, sage, marjoram, rosemary, black pepper, and nutmeg).

The Pantry – You don’t want to run out of olive oil or balsamic vinegar in the middle of cooking for your big dinner. So make sure you have a few staples on hand. I like to have: olive oil, canola oil, balsamic vinegar, red wine or apple cider vinegar, white vinegar, baking powder, baking soda, flour, vanilla, salt, honey, maple syrup, and sugar (brown and white).

The Fridge – Eggs, cheese, dijon mustard, mayonnaise, milk, and yogurt are staples in my home no matter the time of year.

Clean the Kitchen 

Like a good deep clean… It might be a good time to do the same for the bathroom. This way you can clean the week of, but it won’t take nearly as long. I’d suggest cleaning out the fridge and freezer (and using up some of the food to make room for the turkey, made ahead meals, and leftovers), sink, shelves, stove, oven, and other small appliances that may get used (mixer, microwave, toaster oven, blender). There’s going to be a lot of traffic in your kitchen, whether it’s just your own two hands doing a lot, or many others. It’s always better to start with everything clean.

Wash and Fold Linens

This can be done the week of. But, it’s something simple to get off your to do list, and it can be done while relaxing with a glass of something yummy, while watching something fun (and yes, others can help, especially the kids!).

Count Plates, Platters, Bowls, Serving Bowls, Silverware, Serving Spoons, Glasses (water and wine) 

You want to be sure that everyone has not only a plate and cup, but a fork to eat with. Everything doesn’t have to match (unless you want it to), so if you’re not sure you’ll have enough spoons, borrow from someone who will be attending the event (then they can take them home at the end of the night, leaving you with one less thing to do), or who will be out of town (and not needing them for their own gathering). If you’re borrowing someone’s fancy dishes and you have children coming to your event, be sure to ask if they’re ok with kids using them, or if you should have special plates for the kids, rather than risk breaking them.

Prep Freezer Meals

It wouldn’t hurt to have a meal or two in the freezer for two days after your big dinner. You’ll probably have eaten leftovers the day after, but maybe you don’t want to eat the same thing three days in a row. A frozen lasagna or shepherd’s pie would be perfect, and will feed many if you still have loved ones in town.

Prep Breakfast Foods

Breakfast doesn’t have to be fancy. But, if you want to make something ahead of time, your guests are sure to feel extra loved. If you’re not crazy about making even more food, or your freezer is completely full, cereal and toast will be just fine. I mean, your guests have a comfy bed to sleep in and your wonderful company. What more could they really ask for?!

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The Week Of

Grocery Shop for Last Minute Items

Any perishable items that you’ve waited to purchase. Try to avoid shopping the day before or day of the holiday if you can. Selection will be better and your sanity will thank you.

Sharpen Knives

Either sharpen or use a honing steel to realign your blades before cooking your holiday feast. It’s important to keep knives sharp, so don’t neglect them.

Defrost Meat

Be sure to give your meat plenty of time to defrost in the fridge. No one wants to end up with a beautiful outside, but still frozen inside turkey. For large cuts of meat you will need days, so plan accordingly and make room in the fridge. I like to keep meat covered, on the bottom shelf, in some sort of a pan with sides so there’s no way that it will cross contaminate other foods in the fridge.

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Mis en Place

You have your lists made, so you know what you’re going to need and when you will need it. You could save some time and prep ingredients for the big cooking day by chopping and measuring in advance. Things like carrots and celery for stuffing, dry ingredients for biscuits or pancakes, and nuts for green bean casserole can all be prepped in advance and stored in glass or plastic containers (in the fridge or not, depending on what they are). Pie crusts can be made and frozen. Mashed potatoes can be completely cooked and then reheated the day of. There’s lots to do so that the day of isn’t stressful.

The Kids

The kids don’t have to just be cute little observers/distractions/noise makers. They can lend a hand too. Some things that kids can do to help are: tidy their rooms, help with other household chores (sweeping, vacuuming, dusting, and depending on their ages, cleaning bathrooms and the kitchen), doing dishes, setting the table, whisking, stirring, measuring, chopping (depending on your comfort level with them using a sharp knife and their knife skills), coming up with menu ideas (they might be more likely to eat it if they’ve come up with the idea), folding linens, counting silverware, and on and on… lots for the kiddos to do.

With these tips, I hope that everything goes as smoothly as possible and that you’re able to enjoy your time with loved ones – in the kitchen, around the table, and wherever your holidays may take you.

Happy Eating!

Thursday

18

June 2015

1

COMMENTS

Blueberry Cobbler

Written by , Posted in Baking, Breakfast, Brunch, Dessert, Eggs, Fruit, Gluten Free, Holiday, Kid-Friendly, Vegetables, Vegetarian

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My husband, Tim, is the sweets person in our home. I can devour an entire tray of roasted summer squash, a bag of salt and vinegar potato chips, or a plate of bruschetta. But, when it comes to desserts I just don’t really need them all that often (except the lemon curd with strawberries and meringue that we had for dessert on my birthday… or the homemade vanilla mascarpone and chocolate swirl ice cream bon bons that Tim made for my birthday… I need those right now). So when Tim hollers from the other room that a sweet treat that I’ve made is really good, that’s when I know it’s something worth sharing.

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Since it’s tougher to experiment with baking than with regular cooking, I don’t do it all that often. There’s just too much room for error. But, I had success a few weeks ago when I made some whole wheat parsnip cookies, so I adapted those as a starting point for a blueberry cobbler.

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Any fruit could be used, depending on what’s in season. But, it’s berry season right now, and we’ve got about 6 pounds of blueberries in the fridge. Some might end up as jam, a few in desserts, but most will just be eaten raw. That’s usually my preferred method for consuming berries.

But, while raw is often best, this cobbler got super thick and syrupy. I might just eat the berry portion on their own if it weren’t for the yummy topping that I can’t get enough of. But, if there’s extra, may I suggest those berries over ice cream? And the cobbler topping, well if there’s extra (I had extra because I used a smaller pan), they make great cookies.

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That topping has veggies. Sorrynotsorry. Tim yelled that there were squash and carrots in his cobbler. They won’t make your cobbler taste like vegetables, don’t worry. But, my suggestion is that if you have picky family members who don’t like to see anything green at dessert, just stick to parsnips. They’re not as noticeable.

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Other items of note: I used a gluten-free flour blend (from Gluten-Free-Girl and The Chef). You can substitute whole wheat or all purpose if you prefer. I used maple syrup as the only sweetener. No refined white sugar here. I’ve been on a maple syrup kick as of late, using it to sweeten everything from yogurt to coffee. But, honey would be great too. Just remember that honey has a distinct taste and may be a bit sweeter than maple syrup, so adjust accordingly. I might go for half honey, half maple syrup to start.

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This is a perfect summer dessert for your next barbecue or picnic, but it can also be enjoyed for breakfast. Just add a dollop of Greek yogurt.

Happy Eating!

Blueberry Cobbler

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Yield: 4-6

Blueberry Cobbler

Ingredients

  • 1/2 C gluten-free flour
  • 1/8 t salt
  • 1/4 t baking powder, sifted
  • 1/4 t baking soda, sifted
  • 1/8 t cinnamon
  • pinch ginger
  • 1/4 C butter, cold, cut into small cubes
  • 1/2 C oats
  • 1 C combination of parsnips, carrots, and summer squash (for picky eaters: parsnips are the least visible), grated
  • 1 t lemon zest, chopped
  • 1/4 C maple syrup
  • 1 egg
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 1 T cornstarch
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 3 T orange juice
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 C maple syrup
  • 1/4 t cinnamon
  • 2 1/2 C blueberries (strawberries, peaches, nectarines, plums, blackberries, apricots, apples, pears, or persimmons may also be used - chopped if larger fruit)

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350F. Place a rack in the lower third of the oven.
  2. Whisk flour through ginger. Mix in butter with a pastry blender or fingers until chunks of butter are pea sized or smaller. Add oats through parsnips (if veggies weren't grated already, place butter mixture in the freezer while you grate).
  3. In a separate bowl whisk together maple syrup, egg, and 1 t vanilla extract. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the wet. Stir to combine. Set dough in the fridge while you do the next step.
  4. Whisk cornstarch through 1/4 t cinnamon. Toss with the fruit. Pour fruit in a greased 6x6 or 8x8 baking dish. Top with a large spoonfuls of dough*. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until topping is no longer gooey and fruit is bubbly and hot (baking time may vary depending on the size of the dish - I used a 6x6 dish). Let stand for 10-20 minutes before serving.

Notes

* Extra dough may be dropped onto an ungreased baking sheet and baked for 12 minutes, cooled for 5 min on the baking sheet, and then cooled on a cooling rack.

http://www.de-ma-cuisine.com/blueberry-cobbler/