Friday, November 26, 2010

They're going to have to roll me out of here

We didn't leave the house yesterday until nearly 7:00PM, when we finally packed up some leftovers and made three stops to visit various friends in the neighborhood. (I love the fact that we now live in a neighborhood where our friends happen to reside, too. It feels like I wanted my grown-up life to feel.)

We made a ridiculous amount of food for our first (and likely last) Thanksgiving alone, just the two of us in our new home with our dog, our three cats and an 8.5-lb Butterball turkey.

I'll get to our Thanksgiving dinner in another post. For now, I had to share our post-Thanksgiving breakfast: my first-ever batch of homemade cinnamon rolls!

I used the Pioneer Woman's Parker House Rolls recipe for last night's dinner, taking her advice and setting aside half the batch for cinnamon rolls this morning. I was a little worried about what a whole night in the fridge would do to the dough (which turned out some rather fabulous rolls), but I was worried for nothing.

They were really good for a first attempt, though next time I'll be a bit more generous with all of the filling ingredients and the icing.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Cranegranate sauce

This morning, rummaging through the fruit bowl for a healthy work snack, I spotted the two pomegranates purchased over the weekend and resolved to incorporate them into our Thanksgiving meal.

After some Googling, I found this recipe and decided I could knock this out tonight - two days before T-time - and give myself a little jump start.

The recipe calls for cinnamon sticks and ground cloves. Unfortunately, I had ground cinnamon and whole cloves. So I used what I had, and it looks pretty good. Still a bit too bubbly to taste, and since the recipe calls for refrigerating 'at least 8 hours', I figure I'll wait.

Though I don't know how it tastes, I'm delighted it has the house smelling like the holidays!

Here's my run-down. It took less than 20 minutes start to finish.

#1 Throw cranberries, orange juice, orange zest, sugar, cloves and cinnamon into sauce pan and get it bubbling like so.

#2 While sauce is bubbling, de-seed a pomegranate.

#3 Add pomegranate seeds to bubbling cranberry-orange juice sauce.

The stork left it on our doorstep

Our baby arrived today, courtesy of my wonderful brother and his wonderful wife. And the folks at Williams-Sonoma and KitchenAid.

We are now accepting name suggestions.

Monday, November 22, 2010

A feast fit for ... two?

We're spending Thanksgiving alone, Mike and I -- our first holiday on our own, in our new home, just the two of us, the dog, the cats and a few friends popping in and out over the weekend.

Initially, I wasn't sure about this whole holiday-on-our-own thing, but as Thursday approaches, I'm increasingly excited about the prospect of a little staycation with my fiance on a holiday weekend as food-centric as Thanksgiving.

We discussed various aspects of the menu (and I learned valuable tidbits, including his feelings about cornbread stuffing), and we're pretty much settled on the day's meal. Even the shopping's done. All we have to do now is cook the following:

A small(ish) turkey - I insisted on a whole bird; I want stock and lots of leftovers.
Brioche-sausage-sage stuffing - thank you, Five Ingredient Fix! I'm adding ingredients six and seven - sauteed onions and carrots.
Jalapeno creamed acorn squash - Mike found a recipe and this one's all him.
Cranberry-orange-jalapeno salsa - I'm going to wing it.
Roasted brussel sprouts - Already a bi-monthly staple around here.
Glazed carrots - Because they're awesome and we need something bright on our plate.
Gravy - Essential.
Pillsbury Crescent rolls - Equally essential. (Don't judge me,)
Pecan pie - Mike's childhood recipe. He refuses to throw in a few chocolate chips.

I'm so looking forward to this meal -- to preparing it, eating it, and feasting on leftovers for the rest of the weekend. But my favorite Thanskgiving indulgence will come on Friday afternoon when I reach for turkey, cranberry salsa, white bread (think "Wonder") and real, high-fat mayo on both slices. That sandwich, along with my grandmother's birthday, might be the best part of late November.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Ina's mushroom lasagna

Ina Garten is a genius. So is Deb. They unknowingly joined forces recently and implored me to make a wild mushroom lasagna with a bechamel sauce.

It's still a little too warm to feel like fall has arrived in Austin, Texas. But this recipe brought me one step closer to fuzzy socks and dutch ovens filled with meaty stews.

When I make this again for my family's visit later this month, I will take Deb's advice (add garlic to the milk) and Mike's advice (mix the roux a bit longer before adding the milk). But there isn't much else I'd change.

The best thing about this meal might be the leftovers; I'll find out tonight!