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Archive for the ‘Holiday’ Category

Friendsgiving and plan – week of February 16th

Posted by Jeanne on February 18, 2013

I failed at another resolution and missed a week last week.  Woe is me.  I have nothing to blame that one on except being busy.  I am blaming the gym failure on the general plague that will not leave our house (stomach bug E, stomach bug C, feverish cold thing that won’t go away me, ear infection E).  Is it spring yet?

One bright spot in winter is Friendsgiving, which is my favorite made-up holiday.  It was Saturday night.  There were 16 adults, 1 child, 1 toddler, three babies, and two dogs in attendance.

We made this turkey (which is AWESOME, btw) and a cornbread bundt cake.  Other people brought:

Spiced beef phyllo triangles with chutney

Artichoke-olive rolls

Bread & cheese

Mis0-glazed sweet potatoes

Mashed potatoes with spinach

Roasted brussels sprouts with pecans

Ginger lime kale with squash and chickpeas

Roasted veggies (carrots, zucchini, yellow squash, bell peppers, pearl onions)

Bacon-toffee cheesecakes

Peach & raspberry pie

Apple nut pie

It was amazing – I love that we have this party every year and that we have friends who are into it enough to bring so much awesome food over.

The rest of the week:

Sunday:  Spanish couscous pilaf, sauteed salmon, and steak (have I mentioned that Curt’s friend Scott is visiting?  He’s a chef.  I highly recommend befriending chefs when possible.)

Monday:  mole-braised beef short ribs, black beans and rice.


Also we had eggs benedict with bacon for breakfast.  Again with the visiting chef.  AWESOMENESS.

Tuesday:  pasta with pesto chicken (Scott goes home tomorrow.  Can you tell?)

Wednesday:  cassoulet

Thursday:  breakfast for dinner (eggs and roast potatoes, I think)

Friday:  homemade pizza

Have a good week, everyone!  Less than two weeks left in February!


Posted in Cooking, Holiday, Planning | 1 Comment »

New Year’s Day

Posted by Jeanne on January 1, 2012

It’s been amazingly warm here.  Today in the 40s, and yesterday it was in the 50s – very uncharacteristic for Nebraska in December/January.  Curt is LOVING it (because he hates winter) and I am indifferent because it’s probably going to come back and get us eventually.

We don’t have any new years’ food traditions.  I loved reading this article that our fabulous neighbor Niz wrote for the local paper.  And this post about various foods to eat for the end of the year.  I find food culture and traditions fascinating.

Anyway.  I should write some resolutions.  In 2012 I resolve to:

  1. Eat well.
  2. Not start smoking.
  3. Have a baby.

Should be easy enough to accomplish those, right?

Enjoy your traditional or not-so-traditional New Year’s Day food – tonight we’re having chicken tikka masala from this recipe.  It’s a little more involved than most slow-cooker recipes I like to make, but it smells AMAZING and I’m really looking forward to it.  Happy 2012, everyone!

Posted in Holiday, Not about food | 3 Comments »

Cranberry sauce muffins

Posted by Jeanne on November 27, 2011

Our Thanksgiving meal was delicious – we made some small menu alterations.  I ended up making mashed potatoes and then using the turnips and rutabaga I bought to make a gratin with emmentaler cheese.

Nettie enjoyed some squash too.

The turkey was a bit of a nightmare – it was measuring fine, temperature wise, but about 30 minutes ahead of schedule.  We took it out of the oven and upon carving, Curt realized that there were some portions that were RAW still.  I don’t know how a turkey can be measuring at 180F+ in one spot and then be raw in another… but it worked out just fine.  Curt cut up the bird and we put it on a sheet pan to finish cooking (while we cleaned all the cutting boards and knives) and we ended up eating a bit later than planned.

Anyway.  Food was good and a good time was had by all.  But now we have all kinds of cranberry sauce left!

I made this recipe for cranberry sauce – it’s really tasty and I highly recommend it.

It’s both sweet and tart and has a really great cranberry taste.  But it makes a ton so we have a couple cups left.  I decided to turn it into muffins, using this recipe as a starter.

Cranberry Sauce Muffins


  • 1 C flour
  • 1.5 C rolled oats
  • 0.33 C brown sugar
  • 1 TB baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1.5 C of leftover cranberry sauce
  • 0.5 C milk
  • 0.33 C vegetable oil
  • 1 egg


Heat oven to 400°F. Line muffin tin with paper baking cups.

In a large bowl, combine regular flour, whole-grain flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt; mix well. In medium bowl, combine milk, oil, cranberry sauce and egg; blend well. Fold into dry ingredients all at once; stir until dry ingredients are moistened.

Fill muffin cups about three-quarters full – I had enough batter for probably 3 dozen muffins.  Since I only have one muffin pan, I did a dozen muffins and a loaf of cranberry oat bread.

Bake muffins 20 to 25 minutes; bake bread 35 to 45 minutes, or until golden brown.

Posted in Baking, Holiday | Leave a Comment »

Items of note

Posted by Jeanne on November 16, 2011

I’m pregnant.  We’re expecting a baby in March 2012 – I’ve been waiting for some kind of perfect moment to talk about it, but really, that moment may never arrive.  And also that’s a big part of why I haven’t been posting very much, and why I’ve missed several Daring Cook’s challenges in the past few months.

We are very excited, although I can’t say Nettie is very interested at all.

22 weeks.  This is the night of the yoga class when I realized I really should not be in a traditional yoga class any more.  So much bending…


Thanksgiving is coming!  I can’t wait.  This is our tentative menu – I think we have 12 people:

Turkey – cider brine

Giblet gravy

Cranberry-orange chutney

Butternut squash & parm bread pudding

Mashed root veg

Roasted brussels sprouts

Carrot soup with roast squash seeds & lemon oil

Also, my sister’s boyfriend Andy has been threatening to make a bacon pig.  I really hope this happens.


Until Thanksgiving, we’re eating:

Shrimp & sausage gumbo with brown rice

Oven “fried” fish sandwiches + baked sweet potato fries

Homemade pizza

Butternut squash & parmesan bread pudding

Baked potato soup

Ratatouille (freezer) + mashed potatoes

Butternut squash & greens (kale, mustard, chard) lasagna

Beef & Guinness stew

Green chile chicken enchiladas

Pasta with meatballs & red sauce

Chicken saag + rice and frozen naan

Thai red curry shrimp & veggies + jasmine rice

Soup & sandwiches/quesadillas


Happy almost Thanksgiving, everyone!

Posted in Garden/Seasonal, Holiday, Not about food, Planning | 6 Comments »

Fall into fall

Posted by Jeanne on October 29, 2011

I loooooove fall.  Curt does not – it makes him dread winter, which he despises.  But by the time fall comes around I am ready for sweaters again, ready to make soups and stews and squash and things with apples.

Two weekends ago, we canned 11 jars of apple pie filling from apples we got at the orchards in Nebraska City.  I haven’t tried any yet, but we used the same recipe as last year so I’m hoping it’s still a keeper.

Las weekend, Curt killed the garden – so we had parsnips and brussel sprouts to deal with.  I decided to start the day by making the butternut squash bread pudding from this article.  Curt made the carrot & parsnip soup earlier this week as well.

I made some changes to the recipe  – I had a bunch of weird bread that needed to be used (half a baguette, several burger buns, some sandwich bread) so I just chopped all of that up instead of buying or making French bread.

We also had that huge squash and tons of bread, so ended up doubling the recipe.  Other than the quantity, I pretty much followed the recipe as written (amazing!).

Savory Butternut Squash and Parmesan Bread Pudding, originally published in this book (Oxmoor House).

3 cups butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
Cooking spray
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
2 cups 1 percent low-fat milk
1 cup (4 ounces) grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano or other hard cheese, divided
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 large eggs + 2 large egg whites (I just used 4 whole eggs for each batch)
8 ounces day-old French bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 9 cups)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Arrange squash in a single layer on a jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt.

The bottom of the shirt says Tim Gunn, and it was designed by Daniel Vosovic (season 2).  I am done with Project Runway (for real this time!  I swear!  I can’t deal with it anymore) but I will forever love Tim Gunn.  Anyway!  Back to cooking.

Bake at 400 degrees for 12 minutes or until tender (it took about 25 minutes, but I had a lot more than 3 cups of squash). Remove from oven; reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.

2. Heat oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Add garlic, and sauté 1 minute. Remove from heat; cool slightly.

3. Combine remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, milk, 1/2 cup cheese, pepper, nutmeg, eggs and egg whites in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Stir in squash and onion mixture. Add bread, and stir gently to combine. Let stand 10 minutes. Spoon into a 2-quart baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, or until pudding is set and lightly browned.

Yield: 6 servings.

Yum.  We had this for dinner the night we made it, and it’s definitely on the “consider” list for Thanksgiving this year.  Very tasty.


We’re in Kansas City this weekend and I think will be in Minneapolis next weekend, so expect the sparse posting to continue.  Hopefully I’ll have some free time to post about our Thanksgiving menu – I can’t believe it’s so soon!

Posted in Cooking, Entrees, Garden/Seasonal, Holiday, Side dishes, Vegetarian | Leave a Comment »


Posted by Jeanne on April 24, 2011

Peepshi is peep “sushi” made from fruit roll-ups, rice cereal treats, and peeps.  They are a cavity in the making.

But super cute.

What you need:

Rice cereal treats

3 TB butter

10 oz. marshmallows

6 C puffed rice cereal

Butter or otherwise prepare a 9″ x 13″ pan, or two 9″ square pans.

Microwave butter and marshmallows in 30-second increments on high, stirring after each time, until completely melted.  Add cereal and stir until combined.

Press into prepared pans and allow to set about 30 to 45 minutes.  Don’t prepare the day before, they will be too hard to mold.

Fruit roll ups


Cooking spray

And then… go to town.  Before handling the rice cereal treats I would highly recommend spraying your hands with cooking spray.

I would recommend using scissors to cut the peeps – also the scissors will help you open the fruit roll ups once your hands are covered in cooking spray (details, details).

The “rolls” can be sliced with a serrated knife.

The little “nigiri” are super easy – just form the rice, and then perform quick peep butchery.

The finished platter.

Happy Easter, blog peeps!

Posted in Desserts, Holiday | 2 Comments »