Saturday, November 30, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

Happy Thanksgiving weekend everyone! We made it... we're beyond full of food...but we made it! This was our second year planning and hosting Turkey Day for our families, and this year went so much more smoothly than last year. It's amazing what a good night sleep before having 15 guests in your home will do. Last year I was working night shift the night before, so I was sleep deprived and not very useful in the kitchen. Eric did much of the cooking and I remember crashing out for about an hour after dinner leaving everyone else with my dishes. It was still a fun night, but this year was much more memorable and exciting. 

I loved the prep and planning this year. I got the house ready and decorated, we got food ready ahead of time - cranberry relish was done the day before, potatoes were peeled and cut, green beans washed and trimmed. I pulled out the trays and figured out which was for what dish. It all felt very sophisticated and lovely. And it was. Lovely that is.  And my biscuits were pretty fabulous too! 

Eric is always in charge of the turkey and his yogurt and herb rub always gives the right flavor to the bird. He mixes up a bowl of yogurt with pepper, salt, garlic, Aleppo pepper, and lemon pepper, and then rubs the turkey down with it - inside and out. The inside is filled with coarse chopped apples, celery, carrots and pears, to keep the inside moist. We put the bird in a bag and it always comes out super moist. 

Our green beans were a hit - and super simple. We sauteed up garlic, shallots, and sweet onion, and then cooked the beans stove-top. We had to do them in batches because of the size of our pan, but they were delish all the same. In the end we sauteed upsliced baby bella mushrooms too and topped one batch with those for the mushroom lovers in the room. 

 My dad always brings the ham - Honey Baked - and it's always delicious. I always underestimate the taste of ham with the rest of the meal. It just all goes so well.

I made mashed potatoes for the first time! They're actually a lot easier than I thought, and they came out so good!  To be totally honest - we peeled russet and yukon gold potatoes the night before and they turned gray over night. We had to start all over that morning, but they cooked well and mixed with butter, heavy cream and sour cream, they were fluffy and light. 

My mom makes a delicious salad with mixed greens, cranberries, feta cheese, apples, and topped with Trader Joe's Pear Gorgonzola dressing. So light and tasty and perfect for a flavorful side dish. 

 My mother-in-law made the stuffing (sans giblets for me... I just can't go there!). I love stuffing. Love it.

These babies were my idea. Yam wedges with a little sprinkle of brown sugar and butter as they bake. Then brown butter and pour it over the potatoes when they're ready to come out of the over. They're not super sweet, but that's what makes them so good - they don't overwhelm the rest of the plate.

I can't believe it came and went so quickly. We're still enjoying leftovers and we've got a few jars full of turkey-broth for soup! Now deck the halls, it's officially time to get into the Christmas spirit!  How was your Thanksgiving? What did you cook up? We'd love to hear!


Sunday, August 25, 2013

Blueberry Muffins

When I first read this recipe in the Joy the Baker Cookbook, Joy promised they would be "the best blueberry muffins ever to emerge from my oven" and while I was super hopeful, I was also skeptical. I am happy to say that she was SO right. These muffins were choc-ful-o-blueberries and delicious. So for everyone who asked how to make these - here it is!

7 tbsp butter
1/3 cup milk
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 cups of fresh blueberries

And to make the yummy crumbly topping, you'll need an extra 3 tbsp butter, 1/2 cup of flour, and 3 tbsp of sugar

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. To give these muffins a truly nutty taste, we want to brown our butter. Place it in a pan on medium heat and melt it.  Now, when it's melted, watch it closely and keep stirring. It's going to foam and snap and crackle and pop. Keep stirring. Watch it turn brown... and then before it starts to get too brown, and right when it starts to have a rich smoked nut smell, turn the heat off.

Pour your browned butter goodness into a bowl and whisk in milk, vanilla, the egg and the egg yolk. In another bowl mix together your dry ingredients: the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Then combine the wet and dry mixtures together, mixing well, then slowly stir in the blueberries. When everything is combine, use an ice cream scoop, or a spoon, and fill up your lined muffin tins.

For the topping, combine the butter flour and sugar in a small bowl and use your fingers to crumble them all together. Sprinkle the yummy crumbles over each muffin evenly.

Pop them into the oven and back for about 20 minutes until the tops are a crisply golden brown color. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Enjoy them warm with a little bit of butter, or room temperature if you save them for later!


Saturday, August 24, 2013

Steak Seasoning

In keeping with the summer grilling theme of our last post, we wanted to share this yummy steak seasoning that Eric put together the other night when we decided to fire up the grill again. It's super simple and made from easy to find spices.

Mix together the following ingredients:
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp parsley
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp onion flakes,
a dash of sugar
a dash of salt

After rinsing your steak in cold water, drizzle some olive oil lightly over the meat and rub it in (both sides). Then mix up some of this seasoning and give it a good rub all over. It's ready for the grill!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

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HEY THERE! Like what you see?  You can follow our blog and others on BlogLovin'.  It's a great way to stay up to date and look for recipes for dinner tonight!

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Grilled Peaches

This summer has been hot. Hot Hot. And in hot weather, who doesn't like to enjoy some good summer fruit?  We all do. The only thing is, it's hot, and some summer fruits just can't stand the heat, especially in our kitchen (apparently). This last week it was the peaches. So into the fridge they went, hoping to keep them just a little bit longer.

Last week we also decided to grill up some pork chops one night. Using nothing more than a simple pork rub we bought in Hawaii, we had the chops on the BBQ in no time, but had no clue what to serve with them.  Bobby Brady, or was it Peter?, saying "porkchops and applesauce" always runs through my head when I think of what to serve. Not that I wanted to serve apple sauce but I know that something sweet with the savory of the chops always pairs well together.

PEACHES! There were peaches in the fridge turning wrinkly and in need of enjoying. So we cut them up and sprinkled them with just a dash of cinnamon and threw them on the grill. Just a few minutes on either side gives them the perfect taste. The sugar starts to caramelize a bit and the result is delicious, and a great pairing for pork chops!

grilled peaches1

Thursday, August 8, 2013

the beginning

The first post on a blog is always the most intimidating, isn't it?  I'm not sure if we should jump right in and start cooking with you all or if we should introduce ourselves a little.  Maybe I should just pretend you're coming over for dinner tonight and you've just rang the door bell.  I'm in the kitchen, my hair's all a frizz and I'm covered in...hmmm... powdered sugar? Yes, that's right. I've just sifted some over a picturesque cake that's for dessert. I'm getting side tracked. Oh right, the doorbell...

Hi! So glad you could make it for dinner. A double cheeked kiss hello (that's how we do things here), and I usher you inside. Coats off (coats... now I know I'm making this up. It's August in LA!), purses down, we say our hellos and catch up as we make our way into the kitchen. Wine is poured and we can start munching on some cheese and grapes while Eric and I finish up cooking and you pull up a chair at the table and settle in.

It's there, in that moment, where we all come together to eat and laugh and live and enjoy life together, it's there that we are all family. And that is what we love about the kitchen, about cooking, and about sharing it all with you. It's magic, and we hope that we can share a little bit of that magic we feel when we're in the kitchen with you on the pages of this blog. 

So please, pull up a chair, sip some wine, and cook with us tonight. You're part of the family now!

Bon Appetit!