Gourmet Veggie Mama

Tag Archives: Cranberries

Leftover Extravaganza

“Tis the season. You know, the season of lots and lots of leftovers. Do you have them? At this point, they are just hanging out in the fridge, begging to be used ASAP or tossed. Here are a few tasty ideas that will hopefully help keep you from feeding a post-feast feast to your compost pile.

  • Sweet potato waffles. We added a nice hefty scoop of leftover sweet potato casserole (topping and all) to our favorite waffle batter.
    sweet potato waffles

    Breakfast time!

    Not only were they excellent,  the leftover waffles freeze well so that you have quick breakfast for mornings to come!

  • Bon Appétit’s Thanksgiving leftovers slideshow has a bunch of excellent-sounding recipes, including pumpkin flan (a great use for that partial can of pumpkin you have in the fridge).
  • Brussels sprouts pizza. Yeah, seriously. We had this for dinner the other night and it was so good. We already had some leftover grilled pizza crusts in the freezer, so it was quick and easy to throw together (the hubby finished them off on the grill).
    brussels sprouts pizza

    Eat your veggies!

    My vegetarian version included halved roasted Brussels sprouts, mozzarella and manchego cheeses, sautéed spinach and a sprinkle of fleur de sel and crushed red pepper. The hubby’s version included Brussels sprouts, bacon and mozzarella. Both were delicious (or at least so I hear).

  • Cranberry brie bites. I stumbled across these on Rufus’ Guide to Food and Spirits, and I must have them now. What an awesome use of leftover cranberry sauce (which is plentiful in my fridge right now).
  • Mashed potato cakes. Obvs. I wrote about this one yesterday, and it was tasty.
  • Stuffing stuffed mushrooms? Yes please!
  • Last but not least, here are a bunch of ideas for all that leftover turkey from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe and A is for Austin.

Our Thanksgiving Table… and a Giveaway (CLOSED)!

We have just finished a terrible round of the pukies here at our house. Thankfully Nora seems to have skipped the worst of it (fingers crossed), but being sick with a toddler is no fun. Even less fun is being sick with a toddler when your spouse and co-parent is also sick. But, the worst is over now, so onward and upward. It’s time to sanitize the kitchen and start thinking about Thanksgiving!

Here’s what will be on our table this year:

  • Turkey – I defer to my omnivore guests on the centerpiece of the meal. Hubby is in charge of the turkey business this year (as always), and he decided to order a smoked turkey breast from Rudy’s.
  • Green Beans with Creamy Mushrooms – I tested this recipe last week, and it was far too delicious not to make again. It’s like green bean casserole without all the processed junk!
  • Bourbon Sweet Potato Casserole – This is another of my “dress rehearsal” recipes, and although I planned to revert to my traditional sweet potatoes with honey, pecans and cinnamon, I have been outvoted. That’s okay — it’s good stuff, man.
  • Stuffing – TBD. I think I’ll make cornbread stuffing with pecans and jalapeños. Stuffing (or dressing, as my mother would implore me to call it) is not really my thing, but I think it’s required.
  • Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes – Love. These. Potatoes. I think I have a new go-to recipe… but for holidays only, since I’m sure they are terrrrrrible for you.
  • Roasted Beets with Goat Cheese and Pine Nuts – This is a new recipe, but it’s similar to several others I make, so it should be a snap. Plus I have beets and goat cheese, so why not?
  • Spiced Cranberry Sauce – Fresh is so much better, people. Are you still using the canned stuff? Please tell me no. If you want a processed sugar-free version, use the recipe at the link, but substitute coconut palm sugar for the brown sugar. Done and done.
  • Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie – You knew this was going to make the cut again, didn’t you? I’m pretty sure we’ll never have another Thanksgiving without it.
  • Bread Pudding – I seize on any excuse to make a good bread pudding, and Thanksgiving certainly is one! I’m not sure yet if I’ll be making White and Dark Chocolate Bread Pudding or another variation (maybe chocolate bread pudding with walnuts?), but it’s happening.

In general, I like to overdo it, but this year, just coming off of feeling like death for a few days, I got responsible and pared back a bit. What’s on your Thanksgiving table this year? Are you trying anything new, or sticking with the tried-and-true?

***GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED  — CONGRATS TO WINNER ALI!***

Now, for what you’re all really interested in: the giveaway! I’ve never done one before, but when Cooking Planit gave me the opportunity to offer you one of my favorite kitchen gadgets on their dime, it sounded like a win-win to me. Just in time to help with all your holiday cooking this year, how about a Cuisinart Mini-Prep Food Processor?

Hello, beautiful.

Not only is it lovely, it does a bang-up job with small tasks like making dressing, chopping onions and more. All you have to do to win is visit Cooking Planit and let me know which of their featured “Alternative Thanksgiving” meals looks yummiest to you! Check out the Rafflecopter for more details and ways to get more entries.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy hunting (errr… you know). Good luck with your Thanksgiving prep, and have a wonderful holiday!

P.S. You have to comment letting me know your answer for the first two entries. Anyone who doesn’t will be disqualified!

 

Thanksgiving: Part I

I’ll separate this into two posts, since Thanksgiving, as the Super Bowl of the foodie world, deserves more attention. I’ll talk sides first.

As a vegetarian, Thanksgiving is mostly about side dishes and dessert for me. If I’m hosting, I’ll usually make a veggie main course along with the turkey. A couple of years ago, I made an acorn squash stuffed with quinoa, wild mushrooms, and smoked mozzarella, and it was awesome. This year we went to our friends’ house for dinner, though, so I just brought ample sides to share. Don’t worry, I still walked away stuffed!

First, I made some simple roasted brussels sprouts. There’s really nothing quite like fresh brussels sprouts. If you hated them as a kid, give fresh ones a try! I just halve them (quarter any bigger ones) toss them with olive oil, salt and pepper, and then roast them in a 400 oven for 45 minutes to an hour, until they’re nice and brown on the edges. Perfecto! So much easier than boiling or steaming them, too, since you don’t have to cut a million little “x”s in the stems. Also, the flavor is much better. Sometimes I’ll sauté them with a little butter and some chestnuts or toasted hazelnuts to finish them off, but I was short on time, so I just went rustic, and they were still great.

I also made a chipotle sweet potato gratin based on this recipe. It’s a dish I have tried a ton of variations on, and I can never seem to get it quite right. I think it’s great in theory, but in practice it usually turns out too soupy, or too greasy, or too spicy, or not spicy enough. It’s always something. Although I like the non-traditional-twist-on-a-traditional-side-dish thing it has going, I think I’ll revert to my mom’s sweet potatoes with honey and pecans next year and save myself the trouble.

The hubby contributed deviled eggs and sausage balls (both veggie and non-veggie) to the feast, so we had something to munch on before the real meal got underway. His tofu sausage balls are a surprisingly good substitute for the meaty ones my grandmother used to make.*

* Yep, it’s my family recipe, but the better half latched on to it and has pretty much made it his own. It’s basically Bisquick, sausage, cheddar cheese, and chopped jalapenos, mixed, formed into balls and then baked.

My favorite new recipe of the year, though, was the cranberry sauce. Cranberry sauce is so delightfully easy to make, and it even gets better if it sits in the fridge for a day, why would you ever go with the canned stuff? I’ve experimented with a few different kinds of cranberry sauce, but I think this one is a keeper.

Yum.

It’s nicely spiced, has a hint of orange, but not too much, and is sweet but not cloying. Perfect! Nora loved it (although we did limit how much she had, since it is pretty sugar-y), and she also loved to wipe her icky hands on my sweater as she ate. So, any good ideas for getting cranberry stains out??

Spiced Cranberry Sauce
Based on this recipe from Gourmet

12-ounce bag of cranberries, rinsed and picked over
1/2 cup honey
3 to 4 Tbsp firmly packed brown sugar, or to taste
two 3-inch cinnamon sticks
6 whole cloves
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
3/4 cup water

In a saucepan combine the cranberries, the honey, the brown sugar, the cinnamon sticks, the cloves, the nutmeg, and the water and simmer the mixture, covered, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the cranberries have burst and the mixture is thickened. Transfer the sauce to a bowl and let it cool. The sauce may be made 2 days in advance and kept covered and chilled. Serve at room temperature.

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