Thursday, November 20, 2014

Thanksgiving Side Dishes

I LOVE Thanksgiving for many, friends, fellowship, football and of course food. Besides my Thanksgiving staples - turkey, dressing & some kind (or two kinds) of potatoes - I like to switch up the sides from year-to-year to keep it fresh & fun. I also like things that I can make in advance so I can enjoy the other parts of Thanksgiving, too. I've included a few of my favorite go-to crowd-pleasing recipes for you below. They each serve about 6 people so double or triple as necessary!

Stuffed Potatoes

3 medium baking potatoes
extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup butter, softened
1 ½ cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
¼ cup milk
¼ cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon dry ranch dressing mix
1 tablespoon green onions, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
3 slices bacon, cooked
1 tsp each salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 400°. Wash potatoes; rub with salt and a touch of olive oil. With fork, pierce potatoes 5-6 times in different places around the potato. Place on baking sheet and cook for 1 hour or until tender. Remove and reduce heat to 375°.  Let potatoes cool for 10-15 minutes. While potatoes are cooling, chop green onions and prepare garlic. Cut each potato in half lengthwise; scoop out pulp leaving a thin shell. In a large mixing bowl, beat the pulp with butter. Add in milk, cream, ranch mix, and garlic; beat until well blended. Stir in green onions, cheese and bacon. Add salt and pepper to taste. Spoon into potato shells. Bake for 20 minutes. If making ahead you can put on a baking sheet and cover with saran wrap; let potatoes come to room temperature before baking.

Corn Pudding recipe adapted from Southern Living

6 cups frozen corn (or 12 fresh ears of corn, kernels removed)
1 tbsp butter, and an additional 6 tbsp butter, melted
¼ cup sugar

2 tbsp flour
2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt
5 eggs
2 cups half & half (or heavy whipping cream)
Handful of parmesan cheese (optional)

Directions: Thaw corn according to package directions then saute in 1 tbsp butter to add some flavor.
Preheat oven to 350°. Combine dry ingredients in a small bowl. Whisk together eggs, whipping cream, and butter in a large bowl. Slowly add dry ingredients into egg mixture, whisking until smooth; stir in corn and cheese. Pour mixture into a [lightly greased] 9 x 13 dish. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until set. Let stand 5 minutes.

SFB's Deviled Eggs
12 large eggs
¼ cup mayo
2 tsp yellow mustard

1 tsp dijon mustard
¼ tsp each salt & pepper
dash of pickled jalapeno juice 
paprika and sliced green olives for garnish

Directions: Lay eggs in bottom of a medium-large sauce pan and cover with water. Bring to boil and let cook for 30 seconds. Remove pan from heat and cover with lid; let sit for 15 minutes. Drain and cover with cold water. Crack shells and carefully peel under running water. Dry off. Slice open eggs, removing yolks into a bowl. Smash yolk with a fork and add in remaining ingredients, mixing well. You can spread into eggs or pipe in (if you don't have a piping bag a Ziplock with do the trick - just cut a small hole in one of the tips). Garnish with sliced olive and paprika, and place in refrigerator to keep cool until serving.

 Whipped Sweet Potatoes

4 large sweet potatoes, washed
olive oil & salt for the rub
1 cup half and half
2 tbsp butter
, softened
3 tbsp brown sugar
¼ tsp cinnamon

Directions: Preheat oven to 350. Pierce potatoes several times with a fork, then rub olive oil and salt on them. Roast for 40 minutes or until very soft. Let cool for 10-15 minutes, or to the point where you are able to handle them but they still have some steam once skin is removed. Scoop out the potatoes and place in your mixer, add remaining ingredients and whip until smooth & creamy.

Spinach & Berry Salad

Fresh baby spinach
container of strawberries, washed and sliced
½ container of blueberries, washed

1 pear, peeling removed and diced
1 avocado, sliced
¼ cup  red onion, thinly sliced
¼ cup feta cheese

½ cup glazed (or regular) pecans

Simple Balsamic Vinaigrette
½ extra virgin olive oil¼ cup balsamic vinegar
2 tsp brown sugar

1 tsp dijon mustard¼ cup red onion, minced
1 garlic clove, minced

salt & pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients in a mason jar and shake up!

I hope y'all have a blessed holiday! Enjoy :)


Monday, November 17, 2014

Peruvian-Style Chicken with Rice & Beans

This is my take on Peruvian-style roasted chicken, served with my favorite - I mean absolute FAVORITE - beans and rice recipe. The chicken is so tender from the marinating process and the beans have a bacon-garlic flavor that will just make you me.

Ingredients for chicken
1 3-4 lb roaster chicken
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 lime
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp pepper
3 tsp paprika
1 tbsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
2 tsp sugar
dash of red pepper flakes

Ingredients for beans & rice
2 tbsp canola oil
1 cup rice (I prefer brown)
2 ¾ cups chicken broth or water
1 tsp salt (omit if using chicken broth)
2 slices bacon, cut into small pieces
¼ cup sweet onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 15 oz can pinto beans, rinsed & drained
1 tsp salt


Step One
Make sure to wash chicken thoroughly, removing everything from inside; pat dry and set aside in a large roasting pan (I also like to tie the legs up).

Step Two
Stir together remaining ingredients (or use food processor if you have one). Spread over chicken and underneath skin. Cover with saran wrap and marinate - preferably for 6 hours - but if you are short on time 1 hour will do : )

Step Three
Preheat oven to 375°. Cook chicken for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Step Four
In a non-stick saucepan, heat 1 tbsp oil on medium high heat. Add in rice and 
sauté until golden brown, about 4-5 minutes (this gives it some additional flavor).

Step Five
Add in 2 cups chicken broth and bring to a boil. Simmer until broth is absorbed (following package instructions for rice). When done, turn to low to keep warm.

Step Six
In another non-stick saucepan, heat remaining oil on medium-high heat. Add in bacon and onion, cooking for about 5-6 minutes or until translucent. Add in garlic and cook an additional minute.

Step Seven
Add in beans, and cook about 1 minute, stirring constantly. Take a fork and smash about
¼ of the beans in the pan (this will help to create a good texture).

Step Eight
Add in remaining chicken broth, bring to a boil, then set to medium-low and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until most of the liquid is absorbed. When done, turn to low to keep warm.

Step Nine
Turn oven to 400
° and cook chicken for an additional 15 minutes or until crispy golden brown. Let sit for 10-15 minutes before serving.

Enjoy, y'all!


Monday, November 10, 2014

Baked Chicken with Pesto Asparagus Quinoa

Ingredients for the chicken
3-4 chicken breasts, washed & patted dry
1 tsp each salt & pepper
½ tbsp butter
3 garlic cloves, smashed
¾ Italian bread crumbs
cup panko bread crumbs (optional)

1 tsp red pepper flakes

Ingredients for the quinoa
1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
2 cups chicken broth (water can be substituted)
½ tbsp butter (optional)

3 tbsp pesto (I like Classico brand)
6-8 asparagus spears, cut into 1 in slices
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp parsley

Step One
Heat oven to 375°. Place foil on a baking sheet and set aside.

Step Two
In a small skillet, heat butter and garlic over medium heat until butter melts and garlic becomes fragrant. Set aside and let cool for 2-3 minutes.

Step Three
While butter cools, mix bread crumbs and red pepper flakes in a shallow dish.

Step Four
Season chicken with salt and pepper. Dip in butter then breadcrumb mixture, coating well on both sides. Cook on foil-lined baking sheet for 30-35 minutes or until juices run clear and chicken is golden brown.

Step Five
In a medium-size sauce pan, bring quinoa and chicken broth to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until broth is absorbed.

Step Six
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan heat olive oil on medium-high heat. Saute asparagus for 4-5 minutes or until cooked through.

Step Seven
Stir pesto, asparagus, butter and parsley into quinoa. 

Plate your quinoa, place sliced chicken on top and sprinkle with parsley for a fun presentation!

Enjoy, y'all!