Thursday, November 21, 2013

Make Believe Thanksgiving Meal.

Thanksgiving is KIND of a big deal in my family. It's always at my parent's house and we celebrate with my mom's side of the family. This year we are having 33 people for Thanksgiving meal. We are a family of traditions. We do the same thing every year and it never gets old. (Seriously though… it doesn't.) It seems like the same people sign up for the same food every year and that's fine by me because the food is delicious every year. It seems like my Momma and aunt Kay take care of the turkey. Cindy (and Momma) work on the mashed potatoes. My cousin Sara is the herb bread queen… Everyone plays their part.

I don't really have a part in the Thanksgiving meal yet. I have signed up to bring food (cinnamon rolls and Chex Mix), but nothing for the most crucial meal of the weekend. And that's ok by me. I have been seeing lots of delicious looking recipes all over the place though… So what I decided to do was make a make believe Thanksgiving meal for you. If I had all the time, money, and energy in the world… I would make you this Thanksgiving meal. I hope you enjoy...

Iowa Girl Eats' Bake Brie Bites. Not that you need an appetizer on Thanksgiving, but if I were to serve one… this would be it.

Pioneer Woman's Roasted Thanksgiving Turkey. Confession… I don't like turkey like this. I have a tiny bit every year just to say I ate some. But this recipe looks pretty good… apple juice, brown sugar, garlic, butter… how could you go wrong?

Brown Eyed Baker's Sausage Cornbread Stuffing. Stuffing might be my favorite part of the meal. This is a different take on it but it sounds pretty good…

Skinnytaste's Slow Cooker Garlic Sweet Potato Mash. I'm not typically a big fan of Thanksgiving-style sweet potatoes but these look pretty ok. (And they're pretty healthy!)

Pioneer Woman's Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes. I've made these before and they're amazing… as long as you don't count the sticks of butter and cups of over unhealthy stuff you add to it.

Annie's Eats Multigrain Rolls. These looks interesting to me… and I've made other rolls of hers so I'm guessing these would be tasty.

Joy the Baker's (Dad's) Sweet Potato Pie. Confession: I'm not much of a pie person. So I would make this strange pie just because I want to try something new. And she raves about it so it's gotta be decent.

That's it for now… Just looking at these recipes and thinking about making all of them in one day makes me want to curl up in a ball and cry. I am so thankful to be a part of a big family full of such wonderful cooks.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Cinnamon Rolls.

There have been so many things I've wanted to blog about lately, but I have been busy… I know, I hate it when people talk about how busy they are. I hate it when I talk about how busy I am. But it's true… You might not be hearing much from me until like December 15. And then Christmas stuff will start. So I guess I'll just talk to you after the New Year. … Kidding, I'll do my best to post. Because I miss it. I truly do like to write. Who would have ever thought that? It's music to my college comp teacher's ears… Anyway…

I made some cinnamon rolls last night that were a hit with my small group. They are easy and delicious so I thought I'd give them their time to shine. (Shout out to my Momma who gave me the recipe. That lady knows what she's doing.) The secret ingredient? Bisquick. You use it as your base to make the cinnamon roll dough. Bisquick! Why complicate things if you don't have to?

Bisquick Cinnamon Rolls

4 1/2 cups Bisquick
1 1/2 cups milk
1 stick of butter, melted
1 1/2 cups of sugar
2 heaping tablespoons of cinnamon

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Follow the directions for biscuits on the Bisquick box. (For a 9x13 pan, you double the recipe on the box which I have already done for you in the ingredients listed here.) Roll out the biscuit dough. Brush melted butter all over the surface. Mix together sugar and cinnamon then sprinkle over buttery surface. Roll up dough then slice in to individual rolls (this can make about 16). Space rolls out in 9x13 pan. Bake for 12-15 minutes.

After they come out of the oven, let them sit for a bit before icing them. Any icing recipe will do, but I doctored up Paula Deen's and it worked just fine.


4 tablespoons butter, melted
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 tablespoons water

Whisk together butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and almond. Gradually add water until icing reaches desired consistency. Drizzle over cinnamon rolls

And that's that!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Try-It Tuesday: Easy Pad Thai with Chicken.

Today's post is brought to you by...

Our brand new dishwasher!

I haven't had a functioning dishwasher since I moved in to this new place two months ago. Hand washing dishes isn't difficult, but oh my gosh, I missed a dishwasher. I even found myself not wanting to cook because I didn't want to clean up the mess. But today, my friends, today we got a dishwasher! So I decided to break it in with a new meal...

Easy Pad Thai with Chicken. This recipe was indeed easy but it does have a few ingredients that are strange. Fish oil (I almost gave up on the recipe when I smelled this stuff.) And tamarind paste (which I attempted to find a substitute because I couldn't find it in the store.) Despite those though... the recipe was a winner. I was actually shocked at how good it was.

*A few changes
-In place of tamarind paste I actually used peach preserves (call me crazy) - but a lot of sites will tell you equal parts brown sugar and lemon juice to get the correct amount
-The recipe tells you to add carrots as a garnish after the fact, but the idea of cold hard carrots in the middle of my pad thai wasn't appetizing, so I added them when I added the noodles.
-I didn't use any cornstarch - for some reason it didn't make the move with me and I didn't realize I didn't have any. My sauce was still plenty thick so I don't think it's necessary.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Meet Dietrich.

My roommate got a dog! What this means... I get all the perks of living with a dog with little to no responsibility! His name is Dietrich. (Yeah... I know. I didn't name him.) He came from the pound and is one of the sweetest dogs I've ever met - especially from coming from the pound.

Last night I made some pumpkin bars. I left to go to Target really quickly and had asked me roommate (not the owner of the dog, the other one) if I should put him up or if she would keep an eye on him. She said she would keep an eye on him... When I came back I walked in the kitchen and he had gotten up on the counter and eaten half of the pumpkin bars. I can't really blame him... I love cream cheese frosting, too.

Anyway, he's a great dog and a fun addition to my new situation here in good ol' Independence, Missouri. After almost 20 years of wanting a dog, I finally have one (or live with one, he's not technically mine) and I couldn't be more thrilled about it.

(He's pretty cuddly. I like him.)

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Try-It Tuesday: Puppy Chow Cookies.

"Actually, these might be the best cookies I've ever had." That's what my mom said after trying the cookies that my friend Jessie and I made the other night.

Puppy Chow Cookies. A peanut butter cookie. Dipped in a chocolate peanut butter mixture. Rolled in powdered sugar. That's right. The cookies were a bit high maintenance, I must admit. I was glad I had a partner is crime to make them with. But they were worth the work... I agree with my mom. Possibly the best cookies I've ever had.

Puppy Chow Cookies.