There are so many ways to tinker with the traditional cranberry sauce for the holidays, the options feel practically endless! This time for Thanksgiving I decided to take it up a notch by adding bourbon and vanilla extract to the cranberries. You can’t really go wrong with bourbon, right? Something about the flavor came through the nose more than the taste buds. You could smell the bourbon and vanilla, but you tasted the flavor of the cranberries. Similar to wine, you could say that these cranberries had a “nose.” I loved the way these cranberries came out and they will definitely become a holiday staple!
Thanksgiving is quickly approaching and there are so many different side dishes that accompany the big meal! Many tables feature rolls as a side dish but I thought it would be nice to try a slightly more rustic cornbread recipe. The muffins are surprisingly not too crumbly and retained a good amount of moisture on the inside. The outside was golden and just slightly crusty on top. Slightly sweet, not too crumbly and a pretty yellow color makes for a nice display on any Thanksgiving table! Slice open a warm muffin and pair with butter or a healthy dollop of cranberry sauce–or if you’re gunning for a food coma make it both!
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Well it’s November and officially a few weeks away from Thanksgiving! This recipe is a great side dish for the holidays even though it’s difficult to think they are right around the corner. I even saw some Christmas commercials come on the other day which was pretty hard to believe. This recipe combines potatoes, beets and butternut squash tossed in olive oil and roasted with garlic and fresh herbs. It doesn’t get much easier than that! The flavors from each vegetable came together perfectly. Works well as a holiday side dish but is great for any time of the week during the winter.
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Jambalaya is the ultimate Louisiana comfort food. This rice dish combines spicy Andouille sausage, shrimp and creole spices in a large skillet and slow cooked over the stove. There are lots of variations of Jambalaya so it’s a fun dish to experiment with. A great trick to get some of that briny shrimp flavor into the rice is cooking the shells in the chicken stock, effectively making a super quick shrimp stock. I went to the local butcher for the Andouille (which I would recommend for the boost in quality and flavor) but you can find it in most grocery stores as well. I pre-make my Creole seasoning which I keep in a marked jar in the spice cabinet. This recipe can easily be served as a main course but also works well as a side to many other Creole dishes. I garnished the dish with plenty of Louisiana-style hot sauce and chopped green onions.
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Potato salad is a classic American summer side dish that reminds me of hot summer days, afternoon picnics and grilling sessions. I used to purchase potato salad from a local deli but the ingredients on the label were a bit off-putting. I didn’t recognize most of them listed and I finally decided to just make it from scratch. This recipe is a perfect antidote to the store-bought problem. While it is more time consuming than just running to the store, this recipe is healthier and you know exactly what’s going in it. It’s a delicious alternative to the processed stuff!
There are lots of ways to make a great stuffing for the holidays and this one uses hot Italian sausage and granny smith apples to kick things up a notch. The combination of the softened tart apples and spicy crumbled sausage was so delicious! Instead of leaving the bread out over night or using a toaster the bread cubes are baked in the oven until brown and slightly crispy. Everything is combined in a bowl and then baked in the oven once more. So easy and a great side dish for the holidays! Continue Reading →
Every year as Thanksgiving gets closer I look forward to trying out new ways to serve cranberry sauce. This year I chose a cranberry sauce flavored with cinnamon and maple syrup. I also added a little brown sugar instead of white sugar to give it a little something different. The sauce turned out excellent and the flavors of maple and cinnamon were delicious together! I served this alongside my Thanksgiving staple, Gingered Cranberry Sauce, so I got a chance to compare and contrast. I liked both a lot and they each complimented the turkey perfectly.
This recipe is based on the American Chinese food classic: egg fried rice. Now instead of ordering take-out I can whip up a batch of fried rice on the cheap and in no time at all. This recipe is probably a lot healthier compared to the fried rice at Chinese restaurants. You can give the rice a boost by adding more veggies like bean sprouts, green onion, or baby corn. I had some leftover Korean BBQ Chicken and served it with the rice which was very tasty! You can also add a protein to the rice (like chicken, tofu or pork) to make it more of a main course too.
I was looking for a tasty snack–something to munch on during the day that had a good amount of filling protein but also packed with flavor. I came across a recipe for baked chickpeas and was intrigued because I always liked them in stews and soups but had never tried them on their own. The chickpeas are lightly tossed with olive oil, rolled in a spice blend, and baked until they become dry and crispy. They remind me a little of popcorn but so much healthier and tastier! The spice blend can be adjusted to your own tastes, whether you want it saltier, sweeter, or spicier. I preferred the spicy and salty, but I plan to experiment more and see what I like best.
If I were to have any season all year I would have it be Fall. Unfortunately, it is now January (my least favorite month) and there’s no way to bring fall back outside. However, I can make food that reminds me of my favorite season and what could recall that season better than butternut squash? Butternut squash is a tasty snack when it is sliced very thin and roasted until just browned and crispy. The slices of squash are quickly boiled, patted dry and tossed with olive oil and sage in a bowl. Then they are baked in the oven for about 20 minutes, so this is a great recipe to prepare if you’re short on time for dinner.