Saturday, November 23, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

Gearing up for our first time hosting family for Thanksgiving AND our first Thanksgiving as homeowners in our new place!
I thought I would share the menu, now that I've got it set, to help inspire anyone still working out their details- PLEASE share your menu and links (to recipes only please, spam will be deleted) so we can all get ideas & prepare for next week's food-fest!


Devil'd Eggs
Turkey-veggie tray (above is the one we made last year)
Sweet potato chips- Costco had the Terra Chips last week so I got those
Crackers- Trader Joe's
Hummus- I'm buyin it at Trader Joe's
Cranberry cheese log- Also Trader Joe's- I buy at least one of these a year- SO GOOD!
Nuts- Trader Joe's assorted

Turkey- I will have to post AFTER we make it, we will be smoking our bird in the smoker this year! First for everything!
Garlic Mashed (no-peel) potatoes- I make these often, will add a recipe in my wrap-up, basically when making so much other stuff to cut down on prep, I bake the potatoes whole then scoop the inside away from the peel instead of peeling the potatoes and boiling them.
Cranberry Relish (I am making my own version, similar to THIS (with apples & orange zest, but no celery)
Green beans with bacon & crispy home-fried onions- making this one up as I go so like the Turkey, look for this recipe after Thanksgiving.

Pumpkin pie
Cherry pie
Chocolate pudding pie
Cranberry Blueberry Crumble (THIS filling with an oat & brown sugar crumble crust topping)


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Matzo Ball Soup

I recently wrote THIS POST about fighting the sick season and sited Matzo Ball Soup as on e of my favorite defenses against the yuckies. I have never attempted to make this myself, but usually haul buns to a deli or Bristol Farms and buy it when things get under the weather over here. I know there are mixes for this, but really wanted a recipe for the homemade stuff. I found one, then lost it...somehow never pinned the sucker, so while at the market today I scooped up a container of Matzo meal and decided to try to make up my own recipe. It came out pretty good for a first try & now I'm ready to make it when we need it!! I also froze half for extra preparedness. Apologies for any errors that make this not-kosher or not "real" Matzo ball soup, this is the Italian mama version ;)

Here is what you will need:

2 large carrots
4 celery stalks
1/2 a brown onion
1 T salted butter
3 large eggs
2 32oz cartons chicken broth or stock
3/4 cup matzo meal
2 chicken breasts from a rotisserie chicken, keep it simple people. (chop up into bite sized pieces)

Chop celery carrots an onion into bite sized pieces
Place butter in stock pot on medium low heat and add celery, onion & carrot- stir about 5 minutes. Add chicken stock, raise heat to medium-high & start makin the matzo balls!
This is the recipe from the Manischewitz Matzo Meal container- figured stick with a professional opinion on my first try.
Separate the eggs.
Use a hand or stand mixer to beat the egg WHITES until stiff.
Use a spatula to fold in the yolks, then fold in the matzo meal & a pinch of salt.
Let the matzo mix sit for about 5 minutes.
When stock is boiling- use a spoon to form walnut-sized matzo balls & drop into boiling soup mixture. Lower heat, cover and simmer 40 minutes....WITH OUT UNCOVERING (apparently that's they way to do it.) Heat the chicken up in a little skillet so it doesn't get cooked to oblivion since it's already cooked- then just add it to serve.

I'm sure you could doctor this up six-ways-from-Sunday with other herbs, rice, noodles, whatever grabs ya!

Logan liked it, he ate 2 of the matzo balls and lots of the chicken, he also spilled some on Leela's head and Arthrur enjoyed licking it off of her so everyone wins.

If you have a family Matzo Ball recipe you are able to share, please do- we'd love to try it!!! I will try a version using the crackers next! Stay tuned....