Wednesday, November 26, 2008

On deck for Thanksgiving?

People are asking me, so I thought I'd post it to my blog.

What am I making for Thanksgiving?

A roasted Turkey (with gravy from the drippings)
Roasted garlic mashed potatoes
Sausage and leek stuffing
Ginger glazed carrots and parsnips
Cranberry sauce (not the canned crap)
Braised red cabbage and apples
Sauteed green beans with a brown butter sauce

As far as dessert, I am not making it. My mom has graciously agreed to handle them this year.

So I've told you what I'm making. Now it's your turn. What are you making for Thanksgiving this year?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

RECIPE: herbed goat cheese roll

I've been serving this simple, yet delicious hors d'oeuvre for years. It is ridiculously easy to prepare and is always a hit.

Try it out at your next dinner party.


8 oz log of chevre cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh italian parsley (Not that wretched curly parsley. Flat leaf only!)
1/8 cup chopped fresh thyme
Fresh cracked pepper (Seriously, right out of the pepper mill. Nothing else will do.)


Clear a flat work space for assembly. Basically you're going to be rolling the chevre log in the other ingredients, so you'll need enough room.

Take your parsley and thyme and mix together. Spread the herb mixture out on your work area. The "herb carpet" should be as wide as your chevre log and long enough that when you roll the log 360 degrees, it will become completely covered in herbs.

Now that your "herb carpet" is laid, it's time to crack some pepper! Pepper to taste, don't go too crazy, but don't skimp either. About a tablespoon will do. Make sure you evenly distribute pepper across the "herb carpet".

Once done, take your log, place at the top of your "herb carpet". Roll towards you. The log won't pick everything up, but a few passes will get most.

Plate and serve with quality crackers or warmed bread.

Note: Roasted garlic makes an unbelievably tasty companion to your roll.

And please, let me know how it turns out by leaving a comment.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

RECIPE: Spicy Pumpkin Soup

Courtesy of Tara Lamberson - Thanks T!

BTW, you could substitute butternut squash for this recipe (YUM)


4 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
Pinch ground cayenne pepper (optional)
3 (15 oz) cans 100 percent pumpkin or 6 cups of chopped roasted pumpkin*
5 cups of chicken broth (or vegetable broth for vegetarian option)
2 cups of milk
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream


1 Melt butter in a 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic and cook,
stirring often, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add spices and stir for a minute more.

2 Add pumpkin and 5 cups of chicken broth; blend well. Bring to a boil and reduce heat, simmer
for 10 to 15 minutes.

3 Transfer soup, in batches, to a blender or food processor. Cover tightly and blend until smooth.

Return soup to saucepan.

4 With the soup on low heat, add brown sugar and mix. Slowly add milk while stirring to
incorporate. Add cream. Adjust seasonings to taste. If a little too spicy, add more cream to cool it
down. You might want to add a teaspoon of salt.

Serve in individual bowls. Sprinkle the top of each with toasted pumpkin seeds.

Serves 8.

*To make pumpkin purée, cut a sugar pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds and stringy stuff, lie
face down on a tin-foil lined baking pan. Bake at 350°F until soft, about 45 min to an hour. Cool, scoop out the flesh. Freeze whatever you don't use for future use.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Making your own butter

Making homemade butter is unbelievably easy!

Put some heavy whipping cream into a stand mixer and mix on med-high speed.

At some point, you'll end up with whipped cream. If you have some ice cream on hand, you can stop here ;) Keep mixing if you want to end up with butter.

Your whipped cream will get thicker and thicker until in an instant it separates leaving you with butter and buttermilk.

Using your hand remove the butter from the buttermilk, and begin to squeeze out the excess liquid. You can them knead the butter to get the rest out. Buttermilk will contribute to your butter turning rancid quickly.

Once done kneading, I'd suggest mixing in some sea salt, maybe some fresh cracked pepper. If you want to get really fancy, try mixing in some finely chopped fresh parsley and/or thyme.

Mon delice!