Sunday, November 27, 2011

Weekly Meal Plan

Menu for November 27- December 3, 2011

Sweet potato soup with apple cheddar grilled cheese sandwiches
Hot wings, french fries, celery and carrot sticks
Homemade pizza
Baked spaghetti, garlic bread, and green salad
Thanksgiving with my family during the weekend.

Have a great week!

Thoughts and prayers for Annie

As we end a month of thanks, celebrations of giving thanks, and embark on the Christmas season please keep Annie of Annie's Eats in your prayers.  Thanksgiving morning instead of finalizing her Thanksgiving feast, as she had planned, she learned of the passing of her father who was only 59 years old. 

The loss of anyone is difficult, even more difficult around the holidays and unbearable when it's a parent.  I can't imagine what Annie is going through right now, but I'm sure she is struggling at this time.  Please keep her and her family in your thoughts and prayers during this trying time.  Pray that she has the strength, not only to overcome this herself, but to be there for her 2 young kids who won't understand what is going on, and to be there for her family. 

Give thanks for all you have.  Take advantage and cherish each moment spent with your family.  And most importantly, tell your loved ones how much you love them each and every day. 

God Bless you, Annie.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Desserts for your Thanksgiving Table

Thanksgiving is just a few days away.  Can you believe it?  Where does the time go?  I'm sure you all are looking forward to spending time with your family, I know I am, as well as eating all of that delicious food, and reflecting on all that we are thankful for.  I look forward to the meal itself, but what really gets me excited is all of the desserts.  I mean a Thanksgiving meal isn't complete without dessert, am I right? 

If you're like me, then you have that one dessert that you wait for all year long, the one that you "unofficially" always have first dibs on.  For me, it's my dad's pecan pie.  He only makes it twice a year; Thanksgiving and Christmas and I crave it the other 363 days of the year.  Yes, I have the recipe and yes, I've made it but it's just not the same.  Maybe you're a person who likes to change it up a bit and try something new each year.  If this is you, then don't worry because I have a few desserts that will be at home at any Thanksgiving celebration.

Pumpkin snickerdoodles- these cookies are perfect for the young, or young at heart, they are sure to please crowds of all ages.  These fluffy cookies encompass all that is fall.  The subtle flavor of pumpkin with underlying tones of fall spices would be the perfect end to any meal.

Brown butter pumpkin latte cupcakes- these little pieces of heave are like Starbuck's Pumpkin Spice Lattes in the form of a cake.  I love the earthy, nutty flavor the brown butter brings to this cake.  Drizzle with caramel sauce and dust with cinnamon for a fun and festive addition to the dessert table.

Pumpkin coffee pound cake- pumpkin, coffee and all the spices of fall are what comprise these pound cake.  No extra frostings or glazes are needed for this cake, just sprinkle with powdered sugar for an elegant and delicious dessert.

Chocolate bourbon pecan pie-this twist on a pecan pie gives this classic a fresh perspective.  Add chocolate to any dish and it's sure to please any dessert lover.

Pumpkin chocolate cheesecake- combine cheesecake and pumpkin pie and you get this rich and delicious pie.  A spin on a Thanksgiving classic will wow your guest and be the perfect accompaniment to a nice, hot cup of coffee.

To all of my wonderful readers, I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.  I hope you use this day to reflect and remember all you're thankful for.  I try to do this daily, but I will take special effort on Thanksgiving to note each and every thing I have to be thankful for.  I am truly blessed.  Happy Thanksgiving to you all.

Weekly Meal Plan

Menu for November 20-26, 2011

Oven fried chicken, macaroni and cheese and asparagus
Chili or Red beans and rice (haven't decided which)
Out to eat-Mexican
Thurs-Thanksgiving at in-laws
Tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches

Friday, November 18, 2011

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

We have reached the end of the "Week of Pumpkin".  It's been a good week, I think!  There have been a variety of recipes this week, from breakfast, to chili to desserts, we've covered it all.  Last but definitely not least, we have pumpkin snickerdoodles.  I think these cookies are the perfect way to end a fabulous week of pumpkin recipes! 

Snickerdoodles, to me, are one of the more underrated cookies out there.  I'll be real honest with you and make a confession.  They aren't a cookie I long for, and I don't really deem them irresistable.  While there are some people out there that love these cookies, and prefer them over any other sweet out there, I'm not one of them.  I, personally, would rather have a cookie with a little more to it; like chunks of chocolate or candy pieces or something like that.  But that's just my personal preferance.  I mean that is why they make vanilla and chocolate, right?  So everyone can enjoy a treat that appeals to THEIR tastes.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal

Baked oatmeal is quickly becoming our of my family's favorite breakfasts.  Not long ago I posted another recipe for baked oatmeal that truly was love at first bite!  Now that fall has rolled around I thought it would be fun to incorporate some fall flavors into one of our new favorite meals.  This is a hearty oatmeal that is made up of two kinds of oats, steal and old fashioned.  The addition of the steal cut oats not only adds heartiness to the dish but adds another layer of texutre.  Caramelized bananas are layered underneath the oatmeal before baking.  These add a rich and buttery flavor to the oatmeal, and pairs surprisingly well with the pumpkin.  A dash of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves helps to pull these flavors together as well as make your home smell like all the goodness of fall. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Turkey, White Bean, Pumpkin Chili

We're half way through the "Week of Pumpkin".  I hope you are enjoying this as much as I am!  What's on docket today?  Turkey, white bean, pumpkin chili!

One of the main things I love about soups and chilis is you can make a big batch that can be served for days.  To me, soups are usually better the day after they are cooked because they flavors have had time to meld together and intensify.  Soups are a one pot wonder, in my opinion.  All these different ingredients and seasonings are added to a big pot and simmered for a while and the end result is something fabulous.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Pumpkin Coffee Pound Cake

Thanksgiving is a little over a week away.  I can't believe it!  The time is drawing near for turkey, sweet potatoes, dressing and all of the other scrumptious dishes that go along with this holiday.  I can't wait.  But before we sit down to eat, give thanks and visit with loved ones; last minute planning is heavily underway to ensure that everything goes off without a hitch.  This planning is not only important for the meal itself, but for the dessert as well.  For me, dessert is just as important to Thanksgiving as the turkey and dressing.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Pumpkin Spice Waffles

Welcome to the "Week of Pumpkin"!  I am so excited about this week and all of the wonderful recipes I have to share with you.  We are in the midst of fall, baking season and of course pumpkins!  I thought it would be fun have a week completely dedicated to pumpkin and post recipes that incorporate pumpkin in some form or fashion.  So welcome to the week of pumpkin.  I am so excited about this first recipe, pumpkin waffles! 

So, it's that time of year again.  Fall is in the air and the pumpkin recipes are in abundance.  I anything with pumpkin and spice, not only does it taste good but it makes my house smell divine.  I am constantly marking new pumpkin recipes to try; sweet, savory, breakfast, or supper, I'm not prejudice.  If it's got pumpkin in it, I will try it!  Most of the pumpkin recipes I've made in the past have been in the form of cupcakes, muffins, and bars and now there's a recipe that incorporates pumpkin into a breakfast dish!  This means you could actually have pumpkin incorporated into every meal of the day.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Weekly Meal Plan

Meal plan for November 13 - 19, 2011

Pork tenderloin with balsamic cranberry sauce, mushroom rice casserole and other side TBD
Chicken club sandwiches, wedge salads and french fries
Spaghetti and meatballs, garlic bread and green salad
Meatball subs and potato salad
Pumpkin baked oatmeal, sides TBD

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Brown Butter Banana Strawberry Bread

Banana's.  Strawberries.  Brown butter.  On their own, each of these are delicious and have a very distinct flavor.  They are wonderful in baked goods, breakfast dishes and perfect for a snack.  But lets talk about dessert for a minute.  First and foremost, I love dessert, I mean anything sweet but we're going to get kind of flavor specific for just a second.  I am a huge fan of banana bread, banana milkshakes, banana whoopie pies, strawberry shortcake, strawberry cake and strawberry ice cream...just to name a few.  Honestly, I'm a fan of anything that incorporates any of these flavors. 

What is the common element in all of these?  They just incorporate one of these three ingredients.  So what could be better than just a banana dessert or just a strawberry dessert?  What about a dessert that not only includes bananas, but strawberries and brown butter?  To me, that sounds absolutely divine and that's what been done with this bread!      

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Chicken Taco Soup

We love all foods with Mexican flavors.  Honestly, I think I could eat Mexican food everyday and never get sick of it.  Give me a platter of chips and salsa and I'll be content for days.  We're also huge fans of soup.  So the marriage of Mexican flavors and soup was a perfect match, and made for the perfect meal.

So what can I say about this soup?  Although taco soup is nothing new in the food world, I've never made it.  I enjoy it every time I have it but for some reason beyond me we've never enjoyed a batch of homemade taco soup, until now.  This was such an easy soup to put together, it was only a matter of mintues before everything was in the pot and simmering.  The sweetness of the corn and tomatoes added so much natural flavor to the soup and help counteract the spiciness of the rotel and cayenne.  The cilantro added earthy and bright flavors and really helped brighten the flavors as well as add a splash of color.  And let me tell you, it's always good to have a colorful's just more appealing to the eyes(my MaMaw's philosophy).  My MaMaw was a huge fan of color, not only in her wardrobe but on her plate as well.  A meal wasn't complete without a splash of color!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Baked Oatmeal

Lately recipes for baked oatmeal have been popping up all over the blogasphere.  After seeing this on several blogs I knew I had to try it out and see what all the hype was about.  Boy, I can now say I see why this has been showing up pretty much everywhere I look.  I have been missing out.  I have always enjoyed oatmeal as a traditional breakfast dish as well as a quick fix for supper, and of course I've also enjoyed it in cookies!  Although bland on it's own, oatmeal is a blank canvas and can be jazzed up by a multitude of spices, fruits and various other "toppings".

Until now, I had never tried baked oatmeal.  Don't ask me why, I just hadn't.  I can honestly say I should kick myself for not attempting this until now.  Not only was I holding out on myself, but on my family.  I love this recipe for many reasons.  First, and most importantly is for taste.  Secondly; it is so easy to assemble.  Third; it is so versatile and the flavor combinations can be easily adapted to suit your tastes as well as the season.  So far I have only tried the original, blueberry banana combination, and loved it.  I can't wait try try other flavor variations, I am thinking something pumpkin for fall!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Weekly Meal Plan

Meal plan for November 6-12, 2011

Sauteed andouille with greens and grits
Turkey, white bean and pumpkin chili with jalapeno cheddar rolls
Left overs
Wild mushroom and goat cheese quesadillas with cranberry-pecan salsa
Grilled chicken club and sweet potato fries
Left overs or out to eat

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Cheese Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Here is yet another successful meatless meal.  Like I've said before, Spencer is definitely a meat and potatoes kind of guy and is skeptical about any meal I mention, let alone prepare that doesn't include meat.  I am slowly but surely winning him over with some of the recent vegetarian meatless meals.  It's not that he doesn't like vegetables, it's more a matter of not getting full from a meatless meal.  Him not filling up on meatless meals has been a non-issue, which is wonderful!  I enjoy encorporating meatless meals into our menu, so the fact that Spencer is enjoying them and getting enough to eat is a definite plus.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Balsamic Glazed Mushrooms

After I posted the classic steak I was suprised at how many emails I recieved requesting the recipe for the mushrooms I served as a side.  Your wait is over!  Here is the recipe for the balsamic glazed mushrooms!

These were as equally delicious as the steak and just as simple to prepare.  These mushrooms were the perfect compliment to the simple flavors of the steak.  The balsamic glaze introduced a whole new depth of flavor to the meal.  And I have to mention the garlic; I love the combination of garlic and mushrooms.  I don't know what it is about that combination, but they definitely are a match made in heaven.  The garlic with the balsamic glaze really compliments one another and makes a perfect sauce for the mushrooms.

These mushrooms are simple yet elegant.  Perfect for a quick side dish but impressive enough for company.  Serve this with any steak and add a simple salad and you have the perfect meal!

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