28 Delicious Thanksgiving (and Thanksgiving Leftovers) Recipes for 2016

Thanksgiving 2016 2

It’s that time again; time for the annual Thanksgiving post. After almost 6 years of blogging, I have accumulated quite a few recipes that work in this category, so I have to cull some out so as to not end up with a post with 50 different additions. 😛

Let’s start with entrees. Because…turkey…ham. Yummy. 😀

This Orange Marmalade Brown Sugar Glazed Ham is my absolute favorite way to make a ham. The ham turns out so moist and tender with such a delicious sweet/salty flavor you’ll keep coming back for.Orange Marmalade Brown Sugar Ham-001This Sesame Soy Turkey Breast is fantastic if you’re a cook who’s willing to leave the traditional box a bit on Thanksgiving. This glaze can also be used on a whole turkey, a chicken, game hen, you name it.

Sesame Soy Turkey Breast

Sesame Soy Turkey Breast

I know that a lot of families like to serve a pasta dish as one of the main dishes so I’m including our favorite, this Cheesy Sausage And Meatball Pasta Bake. This makes a LOT, so it’s perfect for Thanksgiving, when a lot of people are there, with everyone getting as little bit of each dish.Cheesy Meatball And Sausage Pasta BakeLet’s move on to appetizers; those little bits you put out to keep everyone from storming the kitchen begging for food. 😛  One of my favorite easy dips (and when I say easy, I mean it) is my White Trash Dip. I know; such a classy name, lol. But it is great for appeasing the hungry mongrel hordes and quick to throw together, which is always a plus on Thanksgiving.
White Trash Dip
I have adored Boursin Cheese for years, but man, that stuff is expensive for the small amount you get. So I started making my own years ago. This is soooo good and always a hit. It’s creamy, great with veggies like celery sticks as well as crackers. If you have any left over, it also makes a great stuffing for chicken breasts.

Creamy Homemade Boursin Cheese Spread

Creamy Homemade Boursin Cheese Spread

Ahhhh, side dishes. What would Thanksgiving be without 50 side dishes to serve with the turkey and ham? One of my all time most popular posts here at From Cupcakes To Caviar is my Insanely Cheesy And Creamy Mac And Cheese. This makes a HUGE pan of mac and cheese, so it’s perfect for the holidays.Insanely Cheesy And Creamy Mac & CheeseYou can’t have turkey without mashed potatoes, right?
I was never a mashed potato fan until I made up these Ultimate Buttery Sour Cream And Onion Mashed Potatoes. I totally love these. They are creamy, buttery (boy, are they buttery) and with a subtle tang from the cream cheese.

Ultimate Buttery Sour Cream And Onion Mashed Potatoes

Ultimate Buttery Sour Cream And Onion Mashed Potatoes

If you want to go a little different, you can’t beat these Herb Roasted Potatoes And Root Vegetables. The potatoes and veggies get all crispy on the outside and all soft and tender inside. So, so good.

Herb Roasted Potatoes And Root Vegetables

Herb Roasted Potatoes And Root Vegetables

I was never a cold pasta salad sort of a person until I made up this Chilled Caprese Tortellini Salad a few years ago. It’s great during the holidays for people who may want something a little lighter (and with no meat in it, lol) but still full of flavor.Chilled Caprese Tortellini Salad
I have a major thing for Winter squashes. To me, they stand so far above the ubiquitous Summer squashes. I took one of my favorites here and stuffed it to come up with Squash Stuffed With Sausage, Pears And Cranberries. This is a fantastic addition to the holiday meal or a great light entree on it’s own.

Squash Stuffed With Sausage, Pears And Cranberries

Squash Stuffed With Sausage, Pears And Cranberries

You can’t have Thanksgiving dinner without cranberry sauce, right? While I admit to a secret love for the kind that slithers out of the can with a loud plop, I also love homemade cranberry sauce and make a large batch every year. My Spiced Spiked Cranberry Sauce is a perfect foil for all the rich dishes you’ll be serving. The brandy is completely optional so don’t let that turn you away from it. Spiced Spiked Cranberry Sauce

Now we come to the breads. I’m not normally a big one for breads, but hot and fresh on the holidays? I tend to go for them more at that time. And these Angel Biscuits have become a family favorite. Since they have baking powder in them as well as yeast, they are fairly foolproof, which is great for the less experienced cooks out there.

Angel Biscuits

Angel Biscuits

The rolls I have been making for years are these Oatmeal Yeast Rolls. They are so fluffy and soft; perfect hot spread with butter or later as a mini turkey sandwich (Yes, I know this is a bad photo. The post is an old one, when my photography skills were sub-par, to say the least. The rolls however, are amazingly good)

Oatmeal Rolls

Oatmeal Rolls

I love to make a few loaves of bread for Thanksgiving as well as rolls. They are so good with dinner and make fantastic sandwiches the next day. I particularly love to make my Loaded Baked Potato Bread, The flavors in it go wonderfully with a turkey sandwich!

Loaded Baked Potato Bread

Loaded Baked Potato Bread

Here in the south, a lot of people like to make cornbread to go with dinner, even on the holidays. My Sweet Cream And Honey Cornbread is a favorite. It’s fluffy, not at all dry like so many cornbreads can be, with just a touch of sweetness.

Sweet Cream And Honey Cornbread

Sweet Cream And Honey Cornbread

Then, of course, we have the part of dinner that everyone looks forward to; dessert! And man, you know I have some desserts to share with you! I have to start with the classics, of course, so here is my favorite- my Decadent Extra Creamy Pumpkin Pie. This one is posted with a really good cornmeal crust, but you can use your favorite crust. Just make sure it’s a deep dish one. Decadent Extra Creamy Pumpkin Pie In A Cornmeal Crust
That pumpkin pie tends to be my husbands favorite. Mine however will always be Pecan Pie. I love it slightly warmed with heavy cream poured over it. So bad for me, but so delicious!Deep Dish Pecan Pie

The last few years, my favorite pecan pie has had to vie with this Cranberry Apple Cake. I can’t say enough good things about this cake. It’s absolutely delicious and I can’t imagine the Thanksgiving meal without it now. It’s sweet, tangy, crispy, just a wonderful dessert that I look forward to all year.

Cranberry Apple Cake

Cranberry Apple Cake

If you want a classic (not to mention, heavenly chocolate goodness 😀 ) you’ll want to make this wonderful Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake With Chocolate Icing This is a favorite with pretty much all age groups, and even those people who say Thanksgiving should be all about the pies. I’m not even normally a cake person and I love it!

Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake With Chocolate Icing

Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake With Chocolate Icing

If you want to do a different apple dessert, my Worlds Best Apple Spice Cake With Creamy Vanilla Butter Sauce would be a great choice. It’s easy to throw together the day before you need it and then just warm up the sauce when ready to cut and serve. Again, I’m not huge on cakes, which is why if you see me posting one, you know it MUST be good.

Worlds Best Apple Spice Cake With Creamy Vanilla Butter Sauce

Worlds Best Apple Spice Cake With Creamy Vanilla Butter Sauce

Or maybe you prefer a classic apple dessert? I find myself going for this Old Fashioned Apple Crisp all year round, but it’s a delicious choice on Thanksgiving!Old Fashioned Apple Crisp 2

I have a couple of desserts for you that are a bit more elegant, plus not as heavy. The first is one I love; my Elegant And Easy Lemon Almond Cake. This cake is light and filled with the flavor of almond and lemon; perfect for the family members who want a little something for dessert, but don’t want the heavier sweets.

Elegant & Easy Lemon Almond Cake

Elegant & Easy Lemon Almond Cake

The other one is one of my more recent creations- these Skillet Pears With Autumn Spiced Caramel Sauce. These are wonderful if you have a smaller gathering. The pears end up tender and juicy and the caramel sauce is fantastic.Skillet Pears With An Autumn Spiced Caramel Sauce 9

So, what to do with leftovers once Thanksgiving is over? When you tire of just making a plate of leftovers, I have some things you can do with some of them. If the title says chicken, obviously you can sub in that leftover turkey staring you in the face.

We love Mexican food in my house. Yes, I know that much of what we all call Mexican food has been totally Americanized, but it’s still delicious, so who cares? One of my family’s favorites are these Cheesy Chicken (Turkey) And Chorizo Enchiladas. They have the perfect mix of creamy, spicy and cheesy. I make them all year round, but they are a perfect way to use up leftovers.Cheesy Chicken And Chorizo Enchiladas 2

Everyone makes soup after Thanksgiving. But I have one here that doesn’t need to have you simmering stock for hours on end. I can eat a boatload of my Quick And Easy Turkey, Bacon And Cheese Chowder. This is comfort food at its best and it doesn’t have to cook for hours.Quick & Easy Turkey, Bacon & Cheese Chowder

Along the Mexican lines again, I almost always make a pan of White Chicken (Turkey) Enchiladas in the week after Thanksgiving. These are soooo darn good and everyone scarfs them down.

Creamy, Cheesy White Chicken Enchiladas

Creamy, Cheesy White Chicken Enchiladas

You may still have some turkey left even after those (I know I will; I always buy too much!) so my Cheaters Easy Chicken (Turkey) And Dumplings never fails me. It’s warming, comforting and filling and tastes great!

Cheaters Easy, Creamy Chicken & Dumplings

Cheaters Easy, Creamy Chicken & Dumplings

If you have leftover cranberry sauce (and you know you will), make a loaf of my Pumpkin Cranberry Bread. It’s an easy way to use up some of those leftovers and it makes a yummy breakfast or light snack.Easy Pumpkin Cranberry Breadthanksgiving

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Bon Appétit/ALDI $10.00 Challenge (Spicy Samosa Dinner Pie & Creamy Cucumber & Onion Salad)

Spicy Samosa Dinner Pie 4Creamy Cucumber Onion Salad 1



A couple of months ago, I was offered the opportunity to do a challenge for Bon Appétit and ALDI. Since Bon Appétit is one of my favorite magazines and web sites and I shop frequently at ALDI, it was a perfect fit for me. The challenge was to, like their resident chef did, to feed a family of four for under $10.00 dollars, using mainly ALDI ingredients. As a home cook who is always on a budget, that sounded cool to me.
A few years ago, I was under the impression that Aldi was a store that was limited in products, was all generic, didn’t carry GOOD products, etc. I have met many people who have thought the same. We all couldn’t have been more wrong! ALDI was started in 1961 in Germany (that, by the way, still shows as you can find a good amount of German products there, which is wonderful for those, like me, who lived in Germany at one time and still miss it!) and at this point, they have over 1400 stores in 32 states and are a major employer of more than 20,000 people. ALDI manages to maintain its low prices in a variety of ways- 1) Volume Purchasing. They don’t have 100 aisles and a stock of 20,000 items. They run fairly small and have an average of 1300 different items per store, running the gamut from fresh produce to meats to frozen goods to staples to some health and beauty products. Many of the things can’t be found elsewhere and are delicious. I recently bought some French Onion Soup in their frozen section that was wonderful to just heat and eat on a night when I didn’t feel like cooking. 2) They have their own brands. While you can find specials in there that are name brand, the majority of their products are their own brands and are tested, making them just as good, if not better, than the pricier name brand products. 3) Special Buys- ALDI has weekly special buys. These can include certain food products, small kitchen appliances there (I got a panini press there a few years back for under $20 dollars that we still use!) and seasonal items. ALDI’s is a blast to go to near Christmas. That whole German Christmas spirit comes out full force! And, 4) they are very definitely no frills. Not in a bad way, just not fancy. You won’t go there and find ladies hawking samples of the newest food craze, nor does ALDI have a bank or a pharmacy. This helps you get in and out without being distracted by 900 other things AND it allows them to save you some hard earned cash. Plus, at ALDI, you aren’t paying for them to supply you with things like cheap plastic bags that break if you put more than half a pound of food in them. You can either bring your own bags, which from what I’ve seen, is what most people do, or you can buy good old fashioned paper bags from them for 6 cents apiece. When it comes to the grocery carts, there is no teenage boy going out and gathering them up. The carts are made so that you insert a quarter in the slot of a cart that is attached to all the rest. That frees the cart, you shop, then when you’re done, reattach the cart and out pops your quarter. I like to use this as a lesson for my boys in paying it forward each time by leaving the cart there with the quarter in it for someone else to use. It’s the little things, right? 🙂
With ALDI products, as I mentioned above, you can find a little of everything. They have fantastic cheeses, which always draw me in. They also have convenience products, things like frozen egg rolls, which my husband adores or the squeezable applesauce packets, so loved by the little ones and that we frequently include in Joshies lunch. The other day, I bought some fantastic frozen manicotti for myself. 😀
Not sure where an ALDI is near you or even if there is one at all? If you check out this link, you can use their store locator to find a store near you. Curious about their products? This fact sheet shows you some of their products; things they have actually won awards for. Go check it out!
Now for the food! I wanted to do something a little bit different. I have mentioned before that I absolutely love Indian food. Well, I decided to try my own variation on the Samosa, making it easier by turning it into a one crust pie. This way, you’re not frying it and adding 5000 calories to it, plus the easy factor is definitely there. This pie is spicy, slightly exotic, yet still homey and comforting. I mean…pie! I served it with a cooling and creamy cucumber onion salad. You eat the pie and the mild burn hits you, then a bite of the salad leaves you saying, “ahhh”, lol. Here is my breakdown of cost. I was tickled to see that I came in a fair amount under the $10 dollar limit. Some of the ingredients I had to buy in larger amounts than what I used in the recipe, such as the ground beef, so I froze part and will use that another time and estimated my cost with just the parts I used.
For the pie-
Ground Beef- a 2lb package, of which I used half, was $8.00 dollars (this is delicious 80/20 beef, so not low quality in the least.)- $4.00
Can of diced potatoes- ( 15 ounce can)- 65¢
Frozen peas- 1 lb bag was 95¢ (I used 1 cup, so about 40¢)
Onion- 89¢ (I used a bit more than half, so we’ll estimate 50¢)
Red pepper- 90¢.( I used about 3/4 of it altogether, so about 23¢)
package of refrigerator pie crusts-$1.89- (I used one of the crusts, freezing the other for another time, so about 95¢)
Cucumber salad-
Bag of seedless cucumbers (which were baby sized and adorable, btw! 😛 )$1.89. I used about half, so 95¢
More onion and red pepper- included in cost above
Yogurt- a large 32 ounce container was $1.89 ( I used 1/2 cup, so about 25¢ worth.
Various spices, salt and pepper and the jalapeno, for both dishes- 25¢ or so.
Grand Total- $8.18.
So, for about $8 dollars, I fed myself, a 20 year old male, my husband and a six year old boy. And there is still a serving left of the pie for my husband for lunch tomorrow and some of the cucumber salad as well. Not bad, ehh? A filling meal that includes protein, carbs, veggies and even dairy for $8 dollars.
You know the drill. Get to cooking!

Spicy Samosa Dinner Pie

  • 1 pound ALDI ground beef
  • 1 15 ounce can Happy Harvest diced potatoes, well drained
  • 1 cup Seasons Choice frozen peas
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup diced red pepper
  • 1 tablespoon diced jalapeno (you could sub in a teaspoon of red pepper flakes if you prefer)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (feel free to use a touch more if you like. I personally love cinnamon in savory dishes)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons mild curry powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup hot water or beef broth
  • 2 teaspoon lemon juice (bottles is fine, fresh is better)
  • 1 refrigerator pie crust, room temp
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • salt for sprinkling on the crust
  • Cucumber salad-
  • 2 cups thinly sliced seedless baby cucumbers (about 4 cucumbers)
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red pepper
  • 1/2 cup Fit & Active plain yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dry dill weed
  • 1 teaspoon salt (taste after prep and add more salt if you feel it needs it. Tastes vary on salt)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large cast iron pan ( or other oven safe pan), combine the ground beef, onion, garlic, red pepper and jalapeno (if using). Brown the meat over medium heat, stirring frequently to soften the veggies and thoroughly cook the ground beef.
  2. When done, drain well, then return to pan. Add the drained potatoes, the peas, the spices, and the salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, for about five minutes. You want to get the spices from that harsh, raw taste to slightly cooked.
  3. Add in the hot water or beef broth as well as the lemon juice. This will help the pie not get dried out in the oven.
  4. Unroll the pie crust and lay it gently over the meat mixture. Tuck it in around the edges. Brush the crust with the melted butter, then sprinkle with some salt; about 1/4 teaspoon or so should do it. Cut a slit in the middle of the pie crust.
  5. Bake it at 350 degrees until the crust is golden brown, about 45 minutes. Remember; the filling is already cooked, so the only purpose of this is to cook the crust.
  6. While the pie cooks, make the cucumber salad. In a medium bowl, combine the cucumber, onion and red pepper. Give it a toss with a wooden spoon, then add in the yogurt, vinegar, sugar, dill, salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Let it sit for about 5 minutes, then stir it again, making sure to get the bottom of the bowl. Cover the bowl and refrigerate the salad until ready to serve. Stir once more just before serving. This salad is best on the day it’s made, so don’t make it before the day you want to serve it. The liquid from the cukes and the yogurt will make it watery otherwise.
  7. When the pie is done, let it cool for just a couple of minutes, then serve it up, with a side of cucumber salad!

Spicy Samosa Dinner Pie 1Creamy Cucumber Onion Salad 3

Easy Cheesy Baked Spaghetti

Easy Cheesy Baked Spaghetti

Easy Cheesy Baked Spaghetti



(Sorry; I know that’s not the best photo ever. By the time I realized that, half the dish was already gone and it was too late. But that should say something about the taste at least 😀 )

I’ve never been a person for making New Years resolutions. They seem a perfect way to set oneself up for failure and turn yourself into an emotional punching bag- “Man, I resolved to lose 40 pounds this year and look at me! I gained weight instead! I’m such a loser!” (Not that I haven’t done that to myself; just not because of a resolution) or “I resolve to sock away 15% of my income this year and use it for a family vacation to Disney Land”, and then the car breaks down or you need to call a plumber and all your savings (of which there wasn’t much anyway because..well, life) are gone and you again feel like you failed.

I did however, a few weeks ago (so, before the new year; neener neener) make a decision about something; a decision I truly hope I can stick with and that doesn’t have that pesky little thing called life interfering. I realized that I need to spend more time here with all of you. More than once a week or less. I want to post at the very least two times a week, preferably even more. I want to promote my little blog on social media better as well as just chat on Facebook with all of you, though with facebooks plans later this month to basically hide all small page owners pages, I’m not sure how well that will work. But I want to try. I love my blog; I love those of you who faithfully follow my ramblings, but I don’t show it enough. So call it a resolution if you will…. but I am HOPING to be more of a presence in your lives from now if you’ll have me. It will be me, you, and you, and you, and lots of fat and calories. Ok, ok, at times I’ll be nice and throw something lower fat and lower calories your way, but c’mon, I’m a baking blog primarily. I bake. With butter. LOTS of butter. And sugar. It’s how I keep sane. Fine; semi sane.

I also plan to add a recipe index here. But that will take time, so bear with me during my renovation. ANDDDDD… I want to start doing a bit of non food posts; things like body scrubs, lotions, fun stuff for the ladies. 🙂

Did I mention that today is NOT one of those low fat, low calories sort of days? I’m assuming the photo made that clear, however. 😀 This is cheesy, it’s gooey, it wonderfully messy and it’s also extremely easy. You could make this even quicker if you wanted to by subbing in jarred sauce for the homemade. But really, there’s no need to. This is pretty quick.

Easy Cheesy Baked Spaghetti

  • 12 ounces spaghetti, cooked as directed (just until al dente), drained and set aside in a large bowl
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 3 tablespoons chopped garlic (hey, I like garlic. Use more or less as desired)
  • 2/3 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1 lb ground beef, cooked, crumbled and drained (you could also sub ground turkey or chopped chicken, add some sausage or even use no meat at all; make this your own)
  • 2 15 ounce cans diced tomatoes (I used fire roasted- use your favorite)
  • 1 14.5 ounce jar of Prego Alfredo sauce
  • 2 tablespoons squeezable Basil paste (found in the produce section of the grocery store)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (cuts the acidity of the tomatoes)
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, tossed with
  • 2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Preheat your oven to 350. Lightly grease a 3 quart baking dish.
  2. Pour the olive oil into a medium pot. Over medium heat, stirring frequently,saute the chopped onions, garlic and green pepper until soft and tender, about 6 to 8 minutes.
  3. Add in the ground beef, the 2 cans of diced tomatoes, the Alfredo sauce, the basil, oregano and the salt and sugar. Stir to combine.
  4. Bring to a simmer over just barely medium heat, stirring often to prevent sticking to the bottom.
  5.  Simmer for about ten minutes, just long enough to let the flavors meld. Pour the sauce over the pasta and carefully stir to combine them.  Add in half of the cheese mixture and stir again.
  6. Pour the mixture into the baking dish.
  7. Sprinkle with the rest of the combined cheddar and mozzarella, then sprinkle with the Parmesan. Bake at 350 until bubbly and lightly browned on top, about 25 to 30 minutes.
  8. Serve with garlic bread and lots of napkins 😀

Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission.

While you’re here, don’t forget to go to this post and enter my giveaway! You could win a Hamilton Beach Stack and Snap™ 10 Cup Food Processor! Believe me when I say this is a handy dandy appliance to have!

Spicy Two Meat Slow Cooker Chili (And A Giveaway!)

Spicy Two Meat Slow Cooker Chili

Spicy Two Meat Slow Cooker Chili


We’re well into the school year and I don’t know about you, but it seems like half the time, I’m so busy with chauffeuring here and there, plus doctors appointments for physicals and vaccinations, etc, etc, that I end up saying “it’s snack night!” to my kids when they ask whats for dinner. Then I feel guilty because what happens is they eat cereal (they’re thrilled with that; me, not so much) for dinner and everyone ends up spread out chowing down on foods that I normally prefer not be served. One will be in his room, eating sandwiches. Two will be parked in front of the TV, watching Uncle Grandpa (Lord, I loathe that show) while my husband and I will be sitting in front of our computers. NOT exactly a family friendly eating experience and NOT how I want my kids childhoods to be. My husband working third shift exacerbates the problem because half the time, after getting the kids to school, I’ll come back and lay down with him and before I know it, half the day is gone and no dinner prep was made.

So what do I do more often now? Yep; you guessed it. The trusty slow cooker comes out. I own about 5 of them. The problem is, most of them are either too small or too limited on their usages (high or low, that’s it for settings) , so I let them sit and gather dust. So when I was contacted again as a Hamilton Beach Ambassador and asked if I wanted to try out their Set ‘n Forget® 6 Qt. Programmable Slow Cooker With Spoon/Lid I was thrilled. Finally, I would have a slow cooker that I didn’t have to babysit.

This cooker is pretty awesome. You can either manually set it for how many hours you want the food to cook and set for high or low. Then once it has timed out, it automatically clicks over to warm. That way the food doesn’t overcook or get too cold to serve. Another option is, if you’re cooking, say, a roast or a whole chicken or maybe a turkey breast, you can use the included temperature probe. You insert it through a hole in the top of the lid right down into the meat, set the cooker for the temp you want the meat to come to and when it reaches that temp, it shuts off. Again, no overcooked dry chicken breast meat or stringy pork roasts because you forgot them.

I can honestly say I love this slow cooker. Yes, they sent me one for free, but my opinion is still honest. So much so that I’ll mention the ONE thing I didn’t like about it. The outside tends to get really hot, so you need to make sure this isn’t in reach of little ones.But other than that, I love it and have used it multiple times already.

Guess what else? Hamilton Beach has graciously offered to let me give one of these slow cookers to one of you. This is a $59.99 value and it’s just in time for colder weather (or as a great Christmas gift to someone, maybe?)  Plus, as the holidays get closer, we’re all going to be busier and you know darn well that having dinner on the table every night can be a hassle. So this is the perfect time to win this.

All you need to do is enter down below by commenting and using the optional methods in the rafflecopter box. Tell me what would be the first thing you’d make if you won this and there is one entry!

If you need an idea, I have a fantastic chili recipe for you. This is spicy, but not so spicy the kiddos can’t eat it. My six year old loved it. It uses chorizo sausage as well as the typical ground beef and some other ingredients that all add up to a warming, comforting, soothing bowl of chili. Serve this with some sides of fresh onions, cheese, sour cream and maybe crackers or tortillas and you’ve got a wonderful meal as well as some leftovers for lunch or dinner tomorrow. You know the drill… 🙂

Spicy Two Meat Slow Cooker Chili

 

 

 

  • 2 lbs ground chuck
  • 1 lb chorizo (removed from casings and crumbled if link style)
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped green pepper
  • 3/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1 14 to 16 ounce can of chili beans (your preference on heat)
  • 2 16 ounce cans kidney beans, well drained
  • 1 16 ounce can pinto beans, well drained
  • 1 16 ounce can diced tomatoes (regular or chili style; your choice. I prefer the chili style)
  • 2 whole jalapenos in adobo sauce, finely chopped (store the rest in a container in the fridge) (use more or less as desired)
  • 1 4 ounce can chopped green chiles
  • 1/4 cup hot sauce (I use franks because I like that is has flavor along with the heat)
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 to 2 ounces chili powder (I use Bloemers)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  1. In a large pan, crumble and saute the ground chuck until brown. Drain and toss into the slow cooker. Brown the chorizo. Don’t drain this when done; just scoop it out and put it in the slow cooker.
  2.  Toss the onions, green pepper and celery into the drippings form the chorizo. Stir to mix, cover and cook over medium heat until the onions and celery are soft and limp, about 5 to 7 minutes. Stir once or twice during the cooking.
  3. Add the veggies to the crock pot; stir to combine.
  4. Add all the other ingredients, in order given (makes stirring easier), then stir to combine.
  5. Set your slow cooker for 4 hours on low.. Halfway through cooking, open it up (make sure you’re quick; slow cookers lose heat quickly and can take quite a while to reheat back up) and give it a good stir. Re-cover it and let it finish cooking.
  6. When done, stir it well and serve. This is excellent served with sides such as cheese, sour cream, green or red onions and cilantro. I also love mine wrapped up in a tortilla. My family, on the other hand are firmly in the cracker camp. Do what makes you happy. 😀
     Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission.

I was provided with a slow cooker as compensation, but all opinions in this post are 100% my own!

To enter the giveaway, just scroll down to the raffle copter giveaway form!

Hamilton Beach Set & Forget® 6 Qt. Programmable Slow Cooker With Spoon/Lid

Hamilton Beach Set & Forget® 6 Qt. Programmable Slow Cooker With Spoon/Lid

 

Product Features

 

 

    • Three (3) choices for easy, automatic cooking: program, probe and manual

 

  • Probe mode is perfect for cooking large cuts of meat or for recipes that require food to reach a certain temperature
  • Thermometer probe reads the actual temperature of food as it cooks; the temperature is displayed on the slow cooker control panel
  • Travel-friendly design secures contents en route to parties, potlucks, family gatherings and tailgating
  • The lid securely seals in place with sturdy wire clips on each handle
  • 6 quart removable stoneware crock fits a 6 lb. chicken or a 4 lb. roast
  • Wraparound, even heat cooks food evenly and consistently
  • Full-grip handles make carrying heavy meals easier
  • Power interrupt protection keeps slow cooker on during a brief power outage
  • Questions are supported by a toll-free call center located in the U.S.
  • Backed with a one-year warranty

 

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

The Meatloaf That Ate Manhattan

The Meatloaf That Ate Manhattan is happy... and full of Manhattanites 😛

“Meatloaf, Scmeatloaf!!!” Anyone else love the movie “A Christmas Story”? You know the one… set during the depression, narrated by Ralphie, the main character? I love the scene where they are sitting down to dinner and meatloaf is being served. He lets out a groan and mumbles under his breath, “Meatloaf, Schmeatloaf” and the narrator says something to the effect of  “My brother had not eaten voluntarily in three years” followed by the mother getting him to eat in ways which still leave me both grossed out and laughing my butt off. I definitely identify when the narrator says “My mother had not eaten a hot meal in twenty years”. Yeah… I can get behind that one :-P.

Meatloaf  has a really really bad reputation and so many people are convinced that they absolutely hate it. I personally think they just haven’t had a good one. Because made incorrectly, meatloaf can be some nassssttttyyyyyy stuff. I actually knew someone once whose idea of making meatloaf was to take ground beef, throw in some oatmeal, salt and pepper and then bake that. *shudders* There you have the reasoning behind the bad rep. People don’t do anything to season it well or they cook it until it is a rock; they don’t glaze it etc etc etc. Add all the bad skits in movies and on TV surrounding it and it’s no wonder no one likes it.

Personally, I love meatloaf.  Well, when I am the one that’s made it.  By now, you know I can’t do anything that is screaming “I’m PLAIN!!!!”. I have to give things a bit of kick. Not necessarily heat; just a lot of flavor. I’m not any different when it comes to making meatloaf. I want flavor, not a dry crumbly loaf that tastes only of ground beef. B…o…r…i…n…gggggg.

So give this a try if you like meat loaf. Give this a try if you think you dislike meatloaf. Give this a try if you are the parent or s/o of a meat loaf hater. If you still don’t like it (or they don’t), I’ll make something sweet and creamy. Ok, so we all know I’ll do that anyway but you get my drift. Give it a try.

This meat loaf is HUGE by the way. Seriously. This could be a small uninhabited island if it weren’t a meatloaf. Or a rocket ship to Pluto, which btw, IS a planet. So feel free to cut this in half. I make it big here because we like the leftovers for lunch for a month or twelve. Nuttin’ better than a meatloaf sandwich. YUM!

Chili Cheese Stuffed Meatloaf

Aka The Meatloaf That Ate Manhattan

  • 2 pounds ground beef (preferably ground chuck)
  • 2 pounds ground veal
  • 2 pounds ground pork
  • 2 cups finely chopped onion (I use red onion because it tends to be more flavorful)
  • 1/4 cup chopped garlic (yes, you read that right)
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped green pepper
  • 2 tablespoons McCormick brand “Perfect Pinch Steak Seasoning” (or your favorite steak seasoning)
  • 2 teaspoons ground chipotle pepper (optional. It doesn’t really add heat in this amount, just a nice smokiness.)
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup Heinz 57 sauce
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 2/3 cups rolled oats (not instant)
  • 8 deli slices sharp cheddar or Colby cheese (I used 4 slices white cheddar and 4 slices Colby)
  • 1 small (3 ounces) can chopped green chilies (drained as well as one can drain a can of chilies)
  • GLAZE-
  •  2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a LARGE baking pan with foil.
  2. In a large bowl, mix all the loaf ingredients other than the meats, the cheese and the green chilies.
  3. Add in the meat and mix well. Clean hands are the best tool for this because it’s hard to break up lumps otherwise. Remember; this is a lot of meat.
  4. Scoop half of the meat mixture out onto the baking pan. Shape into a large (did I mention how large this was?) loafish shape.
  5. Make an indentation all through the center of the meat, leaving about a half inch edge. Think of it as making a moat. 😛
  6. Pour the chilies on top and spread to the lip, edge, moat… whatever you want to call it.
  7. Lay the slices of cheese on top of this.
  8. Take the other half of the meat and cover the bottom half, sealing well around the edges (bye bye moat).
  9. Bake at 350 for about 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
  10. About halfway through baking, mix all the glaze ingredients in a medium bowl. Spoon about half of it over the top of the loaf and continue cooking. Heat the rest in the microwave and serve on the side with the meat loaf or drizzle over the top of each slice.
  11. This makes great sandwiches the next day drizzled with some of the glaze and a slice or two of fresh tomato

Yummy meat loaf, home made mashed potatoes and fresh corn. Can we say yummy!?

 

 

Call Them Delicious But Don’t Call Them Sliders

I’m not sure if I have mentioned before that I was born and raised on the South Side of Chicago (yes, that gets capital letters… 😛 ). I have been here in Kentucky since 1988 (Sobs as I realize I have lived here longer than some of my readers have been alive) but I am originally a city girl.

Everyone has heard of White Castle right? If you haven’t you either live outside the United States or have been here but need to periodically move away from the rock you live under. 😀 They originated right in the Midwest so I hold a rather possessive interest in them :-P. I loved them as a kid and I still love them. I was thrilled beyond sanity (not that doing something to take me past the point of sanity is difficult) when they finally opened a store not far from me. Ok, so it’s 30 miles but when you live in the sticks, near and far become very relative terms. I don’t get them often but oh my do I love those greasy little bite sized pieces of oniony heaven.

Being from the Midwest (Chicago in case I didn’t say that loud enough earlier and no, I’ve never been involved in a drive by. You have no idea how many times I’ve been asked that), I find myself getting mildly annoyed when I hear every sort of mini burger one could think of (most quite yummy but that’s neither here nor there) being called sliders. THEY AREN’T SLIDERS! THEY AREN’T THEY AREN’T THEY AREN’T!!! Ok, that’s out of my system now. However,  “Sliders” can only be bought at White Castle and even then, one doesn’t go in and place an order saying “I want 315 sliders”. Do that and the employees and other customers will know you spend far too much time paying attention to weird media sources. They are just hamburgers… or maybe “White Castles” if you are in the middle of Chicago ordering them. But the mini, small, tiny, minute, teenie, call them what you will, burgers that get made at home are not sliders. Shhh…don’t argue. They aren’t. Just trust me.

That doesn’t mean they aren’t delicious and fun as hell to eat though. So make a big batch of these mini burgers ( Did you notice I didn’t call them sliders? Did ya see? Huh huh huh?) cover them with the tangy sweet onion relish and slather some extra cheese and the Cajun mayo and eat until you burst. Since these are mini, they have no calories. You knew that right? Small means no calories. The calories dissolve before they get to your stomach. Just a little FYI for you there.

CHEESY CHIPOTLE MINI BURGERS WITH AN ONION RELISH

&

A SPICY CAJUN MAYO

  • For the burgers-
  • 3 pounds ground chuck
  • 1/2 of a 7 ounce can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, finely chopped
  • 12 ounces shredded Colby jack cheese (sub your favorite if Colby jack doesn’t do it for you)
  • 2 cloves minced garlic or 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 12 packs of mini burger buns
  • For the onion relish-
  • 3 large onions, sliced thin
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • For the spicy Cajun mayo
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
  • 2 tablespoons salt free cajun seasoning (if you only have salted, be more careful on amounts and taste as you go so it doesn’t end up over salted)
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • salt to taste if using the salt free seasoning
  1. For the mayo, mix all the ingredients together and then refrigerate until serving time. See how easy that was? 😛
  2. For the relish, add the olive oil and sliced onions to a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the onions are softened, about 5 minutes. Stir frequently. Turn heat down to low (about 3 on an electric stove) and cover the pan, Stirring occasionally, cook the onions until they are golden brown, about 20 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar, salt and brown sugar. Stir well and cook over medium heat until the vinegar is totally absorbed, about five minutes. Set aside until ready to serve.
  3. For the burgers, mix all the burger ingredients together. Don’t over work it; just mix until combined. Shape the meat into 24 small burgers. Cook via your favorite method. I used my George Foreman grill. If you’re going to use a regular grill, I highly suggest using one of those wire grill pans that holds small things unless you LIKE digging through the coals for your food 😛


I Want A Cow Named Herman

 

Or maybe I can name him Stanley. Or Shakespeare. Or I could just name him Dinner and be honest about it.

One of my many pipe dreams is to own a good amount of land and be self sufficient. Live off the grid so to speak. I want a solar paneled house, generators just in case, a large (I mean like half an acre or more) garden, many many fruit and nut trees (and vines and bushes), a clean well, a fully stocked pond and animals. Many many animals. I want pigs (yes I would name them too… possibly Wilbur. Or Lunch.) chickens, ducks, geese, goats and cows. Also cats, dogs, hamsters and monkeys. Many monkeys.

Why you ask? Because our economy is sinking ever downwards for one and I like to plan ahead but also because, even though I know it would be hard work, I have always loved the idea of having a working farm. One that enables us to be utterly NOT dependent on anyone but ourselves. That and because meat is so darn expensive!

I know myself and my family though. Here is what would really happen. We would cultivate the land, have many many fruits and veggies. We would care for these named animules (sorry, they are animules. My dad always used that as the word and I continue it in his name 😀 ). They would grow and be healthy and happy. Joshie would ride on their backs and pet them. Jordan would lovingly brush them. Zachie would have to be stopped from putting saddles on them to prove to the world that he is macho and capable of riding a two ton bull named Don Corleone.

They would then take over the house because not a one of us would ever be able to kill them and eat them. They would sleep in our beds, hogging the covers and turning the heat too high, steal the remote for the TV and only watch The Simpsons and Animal Planet. They would eat my Twinkies and Cheetos which I’m pretty sure is a mortal sin, burp a lot, wear wife beaters around the house and tell me to go make them a sammich. Within a year, we would be the ones sleeping in the barn waiting for the final execution date and our lives would be a vivid remix and remake of both Soylent Green with a large gun toting cow playing Charlton Hestons part and Planet of the Apes with us in old Charlies role of running from the animals so that they didn’t cage us. Hmmm, did you ever notice that Charlton Heston played in some really strange depressing movies?

In the meantime however, I will continue to get my meat from the grocery store wrapped in plastic on a nice Styrofoam tray. I will do my best to NOT name my fried chicken and steaks just as I didn’t name the pot roast I made. Somehow, it’s ok to eat it if I didn’t cuddle it and name it first and scoot over on the couch so that it could watch The Simpsons..

This isn’t a quick dish here. The way I make it it takes two days because I partially cook it then refrigerate it to let the grease harden then scoop that off. If you’re not as grease averse as I am however (makes me sick as can be) you can forgo the refrigerating step and go straight to the transferring from the stove top to the oven stage. It’s still not a dish to plan on making when you get home from work however. This is a great weekend “I’m actually able to get the whole family to the table” type of dinner. This is homey and comforting and perfect for a Winters night or just a cool rainy night any time of the year.

  • Red Wine Braised Pot Roast
  • 1 3 to 5 pound chuck roast (usually will have a label on it saying “good for braising or pot roasts”. Get any roast that says that.)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cans beef broth
  • 2 cups dry red wine (I used a Pinot Noir)
  • 2 large onions, each cut into 8 wedges
  • 3 cloves chopped garlic
  • 2 shallots, sliced thin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried Rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon dried Thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery salt or celery seed
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 pounds small red (or Yukon gold) potatoes
  • 1 pound carrots, topped and cut into three pieces (two if it’s a particularly small carrot)
  1. In a large pan (I use a 12 inch deep chicken frying pan), add your olive oil. Heat for about 90 seconds over medium high heat then carefully add your roast. Cover the pan and let sear until nicely browned, about five minutes. Turn to the other side and repeat.
  2. When it is browned, take it out and set aside. Add the onions, garlic and shallots to the pan. Cook until they are soft and the onions are lightly browned. Add the red wine and deglaze the pan, scraping to get up all the little browned bits.  Add in the herbs, celery seed and Worcestershire sauce.
  3. Add the roast back to the pan. Add the 2 cans of beef broth. Cover tightly and turn the heat down to a simmer (about 3 on an electric stove)
  4. Let cook for 90 minutes, keeping it covered.
  5. Turn off heat. Transfer the roast to a large foil lined baking pan or LARGE Dutch Oven. You need room for the veggies you’ll be putting in there. Add in the carrots and potatoes around the roast. CAREFULLY pour the hot braising liquid all over the meat and vegetables.
  6. Now you can either let this cool enough to be easy to carry with no fear of burning the crap out of yourself and refrigerate it until the next day or continue with the oven cooking. If you want to put it in the fridge, cover it tightly with foil, then the next day, uncover it, scoop off any hardened grease and discard that.
  7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  8. Cover tightly with foil again and cook at 350 for about 2 hours. By then the meat will be falling apart tender and the vegetables fully cooked and nicely flavored with the pan juices.
  9. If you want to make a gravy out of this (I usually just serve it with the pan sauces as is) strain out the pan juices through a mesh strainer into a medium pot. Put those onions back in that pan with the other veggies though. They are by this time practically melted down to nothing and very sweet and taste delicious. Don’t waste them! 😛
  10. Take the strained liquid and heat to boiling. Take 1/3 cup flour and slowly (do it quickly and you will have more lumps than you can ever get out) add 1 cup of the liquid to it to make a soupy paste. Slowly pour this back into the pot of boiling liquid, whisking all the time. Turn the heat down to about 4 or 5 and stirring constantly, cook until nice and thickened. Season this to taste with salt and pepper.

Herman The Cannibal Cow waiting for his share. He's NOT getting mine.