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. ๐Ÿ˜›

Let’s start with entrees. Because…turkey…ham. Yummy. ๐Ÿ˜€

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. ๐Ÿ˜›ย  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 ๐Ÿ˜€ ) 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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Cheesy Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta

Cheesy Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta

Cheesy Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta

I have a writing pad that I write recipe ideas in. It’s totally not pretty; just a typical notepad. Half the things in it are so scribbled that I’m the only one that can read them. My writing is atrocious at the best of times (leftie here!), but when I get an idea for something at 3am (yes, this is a curse of food blogging), it is even worse. When I finally try to create what my mind thought up in the throes of sleep, it gets crossed off of the list. The list, however, is NEVER going to get finished, because I keep adding to it. One of the things that was in there for ages was to try to recreate one of my favorite dishes, which is chicken cordon bleu, as a pasta dish. I love it the regular way, but it’s such a pain in the tush to make; pound the chicken down, roll it up with the ham and cheese, get it breaded, fry it, and then do the clean up. Ugh.

So, while I realize it’s not new; you can find 50,000 versions of this online, this is MY version of a chicken cordon bleu pasta. My family really enjoyed this one. It made a pretty full pan of pasta, but other than a little bit my husband took to lunch the next day, it ALL got eaten. Of course, I live with all males, two of whom are 19 and 21, but still…

This turned out quite well, if I do say so myself. Tender pasta filled with chunks of ham, slices of chicken (I cheated and use the packaged slices; SO much easier!), all in an ultra creamy Swiss and Gruyere cheese sauce with a little bit of peas mixed in for color and to convince myself that this is chock full of nutrition instead of fat and calories. ๐Ÿ˜€ย  So, so delicious!

You know the drill… ๐Ÿ™‚

Cheesy Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta

  • 10 ounces of your favorite pasta (I used fusilli just cause they are a fun shape), cooked and drained (reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water just in case you need to thin the sauce) and poured into a large bowl or pot
  • 16 ounces cooked, cubed ham
  • 12 ounces cooked, sliced chicken breast (I cheated and used the prepackaged slices in the lunch meat/deli area of the grocery store)
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed (leave them sit out for ten minutes… they’ll be thawed enough)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 2 3/4 cup milk (I used whole. I don’t suggest trying this with skim or 1%)
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 6 ounces Swiss cheese, shredded and combined with
  • 8 ounces Gruyere cheese, shredded, and
  • 2 ounces grated Parmesan cheese (the REAL stuff, not the cheap canned type)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried dill weed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (taste the sauce before adding salt. Some Parmesan can be pretty salty and you may not need as much or even any at all)
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter an oven safe pan or medium sized dutch oven. In a medium heavy bottomed saucepot, melt the butter. Stir in the flour and cook over low heat for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  2. Slowly whisk in the milk, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. When you have all the milk in, switch over to a spoon or rubber spatula and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, JUST until the mixture comes to a light boil.
  3. Slowly whisk about 1 cup of the milk mixture into the beaten eggs. You’re trying to temper the eggs (heat them up slowly) so that they don’t scramble when added back into the rest of the milk. Once the full cup of milk has been whisked into the eggs, slowly pour the eggs back into the milk mixture, stirring constantly. Cook over low heat for about a minute.
  4. Pull out 1/2 cup of the mixed cheeses and reserve to top the pasta with. Dump the rest of the combined cheese into the milk and stir constantly, until melted. Take the pot off of the heat and stir in the dill weed, Dijon mustard and black pepper. Taste for saltiness and then add the salt if needed.
  5. Dump the ham, chicken and peas over the reserved pasta and stir. Pour the cheese sauce over the pasta mixture and stir to combine. If the sauce seems too thick, use some of the reserved pasta water to thin it down.
  6. Spoon the pasta into the prepared pan or dutch oven and smooth the top. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top. Sprinkle with a little extra dill weed, if desired.
  7. Bake at 350 just until heated through and slightly bubbly around the edges, about 15 to 20 minutes. Serve hot.

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Cheesy Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta

Cheesy Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta

 

 

 

Cheesy Meatball And Sausage Pasta Bake

Cheesy Meatball And Sausage Pasta Bake

Cheesy Meatball And Sausage Pasta Bake



Sometimes, you just want easy. You either aren’t up to or don’t have time for pasta sauce made with organic home grown tomatoes and fresh basil. You don’t want to fuss with rolling tiny meatballs using beef that you raised yourself, slaughtered humanely (not even sure what that MEANS) and added freshly grated Parmesan to…from cheese that you made yourself.

You just want….easy. Quick. Tasty. Get me in the kitchen and out. Maybe even make enough at once that I can freeze some for another time when I’m feeling extremely lazy too busy to fuss with a huge multi course meal.

So you cheat a little. You buy some good quality jarred sauce for your pasta and doctor it up. You buy meatballs from the frozen aisle at the grocery store. You add in some spices, some delicious Italian sausage, toss it all with your favorite pasta and voila… dinner for tonight and if you make the whole recipe of what I’m about to share, dinner for 2 to 3 more nights in the future, all nicely frozen. Just wrap tightly in foil, label and freeze. Then the next time you don’t feel like cooking because you instead want to veg out in front of netflix and an orgy of Criminal Minds… I mean, next time life gets busy and you are teaching little Suzy to play the Cello while also supervising little Tommy’s soon to be award winning science fair experiment, you’ll have dinner ready to thaw and toss in the oven.

You’re welcome.

You know the drill…..

Keep in mind that this makes a lot deliberately. if you want just enough for one meal with maybe leftovers for lunch, cut it in half.

Cheesy Meatball And Sausage Pasta Bake

  • 2 lbs of your favorite tube type pasta (I used Rigatoni), cooked according to package directions, drained and set aside
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped green pepper
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 2 lb bag frozen Italian style meatballs, thawed
  • 1 lb Italian sausage links, cooked, then coarsely chopped or sliced thin
  • 2 24 ounce jars of pasta sauce (just use your favorite flavor)
  • 1 15 ounce jar Alfredo sauce
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 1/4 pounds Mozzarella cheese, grated (please don’t use the pre-grated stuff. it doesn’t melt as well)
  • Parmesan cheese for grating on top
  • If making full batch, foil pans and foil for long term freezer storage
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and spray a 13×9 dish (I personally prefer glass because it doesn’t leave any ‘off” tastes in food) with cooking spray.
  2. Pour the olive oil in a LARGE pot. Add in the chopped onion, green pepper and minced garlic. Saute over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the veggies are limp and tender, but not browned. Dump the meatballs and Italian sausage in and stir for just a minute or two.
  3. Pour in the pasta sauce, the Alfredo sauce and the red wine. Sprinkle with the Italian seasoning and give it all a good stir. Let come to a simmer, stirring occasionally.ย  Now, here’s why I had you use a LARGE pot.
  4. Dump in the cooked pasta. Use a large wooden spoon to stir it all up and get the pasta all coated with sauce.
  5. Sprinkle about 3/4 of the Mozzarella cheese into the pasta, about half of that amount at a time. Stir to combine and then after it is well mixed, add the next part.
  6. Scoop or pour about 1/4 of the mixture into the prepared 13×9 baking dish. Divide the rest between two to three greased square foil pans.
  7. Sprinkle the one you’re using now with the remainder of the grated Mozzarella cheese as well as some grated Parmesan and bake in a 350 degree oven until browned and bubbly, about 35 to 40 minutes.
  8. Wrap the foil pans tightly in a double layer of foil, label the contents and freeze. To reheat them, just set the pan in the fridge early on the morning you want to make it, then about an hour before you’re ready to eat, place in a preheated 350 degree oven. Bake for about 35 minutes, still wrapped. Unwrap the dish, sprinkle with Mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses and continue baking until browned and bubbly.

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

Cheesy Meatball And Sausage Pasta Bake

Cheesy Meatball And Sausage Pasta Bake

Cheesy Chicken And Chorizo Enchiladas

 

Cheesy Chicken And Chorizo Enchiladas

Cheesy Chicken And Chorizo Enchiladas



Do you have those things that your family wishes you’d make more often, but for whatever reason, you just don’t make more than once in a blue moon? Yeah. Me, too. My family loves enchiladas, but for some odd reason, when I’m not actually in the process of making them, my mind tells me they are a chore to make. Mind you, they aren’t a quick 30 minute meal; not if you’re doing them correctly, but neither are they as tedious as my lazy, I’d much prefer to sit in my recliner, read and eat Cheetos mind tells me they are.

That said, don’t expect to start these at 4pm and expect to have dinner on the table by 6. Don’t ask me how I know this, please. Thank you. Seriously though, when I make enchiladas, I do two things- I make a large batch like this is and I make them over two days. Why? Because I’m lazy and this way we can eat delicious enchiladas for two days straight or I can freeze half of them. Easiest way to do this? Get your meats and veggies cooked the first day, then just cool, mix with the cheese and shove it into a bowl and chill it till the next day. Then the next day, all you have to do is make the sauce, then put all the separate components together and THEN you can have a quickly put together dinner. My lazy womans version of OAMD ๐Ÿ˜›

These are probably the best enchiladas I’ve ever made. The filling is mildly spicy, but not so much that wimps, I mean, the spice averse, in your life can’t handle them. They have a nice amount of cheese in the filling, but I was a good girl and didn’t do my usual overkill with the cheese, which is a bad habit I admit to having. Then on top, it’s smothered in a creamy, cheesy sauce. Say “yum” with me, class. And yes, there are a lot of ingredients, but nothing earth shattering or hard to work with.

You know the drill…

Remember, this will make two pans… I usually make one 13×9 and one 8 inch square pan with it, so feel free to halve it if it’s too much.

Cheesy Chicken And Chorizo Enchiladas

  • Filling-
  • 2 cans good quality chicken broth ( do NOT discard after cooking chicken)
  • 1 medium onion, cut in half
  • 1 heaping tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chopped jalapeno (leave the seeds if you want it spicier)
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 pound chorizo, casing removed if in links, then crumbled
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced jalapeno
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 4 ounce can chopped mild green chilies
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Spice Hunters Mexican Seasoning (you can get this straight from their site or you could sub the more readily available McCormick Southwestern Seasoning)
  • 8 ounces Queso Quesadilla cheese, shredded (a mild white melting Mexican cheese. You should be able to find it at any good grocery store)
  • Sauce-
  • 2 cups of the reserved cooking broth, strained
  • 5 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup half and half (you can use a less rich milk… but I’ll cry. Plus, the results may be watery)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Spice Hunter Mexican Seasoning (or the aforementioned McCormicks Southwestern seasoning)
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese
  • salt to taste
  • 12 6 inch (or 8 inch) corn tortillas
  • 12 8 inch flour tortillas
  • 1 cup of your favorite cheese for the top of the pans. (I used Colby-Jack)
  • Green onions, salsa and a squeeze of lime for garnish
  1. Make your chicken first- combine the broth, onion halves, garlic and jalapeno in a medium pot with the chicken thighs. The broth should just about cover them if you push them down a little. Cover the pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Try not to let it boil, cause that toughens meat.ย  let cook for about an hour, until nice and tender, but not falling apart.
  2. Let the meat cool in the broth until cool enough to handle, then take it out and cut into bite sized chunks. Strain the broth through a fine mesh strainer and discard solids. I then put the broth into a couple of jars and just put it up until the next day when I finish, but if you’re doing it all in one day, just pour 2 cups of broth into a measuring cup and set aside for now.
  3. While the chicken cools, cook your veggies and chorizo. In a large pan, cook the crumbled chorizo until it is browned. Scoop the meat out and put it into a large bowl, leaving the drippings behind.
  4. Add the chopped onion, chopped green pepper, garlic and jalapeno to the chorizo drippings. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the veggies are soft and lightly browned, about 7 minutes. Dump into the bowl with the chorizo. Add in the cubed chicken. let cool for about 20 minutes, then add in the green chilies and the Queso Quesadilla cheese. Stir well; add in the Mexican seasoning. Stir to combine and give it a taste to see if you think it needs more Mexican seasoning or a touch of salt. Now, you can either cover this and continue the next day or get the sauce made. If making now, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  5. For the sauce, put the 5 tablespoons flour into a medium pot. Slowly add in the half and half, stirring the whole time to prevent lumps. After all the half and half is incorporated, pour in the strained broth and stir well. Over medium heat, stirring constantly, heat the mixture until it thickens up, about 5 to 10 minutes. Remove form the heat, then stir in theย  Monterey jack cheese and the 1 1/2 teaspoons Mexican seasoning, stirring until the cheese is melted. taste for seasoning, adjust if needed (more Mexican seasoning, more salt) then put a lid on the pot (the condensation from the inner lid helps stop a skin from forming on a sauce) and set aside.
  6. Grease a 13×9 inch baking pan (I prefer glass) and an 8 inch square pan (not necessary if making a half batch). Wrap the tortillas in a damp paper towel and then warm them for 2 minutes in the microwave to make them more pliable.
  7. Take one corn tortilla and layer it on top of one flour tortilla. Scoop up (I just use my clean hands) a small handful of the meat/veggie mix and spread it down the middle of the layered tortillas. Roll the tortillas tightly and lay them, seam side down, in the prepared pan. Repeat until both pans are filled.
  8. ย Pour the sauce over the enchiladas (you’ll obviously use more on the bigger pan, so don’t try to divide evenly) and then sprinkle the cheese over the top. Bake in a 350 degree oven until bubbly and lightly browned on top, about 25 minutes. Serve hot with green onions and salsa for garnish and a squeeze of lime juice over the tops.

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Cheesy Chicken And Chorizo Enchiladas

Cheesy Chicken And Chorizo Enchiladas

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 ๐Ÿ˜€ )

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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. ๐Ÿ˜€ 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. ย 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.ย  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 ๐Ÿ˜€

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

Creamy, Cheesy White Chicken (Or Turkey) Enchiladas

Creamy, Cheesy White Chicken Enchiladas

Creamy, Cheesy White Chicken Enchiladas




I know, I know. Right now, all blogs, including mine, are supposed to be all about turkey, apples, pumpkin, cranberries and other holiday foods. Well, I WAS going to do a variation on pumpkin pie that I found online, but as I mentioned on my facebook page, it sucked. I mean, this was horrid. We ended up throwing out half of it and this is a household that can never get enough pumpkin pie, so that alone tells you something. So, for the last few days, I’ve been racking my brain trying to figure out what to post. The problem being that my brain is on hiatus due to a cold. Last I heard from it was a postcard saying it was in the Cayman Islands, sitting on a beach, soaking up the sun while drinking a Mai Tai. Damn brain…always leaves when the going gets tough.
I was just about to post something really fun, like liver and onions with a side of brains and eggs *gags just a wee bit* when it occurred to me that the impromptu dinner I was making was a perfect blog post. Quit glaring at me… I am well aware that one can find approximately 452,968 recipes for white chicken enchiladas online, but this is MY recipe and you all love me best. Right? Right? *hears crickets chirping and moves on*
Did I mention that this recipe uses cooked chicken, a la store bought rotisserie or leftover home cooked and that you could very easily swap out cooked leftover turkey in here? So see, I HAVE done something that is perfect for Thanksgiving. Well, the day after anyway. Serve some pumpkin pie for dessert and it’s like Thanksgiving all over again.

This was my way to use up leftover roast chicken we had. I had made two chickens because well…males. But then my 17 year old stayed at a friends house and we ended up with a ton of it leftover. I looked at a few recipes for chicken enchiladas but none of them appealed. I’m not a fan of cumin or coriander used plain (though I like them in blends) so I just threw this together my way. This isn’t difficult at all. Just saute your onions and garlic, add some ingredients to it, mix with the chicken, roll in tortillas, cover in sauce and bake.ย  I originally started this with corn tortillas but they were so darn small that I went to taco sized flour ones. But for a twist, I took a corn tortilla and layered it inside of each flour one to give the best of both worlds. It added another layer of flavor that we liked well enough that I think I’ll do it like this from now on.

These are creamy and cheesy and meaty with a mild bite but nothing too intense. With already cooked chicken, you can have dinner on the table in an hour. These are also large enchiladas so even though this makes just six, each enchilada could possibly serve two, depending on whom you’re feeding.

Well, you know the drill…. ๐Ÿ™‚

Creamy White Chicken Enchiladas

  • 5 to 6 cups chopped or shredded cooked chicken (or turkey) (one whole chicken)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 2 tablespoons chopped jalapenos (I used the jarred kind…less work)
  • 2 4 ounce cans chopped or diced green chiles, drained
  • 2 tablespoons Mrs. Dash Fiesta Lime seasoning
  • 1 package McCormick White Chicken Chili Seasoning
  • 1 pound Monterey Jack cheese, shredded, mixed with-
  • 1/2 pound colby or sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 6 taco size (the big tortillas) flour tortillas (I used Trader Joes Chili and Onion flavored ones)
  • 6 small corn tortillas
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup sour cream
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13×9 inch pan (I prefer glass for these) Pour the vegetable oil in a large pan. Add the onions, garlic and jalapenos and saute over medium heat until the onions are soft and limp. Add in one can of the chopped green chiles. Add in the chicken, Mrs, Dash seasoning and white chicken chili seasoning. Stir well to thoroughly mix.
  2. Heat the tortillas for 45 seconds on high in the microwave. They should be hot and pliable. If not, put them back for up to 30 more seconds.
  3. Lay one corn tortilla on top of a flour tortilla. Top with one sixth of the chicken mixture, then top with about 1/4 to 1/3 cup of the cheese. Fold over as tightly as you can (it will be full, so don’t pull too tight or you’ll bust it) to wrap and lay, seam side down in the prepared time. Repeat this five more times to get 6 enchiladas. Set aside.
  4. In a medium pan, melt the butter. Sprinkle the flour over it and mix well. Slowly whisk in the chicken broth, slowly being the operative word or you’ll end up with lumps. When you have all the broth stirred in, cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture bubbles and thickens. Add in the remaining cheese and second can of chopped green chiles. Stir in the heavy cream and sour cream and whisk to combine.
  5. Pour the sauce carefully over the enchiladas. Bake at 350 until hot, lightly browned and bubbly, about 30 minutes.
  6. Serve with cilantro, salsa or picante sauce and more sour cream if desired.

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Creamy Cheesy Cheeseburger Macaroni & Cheese

Cheeseburger Macaroni & Cheese

Cheeseburger Macaroni & Cheese

I remember when I got married at 20. While I knew more or less how to cook and had been doing it for about ten years at that point, the main things I had made up till then were baked goods and home made candy. Dinners were pretty simplistic when our mom wasn’t home. So when my then husband and I moved to Germany and I was cooking for us both, it was…interesting… to say the least. One of the things I made we simply called “goop”. It involved taking a box of cheap mac and cheese, browning a pound of ground beef and mixing them. That was it. No seasoning, nothing. Also no nutrition and not much flavor hehe. Early home made Hamburger helper. Then when I had five kids, all fairly young, to feed, and I was working, the real hamburger helper became an easy stand by. Same concept; brown the beef, mix into the pasta. Easy, quick, with a flavor reminiscent of sewer water but the kids liked it.

Nowadays however, I prefer to make my version of it. Making it yourself leaves you with at some idea that there is a modicum of nutrition in there and no cheese that is powdered. Mind you, this is NOT diet food by any stretch of the imagination. What it is however is tasty, filling, hearty for a cool night and kids and adults both love it. The flavor actually does remind you of a cheeseburger from a fast food place that shall remain unnamed.ย  You have your ketchup and mustard, the dill pickle, even the little bits of re-hydrated dried onions.

My photo here bites donkey weenies. It was dark, I was feeling well and no matter how I tried, I couldn’t get decent light. So trust me, this is far better than my photo portrays it as being lol. Also, this makes enough for dinner on 2 nights so if you don’t want that cut this recipe in half ๐Ÿ™‚ย  I like the whole recipe myself. Gives me one night of leftovers, thus more time to be lazy and watch reruns of Army Wives. Win Win situation for me!

You know the drill…

Cheeseburger Macaroni & Cheese

  • 1 1/2 lbs elbow macaroni, cooked, drained and set aside
  • 2 lbs ground beef (chuck works best in this)
  • 2 lbs mild cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 lb Velveeta or American cheese, shredded or cubed
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 eggs, beaten (bad eggs, bad eggs! Sorry; I’ll stop now.)
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons dill relish
  • 2 tablespoons mustard
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons dehydrated chopped onions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Brown your ground beef over medium high heat. Drain, mix with your pasta and set aside. Bring your milk to a simmer in a heavy bottomed pot.ย  Add in the Velveeeta cheese; stir constantly over medium heat until the cheese is melted and the mixture is smooth.
  3. Take about 1 cup of the mixture and slowly drizzle into the beaten eggs, whisking constantly. This tempers the eggs and prevents them from turning into scrambled eggs when you add them to the milk.
  4. Pour the eggs into the pot of milk/cheese and stir constantly until combined. Cook over low heat for about 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Add in the ketchup, mustard, dill relish and dried onions. Set aside.
  5. Butter a large (3 quarts at least) baking dish. Add in half the pasta/beef mixture. Now cover with half the shredded cheese, then with half the cheese sauce mixture. Repeat this layering one more time. Sprinkle with additional cheese if desired but even I have to say it doesn’t need it. I know, right?! ME… saying you don’t need more cheese! Drizzle with some extra ketchup just to up the whole burger factor.
  6. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees until bubbly and golden brown, about 30 minutes.
  7. Served with a side salad and rolls, this makes and extremely kid friendly dinner. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Cheesy Sausage Potato Skillet

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Cheesy Sausage Potato Skillet

Cheesy Sausage Potato Skillet

Growing up in Chicago, I have always had a love for sausage of pretty much every kind. Well, you will never get me to try blood sausage and I’m fine with that status quo. But when you are raised in a large city filled with a humongous population of Eastern European immigrants, you grow up loving the food. And sausages are extremely popular in the Midwest. Heck, there are stores that sell JUST sausage. *Sobs because I miss Chicago, if only for the food and culture*

Here in Kentucky, there is a plethora of the typical smoked sausage products, but not a lot in the way of fresh. Luckily, I also love smoked sausage as does my family :-D. My usual way of making them is just to simmer them in some water. I’m boring and a purist ๐Ÿ˜› (Saith the woman who touts Cheetos as one of the main food groups). One night last week, when the guys had had fast food (I’m NOT a fast food person normally) I was hunting for something to make for my dinner. We had some smoked sausage so I played around a little. Knowing my men, I made a full pan of this because well… they’re guys. Need I say more?

This was delicious if I do say so myself. It’s nothing Earth shaking and has been done before in different variations. But here’s MY variation. Cheesy, sausagey (yes, that too is now a word), filled with crispy potatoes, green peppers and onions and smothered in a ton of cheese. This is homey, simply, easy to throw together comfort food at it’s best. It’s also easily changed up to fit your family preferences. Don’t like onions? Don’t use them. Use YOUR favorite sausage. Not a Cajun seasoning fan? Omit it ๐Ÿ™‚ Etc etc etc.

You know the drill. ๐Ÿ™‚

Cheesy Sausage Potato Skillet

  • 1 lb of your favorite smoked sausage, sliced into bite sized pieces (I used Johnsonville Andouille)
  • 4 potatoes, cut into bite sized cubes
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt free Cajun seasoning
  • 8 ounces Colby Jack cheese, shredded (or your favorite cheese)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • sliced green onions for garnish
  1. ย Over medium heat in a medium skillet, cook your smoked sausage until browned and crispy. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside. Leave the drippings in the pan.
  2. Using the same pan and drippings, add your potatoes, green pepper, onion and Cajun seasoning. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are tender and crispy and can be easily pierced through with a fork.
  3. Spoon the sausage back into the skillet. Stir to combine and cook for about 2 minutes to reheat the sausage.
  4. Top the dish with the shredded cheese. Turn off the heat, cover the pan and leave it on the stove for about 5 to 6 minutes until the cheese is melted. Garnish with the green onions and enjoy!

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Easy Chicken Parmesan Pasta Bake

Easy Chicken Parmesan Pasta Bake

Easy Chicken Parmesan Pasta Bake


I mentioned in the last post that my husbands requested birthday cake every year is a German chocolate one. Well, his requested birthday dinner is Chicken Parmesan. Every.Single.Year. Did I mention that he asks for it every single year? He is a creature of habit, my husband is. Though I really have no room to talk. I tend to do the whole creature of habit thing myself though not with birthday cakes and birthday dinner. One- I usually have to make those myself so for dinner you’d darn well better believe it is going to be steak. Dessert… ehhh, who knows. I buy a cake more for the kids since cake doesn’t really excite me much. and two- if given the opportunity, I’ll ask for dinner out every time. Give up the chance to have someone else doing the cooking and cleaning? Not on your life!

But back to that whole chicken Parmesan thing. I am pretty sure he would alternate between that, my chicken curry, my lasagna or spaghetti and my chili or meatloaf every day with no problem. But beyond the fact that chicken Parm is a pain in the tush to make (you try making enough to feed not only a grown man but 2 teen boys, yourself and a 4 year old who loves “sketti”), it’s just not a favorite of mine so it’s a definite labor of love to make it. But… I also absolutely adore my husband so I wanted to make him something that at the very least mimics the idea of full blown chicken Parmesan. I think this casserole does a good job. To make it even better, it uses those evil convenience products and that makes this a fairly quick fix for a weeknight dinner.ย  You COULD use homemade pasta sauce and more power to you for it. You could also make fresh chicken and again more power to you, but I wanted something quick, easy and tasty. This worked in a delicious way. It’s hearty, filling, creamy, cheesy and comfort food to the max. You get bites of tender chicken mixed in with pasta as well as the creamy tomatoey (yes that is now a word cause I say so) sauce and ooey gooey cheese. Unless you’re feeding a lot of people, this will easily stretch to the next days lunch meal too. Light and low fat? Ummmm… no. But really? You came to THIS blog looking for low fat and low cal? *giggles hysterically*

You know the drill…

Easy Chicken Parmesan Pasta Bake

  • 1 rotisserie chicken, skin removed and meat cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 14 to 16 ounce box Penne pasta (or ziti or whatever you prefer), cooked according to package directions and drained
  • 1 23 ounce jar pasta sauce (those jars are slowly getting smaller & smaller for the same price!)
  • 1 15 ounce jar Alfredo sauce
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped Basil
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped Parsley (can sub 1 1/2 tablespoons Italian Seasoning for this if you don’t have fresh)
  • 24 ounces freshly grated Mozzarella cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray aย  3 quart baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. After draining your pasta, pour the jar of pasta sauce and the jar of Alfredo sauce into the empty pot. Stir to combine., Add in the Parmesan cheese, chicken, basil and parsley. Stir to combine.
  3. Fold in the drained pasta then 16 ounces of the Mozzarella cheese.
  4. Spoon the pasta mixture into the prepared dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, then top with the remaining 8 ounces of Mozzarella cheese and continue baking for about 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and lightly browned and the casserole is hot and bubbly.

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Insanely Cheesy And Creamy Mac & Cheese

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Insanely Cheesy And Creamy Mac & Cheese Once upon a time, I made atrocious mac and cheese. It tasted ok, but the texture was kind of grainy and gritty. Every once in a while, I would hit it and it would be good but those times were few and far between.

For years, I had seen recipes for it that used eggs to make a sort of cheesy custard but something about using eggs in mac and cheese just seemed weird to me, not to mention that, even to ME, it was like “whoaaaaa… like mac and cheese isn’t fattening enough as is without adding a bunch of eggs to it?” But I kept running into recipes with them in it and the photos I saw always looked good so I broke down and tried it.

I’m sorry I waited so long.

And looking back and thinking in a logical cooking way, it makes sense. Make an egg custard and put cheese in it and you’re going to have something delicious. I do it when I make Pastitsio (the love child of Greek mac and cheese and Greek lasagna) so I don’t know why I hesitated in this. Adding the eggs to the milk and cheese one might normally use to make a white sauce for M&C simply gives you a smoother, richer, better textured final product. If you’ve never used a custard base for pasta, don’t be nervous. If you remember to temper your eggs, you’ll be fine. All that means is to beat a little of the hot milk/cheese mixture into the eggs to heat the eggs up. That way they don’t immediately scramble when you add them to the milk. After that, it’s a breeze. You’ve got this! ย  For the life of me, I don’t recall where I got the un-changed up recipe originally. I had it hand written on a piece of paper with no info.

You know the drill… in this case, it’s go make some outrageously cheesy and creamy mac and cheese!

Insanely Cheesy And Creamy Mac & Cheese

  • 2 lbs macaroni
  • 20 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, freshly grated (don’t use the preshredded)
  • 20 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, freshly grated (don’t use the preshredded
  • 2 lbs Velveeta, cubed
  • 2 1/2 cups milk (use whole for this or 2%. There is really no use using skim or 1%. I mean… really… with all the cheese?)
  • 4 eggs, well beaten
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • salt and pepper to taste

 

 

  1. Cook your pasta, drain well and set aside.
  2. While it’s cooking, combine your cheddar and Monterey jack cheeses in a large bowl. Set aside.
  3. Pour your milk into a medium, preferably non stick, pot. Over medium heat, bring the milk to a simmer.
  4. Add in the Velveeta cheese and stir constantly until smooth and completely melted.
  5. Take about 1/2 cup of the hot milk/cheese mixture and SLOWLY drizzle it into the bowl of beaten eggs, whisking with a fork constantly. When you have it all tempered, slowly pour the egg mixture back into the milk mixture, again stirring constantly.
  6. Butter a 4 to 6 quart baking dish (this has been edited since I first posted this as I have been told by people that that wasn’t big enough. So I came to check because I wasn’t sure why they were saying I said 3 quart and saw that I, in my idiocy, didn’t realize I had typed 3 and not four. I’m so sorry!!) and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Don’t use a smaller one… this makes a LOT of mac and cheese. Pour half of the pasta into the dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and layer the sliced butter all over the top.
  7. Sprinkle half of the cheddar/jack cheese mixture over the top of the pasta, then pour half of the hot milk/cheese mixture over the top. Repeat this layering one more time.
  8. Bake at 350 until mac and cheese is bubbly and lightly browned, about 30 minutes.

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