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 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

Pasta With Butter Roasted Tomato Sauce

Pasta With Butter Roasted Tomato Sauce

Pasta With Butter Roasted Tomato Sauce




Sometimes, you just come upon (and yet still change lol) a recipe that is absolutely amazing. I was looking through an old issue of Bon Appetit (I have approximately 40,00000 old magazines. It’s a sickness.) when I saw the recipe that has ultimately ended up here with all of its changes. As it was, while it was definitely intriguing; I mean….butter… But it seemed….lacking, rather boring. But still interesting enough to try. I had never even considered making pasta sauce in the oven. But what a game changer this is. No splatters all over the stove and oh…my…gosh….the flavor of this is fantastic. The tomatoes that roast in all their juices in the oven, mixed with the butter, the sausage (my addition), the garlic, the onions, oregano and basil (also mine)…honest. You want to try this recipe. Trust me on this one. You throw this all together after cooking the sausage and that’s it… just cook it. You end up with a thick, rich, full of flavor pasta sauce and no messy stove top. Win Win.

My husbands reaction (he was skeptical) was “you can make this any time you want”. Even my five year old ate all of his serving. One thing. I am posting this how I made it. The original was half the amount of tomatoes. I doubled it and that was just enough to serve five of us with my husband having two servings.ย  I did however, not use the full amount of butter doubled. It would have been a full stick and at 3/4 of a stick, it seemed like more than enough.

Go. Make this. Thank me later.

You know the drill….. ๐Ÿ™‚

Pasta With Butter Roasted Tomato Sauce

  • 2 28 ounce cans whole peeled tomatoes
  • 10 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 1 large onion, diced (about 1 1/2 to 2 cups)
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, sliced
  • 1 lb Italian sausage links
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar (cuts the acidity of the tomatoes)
  • black pepper to taste
  • cooked pasta (I used 2 12 ounces boxes of spaghetti)
  • Parmesan cheese for serving
  1. Cook your sausage in a pot of simmering water until tender. Then drain the water, lay the links in the pan and brown them all over. Let cool until easily handled and then cut into bite sized slices.
  2. Preheat your oven to 400. Dump the tomatoes in a large deep baking pan and break them up. Easiest way I’ve found over the years is to pierce the back of the tomatoes with your finger cause if you try to just break them, you’ll end up with a face full of juice. Add in the rest of the ingredients, ending with the butter.ย  Stir well to mix.

    This is what it looks like before you put it in the oven

    This is what it looks like before you put it in the oven

  3. Bake at 400 for 35 to 50 minutes or until the sauce has gotten almost jammy in consistency, stirring once or twice during cooking. If you like a looser pasta sauce, take it out sooner. If you like a thicker one, cook longer. Simple as that.

    Here's what it looks like when it comes out (I know; the photo stinks)

    Here’s what it looks like when it comes out (I know; the photo stinks)

  4. Serve over pasta with Parmesan cheese.

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Cheesy Sausage Potato Skillet

Yum

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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Not Your Daddys Oldsmobile (Or Your Mommas Potato Soup)

I wonder how many of my readers are too young to even remember that advertising campaign. Twas back in the ’80’s I believe with the premise being that the “new” oldsmobile (looking back at what now would be an antique car lol. Damn, I’m old) was so modern and improved that it was nothing like what your daddy drove and no longer had the stigma of being dowdy and old fashioned.

What the heck does this have to do with food you ask? Whadda ya mean; you didn’t ask?! Why are you here then? So for those of you who ASKED (hmmppphhh to the rest of you). Well, it’s the same with foods. There are some things that get ostracized from the foodie world because they are seen as dowdy and old fashioned. When have you seen a post praising liverwurst/braunschweiger ? or one touting Pickled Herring as the best movie time snack? Once upon a time, both of these things, among many others, were considered delicious every day foods. And while I personally happen to love both, I know I’m in the minority. Foods get pushed aside for the newest trend, a fact I’ve mourned more than once in this blog.

One thing though that seems to have held on through the test of time is potato soup. Oh sure, you can look and find some strange ones that use truffle oil and caviar or ones that have the calorie count required by an amoeba as well as the taste of a piece of cardboard. But good old fashioned creamy potato soup seems to be loved by most. There are a few weirdos out there but they also ate school paste as kids and we won’t count them. Their taste buds are still glued together.

But even the old can be made better (other than Joan Rivers and Meg Ryans plastic surgery attempts; there are some things that can’t be fixed *shudders*). Witness said Oldsmobile :-P. And you all know me; if it can be changed, I will do it. Not a drastic change mind you; I like continuity and sameness too much. But just enough change to take something that at times can taste like Elmer’s glue (I seem to have a glue/paste fetish going here today. Hmm)

So I played with potato soup today. Ok, that came out wrong but you know what I mean. And I must say, I think I have made some pretty darn delicious soup. It’s thick, creamy, rich without being overwhelming, meaty, chock full of potato flavor with a burst of texture from onions and potato chunks. All in all, I think this will become my standard way of making potato soup. It takes a bit more time than just dumping dry potato flakes in a pot and adding milk (did anyone elses mother do that?), salt and pepper but it’s still very easy. So go buy some taters.You’ll like this. This makes a large pot of soup so cut in half if need be or soup freezes well. Also, I used Bob Evans Brand mashed potatoes; just a personal preference; use your favorite. This recipe is all me btw… just played around with the basic idea of potato soup

Creamy Potato Soup (Worlds Best ๐Ÿ˜› )

  • 5 medium potatoes, chopped into small pieces (peel or not; your choice. I like the peel)
  • 3 cans good quality chicken broth
  • 2 medium onions, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup chopped leeks
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 stalked celery, chopped fine
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 lb smoked andouille sausage (I used Aidells brand )
  • 8 ounces bacon, cooked and crumbled (go ahead and throw a teaspoon or so of the bacon drippings in there too. I won’t judge.) plus a few extra cooked slices for garnish
  • 1 package refrigerator style ready made mashed potatoes (I used the sour cream & chive flavor)
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, cubed (I had to laugh when all I had was 1/3 less fat. Don’t think it helped much in this ๐Ÿ˜› )
  • 8 ounces Gruyere cheese, shredded
  • 8 to 12 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 3 green onions, sliced thin and more for garnish
  • extra chicken broth if you prefer a thinner soup
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • GARNISHES- our cream, bacon, green onions, more cheese
  1. Combine your chopped potatoes and the 3 cans of chicken broth in a large (preferably non stick) pot. Bring to a boil, then turn heat down to a low simmer.
  2. While potatoes cook, in a large saucepan over low heat, saute the onions, leeks, shallot, celery and garlic. You’re not wanting to brown the veggies, just sweat them out and soften them so keep your heat low. When veggies are nice and tender, dump them into the pot with the potatoes.
  3. In the same pan you sauteed the veggies in, add the sliced andouille. Turn the heat up to about medium high and cook them until nice and crispy on both sides. Toss them into the pot too making sure to get all the drippings in the pan in there too.
  4. Add in your bacon (don’t forget to save some for garnish) and the refrigerator mashed potatoes
  5. Stir well until the mashed potatoes are smooth and let this all simmer together over low heat (keep an eye on this and stir frequently to prevent sticking) for about 30 minutes.
  6. ย Add in your shredded cheese and the cream cheese. Stir constantly until the cheeses are smoothly incorporated into the soup.
  7. Add the half and half. Continue cooking the soup just until it’s heated through. You don’t want to bring it back to a boil because that can break down the cream and sour cream and make the soup very unattractive and curdled looking.
  8. Ladle into soup bowls and garnish with your favorite toppings. We had this served with a buttered dark bread and it was a fantastic, filling EASY meal.


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Do you Ever Have Days When…

Maple & Sausage Corn Bread

…You probably shouldn’t be allowed near anything? Yeah, me too. Today is certainly one of those days.

I have a three year old who has absolutely no interest in being toilet trained and since I’ve done this five times before with no problem, I can only wonder what I’m doing wrong this time. And I’m getting bored washing peed in (or worse) “big boy pants” lol.

I made some scones for all of you that SHOULD have been awesome. We’ll just call them “Omelet Scones” because they had all the ingredients for an omelet tucked into a scone. Continue reading

Entering The Strata-osphere

Yeah, I know. I really need to work on my titles. But that was the best I could come up with for today.

With that title as a hint, I bet you can’t guess what the recipe is! Can ya, can ya can ya!!? It’sssssssss

LIVER!!

Ok, so unless you’ve never read my blog before, you’re not falling for that one.

I made a strata. Gee, the title kind of ruined the anticipation of what I made didn’t it? Maybe I should start having really misleading titles and to see what I made, you have to click on a link or something.

Nah. Way too much work and we all know I try to avoid that if possible.

If you’ve read my blog for a while, you know about my love/hate relationship with bread pudding and the like. I absolutely LOVE it when I find or create a good one like my Pineapple Upside Down Bread Pudding or the
French Onion Bread Pudding I posted. But by the same token, I HATE them when they are dry, not creamy, boring and dull like the old time ones that were a bunch of stale white bread and a handful of raisins mixed with milk. Can we say “ick”?

Stratas are, in my mind, simply another version of bread pudding thus if it is good, I’m in love. And the one I created tonight was good. I had had a recipe picked out in a cookbook for one I wanted to try but for the life of me, I couldn’t find the recipe. Out of my 500000 cookbooks, I have no idea whatsoever what cookbook it was in. But I was determined to make a strata so I improvised. And it worked. Quite well actually. It is creamy with lots of meat and cheese and would make a perfect dish for an easy meal or to serve on a buffet or Christmas morning breakfast. It has a bit of spice but not overly so if you are one of those strange spice averse people you can still eat it. ๐Ÿ˜›

This feeds a lot of people… or two teen boys and my husband.

Cheesy Cajun Bacon And Andouille Strata

  • 5 hoagie buns, cubed (you could use Italian bread I’m sure but I had hoagie buns I needed to use thus this says hoagie buns ๐Ÿ˜› )
  • 12 eggs
  • 2 1/4 cups milk
  • 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 14 to 16 ounce package smoked Andouille style sausage, sliced (I used Johnsonville brand)
  • 1 pound bacon, cooked until crisp and crumbled
  • 5 green onions, sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt (I used “Janes Crazy Mixed Up Salt” cause I love that stuff)
  • 1 teaspoon salt free Cajun seasoning (only use if it’s salt free or between the seasoning salt and the meats, the end result will be over salted)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 2 quart (preferably glass) baking dish.
  2. In aย  frying pan, saute your sausage and green peppers until the sausage is lightly browned and the peppers are tender.
  3. ย Set the sausage aside to cool.
  4. In a large bowl, beat the eggs. Add the milk and beat until blended.
  5. Mix in the rest of the ingredients.
  6. Let sit for about ten minutes to give the bread time to soak up the liquid.
  7. Pour into the prepared baking dish and drizzle with the melted butter
  8. Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes or until set in the middle (check with a butter knife or skewer. It shouldn’t come out with any loose dripping mixture on it.) and nicely browned.
  9. Let rest for about 5 minutes before cutting.

 

Is It Tomorrow Yet? Also, Savory Gooey Onion, Cheese & Sausage Bread Pudding

Have you ever had one of those days you just wish hadn’t happened? Not a wish to start it over, but a wish that it just disappeared and never repeated itself.

Yeah. me too. Today was such a day.

I’m sure some of you have read me talking about (writing about?) my kids. I have six children, five boys and one girl, ranging in age from 25 on down to 3. I also have 5 grandchildren. As I’ve said before, I started having kids at age six… honest. ๐Ÿ˜€

One of my kids more frequently mentioned, if not here, on my FB page, is my son Jordan. Jordan is sixteen but is always going to be my baby. He is the sweetest boy you could ever know. But he is also Autistic, mildly intellectually challenged, has a severe case of ADHD, some OCD, and other things falling into the emotional/mental disabilities spectrum. He has the emotional and intellectual abilities of about an 8 year old. He is sweet, funny, loving & enjoys helping people. He loves to work with tools though that can end up with broken gadgets and bikes and what have you lol. He loves to “invent” things cooking but rarely does anything of it turn out to be edible. Heck, we all know what THAT’S like though huh? ๐Ÿ˜€ He loves our cats and adores his siblings. He worries about me and wants to take care of me forever.

He also can get overwhelmed when stressed out, discouraged, angry or pushed too hard. He doesn’t like rules and will rebel if he thinks that one is unfair. He wishes he could do everything but frequently tells me that he feels like he can’t do anything right, is stupid and doesn’t fit in anywhere. Those are the days that I feel my heart crack into little pieces. When he is upset and something (usually chaos or being pushed too hard) triggers him, he can also become violent and aggressive. Not in the bullying sort of way. When he is aware of himself and his surrounding, he wouldn’t hurt a flea and has been known to carry flies outside so that they wouldn’t die. But when he gets upset, he is no longer cognizant of how he is acting. he is pure adrenaline. Today was one of those bad days. He has been doing poorly in school, in part, in my opinion, because they are expecting too much academically from him. He is a sophomore who should have extreme modifications in his work but doesn’t. So when he feels like a failure, he doesn’t try and acts up to get out of working.

Today, something happened that made him lose control. From what I have been told, he sat in the wrong chair in class and rather than say the obvious “oh well, what does it matter? and let him sit there (it was a chair for petes sake!), it was turned into a control issue by the teacher and others were brought in to “help”. It ended with him being restrained (way bad move with an autistic child who doesn’t like being touched other than to be hugged), his biting and spitting on a teacher (again; think young child and temper tantrum) and him being suspended. Now, I agree with the suspension. He can’t be allowed to do that and there have to be consequences. But it didn’t end there. The school is pressing charges of assault against my 16 year old Autistic, mildly retarded, IQ of around 75 boy.

I want someone to explain to me what they think will happen to an extremely vulnerable mentally challenged boy in jail or juvenile detention. He isn’t the type to be able to fend off someone who wanted to hurt him or do other things to him. He would cry, he would beg for me to help him though I wouldn’t be there, he would fight as well as he could but ultimately he would lose. The problems he has also have led to poorer than usual muscle tone and strength. But they want him in jail. They want to take him and put him with men or boys who have REALLY committed assault, have raped, have committed armed robbery, have done drugs, abused parents or siblings and God knows what else.

I want this day to disappear. I want to hug my children and hide them in a cave so no one can ever harm them. I want him to be whole.

There is no subtle way to lead into a recipe today so I won’t try. I’ll just post it.

As Scarlett O Hara said, “After all, tomorrow IS another day”. Dear God, I hope so.

Savory, Onion, Swiss & Sausage Bread Pudding

  1. 10 tablespoons unsalted butter
  2. 1 tablespoons vegetable oil
  3. 9 cups thinly sliced onions (about 4 to 5 onions depending on size)
  4. 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  5. 2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
  6. 1/3 cup dry red or white wine (I prefer to use a Cabernetย  in this)
  7. 1 loaf (about 12 ounces) French or Italian bread, cubed (I use the garlic/Parmesan loaf that many stores carry in their bakery section.)
  8. 4 cups shredded Swiss cheese
  9. 1 cup grated fresh (not the dry nasty kind) Parmesan cheese
  10. 1 10 ounce package Tyson Italian Sausage Crumbles (or just use regular Italian sausage that you have cooked and crumbled)
  11. 4 eggs
  12. 2 cups heavy cream or a mix of cream and half & half
  13. 1 cup whole milk (you could try this with low fat milk and even use that instead of the cream too, but this isn’t supposed to be a diet dish lol)
  14. 1 teaspoon salt
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Melt 5 tablespoons butter with the oil in a large pan. Add in the sliced onions and the shallots. Cover and cook over low heat until the onions are tender and limp.
  • Uncover, turn heat to medium and cook the onions until golden brown and nicely caramelized. About five minutes before they look done, add in the garlic. Stir well and continue cooking.
  • When browned and cooked, pour in the wine. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the liquid is gone.
  • Butter a 13×9 inch baking dish, preferably a glass one.
  • In a large bowl, combine the bread, sausage and the onions.
  • Melt the last 5 tablespoons of butter and pour it over the bread mixture.
  • Add the cheeses.
  • In a small bowl, mix the cream, milk, salt and eggs.
  • Pour the egg mixture over the bread and mix well. Stir this well for about 2 to 3 minutes to make sure all the bread has a chance to start soaking up the cream mixture
  • Pour mixture into the prepared pan and bake at 350 until it is golden brown and cooked through, about 50 to 60 minutes. To check doneness, poke a butter knife into the middle. If it comes out wet or dripping, it’s not done. It should be the consistency of a cooked cheesecake. Firm and yet still creamy.
  • Let cool for about ten minute before you cut this.
  • This is an awesome side dish for a company dinner or a great light meal with a salad for the family. It’s also great for a weekend breakfast. It’s gooey, crispy at the edges because of all the butter used in it and cheesy and oniony and oh my, it’s SO good. One of my favorite side dishes in fact.

You Can So Eat Chili In The Summer!!!

Cause I said so! So there!!! Pffffttttt.

Mind you, I am sitting here eating Jays Brand Cheese Wheels.

Because asย  yummy as my white chicken chili is, I have a reputation as a poor eater to keep going here. That takes a lot of work! You have no idea how I sacrifice for all of you just so that I can be the one sane port in your busy lives, the one place you can go to where the personality behind the words stays the same. I eat Twinkies (and Ho-Hos) Cheetos (and Tostitos with home made Peach salsa that I magically suck any nutrition out of before eating it). I chow down on chocolate by the pound and sigh heavily in martyred frustration as I do so. I also drink pop and strong caffeinated beverages. And I do this for YOU gentle reader… YOU. Can you FEEL the sacrificial vibes coming to you? Can you… wait, scuse me; gotta wipe the orange goop off the keyboard. Ok, I’m back. Where was I? Oh yeah; vibes. Yeah yeah yeah, vibes, sacrifice, Twinkies, noble kind soul that you adore… well, maybe I didn’t say that last part but I know you were thinking it so I went ahead and inserted it in there. ๐Ÿ˜›

If, by the way, you have never had Jays Products… I’m sorry. You can get some of them online but alas, not the cheese waffles. This is actually the first time I’VE had them in many years and why a Kroger store in Kentucky was suddenly stocking them, I don’t know. But I bought a bag anyway and am currently gorging on them like a six year old given a bag of chocolate covered sugar bombs (Oh Calvin you are my hero) and a spoon. Jays is a Chicago based company that seriously makes the best potato chips ever and I’m not just saying that because I am a native Chicagoan. Snyders Of Hanover has bought them now so I have no idea if the products have changed at all but I know the cheese waffles are still yummy.ย  Their sour cream and onion potato chips are stupendous and I even love their BBQ chips and I don’t even like BBQ chips. Hmmm, thinking of it, the fact that Snyders bought them may very well BE why I am seeing them here. Oh also, if you’ve ever had and loved Krunchers potato chips, they are made by Jays.ย  They also make the most awesomeestย  cheese popcorn too. If you see Oko-E-Doke popcorn, grab them all! If by some strange chance you don’t like them, sell them for millions to people living outside their native area. It’s like popcorn crack. Better yet, just mail them all to me.

Oh well, for those of you who aren’t currently experiencing the chance to have a sore tongue (boy that sounds wrong) from eating too many rough textured and overly salty cheese wheels, I made White Chicken Chili for today’s post. And no it is NOT too hot for chili. Just crank up the A/C and start shivering. Then have some nice hot chili and a cup of tea. You’ll thank me. Just don’t forget to turn the A/C back down before bed so you don’t freeze to the sheets during the night when you drool on the pillow. Oh don’t lie! You do SO drool on the pillows!

This chili uses…GASP… a convenience product or two. I did NOT grow. dry and then soak my own beans. That’s why they make canned beans (though I DO soak my own when I make red beans and rice). Also, this uses a package of McCormicks White Chili Seasoning along with the other things you’ll put in it. It cracks me up when people get upset over packaged mixes like these. Hello?! Did you grow that bottle of Chipotle peppers yourself? The Cumin? The Chile Peppers? All the beans? If so, awesome, more power to you and may I please know what type of speed you use to get through a normal day? If not, then shush darn it, shush. Just make the chili. The mix is simply a pre-blended mix of spices one would use ANYWAY. And this is a particularly wonderful version of chili. it’s creamy and tangy and spicy and *wipes non cheese wheel caused drool* filled with chunks of chicken. It makes a big batch so feel free to cut it in half.

Creamy White Chicken Chili

  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized cubes (I have also used a mix of breasts and boneless skinless thighs to good reviews)
  • 1 pound of either andouille sausage, sliced thin or 1 pound Cajun flavored smoked sausage ( I have used both at various times. Either ones is tasty.)
  • 2 medium onions (about 2 to 2 1/2 cups), chopped
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 4 cans great northern beans, drained well
  • 3 cans chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper (optional)
  • 1 package McCormick White Chicken Chili mix
  • 3 4 ounce cans chopped mild green chilies
  • 1 cup heavy cream (you can sub fat free half and half if you absolutely MUST ๐Ÿ˜› )
  • 1 cup sour cream (same with the sour cream; you can sub fat free and if you DO make these changes, it decreases the fat and calories substantially since the rest of the chili is quite good for you)
  • green onions, cheese and whatever else you usually garnish/serve chili with ๐Ÿ˜€
  1. In a large heavy bottomed sauce pot, saute the chicken, onions and garlic in the oil until the chicken is no longer pink. Add the rest of the ingredients EXCEPT for the sour cream and heavy cream.
  2. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer. Cook uncovered for 1 hour stirring frequently to prevent sticking. Remove from heat and stir in the sour cream and heavy cream. This is a thin soup like chili so don’t expect a thick one. If you want thicker, use one less can chicken broth. But if so, make sure you watch it carefully as it cooks so the liquid doesn’t cook down too much.
  3. Ladle into bowls and garnish with sliced green onions and Colby Jack cheese.

You Call It Burger, I Call It Boiger

But only because I have a thing for talking in fake accents and that’s my very bad take on a Brooklyn one.

I think I mentioned before that I have a weird quirk and love talking in different accents. Luckily for me, my husband shares my quirk and hasn’t attempted toย  get me into therapy yet (well, not for THAT anyway) and if he did try, he would probably do it in a Russian accent so I’m not sure the therapist would take him seriously. We are a sight to behold…or would that be behear? when we walk through the grocery store talking loudly to each other in either a Russian, Indian or Scottich accent (our favorites). We get some interesting looks. I’m still waiting for someone to ask us where we are from because I just know I wouldn’t get through the answer without cracking up. Is it possible to laugh in a Russian accent? Hmmm.ย  But when we do this, he is Boris and I am Natasha and we use the names out loud but so far no one has caught on to the background of the names. Did nobody else watch Rocky and Bullwinkle when they were kids? That or they are scared to approach the crazy couple perusing the peanut butter. Clean up in aisle nutso!

With those two (and an American Southern accent and an upper crust British accent) I can voice them with no help. But strangely, with other accents, I have to have visual or oral help such as reading a book that portrays a character speaking with an accent or hearing it. Yes, I am just weird enough that I have a method for speaking in fake accents. Hey! We all need a hobby right? Mine is …is…is… ok, so mine is just generally being strange but that’s a hobby too! Not everyone can knit!

Where is this all leading you ask? Well, hell if I know! You’re expecting logic and a nice path to a recipe here? You soooo must be new to my blog. ๐Ÿ˜€ My blog is all about nonsense and trying to get a laugh any way I can. Wait. That doesn’t make me sound very good does it? My blog is a place for logical stories and essays, linear thought processes and recipes that are the envy of five star restaurants and yes, I’m looking into that therapy now.

Today I’m posting (please to be imagining all of theese in a a Russian accent.) a recipe I came up with for a nice spicy (yes, more spice. If you don’t like spice you may need to check out www.blandfood.com. Now I am going to have to check to see if there is a web site with that name. I’d be willing to bet there is lol) southwestern style burger. I thought about making a mayo or relish to go with this and may do that in future incarnations but this time I wanted the burger to be the centerpiece, not the toppings. So I just used the typical ones to add crunch and cheesy goodness. This is very quickly put together and very flavorful and you can vary the toppings. Salsa, pepper jack, a yummy chipotle mayo maybe.

Southwestern Chorizo Burgers

  • 1 pound ground chuck
  • 1 pound chorizo sausage (if links, just take off the casing)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons Salsa of choice
  • Buns of choice (no, not buns of steel)
  1. Mix all ingredients together, handling as little possible or the burger will be tough. You can’t totally mix the meats together so don’t bother trying.
  2. Shape into four to six burgers depending on what type of pigginess you are feeding. I made five good sized burgers.
  3. Cook by preferred method I grilled them) until no longer pink in the middle. You can’t cook these medium rare (my usual donenes…mmmmm, e-coli!) or medium because of the chorizo.
  4. Top as desired (I topped mine with a fried egg because that is one current trend I can soooo get behind) and enjoy the yumminess.

Ignore the cat hair on my background please ๐Ÿ˜€