28 Delicious Thanksgiving (and Thanksgiving Leftovers) Recipes for 2016

Thanksgiving 2016 2

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

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

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

Sesame Soy Turkey Breast

Sesame Soy Turkey Breast

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

Creamy Homemade Boursin Cheese Spread

Creamy Homemade Boursin Cheese Spread

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

Ultimate Buttery Sour Cream And Onion Mashed Potatoes

Ultimate Buttery Sour Cream And Onion Mashed Potatoes

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

Herb Roasted Potatoes And Root Vegetables

Herb Roasted Potatoes And Root Vegetables

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

Squash Stuffed With Sausage, Pears And Cranberries

Squash Stuffed With Sausage, Pears And Cranberries

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

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

Angel Biscuits

Angel Biscuits

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

Oatmeal Rolls

Oatmeal Rolls

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

Loaded Baked Potato Bread

Loaded Baked Potato Bread

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

Sweet Cream And Honey Cornbread

Sweet Cream And Honey Cornbread

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

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

Cranberry Apple Cake

Cranberry Apple Cake

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

Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake With Chocolate Icing

Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake With Chocolate Icing

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

Worlds Best Apple Spice Cake With Creamy Vanilla Butter Sauce

Worlds Best Apple Spice Cake With Creamy Vanilla Butter Sauce

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

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

Elegant & Easy Lemon Almond Cake

Elegant & Easy Lemon Almond Cake

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

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

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

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

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

Creamy, Cheesy White Chicken Enchiladas

Creamy, Cheesy White Chicken Enchiladas

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

Cheaters Easy, Creamy Chicken & Dumplings

Cheaters Easy, Creamy Chicken & Dumplings

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

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Creamy Homemade Boursin Cheese Spread

Creamy Homemade Boursin Cheese Spread

Creamy Homemade Boursin Cheese Spread



I am a Thanksgiving appetizer junkie.  By the time I finish cooking the actual meal, I am so filled up on appetizers that I have no interest in dinner. Of course, the taste testing I just HAVE to do *innocent smile* as I cook doesn’t help either. Mind you, none of this stops me from loading up a full plate just in case. I then eat three bites, cover the plate and become a total turkey pig a few hours later.

But nothing matches appetizers for me. I love small bites, love being able to pick and choose from nibbles of fun finger foods. One thing I particularly love is cheese. Combine that with what all of you know is one of my downfalls, something creamy, and I become a total glutton. Many years ago, I saw a recipe somewhere or another for Boursin cheese and just had to give it a try. The rest is history. Now I make it each Thanksgiving and Christmas. The original recipe has changed much over the years and I don’t even make it as per the recipe anymore.

This cheese is so darn good! If you love creamy spreads, you’ll love it. It goes great on crackers, veggies, and one way I love to use it to stuff chicken or pork chops with it. I’m a total peasant myself; this cheese spread and some Ritz crackers and I’m in heaven. Add in a glass of wine and yeah, baby, I’m good! 😀

This goes together so quickly you’ll think you missed a step. The most time consuming part; all of three minutes or so, is finely chopping the green onions and the garlic. Such a workout. :-p Then just put it into a pretty serving bowl, set out crackers and others dippers and watch your family and guests go crazy for it. You’re welcome. 😀

You know the drill….. <3

 Creamy Homemade Boursin Cheese Spread

  • 2 8 ounce packages cream cheese, room temp
  • 1/2 cup (one stick) unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1/4 cup good quality Parmesan Cheese (not the grated stuff you sprinkle on spaghetti)
  • 3 tablespoons finely minced green onion (about 1.5 green onions should do it)
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dill weed
  • 1 teaspoon Fine Herbes
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (do NOT use more without taste testing. This is a simple mixture and easy to over salt)
  1.  In a medium bowl, combine the butter and cream cheese. Beat well on medium speed until creamy and fluffy. Scrape bowl once, and beat for another minute or so.
  2. Add in all the rest of the ingredients. Beat well to combine. Give it a small taste test for salt and seasoning. Keep in mind the saltiness of any dippers you may use before adding more salt to the cheese.
  3. Spoon into a serving bowl; smooth top. Serve immediately or refrigerate until about half an hour before serving time.

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Creamy Homemade Boursin Cheese Spread

Creamy Homemade Boursin Cheese Spread

 

Easy Spiced Applesauce Oatmeal Quick Bread

 

Easy Spiced Applesauce Oatmeal Quick Bread 1



It’s FINALLY starting to get chilly during the day here. Am I the only weirdo who does a cheer for that? We’ve been able to leave the windows open and get fresh air, but it’s been warm during the day and only cooled off at night. Now, I had to close all but one window and it’s 66 in the house; a bit chilly, but nothing that socks and a sweater don’t take care of. I’m ready for comfort food weather; for nesting inside with a cup of tea and a blanket over my lap. I’m ready to be standing in front of the wood burning stove, listening to the crackling wood. I want to breathe in crisp air that smells of coming snow.

Ok, enough rhapsodizing. Yes, I know. Another apple recipe. But how can I resist? It’s apple season and they taste so good this time of year before they get shoved into cold storage! While I’ve said before that I have the type of cooking personality that doesn’t always pay attention to season- chili in August, anyone, Pumpkin bread in April?, there are some things that simply begged to be made at specific times of the year.

My husband picked up a handful of gorgeous Gala apples about a week ago and I held back one for this bread. The original recipe for applesauce oatmeal bread that I got from the King Arthur website didn’t call for fresh apples, but I couldn’t resist. That recipe also didn’t call for raisins or crystallized ginger or as much spice or wheat germ or toasting the nuts. In a nutshell (see what I did there? Huh, huh huh? 😛 ), it was pretty boring. Not anymore. My seven year old told me I need to make this bread every day because, “it’s soooo good, momma!”. High praise from a little boy for something that is not overly sweet.

This bread is nice and moist. With applesauce, diced apples and a small amount of oil, it was bound to be. Add in the spices, raisins, toasted nuts, toasted wheat germ, and crystallized ginger and this is actually both quite tasty AND not totally bad for you. It goes together quickly. Just keep in mind… “Mise En Place”. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; having what you need already measured out and near your work space helps so much. When I don’t do this, that’s the times when I forget to add something. Don’t be me. 😛

You know the drill… get to cooking!

Easy Spiced Applesauce Oatmeal Quick Bread

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons boiled cider (you could sub apple juice concentrate)
  • 1 cup diced apple (one medium apple)
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup oats (NOT the instant crap)
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce (if you prefer a sweeter bread, feel free to use sweetened applesauce)
  • 1/2 cup chopped, toasted pecans (toast for ten minutes in a 350 degree oven, then cool.)
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ ( you can sprinkle them over the nuts and toast them in the same pan with the pecans, but watch carefully; the wheat germ can burn easily)
  • 3 tablespoons diced crystallized ginger
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, eggs, oil, vanilla extract and boiled cider (or apple juice concentrate). Add in the raisins and diced apple.
  2. In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and the spices. Mix with the wet ingredients, stirring until just barely combined.
  3. Add in the oats, applesauce, pecan/wheat germ mixture and diced ginger. Stir until just combined.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with some oats to make it purty 😛
  5. Bake at 350 degrees until a wooden skewer comes out clean, about 55 to 65 minutes. Let cool in the pan set on a rack for ten minutes, then turn it out onto the rack to finish cooling. Serve this warm with butter and jam or maybe some honey butter.

Easy Spiced Applesauce Oatmeal Quick Bread 3Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission.

 

Buffalo Roasted Chickpeas (Blogger C.L.U.E.)

Buffalo Roasted Chickpeas

Buffalo Roasted Chickpeas



Hey everybody! Time for another month of Blogger Clue. You remember… it’s a group I’m a part of on Facebook where we peruse the blogs of one other member in the group and pick a recipe from their blog; one that fits a certain theme. This months theme was “Red”. I mean, Valentines Day and all; makes sense, huh?

I was having a hard time finding something to fit the theme on the blog I was given, which was Lemon And Anchovies run by a lovely lady named Jean. Jean’s blog is wonderful; lots of great recipes I wanted to try… just not many with red, lol. There was a gorgeous raspberry tart in her blog, but I couldn’t afford the berries right now and I will try that one in Spring when berries aren’t as high as a mortgage payment and aren’t shipped from another planet somewhere in a different solar system..

But lookee what I found! I know, chickpeas aren’t red, but these are Buffalo Roasted Chickpeas and anything buffalo style is red, right? Of course right :-p Other than in hummus, it was only fairly recently that I started using chickpeas in things. I may be weird, but to me, they taste almost exactly like boiled peanuts. Since I love boiled peanuts, that means I also love them. And they are, nutritionally, a wonderful source of protein and fiber. But who cares about nutrition. They taste good. 😀 I’ve always loved buffalo wings. I have been known to make a complete glutton of myself with them. We won’t talk about the time my son Cameron and I had a wing eating contest at Hooters once. We’ll just leave it at I won by ONE wing.

But since I don’t want to weigh 500 pounds, I have to find alternate buffalo fixes. These fit the bill quite nicely. A bit spicy, a bit garlicky and with a nice crunch. I was out of olive oil, so I used all butter with this recipe. I think it worked well, as butter is what is usually used in wings. It made it a bit less healthy, but… ummmm… this is me. I also used a touch of onion powder and I increased the oven temp to 425. Jean mentioned that hers didn’t get as crispy as she’d like so I thought a slight jump in temp might take care of that. I think my theory may have been right, because these were wonderfully crunchy.

You know the drill…

Buffalo Roasted Chickpeas

(My changes in parentheses)

 

  • 2 15 ounce cans chickpeas ,drained, rinsed and dried well.
  • 1 teaspoon melted butter (I used 1 1/2 tablespoons butter and no olive oil)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic (garlic powder not garlic salt)
  • (1/4 teaspoon onion powder)
  • Pinch salt
  • 4½ tablespoons Frank’s Red Hot Sauce (or your favorite hot sauce)
  1. Preheat oven to 400 (425 is what I did). Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl; toss to coat.
  2. Lay in a single layer in a pan and bake for 40 to 45 (only took 30 in a 425 oven) minutes, until browned and crispy.
  3. Hide them from everyone else and eat them all.
  4. Go to Jeans blog and tell her she’s wonderful.

Here are all the participants in this months Blogger C.L.U.E. Go check out what they made. Somewhere in there you’ll find one that made a recipe form little old me. Be scared for them. Be very scared.

 

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

Blogger C.L.U.E. Logo

Participating Bloggers:

Game Day Foods!

Hey there everybody! While I don’t like football, I know that many of you do and are looking for snacks, sweets and the like to serve to the hungry hordes that will be descending on your home next Sunday. So I thought I’d throw together a post.

You all enjoy the game! I’ll be the one over here watching Downton Abbey and eating junk food.
PicMonkey Collage



Spicy two Meat Slow Cooker Chili

Spicy Two Meat Slow Cooker Chili

Spicy Two Meat Slow Cooker Chili

Easy Caramel Pecan Brownies

Easy Caramel Brownies

Easy Caramel Brownies

Overloaded Pizza Potato Skins
I know the photo for these stinks, but the skins are wonderful!
Overstuffed Pizza Potato Skins

Vegetarian Chili

Quick,Hearty Vegetarian Chili

Quick,Hearty Vegetarian Chili

Mini Baked Turkey/Bacon Club Sandwiches

Mini Baked Turkey Bacon Club Sandwiches

Mini Baked Turkey Bacon Club Sandwiches

Quick & Easy Turkey Bacon Cheese Chowder
Quick & Easy Turkey, Bacon & Cheese Chowder 2

Coconut Lime Pound Cake

Coconut Lime Pound Cake

Coconut Lime Pound Cake

Chocolate Covered Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Covered Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Covered Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

Sticky Asian Chicken Thighs

Sticky Asian Chicken Thighs

Sticky Asian Chicken Thighs

Insanely Cheesy And Creamy Mac & Cheese

Insanely Cheesy And Creamy Mac & Cheese

Berry Peachy Sangria

Berry Peachy Sangria

Berry Peachy Sangria

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip & Toffee Cookies

Browned-Butter-Chocolate-Chip-Toffee-Cookies-893x1024

Overstuffed Pizza Potato Skins

Overstuffed Pizza Potato Skins

Overstuffed Pizza Potato Skins



 

Ok, I mentioned these like a week ago on my facebook page. Oops. I kinda forgot to post them or even make them until tonight. Can I blame old age, senility, six kids and the damage they have done to my brain cells? My husband and his snoring? Global warming? I got spit on by a camel at the fair once? Some psychological issue that hasn’t yet been discovered and named?
Ok… sorry. I’m done now. But all of the above are still perfectly valid excuses. Just sayin’.

Back in the day, I think I’ve mentioned before, I worked at T.J.Applebees (now just Applebees). One of the things they did then were ten cent wings and ten cent potato skins. Yes, grasshopper, I am so old that wings and potato skins used to go for a dime during happy hour. Excuse me while I go take my Geritol. They also did one dollar pitchers of margaritas and I have many very vague memories of sitting with the other waitresses and drinking a pitcher or six. Ahhh, good times, good times. I think.

Theirs were the typical skins; cheddar cheese, bacon bits, green onions. Yummy as can be, but c’mon, do you REALLY think I’m going to make them that way? I’m the woman that made these potato skins. After all this time, you all know I can’t be normal.

So, me being me, as opposed to me being say Sandra Bullock or Michelle Pfeiffer because God decided that I should look more like the love child of Phyllis Diller and Tiny Tim, I made them differently. I had been craving pizza recently and we couldn’t afford take out, so I used some ingredients I had here at home to make…well, the love child of potato skins and supreme pizza. My husband was like “I don’t know about this… I’m not much on potato skins”. He’s had four in the last 30 minutes. I am of course, gloating. Marital gloat…. it’s almost better than chocolate.

These have a few steps, but they’re quite easy to make, even for multi step. Each step is simple stuff like sauteing veggies or scooping out potatoes. I have faith that you can handle it. :-p I made this for 8 potatoes (16 skins), but it’s easily increased or decreased. If you end up with a little bit extra cheese and/or meat/veggie mixture, it makes a wonderful pizza omelet.

You know the drill… 🙂

Mrs. Cupcake… who is bloated from too much cheese.

Overloaded Pizza Potato Skins

  • 8 medium potatoes
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • 1 small onion, sliced in half, then thinly sliced into half rings
  • 1 small green pepper, chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon squeeze basil (available in the produce section)
  • 1 5 ounce package mini pepperoni slices
  • 1 4 ounce package Italian Sausage crumbles (by the lunch meats)
  • 3 small Roma (plum) tomatoes, cut into bit sized pieces
  • 1 15 ounce can or jar of pizza sauce ; use your favorite.
  • 1/2 lb sharp cheddar cheese, shredded and mixed with
  • 1/2 lb Mozzarella cheese, shredded
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Rub each potato lightly with olive oil, sprinkle with salt. Pierce each one to prevent a lovely little steam explosion in the oven, then place on the middle rack of the oven. bake until a fork can easily pierce the center of the potatoes, about 40 minutes.
  2. Remove from the oven, cut each potato in half and let sit until cool enough to handle, about 30 minutes.
  3. Use a small spoon and carefully scoop out the insides of each potato half, being sure to leave a thin shell around the edge so the potato isn’t too fragile to handle. Reserve the scooped mashed potato for another use- This is a good recipe to use it for
  4. Turn the oven to 450, then smear the edge and inside of each potato half with a small amount of olive oil. Place back in the oven and let bake until the edges of the potatoes are getting crispy and lightly browned, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, in a medium pan, pour 3 tablespoons olive oil. Add in the sliced onions, sliced green peppers and garlic. Saute over medium heat , stirring occasionally, until the veggies are soft and the onions are lightly browned. Add in the sausage, squeeze basil and the pepperoni; continue cooking until the meats are heated through. Add in the tomatoes and cook just enough to heat them; you don’t want them getting mushy. Set aside when heated.
  6. Remove the potatoes from the oven and turn oven back down to 350. Use a pastry brush to lightly brush the insides of each skin with pizza sauce, about a teaspoon or so in each.
  7. Sprinkle each one with a small amount of the mixed cheeses, then spoon some of the meat/veggie mixture into each one. Lay directly next to each other (they help support each other and it prevents them from toppling over in the oven) in a baking dish. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese over the tops of the skins.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve hot, with the remaining pizza sauce warmed and served on the side as a dipping sauce.

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Vegetarian Chili

Simple,Hearty Vegetarian Chili

Simple,Hearty Vegetarian Chili



Yes, you read that correctly. Quit sitting there open mouthed looking like I just kicked a puppy. There is actually *gasps and sits here open mouthed looking like someone just kicked a puppy* a healthy recipe on my blog. A vegetarian one no less! I told you lovely people that as I began posting more, I would begin trying to make some of the recipes  healthy *shudders*, maybe even vegetarian.

My son Zachary was recently trying the “Daniel Fast”. This is a fast many Christians use at the beginning of each year. It’s based on the experiences of Daniel, a prophet from the Old Testament of the Bible. It’s a very strict vegan diet that I myself couldn’t handle for more than say, five minutes. I give props to my boy for attempting it. This fast makes vegen-ism look fun, that’s how strict it is 😛 I did my best to help him during his fast by making some dishes that he could enjoy while the rest of us kept on with our normal eating habits. Which, btw, there is nothing so guilt inducing to a mother as having dessert when ones child is on a strict fast, lol.

One of the things I made for him that he liked was this vegetarian chili. Not a speck of meat in this *sobs quietly*. If one wanted to make a nice hearty veggie chili WITH meat, it wouldn’t take much to brown some up and add it into this. But you didn’t hear me say that and I’ll deny it to the death if asked. *gnaws on a bone as I speak*

Seriously though, this is pretty yummy. It’s a very hearty, filling chili, wonderful with cornbread. This is great for Meatless Monday, if you do that, wonderful for a game day if you have people who prefer to watch the meat intake or just because you love it’s flavor and feel like making it, no reasons needed.

You know the drill…. 🙂

Mrs. Cupcake, who is suddenly craving a steak

Vegetarian Chili

  • 4 zucchini, chopped into bite sized chunks
  • 2 medium onions, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1 cup chopped red pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, finely minced (or 1 1/2 teaspoons from a jar of  chopped jalapenos)
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 28 ounce can Italian stewed tomatoes, cut up
  • 1 28 ounce can whole tomatoes, cut up
  • 1 15 ounce can seasoned pinto beans, undrained (obviously no meat flavor in them if you’re trying to keep this vegetarian)
  • 1 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15 ounce can chili beans, undrained (we like the hot style; use what you prefer)
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • cilantro, cheese (vegetarian non dairy cheese if preferred) and green onions for garnish
  1. In a large pot or dutch oven, stirring often, saute the onions, all the peppers, the celery and the garlic in the oil until soft and limp, about 5 to 7 minutes.
  2. Stir in the rest of the ingredients, except of course for the garnish ingredients.
  3. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Taste for seasoning, adjust what’s needed (salt, a touch more sugar, some hot sauce if it’s not spicy enough for your crowd), then turn the heat down to low and let simmer for about 30 minutes (time enough to get some cornbread made!), stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. If you want a thicker chili, just let this simmer longer.
  4. Serve with garnishes and a lovely slice of cornbread or some crackers. Whether you add a hamburger on the side is entirely up to you. 😀

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Mini Baked Turkey Bacon Club Sandwiches

Mini Baked Turkey Bacon Club Sandwiches

Mini Baked Turkey Bacon Club Sandwiches



I have yet another confession to make. I don’t like sports. Well, I DO watch maybe one or two Chicago Cubs games a year, but only home games. It’s a nostalgia thing for me. After one or two, watching them lose gets depressing and even nostalgia isn’t enough to stop the facepalm from happening. But even being from Chicago (if I ever call it “Chi-Town”, please smack me upside the head), they are the only team I like and watch. No Bears, no Sox, no whateverelsetheymayhave. And other teams and sports from far away lands like California or New York? Fuhgeddaboutit!

I DO however like this time of year for the snacks like these upscale potato skins . I tend to be a grazer when it comes to eating so foods like this bruschetta are also perfect for me. Sit me in front of the game with a book or my kindle hidden in my lap with some snacks, rouse me when it’s time for the fun commercials and I’m perfectly content to pretend to cheer for the home team… or whatever team it is we’re supposed to be cheering for.

This type of mini sandwich has been all over the web for the last few years. I have absolutely no idea at this point who started the trend, but I love them. They are usually a ham and cheese version with a simple mustard, butter and poppy seed sauce poured over them. I wanted to pump up the flavor some though. And what is one way to pump up flavor? ADD BACON!!!  Bacon is my reason for living. I know many of you will agree.

I made this into a club version of that sandwich. Turkey, ham, cheese and bacon. BUT…yes, there is a but… then I added a lovely garlic/Parmesan sauce over the top. I am pretty sure that one of these sandwiches meets your daily caloric needs for about 3 weeks. But they are totally worth it. My husband ate about 6 of them. So now I don’t have to feed him for like 4.5 months, right?

These are delightfully messy and buttery- in other words, perfect guy and kid food as well as perfect game food. But you could probably go down a bit on the butter and still be fine.

You know the drill…. 🙂

Mrs. Cupcake, who is going to smell like garlic butter for a week.

Mini Baked Turkey Bacon Club Sandwiches

  • 16 dinner rolls (I used potato rolls- I’ve found them at Wal-mart, Aldis, Meijer, Kroger… most big chains)
  • 1 lb good quality bacon, cooked until just crisp
  • 1/2 lb thin sliced deli ham
  • 1/2 lb thin sliced deli turkey
  • 1 lb of your favorite sliced cheese (I used 1/2 lb each of Havarti and Muenster)
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
  • 4 finely minced garlic cloves (or sub 2 teaspoons garlic powder)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan (while I usually use fresh, the powdery jarred version is fine for these)
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 13×9 inch pan. Place the bottom half of the rolls in the pan. I squish 6 down each side then place 4 all snuggled up down the middle of the pan in between the two lines.
  2. Layer the rolls with the bacon, turkey, ham and cheese. Place the top half of the rolls on the sandwiches
  3. Add the garlic (or garlic powder) , Parmesan, onion powder and Worcestershire to the melted butter. Stir well to combine. Pour the butter mixture evenly over the tops  of the sandwiches, spreading it around if needed. The Parmesan makes this clump a little, so just spoon it around.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, until the sandwiches are lightly browned on top and the cheese is bubbly. let cool for about 3 minutes, then slice in between the sandwiches and serve

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Crispy Tandoori Smashed Potatoes (And a Blog Swap!) #BloggerCLUE

Crispy Tandoori Spiced Smashed Potatoes




I think I have mentioned before that I have a strong love for the not so usual ethnic foods. I mean, I enjoy the ubiquitous Italian, Chinese and Mexican (most of which will be sadly Americanized), but when I really get excited is when I try something Indian or Thai or Middle Eastern. It all starts with the smells. The scents of what, to most Americans are, exotic spices, wafting through the house, just makes me happy. It also make me drool copiously but I just wear a bib and hope no one notices. It’s a cute bib with little pink duckies. Wait…too much info? Then the flavors, which may be familiar to those who grew up with them, but to my American palate, are still exciting, even though I have been eating and cooking “foreign” foods for close to 2 decades now.

So the following recipe is one I was so happy to find. I mean, what more does one need? It sends wonderful smells through the house while at the same time, it’s not so unusual as to make my kids balk. It also is made with potatoes that end up ultra buttery and ultra crispy. Crispy potatoes ftw!!

How did I get this recipe, you say? I was asked by a dear friend if I wanted to be part of a facebook based blogger group called Blogger C.L.U.E. Society (ok, so she actually said I had no choice so I may as well just gracefully accept) where, every month, we feature a recipe from a fellow blogger in the group. The twist is that we don’t know who has who until the day the blog posts go live and, the challenging part for me, as is obvious to anyone who has been reading here for a while, is that we can’t really modify the recipe. We are to keep it the way it was written. Do you have ANY idea how hard that was for me?!  We search the blog we are given for a recipe fitting that months theme- this months is “Food that you’d love to have on your Thanksgiving table”. I was all over that theme. You all know how much I love the foods this time of the year. This month I was tickled to get the blog Lawyer Loves Lunch. Azmina was a new blogger to me; I’m not sure how I had missed her! I love her dry wit and writing style and I absolutely LOVE these potatoes Crispy, buttery and they made my house smell fantastic. I will still have to make regular mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving or my family will lynch me, but I also plan on making a batch of these.

You know the drill…. 🙂

Crispy Tandoori Smashed Potatoes

  • 1 lb mini Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • salt and pepper
  1. Boil potatoes in a large pot in salted water until they are easily pierced but not falling apart.
  2. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Grease a baking sheet with oil (I also lined mine with foil to make cleanup quicker). Line up the potatoes on the sheet with about 2 inches between each one.
  3. Use a potato masher to smash each potato. You want more or less flat potatoes with nice ridges on them, to help hold all the buttery goodness.
  4. In a small bowl, microwave the butter and spices. Brush each potato with some of the spiced butter.
  5. Bake at 450 for 15 to 20 minutes or until the potatoes are nice and crispy and browned around the edges.

What did we think- we loved them! Like I said up there, buttery, crispy potatoes with a ton of flavor. What’s not to love?

What would I maybe change up next time?-  I think I might add a bit more of the spices, plus maybe add some curry powder or garam masala.  Otherwise, not a thing. These are delicious!

There are some other bloggers in this group who you really need to check out. I have a list for you of everyone who is participating. Go and give them a look and see who they got and what delicious recipe THEY chose to make! Somewhere in there you’ll find the person who got my blog *bites nails nervously* I don’t know who it is, just know that I hope they liked whatever they created!

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Easy Caramel Apple Granola

 

Easy Caramel Apple Granola

Easy Caramel Apple Granola

Back when I was a kid (yeah, yeah, when dinosaurs roamed the earth and we wrote by chiseling on stone tablets), cereal was so much more fun. No one was worrying about whether it was gluten free, because no one knew what the heck gluten was. There was no panic over HFCS being used in cereals because we had the good stuff in our cereals… real sugar! Parents didn’t make their children start their days with food that was approved by our presidents wife (wth is up with that crap, anyway?); food that would carefully begin their days with a perfect balance of nutrients so that little Joey could go kick little Bobbys ass out on the playground when no one was looking because little Joeys mom and little Bobbys mom were in a feud over whose youth soccer league was better.
Nope… when I was a kid, we had far more fun being..well, kids. We ate Pop Tarts for breakfast (for the record, no, my son does not eat pop tarts for breakfast and yes, I know that makes me hypocritical. Ask me if I care. 😀 ), followed by a heaping bowl of something like Kaboom… aka round sugar shapes disguised with a bit of grain. Or maybe King Vitamin, aka, round sugary shapes disguised by a vitamin or two. Then there was the really fun stuff like Count Chocula, which one can only get now during the Halloween season (when the heck did Halloween become big business and even GET its own season, btw?) or one of my favorites, Super Sugar Crisp, well named because sugar made up 95% of its ingredients. In other words, damn, it tasted good! Now however, they have changed the name and the ingredients because the word sugar makes everybody freak out.
Did I forget to mention that was a child, we also played outside unattended, even after dark, and the police weren’t called on our parents, that if we acted up at school, our parents didn’t go in and blame the teacher, but actually disciplined us for what we did wrong and lets not forget the ever reliable, we walked five miles to school… uphill…. both ways.
All that being said, even when I was a kid, one of my favorite cereals has always been any type of granola. Granola has always had this strange rep as healthy. But guess what… it rarely is 😀 It has its good points nutritionally. Since it has a high proportion of fruit, nuts and grains, it has a fair amount of fiber and protein. But that comes with a price. It is also very calorie dense and if you use it like a “normal” cereal and just pour it in a bowl and douse it in milk, you will most likely end up with a 600 calorie bowl of breakfast. It’s better to use it more sparingly; portioned out for the kiddos or yourself in a baggie or mixed into yogurt, spooned over some ice cream or served as a snack with some cheese and fresh fruit.
When I got the idea for this granola, I was sure I would find 500 other incarnations of it online. But lo and behold, while there are caramel apple desserts galore, there was not one caramel apple granola that I found in like 20 pages of Google search. (Edited to add- my brother informed me that yes, there ARE a bunch of them and I realized that what I had googled was what I had originally intended to call this- caramel apple PIE granola. There are none of those, but alas, I’m not original in the other name. *sobs* Brothers! Always have to ruin ones fun!!) Yay for a brief moment of being unique!! I also originally intended to make this completely from scratch, but changed my mind. There are a TON of tasty, plain granolas out there for a decent price that are easily doctored up so I just rolled with that idea. I used my favorite plain granola- Cascadian Farms Fruit And Nut Blend. Then I added some salted caramel sauce (Trader Joes brand, but feel free to use homemade and to use a plain caramel sauce rather than salted), some chopped dried apple slices, some dried cherries, some roasted pistachio pieces for a bit of protein and crunch, mixed it all together and baked it for long enough to “set” the caramel. Let it cool, break it up and voila, you have the perfect snack!

You know the drill… 🙂

Caramel Apple Granola

  • 4 cups (one 13.5 ounce box) of your favorite plain granola
  • 2 cups chopped dried apple slices (about 1.5 bags)
  • 2/3 cup dried tart cherries
  • 2/3 cup roasted pistachios (no shell)
  • 1 1/4 cups caramel sauce (homemade, store bought, salted or not; your choice)
  • whatever else makes you happy in the way of nuts or fruit. You could also add about 1/4 cup of flax or chia seeds or some wheat germ
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients. Drizzle the caramel sauce over the top and using either a large wooden spoon or just your hands, mix it all together until the granola is evenly coated.
  3. Spread out onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake at 325 for ten minutes. Take out of the oven and break the granola up turning the pieces over, as the bottom will be getting crispy. Bake for ten more minutes at 325. Don’t over bake this. Remember, the granola was already ready to go. You are just baking this to set the caramel.
  4. Place the pan on a rack to cool completely. When cool, break this up into bite sized pieces (or chunks if that’s the way you roll… I tend to prefer smaller pieces so I can use it in yogurt). This is NOT a completely dry granola. It will have a slightly tacky feel even after baking because of the caramel sauce.
  5. When this is 199% cool, store in a tightly covered container.

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