Monthly Archives: November 2010

Thanksgiving Dinner for Two

Katie:  Just because we don’t have the last Thursday and Friday in November off here in Germany doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate Thanksgiving a little.  Although it was sad not being able to celebrate with my family, I tried a few different new recipes to bring the feeling of Thanksgiving to our home.  Here’s what I made:

  1. turkey cutlets seasoned with salt, pepper, and dried thyme (definitely not comparable to real roasted turkey, but I’m not sure if German ovens are even big enough to fit a turkey)
  2. Cranberry Sauce (cooking it with a cinnamon stick added a nice flavor)
  3. Mashed Honey-Roasted Sweet Potatoes (they were really thick, so I added some water and apple cider which worked well)
  4. Roasted Applesauce (I’ve never made applesauce in the oven before, but it was really good)
  5. Stuffin’ Cups (stuffing made in a muffin pan)

The only thing missing was a pumpkin pie… I might just have a pumpkin hidden somewhere to still make one.  🙂  I hope you had a nice Thanksgiving!

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Corn Spoonbread

Matthew:  Even after a filling Thanksgiving meal, the next day we were hungry for a slightly sweet and savory treat for breakfast.  This corn spoonbread recipe from Smitten Kitchen, and originally from Cook’s Country, looked delicious, so I decided to give it a go.  I have to say that the recipe was fairly fussy and used quite a few dishes.  I managed to get several pots dirty while finding the right size to be able to use the immersion blender (to avoid splattering).  After several hours though, it came out of the oven with a nice golden crust on top.  It was tasty with a drizzle of maple syrup, but I’m not sure that it was quite worth the trouble.  In the future, I would stick with a creamed corn dish or another type of soufflé.

 

Little Red Riding Hood Casserole

Bill:  It was time for some comfort food last week.  I decided to make Sour Cream Noodle Bake from the Dayton’s cookbook.  Jill named this “Little Red Riding Casserole” to get Katie and Matt to eat it in the early 90’s.  It became a family classic that we had occasionally over the years.  The recipe is pretty easy and it makes a great meal.

Marinara Sauce

Matthew:  I decided to take Giada De Laurentiis’ basic marinara sauce, which I’ve made several times before, and make it a little more substantial by adding some butternut squash.  The sauce is really easy to make–just sauté some onions, garlic, carrots, and celery in a pot, then add tomatoes and let it simmer.  I always use Muir Glen fire roasted diced tomatoes when making this.  The tomatoes are so much more flavorful than regular ones.  I just threw in half a butternut squash, diced, with the tomatoes and while the sauce was simmering I chopped up the other half and baked it in the oven with some apples, brown sugar, spices, and a little apple cider.  That made a nice, simple dessert.  Below is a picture of the marinara sauce served over lentils.  It was very good!

Mini Pecan Tarts

Flori: I wanted to bake something nice for my English class for Thanksgiving, so I had to find good recipes. I made 12 delicious looking pumpkin muffins with walnuts in them and also wanted to find a sweet treat for them. So I found this recipe for Mini Pecan Tarts. They were pretty easy to make and look delicious. I will have to test them tonight before bringing them to school tomorrow. I will comment on the taste then.

Roasted Butternut Squash, Chicken, and Pomegranate Salad

Katie:  When I saw that pomegranates were in season again, I was excited to try using them.  I also managed to snatch up one of the last butternut squashes of the season at the farmers market.  I thought that this recipe for Roasted Butternut Squash and Pomegranate Salad looked good.  Since I know that Flori doesn’t eat lettuce and isn’t crazy about pomegranate seeds, I knew I would have to make some changes.  I added bulgur, chicken, and chickpeas, and served everything in a do-it-yourself salad bar. 

I served lamb’s lettuce and bulgur as the base, roasted butternut squash (with an interesting combination of cinnamon, paprika, and cumin as the seasonings), chickpeas, chicken (using the same spices as the squash), feta cheese, pomegranate arils, toasted chopped walnuts, and pomegranate vinaigrette made with homemade pomegranate molasses.

Here is Flori’s version…

and mine:

It was a good meal!

Apple Cake

Matthew:  I had a few leftover apples from apple season, so I decided to make a really easy apple cake recipe that is in my William-Sonoma Essentials of Baking cookbook.  I’ve made the cake several times before and it is good just plain or, if you want to be more decadent, with cream cheese frosting.  I’m sure the maple syrup frosting recipe that accompanies the cake would be good too, but it calls for 1 cup of maple syrup!  That would be expensive frosting.  It is also a good recipe to make if you have a little leftover buttermilk.  Here’s the recipe:

Preheat oven to 350.  Whisk together in a medium bowl: 2 c flour, 1 t baking powder, 1 t baking soda, 1 t cinnamon, 1/2 t nutmeg, 1/2 t salt.

Cream 3/4 c butter and 1 1/2 c sugar for 3-5 minutes.  Beat in 3 eggs, one at a time.  Fold in 1/3 of flour mixture, then half of the 1/2 c buttermilk, 2nd third of flour, rest of buttermilk, and last third of flour.  Fold in 2 c peeled, chopped apples.

Pour into 9×13 in pan and bake for 35-40 minutes.