Thanksgiving morning started with welcoming 2 rescue donkeys to our 4 legged family. Then our meal was planned and enjoyed by the members of Taste of Home; my selections were based on the requests of the boys. I really like their recipe box and shopping list feature. It makes it easy to get what you need from the grocery store and pull up all the recipes at once. The only exception were the 2 pies from my "Baking at High Altitude" cookbook, Noble Pig's Dill Pickle Dip and Rachael Ray's White Cheddar Mac and Cheese. As have many in the past, this was a truly blessed year.
Thanksgiving week and I like to try to make meals on the days leading up to Thursday that don't taste anything like our holiday feast. Things like beef and fish are usually on the menu. Yesterday I was craving Tater Tot Casserole and found Carole's blog--it claimed to be the best tater tot casserole and she was right. I ended up using low fat yogurt, frozen mixed vegetables, and McCormick Steak seasoning in the hamburger. I didn't salt the top of the tater tots since there was already plenty of savory goodness mixed in. The boys agreed, it was one of the best they'd ever had. :)
I often cook a whole chicken in the crockpot and give the dogs the broth (over several days). However, it's sometimes a challenge to use up the chicken meat and I have plenty stored up for winter stews. So, I simply typed "chicken" in the Pinterest search bar and found this awesome recipe. It's the herbs and spices that make this one such a delight. I didn't have green chiles or black olives, but I did have Rotel and since we don't eat black olives anyway, it was perfect. I also had 3 large flour tortillas that I cut up (instead of corn) and cooked some rice to add. The boys added fiesta cheese and Frank's Hot sauce to their bowls and gave it 2 thumbs up. :)
On Black Friday, I'll start getting 1 cookie recipe per day as has been my tradition for the past 7 years. I usually do Taste of Home, but this year I opted to use Betty Crocker's option via daily emails. But, the cookie jar is empty and I'm anxious to try fun new recipes. I happened to see this series of fall cookies in one of my Taste of Home emails last week so I decided to get started a little early. I love that this recipe has pecans and even in high altitude they turned out perfect!
So I guess the secret ingredients to Chick-fil-a are pickle juice and powdered sugar. The hubby wanted chicken fingers last night so I looked to Pinterest for ideas and came across this recipe. I didn't have time to soak them for 4 hours in the juice, but I let them sit and didn't pat them dry before dunking in the milk and flour. I also didn't fry them in oil but rather baked them for about 35-40 minutes. The flavor was amazing and the hubby couldn't stop eating them. This one is going in my recipe box as a keeper. :)
So the hubby used to be a sous chef in his younger years and had a craving for Saffron rice. So, naturally he brought home the ingredients and presented them to me. I was actually really excited because I had never made it at home but had often enjoyed it in restaurants. This recipe was perfect. So delicious. He can bring me home ingredients like that anytime. :)
Last weekend I had the opportunity to be part of a fondue party. I had so much fun picking out some yummy dippers for the cheese and chocolate including bacon wrapped avocado, stuffed mushrooms, and this one. I've never liked the grocery store's version of pound cake so I decided to make my own. [And, my guests, knowing how much I love to bake, were expecting it. haha] Wowsa! This cake was amazing! I actually baked it in 2 loaf pans and cut it up into cubes to make it easier for dipping; it also did well in high altitude (6500ft). We had both white chocolate and dark, and yes, it was as good as you can imagine. No more store bought cake for me. :)
This one was just for fun as a treat for my boys. It was just as decadent as it sounds. The only complaint was having to chop a whole bag of caramels (1.5 cups=1 bag Kraft caramels). I used the kitchen scissors to quarter them but it ended up being worth it in the end. I would also recommend that you make this the night before or in the morning for an evening serving. They definitely tasted so much better when everything was cooled off and blended. Be prepared for a pan full of ooey gooey goodness. :)
We spent our anniversary in the charming little old mountain mining town of Ouray, CO last weekend. All over town there were 130 year old apple and pear trees ripe for the picking so we brought some home. I harvested the seeds and decided what would be more perfect than a rustic pear and apple galette! In truth, it's the first galette I've ever made and am already in love. They are so easy to make and have that country, pioneer beauty. Definitely right up my alley--I can always make things taste good...it's the pretty part that's a challenge. I'm looking forward to growing these heirloom plants on our property and have someone else enjoy them in another 130 years. :)