Monday, December 7, 2015

Dreamy Light Wheat Rolls

Thanksgiving this year was a pretty special event.  This has been an exciting year for our family and we have so much to be thankful for- not the least of which was the ability to have family with whom we have never before had the chance to celebrate the holidays come visit our home.
It was wonderful.

I bought a 22 lb turkey (again) because I have serious issues.  My husband shook his head and asked me why we needed that much bird.
Um, go big or go home when it comes to Thanksgiving, dude.  That's my philosophy.

Anyway we decided that we would smoke the turkey and in the interest of saving on cook time I suggested that we spatchcock the beast- that's really just a fancy way of saying that you remove the backbone and butterfly it.

I have zero experience spatchcocking anything muchless 22 lb poultry specimens.  Not to mention the fact that touching raw poultry is pretty much my least favorite thing to do ever.  Thankfully my sister-in-law is a good sport and she decided she was up to the task.  I pulled up spatchcocking directions (isn't that just a fun word?), handed her the kitchen shears, and stood back.
Way back.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Christmas Tree Meringues

I have very little experience with meringue outside of the soft variety that is generally found on top of pies.  In fact, the only time I remember even trying a meringue cookie was on a plate of Christmas cookies my grandma made when I was a kid.

Lets just say I'm not exactly an expert.

I started seeing Christmas tree meringues on Pinterest awhile back and they caught my eye- so adorable!  Little green blobs of meringue dyed green and decorated.  I knew I wanted to try them.

I've made meringue pies many times over the years so I knew these cookies couldn't be too terribly difficult.  While you can mix in different flavors and colors, basic meringue is just egg whites, sugar, and something to stabilize the meringue (generally cream of tartar, vinegar, or lemon juice).  It's pretty simple.

Anyway, these cookies were too cute not to try.

The last time I went to the baking supply store for a few popcorn supplies I also took advantage of their large collection of fun sprinkles for my "trees."  I ended up with red and green confetti-like Christmas shapes, little pearlized white balls, and gold balls to top my treats.  So cute.  
Then I shoved them in the pantry and waited for Christmas cookie time...it was only October!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Jalapeño Popper Mushrooms

I've professed my love of stuffed jalapeños a time or two.  Ok, maybe more than a time or two...I just went back to see which jalapeño recipes I've posted over the last few years and I found a bunch!

I think it's safe to say that jalapeños are one of my favorite vehicles for getting food into my mouth!

Another great food vehicle?  The mushroom.  I've written about those a bit as well!

They're both flavorful and delicious foods that are great for stuffing with other delicious foods.  :-)

Not to mention the fact that they're both great when you're watching your carbs.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Amazingly Easy Juicy Roast Chicken

I have a history of murdering meat.

As in killing it dead.
Dry, overcooked, icky meat.
I could pull the meat 5 degrees below temp, cover it and let it rest, and still discover that it had become tough and unpleasant- every time.
It got so bad my husband cautiously asked me to stop making his beloved thick cut chops.
Seriously.  Definitely not one of my better moments.

Thankfully I don't give up easily and I wasn't about to be shown up by a piece of meat.
I'm not exactly sure what flip has switched over the past couple of months but thankfully I seem to have turned a culinary corner and my carnivorous family is extremely pleased.  Pork chops, steak, chicken...I'm killing it in a MUCH more desirable way lately.

It's kind of amazing how many times my daughter has told me how happy she is that I finally learned how to cook meat.  Even a 9 year old can appreciate the improvement.  :-)

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Buttery Cayenne Pecans

Nuts are such a great snacking food- personally my favorite are cashews.
So good.  Roasted and salted...I can't be trusted around them.  I will eat the whole can.
In one sitting.

Thankfully I don't have any around at the moment.
No, this time it's pecans.  I'm lucky enough to get some great ones from my in-laws semi-regularly and generally have some in the freezer waiting to be enjoyed.

There are lots of yummy recipes for spiced nuts out there, but they're generally of the sweet-and-spicy variety.  I love those, but I don't always love the idea of the added sugar when I'm mindlessly snacking.  I've even tried subbing brown sugar Splenda® but it's not quite the same- and it's still a sugar blend.