Monthly Archives: November 2011

Sticky Sweet Bacon Goodness

It’s bacoooon!  Who doesn’t love bacon?! (besides vegetarians and even some of them come to the dark side for the love of the slab)

My Mom had come across a recipe for bacon jam and being the good Midwestern woman she is, promptly got my Dad to make it.  When she called raving about how delicious it was, I knew it had to be shared.

I will forewarn you that while the bacon jam is simmering away in the crock pot you may want to focus your energy elsewhere.  The smell is incredible and the hours waiting for it to be done feel like years.

This is something that would make a great gift sealed in pretty glass jars or a topping for crostini for a holiday party.  I took my Mom’s lead on how I chose to enjoy my bacon jam…

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Classic Bread Stuffing

Don’t Mess with Perfection.  That’s a pretty bold statement, I know…   but here’s the thing:  the Thanksgiving meal is perfection.  Why do people feel the need to “try out a new recipe” or “change it up”?

I know I sound a bit stodgy but there is only one day out of 365 of them that I’m asking the menu not be “tweaked”, “altered” or “updated” with some new technique, ingredient or what have you.

As we are all gearing up for this holiday, the only one that is REALLY food-centric I am standing by my convictions.  Why do people feel the need to change something that is already so good?

It really is perfect…  Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes & gravy, candied sweet potatoes, green beans, cranberry sauce (perfect for turkey sandwiches the next day), maybe a few other vegetable sides,  rolls and at least a few different pies that must include pumpkin as one of them.

Can you really ask for anything else?  As a self-proclaimed lover of all things carb, this is squeal-inducing bliss for me.  Carbs with a side of carbs!  (it’s one day, indulge yourself)

Thanksgiving is the meal I really love.  It is consistent and comforting,  the smells and tastes are a rush of memories for me from my childhood up to present day.  Think about it,  I’m sure when you think of Thanksgiving it floods your memories with the same emotions.  Food and family are what it’s all about.  Eating way too much and then eating just a little more…

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Tiers of Joy

It’s been awhile since I’ve had dessert and with the holidays right around the corner, that streak will be coming to a screeching halt.
Making a dessert like this is generally not too time-consuming which is a game-changer during the holidays when we are all pressed for time and running on empty.

This particular trifle comes together fairly quickly since there is no cooking to speak of, just a bit of manual labor and even that is minimal.
Trifles are a bit like window shopping… because they are usually served in a clear vessel, you can take a look at what you are getting before you decide to plunge in.

They are lovely with all of their layers and I like doing these individually so everyone gets a beautiful dessert all to themselves. (and the fact that I don’t own a proper trifle dish has something to do with that decision as well…)

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Stuffed Acorn Squash

Acorn squash is one of those little gems that most people probably just pass on by at the store and don’t even give a second look.

Well, stop and give it a second glance.  Squash, whether they be acorn, butternut, spaghetti or any other variety you happen upon at the store (or ahem…  Farmer’s Market) are delicious and now is when they are at their peak.  They are wonderful roasted in the oven or scooped out and stuffed with whatever you can dream up.

This humble little vegetable may not be the latest “in” thing on the restaurant scene or some new discovery that will help you live to over 100 years of age but what it is…  is delicious.
The flesh takes on an almost buttery texture when roasted and the caramelized squash is sweet and melts in your mouth it’s so tender.

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Turkey Chili

Turkey Chili.jpg

Every football fan knows that food is an integral part of the game-watching experience, or is that just me?!
Well, in our house we planned it out like it was a major holiday.  The Ohio State-Michigan game was the pinnacle of football season and for the majority of my football-loving friends and family it still is.
There was one particular year that we had everything you could possibly imagine on the table for the game,  I secretly dubbed it “pig-fest” (you know, pig-skin, football, food, gorging oneself…)  It was unbelievable.  To this day there has never been another one like it, which for our own health is probably a good thing.

Chili is a great football food, you can make it in a huge batch the day before or the morning of the game and the longer it sits, the better it gets.

I made some last night in preparation for today’s Buckeye game and as good as it was last night, I know it will have developed even more flavor today.

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Soup’s On!

While the cooler temperatures are not my cup of tea, the food that comes with them is.  I love soups, stews, braises, roasted dinners, etc.
It is comforting, stick to your ribs kind of food and when the weather is chilly that’s exactly what I want.  Gone are the days of salad for dinner…

One of the benefits of  this type of cooking is that you have leftovers.  This for me is key because along with this time of the year comes my hectic work schedule and being able to come home and heat something up instead of trying to figure out what I’m going to cook is a life-saver.

This particular meal comes together in no time at all as long as all of your prep is done ahead of time.
When I have a few extra minutes, I make sure all of my ingredients are ready to go so that the actual cooking part is a snap.  This is perfect for a weeknight meal when energy is not in abundance.

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