Not a big shocker here, folks. This weeks’s post is all about that big ‘ol bird, Mr. Turkey! With Thanksgiving only a few days away I though you might like a little bit of last minute inspiration.
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Now, I don’t know about you, but I absolutely LOVE cooking for the holidays. LOVE. One of my favorite parts is making the menu…and my favorite part of making the menu is choosing the appetizers. WHY, You ask?…
This recipe for orange braised carrots and parsnips was a side dish at my friendsgiving this year. Confession time-I have never before cooked or eaten a parsnip. And while I don;t know how that is possible, I do know that now I am trying to put them into everything that might benefit from a slightly spicy, slightly sweet, all delicious root vegetable presence….
Well folks, it happened again. I baked. I know what you’re thinking. What’s happening to you?? You are a savory person. You hate flour all over your kitchen. All of these things are true. BUT, the reality is, the other night I just had to have some chocolate ooey-gooey-ness. You know what I mean here ladies, right?
Sad to say, before I made this delicious treat, this lovely portrayal by Xena, the warrior princess, was pretttty close to my actual state of being. So much so that I almost ate the batter when it was in the mixing bowl…
First let me say, Yay! because I love Monday Coffee Break. I love sharing my weekend food finds with all of you. Second let me say, Boooo! Is it already monday?
You know, I had the idea for the Monday Coffee Break post for a while…but it wasnt called coffee break, and it wasnt neccesarily going to be a Monday. But then…Eureka! Two things made this combo happen.
1. I absolutely abhor Monday
(Please reference the picture above. That is what I feel like on Monday)
2. I absolutely love sharing food ideas with all of you!
(What better way to brighten a Monday then to share some food love with my lovely readers?)
And so, my darlings, Monday Coffee Break was born. This Monday, and these next weeks coming up, are going to be particularly exciting/stressful/bite-your-nails-off kind of weeks. I feel like many of my recipes coming up will contain slightly more wine than usual…a dash for the sauce…and a few glasses for the cook!
Now, onto this Monday’s feature…Cheese. I can’t say enough about our friend cheese. Perfect on almost anything as a centerpiece, garnish or finishing touch, what other food can also say that it is just as fantastic, if not more fantastic on it’s own. Just shmeared on some bread and shoved into the mouth (yes, I intentionally said shmeared. I specifically went to college and became a writer so I could learn all of the rules and then break them by using words like shmeared. Hey, if James Joyce can make up an entire fake language for Finnegan’s Wake, I can say shmeared, right? Thank you. That’s what I think too.)
But I digress! On to our friend cheese. Ah, the magic of cheese. From the delicate triple creams to the sharp and pungent cheddars that the French once banned in public…they are all beautiful in my eyes… and even more so in my mouth.
First up, this Savory Galette, by Bev Cooks. How good does this look? Created with only a few ingredients, this dish really shows up at the party. It can show up at my party any time. Doesn’t even need to call ahead.
This Parsnip Gratin by Moeys Kitchen looks absolutely to die for. The site is in Russian, but you can always use the handy translate trick I talked about in last weeks post to read it whatever language you prefer!
Ok. This Pull Apart Pizza Bread from Stick a Fork in it looks so good. Yes, it’s basically ooey, gooey, pizza bread. Yeah. Exactly. There is nothing wrong with that sentence. I want to eat this.
Next, we have this beauty from Tartine and Apron strings. This Roasted Beet Salad with Crispy Goat Cheese looks so fresh, festive, and delish. Look at these colors! And honestly, anything topped with a crispy, breaded goat cheese cake is going to be good. It just is. bottom line.
And the Italian in me could not do this post without a nod to one of my favorite ways to use a classic Italian dish, Risotto. These Cheesy Risotto Balls, or Arancini, from Food is Luv is a great, simple recipe for these crispy bites of cheese heaven.
Next we have this Egg casserole with Roquefort and bresaola from Now I’m a Cook. How good does this look for a chilly winter morning? Yum. (This recipe is in French, here’s a link to a loose English translation if you are not lucky enough to be able read French…I really need to learn.) Just look at this beauty…
And finally we absolutely must let the cheese stand alone. I gotta get at least one pun in here people 😉 This cheese plate is from Ezra Pound Cake. The post it is from is called “Cheese 101” and it has some great tips for assembling the perfect cheese plate. It also features Ina Garten’s cheese plate rules, which is my guideline for all of my cheese plates.
I hope you all enjoyed this walk down cheese lane. Oh my God. There needs to be an actual cheese lane. Wait. There kind of is in certain markets. Anywhoooo, you know what I mean, right? Of course you do.
See you guys on Thursday when I’ll be sharing this weeks recipe, and check out my menu page near the end of the week where I’ll be sharing my own Thanksgiving Feast menu.
My issue of Food & Wine arrived today and I was very excited to see it was the Thanksgiving issue.
Of particular interest (oh, aren’t we fancy this evening?) was the section on side dishes. Why? Because you already know what the main dish is- It’s a large bird. You can cook it in a paper bag, brine it, roast it, fry it, an even smash it together with other birds and give it a funky name, but, in the end, it’s a turkey.
If your hosting, or cooking food for, a Thanksgiving dinner, what you always end up having to think about are the side dishes- and for me, these little asides often trump the big ‘ol bird. That being said, check out some of these interesing options from Food & Wine
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