Happy (almost) Thanksgiving! The holiday of tryptophan and lumpy mashed potatoes is almost upon us and of course that means last minute scrambling to create your own contribution to the dining room table.
Now that I’m an adult (sort of), I’ve decided it’s my duty to add my own concoction to this year’s Thanksgiving feast.
After running down the highly scrutinized menu, I noticed that no party guest volunteered to offer the apple pie. Appalled at our family-wide lack of attention to detail, I decided it was my mission to complete our dinner setting and compose a perfect pie specimen, delicious enough to impress my Nana.
Obviously, when attempting to impress your grandmother, you’re required to scour the internet for recipes claiming to be fifth-generation, first-prize-winning apple pies. And that’s exactly what I did, with minor adjustments.
I redeemed myself! After posting my last horribly embarrassing miniature caramel apple fail, I managed to prepare an adorable fall themed dish without it looking like melting intestines.
This time I veered away from the lie machine known as Pinterest and settled for a corporate site. Pillsbury’s website to be exact. It’s full of cute and creepy crescent roll creations, plus each recipe has been meticulously measured in a test kitchen to ensure happy customers and future Pillsbury purchases, unlike Pinterest.
My latest Halloween inspired creations were mummy dogs! I made them while babysitting my elementary school-aged neighbors and they turned out to be a fun and easy dinner project. Plus, you only need five ingredients!
Pillsbury Mummy Dogs recipe
Ingredients: (Serves 6)
- 1 package of hot dogs
- 1 container of Pillsbury crescent rolls
- 6 slices of American cheese
- cooking spray
- mustard (for eyes and dipping)
Pinterest is a trap. It lures in un-crafty people with pictures of miniature whoopie pies and then crushes their hopes when they come out looking like cat turds.
Sorry for the graphic imagery but Pinterest got me again. My company held a fall themed cook-off. Two of the judging categories were appearance and fall-ness so obviously I thought Pinterest’s plethora of sickeningly cutesy foods would deliver me a winning dish.
I settled for mini caramel apples. I trekked to my local ACME, purchased 6 apples, a bag of Popsicle sticks, caramel sauce, and sprinkles. Then proceed to spend the next two hours cursing Pinterest and eating lukewarm caramel sauce. Here’s my Pinterest failure.
I was watching Best Thing I Ever Made the other day — the Food Network show that forces famous chefs to tell you them most delicious food they’ve ever eaten while all you have in your refrigerator is expired Greek yogurt and brown bananas. Without fail, the show always leaves me hungry, jealous, and ready to cook.
In this particular episode, Alton Brown described a mushroom stroganoff recipe that sounded like heaven. In that instant, I decided the dish would be my next cooking endeavor. Here’s the recipe.
Alton Brown’s Mushroom Stroganoff with Goat Cheese
Ingredients (Serves 6)
- 1 bag wide egg noodles
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 5 portabella mushrooms (cubed)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 scallions (sliced and green and white ends separated)
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 14 oz can of beef broth
- 8 oz container non-fat Greek yogurt
- 4 oz goat cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
My family is Greek and Italian, therefore Mediterranean flavors are in our blood. The specific ingredient that my clan can’t get enough of is the modest tomato.
My dad is a huge tomato gardener, and has spent the past 22 years (that’s only as long as I can vouch for) perfecting the heavenly fruit — remember, tomatoes are fruits not vegetables.
I vote his Cherokee purple heirlooms best in show, but all of his varieties are delicious. So delicious, in fact, that cooking them down into a sauce or smothering them over a pizza is a waste. The only way to truly understand the perfection known as my father’s tomatoes is to enjoy them in simple form.
I’m partial to housing them down with just a sprinkle of salt, but here’s a recipe that everyone can love (even if you don’t have access to my father’s tomatoes — although he does handout seedling like frozen yogurt samples).
Happy belated farm week! In celebration, I spent the other weekend touring farms in Centre County Pennsylvania. I’m not a hipster, but I do have an interest in local agriculture.
My dad’s an avid gardener and supplies my family’s kitchen with fresh fruits and vegetables all summer. Eating out of my backyard taught me the difference between store bought flavors and local food. For that reason, I take an interest in where my food comes from.
During the day long tour, I visited four local farms in the central, PA area. I received behind the scenes tours of two Amish run farms, an inside look at the life of a dairy farmer, and a tour of an organic animal farm. In those four stops, I learned a lot about the farming community, and better yet, bought a lot of delicious food.
After collecting fresh and local cheese, meat, and veggies from each of the farms, I made it my mission to cook a hearty, locally sourced meal. Here’s what I came up with.
I love trying new cooking techniques. Most recently, I attempted poaching. Not the endangering elephants kind, but the cooking something by simmering it in broth kind.
The poaching protein of choice: mahi-mahi. The poaching liquid: chicken broth, white wine, and rosemary. The outcome: delicious.
Poached Mahi-Mahi with Tomato Caper Sauce
Ingredients for fish: (Serves 2)
- 2 mahi-mahi filets
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 2 sprigs rosemary