Most of the time, when Ben and I go out to eat, I kindly decline when the server hands me a dessert menu. It's mostly because if I get a good look at the decadent desserts that are available, there's no way that I'd be able to NOT order one. Sometimes, I don't even need to SEE the dessert, the description in the menu is enough to convince me that I NEED to try it.
Ben is just the opposite. He peruses the dessert menu with such intensity that you would think he was selecting the next Presidential candidate. He takes his dessert very seriously. Most of the time he chooses something fruity and warm. I think it's because he knows if he orders chocolate - he's going to HAVE to share with me.
I saw a picture of a caramel pecan tart in my southern living magazine and this dessert had Ben's name all over it. Warm and fruity and topped with ice cream and nuts! This one's for you, honey.
Caramel Apple Tarts
1 2/3 cups flour
3/4 cup butter
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
2 Tablespoons butter
2 cups peeled and sliced apples
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 pints vanilla ice cream
1/2 cup lightly salted roasted pecans
Peel 4-5 apples.
Slice apples into thin slices.
Toss apples into skillet with 1/3 cup brown sugar. Cook over low heat until liquid is thick and syrupy.
Fill tart shells with caramelized apples.
This little tart was beautiful and elegant and most importantly - DELICIOUS! I think that there may be a few of these around my dessert table this Christmas.
"Families are much more than groups of individuals. They have their own goals and aspirations. They also are places where every child and adult should feel that he or she is special and be encouraged to pursue his or her own dreams; a place where everyone's individuality is permitted to flourish."
I found this quote on healthychildren.org and it really struck a cord with me. I couldn't agree more EXCEPT for when it comes to food. I wholeheartedly believe that children need to be exposed to all sorts of different types of foods and NOT just given what they would choose to eat. (If left to their own devises, my kids would eat chicken nuggets and hamburgers every day.)
Other parents used to tell me that exposing kids to new foods will turn them into great eaters. (A fact that I have proven wrong.) I have offered my kids all kinds of different food and I have the worlds pickiest eater No matter what I make, I cannot seem to please them. That doesn't stop me from offering them foods that I know that they will refuse to eat.
Enchiladas are so great for picky eaters because they're completely customizable. I made mine without enchilada sauce - which probably takes away it's enchilada status but I don't know what else to call them. My family is super sensitive to spicy foods so I toned my enchilada heat down quite a bit to make them a little more "family friendly."
1 pound ground turkey
1 small onion, chopped
1 teaspoon reduced sodium taco seasoning
11/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon pepper
8 ounces reduced fat cream cheese
1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
15 ounce can black beans
1 1/2 cups frozen corn
14 1/2 ounce can fire roasted tomatoes
1 can chopped green chilies
1/4 cup salsa
14 whole wheat tortillas
I am seriously, the WORST tortilla roller ever! I need some lessons because these are some pretty sad looking enchiladas.
Sprinkle with cilantro and serve to your happy family.
My family REALLY liked these quick and easy enchiladas. The original recipe called for a red enchilada sauce but I know this family well enough to know that I should serve them without sauce.
I am certainly so stranger to the supermarket rotisserie chicken. They're a super convenient dinner option when time is not on my side. I can pick up a rotisserie chicken, a loaf of whole grain bread, a bag of prepackaged salad and viola - dinner! Nothing could be simpler and my family loves it.
Rotisserie chickens make it easier to fix all kinds of meals. Tacos and quesadillas and wraps and salads and soups all come together in a jiffy when I start with a rotisserie chicken. Even though I try and keep roasted chicken on hand, there are times when I just run out and it's easier to buy it already prepared than to take the time to roast it myself. Not to mention the fact that my family really prefers the flavor of a rotisserie chicken to my chicken. (I think they like all the sodium that is added to those birds.)
I found a recipe for Bistro Roast Chicken in my Cooking Light magazine that looked really a lot like the rotisserie chickens that I buy at the supermarket. I decided to give it a try and see if I could recreate the moist and juicy supermarket version in my own kitchen. The real test would be to see if the kids liked it as well as the salt saturated supermarket version.
Bistro Roast Chicken
1 Tablespoon of dried tarragon
1 Tablespoon fresh thyme
4 teaspoons melted butter
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 (41/2 pound) roasting chicken
Slice and serve.
Our chicken dinner was simple - corn, salad, bread, chicken. Super easy weeknight meal.
Turns out, the chicken was just and tender and juicy as the supermarket chickens. It didn't get nearly as browned or get nice crispy skin so it was less visually appealing than a grocery store rotisserie chicken but it was just as tasty. (Isn't that what really matters anyway?) My family gobbled up most of this tasty chicken in one meal.
Guess what I'm gonna do with my leftover chicken? If you said chicken soup - you are right.
How much do I love going to the pumpkin farm with my family every year? A LOT!!!
These are just a few of the pictures from this years trip to the pumpkin farm.
First we chose our pumpkins from the pumpkin patch...
There was the most amazing sunset that night.
What a great day. Our trip to the pumpkin farm put me in the mood for pumpkin desserts so I came home and whipped up a batch of vegan pumpkin muffins from earthchicknits.com.
1 3/4 C all-purpose flour
1 1/4 C sugar
1 T baking power
1/4 t salt
1 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t ground nutmeg
1/2 ground ginger
1/4 t ground allspice
1/8 t ground cloves
1 C pureed pumpkin
1/2 C unsweetened almond milk
1/2 C vegetable oil
2 T molasses
1 C chocolate chips
These muffins are super delicious and you will never miss the egg. You don't even have to tell your friends and family that they're vegan muffins because they will never suspect a thing. They are delightfully spices, moist and loaded with chocolate chips - we loved them.
What is the mood like in your house on Thanksgiving morning? Are you a sit around in your jammies, drinking coffee and watching the Macy's Day parade all morning kind of family? Or are you a start the cooking and dinner preparations at the crack of dawn kind of family?
Around the Davis house, it's a little cooking, a little parade watching and a whole lot of coffee. Ahhhh, I LOVE Thanksgiving. The kids running around the house, far too many cooks in the kitchen bumping into each other and laughter all around.
If your house is a happy, busy bed of chaos on Thanksgiving morning, you can still serve a great breakfast to your family. The key is to make it the night before Thanksgiving so all you have to do is throw it in the oven in the morning.
Pecan Sticky French Toast Casserole
1 cup packed brown sugar
6 tbsp butter
1/3 cup half and half
1 tbsp light corn syrup
¾ cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup half & half
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
8, ¾” thick slices French or Italian bread
Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until smooth - DO NOT BOIL. Stir in pecans.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 400°F. Uncover baking dish and cook for 20-25 minutes or until bubbly and bread is golden. Remove from oven and let stand 3 minutes.
Carefully remove each piece of toast being sure to scrape any extra caramel topping onto toast. Serve immediately.
Happy EARLY Thanksgiving to all of my blog friends.
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