Merry Christmas Eve!!
The busyness of the Christmas season has finally started to subside for me - the cookies have been decorated, the cakes delivered and the meals prepped. I feel like I finally have time to take a deep breath and soak in all that the season has to offer.
I baked a sweet Christmas bread this week to take to a Christmas dinner with friends. It was really delicious and the powdered sugar made it looked like it had been covered in snow. I don't quite have the twisting technique down yet but that just means that I'll have to make it more often to perfect it.
Repeat 2 more times. Finish with a dough circle. Place a 2 1/2" circle in center of dough. Cut 16 slices to the center of glass.
Twist each triangle two times - alternating directions. Cover and let rise 1 hour.
Bake 18 minutes at 375.
Dust with powdered sugar.
The original recipe called for a raspberry jam filling but I thought that nutella would make an equally good bread. (And I had a half jar of nutella that I had to use up.) I would like to try this bread again with the raspberry. And maybe a lemon version?
I hope that you all have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Tis the season for holiday parties and that means party food. Whoop Whoop. Who doesn't love party food?
I was recently informed by my very carnivorous daughter that I have neglected my party hostess duties because I've NEVER served cocktail meatballs at a party. I don't want to be the cause of any culinary party fouls so lets get to this.
These little turkey cocktail meatballs are super easy to make and they're really quite tasty. I'm so glad that I got talked into making a batch because I think I really HAVE been missing out by skipping the cocktail meatballs at my holiday parties. Thanks for the nudge, Courtney.
Cocktail Turkey Meatballs
Transfer to a bowl while you prepare the sauce.
Pour half of the sauce over meatballs and stir to coat. Serve with remaining sauce.
There are so many creative ways to serve these meatballs. Put them on individual spoons for a fancy appetizer or put them in a bowl with a supply of toothpicks for a more informal presentation. Just make sure that you have plenty because they will disappear quickly.
By the way, these turkey cocktail meatballs also freeze beautifully. I coated my meatballs with sauce and then froze the remainder of the sauce separately. They were just as good after they had been frozen as they were when they were fresh.
I am such a big fan of food prepping and I honestly don't know how I could function during the week without prepping at least some of our meals ahead of time - especially during my busy baking season. I typically do my grocery shopping on Monday morning and then I set aside a couple of hours to prep our food for the week. It's amazing how much time it saves me to have everything prepped and ready to heat and eat at dinner time. I feel like food prepping helps us to eat healthier too because I'm less tempted to serve something unhealthy just because it's quick when I have meals prepped and ready to pull out of the frig or the freezer.
One of the things that I ALWAYS keep on hand as a meal prep basic is homemade marinara. Maybe it's my Italian roots but I just can't seem to live without it. Whether I'm spooning it over a meatball sub, baking it with my eggplant parmesan, serving it on top of chicken parmesan or just mixing it into a giant bowl of pasta - a great marinara sauce is essential. This deep rich marinara sauce bumps up the flavor of anything that you put it on.
1/4 cup oil
1 cup onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 (28 ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
1 Tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon oregano
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 Tablespoon butter
2 sprigs fresh basil
Stir in basil and let stand 20 minutes.
Talk about an easy meal. Boil some pasta noodles and voila - a delicious, homemade dinner is served.
This is meal prepping to the extreme because this recipe makes a whole lot of sauce. I like to portion out the sauce into small tupperware containers and freeze them. If your anything like me - you'll be glad that you have some extra on hand during the busy holiday season.
Summer is the perfect time to get outside and barbecue. So today I'm sharing my new favorite summer barbecue recipe with all of you. Trust me when I tell you that you will be licking this delicious sauce off your spoon, your plate AND your fingers because you will not want to waste even a single drop. It's just that good. You should probably just go ahead and make a double batch because you will want to have plenty of extra. I know that this sauce tastes great on chicken but I'm sure it would be equally tantalizing on ribs or even shrimp.
Grilled Chicken with Bourbon Cherry Barbecue Sauce
3 cups frozen cherries, pitted and thawed
1/4 cup water
2 Tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup ketchup
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
3 Tablespoons bourbon
1 1/2 Tablespoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon red pepper
4 split chicken breasts
Remove chicken from grill and allow to rest.
Serve chicken with reserved sauce.
It's really hard to tell from these pictures but this sauce was the most beautifully ruby red colored barbecue sauce that I've ever seen. I don't know if I've ever referred to barbecue sauce as "beautiful" but this shiny, deep burgundy sauce really was pretty AND it was just as delicious as it was beautiful.
It's hard to believe but here I am - posting my second blog of the week --- and it's only MONDAY. I'm just going to go ahead and say it - I'm pretty darn proud of myself. Back to back blog posts --- that's got to be the sign of a good week, right?
This is going to be a really busy week so dinner's are happening between 5:00 and 5:15 every night. (Anyone else so over-scheduled that dinner occurs within a 15 minute window?) Hello pasta dinners! I love a good pasta sauce that I can make ahead of time so getting dinner on the table by 5:00 --- easy as pie. ;)
Meatless "Meat" Sauce
8 ounces mushrooms
6 Tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic
1 1/4 teaspoons dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup tomato paste
28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
2 cups chicken broth
15 ounce can chick peas, rinsed
2 Tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
Add chick peas to pot and simmer until slightly thickened.
Stir in basil and season with salt and pepper.
Serve with your favorite pasta.
I love a great homemade pasta sauce and this one makes the list as one of my favorites. I don't eat very much ground beef so I don't normally order (or make) meat sauce. I usually make meatballs so the carnivores in the house can have their meat and the non-meat eaters can have their pasta too. No more separation of meat and sauce for this girl anymore though - EVERYONE loved this sauce! I hope that your family enjoys it as much as mine did.
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