The holiday season is damn near upon us and I probably don’t have to tell you that that means eating. Lots of it.
While I’m normally not one for diets, I do try to gear up for the holidays (especially Thanksgiving) by eating healthier than normal for a week or two leading up. For me this normally takes the shape of lots of soups and salads so I was very happy when you all picked a soup in the poll last week.
This soup is like a chicken soup, but with the flavors cranked up to 11. Instead of egg noodles, I used wild rice which gives it a really nutty flavor, but a huge chunk of exotic mushrooms that make the soup really savory and wonderful.
It’s healthy, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t the bomb.
Tailgating at any sporting event is an art form. This art form tends to take the shape of lots and lots of meat and beer. Let me be the first to say that I truly love this art form. I will grill and smoke and consume with the best of ‘em.
But hey, guess what? Vegetarians like sports too. Also, it might not be a terrible idea to supplement your one pound burgers stuffed with chicken wings with an actual vegetable so your arteries don’t collapse halfway through the second quarter.
S0, part of the tailgating art form is bring something that’s tasty, but also somewhat healthy. These pinwheels are super-easy to make in advance and have a ton of flavor and crunch to them.
Your vegetarian friends (and arteries) will love you.
I’m a big fan of French press coffee. I realize that there is a backlash of sorts in the coffee world these days about how it’s not a consistent or reliable way to make a cup of joe, but I still like it. I make one almost every single day.
That said, I almost never make it through the entire pot. There’s always a cup or two extra hanging out in the bottom of my French press. Sometimes I’ll toss it on ice in the afternoon, but frequently it just ends up down the drain so I have room for a fresh pot the next day!
But this dish… this dish was made for that leftover little bit of coffee. Red eye gravy, you see, is a classic Southern gravy that uses coffee instead of milk as a base. This gives the gravy an entirely different flavor profile. It has some bite to it!
I mixed up a batch of the stuff this week and served it over some fresh biscuits and seared ham. Biscuits and gravy is a traditional Southern dish by nature, but this is even a more Southern take on the classic.
You all maybe forgot this, but I’ve been working on a cookbook for what seems like the better part of my entire existence. The good news is that things are moving super-fast now! Soon you’ll be hearing all about it.
While I was planning on having a nice, relaxing weekend including maybe a hike and some chill cooking, I just got my first page copies for the book which completely tossed my weekend schedule out the window. If you don’t know, first pages are when the publisher send you a PDF of every page in the book and you have to go through and comment on the layout and make sure it’s what you envisioned.
Oh, and you have to do this for an entire book in, like, a week. It’s a quick turnaround, but also very exciting because it’s the first time I get to see my hard work actually laid out on the page!
The over/under on number of pots of coffee I drink this weekend is currently hovering around 5 1/2.
The holidays are rapidly approaching, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Let’s get started with a cleansing, healthy recipe so we can feel okay about gorging later. You pick!
Brined Deep-Fried Turkey Legs - Ok. I know I posted a turkey leg link last week (for those keeping track a.k.a nobody). These just looked too good to not link to. Brined! Fried! I feel like I could serve up a big bowl of these and skip the whole turkey thing. (@ Not Derby Pie)
Hibiscus Cranberry Sauce- I really put way too much weight on cranberry sauce during the holidays. I think it’s one of the most disrespected of sides and so I try to elevate it. I’m always looking for fun recipes that change it up and make it interesting. I’m sure this tastes good, but also the color is astounding. (@ Love and Olive Oil)
The Red Hook- I like to drink wine over the holidays. And cocktails. Lots of cocktails. In fact, I think Betsy and I are going to throw a little holiday cocktail party later in the year which should be fun. I think this guy will be on the menu. (@ Sippity Sup)
This Week’s Meal Plan
This week’s meal plan is designed for beginners. The meals are all simple, but they aren’t light in the flavor department. I could eat the meals in this plan every week (especially the sloppy joes)! You can sign up now for Macheesmo Meals and get a free week to try out the plans (there are now over a dozen total) and see if you like them!
Hi, do you have a vampire problem? If so, I have the recipe for you! Not only will it safeguard your house and surrounding area from garlic-hating demons, it will also happily feed you.
For the poll last week you all voted for something with a lot of garlic in it and I can think of nothing that has more garlic in it than, well, garlic.
If you’re unfamiliar with the technique of confit cooking, it is used a lot for meats like duck to slowly cook them and also preserve them for later. Essential it involves cooking them in fat, but not frying them necessarily. Theoretically, you could do this with almost anything but some foods take on the technique better than others. Garlic is one of the things that it works perfectly on.
I’ve had this on my list to try forever and finally got around to it over the weekend.
As Betsy said when she tried a piece of bread slathered with the end result: “Sometimes you know what you’re doing.”
Over the years, I’ve been sent a bunch of cookbooks and I’ve probably turned down many times the number that I’ve been sent just because I can’t read them all!
Anytime I get an offer to check out a new America’s Test Kitchen cookbook though, I always jump at the chance. They write unbelievable cookbooks that combine all of my favorite things: good recipes, excellent photos, and easy-to-understand instructions.
Their latest book, The Cooking School Cookbook, is maybe their best so far. I made this curry from it a few weeks ago and it was one of the better curries I’ve ever had. Check out the recipe and also see how you can win a copy of this awesome book!
One of the top requests I get from you lovely readers is make-ahead weekday breakfasts that are fast, not processed, and don’t suck.
To be honest, Betsy and I usually do the oatmeal thing during the week these days but I get that some people need something more substantial in order to break their fast.
Enter the breakfast bowl. You can buy similar things in the frozen section of the store for dollars a piece or you can just make your own on the weekend and have them throughout the week.
This is about as basic as a breakfast bowl can be. The cool thing is that the recipe makes six (and you could double it easily if you had enough space and bowls) so you can eat some now and also freeze some for later. It’s a really filling and delicious way to start the day.
You can tackle any Monday if you have one of these in the morning.