Every year for the holidays my mom would make a cheese ball and a salmon ball that we were able to enjoy throughout the day.
I loved that cheese ball and it was only later after I asked for the recipe that I realized it was full of things I hated like Velveeta (ew!) and blue cheese (double ew!). But it tasted amazing on crackers.
I always associate cheese balls and cheese spreads with the holidays. I don’t know why they kind of went out of fashion. Maybe people wanted to put out cubes of fancier sounding cheeses. Maybe people got lazy and it was easier to cut up cheese and set out chunks without worrying about making it look pretty.
I think now that many associate the cheese ball or cheese spread as something cheesy (pun intended) from the 60s. But I think a cheese ball can be fancy, creative, and a fun thing to have out for entertaining.
Read more on Cheese Ball Requests…
A local dairy, Morning Fresh, makes eggnog for the holidays and it’s fantastic.
It’s thick, creamy, and full of holiday spice like nutmeg and allspice. It’s hands down one of the best dairy eggnogs that I’ve tasted and during the holidays I always have a quart of it in the fridge.
We drink it but I also use it to bake with because it provides fantastic flavor. I promise this is not an ad for Morning Fresh, I just really like their nog.
So on one of my days off, I decided to use some nog in waffles. Oh and some rum.
This was a good decision.
Andrea’s Eggnog Waffles
- 2C Unbleached All Purpose Flour
- 1tsp Baking Soda
- 3TBSP Cane Sugar
- 1tsp Cinnamon
- 1/2tsp Allspice
- 1/4tsp Clove
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2C Eggnog (can use non-dairy eggnog**)
- 1/2C Water
- 1/2C Rum
- 2tsp Vanilla Extract
- Melted butter or coconut oil to brush on the waffle iron.
Start to heat up the waffle iron. In a large mixing bowl combine all of the dry ingredients and whisk. In a medium sized bowl, combine all of the wet ingredients and mix well. Slowly add the wet mixture to the dry and gently whisk until everything is incorporated.
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Our Thanksgiving was very low key this year. I didn’t have a lot of time to do prep work because of other commitments during the week. Wednesday I did as much as I could and then on Thanksgiving Day I had to finish up the rest.
Thankfully that wasn’t too much!
I made the mistake of going to the grocery store on Tuesday for some last minute items. Yikes! I won’t be doing that again.
We had a huge turkey this year. It was a half turkey that weighted in at 15lbs. It looked enormous in the fridge and the roaster!
When all was said and done though, we didn’t have nearly as much leftover meat as I had feared.
I tried a new little twist with sweet potato pie that I think turned out pretty well. I added in some eggnog and bourbon to the mix.
Bourbon always goes over well in this house.
We had the basics for sides: stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, and then some green beans. No green bean casserole, just plain beans.
Read more on Thanksgiving 2013…
I had an open bottle of red wine and a little two pound chuck roast, both of which needed to be used up.
I decided to try to combine the two and see what I could come up with. I added some tomato sauce to the wine to help extend it, added some veggies, tossed everything in the slow cooker and hoped for the best.
It turned out delicious!
I love using the slow cooker especially on days when I’m at work all day long. Coming home to dinner practically ready and serving itself is a huge time saver.
Andrea’s Slow Cooker Chuck Roast with Red Wine Tomato Sauce
- 1 2lb Chuck Roast
- 1 8oz Can of Tomato Sauce (your favorite brand)
- 1C Red Wine (Whatever you have on hand)
- 1/2 Medium Onion, cut in chunks
- About 4 Large Carrots, also cut in to chunks
- About 5-6 Small-Medium Potatoes, chuck in to chunks
- 1/2tsp Salt
- 1/2tsp Ground Black Pepper
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Craft Beer is definitely becoming more and more popular as people explore beer beyond the boundaries of the Big Breweries.
And many sites are trying to ride this wave by providing beer pairing lists to go with your holiday meal.
And this is where I get grumbly because looking at some of these lists it is very clear the author has no idea what they are talking about or even how to approach the topic.
My two biggest complaints about these types of lists is that I feel the author does not:
- Take availability of the beer they are recommending into account.
- Take the ABV of the beer they are recommending into account.
First up (and the most ridiculous one I found) is from The Daily Meal.
Reading the article you can gather that this author might not be a beer drinker. She states:
“In Boston, the long-awaited release of Shipyard’s Pumpkinhead is accompanied by wringing hands, and excited squeals from grown men.”
Read more on Craft Beer Meal Pairing Posts And How We Can Fix Them…
This was a quick I-Have-To-Go-Grocery-Shopping kind of lunch. I threw together what I could find in the pantry and some leftovers in the fridge and called it good.
Sauteed carrots, yellow squash, and chickpeas with some prosciutto tossed in. Salt, Pepper, and some chili powder and I called it lunch.
It was actually pretty tasty and left both of us full for quite a while!
After going to the grocery store, I picked up some English style muffins that didn’t have a super long ingredient list to go with it. The next morning we had breakfast sandwiches with ham, egg, and cheese.
Pork Chops are a favorite around here. Chops with an Isolation Ale reduction along with some roasted herbed potatoes and carrots.
Breakfast Nachos! Scrambled eggs, pork green chili, and shredded cheddar all piled up on some nachos. Pretty tasty!
Slow Cooker Chuck Roast with a Red Wine Tomato sauce along with potatoes and carrots. Delicious and super easy to make. Recipe coming this week!
Read more on Around Here…
Sloppy Joes made an appearance frequently at our house. My mom made them frequently but it was always with some sort of mix.
Not the canned Manwich mix because that was a little too fancy for our household. My mom used some sort of packet seasoning and the addition of tomato sauce.
I wasn’t really a fan of it but I ate it.
I couldn’t even tell you the last time I had a Sloppy Joe or was even interested in eating one. But last week I craved that tangy and slightly spicy tomato sauce that goes with Sloppy Joes.
So what the heck, I decided to create a Sloppy Joe dish that also has veggies and served it over rice. Filling and perfect for getting snug on the couch and watching a little hockey.
Andrea’s Sloppy Joe Bowls
For The Rice:
- 1C Long Grain or Jasmine Rice
- 2C Water
Bring water to a boil and add the rice. Reduce to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes or until rice has absorbed all the water. Remove from heat and cover.
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Growing up I didn’t really like beans. The only beans I really willingly ate were green beans.
My mom and dad loved bean soup and they would eat it often for lunch during the winter months. As a kid, I couldn’t wrap my head around the concept of bean soup.
Who wants to eat a huge bowl of only beans?
The answer now is me! I love beans as an adult and make up big batches of them to have on hand. Cooking beans in a slow cooker is a breeze and it’s much cheaper to buy dried beans over canned beans.
Since the weather is turning colder, I decided to tackle making some bean soup from scratch starting with cooking up the beans.
I recently saw this recipe from Lori over at Fake Food Free where she used a wheat beer while cooking her beans. This sparked the idea to use some beer while cooking up the beans for this soup.
Read more on Ham Hock Bean Soup…
I don’t make pretty omelettes. I don’t even pretend that I can make omlettes well and while they might not look amazing they are tasty!
This was a Chicken Cordon Bleu omelette stuffed with shredded roasted chicken, prosciutto slices, and swiss cheese. It made for a pretty awesome breakfast.
Pork brats simmered in New Belgium’s 1554 along with red peppers and onions in the slow cooker for about 6 hours. I then put the brats in a skillet to crisp up the skin. Drained the juices from the slow cooker and reduced by half making a lovely pan sauce. Add the brats, peppers, and onions back in and dinner was served!
I love buckwheat and recently found some during my last trip to Whole Foods. I made some waffles and topped that with some bourbon cranberry applesauce. This is the recipe for the sauce, just add in about 1/4C bourbon at the end.
Sloppy Joes with some extra veggies added. I nixed the bun and served over rice. Delicious, filling, and you can expect a recipe for it later this week!
Read more on What We’ve Been Eating…
I had been in a cooking rut for a little while but things have turned a corner and now I’m jotting down ideas like crazy.
I’m not sure if it’s the change in weather (fall and winter being my favorite time of year) or if I just happened to have come across some inspiring recipes. Probably a little bit of both.
I had the chance to spend a great deal of time in the kitchen earlier this week and was very thankful to have that moment. Cooking puts me at ease and is a big stress reliever.
I made a dish, the soup pictured above, and it took all day long. It started off in the slow cooker and finished on the stove. It was well worth it because it tasted fantastic.
Sometimes cooking a meal can take 30 minutes and sometimes it can take hours. Either way you end up with something fantastic that you took the time to make. It is always worth the effort.
Read more on Cooking Inspirations…