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Archives for November 2008

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Thanksgiving ’08

by TT November 27th, 2008| Food News
This year's Thanksgiving is much quieter than last year's.  Last year, we had approximately 20 people at our home for a traditional dinner.  We made turkey, duck, cornbread stuffing, Parker House rolls, and much more.  It was a 2-day cooking event.

This year we won't have any kids with us, as both sets are with their other parents.  It will be just my husband, myself, and our best friends.  As there are only adult palates to please, we have chosen a more gourmet and unique Thanksgiving menu.

Being the foodies, my husband and I have offered to cook the meal.  Both of
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Butternut and Broccoli Soup

by TT November 26th, 2008| Healthy Cooking, Recipes, Soups & Stews
I have a very dear friend that I have known for almost 20 years.  We worked together for about half of that time, so we had the luxury of seeing other daily and eating lunch together.  However, in the spring I decided to change careers, which has been great, but I don't get to see my friend as frequently.

With two busy schedules, it can be difficult to find an evening to sit and chat.  Last week, luckily, we found a couple evening hours free of meetings, parenting responsibilities, etc.  As my new career is home-based, I offered to make a
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Many Minis

by TT November 25th, 2008| Appetizers, Breakfast Dishes, Main Dishes, Recipes
It dawned on me this morning that ours is a household of minis.  In addition to our vehicles (a minivan and a Mini), there are other minis.  My husband and I are both foodies, and thus, a couple of our children are mini-foodies.  They love to cook and critique new foods, be it at a restaurant or home.  We also have a mini-farm, with 15 egg-laying hens in a backyard coop.

When you have mini-foodies and a mini-farm, you sometimes need to find recipes that combine the two, which was the case last week.  With our chickens hitting a daily high
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Cheddar Cheese Biscuit Crackers

by TT November 20th, 2008| Appetizers, Recipes
For soup night this week, our 12 year old chose corn chowder.  As it is a heavier soup, we didn't need bread to go with it, but it seemed that some sort of cracker might work.  Thinking about our options, I decided to try making cheddar cheese crackers.

So, on Tuesday night, my 10 year old daughter and I worked together, making the dough.  The dough was too dry without any liquid added, so we used a little skim milk to help the dough bind.  In hindsight, this addition produced crackers that were a little bit on the soft side.

Even though
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Grandma’s Corn Chowder

by TT November 19th, 2008| Recipes, Soups & Stews
As the cold weather has arrived, and is staying, soup night has returned to our house.  So, each week, one person in the house gets to choose the soup du jour.  This week was our twelve year old son's turn to choose.

JP is the biggest foodie of our four kids, so you never know what he might request.  This week he kept his choice simple and asked for corn chowder.  However, he did have a request.  He asked that I make the soup like my grandmother and add bacon to it.

I honored his request, though I did it with a
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Banana-Berry Smoothie

by TT November 18th, 2008| Breakfast Dishes, Drinks, Healthy Cooking, Recipes
I have to confess that I have a slight bit of an addiction to. . . smoothies.  If you had told me a few years ago that my daily breakfast would be a smoothie, I would have laughed.  Not that I ate big breakfasts, but a bowl of cereal usually was my thing.  So, to go from a breakfast that involves chewing to a breakfast of drinking only seemed like it couldn't be very filling.

I was wrong.

When I first tried smoothies as a breakfast, I would have a few sips of my husband's smoothie and then make something for myself. 
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Sweet Potato Gnocchi

by TT November 13th, 2008| Appetizers, Main Dishes, Recipes, Tapas Monday
A little food and math equation for the day:

Monday night at our house = Late dinner night for the adults

As I am the adult at home with the kids on Monday evenings, I am the planner of these late night dinners.  Quite frequently I make a dinner of smaller dishes or tapas.  This past Monday I felt inclined to create an Italian style dinner that consisted of bite-sized food.

So that there would be a decent amount of variety without too much food for only two people, I created three dishes.  For one dish I chose to make a simple pan
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Sweetly Spiced Pecans

by TT November 12th, 2008| Appetizers, Recipes
Yesterday was a no school day for two of our children.  With our 12 year old son at a friend's house, our 10 year old daughter was looking for an activity to amuse herself.  After a morning of sewing clothes for her doll she asked if we could make some sort of "holiday food".

Inquiring as to what that might be, she suggested making a batch of spiced pecans.  This seemed like a good idea and a snack that would be eaten by all family members.  So, while I finished a few work projects, I had her do a little bit
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Feel of Fall Salad Dressing

by TT November 11th, 2008| Recipes, Salads
I know, I know.  It is November, and the weather has turned chilly.  And yes, I have stated previously that I am a seasonal eater and have begun making soups instead of salads.  However, last week we had a slightly warmer day, so I couldn't resist the urge for one more salad dinner.

Working with a base of various lettuces, I decided that this salad could have a touch of autumn added to it if I made a cranberry vinaigrette.  Using pears, pecans, and blue cheese as toppings, this salad would have some great contrasts in flavors from the tartness of
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Slightly Spicy Spread

by TT November 6th, 2008| Recipes, Sandwiches, Spreads & Sauces
In the last couple years, I have developed a liking for a variety of fish.  I used to crinkle my nose at the thought of dinner at a seafood restaurant.  However, as I have sampled different kinds of seafood, I have found many to be appealing.

Cooking for a family, I like to expose our children to new dishes to broaden their dining horizons also.  However, I know that if I jump into new foods too quickly, it can result in displeasure.  Therefore, I have different strategies that I use when presenting a new dish.  Sometimes it is the reward of
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Splatterless Bacon

by TT November 5th, 2008| Breakfast Dishes, Recipes, Side Dishes
All of my children and my husband love bacon.  So, for a lazy weekend breakfast or a summer burger barbecue, there is often the request to have bacon with the meal.

However, the mess from cooking bacon on stovetop (even when using a lid or a splatter shield) often makes me want to suggest a different ingredient.  Though, with four little smiles asking, "Pleeease. . ." I usually cook the bacon and deal with the mess after the meal.

Recently, someone suggested that I cook the bacon in the oven.  I have to admit that I was skeptical.  I figured that the
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Not from a Box Potato Skins

by TT November 4th, 2008| Appetizers, Recipes
At our house, almost all of the family members are fans of Sunday football.  However, that doesn't mean that Sunday afternoon is spent watching every game.  In fact, the only reason the kids are fans of football is that it is our day for eating munchies.

Being foodies, my husband and I prefer to make the appetizers that we will be eating.  Sometimes he and I choose a theme and all of the dishes to go with it.  Other times we ask each child to pick a favorite snack for us to make.

This past weekend, our 11 year old daughter requested
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