Thanksgiving Menu 2014

It’s almost here!

Eatwhateveryouwantday…I mean Thanksgiving.

So who’s coming? My 2 sisters and their husbands. My 2 nephews. My 2 brothers (one is bringing a girlfriend I haven’t met!). My Mom. My fiance and son. I can’t wait to see everyone! The only partial bummer is that we have to wait to have Thanksgiving until Friday because my sister Angela has a fire-fighter husband :)

The not bummer at all is that my new house has a second fridge. It’s SO frivolously wonderful not have one fridge sopackedthatyoucantshutthedoor! We’re living the good life I tell you!!

Apps

Veggie Tray with ranch dip. This is a must in our family. We eat on this ALL afternoon.

Thyme and Garlic baked Camembert. To be served with misc crackers and pita.

Dinner

Baked ham.

Roasted turkey. Butter under the skin (lots!). Rosemary, thyme, garlic and onion stuffed.

Arugula salad with beets, blue cheese, walnuts and shallots. Oil/vin dressing.

Mashed potatoes. Whole milk, butter…the norm.

Stuffing. Whole Foods organic in the bag kind. Dressed up with celery, onion, fennel and shiitake mushrooms.

My sister Angela’s fab 5 cheese mac-n-cheese.

Mom is bringing sweet potato casserole, collard greens and maybe something else.

Desserts

Candied Pecans.

Sweet Potato Cheesecake with Oat Pecan Crust. Whipped cream!

My sister Angela and my Mom will both bring surprise desserts to share.

I’ll take some follow up pics so you can see how awesomely amazing everything turned out!!!

Estate Sale and Consignment Store Finds

As you may (or may not) know, our family moved from Richmond, Va to Virginia Beach, Va back in August. We moved from a 3 story townhouse in downtown Richmond to a 1 1/2 story house with our own yard, a pool which is off of the Lynnhaven River. Our dogs love being able to run out of the back door and be in their own yard. I may be creating a new blog or changing the name of this blog to go along with my new coastal lifestyle! Be on the lookout!

I’ve been to a few sales and consignment stores recently and once again came away with some awesome deals! I love when I can sell something I can no longer use and spend the money on something “new to me”.

I bought this desk at a consignment store. The owners of the shop purchased it and re-stained the top and distressed the bottom of the desk and the chair with Annie Sloan chalk paint. My friend Lindsay introduced me to chalk paint a month or so ago and this was the first time I had seen it used it person. I spent 3 hours last Sunday reading blogs about it. I think I’m hooked! The desk will be perfect for my guest bedroom/craft room…especially after I paint the bright-obnoxiously-blue walls!

my new desk

This is a basket that I got from an estate sale for $2. It could easily hold a pie or be a tray for a plate. It’s super sturdy and heavy too.

pie basket

At the same sale I got an antique wooden box that at one time was used to ship tin foil. They wanted $45 for it but it was the last day of the sale and everything was half-off. I couldn’t resist it at that price! The bags and misc items in the middle of the picture are fishing lures and such that my fiance picked up. I also got a small metal stool for $1.50. I may use it  for decor or for my nephews to reach the sink to brush their teeth when they visit :)

misc estate sale finds

I was super excited about these baskets when I snagged them for $4. Something told me they were worth a lot more. Sure enough when I got home and did a Google search I found the same nesting baskets listed for $85! I’m keeping them!

nesting baskets

nesting baskets

That’s all for now. I have a side table I’m currently working on painting and re-tiling that I’ll share here soon!

 

Easy Chicken Pot Pie Soup

Today was raining and drizzling ALL day. Totally called for some comforting soup. This soup totally feels like eating a pot pie…well yes…minus the yummy crust. If a soup could be creamy and healthy all at the same time this is it. Next time I’m making biscuits.

Check out this crazy carrot. It looks like it has little legs!

baby carrots

Chicken Pot Pie Soup

  • 1 rotisserie chicken, torn into pieces
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 whole leeks, washed and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup sliced baby carrots (and more for munching)
  • 3 ribs celery, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 4 cups of chicken stock
  • 1 cup of frozen corn
  • 1 cup of frozen peas
  • Additional salt and pepper to taste

Method

Add the olive oil to a large stock pot, then toss in your leek, carrot, celery and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Stir, and cook for about 5 minutes. Add in the rosemary and thyme, stir and cook for about a minute. Add the flour, and stir again, making sure to get all of the vegetables coated in the flour. Cook for a couple of minutes, then add in the half and half. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to thicken. Add in the chicken stock, corn and peas and season with a pinch or two of salt and cracked black pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes. At this point the soup is ready! To make it a little more decadent serve with cornbread or biscuits!!

Eating Lately

Lunches:

Salad! Leftover chicken sliced. Romaine. Cucumbers. Red onion. Herb goat cheese. Diced roma tomatoes from my garden.

salad

Soba noodles with shrimp, broccoli and edamame. I made this for my sister Angela and my nephews when I went to visit them for the day. The kids tore it up!

Canned albacore “salad” with celery, onion, relish, dijon and vegenaise. Served on toasted 9 grain bread. I also ate a few celery chunks and some leftover green peas.

Fried eggs. Rye toast. Banana and strawberry slices.

Huevos rancheros from Lunasea. YUM!

brunch

Dinners:

Navy beans cooked with a ham bone that I froze back in the spring. Also made a pumpkin chocolate chip bread and corn muffins while the beans were cooking.

corn muffins

Baked croaker and spot fish with lemon. Locally caught, because we caught the fish! Salad.

salad

Seared boneless, skinless chicken breast topped with sauteed mushrooms. Golden beets.

Grilled flat iron steak. Steamed broccoli sprinkled with nutritional yeast. Coleslaw.

 

Eating Lately

Lunches:

Quinoa tossed with leftover black bean salsa (no one was eating it WTH!) and topped with shredded cheddar. This was lunch for 2 days.

mex quinoa bake

 

Chipotle!! A burrito bowl with brown rice, black beans, sofritas and all the fixin’s. I was working in Richmond and my nephew had a dentist appointment around 1:30 near where I was so my sister Angela agreed to meet me here for lunch before his appointment. So fun!

Had a lunch meeting with another colleague and they brought in Olive Garden. I hadn’t eaten their salad and bread-sticks in forever!

Scrambled eggs, with tomato, onion and spinach and then topped with sliced avocado.

Dinners:

Stuffed red peppers: brown rice, cooked crumbled ground sirloin, spices, chopped almonds, jalapeno and cheese. I’m leaving something out but it’s ok. Maybe I’ll post the recipe soon. They got rave reviews from my guys.

Grilled flat iron steak and a salad with chopped romaine, cucumbers, onion, feta and Newman’s Own oil/vinegar dressing.

Shrimp and grits. Roasted brussel sprouts.

Ate out at Froggies Cantina during their open mic night. I had crab legs and a side of green beans. A few stolen bites of mac-n-cheese may have happened :)

Grilled fish (that we caught!). Orzo with sauteed mushrooms and a bit of melted brie. Sauteed zucchini and onions.

Pan seared chicken breast with a roll. Carrots and cucumbers.

Since I don’t have pics of the food I ate, I’ll share one of the fish we caught!

fishing

 

Eating Lately

I didn’t mean for the whole summer to go by!

Just to break the ice after my long absence I thought I’d share what I’ve been eating lately.

Lunches:

Grilled cheese served with Roasted Tomato Basil soup.

Homemade Tarragon Chicken Salad (leftover chicken breast, celery, red onion, tarragon, Vegenaise, dijon) with a few rice crackers and diced, baked sweet potatoes.

Tarragon Chicken salad

Another day for lunch I had the same diced, baked sweet potatoes with about a 1/2 cup of black beans, a fried egg and some salsa on the side.

Hummus, tuna salad, sliced cucumber and rice crackers.

Dinners:

Shrimp, tarragon and arugula quinoa…based on this recipe. This time I didn’t chop the shrimp, added 4 cloves of garlic instead of 1 and I made extra quinoa for a quinoa pancakes recipe I want to try this weekend!

Shrimp tarragon quinoa mix

 

Grilled Sriracha Honey Mustard Beef Kebabs from this recipe. I made some beef and some chicken and also added mushrooms and peppers. I accidentally picked some fiery ones and my fiance and son (who normally put hot sauce on everything) said to never buy those again. Lots of water drinking happened!

Seared salmon and an iceberg salad with tomatoes, cucumber, green onion and feta.

Salsa Verde Sour Cream Enchiladas. I also made a batch of Southwestern Salsa with Corn and Black Beans. I ate scoop with the enchiladas but really it was a make ahead so I could have it with a fried egg for upcoming lunches.

One day after doing a weights workout in the morning and biking over 4 miles that afternoon we went out to eat for dinner at Dockside. I had a greek salad topped with grilled med-rare tuna.

After searching Craigslist and looking at new bikes in local shops, I bought a used Trek beach cruiser bike this past week. I had looked at it earlier that day and returned to the same store because it was my favorite of all the ones I’d looked at…one small detail…I didn’t know it was used. When I told the store employee I wanted it (a different guy than had helped me earlier) he said, “Did you know it was used, ma’am?”. I asked how much it was and immediately knew I’d made the right decision. Instead of the new price of over $450 I got it for $250! Of course then I had to go and buy a detachable basket!

Trek beach crusier

Trek cruiser on a trail

Southwestern Salsa with Black Beans and Corn

Southwestern Black Bean and Corn Salsa

I started making this recipe 7-8 years ago when a co-worker made it and brought it to work. It was delish and an extra bonus? I already had the cookbook that she got the recipe from!

Since then I have made this salsa for cookouts and take it over to dinner parties as an appetizer on numerous occasions. My Mom even makes it too! Of course when this dip gets around my brothers and my son what would typically be enough for a “big party” is devoured in no time. I’m lucky if I get a couple of chips worth!

Southwestern Salsa with Black Beans and Corn

I hosted our neighborhood book club last night and made this salsa. I had a couple of people ask for the recipe…always a good indicator that it was enjoyed!

The yellow peppers were on sale where I shopped so I substituted them for the red pepper. In the past I have used cumin powder instead of cumin seed and it works well. I bought cilantro and used parsley from my herb garden. The lime juice, garlic and red pepper flake…yummmmm…I think I’ll have more for breakfast!

Southwestern Salsa with Black Beans and Corn

 

Recipe from The Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook