Monday, November 25, 2013


Hi All!  Today I'm participating in another group giveaway - just in time for the holidays!.  Enter below to win $150 Target Gift card.

Magen ::: Kippy ::: Sarah Tara ::: Rachel ::: Emily Sevi ::: Kate a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Stuffing Muffins

So I'm sort of in a Thanksgiving slump this year.  As hard as I tried, I just could not find a time to host my annual Friendsgiving.  As excited as I am to be getting married in 16 days (but who's counting), I was feeling pretty blue that due to so many wedding related activities and trips home, I just couldn't work it out.

Fortunately, my office mates decided to have an office-giving, so I still got to cook some festive food and enjoy a plethora of carbohydrates, which made for a particularly challenging afternoon of meetings and emails.

These Stuffing Muffins turned out great.  I went with a classic herb mixture and a good, crusty italian bread.  The key is letting the bread get slightly stale, then drying it out in the oven.  The dryer the bread, the more moisture it absorbs!  I even made these in advance and reheated them on "warm" in the crock pot and they stayed crispy and fresh.  Enjoy!

* 10 c. Italian bread, cubed (I used one big round loaf)
* 2 tbsp. butter
* 1.5 c. onions, chopped
* 1 c. celery, chopped
* 1 tablespoon sage, minced
* 1 tablespoon thyme, minced
* 2-3 c. chicken stock, warm
* 1 egg

Preheat oven to 400.  Add bread cubes to oven and toast 5-8 minutes, until slightly dry.  Remove from oven, set aside, and reduce oven temperature to 350.

Meanwhile, heat a saute pan over medium heat and add butter.  When butter is melted, add onions and celery and saute until translucent, 8 minutes or so.  When the onion mixture is done, season generously with salt and pepper and add thyme and sage.  Add the onion mixture to the bread cubes, as well as the egg and chicken stock (start by adding 1 cup, stir, then add a second, until the bread is all moist but not soggy).  Stir well to combine, then set aside for 30 minutes and let the bread soak up the moisture.  Spray muffin generously with cooking spray, then scoop stuffing into pans.  Bake for 30 minutes, or until lightly golden brown.  Cool for at least 10 minutes before removing from the pan.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Thanksgiving: Set the Table

There's nothing I love more than a great themed party or table.  My problem is, my taste changes so much from day to day.  Sometimes I love vintage charm, other times modern glam - it really just depends on my mood.

Lately, I've been all about metallic. These pieces could easily transition from Thanksgiving through the holidays. 

Thanksgiving Glam

I also really appreciate a rustic Thanksgiving table.  Mixing in natural pieces, like gourds and pine cones, is a great way to save money and stay on theme. 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Crock Pot Chicken

A few weeks ago, my bridesmaids hosted the most amazing bridal shower for me at The Basics (my fave!). The food and the company were both wonderful and i'm still holding onto the excitement from utilizing all the new kitchen gadgets i'm starting to aquire from my registry.

One of my favorite gifts was a 6 quart crock pot.
When I saw the size of that crock pot I thought to myself, "I could put a whole chicken in this thing!" And guys, that's exactly what I did.

I think you all know by now i'm a huge fan of a simple roasted chicken.  There's just something so warm and comforting about it.  Unfortunately with the weather getting chillier and the days shorter, I barely seem to have the stamina to make it through an 8 hour work day, let alone wait 2 hours for a chicken to roast.  This chicken, however, is ready and waiting for you when you get home at night.  It's moist, flavorful, and falls right off the bone.  What could be better?

* 1 4-5 lb. chicken
* 1 lemon, quartered
* 3 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
* 2 tbsp. herbs de provence (this is a yummy herb mixture you can find with the spices)
* olive oil cooking spray
* salt, pepper

Remove the giblets from the chicken.  Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel, then place the lemon and garlic cloves inside the chicken and place the chicken in the crock pot. Spray the chicken with cooking spray, season liberally with salt, pepper, and herbs de provence.  Cook on low heat for 8 hours, or up to 10 hours.  Enjoy!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Mashed Butternut Squash

I'm feeling inspired this week to incorporate more seasonal produce in my diet.  This is a great article form CNN on power foods for fall, including seasonal squash, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, sweet potatoes and more.

Butternut squash is really like a less-sweet first cousin of the pumpkin. I love using this mashed squash as ravioli filling (with brown butter and sage), or on its own as a festive fall side.  This can be made in a snap with the help of pre-cut squash you can find in most stores these days.

* 32 oz butternut squashed, cut into one inch cubes
* 1/2 yellow onion, diced
* 2 tbsp. olive oil
* salt, pepper
* 2 tbsp. Parmesan cheese
* 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
* 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
* 1/4 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375.  Combine squash and onion on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and a season with salt and pepper.  Roast for 30 minutes, or until the squash is fork tender.  Add the squash mixture to a mixing bowl and add Parmesan, cumin, garlic powder, and cinnamon.  Stir well to combine, then use an immersion blender (or regular blender, in batches) to puree until you reach the consistency of mashed potatoes.  Enjoy!