Easy Dinner

Steak is a easy dinner to throw together and somehow always impresses people.  “Oh steak?” they ask while licking their lips.  “Yes steak”.

A simple london broil that was cooked for about 15 minutes on medium.  I just seasoned it with salt and pepper.

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I marinated mushrooms in butter and then added mined garlic and soy sauce.  Leave the liquid boil off and then pour these on your steak.

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Add some mac and cheese because well, you just should.

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Container Gardening

This is why container gardening is amazing. We have never had broccoli plants this size before… Everything is from seeds too.

We started these broccoli plants 2 weeks earlier than all the others.  These are just planted in big beds, no containers.  Do you see the size of them?

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We planted these broccoli plants 2 weeks after the one up above and they have been planted in containers.  Do you see the size of them?

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Also all the monster plants (container based) have broccoli beginning as well.

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Apple Cider Revisited

Today I made a new batch of apple cider. I have been craving it for the past few weeks and it seems like every time I buy apples a few days later they are gone and no cider is made.  And then I’m like “Where are the apples?”… then I look at Matthew. So today as soon as I got home from the grocery store I cut them up and boiled some cider.

Recipe here.  For today’s cider I used Fuji, McIntosh and Red Rome apples.

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Thanksgiving Presentation

I love settings things up, really anything.  I love color coordinating, doing crafts and then putting it all together.  This Thanksgiving I created a table setting which in the end I was really happy with. 

Our dinner table setup. Pretty!

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I wanted everyone to have nametags so I decided to spray paint some pinecones gold and then just put a thick watercolor name tag in each.

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I also spray painted pumpkins and gourds gold with some added in crimson pinecones.

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The day before I got some fresh flowers and made arrangements with them.

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This was a happy surprise but the flowers made the water a dark rich red too.

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I finished it off by adding some walnuts into extra glasses and setting the table with china and brown linen napkins.  Also we had a dark red table cloth that matched the serving table’s tablecloth as well.

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I added in some self timed tea lights and it created a lovely glow.

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Thanksgiving NOMS

What a feast we had! There was turkey, vegetables, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, stuffing, gravy, macaroni and cheese, rolls, charquican (pumpkins, corn, potatoes), pecan pie, coffee buns, chocolate mousse pie, alfajores (little sandwich cookies with caramel/coconut), carrot/apple juice.  I had 2 dishes, and then dessert.. and then there’s those leftovers! So much yumminess/guilt was held that evening.

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Xanadu the Supervisor

Xanadu was in charge of dinner and making sure everyone was aware of her presence.  I know some people would freak out about a cat on a dinner table, but not us, I wish the table was full of sleeping meowzas.

 

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Xanadu at the head of the table.

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Xanadu requesting William and Lia rub her real good.

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Xanadu wondering when she can eat more mashed potatoes.

The Prep

Some preparation pics I thought to share before I post the final food/setup. :)

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Good tunes while making food.

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I added some cheddar cheese into the green bean casserole this year, this made it so much better.

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Steaming chocolate into a graham cracker pie crust, mmmm.

 

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Lots of potato peeling…

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Creamy mashed potatoes.

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Attempting to keep the cats from thinking this was a new toy.

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Making our own corkscrew (which took a few cuss words) to get the cork out of the wine to cook the turkey in. Wear safety goggles kids.

1 more day

Thanksgiving is almost here, 1 more day!

Preparations are in full gear as I’m waiting for a delivery for tables/chairs/flatware and hoping it comes soon so I can hop to the florist and get some fresh flowers.

A turkey recipe and a creamy mashed potatoes recipe – you really can’t go wrong with these! Besides that, stuffing, green bean casserole, vegetables, gravy will be made.  Friends are also bringing macaroni and cheese, broccoli rice casserole, pies, fresh bread, etc.  It will be a feast indeed!  Afterwards we’ll sit around playing board games or watching a movie while not really being able to move.  I love Thanksgiving!

 

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6 friends. Not these friends, that would be weird.

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Google Docs planning.

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Crafts I’ve been working on for the last few days.

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A table already filled with dishes and food.

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And maybe a slice of pumpkin pie just because I deserve it. :D )

Beans

What a horrible year for beans it has been.  Just when the red scarlet runner beans were about to “do their thang” they got scorched by multiple 100+ days in a row, and then the hurricane shook them to their deaths.  Then finally we got some green beans growing and everything is going great, then frost his early this year and boom they’re done.

Today we ripped out the green beans which were sad times.  We did find on them though 4 lovely beans that grew before frost hit. We will enjoy these 4 beans and eat them very slowly.

Next year – beans and beyond!

It's been a bad season for our beans with frost hitting early.  We did get 4 beans though.  RIP beans.

The Best Turkey

This year we are having Turkey Day at our place and I’m planning in every aspect.  What thing I know though is we’ll be doing a sea salt brine on this turkey.  Back in September I made a turkey this way and it was hands down the juiciest, most delicious turkey I ever tasted in my life. 

Recipe from here with my tweaks below.

  • 1 (18 pound) whole turkey, neck and giblets removed
  • 2 cups kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 4 carrots, peeled and chopped  (can put more if you want)
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped  (can put more if you want)
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  1. Rub the turkey inside and out with the kosher salt. Place the bird in a large stock pot, and cover with cold water. Place in the refrigerator, and allow the turkey to soak in the salt and water mixture 12 hours, or overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Thoroughly rinse the turkey, and discard the brine mixture.
  3. Brush the turkey with 1/2 the melted butter. Place breast side down on a roasting rack in a shallow roasting pan. Stuff the turkey cavity with 1/2 the carrots, 1/2 the celery, 1 sprig of thyme, and the bay leaf. Scatter the remaining vegetables and thyme around the bottom of the roasting pan, and cover with the white wine.
  4. Roast uncovered 3 1/2 to 4 hours in the preheated oven, until the internal temperature of the thigh reaches 180 degrees F. Carefully turn the turkey breast side up about 2/3 through the roasting time, and brush with the remaining butter. Allow the bird to stand about 30 minutes before carving.

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Sweet Sausage and Peppers

With a overabundance right now with peppers I made this tonight and what a gem it is! Definitely going to be made again, the roasted peppers were so good.  You can either make this with some other things on the side (we had potatoes and a roll) or you could serve on a sub roll.

This was such a fresh meal as all the vegetables came from our garden. :)

The servings below are for 2:
3 links of sweet sausage – cut them up into 1 inch pieces
3 small yellow peppers
1 green pepper
olive oil
garlic salt

 

Cut up your peppers into 1-2 inch strips.  Cut up your sausage into 1 inch pieces.
Take your sausage and brown it on the stove for a few minutes.  Mix it with the peppers, then pour in some olive oil and a pinch of garlic salt, mix around.
After it’s brown, put it on the oven on broil (low) for 10 minutes.  After 10 minutes, mix it around so it doesn’t burn.  Put it back in the oven on broil (low) for 10 minutes.  After 10 minutes, mix it around.  Finally, put it back in the oven on broil (high) for 10 minutes.

Enjoy!

Fresh peppers:

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All done:

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Served with potatoes:

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