Beef….

Is what I did for Thanksgiving!  This year it was just the hubby and I for dinner.  Our niece has a big family Thanksgiving meal at her house on the Saturday after Turkey Day so I knew we would be having turkey.  It gave me a chance to change things up a bit.

t-day-menu

Between my work schedule and the husbands travel schedule, I haven’t been spending as much time in the kitchen as I like.  I find it very therapeutic, so I took the opportunity to spend the entire day in the kitchen on Thanksgiving.   We started with bacon and homemade buttermilk waffles.

Because honestly, a day that starts with bacon is ALWAYS a good day in my book!  For lunch, I made a pot of pasta fagioli soup and paired it with a good old grilled ham and cheese sandwich.

soup-and-sammie

Late afternoon, I put out a plate of cheese and crostini, I found a really awesomely sharp cheddar and a creamy brie.  It was a perfect little bit to get us through the second football game of the day.

Finally, it was time for dinner.  Our first course was homemade pumpkin ravioli.  I made the filling in the morning and just before dinner, I made the dough.  I picked up a ravioli maker from Williams Sonoma and it made my life so much easier.  That and the pasta rolling attachment for my kitchen aid meant I went from a ball of dough to actual ravioli in under twenty minutes!

I made a very simple cream sauce, butter, cream and Parmesan cheese for the ravioli, they were amazing.  I can’t wait to make them again!

For dinner, we grilled beef tenderloin steaks and asparagus, and I made twice baked potatoes. I even made homemade bread using my sour dough starter, I am telling you, I was in the kitchen ALL DAY LONG, and I loved it!

It is always good to end the day on a sweet note, neither the hubby or I are big fans of pie, so I made a caramel apple cheesecake instead.  It was AWESOME!

 

It was a very relaxing, enjoyable day, which I think we both needed and for which I was truly grateful.

Zucchini Bread

I had so much zucchini from the garden last year that I ended up shredding a ton and freezing it.   This past school year has just been so insanely crazy, that I haven’t gotten around to using the frozen zucchini like I thought I would.  In an effort to clear out the freezer before the summer garden season gets under way, I pulled out a bag and made a batch of zucchini bread.

zucchini bread

I used my Mom’s recipe, which is hands down my favorite.  It is the favorite of the girls who live next door as well.  I gave them one of the loaves to take home, the other one they devoured at my house.  I only had one slice left of our loaf!  That is totally fine with me, I am trying to stay away from sugar, so I saved the last piece for the hubby to have with his morning coffee.  I only have a few more bags of zucchini to get through and the freezer will be all cleaned out and ready for this year’s crop!

It is official

I finally found the one thing that will stop me from grilling…..temperatures below 5 degrees.  This week started out unbearably cold, which is bad, but the wind, the wind was brutal.   I was originally going to grill some bone in lamb chops or veal chops for Valentines Day, but I quickly changed my mind after being blasted by the wind when I went to the grocery store.

I settled on a good old fashioned comfort meal instead, one that had lots of red and one heck of a lot of cheese!  Lasagna!  Might not be the most romantic dinner in the world, but it was warm, it was comforting, and it was exactly what I needed after being sick for the last four days.

finished lasagna

I knew I was going to need something chocolate to finish out my dinner.  I found a recipe for chocolate cookies with chocolate chips, I mean come on, the recipe called for unsweetened chocolate, cocoa powder, and bittersweet chocolate. Whoo HOOOOO!

choc cookies

Hopefully you all had a lovely Valentine’s Day, mine involved chocolate so you know I was happy!

Football Tailgating is Back in Season!

The hubby went to the Penn State Game last weekend (thank goodness he skipped the Temple game……) and of course, I had to make them road cookies for the ride home.   Since I had to work that day, I took the easy way out and made blondies.   He was going with a new group of guys that I am not as familiar with, so I kept it simple, I only used a hint of cinnamon in the bars and topped them with dark chocolate chips.

blondies

Since it was an early game, I also packed them breakfast for their first tailgate meal.  I whisked up a bunch of eggs and sent them with some cheese, bagels, and bacon.  The hubby made breakfast sandwiches out of them for everyone.   After the game, they like to eat a little something before heading home, so I sent them with burgers, cheese, and chips.   Easy enough that even my husband can’t screw it up.    Thank goodness Penn State won, I am sure they would have preferred a little less rain in the forecast, but has the hubby will tell you, any day spent watching football is a good day.   I was very happy to come home after a long day at work and read while listening to the rain hit the roof.  We both had great afternoons, just in very different ways!