Monthly Archives: November 2012

Bacon, Spinach and Chicken Stew


One of the (many) pitfalls of being unemployed is that now the weather is cold and gloomy and I have even less motivation to leave the apartment than I did before (which is truly frightening). One of the fantastic things about being unemployed is the colossal amount of time I have on my hands to dream up and cook delicious things. I’m like Jerry Seinfeld. It all evens out.

I’ve been dying to make soup lately and this was easy and used up lots of things I already had in my house. You could use this recipe if you still have leftover turkey from Thanksgiving, or bookmark it for Christmas leftovers.

On the menu:
Bacon, Spinach and Chicken Stew
Serves 4
Adapted from this recipe from The Kitchn

1 large chicken breast, cooked and shredded
4 strips of bacon, diced into thin slices
3 cloves garlic, minced
10 oz. baby spinach
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
4 – 5 cups chicken stock
Freshly grated parmigiano reggiano

Heat a large stock pot over medium-high heat and add bacon. Cook until most of the fat is rendered and the bacon is almost crisp. Add garlic and stir, cooking for 1 minute. Add baby spinach and stir until completely coated in bacon fat. Sprinkle spinach with salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic powder. Cook for 5 – 7 minutes or until spinach is wilted down. Add cooked chicken and stir to coat in fat. Cook for 5 minutes until mixture is completely heated through. Add chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Cook for 15 – 20 minutes at a simmer.

Serve in big soup bowl and sprinkle grated cheese over the top.

Note: The sandwich in that picture is a delectable prosciutto with melted mozzarella and balsamic marinated cherry tomatoes on challah rolls. And yes… it was as good as it looks.

Last Note (promise): I don’t know why this is a stew and not a soup, but to me it’s a stew because there’s more stuff than broth. You feel me? Ok good.

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Snickerdoodles

These cookies are hands down one of my favorites, and I pretty much crave them every day of my life. They turn out thin, with crispy edges and chewy middles. Is there a better kind of cookie? These are fantastic to have around the holidays since they make your house smell like butter and cinnamon, and also they are not healthy by any means so they’ll help you gain that much desired winter weight.

You… wait… what? You DON’T like winter weight? Then what the heck are you doing here?!

On the menu:
Snickerdoodles
Makes 36 cookies
Recipe from Joy of Cooking

2 cups flour
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs

For rolling dough balls in:
1/4 cup sugar
4 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl, cream together butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar. Beat in eggs one by one. Add flour to butter and sugar mixture and stir until combined.

In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup of sugar and cinnamon. Roll dough into 1 1/2 inch balls and then roll them in the cinnamon sugar mixture.

Bake for 12 – 14 minutes or until brown around the edges. Let cool. Devour. I mean… serve to friends.

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Happy Turkey Week!

I’m off for the week, kids! I’m holing up in the Adirondacks with nothing but booze and family. What else could I ask for?

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Wedding Weekend

Excuse the interruption for this non-food related post but my very best and oldest friend is getting married this weekend and I had to commemorate it with a photo. Congratulations, Chrissy! You’ve been an amazing friend from Barbies to Fredonia and everything in between, and I’m so glad I get to celebrate with you this weekend.

Lauren and Chrissy, the coolest kids on the block

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Thanksgiving Recipes

Pumpkin Ginger Soup topped with Pepitas

My family is ridiculously traditional, and suggesting an innovative take on a Thanksgiving classic usually warrants more eye rolls than anything else. But little by little, year by year, I’ve introduced a few dishes to the traditional Turkey Day menu that have gone over very well. Below is a list of dishes and recipes that you can try this year to give an untraditional spin to a very traditional meal. My family approves, so yours will, too.

STARTERS
Pumpkin Ginger Soup topped with Pepitas

SIDES
Roasted Kabocha Squash (just leave out the chicken to make this a nice compliment to the Thanksgiving turkey)
Butternut Squash, Leek, and Apple Gratin
Easy Biscuits
Jalapeno Goat Cheese Corn Bread
Green Bean Casserole (from The Pioneer Woman)

DESSERTS
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Sugar Crusted Apple Pie

BEVERAGES
Hard Cider

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Apple Nachos


I posted this picture on Instagram a couple weeks ago and was shocked at the huge response it got. I guess I shouldn’t have been, I was equally intrigued when I saw it on Pinterest. Which means alas, I cannot take credit for this genius idea. It’s so basic but so adorable and I find myself making it all the time as a late night snack. I can convince myself that because it’s mostly fruit, it must be healthy!

On the menu:
Apple nachos
Serves 1 – 2

1 large apple
3 Tbsp peanut butter
3 Tbsp craisins
2 Tbsp chocolate chips

Quarter the apple and cut out the core. Slice each quarter into 1/4 inch thick slices and fan out on a plate. Melt the peanut butter in the microwave for one minute until liquified. Sprinkle craisins and chocolate chips over the apple slices and then drizzle the peanut butter. Eat your face off.

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Cheesy Pumpkin Polenta


Don’t you hate when a recipe calls for less than the full can of pureed pumpkin? I’ve thrown away more 3 month old half-cups of pumpkin puree than I can even tell you. So after making these gems last weekend, I found myself with the age old conundrum: what to do with the extra pumpkin?

DUH. You add cheese. Why do I even bother contemplating?

I can’t lie to you, I ate this straight from the bowl with a spoon and I didn’t apologize for it one tiny bit. But it would also be stupendous as a bed for pork chops with sauteed apples or pulled pork or grilled chicken with roasted tomatoes. Am I right, or am I right?

On the menu:
Cheesy Pumpkin Polenta
Serves 2

1/4 cup white onion, minced
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, divided
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 1/4 cups water
3/4 cup whole milk (or half and half)
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup polenta
1/4 cup grated parmigiano reggiano

In a small pan, heat 1 Tbsp butter over medium/low heat. Add onion and sautee until very soft, around 8 minutes. Stir in pumpkin and heat for another 2 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium sized saucepan, heat water, milk, salt, and pepper until it boils. Stir in polenta in a gradual, thin stream, whisking constantly. Turn heat to low and continue cooking for 4 – 5 minutes.

Stir pumpkin/onion mixture into the milk and water mixture and cook for another 2 – 3 minutes until hot and combined. Remove from the heat and stir in remaining butter and grated cheese. Serve immediately.

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