Thanksgiving Recipe Round-Up

Alright friends, the countdown is on- A mere 1 1/2 days until Thanksgiving!

Despite the fact that it’ll just be Tall Guy and I celebrating in my teeeeensy tiny apartment, I am, of course, making a full feast.

 

As is tradition, Thanksgiving day pre-meal is all about trying to eat as little as possible, aka snacking on cranberry bread & cream cheese. In keeping with that, I’ll be making my mom’s cranberry bread.

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Tall Guy was in charge of the turkey this year, which we both decided had to be cooked somewhere other than my tiny oven. So he’s getting turkey from the restaurant where he works, Paris Bistro, and I’m in charge of pretty much everything else!

I’m all about the traditional Thanksgiving dishes. You know the ones- sweet potato casserole (I’m team-mini marshmallows!), green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce (from a can!)… And Tall Guy loves corn. Like, LOVES corn. I never remember corn being a huge part of my Thanksgiving meal, but I make exceptions for Tall Guy just because he’s so darn cute.

But what specific recipes am I making? I thought you’d never ask!

Believe it or not I don’t think I’ve ever had a sweet potato casserole with pecans, so I’m making this recipe, which has pecans AND marshmallows.

I’m going out on a limb and making green bean casserole from SCRATCH this year! And it’s all Sally’s fault!

My mom taught me how to make mashed potatoes. You can find her recipe over on a recipe round-up I did for Broke Girls Go Out a couple years ago.

I bought the Pepperidge Farm cubed stuffing bag mix. It calls for onion and celery (which a lot of the bag mixes do), but I’m leaving out the celery because we’re not huge fans of it. Instead, I’m going to add in cranberries, pecans and apples.

And now everyone’s favorite part- dessert! Is it any surprise I couldn’t resist making more than 1 dish?

For my token pumpkin dish, I’ll be making a version of these pumpkin cream cheese trifles.

In addition to that, and because Thanksgiving is nothing without pie, I’m making this sour cream apple pie. What? Yes, SOUR CREAM in a pie. Since we all know I’ll use anything as an excuse to eat sour cream, this pie has my name written all over it.

If you’re looking for other dessert recipes, check out some I’ve made in the past:
Bourbon Apple Oatmeal Pie – This pie turned me on to apple pies with crumble topping instead of crust on top- a lot easier and so delicious!
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Truffles – These are a great addition to any dessert spread, and oh so addictive!
Pumpkin Cream Pie – This is my go-to Thanksgiving pie recipe. It’s so simple, doesn’t require any oven space and can be done the night before.

And I HIGHLY recommend checking out Sally’s Baking Addiction Thanksgiving recipe roundup. All of her recipes are amazing and as a bonus she has make-ahead tips for them! If I could make them all, I totally would!

What are your favorite Thanksgiving dishes? What are you making this year? Let me know in the comments!

Have a great holiday and HAPPY THANKSGIVING! x

Doritos Chicken Casserole

This should maybe be called Mexican Crack Casserole because it is THAT good.

I’ll admit, I was a little skeptical at first. Something about Doritos in a casserole just makes it seem a little… Trashy? Unclassy? I don’t know exactly what, but let’s just say it’s not something you would  think to serve your in-laws. I made it for Football Sunday night, however, so didn’t think twice about it.

After eating it, though, this dish totally changed my mind. I can’t put my finger on what is so good about it, but I could NOT stop eating it. Make this asap. You won’t regret it!

Doritos Chicken Casserole (recipe adapted from Buns In My Oven)

1 bag (11 oz.) Nacho Cheese Doritos
2 c cooked, shredded chicken
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 c sour cream
8 oz shredded cheddar cheese
1 can ro*tel tomatoes
2 tsp taco seasoning (can use 1 tsp cumin and 1 tsp chili powder instead)
1/2 c pico de gallo

  1. Preheat oven to 350º.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together chicken, soup, sour cream, tomatoes, half of the cheddar and seasoning (or spices).
  3. Crush the Doritos. Spread half of the bag in the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish.
  4. Top with the chicken mixture. Spread evenly.
  5. Add the other half of the crushed chips to the top of the chicken mixture.
  6. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.
  7. Remove from the oven and top with the pico de gallo.
  8. Top with shredded lettuce and additional sour cream if desired.

If you’re like me, you’ll want to have extra sour cream for the top of your casserole! I also added some lettuce to the top, which I would highly recommend.

This recipe took no time to whip up, so it’s an after work meal contender for sure. Also perfect for girls night, game day or anything in between.

Homemade White Pizza with Sun-dried Tomatoes and Basil

Tall Guy and I had pretty much given up on having a real dinner last night, but at the last minute decided to make a pizza. And thank God we did because it was so delicious! We’re starting to work pretty well together in the kitchen, and our recipes are definitely benefiting from that!

White Pizza with Sun-dried Tomatoes and Basil

1 ball store-bought dough *Feel free to make your own dough!
2 T olive oil
1/4 c Goat Cheese
Buffalo Mozzarella
Sun-dried tomatoes
Basil
1/2 c balsamic vinegar
minced garlic, garlic powder, oregano, etc. *Any spices you want, really.

1. Preheat oven to 425º.
2. Bring balsamic vinegar to a boil. Simmer until thickened. Set aside.
3. Roll dough into desired shape and place on pan.
4. Brush dough with olive oil.
5. Sprinkle with garlic, oregano, etc. I usually use minced garlic or garlic powder (whatever I have on hand) and a few dashes of Sicilian seasoning.
6. Cover pizza with sun-dried tomatoes, basil leaves and goat cheese. Use as much or as little of these ingredients as you want.
7. Slice mozzarella cheese and put slices on top of the pizza. I usually make sure most areas of the pizza are covered with cheese, but you can use as much as you want.
8. Sprinkle with balsamic reduction.
9. Bake until cheese is melted and edges of the crust are golden brown.

pizzaHave you tried making your own pizza? What are your favorite toppings? Let me know in the comments!

Creamy Avocado Pasta

After spending most of Saturday on the couch nursing my margarita hangover with House of Cards season 2, I needed a quick and painless recipe to make for “Valentine’s Day” lunch with Tall Guy on Sunday.

I combed my “to try” list and settled on this creamy avocado pasta sauce recipe. It was super simple, and with a few additions and tweaks, it made for a great meal! Unfortunately, I don’t have picture evidence since I was too busy worrying about Tall Guy’s broken kneecap to remember to snap a photo, but I was pretty proud of my one-bowl presentation.

Creamy Avocado Pasta Sauce (recipe originally by two peas & their pod)

1 ripe avocado, pitted and removed from peel
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 c chopped fresh cilantro
salt and pepper

You can use whatever pasta you want for this recipe. I used penne.

1. Place avocado, lime juice, garlic and cilantro into a food processor.
2. Process until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes.
3. Add salt and pepper to taste.
4. Put cooked, drained pasta in a bowl and toss with avocado sauce. Serve immediately.

To me, the sauce was a little heavy on the lime juice, so when I tossed it with the pasta I added a good amount of salt and pepper, but also threw in a tiny amount of olive oil (about 1 tbsp worth) and mixed in some pecorino romano (about 2 tbsp worth), as well.

Tall Guy is a big meat eater, and I wanted the meal to be filling without having a bunch of sides, so I added some crumbled bacon and grilled chicken tenders in as well.

The sauce whipped up in about 5 minutes total, so easy you could do it on a busy weeknight!

And to top it all off, Tall Guy said it was his favorite recipe I’ve made him yet!

Gourmet Pizza

So I know I’ve talked about my billions of recipes that I have on a “to try” list that I can never seem to put a dent in. In my effort to start making more of the real recipes (aka something other than a baked good or dessert recipe), I had Tall Guy pick out something he wanted to try for dinner and he picked this super delicious pizza recipe! I’ve never been a huge fan of pizza “recipes” before since I don’t really think  need a recipe to come up with topping combos for homemade pizza, but I do have a few on my list that look particularly interesting and are toppings that I wouldn’t normally use, so I figured why the hell not. I clearly need to start thinking more outside of the (pizza) box…

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Portobello, Asparagus and Prosciutto Pizza with Balsamic Glaze (recipe originally by How Sweet It Is)

1 batch of your favorite pizza dough *I used plain dough from Trader Joe’s
Olive oil
1 – 2 tbsp minced garlic8 oz. grated fontina cheese
1 shallot, diced
Sliced baby bella mushrooms
Asparagus spears, chopped into thirds *I removed the ends as well
Prosciutto, torn
Mozzarella cheese (buffalo style), sliced
Romano cheese, finely grated
1/2 c balsamic vinegar

1. Preheat oven to 400°.
2. Form dough into shape desired and place onto baking sheet, pizza pan or pizza stone. I attempted an oval pizza since I cook it on a baking sheet, but I ended up with a more amoeba looking one.
3. Brush dough with olive oil, lightly coating entire surface.
4. Sprinkle minced garlic on the dough. I used about 1 tbsp.
5. Top with half of the grated fontina cheese.
6. Evenly place shallots, mushrooms, asparagus and prosciutto on the pizza. Use as much or as little of each ingredient as you want. I used about half of a diced shallot, a handful of mushrooms, 4 asparagus spears and 3 slices of prosciutto.
7. Top with remaining fontina cheese and slices of mozzarella. I used about 4 slices of buffalo mozzarella.
8. Bake for 25-30 minutes until cheese is golden and bubbly. Mine took about 20 minutes.
9. While pizza is cooking, make balsamic glaze. Bring balsamic vinegar to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce to a very low simmer and cook until liquid reduces by about half and is slightly syrupy. Remove from heat and set aside to thicken.
10. When pizza is done, remove from oven and sprinkle romano cheese on top. 1/4 c of romano covered my pizza pretty well.
11. Use a spoon to drizzle balsamic glaze on top.

It just so happens that Tall Guy brought over balsamic vinegar for me a week or so ago because he thought I should have some on hand. Super weird coincidence, since I have never used balsamic vinegar before and really had no idea what to do with it. But I’m so happy he did because the glaze is my favorite part of the pizza!

I’d say my first foray into gourmet pizza was a success! Now if I could only get food photography down…

Cheap and Easy Thanksgiving Dishes

Only 1 WEEK until Thanksgiving! My shopping is (mostly) done, my schedule is made and I’m in total planner mode over here (can you tell?). This will be my first holiday hosting (!), so here’s hoping everything goes as planned!

Broke Girls Go Out

Instead of going home, I’ll be making my own Thanksgiving feast this year. I’m an avid baker and a pretty decent cook, so I’m really excited to be making the meal, but I will admit that the idea of being in charge of the main event for such a big holiday is a bit daunting. Luckily, most Thanksgiving dishes aren’t all that complicated, and buying most of the ingredients won’t break the bank, either!

My Thanksgiving Menu

Apps

bread

Cranberry BreadMy mom’s recipe. Better the second day, as she notes, so it’s a perfect make-ahead recipe! You will most likely have all the ingredients on hand except the cranberries (and maybe the orange juice, if you’re not a juice drinker like I am). Don’t worry if you’ve never made a loaf of bread before, this recipe is fairly fool proof as long as you don’t forget about it…

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Chicken and Broccoli Cheesy Deliciousness

You know I love simple casserole recipes and this one does not disappoint!  If I could make it after getting maybe 8 hours of sleep all weekend, on top of working every night and a full day of work yesterday, anyone can make it. And of course I didn’t take a picture of it… Per usual. I WILL get better at this one day!

Chicken Divan (recipe courtesy of my family cookbook, originally from one of my mom’s old roommates)

Chicken Breasts, poached and cut into hunks *I used about 2 1/2 large breasts
Broccoli, undercooked and cut into hunks *I used an entire Trader Joe’s bag of fresh broccoli, probably about 3-4 c
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 c mayo
1 t lemon juice
1 t curry powder
2 T cooking sherry *I omitted this because I didn’t have any
1 c shredded cheddar cheese
2 T butter, melted
1/4 c breadcrumbs

1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Put chicken and broccoli in casserole dish.
3. In a medium bowl, combine soup, mayo, lemon juice, curry powder and sherry. Pour mixture into the casserole dish, completely covering the chicken and broccoli.
4. Sprinkle cheese on top of the mixture.
5. Combine butter and breadcrumbs. Sprinkle on top of the cheese.
6. Cover and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes. Remove cover and bake until bubbly around the edges, about 10 minutes.

I also love casseroles because there are usually a good amount of leftovers, which is especially important to me this week since I’ll be running from one job to another and won’t have time to make a meal most nights!

Enjoy! x

Quick, Easy and Cheap

No, I’m not talking about myself, thank you very much! Get your mind out of the gutter!

I’m talking, of course, about DINNER! Specifically, the joy that is a homemade casserole. As my mother likes to point out, it seems like casseroles get a bad rap, and, along with most other things, she’s right. Despite growing up with my mom’s delicious cooking (casseroles included), even I hear the word “casserole” and immediately imagine grey, soupy stuff with some darker bits floating around in it.. Like a chicken pot pie gone terribly, terribly wrong.

Luckily, I’m here to set the record straight: Casseroles are not only delicious, but quick, easy and cheap dinners that will leave you wanting more (don’t worry, there will be plenty of leftovers)!

Don’t believe me? See for yourself! I made this childhood classic (in my house, anyway) last night and my friends loved it! Really though, what’s not to love when chips, cheese and sour cream are involved?

Mary’s Mexican Chicken

2 cans Rotel tomatoes2 cans cream of chicken soup
5-6 chicken breasts (poached and cut into bite-sized pieces)
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 bag tortilla chips

Pre-heat oven to 350°. Mix all ingredients except the chips and cheese. In a deep casserole dish, layer chips, chicken mixture and cheese; layer until dish is full. Top with crushed chips. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until bubbly.
Serving suggestion: Serve with sour cream and scallions.

So easy! And delicious! And depending on the amount of people you make this for, you could have leftovers for days (and there’s certainly nothing wrong with that!). So the next time you want to throw together an easy meal, don’t forget about casseroles, ok? Do you have any go-to dinner recipes? Tell me what they are in the comments!

GUESS WHAT?! – I love to cook (and bake), so starting with this very post, I’ll be featuring recipes on the blog (hopefully) pretty frequently. I hope you enjoy them! And just to keep everything organized, because you know how much I love being organized, I’ve created a new “Recipes” page so finding everything is as easy as knowing the alphabet. You do know the alphabet… right?