Monday, November 12, 2018

Thanksgiving Menu Ideas for 2018

Thanksgiving is next week! Of course I love gathering in the kitchen and around the table with my friends and fam and being all thankful and all that... but I really, really love the menu planning leading up to the event. We went way overboard last year with a trillion different side dishes, which was fun and tasty but overwhelming, so this year we’re cutting it way back and keeping it pretty simple (but still delicious, obv). We're not even doing yams/sweet potatoes! My sister and I both eat various forms of sweet potatoes weekly, so we axed them from the Thanksgiving menu! Controversial! 

We’ll have a dry-brined, herb-buttered spatchcock turkey cooked by my brother-in-law in the Traeger, my mom’s perfect classic mashed potatoes and gravy, kale and caramelized onion stuffing, homemade green bean casserole (my fave), honey roasted carrots with dukkha (one of last year's sides that made the cut again!), and a fresh arugula salad, plus rolls, cranberry sauce, deviled eggs, and marinated olives (see below). For dessert: pecan pie (with a gluten free version of this best-ever all-butter crust), Sister Pie's salted maple pie, and a GF pumpkin roll (which is a better pumpkin dessert than classic pumpkin pie... I said it and I'll never take it back). 

If you still have space on your menu, here are a few more Thanksgiving options from the Loves Food, Loves to Eat archives:

Spiced apple bourbon sparklers (start this one now—the apple peel bourbon needs a good week to soak up all the flavors!)
Spiced apple bourbon cocktails // Loves Food Loves to Eat

Papa’s olives (Evan’s grandpa’s quick recipe for tasty marinated olives)
Papa's marinated olives // Loves Food Loves to Eat

Savory pumpkin and mushroom bread pudding (like a gooey cheesy stuffing)
savory pumpkin bread pudding // Loves Food Loves to Eat

Date & chorizo kale salad (Thanksgiving flavors with that missing touch of green your table needs!)
Date and Chorizo Kale Salad // Loves Food Loves to Eat

Corn pudding with caramelized onions and goat cheese (Creamy and cheesy and so good!)
Caramelized onion and goat cheese corn pudding // Loves Food Loves to Eat

Pumpkin cream pie with chocolate crust and bourbon maple whip (did you see I said bourbon maple whip!?)
Pumpkin Cream Pie // Loves Food Loves to Eat
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Monday, October 15, 2018

Fall Queso with Pumpkin and Chorizo #virtualpumpkinparty

Loves Food Loves to Eat | Fall Queso with Pumpkin and Chorizo #virtualpumpkinpartyIt’s Sara’s annual Virtual Pumpkin Party! So, in the name of all things pumpkin, here’s a very bastardized queso dip.

I started out with a classic American style queso dip. You know, runny melty cheese, peppers, spices, yadda yadda. You dip chips in it. Basic. But then I wanted to make it even more basic with pumpkin and all the fall flavors. Chorizo is an obvious addition to queso, and that had me thinking about all those Thanksgiving recipes out there for stuffing with chorizo, pecans, and dried cherries. Fall! So there you have it. It’s cheesy queso, with pumpkin puree and chorizo mixed in, and topped with more chorizo, pecans, dried cherries, and green onions. It would be so good served at a fall dinner party or to nosh on before Thanksgiving!

We’re using a half cup of pumpkin puree, so you'll have some leftover...but luckily there a lot of other savory and sweet pumpkin recipes out there for #virtualpumpkinparty, so head over to Cake Over Steak to check them out!

Fall queso dip with pumpkin and chorizo 

Splash olive oil
2 tablespoons diced white onion
1 jalapeño, diced
¼ lb fresh chorizo (Mexican fresh style,
not cured Spanish style)
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
Pinch salt, pepper, and cinnamon
½ cup pureed pumpkin
¾ cup half and half (1/4 cup of it set aside)
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 cups shredded cheese (I used
Trader Joe’s Mexican blend)

For topping:
Toasted pecans
Dried cherries
Sliced green onion


Heat olive oil in a medium to large pot over medium heat. Add onion and jalapeño, and sauté until onion is translucent. Add chorizo and cook through. If desired, remove a little bit of the chorizo to reserve for topping and set aside. Add garlic powder and a pinch of salt, black pepper, and cinnamon. Add pumpkin puree and stir to combine.

Turn heat down to medium low.

In a small bowl, mix reserved ¼ cup half and half with cornstarch until cornstarch is dissolved, set aside. Stir remaining half and half into pot until combined, then add cornstarch slurry, stirring until mixed.

Add cheese, and stir until melted. Add more salt, pepper, and cinnamon to taste, and more half and half or cheese to adjust consistency as desired.

Top with toasted pecans, dried cherries, sliced green onion, and reserved chorizo. Serve with tortilla chips.

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Wednesday, September 5, 2018

CLASSIC THIN CHEWY GLUTEN FREE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES (WRINKLY FANNIES)

Loves Food, Loves to Eat // Gluten Free Chocolate Chip CookiesThis month marks one year since I stopped eating gluten! Let’s celebrate with cookies!

When I first kicked the gluten, I heard so many horror stories about how hard good gluten free baking is, that it took me at least three months to even try. I’m here to tell you it’s totally possible and easy (albeit not always inexpensive) to make tasty gluten free baked goods (bread notwithstanding, because that still eludes me). In general, I’ve found that swapping Cup 4 Cup flour (my fave all-purpose GF blend) for regular AP flour works most of the time, with great results. For example, Smitten Kitchen’s all butter pie crust with Cup 4 Cup is a gluten free revelation. I’ve also learned the joys of mixing a few different flours, like millet, oat, and brown rice, in recipes from The Bojon Gourmet and Snixy Kitchen, particularly some dense, moist, amazing cakes.
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Friday, June 22, 2018

Watermelon Float Popsicles | #popsicleweek

Loves Food, Loves to Eat // Watermelon Float Popsicles #popsicleweekJune is basically the best month of the year:
  1. My birthday
  2. Summer solstice
  3. Popsicle week
  4. See number one
While my birthday (which I now share with my friends’ new little guy, Henry!) and the start of summer are for sure reason enough to crown this month a winner, Billy of Wit & Vinegar guilds the lily year after year by adding #popsicleweek into the June lineup. 
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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Zucchini Quesadillas

Loves Food, Loves to Eat // Zucchini Quesadillas A strong case of seasonal nostalgia sits in these warmer days and long, sun-lingering evenings. Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about summers growing up at my childhood home. There are, of course, lots of paths I could take down memory lane, but one thing that strikes me most right now, is that we always had people over. 
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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

The Long Goodnight

Loves Food, Loves to Eat / My water color galaxy paintingsHi, hello! It’s me! I’ve been quiet on here for a variety of reasons, but the main one is that I gave up gluten last August. I just haven’t really found inspiration in my newly gluten-free kitchen, and I’ve been leaning heavily on recipes from experts who’ve been doing this gluten free life a lot longer than I have. 
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Monday, October 23, 2017

Pumpkin Curry | Virtual Pumpkin Party

Pumpkin Curry// Loves Food, Loves to Eat #virtualpumpkinpartyIt’s been a rough week over here. Evan and I were just on vacation in Maui, celebrating our 3rd wedding anniversary. When we left Seattle, I was still wearing sandals, and when we got back a week later, from the sunniest, beachiest vacation, it was full on Seattle fall. All the rain. All the wind. All the chilly chill temps. Luckily that also means all the unbelievable fall colors (seriously I can hardly stand how beautiful the trees are right now), and all the fall treats… which brings us to the annual Virtual Pumpkin Party (the best fall food event!), hosted by Sara from Cake Over Steak... and this here curry situation!

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