Monthly Archives: November 2011

Chili with Chipotle and Chocolate

I finally gave in and made this chili with chocolate.  It has popped up for years in so many magazines, but I have been skeptical about trying it.  I love the Americanized Mexican food and our local waiter has been forever pushing the Mole sauce and I just keep saying no.  In my mind it is just a weird combination.    Chile peppers and chocolate have been used together in Latin American and Mexican food for centuries.  After having this chili I can see why and it is not even as labor intensive as the original mole.  Chocolate gives this dish depth and creaminess that is very hard to describe.  You will just have to try it yourself.  Don’t wait as long as I have because it’s really good.

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Filed under Main dish

Pineapple Pumpkin Bread

I have had enough of perusing all my magazines and cookbooks for the perfect dish for Thanksgiving.  I no longer want to see the inside of the grocery store.  I just want to enjoy my time at home with my family.  Why do I put all this pressure on myself to come up with this fantastic menu that’s going to knock everyone’s socks off?  My inner self or ego whatever you want to call it somehow thinks that I’m being  judged by some great food editors so I must out perform what I did last year! Why can’t I just keep it simple?  No, I  have to cook two turkeys.  One on the grill and another in the oven.  Why do I want to cook two desserts?  You’d think that I was running a restaurant where everyone gets to place an order.   This is going to stop this year.  There I have said it.  No more trying to find perfection.   What was wrong with the perfection that I made last year or the year before that?  I am sticking to my guns and making my tried and true recipes that will please everyone and not drive me insane!   Before I started blogging three years ago I did not have this problem, but now when I cook a dish I say to myself, ” Cook a new recipe that you will be able to blog about it.”   I can kill two birds at once.  Then the ultimate goes wrong as it did this past weekend.   Two of the recipes that I chose were complete duds.  I mean they were bad.  Both went into the garbage and I was back to square one at eleven o’clock on Saturday night and lunch was to be served at one on Sunday.  Serves me right.  I should do as I tell my students.  DO NOT try a new recipe when you are having guests.  So it is totally my fault.   You are my witness I have turned over a new leaf!!  And to make myself feel better about my kitchen disappointments  I got myself into the kitchen and whipped up my new favorite bread that is great for the holidays, but truthfully I love it all year-long.

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Filed under Quick Breads

Scalloped Russet and Sweet Potato Gratin with Fresh Herbs

This is the perfect side dish for your Thanksgiving meal.  The recipe has been on my to do list since it appeared in Bon Appetit in 2008.  I just loved the idea of using two kinds of potatoes with Gruyère cheese.  It had to be a winner.  I’m not a fan of the sweet potato souffle which I think  belongs on the dessert table.  It is much too sweet as a side dish to my beautiful turkey and dressing. My pantry is overflowing with sweet potatoes from my CSA box. so I finally got around to making the dish.  I first tried it out on my book club and they loved it.  It has a hint of  sweetness, but the two types of potatoes definitely make this dish stand out!  Let’s not forget the fresh herbs, cream and butter that take the dish to the next level.  Oh, my goodness I can just make a meal out of this!

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Filed under side dish

Bacon Thingeys

Bacon makes everything good!  When these things were the rage in the eighties I was busy changing diapers and then after that it was a whole calendar of children’s events.  You know soccer, tennis, scouts, birthday parties, and homework.  I don’t think that I went to a single adult party during that time.  So therefore,  I missed these fantastic Bacon Thingeys that Ree raved about and then Paula.   If you google these everyone in the world it seems has had these except me  until Jane R.  brought them to a pool party last June.  Let me tell you that they literally flew out of the basket.  I could not for the life of me figure out what they were.  I  just knew they were good.  I was blown away when I learned it was simply a saltine wrapped in bacon with a little cheese and baked.  Easy!   If you haven’t tried these you should try them immediately.  They will be perfect for the upcoming holiday parties.

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Filed under Appetizer