Archive for the 'Holliday' Category

happy st. patrick’s day!

oh yes, it’s a day of drunken Irish celebration.  i love it. Erin go bragh!  we pre-celebrated this weekend by attending the official St. Patrick’s day parade in San Francisco.  i got up at 6:30 am to endure some massive cooking.  my Irish breakfast included: Irish soda bread, Dubliner Irish cheddar and mushroom eggs, fried tomatoes, corned beef n’ cabbage, and bacon.  topping that off with some Irish coffees, Guinness, Magners, and Murphy’s, we had ourselves quite a festive breakfast.  if only i had time and didn’t have to work today, i would have done it all over again! :)  check out the highlights:

cooking in my kitchen!

cooking in my kitchen!

thats a whole lotta bacon.

that's a whole lotta bacon.

since i was using my stovetop, and i had a massive amount of eggs to make, i tossed some shredded chedder and green onions on top and baked them for 15 minutes.

since i was using my stovetop and had a massive amount of eggs to make, i tossed some shredded chedder and green onions on top and baked them for 15 minutes.

after simmering the seasoned corned beef in water for almost 3 hours (50 minutes per pound), i added the red potatoes, carrots, and cabbage.  i love how the veggies soak up all of the delicious flavor of the beef!

after simmering the seasoned corned beef in water for almost 3 hours (50 minutes per pound), i added the red potatoes, carrots, and cabbage. i love how the veggies soak up all of the delicious flavor of the beef!

of course, the men wait patiently while the food is prepared.

of course, the men wait patiently while the food is prepared.

fried tomatoes!

fried tomatoes!

Irish soda bread, or whats left of it!

Irish soda bread, or what's left of it!

a glorious spread of food

a glorious spread of food

<3 katie

DIY geek ornaments

Recently I posted about some adorable video game ornaments you can purchase online, but what about those of you who want to make your own? Well I stumbled across an amazing list of DIY geek ornaments on Geek Ware that will give you something eco friendly to do with that old keyboard or computer part.

Disk Christmas Box Ornaments

Old disks plus some ribbon and glue is all it takes. If you dont have any old diskettes lying around Im sure one of those useless zip disks would work (remember those?!).

Space Bar Icicles

So cute! It took me a minute to figure out what this ornament was even made out of!

Santa Mice

We all have about a dozen old mice lying around, give them a happy new home on your tree!

Keboard Word Ornaments


This is probably my favorite of all the crafts. They are so cute and so simple, any mom would be thrilled to hang one from her tree! (hint hint gift ideas for you crafty kids out there).

The sad tale of the turbaconucken that never was :(

As many of you know I was excited…no ecstatic about the plan to bacon wrap and deep fry a turducken this year for Thanksgiving. However my dreams were crushed by certain wussy boys who were afraid of the awesomeness that would be the turbaconducken. We had it all worked out…we would make the turducken then deep fry it until it was almost done then pull it out and wrap it in bacon and pop it in the oven for the rest of the way. It was perfect…there was no way it could go wrong! But at the last minute some of the guys decided it wouldnt work or something (I think they were just afraid of its awesomeness). Dreams = crushed.

Although not all was lost, due to the high number of people attending our Thanksgiving we decided one mega bird wasnt enough so we got a backup turkey. Needless to say, I claimed it as my own and announced that I would bacon wrap and roast it myself.

The plan was simple. Prepare the bird as normal: rub with oil and salt and pepper…. stuff with an onion, garlic and celery… place more onions, garlic, and celery in the pan…pop in the oven and roast. I basted it every 45 minutes to keep it moist and right before it was done I draped it with 2 lbs of delicious bacon. I also stuffed some bacon inside the bird and then cut up some pears and tossed them in the pan to roast along with some dried rose petals. After about 20 minutes the bird was done (a few pieces of bacon werent cooked all the way so I removed them, wrapped em in foil and tossed em back in the oven to finish up before draping them back on the bird).

I took the juice and made a gravy as you usually do, only I blended up the roasted pears and mixed that in (I also tossed in a few extra pieces of bacon to the gravy just to reinforce the bacon flavors).

The bird was carved and served…to my surprise the meat was very bacony tasting! I thought that the bacon would just infuse the skin but some how it permeated the deeper layers of the turkey giving it all a delicious bacony flavor. The pear gravy was a perfect accent adding the sweetness that the salty bacon needed (you know, for that yin/yang balance shit). I highly recommend trying a bacon wrapped turkey for anyone looking to pep up their bird this holiday season. Next time I want to try a maple syrup glaze instead of the pear, really I think just about any sweet topping would match perfectly.

All in all the bacon wrapped turkey was a total and complete success.

Oh and I guess the turducken wasnt too bad either….but it would’ve been better with bacon.


This turducken would look a lot happier if it wasnt naked…it needs a nice bacon suit.

Obligatory Thanksgiving leftovers post

So tomorrow is the big day….the day where we feast on the flesh of a thousand turkeys (or tofurkeys if you so choose). Inevitably there are going to be leftovers, but theres only so many turkey sandwiches and turkey casseroles you can eat before you just can’t take it anymore. Heres a few recipes that take your turkey leftovers one step beyond.

Turkey Curry

Anyone who knows me knows I love curry. This recipe is a quick easy way to reuse your turkey, but totally changing the flavor so no one feels like theyre just having a repeat of Thanksgiving.

Turkey and Broccoli Quiche

The day after Thanksgiving everyone goes into that inevitable food coma…personally I dont feel like eating until midday at least. Why not recycle some of that Turkey into a delicious brunch dish?

Mashed Potato Croquettes

Why should turkey have all the fun? My mom always used to make too much mashed potatoes so we would have a plethora of those left over every year. I’ve always loved croquettes, so just take your potatoes add some spices (I’d throw in some green onions too) and bread and fry the suckers. You could also add salmon or more cheese to create different types of croquettes. These would go great with your turkey curry!

Stuffing Frittata

Stuffing, yet another side dish that usually doesnt get changed too much when it comes to leftovers. But simply by adding some eggs and cheese, you can create a whole new dish. Also perfect for a post turkey coma brunch.

Mashed Potato Pancakes

One of my favorite things to do is stroll over to the local Irish pub and order up a plate of boxty and trout. Boxty is basically just Irish potato pancakes (they are similar to this recipe only a bit of flour and baking soda is added) so you could easily substitute these Mashed Potato Pancakes in. Top them with some smoked trout or salmon and cream and you have an utterly delicious meal.

Leftover Tofurkey Stroganoff

Ah my dear veggie friends…don’t think I forgot about you! Even you can get some mileage out of your tofurkey leftovers! Just mix up the leftover veggie gravy with some garlic,sour cream and mushrooms then pour it all over rice or noodles for instant deliciousness.

Tofurkey Pesto Stuffed Mushrooms

Now this recipe sounds so delicious Im almost jealous that Im not cooking a tofurkey! Pesto, pumpkin seeds and lemon get blended together to create a totally new tofurkey experience. My mouth is watering!

So there you have it, just a few easy and delicious alternatives to reusing your Thanksgiving leftovers. I’ll try and pop in and write another blog before the weekend but no promises since the bacon wrapped turducken is sure to induce a mighty turkey coma. However I will document all our delicious Thanksgiving recipes and share them with you later! Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Thankgiving recipes…with a twist

As I posted last week, we are planning an epic endeavor…Bacon Wrapped Turducken. Now man and woman cannot live on bacon bird alone…we need side dishes. Now we cannot do with instant mashed potatoes, no we are going for recipes with a twist on the traditional. Whether they are a unique family recipe or a new creation. Here are a few of the sides I am planning on making.

Mashed Cauliflower

I want to make this partly to try and attempt to balance out the Turducken (ok honestly nothing will balance out that besides some diet pills and exlax) but also just to have a bit different flavor than plain potatoes. Personally I’ve always loved mashed cauliflower just because its got a better taste than boring plain potatoes. My recipe is adapted from Dani Spires L’s Cauliflower Mash

Ingredients

  • 1 small onion, peeled and quartered
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1 head of cauliflower, cored and roughly chopped
  • 1 cup sour cream ( prefer light sour cream)
  • 1 cup chives or green onions finely diced
  • ¼ cup of Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 2 tbsp. butter or margarine
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • paprika

Boil the cauliflower until it is soft…be sure not to overcook! About 8 minutes should be enough.  Allow the cauliflower to cool a bit then dump it in a blender with the rest of the ingredients EXCEPT for the paprika and chives.  Blend until everything is smooth then transfer back into a pot.  Stir until everything is warm then stir in the chives/green onion.  Transfer to a bowl and sprinkle with paprika.

You could easily do some variations on this recipe…try roasting the garlic beforehand, adding curry for a spicy curry mash, more cheese for a cheesy cauliflower mash, or really anything else you would do to mashed potatoes!

Green Beans with Shallots and Almonds

I want to do something different than nasty green bean cassarole…honestly I dont know how this frozen canned soup monstrosity became a Thanksgiving staple.  Its the one dish I see getting passed over at every Thanksgiving dinner (except the grandparents…grandparents loooove green bean cassarole). So why not just do a delicious and light green bean side?  I mean with all the other rich heavy dishes we have going on, I want to save some room for Cesar’s homemade pumpkin pie.

Ingredients

  • 1 large bunch of green beans (about a pound)
  • olive oil
  • 4-6  medium sized shallots
  • lemon juice
  • 1 cup sliced almonds (you could easily substitute walnuts)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Bring a pot of water to a boil and blanch the green beans until they are bright green, about 3 minutes.  In a skillet heat some olive oil and saute the shallots until they are carmelized.  Toss in the green beans, a bit of lemon juice (just enough to coat the beans), the almonds and salt and pepper.

Voila! Easy huh?

So now that I have the green beams and cauliflower mash all figured out, i just need to figure out something to do with the sweet potatoes.  Im not a fan of the super sugary mini marshmallow sweet potatoes…so I want to do something different and more special. Im thinking either a cranberry and sweet potato dish…or ginger and honey sweet potatoes….something else that is a little more special.  When I figure it out, I’ll be sure to post it up ;)

OR you can help me out…anyone have any delicious and different sweet potato or yam recipes?

Turbaconducken….all that is good in this world

Just moments ago my friend Rob sent me proof that there is a God and he is made of pure bacon and love.
Behold…..

Turbaconducken

It is the perfect harmony of turkey, duck and chicken all harmoniously wrapped in bacon and baked to perfection. Corey James of Bacon Today describes every juice detail for creating this culinary masterpiece.

I am currently trying to convince all my friends that this is really the only option for thanksgiving dinner.

Only we want to step it up a notch and deep fry it! My arteries and heart are swelling just thinking about it.

Best Best Video Game Ornaments

As promised in yesterday Best Worst Video Game Ornaments heres a list of decorations for your tree that most likely wont make you cringe! Yet again…no particular order ;)

Mini NES Console and Controllers Ornament

This itty bitty clay pile of cuteness made by Etsy seller TheClayCollection specializes in SUPER tiny detailed creations. Their NES ornament is great because its incredibly accurately detailed and has just the right touch of holiday flare. Sadly this specific one sold out, but if you look at the seller’s store they have other itty bitty gaming ornaments and jewelry including the tiniest Playstation boxes youve ever seen.

Hallmark Pac-Man Arcade Ornament

ITS A MINI ARCADE CABINET!!! It lights up and plays sounds from the original arcade game!!! Do I even need to explain why this is so awesome?!

Circuitboard Heart Ornament Set

For the PC gamer in your life who is a romantic at heart these are simple but cute matching ornaments. They also come in more traditional Christmas shapes like tree, star and bell.

Bub and Bob from Bubble Bobble

Ok so first of all these arent technically ornaments…but you could easily slip a hook on the top of them. These are needle felted creations by Etsy seller PoorLulu. She has many other adorable felted retro gaming creations like Toad, Yoshi, and Mario. Dont look a the Princess Peach tho…something went terribly wrong there….but its not her fault because needle felting delicate details like Princess Peach has is SUUUUUPER hard. Still the rest are spot on and super adorable.

Mario Star Christmas Hanger

Simple, classic and cute. Yet another Etsy seller, Spugmeistress creates cute 8-bit creations using hama beads (we all made something with those when we were a kid!). I love this Mario Star because its a classic Christmas shape but still video game relates….plus it glows in the dark!!

So what have we learned with these two posts? First of all Etsy > Cafepress….I think thats plainly obvious. Second, when it comes to video game decorations, keep them simple, iconic and retro. Don’t try to force it with some “hip gamer slang” because then it just comes off fake….stick with icons as they already exist….they are iconic for a reason ;)

Pumpkin Hamburger

I’ve seen a lot of interesting ways to carve a pumpkin, but this one truly takes the cake…er hamburger?

Submitted to Family Crafts on on About.com by Sherry Balogh is this cute twist on pumpkin carving. Everything about it is innovative and spot on, especially the use of pumpkin seeds as the sesame seeds on the “bun”. This is really getting me inspired for my own pumpkin carving adventure this weekend!

Sadly, this cute pumpkin hamburger is not edible….but it makes me think of trying to make an edible pumpkin hamburger myself! Anyone who knows me knows that I love pumpkin and finding new ways to cook pumpkin. Especially now since my boyfriend who loves pumpkin announced that he is turned off from most pumpkin products (like the pumpkin cookies and pumpkin pastas you find in stores) because they just arent done well.

Honestly, I don’t blame him for thinking this since he has a high status of pumpkin products due to his mother’s AMAZING pumpkin pie. Well I love a challenge so my new goal is to find the best and most delicious way to cook pumpkin. I think I’ll start it off with trying a way to make a pumpkin hamburger….Im torn between wanting to make some sort of pumpkin patty to replace the meat or grilling up some pumpkin as a topping. I’ll report back when my experimenting is done ;)

In the mean time feel free to share your favorite pumpkin recipes AND your carved pumpkins! I need inspiration!


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