Super Sunday = Super Eats!

Happy Sunday! One thing that stinks about posting my Sunday dinner is that it means that tomorrow is already Monday… at least I get a 3 day weekend soon!!

Adam and I aren’t big into football, or the Super Bowl, so we decided to head out to the grocery store as soon as the game began! We came home to watch a bit of the Puppy Bowl on Animal Planet, and have spent much of the evening watching Ghost Hunters. I won’t even know who won the Super Bowl until tomorrow morning, most likely!

We did decide to do some sort of “Super Bowl Snacks” this afternoon: I made a bowl of Buffalo Chicken Dip! Last time I made it, on New Years, Adam made the observation that I never make buffalo chicken dip for us, so we decided tonight was a good night to have some.

On a baked Scoops chip... ignore the shoddy nails

On a baked Scoops chip... ignore the shoddy nails

And on celery... SO GOOD!

And on celery... SO GOOD!

Dinner was a couple hours after our dip snack (which also included hummus and carrots!) and it was so very simple and delicious, but still a twist on a classic. We had grilled cheese and tomato soup! BUT of course, this wasn’t just any tomato soup, it was Pacific Foods’ organic roasted red pepper and tomato soup

Image from Pacific Foods

Image from Pacific Foods

I fell in love with this soup about 2 years ago when I got a free sample of it at a baby fair with my friend. We were there towards the end of the day, and the Pacific foods rep gave me a whole carton of it to try at home, and it was love at first taste. This soup tastes super decadent, but only has 110 calories per serving, which is quite diet-friendly.

My grilled cheese featured Arnold’s wheat bread, low fat sharp cheddar and a sliced tomato. It came out just the way that my dad’s grilled cheese used to when I was little, and I swear that it has something to do with the amazing thing that is a cast-iron skillet!

Just like Dad used to make!

Just like Dad used to make!

I of course, have a funny grilled cheese story. In college, when I had just started to really cook for myself, I decided I wanted a grilled cheese sandwich. I got out the bread, buttered both sides like my dad used to, heated a pan, assembled my sandwich in the pan and flipped it once. The first side was great and toasty brown. The second side though, decided to burn really bad. So I threw away the sandwich and made another one. Same thing happened. Finally, I called my dad and said “Dad, I’m trying to make grilled cheese and its just burning! What am I doing wrong?” He said “Did you cover the pan?” I blushed and giggled… nope, hadn’t covered the pan, which is why it was burning before the cheese melted!

Enough rambling… on to chilling for the last few hours of the weekend! OH! And I stole Jenn‘s idea of having a cute signature!

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Day 2 of the New Year!

Well, Adam and I had a very busy new years eve and new years day! New years eve was spent at my best friend Lizz’s house with a bunch of her boyfriend’s friends. We had a blast, and yet again, a vat of my buffalo chicken dip was consumed in under an hour. I discovered a new favorite wine too! Polka Dot Riesling is absolutely amazing!

CUTE and delicious!

CUTE and delicious!

We rang in 2009 with cheap champagne, noisemakers, confetti poppers, and kisses…and we had SO MUCH FUN!

We're cute, huh?

We're cute, huh?

New years day was spent at my mom’s best friend’s house, a.k.a. my “aunt”, and had some amazing food! She made chilled shrimp, rock crab, Asian chicken skewers with peanut sauce, guacamole and chips, and I brought yet another dish of my buffalo chicken dip! We got to bring some of it home this time. We played a couple rousing games of Scene It on XBOX 360… it was quite a fun day!

To finish off, here’s a picture of me and Skylar (our flower girl) on New Years…she’s wearing my shoes!

She thought she was Barbie!

She thought she was Barbie!

Thanksgiving #4

Yes, that’s right, we had our 4th Thanksgiving dinner tonight! FOURTH! Thats so much FOOD! This time, luckily, was at my mom’s house, and she cooks extremely healthfully, so I rarely have to worry about what’s in dishes there. She’d asked me to bring mashed sweet potatoes, so that’s what I brought! They came out really well, but unfortunately, the picture doesn’t do them justice.

The room was not red, I swear!

The room was not red, I swear!

Lovely Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Ingredients

1 sweet potato per person (I used 8!)

1/4 c. brown sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground ginger

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 400* and put the potatoes in the oven for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, reduce the heat to 350* and bake at least another 60 minutes. When the potatoes are done, place them in a large bowl and mash/blend using an immersion blender. When smooth, add cinnamon, ginger, and brown sugar and mix thoroughly. Transfer to a baking dish and bake in the oven about 15 minutes until the top is lightly browned.

Many people say that you should NOT use a blender for mashed potatoes. Usually, its not a good idea with white potatoes as they get gummy/gnocchi like. With sweet potatoes, there are long fibers that are unpleasent in mashed potatoes, so it works well!

The rest of the meal was to die for! We started with 3 beautiful gourmet cheeses and crackers that my sister and her boyfriend brought: cheddar with chives, triple cream brie, and boursin. My mom had also made delicious hummus that we ate with pita chips.

When we sat down, we were greeted by the most GORGEOUS spread! There was beef tenderloin, green beans, salad, cranberry sauce, and my grandmother’s recipe for stuffing (which tastes like the inside of kishke). Here are a couple pictures, after we’ve already devoured our first plates:

Roast beef, horseradish sauce, stuffing in the background

Roast beef, horseradish sauce, stuffing in the background

Cranberry sauce and green beans... and diet cream soda!

Cranberry sauce and green beans... and diet cream soda!

We finished off the meal with pumpkin pie, and a new recipe my mom tried for a pumpkin-chocolate tart courtesy of Martha Stewart. It was also my sister’s boyfriends birthday yesterday, so he got birthday cheesecake.

I don’t think I need to eat again for at least 24 hours… but alas, I’ll be hungry in the morning!

Mom’s Home!

My mom got back from her trip to southeast Asia on Thursday, and she decided to have Adam and I, my sister and her boyfriend, and my “aunt” over for dinner. (“Aunt” is in quotes, as she’s not blood related, but as close to an aunt as I’ve got!) It was so great to have my mom’s cooking after all these weeks of blogging about nostalgic smells and tastes. I brought my Buffalo Chicken Dip, and it was absolutely gone before we started looking at the slideshow of my mom and stepdad’s pictures! Guess everyone liked it!

My mom made one of our winter favorites, Gingersnap Meatballs. These can easily be made with turkey, but she made them with super-lean ground beef.

Gingersnap Meatballs

Ingredients

  • 2 pound(s) raw extra lean ground beef
  • 4 slice(s) whole-wheat bread
  • 1/2 cup(s) ketchup
  • 1 package(s) frozen chopped onions
  • 12 oz chili sauce
  • 18 oz water
  • 1 cup(s) onion(s)
  • 1/2 cup(s) ketchup
  • 10 small item(s) gingersnap(s)

Instructions

Combine meat, 1/2 c. ketchup, chopped onions, salt and pepper to taste. Thoroughly wet the slices of bread until mushy, crumble, and add to mixture. Form into meatballs and put in a pan. Combine remaining ingredients through gingersnaps and put on top of the meatballs. Simmer over a low heat, gently shaking the pan every few minutes. Do not move the meatballs until completely cooked! Smash gingersnaps into a course crumb, and sprinkle over the mixture. Enjoy!
These meatballs were a standby on many Hanukkah dinners, and always remind me of fall/winter. It was great to have them with my mom at her house! We also had a great salad to start, and finished off the meal with her fantastic Rice Krispie Treats!
QOTD: What’s your favorite nostalgic smell/dish? Mine is roasting chicken or turkey… ah the memories…

Evening of Appetizers

Last night, my best friend Lizz hosted a jewelry party, and unlike the corporate types of jewelry parties (Cookie Lee or Silpada) this was one woman who makes the most beautiful glass pieces, then sets them into jewelry. I bought a gorgeous ring and pendant!

Beautiful ring

Beautiful ring

Even prettier pendant

Even prettier pendant

Lizz and I had decided earlier in the week that we would order a veggie-filled stuffed pizza for dinner, but first, we worked on the munchies for the party, and I made Buffalo Chicken Dip. It’s one of my favorites!

Buffalo Chicken Dip

Ingredients

1 cup sour cream

1 8 oz brick cream cheese

1 packet ranch dressing mix

1 can chicken breast, drained

1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese

1/4 c. Frank’s Red Hot Sauce

Directions

Combine all ingredients in a microwave-safe dish. Microwave on high heat until cream cheese is melted, and stir well. Serve with crackers, tortilla chips, or any other dippable item.

Originally, this was a Weight Watchers recipe, so it was all fat-free products. I actually like it better with the fat free products as they maintain a more liquid texture when warm, but the high-fat version was also fantastic!

In addition to my dip, we had salsa and tortilla chips, a veggie tray, and the most decadent dessert: chocolate covered oreo balls. Lizz was kind enough to pass on the recipe:

Chocolate-Covered Oreo Balls

Ingredients

1 package Oreos

1 brick cream cheese

2 bags semi-sweet chocolate

1 bar white chocolate

Directions

Smash the Oreos to smithereens. Mix thoroughly with cream cheese. Refrigerate this mixture and then form into quarter-sized balls. Melt the semi-sweet chocolate, and dip the Oreo mixture balls into the melted chocolate. Decorate with melted white chocolate.

They come out something like this:

mmm... balls...

mmm... balls...

_

_Please ignore my sweatpants complete with cat hair!

More dinners to come this week…