Monday, December 27, 2010

For 2: Christmas Dinner

This is what the FH and I had for Christmas dinner the night we celebrated together: Cornish hens, cornbread dressing, scalloped potatoes, and sautéed spinach. I love Cornish hens for an intimate dinner because you get both white and dark meat without cooking a whole chicken, each person gets their own little bird, and they are just so freaking tasty. Yes, we had some leftovers but I didn’t want to cut any dishes out because we love them all and it’s Christmas; indulge yourself (we did). Hopefully we burned off many of the calories we ate by staying up until almost 4am and playing the Wii that I got him. The Cornish hen and sautéed spinach recipes are below, for the scalloped potatoes I used this recipe from Tyler Florence, and click here for the cornbread dressing recipe posted last week. I hope you all had great Christmas dinners. What did you eat?
Sincerely Loving Food,

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Merry Christmas!

So its the most wonderful time of the year and I am pumped!  I plan to eat my heart out the next couple of days!  Tonight the fh and I are having "our Christmas dinner."  We are doing one last seperate Christmas with our respective families so tonight we are celebrating togther; we've done this the last couple of years and I really cherish it!  Menu: Cornish hens, cornbread dressing, scalloped potatoes (homemade not from a box) and sauteed spinach.  I am so pumped!  I put the recipe for the dressing below, and I will put up pictures and the other recipes after the holiday.

I am headed to my parents tomorrow so I will be eating every piece of deliciousness my Mom can make!  I am really hoping for a roasted pork loin because she does those so beautifully and maybe some monkey bread on Christmas morning, but we'll see what happen.  What are you looking forward to over the next couple of days?  Does your family have any traditional dishes that are always around at Christmas?
Sincerly Loving Food,

Cornbread Dressing
4 large cornbread muffins (I use store bought, but if you want to make them, more power to you!)
1 small onion, diced
2 tbl bacon grease (can substitute olive oil, but its Christmas, so why would you?)
1/4 C fresh, chopped sage
1 egg
1/4 C Chicken Stock
2 tbl Heavy Cream

Preheat oven to 350.  Crumble the cornbread into a medium mixing bowl.  Heat the bacon grease in a skillet over medium heat and once hot add the onion.  Cook until the onion is soft about 7 minutes.  Meanwhile mix the egg, stock and heavy cream together.  Throw the cooked onion and all the renderings in the bowl with the cornbread, along with the sage and stock mixture.  Give it a good stir, sometimes this is enough moisture and sometimes you have to add a little more stock and/or cream (which ever you like or have more of) until it all sort of sticks together.  Put mixture into a buttered casserole dish, spread out evenly and bake for about 25 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

Some tips - It's better if you let the muffins sit out a day or two so they are sort of stale and absorb the moisture and its best with gravy on top!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

For a Crowd: Grits-and-Greens Breakfast Bake

I love Southern Living recipes; usually they are straight forward, easy to follow and the write up is an honest representation of how complicated (or not) the dish is. I found this recipe for “Grits-and-Greens Breakfast Bake” and decided to make it the day of the FSU v. Florida game and take it to tailgate. Let’s just say I got in a little over my head…Don’t get me wrong, this dish was delicious and in all honesty I did change it up a bit, but this was not nearly as easy as it sounded and mine looked no where near as good; in fact it sort of looked a mess, so much of a mess that I didn’t take a final picture. So, here is the link to the Southern Living  Recipe…check it out! It looks and sounds delicious! I decided I wanted a little more. First I sautéed a chopped onion and some mushrooms, because I love them so much and second I cooked the collard greens for a few minutes in ham hock water like here because that is my favorite way to eat them. My main problem was the eggs didn’t stay down in their holes they just sort of ran all over the top of the grits, next time I will make bigger holes! I think this happened because my baking dish was too small, the onions and mushrooms added moisture which kept the grits from setting and I was inpatient. I should have just let the grits cook longer on their own before adding the eggs, but we had a very important football game to get to! All things considered, I will definitely be making this again; cooking is all about learning experiences!  You should try it too!

Sincerely Loving Food,

The Perfect, Southern Living, Completed Dish:

All my ingredients, ready to go:

Stirred up, ready to bake!

After baking, right before the egg spread:

And then imagine a mess...and I will imagine mine looked like the one in the magazine!

Friday, December 3, 2010

For a Crowd: Squash Casserole

I love squash casserole, especially when it is still recognizable as squash and not just some gooey cheesy mess. Don’t get me wrong, I love gooey cheesy messes, but not so much in this dish. I like to sauté the squash in a little olive oil until they just start to become tender and then stir them in with everything else and bake it off, with a little panko on top for some crunch! This recipe is super easy and a great way to sneak some veggies into even the pickiest eater’s diet.
Sincerely Loving Food,