Month: November 2012

38 Power Foods, Week 23 — Oats — Porridged Eggs

38 Power Foods, Week 23 — Oats — Porridged Eggs

I’ve never heard of porridged eggs, though my experience is that very little is truly new.  We’ve just lived too long.  For a few weeks, off and on, they kept coming to me.  I love the idea of oatmeal because I know my body, my heart, needs whole grains and oatmeal’s tops.  (Read about the great oat here.)  But I also find that I operate better (and eat less) during the day with a protein for breakfast.  Especially in cold Minnesota.  Hence oats and eggs.  But how?

I grew up with the occasional bowl of take-no-prisoners buttered, salt and peppered grits with my eggs fried to a crispy lace in bacon grease.  Along with biscuits slathered with sour cream and honey.  And the very best fried fish in the world.   Lest you think things were always that wonderful, there was the occasional pot of squirrel gumbo, as well.  And often there was dove that required careful chewing lest you bite into buckshot.  While I seldom indulge these days, my displaced southerner living-in-Chicago parents provided me with a culinary heritage upon which I still draw.  (Phew.  That grammar’s a killer.)

Add that to my natural love of all things Scots (I’m a McClendon), and the oats and eggs just seemed right.  While I may try them in a few different ways upcoming, I think the single cook  might enjoy this simple repast that could be, with the addition of a piece of fruit and a glass of milk, a complete breakfast.   Of course I’ve made it for two, but haven’t tried it in larger quantities. To get your mind around eggs with oats, take away the thoughts of oatmeal with brown sugar, raisins, apples, bananas, whatever.  Take away the idea of sweet.  Replace it with a meal more on the order of eggs and grits, with wholesome and tastier oats to replace the grits.  A tiny bit of butter graces the finished dish, and a generous dusting of salt and pepper completes it.  Not only that, but here the egg cooks right in the pan of oats for ease of clean-up.  Here’s how:
Porridged Eggs  serves 1

1/2 cup uncooked regular old fashioned oatmeal (not instant or quick)
1 cup water
1 egg
1 teaspoon salted butter
Salt and pepper to taste

In a small sauce pan, heat the water and the oats over high heat until boiling.  Turn  heat down and simmer for two minutes or so.  Carefully break egg into the center of the oats.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Cover tightly.  Let cook another 3 minutes or until the eggs and oatmeal are done to your liking.  Spoon carefully into a deep cereal bowl and add the butter to the top of the eggs.  Salt and pepper to taste.  (originally posted on Dinnerplace.blogspot.com, 12-15-2011)

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 I blog with a great group of writers every Friday where we cook our way through the list of foods from Whole Living Magazine’s Power Foods:  150 Delicious Recipes with the 38 Healthiest Ingredients:    Read more about tasty oats tomorrow at these sites:
Minnie Gupta from TheLady8Home.com

Sarah – Everything in the Kitchen Sink

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                                                                            this week on dinnerplace:
 wine and lemon-steamed salmon on broccoli

 
 During the calorically dense holiday season, it makes sense to have a great, quick fish meal in your pocket….This one’s a winner.   Saute onions, garlic, and broccoli.  Add wine, lemon juice and salmon filets.  Cover and cook just a few minutes.  Dinner’s served!

Sing a new song! Cook something new!
Alyce

Pie 101-Cherry (Helen’s Cherry Pie- Constructed, Deconstructed and Reconstructed)

Pie 101-Cherry (Helen’s Cherry Pie- Constructed, Deconstructed and Reconstructed)

 

“Can she bake a cherry pie, Billy Boy, Billy Boy?  Can she bake a cherry pie, charming Billy?”

She’s a young thing and cannot leave her mother….  is poor Billy’s lament.  She can, however, bake a cherry pie quick as a cat can blink an eye!  (Click on above link to hear the song; guitar chords included.)

I was just minding my own business.  I had stuck the hot cherry pie on a rack on an empty shelf in a kitchen cupboard.  A good place to cool pie if you have two golden retrievers. (I made four different pies for Thanksgiving; everyone deserves their favorite once a year.  I’m convinced.  Cherry is my sister Helen’s favorite.   Hence “Helen’s Cherry Pie.”  Also my loved “niece,” Kathy’s.)

Continue reading “Pie 101-Cherry (Helen’s Cherry Pie- Constructed, Deconstructed and Reconstructed)”

Turkey Noodle Soup–Carcass and All

Turkey Noodle Soup–Carcass and All


Make this soup on Friday and curl up on the couch to watch the first Christmas Movies!
If you kept or froze your turkey carcass from Thanksgiving and aren’t quite sure what to do with it, this is your method for soup. While it looks like a recipe, it’s merely a method and you must yourself judge which ingredients you have or want to add; it’s all about flexible. Note the options of using your leftover vegetables, gravy, stock, or just adding all purchased low-sodium chicken stock and so on.In about an hour an a half, you’ll have just about the best turkey noodle soup you ever ate. If you are skipping noodles this week, leave them out and, instead, add extra fresh or frozen vegetables. (Brown rice, wild rice, or barley are other possibilities.)
Turkey Noodle Soup from Thanksgiving Leftovers…Including that gravy if you like.
This soup is made in two stages: one to create a quick stock and the other to make the soup.
Please read all the way through before beginning.  

Cook’s Note:  The Turkey Soup police are not out today.  You can make this with lots of changes and substitutions, but you have my idea to start.  Blessings on your soup pot!  Be brave!

Stage 1: Making Stock
·        1 turkey carcass
·        Any extra bits of turkey meat, gristle, skin, etc. you have left that you’re not eating
·        1 large onion, skin left on, cut in half (wash well before using)
·        2 carrots, unpeeled and uncut
·        2 stalks celery with leaves, cut in half (add the end of the celery, too, if you have it)
·        1 bay leaf
·        Handful of parsley (no need to chop)
·        1T whole peppercorns
·        2t kosher salt
Place all of the above ingredients into your largest stock pot. If you have a big 20 quart shrimp pot, use that. If not, simply use your largest pot. Pour in enough water to cover the carcass and vegetables and place on stove over high heat. Bring to a boil, lower heat to a medium boil, and let cook an hour or so. Add more water if necessary to keep all of the ingredients fairly-well covered. Strain all of the stock and ingredients through a sieve or colander and discard solids. You may fish out the vegetables and puree them for the soup if you like. Be careful to make sure all of the peppercorns are out of the stock. You now have the basis for your soup.
Stage 2: Making the Soup
·        1 cup chopped onion
·        2 cups chopped celery
·        4 whole cloves garlic, minced
·        6 large carrots, peeled, and cut into 1″ pieces
·        1 cup chopped fresh parsley
·        3 T each chopped fresh thyme and sage (or sub 1t each dried)
·        Leftover Thanksgiving vegetables as they are or pureed (or 2-3 cups frozen or fresh vegetables)*
·        Leftover Thanksgiving gravy:  1-2 cups (optional)
·        Leftover Thanksgiving turkey stock (optional–can use more chicken stock instead)**
·        2 cups (more or less) shredded leftover turkey, light or dark meat***
·        2-4 qts low-sodium chicken stock (depending on how much turkey stock you have)
·        1 24 oz package frozen fresh noodles
·        1 cup frozen green peas
·        Kosher salt, pepper to taste
·        Hot sauce, to taste
To the stockpot of newly made stock, add all of the above except the last four items (noodles – hot sauce.) You must use your own judgment about how much liquid to add depending on the amount of vegetables and stock you have leftover, as well as how large your stockpot is. You may add water, as well, if you haven’t enough stock. All of the vegetables should have lots of room to float freely and there should be lots and lots of broth. The broth will reduce (cook down), but you’ll still need plenty later to cook the noodles. (Think about cooking pasta.) Bring everything to a boil and lower heat to a good simmer. Cook until the fresh vegetables are beginning to soften, stirring regularly. Add the frozen noodles and cook in the broth as directed on the package–about 20 minutes. Throw in the peas for the last few minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding salt, pepper and hot sauce, if desired. A few drops of hot sauce will deepen the soup without heating it up, but be careful you don’t over do it. Total cooking time for this second stage should be 30-40 minutes.
Serve hot. Refrigerate all leftovers for just a day or so. For further storage, freeze for up to 6 months at 0 degrees F
*If you have leftover cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, turnips, etc.)  you might want to add these in just the last five minutes of cooking so they do not flavor the broth.  

**You might have some leftover turkey stock from cooking the giblets, etc to make gravy and stuffing; throw this in if you have it.  If you don’t, you’ll use more boxed broth or water, if necessary.

***If your’e out of turkey meat, you can still make this soup; it’ll be tasty, filling, and nutritious anyway!

Sing a new song,
Alyce   

This “recipe” originally published elsewhere by me!  The  underlining won’t disappear; I’ll try later to reformat it. Until then, you have the soup and the underlining.

A Cranberry Thanksgiving Day or How To Get the Kids Involved in Thanksgiving!

A Cranberry Thanksgiving Day or How To Get the Kids Involved in Thanksgiving!

“Get Mother to help.”

 As my family well knows, there comes a day in November (December is just too late) when I do nothing but bake cranberry bread.  We have it for Thanksgiving morning breakfast, take a loaf or two to friends, and then have one squirreled away in the freezer for Christmas morning as well.   I make a fun production out of the day (no other activities, favorite music on, microwaved lunch) and have nearly an assembly line in the kitchen so that loaf after loaf is mixed individually and baked on the center rack.  It does require a number of pans, but I’m good at finding extras at Good Will or splurging on a great pan with a Williams-Sonoma gift card.  I also bake this bread in coffee cups
for large size muffins or in tiny pans as little gifts for special folks.

Apilco (French porcelain)–all their tableware is oven-safe.

 Here’s what the production line entails:

Grease and flour all the pans
Finely chop all of the cranberries (fresh or frozen) at once by hand or in food processor.  Then:  clean the food processor or board well; the red will color the bread you’ll mix or stain the board.

Peel the oranges and chop finely all of the peel in the food processor or by hand on the board.
Of course you can grate it using a rasp or metal grater, but I think it’s too fine that way.  
Set your system for GO!  Everything you need is out.  (Mise en place)

about the recipe

The recipe is based on one from CRANBERRY THANKSGIVING by Wendy and Harry Devlin.   Reading this book and making the bread is a fun, yearly Thanksgiving activity…..

to which children love becoming addicted. (Also adults like me.  My kids are long gone and you see what I’m up to.) The story involves a fabulous cranberry bread recipe, for years kept secret, and an unscrupulous special someone who appears to want to steal it.  Of course, all’s well that ends well, and the Devlins went on to write all kinds of other books about cranberries….  The book itself is again available (was out of print), but I found a couple of first edition copies at the Good Will this fall for $1.99.  I can’t locate it as an ebook; maybe you can.  The library will definitely have copies, but check yours out early and write down the recipe!

Here’s the original recipe along with the Devlins’ Blueberry Pancake Recipe.

While I occasionally make a loaf with or without nuts, add a few tiny chocolate chips, or combine the recipe with one for bananas or apples, generally I make this bread with just cranberries.

The other day when I was buying the ingredients, the clerk asked if I was making cranberry bread–to which I replied a large, strong, hefty, happy, YES!  She wanted my recipe and today I took it up to the market and left it in an envelope with her name on it:

…  …  …. …  … .. .. ….. …… ……. ….. …………


Happy Thanksgiving to Jane 
From Alyce Morgan (http://www.moretimeatthtetable.blogspot.com– my food blog)
I will probably post the Cranberry Bread sometime soon, but just in case I don’t– here’s the recipe, which is based on the bread in Harry and Wendy Devlin’s book CRANBERRY THANKSGIVING-a fun Thanksgiving children’s book.           Enjoy!
Cranberry Bread
.  
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.   Grease well and flour one 9×5 loaf pan.
.
In a large bowl, mix together:
·       2 cups unbleached white flour
·       1 cup white sugar
·       1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
·       ½ teaspoon baking soda
·       1 teaspoon salt
.

Cut into the flour mixture, using a pastry cutter, two knives, or even your fingers,*

.

·       ¼ cup (half-stick) cold butter, cut into small pieces
                                         In a separate small bowl, beat together well:
.
·       ¾ cup orange juice
·       1 egg
·       1 tablespoon grated orange peel
Pour orange juice mixture into the flour mixture and mix until just combined.  Do not over mix.  Gently stir into the batter:
..
·       1 ½ cups finely chopped fresh or frozen cranberries
·       ½ cup coarsely chopped walnuts, optional
.
Spoon the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake about 70 minutes or until a wooden pick or skewer comes out clean.  Cool 10 minutes in the pan before removing from pan.  Cool completely on rack before cutting. (Wrap well in aluminum foil to freeze up to 1 month.)   (Makes good muffins—bake @ 400 F 15-20 minutes.) 
.
*Can use food processor, but mix cranberries/nuts in by hand.  

Involving the Kids:  Just do it! Don’t worry about the mess or how much time it takes.   Just do it!

 Little ones are great at collecting ingredients, greasing and flouring pans, measuring, mixing, and checking to see if the bread is done.  Do the chopping yourself (if you’re doing it by hand) unless your older child already has good knife skills.  Cranberries are not easy to chop–they keep rolling around,  though the job isn’t terribly time consuming.  If you have a food processor or manual chopper, this is the time to use it.

If you’d like to teach “Over the River and Through the Woods,” let them watch this youtube video.

Sing a new song; make lots of cranberry bread,
Alyce

                    
Thanksgiving, 2012

Thanksgiving, 2012

                     “It’s not what’s on the table that’s important.  It’s who’s in the chairs.”

                       
This post includes:

  • Guide to cooking and baking hotlines
  • Links to great Thanksgiving sites for tips, food, decoration, kids’ activities
  • My own favorite Thanksgiving photos, recipes, music, wine, and even a blessing or two   

Enjoy!

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  I can’t preach about giving thanks.  I’ll just say I think it’s healthy.  It’s lovely in that it’s a discipline folks of any religion or country can take part.  But of course, our fair “Rabbie” had it best:

Some Hae Meat

 Some hae meat and canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it,
But we hae meat and we can eat,
And sae the Lord be thankit.

~Robert Burns

 Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  You could have guessed.
My worlds all come together on that day.
Giving thanks– being grateful–is a practice or discipline of many religions and cultures, including mine.
I need it.  I need that discipline. And:
Creating a meal to honor that…is my idea of a great day!
I wish you a day of totally beautiful, grateful life.


A grace could be very simply giving thanks for the hands that made the meal, for the workers in the stores, on the trucks, in the gardens and  the vineyards Even a toast to all who made it possible would work.  Mark the moment.

Thanksgiving, after all, is a word of action.  
                                                    ~W.J. Cameron
.                          
Awareness.   Awakeness. Appreciation.  Peaceful breath.
A table that includes something you love.
Someone you love.

Some of the best new scripture these days is found on paper napkins.
I have some that say, “It’s not what’s on the table that’s important.  It’s who’s in the chairs.”
Ah, that we have to print that somewhere.

Deep breaths and a sense of warm wonder to you as you prepare to give thanks this year.

          If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, “thank you,” that would suffice. 

                                                                                                              ~Meister Eckhart
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Before the fun begins,  thanks for reading and responding:

           Bloggers Without Borders Post on Helping Victims of Sandy 

 

In case you need help with the meal….
 

 Two Mushroom-Red Onion Soup from my upcoming book.

Thanksgiving HOTLINES:

*Splendid Table (Radio)  from 11am-1pm  CT on Thanksgiving Day:  800-537-5252
*Reynolds’ Turkey Tips:  800-745-4000 Open through December 31, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
*Butterball Hotline: 1-800-BUTTERBALL Weekdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Central Time
*Crisco Pie Hotline:

(877) 367-7438 toll-free. Provides answers the most common questions about baking pies for novice bakers as well as offering tips that will benefit the most seasoned baker. The hotline also offers the option for callers to connect to a live pie expert for pie baking guidance. Hours: 9 – 7 EST except for: Nov. 12 – 21 (8am – 8pm EST) and Dec. 12 – 22 (8am – 8pm EST)

*USDA Meat and Poultry Line:

  (888) 674-6854 from 10a.m. to 4 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday. Closed weekends and holidays, except Thanksgiving. Special hours of operation on Thanksgiving are 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Eastern Time. 

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                              It is of course possible to dance a prayer. 
                                                                         ~Terri Guillemets
 
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Thanksgiving Listening and Watching + Kids’ Stuff:


                      Garrison Keillor’s “Over the River and Through the Woods”

Download Mary Chapin Carpenter’s Thanksgiving Song here.

Watch Charlie Brown Thanksgiving on youtube.

Thanksgiving Day Parades

Thanksgiving Day Football Games–Networks, Kickoff, etc.  

Thanksgiving Day Kids’ Activities 

Martha’s Thanksgiving for Kids 

Thou hast given so much to me,
Give one thing more, – a grateful heart;
Not thankful when it pleaseth me,
As if Thy blessings had spare days,
But such a heart whose pulse may be Thy praise.
                                                                              
~George Herbert 

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            Minneapolis Turkey Day 5K Run  8am Nov 22, 2012  
            Walk to End Hunger Mall of America Nov 22, 2012: 7am Registration; 7:30-10:30

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Really Good Websites with Thanksgiving Tips, Recipes, and Ideas 

I could reinvent the wheel here and give you step-by-step, day by day, but here’s a list of places that have already done all that work.  Have at it.  Below that, I’ve listed some of my own favorite recipes or menus from this blog or Dinner Place, Cooking for One.  I include an Intimate Thanksgiving, which is a Thankgiving for two (with leftovers) or for four (not too many leftovers.)  It was created for those who really don’t have much time to spend on Thanksgiving, but want a special meal nevertheless.  

America’s Test Kitchen:  Turkey and Gravy
James Peterson’s Gravy Guide
Martha Stewart’s Thanksgiving Planner
Non-Turkey Thanksgiving 
Vegetarian Thanksgiving 
Vegan Thanksgiving: 12 Recipes
LA Times: Great Thanksgiving Photos
Glazed Turkey from the Chicago Trib
Free:  Martha Stewart Thanksgiving (2011) Ebook with 40 Recipes
Smitten Kitten’s Thanksgiving
Taste Test:  Store-Bought Stuffing 
Perfect Pantry Sugar-Free Slow-Cooker Cranberry Sauce 
Serious Eats: 16 Salads for Thanksgiving
Kalyn’s Kitchen:  11 Green Bean Recipes
Mark Bittman:  101 Starts on the Day
Giada’s Butternut Squash Lasagne
Melissa Clark:  What Can I Actually Prepare Before Thanksgiving?
Gourmet Live:  Thanksgiving 2012
Chowhound’s 10 Thanksgiving Cooking Essentials
The Bitten Word’s 2012 Thanksgiving Recipe Index:
Thanksgiving Videos:  Mark Bittman
King Arthur Flour Cranberry-Pumpkin Rolls
Perfect Pantry’s Squash Muffins
Download Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Baking App
Pie Perfected by Carole Bloom
David Lebovitz’ Pumpkin Ice Cream 
Thanksgiving Wine: NYTimeswine:  
HGTV’s Stylish Thanksgiving Table Settings
Thanksgiving Decoration from Epicurious
                    

Maybe it’s a good time to pull out the bread machine?

  More Time at the Table/Dinner Place Thanksgiving Posts:

Kathy’s Apple Pie (More Time at the Table)

Alyce’s Thanksgiving: An Intimate ViewVery Simple and Quick Thanksgiving  for 2-4 people who don’t want to cook much:

  • Starters: Olives and Nuts–set out in small bowls served with sparkler/wine
  • First course: Pumpkin or Butternut Squash Soup (purchased)
  • Main course: Turkey Roulade, stuffed W/ Proscuitto/Sage/Onions/Garlic
  • Sides: Oven-Roasted Root Vegetables with Fresh Rosemary
  • Brussel Sprouts (pan-roasted) w/ Parmesan & Pumpkin Seeds
  • Home-made Spicy Cranberry Sauce w/ Apples and Lemon
  • Bread: Corn Muffins or Rolls from the bakery
  • Dessert: Pumpkin Ice Cream, purchased from grocery OR Pumpkin Custards baked the day before and refrigerated (Use any pumpkin pie filling recipe and bake custards in pammed ramekins about 30 min. at 350—No crust)
  • Drinks: Wine: A to Z Riesling and Sineann Pinot Noir- Have both! Coffee: French Roast, laced with Cognac and Whipped Cream

Pears Poached in Port

 
Other recipes of mine you might enjoy at Thanksgiving:

Alyce’s Bacon Roasted Chicken or I Don’t Want Turkey
Alyce’s Roasted Chicken and Butternut Squash
Alyce’s Roasted Pork Loin, Hot and Spicy Cranberry Sauce
Potato Gratin with Rosemary Crust 
Alyce’s Butternut and Other Squash Soup
Alyce’s Pan-Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Parmesan New Potatoes 
Alyce’s Green Beans Sauteed with Onions and Garlic
Alyce’s Turkey Pot Pie from Thanksgiving Leftovers 
Alyce’s Pumpkin Soup or Making Up for Thanksgiving
Alyce’s Spicy Cream of Pumpkin Soup+Wendy’s Sage and Thyme
Alyce’s Pear-Grilled Fig Salad with Goat Cheese
Alyce’s Israeli Couscous-Butternut Squash Salad with Fall Fruit and Cheese 
Alyce’s Pumpkin Bread

Wendy’s Sage

Alyce’s Quick Prune Bread
Alyce’s No-Knead Bread Post on Dinner Place
Alyce’s Whole Wheat Yeast Rolls (from Bill Kalbus)
Poached Pears in Port               
Alyce Morgan’s Pie 101
Alyce’s Derby Pie (Pecan-Chocolate with Bourbon)
Alyce’s Kathy’s Apple Pie
Alyce’s Almond-Scented Pear Crostata
Alyce’s Ask Me About Dessert Post
Alyce’s Pumpkin Custard with Cinnamon Creme Fraiche (One Minute Pumpkin “Pie”–no crust) 

Pumpkin-Chocolate Chip Bread.  Thanksgiving morning breakfast.

Anne Lamott’s Parade Magazine Article on Counting our Blessings  

my quick take on the (american) wine and other drinks

Need extra wine glasses?  Borrow them!   If you’d like a large inexpensive set to keep from year to year, and can’t spend much:  go to the dollar store or a discount place like Marshall’s.  You can store a couple of boxes in the closet or basement and have them available for loan or a February Sangria party.

Drink what you like:
 
 Wine is for your enjoyment and the enhancement of food.  So, do not fret and fuss about the wine (or anything.)  First and foremost, you should drink exactly what you like with Thanksgiving dinner.  If you have no idea what you like, go to the wine shop or liquor store, and find a salesperson who’s willing to talk to you.  Do not do this on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving unless you’re a glutton for punishment.  Everyone else in the city will be there and the clerks will be infinitely hassled while wondering what they’re having for Thanksgiving and who’s going to cook it all.  Tell the salesperson what kinds of wine you (and your guests if you know) like, what your price is (don’t be shy), how many people you’ve having, and what your menu is.  Believe it or not, everyone is not having turkey, dressing, and pumpkin pie.  This person has paired vegetarian lasagne, pumpkin ravioli, goose, steak, and an all-raw menu before you arrived.

Don’t know what you like:

If you’re a do-it-yourself kind of shopper and want to go to the liquor superstore or simply have NO idea of what to buy, then I go with my tried and true recommendations, which are: 

A.  One bottle of wine per person (total) is the rule.  Yes. You’ll be there for hours.  I like American wine for Thanksgiving, so my recommendations are based on no wine from outside the United States. 

B.   Overall:  Provide a sparkler for before dinner or apertif, then one white and one red  to make everyone at least closer to happy.   Some sort of after-dinner drink or digestif is needed as well, though a walk will help, too.

I don’t like a cocktail before this kind of a meal…too many calories and too much alcohol, but then again, I’m a wine person.

Have beer on hand.   Get your brother-in-law’s favorite so he’ll be quiet or choose a saison, which would pair admirably with the meal if he won’t drink wine even with food.

Have lots of non-alcoholic choices. Sparkling water is pretty in a wine glass and is good for digestion for everyone, actually.  Non-alcoholic beer (Kaliber is about the best), iced Ceylon tea, and plenty of plain water are good choices.   Coffee is necessary; have the pot ready and start it when you sit down to dinner so people can help themselves.  Some will want it immediately after the meal even if they’re happy to wait hours for dessert.  If you don’t drink coffee, borrow a pot.  You can’t skip it.

C.  For the sparkler, buy a New Mexican sparkling wine like Gruet.

I suggest  Riesling for the white  (Washington state, Oregon, or New York). The lower the alcohol content, the sweeter the wine.  The alcohol content is printed on the label.  So if you like sweet, get an 8 or 9% alcohol Riesling.  11?  Much drier.  Don’t know?  I’d go with the sweeter for a group; you’re bound to have people in who want sweeter wine and your red will definitely be dry.

The red:  Oregon Pinot Noir.  It’s a splurge and it’s worth it.  If you need a lower-price Pinot Noir, choose A-Z or Angeline.  If you simply don’t like Pinot Noir (why?), buy a good California Merlot.  By the way, if you decide you like the Oregon Pinot Noir (and I’m a Pinot girl), buy a couple of extra bottles and squirrel them away in a cool, dry place for next year.  This wine doesn’t have to age terribly long to be scrumptious, but it’s usually better with a few years under its belt.  The older vintages are sometimes available, but not always.  If they are, they’re a lot more expensive.  Buy them young.

D.  If you’d like a dessert wine,  American sherry–or port– is lovely with pumpkin pie.
 A little nip of Jack in the coffee would do no one from below (or even above) the Mason-Dixon line any harm.  Save the Irish coffee for St. Patrick’s Day.

some pics of blog favorites for the holiday:

Almond-Scented Pear Crostata from More Time at the Table. 

On Thanksgiving Day, all over America, families sit down to dinner at the same moment – halftime.
                                                          ~Author Unknown

Hot and spicy Cranberry Sauce cooking in the pot. It’s done quickly and can be done a day or two ahead.
My pumpkin soup topped with Parmesan and chopped peanuts. A nutritious soup for a first course is elegant and will help keep folks from overeating. 
Pecan or Derby Pie is a great Thanksgiving choice.  When else would you make it?
Spicy Cream of Pumpkin with Wendy’s Sage and Thyme
Pear-Grilled Fig Salad with Goat Cheese (dried figs are fine, too)
Don’t bake?  One-Minute Pumpkin Custard with Creme Fraiche.
Butternut and Other Squash Soup
Oven-Roasted Root Vegetables  (Leftovers make great soup.)

Potato Gratin with Rosemary Crust.  No mashed potatoes or gravy needed.  Or anything else really.

Whatever menu you choose, have fun with it.  Make things you like.  Let people bring their favorites so everyone is happy.  Don’t worry if the gravy has lumps or the turkey is cold.  No one cares if your plates match, but they do care that they’re invited.

   If your heart is warm in welcome, everyone will have a great time.
 


Heap high the board with plenteous cheer and gather to the feast,
And toast the sturdy Pilgrim band whose courage never ceased.

~Alice W. Brotherton

Sing a new song…be grateful all day long and enjoy every minute,
Alyce
38 Power Foods, Week 22 — Brown Rice — Chili and Brown Rice with Spinach Salad

38 Power Foods, Week 22 — Brown Rice — Chili and Brown Rice with Spinach Salad

BTW, those are still cherry tomatoes from our garden on November 8.

While chili is a quintessential American fall meal, it is often eaten as is.  Just a bowl.  Just a spoon.  Just you and your chili.  

Fall in our ‘hood–tiny, dried crabapples against a St. Paul blue sky.

The chili mostly stands alone, I guess.

Or at least just with chips, cheese, onions, sour cream….or on hot dogs or fries.  Ha.

(Election Day Turkey-Lentil Crock-pot Chili--my last post–is one of Michelle Obama’s favorite meals… well–Turkey Chili is, at any rate.)


 But I like chili in all kinds of ways and with lots of different things.  I grew up with chili poured over a burger at the Dog ‘n Suds where I car hopped.  My Mom’s “Irish Chili” was full of the quarts of tomatoes she canned each summer.  It was a whole lot of tomatoes.  College at Western Illinois University brought Chili Frito over at the cafeteria for Washington and Lincoln Halls.  I loved it!  Why hadn’t I thought of it?  As years went on, my chili changed repeatedly.  After all, I lived in Europe where they didn’t know from chili.  I lived in San Antonio where if you knew beans about chili, you knew there were no beans in chili.  (I mentioned that to some Minnesotans once.  In concert, they all went, “WHAT???”)  I lived with The Silver Palate Cookbook and made their “Chili for a Crowd” forever…well, actually I still it make with variations. Later I moved on to Ina’s Chicken Chili–one of my favorites.  In other words,  these days I make several different kinds of chili (mostly my own–whatever happens to go in the pot), but one of my favorite chili meals originated one day when there wasn’t quite enough vegan chili to go around…

So I made some brown rice and a little salad.  For grins, I put it all in the bowl together.  Now I do it all the time.  Gives your mouth a break from the heat and provides more whole grains and greens.  It also lowers the cholesterol and calories of a chili meal so I can have it more often with less guilt.

Here’s the base for my vegan chili.

So here’s how I made this chili with brown rice today…using the leftover Election Day Crock-Pot chili and some brown rice I let cook this morning while  I walked the dogs.

“Come on, Gab.  Get the leash and let’s go, huh?”

alyce’s brown rice and chili with spinach salad

For each serving:

1 cup fresh spinach
1 shallot, sliced
Kosher Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
Drizzle of Olive oil
Cherry Tomatoes 

1/2 cup lightly salted and peppered cooked brown rice mixed with 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

1 cup chili (I like the chili I just blogged–full of hot Italian sausage and lentils as well as beans, but use any chili you’ve got or buy some Wendy’s chili to take home if you’re stuck.)


To assemble:

1.  In a large shallow bowl (a pasta bowl is fine), add spinach to one corner.  Top with half of the sliced shallots and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Squeeze lemon over the greens and drizzle with oil.  Add cherry tomatoes at side.

 2. Add rice to one side of the bowl and chili to the other.  Garnish with rest of shallots and a few tortilla chips.

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brown rice– tips and info……….

Brown rice takes about 45 minutes to cook at sea level, but quicker versions are available.  Some markets even sell frozen cooked brown rice.  You can also make brown rice in your crock-pot and freeze small portions for future use.  And, yes, you can make brown rice in your microwave.  You don’t save a lot of time, but a few minutes.  The directions are on the rice bag.

Rice field

 
  As our Power Foods group moves through the 38 Power Foods (click to order book), you’ll gather we’re up to brown rice this week.  The main food for over two-thirds of the world’s population, rice is sacred to many people.  Rice is a complex carbohydrate high in protein.  Did you know Arkansas is the largest rice-producing state in the U.S.?  If you were raised by southerners in the United States, you grew up eating a lot of rice.  Rice and gravy (or butter), rather than potatoes and gravy, were the standard at my family table.  My sister-in-law, who’s Korean, keeps a rice pot hot pretty much 24-7.  If her children are hungry between meals, they know where to go without bothering her.

Nutrients in
Brown Rice
1.00 cup (195.00 grams)
Nutrient%Daily Value

manganese88%

selenium27.3%

magnesium20.9%

tryptophan18.7%

Calories (216)12%

chart courtesy whole foods
 
       Brown Rice is Healthy!  As only the hull is removed off brown rice, we have a much healthier grain to eat that actually works against cholesterol in our bodies with its larger component of fiber.  You can read all about it here, but you’ll see with just a little bit of research that eating foods like brown rice works toward protecting us against heart disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, muscle spasms,  migraines, and many other things.  Tryptophan?  But of course.  Eat turkey and brown rice and you’re much more likely to sleep well!  And best of all, if you’ve ever been on Weight Watchers, you know a cup of brown rice is four points and white is five.  Who wouldn’t take the brown?  With a few exceptions, I use brown rice instead of white rice for nearly everything.  I draw the line (usually) at fried rice, but that’s a VERY occasional meal and I sometimes even use brown rice for that. 
(rice field photo courtesy producer’s rice mill)

       Leftover brown rice?  Make extra.  Always.   Rice is good food!  Then you can….  Add milk and a little sugar for breakfast.  Stir into some scrambled eggs with cheese and green onions. Add to a burrito.  Stir up a stir fry for a topping. Warm well and add a teensy bit of butter and lots of pepper to eat with cooked squash.  Make a patty, fry it up and make a hole in the middle.  Crack an egg into the hole. Cover and cook 2-3 minutes.  Add to soup or stew.  Cook up Thai curry.  In fact, there are so many ways to use brown rice that I know several people who just cook up a great batch every weekend and eat off it all week with whatever. The simplicity, cost,  and health benefits of brown rice appeal greatly to those who don’t cook much and to those who cook often.

       One of the favorite posts on my other blog (Dinner Place–Cooking for One) is “Help!  I’ve Got Leftover Take-out Rice and Don’t Know What to Do With It.”  Click and check out the recipe; it works just as well with brown rice.

Brown Rice for Breakfast in Colorado Springs:

Smiley’s…on Tejon in Colorado Springs

       There is absolutely the very best breakfast to be had in Colorado Springs at a tiny place downtown on Tejon called SMILEY’S.  Now funky, spunky Smiley’s has all kinds of breakfasts and lunches (as well as incredible baked goods–pie and homemade whole wheat bread for their toast, for instance), but each day they have specials.  We’re not talking eggs and bacon.  We’re talking lovingly designed, gorgeous breakfasts.  One favorite in the fall is a halved acorn squash filled with a mixture of brown rice, cumin, cheese, and scrambled eggs.  I’m going to try and fix it for breakfast this morning without a recipe.  If I turns out, I’ll add the picture here.  (I’m also working on a brown rice dessert for the soup cookbook.  Be patient.)  photo courtesy smiley’s

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Join our blogging group!

 I blog with a great group of writers every Friday where we cook our way through the list of foods from Whole Living Magazine’s Power Foods:  150 Delicious Recipes with the 38 Healthiest Ingredients:    Read more about tasty papaya this week at these sites: 

 
Ansh – SpiceRoots.com  
Minnie Gupta from TheLady8Home.com

Sarah – Everything in the Kitchen Sink
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The sun shining on my brown rice.
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 please help

Hurricane Sandy Relief:  Donate to Food Bank for NYC

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Sing a new song,
Alyce

all photos copyright Alyce Morgan, 2012 (except where noted)~please ask for permission to use~i’m likely to give it, but like to know where my pics go

Election Day Turkey-Lentil Crock-Pot Chili

Election Day Turkey-Lentil Crock-Pot Chili

If you’re like me, you’ll be all over MSNBC Tuesday night like icing on wedding cake.  Like blue on jeans.  Like red on Merlot.  Like chocolate on chips. Oh well, whatever you’re on, you might want something done and done to get you through that long night.  Just, please, God…let be over and clean and obvious.  No hanging anythings and the Ohio machines all working fine.

I already made my chili and froze it. I just run that 4 quart container under hot water in the morning til it “pops” and then gently slide the frozen chunk into my crock-pot on “low” for the whole day. (Make sure and add a little water to the crock-pot before the frozen chili.)   But since you didn’t know ahead of time….  Try this spicy, filling crock-pot chili that only asks you to….

1.  Saute two onions, four cloves of garlic, 1 red bell pepper, 1 green bell pepper, and 3 stalks of celery ( all chopped) in 2 tablespoons olive oil.  (I do all the chopping in the food processor.)

2.  Brown 2 pounds turkey Italian sausage (1 pound each hot and sweet or to taste.) in another skillet.

To speed things up, I do it at the same time.

 Pour the vegetables and meat into a 6 quart crock-pot and add:

2 28-ounce cans chopped tomatoes
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon each:  dried basil and oregano
1/2 teaspoon each ground cumin and fresh ground black pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons each:  Dijon-style mustard and lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper, optional (if you didn’t use hot Italian sausage)
1/2 cup red wine (or chicken broth)
2 cups water
1/2 cup green or brown lentils (well rinsed and picked over)
1 15-ounce can each:  black beans and pinto beans (drained and well rinsed) 

Stir well, taste and adjust seasonings.  Turn crock-pot to low and cook 6-8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours.  Serve hot with tortilla chips and grated cheese.

two-dog kitchen and around the ‘hood

                    please help

Hurricane Sandy Relief:  Donate to Food Bank for NYC   …  right after you vote!

On the back porch:  still ripening cherry tomatoes Dave picked 3 weeks ago.

African chard from Wendy’s garden.  I’m eating this in my egg-white omelets.

Basil growing in the south DR window.

My eastern garden smoke bush.

Burning Bush–great fall color

More of Wendy’s sage–picked last week and in water in a glass.

Up close chard. Still eating from the yard in November.  Thanks, God.

Sing a new song,
Alyce

Sorry to be late in posting…I hate leaving my blog sit stale.  Family illness has kept me away.  Things are on the upswing now…

And I’m so glad the election is (hopefully) about to be over.  Please pray for those without homes, heat, and power on the east coast.  Our daughter now has power in New Jersey, but many don’t.