Preparing that Special Meal ~ Part Two: The Savory Sides!

So, dessert is in the fridge getting chilled and ready. The ham is in the Dutch oven. Barry just called and I teased him with the prospect of this yummy meal.

I am planning three sides for this meal.

  1. Roasted red potatoes with a honey mustard topping
  2. Steamed broccoli Steam, salt, serve, no instructions people.
  3. Sauteed green beans with onions ~ oh and a touch of bacon

Roasted Honey Potatoes http://allrecipes.com/recipe/honey-roasted-red-potatoes/

I will cut the potatoes in smaller chunks to maximize the surface crunch. A pound may be a bit much, but on a special occasion more is better. (And there will be planned leftovers for the weekend. ❤ )

Put the potatoes on a baking sheet which is coated with a cooking spray. Sprinkle the diced onions over top.

Combine the melted butter, honey, dry mustard, and S&P in a small bowl. Drizzle over the potatoes. Toss a bit to coat.

Bake at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes, stirring about halfway.

Southern Green Beans ~ courtesy Rachael Ray http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/rachael-ray/southern-green-beans-recipe/index.html

What I like about this simple preparation is that, first and foremost, it has yummy flavors. I also like that the green beans will get cooked and softened a bit before the savoriness is added. See, Barry and I just don’t like crunchy veggies. That bit of cook time will soften them just enough so we will be happy. BTW I will use a cast iron skillet for this… true southern.

Cook the green beans in 1-inch simmering water, covered, for 6 minutes. Drain them and set them aside. In the same skillet, brown the bacon. When the bacon begins to offer it’s fatty goodness, add the onions. When the onions are translucent and the bacon crispy, add the green beans back to the pan and turn to coat in bacon drippings and onions. When the beans are hot, the bacon crisp at edges, and onions translucent, add vinegar to the pan and season with beans with brown sugar ( Sorry RR but I will use brown sugar). Allow the vinegar to evaporate and the sugar to combine with pan drippings ~ this will only take a minute or two. YUM!

Finally, I am going to make a quick pineapple topping for the ham. I know, I am cooking it in orange juice. I always have. It adds some flavor, but the pineapple ‘gravy’ will take it over the top.

Pineapple glaze:

  • 1 can pineapple chunks
  • 1 jar pineapple preserves
  • a pinch of kosher salt

Yup. That’s it folks. Put these ingredients in a sauté pan, low to med-low heat. Melt together until syrupy and warm. A little salt makes everything better, so don’t argue. Do it.

Next installment ~ you thought I was done ~ the finishing touches!!! ❤

So we can…ENJOY!

 

 

 

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Preparing that Special Meal ~ Part One: Dessert

Happy Valentine’s Day All! I am excited to prepare the meal I carefully planned. Barry told me a story of bragging at school that his wife was making a special meal tonight. I asked him if he wanted to hear the menu. Nope. I like surprises, he quipped. That was to tease me, because I DON’T like surprises! LOL

So we start by making dessert. http://www.tasteofhome.com/Recipes/Peanut-Butter-Chocolate-Dessert 

A Decadent PB Chocolate Dessert

You will need:

  • 20 sandwich cookies
  • 2 tbsp softened butter
  • 1 – 8 oz package of cream cheese
  • 1 and then 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 tub frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 15 mini pb cups
  • 1 cup cold milk
  • 1 pkg instant chocolate pudding mix

Layer one: the Crust

Separate and smash 15 of the cookies. Mix with the softened butter. Smash into a 9′ x 9′ pan. Or on my case, I used my pretty oval dish.

the crust

 

Layer Two: Creamy PB Goodness

In a large bowl, add softened cream cheese, the peanut butter, and 1 cup of confectioner’s sugar. Mix until creamy. Then fold in half the tub of whipped topping.

Creamy PB GoodnessAfter you have folded in the whipped topping, pour over the crust.

Layer Two Done!

Put the mini pb cups on top.

Add the cups!

Layer Three: Chocolate madness!

The top layer I altered from the original. I wanted it to be very chocolaty! So, mix the pudding mix, 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar, and the cup of cold milk. Beat for a minute or two. I used my immersion blender. I should change my name from neatnosh to lazynosh ~ I am all about easy.

Now, YOUR CHOICE, you can fold in the other half of the whipped topping, or do as I did and leave it CHOCOLATE MADNESS.

Top Layer

Ready to Chill

Put your lovely goodness in the fridge to cool. I will put the whipped topping on top of all this and sprinkle with crushed cookies.

MEANWHILE… Time for the ham. I put my pretty little “Budaball ham” in my Dutch oven, poured about 2 cups of orange juice all over it and put it in a 300 oven. In an hour or so I will lower the oven to 225 and then later when I need the oven for the roasted taters, I can put it on the stovetop with a low heat to keep it warm through.

More to come so stay tuned….

Enjoy!

 

 

Life is Good!

So life in the Greynolds home is feeling light and festive. Mike and Tammy are here, and the festivities have begun. Breakfast barely finished… there is a savory tart in the oven for a midday nosh. Dinner will be a lovely roasted pork. There is a store of fresh produce to choose from… white potatoes, red potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, green beans, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and a butternut squash for good measure!

Mmm…

It is lovely to relax… then wrapping needs to be “wrapped up” as it were. The food and libations all set… all there is left to do is eat, drink, and be merry!

I hope and pray you do the same.

Please, enjoy!

Christmas is coming… the Goose is getting fat…

So much to do… I have been hopping all week. I have made dozens of cookies… 80 chocolate chip cookie bars alone went to school with Barry today for his kids… and at the last minute, I melted a bag of chocolate chips and dipped pretzel sticks in it…and dried them out. Barry said the kids gobbled them up.

The cookies are made, the presents are almost wrapped. I am almost done shopping. Tomorrow there will be produce… and eggs. I am watching Barry right now… he is doing some wrapping for me…

I can’t begin to tell you the joy that Christmas brings. My girls have found this joy… this Christmas, Tammy in particular. She is infectious! She and Mike come tomorrow… and there will be love, laughs, and much delicious food!

I am planning to do my best over the holiday to share…. though I imagine my sharings will be brief.

I wish you love.

I wish you peace.

I wish you joy.

I wish you laughter.

Enjoy!

Thoughts of a Foodie ~ More planning and a recipe teaser

The end of a good week… and the holidays are that much closer. I was able to see my cousin from Virginia early in the week and her daughter and granddaughter too! My daughter, Courtney, and her fiance, Kenz, are here for a visit on their holiday journey. They will leave tomorrow and return Christmas Eve.

We had tasty and healthy meals and balanced that with making holiday treats. Remember that finding balance is very important. For me, enjoying one cookie is a big deal. For my husband, sitting and eating a plate of cookies with a glass of milk, or a cup of tea, is something he can do. You need to listen to your body and know what your limits are.

We have a week left to plan and I am excited about completing the tasks that will make Christmas week relaxing and fun! Gift wrapping, more baking, catching up on laundry, and doing my final fresh food shopping will keep me busy this week. Planning meals that are healthy in the meantime will be very important.

I am planning to make some more cookies today, if you can believe that. I will do my best to take photos and post later. There are only 6 ingredients in this recipe:

2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dark cocoa powder
1 cup dark chocolate chips

So if double chocolate shortbread cookies sound good to you, go pick up these things and meet me back here later. We can make them together.

I love love love the holidays… I hope you do too. And every year I enjoy them more because of careful planning and healthy eating.

Now, go shopping. Catch you later to make a new cookie recipe. Enjoy!

 

Holiday Delights ~ Peanut butter cookies with a kiss!

So the black bean and quinoa burgers are a keeper.  Both Courtney and I enjoyed the sweet crunch of the red peppers so I think next time there will be more of them. And we both pondered the merit of putting shredded cheese the mix. Fontina cheese, of course. I have influenced her cheese favorites I believe! LOL

Today we had unexpected visitors ~ well, I knew, but not Moose and Kenz. My niece Jamie and her beautiful little girl, Kiya, came to see us! It was great to see them ~ especially since she is heading back to Virginia today.

The girls and I are going to make a pizza for dinner, making it an easy meal. So this afternoon I made peanut butter cookies with chocolate kisses in them. To be fair, the last pan we decided to use peanut butter cups.

You will need:

  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 cup of creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar – packed
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup white sugar for rolling
  • enough chocolate candy kisses for one on each cookies – unwrapped of course

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Cream the shortening, peanut butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth. Add in the eggs, one at a time. Beat until fully incorporated. Mix in the milk and vanilla.

Now most recipes have you mix the wet in one bowl and the dry in the other and mix them. I guess I am a rebel. I do measure carefully when I bake, but I don’t do this. If you feel better doing it, do so.

So next add the baking soda and salt, mixing it well. I add the flour in parts…. usually a cup at a time.

To make the cookies, I use my tablespoon measuring spoon. Take one at a time and roll it in your hands, then roll it in the sugar. Place them on the prepared baking sheet about 2 inches apart. My baking sheet easily accommodated 20 cookies at a time. This recipe makes 80 cookies if you stick to the tablespoon size!

Bake in the preheated 375 degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from oven, and immediately press a chocolate kiss into each cookie. Allow to cool completely; the kiss will harden as it cools.

I must tell you that both Moose and Kenz were watching me put the first batch of kisses in and had these glazed looks. Courtney said, “OH! I always wondered how those kisses got in there and didn’t melt!” LOL

Thanks to Moose for the photo!

Mmmm......Cookies!

Mmmm……Cookies!

I am going to get back to enjoying my company! Give these a try! Enjoy!