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What's for Dinner #266 - The Arctic Polar Vortex Edition [through January 10, 2014]

Tonight will be leftover chili with spaghetti and a simple salad. Simple but good and using leftovers

Jan 08, 2014
bblonde in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner #266 - The Arctic Polar Vortex Edition [through January 10, 2014]

We aren't nearly as cold here, but that doesn't mean it can't be a good excuse to fix comfort foods for dinner.

Tonight's dinner is chicken and noodles, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and a nice vinegar slaw to cut through it all. Cheers

Jan 07, 2014
bblonde in Home Cooking
3

What's for Dinner #265 - Into the Deep Freeze Edition! (through Jan. 6, 2014)

Feeling better and up and about today.

Made it to the market in this brutal cold. A basic pot of chili and some mexican cornbread is my reward. Hope everywhere else is beginning to thaw out.

Jan 06, 2014
bblonde in Home Cooking
2

What's for Dinner #265 - Into the Deep Freeze Edition! (through Jan. 6, 2014)

Yes I am! Haven't had much luck. I don't know that I'd call Jazmos Bourbon St. Cafe "authentic" or even all that much Cajun, but i do like it. Don't know if the Shack is back open but the one time I went I found it inedibly salty. I have a general rule that I don't eat at buffet's but the one time I was taken to Cajun King I found it to be really decent because they come around to your table with fresh beignets and freshly fried catfish.

The short answer to your question is--no, sadly.

Jan 06, 2014
bblonde in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner #265 - Into the Deep Freeze Edition! (through Jan. 6, 2014)

We're headed into the deep freeze--25o high today. I know that's balmy for some, but here in OK that's dang cold. In fact I almost want snow if I have to suffer through the temps anyway.

Got out last night for dinner at a Cajun restaurant. Tabasco and honey-glazed salmon, garlic mashed potatoes, and roasted asparagus. If anyone has ever come across a smiliar sounding salmon recipe, please let me know

Jan 05, 2014
bblonde in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner #264 - 2014 Here We Come![through January 3, 2014]

Well I lied. No cooking today. Still haven't made it to the store. There's always tomorrow...or the weekend.

Instead ordered in Chinese and am watching my Sooners take on Bama. Was expecting a blood bath and so up to this point I'm impressed my Sooners are keeping pace. Boomer Sooner!

Jan 02, 2014
bblonde in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner #264 - 2014 Here We Come![through January 3, 2014]

Hello friends and happy new year. Finally coming around after my surgery 2 weeks ago.

For anyone wondering: no, it's not the best idea to have surgery around the holidays. Of course I "thought" I'd recover easily. Pssh. Felt a little bit like I missed Christmas. Bah humbug. Oh well it'll come again next year, lord granting.

Going to try and get back in the kitchen tomorrow. Need to drag myself to the store, anyway.

Last night I did make it to a friend's house for their New Year's Eve Party. The man had smoked a lot of meat and everyone brought sides.

I'm looking forward to cooking some good soups/stews, braises, roasts, and other seasonal food. Also love to get the spices going in January. I think a thai curry may be just what the doctor ordered.
Anyway, Happy New Year everyone. I hope everyone had a happy and healthy holiday season.

Jan 01, 2014
bblonde in Home Cooking
5

What's for Dinner #261 - It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas Edition [through 12/18/2013]

I can hardly contain my excitement that in less than 12 hours my last law final will be finished and I will be halfway through law school and through the worst of it! Now to just keep the stamina up until 5pm.

How shall I celebrate? I think this evening calls for red wine (heck, maybe champagne after the 2 weeks I've had) and maybe Chinese takeout and tree-trimming. The house has hardly the slightest look of Christmas. By 5pm Scrooge will have met with the three ghosts and have Christmas spirit again!

Dec 12, 2013
bblonde in Home Cooking
17

What's for Dinner #261 - It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas Edition [through 12/18/2013]

Unless I'm making my own, the only kind of beef pie I can get is Marie Calendars

Dec 12, 2013
bblonde in Home Cooking

ISO Freeze ahead macaroni and cheese and other make-ahead Christmas dishes

Hi all

I'm having surgery a week before Christmas and do not know what shape I will be in but expect I will be up to joining my family's meal. However it's impossible for me not to feel the need to contribute so I was hoping to make something(s) this weekend and potentially freeze them, but only so far as the quality is acceptable. I was thinking macaroni and cheese, maybe Martha Stewart's. I know my aunt is having a ham. Other than that, the menu is free range. Suggestions appreciated

Dec 11, 2013
bblonde in Home Cooking

Need an idea to serve ladies for lunch

I disagree. I think some of the simplest things to make are the hardest things to get right. A la omelet or a really good soup. Furthermore the poster clearly stated that she wanted to spend time with her company.

Dec 10, 2013
bblonde in Home Cooking
2

What's for Dinner #260 - The Holiday Decorations are Coming Out Edition [through Dec 11, 2013]

Thanks. It's just hard when you feel like you want to do all the work and coordinate and just CARE about it and no one else does. And this year I care but I just can't do it. At this point we may be meeting at McDonald's to open presents. C'est la vie.

I'm sure things will be in a better perspective after Thursday (last final). Then I get to host my dad's birthday dinner, attend my fiancee's work Christmas party, a Christmas ornament exchange with good friends. And after surgery I'm looking forward to lots of cider/tea/hot chocolate and Christmas movies.

Dec 10, 2013
bblonde in Home Cooking
1

Need an idea to serve ladies for lunch

I have some friends who for their Christmas party do a pot of minestrone soup. It's not terribly fancy but everyone loves it. Maybe pair that with an antipasto platter (I use a southern living recipe), some nice homemade rolls, and confections.

Dec 09, 2013
bblonde in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner #260 - The Holiday Decorations are Coming Out Edition [through Dec 11, 2013]

I did 1 lb. ground beef and 2lbs. deer. But I admit to not using too much spice. That could help

Dec 09, 2013
bblonde in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner #260 - The Holiday Decorations are Coming Out Edition [through Dec 11, 2013]

Oh no! That's just awful. When I don't wanna/can't eat, you KNOW things are bad! Hoping its just a quick bug

Dec 09, 2013
bblonde in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner #260 - The Holiday Decorations are Coming Out Edition [through Dec 11, 2013]

I'm going to blame my terrible mood tonight on the venison chili that was YUCK. I just dont like anything gamey. My neighbor gave me some venison but I couldn't help but think of Bambi.

Another law final completed today.

Starting to stress out about the holidays. I know the *meaning* of Christmas but this is just not my year. Between late Thanksgiivng, law finals, this snowstorm hitting us, and me having surgery in a week (a week before Christmas), this just feels like the year without Christmas and has me in a fit.

This is the year my aunt comes in and we had decided that she and my uncle would bear the load of the Christmas Eve dinner and have it at my grandmother's house as they usually do when in town. My grandmother is starting to lose it at 83 and I don't think she recalls that this is what normally happens and that they do ALL the work (she is merely an observer) and so she decided to throw a fit tonight about not wanting to have the big dinner at her house. So between that set of aunts/uncles not having a house here, my other aunt is going through chemotherapy, and my parents are preparing for a January trial, don't even have decorations up, and will be playing nurse-maid to me!

It all has me saying BAHHHHH HUMBUG!!!!!
Hoping to get out of this holiday rut. Looking forward to more law finals and then surgery isn't helping very much :( Sorry for the vent. Relatives can be so frustrating. Especially when I spend so much of my freetime trying to do things to help my aged grandmother and she is stubbornly refusing to allow us to simply use her house.

Dec 09, 2013
bblonde in Home Cooking
1

What's for Dinner #258 - Into the Freezer edition. [Through Dec 1, 2013]

Last night was leftovers again before a really good Thunder game.

Today is my momma's birthday and she has requested chicken and noodles, gert's slaw (sister made), mashed potatoes (made extra at Thanksgiving), and a mystery pie. Unfortunately a lot of the same flavors of Thanksgiving but what can I say--it's what the birthday girls wants.

Law school crunch time continues. I did take last evening off for a basketball game with the fiancee. And tonight for birthday. 12 more days of this hell.

Nov 30, 2013
bblonde in Home Cooking
2

Turkey Day 2013: Lessons Learned

I think the mashed potatoes, while not difficult to make, definitely added to the kitchen chaos and would be worth making ahead.

Not always cold here (Oklahoma) but was this Thanksgiving. You guys must get much more creative than I am--have 2 fridges, two freezers, 2 ovens, and a warming drawer and still feel cramped for space!!

Nov 30, 2013
bblonde in Home Cooking

Turkey Day 2013: Lessons Learned

Well, crap, I had tons of lists! Lists of what cooks in what dishes, table set, oven times & temps. And still overwhelmed!

I am thinking I need to basically have everything but the turkey and maybe the pies done before, and all I have to do is put things in and out of the oven.

Any ideas for stuff to prep before the day before? Freezer items, weekend before? I had law school finals coming up (Monday, actually--this is a short break from studying) so that adds a lot to the stress but I had so much help and felt so on track and then still so overwhelmed. I'm thinking maybe Thanksgiving prep needs to start EVEN EARLIER. Freeze pie crusts? I've frozen leftover dressing and that is usually okay. Maybe that's worth it.

Maybe I should forgo the home-roasted, brined turkey and pick up a cajun fried or smoked one.

I throw dinner parties often, with china and silver, etc. Why was this Thanksgiving so hard?! This is not my first rodeo. I did two while in law school last year (one with my family, one with my fiance's family).

Nov 30, 2013
bblonde in Home Cooking

Turkey Day 2013: Lessons Learned

I may post elsewhere too as I am in need of guidance.

I'm a very accomplished cook. And I had the help of my mother and sister (and a couple men helpers too) for Thanksgiving...and yet I was exhausted and overwhelmed. This was not my first rodeo, and I thought they did a lot in advance, and yet it was so much! Just getting the dishes out for the buffet was work! I'm not sure if we had too much food or what.

The Good: The turkey (brined in Alex Guarnacelli's brine) was really, really good.

The Bad: With 3 litle kids running around, things felt so hectic. I felt like I worked, worked, worked, and then didn't even really want to eat by the time lunch was ready.

Things that were done ahead: cranberry sauce, cranberry jello salad, brined turkey, green beans (night before), baked the sweet potatoes for their pulp, half the pie crusts, baked cornbread/set out crumbs for dressing, chopped veggies for dressings, made filling for mincemeat pie

Day of: Roasted turkey, made cherry "fluff" early, made last 2 pie crusts and baked pumpkin pie, apple crumb pie, and mincemeat pie, saute veggies and assemble dressings/bake, roast brussels sprouts, make sweet potato casserole, bake green beans, make mashed potatoes, carve turkey and eat.

How do I make it easier??? Help! I don't want to sacrifice on taste. And everyone has a favorite dish so it's hard to cut.

Nov 30, 2013
bblonde in Home Cooking

Turkey Day Live

Mom and sister have taken over most of the tasks and completed so much of the prep yesterday because of law school finals next week, I've been mostly out of commission.

Turkey about to go into the oven, apple pie going into oven. Green bean casserole assembled, sweet potatoes cooked but casserole not made, veggies chopped for dressings, and croutons crunched up.

Getting ready to hop in the shower then go help mom and sister pull everything together.

Breakfast? Totally forgot about that concept!

Nov 28, 2013
bblonde in Home Cooking

Turkey Day Live

I thought maybe we could keep up with each other as the day progresses.

Coffee in hand, looking over my to-do list, about to get Mr. turkey out of fridge and into oven.

Nov 28, 2013
bblonde in Home Cooking
1

Relish Tray

My aunt, who cannot cook, always bring the relish tray--pretty much as described here--olives, dill pickles, sweet pickles, celery stuffed with pimiento cheese. Before that, my frail grandmother made that contribution (although she had been able to cook). We eat a lunch, usually 1pm, so I never much saw the need for them. But now my grandmother is gone, and my aunt's side of the family has broken off into their own family for Thanksgiving, I might miss it.

My fiancee's family does pickles and olives and a cheese ball!

Nov 27, 2013
bblonde in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner #258 - Into the Freezer edition. [Through Dec 1, 2013]

Or my fiancee's favorite dessert is cherry cheesecake: coolwhip, cream cheese, canned cherry pie filling, store-bought graham cracker crust. This one I cannot understand. What a waste of calories imho. I can spend hours on a "real" baked cheesecake. But it's easy...and what he wants.

Nov 27, 2013
bblonde in Home Cooking
2

What's for Dinner #258 - Into the Freezer edition. [Through Dec 1, 2013]

It's a store/chain where you can go in an order a fresh, unbaked pizza that you simply take and bake. It's really good!

Nov 27, 2013
bblonde in Home Cooking

Best turkey brine that I could start now and be ready to roast tomorrow morning

Do you have any idea about adjustments I'd need to make based on the size of the bird? Mine is 22lbs.

Nov 27, 2013
bblonde in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner #258 - Into the Freezer edition. [Through Dec 1, 2013]

This past week has been crazy. Normal for this time of year plus I was house sitting.

Unusual weather for Oklahoma--freezing rain/snow Friday through Sunday. Greeted fiance back home from a trip with a pot of beef stew and Mexican cornbread and a fire in the fireplace.

Friendsgiving was Monday. I wanted to go "all out" and try a couple unusual dishes on my friends that would never make the cut at my family's thanksgiving but alas a 6:30 beginning meant I frantically got off at 4:45, headed home, popped some brussels sprouts into roast, and I'm ashamed to say I made a canned-apple-pie-filling crisp. Actually I'm not ashamed at all because it was the star of the dessert table! Don't you hate it when you have things you slave over that get no praise and then the thing that takes you literally 5 minutes to put together takes the cake so to speak?

Last night after the thanksgiving grocery-ing I took the easy way out and picked up a Papa Murphy's pizza. Are they everywhere in the country? I highly recommend. My first thought was "I'm NOT paying $16 for a pizza I have to cook myself!" But the stuffed chicago family size fed 7 people (plus a salad) and a couple slices leftover and it really is really good.

I have a feeling today will be takeout as well.

Looking forward to Turkey day tomorrow. For probably the first year ever, I'm less stressed and taking it easy. Too much going on next week to not enjoy the short window of time off! Everyone have a blessed (and less-stressed) thanksgiving!

Nov 27, 2013
bblonde in Home Cooking
2

Best turkey brine that I could start now and be ready to roast tomorrow morning

Running a bit behind this year. I really love to brine my birds and have used commercial mixes but I wanted to throw together a solution that is just as flavorful and will be good to go if I start it now to begin roasting the turkey at 8am tomorrow--just shy of a full 24 hours away. Suggestions please

Nov 27, 2013
bblonde in Home Cooking

GF dressing recipe?

I am attending a "friendsgiving" this weekend and there are several people who are GF. I've never made anything GF and the only thing I've tried with brown rice was nasty. I'm tempted to bring something else (carrot dish, corn dish, etc.--those are GF right?) but no one has volunteered to bring dressing and it's simply not Thanksgiving without it. Any ideas?

Nov 19, 2013
bblonde in Home Cooking

Your Thanksgiving 2013 Menus

The Christmas after my granddad died I finally was motivated to get with it on my project to make, photograph, and record grandmommy's recipes and I gave out cookbooks as the Christmas gift. The cover features her rolling her famous hot rolls. She had no idea what I was up to and was somewhat irritated when I showed up Thanksgiving morning and requested she get made up for a roll-making photography session! I have the recipe, I have the pictures--just not the same when anyone else makes them.

Nov 17, 2013
bblonde in Home Cooking