Thursday, December 1, 2011

gobble gobble hey!

I didn't know whether or not I was gonna bother with thanksgiving this's a long story..which I'm sure I'll get into soon enough..but I have no use for most of my family at the moment..and the spousal unit's clan all kinda splits off and does thanksgiving with their spouse's it was just the two of us..and let's face hunny ain't the most festive guy you'll ever it's kinda hard to get psyched for any holiday

even one that is almost entirely centered around FOOD!

but then I saw an article in a magazine about things to do with your turkey day leftovers and I feast=no leftovers...that just won't do! ...besides..I had two good sized birds taking up way too much room in my freezer anyway

usually when my family gets together there is a coma inducing amount of food..not that I'm complaining mind's just...thanksgiving is a holiday that is already loaded with copious amounts of foods so bad we reserve them for that ONE special much do you REALLY need?!

so I scaled it back..ONE hors d'oeuvre vs. the usual half dozen or so we usually have...and I tried to make it at least SOMEWHAT nutritional...rather than going with the ever popular 'heart attack bites' (a cracker or piece of bread layered with cheese and wrapped in bacon) ..sausage stuffed mushrooms or kielbasa & crackers...I went with my fave (and ALWAYS a HUGE hit) mini spanakopita cups

if you're not familiar with's a savory greek 'pie' made with spinach and cheese, wrapped in phyllo (paper thin, flaky pastry) ...usually either in one large piece (think strudel) or 'flagrolled' into individual triangular shaped bites...but one year I couldn't get my hands on regular phyllo..all I could find were the little phyllo cups so I improvised...and have never gone back to the traditional method since!

that being said..I highly recommend (if you are so inclined) that you try it the traditional way at least once...why you just have not lived until you've worked with sheets of phyllo dough hahaha I said I had two good sized birds in the freezer so rather than go out and buy a turkey I just cooked them..after all it WAS just the two of didn't have to be totally traditional..chicken would do! there's not too much difference..actually I tend to prefer chicken anyway...PLUS two 8 pound chickens cook A LOT faster than one 16 pound turkey!! ...especially if you can use two ovens..which I did..YAY for mom living next door..WOOT!

since there weren't gonna be a bunch of people expecting things to be a certain way I decided to be slightly more experimental than I would normally be...although I did the stuffing like I always do because I'm never happy when people try to get creative with stuffing...

here is my hunny (bein' a dork!) helpin' me cut up bread for the stuffing...ignore the mess!!

I came late to the green bean casserole party so it's not quite a tradition yet..but I gotta admit it is a bit of a guilty pleasure for me...y'all prolly know I'm NOT a huge fan of packaged products (anything containing scary sounding, unpronouncable ingredients) and the traditional green bean casserole is basically a showcase for the products it's made with..all the 'recipes' are pretty much the can find them on the label of any of the 'ingredients' (green beans, condensed soup, french fried onions) all of which are full of a whole lot of preservatives and garbage!

since the day I was introduced to this delicious concoction I've dreamed of a less 'garbage-y' version...but as I was never the one in charge of the green bean casserole..AND I usually already had way too much other work to do, I never bothered pressing the issue...

but a few days before the big day I was watchin' Guy's Big Bite..he was doin' his twist on thanksgiving which included a TOTALLY from SCRATCH version of the traditional green bean casserole...I was SO psyched!! bean casserole made completely from ingredients you can find in nature??!! even the crispy onion topping!! oh yeah!! :)

I've seen other recipes for green bean casseroles but none ever looked THIS yummy to me...actually it's pretty rare that I ever use any of the recipes I see on tv...but this one was a MUST TRY! even if it wasn't thanksgiving I would have pulled out one of these chickens just for an excuse to make it!

as you can see it LOOKS pretty much the same, right? and it TASTES pretty much the same...except BETTER because it's not loaded with salt and chemicals!!

Guy also made twice baked sweet potatoes...I thought that was a nice alternative to the usual dried out, cubed up (sometimes marshmallow topped) sweet potato situation...I started out with good nice it would look for us each to have our own neatly presented little individual bundle of sweet potato goodness

but I kinda lost interest when I realized the skin came away from the potatoes when baked (too long perhaps?) and scooping out the potato leaving enough inside for there to still be some structure to re-stuff wasn't gonna I did everything as planned only in a casserole dish instead of individual servings

his sweet potatoes weren't much different from what I usually do only they were mashed, obviously, for re-stuffing purposes...basically sweet potato (mashed) with a bit of butter and cinnamon...then topped with a butter, brown sugar and chopped walnut crumble...I think his might have actually called for pecans..I didn't pay that much's food NOT rocket science!

I don't normally put nuts on sweet potatoes but it was DELICIOUS...added a really nice nutty a perfect world I probably would have chopped them up a bit smaller..but I was getting tired by turned out it didn't matter cause it was totally awesome just like it was!!

also there was no quivering blob of can shaped cranberry jelly...I made my own cranberry sauce...that's actually nothing new..only I added a bit of orange zest cause that's how I like it..turned out my mother filled up a plate too (I used her oven..ya didn't think I wasn't gonna share did ya??) and she (who ALWAYS claims it has to be HER way!) LOVED the added pop of flavor from the YAY!

it's a sucky picture..but tasted better than it looks! hahaha

normally my mother makes the pumpkin pie...I don't know if it's just cause she doesn't like it or what..and no offense to least she tries...but she always screws it up in some way! ...she either burns the crust or it's raw on the year she did SOMETHING to the spices and they were all chunky throughout the could actually SEE chunks of different was WEIRD...and CRUNCHY!! :/ (or so I'm told..I don't like pumpkin pie either)

anyway...I was recently reminded of how ridiculously easy it is to make pie dough from scratch so I was pretty excited to actually make my hunny his yearly punkin pie!! I'm not freakin' Martha it's not like I was using FRESH difficult could it be?? ..yeah you heard me..I used canned pumpkin..the only ingredient listed was PUMPKIN so it's ok..see..I'm not unreasonable! hehehe

first of all ignore my pitiful crimping skillz...I'm definitely the kind of person who needs to create a decorative edge or something to hide the fact that I actually can't do the simplest pinch pie dough between my fingers!! secondly ignore the cracks - those are caused by repeatedly opening the oven door to make sure I wasn't burning the crust..I didn't care what it LOOKED like..I just wanted it to TASTE good :)

not TOO bad for my first 'custard' pie...ya can't even tell that I totally forgot to put SUGAR in the filling!! ~sigh...and so continues the curse of the pumpkin pie!!

if I had known then that I did this I would have used the remaining pie dough to make a replacement pie...instead of these cute little pie crust cookies...ya can't really tell from the pie pic but here you can kinda see how perfectly flaky and awesome the pie crust came did SOMETHING right at least hehehe

roll, cut, sprinkle with sugar...

like I said..I'm not a fan of pumpkin pie..but I AM a fan of pretty much ANYTHING with a graham cracker I made myself these delicious chocolate coconut bars..they weren't half bad if I do say so myself!

I have to admit that leading up to thanksgiving I was kinda much as I complain..I DO like getting together with other humans once in a while..I actually look forward to holidays if for nothing else than to just have a little change of pace...
the spousal unit HATES holiday get togethers and every year it's a friggin' trying to drag Damien (from the Omen) to church......he usually tries to get me to agree to skip holidays altogether and just go to the movies or something..and there have been many holidays we did not spend together just because he can be such a miserable prick! in fact I'm pretty sure he took up hunting just as an excuse to get out of thanksgiving dinner!

but I hafta say this thanksgiving was soooooooo relaxing...I don't know WHAT I've been fussin' about all these years! I really think holidays for two are where it's at!! I mean getting dressed or trying to entertain AND cook at the same people creating more work by trying to be many fewer dishes!! ...PLUS no disgusting DOUBLE DIPPERS!! maaan I HATE double dippers!! ...the benefits are endless :)

I don't even think I was done eating yet when I started planning our awesome CHRISTMAS feast...since it will most likely be just the 2 of us again I think we'll splurge on a nice piece of beef..MMmmm...meat for 2 costs A LOT less than meat for 12!!

oh yeah..if you'd like to try any of these holiday the links below:

~enjoy :) ♥


  1. I'm not much of a cook, but this all looks really good, particularly the green bean casserole. And those bars look kind of like "magic bars" which I love.

    My mom used to make spanikopta all the time with those giant phyllo sheets and lots of butter. So tasty.

  2. That spanakopita looks awesome! Gotta try that one. I hate traditional sting bean casserole. Yours looks delicious! I'd love to try that. That sweet potato casserole is exactly what my wife has been making for the last few years. Except she adds bananas into hers. (I don't love bananas in my food, rather them raw.)

  3. fluffycat ~ I think they basically are magic's like the green bean casserole...basically the same recipe can be found on the package of any of the ingredients hehehe I found the recipe on PINTEREST..I'm not sure where it originated...

    spanakopita ROCKS!! ...I admit it IS just that much better when you do it the traditional way..but this way is SO much easier and all the same exact face hahaha - even someone who's not much of a cook can easily make them :)

    Brian ~ it IS awesome! you should totally make some! totally easy and quick if you do them in the little phyllo cups...I've never met anyone who didn't love them! even people who normally refuse to eat anything green, love them hehehe

    if it's the artificial after taste that turns you off to the usual green bean casserole..ya might like this one..the flavor is great and you can tell you're eating good food...other than the fried shallots on top there's really nothing bad about it if you make the changes I made..instead of using sour cream I used greek yogurt...and you could totally use half & half or milk in place of the heavy cream (which I plan to do from now on!)

    why does she put bananas in her sweet potatoes? sounds like it could be yummy...but not so much in a thanksgiving side dish...more for a dessert type thing maybe though

  4. how the fuck did I not comment on this??? just looking at it makes me hungry like the damn hulk!!!!!
    ewwww double dippers!!!!! fucking freaks!!!! (chris double dips lol)

  5. I the fuck DID you not comment?! hehehe
    I usually grab a plate and load it up before anyone else gets to the food..because once the double dippers get in there I'm DONE!!
    on one hand it pisses me off (especially when I did most of the cooking!) but on the other hand it keeps me from eating more than I should