Archive for November, 2009

I am the ultimate procrastinator, but just because something is last minute, doesn’t mean it can’t be just as amazing had you spent a bunch of time planning ahead.  So, for all of you who waited until theverylastminute to put your Turkey Day menu together, or if you just don’t want to spend ALL day cooking, here is FoodandWine.com with a few suggestions and recipes to save the day…


November 25, 2009

Brussels Sprouts with Chestnuts and Bacon
Brussels Sprouts with Chestnuts and Bacon, photo © John Kernick.

Procrastinators, rejoice: Here, terrific superfast Thanksgiving dishes that take 30 minutes or less to prepare:

30-Minute Hors d’Oeuvres: 10 quick hors d’oeuvres like boiled shrimp with spicy mayonnaise, bagel chips with prosciutto and ricotta-chive puree, and crudités with creamy pistachio dip
30-Minute Sides: 10 speedy sides like buttery cauliflower puree, brussels sprouts with chestnuts and bacon (right), and a butternut squash salad with chunks of Parmesan cheese and toasted walnuts
30-Minute Desserts: 10 fast desserts like a luscious chocolate-hazelnut mousse (with whipped cream and crème fraîche), port-mulled cherries with ricotta, and warm chocolate cakes with mascarpone cream


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Thanksgiving is just two days away! Here are some tips straight from the American Dietetic Association on how to make your Thanksgiving as healthy as possible.

Make Thanksgiving Healthier

November 24, 2009

As you plan your Thanksgiving Day shopping list, keep in mind healthy ingredients make favorite family recipes tasty and good for you, too.

  • For dips, sauces and pie toppings, use non-fat yogurt, fat-free sour cream or non-fat whipped topping. Non-fat yogurt is best in dishes that don’t require heating.
  • Use egg substitutes in place of whole eggs.
  • Try evaporated skim milk instead of whole milk.
  • Use low-sodium, fat-free chicken broth in your mashed potatoes to add flavor and lighten holiday fat content.
  • Top casseroles with almonds instead of fried onion rings.
  • Choose reduced-fat cheeses for salads and casseroles.
  • Use whole-grain bread for stuffing or wild rice as a side dish.

Pack your shopping cart with plenty of fresh vegetables like sweet potatoes, winter squash, broccoli, carrots and green beans. Apples, cranberries and pears combine easily for a tasty salad, fruit crisp or topping for the turkey.

Produced by ADA’s Public Relations Team

Source: The American Dietetic Association

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It’s Fall, and in addition to my excitement over Thanksgiving, short work weeks, cooler weather, and a really good reason to bake like a maniac, Fall also means it’s persimmon season.  I am always surprised by how many people either have not heard of these tasty fruits despite them being in every single grocery store around this time of the year.  If you are one of these people, let me tell you something – you’re missing out.  There is a reason the ancient Greeks referred to persimmons as “the fruit of the gods.”  They look something like miniature pumpkins, but once peeled you will find a soft yet slightly firm, sweet yet spicy, oh so tasty fruit.  Wikipedia has this to say about them:

“They are high in glucose, with a balanced protein profile, and possess various medicinal and chemical uses. While the persimmon fruit is not considered a “common berry” it is in fact a “true berry” by definition.”

SO, if you’ve never tried a persimmon I highly suggest you do so.  Make sure to buy the ones that are more on the orange side and eat them while they are still somewhat firm.  Also, I’ve never done anything but eat these as a snack…if anyone has a yummy recipe using them I would love to know about it!

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With the exception of the hamburger meat, this spaghetti sauce is cooked completely in a crockpot! It is super easy and quick to prepare and will stay warm in the crockpot until you are ready to eat it. This make A LOT of spaghetti sauce- probably about 12 servings! So, it is a great dish to make if you are entertaining. Just make sure that you have enough spaghetti to go with it!


  • 1 lb hamburger meat (93/7), cooked
  • ½ red onion, chopped
  • ½ green pepper, diced (more if you like)
  • 1 cup mushrooms, chopped (more if you like)
  • 1 29 oz can tomato sauce and 1 15 oz can tomato sauce
  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp sugar

Serve with:

  • 1 box whole wheat spaghetti
  • Parmesan cheese, for topping
  • Salad/Broccoli/Your Favorite Veggies for sides
  • Garlic bread


  1. Cook hamburger meat over medium heat in a large frying pan until the pink disappears. While hamburger meat is cooking, wash and chop veggies for the sauce.
  2. Turn crockpot to high heat and, sauté onion in olive oil until it becomes translucent. Add garlic, then green pepper, and  then the mushrooms. Let cook for at least 5-10 minutes, then add tomato sauce and tomato paste. Stir together well, then add oregano, basil, and sugar. At hamburger meat when it is cooked completely. Continue to cook at high heat until sauce starts to bubble. Taste and add more seasonings if desired.
  3. Turn crockpot to low and let cook for as long as you are able t. You can definitely eat it right away, but the longer you let it cook, the better it will taste!
  4. Cook spaghetti according to package directions and drain when it is finished cooking.
  5. Serve spaghetti topped with sauce and parmesan cheese and with bread and salad or vegetable side.

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I know, I know. I am obsessed with pumpkin! But in all honesty, there are just a couple months of the year in the fall that are all about pumpkin! I love the original rice krispie treats and I was craving them today and thought it would be fun to make them pumpkin flavored. So I added in some pumpkin pie spice and the result was absolutely so delicious! I can’t wait to make these again soon to share with my friends! 

Here is my recipe:


  • 6 tbsp butter
  • 6 cups marshmallows
  • 6 cups rice krispies
  • 3 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • Cooking spray for greasing baking dish (I use PAM)


  1. Spray PAM in large baking dish so that it coats the bottom and sides.
  2. Melt butter in a large pot on low heat. 
  3. When butter is melted, add marshmallows in and continue to cook on low heat so that they melt completely.
  4. When marshmallows have melted, add pumpkin pie spice and mix in. 
  5. Remove from heat.
  6. Add rice krispies and stir everything together well.
  7. Carefully press the rice krispie mixture into the baking dish so that it is spread evenly throughout. 
  8. Let cool for at least 15 minutes before cutting and serving- this is the hard part!

Note: I like my rice krispie treats super gooey so I add more of a butter-marshmallow-rice krispie ratio than most people do. This recipe makes a lot of rice krispie treats, so you can half it to make less or half it again to make even less. Also, you can make them thin or thick, its really completely up to your preference! Use a smaller dish if you want them thick and use a larger dish if you want them thin.

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As if we don’t need any other excuses to eat bacon… This scramble is absolutely DELICIOUS! I actually put it together by accident when I was scrounging for ingredients to put in my scramble. I like to put at least 3 kinds of veggies in it, and I only had tomatoes and green peppers. Mushrooms and avocado are my ususal other go-to ingredients, but with none of either in the fridge, I noticed we had some turkey bacon, so I thought I would try that. I’ve never been a big bacon eater, but I thought I would try it… and it it was so good! Turkey bacon is lighter and doesn’t taste as fatty or greasy as regular bacon and it is now my new favorite food! This is a great and filling meal for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!

Here is the recipe for my scramble, which I have had about 3 times in one week now since making it the first time! 🙂


  • 3 eggs, scrambled
  • 1/4 green pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 roma tomato, diced
  • 2 slices swiss cheese (or whatever kind you like)
  • 2 slices turkey bacon
  • Butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. First start by rinsing and preparing veggies.
  2. In a medium frying pan, melt a pat of butter (enough that it coats the pan). Add eggs and mix up so that the yolks and whites are combined. When the eggs start to firm up a bit, add in the green pepper and let continue to cook.
  3. Place turkey bacon on a paper plate with paper towel over and under it, essentially covering it. Put it in the microwave and cook for about a minute and a half, until the turkey bacon is cooked completely. Depending on your microwave, it might take shorter or longer. Just make sure not to burn it!
  4. While bacon is cooking, add the cheese to the eggs (I like to tear up the cheese into little pieces so it melts easier).
  5. When the cheese is completely melted in with the eggs and green peppers, add in the tomatoes (they are going in at the end since they don’t need to cook too much). Tear the bacon into bite sized pieces and add it in as well. Stir everything together and season with salt and pepper.

Serve with fruit or toast. Enjoy!

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With Thanksgiving just days away, take a second to consider whether to get an industrially raised turkey or a sustainably raised one.  Here is a bit of interesting reading on the subject from The Atlantic: The Guide to Buying a Good Turkey

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