Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Homemade Artisan Bread

I know this may seem silly, but I have always wanted to take a cooking class.
Yes, I read a lot of cookbooks.  And yes, I watch A LOT of Food Network.  But there is a certain energy that comes from a group of people, cooking together in a kitchen, that you just can't get any place else.  So when I saw that my local kitchen store, The Cook's Shop , was having an Artisan Bread making class I immediately signed up.

I LOVE bread.  I have been known to travel 2 hours to stock up at the most amazing bakery called Omega Artisan Baking located at North Market in Columbus, Ohio.  I love the crusty outside and light airy inside.  *sigh*  Shall we just have a moment for bread?  Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed the class and I learned a lot of old world techniques.  Something else I learned, Artisan Bread takes a LONG TIME.  In a best case scenario 24 hours.  And in the words of this housewife "Ain't nobody got time for that!" So I set out to make beautiful, artisan bread in the same amount of time it would take to make a basic white loaf.  It took me a couple goes, but I am pleased to say that I got it and I am going to share it with you!

Let's get started!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Pizza Calzones

Pizza Calzone on a cutting board

I love cooking.  You all know that.  But let's be honest.  I don't always WANT to cook.  However, here it is, the end of the month, the week before the big Thanksgiving meal.  I do not have the extra cash to be eating out, so I have to make something.  I am tired of stir-fry.  I am tired of heavy meats.  I.am.just.tired.  So what do you do?  How about some simple calzones?

In the same way that stir-fry is a great mid-week go-to, calzones are so easy and versatile that you can use just about anything you have on hand.  For today's recipe I am going to keep it simple.  A basic Pizza Calzone, but you can put ANYTHING you like in yours.

Let's get started...

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Tomie's Bacon Cheddar Ranch Crock-Pot Chicken

Y'all know I love a good family recipe.
Things that get passed down are great.  In fact, I have many family heirlooms in my kitchen, but things can get broken or lost.  A recipe lives on throughout generations.

Today's family recipe is really special to me because it comes from my little sister, Tomie. (Yes, her name is REALLY Tomie.)

Tomie is not only a FANTASTIC mamma to two of my adorable nephews, but she is one of the most beautiful, talented, & free-spirited people that I know!  She is the first to celebrate with you, laugh with you, cry with you.  She is truly one of my best friends and I love her so much.

Recently I was able to go and spend a weekend with her and her family in Ohio and she shared with me one of her favorite go-to recipes.  I will admit I was a little skeptical at first, but MAN-O-MAN am I glad I tried it.  Not only is it super flavorful, but it is so easy that I am not even sure it qualifies as cooking!  *lol*

It is so very special to me and I can't wait to share it with you!
Let's Get Started...

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Chicken Parmesan

There is no denying it, winter is here.

 We've not had the massive amounts of snow that many of you are enduring, but the air here is frigidly cold.  And though I am sad to see all of the beautiful, fresh produce of summer fade away, a tiny part of me excitedly welcomes this blustery time of year.  Why you ask?  Because this is the season where we get to indulge in some of those heavier, heartier meals.  You know the ones.  Pure comfort food.

And for me, it doesn't get any more comforting that a good Chicken Parmesan.  It's saucy, and crunchy.  Cheesy and tender.  Mmmm....It is truly divine and not nearly as difficult to make as you may think.  In fact, I dare to say you can even whip this up on a week night.  I know you are doing to love it, so let's get started!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Edameme Stir-Fry with Spicy Peanut Sauce

I have posted a few stir-fry recipes on here, I know. But the thing is, whether you need a quick and easy weeknight meal or you're just trying to clean out the fridge, stir-fry is a fantastic go-to.  Last week I was CRAVING Thai something fierce.  We don't really have any Thai places around here so if you are craving it, you better be willing to go for a little drive or make it yourself.  So, I decided to rummage through my fridge to see what I could come up with.  I found carrots, red bell peppers, mushrooms, edameme, ladies and gents we have a stir-fry!  The star of this dish...The Spicy Peanut Sauce!  It is out of this world and I KNOW you are going to love it!

Let's Get Started!

Friday, November 14, 2014

A Thanksgiving Menu

I know that Thanksgiving can be one of the most stressful meals of the year to prepare. So for the last couple of weeks I have been sharing the recipes and step-by-step instructions to my family's yearly menu.  I hope you have enjoyed reading the stories, hearing about my family, and most importantly, I hope you now feel like you can do this!  

To make it easy for you, I thought I would take a moment and put all of my Thanksgiving go-to's in one place.  

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Butter and Herb Roasted Turkey

Here we are, the final installment of my Thanksgiving 101 Series, I hope this has helped you come up with a game plan for your big day and ultimately relieve you of a little stress!  YOU'VE GOT THIS!!!  There is only one final piece left in our holiday dinner puzzle, the piece de resistance,THE TURKEY!

This may very well be the most intimidating item on your menu.  Why?  Because we have all see that moment in Christmas Vacation where Clark brings the picturesque bird to the table, cuts into it, and POOF! the thing is so dry it practically evaporates right there on the table.  Or what about that time you went to Aunt (you fill in the blank)'s house and the skin on the turkey was yellow and rubbery. Oh, and the worst, when the skin is totally burnt to a crisp only discover that the meat inside is still raw.

Yes, good ol' Tom has been kicking butt and taking names for a while.  Maybe you have even made it on this list a time or two, but not this year!  No, this is the year you show Tom the Turkey who's boss.  This is the year you place the show-stopper on the table and wow your guests.  Yes, this is the year you make the PERFECT Butter and Herb Roasted Turkey!  Just follow these simple instructions and your bird is going to come out flawless.

Let's Get Started!