#FoodieExtravaganza: Maple Syrup

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The Foodie Extravaganza is a monthly party hosted by bloggers who love food! Each month we incorporate one main ingredient or theme into recipes to share with you. We take turns hosting and this month it’s my turn!

December 17th is National Maple Syrup Day and I challenged the crew to bake with, cook with, or make a beverage with maple syrup. (For some international bloggers who can’t find maple syrup, they’ll be joining the fun with honey as a substitute.)

With the hectic holiday season, I managed to forget to make something for this event. Before I scrambled to add extra maple syrup to my grocery list, I scrolled through my camera to see if I had anything that would satisfy my call for this maple syrup extravaganza.

Happily enough, I did! Unhappily enough, the photos made want to curl up into a ball and hide. Alas, that’s just the way it is.

I made this turkey breast in January. (Hey, at least it was January of this year!) In January we were living in Ohio. It was cold. I assume it was snowing. And it most definitely was dark at an unacceptable early hour. Those are the excuses I give for the awkward glare of the glaze. It’s a bummer, too, because as I pulled it out of the oven, my husband (and I remember this vividly) declared that it was almost too pretty to eat and that it belonged on the cover of a magazine.

This Rosemary Maple Glazed Turkey is perfect for your holiday table and pairs nicely with Roasted Pears and Parsnips.

Rosemary Maple Glazed Turkey Breast

Ingredients:

  • 1 turkey breast, 4-6 lb
  • 4 onions, halved
  • 6 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 6 stalk of rosemary
  • 2 C chicken stock
  • 2 C balsamic vinegar
  • 1 C maple syrup

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Season the turkey breast with S+P, inside and out. Stuff the cavity with 2 onions, 2 cloves of garlic, and 1 stalk of rosemary.
  3. Arrange the remaining onions, garlic, and 2 stalks of rosemary in the bottom of a roasting pan. Place the prepared turkey on top. Pour the stock into the pan.
  4. Roast turkey for 2 – 2 1/2 hours (or according to turkey instructions) until an internal temperature of 165 degrees F is reached.
  5. Make the glaze: In a small saucepan over medium heat bring vinegar, syrup, and remaining rosemary to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and allow to reduce 30 minutes, stirring often.
  6. Brush the glaze over the turkey every 30 minutes. Reserve any remaining glaze and keep warm for serving with the finished turkey.

*This recipe is adapted from Erin at http://www.5dollardinners.com/real-food-holiday/*

Rosemary Maple Glazed Turkey Breast for #FoodieExtravaganza from Sew You Think You Can Cook

And don’t forget to check out all these other maply recipes:

If you are a blogger and would like to join our group and blog along with us, come join our Facebook page Foodie Extravaganza. We would love to have you! If you’re a spectator looking for delicious tid-bits check out our Foodie Extravaganza Pinterest Board! Looking for our previous parties? Check them out HERE.

#SundaySupper: Eggnog Recipes

December is National Eggnog Month. No big surprise there.

I’m not the biggest fan of the drink. I tend to be sensitive to nutmeg – though I am getting much better about it!

I’ve used it in baking twice before. Once in cookies for #FoodieExtravaganza, and once in my #BundtBakers cake that will be debuting later this month. I quite enjoy eggnog as an ingredient. I haven’t tried it in a savory application, yet, and was hoping a Sunday Supper member might have figured out a way, but all the offerings are on the sweet side of the specrum. Be sure to scroll past my reicpe to see all the sweet, delicious recipes!

That remaining eggnog in my fridge was begging to be used in pancakes and we went right ahead and did just that! By happy circumstance, today’s #SundaySupper eggnog event was announced shortly after that. Thanks to Christie from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventure for hosting this festive event.

These eggnog pancakes were a huge hit with my kids. I don’t think I’ve seen Firecracker eat so much in one sitting in quite some time!

Eggnog pancakes with cranberry syrup would make for a perfect Christmas morning breakfast.

Eggnog Pancakes with Cranberry Syrup

Ingredients for pancakes:

  • 2 C flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 C eggnog
  • 1/4 C vegetable oil

Ingredients for syrup:

  • 1 C fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 C real maple syrup
  • 1 tbps butter

Steps:

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg.
  2. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, eggnog, and oil.
  3. Combine wet ingredients into dry.
  4. On a hot buttered griddle drop 1/4 C of batter into pancakes. When bubbles form and start to pop flip the pancakes and cook until golden on both sides.
  5. Make the syrup: Combine cranberries, syrup, and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook until cranberries have burst and the syrup thickens. Serve with pancakes.

*This recipe is adapted from Jocelyn at http://www.grandbaby-cakes.com/2014/12/eggnog-pancakes/*

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Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement

Thursday Thoughts #19

Thursday Thoughts

 

Please consider this Thursday Thoughts an open letter to help me find my lost ornaments!

The day after Thanksgiving is always decorating day in my home. Decorating for the first time in a new home always brings some challenges. Decorating for the first time with two toddlers to get into things adds extra challenges!

We live in a townhome so there wasn’t any outdoor decor to do, unfortunately. It was also raining all weekend (what?!) so the only outdoor space I do have freedom to decorate, our balcony, still hasn’t been tackled.

We did put up the tree, string it with lights, and waiting patiently for Treat to wake up from a long nap before pulling out the ornaments.

I opened up the box my husband brought up from the garage and handed Firecracker the first ornament of the year – a fun Auburn snowflake – which he happily put on the tree. I handed my husband Treat’s First Christmas Ornament from last year to assist the one year old in hanging.

As I dig further into the box I recognize that these ornaments are all from the Snowman Tree my family surprised me with 3 years ago. This box is not THE ornament box.

5-10 minutes passes and my husband comes back upstairs with a saddened expression. He can’t find the box. And he looked in every single box down there.

With a knot in my stomach and tears falling down my face I traced his footsteps and had to agree with his inventory check. It’s the hardest I’ve cried in a long time.

Ornaments spanning 6.5 years of married life, 2.5 years of parenthood were in that box. But those weren’t the ornaments giving me pain. I’ve already reordered Firecracker’s First Christmas Ornament. The ornaments that plague my dreams were those that had belonged to my grandfather, those that I had made as a child, those that my husband made as a kid.

It’s time now for my children to be the ornament makers and continue to make happy memories for us to relive every year we trim the tree.

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My husband’s advent calendar that he loved a little boy was also in that box. We were looking forward to starting that tradition with the boys this year. My mother-in-law says she has extras from her mom though, so that heart-string didn’t get completely cut.

The silver lining, if I can find it, is that the cross-stitch stocking my grandfather started for me was not in the ornament box. My grandfather passed away in ’96 and my mom took it upon herself to complete the stocking. A task that took her over ten years, I’d finally received my stocking in 2012.  My husband also had a cross-stitch stocking from his childhood that I believe his mom did. Those two stockings are hanging by our fireplace. When it’s time to pull down the Christmas decorations following our final holiday season in CA, those stockings will not be boxed back up; they’ll be put with the other items we will move ourselves. (It’s a good thing our handmade stocking from my mother-in-law are down in Florida with my parents!)

My last hope is for a bit of Christmas magic. All I can do is cross my fingers and toes that some other family received our box of ornaments by mistake and that maybe they haven’t noticed it until they go to decorate their tree. I hope they contact the moving company and figure out a way to get a hold of us. I’m going to call and see if there’s some sort of Lost & Found at the storage facility where our things were held after arriving in the Los Angeles area. I know it’s a long shot, but had I discovered a box of some other family’s holiday memories I would do everything I could to try and find them.

If you have my box, the ornaments are stored using my DIY storage solution – check it out here! If you just want to get me the few I’m seriously missing I’d be forever thankful. There’s a balding styrofoam Santa with a beard, a cute little blue elf with knitted long orange hat, two Silver Bells from the year 2015, a flat foam gingerbread with pipe cleaner handle, and a laminated fingerprint reindeer.

Update: My mom scrolled through her phone’s photos and found this one from 2012 of our tree. That Santa head in the lower center is the one I really want back!!!

Please help us find our missing ornaments!

#MuffinMonday: Chocolate Chip Pecan Sweet Potato Muffins

fb5cd-muffin2bmonday2bcropI’m finally back with a muffin for #MuffinMonday! I’ve actually been sitting on these since the summer but other things, like my birthday and Halloween, kept cropping up and I’ve kept having to push my sharing of these beauties back.

Turns out it’s okay though, because Sweet Potato muffins are much more seasonally acceptable in the Fall!

#MuffinMonday is a group of muffin loving bakers who get together once a month to bake muffins to brighten their Mondays. There isn’t a theme to #MuffinMonday posts so anything goes, as long as it’s a muffin!

You can see all our of lovely muffins by following our Pinterest board. Updated links for all of our past events and more information about Muffin Monday can be found on our home page.

This muffin recipe came out of one of Food Network Magazines pull-out booklets; this one for 50 muffin recipes.

wesleyI love putting sweet potato in baked goods for the added nutritional benefit and it adds to the moisture content. I do think there was a missed opportunity in the batter making – spices! I would definitly suggest adding some pumpkin pie spice, or at the very least some cinnamon!

Firecracker loves helping me bake muffins (or, in his world, “cupcakes”) and he usually eats them without problem. With these muffins, I think he was more interested in licking the chocolate chips than he was with eating the muffin.

Chocolate Chip Pecan Sweet Potato Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 C flour
  • 1 C white wheat flour
  • 1/4 C chocolate chips
  • 1/4 C pecan pieces
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 C brown sugar
  • 1/2 C Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 C pureed sweet potato
  • 1 stick butter, melted

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tin with liners.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, chocolate chips, pecans, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.
  3. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, brown sugar, yogurt, sweet potato, and butter.
  4. Combine wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Divide batter among muffin tin.
  5. Bake 20-25 minutes, until golden and a toothpick inserted comes out cleanly. Allow muffins to cool 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.

*This recipe is modified from Food Network Magazine*

Chocolate Chip Pecan Muffins for #MuffinMonday from Sew You Think You Can Cook

And don’t forget to check out these other muffin recipes:

Banana Chocolate Espresso Swirl Muffins from Karen’s Kitchen Stories

Chocolate Banana Crinkle Muffins from Making Miracles

Christmas Morning Muffins from Farm Fresh Feasts

Gingerbread Muffins from Palatable Pastime

Savory Sage Muffins from A Day in the Life on the Farm

Shrimp Scampi Muffins from Food Lust People Love

Stout Spice Muffins from Passion Kneaded

#CranberryWeek: Tuna Salad with Cranberries

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It’s the final day of #CranberryWeek. #CranberryWeek was hosted by Caroline’s Cooking and A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures. All week we shared cranberry-inspired creations all in celebration of national cranberry day. You can search #CranberryWeek to keep up to date and follow the #CranberryWeek Pinterest board for more cranberry inspiration.

My final cranberry dish of the week is the most unique. It’s a dish that can be made and enjoyed year round, and is a perfect light lunch after some heavy holiday eating.

Never in my life would I have thought to put dried cranberries in tuna salad. But, there I was, staring at the deli offerings at Whole Foods gathering items for a picnic lunch with my mother-in-law. I tried their tuna salad and immediately ordered a small carton.

Less than two weeks later, there I was ordering some more.

I knew I couldn’t let this love affair continue and found a Copy Cat recipe to make my own for much, much less a hit to my bank account.

I made a double batch when my in-laws were visiting for Treat’s 1st Birthday. There were 6 of us and not a flake of fish was left in the bowl. I think my mother-in-law ate hers on an everything bagel, my brother-in-law’s fiance on a piece of toast with avocado (the photographed serving), and I like mine best with black pepper and salt potato chips.

This recipe is the doubled version and will serve 6-8.

Copy Cat: Whole Foods Tuna Salad with Cranberries

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 C mayonaisse
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 4 cans (5 oz) yellowfin tuna, drained
  • 1/3 C dried cranberries

Steps:

  1. In a bowl, whisk the mayo, lemon juice, and onion powder. Season to taste with S+P.
  2. Flake the tuna and add it to the mayo mixture. Stir in the cranberries.

*This recipe is modified from https://slowburn.org/2013/11/06/whole-foods-cranberry-tuna-salad-my-version/*

Tuna Salad with Cranberries for #CranberryWeek from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Be sure to check out all the other cranberry recipes being shared today:

Cranberry Apple Sauce from Cooking With Carlee

Cranberry Bliss Bars from Palatable Pastime

Cranberry Cheesecake Brownies by The Bitter Side of Sweet

Cranberry Cheesecake Dream Bars from Life Currents

Cranberry Grains Power Bowl from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings

Cranberry Streusel Bread from Hostess At Heart

Maple Cranberry Sauce from Cricket’s Confections

Pumpkin Dump Cake with Cranberries from A Day in the Life on the Farm

Roasted Cranberry Bourbon Crush from Take Two Tapas

Savory Cranberry and Cheese Tart from Caroline’s Cooking

#CranberryWeek: Cranberry Oat Smoothie

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Happy Thanksgiving!

This Thanksgiving falls during #CranberryWeek. #CranberryWeek is hosted by Caroline’s Cooking and A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures. We’ve been sharing cranberry-inspired creations all week long in celebration of national cranberry day. You can search #CranberryWeek to keep up to date and follow the #CranberryWeek Pinterest board for more cranberry inspiration.

With it being Thanksgiving Day I knew my time was up for sharing specific holiday centered recipes. Hopefully you’re spending your day surrounded by loved ones and don’t have any last minute grocery runs today.

That’s why my cranberry submission involves kitchen staples. Well, fresh cranberries aren’t a year round staple, but for this time of year, I’m going to place my bets. You can put those bags of fresh cranberries in your freezer for year round enjoyment of the tart, red berry. In fact, I’m planning on stocking up on my next grocery trip so I can make this smoothie whenever the mood strikes! I made mine with fresh, not frozen, cranberries. If using frozen cranberries, I’d hold off on adding any ice.

Today’s smoothie is a fantastic way to kick off Turkey Day. It’s a healthy and refreshing beverage that will leave you satisfied yet not worn down.

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This recipe will make one smoothie.

An Original Recipe

Cranberry Oat Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1 container (6 oz) French vanilla yogurt
  • 1/2 C fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 C ice
  • 1/4 C old fashioned oats
  • 1/4 – 1/2 C milk

Steps:

  1. Place ingredients in a blender and pulse until smooth.

Cranberry Oat Smoothie for #CranberryWeek from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Be sure to check out all the other cranberry recipes being shared today:

Apple-Ginger Cranberry Sauce from Palatable Pastime

Broccoli Salad with Cranberries from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks

Cranberry Blondies from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings

Cranberry Caipirinha from Caroline’s Cooking

Cranberry Oat Smoothie from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Graavilõhe from Culinary Adventures with Camilla

Cranberry Walnut Macaron with Orange Buttercream from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures

Warm Cranberry Spread from Family Around The Table

#CranberryWeek: Cranberry Glazed Pork Loin

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Welcome to #CranberryWeek, hosted by Caroline’s Cooking and A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures. We’ll be sharing cranberry-inspired creations all week long in celebration of national cranberry day. Search #CranberryWeek to keep up to date and follow the #CranberryWeek Pinterest board for more cranberry inspiration.

When I made this glazed pork, I was hoping to find a turkey breast to serve with the cornbread dressing I shared yesterday.

Actually, I had a couple ingredient finding hurdles to overcome.

I’ve been in a grocery store loyalty crisis. Now that Treat is too big for the Baby Bjorn (not impossible, but highly uncomfortable), I prefer to shop with him in the cart. That leaves Firecracker to walk beside me. There isn’t enough magnetic force in the world to keep that kid by myside for more than three minutes! That energetic 2 year old is off running up and down the aisles as soon as I let go of his hand. Or, he’s touching every single item at arms level when he is staying near. My patience with him wanes thin and I have to load him up into the basket. As I try to start each grocery trip with a positive attitude, by the time I “give up” I have a cart full of groceries. And to add to the frustration, Treat has a habit of screaming at an insanely high pitch. He’s not upset or crying, just screaming to scream. It’s a happy and excited sound, but one that deafens ears. Naturally, his older brother follows suit and I’m standing in the grocery store pulling out my hair half laughing half crying and all about yelling at my children.

The solution is to find a grocery store with “car carts” so both of my boys can be buckled into a cart. The bonus of a steering wheel definitely helps. Unfortunately, there aren’t many option for that out here in SoCal.

I do a decent amount of shopping at the commissary on base, particularly for yogurt as it’s about half the price of the local grocery stores. Being tax free means that processed foods end up being a tad cheaper, too. Only problem, is that I don’t quite trust their meat and seafood department, and the fresh produce is hit or miss on quality.

For small trips, I love walking to the local Whole Foods, but I’m limited to the space under the stroller. And while the meat quality is fantastic, it’s a bit pricy.

One Monday morning, I decided to try another store about a mile away. Took the kids on a walk and did some recon. Yogurt was the same marked up cost as the other stores. THe produce department was beautiful, and their bulk foods section to die for. Their meat departement looked fine, but was small; there wasn’t a turkey breast in sight (I assume that changed closer to the holiday?). I settled on a beautiful looking pork loin instead.

Another missing ingredient? Apple cider.

I knew one of the grocery stores I like sells it, but did I really want to get in the car for one item? Nope. Instead, I popped into the local coffee shop and ordered a cup of cider to go. Mission accomplished. I’m sure that 12 oz cup cost the same as a half gallon at a grocery store, but you can’t underestimate the price of my time, energy, and sanity!

Cranberry Glazed Pork Loin

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp butter, divided use
  • 1/2 shallot, chopped
  • 1 tsp whole juniper berries
  • 1 C fresh cranberries
  • 2/3 C apple cider
  • 2/3 C maple syrup
  • 1/2 C red currant jelly
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher salt
  • pork loin, trimmed

Steps:

  1. Melt 1 tbsp butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Saute shallot until translucent. Add the juniper berries, and cook one minute. Add cranberries, cider, syrup, jelly, and S+P. Simmer 3-5 minutes, until cranberries burst.
  2. Transfer glaze to a blender and puree until smooth. Return to the saucepan after passing through a sieve.
  3. Bring glaze to a simmer over medium heat and cook until reduced to about 1 1/4 C, 10-15 minutes. Keep warm.
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  5. Melt butter in a large oven safe skillet, sear pork abour 2 minutes on all sides. Brush with glaze and put in oven until an internal temperature of 145 degrees F is reached. Brush with glaze every 10 minutes or so. Cook time will depend on thickness of pork loin.
  6. Be sure to bring any extra glaze back to a boil to prevent contamination before serving alongside pork.

*This glaze recipe is adapted from Martha Stewart at http://www.marthastewart.com/261237/cranberry-glaze*

Cranberry Glazed Pork Loin for #CranberryWeek from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Be sure to check out all the other cranberry recipes being shared today:

Braised Short Ribs with Hoisin-Cranberry Sauce and Asian Coleslaw from Culinary Adventures with Camilla

Cranberry & Cornbread Stuffed Pork Chops from Books n’ Cooks

Cranberry Borscht from Palatable Pastime

Cranberry Glazed Pork Loin from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Cranberry Lemon Curd Tart (No Bake, GF) from Caroline’s Cooking

Cranberry London Broil from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings

Cranberry Mustard from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures

Cranberry Vanilla Bean Donuts from Hostess At Heart

Grilled Brie with Cranberries from Full Belly Sisters

Honey Roasted Cranberry Ricotta Crostini from Take Two Tapas

Orange Cranberry Turnovers by The Bitter Side of Sweet

Panko Crusted Chicken with Maple Cranberry Sauce from Family Around The Table

Sweet Heat Cranberry Spread from Cooking With Carlee