Tag Archives: Martha Stewart

Thanksgiving 2016: I’m Unprepared!

If there’s one thing I can say about myself, it’s that I’m consistent. I have consistently broken my promise to write on this blog consistently. I will try to be better.

It’s almost Thanksgiving, which has become my favorite holiday as of late.

Christmas? It used to be cool. But now, it’s just a lot of build up for a whole lot of nothing. Like when I lost my virginity.

HEYO!

Anyways. Thanksgiving is 4 days away. Even with my proclivity for procrastination, I am normally flipping through Bon Appetit and browsing Food52 for inspiration. But this year, I have not been.

This year has been a bit weird. Between some pretty heavy family dramz and the fact I’m on production right now in Salt Lake City, I’ve planned almost nothing. In fact, I only decided to go home to Jacksonville a few days ago.

Which means, I need to cook.

So, here we are. Real life Top Chef Challenge. Put together a Thanksgiving Dinner in 45 minutes of meal planning/grocery list writing. Dad will shop for ingredients at the best grocery store in the world, Publix. I will fly in on Wednesday to prep and the big day is on Thursday.

Game on.

Here’s what I’m doing.

  • Rosemary and Citrus Turkey For a Crowd from NYTimes Cooking
    • I made this turkey last year and it was a real crowd pleaser. And by crowd, I mean: me, my mother and father.
  • Cornbread and Sausage Stuffing from Martha Stewart
    • This has been my go-to stuffing recipe for the past few years. It smells and tastes like being home for the holidays. And unlike being home for the holidays, this stuffing will not ask you why you’re not married yet or if you are a lesbian. (‘I have a busy job’ and ‘no, but like, a little bit in college.’)
  • Best Ever Green Bean Casserole from Alton Brown via Food Network
    • Lovers of my prose will know that I have been searching for the right green bean recipe for Thanksgiving for a few years. Previous green bean casseroles have been too fancy. Regular green beans are too plain for Thanksgiving. Alton Brown has never let me down, so let’s audition this one.
  • Classic Mashed Potatoes from NYTimes Cooking
    • Potatoes? Good. Milk? Good. Butter? GOOOOOOOD.
  • Cranberry Sauce from Alton Brown
    • Cranberries? Good. Sauce? Good. Ridges made by molding cranberry sauce in your own can? GOOOOOOOD.

I’ll get a little help from Sis Schubert’s rolls and some sort of frozen pie. A frozen pie is not my preference, but there are only so many hours in a day.

Bring on the Thanksgiving pants!

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You are my Everest.–via Tumblr

 

 

 

 

 

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Breakfast: Texas Beach Bloody Mary Mix & Whole Grain Soda Bread

Longest title ever, right?

I’ll spare you the details, but I was rull sick last week. Any trip to the ER that includes the phrase “inflamed intestine” should be avoided. Just some advice from me to you.

I was on a clear liquid diet for a few days and I was fantasizing about when I could add in real food. And then my doctor told me I could have lean fish and baked potatoes. After “eating” chicken broth, sugar-free Jell-o and sugar-free Powerade, this baked potato was literally the best thing I’d ever eaten.

Baked Potato

I’ve been dreaming about what my first meal “off the leash” is going to be. In my wildest fantasies, it would be peanut butter swirl brownies and tacos. And guac. And salsa. But probably a bit too aggressive.

I think it’s going to be eggs. Simple scrambled eggs and dry toast.

I love breakfast. That was not always the case. As a kid, I used to loathe egg yolk and I still don’t care much for cereal, oatmeal and breakfast fruits. Bananas = disgusting. My breakfasts growing up were often cubes of cheese or microwave popcorn. Hey, you’ve got to eat something, right?

But now, I love breakfast. In addition to daydreaming about my future meals, I’ve been fantasizing about breakfasts and brinners of yore. Particularly memorable is a brinner I made with a Bloody Mary mix local to Richmond and a Bon Appetit breadcipe.

Yeah, I know, I’m combining a lot of words. Deal with it.

I met the Texas Beach Bloody Mary Mix guys at a Fire, Flour, Fork event I may or may not have snuck into. We started talking and Austin and Rob are the real deal–nice and funny, and of course super passionate about Bloody Marys. (Speaking of funny, check out their Legend of Bloody Mary film). They were sampling a Kimchee Bloody Mary Mix, which they’re still tinkering. But I’m not kidding you, I’m still thinking about those flavors. It is funky in all the right ways. I can’t wait for that to come to shelves.

Their traditional Bloody Mary Mix should be in your refrigerator, served at your next brunch or curing your next hangover. And since it’s the holidays, it would make a great gift. The gift that gives and cures hangovers. I think that’s what myrrh does…

From a flavor perspective, it’s really well balanced. Incredibly savory, with a salty-brininess that comes from pickle brine and olive juice. It’s spicy thanks to sriracha, but not undrinkably so. This might sound strange, but it’s my blog, so I’m going to say it. It’s thicker than any Bloody Mary mix I’ve ever bought before. You know how grocery store Bloody mary mix looks like red tap water? This ain’t it. This ish is hand-crafted.

I rimmed mine with Old Bay, which was a fortuitous choice since it is also included in the mix. (Another wonderful choice would be Crunch Dynasty, but sadly, I was out. Must restock!)

Bloody Set Up

Celeryfie

Mind the celery.

I also made this Whole Grain Soda Bread from Bon Appetit.

Bread

It was a bit of a chore to find all the ingredients and I never could find the amaranth. But this bread is really delicious. Hearty and filling, and actually healthful because of all the difficult-to-find grains. It doesn’t keep for too long, though, so plan ahead. My recommendation is to whip up a batch of Bloodies, make this bread, fry up some bacon and eggs and throw a lovely brunch for some pals.

Breakfast, you beautiful bastard. I just can’t quit you.

But I can’t eat you.

Yet.

Texas Beach Bloody Mary Mix is available for purchase online. You can find it at these Richmond restaurants and shops.

 

 

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It’s a Good Thing: Martha’s Cherry Clafouti

Martha Stewart has changed my life twice. The first time was in 2005 when I watched a made for TV movie about her life called “Martha Behind Bars.” The film opens on her shooting a segment for her show. The director calls cut, and as it turns out, someone brought her a cabernet sauvignon instead of merlot. (GASP!) Cybill Shepherd, who plays Martha, loses her shit and yells, “Did I not ASK. FOR. MERLOT?” This moment changed my life because every time I hear the word “merlot,” I re-enact this scene. Either in my mind or out loud.

The second time was in 2009 when I found a recipe for Cherry Clafouti in a Martha Stewart Living magazine. It looked so delicious and so simple So I tore the recipe out of the magazine.

Yes, I STOLE it. WWMD, amiright?

A clafouti (or clafoutis) is a baked French dessert of fruit, usually of black cherries, and arranged in a butter dish and covered with a thick flan-like batter. I got that definition from Wikipedia. You can ALWAYS trust Wikipedia.

This recipe is simple and elegant. The hardest thing about this recipe is pitting the cherries. I do not own a cherry pitter. And cherry pits are like that guy that you dumped in 8th grade: clingy.

I searched for ways to pit cherries without a cherry pitter (use a straw! Use a chopstick!) but I did not have those things. So I used a meat thermometer, with the pointy side pointing up. Did it work? Yeah. Did I almost pierce my hand through more than once? Absolutely. Life is more fun when you’re in constant danger of disfigurement. Once that was done, my kitchen looked like an episode of CSI.

I didn't do it, officer. I swear.

I didn’t do it, officer. I swear.

But then the rest? Smooth, custardy sailing. Whisk, arrange, pour and bake.

This is a sophisticated dessert, especially when you consider how easy it is. The custard is smooth and creamy. The cherries are sweet and tart and break up the creaminess of the custard.

So, Martha Stewart, I salute you. This recipe really is a good thing.

Oh dang.

Oh dang.

— Cherry Clafouti, from Martha Stewart Living

  • Unsalted butter, for dish
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup creme fraiche, plus more for serving
  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • ½ cup granulated sugar, plus more for dish
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 12 ounces cherries, halved and pitted
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 9-inch baking dish, 1 ¼ inches deep. Coat with granulated sugar; tap out excess. Whisk eggs, yolk, and flour in a medium bowl; whisk in creme fraiche, milk, granulated sugar, vanilla, and salt. Arrange cherries in prepared dish. Strain batter over cherries. Bake until browned around edges and set in the center, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool slightly. Dust with confectioners’ sugar, and serve warm with creme fraiche. Note! Clafouti is best warm, so bake it just before you serve dinner. Scoop it into bowls, with a spoonful of creme fraiche.

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Split Pea Soup: The Creamiest, Hammiest, Splitiest, Pea-iest Soup Ever

And now, a dad joke.

What’d you have for breakfast?

Pea soup.

What’d you have for lunch?

Pea soup.

What’d you have for dinner?

Pea soup.

What’d you do all night?

Pee soup.

Get it? Cause…pea….and pee….it’s a homonym.

It’s literally a dad joke because my dad told it to me when I was like 10 or something. And I’ve cherished it all these years. I don’t know what that says about me/us.

After my New Year’s Easy Eve ham, I had a leftover hambone and a lot of leftover ham. So, the natural course of action was to make a split pea soup. HASHTAG SOUPCLUB

Hambone Burnett.

Hambone Burnett.

I have to say, this is one of my favorite soups. It’s thick and creamy, but without the addition of any dairy for the anti-lactites. It’s full of vegetables and has an underlying hamminess. And while that sounds ridiculous to type, it actually is true. The hambone flavors the background of the soup with the broth and the water, and then including actual ham reinforces that flavor and is just plain delicious. Don’t skip the lemon juice at the end; it really brightens the soup up.

I can’t tell you that this soup will help your comedy at all.

After all, it is a bit of a ham.

You knew it was coming.

Oh, don’t look so surprised. We all knew I was going to wrap up with a bad joke/ham joke. #selfaware

Split Pea Soup with Ham from MarthaStewart.com

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 chopped medium onion
  • 4 carrots, thinly sliced
  • 3 celery stalks, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme leaves
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 bag (16 ounces) green split peas, picked over and rinsed
  • Ham bone plus 2 cups reserved ham from the recipe Glazed Ham with Apricot-Mustard Sauce, cut into 1/2-inch cubes | I didn’t make this recipe, but I’m sure it’s delicious.
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 slices whole-wheat sandwich bread, crusts removed, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

In a Dutch oven or 5-quart heavy pot with a lid, heat oil over medium. Add onion, carrots, celery, and thyme; season with salt and pepper. Cook until vegetables begin to soften, 5 to 8 minutes.

Add broth, split peas, ham bone, and 5 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and partially cover; simmer until peas are soft, 30 to 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, make croutons: In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add bread and cook, tossing occasionally, until browned and crisp, 6 to 8 minutes. Pay attention here, these mo-fos will burn. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate.

Remove and discard bone from soup. Working in batches, puree only 1/2 the soup in a blender (don’t overfill); return to pot. Add ham cubes, and simmer until heated through. If necessary, thin with water. Add salt, pepper, and lemon juice to taste. Serve topped with croutons.

Ahhh.

Ahhh. Out of focus soup.

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