Tag Archives: recipes

Thanksgiving Prep: Procrastination Station

Well, holy hell. Thanksgiving is next week.

Or depending on when you start your calendar, this week.

I’m hosting. I think.

If all goes according to plan, my parents are going to be arriving on Tuesday for Thanksgiving. Because I’ve been in the middle of some hot and heavy production, I have been procrastinating my ass off on my Thanksgiving planning. 

So, everything is pretty business as usual!

Thank goodness for the New York Times.

If you haven’t signed up for their NYT Cooking emails, you should. They’re written so well–signature NYT combination of cool wit and great information. But they also are chock-a-block full of excellent ideas. Weekend meal suggestions, what to cook on a busy weeknight, how to plus-up that Friday night takeout pizza, and yes, even what to cook for major holidays.

They’ve created an amazing meal planning website for planning your hosting needs. It’s located here

Just answer 5 quick questions and instantly, you have 16 recipes to choose from. Will you use them all? Likely not. But it’s an excellent jumping off point. In fact, it’s where I’ve found the green bean casserole recipe I’ll be trying out this week. A nod to nostalgia with some updates that will hopefully satisfy every palate. (I’m mean you, Dad.)

The Thanksgiving Recipe Collection Carousel is located here. You can browse turkey recipes, side dish recipes, stuffing recipes, etc. You can also access their how-t0 guides for various Thanksgiving tasks: roast a turkey, make stuffing, make pie crust. 

A gift from me to you, fellow procrastinators.

Cause if we’re being honest. You’re reading this post and not working/cleaning your house/going to the gym or any of the other myriad things you’re supposed to be doing.

People after my own heart.

 

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Take Your Children To Work Day: Chicken Tinga Tacos

Today is Taco Take Your Children To Work Day. So it seems only appropriate to have a post about MyFakeFoodDad, Dave.

Few of you have had the privilege of meeting my dad, but to know Dave is to love Dave.

Do you doubt? Let me explain. Meet Dave.

He doesn’t look like he’s having fun, but he is.

He worked on the railroad for his whole career. He can identify the meaning of a train whistle just by its sound. Now that he’s retired, he’s building a model railroad loosely based on the railroad where he worked when he met my mom. Pretty romantical, if you ask me. Also, nerdy. Old white man hobbies, amiright? (Don’t think he’s not reading this. I would say and have said this to his face. Love you, Pops!)

Dave loves Magnum P.I. and The Rockford Files and has instilled in me a healthy love and respect for both. We watch The West Wing every Thanksgiving, Die Hard every Christmas, and Nacho Libre every Easter. For that is how we do.

Dave will do most anything for a joke (sound familiar?), but he’s also really very thoughtful. He’s a long time reader of the Wall Street Journal and always keeps an eye out for articles that would interest me (and my friends). Theatre! Fashion! Production! Television! Recipes! So many recipes! All of the recipes!

A recent article he shared is about the culture of tacos in America. I love that sentence so much that I’m going to write it again. A recent article he shared is about the culture of tacos in America. The summary is that we’re starting to see a trend back toward the traditional roots of the taco and away from the culture of Anything Goes tacos. No, I don’t mean Cole Porter tacos. (That was for all you musical theatre nerds). What I mean is a taco where anything goes, like Doritos Locos tacos, Korean Barbecue tacos, or Tex Mex tacos. These things may be delicious, but they are not authentically Mexican in either flavor profile or ingredients.

The article included a recipe for Chicken Tinga Tacos from Bajo Sexto Taco in Nashville. Run, don’t walk, to make these for Cinco de Mayo. Or any day de Mayo. Or venticuatro de abril. (That’s tomorrow, people.)

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They are deeply soul satisfying. The sauce is spicy with a sharp bite from the vinegar, which cools off instantly from the creamy avocado. I paired it with a grilled Mexican corn salad and some chips and guac. Because duh.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that. Tacos are the best. My dad is the best.

I just can’t decide which I love more.

Chicken Tinga Tacos from Bajo Sexto Taco via wsj.com

  • 2½ pounds boneless chicken thighs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 white onion, thinly sliced
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • ½ (7-ounce) can chipotle chilies in adobo sauce
  • 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup distilled white vinegar
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 12 fresh corn tortillas, warmed
  • 1 avocado, sliced

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roast chicken until mostly cooked but still pink and juicy, 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Once cool enough to handle, shred meat coarsely.

Meanwhile, caramelize onions: Heat olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Sauté onions, tossing to coat with oil, until softened, 10 minutes. Add a pinch of salt and 2 teaspoons water, then reduce heat to low, and cook, stirring frequently, until tender and deep golden, 20-30 minutes more. If pan becomes dry, add water, 1 teaspoon at a time, to prevent burning.

Make sauce: In a blender, process caramelized onions, chilies with sauce, garlic, vinegar and a pinch each of salt and pepper until smooth.

Heat canola oil in a large skillet. Once shimmering, add sauce and cook until rust-brown and thickened, 3-4 minutes. Add chicken, stir to coat, and cook until no longer pink, 3-4 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper. Serve chicken on tortillas with a slice of avocado.

Mexican Corn Salad from Bon Appetit

  • 4 ears of corn, husked
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 2 ounce Cotija cheese or Parmesan, crumbled (about 1/2 cup), plus more for serving
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro plus more for serving
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

Prepare grill for medium heat. Grill corn, turning occasionally, until tender and charred, 8–10 minutes; let cool slightly. Cut kernels from cobs and transfer to a medium bowl.

Whisk mayonnaise, lime juice, paprika, cayenne, if using, 2 oz. Cotija cheese, and 2 tablespoons cilantro in a large bowl; season with salt and pepper. Add corn and toss to combine. Top with more cheese and cilantro.

DO AHEAD: Dressing can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and chill. Corn can be grilled and cut from cobs 1 hour ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.

Guacamole from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook via FoodNetwork.com

  • 4 ripe Haas avocados
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (1 lemon)
  • 8 dashes hot pepper sauce
  • 1/2 cup small-diced red onion (1 small onion)
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium tomato, seeded, and small-diced

Cut the avocados in 1/2, remove the pits, and scoop the flesh out of their shells into a large bowl. Immediately add the lemon juice, hot pepper sauce, onion, garlic, salt, and pepper and toss well. Using a sharp knife, slice through the avocados in the bowl until they are finely diced. Add the tomatoes. Mix well and taste for salt and pepper.

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New Year, New You: Fake Cleanse

I’m doing a cleanse!

Sorta!

Listen, I’m never going to be a juice cleanse person. Cause this sounds terrible. (But I’m obsessed with the way she wrote it…)

I like my juice next to a plate of bacon and eggs, where it belongs.

Thanks, fineartamerica, for this cheesy breakfast picture. (Actual cheese not pictured.)

Thanks, fineartamerica, for this cheesy breakfast picture. (Actual cheese not pictured.)

But, at the end of the year, I was overindulging a bit more than I was just plain indulging. So I figured I needed to hit the reset button. That’s when I saw that Bon Appetit magazine is doing it’s annual Food Lover’s Cleanse.

Now, I’ve very recently been gifted with a subscription to Bon Appetit for my birdday (Ally is the BEST!) so I paid extra attention.

It seems that Bon Appetit has been doing this Food Lover’s Cleanse for a few years now. What it is is this:

  • Guidelines for healthy eating
    • Nothing on this list will surprise you. None of it surprised me. But it’s a basic reminder to increase your water, increase your vegetables and cut back on alcohol and sweets. What did surprise me (pleasantly!) is that they don’t want you to calorie count. They’re just about conscious eating. Conscious uncoupling with some bad habits and consciously coupling with better ones as is relates to what you eat. Sounds fair to me.
  • Recipes for their 2 week cleanse
    • From January 2-15, they have recipes every day to give you a lovely roadmap of how to do this cleanse. They provide you with the shopping list for two shopping trips that cover all the foodstuffs.
  • Daily Inspiration
    • Every day, BA posts the daily menu and a little write up. Affirmation + blog + instruction.

There are so many things that I love about this. It’s Bon Appetit, these people love food. They live for food. They “share life through the lens of food.” (Is there any other lens, really?)

So, they’re focusing on healthy eating practices that don’t cut out the things you love (dessert! snacks! some booze!) but includes things you do love (dessert! snacks! some booze!)

I wanted to do this cleanse. But I struggled as a household of one to figure out how to buy all the food and not waste all the leftovers. Many of the recipes serve 4 (sometimes 8) and I didn’t want to be wasteful.

But I’m so in love with the principles, I might marry them.

So, for the first two weeks of 2015, I’m trying to be a bit more mindful about what I’m eating. Cut back on the booze. Increase the veg. Hopefully, it’ll feel good. Hopefully, the principles will carry on beyond the first two weeks.

But let’s not get carried away…

 

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