recovering…

from a week of GLUTTONY.  My wonderful in-laws were in town this past week and as always when you have guests, you eat well.  Whether its taking them out or making them a meal to have them feel comfortable in your home, you’re bound for some good eating.  And we were INDEED.

It’s crab season right now in the bay area (which btw, totally throws me off because crab season is in the summer on the east coast.  still weirded out.) and Dungeness crab is prevalent everywhere.  I’ve seen signs on the road for crabs on sale or crabbing tours now.  There’s this seafood restaurant in the Bay called Boiling Crab which takes about an hour plus to 2 1/2 hours to get a seat.  Yes, it’s that popular and apparently it’s always like that.  The hubs and I have been planning to go but just haven’t had the time.  When we actually do decide to go we realize that it’s late and we’d probably wait longer than we’d like… so we pass and go with our next option.  My in-laws went with their friends and came home with time GINORMOUS dungeness crabs for me and the hubs.  While tasty and meaty (it really was good.), I must say… I STILL LOVE MY CHESAPEAKE BLUE CRABS!!!  Sweeter, smaller, and easier to handle.  I’m such an east coast girl.  I didn’t think there would be THAT much meat in those crabs and definitely had a food coma right after I was done eating.

Wednesday, I took my in-laws to wine country while the hubs was working.  I fortunately had the day off and my mother in law had wine train tickets she had to use before the end of December.  The hubs and I had used ours in August (Groupon had an awesome deal!).  I was planning to go to the outlets or go to other wineries that I like that were neighboring Napa, but weren’t on our way home, while they were on the train.   However, when I went down with them at the train station to make sure they got on OK, the both insisted I come along with them.  They didn’t take no for an answer.  Which was fine, I do like their company and I would just be wandering by myself around Napa buying who knows what.  The food was DELISH and just as good as the last time I went.  It was a bit heavy for lunch but so yummy.  Definitely had a huge food coma after that lunch.  Then when we got home from touring Napa and visiting friends we had a late dinner… and yet again STUFFED.

Then Thanksgiving day…gluttony persisted.  I didn’t get the bird started until 3ish.  I was trying to take off the chill and it was a fresh, not frozen plus it was a petite bird; so I didn’t put it in earlier…plus it was just the four of us, so there was no rush.  I really kept it low key this year and didn’t make as many sides or desserts (even though I really wanted to).  Everything was pretty good.  Here’s the spread and the links to the recipes I used or the actual recipe.   For dessert, our godparents from our wedding gave my in-laws an apple pie to give to us to devour for Thanksgiving (it was from Marie Callendar’s bakery.   it was pretty good).  So we warmed that up and had that along with some ice cream.

The spread

Cornbread Dressing with Sausage and Apples by Art Smith

Homemade Cranberry Sauce by PioneerWomanCooks

Good Eats Roast Turkey by Alton Brown

Close Up View

Creamy Mashed Potatoes by PioneerWomanCooks (p.s. TO DIE FOR.  YOU MUST TRY THIS RECIPE!!!  Forget about the butter… it is DELISH!)

Sauted Garlic Green Beans by me (recipe on a later post)

I made the cranberry sauce two days ahead.  I also steamed and blanched the green beans the night before so that I could quickly saute them within minutes of having dinner.

Leftovers were eaten the next day.  Then the day my in-laws left we went out to a Filipino restaurant called Max’s chicken.  Again… heffer status continued.  I couldn’t help myself.  Filipino food is just THAT delicious.   🙂  Now its Monday and guilt has came over me for all the overindulging I did this weekend… so I went for a quick run.  I shall be performing my workout regimen again until Christmas.  Have a work holiday party and a graduation dinner within a week of each other and while my dresses may be forgiving… pictures are NOT.  Workout mode (well an attempt to at least.  I hope it’s successful) until Christmas.  Although… I don’t know how well that’ll work when I’ll be testing a couple recipes out the next few week for the family Christmas party.  😛

craving sweets

Just in a baking/creating mood in the kitchen.  Last night I was CRAVING fro-yo, gelato, or cake.  I don’t know why, I just was.  I think it was just to cheer me up since it’s busy at work and the hubs is busy with school until Thanksgiving.  Plus it gets dark sooo early now that I can’t walk anywhere (I really don’t walk outside by myself when it’s dark.  You can never be too safe.).  Today I decided I was going to make some cinnamon rolls, which turned into sweet chocolate rolls, which turned into pumpkin rolls, which turned into pumpkin cinnamon chocolate rolls.  That just sounds orgasmic doesn’t it?  Fall food + cinnamon rolls + chocolate.   LOVE LOVE LOVE!  While the dough is rising, I wanted something to snack on.  I remembered I had Cool Whip in the freezer (I used it to mix in with yogurt and put them in popsicle molds for a frozen treat).  I took it out and let it sit on the counter to soften.  I remembered a recipe I saw on Pioneer Woman and new I would have to it since it was REALLY easy but with my twists of course.

Almond Rocca Chocolate Mousse
adapted by recipe from PioneerWomanCooks (modification by me in red)

INGREDIENTS

1 package Cool Whip
1 whole Skor or Heath Bar (if you don’t have any of these use 1/2 Hershey Bar, either dark or milk [I used dark] and 1/2 toffee)
Chopped Almonds (I feel if you go with this method you get more almonds/crunch)

DIRECTIONS

Melt Hershey bar and toffee or Skor or Heath Bar in the microwave for 30 to 45 seconds. Allow to cool for a couple of minutes, then stir into Cool Whip mixture, along with almonds. Since the Cool Whip is cold, it will solidify the candy bar in tiny particles.

Serve soft or refreeze and serve as an ice-cream type treat.

OH SO YUMMY!  Tasted like a frozen almond rocca or toffette (which is Sees Candies’ version).  HEAVEN!


ole!

My old co-worker was in the area and visited the apartment during Football Sunday.  I bought some chips and made some Guacamole, but didn’t end getting into it.  So on Monday I decided to make Calfornia Turkey sandwiches for me and hubs for lunch (his to go of course).

California Turkey Sandwich

Ingredients

2 slices of bread
Mayonnaise
Guacamole (see recipe below)
Tomato, sliced
Lettuce
Hot Sauce
Colby Jack Cheese
Pepper Jack Cheese
Turkey Breast Slices

Guacamole Directions

Take an avocado, spoon out the meat into a bowl.   Cut up a small red onion and chop and place into bowl.  Mince garlic and place into the bowl.  Quarter cherry tomatoes and place into bowl.  Chop up cilantro and jalapeno and juice two limes over the bowl.  If you don’t have jalapeno on hand, add some red pepper flake or 2-4 dashes of hot sauce.  Mix together.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Directions

Toast slices of bread.  After toasted, add Guacamole on one slice and Mayonnaise on another side.  Layer the remaining ingredients and enjoy!

Since I had extra guacamole from the night before/lunch, I decided to make some Tequila Lime chicken to accompany the chicken. I really like the tequila lime chicken from Applebees so I decided to try it myself. My first effort with this recipe was botched as the marinade spilled (the bag was punctured), so I decided to try it again.  It was pretty good.  Very tasty.

Tequila Lime Chicken by Pioneer Woman Cooks

Ingredients

3 whole Limes, Juiced
5 cloves Garlic, Peeled
1 whole Jalapeno, Sliced
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
½ cups Cilantro
½ cups Tequila (I used clear tequila… Patron.  Remember don’t use alcohol you wouldn’t drink)
5 Tablespoons Olive Oil
4 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
1 cup Monterey Jack Cheese, Grated

Directions

Combine lime juice, garlic cloves, sliced jalapeno, salt, cilantro, and tequila in a food processor or blender. Pulse until combined. Turn on the blender/food processor and drizzle in the olive oil until it’s all combined.  (I didn’t combined the ingredients in a food processor and it turned out just fine.)

Slightly flatten chicken breasts with a mallet or the bottom of a heavy skillet. Place in a plastic bag and pour in marinade. Seal bag and marinate for several hours or (preferably) overnight.

When ready to cook, remove chicken from bag and place on the grill. Cook until completely done. Toward the end of cooking, top chicken breasts with grated Monterey Jack and allow to melt. (You can also top chicken with cheese and melt under the broiler.)

For crunch, I added tortilla chips on top like at Applebee’s.

As a side, side I made the elote corn I’ve made before with frozen corn which the hubs DEVOURED again.  I love it when I make him veggies that he enjoys.  Roasted asparagus, broccoli, and green beans are on the list as well.  As well as peas, but you all knew that.