That’s a Wrap

After our recent eating spree, Kevin and I were in need of something simple and wholesome for dinner.  I’m a total wrap junkie so I whipped this little guy together for dinner last night…

In my opinion, there are no rules when it comes to making a wrap, but generally you need a good balance between something carby, something creamy, and a little crunch….but nobody’s counting measurements so just add what you like! Here’s what I put in this one:
Autumn Chicken Wrap
Brown rice tortillas, lightly pan heated
Boneless, skinless chicken breast…pan grilled & thinly sliced
Trader Joes frozen brown rice medley that heats in 3 minutes
Brussels sprouts…sliced like slaw and quickly sauteed in olive oil, with salt & pepper
Toasted, chopped pecans
Diced pear
Crumbled goat cheese
Meyer lemon vinaigrette (just lemon & olive oil)
It tasted of yummy, nutty fall flavors, and one was more than enough for dinner.  Plus, I grilled off extra chicken breast that I can use for a couple other meals this week.

{Photo contest is almost over…please submit your vote today!}

Momma Knows Best

After indulging in a fantastic Thanksgiving feast with Kevin’s family last Thursday, we headed down south for a long weekend with my family…and Thanksgiving dinner #2.
A plate of my mom’s Thanksgiving food is about as familiar to me as my own face.  While I’m always trying to tweak a dish and try something new, my mom is the opposite…completely devoted to her proven, delicious recipes.  And I wouldn’t have it any other way.  
She makes classic dishes, but always does something just a little bit different that makes them
 completely her own…they are tastes I could recognize with a blindfold on even 20 years from now.  
…like how she adds corn (along with typical veggies) to her stuffing and 
makes sure it gets a nice, crispy caramelization that adds so much flavor…
…like how she adds pineapple to her famous roasted sweet potatoes and twice bakes 
them…once to cook and again to re-heat and to get some nice brown color…

…like how she serves an unexpected side of cole slaw that adds a 
nice freshness and perfectly compliments the other rich dishes…

…like how she makes mini-rolls so you can choose the 
level of carb overload you desire…a little or a lot…
…like how she would never, not for a second, consider using anything other than 
the Karo Syrup pecan pie recipe…the same one my grandma used before her…
…and her pumpkin pie, well, it’s pretty traditional, but just 
tastes better that any other because my momma made it!
{PS…just a few more dates to vote for my photo!!}

Middle East Meets West

Kevin and I kicked off the Thanksgiving festivities with dinner at his mom’s house on Thursday in San Francisco.  Kevin’s family lives and breathes the “go big or go home” approach…tons of food, a house packed with people, and off the charts hospitality.  I love meals with Kevin’s family because, along with traditional American cuisine like turkey and stuffing, their middle eastern roots shine through with special dishes and traditions of their Jordanian heritage.
{Cousin David carving the turkey}
PS…I made the mashed potatoes in the bottom right-hand corner.  I don’t want to brag…but I’m 
going to because they were the bomb.  If you don’t own a potato ricer, get one now!  So crucial!
{Honey baked ham and Jordanian dish, Malfoof, in the background. Similar
to the Greek dish, dolma, but rolled in cabbage instead with rice and meat inside}
{Cucumber and tomato salad with lemon and olive oil dressing}
{Jordanian dish of rice and toasted nuts, called Hashwa}
{Jordanian favorite to nibble on, peppers.  Traditional cranberry sauce in the background}
{One of my favorites…Turkish Coffee}

{Coma-inducing dessert spread}

{Cousin Danny and his famous Pumpkin Cheesecake…and no, he will not share 
the recipe.  As much as I want to get my hands on it, I can totally respect that}

{Kevin and I in the throes of tryptophan…mmm, and maybe just a little red wine}
{Mother and Son…Auntie Hind and Victor}
{Silly Rami with his Jiddo (grandpa)}

{Mother and daughter…Rania and Raghda}

{The other newlyweds in the family, Saleem and his beautiful wife Mais}

{Kevin and his momma}

{Heartwarming and universal message from Rania}

Thanksgiving dinner #2 with my family coming up tomorrow.  Oh, and voting is still open for the Giada de Laurentis Facebook contest!  Thank you for all the votes…keep ’em coming until noon on December 2nd!

Giving Thanks

I’m thankful that…

     …I get to pour gravy over everything I eat today.

     …after dinner #1 with Kevin’s family today, we move on to dinner #2 with my family tomorrow.

     …the Lederman family welcomed healthy baby #2 last Saturday…congrats Mike, Danielle & Nate!

     …today is the day I get to eat Danny Zeidan’s irresistible Pumpkin Cheesecake.

     …I finally get to experience Ojai wine tasting this weekend.

     …every day I am blessed to live in the beautiful city of San Francisco.

And on a serious note…I am feeling particularly thankful on the tails of an unfortunate accident that occurred last Sunday night.  Our car was hit by a red-light-runner while we were driving home from dinner at Kevin’s mom’s house.  Our poor car is a goner, but Kevin and I thankfully walked away with just a few aches, bruises, and one cracked iPhone.  Just one of those reminders that comes your way every now and then…telling us to enjoy this life we are fortunate enough to be living…appreciate every day…

{Wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving!}

{Now go stuff your face!!}