Virtual Feast

As much as I love to cook and look forward to one day hosting a whole Thanksgiving dinner…I haven’t really had the chance to do it all on my own yet. Chalk that up to dwelling in a one-bedroom condo in downtown San Francisco…it’s not exactly the right set up.

Our current tradition is to spend Thanksgiving day here in the city at Kevin’s mom’s house, with “just the family”. Kevin has a mass-ive family so that typically refers to around 30+ people gathered for the event…and that’s just one small part of the family! Everybody brings something, but Kevin’s mom is responsible for the main events: turkey, ham, stuffing, gravy.

The Friday after Thanksgiving we fly down to see my family for the long weekend and partake in dinner #2. My mom pulls out all the stops and puts on an epic feast. I’ll help out a bit in the kitchen, but mamma’s definitely running this show.

I’m sure one day soon enough, when Kevin and I finally settle into a big bigger house, we’ll have plenty of opportunity to host our own holidays.  Till then, here’s a look at what I would’ve, if I could’ve…

{Roast Turkey with Black Truffle Butter & White Wine Gravy ~ Gourmet Magazine}
{Caramelized Onion and Cornbread Stuffing ~ Tyler Florence}

{Perfect Mashed Potatoes ~ Martha Stewart}

{Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pecans ~ Real Simple}

{Cranberry Citrus Dressing ~ Michael Chiarello}
 {Pumpkin Banana Mousse Tart ~ Ina Gartin}

Like Butta’

I hate it when I’m about to bake something, and I realize I forgot to bring my butter to room temperature.  To soften it at that point…well, it’s like watching water boil…it takes for-ev-er.

A long time ago, I came across the best tip for speeding up this process.  I can’t for the life of me remember where I read about it, but I have fallen back on this tip time and time again.

I mean, it’s not rocket science…you simply cut the butter into smaller pats so that it softens quicker…duh!  Why didn’t I think of that?  Then you do have to wait for it to soften, but it’s so much faster than waiting on the whole cube.  Some microwaves are able to soften butter as well, but mine doesn’t seem to have quite the right settings, and I always end up with a pool of liquid.

I also picked up this nifty tool somewhere along the way.  You just press it over the top of butter cube, and it cuts it into even pats.  A knife will definitely do the trick as well though.
And there you have it!  Not changing the world here, people, but if this tip gets you to fresh-baked cookies faster, then I’ve done my job.
{PS…voting rocks!  Want to know what it feels like?  Click here to vote for my photo!}

Bacon Makes it Better

The next time you make waffles or pancakes, try adding crumbled 
cooked bacon directly into the batter…

Then just cook the waffles or or pancakes as you normally would,   
drench in syrup, and enjoy!  The salty/sweet combination is awesome!

{credit goes to my favorite breakfast place for the inspiration}
{PS…all you voters out there…THANK YOU!!
If you haven’t voted yet…what are you waiting for?}

Chew on This

Unfortunately, I was home sick from work for the past couple days.  Feeling much better now, but of course any sick day brings with it endless hours of daytime television…

With the departure of many daytime soap opera’s, there are some new shows on the air, and I was surprised to stumble upon this new show on ABC…The Chew.

Oh, I get it…The Chew…like…The View, right?  Hmmm, not so sure about the name, but the line-up is not too bad…
Mario Batali…..needs no introduction
Michael Symon…..Food Network Iron Chef
Carla Hall…..Top Chef Alum (Hootie Hoo!)
Clinton Kelly…..from What Not to Wear
Daphne Oz….daughter of Dr. Oz
They had me at Mario Batali.  
I caught some of the show, and, while it seems like they still need to work out the early-days-awkwardness, it definitely has potential…and I’ll take a cooking show any day over All My Children…

{PS…keep the votes coming until Dec 2nd}