Delicious Breakfast Parfait with Thanksgiving Leftovers

On the morning after Thanksgiving, I served my guests a simple, but pretty little breakfast. I do mean “little” since most of us were still full from dinner the evening before! So, I opted for a small slice of spinach cheese fritatta topped with sliced avocado and grated cheese, a couple small links of sausage and a breakfast parfait. The parfait is what the leftovers are made of.

To assemble the parfait, I used a small spoon to scoop out some of the pumpkin pie filling. Can you believe it? There were groans from a few guests over my discarding of that little bit of pie crust. I don’t like pie crust anyway, LOL, only pie fillings. Sweet tooth? You bet! Anyway, my house – my rules. 😅

On top of the spicy pumpkin puree, I added a dollop of vanilla yogurt. A little dash of cranberry chutney, a drizzle of amber honey and a sprinkle of chopped, candied nuts finished the creation. And it was soooo GOOD even without the pie crust.

Happy holidays,

Awesome Fall Cheese platter

My lovely, sweet guests have gone home after a whirlwind Thanksgiving holiday weekend. After being surrounded by people that I love, the house seems a little too quiet. During the holiday, the weather cooperated by being cool, sunny and clear. The days were full of bright autumn color. Perfect. Now that all the hub-bub has settled, this morning is grey, overcast and we are expecting a dusting of snow. I’m left to reflect in our now still home and to peruse our photos taken over the company stay.giant flowers

The big event went very well, but I barely got our cheese platter together before friends and family started arriving. Whew! And then The Big Dinner! How do people keep it all cooked and hot at the same time? It’s a talent that I have yet to perfect. It did turn out as it inevitably does. But only in part, due to Les’ help and calming effect and in part, due to my lovely company.

This was the first time that I actually made a cheese platter. It was so easy and pretty that I want to share it with you. It all started with a Kirkland cheese sampler from Costco. I have to say that the little blocks of cheese were delicious. One of them was a cheese made with white truffles which I never thought that I would try. I figured that I don’t like anything-mushroom so truffles just sound like they would taste like dirt – the same as mushrooms. Really though, the cheese was OK. I don’t need to eat anything with truffles ever again (unless chocolate) but everyone else liked it. It disappeared, so that must be the proof. 😅😅😅little cheese labels

I also used my computer to print out free chalkboard labels. A white chalk pen was used to print the different kinds of cheese information. I cut the labels apart and stuck them onto toothpicks for cheese identification. Kind of cute, huh?

To assemble the display, I cut a few slices from some of the cheese wedges and I cubed others for variety. I placed them around the edges of the cutting board. In the center I put two little ceramic bowels for extra color. One was filled with spicy cocktail mix of roasted red peppers, green olives, little pickles and onions. The other was filled with cranberry chutney.20181122_140321cheese platter

Last came the fruit. I used purple, seedless Thomcord grapes from California- they were deliciously sweet and flavorful. The board was rounded out with dried apricots and mixed, candied nuts. I would have gone for figs and other fruits, but I was trying to keep the cost down. And there you have it, the easiest cheese board ever.

Good holiday spirit to you,

sandy-signature

 

Making a Healthier Cranberry Chutney

cranberries

Another reason for me to fall for autumn is…..(drum roll please)…. cranberries! Little packets of them are in the markets now! Get them while you can because, I don’t know about your neck of the woods, but they disappear around here FAST after they hit the market shelves. Every autumn I stock up on a couple of bags of the berries. Both the raw berries and the cooked chutney freeze well so you can have this delicious topping all year round.cranberries

When people ask me if I use apricots, apple or raisins in my cranberry chutney, my answer is always “Yes!!” Yes to all off it. I like a huge burst of flavor in my chutney.

Forget the yucky can of gelatinous goo that is commonly known as cranberry sauce. It is so easy and fast to make your own sauce. Once you do that, I guarantee that you will never go back to the substandard stuff. Ooooh… (wince)… “guarantee” is such a strong word, but, yep. I guarantee it! Simple sauces can be found all over the internet, so go for it. You won’t be sorry. If you want a recipe for a fabulous chutney, read on.vinegar and spices

Cranberry chutney is a taste bonanza of sweet, tangy and spicy. It generally contains fruit such as apples, apricots and /or raisins plus vinegar. I did quite a few experiments to come up with my own favorite recipe. I like it so much that I double the recipe so that I can have chutney in many other dishes as well as a condiment at Thanksgiving.

Continue reading “Making a Healthier Cranberry Chutney”

Grilled Sweet Corn Salad with a Kick

Grilled corn salad has got to be one of my new favorite dishes. If it’s cold and rainy outside or if you just don’t want to bother cleaning up a big ole’ BBQ grill (I hear you on that one!) , no problem. Just grill the ears on an oiled cast iron skillet. They turn out beautifully with just the perfect amount of smokey char. If corn is out of season, use frozen corn. Cook it in the skillet the same way as you do the ears. Continue reading “Grilled Sweet Corn Salad with a Kick”

Vegan Root Beer Baked Beans

vegan root beer baked beans

Baked beans are super easy, hearty and filling. Perfect for lunch or dinner, these beans are great as the main event, but also wonderful as a side dish.

The added plus is that you can put them in your boxed lunch and simply microwave the beans to re-heat. Or you can put them in a baggie and freeze in single serving sizes. Then, toss into your lunch bag and they will be defrosted and ready for the microwave as soon as lunch-time rolls around. Continue reading “Vegan Root Beer Baked Beans”

Awesome Veggie Medley Minus Epic Fail on Veggie Tortillas

zucchini corn squash

It’s time for my weekly cooking day challenge. Mostly, I prep easy food for meals throughout the week- well, lunches and dinners anyway. But, on this day, I will also try to make one thing that is actually a cooking experiment.

This time the experiment was to replace the eggs in zucchini tortillas with Chia seeds and water. The idea is that if you take a tablespoon of seeds and stir into 1/3 cup water, let stand for fifteen minutes, then you will have a good egg replacement for baking. I get the idea- the mix turns gelatinous so I could see how it might hold baked stuff together like an egg does. Well, I made the tortillas and- epic fail!!! Even though I sprayed the paper with a thin coat of olive oil, the gelatinous seeds acted like a glue and stuck the thin tortillas completely down to my parchment paper. The little 1/2 piece that I managed to separate from the parchment tasted good, but…..yeah, I won’t use chi seed gel on anything that will be spread and pasted right onto paper again, that’s for sure. Continue reading “Awesome Veggie Medley Minus Epic Fail on Veggie Tortillas”

A Fast and Easy Way to Cook Sweet Potatoes

vegan lunch

I LOVE sweet potatoes. Enough so that I usually buy a big ole’ bag of them when I go to Costco. I especially love them roasted along with other root veggies, but sometimes I just have to grab a potato and go. So, the next best thing is to microwave it. I can do that in my own kitchen or wait until I get to work to cook the potato for lunch. I like to eat them plain or with a little butter and maple syrup. I also like to cube them and add them to my veggie mixes.

Here’s the FASTEST way that I know to cook a sweet potato. Rinse it off with clear water. Place it onto a microwave safe dish. Place a wet paper towel or dishcloth over the potato. Microwave on high for 8 to 10 minutes. Eat warm or let cool and cut into cubes for your other dishes.

A plus is that the potatoes freeze well, so I can cook the whole bag in one day, plate my week’s worth of lunches and freeze the rest.

vegan lunchThis nutritious lunch is made with a medley of cooked sweet corn, squash, zucchini, black beans, diced tomatoes and cubed sweet potatoes. Add a little salsa to spice it up and you will be good to go.

S McCall

Spicy Chipotle Garlic Jackfruit Tacos – Vegan Richa

In searching for a yummy vegan taco filling for my zucchini tortilla shells, I came across a fruit known as jackfruit. It is supposed to be VERY healthy and takes on the flavor of whatever spices or sauces that you cook it in. I have never heard of Jackfruit before, so I’m excited about trying it with this recipe and wanted to share the source with you.

Source: Spicy Chipotle Garlic Jackfruit Tacos – Vegan Richa

Spicy Chipotle Garlic Jackfruit Tacos - Shredded Jackfruit simmered in chipotle garlic sauce | http://VeganRicha.com #vegan #glutenfree #jackfruit #tacos

Easy Spicy Chipotle Garlic Jackfruit Tacos. How to make shredded jackfruit tacos with garlic chipotle sauce. Top w/ avocado, salsa, vegan sour cream. Vegan Recipe