Family Style: Xmas Eve Eve Dinner 2012

Last year, my family kicked off a new Holiday tradition of sharing a meal on Christmas Eve Eve at my house in South Philly. With so much running around on Christmas Day, it’s nice to gather with just my parents, sister and our boyfriends without having to rush off to the next gathering. This year, Dre’s mom joined us from Baltimore and it really felt like the family was complete.

Someone, however, was missing this holiday season… my lovely Grandma. On December 20th, she passed away peacefully in her sleep. It’s still too fresh of a heartache for me to share very much right now, however the food love she inspired in me certainly shines through in this year’s Xmas Eve Eve dinner, from the Dutch oven I used to the trivets & tablecloth. I know she was there with me in the kitchen all weekend.

And so I present, my Xmas Eve Eve Dinner Menu 2012:

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Oven Poached Salmon w. Pink Grapefruit & Tarragon Sauce

Emeril’s Potluck: Comfort Food with a Kicked Up Attitude – Recipe

Cider-Brined Roasted Turkey w. Star Anise & Cinnamon

Bon Appétit November 2011 pg 94 – Recipe

Butternut Squash & Corn Bread Stuffing Muffins

Food & Wine: Michael Symon’s Heartland Thanksgiving Menu November 2011 – Recipe

Caramelized Onion Scalloped Yukon Gold & Sweet Potatoes

Adapted from two recipes:

Bon Appétit November 2008 – Recipe #1

Bon Appétit December 2012 – Recipe #2

Broiled Asparagus w. Lemon-Shallot Vinaigrette

Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook

Sautéed Shiitake, Cremini & Buna Shimeji Mushrooms

Julia Childs’ Mastering the Art of French Cooking

Generic Brown & Serve Dinner Rolls

I’m only one woman!

I put the rest of the fam in charge of booze, hors d’oeuvres, & dessert once again. Dad & Mary Ann are always on point with their beer & wine selection. Im polishing off the final, and aptly named, Evil Twin Before, During and After Christmas Beer as I type. Kerry & Rich made mini crab cakes, citrus-goat cheese endive and classic lil smokies & BBQ sauce. Dessert was a selection of cakes including an out-of-this-world Yule Log filled with fresh strawberries that Dre’s mom brought and Kerry’s chocolate chip bread pudding a la mode. And another holiday feast has come and gone…

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

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Instafood: MMS Gallery

Whew! I’m still here. I may not be posting… er… very often, but that doesn’t mean I’m not cooking, eating, exploring, and shooting it all along the way. Sometimes I forget to pat myself on the back for all the awesome food I make and count the blessings for the food love other people put in front of me. Today, I got the confidence boost I needed, one that came after a quite reflective weekend.

Long story short, a pretty rad lady I know founded and created a simple, yet beautifully-executed concept, The MMS Gallery: Masterpieces Made Simple (acronym intended). It’s an online collection showcasing user-submitted smartphone photography from around the globe. I stopped in here or there to check out their first couple of themes, but the topic of their third was right up my alley: FOOD!

After a month or so of submitting pics, I went about my life. Summer has been flying so I sorta forgot about it all until I got an event invite to the gallery opening… and saw their infographic about the submissions… and realized 7, yes 7, of my photos were chosen!! This shot is my fave – a #nofilter capture of Spring afternoon white sangria with one of my favorite ladies, Heidi.

See the rest of my MMS photos after the jump.

MMS Gallery Opening
Thursday July 14th | 630-930pm |1000 N Hancock St Suite 103

Check out this Geekadelphia article/interview w. my favorite creative couple,
Hilary Sedgwick + Kenny Kim about their creation of The MMS Gallery.

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Quickie: Griddled Ham, Turkey, & Swiss Sandwich w/ Spicy Remoulade

The snow’s coming again! We got 28″ over the weekend and now, 3 days later, Philadelphia is putting the “Closed” sign back up as we expect 12-18″ more. I’m actually enjoying being stuck in the house as I’ve had more time to cook. For dinner tonight, I made a perfect belly-warming sandwich – Maple-Honey Ham, Roasted Turkey, & Lorraine Swiss w/ leftover Spicy Remoulade on Potato Bread, griddled with Garlic-Herb Butter.

So… effin’… good!

Griddled Ham, Turkey, & Swiss Sandwich w/ Spicy Remoulade

To Taste: Chipotle Turkey Chili

The weather is getting cold and it couldn’t be a better time for my bi-annual batch of Turkey Chili. Each time, it’s delicious in its own way, but this round may be my best to date! It was smoky & spicy with a hearty texture from the mix of Ground Turkey & Turkey Kielbasa. I topped it with shredded Cheddar and Sour Cream and paired it with Egg Noodles for leftovers.

Chipotle Turkey Chili w/ Cheddar & Sour Cream

Chipotle Turkey Chili

  • Turkey Kielbasa – (1) package cut into half moons
  • 85/15 Ground Turkey – (2)lbs, browned & drained
  • Chili Mix – 1/2 packet of Hot, Medium, 0r Mild
  • Sriracha – a few squirts
  • White Onion – (2) medium, chopped
  • Garlic – (2) T, minced
  • Crushed Tomatoes – (1) large can
  • Chicken Stock – (1) can, low-sodium
  • Black Beans – (1) small can
  • Chipotles in Adobo Sauce – (2) peppers from can, chopped
  • Worcestershire Sauce – (4) heavy dashes
  • Dried Parsley – (1) T
  1. Brown the Ground Turkey in an oiled pan and transfer to Crock-Pot or Dutch Oven.
  2. Saute Onion & Garlic in same pan with a tablespoon of butter until aromatic & translucent.
  3. Combine Onions, Garlic, & remaining ingredients in Crock-Pot or Dutch Oven.
  4. Cook on HIGH 3-5hours or LOW 6-8 hours, stirring occasionally until you can’t resist a bowl!

Leftover Lightning! Roasted Turkey, Zucchini, & Tomato Pizza!

I’m enjoying the house to myself for an evening, which usually means I have to cram a bunch of relaxation & chores into one night. Amongst laundry, the World Series, & making homemade Apple Butter for Dre, I needed to make sure I had a good dinner to keep me going. I’ve been getting back into cooking on the regular, but kept it fairly easy this week as I’m battling the infamous flu. Luckily, I had plenty of leftovers to work with: Pizza Sauce from Lazaro’s delivery on Sunday (Mmmm, Garlic Knots!); leftover Dijon Turkey Tenderloin, Roasted Zucchini & Grape Tomatoes from Monday’s quick din; and, a leftover 8″ mini Boboli shell (leftover from last night as I pretty much ate this exact dinner). I layered the pizza with sauce, diced turkey, & veggies and topped with shredded Mozzarella & Smoked Gouda (my fave, still leftover from Make Your Own Pizza night). 10 minutes in the toaster oven on 450 and YUMMM!

Roasted Turkey, Zucchini, & Tomato Pizza via Leftovers

Quickie: Reading Terminal Market

While my mom was in town, we made a trip to Reading Terminal Market to have lunch & cruise the amazing food & such you can find there! Iovine Brothers Produce had some amazing & fresh product to admire, which made me question why I’m not splitting my produce shopping between them & the cheap finds at the Italian Market.

Romaine from Iovine Brother Produce @ Reading Terminal Market

Iovine Brother Produce @ Reading Terminal Market

And no Reading Terminal Market visit is complete for me without a Turkey Sandwich on Homemade Sourdough w/ Mayo from Bassett’s Original Turkey!

Turkey Sammie w/ Mayo on Homemade Sourdough - Bassetts Original Turkey in Reading Terminal Market

Turkey Sammie w/ Mayo on Homemade Sourdough - Bassett's Original Turkey in Reading Terminal Market

Leftover Lightning! Turkey Taco!

Ground Turkey & Rice Stuffing from my Grilled Stuffed Peppers, jazzed up w/ Sriracha

Last Lonely Whole Grain Tortilla

Dollop(s) of Daisy

Lots o’ Shredded Romaine

Coulda used some Fresh Salsa or Chopped Tomatoes… but otherise, LEFTOVER LIGHTING!!

Leftover Lightning! Turkey Taco!

Leftover Lightning! Turkey Taco!