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Although it’s now December 5, what would a FOOD blog be without a Thanksgiving post? We had a lovely, long Thanksgiving weekend at my parents’ house with them and my brother. We were also fortunate to have my father-in-law join us on Thanksgiving.

My dad and I meant to take more pictures of the food, but when it was ready, everyone just dove right in, so a menu is all I can share. Here it is – feel free to ask for any recipes and I can get them for you. 

Cold appetizers (served at 1:00 pm)

v  Two filets of salmon, smoked by my dad

v  Roasted sweet bell peppers, dressed with olive oil, salt, and pepper

v  Caramelized cippolini onions with thyme and balsamic glaze (pictured above)

v  Manchego and green apple matchstick salad (a favorite stolen from Jaleo here in DC)

v  Assorted cheeses with crackers

v  Marinated feta and Greek olives (store-bought)

v  Marcona almonds


Dinner (served at 5:00 pm)

v  Brined, smoked turkey

v  Sausage and biscuit dressing

v  Mashed potatoes with celery root

v  “House-specialty” orange-spiked cranberry sauce

v  Green beans with roasted mushrooms, garlic, and caramelized shallots (made by me – Williams-Sonoma recipe)

v  Bourbon-glazed carrots (made by me – Pioneer Woman recipe)


Dessert (served at 7:30)

v  Pumpkin-cream cheese roll

v  Peach-blackberry pie

v  Gingerbread with homemade rum-raisin ice cream


Happy Thanksgiving!



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My first food-related post! I don’t have any cool pictures of things I’ve made yet, but I was itching to start working on this blog, so I decided I would post some of my favorite Food Network recipes. I am a total FN junkie and I find cooking shows so relaxing to watch. I especially like Everyday Italian, Easy Entertaining with Michael Chiarello, and Boy Meets Grill. The occasional Barefoot Contessa is great, too. So, without further ado, here is my list of favorite FN recipes with my cook’s notes:

1. Barbeque Marlin with Spicy Yellow Rice with Red Beans and Avocado Puree (Bobby Flay)


This is my go-to recipe when I am trying to impress someone (someone who likes fish, that is). I’ve made this for my parents and for my friend. I can never find marlin around here, so I like to use mahi – the thick filets, not the flat ones. Also, to avoid having to buy saffron on a grad student budget, I buy saffron rice instead of adding the saffron in separately. Otherwise, I stay true to the recipe, and the avocado puree is to die for. In the summer, I like to also scatter some chopped heirloom tomatoes of different colors on the plate for visual appeal.

2. Pork Chops Stuffed with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Spinach (Giada de Laurentiis)


Ok, I am not a goat cheese fan, so I do not use goat cheese in this recipe. These pork chops are delicious, though. My fiance told me when we met that the only food he really didn’t like was pork chops, but thanks to recipes like this, he now can’t get enough of them. In place of the goat cheese, I combine the cream cheese with whatever kind of sharper cheese I have in the fridge – asiago, a little feta, or even just some parmesan.

3. Chicken Salad and Cranberry Brie Toast (Tyler Florence)


I am not a “chicken salad person.” But this recipe rocks. First of all, I do not poach a whole chicken, I use rotisserie or grilled. Also, the fiance is sadly allergic to tree nuts, so no walnuts, although they would be great in there. The only other change I made was to saute my celery for a few minutes because I find the extreme crunch of raw celery to be distracting. Weird, I know. Try this sandwich – the sweet brie, salty salad, and tangy green apple and cranberry is so good!

4. Salami Crisps with Sour Cream and Basil (Giada de Laurentiis)


These are such a good party snack, especially for guys. The only change I make is to mix a little dijon mustard in with the sour cream because I think mustard and salami are great together. Definitely don’t forget the chopped basil on top!

5. Ribollita (Giada de Laurentiis)


I love soup. I think I could eat it everyday and be happy. This soup is easy, delicious, and a crowd-pleaser. The crisp garlic toasts that soak up the broth add a unique twist. I know it’s getting late in the spring to be posting a soup recipe, but this one is an absolute standby in my home, and I don’t make any changes to this recipe.

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This is my brand-new cooking, food, and wine blog. It should get into full swing right after my wedding and honeymoon in May. Looking forward to sharing my culinary adventures!

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