Saturday, November 9, 2019

Sunday Dinner November 10, 2019

On the Menu

Firecracker Chicken
4 – 6 Servings
4 – 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon granulated onion
¼ - ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon oil
Sauce Ingredients
¼ cup maple syrup
1 medium – large chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
3 tablespoons adobo sauce
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
½ teaspoon butter
2 garlic cloves
¼ cup light brown sugar
Chicken Directions
Combine the sea salt, granulated garlic, granulated onion and cayenne pepper then season chicken thoroughly with it.  Let the chicken marinate in the seasoning at least an hour or overnight.
To bake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray or wipe a sheet pan lightly with oil. Place breast on pan and bake 40 - 45 minutes (depending on size of breast) or when the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. 
To grill: Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat, and lightly oil. Cook On the prepared grill for 12 minutes per side, or until chicken juice is no longer pink. Once the juice runs clear and the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit you are ready to top chicken with Firecracker Sauce.
Sauce Directions
In a blender or food processor, combine the maple syrup, chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, apple cider vinegar, butter, garlic and light brown sugar and process until smooth. Transfer product to a small sauce pan and simmer over medium heat. Allow it to come to a boil, reduce heat to a low simmer. Leave it simmering until chicken is done, stirring occasionally. When chicken is ready, drizzle the sauce over it and serve.

New Age Greens
4 – 6 Serving 
¼ cup olive oil
¼ - ½ teaspoon crushed red peppers
4 - 6+ garlic cloves, sliced
2 pounds of greens (any greens), washed, cut into thin strips (chiffonade)
½ cup orange juice
1 teaspoon garlic, granulated/powder
1 teaspoon onion, granulated/powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ - 1 teaspoon pepper

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or wok over medium high heat. 
Add the crushed red chili peppers and sauté until peppers start to brown approximately 30 seconds.  Lower the heat to medium, add the garlic and continue sautéing approximately 1 minute, do not let the garlic brown.  Add the greens, orange juice, granulated garlic, granulated onion, salt and pepper, mix until all ingredients are well incorporated.
Bring pan up to a boil, reduce heat to medium, cover and cook 15 – 30 minutes (depending on the greens), stirring occasionally. 
That is a sufficient amount of time for the greens to be done.  Taste for flavor and adjust seasoning accordingly.

  1. Onions and/or peppers (any variety or colors) can be sautéed with the garlic.
  2. Any type of mushroom can also be added to the sauté prior to adding the greens.
  3. Dried herbs i.e. oregano, rosemary, thyme, etc can be added for additional flavor.
  4. Seasoning blends i.e. curry powder, Italian seasoning, garam masala, etc., for added flavor.
  5. ½ teaspoon liquid smoke1, hot sauce and vinegar can be added along with the juice.
Note:  When you’re dealing with bitter or pungent greens use sweet vegetables or fruit to sweeten the pot, red bell peppers, grated carrots, apple juice or pineapple juice. Caramelized (sautéed until golden brown) onions are very sweet and goes well with bitter greens caramelized tomatoes will work also.

Soulful Eating
Angelique and Joyce

1 Liquid smoke if you use too much will make your food bitter so be careful.

Caprese Pasta Salad
8 Servings

8 cups water
1 pound pasta (angel hair, orzo or penne)
2 teaspoons sea salt
¼ - ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 pound fresh mozzarella, ½” dice
3 Roma tomatoes, diced
1 small bunch fresh Basil, chiffonade

In a large pot, bring 8 cups of water to a boil, add pasta and bring the pot back up to a rapid boil then stir.
Cover pot, turn off the burner and let pasta sit, undisturbed 6 – 8 minutes (see package for exact cooking time). 
Drain pasta in a colander then transfer to a large bowl.  While pasta is still hot, stir in the salt and mix thoroughly.
Add ¼ cup olive oil mix until pasta is coated with oil then refrigerate until pasta is cool.
Once pasta is cool, add pepper, mozzarella, tomatoes, basil and remaining oil if needed.
Mix thoroughly and refrigerate until salad is cold.

 Black Bean Soup with Roasted Vegetables
8 Servings
6 tomatoes cut in half
1 large onion, cut into quarters, with core in tact
6 garlic cloves, peeled
1 bell pepper, seeded, halved
1 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon sea salt
½  teaspoon granulated garlic
chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
4 cups black beans
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
¼ cup cilantro, coarsely chopped 
1 avocado for garnish

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the tomatoes, onion and garlic into a large bowl. Toss with the olive oil and season with salt, pepper and granulated garlic to taste.
Transfer vegetables to 2 sheet pans then roast for 30 minutes, or until vegetables turn slightly brown.
Transfer the roasted vegetables to a large saucepan over medium heat; add the black beans, vegetable broth, chipotle pepper with 1 teaspoon adobo sauce, beans, chili powder, cumin and oregano.
Simmer  on low for about 30 minutes.
Transfer the soup to a blender or food processor along with the fresh cilantro and puree. 
Garnish with slices of avocado .

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Sunday Dinner November 3, 2019

On the Menu

 Honey Glazed Christmas Ham
Serves 10 – 12
5-6 lb. fully cooked ham
¼ cup whole cloves
¼ cup pure maple syrup
⅛ teaspoon ground allspice
1 ½ cups honey
1 tablespoon butter
 ¼ cup brown sugar
 ¼ cup orange juice
⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Place ham cut side down in a foil-lined roasting pan.
Using a sharp knife, score the surface of the ham in a diamond pattern
lace the whole cloves in the scored intersections.
Combine  syrup, allspice, honey, butter, brown sugar, orange juice, and pepper in the top half of a double boiler, and heat until the butter melts and mixture is smooth, stirring occasionally.
Keep this glaze in the top of a double boiler, over hot water, while baking ham.
Brush glaze over ham, then cover with foil.
Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes at 325 degrees, basting ham every 10 to 15 minutes with the warm honey glaze.
During the last 5 minutes of baking time, remove the foil and turn on broiler to caramelize the glaze.
Watch the ham carefully during the broiling time! Remove the ham from oven, cover with foil, and let sit for 10 minutes before serving. 

Sweet Potatoes with Avocado and Dill
4 Servings
4 Sweet Potatoes
1 avocado
1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
¼ cup scallions, chopped
juice of ½ lime
½ teaspoon sea salt
freshly ground pepper to taste 
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F 
Prick potatoes with a folk and place on a baking sheet. Place in a preheated oven and bake until potatoes are tender.
Remove the avocado pit and scoop the flesh into as a bowl. Add the dill, scallion, lime juice, sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Mix with a folk while mashing the until all ingredients are well combined.

Cut open the potatoes and top with the avocado.

Creole Green Beans
Serving Size: 4 to 6

½ pound fresh green beans, trimmed & washed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pat of butter
1 teaspoon granulated onion
½ teaspoon granulated garlic
½ teaspoon oregano
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 large cloves roasted garlic, diced

Using a large skillet, heat the olive oil and butter until nice and hot on a medium-high heat.
Place the green beans into the pan and toss lightly so that all green beans are covered in oil. Cook for about 1 minute then season the green beans with the dry seasonings.
Cook for another 2 minutes taste for flavor and adjust seasoning if needed
Add garlic and cook for another 2 to 3 minute or until slightly softened.
Remove from heat, serve and enjoy.

Note: Make sure you do not cook the green beans all the way. You must cook it lightly so that it still has its crunch and maintain their national value and texture.

Golden Beet Salad
8 Servings
6 medium golden beets
1 medium red beet - optional
¼ cup water
¼ cup olive oil
½ bunch Italian [flat leaf] parsley
1 stalk celery, sliced
1 medium fennel bulb, sliced - How to
1 medium red onion, sliced
¼ cup white wine vinegar
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon granulated garlic

Preheat oven 350 degrees F
Wash beets thoroughly, and place them in a roasting pan.
Pour water and 1 teaspoon of oil over the beets, toss them around until beets are coated then roast in oven until tender.
Once beets cool, peel and cut into eighths.
Combine all vegetables in a large bowl.
Whisk together vinegar, remaining oil, salt, pepper and garlic pour over beets and mix thoroughly.
Let salad marinate a few hours before serving.

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
Yields 8 - 10 servings

4 pounds butternut squash
1 jumbo sweet potato
1 tablespoon sea salt – Divided
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
¼ cup olive oil – Divided
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon pumpkin spice mix
1 gallon Vegetable Broth


Preheat oven to 450 degrees
Slice squash lengthwise and remove seeds 
Wash sweet potato and cut in half lengthwise
Brush the inside of the potato & squash lightly with olive oil then sprinkle lightly with salt, pepper and garlic powder. 
Bake in oven 45 minutes or until tender.  The potato will get done before the squash, so remove it when it’s done. 
Once they are cool enough to handle, remove skin from the potato and scoop the squash out of its skin with a tablespoon.  Mash both the potato and squash with a potato masher. Add vegetable broth to a large stockpot and place over medium heat. 
Add mashed vegetables to the broth. 
Sprinkle in the remaining salt, coriander and pumpkin spice then mix thoroughly. 
Bring soup to a boil then reduce heat to medium low.  Cook uncovered 30 - 45 minutes or until soup thickens, stirring occasionally. 
If you have an immersion blender (hand blender), puree the soup in the pot. 
If you do not have an immersion blender, transfer soup in batches to a food processor or blender and puree; then return it to the pot. 
Check for seasoning and add pumpkin spice/salt – ½ teaspoon at a time if needed. 
Bring the soup back up to a boil then reduce heat to medium low. 
Continue cooking uncovered an additional 15 minutes or until it reaches the desired thickness.  Keep in mind that once the soup sets, it will become twice as thick.

Holiday Dinner Timeline

  • Thanksgiving
  • Christmas
  • New Years
  • Easter
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day

We use the timeline anytime we are planning a large gathering.

Ever since we discovered this holiday timeline, our meal planning and preparation has been a snap. All of the hassle and stress of holiday meal preparation is significantly reduced. We can now sit down and enjoy our meal along with the rest of our guest. So for those of you who have never followed a timeline, now is the time to start a tradition. Keep in mind that this is not a solo experience. Holidays are a time for friends and family so make the planning and preparation of any affair an event the family will always remember

Three weeks prior to event:
Gather the family members and together, prepare your guest list.

Two weeks prior to event:

  1. As a family, decide on your menu making sure to include vegetarian and special dietary needs dishes.
  2. Order your fresh turkey, or buy your frozen turkey and put it in the freezer. 
  3. Pick up all beverages.
  4. Shop for non-perishable goods (cranberry sauce, pasta, maple syrup, brown sugar, legumes, etc.)  now, before the rush.
  5. Purchase/make all your dried seasonings and spices i.e. Poultry Seasoning, Pumpkin Spice Mix, etc.  Toss all of last years' seasonings, they are too old . Even if they still smell okay, they can give your dishes a bitter/dirt like taste.

One week prior to event:

  1. Shop for your squashes and root vegetables, such as butternut squash, carrots, potatoes, parsnips and turnips.
  2. Dig out roasters, platters and serving dishes.  Wash and iron linen if needed.
  3. Pull out and clean the cooler to use as a storage chest in order to make more room in your refrigerator. The larger the cooler the better.

Three days prior:

  1. Remove turkey from freezer and defrost it in the refrigerator.
  2. Clean the house with the help of family/household members.

Two days prior:

  1. Make pies, rolls, breads, and cornbread for stuffing. Refrigerate pies; you can always warm things up again before serving.
  2. Make things that can sit for two days in the fridge such as soups and cranberry sauces (think about foods that always taste better a day or so after they are cooked).
  3. Prepare dishes that can be stored in the refrigerator uncooked, i.e. casseroles; squash, candied yams or green bean.

One day prior:

  1. If you ordered a fresh turkey, pick it up.
  2. Buy your greens and perishable vegetables. Wash and cut vegetables place them in plastic bags then refrigerate or place in cooler.
  3. Put ice in cooler (keep it in the plastic bag) and start storing food items.  Just don’t mix meat items with non meat items.  Make sure everything is self contained so that juices do not drip and contaminate other items.  Place cooler in garage or other cool area until you need it the next day.
  4. Do any remaining baking.
  5. Prepare all other vegetables for cooking.  Get all ingredients needed to put your dishes together peeled, cut, diced and sliced.  Store them in containers in the refrigerator or cooler.
  6. Wash, dry and season turkey inside and out with dry seasonings.  Wrap in foil or plastic and refrigerate. Also marinade/season any other meats or fish.
  7. It's easier if you set the table today.
  8. Estimate your cooking time for tomorrow and determine the order you need to cook you dishes in.
  9. Now get a good night sleep. 

Day of the Event:

  1. Prepare stuffing
  2. If you did not do it yesterday, season any other meat (roast/ham) or fish you may be serving.  Then wrap and refrigerate until it’s time to cook.
  3. Boil potatoes and mash them, cook other vegetables.  They can be reheated just before serving.

Cooking time:

  1. Get the turkey/other meats in the oven according to the schedule you determined.
  2. After the turkey is in the oven - if you have completed the rest of the tasks you have time to relax an hour or so.
  3. Just before the turkey's done, begin cooking fresh vegetables, get anything else that needs to go into the oven ready (stuffing, store bought rolls, etc.).
  4. While the cooked turkey is resting: Put a foil tent over the turkey. You have an hour to complete the rest of the food.
  5. Put the stuffing, fish or any casserole not already cooked in the oven now.
  6. Warm whatever needs to be warmed, including mashed potatoes, rolls, soups, and casseroles.
  7. Cook any remaining vegetables.
  8. Make the gravy.
  9. Put all the food on the table or buffet. Have family members assist with filling the glasses, gravy bowl, etc.

You are now ready to chow down! Sit, relax and enjoy yourself feasting on the great meal you just created.