Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Our Thanksgiving Menu 2011

Thanksgiving Menu 2011


12-hour brined Organic Free-Range Turkey (me)

HAM (my cousin)


(SIL #3)

CASSEROLES Green Bean, Potato Cheese & Sweet Potato (SIL #1)


CORNBREAD with Whipped Honey Butter
7-CHEESE MAC & CHEESE featuring Sharp Yellow Cheddar, Extra-Sharp White Cheddar, Mozzarella, Asiago, Gruyere, Monterey Jack, Muenster


PUMPKIN CAKE (my cousin)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Ancho-Marinated Skirt Steak With Warm Black Bean Salad

I made this delicious dish from Sunset's October 2011 issue. And enjoyed it with the rest of the bottle of Syrah used in the marinade. It was really, really, yummy! You can find the recipe from Sunset here. But I've also included it here (in case).


  • 1/2 cup Syrah or other dry red wine
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar, divided
  • About 6 tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic, divided
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 tsp. pepper
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin, divided
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano leaves
  • 1 tablespoon ground dried ancho chiles or chili powder
  • skirt steak (about 1 1/2 lbs.)
  • fresh poblano chiles (sometimes labeled pasilla)
  • large sweet onion, chopped
  • cans black beans (15 oz. each), drained and rinsed
  • large red pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into 1/2-in. chunks
  • 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • About 3 green onions, sliced (including green tops)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro


  • 1. Combine wine, 1/4 cup each vinegar and oil, 1 tbsp. each garlic and pepper, 1 tsp. each salt and cumin, the oregano, and ground chiles in a large, plastic food bag. If steak is in 1 long piece, cut in half crosswise; rinse, add to bag, seal, and turn to coat. Chill at least 4 hours or up to 1 day.
  • 2. Preheat broiler. Halve, stem, and seed the poblanos. Lay skin side up on a baking sheet and broil 4 inches from heat until well charred, 6 to 7 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes, then peel and coarsely chop.
  • 3. Heat grill to high (450° to 550°). In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, sauté onion and remaining 1 tbsp. garlic in 2 tbsp. oil until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in beans and remaining 1/4 cup vinegar and 1 tsp. each pepper, salt, and cumin; turn heat to low.
  • 4. Oil cooking grate well. Lift steak from marinade (discard marinade) and grill, turning once, until browned on both sides but still pink in the center (cut to test), 7 to 10 minutes total. Transfer to a board and let rest at least 5 minutes.
  • 5. Meanwhile, add poblanos, red pepper, tomatoes, 3 green onions, and cilantro to bean mixture, and stir occasionally until warm. Slice steak on the diagonal across the grain and serve on warm bean salad. Garnish with more green onions if you like.

Bean Salad (I used golden cherry tomatoes instead of red ones. I like the colors)

And here's dinner for two:

I thought the flavors in the dish were really good and actually had a lot of the bean salad left over, which I loved. I added the bean salad the next day for breakfast in an omelet and as a salad for lunch. Success!

Pumpkin Gingersnap Ice Cream

Who knew Tuesday would be such a culinary delight-ful day!

Again, this recipe is from the October 2011 Sunset issue. You can find the recipe here.

Do you see those little speckles? They are speckles of goodness (gingersnap cookies).

1 pt. whipping cream
1/2 cup milk
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup Homemade Pumpkin Purée
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup coarsely crushed gingersnaps
2 tablespoons bourbon (optional)

1. Whisk all ingredients except gingersnaps and bourbon in a bowl to blend. Strain into an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer's directions. (I actually skipped this part...oops. Hey, working from home and cooking at the same time can be distracting...but luckily it wasn't too much of an error. I'll be sure to strain it next time I make this, and I *will* make this again)
2. Scrape ice cream into a bowl and stir in gingersnaps and bourbon. Freeze, covered, until scoopable, 2 1/2 hours and up to 1 week (gingersnaps soften somewhat after 1 day).

Added to the milk & cream:

All blended together:

The ice cream maker does it's magic, and into the freezer for a couple hours:

And then, this goodness can be enjoyed!