Sunday, November 23, 2014

Buttermilk Turkey Gravy over Mashed Potato Biscuits

 was compensated to create this holiday leftover recipe post for Faberware's #SeasonstoCelebrate. all opinions and experiences are my own. 

The holiday season kicks off this week with Thanksgiving and that will leave many of us with the need for some delicious new ways to use up our leftovers. This Buttermilk Turkey Gravy over Mashed Potato Biscuits is a great way to enjoy a breakfast or brunch with all the trimmings the following day.

I am so excited for our family meal and all week I will be prepping and preparing for the main event. But what about after the dinner?

Usually everyone goes home with a healthy dose of leftover turkey meat, some mashed potatoes and any gravy that lasts being passed around the table all night. But the dishes stripped down from their serving platters and bowls just aren't as excited as they were the day before.

So I will be grabbing my Farberware Dishwasher Safe Nonstick 15-Piece Set in red to whip up this play on biscuits and gravy for my family again after the holidays.

This set will come in handy for all your after holiday cooking because the aluminum cookware heats evenly, rubberized handles stay cool to the touch while cooking and Teflon nonstick coating makes cooking and clean up a breeze! 

To get started I made the biscuits. 

I love making biscuits because they are simple. Just keep all your ingredients cold, including the mashed potatoes and you are good. These biscuits really are best when made with leftover cold potatoes from the previous day.

The only tools I use for making my biscuits are my pastry cutter and a spatula. Less really is more here because good biscuits don't require a lot of fuss or kneading. Just bring everything together to cut them out.

Since I was already using buttermilk for my gravy, I went ahead and brushed the top of my biscuits with it as well. It gives them a nice golden brown color on top. The Farberware 9"x 13" cookie pan came in handy for baking these and my biscuits slid right off after baking.

In my 10" skillet I sweated down the onions and mushrooms for the gravy. The Teflon Nonstick coating was easy to work with and meant I wasn't scraping bits of burned onion off the bottom of my pan.

The set also came with 5 nylon utensils, including this whisk so I could whisk my gravy without worrying about scratching the bottom of the pan. 

I was able to create beautifully creamy gravy, free of pesky lumps, and not a scratch on my new pans.

To finish my dish I topped it with a poached egg. I really enjoy the richness that a perfectly poached yolk adds to a meal like this. It paired very nicely with the turkey gravy and biscuits.

The 2-Quart Saucepan was perfect for doing multiple eggs at the same time. Don't forget to add a little vinegar to your simmering water for the perfect poached egg! 

My husband is a big biscuits and gravy fan, but I really did prefer this lighter buttermilk turkey gravy. It was still big on flavor, but wasn't as heavy as the other.

I developed this recipe, my spin on traditional holiday leftovers, for Farberware and you can get the complete recipe on the Farberware Cookware site. I hope you will head over to check it out, Pin it, print it and use it with your family.

Giveaway Time!!

One lucky Adventures in All Things Food reader will win their very own Farberware Dishwasher Safe Nonstick 15-Piece in your choice of color (Black, Red or Champagne). Enter on the Rafflecopter widget below and pick and choose how you want to enter. Be sure to come back and tweet daily and check out all the #SeasonstoCelebrate recipes to enjoy with your family. Open to the U.S., must be 18 years or older.

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Friday, November 21, 2014

Festive Avocado Cucumber Bites

 I received a selection of Crisp tools for this review.  A positive review was not required and all opinions and experiences are my own. 

During the holiday season one of the most handy things to have is a few good appetizer recipes. Whether you have guests coming over or get invited to a party, you will probably need at least one signature, finger-friendly treat.

I wanted to make something a little lighter this year.

These little Festive Avocado Cucumber Bites were perfect. Easy to make, fresh and healthy, they won't leave you feeling guilty about grabbing more than one.

And for more fabulous appetizer recipes, check out all six from our our talented blogger. Pin them, leave a little comment love and get some new fun ideas for your holiday appetizers this year.

Busy-at-Home : Cucumber Tomato Bites with Herb and Parmesan Cream Cheese

Flour on My Face: Phyllo Apple Cranberry Bites

Adventures in All Things Food: Festive Avocado Cucumber Bites

Daily Dish Recipes: Baked Brie Bites with Olives and Roasted Garlic

Will Cook for Smiles: Southwest Chili Dip

The Gunny Sack: Spinach Artichoke Bites

Okay, I am so excited to introduce you to this week's sponsor, Crisp. This was my first time using their tools, but I was no stranger to their quality. I have been using their children's tools, Curious Chef, with is another Tailor Made Products, Inc. brand of kitchen tools.

Actually, for years I have been joking that I might just buy myself a set of Curious Chef kitchenware. Now there is a line just for me, Crisp.

Same sturdy construction, clean lines and usefulness. Great kitchen tools and they come at affordable prices. Yes, these are tools for healthy eating. And this appetizer, Festive Avocado Cucumber Bites, was the perfect match for my new Crisp tools.

I selected several tools that I either had wanted for a while or needed to replace in my current kitchen drawer. From the versatile melon baller to the herb mincer I have been using these tools daily for fruit and vegetable prep and I plan to add more pieces from the Crisp collection in the future.

For this particular recipe I used both the avocado tool and the straight peeler from Crisp. Be sure to check out the brand's Crisp Cooking Pinterest account for more great dishes you can create with their line of kitchenware.

I have gone through several avocado slicers, but this is the first tool that I have seen that also includes a slicer and pit remover, making it extra versatile. If you enjoy eating avocados, you will want one of these.

It also did a great job slicing my ripe avocados. The wire was strong enough not to bend or give as I sliced.

And the peeler was perfect for taking off the outside of the cucumber. It didn't take off too much of the soft inner flesh of my English cucumber. Just the peel.

I appreciate that.

Once the avocados are sliced, then I added them to a bowl with lime juice, cumin, salt and onion power. All mashed up, I diced up and added a  red bell pepper for a little extra color.

After peeling the English cucumber I sliced it in thick, but bite-sized pieces. With a small melon baller, I scooped out the center to create a little cup for my avocado filling.

Spoon a little filling into each cucumber bite and you are good to go.

Full of healthy fats and fresh, light veggies, this appetizer will keep everyone happy and guilt-free.

Festive Avocado Cucumber Bites

You Will Need:
  • 2 English Cucumbers
  • 1 large ripe hass avocado
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. salt + more as needed to taste
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced

Slice off the pointed ends of the English cucumber. Peel and slice each into roughly 12 equal slices. Scoop out the center with a melon baller to create a cup. 

In a medium bowl combine the ripe avocado, lime juice, cumin and salt to taste. Mash until creamy. Stir in the bell pepper and scoop into cucumber cups. 

Serve immediately.

And, let's not forget the Giveaway! 

Would you like to try out Crisp tools for yourself?... Well, Crisp would like you to put them to the test in your own kitchen.  You could make these simple Festive Avocado Cucumber Bites for your family as well as any of the other recipes listed above... or come up with a new delicious dish yourself! Good luck.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A Simple Twist for Delicious Party Food - Chipotle Stuffed Mushrooms

This holiday party recipes shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions and experiences are mine alone. #SeasonedGreetings #CollectiveBias

Since moving back to town several years ago, my husband's aunt has thrown a pre-holiday party like no other. With half the town dropping by for a full day of mingling and delicious party food, I have one go-to dish that gets requested every year... my stuffed mushrooms. 

Now, imagine a house with almost every surface covered by crock-pots, platters and trays. From dips to meatballs and cookies galore, it is hard to stand out with so many options to choose from. 

One year I made the mistake of taking spinach balls to the party, I wanted to try out different holiday party recipes, but they weren't greeted with the same enthusiasm. No, I am known for my stuffed mushrooms and rarely does my tray even make it to a table. I usually hand it over to the host at the door, and by the time the tray makes it's way to the kitchen, it is usually empty. But after 5 years of stuffed mushrooms, I was ready to tweak the recipe and add just a little more flavor to those scrumptious little bites of sausage and cheese goodness.

So I headed to my local Walmart.

I ended up deciding to try out a few different flavors of Tabasco. I ended up getting Tabasco Original Red, JalapeƱo, and Chipotle flavored sauces.

My husband is by far my biggest critic. Especially when it comes to revamping recipes. When I mentioned I was going to add Tabasco to my mushrooms to change up the flavor, he was skeptical. When I decided to go with the smokey and savory note of Chipotle flavored Tabasco sauce, he was worried about how that would alter the rich cream cheese and Parmesan flavors.

Oh ye of little faith! 

Truth be told, I love original Tabasco sauce and often add it to dishes that he doesn't even know about. It is a great way to bump up the flavor without adding a whole bunch of other ingredients or salt. It has become one of my favorite recipe secret weapons.

So I assembled my ingredients, adding in panko bread crumbs for texture.

This recipe starts by browning up 8 ounces of pork sausage.

While that browns up and makes me house smell amazing, I start prepping the mushrooms. I usually give them a quick rub to knock off any excess dirt and then gently remove the mushroom stems. I like to save these for cream of mushroom soup, but will put some back in with the onions, diced, to cook down for the filling.

Then I sweat down the yellow onion, minced garlic and those mushroom caps.

In a large bowl I mix together softened cream cheese, 1 egg yolk, Parmesan cheese and the slightly cooled sausage,  and onion mixture.

Then comes the fun part. I don't need to season this dish much because the Tabasco brings all the flavor I need to the party. I put about 7 dashes in the filling mixture. You can smell the smokey Chipotle sauce.

Then take those beautiful mushroom caps in hand...

...and cram as much of that glorious filling inside that you possibly can. 

Top with a little more finely shredded Parmesan cheese and place on a lined baking dish to bake for about 30 - 40 minutes depending on the size of your mushrooms.

They should be softened, warmed through and golden brown on top.

The real test was the first bite... and boy, oh boy! I am not sure how these stuffed mushrooms were ever complete without Tabasco sauce. My husband was shocked that they weren't "spicy". 

Yes, now this recipe might just be a whole lot better than the original. This year I better make two trays to take to the party! Maybe that way I will get to eat one, myself.

Chipotle Stuffed Mushrooms

You Will Need:
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 8 oz. natural pork sausage
  • 24 oz. of button mushrooms
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced finely
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 c. panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3/4 c. Parmesan cheese finely grated
  • 8 dashes of Chipotle flavored Tabasco sauce (or more depending on taste)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Heat 1 tsp. olive oil in a large skillet. Brown the sausage and set aside to drain.

Clean the mushrooms with a dry towel. Remove stems and set aside.

In the same skillet, saute the garlic, onions and 1/4 cup chopped mushroom stems till soft. Cool slightly before adding to a large bowl with the sausage and remaining ingredients. Stir to combine.

Fill each mushroom cap with filling and top with a little more Parmesan cheese. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the mushrooms are softened and the filling has turned golden brown. 

Plate and serve immediately. Enjoy! 

Do you have any holiday parties coming up? Could Tabasco help add a twist to your seasonal favorites?

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Sunday, November 16, 2014

"Leap into Gaming" with LeapFrog LeapTV

I received free products in order to host the LeapFrog sponsored MommyParty. The opinions expressed here are my own. #LeapTV #MommyParties

Oregon is known for it's wet weather, dark Winters and annual feelings of cabin fever have already started to appear. It is hard to keep kids, young kids especially, moving and active during the darker, colder months. So our LeapFrog LeapTV was a welcome addition to a rainy weekend and we even had friends over to share the fun!

If you have ever tried using a gaming system with young children, it can be a challenge, especially to find something where they can understand the instructions (often written) and can stay engaged at their learning level.

So what is LeapTV?

Take a game that is focused on kids, with sports, characters and activities that kids enjoy, give it an easy to use controller and then mix in basic learning lessons in a fun way. While my Kindergarten age daughter played the dance game, she also worked on forming compound words, and picking out the "striped fruit" on the screen or the "longest fruit".

My favorite part is the kids can be active while learning and playing interactive games! Targeted for kids ages 3-8, there are currently 9 cartridge games to choose from and 100+ games and videos available by year-end.

Our LeapTV system came with a console, motion-sensing camera so the players can see them selves on the screen, a transforming controller, power adapter, HDMI cable and a camera mount so the camera could be placed on top of our TV.

We were also sent 2 games to try; LeapFrog Sports and LeapFrog Dance & Learn.

Set up was easy. In fact, my husband was thrilled that most of the account set-up could be done on his smart phone. We didn't have to do any awkward typing with the controller or have to find a computer to finish set-up. The easy-to-follow instructions had us go from box to playing in just a few minutes.

The transforming controller can go from a classic hand-held controller for easy button reach and finger toggle to a pointer with both ends stretched out.

Even better, for the dance games, only body movement is necessary, so younger kids can push buttons and select fruit without having to worry about selecting the correct button.

Another feature I loved was that beginning readers were given verbal cues and help, so no one at our party was left out. This is exactly the type of gaming program I have searched for for years. True story, my oldest has always wanted to play on family game nights, but when he was younger it was frustrating that there wasn't an age appropriate system. Luckily, now there is!

One aspect the kids really enjoyed was being able to watch themselves on the screen. Our only issue was for a larger party kids behind the camera had to remain still or they could could interfere with some of the actions. We ended up placing our small chairs around the sides of the room so our guests could take turns in the fun.

From soaring around and flapping their wings... creating compound words for real things...

"The sun did not shine.
It was too wet to play.
So we sat in the house
All that cold, cold, wet day."
- Dr. Seuss

...well, until these Oregonians got their LeapTV and made the most of their blustery day!

Check out a video of some of the fun. LeapFrog LeapTV

You can pick up your own #LeapTV in time for Christmas, along with various games. Look for them wherever other LeapFrog products are sold. 

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Friday, November 14, 2014

Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Beet Slaw with Pancetta

 I received a set of O Olive Oil to facilitate this review.  A positive review was not required and all opinions and experiences are my own. 

One of my favorite winter vegetables is the lowly Brussels sprout.

I know. I mention this casually and people make that face. They try not to show disdain, but a childhood of smelly Brussels sprouts is hard to push down. No, I do not like them boiled, I am not even fond of them steamed, but roasted... well, that is utter perfection!

I wanted to include a hearty and seasonal side for this Progressive Dinner that would satisfy even the pickiest person in my family. I served this as a test to my husband, who practically licked his plate clean and went back for seconds. Yes, it was a grand success. It is a lovely combination of sweet and earthy flavors, topped with a crunchy pancetta and then kissed with a lovely Meyer Lemon Olive Oil to finish it.

Yes, what really brings all these flavors together is the O Olive Oil.

Now, before I jump into this week's amazing sponsor, I wanted to give you the full scoop on what everyone has prepared for you today. Be sure to hop around and pin these recipes for your next holiday gathering.

From my fellow bloggers we have:

Busy-at-Home : Creamy Garlic Mashed Faux-Tatoes with Parmesan

Daily Dish Recipes: Garlic Roasted Asparagus with Cranberries and Almonds

Flour on My Face: Broccoli Casserole

Will Cook for Smiles: Cranberry Stuffing

The Gunny Sack: Blooming Sweet Potato

Adventures in All Things Food: Warm Beet and Brussels Sprout Slaw

Have you ever tried O Olive Oil?

They have an amazing selection of artisanal oils and vinegars to add that special touch to any dish you make. Based in California, they harness the warm sun and rich soil for their vinegar and bring delicious and creative olive oils to the table. Yes, these are high quality ingredients crafted in the USA, and I always love to support family farmers and the quality they bring to the food they grow. 

Never infused or flavored, these oils are the real thing. They are pressed with the fruits, garlic, etc. so the flavor permeates the product.

The vinegars are hand-crafted, on batch at a time, with a range of beautiful balsamics and premium wine vinegars that begin with the best Sonoma, California grapes.

Looking for inspiration? O Olive Oils have great recipes and ideas on their site for how to enjoy their oils and vinegars. These are high quality finishing oils, not intended for the cooking process, they top salads, go in marinades or other dishes to bring your recipes to an whole new level. I plan to try them all out on my favorite vegetables and salads to get me through the Winter eating blahs. 

And O has partnered up with Martha Stewart's Cooking School, so you know it has to be a high quality product. Even the 

This really is a simple recipe. It starts with some delicious Winter treats... beets, Brussels sprouts, pancetta and shallots. The sweetness is brought out by roasting them. Then the whole dish is brightened and brought together with the flavors of Meyer Lemons and California Mission Olives.

My favorite way to enjoy beets is roasted. Nothing special. Just a little olive oil, kosher salt and time. 

Instead of the way I usually roast my Brussels sprouts, sliced in half, I sliced each sprout thin. Go ahead and break out the mandolin if you have one for even slicing. Don't go too thin... you want them to stand up to roasting.

I put both the Brussels sprouts and thinly sliced shallots into the oven till they caramelized. All tossed together it is a colorful dish. To finish it off, I crisped up the pancetta and then drizzled the dish with O Olive Oil

Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Beet Slaw with Pancetta 

You Will Need:
  • 2 roasted beets, peels rubbed off and cubed
  • 2 lbs. Brussels sprouts
  • 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 shallots, diced thin
  • 4 oz. Pancetta, small cubes
  • O Olive Oil with California Mission Olives and Organic Meyer Lemons
Start by slicing the Brussels sprouts into thin even slices. Toss with kosher salt, olive oil and sliced shallots. Roast at 425 degrees for 8 minutes, then turn and roast for an additional 6-8 minutes.

Crisp up the pancetta in a skillet and place on a paper towel to drain. Sprinkle the sprouts with pancetta and drizzle with O Olive Oil to finish off the dish.

Serve while warm and enjoy! 

And, let's not forget the Giveaway! 

Would you like to try out O Olive Oils for yourself?... Well, O Olive Oil would like you to try out their olive oils and vinegar, too. You could make this Warm Beet and Brussels Sprout Slaw as well as any of the other recipes listed here... or come up with a new delicious dish yourself! Good luck.

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