Saturday, November 18, 2006

Pre-Thanksgiving Thanksgiving Dinner at Home

We are going to be in Singapore over Thanksgiving and thus won't be having Thanksgiving dinner this year. So, for that reason and since we hadn't had a dinner pary in a while, we decided to have a bunch of people over for a pre-Thanksgiving Thanksgiving. Giao maintains that Thanksgiving food is bad, and if it weren't, people would eat it more often. And, Alexis actually thinks he's right about some parts (the pumpkin pie, the mashed potatos, the stuffing), so we included other dishes as well.

Black Bean Dip
Alexis had never made this before-it looked disgusting, but tasted pretty good.

-3 cans black beans, drained
-1/2 cup olive oil
-juice of 2 limes
-salt to taste
-2 bell peppers, minced
-3 jalapenos, minced
-8 cloves garlic, minced
-1 onion, minced
-2 handfuls cilantro, chopped

Puree the beans, garlic, olive oil and lime juice to make a smooth paste. Mix in all of the other ingredients.

This is the best hummus recipe of all time. It is packed with garlic.

-1 can garbonzo beans, drained
-1/2 cup olive oil
-juice of 2-3 lemons
-6-8 cloves garlic
-1/4 cup tahini
-salt to taste

Puree all ingredients in the food processor until smooth.

Cheddar and Chive Scones
These savory scones are awesome, and they only take about 1o minutes to put together and 2o minutes to bake.

-3 cups flour
-1 tb baking powder
-1 tb sugar
-2 ts salt
-1/2 cup chives, finely chopped
-2 cups grated cheddar
-2 cups heavy cream

Combine the dry ingredients. Mix in the cheese and chives. Add the cream and stir until a dough forms. You may need to add a little more cream to get a dough to form. Put the dough on a floured surface and knead a several times, until the dough is smooth. Separate the dough into 2 parts and form each into a disc about 1 in thick. Cut each disc into 8 trianuglar pieces. Spread out the pieces on a large, greased cookie sheet and bake on 400 for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

Butternut Squash Soup
An old stand-by.

A Thanksgiving Feast
Recipes below.

Miso Rubbed Roast Turkey
-1 stick butter
-1/4 cup miso
-1 turkey

Combine miso and butter thoroughly and rub both under and over the skin of the turkey. Roast on 350 until the internal temperature of the bird is 165. Remove from oven and let rest for at least 30 minutes before carving.

Roasted Vegetables
-3 large turnips, cubed
-30 pearl onions, peeled
-8 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
-1 head garlic, cloves peeled
-salt and pepper to taste
-1 can chicken broth

Season the veggies and place them under the bird with the can of chicken stock. When bird is done, drain the excess drippings and broth and reserve for gravy.

-pan drippings
-1 handful flour
-salt and pepper to taste

Pour the pan drippings and perhaps a bit of chicken broth in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and add a bit of flour at a time until the desired thickness has been reached. Remember that as the gravy cools it will get thicker. Season.

Sausage-Sourdough Stuffing
-1 loaf sourdough, cubed
-6 sausages
-8 stalks celery, diced
-3 carrots, peeled and diced
-2 onions, diced
-4 eggs, lightly beaten
-1 can chicken broth
-salt and pepper to taste
-1 handful fresh thyme leaves

Remove sausage from casings and sautee until browned, breaking up the sausage into small bits while cooking. Remove the sausage from the pan. In the same pan sautee the onions, carrot and celery until translucent. Pour the egg and broth on the bread and stir to coat. Add the sausage, thyme and veggies to the bread mixture. Spead the mixture in a large baking pan bake on 350 for 30-45 minutes, until crust is nice and brown.

Cheesy Cauliflour Puree

Mashed Potatos
-3 lbs red potatos, boiled until fork tender
-1 cup heavy cream
-1 stick butter
-salt and pepper to taste

Mash the boiled potatos (skin still on) and then add the cream, butter, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.

Brussel Sprouts with Bacon

Cranberry Sauce
-1 package cranberries
-juice and zest of 1 orange
-1 tb fennel seeds, crushed
-1/2 cup sugar

Combine all ingredients and cook over low heat until the cranberries burst and a thick sauce is formed.

Dinner Rolls
This is Alexis' mom's recipe, courtesy of someone she once knew...
-1 pint milk
-1 egg, beaten
-1/2 cup butter
-1/3 cup sugar
-1 package yeast
-1/4 cup warm water
-1 and 1/2 ts salt
-1/2 ts baking soda
-1 ts baking powder
-flour (there is no predetermined amount, read recipe below)

Scald the milk and remove the film from the top. Add the butter and the sugar to the milk and stir to dissolve. When milk is cool to the touch, add the egg and stir to combine. Dissolve the yeast in the warm water, wait 10 minutes, and add it to the mixture. Then add enough flour to make a thin batter. Let this rise on the counter, uncovered, for 2 hours. Add the salt, baking powder, the baking soda and enough flour to make a stiff dough. Knead the dough on a floured surface until smooth. Put the dough in a greased bowl, cover with a damp cloth and store in the refridgerator for 24 hours before using. Pull off small pieces of dough, roll into balls and place in a greased muffin tin. Bake at 450 for 10 minutes, or until golden brown.

Chocolate Pecan Pie
This is more decadent than plain pecan pie and always a crowd pleaser.

Pie Crust
This is the standar crust that Alexis uses for everything from quiche to tarts to pies. It is very easy and freezes well.
-1 cup flour
-1 stick butter, cold and chopped into pieces
-enough water to form a dough

Integrate the butter into the flour with your fingers until the mixture resembles cornmeal. Add water, 1 tb at a time, until you can form the dough into a ball. In the summer you may need no water, in the winter you need the most. Press the dough into a pie pan or freeze for 10 minutes and then roll out the dough. Pre-bake on 400 for about 10 minutes before adding any pie filling.

Chocolate Pecan Pie
-1 recipe pie crust
-1 cup pecans
-1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
-4 eggs, beaten
-1/2 cup sugar
-1/2 cup brown sugar
-1/2 cup light corn syrup
-1/2 ts vanilla extract
-1 pinch salt

Combine the sugars, corn syrup, vanilla, salt and eggs. Stir in the pecans and chocolate chips. Pour into a partially baked pie shell and bake on 375 for 45-50 minutes.

Pumpkin Pie
Neither of us like pumpkin pie, but it is a Thanksgiving classic, so we made it. It turns out other people don't really like pumpkin pie all that much either.

-1 recipe pie crust
-15 oz unsweetened pumpkin puree
-3/4 cup packed brown sugar
-2 ts each ground ginger and cinnamon
-1 ts nutmeg
-1/2 ts salt
-1 and 1/3 cup half and half
-3 eggs, beaten
-1 ts vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients and pour into partially baked pie shell. Bake at 375 for 1 hour.

Apple Pie
Apple pie is Giao's favorite dessert, and Alexis finally baked one he liked. Unfortunately this time she didn't like it because it was not sour enough, which was precisely the reason Giao didn't like the previous attempts.

-2 recipes pie crust
-5 apples, peeled and sliced
-1/4 cup sugar
-1 tb cinnamon
-1 pinch salt

Sprinkle the salt, sugar and cinnamon over the apples and toss. Pour the apples into a partially bakes pie shell. Roll out the other pie crust and place it on top of the apples. Pinch around the edges to seal. Poke the top with a fork to let out the steam. Brush the top crust with egg wash. Bake on 375 for 1 hour, or until the apples are bubbly and the crust is browned.

Pumpkin Cranberry Bread
We had leftover pumpkin from the pie and leftover cranberries from the cranberry sauce, we Alexis made a quick-bread that was very tasty.

-1 cup pumpkin puree
-2 cups flour
-1 cup cranberries, chopped
-1 cup sugar
-2/3 cup molasses
-1/2 ts salt
-2 eggs, beaten
-2 ts baking powder
-1 ts ginger
-1 ts nutmeg

Mix all ingredients thoroughly and bake on 375 until a toothpick comes out clean in a greased and floured bundt pan for approx 30-40 mins.

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Brunch at Home

Leftover Chicken Noodle Soup

Low Carb Quesodilla

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Friday, November 17, 2006

Dinner at Home

Leftover Chicken Noodle Soup.

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Lunch from Mehfil Indian, San Francisco, CAb

Alexis had saag paneer and chicken mahkni and forgot to take a picture, but since she's taken dozens of pictures of this meal, doesn't feel too bad about forgetting.

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Lunch at Work

Leftover Pad Thai.

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Breakfast at Home

Quick Breakfast Burrito
Scrambled eggs and cheese in a low carb tortilla.

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Thursday, November 16, 2006

Dinner at Home

Low Carb Quesodilla
Pan fried quesodillas made with low carb tortillas that actually taste pretty good.

Chicken Noodle Soup
Alexis still wasn't feeling all that well so she made some chicken soup with odds and ends left in the fridge. It actually ended up being quite tasty. The kelp noodles work really well in this preparation and taste a lot like mung bean/cellophane noodles.

-5 baby bok choy, diced
-2 carrots, peeled and diced
-1/2 onion, diced
-2 cups chopped rotisserie chicken
-1 package kelp noodles
-4 cans chicken broth
-pepper to taste

In the bottom of a soup pot sautee the onions and the carrots until slightly carmelized. Add the stock and the kelp noodles and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and and simmer until the carrots are tender. Add the bok choy and simmer until tender. Add the chicken and simmer just until the chicken is heated through. Serve.

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Lunch at San Francisco Soup Company, San Francisco, CA

Alexis wasn't feeling well, so we went out for soup...

Split Pea $5
Flavorless and gritty.

Turkey Chili $5
One dimensional, but better than the split pea.

Food: 0
Decor: 0
Service: NA (counter)
Health Code Violations

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Breakfast at Home

Bacon and Fried Egg.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Dinner at Home

Steamed Baby Bok Choy with Ponzu Sauce
A very simple side.

-1 part water
-1 part soy
-a bit of Splenda (to taste)

Rotisserie Chicken
Straight from Costco, can't beat the price ($4.65) or the taste.

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Lunch at Work

Leftover Pad Thai.


Breakfast at Home

Bacon and Fried Egg.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Dinner at Home

Pad Thai
Not entirely traditional, but tasty nonetheless.

-1 package bean sprouts
-4 packages fettucini style shirataki noodles
-5 scallions, chopped
-4 eggs
-1 block firm tofu, cubed
-1 lb shrimp
-1/2 cup peanuts, chopped
-1 large handful basil, chopped
-3 tb rice vinegar
-2 tb rice wine
-3 tb soy sauce
-2 tb oyster sauce
-2 tb hoisin sauce
-2 tb chili garlic sauce
-10 cloves garlic, minced
-1 lime, cut in wedges

Mix the vinegar, rice wine, hoisin, and chili garlic sauce and marinate the tofu cubes in the mixture. Drain the marinade and reserve for later. Fry up the tofu until crisp and set aside.
Boil the noodles for 2 minutes, drain and set aside. Beat the eggs and make a very thin omelette. Cut into strips and set aside. Sautee the shrimp in the oyster sauce until almost done and set aside. Sautee the garlic in a large pan. Add the leftover marinade and the noodles to the pan and sautee until noodles are full coated. Add the tofu, the omelette strips, the shrimp, the bean sprouts and the peanuts and stir. Garnish with lime and basil.

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Lunch at Work

Leftover Chicken Parmasean, Bitter Greens (Alexis), Quiche and Salad (Giao).

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Breakfast at Home

Bacon and Fried Egg.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Dinner at Home

Bitter Greens with Garlic
I'm not sure what kind of greens these are--I bought them at the Sunset Super and didn't check what they were called. However, sauteed in garlic and olive oil and brightened up with a bit of lemon juice they are quite satisfying.

Non-Breaded Chicken Parmasean
This version is made with homemade marinara sauce and lots of cheese and the chicken is not breaded.

-6 chicken breasts
-1/2 cup parmasean
-1/2 cup cheddar

-2 cans diced tomatos
-1/2 onion, diced
-8 cloves garlic, peeled
-1 handful fresh basil
-1 ts each marjoram, pepper, parsley and oregano.

Sautee the onions and garlic until slightly browned. Add the rest of the ingredients, cover and simmer for 20 minutes or so. Puree with an immersion blender and season with salt.

Arrange the chicken breasts in a baking dish. Pour the tomato sauce on top, spreading evenly. Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the top. Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes on 375. Remove the foil and bake for 5 more minutes, until the cheese is bubbly and browned.

Fresh Watermelon

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Lunch at Work

Crustless Bacon and Carmelized Onion Quiche
Quiche can easily be made low carb by omitting the crust and baking in greased muffin pans.

-6 eggs
-1 and 1/2 cups cream
-2 cups grated cheese
-4 strips bacon, cut into lardons and fried
-1 onion, diced
-salt and pepper to taste

Fry the bacon and onions until crisp. Drain the fat. Mix the eggs, cream and cheese. Stir in the bacon and onions and season the mixture with salt and pepper. Ladel into greased muffin tins and bake on 375 for about 30 minutes, or until browned on top.

Tomato, Cucumber and Marinated Artichoke Heart Salad
This simple salad was dressed with olive oil and balsamic.

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Breakfast at Home

Bacon and Fried Egg.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Dinner at Home

Seared Scallops with Lemon Zest and Mint and Pea Shoots with Garlic
Healthy and delicious. The scallops were simply seasoned with salt and pepper, seared for about a minute over high heat on each side and then topped with lemon zest and fresh, chopped mint.

Pea Shoots with Garlic
-1 lb pea shoots
-1 head garlic, peeled and minced
-2 tb rice wine
-juice of 1 lemon
-salt and pepper to taste

Sautee the garlic over medium heat in a bit of olive oil until just beginning to brown. Add the pea shoots and the rice wine, stir and cover. When shoots have reduced in volume remove cover and continue stirring over medium heat until tender. Add lemon juice and serve.

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BBQ in San Mateo, CA

We went down south for a BBQ at a friend's house this afternoon and ate a wide variety of grilled meats.

Not sure what kind of sausage this was , but it was good.

Korean Style BBQ Short Ribs
These were our contibution. Click here for the marinade recipe.

Bunless Burger
Standard burger.

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