Monday, November 23, 2015

Thanksgiving Recipe Round-up

This week is one of the biggest food holidays of the year, Thanksgiving. And since Thanksgiving is all about sharing, I asked some of my foodie friends to share some of their Thanksgiving recipes so I can share them with you.

Because we all are a little a lot stressed around this time of year. And trying to find a recipe to take to your significant others mom’s home for the big day that will WOW everyone at the table is mind boggling on top of all the other stresses, like trying to decide what shoes to wear with your outfit! I mean really, should you wear heels, flats, or boots?

Plus, you have to decide how to wear your hair and then your boyfriend (significant other) announces he has "volunteered" you to make what?!? When?!? And for how many people?!? What time are we supposed to be there?!?

Oh the joys of family gatherings during the holidays!

No need to freak out because we have you covered. There's a recipe for cranberry salad, stuffing/dressing, dinner rolls, drinks, and everyone's favorite, dessert.

So sit back, pour yourself a glass (or two) of wine, relax, and tell your hubby you've got it covered.

Now if only you can decide what shoes to wear?

1.) Smoked Bourbon Gravy | Vindulge
Mary teaches you how you can get the taste of smoked gravy without ever smoking your bird.

2.)  Fall Harvest Stuffing | Baking in a Tornado
Karen shares with us her Fall Harvest Stuffing made with a smoky cornbread. Are you noticing a trend here? This stuffing mixed with the smoked gravy sounds delicious!

Another traditional side dish for Thanksgiving is potatoes. And you might see these spuds prepared in many different ways including mashed, au gratin, and sweet potatoes.

3.) Gratin Dauphinois | Mon Petit Four
Beeta shares with us a French version of potatoes, Gratin Dauphinois. Now don't let the fancy French name scare you away as these are easy to make and so worth it! This dish consists of potato slices that are layered with cream and gruyere cheese before they're baked. The cheese forms a crispy layer with creamy, tender potatoes underneath. Those French definitely do know how to cook!

4.) Potatoes Au Gratin with Creamy Jalapeno Sauce | Living Sweet Moments
As if those didn't have your mouth watering yet for the big day to come, Tiffany spices things up a bit with her Potatoes Au Gratin with Creamy Jalapeno Sauce. Mmm, y'all know how I love Mexican foods!

5.) Coconut Sweet Potatoes | Sweet and Spicy Monkey
Who can forget these from last year? A taste of the tropics mixed in with classic Thanksgiving flavors.

6.) Tamale and Cornbread Dressing with Chorizo | This is How I Cook
Another Mexican inspired recipe for Thanksgiving is this Tamale and Cornbread Dressing with Chorizo by Abbe.

7.) Biscuit and Cornbread Dressing | Chattavore
Mary brings us back to the states, down South to be exact, with this Biscuit and Cornbread Dressing. Thank you m'aam!

8.) Ricotta Filled Cornbread recipe | Living Sweet Moments
Tiffany combines buttermilk and ricotta cheese in a cornbread that is based on a traditional Jewish dish called "malay". It's a mixture of sweet, savory, while bursting with flavors.

9.) Apricot and Almond Stuffing | The Hungary Buddha
A Middle Eastern inspired stuffing that's packed full of flavors.

10.) Homemade Dinner Rolls | Living Sweet Moments
Here Tiffany shares her recipe with a tutorial so even the most amateur baker can have these light, fluffy dinner rolls on their Thanksgiving table this year.

No Thanksgiving table is complete without the cranberry sauce. I'm sharing with y'all four different ways you can enjoy this seasonal berry.

11.) Crazy Easy Fresh Cranberry Sauce | Full Belly Sisters
A few wonderful fresh ingredients and you have yourself a show stopping side dish!

12.)  Greek Yogurt Cornbread Cranberry Trifle | Full Belly Sisters
Such an easy dessert to make, yet so elegant looking.

13.)  Frozen Cranberry Salad | This is How I Cook
A frozen mixture of cream cheese, Cool Whip, cranberries, pineapple, and walnuts. Yes, please!

14.)  Cranberry Cherry Sauce | Sweet and Spicy Monkey
Made with red wine. Just another excuse to open up a bottle of wine!

15.) Pomegranate Sparkling Sangria with Asian Pear | Diary of a Mad Hausfrau
Start your Thanksgiving Day guests off with this festive drink for a merrier celebration.

16.)  Harvest Salad | Sweet and Spicy Monkey
A variety of autumn vegetables and fruits combined for a healthy and flavorful dish. Perfect for all vegans any time of the year!

17.) Lebanese Spiced Squash with Roasted Fennel Salad | The Hungary Buddha
Acorn squash with the flavors of za' atar seasonings.

18.) Pecan Pie | Platter Talk
Dan shares a recipe that's been in his family for decades. A traditional recipe that's not only delicious, but holds many memories and hope for more!

19.) Maple Pecan Cream Cheese Pound Cake | This is How I Cook
 A taste of fall with every bite!

20.)  GF Chocolate Chai Latte Pound Cake | Sweet and Spicy Monkey
I didn't forget about you chocolate lover's out there!

21.)  Apple Pie | Sweet and Spicy Monkey
Blends apples with bourbon for a smooth tasting apple pie like you've never had before!

22.) Soft Gingersnap Cookies | Sweet and Spicy Monkey
Perfect for keeping you from eating all the desserts before dinner.

23.) No-Churn Bourbon and Pumpkin Ginger Spice ice cream | Sweet and Spicy Monkey
Easy to make and oh so deliciously creamy!

24.) Bourbon and Brown Sugar Sauce | Sweet and Spicy Monkey
This sauce makes everything taste better!

25.) Cinnamon Baked Donuts | Amanda Bootes Blog
Easy to make without any specialized equipment or techniques. Mmm, Donuts!

26.) Pumpkin Caramel Cheesecake French Macarons | Diary of a Mad Hausfrau
 A bite size cookie with a taste of pumpkin cheesecake and a caramel finish.

27.)  Turkey, Cranberry and Sweet Potato Pie recipe | This is How I Cook
This savoury pie of turkey sausage, breast of turkey, cranberries, and sweet potatoes all enclosed with a flaky pie crust is a meal in itself. This would be great for breakfast the day after Thanksgiving!

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Thursday, November 19, 2015

Harvest Salad

I just love the colors of this salad! And yes it is still considered a salad, even though there's no lettuce or green leafy stuff in it.

According to Wikipedia (the world’s source for all information besides Google), a salad is "a various mixture of raw and cooked vegetables seasoned with a vinegar", balsamic vinegar reduction in this case.

So yes, this is a salad by those terms. And what a wonderful salad it is!

I've combined butternut squash, sweet potatoes, beets, French green beans, Brussels sprouts, persimmons, pomegranate seeds, and walnuts. As if that wasn't enough, I've also added…

It even looks beautiful without the blueberries!

A drizzling of balsamic vinegar reduction (homemade, of course!) over all those wonderfully healthy foods and a handful of fresh blueberries warmed with honey to top it all off with!

The result is a lightly sweet, healthy, and beautifully colored salad that will be the centerpiece of your Thanksgiving table.

A perfect dish for all the vegans (and non-vegans) who will be attending your home on Thanksgiving Day! Plus, it’s also gluten-free, soy-free, and paleo friendly.

I've included directions for baking the butternut squash, sweet potato, beet, French green beans, Brussels sprouts, and warmed blueberries below. Plus, I've listed a link for making Balsamic vinegar reduction in the helpful hints section below the cooking directions.

One of the best things about this salad, especially if you're making it for Thanksgiving, is you can prepare the butternut squash, sweet potatoes, beets, and pomegranate a day or two ahead to save you some time. Then before you serve it, just pop those ingredients in the microwave to warm them up again and finish with the remaining ingredients.

You'll definitely want to wait to prepare the green beans, Brussels sprouts, and blueberries until it's time to serve them since they taste best right after preparing.

I hope you don't just make this salad only for Thanksgiving, as you can enjoy it anytime of the year for a healthy and flavorful meal or side dish.

Harvest Salad

Recipe by Julie Murphy
A healthy salad with a variety of Autumn fruit and vegetables. Paleo friendly, gluten-free, soy-free.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Total time: 2 hours (includes baking time for squash, sweet potato, and beet)
Yield: 4 servings
  • 1 butternut squash, roasted
  • 1 sweet potato, baked and cut into small chunks
  • 1 beet, baked
  • 1 bunch French green beans
  • 1 lb. Brussels sprouts
  • 1 Fuyu persimmon, cored and sliced
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, shelled
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries, rinsed and dried
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1 to 2 Tablespoons Balsamic vinegar reduction
  • 3 to 4 Tablespoons olive oil
  • sea salt & pepper
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 400F degrees.
  2. Wash, rinse, and dry whole butternut squash, sweet potato, and beet.
  3. Pierce sweet potato a few times with a sharp knife. Wrap sweet potato in aluminum foil.
  4. Wrap beet in aluminum foil.
  5. Place whole butternut squash onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
  6. You can place sweet potato in a small pan or fit it onto cookie sheet with butternut squash.
  7. Place butternut squash, sweet potato, and beet into oven and bake for 55-60 minutes.
  8. While those are baking, open up pomegranate and remove seeds. Place seeds into an airtight container and store in refrigerator until ready to add into salad.
  9. Wash and rinse persimmon. Core and slice. Set aside.
  10. After butternut squash, sweet potato, and beet are done baking. It's time to prepare Brussels sprouts and green beans.
  11. To prepare Brussels sprouts, add water, sea salt, and 1 Tablespoon of olive oil to a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil. Add in Brussels sprouts and cook for 5 to 8 minutes. Drain by pouring into a colander.
  12. Add Brussels sprouts back into pan, combine 1 to 2 Tablespoons of olive oil, 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon sea salt. Gently mix together, coating all of the Brussels sprouts with oil vinegar mix.
  13. Place Brussels sprouts onto an ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 400F degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, or until lightly roasted. Check after 10 minutes.
  14. To prepare green beans, preheat oven to 425F degrees. Place a clean, ungreased cookie sheet into preheated oven for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, place green beans into a small bowl. Combine with 1 Tablespoon of olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and a dash of sea salt.
  15. Spread green beans evenly over cookie sheet and bake for 8 to 10 minutes.
  16. After butternut squash, sweet potato, and beet have cooled off, its now time to prepare them.
  17. For butternut squash, cut in half, remove seeds, and cut into small cubes. Place onto serving platter.
  18. For sweet potato, remove skin and cut into small cubes. Add to platter with butternut squash.
  19. To prepare beet, remove outside skin and slice or cut into small chunks. Add to platter.
  20. Add Brussels sprouts and green beans to platter mix.
  21. Arrange persimmon slices, pomegranate seeds, and walnuts throughout squash, sweet potato, beet, green beans, and Brussels sprouts arrangement on platter.
  22. Now its time to prepare the warm blueberries.
  23. Prepare a small frying pan with non-stick cooking spray. Heat over medium heat. Once warm, add 1 Tablespoon honey and fresh blueberries. Cook over medium to low heat for about 5 minutes until warm. Don't cook too long or blueberries will start to burst. After blueberries are warmed up, pour over other ingredients.
  24. Drizzle balsamic vinegar reduction over the top (or serve on the side) and serve.


*Helpful Hints*
- Link for making your own Balsamic vinegar reduction can be found here ~ How to Make Reduced Balsamic Glaze.

- I find it easier to bake the butternut squash as a whole because they are so difficult to cut before baking.

- If your oven cooks HOT, you might need to turn the butternut squash over after 30 minutes to prevent browning on one side.

- You can always double the ingredients to serve more people. Example is for 8 servings, double the ingredients, and so on. This salad has a very flexible amount of ingredients as you cannot go wrong with a little more or a little less of an ingredient.

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Shared with: Savoring Saturdays

Monday, November 16, 2015

Pumpkin Soup

I just spent the first few hours of my Monday morning at my dentist office for an unplanned visit.

Rewind 24 hours back to Sunday morning when I was flossing my teeth and out popped my crown. After the initial freak out, I remembered some emergency adhesive my dentist gave me after my temporary crown fell out. Luckily I was able to find it in my medicine cabinet, mix it together, and slap it on the inside of my crown before placing it back over my tooth.

I don't know if you've ever had this happen to you, but it's a definite "Oh Sh*t!!" moment.

First of all, you're freaking out because this is NOT supposed to be happening, especially after what I paid to have it done! And second, because you're tooth is now vulnerable to all that goes in your mouth, hot and cold included.

Plus it was Sunday! Sunday morning!! Double freak out!!! Now I have to wait 24 hours to go to the dentist! Ugh!

I was afraid to eat anything because I didn't want to experience pain if something touched my uncovered tooth. So for lunch I had a protein smoothie and for supper, I had this Pumpkin Soup. Luckily, I had planned on making this pumpkin soup over the weekend.

This pumpkin soup has everything in it that reminds me of Fall: pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon, sage, and maple syrup. It's a savory and warming soup, not a sweet soup like one would think because of the maple syrup. The maple syrup just gives it a hint of flavoring that brings all the other ingredients together.

And I used fresh roasted pumpkin for this soup because there's a difference in taste between fresh and canned pumpkin. I don't think I have to tell you which one is better, do I? It's the fresh pumpkin!

If you've never roasted a pumpkin before, here's a link to my post from last year where I show you how and it's really easy, How to roast a pumpkin.

So whether you want a savory and warming soup tonight because it's kind of chilly out or you're like me and afraid to eat solid food right now, this pumpkin soup is perfect for you.

You can also serve this pumpkin soup as a first course for your Thanksgiving dinner as it has all the flavors of the fall season in just one bowl.

Pumpkin Soup

Recipe by Julie Murphy
A savory and warming soup that encompasses all the flavors of Fall.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 60 minutes
Total time: 2 hours and 10 minutes (includes roasting sugar pumpkin)
Yield: 4 servings
  • 1 sugar pumpkin, roasted
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk, canned
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon rubbed Dalmatian sage
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
Cooking Directions
  1. Roast sugar pumpkin. If you don't know how, a link is listed above from last year's post that shows you how I roast my sugar pumpkins.
  2. After roasting sugar pumpkin and it has cooled, scoop the pumpkin flesh from skins.
  3. Place pumpkin flesh and chicken broth, water, coconut milk, and spices into a large blender. Puree until pumpkin flesh is smooth and all ingredients are mixed together.
  4. Pour into a medium sauce pan.
  5. Stir in remaining ingredients of maple syrup and butter.
  6. Bring to a boil over medium heat while stirring.
  7. After soup begins to boil, turn down heat to low, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring occasionally.
  8. Serve immediately.
  9. Can garnish with 1 teaspoon coconut milk swirled over the top and a sprinkling of nutmeg and rubbed Dalmatian sage (as in photo).

*Helpful Hints*

- I've also seen pumpkin soup topped with sour cream, bacon crumbles, and/or bleu cheese crumbles.

Inspired by ~ Food Network

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Saturday, November 14, 2015

Spicy Chipotle Pumpkin Seeds

I wasn't even planning on sharing this recipe with you today. I was just roasting pumpkin seeds for my own personal pleasure after I had roasted a sugar pumpkin where they were residing.

Sharing a roasted pumpkin seed recipe wasn't even on my mind after I've seen them all over the internet since Halloween.

But then I took a bite, just one seed, and I knew I had to share the recipe with y'all. They are just that good! Who knew just one pumpkin seed could pack so much flavor in it? I certainly did not!

It's really amazing how just the right blend of spices can totally transform food! These pumpkin seeds are mildly spicy, not burn your tongue spicy. Just pleasantly spicy where you know you ate something spicy, but you don't need to drink a gallon of milk to kill the burning sensation going on all over your mouth. Yep, we've all been there before!

Did I mention how easy these are to make? Very easy, some might say.....easy peasy.

Oh yes I did, I just said that! But after making these, you'll be saying it too!

Easy. Peasy.

Spicy Chipotle Pumpkin Seeds

Recipe by Julie Murphy
Deliciously lightly spiced chipotle pumpkin seeds.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
Yield: 1 and 1/2 cups pumpkin seeds
  • pumpkin seeds from one sugar pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 300F degrees.
  2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  3. Remove pumpkin seeds from 1 sugar pumpkin, pumpkin guts and all.
  4. Place seeds in a colander.
  5. Running water over the seeds, swish your hands through them to help remove the pumpkin guts.
  6. After guts are removed, pour seeds onto a clean, dry towel. Pat seeds dry. You might have to use another dry towel or paper towel to remove most of the water from the seeds. It's ok if they're a little moist after drying.
  7. You should have about 1 and 1/2 cups of clean pumpkin seeds.
  8. Place dried seeds in a medium bowl. Add olive oil and mix together, coating the seeds with oil.
  9. Add spices in with seeds and mix together, coating all seeds with spices.
  10. Spread coated seeds evenly onto prepared cookie sheet.
  11. Place into oven and bake for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes so seeds get cooked evenly.
  12. Keep an eye on them during the last 10 minutes so they don't burn.
  13. Seeds should be lightly crisp and a light golden brown in color when done baking.
  14. Remove from oven and let cool.
  15. Store in an airtight container.

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Friday, November 13, 2015

Banana Bread made with Olive oil

I promised you I wouldn't bombard you with pumpkin recipes this Fall (although I have so many I'm wanting to share with you right now!). But I promised I wouldn't, so I will sneak them in, one by one, so you won't even know it happened!

One of my favorite breads to make in the Fall is banana bread. Really it's one of my favorite breads to make, but fall is when I can go back into the kitchen and get things heated up by turning on my oven after its long hibernation through the summer months. So it has become a Fall favorite.

This banana bread has a twist. Did you really expect me to share something ordinary? I used olive oil in this recipe instead of butter.

I know what you're thinking, ICK! Olive oil? Yes, olive oil. Believe it or not, you can substitute olive oil for butter in many recipes like this one or even lemon curd! And I thought the same thing when one of my foodie friends used olive oil in a cake.

But actually, olive oil is a healthier option than butter and it makes this bread just moist enough to make it scrumptious! And you can't even taste the olive oil!

I dare you to make this banana bread recipe with olive oil and then make another loaf, using butter, and set both loafs out this Thanksgiving to see which your guests prefer, if they can tell the difference.

It will keep the conversation fun and you get to show off your awesome baking skills! Plus, it doesn’t have one single pumpkin ingredient!

Banana Bread made with Olive oil

Recipe by Julie Murphy
A deliciously moist banana bread made with olive oil.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 60 minutes
Total time: 75 minutes
Yield: 1 loaf
  • 2 cups All-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon banana extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut milk
  • 8 Tablespoons olive oil
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
  2. Prepare a 9" x 5" loaf pan by wiping down with olive oil and a clean, dry paper towel or you can use a non-stick cooking spray. You can also line the loaf pan with parchment paper instead of oils. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, add flour, baking soda, baking powder, sea salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, cream together sugar, mashed bananas, and eggs.
  5. Combine banana extract, vanilla, coconut milk, and olive oil to sugar mixture.
  6. Gradually add in dry ingredients until all are combined, with no dry pockets of flour.
  7. Pour into prepared loaf pan and bake in preheated oven for 50 to 60 minutes, or until inserted knife comes out clean.
  8. Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes.
  9. Run a clean butter knife along the edges of the loaf pan, this helps to loosen the loaf from the pan before flipping over.
  10. Placing a wire rack over top of loaf pan, invert rack and pan. Loaf should come out nicely onto the wire rack where it can cool completely. If your loaf sticks to the pan, give a few light taps to the bottom of the loaf pan with the blunt end of the butter knife.
  11. Best served warm. Butter or margarine is optional.

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