Sunday, November 25, 2007

Oh the menu

I tried to write this in word then publish to blogger, but I guess blogger doesn't like my text box with the menu, so here it is. I also had links for a lot of these, but they went away too. If you are curious about something, leave a comment or check

Thanksgiving at Kiki's The Official Thanksgiving Day Menu
• Relish Tray
• Citrus Glazed Turkey with Chipotle Gravy
• Butternut Squash Gratin with Goat Cheese & Hazelnuts
• Mashed Yukon Gold Potatoes with Caramelized Shallots
• Broccoli & Cheese
• Kiki’s Drunken Cranberries
• Apple Ginger Pie with Cider Bourbon Sauce
• The Girl’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Grandma Letty’s Cherry Pie Kris’s Pumpkin Pie

• Oh yeah, stuffing with & without citrus


Thanksgiving with Kiki

No matter how much you think that you are planning ahead & getting things done, Thanksgiving dinner is always a crazy hectic push to get food on the table.

I shopped on Tuesday, in fact, I'm surprised that the Farmer's Market was still open on Wednesday, because I honestly felt that I was buying the bulk of their inventory. They must have re-stocked. Tuesday evening was spent making my Drunken Cranberry Sauce, slicing shallots for the potatoes, peeling and slicing the butternut squash & toasting my hazelnuts.

Wednesday (after a haircut & a quick trip to Bed, Bath & Beyond for some new toys) I roasted the butternut squash, sautéed the leeks and layered the two of them in the baking dish with goat cheese & hazelnuts. I peeled and sliced my apples, chopped my ginger, put them together, and created the bourbon glaze for on top. Next I caramelized my shallots and "parbaked" the Yukon Gold's and then went to the farmer's market to pick up the turkey (I waited until the last minute, but at least I pre-ordered). While I was doing this, HP was busy strewing dirty laundry all over the kitchen and then abandoning it while he went to the Centre Park Artifacts Bank. Wednesday I also spent 2 ½ hours playing with clay with young kids, following that, the only thing I really wanted to do, was to go back to the farmer's market. This time, however, was for a very non-Thanksgiving dinner. I picked up Sushi for dinner. Best Idea Ever! We had the "Tiger Roll" with Unagi, Avocado & Carrot, the "Rainbow Roll" a California style roll with Tuna, Salmon & Shrimp (for those who can't make up their mind?) and a "Spicy Scallop" roll with, duh, Scallops and spicy sauce. The scallop was a little delicate for the sauce, but was still tasty, the Rainbow was rainbowlicious, and the Tiger Roll was better than anything I've had in a looooonnnnnggg time!

So with the menu all prepped, I should have been in great shape. Most of the laundry had been folded Wednesday night so I thought that I would take my time shaking the cobwebs out and pop the turkey in the oven. Oops, HP was going to make the glaze while I was elbow deep in clay, but he took a nap instead. So he got up and started that. That's ok, we are still in good shape. Damn, I keep forgetting about the stuffing. (I'm not a big stuffing eater & I don't cook it in the bird, but HP does & he was in-charge of the stuffing. So we had to quick make the stuffing. Ok, so the bird was only an hour late getting in the oven.) Next a quick clean-up around the house, throw the last load of laundry in, pull out the china and take a shower. Hmmm where is the relaxing part? Ok, now to roll out the pie crust (ok, it was a store bought rollout--a girl is allowed to cheat occasionally). Fill the pie. Try to figure out how to put that in the oven along with the turkey. Why is my oven this small? Then the potato panic. They needed to finish baking & be mashed. No room in the oven. Honey, can you light the grill? Ok, the last minute shuffle of trying to get everything in the oven, the turkey out of the oven & listen to the complaining of the person who is getting a free meal out of this. (It's NOT my fault, you didn't eat breakfast. We even called & said we were about an hour behind.)

The time came to pull the turkey out & let it rest. The Squash was covered in cream & thrown in the oven. The gravy was made. Oh yeah, don't forget to throw the rest of the stuffing in the oven. How are we doing? The natives are getting restless! Round up the kids to set the table! Someone zap the Broccoli (yes, that one was for the kids) Double check the menu, do we have everything? Oooh don't forget to pull the cranberry out of the fridge. Ok it's all set.

The "imported" tradition was to sing the Johnny Appleseed Grace, so we did and we thanked God that we were healthy and together and free to eat together. Now do we get to relax? Hah


Thursday, November 15, 2007

Thanksgiving Countdown

What's cookin'?

We are at that time of year where people, some of whom believe that the kitchen is where you eat cereal & heat up frozen pizza, bravely enter the realm of Thanksgiving Dinner. As I contemplate this year's meal, I realize that this is not a meal for wimps. Sure, anyone can throw a turkey in the oven & wait for the popper to pop and open a box of mashed potatoes that just need water. And then there are the folks with more money than sense that feel the need to shell out OVER $100 for a FROZEN turkey. That is just wrong on so many levels. If you want an organic turkey because it is better for you, etc. why are you getting something frozen instead of fresh? Why are you adding to waste to the environment with the packing and excessive CO2? (It is packed in dry ice) Why, if you have that much money to spend, don't you spend it on something beneficial, like 5 or 6 turkeys for the local homeless shelter? What really is the point?


So, back to the not so wimpy cooking. I am mostly traditional for Thanksgiving. Turkey, mashed potatoes, butternut squash, even cranberry. But I do feel the need to give it all a little kick in the pants. My turkey will have a citrus glaze & a chipotle gravy. My mashed potatoes will have cheese (haven't completely decided what kind yet), my squash will have hazelnuts and even my cranberry will get a kick from some port. We don't have strong family traditions for Thanksgiving, too much of a mixed family. We will all share something we are thankful for and we will all eat way too much, beyond that? I may have to find a way to start a new tradition. How does one go about that?


Any great ideas to share? Please, let me know!


Thursday, November 8, 2007

Playing with Food!

Scroll down past the obnoxious ads and check out these food photos.
My food never looks like any of them!

Dark Roasted Blend: Strange Food Special


Sunday, November 4, 2007

Kiki is on the Post!

Ok, all around the internet world people are celebrating National Blogging Post Month. (NaBloPoMo) those people are posting every day!

Well, I've realized that I just don't have that much to say.

I will make an attempt to post at least once a week however. Really, I've been sliding here.

So for today's post, I'll revert to the old standby:
What's cookin'! It has been international week in Kiki's kitchen:

Tuesday's dinner:
Shrimp Curry
It was a curry that is a cross between a Chinese & Maylasian curries and had coconut milk & curry powder along with ginger & garlic. It was really quite tasty, and very easy to make. I threw a bunch of things in my mini-prep (mini food processor)then onto the stove. Boil some rice and a good dinner was had by all

Thursday's dinner:
Pasta in Vodka Sauce
Way yum! The pasta was baked in the sauce with turkey sausage and smoked mozzarella cheese. I chose Cellentani pasta, which is tubular, corkscrew shaped pasta that really holds the sauce. It looked kind of like Hamburger Helper, but tasted like nothing else! (did I mention YUM!) HP had at least 4 servings, plus he brought the left overs in for lunch the next day.

Friday's dinner:
Chicken Kiev.
Ok, I cheated on this. I use Barber Foods frozen Kiev. But hey, their's is pretty good, has an ingredient list that can be pronounced & they use real butter. Plus they do all that pounding & rolling & stuffing. And most importantly, The Girl requested it specifically.

Saturday's dinner:
Tandoori style Salmon
Ok, I don't actually own a Tandoor, but at least I cooked it on a baking stone in a screaming hot (550 degrees)oven. I like the spices & yogurt that makes this up, but I think I'm ready to experiment with the recipe a little bit.

Sunday's dinner
Chicken Paprikas (sometimes spelled paprikash) made in the crock pot.
I'm 1/4 Hungarian, so this is theoretically in my blood. Though the Hungarian 1/4 was from my grandmother who passed away before I was born, so I never had her cooking. My father (her son) did not develop his own paprikas until years after I had left the house, so, while my recipe is based mostly on a version of his, I have never actually had his paprikas and I don't know if his version has since changed. So authenticity aside, Papa's Paprikas is still a winner in my kitchen.

Tomorrow is a night off from cooking, HP has to go to school and I can have leftovers!

I have a friend whose husband & kids don't eat leftovers. I have to say, this is a concept that I cannot comprehend. To me, one of the joys of a great meal, is being able to have it again. Besides, it sure beats a sandwich!


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