Thanksgiving Day Scalloped Potatoes

The most decadent recipe I have made to date, I believe. Now, I have talked about these potatoes in several Sunday videos, and last Friday Mikaela and I actually made them over live stream. What a beautiful disaster that video was. I encourage you to go watch it before making these.

The biggest debate during thanksgiving was: are scalloped potatoes the same as au gratin potatoes, and the official answer is no. “Scalloped potatoes are a milk based potato dish. The potatoes are usually sliced very thinly although what technically makes it ‘scalloped‘ is the milk base. A gratin on the other hand is any dish that is topped with cheese and/or bread crumbs and layered with bits of butter and is baked until brown and crispy.” – Thank you Google. I did however make au gratin macaroni and cheese which I will be posting next. On to the potatoes!

Ingredients
3lbs Yukon Gold Potatoes (Slice these about 1/8 of an inch)
3 Cloves of Garlic (minced)
3 Cups of Whole Fat Milk
3 Cups of a three cheese blend or the cheese of your choosing
1 Stalk of green onion diced
Pancetta or substitute bacon, but I love pancetta for the holidays. Pancetta and bacon are extremely similar as they are both cured pork belly, but pancetta is typically sliced paper thin, and gives off a less salty taste.
4 Tablespoons of Kerrygold Butter
4 Tablespoons of Flour
S&P

How To

About the potatoes, I sliced mine long ways as I am sure you can tell in the photo. Do not ask me why as it is just what I decided to do in the moment. I also sliced my potatoes by hand to give a more rustic approach. I slice my potatoes first because let’s be honest it is the worst part of making this dish, and then I place them in a bowl of ice water to prevent discoloration.

Cube and fry up that pancetta baby. We want it to be nice and crispy! Save the fat though!

Remove the crispy pancetta, and throw in your garlic and green onions. Let them cook for about two minutes to just wake those babies up.

Now, the roux. We have been over a roux a many times on WWB. Place your butter in a medium heat pan, and a dash of olive oil to prevent the butter from burning. Wait until your butter is nice and bubbly to throw in the flour. Let the flour and butter get along for 3-4 minutes or until it no longer smells like raw flour. Pour in your milk and immediately begin to whisk. Bring this to a simmer once there are no longer clumps of flour/butter. Your sauce should coat the back of a spoon when you test the thickness. Turn down the heat to low, and add your cheese one cup at a time and whisk whisk whiiisk. S&P for taste, and the sauce is complete!

Oven should be at 400 degrees.

I layer this dish like lasagna. I ladle a spoonful of sauce on the bottom of a buttered casserole dish, layer of potatoes, layer of pancetta/green onion/garlic mixture, and repeat until you just can’t fit anymore potatoes in there! I cover this with foil, place it on a cookie sheet because it will boil over, and let it bake for 45minutes, then remove the foil and let bake for 15 minutes, and last but not least add a fine layer of cheese and broil for 5 minutes.

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Honey Balsamic Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Walnuts

I love walnuts. I would put them on everything if I could. Why did it take me so long to make a dish with brussel sprouts and walnuts? Two of my favorite foods. Do not cry to me about your hate for brussel sprouts….you just aren’t cooking them right. Also, I know lots of people prefer pecans to almonds especially in savory dishes but not I! Always feel free to change up recipes for your dietary needs…..or just don’t eat it!

Ingredients
3lbs of Brussel Sprouts halved (I was making these for dinners for the week so roughly 6 servings here)
TBSP Kerrygold Butter
1/4 Toasted Walnuts
1/4 Cup Good Quality Balsamic
3 TBSP Honey
S&P

How To
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Half your brussels and lay them out on a sheet pan, I used avocado oil to drizzle, and then popped those bad boys in for 15 minutes. While your sprouts are in the oven melt your butter in a saucepan. Place walnuts in the pan to toast up with the butter about 3-4 minutes on medium heat. Remove walnuts from your pan and put both the balsamic and honey in the pan. Let the fluids come to a soft boil and let them reduce. On medium heat this process takes about 6-7 minutes and you want the reduction to coat the back of a spoon. Once your sprouts are out of the oven the plating is up to you! If I were taking these somewhere as a side of appetizer I would scatter my walnuts on top the sprouts and do a slight drizzle of the reduction so that the vibrant colors do not become muddy and that is exactly how I photographed these……then mixed everything up and called it a day! Presentation is everything! Unless, it’s just you and your husband …… like me.

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Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Lord have mercy do not bring hummus as a Christmas appetizer unless your entire family is vegan. I about got voted off the island for bringing hummus a few Christmas’ back. You know what, though? I am a grown up(kind of) and have my own blog now so I am just going to publish the recipe because I am a loud and proud hummus lover!

Embarrassing Fact: A few colleagues of mine had a hummus war competition and it just so happened to be on the day I was interviewing for a management position at my work. Well, ALL afternoon my stomach would not stop sounding like a blue whale searching for its family and couldn’t tell if I was just nervous OR overdosing on too much hummus.

P.S plain hummus is boring – make some exciting flavors and share them with me! I know roasted red pepper is pretty boring, too but I love it!!

Recipe

2 Cups chickpeas drained and washed
1/2 Cup Tahini (just buy it – I know it’s expensive but it’s what makes hummus HUMMUS)
1 whole lemon squeezed
1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 Cloves Garlic
1 Cup Roasted Red Bell Peppers (I roast mine on the oven – stick them in a ziplock once black- let them steam – take off the char and done)

How To

How easy is this? Throw it in the food processor and hit the Go button. Blend until smooth and the consistency you’d like – you may need to add additional olive oil. I crack fresh pepper on top one plated, a squirt of lemon, and a final drizzle of olive oil. Eaasy breezy beautiful snack. Pita chips, veggie sticks, naan bread. Gurl.

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Cornbread Muffins Two Ways – Green Chile & Cheddar and Blueberry Lemon

Who doesn’t like cornbread? Seriously. I could eat my weight in cornbread. I love that it’s flaky, buttery, and you can incorporate so many fun ingredients. I made these muffins for some quick grab breakfasts or snacks and they did not last long. Warm these babies up and put an extra slab or pound of butter on them and love yourself for making them and me for writing this out for you.

Do not make BOXED cornbread. It is so unnecessary – homemade cornbread is EASY. Boxed recipes tend to have a lot of sugar as well. I do not use sugar in this cornbread recipe because I do not think it needs it at all and we are adding blueberries to half the mix which naturally creates some sweetness as well. If I were not incorporating ingredients to this recipe I would add some honey for a tiny bit of sweet but no sugar.

Ingredients

3 Eggs
2 Cups All Purpose Flour (you can sub almond flour just check the ratio)
1 TBSP Baking Powder
1 TBSP Baking Soda
1 1/4 Cup Cornmeal
1 TSP Salt
1 Cup Whole Fat Milk (can substitute coconut, almond, soy etc.)
1 Cup Melted Butter
1 8oz can Green Chiles
1 Cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1 1/2 Cup Blueberries
1 Lemon Zested

How To

Mix everything together except the chiles, cheese, blueberries, and lemon. Once your mixture is ready separate it in half. I toss my blueberries in flour so they do not sink while baking. One half of the mixture add your blueberries&lemon zest and the other chiles&cheese. I put these in muffin tins and got exactly 12 of each flavor but you can cook them in a cast iron skillet if you wish. Baked at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until the knife stuck in the middle comes out clean. I brought some of these to work for my team and boy did they go fast. Make sure if you try this recipe to tag us on instagram and Facebook!

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Pesto & Ricotta Stuffed Shells

Meal Prep Alert!

I made these for this week’s lunches. They were easy, delicious, and can be either vegetarian or stuff them with chicken like I did this week. Let’s get started!

Ingredients
1 Box of Jumbo Pasta Shells
1/4 Cup Pesto (buy or make your own)
2 Shredded Chicken Breast
2 Cups of Alfredo sauce (buy or make your own)
2 Cups Shredded Mozzarella
2 Cups Chopped Finely Mushrooms
1 Cup of Ricotta
S&P

How To

The pasta shells need to cook about 8 minutes total and I lay them out on a sheet pan to cool. I already had shredded chicken but the recipe was just 2 chicken breast, salt, pepper, garlic powder, chicken broth, and throw in crock pot for 4 hours on high. Shred and set.

Filling: Mix ricotta, 1 cup mozzarella, pesto, chicken, mushrooms, and salt&pepper. Once your shells have cooled stuff those bad boys up!

Bake: I lay a thin layer of alfredo on the bottom on my baking dish and then put the shells on top. Cover with some more sauce and let bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes and then put the rest of your cheese on top and broil for 5 minutes. Done! These are pretty simple for meal prep, loaded with protein, and pretty damn tasty!

Thai Meatballs with Coconut Basil Cream Sauce

Well, this is different. Welcome to the world of unique. Step outside your comfort zone and make these! Healthy and fast dinner! Total cook time for these only 30 minutes! These would be a reeeeally impressive appetizer…just sayin’.

 

Ingredients

1lb Ground Turkey (or chicken, or beef, alligator….whatever you would like)
1 Egg
1/2 Cup Panko (breadcrumbs can also be substituted)
4 Large Basil Leaves Diced
2 Cloves Garlic – Minced
1/2 Yellow Onion – Minced
1TSP Sesame Seed Oil
1TBSP Avocado Oil
2TBSP Red Curry Paste
1 Can Full Fat Coconut Milk
2TBSP KerryGold butter
1TBSP Siracha
1/2 Zest of Lemon & 1/2 Zest of Lime
Rice(Optional)

How To

Meatballs

In a large bowl combine: ground turkey, panko, egg, 1 clove garlic, onion, half of the minced basil, red curry paste, avocado oil, lemon zest, and S&P. Mix until all ingredients are fully combined. Now, I personally rolled my mixture into my little balls, set them on a plate, and let them sit in the fridge for about an hour because I got lazy and didn’t want to cook them yet. One hour later the meatballs have set up nicely. Thank you one too many mimosas at brunch!
I pan fry my meatballs for color then finish them in the oven. Let them brown on each side for 1-2 minutes in either some oil or butter(or both if you’re Krystal) then let those bad boys sit in the oven for about 20 minutes at 350.
Both the panko and avocado oil in the mixture buys you insurance that these will not be dry. Turkey can be tasty!

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Sauce

On medium heat saute your garlic in butter and when the garlic is cooked 90% add in the zest of the lime. When the garlic is translucent and cooked add in your whole can of coconut milk. Now, we have discussed coconut milk before: it’s creamy, fatty, smooth,and thick enough to not need a roux for sauces. Now, at this point taste your sauce and decide how much siracha you would like in there….remember the meatballs have a kick! When you are ready to serve add your basil….do not add it and then let it continue to cook or simmer…wilted basil is the worst! Serve these babies over rice or grilled veggies!

Spinach Dip – Two Ways

I am not ashamed of being an over achiever. When my Facebook peeps ask for spinach dip I can’t just make ONE version, right? Besides, some people had never heard of hot spinach dip and some had never heard of cold. Ummm what? I clearly needed to take the task of educating on spinach dip into my own hands. I have made both of these dips several times with great success and what I love about dips in general is that they are pretty easy to tweak. Want to add something different? Do it. Don’t like something in there? Don’t add it.

Let’s start with cold dip!

Cold Spinach Dip

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Ingredients
2 Cups Greek Yogurt (you can sub for sour cream if you don’t like greek yogurt)
1/2 Good Quality Mayonnaise(I add mayonnaise because I love it – this is just as good with ALL greek yogurt though if you want to be reeeeeally healthy)
1/2 Red Bell Pepper – Diced
1/2 Green Bell Pepper – Diced
3 Cups Fresh Spinach – Chopped
2 Cloves Garlic – Chopped
Bundle of Green onions – sliced
1/2 Lemon
Olive Oil
Fresh/Dried Dill
Red Chili Flakes
S&P

How To

Now, traditional cold spinach dip is sour cream, mayo, a packet of vegetable soup mix(yes), and frozen spinach. Ummm, we are not doing that here. Not ever.
First things first – get that spinach cooked so it can cool/drain excess water. Bring a pan to medium heat with some olive oil, the chopped garlic, and then throw all the spinach in. Cooking spinach takes less than 3 minutes. I place my cooked spinach in a bowl lined with a cloth towel so the water can drain and once cool I can squeeze even more water out of it. While the spinach cools throw the remaining ingredients in a bowl together and mix up. Greek yogurt, lemon, dill, mayo, peppers, chili flakes(to your tasting), green onions, S&P and mix mix mix. I place it in the fridge until I am able to drain the spinach. I think you know the drill once the spinach has cooled, right? Toss it in there as well and mix mix mix, again. Now, the chopped FRESH peppers and green onion are what replaces the vegetable soup mix….that’s all it is guys…..dried bell pepper, green onion, and I think each bag gets one piece of dried carrot, and then 6 gallons of salt. For sale at a grocery store near you during the holidays for $3.99! No, guys, no. Make cold spinach dip this way because not only is it kind of healthy but it is much more authentic and refreshing, and it’s not even that much more work. Chop your peppers!

Traditionally cold spinach dip is served in a bread bowl with small pieces of bread surrounding it for dipping. I toasted some bread as I needed it for the hot dip you can find below and it was delicious. 

 

Hot Spinach Dip

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Ingredients
2 Cups Sour Cream
1 Cup Mayonnaise
1/2 Shredded Parmesan Cheese
3 Cups Spinach Chopped/Cooked
1 Clove Garlic – Chopped
1 Can of Quartered Artichoke Hearts
1/2 Lemon
S&P
Red Chili Flakes
Fresh Tomato Slices
Fresh Jalapeno Slices
Fresh Baguette Sliced
Olive Oil

How To

Sorry, I just can’t even try to make this one healthy. You can try greek yogurt but I promise you it just doesn’t heat well. There are several ways to make hot spinach dip. You can throw all of this in a crockpot(I’d add some cream cheese) and set it to low for an hour or two. Crock pot is a good suggestion if you are bringing the dip to a party etc. I also have baked this with a panko topping…..awesome. Today, though I did somewhat of a bruschetta style. I placed the dip on baguette slices drizzled with olive oil, then added a fresh tomato slice, broiled, and added some aged balsamic on top. Perfect appetizer.
This one is simple – cook the spinach the same way as the previous dip, then mix everything together. Turn your broiler on to high and make these bad boys! Let me know if you like them.