Friday, November 28, 2008

Planned Over Turkey

Planned-overs is what we called our left-overs when I was growing up. And what better word to describe Thanksgiving Dinner? We are still eating turkey sandwiches in our house, but when the bird resembles a carcass here is what I am planning:

Southwestern Turkey Black Bean Soup
2 15 oz Cans Black Beans, drained and rinsed well with cold water
3 Cups Turkey Stock, made with the turkey bones OR Low Fat, Low Salt Chicken Broth
1 TB Olive Oil
2 Cups Finely Chopped Yellow Onion
1 Cup Finely Chopped Red Pepper
2 Garlic Cloves, minced or grated
2 Tsp Ground Cumin
1 Can Rotel and Chilies Tomatoes (Hot or Mild - your choice)
1 Cup Diced Cooked Turkey
Kosher Salt and Freshly Cracked Black Pepper

To Garnish:
Light Sour Cream
Light Cheddar Cheese, shredded
Diced Avocado
Chopped Cilantro

Serve with:
Tortilla Chips or Warm Corn Tortillas

Puree 2 Cups of Black Beans and 1 Cup of Stock together in a food processor or blender. Set Aside.

Heat the oil in a large skillet or dutch oven. Over medium heat, saute the onions until are golden. Add the red pepper and saute a few more minutes. Finally add the garlic and cumin and stir for 1 minute. 

Add the Rotel tomatoes, the pureed bean mixture, the remaining black beans and the 2 cups stock. Bring the soup to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Taste for Salt and Pepper.

Just before serving, stir in the turkey. Ladle into bowls and garnish. Serve with chips or tortillas.

Birthday Blog

Each year before my birthday, I spend hours looking through cookbooks and cruising the net. No "bought" cakes for me, I enjoy trying to decide what decadent indulgence I am going to make almost as much as eating it. So this year I decided to go retro and back to the 60s with a Milky Way cake. I remember my mother making it in a sheet pan. But there was never enough frosting for me! So I used her recipe to create a 4 tiered chocolate monster - more frosting per cake inch that way :) In fact it was so tall, I had trouble making it straight. I enjoyed a hefty piece and shared the rest with friends. (Okay, so I did put one more piece in the freezer for a rainy day...) Here's a picture so I can share it with you virtually! 

Friday, November 21, 2008

Food Styling for Your Holiday Parties

Who doesn't like talking about making food delicious AND beautiful? Last night at the Cooks Warehouse, we created yummy hors d'oeuvres and used beautiful platters, fresh fruit and veggies for presentation. The food was truly "Picture Perfect" Congrats to all five creative teams!

Regional Produce in the Fall

Mike and I headed North last weekend with our friends Peter and Rebecca. On the way we stopped at the Tomato House. What fun! Lots of regional foods, and rooms full of hot sauces, chili jams and relishes. As a big fan of local produce, I was thrilled to talk to some of the owners about where their veggies are grown. We picked up some North Florida tomatoes and some freshly picked green beans, and fueled with hot boiled peanuts - headed up to the mountains.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Fall Day in Newnan

"Didn't know you picked, Jimmy" the women beside me said to a guitar player. "Oh yes ma'am, yes ma'am I sure do!" was his reply. And then the group started playing. We stood in the square of Newnan for over an hour listening to a rag tag group of excellent musicians jamming and singing just for the fun of it. Mike and I took advantage of another beautiful day to ride, and headed down south this time. The leaves were turning, the air was crisp and bright and a motorcycle was the place to be!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Healthy Holidays at Piedmont Cancer Wellness Center

Don't you love the LAUGH sign on the wall? We all need to be reminded of that more often... I am passing on a couple of pictures from a super class this week at the Piedmont Cancer Wellness Center. The group was just wonderful - asking LOTS of good questions, enthusiastically taking notes, and providing great feedback while tasting -my favorite part of the class. Although I truly enjoy all my classes, this one was special. Not only was my class lovely, the director and staff treated me like a star. Another treat was the fact I brought along my two "oldest" friends to help serve the class. (That's "oldest" as in I have known them "longest") From the comments given so freely, I think we all had a genuinely good time!