I really like cute food. I eat with my eyes first, so if it’s cute, I’ll provide it with a barrage of awww’s while devouring it. This is one of those recipes you could totally make your own — that’s the whole idea, right? Due to the fact it’s been a deliciously fatty holiday (as it should be), I had some frozen puff pastry leftover and decided to throw some delicious eggy goodness in there and bake it pretty. If you don’t like mushrooms, you’re a weirdo — kidding! You can totally leave them out. You could swap out the expensive chanterelle’s for a more affordable button, shiitake, or portobello variety. You could use bacon instead of sausage, ANY kind of cheese you want — the possibilities are endless.
“Duck fat” just sounds sexy. Say it out loud, in your lowest bedroom voice — I’ll wait…see?? Doesn’t it sound naughty It’s a wonderful fat. Bacon fat and duck fat are the yin to the potatoes yang. You can’t go wrong with either of them. I have to buy my duck fat because I don’t cook down enough ducks on the regular to make my own. This deliciously sinful tub of bird fat cost me about $6 from Wegmans and a little goes a long way. You only need about 2 tablespoons of it for all of these potatoes. They soak up the duck fat and get amazingly crisp and super golden brown.
Chicken thighs are bae. Period. They are hands-down my favorite part of the bird. I love wings and boobies and legs too, but thighs are just…pure love! I ate them frequently during my weight loss journey — fatty skin included, and I still lost the weight. It’s all about moderation. I do not recommend this particular recipe for white meat because white meat isn’t as naturally fatty and full of moisture like dark meat. A chicken breast cooked using this method will dry out and ruin the dish — you would have to do some serious tweaking. With that said, this recipe is for THIGHS. Okay? Got it? Good.
These are the brussel sprouts for those who hate brussel sprouts, or think they hate brussel sprouts. My dad absolutely hates brussel sprouts, and he destroyed these. My mom shook her head and raved, “I eat brussels all the time, but those are the best I’ve ever had. Makes no sense. They’re even good cold”. Well, neither party is lying here. These are just damn good brussel sprouts. Bacon and brussels go together like eggs and avocado. They’re just a match made in mouth heaven. Throw in a few dried cranberries to soak up some of that white wine and we’ve got ourselves a party. The brussels cook up tender and caramelized, full of delicious flavor, sure to please any skeptic. They aren’t the least bit bitter, and sure to be a great addition to your holiday table.
The secret to a good sear is to remove as much surface moisture from the protein, and make sure the oil is damn near smoking. Also, leave the meat alone! It will let you know when it’s ready to flip over. If you start poking at it, and it’s sticking? It’s not ready. If it moves around or releases with minimum effort, it’s ready. Now that you know those basics, you shouldn’t have trouble getting a wonderful color and crust on your fish, chicken, or steak.
Kale is another one of those “super amazing superfoods” that helped me shed the pounds this year. You can really customize this quick and easy recipe to your personal needs. Here is one of my favorite ways to cook this bitter green down to deliciousness. I’m cheating by using pre-washed kale in a bag, purchased from Wegmans. It’s absolutely delicious. Although I’m not a fan of stems, and there are a few in here…it’s still a great dish. You can pick them out if you want — I usually do because I’m petty. Adding just a touch of honey at the end really mutes the bitterness associated with this vitamin-packed dark leafy green. You can use this recipe for any “tough” green vegetable, it works great with swiss or rainbow chard.
Since January 1, 2014, I’ve been focusing on my health and losing weight. I’ve lived off an 80% clean diet with plenty of exercise, and had to part delicious ways with my beloved heavy cream pastas, super cheesy yeast breads, and sugar-laden bowls of dairy. I mean, we still hook up from time to time — but those days of eating them frequently WHILE sitting on my ass in front of a computer for 40 hours a week are long gone. I had to really focus on this. The hard work is continuing to pay off, as I’m down 40lbs and a crazy number of inches and still going strong. Don’t get things twisted, I am still about the comfort foods — I’ve just learned how to keep it cute.
Spinach, broccoli, hericot verts, kale, brussels, and asparagus are our most frequently eaten green vegetables in this house. I realize I haven’t posted any vegetable recipes, and there’s a reason for that — I honestly thought no one cared lol. I treat veggies with respect most times, and keep them rather simple for our quick weeknight noms. Sometimes I’ll do something fancy with them, but not frequently. I didn’t think anyone wanted to know how I did this, but I guess I can post my quick and easy vegetable recipes as well as the more involved versions too, right? Wouldn’t hurt…
If I had a list of the most comforting things I’ve ever made, this would top that list. I’m getting sleepy just writing about it. This is the perfect rainy-day, nothing-else-to-do, nowhere-to-go, i’m-not-leaving-the-bed-and-you-can’t-make-me meal. It’s like a delicious, flavorful hug for your entire being. It’s all of these things without being too heavy, but let’s just face it — turkey makes you sleepy. This meal is “rustic”, it’s not supposed to look perfect, it’s just supposed to taste really good — and it does. There’s also no formal way to eat this — you just scoop n’serve!
You ever eat something so good that you start cussing? Because that’s exactly what happened after my sweety and I savored every buttery, flaky bite of these delicious and adorable little pies. We stared each other down and shook our heads in decadent disgust as we devoured every bite — cussing each other out in the most romantic way possible. The sheer frustration that possessed us both let me know that this is one of those treats I’d have to make quite often, just to keep balance in our home.