Monday, November 7, 2011

Thanksgiving: Appetizers

Okay y'all, Thanksgiving is only a little more than 2 weeks away, which means its time to talk about food.  I sure do love food.  In order for this series of posts to make sense, I must clarify one big thing.  Seth and I do Thanksgiving just the two of us.  I absolutely adore my family and Seth's family, but there is just something so nice about it just being the two of us.  We like to think that we are building the traditions that we will one day pass on to our kiddos.  So with the sappy out of the day, onto the recipes.

I love to have some form of appetizer out.  We usually put it out fairly early because we don't want to fill up too fast.  This year, I have two options I am playing with.

First up, Pogaca.  What the hell is Pogaca?  Well, its fluffy cheese bread.  I have never had it, but really come on, cheese+bread=hell yes.  Seth also has really fond memories of this stuff from when his family was living in Hungary.  If I don't do this for an appetizer, it will certainly make the rounds at dinner.  The recipe is below.

Option two: Y'all are going to think I 've lost my marbles for good with this one, but I promise it is delicious.  Brie with caramel sauce.  I'll give you just a minute to pick your jaw up off the floor...  Ready?  Recovered?  Seth and I had this combo a few weeks ago.  The Fresh Market had little boxes of brie with caramel, so we gave it a go and man, it was so good!  Seth and I ate this at room temperature, so I think the only thing I would do differently is heat it up a bit so the cheese gets all gooey.  I promise, the recipe for this one goes like this:  open wedge of brie, dump caramel on top.  DONE-ZO!

Tune in later this week when I will tackle the healthier aspects of our meal (fruits and veggies), the carbs, the main dish (spoiler alert: it ain't turkey) and desert.


4 c. flour
1/4 c. warm milk
1 tbs. yeast
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1 tbs. sugar
1 tsp. salt
3/4 c. mineral water
half bunch of parsley
1 1/2 c. feta cheese
1 egg yolk
poppy seeds

Mix sugar and yeast with the milk, let proof.  Then combine all ingredients flour- mineral water (including the sugar/milk/yeast).  Mix well.  The dough should be pliable and not sticky.  Add more water or flour if needed.  Cover dough with a moist cloth and let it rest for 45 minutes.

Chop the parsley and mix it in with the cheese.

Pinch off a small piece of dough and flatten it with your hands.  Dump a tsp of cheese into the break and fold upwards into a bundle.  Place the pogaca's on a parchment lined tray, folded side down.

Preheat oven to 350

Beat the egg yoke and coat the pogacas.  Sprinkle with poppy seeds.

Bake for 30 minutes or until golden.

Butternut Squash Hash

I love the fall.  The break from the relentless summer heat and humidity, beautiful changing leaves and a serious change in food.  I love fall foods- winter squash, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, orange food.  Seeing that butternut squash was on sale at the Teeter, I got it into my head that I should try and make some butternut squash hash.  My recipe is based on this one.

 Butternut Squash Hash and Eggs

Veggie bacon
1/2 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic
1 butternut squash, peeled and diced
1 potato, diced
1/2 c. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. (or more) of hot sauce
4 eggs


Preheat oven to 400

Cook your bacon and set aside

Saute your onion and garlic.  Add your squash and tater.  Cook until the tater and squash begin to get soft.  Add the vinegar and hot sauce.  Cover and cook until everything is nice and soft.  Add in your bacon.

Make four wells in your hash and crack eggs into them.  Place in over and cook until whites are set.


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Cigar Box Shelves

Here's the thing, my husband loves cigars.  He actually even writes a cigar blog.  I would tell you to check him out, but the additional hits will just make his head swell... Anyways, loving cigars equates to lots of cigar crap in our home- lighters, bands, humidors, humidor crap and cigar boxes.  Out of all that, I mind the boxes the least, because really cigar boxes aren't so bad and generally are the least tacky of all cigar items. 

So thinking of cigar boxes, I got this little idea in my head.  I could turn cigar boxes into floating shelves and that is exactly what I did.

First, I got Seth to get me seven boxes.  If your husband doesn't have a million boxes lying around, just head to your local cigar store and I am sure they will hand over some boxes.
I pried the tops of each both with a pair of pliers because I wouldn't need them.  Since the boxes are unfinished, I wanted to give them a hint of something without taking away from the carved labels.  I ended up mixing bronze paint with water in a 1 to 4 ratio.  This ended up giving the boxes a bit of color and  just a little sparkle when the light hits them, without over powering the boxes.
Once the boxes were dry, all I had to do was hang them.  I sunk two screws per box and that seems to be holding just fine.

And then I added some adornments...

I swear, this project is just as easy as it sounds.  All told, I think it maybe took an hour.  Plus, I had the boxes, paint and screws, so this baby cost ZERO dollars.  A free and easy project is certainly something I can get behind.

Anyone else do any easy and/or free projects lately?