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DAY 2- Them Side Chicks

16 Nov

Yesterday we took care of the Appetizers (The Jumpoff) for the next few day’s we’ll be addressing the side dishes (side chicks)…

This is one situation where the sides are just as important and relevant as the main. (pardon my extra ratchet humor…it’s just one of those days) Last year’s Thanksgiving Recipe Blitz included greens and green beans, this year we will be switching it up and using one of my favorite borrowed recipes from The Queen of Butter herself, Paula Deen.

This recipe is so easy to make, even those cooking novices can ace this dish with sheer ease.

Paula Deen’s Broccoli Casserole

Ingredients

  • 2 (10-ounce) packages frozen chopped broccoli, cooked and drained
  • 1 cup mayonnaise (I sometimes use 1/2 cup mayo, 1/4 cup of Miracle Whip, 1/4 cup of cream cheese)
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar (I like using a blend of cheeses like the Kraft Mexican Cheese Mix)
  • 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups crushed crackers (or 2 cups of panko bread crumbs)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • Season according to taste

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 13 by 9-inch baking dish with vegetable oil cooking spray.

In a large mixing bowl, combine broccoli, mayonnaise, cheese, soup and eggs. Mix well with a metal spoon. Place the mixture in the prepared baking dish. Top with the crushed crackers and pour the melted butter evenly over the crackers. Bake for 35 minutes or until set and browned.

Appease that Appetite! The Ultimate Appetizers

15 Nov

While preparing Thanksgiving dinner timing is EVERYTHING! Whether or not you prep days in advance or you choose to tackle the cooking the day of, there is always something, some dish or some one that throws you off schedule. Don’t panic though, we have the answer to your delayed main course right here! Appetizers are the key to any successful holiday or any party in general. While your guests are sprawled around the house chatting, watching the game (*ahem* Cowboys) or just patiently waiting you don’t want the pressure of rumbling stomachs to cause added pressure. These quick, simple and easy appetizer recipes will not only please your guests but will be a lifesaver for your weary cooking mind.

Ultimate Onion Dip

Don’t bother picking up that powdered onion dip and ruffles chips for your guests, this easy recipe will not only impress their stomachs, it will impress their eyes as well!

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups diced onions
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup miracle whip
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

(adjust the seasoning’s of course to your taste, if you’re like me I put a little bit of creole seasoning and lemon pepper to add an extra kick of flavor)

Directions

In a saute pan over medium heat add oil, heat and add onions and salt. Cook the onions until they are caramelized, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Mix the rest of the ingredients, and then add the cooled onions. Refrigerate and stir again before serving.

CROSTINI 2 Ways

Simple Crostini Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 baguette (8 to 10 ounces), sliced 1/4 inch thick (about 60 slices)
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange baguette slices on two large rimmed baking sheets; brush both sides with oil, and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Bake until golden, 15 to 20 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through (if undersides are not browning, turn crostini over once during baking). Let cool on baking sheets. Top crostini with desired toppings, and serve.

Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Ingredients

  • 1 cup thawed, chopped frozen spinach
  • 11/2 cups thawed, chopped frozen artichoke hearts
  • 6 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Directions

Boil spinach and artichokes in 1 cup of water until tender and drain. Discard liquid. Heat cream cheese in microwave for 1 minute or until hot and soft. Stir in rest of ingredients and serve hot.

Tomato & Basil Bruschetta

Ingredients

  • 2 large cloves garlic, cracked away from skin
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • 3 small plum tomatoes, halved and seeded
  • 20 fresh basil leaves
  • Coarse salt

Directions

Chop seeded tomatoes and place in a small bowl. Pile basil leaves on top of one another and roll into a log. Thinly slice basil into green confetti and loosely combine with tomatoes. Add a drizzle of oil and a little coarse salt to the bowl and gently toss tomatoes and basil to coat. Pile toasts around the bowl of topping. Place a spoon to scoop topping in bowl and serve.

Now for one of The GWC’s favorite party anecdotes…a good cocktail! Although guests should ALWAYS bring a courtesy bottle of wine it is your job as the host/hostess to provide them with a great (sometimes stiff) libation. What better way to simmer every one down and take the focus off the turkey still in the oven and put the focus on enjoying the evening?

The Georgian

2 oz of Jack Daniel’s Whiskey

½ oz peach liqueur

2 oz of Sprite

3 sprigs of fresh mint

In the bottom of a mixing glass, muddle 1 sprig of mint with peach liqueur. Add Gentleman Jack to mixing glass then strain into a highball glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with remaining mint sprigs.

Day 1 Down, 6 More to Go!!!

Happy Cooking!

THANKSGIVING RECIPE BLITZ!!!

15 Nov

Back to you by popular demand, The Good Wives have once again dug through our family’s recipe box, watched endless cooking shows and searched through dozens of cookbooks to find you our favorite Thanksgiving Dinner recipes that will surely make your feast a treat! Whether or not you’re participating in the kitchen for the first time or if you are taking on the tedious task of hosting Thanksgiving dinner all of these recipes are sure to tantalize the palettes of your guests! Enjoy!

Harris’ Perfect Lasagna

4 Oct

Every Friday, a group of my good friends and I join together for what we call “The Wine Down”. Between amazing food, great friends, good laughs and great wine we are always bound to have a good time. Although hosting a group of 10 or 15 people can be fun, it can also be a bit pricey and the preparation could be time consuming unless you budget and plan responsibly. One of the easiest and budget friendly meals to make is LASAGNA. With this recipe from Kiyana Harris you are sure to fill those tummy’s with a delicious meal without breaking your budget. The estimated price of this meal is about $30 but it feeds up to 15 people. Throw some Caesar salad in the mix and voila….YOU HAVE A DINNER PARTY!

RECIPE:

Ingredients:

1 package of dry lasagna noodles  (you will only use about 1/2 to 3/4 of the package)
1 egg
1 lb of ground chicken (can also use turkey or beef)
1 jar of tomato sauce (I used Ragu “Flavored with Meat”)
1 cup of ricotta cheese
1 cup of mozarella cheese, shredded  (I also tried it with the Italian cheese assortment and with a sharp cheddar.  Feel free to experiment with the cheeses!)
1/2 cup of parmesan cheese
1 package of pepperoni (sliced)
This recipe based on a 9×9 glass/Pyrex dish.  Makes 10-15 servings.
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Boil noodles (add salt to taste).  Drain and rinse with cool water.
3. Brown meat until no longer pink, adding seasoning salt, oregano, pepper, and onion powder to taste.
4. Stir in 1/2 cup of tomato sauce until meat is well coated.
5. Spoon 3-4 tablespoons of tomato sauce into lasagna dish.  Spread over bottom and sides of dish to create a thin layer.
6. Lay one layer of noodles in bottom of dish (cut noodles to fit dish if necessary).  Spoon 3-4 tablespoons of tomato sauce and spread to cover noodles.
7. Add half of your ground meat as the next layer.  Cover first layer of lasagna noodles with meat.  Sprinkle 2-3 tablespoons of parmesan cheese over meat and top with a handful of mozarella/assorted cheese.
8. Lay another layer of noodles on top of meat.  Spoon 3-4 tablespoons of tomato sauce and spread to cover noodles.
9. In a small mixing bowl, mix ricotta cheese and egg.  Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt, a dash of pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon of oregano.  Mix well until egg is well blended with cheese.
10. Spread ricotta cheese mixture evenly on top of noodles and sauce.  Spread pepperoni slices on top of cheese (you can use as many as you’d like, but I recommend that they not overlap.  The taste was a bit overwhelming when I tried too much pepperoni).
11. Lay another layer of noodles on top of ricotta/pepperoni.  Spoon 3-4 tablespoons of tomato sauce and spread to cover noodles.
12. Use the other half of your ground meat as the next layer.  Cover noodles with meat.  Sprinkle 2-3 tablespoons of parmesan cheese over meat and top with a handful of mozarella/assorted cheese.
13. Lay another layer of noodles on top.  Spoon the rest of the tomato sauce to thickly cover noodles.
14. Use the remainder of your mozarella/assorted cheese and paremsan to cover the top of the lasagna.
15. Bake uncovered for 45 minutes.

THE TWO MOST IMPORTANT WORDS…

6 Jun

When dealing with matters of the heart there are two words that will be the key to maintaining a happy balance. These two words will pull you from the brink of tragedy when you you think your relationship is doomed. These two words have leveled the playing field in love AND war.

I’m sorry.

1) Learn these words. 2) Try not to have to use them often. 3) Don’t hesitate to use when necessary.

How Do You Know?

5 Jun

And I replied, “I’ve seen love. I’m not talking about the movies either. I’ve seen what love does. My entire life I’ve never seen a man in love walk away without trying. He chose to stay and work at it. That’s how I know.”

[daddy’s] girl

31 May

[This post was extremely difficult to write, but it was necessary. The GWC tries our hardest to give you insight into our lives and who we are. We’re firm believers that when you know better you do better. Hopefully this post will help gals (and guys) out there who in there 20’s and find it hard to fully cope with the loss of their first love…]

This Post is dedicated to The First Love I lost- My Daddy

Every one of my many heartbreaks could have been avoided had you not waited until I was 32 to tell me you loved me.

While browsing through one of my fave tumblr inspiration sites I saw this quote and it instantly stopped me from navigating to the next page. The tags under it were: divorce, absent,fathers failed,relationships, daughters, and love .

Out of 25 years of life I had my father for 4, spent 20 convincing myself that he was not needed and 1 coming to terms with all the built up hurt I’ve unsuccessfully tried to repress. I thank God for my Gandpa, Goddaddy and all the other men in my life who filled the shoes of my father, but honestly, My Daddy will always be the one who so easily walked away.

I feel that sometimes those of us who are the “successful” products of broken homes like to look down on those who “fall victim to the stereotype”, when in reality even though we aren’t spreading our legs to find love, we have closed our hearts and shielded our pain behind an ice cold rock hard exterior.

I can cook. I can clean. I can support you. I’m independent. I can from a good family. On paper, I am94% of what your parents told you to look for in a wife. I was born, raised and bred to be a wife. But ironically, I am not the complete package. I shut down, I can be cold, I’m paranoid, I over-analyze everything, I easily write men out of my life and sometimes relationships make me feel like I have a plastic bag tied over my head (suffocated). Running away from and sabotaging love is just as bad, if not worse than chasing after it at any cost.

Though we (women like me)  strive our entire lives to convince ourselves that we will not be the type of girls who carry our “daddy issues” into our relationship, there comes a certain time when you realize your daddy issues were boarded onto the plane before you even checked onto the flight. Despite knowing that he is NOT your dad, its hard to think that any man could love you enough to stick around when the initial example was null void. The feelings of abandonment, rejection, vulnerability and loneliness and to avoid having to relive this pain you push your self away from any man who shows any interest beyond a platonic friendship in you.

The hardest thing for me to come to terms with was knowing that I was destined to be a daddy’s girl. My Godfather stepped up to the plate as my father and allowed me to partially experience what it was like to have a dad. We attended all the father-daughter dances, he was my escort at my debutante ball, he stood at the bottom of the stair case  next to my date at prom and will undoubtedly be the man who walks me down the aisle at my wedding. He spoiled me, he loved me and gave me the perfect example of what a true father-daughter relationship was supposed to be…but at the end of the day I knew, he wasn’t my father.

Even though reconciliation would be the road most traveled, for some of us that option isn’t available. In order to embrace love you have to truly open yourself up. Becoming vulnerable, trusting someone and letting all your guards down will be the scariest thing you have to do on your quest for love. Not everyone you run into will deserve to have you apart of their life, but at least you can rest easy at night knowing that you did not sabotage what “could have been.”

There is hope for us yet, because the only thing you can control in your life is WHAT YOU DO. You cannot go back and erase time, you cannot fix what was broken but you can allow yourself to find a future full love. It’s not easy, and it doesn’t happen overnight, but I speak from experience and know that it can, will and does get better.

Live Long. Laugh Often.Love All.