Friday, November 30, 2012

{FPP} - Guest Post from Mary

My FPP for this month asked to write a guest post since she doesn't have a blog.  Here's Mary's take on the goodies I sent her!

I love receiving Foodie Pen Pal treasures in the mail, and Lauren's package far exceeded my expectations.  Each item was thoughtfully selected, and everything has been consumed except for the Pepper Jam, which I am saving to make an appetizer for Christmas Eve.  The apple butter was devoured at a meal of chili and homemade biscuits.  The honey, pumpkin bark, and tea mints were confiscated by my grandchildren (and only the honey lasted long enough to make it to their house).  While all those items were amazing, my absolute favorite was the home canned tomatoes.

The day the package arrived I had tried my hand at making Tasso Ham.  I have a Big Green Egg, and have been experimenting with all things smoked.   I was also responsible for the main dish at a pot luck on the following day, and was preparing a cassoulet using the Tasso and smoked sausage.  I put my 28 oz. can of tomatoes back into the cupboard, and used the jar of canned tomatoes.  YUMMY!!

Sausage Cassoulet

2 T. olive oil
3 medium onions, chopped
3 lbs assorted fully cooked smoked sausages (kielbasa, andouille, smoked sausage, ham)
3 to 5 toes garlic, pressed
2 cup red wine
2 Knorr Beef Homestyle Stock Concentrate
3 T. Tomato Paste
2-15 ounce cans Pinto Beans
2-14 ounce cans great northern beans
2-14 ounce cans butter beans
1-28 ounce can diced tomatoes
1-1/2 teaspoons dry rubbed sage
1 T. fresh rosemary leaves, chopped

Saute onions in olive oil for 3 to 5 minutes.  Add sausage/ham/etc. and saute for another 3 to 5 minutes.  Add garlic, wine, stock concentrate, and tomato paste, stirring until stock is dissolved.  Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 1/2 hour.

I made it the day before, let the flavors develop, and then reheated in a crock pot.  It can also be warmed in a 350 degree oven, in a casserole dish, for 1 hour.

The original recipe suggested using 1/4 cup olive oil, 4 cups diced country style bread, 1 lb tomatoes seeded and diced, and 1/2 cup chopped parsley.  Saute the bread cubes in the olive oil until golden brown, stirring often, about 25 minutes.  Combine fresh tomatoes and parsley in a large bowl; and mix in the bread.  Spoon over the warm cassoulet,and bake uncovered 15 minutes longer.  I just opted to have it served with crusty bread....easier for me.

This was my second time of participating in Foodie Pen Pals.  I was surprised at the amount of foods, the great quality of the items, and the fun I had with the consumption of the awesome food items that were sent.  Thanks Lauren, for the wonderful treats, and for allowing me to write a guest entry for your blog.

You're very welcome, Mary.  I'm so glad you thoroughly enjoyed everything.  And if anyone wants to get in on the FPP fun, check out Lindsay's blog The Lean Green Bean

{FPP} - October Foodie Penpal Reveal

For my second Foodie Penpal I was matched up with Alek from Run Serve Cook, an adorable 15-year old from Ohio.

I got some great treats from Alek.  I especially loved the coffee and the packet of Justin's Peanut Butter - I had been wanting to try it for awhile.  And his note, which he wrote in study hall :), explained all the items in the box.  Thank you Alek for your thoughtful foodie box!!  Keep up the great work running, being healthy, cooking and blogging.  Don't forget to stay young :)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Tuesday with Dorie: Buttermilk Crumb Muffins + FAKESGIVING

I decided to sneak these muffins into our Supper Club menu.  They were really easy to whip up and could easily pass for breakfast or dessert.  And even among some really superb desserts, one friend deemed this the best one.

Abi and Phil hosted this month's Supper Club, and I'd say it was the best yet.  Our theme this time was Fakesgiving - a practice round for the upcoming big day.  It was also nice to share such an important meal with friends, both old and new.
Phil cutting the turkey
Finally got a picture of Abi (the photographer) and I

Brie Bites - Sticks of puff pastry, stuffed with brie
cheese and fig blackberry jam, these were named
"the grown-up Pop Tarts". 
Cranberry Salad
Mashed Potatoes
Roasted Veggies - I added brussel sprouts

Abi's beautiful table setting complete with terra cotta bread  dishes and flower pots stuffed with treats. 

With our RSVPs, we each gave Abi something for which we are thankful.  She transcribed these little notes onto parchment paper and rolled them up inside the dinner rolls.  Then we read them out loud to each other. 

Mike and I
Mike and Bayly
Empty plates all around

Arpita shared her recipe for her family's Cha (chai) recipe - and gave us the ingredients all tucked away inside these adorable little containers. 

Homemade Pumpkin Pie
Hershey's Dark Chocolate Cake
Buttermilk Crumb Muffins
Pumpkin Spice Puppy Chow - Subbed in Biscoff Spread instead of peanut butter

Dessert Table

And then because we didn't have enough to eat, the boys decided to roast chestnuts - Mike's speciality he learned to make in the field while in the Marines, go figure. 

The recipe for the Buttermilk Crumb Muffins can be found on Lisa's blog Easier than Pie, who also happens to participate in the Foodie Pen Pals.  Next up? Best Ever Brownies.