Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Roasted Vegetables & Pineapple Stuffing

I like vegetables. Lots. Yummmm. Thanksgiving dishes tend to be pretty carb-y and starchy so I wanted to make sure we had some veggies to munch on too. Also I could do all my prep ahead of time, which was very essential this thanksgiving. I doubled this and made this for both of the thanksgiving's that I attended so I got two times to try different spices to come up with the right combo to blog about!

I knew I wanted to use butternut squash and Brussels sprouts as my base vegetables, and decided to throw in baby carrots, onions, cauliflower, and parsnips. (Mostly I just wanted to be fancy and say that I used parsnips in a recipe) What exactly is a parsnip? Wikipedia tells us that:
The parsnip (Pastinaca sativa) is a root vegetable related to the carrot. Parsnips resemble carrots, but are paler than most carrots and have a sweeter flavor, especially when cooked.
(I may allegedly be including this because when I was at the grocery store I thought I was purchasing turnips but they turned out to be parsnips)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Recipe Review: Tried and True best Pumpkin Cheesecake you will ever eat. Go make this right now.

For the past few years I've been making pumpkin cheesecake for Halloween/Thanksgiving. (Basically I'll make a pumpkin recipe whenever I can get away with it. I hate how society forces us to only eat pumpkin in the fall. I've been stockpiling canned pumpkin this year so I can use it whenever. Take that seasons!) In general everyone loves cheesecake, and whenever it gets cut into and people realize that its a pumpkin cheesecake, they flip. Its actually pretty easy to make, and can be made up to a week in advance.

mine looked just like this- minus the pecans on top- I swear, I was just in a hurry and didn't get to take pictures

The recipe that I use is from Joy of Baking its very detailed and walks you though all the steps along the way. (The degree of details might make it look a little overwhelming at first, but trust me its not)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Drunken Candied Sweet Potatoes

Quick Recipe Review: Easy to make, melt in your mouth decadent sweet potatoes with kick (kick provided by Jack Daniels) 

I'm still recovering from thanksgiving, and I have a whole lot of recipes to type up here. I'm going to try to make the effort to get them all posted this week, unfortunately I don't have photos for each dish, but I'll post what I've got. Starting off with Drunken Candied Sweet Potatoes.

Kevin had been subtly hinting saying that he wanted to have sweet potatoes for a few days before Thanksgiving. Each time I would say "Well should we make them?" "No no, we've got enough stuff to make already" The last straw was when we went to the grocery store Thanksgiving morning and there were some sweet potatoes improperly labeled as yam's and on sale for 50 cents a pound. (Check out this post for sweet potato/yam identity theft information) As soon as we got home and started cooking, Kevin mentioned the sweet potatoes and how good they were, again.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Happy Thanksgiving from Starting to Simmer!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends this year. I did potluck at Kevin's house and am going to a late Thanksgiving celebration on Saturday. Everything turned out really really well, and I have tons of photos to go though and lots to recipes to type up and will try to post them over the next week! 

Monday, November 15, 2010

Fancy Pants Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cupcakes

It was one of my friend's birthday's this weekend and her boyfriend decided at the last minute to surprize her by inviting everyone out to celebrate with them. He texted me and asked if I could pick up a cake, since bringing the cake himself would have ruined the surprize. I said sure and asked him what kind of cake she likes- Thinking I'd get a response like "chocolate with chocolate frosting, or yellow cake with white frosting" This is an exact quote of his reply text:
"Got the low down. Double layered chocolate cake, strawberry center with whip cream topping. NOT the regular butter cream"
Ummmm. Really??

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sweet Potato Pot Roast

Quick Review: The pot roast turned out incredibly tender, and I really liked using a crock pot for easy prep. I used a little too much wine so cut that down a little when I wrote up the recipie and next time will put the veggies in half way though cooking

Its fall and much cooler in the evenings in San Diego. Whenever this happens it makes me crave hearty comfort food. Kevin must have been on the same page as me when he brought up that he loves pot roast and brisket. I have never made a pot roast (it's actually quite possible that I've never even eaten it) and then didn't even know what a brisket was. (Turns out its a cut of meat, usually cooked slowly at a low temperature) After much googling I decided that I wanted to make the pot roast in my crock pot. I had used the crock pot to make pulled pork this summer (it was soooo yummy. I should make that again soon) but never done a whole dish, with meat and veggies in the crock pot.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Stuffed Peppers

Per Uncle C's request I've included a review of this recipe at the beginning
This recipe is for healthy stuffed bell peppers made with lots of veggies, ground turkey, and brown rice
Kevin's Review: "this is delicious" 

Lately I've been big into pre-making and freezing things. I'll do this with spaghetti sauce, chili, chicken stew, pesto sauce, etc, but really hadn't tried freezing an entire entree before. A few other blogs and websites said that stuffed peppers freeze well, so decided to try it. I got the recipe for these peppers from my friend Amber who is an excellent cook.  

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Turkey Chili with White Beans

Last weekend my friend had a party at her house for the Chargers game and held a "Chili Cook off". There were 8 different varieties of chili to try and it was a lot of fun! Unfortunately due to a impromptu trip to Vegas and a wedding the night before I didn't have time to cook chili myself and felt a little left out so I decided to do it this week. I mashed up recipes from Epicurious and Cooking Light and this is what happened...