Grabbing the Gusto

Deirdre Reid – Freelance Writer & Home Cook

Tonight we’re having Chicken Cacciatore. I’ll serve it on polenta with creamed kale and/or tatsoi on the side. I only wish it were colder outside and we could have a fire going – that’s the perfect atmosphere for a dish like this.

If I’m feeling ambitious, I’m going to make a recipe I saw today in the Splendid Table email – Slow-Roasted Spiced Pineapple.

Jim’s in charge of dinner on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday nights, so my next night to cook is Tuesday when we’ll either have tonight’s leftovers (if we have them) or Healthy Mushroom Alfredo Pasta Bake from Pinch of Yum — a carryover from last week — with some greens on the side.

Maple Pecan Pie | Grabbing the Gusto

Maple Pecan Pie | Grabbing the Gusto

We’re heading to my sister-in-law’s for Thanksgiving. I’m bringing green bean casserole (made from scratch) – an adaptation of Pioneer Woman’s and Alton Brown’s recipes. And I’ll bring a maple pecan pie a la Fanny Farmer, my first baking mentor. I’ll use my vodka pie dough, following the Cook’s Illustrated recipe. It’s been my favorite the past few years.

If no one is bringing sweet potatoes, I’ll bring some mashed sweet potatoes too. I have to have something orange on my plate at Thanksgiving. In the past, I made mashed butternut squash, but nowadays I’m the only one who seems to like winter squash, so sweet potatoes it is. Welcome to the South.

On Friday, we’ll have leftovers or Slow Cooker Chicken Marsala from Simple Nourished Living. Wouldn’t that be a good aroma to have inside the house all day? I’ve never made chicken Marsala in the crockpot, but I love the idea.

If I’ve succeeded in making all these dishes, on Sunday I may attempt Stuffed Cabbage Cake from Proud Italian Cook. Wowsa.

venison backstrap

Jim’s working on his three deer today — that’s just one venison backstrap!

I’m on the hunt for some recipes for dishes I want to make in the future.

  • Indian pudding – I have a ton of recipes saved to my computer, in a file folder (a manila one), and on Pinterest. The challenge will be finding the right one. I don’t think Jim will like Indian pudding but I don’t care. I’ll eat it for breakfast.
  • Venison sausage – Hank Shaw’s site, Hunter Angler Gardener Cook, will be my first stop. First, I have to buy some casings and whatever else I need.
  • Harissa paste – It’s about time I make some harissa. I’m pretty sure Jim and I will both love it.
  • Pomegranate molasses – Now that pomegranates are back in season, it’s time to make some pomegranate molasses. I’ll follow Alton Brown’s recipe.

What’s on your menu this week?

2 thoughts on “On the Menu: 11.23.14

  1. What an ambitious menu for Thanksgiving week! I’m a lazy cook who will be working my way through leftovers to free up time, energy and refrigerator space for Thursday’s big feast! Thanks for including my slow cooker marsala on your menu.

    1. deirdrereid says:

      I’m always more ambitious than reality allows! We have leftovers from last night’s chicken acciatore so that will be Tuesday’s dinner. And as for the rest, we’ll see. Your chicken marsala will stay on the menu — I’m going to wait for a cold day. Today’s it’s going to be in the 70s! I love those temps but would like it to be a bit chillier during Thanksgiving week.

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