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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Top 15 Side Dishes

I'll be taking the next couple of days off to prepare for our Thanksgiving feast and spend time with family and friends, so I compiled a list of the 15 Most Popular Side Dish recipes on the blog. Stop back on Monday for a post you won't want to miss where some of my blogging friends and I will be giving away a $600 Visa Gift Card just in time for your holiday shopping.

Wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving from my kitchen to yours! 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Roasted Butternut Squash with Sun Dried Tomatoes

Butternut squash is a type of winter squash that is orange in color, similar to pumpkin, and has a sweet nutty flavor. It's not something I've ever made before. In fact, I don't even remember eating it growing up. The first time I had it was when my mother made Butternut Squash Soup a few years ago and I loved it. This year, I decided to try to make the squash myself and wanted to use some of my favorite flavors like garlic, sun dried tomatoes and fresh rosemary, and roasting this squash seemed like the best plan.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Winners of Carrie's Experimental Kitchen Cookbook Giveaway

Thank you all for entering, I loved reading all of your comments. Congratulations to the following 5 winners! Each will receive a signed copy of my cookbook, Carrie's Experimental Kitchen: A Collection of Mediterranean Inspired Family Meals.  

If you would like to purchase a copy for yourself or give one as a gift this holiday season, you can order through the e-Store tab on my website, where I also have Downloadalble PDF's for Desserts and Under 400 Calories: Main Entrees. At this time, I can only ship signed copies to the U.S; however, you can also purchase a copy of the cookbook through AmazonBarnes and NobleIndie Bound or Tate Publishing.

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Friday, November 22, 2013

French Onion Soup {Cookbook Giveaway Week}

I hope you all enjoyed some of the recipes this week from Carrie's Experimental Kitchen: A Collection of Mediterranean Inspired Family Meals cookbook. The last recipe I'm going to share with you this week is French Onion Soup. This soup is the perfect treat for a cold, rainy day and being one of my early childhood favorites, it seemed fitting that this be the first soup I ever made. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Haricot Verts with Feta, Cranberries & Pistachios {Cookbook Giveaway Week}

For today's Cookbook Week recipe, I'm sharing this Haricot Vert with Feta, Cranberries & Pistachios salad. Haricot vert is French for “green beans” and are longer and thinner than the American variety of green beans. I like to use these instead of regular green beans on occasion; however, the American green bean would also work just as well in this recipe. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Garlic & Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms & Giveaway

Day 3 of Cookbook Week continues with my all time favorite appetizer, Garlic & Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms. Do you want to impress your guests the next time you invite them over for dinner? Then these stuffed mushrooms are the perfect solution! This recipe originated about 20 years ago after sampling them at a local restaurant one evening. They were oozing with garlicky, cheesy goodness and I couldn’t wait to replicate the recipe at home. After several failed attempts, I came up with these. 

The best part about this recipe is that they are extremely simple to prepare and can even be made the night before and refrigerated until you’re ready to bake them. Because there is only one ingredient in the filling, these make the perfect last minute appetizer and your guests will think you’ve been slaving all day in the kitchen to prepare them.

Garlic & Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms
Prep Time: 15 minutes   Cook Time: 25 minutes      Serves: 8
  • 16 Extra Large White Mushrooms
  • 1 8-oz. container Light Garlic Herb Cheese Spread, like Alouette®
  • 1 c. All-Purpose Flour
  • Egg Wash (3 eggs with 1/4 c. milk)
  • 1/2 c. Italian Seasoned Breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 c. Panko Breadcrumbs
  • Cooking Spray
  1. Remove the stems from the mushrooms and discard. Gently wipe off the mushrooms using a damp cloth. 
  2. Fill each mushroom cap with the cheese until it is level with the top of the mushroom.
  3. In three separate bowls, prepare your flour, egg wash, and breadcrumbs.
  4. Coat each stuffed mushroom first in the flour, next in the egg wash, and then in the breadcrumbs.
  5. Place on a baking sheet and spray the tops of the mushrooms with the cooking spray.
  6. Bake at 350°F for approximately 20-25 minutes or until cheese starts to bubble and the breadcrumbs are lightly browned.
Enter for your chance to win a copy of Carrie's Experimental Kitchen cookbook using the Rafflecopter link below. Five (5) lucky winners will be selected and notified on Monday, November 25, 2013. Please read all terms and conditions as this contest is only valid in the Continental U.S. 
Good Luck!  

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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Braised Short Ribs & Giveaway

Cookbook Giveaway Week continues with another of my favorite recipes from my cookbook, Braised Short Ribs. When trying to come up with some new recipes incorporating beef to add to the collection, my friend Cindy suggested I make short ribs. At the time, I had never made them at home, though I had eaten them out numerous times. I was a little skeptical about how my latest experiment was going to turn out, but needless to say we enjoyed these so much, that I’ve since made these several times and in different ways (including an upcoming version with pomegranates and Cabernet wine!). 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Baked Brie with Dried Cherries & Giveaway

Did you know that I wrote a cookbook and it was published? Well, I did! It's called Carrie's Experimental Kitchen: A Collection of Mediterranean Inspired Family Meals and was released December 2012. I love this early compilation of my original, family favorite recipes and the book has received many positive comments. There are over 180 easy to prepare recipes inside and all are definitely worth trying!

You can read more about the book and how to order under the eStore tab, but since this is the week before Thanksgiving and I am so GRATEFUL to each and every one of you that have helped make CEK a success, I'll be sharing a recipe and giving away a signed copy of my cookbook each day this week!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

6 Recipe Ideas for Leftover Turkey

Thanksgiving is over. You're completely stuffed and you've eaten all the turkey sandwiches you can handle. Now what? Here are 6 recipe ideas to use up some of that leftover turkey!

(you can substitute turkey)

What do you like to make with your leftover turkey? 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Pumpkin Cheese Ball

Believe it or not, we didn't eat many cheese balls at our family gatherings growing up. Mainly we would have an antipasto or cold shrimp with cocktail sauce or sausage bread. It wasn't until I was older that I was introduced to the cheese ball while attending parties at some of my friends' family gatherings. Still, I never even made one until recent years. They are really easy and quick to make. It's the refrigeration time that takes the longest.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Antonia's Portuguese Stuffing

My husband never knew his grandparents on his father's side of the family as my father in law was the youngest of nine siblings and was a "change of life" baby as they like to call it. His Portuguese grandmother, Antonia, was pregnant with twins at the age of 50, but the doctors thought she had a tumor. Nine months later, my father in law was born and sadly, his brother had passed in the womb. By the time my husband was born, both grandparents had passed away, but the stories lived on through his parents, aunts, uncles and older cousins.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Spiked Mini Apple Tarts with Cinnamon Whipped Cream

Everyone has their favorite desserts and Thanksgiving is when we seem to make all of them...yes, at the same time. Pumpkin Pie. Apple Pie. Cheesecake. Chocolate Cream Pie. We always have a TON of desserts left over and half of the time we wind up throwing some of them away. This year, I experimented with a smaller version of one of my favorites with these Spiked Mini Apple Tarts with Cinnamon Whipped Cream. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Recipe ReRun: Pumpkin & Sage Risotto

This week I've had to take it easy and stay off of my feet and out of the kitchen as I had minor surgery to remove a small cyst (that turned out to be a benign tumor!) on my right foot. I know. Always something around here! Anyway, I will have more new Thanksgiving recipe ideas to share with you next week.

So in keeping with my Thanksgiving theme,  I've decided to reintroduce this Pumpkin and Sage Risotto for Recipe ReRun. I first made this Pumpkin and Sage Risotto last November and it was deliciously creamy with the wonderful flavors of pumpkin and fresh sage. This recipe contains only 5 ingredients and serves 5 people so you may want to double it.

If you've missed any recent posts, here are some more ideas to try this holiday:

Next week, be on the lookout for Portuguese Stuffing, Pumpkin Pecan Cheese Ball and Spiked Mini Apple Tarts with Cinnamon Whipped Cream!


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Cranberry Pear Sauce

Let's see a show of hands. How many people use canned cranberry sauce on Thanksgiving? I always did. It was just what I grew up with and yes, I even liked the jellied version that had to be sliced. (No judgement please). That is until last year when I made my own version after seeing how easy it was on some of my favorite blogs. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Butter Roasted Carrots & Parsnips with Oregano

I'll admit it. Until a few years ago I never even tried a parsnip; which looks like a cream colored carrot. The parsnip was originally planted by the Romans and used as a sweetener before cane sugar, but wasn't introduced in the United States until the nineteenth century. You can eat the parsnip raw; however, it is more commonly consumed cooked, and is especially high in potassium.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Apple Cider Brined Roasted Chicken with Pan Gravy

Last Thanksgiving I made a Lemon & Rosemary Brined Turkey and it was OUT OF THIS WORLD delicious and moist. However, being that I was hosting a party of 14, it was impossible for me to take pictures of said bird. Don't get me wrong, my family loves me and this blog and all, but when it comes to Turkey Day, it's all about the food styling or photos allowed!