Monday, December 29, 2014

A Night in Bethlehem (Recipes)

I was going to prepare a rather large, fancy, dinner for Christmas this year but then I was in church talking with a few ladies and one of them shared a family tradition of hers and I absolutely loved it. Each year, on Christmas Eve, they would have what they called "a night in Bethlehem". They prepare foods that were served during the time of Christ, eat on the floor (as was commonly done during that time), and the children dress up and perform the nativity. How lovely does that sound?! I just adored the idea so I began to research recipes and found a few that turned out to be quite delicious.

*I made smaller breads and fried them in a large skillet with a bit of olive oil, the recipe says that it makes 6 flatbreads but I easily made double.

Israeli Roast Chicken

*I used chicken thighs (bone-in) and removed the skin. I cooked them for 1 hour at 350 F.
Also, I ate my chicken gyro-style with the flatbread and Jerusalem salad, and also with a quick yogurt sauce made with plain Greek yogurt, lime juice, salt, and pepper.

*I used 6 dried figs, 1/2 C chopped walnuts, 1/3 C brown sugar, 2-3 Tbsp water and brought it all to a boil for a few minutes then poured it over 1 8oz block of neaufchatel cheese (cream cheese) on a plate and it was perfect, I wouldn't change a thing that I did. We ate this with crackers and it was scrumptious!

I also served some roasted veggies. This dinner was rather simple and full of flavor, everyone loved it!

New Years Ideas for 2015!

Can you believe another year has passed already?! It seems that sometimes time seems to pass so slowly but when I look back I often wonder where the time went. My kids have gotten older, we finally finished school and entered into the wonderful life of residency, we moved from Utah to Texas, my sweetheart and I have both aged and have hopefully become just a bit wiser, and now we are looking forward to the new year and what adventures it may bring! I am not typically much of a "New Years Resolution" sort of person but I have found a few ideas that are resolution-ish that I think I can stick with. Check them out!

For those of us who love to read:

This is a list that I really love, you can find it by clicking on the link below :)

If you're looking to get in shape I have a BUNCH of workout links on this blog, simply click the "Get Fit" tab and you will find all of them, two of my most popular exercise posts are my Couch to 5k & 10k programs, here they are:

This is also a GREAT workout program and I have seen a lot of success with it:

For emergency preparedness, check this out! I have put together a family emergency binder and a few other items that you may find useful/interesting. Click here.

If you're looking for healthier cooking ideas check out my Meatless May series.

I hope each and every one of you has a wonderful new year! 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Toasted Walnut Stuffing

I apologize for the picture but this stuffing really was incredible! It was pretty easy to put together and the flavors were wonderful, forget the boxed stuff!

Toast Walnut Stuffing
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tsp. dried sage
1 tsp. dried parsley
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 - 1 tsp. pepper
1 C. chopped walnuts, pan toasted until fragrant
1 loaf hard-crusted bread, cubed
1/2 C. white wine
1.5 - 2 C. broth

-Preheat oven to 400 F.

1. Heat olive oil in medium pan, add onion, garlic, herbs, salt, and pepper. Saute until onion is translucent and tender. Add wine and simmer until reduced. Toss with bread and nuts in a baking dish. Add just enough broth to moisten the bread, mix well.
2. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes until browning on top. Serve!

Check out my other Thanksgiving recipes:

Crock Pot Cranberry Sauce

This is so simple and so delicious!

Crock Pot Cranberry Sauce
12 oz. fresh cranberries, rinsed
1/2 C. brown sugar, packed
1/2 C. white sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 Tbsp. orange juice
1/2 C. water

1. Mix together the sugars, cinnamon, orange juice, and water and pour into crock pot. Add berries and toss well. Cover and cook on HIGH heat for 3 hours, stirring every hour.
2. Use a fork to mash the berries, cook 30 more minutes uncovered. Remove to a bowl and let cool before refrigerating.

*I make this the day before and refrigerate overnight.*

Moist & Fragrant Thanksgiving Turkey

"This turkey is amazing, seriously, the white meat is so moist, how did you do that?!" - My hubby

Well, that about sums it up! Needless to say, my turkey turned out wonderful! Here's how I did it (don't worry, it's super easy!):

Moist & Fragrant Thanksgiving Turkey
What you will need:
20 lb. turkey - remove neck, gizzards, etc from inside the bird
1 onion, coarsely chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 Tbsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. dried sage
1 tsp. dried rosemary
Salt & pepper
Olive oil
1 stick butter, melted

***Remove turkey from freezer and let sit in refrigerator 4-5 days to thaw***

-Preheat oven to 350 F

1. In a small bowl mix together the onion, garlic, olive oil, and seasonings. Mix well then stuff inside the turkey. Drizzle the turkey with olive oil then salt and pepper the bird. Tent your turkey with foil. Bake, covered, for 3.5 hours.
2. Remove turkey from oven, uncover, brush with melted butter, then return to the oven. Baste turkey with remaining melted butter every 30-40 minutes - about 2 more hours total - until thoroughly cooked (165 F).
*As you can see, we had a handy thermometer which pops out when the meat is cooked*
3. Let sit 20-30 minutes before carving, this helps lock in the juices. Serve!

p.s. You can prepare the bird the night before, just be sure to let it sit out of the refrigerator for 1 hour before putting it in the oven. AND, I put my bird in the oven at 7am and it was ready at 1:30pm.

Check out my other Thanksgiving recipes: