Giving thanks!

This weekend many Canadians will be sitting with friends and family enjoying turkey dinner.  Everyone has their own favourite recipes when it comes to turkey dinner, so with this in mind I decided to ask my friends and family to share their favourites with me.  All dishes have been covered including the most important, dessert!

  • Roast turkey from @thekitchn this is a great post, that includes a video and all of the important details to roasting a turkey.
  • Sausage and herb stuffing from @thefoodnetwork this is the best stuffing recipe that I have ever made!
  • Turnips from my mom, you can tell that this recipe has been very well-loved.
  • Festive vegetables from my friend Lindsay, and vegetable Medley from my friend Mary.
  • Roasted brussels sprouts: wash and cut sprouts into bite size pieces, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, roast in the oven until fork tender, drizzle with balsamic reduction (you can buy this or make your own by boiling down good quality balsamic vinegar) and crispy pancetta (cook pancetta while the sprouts are in the oven).  This recipe is from my friend Amy.
  • Curried cauliflower from The Best of Bridge, this has been a staple recipe on our table for many years.
  • Mashed potatoes, I never use a recipe for potatoes just simple ingredients: potatoes, warmed milk, butter and salt and pepper.  I hate lumpy potatoes so I always use my immersion blender as a masher.
  • Gravy from my mom, she found this recipe years ago in a newspaper.  You can make the gravy days before Thanksgiving.  She mentioned that they key to this recipe is cutting the vegetables into the same size as well as browning them.
  • Pumpkin Pie from my gramma Billie, and remember to use her pie dough for the crust.  Simply search the blog for the recipe.

Wishing you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving,
Sara

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Celebrate 150!

As Canadians, we have a very special weekend coming up.  Whether you are celebrating with a large group, a small gathering with friends or a backyard BBQ these recipes will be sure to please a crowd.  As we approach such a special milestone I am so very proud to call myself a Canadian.  Happy Birthday Canada!

Appetizers:
– watermelon, feta and mint on a skewer drizzled with some olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper. (use a melon baller or cut the melon into cubes).
triple layer guacamole served with tortilla chips
antipasto salad kabobs
melon, prosciutto and mozzarella skewers
pepperoni pizza dip (if you have never made this dip YOU MUST!)
mediterranean 7-layer dip served with pita chips
feta dip

Sides:
ranch pasta salad
broccoli and apple salad
hail to the kale salad (this is an amazing salad and perfect for a BBQ)
corn salad
– baked beans (this recipe belongs to my very good friend MB)
Finely chop one onion and brown in 1 tbsp of butter.  Pour over three cans of beans: 1      kidney, 1 baked and 1 black.  Combine 1/2 cup of ketchup, 3 tbsp brown sugar, 1 tsp dry mustard, 1/2 tsp garlic, 1/4 tsp pepper.  Pour this over the bean and onion mixture.  Bake at 300 for 1-2 hours.
– other ideas for sides: fresh fruit and vegetables and assorted chips with dip.

Mains:
chicken caesar burgers
fall-off-the-bone ribs (this is my go-to recipe)
tin foil sausage and veggie dinner
the ultimate burger
– other ideas for mains: grilled hotdogs, smokies, sausages, steaks or salmon.

Desserts:
confetti squares
Nanaimo bars
pecan tarts
strawberry shortcake
strawberry pretzel pie
no bake cheesecake bars

Happy Canada Day,
Sara

Ole!

Cinco de Mayo is this Friday, and really who doesn’t love a little Mexican fiesta to start their weekend?!  Some of my oldest and most favourite recipes are Mexican inspired.  From starters to salads, here are some recipes to please every palate.

Layered taco dip: I know that everyone has been to a party and had this dip.  I make this dip to feed a crowd and it never disappoints.  Start by spreading a layer of refried beans as the base for the dip.  I use a large round platter, so that there is room to add chips along the side.  Next, cover the beans with guacamole, this can be bought or home-made. The third layer is a mixture of sour cream and taco seasoning.  I buy the seasoning from Trader Joe’s in the U.S.A. and bring it home with me.  If not buy one that is MSG-free and low sodium.  The final layer is cheese.  You can buy a Mexican blend or shred cheddar and jack cheese.  I like to top the dip with sliced tomatoes, jalapeños and cilantro.
Guacamole:  Making guacamole is very simple, and requires basic ingredients.  I make it the same every time, but it always tastes a little different.  Mash three avocados, season with salt, pepper and garlic powder.  Squeeze the juice from one lime over top and add a large heaping spoonful of sour cream.  To give it a little zip I use Frank’s RedHot sauce (10 dashes) and then a spoonful of salsa.  Serve as an accompaniment to nachos or as a starter with taco chips.

Burritos from the Best of Bridge, this may be one of my most favourite recipes of all time!  Serve with a green salad.
Enchiladas also from the Best of Bridge Ladies, I serve this with a salad on the side.
Chicken fajitas from @marthastewart I make this recipe all of the time.  Instead of broiling the veggies and chicken on two separate pans, put all of it on one pan it works just as well.
Sloppy Joe tacos from @gimmesomeoven I have shared this recipe before, but it is a kid favourite.
Baked tacos with hard shells from @byjillee my mom swears by this recipe.  The beef filling for these tacos is delicious.
Fish tacos and the best sauce from simply-gourmet.com I have made these with fresh halibut and they were outstanding.
Black-bean tostadas with corn relish from @marthastewart this is another recipe that I have shared before.  It is a great vegetarian option, especially when corn is in season.
Chopped chicken taco salad from @howsweeteats I really enjoy a chopped salad, especially if someone else makes it for me!
Cilantro lime chicken salad with mango avocado salsa from @cafedelites this is a recipe that I have never made but looks great.
Churros with chocolate sauce from @justataste
Lime margarita from @epicurious

Cocina feliz,
Sara

Banana pancakes

It seems that at least twice a month we have pancakes on the weekend.  Although we do purchase a buckwheat pancake mix, our most favourite is banana pancakes.  I have tried many different recipes for banana pancakes, but found one by Nigella Lawson that is amazing!  The addition of buttermilk make them light and fluffy with just a hint of banana.  In our house my son and husband top their pancakes with butter and maple syrup.  For me, I enjoy them with fresh fruit and some greek yogurt.  You can find the recipe for Nigella’s pancakes here

Happy flipping,
Sara