Sweet Potato & Blue Cheese Quesadillas with Balsamic Onions

Sweet Potato & Blue Cheese Quesadillas with Balsamic Onions

Let’s talk about leftovers. They just never seem to go away. Thanks to a nifty turkey curry, all of our turkey is gone, but we still have a ton of other things left. Our sweet potatoes seem to be multiplying in the fridge. We made a great horseradish sweet potato dish for Thanksgiving. The horseradish gave the potatoes a little bite that went perfectly with the blue cheese and balsamic onions. Any sweet potatoes will work though. Overall the combination of flavors were perfect. Tortillas are a really great tool for transforming leftovers. Using the sweet potatoes in a quesadilla not only was a great way to use up your leftovers, but it makes for a quick lunch or an easy appetizer to share.

Sweet Potato & Blue Cheese Quesadillas with Balsamic Onions

Sweet Potato & Blue Cheese Quesadillas with Balsamic Onions

  • 1/4 onion, finely sliced
  • balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup leftover mashed sweet potatoes
  • 2 Tablespoons crumbled blue cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped walnuts, lightly toasted
  • 2 tortillas (I used corn)
  • Leftover cranberry sauce, for serving
  1. Take the finely sliced onion and place in a shallow bowl. Pour in enough balsamic vinegar to cover the onions and allow to sit for at least 15 minutes. (Save the vinegar for another use, like vinaigrette or marinade.)
  2. Heat tortillas in a pan over medium-high heat.
  3. Reheat sweet potatoes and spread over one of the heated tortillas. Top with blue cheese, walnuts and onions.
  4. Place other tortilla on top and slice into quarters (pizza cutters are great for this).
  5. Serve with cranberry sauce for dipping.

Spiced Pumpkin Waffles

Mini Spiced Pumpkin Waffles

If you are making Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow, I am certain you have all of the ingredients needed to make these right now. You can mix these waffles up in less than 5 minutes. Then it’s just up to your waffle maker to finish the job. The batter could also be used for pancakes as well. I like these waffles because they are perfect for a fast and easy Thanksgiving breakfast and should help tide everyone over until the main event.

I am not a really big fan of pumpkin things, but I actually really liked these. The pumpkin flavor was present, but not overwhelming and really good with the spices. I served these with maple syrup (which I’m normally not a fan of either) and they were perfect together. Absolutely perfect. I would also imagine that these would be quite good with apple butter. I have a mini waffle maker and I got 18 mini waffles out of this recipe. There were waffles for days on end. Depending on the type of waffle iron you have, your waffle mileage may vary.

Spiced Pumpkin Waffles
From Food.com.

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I used Better Batter)
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 2/3 cups milk
  1. Mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt in large bowl.
  2. In a second bowl, add eggs, sugar, pumpkin, milk, and butter; beat well.
  3. Gently fold in the flour mixture.
  4. Cook according to your waffle iron directions until the waffles are a nice deep, golden brown.

Pear & Cranberry Dutch Baby Pancake

Pear & Cranberry Dutch Baby Pancake

So, it’s Thanksgiving tomorrow here in the States. The last thing over everyone’s minds is probably breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so it shouldn’t be overlooked just because the main event is later in the day. I’ve the hard way over cooking several Thanksgiving dinners to know that a hungry chef is a cranky chef. Take a quick break this morning and make a delicious breakfast to get you through the day. I have to admit, my cooking time was over 30 minutes (more like 35 than 25), so not the world’s quickest breakfast. I’m going to write that off the increased baking time to the gluten-free flour, which is temperamental at best.

This was the first time I ever had or made a Dutch baby pancake and I have to say that it lived up to the hype. I would highly recommend this for special breakfast or a delicious brunch.

Pear & Cranberry Dutch Baby Pancake

Pear & Cranberry Dutch Baby Pancake
Adapted from Williams-Somona.

  • 3 Bartlett or D’Anjou pears, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 3/4 cup fresh or thawed frozen cranberries
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 5 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (I used Better Batter.)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • Confectioners’ sugar for dusting
  • Maple syrup for serving
  1. In a bowl, stir together the pears, cranberries, the 1/4 cup granulated sugar and the cinnamon. In a 9-inch French skillet over medium heat, melt 2 Tablespoons of the butter. Add the apple mixture and sauté until the pears are tender and the cranberries have broken down, about 8-12 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  2. Put an 11-inch French skillet or ovenproof sauté pan in a cold oven. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  3. Meanwhile, put the eggs in a blender and blend on medium speed until very frothy, about 1 minute. Add the flour, salt, the 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar and the milk and blend on medium speed for 2 minutes, stopping the blender to scrape down the sides as needed.
  4. When the oven is preheated, put the remaining 3 Tablespoons butter in the hot skillet and return it to the oven until the butter melts; do not let it brown. Carefully pour the batter into the hot skillet, then distribute the pear-cranberry mixture evenly on top. Bake until the Dutch baby is lightly browned and the sides have risen, about 25 minutes.
  5. Remove the skillet from the oven, dust the Dutch baby with confectioners’ sugar and serve immediately with maple syrup. Serves 4 to 6.


Roasted Potato Stacks

Roasted Potato Stack

Um. This might be one of the best ways to serve potatoes I have stumbled across. I’m Irish, I am basically an expert on all things potato. So, if I say these are great potatoes, you can rest assured that these really great potatoes. And they are SO easy. So easy. They are also a great way to make multiple individual servings. These might even work for more of an appetizer orientated party.

For some reason we only have mini muffin pans or jumbo muffin pans… (Memo to self, get regular sized muffin pans.) I used the jumbo muffin tin, which worked out fine. The potatoes got super crispy where they were touching the edge of the pan. If I had a regular sized tin, they would have turned out super crispy and even more wonderful. The middle of the stack got super creamy and wonderful almost like a gratin, but without the effort.

Roasted Potato Stacks

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound Russet potatoes, scrubbed clean
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F/180C. Brush 8 muffin tins with the garlic oil using a pastry brush or paper towel.
  2. Peel the potatoes and thinly slice them with a mandolin or by hand.
  3. Layer a potato slice in the bottom of a muffin tin and brush it with a thin layer of oil.
  4. Layer another slice of potato and brush it with the oil.
  5. Repeat until it stacks up to the top of the muffin tin.
  6. An alternate method would be to put the slices in a large bowl and toss with the oil mixture until coated.
  7. Repeat until you have a total of 8 potato stacks.
  8. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the potato stacks with the minced garlic.
  9. Bake the potato stacks in the preheated oven for 35-45 minutes or until the potatoes are golden brown and cook through.
  10. Serve immediately with any main entrees.

Parmesan Pearl Onions

I used to always ignore those random stands of recipe cards in the produce section at the grocery store. I just assumed that the recipes would not be any good. I have since become a bit obsessed with them. Most of the ones I have attempted have turned out really well and they are free. Free is always nice. This recipe came from the grocery store and it is tasty enough to warrant sharing. It would be a great and easy side dish for a Thanksgiving or holiday dinner.

I had only used pearl onions once or twice before I made this. I like pretty much any onion in pretty much any form. The recipe calls for fresh pearl onions to be used. That’s all fine and well, but I have enough issues with peeling and chopping the fresh ones, so to make it easy on myself and maintain fully attached fingers, I used frozen. SO easy.

Parmesan Pearl Onions
From a recipe card from Von’s/Safeway.

  • 1-10 ounce/280g package of fresh or frozen pearl onions
  • 1/2 cup/125 ml freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup/125 ml half-and-half
  • 1 tablespoon/15 ml flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon/2 ml salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon/1 ml Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon/.5 ml pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon/.5 ml paprika
  1. Cook onions in boiling water to cover, 1 minute; remove onions from water and plunge into ice water; peel if using fresh pearl onions.
  2. Arrange onions in a lightly greased 1-quart (1-litre) baking dish and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
  3. Preheat oven to 350F/175C. Combine half-and-half, flour, salt, Worcestershire sauce and pepper; stir well and pour over onions. Sprinkle with paprika. Cover and bake 15 minutes or until tender.
  4. Serve and enjoy.

Basic Cranberry Sauce

Basic Cranberry Sauce

This is the world’s most basic cranberry sauce. It is really more of a cranberry sauce base. You can do just about anything with it since it is just a ratio (1 cup water:1 cup sugar:4 cups cranberries). I generally add in substitute some orange juice instead of all water, but that’s just me. Throw in some nutmeg, maybe some orange zest and call it a day. I’ve heard of some folks adding chopped pecans or other fruit as well. Go wild.

Basic Cranberry Sauce

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 4 cups fresh cranberries
  • Optional: Pecans, orange zest, dried cherries, dried apricots, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice.
  1. Wash and pick over cranberries. In a saucepan bring the water and orange juice to a boil water and stir in the sugar until it is dissolves. Add cranberries, return to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer for 10 minutes or until cranberries burst. Stir in any and all optional ingredients you desire.
  2. Remove from heat. Cool completely at room temperature and then chill in refrigerator. Cranberry sauce will thicken as it cools.

Gluten-Free Green Bean Casserole

Gluten Free Green Bean Casserole

Normally I am super into Thanksgiving. It’s usually one of my favorite holidays of the whole year. This year I am a Thanksgiving Grinch. I just cannot get into it. I blame christmas, which I am a normal Grinch about. Christmas needs to stop encroaching on other perfectly good holidays… That being said Thanksgiving still has to be dealt with.

When I was much younger and naive and still excited over Thanksgiving, about two weeks ago, I tested out a few potential recipes. This green been casserole was an instant winner. It is a relatively easy recipe. The most time consuming part is coating and cooking the onions, but they are well worth the effort. I would highly recommend making some extra onions while you are at it. A number of mine managed to disappear before I assembled the dish. They are quite tasty and very snackable.

Gluten Free Green Bean Casserole


Gluten-Free Green Bean Casserole

  • Olive oil nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 large (12-ounce) onion, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices and separated into rings
  • 5 Tablespoon all-purpose flour (I used Better Batter.)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds green beans, trimmed
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 container (10-ounce) sliced cremini or white mushrooms
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup milk
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line large cookie sheet with foil; spray with nonstick spray.
  2. In bowl, toss onion with 2 tablespoons flour and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Spread onion in single layer on prepared foil; spray onion with nonstick spray. Bake 14 minutes; toss to rearrange, then spray again. Bake 15 minutes or until crisp.
  3. Meanwhile, in 5-quart saucepot, heat 3 quarts water to boiling on high. Add beans and cook, uncovered, 5 minutes or until tender-crisp. Drain beans in colander; rinse under cold water. Drain.
  4. In 4-quart saucepan, melt margarine on medium. Add shallot; cook 2 minutes, stirring. Add mushrooms; cook 7 to 8 minutes or until tender, stirring often. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, and 3 tablespoons flour; cook 1 minute. Add broth and milk; heat to boiling on high, stirring. Reduce heat to low; cook 2 minutes. Add beans.
  5. Transfer mixture to 2-quart baking dish; bake 15 minutes. Stir mixture; top with onion. Bake 5 minutes or until sauce is bubbly.

Butternut Squash & Turkey Salad

Butternut Squash & Turkey Salad

For some reason I always ignore the recipes that come on the packaging of food. I bought some hot Italian turkey sausages last week. I really had no clue what to do with them, but they were on sale, so it seemed like a good idea at the time. As I was attempting to figure out how to even cook the things, I noticed a recipe on the back of the package. Surprisingly it actually sounded pretty delicious. I had nearly everything on hand, so I went for it.

I was very pleasantly surprised about how this turned out. It was great. The mustard dressing really complemented the flavors of the sausage and the roasted vegetables. The original recipe called for sweet potatoes instead of butternut squash. Either one works. I also think that this salad would be a great way to use up leftover veggies and turkey from Thanksgiving, so keep it in mind for later in the month…

Butternut Squash & Turkey Salad
Adapted from Jennie-O

For the Mustard Dressing

  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons grainy Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • salt and freshly ground pepper, if desired
For the Salad
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 3/4 lb butternut squash, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch cubes
  • 1 large onion, cut into chunks
  • salt and freshly ground pepper, if desired
  • 1 package Hot Italian Turkey Sausage
  • 4 cups mixed baby lettuce leaves
  • 1/2 cup smoked almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped

To Make the Dressing

  1. Put oil, vinegar, mustard, garlic, and salt and pepper, in a jar or bowl; shake or mix until well combined.
To Make the Salad
  1. Heat oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Combine oil, butternut squash, onion and salt and pepper, if desired, on prepared baking sheet and arrange in a single layer. Roast, uncovered, in preheated oven, turning once during cooking, for 30 to 40 minutes until tender and golden.
  2. Cook the turkey as specified on the package. Slice links into 1/4 inch rounds. Put butternut squash, onion, turkey, lettuce, and almonds in a large bowl. Drizzle with dressing and toss gently to coat.

Gluten Free Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie

I decided to try a new pecan pie recipe this year. Pecan pie is one of the few desserts I like once a year, but I’m still pretty picky about it. The chocolate and bourbon definitely puts this pie over the top. I would highly recommend it if you are looking for a twist on regular pecan pie. 

I read through the comments on the recipe after I made it and I definitely wish I had read them before. This pie makes a TON of filling. You will need a deep dish or 2 regular crusts (see my note!). I would also agree with the recommendation to cut down on the sugar to 3/4 cup. I personally didn’t find the need to cut down on the chocolate or bourbon (and this is coming from someone who is not a fan of chocolate or bourbon), however some other bakers did, but I mean, pecan pie is supposed to be decadent, why cut down on the chocolate and bourbon…?

NOTE: The original recipe called for 1 9-inch pie crust. I followed the recipe exactly and ended up with enough filling for 2 8-inch pie crusts… I would definitely recommend using a deep dish crust or 2 pie crusts like I did. I decided to cheat and used pre-made gluten free pie crusts from Kinnikinnick. These pre-made pie crusts were really not worth the hassle. This is the first bad experience I have had with a Kinnikinnick product. I’ve had good experiences with Whole Foods GF Pie Crusts in the past, but didn’t have a chance to get to WF before I needed the crusts. In the future I will still to Whole Foods Pie crusts or just use GF graham cracker crumbs.

Gluten Free Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie (adapted from allrecipes.com)

  • 1 9-inch (or 2 8-in gluten free) pie crusts
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  2. In a small saucepan combine sugar, corn syrup, and butter or margarine. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until butter or margarine melts and sugar dissolves. Cool slightly.
  3. In a large bowl combine eggs, bourbon, vanilla, and salt. Mix well. Slowly pour sugar mixture into egg mixture, whisking constantly. Stir in chocolate chips and pecans. Pour mixture into pie shell.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 50 to 55 minutes, or until set and golden. May be served warm or chilled.

Sparkling Cranberry Bites

I originally made these as a Thanksgiving appetizer, but they would be perfect for just about any other holiday function you have coming up. The cranberries are so pretty. The tart, sweet, creamy really makes the perfect combination for an appetizer this time of year.  The cranberries do have to soak overnight, so keep that in mind if you are planning on making these. I almost missed that detail before I made them.

For serving, I used Food Should Taste Good muliti-grain chips/crackers. They call them chips, but they are really large and flat/cracker-like, so they are perfect for using for appetizers. And all of their flavors are gluten free, which makes them the perfect substitute for crackers or serving appetizers. These could be served on any cracker or even a sliced baguette.

Sparkling Cranberry Bites (from Yummy Mummy Kitchen)

Sugared Cranberries

  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup good maple syrup
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  1. Rinse cranberries and place in a medium bowl. Heat syrup in a small sauce pan just until warm. Pour over cranberries when syrup is warm, not hot, or cranberries may pop. Cool, cover, and let soak in the refrigerator overnight.
  2. Drain cranberries in a colander. Place sugar in a large bowl or baking dish. Add cranberries in 2 batches and roll around until lightly coated in sugar. Place on a baking sheet until dry, about 1 hour.

Serve with brie on crackers.