Monday, November 17, 2014

Catching up... In the Kitchen!

They say home is where the heart is, I've been living the truth of that. Since my show training ended, I've been in pretty much 1 of 3 places at any given time: home, grocery store, and gym. And loving it. I've been cooking up a storm, and in the process I have become fairly certain that my oven runs hot. In fact, I finally just ordered a cheapy oven thermometer today to find out once and for all.

In addition to cooking, I've been feathering the nest, so to speak. Here's what I've been working on...

Ready for Thanksgiving! :-)

Wiring in for the lights! Woot! So I finally got to decorate it!

Candles, books, movies... my knick-knacks of choice ;-)

Little fun touches here and there

More fun little things, and there's my sassy girl
holding my aprons!

I still haven't done my window seat cushion yet, but in the meantime
it's all ready for Fall!
And back to cooking... I started a new pinterest board called Tried it, where I'm pinning the ones I've tested and my results.
Follow Chelle Stafford's board Tried It, and here are the results... on Pinterest.
Over the weekend, we threw a little dinner party where my friends graciously let me test recipes on them. ;-) Thankfully, each one was a winner! From the appetizers to the main dish to the dessert. Yay! You read about the dessert here, and can view the recipe. If you decide to try out the other recipes (on the board above), be sure to note my comments on the pins to see the changes I made.

Today I tried the Chorizo Stuffed Plantains... and again, my oven ran hot. Even with the slightly overcooked plantains (lol) the flavors were fabulous! I use my own chorizo (recipe here), and the dish was awesome! Next up with plantains is a cuban lasagna, but don't know when I'll get to it.

Right now, in my crockpot is yet another batch of the slow-cooker Chicken Marsala (also in the pinterest board above), with a couple more tweaks to the original recipe. The smell - I wish I could share that with you because it's just magical! And I'm fine-tuning the next round of my battle to create a clean, low sodium, tasty bacon-bean soup. That should happen this week.
Chicken Marsala

Apart from all this cooking, I'm also sculpting my menu for thanksgiving. Can't believe it's nearly here! We'll do the traditional turkey (oh crap! I better buy one!) that's brined (hopefully I'll win this year - you know it's been 50/50 in years past in my battle with the bird - darn brine bucket!), plus mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, green beans, rolls... it's all pretty much, well, traditional. Our family doesn't permit much tinkering with the main components, but I do get to have a free hand with stuff like appetizers and desserts. One day, I swear, I'll do something other than a turkey, stuffing, etc. One day (I'll get you, my pretty, and your little dog, too!). My day will come. ;-)   All that to say, this year's desserts I'm planning on doing minis... bite-size pies, cakes, etc. That way, we can all enjoy a little bit of everything without going into a sugar coma.

What do you do for Thanksgiving dinner? Do you get to choose the menu or are you bound my family tradition? Which traditional foods are your favorite? Your least? Use the comment section below to tell me!


  1. Heaven forbid I mess with tradition! I do a Rosemary/Lemon turkey on the grill, Honeybaked ham, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy and rolls. Everything homemade - no boxes or cans here! I do experiment with the veggie sides because hubs won't touch anything green. Last year I made brussels sprouts with cranberries, walnuts and orange zest that was amazing. I like your dessert idea of small bites, I just might do that this year! Happy Thanksgiving!

    1. Ooooh! Your brussel sprouts sound fantastic! Can you share the recipe? :-)

  2. Awesome post Chelle! Love the decorations! What restaurant have you had the best chicken masala? Remember to add it to your Besty List!