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Cranberry-Pepper Jelly

If you've been reading my blog at all over the past week or so, you're probably sick of hearing me talk about this Cranberry-Pepper Jelly! But I promise, this will be it on this topic...at least until next year. I know it probably seems odd that I'm providing the recipe in this post after Thanksgiving, but this condiment is so yummy and versatile that it lives well past Turkey Day. Fantastic on turkey sandwiches of course, but also great with baked brie or really paired with any cheese. It also makes a nice cracker dip along with some cream cheese. This cranberry-pepper jelly knows no bounds and it's super easy to make as well. The recipe is from the 2011 Thanksgiving issue of Bon Appétit with only a couple of very minor SavoryGirl adaptions.

So first things first...the ingredients. Super simple ingredients here along with a heavy-bottomed pan and you're ready to go:

Weekly Menu: November 25 – December 1, 2012
Sunday: Turkey Mushroom Risotto
Monday: Tofu Veggie Stir Fry
Tuesday: Leftovers: Risotto
Wednesday: Leftovers: Stir Fry
Thursday: Suz in Austin; Salmon & Roasted Rapini with Tomatoes
Friday: Suz in Austin; Christian eating out
Saturday: Suz in Austin; easy grilled Chicken and Baked Sweet Potato (DIY)
It's a short week for me since I'm heading to Austin, TX for a long overdue girls weekend on Thursday so we're keeping it pretty simple in terms of dinner.  Sunday we'll use up the last of our Thanksgiving turkey and broth leftovers and make a turkey mushroom risotto with a side spinach salad. Then we'll do a simple tofu and veggie stir fry...vegetables that don't have marshmallows melted over them seem to be lacking a bit lately so this will be a nice healthy dinner.  Once I take off on Thursday Christian will most likely turn to his old standby favorites. Salmon with roasted rapini & tomatoes one night and easy grilled chicken and a baked sweet potato another night. Healthy, simple home cooking.

I'll return home on Sunday to a nice home cooked meal by Christian...but you'll have to wait until next week to find out what that delicious meal will be!
Weekly Menu: November 18-24, 2012
Sunday: Leftovers: Shrimp & Grits
Monday: Grilled Salmon with Roasted Rapini & Tomatoes
Tuesday: Eat Out
Wednesday:    Leftovers: Frozen Mixed Bean Soup
Thursday: Thanksgiving, 2012" href="http://www.savorygirl.com/site/recipes/a-savorygirl-thanksgiving-2012/">THANKSGIVING MENU!
Friday: Leftovers: Thanksgiving seconds!
Saturday: Eat Out
My favorite cooking week of the year is here! If you've already checked out my Thanksgiving, 2012" href="http://www.savorygirl.com/site/recipes/a-savorygirl-thanksgiving-2012/" target="_blank">Thanksgiving Menu that I posted last week you know that I plan ahead and spread out my cooking over the entire week before. Makes the big day much more enjoyable so I can focus on my friends, family and football. So that means we'll be keeping the cooking for our other dinners this week pretty simple. Leftovers from both last week's menu and soup from the freezer that we cooked a while back and of course those wildly sought after Thanksgiving leftovers.

Thanksgiving filled with lots of love, good food and great company. Let the holiday season begin!
Weekly Menu: November 11-17, 2012
Sunday: Malaysian Beef Curry
Monday: Yogurt Marinated Grilled Chicken with Mashed Sweet Potatoes & Spinach
Tuesday: Leftovers: Malaysian Beef Curry
Wednesday:   Leftovers: Yogurt Marinated Grilled Chicken & Goat Cheese Quesadillas
Thursday: Shrimp & Artichoke over Parmesan Grits
Friday: Easy Breakfast for Dinner
Saturday: Eat Out
It's weeks like these that make me particularly grateful for our menus. I'm out of town for work Tuesday through Thursday but by planning ahead and cooking early in the week Christian can just rely on leftovers while I'm out of town. Then we'll keep it simple when I return with an old favorite (that we were supposed to make last week, ooops!) and an easy night of breakfast for dinner.

Sunday's Malaysian Beef Curry is a new recipe...sounds spicy and fantastically delicious and the best part is that it's a slow cooker meal. There is a longer ingredient list and tamarind paste can sometimes be a bit hard to find, but boy is it going to make the house smell amazing while it cooks! The Yogurt Marinated Grilled Chicken recipe is a new one, but super simple and healthy. Just make sure you prepare and start marinating the chicken the night before you plan on making it. Get creative with the chicken leftovers...we're going to turn it into chicken and goat cheese quesadillas, probably with a side black bean salad.

Stay tuned for my Thanksgiving Menu, which I'll be posting in a couple of days. It's my favorite holiday since I love cooking and entertaining so much.  The planner in me will help lay it all out for you so you can actually enjoy yourself day-of and not be stuck in the kitchen missing the party. If I do say so myself, SavoryGirl Thanksgivings are always a big hit and my guests are quite happy and well-fed by the end of the day!
Keeping it Simple for the 4th…

The Fourth of July has been one of my favorite holidays for as long as I can remember...but the funny thing is that it's one of the few holidays that I love that isn't all about the food for me.  Thanksgiving?  Definitely about the food.  Christmas Season? Cookie Party,  Fondue and Roast Beast. Easter?  A delicious brunch.  New Year's Eve?  Osso Bucco. New Year's Day? Black Eyed Peas.  You see, the thing that keeps me up the night before most holidays is child-like excitement over what I'm going to be cooking and/or eating the next day.  Of course it's about family and friends (and let's be honest...presents) as well but food always plays a central character on holidays for me and it has since I was a child.

The Fourth of July, however, was always a bit different.  I grew up having a big family picnic in a local park every Fourth of July...so it was the one holiday where my mom and I weren't cooking at home and weren't responsible for the entire meal.  Sure we'd make a few nice dishes to bring along but other members of the family chipped in too so it was casual, easy and really more about being in the park and hanging out with family that we really only saw on this one day a year.  Well, it was also about my Aunt Nixa's amazing Puerto Rican rice that she made every year...but I've yet to wrangle that recipe from her!

Weekly Menu: January 8-14, 2012
Sunday: Lentil Dal with Bitter Greens & Curried Butternut Squash
Monday: Eggs in Purgatory with Artichoke Hearts & Capers over Polenta
Tuesday: Leftovers: Lentil Dal
Wednesday: Leftovers: Eggs in Purgatory
Thursday: Pork Chops with Kale & Brussels Sprout Salad
Friday: Eat Out
Saturday: Leftovers: Pork & Kale Salad
This is going to be a yummy week.  The lentil dal dish from my old, worn Cooking Light cookbook is a really nice vegetarian dish.  Filling, nicely flavored and perfect for this time of year.  For the butternut squash just chop it up in cubes and coat with olive oil, curry powder, salt and pepper.  Roast it at 450 for about 25 minutes, or until soft.

You all know I love eggs for dinner, and this recipe is no exception.  The recipe actually calls for potatoes in the dish, but we like to leave them out (Christian hates potatoes....un-American, I know!) and serve it over polenta to make it even more filling.  If you want to go with the original recipe, just serve it with some hearty toast.

Lastly, we got an Omaha Steaks variety pack gift over the holidays so we have some nice pork chops in the freezer.  We thought we'd pair them with that delicious Kale & Brussels Sprout salad that was such a hit over Thanksgiving this year.  We're both really looking forward to having that again, healthy, easy & delicious!!  
Kale & Brussels Sprout Salad

This is a delicious and fabulous winter salad...even for those who have never eaten kale or think they don't like kale.  How do I know that?  It was my one risky dish for Thanksgiving this year and it got rave reviews!  And this was from a group of 12, men an women, who aren't really into the whole healthy, superfood movement.  So this was a bit of an experiment and I was prepared for it to be snubbed next to all of those buttery and rich Thanksgiving stand-bys.  Imagine my surprise when I started hearing murmurings around the table about the salad....of all things!  I think almost everyone loved it (yes there were one or two holdouts...but I'm convinced they didn't even try it) and had seconds.  It was even one of the first leftovers to be finished off.  So, I stand by my assessment that this is a phenomenal salad!

Recipe: Kale & Brussels Sprout Salad

It's actually quite simple when you look at the recipe...kale, brussels sprouts, almonds & pecorino dressed with a simple mixture of lemon juice, dijon mustard, shallot & garlic.  Voilà!  Delicious salad!  That being said, there are two steps that can take a bit of time if you don't have the right technique:

Weekly Menu: December 25-31, 2011
Sunday: Christmas Roast “Beast” with Mashed Potatoes & Spinach
Monday: Salmon with Roasted Rapini & Tomatoes (DIY)
Tuesday: LEFTOVERS: Roast Beef Au Jus Sandwiches
Wednesday: Christian’s Posole
Thursday: LEFTOVERS: Posole
Friday: Eat Out
Saturday: New Year’s Eve Osso Bucco & Cheesy Polenta
Ah, Christmas...in my household growing up that always meant a "Roast Beast," so that's what Christian and I do now.  This year I'll likely do some kind of rosemary horseradish crust (something like this one), cook it medium rare and serve it with a side of the delicious mashed potatoes that I made on Thanksgiving and some spinach sauteéd with garlic and red pepper.  For the rest of the week we'll keep it pretty simple with one of our favorite healthy fish dishes and another one of our favorites, Christian's yummy Posole soup.

For New Year's Eve we have a tradition of splurging one last time for the year and making the Italian classic, Osso Bucco.  It's one of those amazing dishes that cooks all day and makes your house smell amazing.  We go completely traditional and use veal shanks (I know, I know...judge away) but you can absolutely make this with beef shanks as well.  We serve it with a super decadent cheesy polenta and usually a dark leafy green or salad.  The kale brussels sprout salad we made for Thanksgiving would go nicely now that I think of it.

One last big Happy Holidays wish to you and yours...and if you managed to cook at home even just a bit more than usual this year, congratulations!  If not, there's always next year!  Check back here first thing in 2012 to join me as I embark on a new year of fun recipes, menus and home cooking...
Weekly Menu: December 4-10, 2011
Sunday: Cheese Souffle & Roasted Red Pepper Salad (DIY)thanksgiving-dinner/7" target="_blank">
Monday: Orange Fennel Steamed Salmon with Roasted Winter Veggies
Tuesday: Leftovers: Souffle
Wednesday: Easy Egg Dish (DIY)
Thursday: Taco Night (DIY)
Friday: Leftovers: Tacos
Saturday: Eat Out
We didn't quite make it to our fish dish last week, but since we have all of the ingredients except for the salmon we're just going to roll it over into this week's menu...feel free to peruse the fish/seafood archives if you need to find another meal to swap in.  I'm not sure I've ever made a souffle, although Christian insists that I have. Either way I'm a a bit nervous about it falling, but I'm sure it will be yummy even if it isn't pretty. The French Chicken, on the other hand, is something we've been making for at least 8 years...really good and pretty darn easy. Of course, you know Taco Night is a favorite in the Henricksen house as well. Have a great week!
Weekly Menu: November 27 – December 3, 2011
Sunday: Use leftover crudite  to make DIY Asian Noodle soup
Monday: White Bean & Kale Soup
Tuesday: Grilled Chicken with Thanksgiving Spicy Cranberry Sauce, Rice & Seasonal Veggie (DIY)
Wednesday: Leftovers: Chicken
Thursday: Leftovers: Soup
Friday: Eat Out
Saturday: Orange Fennel Steamed Salmon with Roasted Winter Veggies
Feeling a little guilty after my indulgent Thanksgiving weekend in Palm Springs (we had 12 desserts for 14 people!)...so we're going to try our best to get our appetites back to normal this week and make homemade healthy meals.  The soup and Salmon dishes are two of our favorite healthy meals in the winter, while the chicken dish is inspired by the crazy delicious leftover Cranberry-Red Pepper Jelly we made for Thanksgiving" href="http://www.savorygirl.com/site/home_cooking_entertaining/a-savorygirl-thanksgiving/">Thanksgiving.  If you had as much good eating as I did over the past few days, good luck in your own efforts to get back on track, it's always hard this time of year but sticking to a simple & healthy dinner meal plan sure is helpful!