Weekly Menu: January 1-7, 2012
Sunday: Black-Eyed Pea Cakes with Poached Eggs & Sauteed Spinach
Monday: Mushroom & Herb Potage
Tuesday: Salmon with Orange-Chili bulgar and Roasted Winter Veggies (DIY)
Wednesday: Tofu Veggie Stir Fry
Thursday: Leftovers: Soup
Friday: Leftovers: Stir Fry
Saturday: Eat Out
Happy New Year!  Time to welcome in 2012 by reintroducing veggies and other healthy foods into the diet!  I don't know about you, but these past few weeks have been super indulgent in the Henricksen household and while the holidays were fantastic, we're ready to get back on track.   So, as we always do we'll be starting off the New Year with black-eyed peas for good luck in 2012...it's a new recipe and I'm turning it into a breakfast style dinner but I think it will be yummy.  To be honest, I might use canned black-eyed peas to keep it a bit more simple :)

The soup dish for Monday is new...and while the website I've found with the recipe doesn't source properly, I originally found it in my Debrah Mayhew Soup cookbook (one of my favorites).  Yes, it has some bacon in it, but we have to ease our way back into this whole healthy thing, right?!  Tuesday and Wednesday are old stand-by DIY dishes for us...roasted winter veggies will likely be parsnips, brussels sprouts & sweet potatoes.  I hope you are as excited about stepping into this new year as we are...here's to 2012 being the best year yet!    
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 18th-24th, 2011
Sunday: Crab Season at Home!
Monday: Tortellini Soup
Tuesday: Chicken & Dumplings
Wednesday: LEFTOVERS: Tortelini Soup
Thursday: Eat Out before the Nutcracker
Friday: LEFTOVERS: Chicken & Dumplings
Saturday: Christmas Eve Fondue!
The sugar haze from Saturday's cookie party now over, it's time to forge ahead into the week before Christmas, and boy do I have some treats for you!  It is Crab Season here in San Francisco so we're going to go buy a few live crabs down in Chinatown and cook them up here at home.  We'll probably keep it simple and serve with a lemon garlic butter, crusty french bread and a nice big salad of some sort.  Monday and Tuesday we're keeping the feeling of home alive at the holidays with two old family recipes that I grew up eating...who doesn't need a bit of comfort food this time of year?  Especially when you're 3000 miles away from family!

The end of the week starts to pick back up with lots of holiday cheer.  We're going to the San Francisco Ballet's Nutcracker on Thursday so we'll likely have a quick dinner out beforehand.  Then on Saturday, we have another one of our holiday traditions...Fondue on Christmas Eve, often accompanied by Lambrusco and good old-fashioned board games.  When we do Fondue we do all 3 courses...cheese, meat/seafood and chocolate.  A bit indulgent, but oh so fun with the T.V. fire crackling and the tree lit behind us.  Whatever your tradition may be, I hope you have a wonderful Christmas Eve surrounded by loved ones and holiday cheer!    
Weekly Menu: November 20-26, 2011
Sunday: Veggie Pasta (DIY)
Monday: Huevos Rancheros (DIY)
Tuesday: Leftovers: Pasta
Wednesday: Pizza Welcome Party in Palm Springs!
Friday: Leftovers: Turkey Day Fixin's
Saturday: Eat Out in Palm Springs and/or Backyard BBQ
The countdown is on...only 4 days until Thanksgiving!  So that means this is an easy DIY-focused cooking week except for the big day.  I'd rather spend my time throughout the week prepping and doing some early cooking for Turkey day than making elaborate meals for dinner, so that's what we'll do.  We're heading to Palm Springs with 11 of our good friends for the holiday and it's going to be delicious & indulgent in your typical SavoryGirl style (menu, prep schedule & shopping list linked above!).  Whatever your plans are, I hope you have a fabulous, delicious, fun and safe holiday weekend.  Mangia, Mangia!  
Perfect Pumpkin Pancakes

How my Christian loves his pancakes...so much so that years ago when we started cutting back on processed foods (meaning no Bisquick) he started experimenting himself with different pancake recipes...and he was no cook back then! He's now made so many different pancakes that we often lose track as to which are our favorites, but these Pumpkin Pancakes are a mainstay... especially in the fall.  Christian's tinkering with this recipe has perfected them over the years and boy was he happy when I woke him up on his birthday last weekend with a freshly made batch topped with candied pecans! So what's so special about these pumpkin pancakes vs. others?  Well they're healthy as far as pancakes go (hey, the amount of butter & syrup you slather them with is your issue!), spiced and flavored perfectly and oh so puffy...which is my one and only criteria for pancakes on the rare occasion that I eat a sweet breakfast. Just in time to try out a few times before Thanksgiving breakfast....they're always a hit with our family and friends as a start to our Turkey Day!
Cinco de Mayo Menu

How could I forget to include a Cinco de Mayo dinner in this week’s menu?!  Christian and I love going to Mexico and in fact spent our honeymoon about 6 years ago there.  We also work Mexican inspired dishes into rotation so regularly that we often joke that we must have been Mexican in a past life...so we simply can’t skip the Cinco de Mayo festivities even if we do stay home.  That means I’ll be swapping out the White Bean & Kale Soup on this week’s menu for the Cinco de Mayo menu below (since I have the ingredients for the soup though I’ll make that next week....thankfully kale lasts forever!).
Foodie Valentine’s Day Celebrations

Christian and I celebrated V Day on Sunday with a trip to the SF Ballet to see Giselle (fabulous!) and dinner at Paul K (a bit underwhelming).  But we also celebrated on V Day proper by cooking a nice meal at home and popping a bottle of bubbly so I thought I would review both celebrations.

I’ll start with the dinner we made ourselves on Valentine’s Day itself...a nice bottle of 2006 Mumm Blanc de Blanc, Mussels Steamed in a Spicy Tomato-Cilantro Broth with a DIY salad of Arugula, Beets, Fresh Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese drizzled with truffle honey, balsamic, olive oil, salt & pepper.  Dessert was homemade chocolate dipped strawberries.
Chocolate Fondue

Christian is a true choc-aholic, so every Christmas Eve when we have our little family Fondue Party he is kind of just tolerating the cheese & meat fondue courses so that he can get to the chocolate course!  I think a lot of people assume that fondue is complicated or super messy, but really it's quite quick and easy.  It's also the perfect dessert for a party since it allows you to converse and have fun while playing with your food and indulging your sweet tooth!

The recipe below uses dark chocolate since that's our favorite, but you could also use milk or white if that's your preference.  Depending on how big your sweet tooth is, this should serve about 6.
Cheese Fondue

We are fondue lovers in our household...so much so that we even had our rehearsal dinner for our wedding at a fondue restaurant!  I love anything that slows down a meal and let's you play with your food while you have good conversation and fun.  Christian loves it for those reasons too...but I think he also has a lot of fond family memories of fondue since he grew up having fondue with family and friends every Christmas Eve, a tradition we've continued together.  So Christmas Eve is really our one time of year when we make fondue...and when we do it it's a full meal so this cheese fondue is followed by a meat/seafood fondue and a chocolate fondue.  But to be honest, the appetizer cheese course has always been my favorite!

When it comes to cheese fondue, I'm a traditionalist.  There are lots of recipes out there for Mexican cheese fondue or other versions but I absolutley love the traditional European style fondue which is what the recipe is for below.  This is another one of those recipes that I'm sure I got from somewhere, but I've been making it for so long that I'm not sure what the original source was and I think I've modified it a bit over the years.  Enjoy!