Happy Thanksgiving and Healthy Holiday Recipes

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Have a wonderful holiday season! I have so many things to be thankful for, and I appreciate everyone’s continued support. I want to share a Thanksgiving or Christmas holiday menu I developed for Honeysuckle White and Shady Brook Farms. I had a blast working on this project, and all of the recipes are “lightened up,” so enjoy. Check out Autumn Quinoa Salad, Rosemary Garlic Citrus Rub, Pomegranate Cider, and Lightened Up Sweet Potato Casserole, just to name a few.

My Favorite Comfort Food: Fall Pies and Tarts

Just coming off speaking at Food Blog Forum in Nashville this weekend, I woke up feeling so inspired. The talent of food bloggers across the globe truly amazes me. These are some of the hardest working people you’ll ever meet. If you’re not a food blogger, I can’t begin to describe the amount of time and effort it takes to put together just one post. Starting with the recipe concept, there is grocery shopping, cooking and testing, writing, photography, styling and then posting. Each post takes many, many hours. On that note, I wanted to start the week with comfort food at its best: Fall pies and Tarts. These selections have caught my eye in the last week, and I’m not sure which one to make first. This Pumpkin Pie Tart with Almond Crust (Gluten Free) comes from fellow blogger and friend, Marla Meridith of Family Fresh Cooking. I can’t wait to make this one with my kids. Hope you will enjoy looking at these recipes and photos as much as I have.

  

Fig Almond Tart from Gourmande in the Kitchen

Mini Apple Pies from Family Food Finds

Gingery Cranberry-Pear Pie with Oatmeal Streusel from Cooking Light

Tollhouse Pie from Completely Delicious

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie from How Sweet it Is

  

Maple Almond Tart from Better Homes and Gardens 

Simple Summery Peach Pie

Living in Alabama does have its perks, especially living near easy access to fresh Chilton County Peaches. I have been visiting Durbin Farms since I was a child, and they still have the most unbelievable peaches. These peaches (below) were bigger than a softball, sweet, juicy and bursting with fresh peach flavor. A friend of mine passed me this recipe for Simple Peach Pie, and it really can’t get much easier than this. It’s fast with very few ingredients, and it was gone before I could turn around. When you have peaches this sweet, you don’t even need vanilla ice cream on the side, but it is a good addition :).

Three Ingredients: Blueberry-Banana Ice

Sometimes simple is better, and recipes with only three ingredients actually can be as flavorful as if they had nine. This Blueberry-Banana Ice is one of those recipes that is almost too basic (and good) to be true just in time for July 17th “National Ice Cream Day.” Purchase ripe bananas and in season blueberries and freeze them (I used zip-top plastic bags). Remove and toss in the food processor or blender with a touch of honey, and you’re done. Feel free to experiment with other berries if you wish. This is the perfect healthy dessert for summertime, and it truly hits the spot.

Easy and Healthy Beef and Broccoli

My three kids love Asian flavors. This easy and healthy Beef and Broccoli recipe is a hit every time that I make it. It’s so quick to prepare using very simple-to-find ingredients. I love using skirt steak as it’s very tender after being simply marinated with honey, fresh ginger, reduced-sodium soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic and red pepper flakes. Just marinate the steak for an hour or overnight, and dinner is on the table in less than 30 minutes. This dish is perfect for busy weeknights. I served with rice and some edamame beans, and everyone loved it (and was full).

Celebrate Mardi Gras: Healthy Hurricane

Mardi Gras 2011 is this Tuesday, March 8.  Mardi Gras, “Fat Tuesday”, is the last day of the Carnival season as it always falls the day before Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. The Hurricane is a fruit-colored relative of the “daiquiri”, and it’s credited to New Orleans tavern owner Pat O’Brien. In the 1940s, he created the fruity concoction and served it in hurricane-lamp-shaped glasses to give away to sailors. The drink caught on, and it has been a mainstay in the French Quarter in New Orleans ever since. My version of the Healthy Hurricane is filled with fresh fruit juices, making it perfect for kids to enjoy. If you want an alcoholic version, see the note about how much rum to add.