Saturday, November 27, 2010

A Weekly Serving: 11/27/2010

One of my favorite food blogs belongs to Michelle at BrownEyedBaker. I've known Michelle for a few years through an online cooking forum we both have been active in. I love how she's grown as a blogger and fellow cooking/baking enthusiast over the years. A few months ago, she started a weekly blog feature called, 'The Weekend Dish' where she highlights her blog posts for the week, recipes she's bookmarked from other blogs and some commentary of her everyday life and happenings. It's been such a great post to read each week.

I get quite a few emails from readers of What's Cookin, Chicago asking me about recipes, culinary events, and how life has been juggling catering, entertaining, culinary school and a little one on top of it all. So to summarize recipes and posts I've blogged about over the week, share some link love to blogs and recipes that caught my eye and how I balance all the gajillion things I somehow manage to balance each week, I've created a new blog feature... A Weekly Serving of What's Cookin. Inspired by Michelle at BrownEyedBaker, I hope you enjoy this weekly post to catch up on things cookin' up in my kitchen...


Here's what I cooked up in the kitchen and/or posted this past week...

A side dish that’s a must for a traditional Thanksgiving feast…

Vegetable & Herb Dressing
A dish that's easier to make than you think!

Banana Crunch Muffins
Amazing banana flavor with the crunch of sweet, nutty granola in every bite!
Bacon definitely makes it better! 

If you’re braving the shopping frenzy this year,
don’t forget to have breakfast first with some of these recipes… 


Some recipes that caught my eye, which I hope to try out soon!...

Mesa Grill's Pumpkin Soup (Kelsey @ Apple A Day) - I'm a fan of Bobby Flay, even more so after dining at Mesa Grill in Las Vegas a couple years ago. This pumpkin soup sounds so favorful with a touch of southwest flavor, it would be great to make for a cold, winter day.

Thanksgiving Leftovers Casserole (Michelle @ BrownEyedBaker) - I love how this one dish takes everything you've got leftover into something that looks amazing!

Pumpkin Roll (Courtney @ Cook Like a Champion) - Every year I have hopes to make this dessert... I should just do it already and cross it off my list.

French Toast Bread Pudding (Krystal @ Mrs. Regueiro's Plate) - Krystal's post on an Ina Garten recipe reminded me that I need to pick up Ina's newest cookbook. In the meantime, I should make this dish to get a taste of what her cookbook has to offer.

Key Lime Cheesecake Ball (Melissa @ Lemons & Love) - Cheesecake without utensils is the name of the game here and I can't wait to make this to satisfy my sweet tooth.

Nutella Scones (Jessica @ My Baking Heart) - Nutella in a scone? Um, yes. Yes, please! 


My weekly musings on Family, Food and Fun...

Family -
My 6+ month old son, Joel, is quite a foodie now that he's eating solids. He's been doing so well (perhaps too well lol) when it comes to feedings. He's bottle feeding on his own where we'll give him his bottle and he'll take it, tip it and pop it in his mouth. I love how he's so independent with it! Since he's able to hold and feed himself with a bottle, we introduced him to a sippy cup with water/milk and he's doing well with that too. As for solids, he's been eating quite a bit of pureed foods and so far, he's not a fan of avocado. Everything else he'll take and it appears as if he's inherited his daddy's appetite and his mommy's love of all things food.

When it comes to reading time, he prefers looking at cooking/food magazines with me than his childrens books. I love pointing to magazine pictures and saying names of dishes or ingredients... and he just giggles. Joel is my right hand man in the kitchen too because he loves sitting in his highchair and watching me cook and bake. And one of my favorite bonding moments is with him snuggling up again me on the couch while we both watch cooking shows.

This past week Joel had his first Thanksgiving, complete with a special turkey and sweet potato puree. Being with family and friends during the holidays was wonderful, even more than the amazing spread of food we all indulged in.

Food - I'm so, so behind on my culinary school recaps. Things have just gotten so busy with everything that I haven't had any time to recap what I've learned. What I'll probably do is do separate posts on key topics I've studied and learned since there's just so much to share.

Given that this past week we were all in Thanksgiving mode, our family still isn't done celebrating. We're having our immediate family Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow and I'll be making a few dishes to share at the table. Stay tuned this week for recipes!

Fun - As for What's Cookin, Chicago meetup events, I've taken a break since I've got enough on my plate to work on. I hope to possibly host some events after the new year once I figure out my schedule. The downside is that we won't be hosting our annual Thanksgiving and holiday party this year. We've decided to be a little low key this year now that we have Joel and it's been difficult to plan the events with everything else going on. I'm sad that I won't be able to host our annual Holiday Cookie Exchange/Swap party most of all. I loved baking up a storm for it and seeing the spread of cookies all my friends made to share.

I am excited about an annual holiday party I am coordinating this year with a special group of girlfriends. I volunteered to coordinate it for us and we'll be having our holiday next weekend. For that, I plan on making some sweet treats to give as favors and I'm torn on what to make. So many options, so little time!