Holiday Dinner Quick-Fixes

We all have those Thanksgivings where your In-laws are coming to dinner, your nit-picky mother can already see the water spots on your flatware, your distant relatives are smirking at the flavorless gravy and to top it all off you turned your whipped cream into butter.  Holiday dinners can easily go wrong.  Just remember everything tastes better when served with a smile.

holiday Dinner Quick - Fixes www.petitfoodie.com

Here are a few tips and tricks to make your Holiday dinner preparing a bit less stressful – because we could all use a little less stress in ourselves this time of year.

  1. Lumpy Mashed Potatoes – I’m one who loves mashed potatoes, so I wouldn’t call this a mishap.  But if you’re going for creamy potatoes they are lump because the potato has not been cooked long enough.  Pour a small amount of chicken broth on your potatoes and set on the stove on low to make the potatoes a bit more tender.

 

Plan ahead and make these crock pot Mashed Potatoes:  Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes

 

  1. Lumpy Gravy – This is one thing that drives me insane! My gravy always turns out lumpy and leaving me a nervous wreck.  This trick is a lifesaver.  Simply strain your gravy through a fine mesh sieve.  Viola! Silky smooth gravy in a matter of minutes.

 

  1. Cracked pumpkin pie or cheesecake –  No one wants to be served a delicious sounding pie or cheesecake that is cracked and has a less than stellar top.  Presentation is everything.  Dust some powdered sugar on the top or give it a heft dollop of whipped cream.  Showstopper once more.

 

Try this Pumpkin Pie

 

  1. Over Whipped Cream – This happens to me all the time.  You get overzealous with the mixer and your gorgeous whipped cream goes from fab to drab in a matter of seconds.  Clotted whipped cream stinks!  Slowly add cold heavy cream a tablespoon at a time until your whipped cream is brought back to life.

 

This looks comforting – Cinnamon Whipped Cream

 

  1. Know your weakness – If you know you stink at pie crust or bread making.  Make sure to have an extra good quality back-up.  No one will judge (or even know) if you use a storebought pie crust or bread.

 

Get Creative – Try this fun take on Stuffing or these flavorful Whipped Mashed Sweet Potatoes.  End dinner right with this Raspberry Cheesecake Cake

 

  1. Above all else smile and dance through dinner with ease.


Red Lentil Spinach Soup

Baby its cold outside.  Actually, it hasn’t been that cold, but I’m such a winter wimp.  I can’t handle anything below 70 degrees.  We are supposed to be getting snow this week and I’m already freaking out.

red lentil spinach soup www.petitfoodie.com

In other news, we recently bought a freezer!  This was a purchase I was reluctant about getting.  But now, honestly, I’m glad we got it.  I’ve been busy making soups and stews to freeze for the upcoming winter months.  There is something oddly satisfying about a freezer full of soup.

red lentil spinach soup www.petitfoodie.com

This red lentil spinach soup was comforting and delicious.  I find red lentils to be one of my favorites.  They have creamy texture that really appeals to me.  The variety of flavors and textures in the soup was so fun.  Like always a big slice of crusty bread is a great side to this bowl of warmth.

red lentil spinach soup www.petitfoodie.com

Red Lentil Spinach Soup
 
Prep time
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Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • ½ C red lentils
  • ¼ C red quinoa
  • 1 potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 C spinach, I used chopped frozen
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 6 C chicken stock
Instructions
  1. In a large stock pot heat olive oil.
  2. Sauté onion, until translucent.
  3. Add in carrot and sauté until tender.
  4. Season veggies with salt and pepper.
  5. Add in chicken stock, potatoes and lentils.
  6. Bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer.
  7. Let simmer for about 30 minutes.
  8. Add in quinoa and spinach the last 10 minutes.
  9. Adjust salt and pepper, to taste.
  10. Serve.

 



Apple Cranberry Dinner Rolls

Happy November!  The Holidays will be here before you know it and I couldn’t be more excited.  I’ve been experimenting with dinner rolls for a fun twist on the classic.  One thing about the Holidays that gets me is you always see the same dishes served.  Being a traditional girl, it’s a bit surprising this would bother me so much.  But every once in a while, I like to see a few new recipes around the family table.

RSY apple cran rolls www.petitfoodie.com

I wanted to make a roll that was  savory yet sweet.  This apple cranberry roll turned out just as I had imagined.  It is full of flavor yet still the classic light and fluffy roll we know and love.  I seriously cannot wait for this year’s Thanksgiving leftovers.  These rolls will be the star for leftover turkey sandwiches.  Let’s just hope there are leftovers!

RSY apple cranberry rolls www.petitfoodie.com

You can serve these rolls with a warm honey and cinnamon butter.  I think they would be quite dreamy that way.  My favorite way though would be sopping them up in some Thanksgiving goodness.  Gravy, mashed potatoes, stuffing and turkey are calling these apple cranberry rolls.

RSY apple cran dinner rolls  petitfoodie

The savory sweet combo of these rolls is the perfect addition to your traditional Holiday table.

Apple Cranberry Dinner Rolls
 
Prep time
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Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 12 rolls
Ingredients
  • 1 C warm milk
  • 1 T Red Star Yeast Platinum Yeast
  • 2 T sugar
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 3 T butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 3 C flour
  • ¼ C craisins
  • ½ C apple, peeled and finely chopped
Instructions
  1. In large mixing bowl whisk together warm milk, yeast and sugar.
  2. Set aside for five minutes.
  3. Once yeast is proofed, add in salt, butter and egg.
  4. Pour one cup of flour in, stirring lightly.
  5. Fold in craisins and apple.
  6. Add in one cup flour stir as much as possible in.
  7. Add in ½ cup flour and begin kneading the dough.
  8. As you knead the dough add in up to anther ½ C flour as needed.
  9. Knead dough for 5-10 minutes until smooth round ball forms.
  10. In a well greased bowl place dough and let sit in warm area to rise for 1 hour.
  11. Divide dough out into 12 balls.
  12. Place in greased 9 inch round baking pan.
  13. Let rise in warm area for 1 hour.
  14. Preheat oven to 375*.
  15. Bake rolls for 12-15 minutes.
  16. Brush rolls with warm butter.

For more Red Star Yeast information follow them on: Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram (@redstaryeast) | Facebook

I have partnered with Red Star Yeast to bring you this recipe.  Thank you so much for supporting Petit Foodie and Red Star Yeast Opinions, recipes and photos are my own. 

 



Apple Crazy

‘Tis the season!  Here are some of my favorite apple recipes!

Apples www.petitfoodie.com

Apple Galette

Cranberry Apple Scones

Apple Snicker Doodles

Apple Pecan Muffins

Spiced Apple Cider Cookies

Caramel Apple Pie Crepes

Harvest Chicken Salad



Harvest Chicken Salad

This harvest chicken salad has become a new favorite in my house!  It’s a fun twist on a classic recipe.  We are deep in the season of comforting casseroles and hearty soups.  This healthy and refreshing chicken salad is a great way to lighten up your meals.  I made this on Sunday and we had delicious lunches awaiting us throughout the week.  The hardest part about this recipe is having to wait all morning to get to lunch!

harvest chicken salad www.petitfoodie.com

My family doesn’t like to deviate from the classic recipes too often so I was surprised what a hit this chicken salad was.  I also think serving it luxurious croissants helped.  I, personally, love this served in lettuce cups.  It’s so light and such a fun way to eat it.

harvest chnk salad petitfoodie.com

Lighten up your fall season and enjoy this delicious harvest chicken salad.  Full of chicken, creamy goodness, sweet apples and tart cranberries.  This version of classic chicken salad is sure to please your palate.

 

Harvest Chicken Salad
 
Prep time
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Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 lb chicken breast, poached and shredded
  • 1 celery rib, finely chopped
  • 1 small apple, cored and finely chopped
  • ½ C nuts chopped, I used roasted almonds, pecans or walnuts.
  • ¼ C craisins
  • ½ C high quality mayonnaise
  • ½ C Greek yogurt
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Combine first five ingredients.
  2. Fold in mayonnaise and Greek yogurt.
  3. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Serve on your favorite bread.

 



Cranberry Apple Scones

These scones are ideal for those brisk fall weekend mornings.  They are easy to throw together and make the house smell of coziness.

cranberry apple scones www.petitfoodie.com

The combination of sweet apple and tart cranberries make these scones satisfyingly delicious.  You can feel free to add a light glaze to these scones to fancy them up.  But I prefer the rustic simplicity of them without it.

cranberry apple scones  www.petitfoodie.com

Bursting with seasonal flavors these cranberry apple scones are sure to get you in the fall mood.  So grab your boots, scarves, cozy sweaters and enjoy these scones while sipping your favorite coffee.

Cranberry Apple Scones
 
Prep time
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Author:
Recipe type: breakfast, brunch
Serves: 6 large scones
Ingredients
  • 2 C flour
  • 1 T baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ C sugar
  • ½ C butter, cold, cut into cubes
  • 1 egg
  • ½ C cold milk(I used 2%)
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored, finely chopped
  • ½ C dried cranberries
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 T water
  • 2 T coarse sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400*
  2. Combine flour, baking powder and salt, sugar, set aside.
  3. Cut butter into the flour mixture until the size of medium peas.
  4. Whisk milk and egg into a small bowl. Pour into flour mixture.
  5. Stirring until just combine.
  6. Fold in chopped apples and cranberries.
  7. Pour dough out onto a lightly floured surface and form into a 8-9 inch disc. Cut into 6 triangles-like you would cut a pizza.
  8. In a small bowl whisk egg white and water together.
  9. Brush a light layer over the scones and top with course sugar.
  10. Place scones on a baking sheet and back for 12 minutes or until golden brown.
  11. Remove from oven and let cool.

 



Butternut Squash Kale Polenta Crust Pizzas

This is one of my new favorite fall recipes.  I don’t think I have ever enjoyed polenta and butternut squash as much as I did in this recipe.

butternut kale polenta pizzas www.petitfoodie.com

If you are craving pizza without the hassle and calories of bread pizza dough you must give this polenta crust a try.  It is not only super easy to make but it tastes amazingly good.  If you have looking for a gluten free alternative this is a great option.

butternut squash polenta pizza www.petitfoodie.com

I made Ava a similar version of this roasted butternut squash and kale.  Hers had the usual red sauce and mozzarella – she loved them!  She doesn’t quite love butternut squash…yet ;).

avas polenta pizza www.petitfoodie.com

I roasted my squash and kale simply with olive oil, salt and pepper.  I love the simplicity of this.  It brings out the rustic flavors of them.  These flavors combine with mozzarella and Parmesan make for a delicious pizza.

butternut kale pizzas www.petitfoodie.com

Butternut Squash Kale Polenta Crust Pizzas
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 C polenta
  • 1 C water
  • 1.5 C broth
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Pinch pepper
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 C roasted butternut squash cubes
  • ½ C roasted kale
  • 1 C mozzarella
  • ¼ C parmesan
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375*
  2. In a heavy bottomed pot combine polenta, broth, water, salt, pepper, olive oil over medium-low heat.
  3. Whisk continually for 10-15 minutes or until thickened.
  4. On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper spoon out polenta. Making small rounds about ¼ inch thick and 3 inches in diameter. (I used two baking sheets.)
  5. Place in fridge for 30 minutes.
  6. Place polenta rounds in oven for 30 minutes.
  7. Remove and let cool slightly. Peel polenta off of parchment paper.
  8. Top polenta rounds with butternut squash, kale, mozzarella and parmesan.
  9. Place back in oven under a low broil until cheese is just golden brown.
  10. Watch closely so the pizzas do not burn.
  11. Remove and serve.

 



Apple Snicker Doodles

These apple snicker doodles are perfect for Fall.  If snicker doodles are a favorite you must try this apple version.  It is bursting with all the goodness of the classic snicker doodle and a touch of refreshing fall apple flavor.

apple snicker doodles www.petitfoodie.com

I love how soft and melt in your mouth these cookies are.  The granulated sugar and warm cinnamon spice add a lightly crisp texture on the outside.  The warm gooey apples make for soft center that you won’t be able to resists.

apple snickers www.petitfoodie.com

These delicious fall apple snicker doodles didn’t stick around long.  Celebrate fall with this fun take on an old classic.

apple snicker doodles petitfoodie

Apple Snicker Doodles
 
Prep time
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Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 1 dozen
Ingredients
  • ½ C butter, room temperature
  • ¾ C sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 ½ C flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 medium apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped
  • ¼ C sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Cream together butter and sugar.
  3. Add in egg and egg yolk.
  4. Add in vanilla.
  5. In a separate bowl combine flour, salt, baking powder.
  6. Working in batches, slowly add flour mixture to wet mixture.
  7. Mix until just combined.
  8. Fold in apples.
  9. Place dough in fridge for 20 minutes.
  10. Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine sugar and cinnamon.
  11. Form chilled dough into 1 tablespoon balls, roll the balls of dough in the cinnamon sugar mixture.
  12. Place on cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes.
  13. Remove from oven and let cool on the baking sheet for 2-3 minutes.
  14. Place on cookie cooling rack.
  15. Once cooled store in air-tight container.

 



Creamy Spinach and Chicken Lasagna

With fall comes cozy Sunday dinners.  Sundays in my house are for relaxing, catching up on much needed sleep, eating comforting food and enjoying each other company.  This has become a tradition for Ava and I hope it’s one she will continue with her family.  I want her to grow up knowing how important these cozy Sundays are.

crmy chkn lasagna

This creamy spinach and chicken lasagna was a spur of the moment dinner.  I was craving chicken pot pie but didn’t have all the ingredients.  So this is the result of some quick Pinterest research and hungry instinct.  My family and I adored this.  They now request this version over my favorite lasagna roll ups.   

creamy chicken spinach lasagna  petitfoodie

The garlicky spinach, rich chicken and a dreamy cream sauce are layered between broken lasagna noodles to make one decadent dinner.  If you want to speed up the process you can surely buy rotisserie chicken.  But I just cooked up my own and shredded it.  This was a little time consuming so I would not suggest making this for an easy, fast weeknight dinner.  The creamy sauce takes a bit to simmer.  It’s a calming acting to slowly stir the sauce and watch it thicken.  It makes the dinner that much more relaxing and cozy.

cream ckn lasagna www.petitfoodie.com

I hope you get the chance to make this dish.  If you are looking to impress guest for a rustic fall dinner this is the dish for you!  Or if you just want to impress the kiddos they will devour this creamy spinach and chicken lasagna.

Creamy Spinach and Chicken Lasagna
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 7 lasagna noodles
  • 1 lb chicken, cooked and shredded
  • 2 C spinach, chopped
  • 2 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 5 T butter
  • 5 T flour
  • 2.5 C milk
  • 2.5 C chicken broth
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 C mozzarella, shredded
  • ½ C provolone, shredded
  • ⅓ C bread crumbs
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven 350*
  2. Grease 9x9 baking dish
  3. In a large skillet heat olive oil and sauté garlic until fragrant.
  4. Add in spinach and sauté briefly.
  5. Remover from skillet and set aside.
  6. In same skillet heat butter on low until melted.
  7. Slowly whisk in flour.
  8. Once a roux has formed slowly add in milk ½ C at a time.
  9. Whisk in remaining milk and 1.5 C chicken broth.
  10. Season with salt, pepper and Italian seasoning.
  11. Keep whisking slowly until sauce has thickened. This may take a while so be patient.
  12. Break 2 noodles into bottom of dish.
  13. Layer with ⅓ of the chicken, ⅓ of the spinach.
  14. Sprinkle a lightly with mozzarella.
  15. Pour ⅓ C chicken broth and 1 C sauce.
  16. Repeat layers two more times.
  17. On the last layer top with remaining mozzarella and provolone.
  18. Cover dish with foil and bake for 40 minutes.
  19. Uncover and top with bread crumbs for 10 minutes.
  20. Remove from oven and let stand for at least 10 minutes.
  21. Top with more Italian seasoning or fresh parsley.
  22. Serve.

Adapted from Pinch of Yum



Easy Steak Stir Fry

This quick and flavor meal is one of my go to dinners. It’s so easy to throw together on a busy weeknight and it taste so good! The steak pieces are tender and coated with a beautiful soy glaze.

beef stir fry www.petitfoodie.com

You can add whatever veggies you like to this dish. Just toss in whatever you have in your fridge. I’m a no-fuss kind of girl. Some people might disagree, but when it comes to veggies my philosophy is the more the merrier.

beef stir fry  petit foodie

Plan this fun steak stir fry dish into your weekly mean plan! You won’t be disappointed and the kids won’t know it’s not take-out….well maybe they will. It will taste better and not be full of grease!

easy beef stir fry www.petitfoodie.com

Easy Steak Stir Fry
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 3
Ingredients
  • ¾ lb steak, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 pint mushrooms, sliced
  • ½ C onion, diced
  • 1 small green pepper, diced.
  • 3 small carrots, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ⅓ C soy sauce
  • 1 T sugar
  • ½ C beef broth
  • 3 T EVOO
  • 2 T flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
Instructions
  1. Whisk together soy sauces, sugar, beef broth, pinch of salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil in large skillet.
  3. Add in garlic and onion. Cook until tender and fragrant.
  4. Add in mushrooms, carrots, green pepper. Saute until tender.
  5. Remove veggies from the skillet and set aside.
  6. Add steak into the same hot skillet and cook until no longer pink in the middle. About 10 minutes.
  7. Season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.
  8. Dust flour over the steak and stir until the pieces are lightly covered.
  9. Over med-low heat ,slowly pour soy sauce mixture over the steak and slowly stir. Let come to a simmer. Sauce should thicken.
  10. Fold in veggies until coated.
  11. Serve over rice.

 

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