Saturday’s New Tradition Menu

As I wrote the other day, my family has started a new tradition where we eat a big “Thanksgiving like” meal and decorate our Christmas tree the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Today has come and gone and we are once again stuffed. I’m happy to say that our dinner was delicious and our tree decorating memorable.

I wanted to share the menu with you along with some humorous “outtakes.”  I’m going to share recipes, links, and photos of my cooking journey. Let me warn you, I am not a photographer and therefore my photos are pretty lame. But I’m going to assume you’ll be forgiving especially if you try these very easy dishes.

A few ingredients go a long way

food pic

The Menu included:

Cornish Game Hens with Sage Butter

Roast Veges (carrots, yukon potatoes, and red onion)

Sauteed Broccoli and Garlic

(had planned to make mac and cheese for the kids but decided not to.)

Dessert: Chocolate Covered Espresso Cheesecake

It may sound like quite a bit, but as you’ll see, each dish is simple and requires little ingredients.

Cornish Game Henscornish hens

Ingredients

  • 4 (1 3/4-pound) Cornish game hens, butterflied
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 5 to 7 sage leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Olive oil, for sauteing

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Place hens in a roasting pan with a rack and salt and pepper hens. Mix chopped sage, butter, and lemon in a bowl. Spread on hens and under skin. Place in oven. Cook as per directions on package basting periodically. *make sure to add water at the bottom or the roasting pan.

Easy and delicious.

My recipe was inspired by the Butterflied Cornish Hens with Sage Butter recipe on Food Network. Give that one a try and let us know how it goes. Sounds delicious!

Roast Veges

My husband is half British and has a fondness for British foods, therefore roast veges is a staple in our home. And they are easy!

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut up carrots, yukon potatoes, and red onions. Douse with olive oil and kosher or sea salt. Bake for 40 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

I prefer yukon or gold potatoes over the starchy tasting russets. Other veges you might enjoy: red potatoes, turnips, and parsnips.

roast veges

Sauteed Broccoli and Garlic

To my surprise, brussel sprouts were sold out at my local Kroger. I love sauteed brussel sprouts but as it were I had to make a quick menu change and quickly decided on another favorite, sauteed broccoli and garlic.

Ingredients

  • 3 crowns of broccoli (cut)
  • 3 gloves of garlic (sliced-not minced)

Directions

Have I shared how much I love garlic? That’s me, smelling it before putting it in the pan. And that’s all you need to do. Place your broccoli and garlic in a frying pan. Add olive oil. Place two tablespoons of water in pan. Put on medium heat.

 

Options: cover and steam or do a traditional saute and stir continually on slightly higher heat.

Dessert (aka the main event!)

Chocolate Covered Espresso Cheesecake

I saw this dessert when a friend posted it on Facebook and I knew this would be the perfect dish for our fun celebration. I’m not going to mess with it. It is delicious and so instead of giving you the ingredients here, I’m going to send you straight over to the source. If you like cheesecake you will be very pleased with this recipe! It was pretty much incredible.

Here are some fun pics to whet your appetite.

A chocolate cookie crust made up of cookies, sugar, and butter. Yum!

the mix

Adding the espresso and heavy cream to the whipped cream cheese. My mouth is watering again.

pouring in mix

The kids got in on the fun! Pouring in the mix.

cheese cake

Cheesecake didn’t stay intake for long. We cut it right after dinner. Directions suggest letting it stand in fridge over night.

 

OUTTAKES

Though we enjoyed a wonderful meal, had a lot of fun and enjoyed time together, everything didn’t go as smoothly as the pictures above make it out to appear. As a matter of fact, I imagine that many cooking shows only televise the beautiful finished product. So in the spirit of full disclosure and fun here are some funny moments.

1. First up. My husband and I enjoy company and really have an open door policy. The only “problem” with company while cooking is I’m much more eager to chat and fellowship than I am to remember some of the details while cooking and visiting with friends or family.

In comes my mom, sister and niece.

While they were visiting I placed the hens in without placing water at the bottom of the pan. By the time they left our home was filled (and I mean filled!) with thick smoke. The butter on the hens had splashed onto the bottom of the stove leaving a black film and burning as I cooked the rest of the meal.

But I wouldn’t trade getting to see them for anything. Okay, maybe I would have preferred not to hear the smoke alarm every 15 minutes for an hour–but I thank God for these wonderful folks I get to call family.

2. Trying to take photos with kids is impossible. I’m already an awful photographer. Most of the pictures of the food really look like this: 3. I am notorious for not following directions for recipes. I like to create recipes and use others as a guide. Unfortunately when cooking these hens it would have been wise to have read the time directions on their package rather than attempting to go by the cook time in the recipe. Therefore those beautiful hens weren’t cooked all the way through, and in order for us to eat them I had to cut them and pan fry (with olive oil) to speed up the process.

hens in the panDoesn’t look nearly as appetizing. But it was!

4.  I am blessed beyond belief to have a home and a kitchen to cook in. I try to cook like I have a five star restaurant at times and as if my kitchen has much more space than it does. I am incredibly thankful to call this tiny kitchen space my workroom!

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