Yam I Am

Yams – skins + butter + brown sugar + marshmallows = the extent of my cooking this holiday. I still don’t know the difference between yams and sweet potatoes (if there is one), but tonight I discovered how easy this classic Thanksgiving dish is to make.

Boil the yams with skin on, wait for them to cool enough to be handled, peel the skins off, and place in a bowl or the pot you used for boiling. Add 1.5 cubes of butter (sliced melts faster), sprinkle about half a cup of brown sugar, mash it all together, and spread evenly into a casserole dish. Then sprinkle one layer of tiny marshmallows over the top and bake until golden brown. Easy!

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Supper Club Slideshow

Every year we make an annual trek to Matt Woolston’s Supper Club in Sacramento. Words don’t really do the 7+ courses justice, so here’s the November menu – in pictures. (Photographed mid-carnage, in some cases!)

Vegan BLT; Maine Lobster Broth with Savory Swizzle Stick

Arugula & Chevre in Chive Crepe on Dueling Beet Emulsions with Rainbow Micro Green Salad; Crispy Leg of Muscovy Duck Confit on Heirloom Squash Risotto with Pomegranate Jus

House Butter-Basted 5 Dot Ranch New York Strip on Blue Cheese Papparadelle and Smoked Tomato Garlic Broth

Torched Presidente Brandy-Poached Foothill Bosc Pear and Frangipane in Bittersweet Chocolate Tart Shell on Morello Cherry Coulis; Selection of Artisan Cheeses with Port Poached Pear, Rosemary Walnuts, Micro Mizuna Salad and Baguette

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Groceries Gone Wild

Safeway grocery delivery + order history = lifesaver.  Every Sunday I put together my grocery list in real-time, while shopping on Safeway.com from the comfort of my living room. If you don’t mind paying $10-12 for delivery charges and staying home for the delivery window, it’s totally worth the splurge. (In my opinion time is money and weekend relaxation is of the essence.)

Plus it’s nice to shop while you can check your cupboards and fridge so you don’t forget anything. Even better, Safeway stores all your shopping history in one list, so you can easily add items to your cart that you’ve purchased before. If you’re an early bird and place an order before 8:30 a.m, you can sometimes get it that evening. (I usually shoot for Monday nights between 7-9 p.m. and orders often show up right at 7:00.)

If you’d like to give it a whirl, you can get free delivery for 60 days, courtesy of my neighbors at ILoveMV.org (@MountainViewCa). Here’s the special coupon code: XEG483 ($100 minimum)

If you’re curious, here are some of my standard weekly items. I’ll show you mine, if you show me yours!

  • Milk
  • Soy milk
  • Tillamook cheddar
  • Fresh mozzarella
  • String cheese
  • Pre-washed spinach leaves
  • Broccoli
  • Tomatoes on the vine
  • Pineapple salsa
  • Santa Cruz Sourdough
  • Lean ground turkey
  • Ravioli
  • Dried apricots
  • Almonds
  • Toasted Head Chardonnay

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Birthday Enchiladas

Tomatoes + ground turkey + tortillas + cheese = birthday enchiladas at the Jackson house. For 7 years I’ve celebrated various family birthdays with the Jackson family, and my mother-in-law always whips up decadent enchiladas for the occasion. Since David and I spent his birthday in Mountain View, he requested the traditional recipe just like home.

I love a good challenge in the kitchen. So I picked up all the ingredients and went to work on three burners – quite the multi-tasking experience. The shorthand version is this:

  • Combine 1 can tomato sauce, 1 large can diced tomatoes, and 1 can tomato soup in a sauce pan with two cloves of garlic, plus 2 tbsp. butter, 1/2 cup of chopped onions, a pinch of salt, chili powder, and sugar. Simmer for 30 minutes. (I forget tomato sauce and,  funny enough, V8 juice was a perfect substitute.)
  • Meanwhile, brown 1 pound ground turkey or hamburger; drain and add 1/2 cup chopped onions, 2 tbsp butter, 1 clove minced garlic, pinch of oregano, salt and cumin.
  • Fill 7-10 tortillas (I used the burrito size) with meat and grated cheddar cheese; roll each tortilla and fit snuggly in a baking dish (I use pyrex) – you can use a toothpick if necessary to hold it all together.
  • Once the dish is filled with enchiladas, pour the tomato mixture over the top and sides (and lift the tortillas slightly to allow some sauce to run underneath to prevent sticking.
  • Sprinkle a generous amount of grated cheese and sliced black olives over the top.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees. Let cool slightly, and enjoy! (The Jacksons serve it with French bread and spinach salad with poppy seed dressing, candied pecans, and cranberries – for a truly gut-busting meal.)

The best part? Leftovers for days. Literally – we ate them for three days. 😉

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