Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Sauerkraut and Sausage Appetizer

I missed Oktoberfest with this post (since technically Oktoberfect is in late September / early October) but this is still a great appetizer year round!  Perhaps even for your upcoming Halloween party?!

I made this recipe:  Sauerkraut with Kielbasa Sausage from Epicurious.  Then instead of serving it as a meal I sliced the sausage, topped it with the sauerkraut, and then ran a heavy duty toothpick through both for a tasty-slightly messy-one-bite combo. 

I hope you are having a great week!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Pick Me Up Pumpkin Smoothie + Tervis Tumbler

The Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program recently gave me this awesome Tervis Tumbler (with a Foodbuzz Logo of course!).  These little suckers are double walled, which makes them perfect for hot or cold drinks.  Plus, they have a lifetime guarantee against breaking, chipping, etc.  Sounds indestructible, but it's also just a great cup.  I drink my fair share amount of smoothies (mostly some version of the Green Monster) and when I'm home all my smoothies end up in this cup mainly because my hands don't get cold.

So I've been seeing pumpkin everywhere lately.  Is it Halloween already?!  Crazy how time flies.  Last year I was an energizer bunny.  I think this year I might be Chucky.  Although I've told this to a couple people and everyone looks at me like I'm crazy.  'That's scary' they say.  Well, yes that would be the point.  Is it possible to pull off a cute Chucky?  Doubtful...

I purchased a can of on sale Organic Pumpkin from Trader Joes and decided to throw it in a smoothie concoction after a run the other morning.  Turned out to be delicious, although I could see how some of your taste buds would like it a tad sweeter.  I didn't add honey to my smoothie, but try my version out and if it's not sweet enough add a little honey!  No harm there. 

I call this a 'Pick Me Up Pumpkin' smoothie because it's healthy and yet somewhat dessert like.  Perfect to start your fall day off right!

Pick Me Up Pumpkin Smoothie
Serves 1

1/4 Cup Organic Pumpkin (I used canned - you could also puree your own)
1/4 Cup Non Fat Plain Yogurt
1 Date (pit removed)
1 Cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
1 Frozen Banana
1/4 tsp (or a little more to taste) Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 Tbsp Ground Flax Seed
Honey to taste (I did not use honey, but if yours is not sweet enough add a bit of honey)
Chopped Walnut (topping)

Combine all ingredients in a blender.  Blend until smooth.  Add honey to taste.  Top with chopped walnut.

Monday, October 17, 2011

San Francisco 49ers Tailgate

My sister, Sarah, and her fiance, John, were in Napa for a wedding a couple weekends ago so we decided to go to a 49ers game on Sunday with my Dad.  John proposed to Sarah about a month ago and the whole family is so excited for the newly engaged and to welcome John to our family.  He's pretty much the best guy I've ever met, which means he's perfect for my sister :)  Congratulations Sarah and John!

I made double batches of the tailgate food because the day before the football game I had my girlfriends over for Fleet Week and figured it would be easier to serve the same food two days in a row. Niky posted about Fleet Week here if you want to check it out!

The 49ers game against Tampa Bay turned out to be an amazing win (48 to 3 - wow) and the 49ers beat Detroit on Sunday, which means their record is 5-1.  Holy Moly.  Way to go niners!

Tailgate Menu

Summer Corn Salad (I added red bell pepper)
Sausage with sauteed red onion and red bell pepper
Bean Salad/Dip with Crostinis (Bean Salad consisted of white beans, sun dried tomatoes, olives, feta, parsley, salt, pepper, olive oil, and lemon juice)
Guacamole (I like mine salty with plenty of lime juice.  Don't forget to leave the pits in to keep the avocados green)
Cheese with Fig Jam on Crostini

The spread for Fleet Week

Summer Corn Salad 

Bean Salad/Dip

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Cauliflower Soup topped with Sausage and Mushroom

I was thinking about cauliflower soup the other day (please don't judge your foodie friend over here) and I couldn't decide whether to top the soup with curried crunchy chickpeas, toasted walnuts, mushrooms, sausage, or something else.  I couldn't just serve myself pureed cauliflower and call it a day.  I eventually decided to top my soup with a sauteed mixed mushroom/sausage/thyme mixture.  I guess it just sounded like the best combo for my mood at the time.  

I mean sometimes you just need comfort food.

And this dish just happens to be healthy (and gluten free I might add).  Hmm, sounds like a comfort dish I could get used to.

Cauliflower Soup topped with Sausage and Mushrooms
6 Servings

2 Heads Cauliflower - Cut off florets
1 Yellow Onion roughly chopped
2 Tbsp Unsalted Butter divided
About 4 Cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
8 oz Crimini Mushrooms sliced
4 oz Porcini Mushroom (or another wild mushroom) sliced
2 Chicken Sausage sliced (I used fully cooked Chicken Apple Sausages)
Cayenne Pepper
2 Tbsp Fresh Thyme roughly chopped + 2 Sprigs Fresh Thyme

Place cauliflower florets in a large pot and add water to almost cover cauliflower.  Bring to boil over high heat and continue to cook until tender when pierced with a fork.  About 10 minutes once the water is boiling.  Remove from heat and drain liquid.
Meanwhile saute onions with 1/2 Tbsp butter, salt, and pepper until translucent and golden.  
Combine half onion mixture and half cauliflower in a food processor with about 2 cups of chicken broth and puree until smooth.  Return pureed mixture to large pot.  Repeat with the remaining onion, cauliflower, and chicken both.  Turn stovetop on to low heat and season soup with salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper.  Add two sprigs of thyme and 1 Tbsp of butter.
While soup is reheating, saute mushrooms, 1/2 Tbsp butter, salt, and pepper over medium heat for about 5 minutes.  Once the water from the sauteing the mushrooms has almost evaporated add the sausage.  Continue to cook until sausage and mushrooms are cooked and browning; about 5 minutes.

Remove sprigs of thyme from soup.  Divide soup among serving bowls and top with the sausage and mushroom mixture.