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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

MEGA POST WEEK: Let's Not Talk Turkey

Thursday is here, and you have all the details taken care of.
 You test drove the table.
You picked up candles.
The menu is flawless.
The china is washed, stacked, and ready.
The music is chosen.
The wine is chilled.
You have cheese, fruit, smoked oysters, and appetizers for 1:00.
It's 6:00AM, and you. Are. Ready.
As your family stirs, the oven is preheating and a couple of 
nagging thoughts start to creep into your mind...
Sugar Frosted Hyper Bombs are NOT simpatico with the elegant day you have planned,
and you need something uncomplicated to keep your husband from picking
at the raw turkey skin!
 It's buffet time, and this is going to be easy.
1/2 pound of mushrooms, sliced
1 bag of frozen shredded potatoes.
1 large onion, diced.
Soy sauce
1 tbsp chopped garlic
1 tbsp steak seasoning
12 large eggs
2 ripe tomatoes
4 ounces of dried cranberries
4 ounces of dried apples
1 tbsp cinnamon
Splash of red wine, such as cabernet
4 cups of Quick Cook Oats
8 ounces of grated cheese, such as Gruyere
4 tbsp butter
Preheat the oven to 350, or whatever it's on for whatever you're baking at the moment.
Spray down a couple of muffin top pans with cooking spray.
Regular large muffin wells will work too.
In a saute pan, melt 1 tbsp of the butter. Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute, then add the mushrooms wine, and half of the steak seasoning.
Simmer this for about 5 minutes.
 In a larger second pan, melt the rest of the butter. Add the onions and steak seasoning and saute until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the potatoes and cook until just turning brown,
stirring often.
Turn the heat off on both pans.
 Meanwhile, in a large pot, bring the water the oatmeal instructions call for to a boil.
Add the dried fruit and cinnamon and boil for two minutes.
 Add the oats and cook according to the directions, giving it a good healthy stir or two.
 Spoon the potatoes into the muffin cups and press with the back of a spoon
to compact and form a little nest.
At this point, you can also add spinach leaves or Canadian bacon.
 We're going to keep this simple.
Crack an egg into the well.
 Sprinkle on the cheese.
 Add a few savory mushroom slices and pop it all in the oven for 15 minutes or so.
 Slice a few tomatoes thinly.
I love to set the baked nests on top of these.
 Dish up the oatmeal and serve with milk and brown sugar on the side.
Savannah does not like oatmeal.
She helped herself to 2 bowls of this.
 Hot cider adds to the scent in the house and looks wonderful ladled into a clear glass mug.
 Check the oven.
If this greets you, pull them out!
 Let them stand for 2 minutes;
they'll slide right out of the wells in single servings.

This serves six easily, nicely, and very neatly, plus it's a good balanced start to the day.
 Now, onto dinner!
 I can bake like nobody's business.
My desserts are flawlessly delicious, if I do say so myself...
and I do.
I slept through garnish class.
I may have even snored, and there's a good chance I drooled.
It does not stop me from trying.
So when I find something so simple even I can't screw it up,
I cling to it like Snookie on a hot half-naked guy.
 And of course I'll share.
 Make a frosted type dessert, reserving a tablespoon or so of the frosting.
You'll need these little peanut butter sandwich crackers...
 ...some Hershey's Kisses, brown varieties only...
 ...and a few chocolate chips.
 Step one: put the crackers on a plate.
Are you okay?
If you're exhausted and need to put your feet up for a few, we'll understand.
 Unwrap twice as many Kisses as you have crackers.
Eat half.
You were going to anyway.
 Slather a dab of frosting on the bottom of the Kiss.
Try not to lick anything.
 This next step is crucial and requires a steady hand with exact placement...
 ...WHEW! That was close!
Well done! Reward yourself with a Kiss.
No, not that one. That one's MINE.
Put a little smoodge of frosting on the chocolate chip....
 ...and...well, you get the idea.
 ~Mass production in process~
 This goes very quickly and in no way warrants all the photos we took.
 Scatter them on your cake, or in this case, pan of frosted brownies.

 Just to be a total bad ass at the family do, rinse some silk leaves.
 Tuck them in a fan in a corner.
You are now an apparent garnishing pro.

We also did a red velvet cake the next night with the acorns in a perfect circle
around the rim.
There is no pictorial proof of this, but we did.
I t just seemes to have disappeared before I could get the camera out.
Happens a lot around here...

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