November 20, 2014

Holiday Spiced Sangria | What to make for Thanksgiving



I make about three batches of this sangria over the holiday season.  It is always a hit and couldn’t be easier to make. The best thing about this sangria is having leftovers. The more it sits the spicier it gets! When I have time I like to make the spiced apple cider a day or so in advance so that it really infuses with all the flavors.  I usually stack the carafe with slices of orange and apple, which not only look great, but I love eating them after the sangria is finished.

What you’ll need

Spiced Apple Cider
  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 1/3-cup sugar
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves or 3-4 whole cloves
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • zest of 1 orange
Sangria
  • 1 bottle inexpensive Spanish red wine
  • 2 cups spiced apple cider
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/2+ cup brandy
Bring all the spiced cider ingredients up to simmer. I leave it on the heat for about 5-10 minutes then take it off the heat and let it cool completely.

If you don’t want to sangria to continue to get spicier, strain out all the ingredients. I usually leave them in because I love the flavor.

Mixed the cider, oj, and 1 bottle of Spanish red wine into a carafe/pitcher.  Add in a healthy ½ cup of brandy.

Serve over ice and garnish with an apple slice.

If you have questions about what you should cook for any occasion let me know! Leave a comment below or shoot me an email.

Brownbelle’s Thanksgiving Menu
  • Turkey Roulade
  • Cast Iron Cornbread
  • Holiday Spiced Sangria 
  • Sage Sweet Mashed Potatoes

Slightly modified from this recipe.

November 18, 2014

5 Simple Steps For Hosting Your First Thanksgiving


So it’s your first time hosting Thanksgiving at your place. Maybe it’s just friends, your significant other or even your family coming to town, either way, it doesn’t have to be stressful. Check out these five simple steps to killin’ it this turkey day.

1. Plan ahead

Write everything down, I mean everything! Make a detailed list of the ingredients you will need and then do some digging to see what you may already have at home. Don’t forget about cookware, do you have the right pots and pans? What about serving dishes, folks and knives? Also don’t forget about the aftermath, do you have foil and plastic wrap?

2. Don’t try to do everything yourself

Thanksgiving is all about the potluck! Let people know what you are making and ask them to fill in any gaps. What you should do is, make the staples. Shoot for the main meat dish (turkey, lamb, etc.), stuffing, and one or two big sides, think macaroni and cheese or green beans. Along with place settings, cleaning your place and other prep, you’ll have your hands full.


3. Ask an expert

If there was ever a time to go to specialty and artisan shops and get those fancy things you’ve always had your eye on, this is it! You’re having company, treat them to all of your favorite things and really enhance your meal and leave a lasting impression. Get the right cut of meat, better quality cheese and an excellent wine that will enhance a simple dish.


4. Skip dessert

Buy dessert. Baking is a whole other beast to tame. Find a great bakery or a baking inclined guest and have them take the lead on dessert, a pie or two should do the trick.


5. Leftovers

Go the extra mile to impress your guests and buy extra Tupperware for them to take leftovers home. No one wants collard greens juice all over their car seat, so stop by the dollar store and pick up extra Tupperware its cheap, easy and makes you look pretty brilliant.

Happy hosting! 

If you have questions about what you should cook for any occasion let me know! Leave a comment below or shoot me an email.

Brownbelle’s Thanksgiving Menu

  • Turkey Roulade
  • Cast Iron Cornbread
  • Holiday Spiced Sangria 
  • Sage Sweet Mashed Potatoes

November 17, 2014

Smoked Gouda Mac & Cheese | What to make for Thanksgiving


You can’t have Thanksgiving without mac & cheese. I’ve been told this mac & cheese is bougie, but I don’t care ‘cause, well...smoked cheese. In my humble bougie opinion all mac & cheese should include a selection of cheese. One kind of cheese is not enough! In this recipe I used a mixture of smoked gouda, smoked cheddar, and sharp cheddar cheese.

What you’ll need

  • 1 box elbow macaroni
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 8oz smoked gouda cheese, grated
  • 8oz smoked cheddar cheese, grated
  • 8oz extra sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt & Pepper
Preheat the oven to 350F.

Cook macaroni, in boiling salted water until tender. Strain and return to the pot.

In another pot, melt the butter over medium/low heat and add diced onion and minced garlic. Cook until onions become translucent. Stir frequently, you don’t want the onions to brown. Sprinkle in the flour and stir constantly for about 3-4 minutes. Add milk in a steady stream. Stir constantly, until thick and smooth.

Remove your pot from the heat and stir in the cheese. Save a handful of the cheddar to put on top at the end.

Add macaroni and cheese into a bowl, stir until it is well combined. At this point I like to taste to see if it needs any salt. I like to add pepper as well.


Pour everything into a baking dish and add a the cheddar cheese that you saved on top.

Bake until golden brown.

If you have questions about what you should cook for any occasion let me know! Leave a comment below or shoot me an email.

Brownbelle’s Thanksgiving Menu
  • Turkey Roulade
  • Cast Iron Cornbread
  • Holiday Spiced Sangria 
  • Sage Sweet Mashed Potatoes

November 11, 2014

What to make for Thanksgiving | Turkey Roulade Recipe


Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday! Over the next two weeks I will share some of my favorite thanksgiving/holiday recipes.


Now my family usually has several kinds of meat, so the roulade is great option if your family is not big on turkey or you have several meat options.

What You’ll Need
  • Boneless turkey breast
  • Cooking twine
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh herbs: thyme
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 lemon
  • Salt, pepper

 Compound Butter
  • Room temperature stick of butter
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Fresh herbs (I used sage, thyme, rosemary, parsley and oregano)
  • Salt, Pepper
Compound butter is one of man’s greatest inventions. This particular butter is magically delicious on chicken and salmon as well.

To make your compound butter, finely chop the herbs or use a food processor to chop. Add the lemon zest and a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix until everything is combined. The butter should be room temp for easy mixing. The butter will be enough for about 5lbs of turkey.

Place the turkey breast skin side down and spread the compound butter all over the inside.


When you are done spreading, begin to roll the breast lengthwise until you reach the end.

Tie the roulade with cooking twine in 1-2 inch intervals, spread a small amount of olive oil on the skin and sprinkle some of the chopped herbs over it. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Bake in the oven until the meat reaches 165F and the skin is golden brown.

Be sure to baste! I always baste like crazy, because turkey tends to be on the dry side.

And that’s it! If you have questions about what you should cook for any occasion let me know! Leave a comment below or shoot me an email.

Brownbelle’s Thanksgiving Menu
  • Holiday Spiced Sangria
  • Smoked Gouda Mac & Cheese
  • Cast Iron Cornbread
  • Sage Sweet Mashed Potatoes

October 22, 2014

DIY Wall Art: Gold Foil

I've REALLY been into metallic tones lately. Gold, silver and bronze accents add richness while remaining neutral. My bedroom will have many more gold accents but for starters I've added a pop of gold with this easy gold foil diy.


You will need:
  • About a foot long piece of foil. Start bigger you can always rip it to make it smaller.
  • Gold spray paint
  • Picture frame

 
Take your foot long piece of foil and crumple it to add texture. 

Carefully un-crumple and spray paint gold. Glue it or tape it down to the background that comes with your frame and voila! 

You can make it into a heart, circle or any shape if you want something that looks a bit more intentional. Simply cut the foil before spray painting.

I plan on hanging this on the wall once I have a few more items to put up, of course I will update you all along the way!




Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...