Well Dined

22Nov/160

Thanksgiving Roundup 2016

It's that time again! Whether you are having a traditional family gathering with lots of old favorites, or a funky gourmet "Friendsgiving" - I hope that you find some inspiration here. Happy Thanksgiving, my lovelies!

Well Dined | Thanksgiving Roundup

Salads:
Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad with Goat Cheese
Roasted Beet Salad with Goat Cheese
Quinoa Salad with Roasted Sweet Potato, Kale, Apple, and Red Onion
Quinoa with Butternut Squash and Broccolini

Well Dined | Thanksgiving Roundup

Sides:
Sage Stuffing with Sausage and Apple
Mashed Potatoes and Hard Cider Gravy
Gourmet Green Bean Casserole
Bacon Popovers

Well Dined | Thanksgiving Roundup

Corn Pudding
Sausage and Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash
Bourbon Bacon Whipped Sweet Potatoes with Brown Butter and Sage
Balsamic Honey Mustard Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

16Nov/165

FFF – Smoked Salmon Deviled Eggs

Well Dined | Smoked Salmon Deviled Eggs

The Secret Recipe Club may be over, but the Fantastical Food Fight is just beginning!  Instead of being assigned a blog, secret Santa style, we are given a theme (similar to the Improv Cooking Challenge that I also participate in).  For our first month, the theme was deviled eggs - yum!

Well Dined | Smoked Salmon Deviled Eggs

I knew that I wanted to do a fun take, and while I looked at Caesar Salad, Curry, Mexican Street Corn, and Crab Rangoon variations, I was really drawn to a Smoked Salmon idea.  Filled with the flavors of a traditional Lox bagel, this twist is as delicious as it is pretty.

14Nov/164

SRC – Stuffed Shell Casserole from Making Miracles

Well Dined | Stuffed Shell Casserole

Remember when I thought that the fall SRC post was my last one?  Well, I had completely forgotten that I still had one more regular Secret Recipe Club post.  Oops!  Luckily I did remember in time and was able to look through my assigned blog - Making Miracles.

Rebekah is a mother of two who traveled extensively as a child, including living in Africa - wow!  Most of her meals are "quick, easy, and family friendly", but sometimes she has time for something more complicated.  She has also been a surrogate for many years resulting in 4 baby girls, 2 of whom are twins!  What an amazing gift!  I can't imagine how challenging and rewarding that must be.

On Rebekah's blog I saw lots of casseroles, and you KNOW I love casseroles.  I was particularly interested in this Crockpot Turkey and Rice Casserole, this Deconstructed Stuffed Cabbage Casserole, this Creamy Wild Rice and Chicken Casserole, this Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole with Doritos, and this Thanksgiving Leftover Casserole.

Other dishes that peaked my interest were Brown Sugar Meatloaf, Mozzarella Stuffed Italian Meatloaf, Sweet and Sour Meatballs, and Brown Sugar and Balsamic Glazed Pork Roast.

Well Dined | Stuffed Shell Casserole

I let my husband look through all of my top choices (so generous of me *wink*).  He picked out these classic Stuffed Shells, and I was happy to oblige!  But then I ran into a problem - the store didn't have any jumbo pasta shells!  I thought I remembered having a box at home, so I bought the rest of the stuff and went back to check.  It turns out that what I had was actually large shells, not jumbo.  I was out of time and had already bought the other ingredients, so I decided to improvise.

31Oct/167

SRC – Pumpkin Maple Custards from Things I Make (For Dinner)

Well Dined | Pumpkin Maple Custards

It's time for a seasonal post from the Secret Recipe Club!  Our theme was Fall Dishes and I was assigned Things I Make (For Dinner).  This blog is written by Sarah who, in addition to my name, shares my love of cooking, travel, and sleeping.

Fall means pumpkin for a lot of people, myself included, and I found a Pumpkin Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting that looked yummy.  For me, it also means apple; like this Apple Crisp or Apple Fritter Cake.  But what about something a little different, like Nutella Ice Cream? Or something savory like Tex-Mex Stuffed Butternut Squash?

In the end, there was one dish that caught my eye the most: Pumpkin Maple Custards.

Well Dined | Pumpkin Maple Custards

These custards are made with pumpkin, cream, milk, maple syrup, egg yolks, and spices.  Simple and delicious.  After the base is made, it is poured into ramekins and baked in a water bath, much like creme brulee.

27Oct/160

Halloween Recipe Round-up

If you are in need of festive dishes, look no further!  I have collected my most relevant recipes onto one page for you.

Halloween Candy

Well Dined | Halloween Round-up

Halloween Candy Bark
Candy Corn Jello Shots

Apple Desserts

Well Dined | Halloween Round-up

Apple Oat Muffins
Salted Caramel Apple Hand Pies
Cheddar Apple Hand Pies

Black and Orange
More like green and orange, but you get the idea.

Well Dined | Halloween Round-up

Butternut Squash and Kale Mac and Cheese
Sweet Potato and Chard Gratin
Butternut Squash and Kale Pizza with Smoked Mozzarella and Bacon
Butternut Squash and Spinach Lasagna with Homemade Spinach Whole Wheat Noodles

20Oct/163

ICC – Curry Carrot Soup with Coconut Cream

Well Dined | Curry Carrot Soup with Coconut Cream

This month for the Improv Cooking Challenge, our ingredients were Carrots & Curry.  I knew immediately that I wanted to make a soup, so I looked back through my archives and found three soup recipes that I'd previously made.  I used these three recipes to help me come up with a new one: Spiced Carrot Soup with Chickpeas and Tahini, Spiced Carrot Soup with Crispy Prosciutto, and Thai Pumpkin Soup.

Well Dined | Curry Carrot Soup with Coconut Cream

I started by cooking madras curry and grated ginger in olive oil (though it occurs to me now that I could have used coconut oil), then adding carrots, onion, and garlic.  I seasoned with salt and cooked for 15 minutes, until the vegetables started to brown.  Then I added chicken broth and coconut milk and simmered covered for 20 minutes.  You can use vegetable broth to make this vegetarian/vegan.

13Oct/161

Avocado Rose Toast

Well Dined | Avocado Rose Toast

If you've been anywhere near Instagram, you know that avocado roses are all the rage.  Simple, elegant, beautiful.  Melissa (Smells Like Brownies) and I decided to try our hands at making them, and I think they turned out pretty well!

Watch this video to learn how to do it.  Melissa is much more coordinated than I am, so those are her hands you are seeing.

Well Dined | Avocado Rose Toast

Or you can follow these directions: Oil a cutting board and knife with olive oil.

9Oct/165

SRC – Chicken, Bacon, and Ranch Slow Cooker Tater Tot Casserole from Cheese Curd in Paradise

Well Dined | Chicken, Bacon, and Ranch Slow Cooker Tater Tot Casserole

The Secret Recipe Club is coming to an end, you guys.  This is both very sad and a huge relief to me, as I have had so much fun exploring other blogs, but also felt a lot of pressure to meet the timeline.  There will be one more seasonal post at the end of this month, and one more regular post in November.  I was assigned Cheese Curd in Paradise this month, written by Ashley.

I actually couldn't find a bio page on this blog, sorry Ashley!  But I could discern that Ashley lives in Wisconsin, has a son, and loves comfort food!  I found a ton of yummy looking stuff while scrolling through the archives.

The first thing a saw was a bunch of yummy looking dip recipes, like Creamy Spinach and Radish, Warm Bacon and Caramelized Onion, Crockpot Spinach and Artichoke, and Cheddar Bacon Ranch.

I also saw tons of casseroles, like Meatball Sub, Stroganoff, and Potato Chip Topped Tuna Noodle.

And slowcooker recipes, like Creamy Tex-Mex Chicken, and Swedish Meatballs.

And pasta recipes, like Homemade Beef-a-Roni, Bacon Cheeseburger Gnocchi Skillet, Creamy Chicken Pesto Gnocchi Skillet, BLT Tortellini Skillet, and Ham and Cheese Gnocchi Skillet (loving these skillet meals).

And some special occasion recipes, like Maple and Shallot Spaghetti Squash, Roast Duck with Wild Rice and Sausage Stuffing, Rack of Lamb with Caramelized Shallot and Thyme Crust, and Seared Scallops with Prosecco Herb Beurre Blanc.

I didn't even get to the desserts, y'all!

In the end, I was torn between this Slow Cooker Cheesy Chicken Tater Tot Casserole and this Chicken Bacon Ranch Tater Tot Casserole.  So I decided to combine them!  By which I mean, use ranch seasoning instead of the seasoning mix in the slow cooker casserole.

Well Dined | Chicken, Bacon, and Ranch Slow Cooker Tater Tot Casserole

It is hard to take good photos of casseroles, y'all, especially in the slow cooker.  But the slow cooker was what I loved about this.  Throw frozen tater tots, raw chicken, cooked bacon, onions, cheese, ranch seasoning, and milk into the insert and forget about it until dinner time.  Perfect.  I did feel like it was missing a bit of a creamy element, but I don't know how sour cream would do in the slow cooker.

For ease an comfort, this just can't be beat!  Enjoy!

5Oct/160

Rainbow Cauliflower Bowl

Well Dined | Rainbow Cauliflower Bowl

Oh my gosh, this cauliflower bowl is so gorgeous, and filling, and satisfying, and yummy, and healthy, and low carb, and all the things.  It has a lot of different components, but they come together to make such a lovely whole.  Another successful vegetarian lunch with Melissa from Smells Like Brownies.

Well Dined | Rainbow Cauliflower Bowl

Start by making your cauliflower "rice" (actually, start by pickling some chard stems, which was done by Melissa before I arrived).  Place raw cauliflower into a food processor and pulse until chopped to the size of rice (a few larger pieces are fine) - 1/2 a large head will make 3-4 cups.  Cover tightly with plastic wrap and microwave for 2 minutes, just to soften.

Well Dined | Rainbow Cauliflower Bowl

Next, heat some coconut oil in a pan and add turmeric, cumin, a pinch of cayenne, and some fresh pressed garlic.  Cook for a bit to activate the spices, then add the cauliflower and stir to combine and heat through.  But don't leave it on for too long - you want the cauliflower to have texture!  Make sure to season with salt and pepper.

12Sep/1610

SRC – Cheesy Green Chile Chicken and Rice Casserole from Cookin’ Mimi

Well Dined | Cheesy Green Chile Chicken and Rice Casserole

It's time for this month's Secret Recipe Club!  I was assigned Cookin' Mimi - a blog full of comfort food and home cooking with lots of influences like Southern, Southwestern, and some International.  The author is a Southern Californian with a Southern family - which explains the variety of influences!  She doesn't remember a time when she wasn't cooking.

I was in crunch mode when I chose a recipe, on the search for an easy dinner.  Mimi is a big fan of casseroles, like me, so I looked at this Cheesy Broccoli Chicken and Rice Casserole and this traditional Chicken and Rice Casserole, but decided on this Cheesy Green Chile Chicken and Rice Casserole.

I also scrolled through the desserts quickly and saw Pineapple Upside Down Cake Ice Cream, Coconut Tres Leches Cake, and Pina Colada Poke Cake.  Clearly I'm in a tropical mood.

Well Dined | Cheesy Green Chile Chicken and Rice Casserole

But back to the casserole!  It is really straightforward and simple - combine chicken, green chiles, rice, and a sour cream sauce; top with cheese; bake; the end.  But something in the recipe jumped out at me as unfamiliar - it called for par-boiled or converted rice.  What the heck is that?  I turned to the internet and found out that by par-boiling the rice, the nutrients of the outer parts are forced into the grain before they are removed - making it something in between brown and white rice.  In fact, it supposedly has most of the nutrients of brown rice, an even lower glycemic index, and the soft texture of white rice, without getting as mushy.  How had I never heard of this before?!  It is perfect to use in casseroles and slow cookers because the texture holds up.  It's awesome!

But, there is a downside - unless you are ordering it from Asia, most brands are grown in the Southern US and have high levels of inorganic arsenic, which is toxic.  So, you know, don't eat a ton of it all the time.