california-inspired thanksgiving menu

I wasn’t going to post today, because…well, my anticipated squash with curried butter recipe was NOT good.

It needs some major work before it’s ready to share (if it’s ever ready) so instead, I thought you might enjoy some Thanksgiving chat with this California-inspired Thanksgiving Menu. (You know there’s a kale salad!)

What’s on your Thanksgiving menu this year?

 

easy strawberry tart

Easy Strawberry Tart | anutritionisteats.com

I made you dessert!

It’s a rare occurrence.

I eat dessert, but never make it.

Easy Strawberry Tart | anutritionisteats.com

Lately, I’ve been eating a LOT of desserts. When I was in New York, I had an amazing dinner at momofuku noodle bar: brisket bun (my favorite of the night!), kimchee salad, rice cakes and of course, a bowl of ‘momofuku ramen’ (pork belly, pork shoulder and poached egg). I was too full for dessert, but there was no WAY I was leaving without taking home some famous milk bar goodies so I brought back ‘the ritz’ cookies and a box of pretzel cake truffles. Uhhh, ridiculous doesn’t even begin to describe them.

I’m a little tempted to get the cookbook, but when I cook at home, I like need things to be simple. Their recipes aren’t.

This dessert IS simple. It doesn’t require a ton of ingredients, and it doesn’t even require pulling out the mixer! (Unless you are an over-achiever and you make your own puff pastry.)

Easy Strawberry Tart | anutritionisteats.com

I’m partnering with Central West Produce to work on some recipes and when I was sent some beautiful strawberries, they were just begging to be made into a dessert. When I have perfectly ripe, perfectly delicious produce, I like to let it shine in recipes.

In this easy strawberry tart, puff pastry is baked, topped with a sweet cream cheese spread and finished off with fresh berries. It’s crunchy, creamy, sweet and fresh!

Each of the components come together really quickly and that’s precisely why ‘easy’ is in the title.

Easy Strawberry Tart | anutritionisteats.com

But delicious also deserves a spot in the title (ultimately, it didn’t get it). Pick up this dessert with your hands and crunch through each delicious layer.

Easy Strawberry Tart
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: Emily Dingmann
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8 servings
Ingredients
  • 8 oz puff pastry (one sheet)
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 2-4 Tbsp milk or half & half
  • 16 oz fresh strawberries
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cut puff pastry into 8 pieces and place on a parchment-lined pan.
  3. Bake for about 15 minutes, until golden brown.
  4. Meanwhile, mix together cream cheese, vanilla and honey until smooth.
  5. Add milk or half & half to thin out cream cheese mixture.
  6. Slice strawberries.
  7. Layer cream cheese and strawberries over puff pastry pieces.
Calories: 308 Fat: 22 grams Carbohydrates: 22 grams Sugar: 7 grams Fiber: 2 grams Protein: 5 grams

This post is sponsored by Central West Produce. Opinions are my own. 

gorgonzola + honey crostini

I’m currently in the sky, headed back to the West Coast! I’ll call it the “best” coast if it feels more like the fall weather I enjoyed in New York, and less like the summer weather I didn’t enjoy in LA this past weekend. (I loved being in NYC, the energy feels so different than in LA – I only wish I could have extended my trip so that I could have stayed longer than 36 hours!)

But back to the weather (I am from the midwest after all, and we do like to talk about it), I’m ready for squash and soup and chili and hot tea ALL the time! Temps in the 80’s make that complicated.

Gorgonzola + Honey Crostini |anutritionisteats.com

But I’ll try not to complain about the weather and continue to drown my weather woes with good appetizers. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. Appetizers are the way to my heart. They are my heart.

Gorgonzola + Honey Crostini |anutritionisteats.com

And easy appetizers are best. Because when you’re hungry, you’re HUNGRY!

Here, crunchy crostini is topped with creamy and slightly pungent gorgonzola cheese (I used a triple cream!) and a drizzle of sweet honey. You can’t go wrong with this combination. Crunchy, creamy, sweet and salty.

Gorgonzola + Honey Crostini |anutritionisteats.com

Three minutes until crostini is in your belly.

  1. Lightly toast bread
  2. Spread cheese
  3. Drizzle honey
  4. Lightly toast again

Gorgonzola + Honey Crostini |anutritionisteats.com

Perfection in a bite.

Gorgonzola + Honey Crostini
Recipe Type: Appetizer
Author: Emily Dingmann
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Ingredients
  • french baguette
  • 4 oz gorgonzola (or blue) cheese
  • honey
Instructions
  1. Lightly broil bread for about 2-3 minutes, until golden brown.
  2. Spread blue cheese and drizzle with honey.
  3. Broil crostini for another 2 minutes, or until cheese has melted.

slow cooker paella

slowcookerpaella6softlight

Is this week over yet? Between having my parents in town (SO fun!), some big projects at work, a work trip to New York this weekend AND looking for someplace to live, I’m ready to collapse.

Which is precisely the time to bring out the slow cooker. (Or, actually collapse…which might happen.) So let’s pull out the slow cooker, slow things down a bit and enjoy a nice, easy dinner. And please drink some wine for me. At minimum, a glass – preferably more.

Paella. In. The. Slow. Cooker.

Slow Cooker Paella | anutritionisteats.com

This isn’t really authentic paella. It’s more like the paella for those of us who don’t have a paella pan. And don’t really have the time to spend an hour and a half on dinner. And don’t really have the money for dinners that include not only chicken and chorizo, but clams, shrimp and lobster tails.

I like to think of us as normal people. Real people. And people who sometimes need to collapse. :)

Slow Cooker Paella | anutritionisteats.com

This slow cooker paella takes a half hour of prep work and two hours in the slow cooker. (And NO clams or lobster tails!)

And after it’s finished in the slow cooker, and you’re ready to eat, you must promise me three things:

  1. You’ll squeeze some fresh lemon over each plate
  2. You’ll sprinkle fresh parsley over each plate
  3. You’ll season (each plate) with some (hopefully high-quality) salt if it needs it

Slow Cooker Paella | anutritionisteats.com

Slow Cooker Paella
Author: Emily Dingmann (adapted from Rachael Ray)
Serves: 8 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 lb (skinless, boneless) chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 3 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 cups short-grain rice (I used arborio)
  • 1-14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 4 oz cured chorizo, roughly chopped (I found this in the packaged deli meat section)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • pinch of saffron
  • 3 cups frozen peas
  • 1 cup chopped parsley for serving
  • lemon wedges for serving
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in large pan.
  2. Add chicken and sprinkle with half of paprika and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Transfer chicken to the slow cooker with a slotted spoon.
  5. Add rice to pan and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add to slow cooker.
  6. Add remaining ingredients to slow cooker, season with salt and pepper and stir to combine.
  7. Cook on high for 2 hours, until rice is soft.
  8. Stir in peas and let sit for 10 minutes.
  9. Serve with parsley and lemon wedges.
Calories: 467 Fat: 12 grams Carbohydrates: 58 grams Sugar: 8 grams Fiber: 7 grams Protein: 27 grams Cholesterol: 81 milligrams