Selim and I have been in Virginia for a great long weekend to celebrate my younger sister’s graduation from college. She’s the last of our family, youngest of the four siblings, to graduate college. Our day was filled with family & friends, pomp & circumstance, caps & gowns, diplomas & honors… and a college party. Amy’s housemates (all 9 of them!) threw a party for their families and then one for their friends afterwards. Even with all the parents that were present for both parties, we were still the boring old couple, as there were parents partying hard and clearly reliving some good old college memories. Flash forward to Sunday and our family is hosting a family graduation party. Any time we get the family together there’s always the classic dips, spreads, salads, snacks, and drinks. We’ll highlight some of the unique ones that we think you’ll like in the next few days.
Try one of these:
Pinch of Crab Egg Dip
Herbed Shrimp Pasta Salad
Sweet & Savory Cheese Ball
Happy Graduation Amy!! 🎉🎉
Sorry for the lack of recipes this week! We’ve been in Washington DC for most of the week. But this IS a food blog, so let me show you the prettiest thing I ate recently.
Say hello to the Cherry Blossom doughnut from Astro Chicken & Doughnuts. This gorgeous creation was on the menu during the annual cherry blossom celebration. It had a trail of cherry jelly inside it and delicious icing. Mine was the most beautiful of the day, but the best-tasting might have been Selim’s Creme Brulee doughnut. 👍🏼👍🏼
If you find yourself in DC, check these doughnuts out! And the deliciously juicy, yet crispy friend chicken. Mmmmmm 🍗🍩
We had a variey of other amazing meals while we were there, but I don’t have any pictures for you. (Sorry, I’m too busy stuffing my face to photograph food at restaurants.) But I can confidently suggest Oyamel and Pizzeria Paradiso. Go there!
We have a very specific Thanksgiving tradition… We like to steal the turkey bones. All of the bones. We gather them all up like little squirrels to take home. Sounds a little weird, but it’s the best freebie leftover you can grab! Hide those bones away in your refrigerator until you’re ready, and then you can create some stock that puts the ones you buy at the store to shame.
This is mixed poultry stock, not pure turkey stock as we’ve done in the past, because we had the bones of several smoked chicken quarters too. The same principles apply whether you have a whole turkey carcass, a bunch of chicken bones, or a combination of both.
In even better news, making homemade stock is one of the easiest things ever! It sounds a little bit daunting, but it really isn’t. Time consuming? Sort of… It’s a long process, but it’s mostly hands-off.
What You’ll Need
- A large, deep pot
- A large bowl
- Large piece of cheesecloth
How You Do It
- Place your bones in a large, deep pot.
- Cover with water.
- Bring to a boil, but then immediately reduce to a simmer. Allow to simmer, uncovered, for 6-8 hours.
- Cool, overnight if necessary. Skim fat and debris off the top.
- Return to the stove, over low heat. Once warmed through, remove the bones.
- Double-fold cheesecloth and place in a standard colander.
- Pour liquid from the pot, through the cheesecloth, into the large bowl. Do this slowly! (Two person job!!)
- Shake out the majority of the debris caught in the cheesecloth and return to the colander. Pour the liquid from the bowl, again through the cheesecloth, back into the pot.
- Repeat steps 7 & 8 indefinitely, until you feel like the liquid has completely cleared.
- Return the pot to the stove and bring to a light simmer.
- Simmer, tasting intermittently, until the flavor has concentrated to your liking.
Note – many people add fragrant, flavorful herbs and vegetables (onions, celery, etc) to the pot for the initial simmering. This will still create a lovely stock, but we really enjoy the flavor of the pure, bones only, stock.
Have you wanted to jump on board the zoodle craze train, but aren’t really sure how to make them? Well this is the post for you! Luckily, preparing zoodles is very easy and just requires an extra step or two that you might not anticipate.
The key is to draw some of the water out of the zucchini before you cook it like a noodle. If you skip this step, your dish will likely come out very watery and you’ll be like, “Well this sucks; I hate zoodles.” Don’t be put off by the salt. It doesn’t translate to an overly salty dish in my experience. With that being said, I would taste your final product before finishing it with any extra salt!
What You’ll Need
*You can make zoodles without a spiralizer. You can use a vegetable peeler, or your amazing knife skills to slice these thin ribbons. I use a fairly cheap manual spiralizer. I think it cost like $12. It’s easy to use, but now that I know we love zoodles I might upgrade to one of the fancier ones one of these days.
How You Do It
- Rinse off your zucchini. Slice off the very ends.
- Using your kitchen utensil of choice, slice the zucchini into ribbons.
- Place all of your ribbons of zucchini in a strainer over the sink. Sprinkle with salt and toss with your hands. [I use a ratio of 1/2 tsp of salt per zucchini.]
- Let it sit for a minimum of 15 minutes. The longer you have to let them sit, the more water you’ll draw out.
- Pick up the zucchini and squeeze the ribbons in your fists. You won’t destroy them, and you’ll be amazed at how much more water you can squeeze out!
Now you have zoodles that are ready to be used in whatever recipe you’re working on!