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Happy 2015

Friends, Followers, and Subscribers,

Happy 2015

Happy 2015! As you know, throughout the latter half of 2014 we were not able to keep our blog up to the capacity that it was is previous times. As we have said before, sometimes this thing called “Life” gets in the way!

This is the beginning of a new year so we are ready to cook, entertain and post away! We have some ideas of what we will be doing in the upcoming weeks and months, but if there is something specific that you want to see, or a recipe that you need, etc., please don’t hesitate to ask us!!! We are here to provide YOU with content that YOU want!!! You can leave a comment on the blog, ask us on Facebook or send an email to denise@mcnackskitchen.com or melissa@mcnackskitchen.com

Wishing you all a fantastic 2015!

Denise and Melissa

 

Thanksgiving Menu 2014

fun on thanksgiving

If you have followed our blog long enough, you know that we have had to take a bit of time off lately (a little thing called “life” seems to have gotten in our way). As Thanksgiving approaches, we want you to know that we are thankful for YOU, our readers, followers and subscribers for not giving up on us! 

Last year, Melissa and I shared our (different) tips to making the perfect turkey. We will both stick to our guns this year and insist that our way is the best way. However, I am branching out a bit this year. I found a recipe in Southern Living called Dry Brined-Herb Roasted Turkey. It looks amazing. The recipe basically calls for kosher salt, brown sugar, sage, thyme, pepper and garlic powder to be mixed together and rubbed all over the turkey about 24 hours before cooking. I was excited to see that you’re supposed to keep a bit of the mixture to the side so you can mix it with butter and then put it under the skin right before cooking. I’m telling you…that is the key to a moist turkey with golden brown crust. 

I’ve got 14 people coming for Thanksgiving dinner this year. As usual, it is a mixture of family and friends. As you will see from last year’s menu, my Thanksgiving menu doesn’t vary much. We are suckers for tradition. 

APPETIZERS

Meat and cheese tray

Sausage Balls

Bacon Wrapped Smokies

Hummus and Naan

Mulled Spiced Wine

Surprise Dip

MAIN COURSE

Turkey

Ham

Gravy

Syrian Rice

Cornbread Stuffing

Mashed Potatoes

Applesauce

Garlic Green Beans

Kale Citrus Salad

Surprise Side Dish

DESSERT

Apple Cake

Pumpkin Roll

Lemon Merengue Pie

If you need some more ideas of what to make to compliment your turkey, we have compiled a list of our favorite Thanksgiving Side Dishes.

Starchy Sides

Fruit and Vegetables

Desserts

 

 

 

 

Happy Father’s Day – Best Meat and Potatoes Dishes

best ever scalloped potatoes

Father’s Day is typically a day when most of us honor the man in our life that we call, “Dad.” It’s also a day to recognize the father of our children or that special someone who has been an important father figure in our lives.

It’s a day to reflect if your dad is no longer with you and to honor his memory, think about what was…with the love and peace of what is.

The single moms should also be celebrated as they pull double parenting duty…all day, every day! So to all of you out there who fall into one of these categories, we say, “Happy Father’s Day!”

However you spend your day, chances are there will be some sort of meal involved. We’d like to share our favorite “Meat and Potato” dishes to help you celebrate or honor “Dad”…whoever and wherever he is!!!

MEAT

Pork Tenderloin

Smothered Pork Chops with Onion and Thyme

Grilled Beef Tenderloin

Bone in BBQ Pork Chops

Pot Roast

Flank Steak with Lime, Honey and Garlic

BBQ Grilled Tri Tip Steak

Beer Can Chicken

Rack of Lamb with Mustard and Panko

Garlic Chicken and Potatoes

Meatloaf with Bacon

Filet Mignon Stuffed with Spinach and Manchego

POTATOES 

Roasted Red Potatoes with Rosemary and Garlic

Oven Fries with Paprika Parmesan Salt

Red Potato and Bacon Hash

Roasted Red Potatoes with Dijon Mustard

Hasselback Potatoes

Scalloped Potatoes

Baked Potato Bar

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes

 

Mother’s Day Breakfast Ideas

egg baked inside avocado

As you know, Mother’s Day is on Sunday. There are so many options of how to celebrate a special Mom or person on this day…

1) Let the Mother you are celebrating do her own thing all day while you hold down the fort

2) Have a fun-filled family day that let’s the Mother know how much she is loved and appreciated

3) A combination of 1 & 2 or

4) Make it just a regular day without much fuss. Let me give you a tip….Option 4 is really NOT an option, so choose something else, or pack your bags. 

Lots of people choose to do a Mother’s Day Brunch. However, brunch can be hard for some people. It’s too late for breakfast and too early for lunch, so what do you do if you’re up at 6 a.m.? What do you do if you have a child that naps at 12:30 or you go to church at 11?

Well….you make a special breakfast!!! Here are some great ideas that any Mom would love to have served to her, in bed, by her family, and with a nice hot cup of coffee (or tea) made to her liking.

(Note: If you can’t make coffee JUST the way she likes it…go to Starbucks. It’s one day..suck it up and go)!

Mother’s Day Breakfast Ideas…

For the “Health Conscious Mom”

Egg Cooked in Avocado

Scrambled Eggs with Salsa and Feta

Breakfast Bagel Sandwich

For the “Mom Who Knows it’s a Holiday and is Just Happy Not to Cook”

French Toast

Monkey Bread

Biscuits and Gravy

Sausage Balls

For the “Mom Who Trusts the House Won’t be Burned Down While Others are Making Breakfast”

German Oven Pancakes

Corned Beef Hash with Eggs

Ham and Cheddar Quiche

“When All Else Fails”

Starbucks

Mimosas

Bloody Mary’s

 

Please note: If you have small children who insist on “helping” make breakfast, please do not allow them to add “special” ingredients to the food. Just because she likes Splenda in her coffee DOES NOT mean she will like it on her scrambled eggs. I promise. I was on the receiving end of this one year. It is not a pleasant experience to have to choke down Splenda enhanced eggs in front of your children. 

Our Favorite Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

If Oprah can make an entire show before Christmas about her favorite things, Melissa and I can do a simple post about Our Favorite Mother’s Day Gift Ideas, right? After all, we are both Mothers so we feel like we know a little bit about this!

No…we are not giving away trips or cars. Sorry.

However, we will certainly keep you out of the dog house by helping you come up with a great gift for the lady in your life that is either your mom, the mother of your children, grandmother, or just a special person who has always been like a mom to you.

If you are hurting for ideas, stick with one of these and you can’t go wrong!!! Trust us!

Favorite Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

The Best Wine Glass Ever…..I mean…you have GOT to check this out. I would love to open this on Sunday! I guess this is a test to see if my husband actually reads the blog.

Best Coffee Mug Ever….This one even tops the “Raising teenagers is like nailing jello to a wall” mug that I just got.

Le Crueset Round French Oven….a must have for anyone who makes soups, chili or large amounts of sauces.

Emile Henry Lasagna Dish…this is for anyone who cooks (even if they are a beginner). It’s a  versatile dish that can go from the oven to the table.

The Wine Bible…For the reader in your life.

Electric Wine Opener…you know, we are not getting any younger and not having to count aerobic activity to open a bottle of wine is a good thing.

A great knife….every aspiring chef needs to start with a great knife.

Amazon Gift Card…no brainer right here.

Happy Cinco de Mayo

Salad with black beans, corn, tomatoes, cilantro and jalapeños

Today is Cinco de Mayo. It’s a day for Margaritas and Mexican food (and if you are daring, a tequila shot or two)! There is no reason to go stand in line for hours at your favorite Mexican restaurant when you can make your own delicious fiesta at home! Here are some of our most delicious Mexican recipes. 

Carnitas

Black Bean and Corn Salad

Guacamole

Chi Chi’s Corn Cake

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Homemade Salsa

Sangria

Mexican Style Grilled Corn

Taco Dip

Easter Menu Ideas

Easter is just around the corner. As we have done for previous holidays, we are going to bring you both of our Easter menus in one post. You can get all of the ideas in one place, and hopefully enjoy a laugh or two as you will see, yet again, how two very different people with unique cooking styles can both serve an amazing holiday meal! 

Melissa’s Easter Menu:

Well, I still don’t know how many I am serving for Easter yet but I just created my menu! Last year’s Easter dinner was fantastic and it was hard not to just make that entire menu again! But, I write for a food blog so I better try something different.

Since Denise won’t cook a poor wittle lamby, I will! So delicious! This is also one of those things that when you ate it as a kid and when you eat it now, it is completely different. I adore just about all cuts of lamb, but for Easter, we will make a roasted leg of lamb.

I’m also going to make some deviled eggs because everyone loves deviled eggs!! Right?! I’ll give them an Easter twist by coloring the cooked egg whites. The kids can have fun with that (I got the idea from a Pinterest photo).

For those who don’t like deviled eggs, I’ll make a traditional caprese salad with some of the best buffalo mozzarella I’ve ever eaten! Yum!!

To enjoy a taste of spring, I’m going to mix snow peas, sugar snap peas and green peas together with some bacon and some kind of vinaigrette. I was inspired by a Food Network recipe of these three veggies together in a cream sauce, but I’m going to nix the cream sauce part. Don’t get me wrong, nothing bad about a cream sauce, just trying to balance my menu so it’s not toooooo heavy.

How to Prepare Sugar Snap Peas

Next up, potatoes! Gotta have potatoes on Easter. I think there is a reference to it in the Gospels somewhere. Well, maybe not, but I’m going to do it anyway. I bought a giant bag of Yukon Gold’s this week for food I took to a friend so I need to finish those up. I’m thinking roasted garlic mashed potatoes made with ALL the cream and butter they deserve (see, that’s why I’m not doing the veggies in cream too!).

For dessert, I think we’ll keep it simple with apple pie and vanilla ice cream.  Gotta love apple pie!

apple pie with crumble topping

 

When you ate it as a kid? See…that explains it all. You developed a more sophisticated palate at a very early age. ~Denise

Yes, I was fortunate to be introduced to a lot of foods very early, but canned asparagus I detested!! Still do! It should be banned from stores. ~Melissa

Denise’s Easter Menu

So when Melissa told me over the phone about her “wittle lamby” crack, I told her that for Easter I was going to shove a beer can up a chicken’s butt and pop it on the grill to make Drunk Chicken. 1) I wanted to see what kind of reaction I would get out of her 2) I actually wasn’t kidding.

drunken chicken

We are having 12 people over for Easter and it’s very casual. Along with the drunk chicken, I am also making my ribs!!

BBQ Ribs

Amazing BBQ Ribs

I normally wouldn’t make Bacon Wrapped Jalapeño Poppers for Easter, but they are a favorite of some of our guests, so I couldn’t resist.

Jalapeños with cream cheese and bacon

Friends are bringing a couple different appetizers (deviled eggs are a definite…and these are with bacon) and I’m going to round it out with Roasted Chickpeas and a small charcuterie tray with marinated artichokes and hearts of palm.

The Gospel tells Melissa to make potatoes for Easter. It tells me to make the most amazing rice dish known to mankind. It’s an old family recipe (and yes…unsharable) that is only made on special occasions. At most, I had it twice a year growing up. Now it’s maybe once a year. It’s not the healthiest dish around, but it does fall under the category of “Last Meal Requests!”. Thanks to a good friend who shared an Epicurious email with me this week, I am also making snow peas with toasted almonds, which should be delicious with the meats and the rice. A friend is also bringing some sort of salad to round out the meal. 

As usual…I’ve got someone bringing dessert.

I wasn’t counting on you actually writing that you were shoving the beer can where the sun doesn’t shine! And you feel bad for my wittle lamby?! Oh, and I am going to have to talk to your family, aka the Syrian Mafia. What’s up with the no share policy?!? ~Melissa

I can just see the huge smile on your face as you cook that poor little lamb and probably wish you were the one taking it to the slaughter house. Syrian Mafia? No. Think of it similar to “Ancient Chinese Secret” ~ Denise

Here are some other great Easter Menu Ideas:

Scalloped Potatoes

Peas and Asparagus

Asparagus with Vinaigrette

Dijon Roasted Potatoes

Grilled Green Tomato Caprese

Whole Beef Tenderloin

Pork Loin with Mango Chutney

Roasted Broccoli with Cheddar Cheese

Lemonade Pie