Archive | November, 2012

Tex-Mex Meets Comfort Food: Easy Slow-Cooker Turkey Chili

30 Nov

This dish is a great way to incorporate lots of veggies into a simple, one-pot (er, one-slow-cooker?) meal. The veggies I’m including in the recipe are very flexible, too; not that they do gymnastics (there’s a bad joke in there somewhere about Mckayla Moroney not approving of my pun or my recipe), but you can feel free to substitute whatever veggies are hanging around in your fridge.

It also hits just the right seasoning notes, with chili powder, cumin and garlic adding that Mexi-kick, and a few secret additions (cocoa powder? Yup!) along the way. Also, fun fact: If you have oodles of leftover turkey from T-Givs or other holiday celebrations in the next few weeks and months, this recipe is easily adaptable to include those tryptophan-laced trimmings. Enjoy!

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I’d Like to Thank the Academy? :)

27 Nov

GKG has received its first blogging award! The lovely lady behind Baby Boomer Bakes, Nikki Norman, has nominated me for the Sunshine Award. (Which is pretty cool!) Nikki’s blog is a treasure trove of recipes, cooking advice, and more. Her own credentials are pretty stellar, too — check here for more information about her, and here to check out some of her amazing recipes. (That Triple Vanilla Christmas Cake? Holy Cow!) Thank you so much for the nomination! Here’s to movin’ on up (cue “The Jeffersons” theme song) in the blogosphere.

Image courtesy of

Award Acceptance process:

According to the rules, nominees must (i) include a link in your blog to the blog that nominated you; (ii) answer some questions about yourself; (iii) nominate 10 fellow bloggers, linking to their blogs; and (iv) inform them that they have been nominated.

Here we go!

1. Who is your favorite philosopher? Well, Aquinas is pretty cool. I’m also a fan of Plato & Socrates. (cue “Bill & Ted” reference to “So-crates.”)

2. What is your favorite number? 61 (Weird? Yeah, I know.)

3. What is your favorite animal? Probably a dog; the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show is just as exciting as the Oscars for me.

4. What are your Facebook and Twitter?

In the interest of not being stalked by my students, I’ll keep this one to myself. If you’d like to visit me on Facebook, feel free to message me a comment.

As for Pinterest, however, I’m all over that:

5. What is your favorite time of day? Either 9 am on a Saturday morning (coffee, the Post, my couch, and me. Ahh.) or anytime I’m over the stove!

6. What is your favorite holiday? Ooh … probably a tie between Christmas and Easter. (Does my birthday count? Tee hee.)

7. What is your favorite physical activity? I’ve totally caught the running bug, no matter how irregularly I do it! I also love riding my bike all around DC.

8. What is your favorite non-alcoholic drink?  Diet Coke. Or coffee. Anything that keeps teacher-lady caffeinated.

9. What is your passion? Cooking, traveling / exploring new places, art, history … I’m a bit all over the place, and I’m very OK with that. 🙂

10. What is your favorite flower? Daffodils. No matter what Meg Ryan says in “You’ve Got Mail,” I think they’re the friendliest flower.

My nominations, in no particular order, are:

Homemade with Mess

The Spontaneous Tomato

Vini Cooks Veg

Domestic Diva, M.D.

Our Growing Paynes

Vedged Out

Cooking in Sens

Can’t Stay Out of the Kitchen

Recipes Happen

Glitz Girlz Glamour Guide

Thanks again! 🙂 Here’s to the fabulous world of blogging.

Tackling T-Givs, Part 3: Cranberry Bread & Cranberry-Pinot Noir Sauce

23 Nov

Image sourced from

First, a wonderful and happy Thanksgiving to you and yours! I hope your Thanksgiving celebrations were filled with tryptophan, carb comas, plenty of vino / brewskies / whatever your beverage fancy, and the love and companionship of your family & friends. GKG was on a bit of a pre-holiday hiatus (hey, man, it takes a long time to concoct a T-Givs menu and prep an absurd number of side dishes. Seriously, way too many. Like, 5 more than necessary. #excessmakesthestomachgrowlarger?), but now we’re back in full swing. Even if we’re now post-Thanksgiving, these recipes can be eaten and enjoyed any time of year. Happy Eating!

The humble cranberry, according to an interesting documentary I saw earlier this week on The History Channel (What?? History Channel programming that isn’t about Hitler or aliens?? You’re talking nonsense, woman — you, thinking to yourself), was named after early settlers’ observations that its flower looked like the beak of a crane. Crane-berry became cranberry, and silly mis-identifying Puritans became history. Cool!

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Thanksgiving Traditions: Mom’s (or “Aunt” Betty’s) Orange-Glazed Sweet Potatoes

17 Nov


Once upon a time, GKG decided to put together a hand-written-slash-scrapbook-style recipe book with an old journal. (The consequence of being someone who enjoys writing — lovely and well-intentioned friends and family tend to gift you with journals. While I like to think my life is fairly interesting, it certainly can’t fill 5-10 journals a year!) The above picture is one page of clips that I’ve cut, arranged and taped / pasted into the journal’s pages, but I’ve also hand-written some of my own recipes and family favorites (pasta sauce being one of them!) in various “chapters.”

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Hosting Thanksgiving? Yes, You Can! Part One: What on Earth Am I Serving?

15 Nov

Bet you started quoting “Home Alone” in your head, didn’t you?

This year, I will be staying in Washington, DC for Thanksgiving … IN ORDER TO HOST THE HOLIDAY! AIEEEE! OMAGAH! WHAT??

… Actually, it’s not THAT terrifying. (She said, in her famous last words before her death-by-drowning at the hands — er, goo? — of a mountain of mashed potatoes and gravy.) It’s a new adventure that the History Teacher and I are taking on this year. We’ll be hosting his immediate family (traveling in from all sorts of corners of the East Coast), as well as a few local friends who’d rather stay nearby than make their long and expensive voyages home. To which I say, the more the merrier! … and the slightly scarier? More people! More food! More chaos! More tryptophan-induced napping on a limited number of beds and couches!

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Yes, Virginia, You CAN Fit An Entire Chicken into Your Slow-Cooker

12 Nov

Note: This is a bird that has literally fallen off of its bones. As soon as I plucked it from the slow-cooker, this moist, delicate chicken threatened to collapse entirely. The slow cooking method ensures an incredibly tender chicken with flavor out the wazoo. Yes, wazoo. It’s a technical culinary term: the thing out of which flavor can apparently come?

Anyhoo; aside from my additions to the dictionary, this roast chicken is perhaps the easiest fancy-pancy Sunday dinner out there. If you’ve got a slow cooker and some time on your hands, this recipe is for you. And your friends. And your family. And that neighbor across the street who happens to like chicken. Because it makes a lot of chicken.

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Fall Tablescape: Pops of Color, Hints of Autumn

10 Nov

Nothing says fall like … a tablescape!

No, I’m not just pulling a Sandra Lee here. (Plus, I’ve already done that, I suppose.) There’s something about fall that gets me going — and gets me in the mood to start decorating. What says “fall” like pumpkins, marigolds, and other seasonally-themed decorating in the house? And for me, that decorating starts — are you surprised, my friends? — with the kitchen table.

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