Gather Around The Table This Thanksgiving With A Roasted Chicken Board & All It’s Trimmings!

The traditional way to celebrate Thanksgiving is to gather around a long dinning room table thats adorned with all of the worlds best known side dishes that warm our hearts, and fill our bellies. You of course can’t forget about the star of the show, and the centerpiece of the whole meal.. the Thanksgiving turkey!! However.. this year is being planned very differently for everyone all over which is causing stress, and confusion on what the menu will be, and how much of it they’re going to make. These seem like hard questions considering when you think of a Thanksgiving meal you think of course after course with bowls of delicious comfort foods piled sky high, but it doesn’t have to be exactly like that to celebrate exactly like you normally would. You may be wondering how you would succeed at having such an amazing meal with a variety of choices, without serving a 20lb. turkey, and 10 different accompaniments… but with this beautiful big roasted chicken board, it is absolutely more than possible! Now I know it’s not classic to serve roasted chicken instead of turkey, but there is no better time for change of traditions than right now considering everything else that is changing around us.

Due to celebrations of the Thanksgiving holiday not being like they were of prior years.. you might not even want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, or let’s be real.. money! There were an unlimited amount of people without jobs this year, and because of that some of you out there will really be looking to keep some of the money that you do have in your wallets, but that fortunately does not mean that you have to eat flavorless! Roasting a chicken, or just buying one from your local supermarket is the absolute way to go! It comes in handy, and they’re just as scrumptious from the grocery store as they are homemade to be honest with you Diamonds. If you feel like you’re against it for some reason.. don’t be! I wouldn’t steer you wrong!

  • Years ago on the Food Network I remember loving a show called “semi-homemade” and what she did was buy from the store that she felt was necessary, and make what she thought she needed to in the comfort of her own kitchen! Every single time after it was all said and done, she was left with a gorgeous table-scape, and a mouthwatering meal that she spend very little time on, nevertheless making it look just down right stunning! It just goes to show that you don’t have to sweat all day in the kitchen, and wonder what you’re going to do with 10 pounds of turkey left over, along with everything else that the five people that live in your house-hold couldn’t eat.

I think the most important thing you need to keep in mind when putting something like this together (especially if you did not make everything from scratch) is that presentation is everything and then some! Diamonds.. you know first hand that us foodies eat with our eyes first, and if something looks laid out extremely elegantly, and is decorated in theme then it is sure to be a crowd pleaser!

Whenever you decide to only make a few things from start to finish with scratch made ingredients.. pick what matters most! Ask yourself what everyone would be missing out on, and what you would be wishing you would have made all by yourself, but didn’t. The two things I felt that you can’t get nearly as delightful tasting in a store would be macaroni & cheese, along with the classic, candied yams! They’re both essentials for a Thanksgiving feast for my family and I, so buying them would just not cut it for us in the least bit.

  • These two recipes are as easy to make as they are to indulge in, so I really really did not want to bore you with the step by step instructions that I normal love to give, and usually.. feel the need to, so that you Diamonds know what’s what!
  • As for the macaroni & cheese.. it is a one-pot wonder, as my dad and I enjoy calling dishes like these! All you do is pour a carton of chicken stock inside of a pot on high heat as if you were boiling water. Once the stock comes to a boil, throw in the noodles of your choice, and then finally, after the noodles look softened.. mix in a block of cream cheese, and literally any other cheeses you would like. You could even use milk instead of the chicken stock, but to me.. that’s what gives it such great flavor! I used half of a bag of cheddar cheese, and half of a bag of mixed Italian cheeses. You could even use pepper jack, or you’re welcome to stick to that gooey iconic Cooper sharp! It’s all up to you, and either way it’s going to turn out perfect, and as cheesy as it needs to be!
  • What’s a Thanksgiving dinner without yams or sweet potatoes?! You can choose between the two iconic options of candied yams, or sweet potato casserole. I chose to do candied yams because they’re seriously so good, but even more so.. they’re easy peasy!! All you have to do is melt half a stick of butter in a sauce pan with a 1/3 cup of brown sugar, and 2 tablespoons of honey. After the sweet succulent butter gets bubbly and brown, you may add your can of yams. You can also mash them up as I did, or leave them chunky. It’s all preference!

If you purchase a roasted chicken instead of roasting it yourself, you can also buy a good gravy to drizzle along top of it for that extra bite of savoriness! Whether you make your own gravy with the left over meat drippings, flour, and cream, or you heat it up straight out of the jar.. you have no other option that to serve your gravy in a gravy boat. It is the go to move, especially on Thanksgiving, or for any holiday where you want to leave a lasting impression.

  • Corn is a no brainer! You can either take a bag out of the freezer, and let it thaw, or crack open a can. All you have to do is add butter, salt & pepper!
  • Corn bread from a bakery is just as good, if not better than if you would either make it from a box, or at home. Unless you have a slamming recipe that you make time & time again, than by all means go for it!

The greatest part about this roasted chicken board is that it’s exactly that. A BOARD! Which means very little clean up, very little left overs (if any at all) and let’s face it.. boards are just down right beautiful. Everything on this board is going to be mouth-watering, enticing to all guests, and exquisite. Boards are honestly all the rage, especially for parties, gatherings, and get togethers of any kind.. so why not make them the new Thanksgiving tradition?! I think it fits right in to the new lifestyle that we’re all trying to get used to. New ways of living = new traditions, so let’s make it amazing Diamonds!

Happy board building, comfort food creating, and most of all.. have a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday!

XOXO

Chili Cheese Chip & Snack Mix!

Depending upon where you live in the world you may or may not have gotten a few inches of snow this morning! I love when it snows in the morning because it gives you a sense of peace and relaxation. If you happen to have the time it can even give you a reason to stay in bed a little longer, snuggle up with a coffee, or hot chocolate while doing some morning reading. That’s truly the perfect snowy morning if you ask me! All that’s missing is a delicious snack to munch on as the day moves forward, and the snow continues to hit the ground. My chili cheese snack mix is beyond perfect for the job! It’s the most flavorful pairing for binge watching Christmas movies all day.. because I know some of you Diamonds are already getting in the spirt, and I truly cannot blame you after the year that we’ve had! Even though I won’t be taking my Fall decor down until after Thanksgiving (as I do every year), I can’t blame anyone for wanting to bring some joy into their home, and life! If you are like me and don’t decorate for Christmas super early, but still want to bring warmth, and happiness into your home, this snack mix is the fix! I adore making mixes to munch on of all kinds, but chili is the prime comfort food this time of year, so I decided to combined that will all the snacks the would accompany the flavors immensely. This snack is everything you could ever want & more, and let me tell you Diamonds.. you won’t be able to stop until the last crumb is gone!

I wanted this snack mix to be insanely crunchy & cheesy, so I went for all different kinds of chips, and cheesy, yummy snacks!

The 7 perfect components for concocting of course, the perfect mix:

  1. Thin & crispy tortilla chips
  2. Plain ruffle chips
  3. Regular salted potato chips
  4. Cheddar cheese popcorn. (As you can see I used the hulless popcorn, but you can use actual popcorn if you so choose!)
  5. White cheddar poppable chips
  6. Broken up sourdough pretzels
  7. Bacon cheddar cheese puffs (for a good punch of meaty & cheesiness!)

It’s very simple to make the key flavor blasting ingredient to this snack mix. The chili butter. All it is.. is 3/4 a stick of butter, along with 2 teaspoons of chili powder, 2 teaspoons of paprika, 2 teaspoons of cumin, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder and 2 teaspoons of dried onions. If the cheesy snacks in the chip mix isn’t enough for you, you’re more than welcome to add in nacho cheese seasoning to amp up the cheese flavor!

This is exactly how seasoned your melted butter should look! Also, when you brown your chili butter you want to do it on really low heat for just a few minutes; otherwise your butter will burn, and nobody likes burnt butter..especially not us Diamonds! 😉

After you’ve let your chili butter brown, letting it get bubbly so that the flavors could infuse nicely, without cooling.. pour the warm butter all over the crunchy snack mix.

  • Once the butter is poured, you must then mix it up really well with a wide wooden spatula, so that every nook and cranny is coated in scrumptious chili goodness!

And just like that! In five easy no brainer steps, you will be left will such a wonderful holiday snack mix that everyone will be asking for more of! I promise you Diamonds that you will be making this time and time again! It’s unlike anything that you can find in the stores, or in a bag. This mix will be a crowd pleaser even as a causal Thanksgiving day appetizer while everyone is still fixated on the football games while awaiting the big meal of the year to arrive on the dinning room table! Besides serving this in a large wooden bowl as I did to pick & go as you please, you can also wait until it’s completely cooled off to put into little goodie bags to tie into a bow to send, or deliver to loved ones during this holiday season! Being that we are going through a different time time in this world right now that would be the safest way to pass on food, and to also show your thankfulness to friends & family. This cheesy chili chip & snack mix can be creating with the usual cheesy snacks like different coated cheese crackers, or crisps, but chili reminds me of pub food, so that’s what I wanted this mix to represent. I adored this snack so much, and I will definitely be whipping up more of this as other festivities start to approach!

XOXO

Stranger Things Themed Snack Board!

I know I am not the only Stranger Things fan out here who wishes that the seasons would just keep going and going! I really do think it’s the best show on earth, hands down! I got some people I love in my life hooked on it because it’s just THAT GOOD! Unfortunately, it took me so long for some reason to get around to watching season 2 & 3, but once I did I fell in love! It’s that type of show where you feel like it’s super real, and you can’t help but get attached to every single character; all for different reasons since everyone is so unique in their own way. I finished the third season right when summer ended, and I thought to myself.. “I know I’m not the only one who loves this greatness so much”, so I wanted to incorporate something thats filled completely with Stranger Things love to celebrate the Fall season with! Right then and there, it hit me! A “Stranger Things snack board” loaded with everything everyone ate in all three seasons; snacks they munched on, halloween candy they trick-or-treated to get, Eleven’s favorite (Waffles), cheeseburgers & French fries Eleven also ate when she was starving in the first season before she ran fearing for her life out of the diner, and of course a few snacks that couldn’t be left out!

You can create this board to eat while you binge-watch every season, or if you’re having a Stranger Things Themed party.. which would be absolutely incredibly insane! I feel like this would be awesome to make to enjoy while watching the premier of season 4.. even though it’s pretty far away, we all know how fast 2020 flew by, so it actually isn’t as far away as we anticipate!! If by some crazy change this show isn’t your typical show that you can’t take your eyes off of, you can even put this together for a kids birthday party, or a play date! It’s exceptional for either one of them as well because all of the food piled on here is everything, and more that kids can want when having a fun time with friends.

Every snack on this board .. in detail:

  1. Starting with the second picture.. you can see that the waffles are the star of the show. Waffles are not usually something that’s on any board besides a breakfast board, but you know we like to think outside the box over here on Deep Fried Diamonds! If any food in this show was the star it was these babies right here. Eleven made it known that waffles were all she ever wanted to eat. If she could get away with only eating this for the rest of her life she would, but Hopper made her eat her peas, of course! 😉
  2. Cheeseburgers & French fries are iconic for everyone in the world, unless you don’t eat meat of course, but considering this was the first meal we witnessed Eleven consume.. I had to add it in as the focal point of the board. Plus, it’s nice to have some savoriness with all the sweetness. In all of the seasons, they drank a lot of cola! That’s really all you ever saw them drink besides milk, so I added gummy cola flavored bottles since you can’t eat soda! Duh! Lol.
  3. Cheese Curls- If you saw season 2, you’ll remember the guy who worked in the arcade that they frequented a lot throughout the episodes. Every time they showed him on screen he was eating a big bag of cheese curls, leaving all the cheesy dust lay on his finger tips to show his obsession even a little more! Chocolate covered candies were also something they ate often, and specifically in season 3 when Mike & Eleven were bonding over sharing them while sitting on the chairs in the hospital waiting to conquer the mind flair.
  4. Candy, candy, and more candy! In all the seasons you notice that candy plays a special part in this brilliant, heart pounding thriller! They’re either snacking on some while playing their “party games”, sharing candy in hopes of rekindling relationships, feeding chocolate covered nougat to demodogs to show trust, and having Will share what candy is his favorite while laying in the hospital bed.
  5. Popcorn- this snack has been iconic in every movie for decades, and while watching movies we also are known to be eating popcorn. They enjoying popcorn while playing games, or watching movies!

You don’t have to enter the upside down to enjoy all of the snacks they indulged in throughout every season of the show, but you do have to watch the show to understand everything in all of it’s beauty. Beautiful boards are one of the favorite things to create in the entire world, but this one took my excitement to another level! It just goes to show the love you’ll put into something when you’re doing a task you completely, and absolutely love. This was so much fun to put together, and even more enjoyable to eat as the last couple leaves fell off the trees while the cold air blew November into our lives! October went extremely fast, and I know with everything going on we’re ready for some Christmas cheer, but do not skip over Thanksgiving! Leave all of your haystacks up outside, arrange your turkey decor on top of the fireplace mantel while you bake a pumpkin pie, and wait for the most festive Thanksgiving recipes to launch here on Deep Fried Diamonds by yours truly! Even if you’re thinking about skipping over Thanksgiving celebrations, I’ll be here to bring some sparks of it in your life, Diamonds!

XOXO

Cheesy Vegetable Chili For These Chilly Fall Evenings.

This is a vegetarians dream! Everything they could ever want all wrapped inside a warm bowl of comfort! Even if you’re not a vegetarian, you will absolutely not be missing the meat in this dish what so ever. It’s filled with all the delicious spicy, warm flavors that we all know and love when it comes to enjoying the classic bowl of chili, but with a delicious cheesy spin, along with tasty toppings that will make your mouth water before even taking your first bite! I feel like you can never just eat a bowl of plain chili.. I always have to be piling the goodies on top, including mountains of cheese, a dollop of sour cream, crushed up salty tortilla chips, and a few dashes of good hot sauce for that bite that we all look for when indulging in the coziest bowl of fall that there is! I mean it is CHILI! I always say.. you can’t really enjoy it unless there’s a nice chill in the air because I’m sure we can all agree that this is one meal best served hot, curled up on the couch watching your favorite football team play on the big screen!

Every single time before I start cooking I make sure all of my prep is done, and everything is in place. With a “one pot wonder” (in the words of my father) .. it makes it that much faster & easier when you begin whipping everything together!

  • Chop up one white onion into small dice
  • Chop two stalks of celery. (make sure your celery is nicely clean & all the dirt is out of the inside)
  • Thinly slice two stalks of scallions.
  • Peel & thinly slice one medium carrot.
  • Small dice one small red bell pepper.

In a large stalk pot over medium heat, sauté your vegetables that you chopped up with a good gulp of vegetable oil, and a pad of butter. Let everything get translucent, and browned around the edges of each piece of produce.

After letting the vegetables sauté for 15-20 minutes, it’s going to be time to add that sizzling spice!

  • 3 tablespoons of chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons of paprika
  • 2 tablespoons of cumin
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons of celery salt
  • Salt & pepper to taste.

Once you’ve added all of those succulent spices, toss in a can of green peas, garbanzo beans, kidney beans, and a can of sweet corn. All of these ingredients are whats going to make this chili extremely thick, and filling since we are in fact missing the meat, but not actually missing the meat. If you Diamonds catch my drift! 😉 After all the rainbow goodness gets mixed in the pot, then it’s time for the cheesy goodness of it all!

  • Pour in one whole can of cheddar cheese soup in with everything! It’s the magical ingredient in this vegetable chili, and it gives it such a luscious creamy texture that this needed. As we know.. since it doesn’t have the ground beef in it, another fat component was a pretty necessary add in!

In every single chili, besides white chicken chili of course, you need a tomato product! I used a 15 oz can of tomato sauce, and then finished it off with the same amount of water. You can of course use a can of crushed tomatoes, but since my family was going to be enjoying this, and my dad can’t consume seeds of any kind.. I chose to do the sauce instead.

  • Once you have everything combined in the pot, let that simmer for 1-2 hours on low depending how how thick and flavorful you want the chili to become!

This chili is great to even have going in a crock pot all day on a Sunday while the games are playing, with a toppings bar set up right next to it, so that everyone will be able to go serve themselves a nice little bowl topped with anything they could ever want! All types of bars especially “chili bars” are stars of a party, or get together during this time of year. I truly think it’s one of the best things you can put out while having guests over, no matter if it’s 5 people, or 50, and with the holidays on their way, it’s an amazing way to brainstorm ideas for other types of bars! You can arrange everything from shredded cheese to lime segments! Anything and everything you could ever want to host the best, and most memorable football Sundays this fall!

XOXO

A Spooky Seed & Bones Charcuterie Board For All Of Your HALLOWEEN Parties This Season!

It is most definitely not a party without a cute & crazy charcuterie board to put directly in the middle of the kitchen island as the focal point since boards like these are just as much decor as they are for you to pick on! One of my favorite things about building boards for parties is how insanely gorgeous you can make them. Sky really is the limit when it comes to making any kind of these babies.. almost like painting a picture! This board will by far steal the show as the sweetest, but spookiest board at your all fall festivities that you throw until it reaches Thanksgiving time! I feel like most of the time we end spooky season on November 1st because everyone rushes to go put up their Christmas trees, but we need to enjoy every season, and just live in the present moment! Enjoy the times as they come, and let them go when it’s time! When people try rushing the holidays, they push away the rest of the year.. wishing away time in their life. Rushing good things is never what you want to do, just like you never want to rush making the perfect board, no matter what theme you’re end goal for it may be!

When I create a board regardless of the theme, I make sure to always have a vast variety of fatty & spicy meats, at least two different cheeses that both have different textures to deliver to your gathering, a few cracker options incase someone likes a more buttery one, rather than crunchy ones, nuts or trail mix, and of course.. some sweet little treats!

Sectioned into what’s inside each one of these pretty pictures!

  1. Peppered salami, pretzel crackers, brie & horseradish cheese, and prosciutto with little pumpkin jewels peeking through!
  2. The prosciutto, of course.. pumpkin seeds (because whats a fall filled board without pumpkin seeds?) and succulent sopressata!
  3. You can see the both cheeses because I have them cut in half that a piece of them would be scattered around the board, capicola, soft baked white chocolate cheesecake pumpkin cookies, and cheddar cheese puffs that are in the shapes of skeleton bones! Which I thought were just absolutely adorable.
  4. Next to our buried skeleton guy thats buried in a bed of pumpkin seeds I have hot sopressata! I feel like you always need the option of the original, or spicy so that your guests can choose depending if they have a sensitivity to spice! Then next to the res of the cheese, and pretzel crackers.. I threw a caramel apple spice trail mix. This trail mix was filled with coated pretzel balls, dried cranberries & apples, and pralines. It was exactly what this board of bliss needed!
  5. In this last picture you can see much more of our amazing trail mix surrounding our mouthwatering meats & cheeses that I already introduced to you Diamonds.

For the close up that all of you Diamonds were longing for.. there that baby is!! 😉 I love this so much, and all of you will soon grow to learn that I LOVE having a focal point on every single board that I make, no matter the event or theme it is gaged towards. Having something yummy in the center of your board that your eyes are able to gaze right over to make everything else look that much more beautiful because the layout is perfect. It may not seem like a big deal, but the art of the board is EVERYTHING Diamonds.. everything!


XOXO

Chocolate Chip Cookie S’mores Dip!

Diamonds! I am calling all chocolate & autumn lovers to come forward! 😉 This will be your ultimate dessert dip for the season! This is just like taking a classic cookie, and combining it with the most wonderful fiery fall treat that everyone enjoys around the campfire! THE S’MORE! It’s not only a cookie & a s’more, but A DIP that will be actually life changing to your world of desserts! I mean tell me Diamonds.. who would ever turn their nose up to a crazy delicious and super chocolatey dip?! It will be the most incredible chocolate journey that your taste buds have ever been on, and even though it’s a dip that is packed with chocolate, you’ll never get to that point where you’ll be sickened by all the sweetness since it has a touch of saltiness mixed into it, especially if you use the pretzels as a vessel! This is the most perfect snack item to add to your October party menu list because there won’t be anyone not digging into this thick, chocolatey delight of deliciousness! Now I know when you think of a fall dip normally the first thing that pops in your head is either a pumpkin, or apple pie flavored one, but I wanted to go a little bit out of the box, and do something you don’t really see everyday when it comes to talking about fall style food!

To create this delectable dip the first step is obviously getting all of your yummy ingredients together to make everything a lot easier for yourself!

The ingredients to concoct this super indulgent dip:

  • Five crunchy chocolate chip cookies to crumble & break up to add right into the dip.. insuring that the whole thing is going to give off an authentic chocolate chip cookie flavor.
  • 1/4 cup of light brown sugar. I find that especially for the fall that brown sugar is much more impactful than regular white sugar. It gives everything a richer, more comforting flavor when eating a dessert. That’s exactly what you want when it comes to autumn treats!
  • 1/2 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips!
  • 1/2 cup of white chocolate chips!
  • An unwrapped 8 oz. block of full fat cream cheese. If you are already making something using sugar, and sweets don’t worry about using low fat, or fat free products. It’s not worth it, and it’s better to make something that is meant to be indulgent taste exactly that!
  • 1/2 stick of melted butter.

ALSO NOTE: That if you are vegan do not think you can’t recreate this dip with everyone else! Just substitute everything for plant based products!!

You’re going to make a part of this dip that’s cold in a mixing bowl using a hand mixer, and then you’re going to melt everything on the stove as you see above that needs to get sticky, and fully melted!

  • In a sauce pot melt your half a stick of butter with the brown sugar, and white chocolate chips over low heat!

When this mixture is almost ready to have the heat completely turned off it will have the color, and consistency of caramel sauce!

As for mixing the cold ingredients.. drop the 8 oz. cream cheese block into a bowl with the crumbled up cookies, the chocolate chips, and a sprinkling of graham cracker crumbs!

On top of the cold ingredients that are waiting to be mixed.. pour in your warmed thick, sticky mixture! Right before combing everything together, toss in a hand full of marshmallows! Since we put the marshmallows directly onto the hot white chocolate caramel, they will instantly start to melt, and become gooey within the dip!

Mix, Mix, mix all of these beautiful ingredients together until the texture becomes thick and creamy with a mousse like appearance!

The most special way you can serve this dip is with chocolate chip cookies, graham crackers, and salted pretzels for that bite of saltiness you’ll be longing for to counteract some of the sweetness to be able to keep going in until it’s all gone! Then Diamonds.. just whip up some more! 😉

This is just one of the many mouthwatering fall filled treated I have coming for you Diamonds, so let’s make the best of this season!

Have an amazing start to this October month by making this delightful sweet & sticky dip!

XOXO