Thanksgiving Dinner for Two

Making a Thanksgiving dinner for two sounds daunting and not worth the effort, right?  It’s hard to imagine wanting to put in the energy to make a million side dishes, or roast a whole turkey for just two people.  And yet you still want those familiar and comforting smells to fill your home!  Ugh…so what do you do?  I think I have the solution for you.

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When we first moved out to California, we weren’t able to “go home” for the holidays, so we were on our own, JUST THE TWO OF US (cue Will Smith).  At first I decided we would do the restaurant thing (gasp).  It was unreasonably warm that day, and since I didn’t have any cooking to do, we donned our shorts and flip flops and walked to a local coffee shop.  We sat outside and sipped our iced coffees…in silence.  My guess was that people were home COOKING.

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It made me SO SAD that I got up immediately and decided we were going to the grocery store, and I was going to cook for us after all.  Since I didn’t plan out our feast for days in advance, I just grabbed what I saw there, and that was Cornish game hens.  Perfect!  I knew they would look like miniature individual turkeys, filled with stuffing, but take less time to cook.  And of course I also had to bust out a few easy sides.

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It did take the rest of my day to cook everything, but we were so happy in the end, and it was totally worth it.  So today, I wanted to recreate that meal that I remember and look back at so fondly.  But you can see how I make all of these easy and scrumptious dishes in EPISODE 3, our “Thanksgiving Special,” of Bits & Pieces Season 2 below:

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Skillet Apple Crisp : Behind the Scenes

This time I was more prepared.  I prepped almost all the ingredients I needed for my apple crisp the night before our shoot.  I don’t usually like to do that, because in my opinion, it looks too “staged” and unrealistic when everything is already perfectly measured out in tiny little colorful bowls.  But this time I wanted to make sure I was accurate and didn’t leave out something important.

Well…I guess my efforts didn’t really help because I totally forgot to read the recipe sitting right in FRONT OF MY FACE, and left out the cinnamon and salt, which was also sitting right in front of me, thus messing up my own recipe again.  Dude… this is becoming a bad habit!

But the good thing is that this time I didn’t sweat it.  In the past, I may have done the entire scene all over again, painstakingly making sure to measure out more ingredients, re-speak my lines, and waste more time.  But now, I think I’ve embraced the fact that these things will happen and the video doesn’t have to be perfect.  So instead, I worked it into my script, laughed off my mistakes, and the world kept on spinning.

So other than that, the shoot was a fairly easy one.  We didn’t argue with each other, I didn’t burn anything, and it wasn’t tiring.  It helped that we didn’t have to move our camera equipment and lights back and forth constantly this time.  The only thing I struggled with was making sure the ice cream didn’t melt on top of my warm apple crisp.

But this is where my experience in food styling came in handy, and I was able to pull out a couple tricks.  But you can check out what our experience was like shooting this episode by coming behind the scenes with us in our video below:

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Skillet Apple Crisp

I can appreciate a really good apple pie from time to time, but in general I prefer tarts and crisps.  This Skillet Apple Crisp was inspired by us having too many Honeycrisp apples lying around after apple picking.  I never thought to bake with them because I thought that was more reserved for tart apples like Granny Smith.  But after some research, I realized that Honeycrisp apples are actually IDEAL for crisps.  SOLD!

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The best part is that it’s made entirely in one skillet and it’s the perfect portion for two.  So you don’t have to worry about having apple crisp for days.  I would recommend working out of a 12-inch nonstick OVEN SAFE pan, but if you don’t have one, then don’t worry because I’ve also made this recipe in a casserole dish too.  Just start it out in a pan and transfer it to your baking dish before it takes a trip to the oven.

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Once the cinnamon and sugar hits the apples, you will instantly be reminded of apple pie, but it will be way easier to make.

The chewy oats, the nutty toasted walnuts, and the cinnamon and sugar work like magic together to form this heavenly crumble that complements the sweet and tart tender apples.  All you need is a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a cup of coffee.  Watch how I make this easy apple crisp in EPISODE 2 of Bits & Pieces Season 2 below:

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Cream of Broccoli Witches’ Brew Soup with Bone Breadsticks : Behind the Scenes

I don’t know about you but the month of October flew by for me this year.  I can’t believe Halloween is this week!  We busted out the first episode of our BRAND NEW season of Bits & Pieces just in the nick of time.  So if you haven’t checked out our Cream of Broccoli Witches Brew Soup with Bone Breadsticks video yet then go do that first.

Every time we take a long break between filming and pick it up again, we have to ease into it and work out the kinks all over again.  It’s like we have to remember to stretch before we run or we’ll get a cramp.  This time was no different.  The last time I cooked in front of the camera was months ago, so it was almost like I forgot how to do it.  This is probably why I messed up my own recipe and had to re-do a scene!

But this time, regardless of the hiccups, we had more fun with our video because we got to dress up in costumes and decorate the kitchen.  I’ve always wanted to change up my kitchen with the seasons throughout Season 1, but we simply didn’t have the time to put that kind of energy into it.  So this felt nice.  I’m all about stepping up our game.

I’m deathly afraid of opening those refrigerated bread sticks that come in a can, so we worked it into our script and had Joe come out from behind the camera to make a cameo on screen.  And since this season is dedicated to cooking for two, we thought it was appropriate for him to eat the food with me on camera too.

But you can watch more of the making of our Halloween episode and what really went on behind the scenes in our video below:

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Cream of Broccoli Witches’ Brew Soup with Bone Breadsticks

This Halloween, Joe and I won’t be attending any parties or doing some kind of crazy activity.  But it doesn’t mean that we still can’t get dressed up and be a little festive, right?  And guess what guys…this is a special post because it’s our FIRST EPISODE of Bits & Pieces for Season 2!

We’re also incredibly excited to announce that Season 2 will be entirely dedicated to recipes tailor made for two!  It just makes sense since because right now there’s only two of us anyways.  I don’t know why I didn’t think of this earlier!  And it’s also a perfect time to do it since there’s a nice ring to it… Season 2, cooking for two!

We didn’t really plan for our first episode to launch around Halloween, but it’s kind of cool that it ended up being this way.  It helps us to start off this brand new season with a little fun.

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Growing up, I would go trick or treating with a bunch of my friends around different neighborhoods.  We’d all meet at my friend’s house first and her mom would lay out a pretty impressive spread of Halloween themed healthy savory snacks to help us fuel up before we hit the streets in search of candy.

I always thought that was a smart idea especially since we’d probably be hyped up on sugar for the rest of the night anyways.  It ended up being my favorite part about Halloween because we’d bob for apples, drink hot mulled apple cider, and fill our bellies with comforting good-for-you foods.

That’s where I got the inspiration to make my Cream of Broccoli Witches’ Brew Soup with Bone Breadsticks.  It’s a hearty and wholesome meal that’s playful at the same time.  You can see how I pull it all together in EPISODE 1 of SEASON 2 of Bits & Pieces below:

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10 Lessons We Learned from Filming Season 1 of Our Cooking Show

As we finish up our first e-cookbook and start on production of Bits & Pieces Season 2, I felt a desire to reflect about Season 1.  There was so much to learn and today I wanted to share our experience with you!  We made this video mostly for our curious friends and subscribers, but also thought it might be helpful for those of you considering filming your own online cooking show.

When we were starting out, there wasn’t any “manual” to go by, and we kind of wished there was some sort of resource like this out there for us.  It might have put us on the right track and spared us some unnecessary headaches!

We made up our own rules, walked into it blindly, and hoped for the best.  I would say that we were somewhat prepared for what was to come, but also a bit naive.  We had no idea how much time, money, and energy it would take to make these Youtube videos!  I didn’t realize how much of a perfectionist I was.  And we weren’t sure what our working dynamic with each other would be like.

Well we soon found out, and it was a bumpy, crazy, frustrating, and exciting ride!  We did some things right and other things wrong, but it was all necessary growing pains and we’re thankful for the experience.

So here are the 10 lessons we learned from filming Season 1:

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