Turkey Day Leftovers

What do you do with all of that leftover turkey?  I mean, really, who can eat turkey for the next week and a half until its all gone?  Well, here are some fabulous recipes that I found to make that leftover turkey seem brand new to everyone at the table. 

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Weekly Menu 2/4-2/8

We have all been battling strep throat in my house, so this week I am focusing on easy to swallow foods.  All soups and stews on the menu this week.  This menu is meant to heal, soothe and warm the whole family.  I hope everyone is healthy in your home, if not, give this menu a try to get everyone back on their feet!

Monday – Beet Soup – This is a family recipe and soooo easy.  Just boil beets in beef broth until they are easy to peel and tender.  Peel and cut up julienne style and toss into some fresh beef broth.  Bring to a boil again until beets are fairly soft.  (think al dente)  I like to eat mine with some red wine vinegar mixed in and mashed potatoes at the bottom, but that is not a must. 

Tuesday – Butternut Squash SoupThis one is so easy.  Boil a russet potato, a sweet potato, and a butternut squash until easily mashed.  Sauté an onion and an apple.  Toss all ingredients into a deep pot and add chicken broth.  Use an immersion blender to puree.  Add broth until you get your desired consistency.  Viola!

Wednesday – Pappa Al Pomidoro – Thank goodness for Ina Garten on this one.

Thursday – Champion Chili – Another family recipe, but this one I won’t share just yet. 

Friday – Winter Vegetable Soup – I’ve shared this recipe before.  Enjoy!

Tuscan Chicken

I promised you all this recipe and it is one of my family’s favorites.  I make it with chicken, but my dad (who is an amazing cook) has done it with shrimp.  We also thought it would be good as a frutti de mer (fruit of the sea – scallops, clams, calamari, etc.).  But I got so caught up in making it and remembering the recipe that I forgot to take photos!  So I borrowed one from Google.  Enjoy!

2 Tbsp. olive oil

Salt and pepper

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into bite sized chunks

1 C. pesto sauce (fresh or store bought)

2  14 oz. cans of Italian style diced tomatoes

1 can quartered artichoke hearts, drained

1/2 C. toasted pine nuts

shredded parmesan cheese

1 box pasta of your choice – I prefer linguine or angel hair

 

Cook pasta per package directions.  Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a deep sauté pan.  Salt and pepper the chicken to taste.  Add the chicken, browning on all sides, but not cooking through.  Add the pesto sauce and cook with chicken for 1 minute.  Add tomatoes (you can drain them if you want a thicker sauce) and cook for another 2 minutes.  Add the artichoke hearts and reduce heat to low.  Allow to simmer as  you finish cooking the pasta, about 10 minutes.  Once the pasta is done and drained add it to the tomato and chicken mixture.  Add the pine nuts and mix together.  Top with parmesan cheese and serve. 

Stuffed Peppers

One of my goals for this year is to try to develop some of my own recipes.  I am quite good at following a recipe, but coming up with my own?  Not so much!  Here is my first attempt at an original.

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1 /2 C. uncooked quinoa

1 C. chicken stock

1 pkg. Italian sausage – mild, sweet or hot it’s your choice

1 onion chopped

2 tomatoes coarsely chopped

2 cloves garlic minced

salt and pepper to taste

4 stems of kale, ribs removed and coarsely chopped

4 bell peppers – red or yellow – hollowed out

parmesan cheese for sprinkling

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Put quinoa and chicken stock in a pot and bring to a boil.  Cover and reduce heat to low.  Let simmer for 15 min.

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Cut the top off of the bell peppers and hollow out.  Set aside.

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At the same time in a large pan, cook sausage over medium heat until half way done.  Add onion and cook through.  Add tomatoes and cook until soft.  Add garlic.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Add kale and cook until wilted.  Add cooked quinoa to sausage mixture.  Mix it all together.

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Time to stuff your peppers!  Spoon the sausage mixture into the peppers and sprinkle with parmesan.  Put into the oven for 30 minutes. 

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Enjoy with more parmesan if desired. 

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How did I do with my first original recipe?  My prince charming thinks I did OK!

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Warming Winter Soup

(Image via Williams Sonoma)

I made a wonderful soup for my husband’s family Friday after Thanksgiving.  One of my nieces wasn’t feeling so good and she is a vegetarian so I came up with this vegetable soup for her.  Its very similar to a soup I found in the Williams Sonoma recipe file.  I made kielbasa on the side to add to the soup for those of us who are carnivores.  Here’s what you will need:

1 Tbsp. butter

1 red pepper, chopped

1 yellow onion, chopped

1/2 butternut squash, peeled and cubed

2 cans white beans, rinsed

64 oz. chicken or vegetable stock

1 bunch kale or Swiss chard, coarsely chopped

1 Polska Kielbasa (optional)

 

Heat butter in a stock pot or Dutch oven over medium high heat.   Add the pepper and onion and sauté until soft and fragrant (about 2-3 minutes).  Add squash and sauté until softened.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Add chicken stock and beans and bring to a boil.  Turn down to a simmer for 30 minutes.  Remove from heat and add kale.  Brown kielbasa and slice.  Serve.  Yum!

Weekly Menu 11/5–11/9

It’s another wonderful fall day.  Yesterday was spent watching football, playing football and eating some wings with friends.  I planned this menu with some savory fall meals.  I love fall because the food can be cozier and a bit heavier.  I enjoy all of the flavors of fall – apple, maple, cream, bacon.  Yum! 

Monday – Autumn Meat Loaf (recipe below)

Tuesday – Crockpot Pork Loin with Apples and Cinnamon

Wednesday – Chicken with Creamy Mushrooms (this recipe is from Real Simple)

Thursday – Beef Bourginonne Barefoot Contessa style!

Friday – dinner out with friends

 

Here is my awesome Autumn Meat Loaf recipe.  My 6 year old actually cheered when I told him that this is what’s for dinner.

1 1/2 lb. ground turkey

1 box Stove Top cornbread stuffing mix

1/2 onion, chopped

1 1/2 C. milk

1 C. shredded cheddar cheese

1 C. shredded apple

4 strips of bacon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Mix stuffing and the milk until moist.  Add all the other ingredients except the bacon and mix until well combined.  I use my hands to do this.  Form mixture into a loaf or pack into a loaf pan.  Lay bacon over the top and bake for 45 min. to an hour.  Voila!  Bon Appetit!

Weekly Menu 10/29–11/2

OMG!  Did I really just type 11/2?!  Is it November already?!  I can’t believe it!  I hope everyone is getting ready for Halloween.  Unfortunately for you all who read this, I am not one of those super creative moms who has a Halloween theme to every meal this week.  Sorry!  But what I do have is super easy meals so that we can all prepare our little ghosts and goblins for trick or treating.  Happy Halloween!  And welcome November!

Monday – Turkey Tacos

Tuesday – Teriyaki Tuna with Asian Vegetables (Kikkoman is the best Teriyaki marinade)

Wednesday – Happy Halloween!  It’s pizza night!

Thursday – Lemon Rosemary Roasted Chicken with mashed potatoes and peas (Stuff the inside of the bird with halved lemons and rosemary sprigs.   Coat the outside with unsalted butter and salt.  Cook for 45 min. to an hour at 425 degrees.)

Friday – Out to dinner!  I’m taking a night off!

Weekly Menu 10/22-26

Monday – Spaghetti and Meatballs

Tuesday – Roast Chicken and Root Vegetables

Wednesday – Chicken Salad and Greens

Thursday – Steak Sandwiches with Horseradish Cream Sauce

Friday – Turkey Chili

Headed to the Carolina mountains this weekend.  Can’t wait to take in the views and have some fun!

A Taste of Italy

This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending a class at Johnson and Wales University.  I have taken several classes there in the past, but I was really excited about this one.  This one was titled “A Taste of Italy”.  Seeing as I love Italian food, I couldn’t wait!  Class started at 9 am and lasted until around 1 pm.  The best part is, you get to eat everything the class creates!  We made wonderful things like Polenta E Salsiccia (Creamy Polenta with Sausage) and Involtini Alla Arogosta (Veal Roulades with Eggplant Lobster and Crimini Mushrooms).  They were both so delicious, and I’m not one for veal. 

We learned how to make pasta (easier than I thought) and how to prepare squid (never doing that again).  But my very favorite recipe was/is Olive Fritte Gorgonzola (Fried Olives Stuffed with Pancetta and Blue Cheese).  I can’t wait to make these as an appetizer for the next party I attend.  Because you all know I won’t be throwing a bash in the rental house!

Olive Fritte Gorgonzola

8 strips pork bacon

1 oz. pancetta, diced

1/4 cup dry white wine

2 oz. Gorgonzola cheese (I’d use more)

1 pinch ground nutmeg

48 Giant Manzanilla olives, pitted and pimentos removed

2 cups flour

2 cups fine breadcrumbs

4 eggs

1/4 cup milk

salt and pepper

2 quarts vegetable oil

 

Heat a sauté pan over medium heat.  Cook the bacon and pancetta in it until slightly crisp.  Add wine and let simmer until dry.  Let cool.  Place meat in a food processor.  Blend until slightly smooth.  Add cheese and nutmeg.  Blend until incorporated.  Put mixture into pastry bag and cut off tip (small hole!).  Pipe the meat and cheese mixture into the olives.  Place on a tray and place in the freezer for at least 30 minutes. 

After 30 minutes (or more) prepare the breading station.  Put flour in a shallow dish and season with salt and pepper.  Put eggs and milk in another shallow dish and beat lightly.  Place breadcrumbs in a third dish.  Dredge each olive in first the flour, then the egg, then the breadcrumbs and place on a cooling rack.

In a heavy, large saucepan, heat the oil to 350 degrees.  Working in batches, deep fry the olives until golden (3-7 minutes).  Place on a cooling rack.  Serve after they are cool enough to touch.  Yummy!!!

Now the key is to make sure they freeze.  If they are not frozen before you fry the bacon and cheese mixture will overheat and melt out of the olives.  Then you’re just left with fried olives.  And where is the WOW in that?!

Weekly Menu 9/3-9/7

Happy Labor Day everyone!  Can you believe it is Labor Day already?!  How time flies! 

This weeks menu is all about eating what you have.  I need to clear out my pantry and freezer because WE SOLD OUR HOUSE!  It was amazing!  9 days flat.  Now it is a whirlwind of packing, cleaning and preparing for the new owners.

Monday – Chicken in a spinach cream sauce (I have chicken breasts and spinach in the freezer)

Tuesday – Corn Chowder (there must have been a sale on creamed corn a while back because I have 4 cans of the stuff)  This is a simple recipe of 4 cans creamed corn, 2 cups milk, 1 cup half and half, 1/2 stick butter cut into small pieces, sautéed onion (chopped), diced potatoes and salt and pepper.  Let it all simmer together for a couple of hours.

Wednesday – spaghetti and meatballs (got it in the freezer)

Thursday – Chili (This is my dads champion recipe!  Sorry, I’ll never share.)

Friday – Steak and veggies (whatever we’ve got left!)

We may be eating out a fair bit over the next couple of weeks.  We’ll see.  I’m going to keep trying to be creative!