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. 

photo via

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Beet Soup and Ballet Shoes

I know, I know.  A very unlikely combination.  But trust me, in my case, they have gone hand in hand.

IMG_6276 IMG_6394

First, the beet soup.  It is a favorite of mine.  My fathers side of the family is Polish.  And this is a classic Polish dish.  Many know it as beet borscht.  Except I don’t serve mine with sour cream.  It’s mashed potatoes and bacon all the way.  Here’s the recipe:

Beet Soup

1 bunch sweet beets, greens cut and discarded

4 C. beef broth

1 1/2 lbs. Yukon gold or Russet potatoes, peeled, boiled and mashed

3 strips bacon, cooked until crispy and crumbled

red wine vinegar

salt and pepper

Wearing kitchen gloves and an apron, peel the beets and cut into long, thin, julienne style strips.  (Trust me, you want the gloves and apron.  Beet juice will ruin clothing and stain skin for days.)

Put cut beets and beef broth together in a large pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes or until the beets are fork tender.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Peel and cut potatoes.  Boil them until tender and mash adding salt and pepper to taste.

In a pan, cook bacon until crispy. Crumble the bacon and mix into the mashed potatoes.

Now, serve up the soup.  Add red wine vinegar to each bowl to taste.  Everyone won’t like the same amount of tartness. Then add a scoop of the bacon mashed potatoes and enjoy!


** Now if you weren’t smart enough to wear an apron or use gloves, you now know that beet juice stains.  So this is where the ballet shoes come in!

I have had 2 pairs of pointe shoes in a closet for months.  I found them on clearance.  I wanted to dye them and decorate my daughter’s room with them.  I just haven’t gotten around to it. 

Until I made beet soup.

And saw the gorgeous color of the soup. 

And ruined a white shirt.


I knew right then and there that I could use the left over soup to stain the ballet shoes.


They came out the most gorgeous deep pink color.  And they are totally non-toxic.  Vegetable dye at its best!  It’s not smelly or hazardous.  It’s fantastic!


I sewed on the ribbon (it really brought back some memories) and hung them over the side of my daughter’s headboard.  Voila!


Shrimp, Corn, and Bacon Chowder

I must warn you… this recipe is neither low fat nor lactose free.  But it is good.  And simple.  It is a rich and creamy chowder sure to warm you from the inside out.


You will need:

3 C. corn – fresh and cut off of cobb

1 small sweet onion, diced

3 Yukon gold potatoes, peeled, boiled and diced

3 C. milk

1 C. heavy cream

3 Tbsp. butter

1/2 lb. fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined

3 strips of bacon, diced


In a large pan, add 1 Tbsp. butter and melt.  Sauté corn until just beginning to get tender, appx. 3 minutes.  Add diced onion and salt and pepper.  Continue to sauté until onions begin to get translucent, appx. 5 minutes.  Add shrimp and cook until pink.

Put cooked corn mixture into a medium sized pot.  Add the diced potatoes.  Pour in milk, cream, and butter.  Butter should be cut into smaller pieces to help it melt faster.  Heat over low heat.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Do not let the chowder boil!  Allow it to simmer for 15 – 20 min.

Meanwhile, in a small pan, cook diced bacon until crispy and set aside to drain on a paper towel.

Serve chowder in a shallow bowl with the bacon sprinkled on top.  Yum!

October Menu Options–Faves for Fall

I am participating in the 31 Days series with The Nester.  I will be blogging for 31 days straight!  Wish me luck!  Therefore, my weekly menu will be halted for the month.  I may sneak it in once in a while, but to be safe, I wanted to let you all know.  So here are some of my Fall favorites to get you through the month!

Butternut Squash Soup

Kale & Brussels Sprout Salad recipe

Kale Salad

So Easy and Tasty Apple Streusel. Photo by Tea Jenny

Apple Streusel

Slow Cooker Beef Stew IV Recipe

Beef Stew in the Crock Pot (This is close to my recipe.  I don’t use any flour.)

Bacon-Wrapped Turkey Meatloaf Recipe

Bacon Wrapped Meat Loaf (I use the cornbread stuffing mix.  And I don’t add any cheese.)


Beet Salad with Goat Cheese (mixed greens, cooked beets, walnuts and goat cheese with Balsamic vinaigrette)

Pork, Apple and Cheddar Meatballs with Egg Noodles

Apple Meat Balls

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Cream-Cheese Filling

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies (no, I don’t bake, but these look so good I have to give it a try!)

** I have realized how much I truly change recipes and make them my own.  Some of them I will definitely have to write down and post!

Weekly Menu 8/19–8/23

It’s the first day of school!  My house is quiet (and messy)!  I’ll be able to get a few things done!  Yippee!  But I’m also a bit sad – my youngest started Kindergarten today.  She’s so grown up!  And my other one barely said goodbye this morning.  He just jumped out of the car and headed to class.  They don’t seem to need me as much anymore.  Boo hoo!  So I always remind them that if I wasn’t around there just wouldn’t be any good food to eat!  And the house would be a mess.  And there wouldn’t be fantastic decorating.  And no clean clothes.  Or shopping.  I could go on.  But they seem to get the point…. sometimes.

This week is meant for yummy suppers with a hint of fall comfort.  I loooove fall and nothing signals fall like the first day of school!

Monday – Spinach Grilled Cheese with Tomato Basil Soup (there’s that Meatless Monday again!)

Tuesday – Chinese Chicken Salad ( I use real chicken instead of canned – eeeewwww!)

Easy Yummy Chinese Chicken Salad Recipe

Wednesday – Dijon Brown Sugar Pork Tenderloin with Apple Salad

Easy Brown Sugar and Dijon Glazed Pork Loin

Thursday – Flank Steak Roulade with Smashed Garlic Potatoes

Stuffed Flank Steak

Friday – Salt and Pepper Sea Bass with Asparagus and Hollandaise Sauce (super easy Hollandaise that I can’t wait to try!!)

Sea Bass with Spring Herb Hollandaise Sauce Recipe at Cooking.com

What To Do With Rotisserie Chicken

When I tell people that I cook for my family I get a lot of funny looks.  It’s usually followed by the question “Every night?”  I nod and say “Usually.”  And then there is shock.  Then the “I wish I knew how to cook.” comment.  My response is “Anyone can cook with a little help from the grocery store!”  What I mean by that can be summed up in two words, Rotisserie Chicken.  I have come up with a weeks worth of things you can do with a rotisserie chicken.  I know there are more, but I don’t want to overwhelm anyone. 

Chicken Soup

4 cans of chicken stock

3 carrots – diced

2 ribs of celery – diced

egg noodles – cooked to package instructions

rotisserie chicken – meat picked from the bone

Toss it all together in a pot except the egg noodles.  Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer until carrots are tender.  Toss in the noodles and season with salt and pepper.

Chicken Salad

1 rotisserie chicken – meat picked from the bone

3/4 C. mayonnaise

1 apple cut into bite sized chunks

1/2 C. chopped walnuts

1/2 of a small, sweet onion, chopped

Mix it all together and voila!  Serve on a bed of greens or in a sandwich.

Chicken Pot Pie


2 store bought pie crusts

1 rotisserie chicken with meat picked from bone

1 bag of frozen mixed veggies

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 C. milk

Mix the chicken, veggies, soup and milk together in a bowl.  In a well greased pie pan, spread out one pie crust.  Pour the chicken mixture in and spread around.  Lay the other crust on top and crimp the edges.  Cut some steam holes in the top.  Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until the top crust starts to turn golden brown. 

Chicken Quesadillas


1 rotisserie chicken – meat picked from bone

1 bag shredded taco cheese

1 jar salsa

flour tortillas – large

On half of the tortilla spread some rotisserie chicken, cheese and salsa.  Fold over and bake until it is all melty.  There you have it.  Serve with more salsa and sour cream.  I also do this and make chicken taquitos which are made in a corn tortilla and fried instead of baked.

Creamy Chicken Pasta


1 box rotini pasta – cooked per instructions

1 rotisserie chicken – meat off of bone

1 C. half and half

1 tbsp. butter

1 Tbsp. flour

1/2 C. grated parmesan cheese

Over medium heat, melt the butter.  Whisk in the flour to make a roux.  Once thickened, whisk in the half and half.  Allow it to thicken.  Season with salt and pepper.  In another bowl combine the pasta (cooked) and chicken.   Pour sauce over chicken and pasta.  Mix together.  Add parmesan and mix some more.  Yummy!


See, with a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store, anyone can cook!  It’s really easy!  If all else fails, serve it Thanksgiving style, sliced up with mashed potatoes and green beans!

New England Clam Chowder

Today is a cold, rainy day in the Carolinas and on a cold, rainy day the only thing more appealing to me than a blanket and a nap is New England Clam Chowder.  Growing up in Connecticut, I have had my fair share of the stuff.  I have found that no matter what, the best kind is the homemade kind.  Made with fresh clams if you can.  I don’t have the luxury of fresh clams, unless I want to pay a pretty penny for them, so I am going with canned ones. 

4 slices bacon, diced

1 1/2 cups chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped celery

1/4 cup chopped red pepper

1 1/2 cups water

4 cups peeled and cubed potatoes

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

pepper to taste

3 cups half-and-half

3 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup heavy cream

2 (10 ounce) cans minced clams

3 sprigs of thyme

Place cubed potatoes in water, add salt and pepper and boil until they are fork tender.  Drain and set aside.

Place diced bacon in large stock pot over medium-high heat. Cook until almost crisp; add onions, celery and peppers and cook 5 minutes.  Add the potatoes to pot.

Pour in half-and-half, heavy cream and add butter. Drain clams, reserving clam liquid; stir clams and 1/2 of the clam liquid into the soup.  Add the thyme sprigs. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until heated through. Do not allow to boil.  Add more of the reserved clam juice if you would like to thin the chowder.

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!

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!