Saturday, November 30, 2013

Turkey, Brie & Cranberry Pizza

I have a feeling I'm going to be making turkey more often after this leftover meal.  A nice crisp crust topped with some Thanksgiving leftovers plus brie and seasonings.

Turkey, Brie & Cranberry Pizza

1 thin crust ~ recipe below
6 oz Brie, rind removed
1 1/2 cups turkey, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup cranberry sauce
1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp oregano

Roll out crust and place on a pizza stone.  Dot top of crust in this order ~
turkey pieces
cranberry sauce
red pepper flakes
mozzarella cheese

Bake at 425° for 14 minutes.

Pizza crust (makes 2) ~ recipe from Cook's Illustrated

2 cups flour
1/2 tsp yeast
1/2 tsp honey
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup warm water
1/4 cup canola oil

Place all of the ingredients, except for the canola oil, in a food processor with the chopping blade.  Pulse until mixed.  Switch to run and pour in canola oil and let the dough knead in the machine.  Remove dough and place on a lightly floured surface.  Knead for a couple minutes.  Cut in half (one half can be frozen for later use).  Let dough sit for about 20 minutes or so.  This will give you time to get the rest of your ingredients ready.  Roll out the dough and place on your pizza stone.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Turkey Nachos

Round one of turkey leftovers and these nachos used both turkey and cranberries.  Cranberries and salsa go together remarkably well considering they are complete opposites.  Build your own nachos.  These are just the ingredients that I threw together.

Turkey Nachos

Scoop nacho chips
turkey, cut into bite-size pieces
cranberry sauce
refried beans
Cheddar Jack cheese

Layer your nachos as you normally would do ~ chips on the bottom level, beans scattered on the chips (I used a small cookie scoop), cranberries and tomatoes also scattered, drizzle salsa back and forth over everything and top with cheese.  Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Orange Cranberries

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving to all my U.S. followers.  Here's the cranberries I made this evening and my house smells heavenly with a hint of orange.

Orange Cranberries

1 - 12 oz bag of fresh cranberries, rinsed and picked through
1 - orange
orange juice to get to 1/2 cup
1/2 cup water
1 cup sugar or 1/2 cup Splenda

Zest orange for 1 tablespoon.  Place cleaned cranberries in a saucepan with orange juice, zest, water and sweetener.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and cook for 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and pour into a serving dish.  Chill until ready to serve.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Apple Sausage Hotdish

I can't believe I did this...well, to be honest I can.  Two grocery store shopping trips and yes, I did get everything needed for Thanksgiving dinner but I failed to consider what to do for food for the days leading up to it.  A true Minnesota girl at heart knows what that means - hotdish time.  The only protein I found in my freezer was some apple sausages so here we are ~

Apple Sausage Hotdish

4 apple sausages - sliced into 1/4" disks
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
1 cup milk
1 cup chicken broth
4 oz Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 cup peas
1 tbsp parsley 
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
8 oz Cavatappi pasta, cooked and drained
Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated

In a saucepan, melt the butter and stir in the flour.  Gradually stir in the milk and chicken broth and stir occasionally until it thickens.  Stir in red pepper flakes, parsley and cheese.  Stir until cheese melts.   Pour into a greased baking dish over pasta, sausage and peas.  Mix together.   Bake for 30 minutes at 325°. Remove from oven and sprinkle Parmesan on top before serving.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Five Chip Cookies

I've always been fascinated by the thought of adding potato chips to a sweet treat to see what would happen to the texture.  I do like making chippers (chocolate covered potato chips) and adding those to ice cream worked really good, almost too good so it was time to try making cookies.  I didn't want to make an ordinary cookie so I used four different types of chips so no cookie is the same.  I did not add in salt since the chips have enough on them.

Five Chip Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
2 1/4 cups flour
2 cups crushed potato chips (I used rippled)

1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
1/4 cup butterscotch chips
1/4 cup peanut butter chips
1/4 cup white morsels

Cream together butter and sugars.  Add in eggs and vanilla.  Gradually add in flour and baking soda.  Gently fold in the crushed potato chips and baking chips.

Bake at 325° for approximately 10 minutes.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Italian Chicken Soup

The temperature is dropping outside so it was the perfect evening to make a chicken soup with some leftover chicken that I had roasted on Sunday.  I was happy to finally use one of the Parmesan rinds I had tucked away in the freezer.

Italian Chicken Soup

8 cups chicken broth
2 cups chicken 
2 cups carrots, sliced
1 tbsp celery flakes
1 bay leaf
1 Parmesan rind
1 tbsp oregano
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 cup Ditalini pasta

Heat the broth with all the ingredients except for the pasta.  When the carrots are fork tender, add in the pasta and cook until al dente.  

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Nutella Muffins

A large jar of Nutella lasts a long time and mine has come to the last baking project that it was used for.  No, it doesn't require a moment of silence because the time can be better used eating one of these moist muffins.  If you're into lots of chocolate flavor, these are not the muffins for you unless you add some cocoa to the recipe.  These have just a mild chocolate taste.  

Nutella Muffins

1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup Nutella
1 3/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup white baking or chocolate chips (optional)

In a large bowl, combine the top 6 ingredients.  Gradually mix in the dry ingredients.  Fold in the baking chips.  Fill baking cups 3/4 full.  Bake for 18 minutes at 325°.  Makes 18 muffins.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Cheezy Cat Treats

Something different today.  If you have a pet, you know you want the very best for them and you want to feed them the best and it's scary with food recalls in the news almost every day.  I made these treats for my cat and he was actually waiting in the kitchen for them to cool.

Cheezy Cat Treats

3/4 cup Cheddar Jack cheese, shredded
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated
2 tbsp Romano cheese, grated
1/4 cup plain yogurt, use plain, not any flavored not even vanilla
1/2 cup All Purpose flour
1/4 cup wheat flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup water

Combine all the ingredients in a medium sized bowl.  Roll into a ball and place on a lightly floured surface.

Roll out dough until 1/4" thick.  Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.  Score the dough in 1/4" pieces.

Bake for 20 minutes at 325°.  Remove from oven and allow to cool.  Cut apart and store in an air-tight container.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Cacio e Pepe

Besides having an easy meat dish that cooked itself in the crock pot yesterday, I made this very incredibly tasty and simple to make pasta to accompany it.  

Cacio e Pepe

6 oz angel hair pasta 
4 tbsp butter
1 tbsp pepper, freshly ground
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
1/4 cup Romano cheese, freshly grated
1 cup pasta water

Cook the angel hair pasta for 3-4 minutes in salted, boiling water.  As it is cooking, melt 2 tbsp butter in a large frying pan.  Add in pepper and cook for a minute.  Remove 1/2 cup of the pasta water and stir in.  Take out another 1/2 cup pasta water before draining.  Add angel hair to the frying pan along with the remainder of the butter.  Mix together with tongs and reduce the heat.  Add in grated cheeses and toss the pasta until completely coated.  Add in additional pasta water if needed.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Apple Butter Beef Brisket

It's not often that I'm mincing onions and garlic before 7 a.m. but in this case it was worth it.  This cut of beef needs a long, slow cooking time so it was perfect to put in the crock pot and forget about it for 10 hours.  

Apple Butter Beef Brisket

1 beef brisket, mine was 2.3 pounds
1/4 cup onions, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup apple cider
1/2 cup apple butter
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/4 tsp Ancho chili pepper

Place the beef brisket in the bottom of your crock pot.  In a small bowl, whisk together all the remaining ingredients.  Pour over the brisket so it's covered.  Place the lid on your crock pot and set to medium heat and cook for 10 hours.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Dr Pepper Pork Chops

The days are getting shorter but the weeks are seeming to get longer, at least the work week.  Weekends go by too fast.  I was busy with household chores when I put together these pork chops and sauce and it was so easy and came out fantastic.

Dr Pepper Pork Chops

4 pork chops, mine were boneless and about 1/2" thick
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup Dr Pepper
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup bbq sauce
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes

Heat oil in a large frying pan.  When heated, add in pork chops and lightly brown on both sides.  In a large measuring cup or small bowl, mix together Dr Pepper, ketchup, bbq sauce and red pepper flakes.  Place browned pork chops in a greased baking pan.  Pour sauce over the chops.  Using tongs, flip the chops over so both sides are in the sauce.  Bake for 30 minutes at 350° or until internal temperature of the chops is 150°.  Serve with the sauce on the side.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Italian Meatloaf

There's a lot of flavor packed in this meatloaf and it's all good.  It's also moist thanks to the addition of ricotta cheese.  I used to drown my meatloaf in ketchup but not this one.  The herbs give this the lift it needs to be a meal that I want to make more often.

Italian Meatloaf

1 # extra lean ground beef
1/2 # ground pork
1 large egg
1/4 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup onions, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp parsley
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 tsp Italian Seasonings
1 tsp oregano
3/4 bread crumbs

In a small pan, heat the olive oil.  Add in onions and cook until translucent.  Add in garlic and cook for another minute.  Let cool slightly.  In a medium bowl, add in all of the ingredients.  My method for combining is getting both hands in and mixing until it's all combined evenly.  Bake at 325° until the internal temperature of the meatloaf is 155°.  Remove from oven and pan.  Cover and let sit 10 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Caramel Chocolate Sauce

Sometimes you have a craving for chocolate.  At least I do.  I wanted just one ooey gooey brownie with 1/2" thick chocolate frosting on top of it.  I could have made that but I opted to make this sauce that is silky and slightly decadent.  I calmed my guilty conscience by using it to dip apples in but am thinking about making some closer to Christmas as a gift to friends to use as ice cream topping.  

Caramel Chocolate Sauce

2/3 cups whipping cream
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
4 oz Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate
1/2 tsp vanilla

In a heavy saucepan, combine whipping cream, butter and brown sugar.  Bring to a boil, stirring frequently.  Boil for 2 minutes and add in chocolate.  Keep on the heat and continue stirring for another 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.  Serve either warm or all to cool.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Candied Ginger Snaps

I decided to get a jump on my holiday baking and what better way then to make some ginger snap cookies which makes the entire house smell heavenly.  The candied ginger gives a burst of flavor but I didn't want to add too much in because it can be overpowering.

Candied Ginger Snaps

3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup molasses
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup candied ginger, minced

1/2 cup sugar for rolling

Cream butter and brown sugar.  Add in egg and molasses.  Sift together dry ingredients and spices and mix in to butter mixture.  Fold in candied ginger pieces.  Roll dough into 1" balls and roll in sugar.  Place balls on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.  Bake for 10 minutes at 325°.  

Makes 34 cookies.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Breakfast Sausage & Cheese Roll

Only three ingredients, this is a tasty and hearty start to a crisp Fall morning.

Breakfast Sausage & Cheese Roll

1 frozen bread loaf
1 # reduced fat breakfast sausage, cooked and drained on paper towels
1 1/2 cups Cheddar Jack cheese, shredded  

Let dough rise overnight in a plastic wrapped and greased bread pan.  Spread out dough into a large rectangle.  Evenly sprinkle the sausage and cheese on top of the dough.    Roll up the dough and cut into 12 equal slices.  Place in the pan and allow to rise for approximately one hour.  Bake at 325° for 25 minutes.  Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Saturday, November 9, 2013


Börek (also burek and other variants) is a family of baked or fried filled pastries made of a thin flaky dough known as phyllo (or yufka).  However you spell it, to me it's a piece of heaven.  Crisp phyllo that lightly crunches as you cut your fork through it, a creamy mixture of cheeses that blend to well truly is one of my favorites and worth the little extra effort it takes to work with phyllo.


1 package phyllo pastry sheets defrosted according to package directions
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup cottage cheese
2 cups Monterey Jack cheese shredded

1/2 cup Mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 large egg slightly beaten
1 tsp parsley
6 tbsp butter, melted

Mix together ricotta, cottage cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, Mozzarella cheese, egg and parsley together in a small bowl.

Melt butter in a small saucepan for brushing on phyllo dough.

Take a sheet of phyllo, put one half in the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan, brush with butter, fold down second half and brush with butter.  Repeat with another 13 x 18 sheet.  Put in 1/3 of cheese mixture.  Repeat the sheet/cheese mixture two more times.  Finish by adding two more full sheets, folded in half with butter on each layer.  

Bake for 30 minutes at 325°

Friday, November 8, 2013

Knepfla Soup

Rain.  Snow.  Sleet.  Wind.  That's what greeted me when I stepped out of work today.  It seemed like a good time to make soup and this is what I made for the first time ever.

Knepfla Soup

3 cups chicken broth
3 cups milk (I used 2%)
2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
1/2 cup carrots, peeled and diced
1 tbsp celery flakes
1 bay leaf
salt to taste


1 1/2 cups flour
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk - add until a workable dough - it might take 1-2 tbsp less
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp parsley

Combine broth and milk.  Add in rest of soup ingredients and cook until potatoes and carrots are tender.

In a small bowl, mix together dry ingredients.  Whisk egg and add with half the milk.  Keep adding milk until a stiff dough forms.  Place 1/2 tsp of flour on a cutting board and knead the dough for a couple minutes.  Divide dough into 4 pieces and roll into 1/2" ropes.  Cut each into 1/2" pieces and drop into the soup.  Reduce heat, cover and cook for 15 minutes.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Beef Stew With Parmesan Dumplings

I wasn't in the mood for a soup but a nice hearty stew sounded like a good way to use the remaining veggies from my CSA plus a way to warm up on a cool Fall day.

Beef Stew With Parmesan Dumplings

1 1/4# beef stew meat
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup onions, minced
1 large garlic clove, minced
4 cups beef stock
1 tbsp celery flakes
1 tsp rosemary
1 tsp parsley
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1 large carrot, sliced
1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 potato, peeled and diced
1/2 cup peas

Heat olive oil in a dutch oven over medium heat.  When hot, add in beef stew meat and season with salt and freshly ground pepper.  Lightly brown meat.  Add in onions and garlic and let soften before adding in beef stock.  Stir in herbs and tomato paste.  Add in carrot first.  After about a half hour, add in both potatoes.  Cook until vegetables are fork tender.  Add in peas.

Parmesan Dumplings

In a small bowl, mix together

1 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 tbsp parsley
1/4 Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp milk
2 tsp canola oil

Spoon on top of beef stew and steam for 15 minutes.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Lemon Bread

I was thinking of another bread to make to compliment the raspberry butter that I had made.  One loyal reader agreed that she thought a lemon bread would work well.  You were right Linda...this was a good choice.  I bumped up the flavor using some Lemon Bits that I bought from King Arthur Flour. 

Lemon Bread

1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp lemon peel, grated
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup King Arthur Flour lemon bits

Sift together dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl.  Stir in eggs, milk and yogurt.  Fold in lemon juice, peel and bits if you have them.  Pour into a greased bread pan.  Bake for 50 minutes at 325°.

Lemon Bread with Raspberry Butter ~  

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Pear Cinnamon Rolls

Just because the clock says that I can sleep an hour later doesn't mean that I actually will.  What better way to start off a lazy Sunday than to make some cinnamon rolls that have the sweet burst of a pear inside.  Top it with a vanilla icing that melts into the warm roll....a perfect start to the day.

Pear Cinnamon Rolls

1 sweet bread dough, allowed to rise overnight in a plastic wrapped and greased bread pan
2 tbsp butter, softened
2 tbsp light brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 pear, peeled and diced

Icing ~

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla

Spread out dough into a large rectangle.  Spread softened butter over the dough.  Evenly sprinkle the brown sugar and cinnamon mixture.  Cut the pear and spread over brown sugar.    Roll up the dough and cut into 12 equal slices.  Place in the pan and allow to rise.  Bake at 325° for 20 minutes.  Let cool for 10 minutes and turn out the rolls.  Ice and serve.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Taco Manicotti and Homemade Picante Sauce

Ever crave Mexican food and pasta at the same time?  This is one way to satisfy that craving.  Easy to make plus you have extra Picante sauce for more meals later on.

Taco Manicotti

8 manicotti shells, cooked, drained and cooled
1/2# extra lean ground beef
2 tbsp onions, minced
1 1/2 tbsp taco seasoning
1/3 cup water
4 oz cream cheese
1 cup Mexican cheese

Brown ground beef with onions.  Stir in taco seasoning, water and cream cheese and allow to cool.  Stuff cooled manicotti with ground beef and cheese mixture.  Place in a greased baking dish.  Spoon picante sauce (recipe below) over shells and top with Mexican cheese.  Bake for 30 minutes at 325°.

Picante Sauce

1 - 15 oz can tomato sauce
15 oz water
1/4 cup onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
1/2 tsp salt

Put all the ingredients in a medium saucepan and allow to simmer for an hour.  Store extra in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.

Taco Seasoning

1 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1 1/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp parsley
1/4 tsp  oregano
1 tsp pepper, freshly ground
1/2 tsp salt

Place in a sealable plastic bag or container that's airtight and mix well