Showing posts with label Turkey. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Turkey. Show all posts


Teriyaki Turkey Sliders

Teriyaki Turkey Sliders

Raise your hand if you are looking for a quick dinner idea.  I see all you hands raised and Teriyaki Turkey Sliders is just the recipe for you.  Ground turkey is seasoned with hoisin and soy sauces and add an Asian twist to a typical burger.  With a few minutes on the grill, dinner comes together quickly.

I enlisted the use of my grill pan because I still cannot quite get to the Weber grill on our snowy deck.  Soon though.  I think I will venture out there very soon.  With our snowier than average winter, I have used my grill pan more and more and have found it to be a suitable stand in for the grill.

As an added bonus, I tacked on my recipe for Soy Slaw to complete the meal.

10 minutes of prep time and 6 - 8 minutes of grilling = dinner on the table.  :)

Teriyaki Turkey Sliders

makes 8

1 pound ground turkey
3 scallions, sliced thinly
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce, plus extra for brushing on the sliders while grilling
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup panko
8 slider buns such as Martin's Dinner Rolls

In a large bowl, gently combine the ground turkey, scallions, 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce, soy sauce, garlic powder, and panko.  Form patties using approximately 1/4 cup of the turkey mixture.

Heat grill or grill pan to medium high heat and brush with a little olive oil.  Add the sliders and grill for about 3 - 4 minutes.  Flip and brush the sliders with the extra hoisin sauce.  Grill for another 3 - 4 minutes.  Remove from grill and serve on rolls.

Soy Slaw

serves 5

3 tablespoons peanut oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon mirin
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 10-ounce bag coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage and carrots)
1 cup cucumber, julienned
2 scallions, sliced thin
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped

Whisk together the peanut oil, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, mirin, and rice wine vinegar. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the coleslaw mix, cucumbers, scallions, and cilantro. Add the dressing and toss to coat. Refrigerator until ready to serve.


Triple Cheese Stuffed Shells with Sausage and Spinach

People comment on my blog posts. I don't get hundreds of comments like The Pioneer Woman or Smitten Kitchen, but I do get some comments. Some readers say they like my recipes or photographs. Others give me feedback on a certain recipe that they have tried. Still other readers relate to the story behind one of my recipes and then give me a little insight into themselves.

Personally, I do not know the people who comment on my blog. I only know my readers through the cyber world and many of them now seem like old friends. I did meet one person who reads my blog. By chance, we were both at a taping of The Martha Stewart Show. She recognized me from my profile picture. Kinda weird and kinda freaky.

I like reading the comments posted on my blog, and it feels like a warm hug. Realizing I am helping at least a few people get dinner on the table is a satisfying feeling. For some people, dinner time is very stressful and if I can do a little bit to make it less of a chore and more enjoyable, my blog is a success.

I received an email not to long ago from a reader inquiring if I had a delicious stuffed shells recipe. Little did this reader know that Triple Cheese Stuffed Shells with Sausage and Spinach is an almost weekly request from my clients - especially during the blustery, snowy, and long winter season. One client commented that it is the perfect meal with each shell holding its own complete meal.

With our latest blast of snow and bone-chilling temperatures, I whipped up a batch of stuffed shells on a recent school cancelling snowy day. Along with my kids, a favorite Guest Eater - Two Scoops - spent the day at our house and joined us for dinner. All were thrilled when finding out what was on tap for dinner except for No Thank You Boy. He choose to devour 2 bowls of pasta with marinara sauce.

Triple Cheese Stuffed Shells with Sausage and Spinach is a warm-you-to-the-bones meal that is a perfect make ahead entree. This recipe is for you Angela!!

Triple Cheese Stuffed Shells with Sausage and Spinach

I use Barilla Jumbo Shell Pasta. There are about 35+ shells per box. My recipe calls for sweet Italian turkey sausage but feel free to substitute your favorite kind of Italian sausage.

serves 6 with leftovers

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 (14 ounce) can tomato sauce
2 stalks of fresh basil or 2 teaspoons dried
1+ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 package jumbo pasta shells, cooked al dente rinsed with cold water and set aside
1 pound sweet Italian turkey sausage, cooked and crumbled
1 (10 ounce) package frozen spinach, thawed and drained
3 cups ricotta cheese
2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

To make the sauce, saute onions in the 2 tablespoons of olive oil until transparent. Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, basil, salt and sugar and simmer sauce for about 20 - 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.

In a large bowl, stir together the sausage, spinach, ricotta cheese, 1 1/2 cups of the mozzarella cheese, 1/2 cup of the parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.

In a 9 x 13 baking dish, spread about 1 cup of the sauce. Fill each shell with the cheese mixture and arrange in the baking dish. Top the filled shells with another generous cup of the sauce and sprinkle with the mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. Bake for about 25 - 35 minutes until bubbly and hot. Serve with remaining marinara sauce, if desired.

Serve with a tossed salad of romaine lettuce, sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, black olives, slice peppercinis, and Parmesan cheese with a balsamic dressing and a big basket of garlicky toasted Italian bread.



Dinner #12 of the 12 Dinners of Christmas -- Turkey and Wild Mushroom Mini Meatloaves with Savory Mushroom Gravy

Whoo whoo whoo!! I am finally posting the last of my 12 Dinners of Christmas. Note to self - it will take you longer than you think to complete a project. Give yourself extra time around the holidays for any endeavour you undertake.

That being said, I present tonight's dinner -- Turkey and Wild Mushroom Mini Meatloaves with Savory Mushroom Gravy. This entree is everything one could want in a comfort food, but in a lightened up version. Traditional meatloaf is made with ground beef; this version is made with 93% fat free ground turkey. It is flavored with shiitake and portebello mushrooms, thyme, A-1 sauce, and Italian seasoned breadcrumbs. Topped with a peppery mushroom gravy, this made for a delicious entree. I also served oven blasted green beans and mashed turnips with Parmesan cheese. I'll be posting the turnip recipe soon. If you liked my Mashed Garlic Cauliflower, you'll absolutely love mashed turnips!

With temperatures in the low teens tonight, The Husband said, "This is excellent comfort food, and it is even nutritious. The whole meal has lots of flavor."

My Oldest commented, "This meal has lots of color and vegetables, and it is still good."

Then enters No Thank You Boy. He says, "What's for dinner? Meatloaf? Mashed turnips? Green Beans? Didn't I already eat 4 green beans last week? Ummmmm..... How about a ham and cheese sandwich melted in the microwave?"

I am all for not preparing separte meals for different family memebers. But tonight I decided this was one battle not worth fighting. He did eat 4 sugar snap peas - not green beans - last week. Add even one carrot a couple days ago.

I was overly happy with the result of our dinner. I made the meatloaves, gravy, and mashed turnips earlier in day and just reheated at dinner time. While the other parts of the meal were reheating, I blasted the olive oil coated green beans in the oven at 425 degrees for 12 - 14 minutes. They were seasoned with salt and pepper and dinner was ready.

A truly comforting meal that doesn't go straight to your waist.

Turkey and Wild Mushroom Mini Meatloaves with Savory Mushroom Gravy

Adapted from a Rachel Ray recipe

6 servings

olive oil
1 large portebello mushroom, chopped
6 shiitake mushrooms, chopped
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 large garlic clove, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and pepper
1 1/3 pounds ground turkey, the average weight of 1 package
2 tablespoons A-1 Steak Sauce
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
1 egg, beaten
3 tablespoons butter
3 large button mushrooms, chopped
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup low fat milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Heat a large saute pan over medium high heat. Add about 2 tablespoons of oil. Add chopped mushrooms and onions. Saute for 5 or 6 minutes until dark and tender. Add garlic and saute an additional minute. Stir in thyme and season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat. Transfer mushrooms to a bowl and set pan aside.

Add turkey to the mushroom mixture. Add A-1 sauce, breadcrumbs, and egg. Mix ingredients together. Divide meat loaf mixture into 6 equal parts and form 6 equal oval meatloaves. Heat the saute pan or a grill pan and coat with about 1 tablespoon of olive oil and arrange meatloaves in the pan. Sear each side of the meatloaves for about 2 minutes per side. Remove to a baking sheet and finish baking in oven for about 13 - 15 minutes or until cooked through. Transfer to a serving plate and cover with foil to keep warm.

Return pan to heat and add butter and mushrooms. Saute for about 3 - 4 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in stock and milk and season gravy with salt and pepper, to taste. Simmer gravy until it reaches desired thickness, and pour over patties, reserving a little to pass at the table.

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Dinner #1 of the 12 Dinners of Christmas -- Barbecued Turkey Sandwiches

You have had just about all the turkey you can eat. But wait. One more recipe to use up the last of the turkey in your refrigerator.

Pulled Pork is a favorite dinner at our house. I decided to make a version of Pulled Pork using our leftover Thanksgiving turkey that we cooked on the Weber grill. Barbecued Turkey Sandwiches are quick to make and appeal to everyone in our family.

I paired the sandwiches with a Fennel, Celery and Apple Slaw instead of the traditional cole slaw I make to serve with Pulled Pork. The super crunch of the celery and fennel make a nice contrast to the soft roll and sweet and spicy turkey.

You may be making another turkey soon so you can use the leftovers for Barbecued Turkey Sandwiches.

Barbecued Turkey Sandwiches

Serves 4

4 cups of cooked and shredded turkey
3/4 cup of your favorite barbecue sauce - I use Sweet Baby Ray's
4 soft sandwich rolls, sliced

for the Fennel, Celery, and Apple Slaw

1 fennel bulb, sliced thin
1 medium apple, sliced thin
2 celery stalks, sliced thin
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
big pinch of salt
big pinch of pepper

Combine turkey and barbecue sauce in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook until heated through, about 3 to 5 minutes.

To make the slaw, in a large bowl, combine fennel, apple, and celery. In a small bowl, whisk lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toss dressing with the fennel mixture.

To make the sandwiches, divide the barbecued turkey among the rolls and top with a heaping scoop of the slaw. Place top bun on slaw and enjoy!

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Turkey Chili with Kidney and Black Beans

A freak October blizzard left me stranded at home today. What was supposed to be flurries overnight turned into a full blown snow storm. What to do? What to do? Laundry? Vacuum? Clean out the closets? NO!! It's time to make some Turkey Chili with Kidney and Black Beans.

The kids will have fun playing in the snow after school to be followed by a bowl of piping hot chili. The weatherman says it will be 60 degrees by Friday. He better be right.

Turkey Chili with Kidney and Black Beans

serves 8 - 10
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups of chopped onions
1 cup carrots, diced small
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 (28-ounce) cans chunky crushed tomatoes
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups beef stock
3 corn tortillas, cut in small pieces
1 1/2 pounds ground turkey, cooked and drained of any fat, or shredded cooked turkey leftover from thansgiving - about 3 cups
1 (15-ounce) can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15-ounce) can of black beans, drained and rinsed

for serving:
grated sharp cheddar cheese
sour cream
chopped onions

In a large stockpot, saute the onions and carrots in the olive oil over medium high heat for about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for an additional 2 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Serve in large bowls topped with grated sharp cheddar cheese, sour cream, chopped onions and a slice of cornbread.

Note: this chili gets better with age. Refrigerate overnight and reheat over low heat before serving.

A couple more photos of my winter wonderland in October. My mums look so sad.


Turkey Sloppy Joes

No earth-shaking recipe for dinner last night. But it is a favorite at home as well as at the occasional football tailgate. I made Turkey Sloppy Joes, which takes me all of 15 minutes to make, and served them with steamed green beans.

Turkey Sloppy Joes are a good entree to take to a tailgate. They transport well, are generally a crowd pleaser, and require a minimal amount of work to prepare. I transport the seasoned meat in the insert to my crock pot. The insert is warmed by filling it with boiling water for 10 minutes. Pour out the water before filling it, and the meat stays hot until it is served. The insert is packed in a large cooler surrounded by clean dish towels. When it is time to enjoy the Turkey Sloppy Joes, spoon the seasoned meat into buns.

Siss-boom-bah! Go Team!!

Turkey Sloppy Joes

makes 8 sandwiches

1 package ground turkey - about 1 1/3 pounds
1/2 to 3/4 cup barbecue sauce (I use Sweet Baby Ray's)
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
8 whole wheat hamburger buns

Heat a saucepan to medium high. Add the ground turkey and cook until browned. Drain off any grease. Add the barbecue sauce and cheese and stir until the cheese is melted. Add up to 3/4 cup barbecue sauce depending on how saucy you like your sloppy joes. Turn heat to low and cook the seasoned meat for about 5 minutes. Serve on buns.

Note - the sloppy joe meat can be frozen up to 3 months. After preparing the seasoned meat, cool and package in large resealable freezer bags. When you want to serve it, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat in the microwave on 70% power until heated through or in a saucepan over low heat.


Taco Bowls

Even with about a month of summer left, I am feeling the dinnertime crunch. Our summer vacation to the Jersey Shore seems like a distant memory as a couple of my kids are starting practice from their fall sports. My personal chef business occupies a good chunk of my time, and the general summer activities are in full swing. With some family members eating at 5 p.m., others eating at 6:30 p.m., and a couple stragglers eating at 8:30 p.m., I have had to buckle down and plan dinner.

Tonight's Taco Bowls are a variation of the average taco. The cardboard tasting taco shells from the grocery store don't excite me. Neither does the spice packet to season the taco meat. The kids helped me experiment with making our own tortilla bowls while I made a batch of Mexican-spiced ground turkey for the filling.

The tortilla bowls are easy to make, but take some time. I highly recommend them though because the superior taste beats the boxed version hands down. Here is what a tortilla bowl looks like before going in the oven --

And here it is when after baking for about 8 minutes in the oven --

The baked tortilla bowls are filled with seasoned ground meat, shredded lettuce and cheese, diced tomatoes, Mexican rice, and sour cream. The tortilla bowls, seasoned meat, and toppings can all be made earlier in the day when you may have a few minutes to spare. Stash the baked tortilla bowls in resealable bags and the remainder of the fixings in the refrigerator. Dinner will be waiting for you instead of the other way around.

My Oldest ate two failed tortilla bowl attempts for lunch. I am assuming she enjoyed them. My Middle One ate the "filling" out of her tortilla bowl and then refilled it. She is my "green" kid and is into recycling. I have to say the tortilla was one of my favorite parts of the meal. And don't think that the peanut butter in the recipe is a mistake. It really adds just the right hidden flavor to make the meat taste authentic.

Taco Bowls

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup onions, chopped
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 package ground turkey - about 1 and 1/3 pounds
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons diced green chilis - the ones in the little cans
1 heaping tablespoon peanut butter
1 tablespoon brown sugar
10 flour tortillas - 6-inch ones
cooking spray

Shredded lettuce
Shredded cheddar cheese
Mexican Rice - I cheated and used the packaged kind
Diced tomatoes
Sour cream

Heat a medium-sized saucepan to medium high. Add oil and onions. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add coriander, salt, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper and continue to cook for an additional 5 minutes or until the onions are softened, but not browned. Add the ground turkey and cook until browned - about 6 - 8 minutes. Add tomato paste, diced green chilis, peanut butter, and brown sugar. Stir to combine. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the oven to 400 degrees. To make the tortilla bowls, spray a tortilla with cooking spray. Form a tortilla to the inside of a small, ovenproof metal or glass bowl that is about the size of a large coffee cup. Top with another small bowl and gently press down. Bake for about 4 minutes. Remove the top bowl and continue to bake the tortilla bowl until slightly browned, about 3 - 4 more minutes. Carefully remove from oven and put tortilla bowl on a metal rack to cool. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.

To make a Taco Bowl, fill a tortilla bowl with shredded lettuce, seasoned meat, cheese, Mexican rice, diced tomatoes, and sour cream.



Grilled Turkey

Grilled Turkey
The Thanksgiving menu varies little from family to family. Turkey. Gravy. Mashed Potatoes. Sweet Potatoes. Green Beans. Cranberry Sauce. Rolls. Wine. A few regional favorites are thrown into the mix, and it always is a good meal. As an added bonus, a nap is typically enjoyed afterward.

Every year at the Thanksgiving table, the inevitable question is, "Why do we only eat this once a year? It is such a good meal" No Thank You Boy asks, "Is turkey really expensive?"

As I was off doing the weekly grocery shopping, I eyed the fresh turkeys. "Are they too expensive?" I said to myself. "Can we have turkey more than once a year?" Then I thought it's 90 degrees outside, I'm not turning on the oven for over 2 hours. Newsflash. Put the bird on the grill. The turkey will have a nice smokey flavor and clean up will be minimal. After talking to myself next to the raw turkeys at the grocery store, I picked out a about a 10 pound gobbler and headed home.

As with most nights, a couple family members were absent. The Husband was eating his weight in paella at a business meeting. My Middle One was recuperating from the 24 hour birthday party she attended earlier in the day. My Oldest, No Thank You Boy, and I enjoyed Grilled Turkey, Gravy, Steamed Green Beans, and Roasted Sweet Potatoes. Ok. I did turn on the oven for the sweet potatoes, but only for 45 minutes. Not the most earth-shattering menu.

A tasty dinner
Sometimes the simplest meals are the most satisfying. There was no nap afterward, but we were happy to have turkey in July. And those who missed dinner can have the leftovers the next day for lunch.

Grilled Turkey

10 - 12 pound whole turkey
melted butter

Heat grill using indirect method. Either a gas or charcoal grill can be used, but I prefer charcoal. Here is some information on grilling if you are unfamiliar with the method.

Remove the giblets from inside the turkey. I have been known to forget this step more than once. Brush the turkey with melted butter and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. If using a charcoal grill, place a foil drip pan between the charcoal piles to catch the drippings. Use the drippings for making gravy. Replace the grate and put the turkey in the center. Cover and grill.

About 40 - 50 minutes into the grilling time, add a few briquettes to the piles of burning embers. This will help keep the temperature even inside the grill.

A 10 - 12 pound turkey will take about 2 to 2 1/2 hours to grill. The internal temperature of the thigh will be 180 degrees and the breast meat will be 170 degrees. Remove the turkey to a cutting board and let rest uncovered for 15 - 20 minutes before carving. My friends at Butterball will help to carve a turkey if you need assistance. They even have a video.

Turkey Gravy

1/4 cup turkey drippings from drip pan
1/3 cup flour
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon dried sage

In a small saucepan, heat the turkey drippings. Whisk in the flour and cook for about 1 minute. Whisk in the water and milk. Cook for a few minutes, whisking occasionally, until thickened. Add sage. Season with salt and pepper. Keep gravy warm over low heat until ready to serve.

Having 3 kids usually means there is a fight over which 2 get to make a wish with the wishbone. With only My Oldest and No Thank You Boy at dinner, my wish came true and no one argued on this night.

Feeling lucky?


Asian Turkey Burgers w/Hoisin-Cucumber Mayonnaise & Soy Slaw

After a day of personal cheffing, I came home and made one of the entrees I prepared for my client - Asian Turkey Burgers with Hoisin-Cucumber Mayonnaise and Soy Slaw. I had about 2 and 1/2 pounds of ground turkey in the refrigerator and the remaining ingredients I needed on hand. Always a bonus when I don't have to make a trip to the store for ingredients.

The burgers went together quickly and were a welcome change from the typical grilled ground beef hamburgers. Ground turkey was combined with cilantro, hoisin, soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, scallions, Dijon mustard, and water chestnuts. I grilled the burgers and mixed up some Hoisin-Cucumber Mayo and Soy Slaw.

"They are really good," My Middle One said to My Oldest when she inquired as to what was for dinner. The Husband commented that he would not have know it was ground turkey if I had not told him. I made 10 burgers so there are plenty for left overs. Reheat them on 70% power in the microwave and they taste like they are freshly grilled.

Try these burgers for your next cookout.

Asian Turkey Burgers w/Hoisin-Cucumber Mayonnaise & Soy Slaw

makes 10 burgers

2 and 1/2 pounds ground turkey
1 can water chestnuts, drained and diced
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
6 scallions, chopped fine
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

10 whole wheat hamburger rolls

Mix burger ingredients together. Form into burgers. Heat a grill to high. Grill burgers for about 6 minutes per side or until cooked through. The internal temperature of the burgers should be between 165 and 170 degrees.

Serve on whole wheat rolls with Hoisin-Cucumber Mayonnaise and Soy Slaw.

Hoisin-Cucumber Mayonnaise

1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup dice cucumber
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon soy sauce

Mix all ingredients together. Can be stored in refrigerator for 3 - 4 days.

Soy Slaw

1/4 cup peanut oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons mirin
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 10-ounce bag coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage and carrots)
1 cup cucumber, julienned
2 scallions, sliced thin
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped

Whisk together the peanut oil, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, mirin, and rice wine vinegar. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the coleslaw mix, cucumbers, scallions, and cilantro. Add the dressing and toss to coat. Refrigerator until ready to serve.


Sage Turkey Hoagies

Spring was having a hard time getting sprung in northern New Jersey. A rainy, damp, and cold Monday meant comfort food was on tap for dinner. With a steady rain, temperatures in the high 40s and a stiff wind, it felt more like November than May. How about a little Thanksgiving dinner to to help us deal with the delay of warm weather.

I really did not have time to prepare a turkey with all the fixings. The next best thing was my Turkey Day favorites all rolled into one - Sage Turkey Hoagies. A crusty roll is topped with mashed potatoes, sage seared turkey breast cutlets, and creamy, peppery gravy. I really worked hard on a side dish to go with my semi-Thanksgiving meal - frozen peas. Sometimes the simplest accompaniments are all that a meal needs.

A stick-to-your-ribs meal for a cold and rainy Spring day.

Sage Turkey Hoagies

serves 4

for the mashed potatoes -
6 medium potatoes, skins on and cut in chunks
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 - 1/3 cup half and half

for the turkey cutlets -
olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
4 boneless, skinless turkey cutlets, about 1 1/2 pounds
ground sage

for the gravy -
2 tablespoons butter
2 1/2 tablespoons flour
1 cup water
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons chicken bouillon granules or 2 chicken bouillon cubes
1/2 teaspoon pepper

4 large hoagie rolls, sliced in half lengthwise

Place the potatoes in a large pot of water. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer the potatoes until tender, about 15 - 20 minutes. Drain well and return to pot. Add butter, half and half, salt, and pepper. Mash with a potato masher until most of the lumps are removed. Cover pan to keep the potatoes warm.

Heat a saute pan to medium high and add a drizzle of olive oil and the butter. Season the turkey with salt, pepper, and rub with the sage. Saute the turkey for about 3 - 4 minutes per side or until they are cooked through. Remove from pan and cover with foil to keep warm.

Make the gravy in the same pan as the turkey was sauteed. Add 2 tablespoons butter and melt until it starts to foam. Whisk in the flour and cook for about 1 minute. Whisk in the water, milk, and bouillon. Cook for a few minutes, whisking occasionally, until thickened. Season with pepper. You may not need to add salt because the bouillon is already salty. Keep gravy warm over low heat.

Toast the bun halves until light brown. Place one bun half on each of 4 plates. Top with a generous amount of mashed potatoes, some of the turkey that has been sliced in large pieces and the gravy. The messier looking the better. Eat with a fork and knife and plenty of napkins.


Life in the Not-So-Fast Lane

As I look back on my blogging, most of my recipes are pretty run of the mill. I thought that when I started this blog, I would be writing about grandiose recipes with exotic ingredients that I would travel around the world to find. Reality has set in. I'm a mom to 3 kids and 2 dogs, a wife, a personal chef to my clients and my family, a maid, a driver, a homework helper, a friend, a financial advisor/bill payer and a cheerleader to many football, field hockey and softball games. I guess I could find time to travel the globe looking for new and unique foods to make. But at this point in my life, I am content with all the activities that keep me busy on the home front. Anyway, I can find many interesting ingredients and recipes at Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, and in Cooking Light and Bon Appetite magazines, my daily newspaper, the Internet, and the multitudes of cookbooks out there.

I picked out two of my relatively new cookbooks and adapted a couple recipes the other day. A big pot of turkey chili and a batch of chocolate cupcakes were the lucky recipe winners. I really don't follow a recipe for my chili. It usually tastes relatively the same each time it's made - just a little variation here and there. I consulted the American Test Kitchen's Family Cookbook for their take on chili. Taking a cue from Cincinnati's 5 way chili, shredded cheddar, pasta, sour cream and diced onions are always offered with a big bowl of chili. Sometimes even a slab of cornbread is hidden at the bottom of the bowl to sop up the extra sauce.

Rarely does a day go by that there is not a dessert of some sort at our house. It just doesn't seem right not to have a cookie, cake or brownie sitting on the counter. I love the single serving desserts - cupcakes, muffins, cookies, mini quick breads. I tinkered with a recipe from America Test Kitchen again. Their Best Make-Ahead Recipe cookbook has a great muffin recipe and who wouldn't want a chocolate cupcake with chocolate ganache on top?

Two easy recipes. No exotic ingredients. Found all the ingredients already in my pantry. Made a majority of the family members happy. Got to watch a field hockey game, football practice, make a trip to the library, and eat dinner too. A pretty good day all and all.

Chunky Turkey Chili

adapted from America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook

This chili is pretty mild. Add about a teaspoon of cayenne pepper to spice it up!

2 pounds ground turkey
olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 TB cumin
2 tsp chili powder
6 garlic cloves, chopped
2 cans of beans - one kidney beans and the other black beans
2 cans crushed tomatoes - 28 ounces each

Heat a couple tablespoons of oil in a large pot. Add the onions, cumin, chili powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook an additional 30 seconds.

Add the turkey and cook for about 10 minutes. Add the beans and tomatoes and cook for about 45 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add some cayenne pepper to spice it up.

Serve with cooked and drained small shaped pasta, shredded cheddar cheese, diced onions, sour cream and cornbread.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Semi Sweet Chocolate Ganache

makes about 14 - 16 cupcakes

adapted from The Best Make-Ahead Recipe cookbook from Cook's Illustrated

3 cups flour
1 TB baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup cocoa
10 TB butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups plain yogurt

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Coat 2 cupcake pans with cooking spray.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cocoa. Set aside.

Beat the butter and sugar with a mixer for about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time and mix well.

Add one-half of the flour mixture followed by one-half of the yogurt. Add the remaining flour mixture and then the yogurt. Mix just to blend. Fill the muffin cups about 3/4 full. Bake in oven for about 20 - 30 minutes. Let cool in pan 5 minutes before removing the cupcakes. Dip the top of the cupcakes in the ganache. Don't eat them all before your kids get home from school.

Semi-Sweet Chocolate Ganache

1/4 to 1/3 cup half and half
about 1 to 1/2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla extract

Warm the half and half in a small saucepan. Add the chocolate chips and stir to melt. Stir in the vanilla. The ganache will thicken as it cools.