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Turkey Ranch Burgers

December 12, 2017

I’ve always found ranch seasoning packets to be a fun addition to all sorts of dishes. In this one, it enhances the flavor in turkey burgers in a big way.

20171105 Turkey Burgers 03

You will need:

  • 1/2 sour cream
  • 1/2 c panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 green pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/2 c shredded cheese, like Cheddar or Colby Jack
  • 1 packet of ranch seasoning powder, divided
  • 1 t garlic powder
  • 1/2 t pepper
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 t hot sauce
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • Buns, lettuce and tomato – whatever toppings you want!

Then you will…

  1. In a small bowl, mix together the sour cream and half of the ranch seasoning mix. Set aside in the fridge while you make the burgers.
  2. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the panko with the onion, green pepper, shredded cheese, remaining ranch seasoning, garlic powder, pepper, egg and hot sauce.
  4. Add the ground turkey and mix well by hand.
  5. Divide into four patties.
  6. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.
  7. Lightly grease with nonstick cooking spray.
  8. Cook the burgers until cooked through and juices run clear, about 6-8 minutes per side.
  9. Meanwhile, lightly toast the buns in the preheated oven, about 3-4 minutes.
  10. Serve the burgers topped with the sour cream sauce, lettuce and tomato.
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Honeyed Pork Schnitzel

December 6, 2017

20171106 Honey Schnitzel 02

I am a sucker for all types of German food, like schnitzel. This one has a fun honey-lemon glaze for a sweet and sour effect.

You will need:

  • 2 T flour
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t pepper
  • 4 pork cutlets (~4 oz each)
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1/4 c lemon juice
  • 1/4 c honey

Then you will…

  1. On a large plate, mix together the flour with the salt and pepper.
  2. Add the pork, one piece at a time. Flip to coat and set aside on a clean plate.
  3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat with the olive oil.
  4. Cook the pork 3-4 minutes on each side or until juices run clear.
  5. Remove the pork and set aside.
  6. Add the lemon juice and honey to the skillet.
  7. Cook and stir until starting to thicken, about 3 minutes.
  8. Return the pork to the pan and toss to coat. Allow to cook another 2-3 minutes or until heated through.
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Holiday Stuffing

November 21, 2017

I’m not going to lie: I love stuffing out of the box. It’s so easy, and I like how it tastes. This year, however, I decided to try making a simple vegetarian stuffing for a Friendsgiving celebration. We enjoyed every last bite.

20171111 Stuffing

You will need:

  • 12 T unsalted butter, divided
  • 2 large onions, minced
  • 6 stalks of celery, minced (can include the leaves)
  • 2 large apples, peeled, cored and chopped (suggest using a tart apple)
  • 3 T fresh poultry herbs (whatever combination you have on hand; suggest some combo of sage, thyme and rosemary)
  • 3 c unsalted vegetable stock
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 T garlic powder
  • 1/2 t paprika
  • 1/2 t pepper
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 16 c stale bread, cubed

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large nonstick skillet, melt 8 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat.
  3. Add the onions, celery, apple, and fresh herbs. Saute for 5 minutes to allow to soften.
  4. Add the vegetable stock to the skillet and bring to a boil. Remove from heat.
  5. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs with 2 T garlic powder, paprika, pepper and salt.
  6. In a large mixing bowl, toss the bread with the egg mixture.
  7. Slowly mix in the vegetable stock mixture and toss to ensure even coating on the bread.
  8. Spread the stuffing in the prepared baking dish.
  9. Cut the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter into roughly 16 pieces.
  10. Sprinkle the top of the stuffing with the butter.
  11. Cover loosely with aluminum foil.
  12. Bake for 40 minutes.
  13. Remove the aluminum foil and bake another 20-30 minutes, or until golden.
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Sweet Potato Casserole

November 18, 2017

I love my 2015 version of sweet potato casserole. However I tried something new this year for the holidays. It’s a little lighter and fluffier, because you use an electric mixer to whisk it together.

You will need:

  • 6 sweet potatoes
  • 2 c brown sugar, divided
  • 1/2 c finely chopped pecans
  • 1/2 c flour
  • 1/2 t ground cinnamon
  • 12 T unsalted butter, divided
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 t vanilla extract
  • 1/2 c whole milk
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9×13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. Poke your sweet potatoes all over with a fork and place on the prepared baking sheet.
  3. Bake until they are soft, roughly one hour.
  4. While the sweet potatoes bake, mix together one cup of the brown sugar with the pecans, flour, and cinnamon. Add tablespoons of the cold butter and cut in until well combined. Set aside.
  5. Remove the sweet potatoes from the oven and allow them to cool enough to handle.
  6. Peel the sweet potatoes. Discard the peels and place the potatoes in a large mixing bowl.
  7. Mash the sweet potatoes with the butter until smooth.
  8. Blend in the eggs, remaining cup of the brown sugar, vanilla, and milk using an electric mixer until smooth, light and fluffy.
  9. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Spread in the prepared baking dish.
  11. Sprinkle the pecan mixture on top of the sweet potatoes.
  12. Bake until golden brown, about 35-45 minutes.
  13. Allow the casserole to rest at least 5 minutes before serving.

20171111 Sweet Potato

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Italian Sausage and Pumpkin Stuffed Shells

November 14, 2017

We enjoy all sorts of pasta in our house, including stuffed shells. My son also loves sausage. These shells are perfect for the fall: they have a little spice from ground Italian sausage and extra creaminess from a little pumpkin puree snuck into the mix.

You will need:

  • 1 box jumbo shells, parboiled and rinsed in cool water according to directions
  • 1 lb Italian sausage, removed from casings, crumbled and browned
  • 1 c ricotta cheese
  • 1 c pumpkin puree
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 3 T fresh sage, finely minced
  • 1 T garlic powder
  • 1/2 t pepper
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/2 c grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 c shredded Italian cheeses
  • 2 jars of your favorite tomato sauce

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spread a thin layer of sauce on the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked sausage with the ricotta, pumpkin, egg, sage, garlic, pepper salt and grated Parmesan.
  3. Stuff a shell with the sausage mixture and place in the prepared baking dish.
  4. Repeat until you can’t fit more shells in the dish.
  5. If you end up with extra sausage mixture, sprinkle it over the tops of the shells in the dish.
  6. Spread enough sauce over the tops of the shells to cover them.
  7. Cover loosely with aluminum foil.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes and remove from oven. Remove the foil and set the foil aside.
  9. Sprinkle the top with shredded Italian cheese.
  10. Bake another 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  11. Allow to rest at least 5 minutes before serving.

20171027 Pumpkin Shells 01

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Lemon Meringue Pie

November 9, 2017

20171027 Lemon Pie 05Lemon meringue is one of my mom’s most favorite types of pie. I was missing her the other afternoon, and we had friends coming over for dinner. One thing led to another and soon we had a lemon meringue pie for everyone!

You will need:

  • 1 pie crust
  • 5 large eggs, split into yolks and whites
  • 1 1/4 c sugar
  • 1/4 c cornstarch
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1 1/4 c water
  • 1/4 c whole milk
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1/2 c fresh lemon juice
  • 2 T unsalted butter, cut into four pieces
  • 1/2 t cream of tartar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 t vanilla
  • 3/4 c powdered sugar

20171027 Lemon Pie 04

Then you will…

  1. Line a 9-inch pie plate with the pie dough, trimming the edge if needed.
  2. Lightly prick pie dough all over with a fork, then chill for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  4. Line the pie crust with aluminum foil and fill with raw rice.
  5. Bake until the sides are set and edge is just turning a pale golden color, about 20 minutes.
  6. Carefully remove the foil and rice; return pie crust to the oven and back until the pie crust is golden, another 10-20 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, whisk together the yolks in a small mixing bowl.
  8. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
  9. Gradually add the water and milk, whisking until smooth.
  10. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking frequently as the mixture begins to thicken.
  11. Remove from heat.
  12. Gradually whisk about 1 cup of the hot mixture into the yolks to temper the yolks.
  13. Then whisk the yolk mixture back into the saucepan.
  14. Whisk in the lemon zest and lemon juice and simmer, whisking constantly, for 3 minutes.
  15. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter until incorporated.
  16. Cover the surface with wax paper to keep warm and prevent a film from forming.
  17. Remove the crust from the oven and reduce temperature to 350 degrees.
  18. In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar, a pinch of salt, and the vanilla until they hold soft peaks.
  19. Keep beating and add the powdered sugar gradually, until the meringue holds stiff, glossy peaks.
  20. Pour the lemon curd filling into the prepared pie crust.
  21. Spread the meringue on top of the lemon curd filling, covering completely.
  22. Bake until the meringue is golden, about 15 minutes.
  23. Cool completely on a wire rack for at least 2-3 hours before serving.

20171027 Lemon Pie 01

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Pumpkin Cranberry Bread

November 4, 2017

What flavors come to mind when you think of fall? How about pumpkin and cranberries? Then think about putting both of those yummy ingredients into a bread that can be served toasted with a little pat of butter. Mmmm.

You will need:

  • 2 c flour
  • 3/4 c brown sugar
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 1 t ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 t ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 t ground cloves
  • 1/4 t ground ginger
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1 c pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 c apple cider (or orange juice or water)
  • 1/4 c vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 t vanilla extract
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 c cranberries, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 c pecans, roughly chopped (optional)

20171031 Pumpkin Cranberry Bread 03

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a regular loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour with the brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger and salt. Stir till well mixed.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, apple cider, oil, vanilla, and egg whites.
  4. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry, just until mixed.
  5. Gently stir in the cranberries and the pecans (if using).
  6. Spread in the loaf pan.
  7. Bake for 55 to 70 minutes, or until golden and a tester in the middle comes out clean.
  8. Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then remove from the pan, and allow the bread to finish cooling on a wire rack.
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