Monday, November 30, 2015

Leftover Turkey Casserole

Leftover Turkey Casserole

I’ll let you in on a little secret….I’m not a big fan of turkey. There. I said it, LOL. Honestly, dreaming up new ways to use the leftovers not only helps to disguise it, but it also gets it out of my fridge sooner (smiles).

I made a batch of turkey noodle soup a couple days ago and happily dished up the last drops of it this morning for my husband’s lunch.

With the remaining turkey pieces, I made this wonderful-smelling casserole. This is a quick and easy recipe taken from the classic tried and true version. Seriously, whether you love turkey or not, you should make this just because it smells so welcoming and wonderful.

2 c. diced turkey
2 c. rice, prepared and cooked (you could use whatever rice you like. Since I wanted something quick and easy, I just used plain white)
1 can cream of chicken soup
(1 soup can of) milk
1 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. turkey drippings (optional)
½ medium onion, diced
1 stalk of celery, diced
½ c. red bell pepper, diced
½ c. frozen corn
½ c. frozen peas
 Salt and pepper
¼ tsp. dried sage
¼ tsp. poultry seasoning
Dash of garlic powder
Dash of paprika
French fried onions for top (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 °.

Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add onions, celery and bell pepper and sauté stirring occasionally until onions are opaque. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stir in diced turkey and frozen veggies. Sprinkle in sage, poultry seasoning, garlic powder and paprika. Stir to combine. Reduce heat.

Meanwhile, pour cream of chicken soup in small sauce pan over medium heat. Whisk in 1 can of milk and combine well. Reduce heat.

Pour cooked rice over turkey and veggies and stir.

Pour soup mixture over turkey and rice. Stir to combine well.

Pour into a casserole dish (I used a square 9x9). Sprinkle with French fried onions. Bake approximately 30 minutes.


Saturday, November 21, 2015

Sausage Stuffing Muffins

This is such a wonderful time of year for so many reasons. One being that we get to enjoy some of our favorite once-a-year type recipes. And these Sausage Stuffing Muffins is one I’ve been making for about 25 years.

I found this recipe in a magazine right after my husband and I were married. I used to make it in a large baking dish for holiday gatherings with family, but the past few years I’ve realized that by making the same recipe and baking it in a muffin pan, not only does it make for great portion control, but I can make them for Thanksgiving, tuck away whatever is left over in the freezer, then pull them out again for Christmas dinner! And believe me…if you make these for Thanksgiving, you’ll be craving them again by Christmas! They’re that good J

Sausage Stuffing Muffins

1 lb. Jimmy Dean Sausage (½ tube of Hot, ½ tube of Regular)
3 eggs, beaten
2 pkgs. Corn bread stuffing
2 c. sharp cheddar cheese
2 stalks celery, diced
½ large yellow onion, diced
1 ½ tsp. poultry seasoning
2 tsp. fresh sage leaves, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cans reduced sodium chicken broth
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 °.

Brown sausage in large skillet over medium heat. Drain.

In large bowl, mix sausage with all other ingredients reserving 1 c. cheddar cheese for topping. Stir until well combined.

Scoop into muffin pan and top with cheese.

Bake about 30 minutes. Serve hot.

As I mentioned above, these freeze well. To use at a later date, just pull a few from the freezer, thaw and reheat.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Cheesy Garlic Pull-Apart Bread

Everything in moderation, right? Well, sometimes when Friday finally rolls around and you look back at the week you’ve just come through and you feel like you could really use a food hug…this is just the thing.

This rustic bread flavored with rosemary all wrapped around a dreamy, gooey cheese combination will help put all the unpleasantries of the week far, far behind you..... :)

1 Tbsp. yeast
1 1/2 c. warm water
1 Tbsp. honey
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. olive oil

Dry ingredients:
4 c. bread flour
1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
1 tsp. baking soda
1 c. freshly grated cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Grate combination of cheeses to equal 1 1/2 cups. I used mozzarella, Parmesan, Gruyere and smoked Gouda but I think I will keep it simple and use only Parmesan and mozzarella next time.
2-3 minced garlic cloves
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

Olive oil
2 Tbsp. to 1/4 c. milk
1 egg, beaten

Dissolve yeast in warm water and honey. Stir well and set aside to bloom (about 10 minutes).

Mix dry ingredients in medium bowl.

Slowly add dry ingredients to yeast mixture and combine well in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. If dough is too dry and crumbly, add a little milk. Once fully combined and dough is pulling away from the sides of the bowl, turn out onto floured surface. Knead well then place dough in large bowl that's been drizzled with a little olive. Coat all sides of dough with olive oil. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot for approximately 1 hour or until doubled in size.

In medium bowl, mix the filling ingredients.

Turn dough out onto floured surface once again. Knead just a little then use a rolling pin to flatted into a rectangular shape. (I didn't measure mine, but it was roughly the size of a lasagna pan).

Once you have a rectangle shape, use a pizza cutter (you could use a knife - whichever is easier for you) and slice 4-5 strips on either side (on the long side) toward the center, but do NOT cut all the way from one side to the other because you're going to sprinkle filling down the center. 

Once you have your strips on either side, drizzle a little oil down the center then arrange the cheese mixture down the middle over the olive oil. 

"Lace" up the strips over the cheese by carefully pulling each one over and securing with a toothpick.

Allow the loaf to rest for about 20-30 minutes then brush the entire loaf with a beaten egg.

Bake at 400 for 25 to 30 minutes. Serve hot.



Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Peanut Butter Cookies with Coconut Oil

Well, I love using new ingredients and I recently picked up some coconut oil not really knowing what to do with it but vowing to do a little research. Turns out it's a low to medium-temp oil useful for sauteing, baking and yes, even as a moisturizer (who knew? LOL).

While this is not my own recipe (found it over here), I will be using it again. These cookies turned out great. Flavorful, great texture and probably won’t last the night! So, pick up some coconut oil, try this recipe and see for yourself.

Shared from Epicurious.com

Just about 1 c. coconut oil
2 ½ c. all-purpose flour
¾ c. sugar
1 1/3c. brown sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
3 eggs (or 2 jumbo)
1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 ½ c. peanut butter (the original recipe calls for crunchy, unsalted but I used regular creamy).

Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside. In large bowl, beat together coconut oil and peanut butter. Beat in the eggs. Add the sugars and vanilla. Combine with dry ingredients. Roll into small balls and bake at 350 for 10-13 minutes.


Saturday, November 7, 2015

Apple Caramel Cakes

I had a few Granny Smith apples I needed to use up and wanted to find a way to pair them with the half bag of Caramel Bits stashed in the pantry. I started out hoping for cookies, but the way the batter turned out, I ended up breaking in my new mini Bundt cake pan instead.

I drizzled prepared vanilla frosting over the tops of these, but they would be just as good with a dusting of powdered sugar…and a cup of coffee…of course (smiles).

What you’ll need:
3 Granny Smith apples
½ bag Caramel Bits (available in the baking aisle of the grocery store)
2 ½ c. all-purpose flour
½ c. butter, softened
¾ c. granulated sugar
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 Tbsp. milk
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 ¼ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 375°. Generously spray baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.

Dice apples into medium bowl. Toss with lemon juice.

In bowl of mixer, cream butter and sugar together. Add beaten eggs and vanilla extract. Mix well.

Pour Caramel Bits into microwave-safe bowl. Add milk. Microwave on high. Stir and repeat until creamy and smooth.

In separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Gently mix apples with butter mixture.

Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients until fully incorporated. Mix in melted caramel.

Pour into mini cake pan.

Bake approximately 30 minutes or until brown. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Run a knife around the edges and invert onto a cooling rack.

Either drizzle frosting or dust with powdered sugar or however you wish J

Yield: 6 mini-Bundt cakes

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Spinach and Bacon Skillet Quiche

Spinach and Bacon Skillet Quiche

9 in. prepared pie shell
4 strips of bacon
1 ½ c. fresh spinach leaves
6 eggs
1 Tbsp. butter
½ med. red bell pepper, diced
2 med. green onions (tops), diced
½ c. all-purpose flour
2 c. freshly grated cheese (I used a combination of sharp cheddar and mozzarella)
 ½ c. Half and Half
2 tsp. Herbs de Provence
1 tsp. black pepper

Preheat oven to 350°.

Unroll pie crust and fit into a 10” cast iron skillet. Set aside.

Cook bacon in separate pan over medium heat. Remove bacon to paper towels and let drain. (Either discard bacon drippings or transfer to another container for later use.) Melt butter in pan and sauté bell peppers and onions. Sprinkle with a little black pepper. Once peppers and onions are cooked, crumble bacon and add it to the pan.

In medium bowl, beat eggs and Half and Half. Add Herbs de Provence and flour. Mix well.

Layer spinach leaves in bottom of pie crust. Sprinkle half of grated cheese over the top of spinach leaves.

Pour bell pepper, onions and crumbled bacon over the cheese.

Pour egg mixture over the top. Sprinkle remaining cheese over the top and bake for approximately 43-45 minutes. Allow it to cool slightly before slicing.


Monday, November 2, 2015

Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

So, what is a gal to do when she has several overripe bananas and she doesn’t want to break out the tired old banana nut bread recipe? Well, she turns them into cookies! The wonderful aroma of these things are still hanging in the kitchen and I’m thinking a dollop of vanilla ice cream on top with maybe a drizzle of caramel sauce would be the perfect way to end the day.

Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 ripe bananas, mashed
2 c. all-purpose flour
½ c. butter, softened
¾ c. granulated sugar
¾ s. packed brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1 c. old fashioned quick oats
6oz. pkg of mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°.

Grease a 12”x16”x1” baking pan. Set aside.

In large bowl, cream together butter and sugars. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix in bananas.

In medium bowl, combine flour with baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Whisk in quick oats. Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients until well combined. Stir in mini chocolate chips.

Turn dough out onto baking pan and smooth out evenly. Bake approximately 25 minutes or until golden brown on top. Remove from oven and allow to cool a couple minutes before slicing into squares.