Sunday, January 19, 2014

Bacon Meatloaf

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4 slices of thick bacon

½ small onion, diced

1 large celery, diced

1 large carrot, grated

1 small zucchini, grated

1 .25 lb ground turkey (or beef or pork, or a mix of all three)

2 slices of bread, diced and soaked in milk (I used a crusty, rustic bread)

1 egg

2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed

¼ cup of minced Italian parsley

Salt and pepper


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.


In a medium frying pan, cook two slices of the bacon. Roughly chop and set aside. Using the bacon grease, sauté the onion, celery, carrot and zucchini over med-high heat for 3-4 minutes.


In a large bowl, combine ground meat, cooked bacon, sautéed veggies, bread (squeeze milk out first), egg, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper. Mix just until ingredients are combined. Do not over mix so meat is mushy. If mixture is too wet, add dried cubed bread.


In a round pan, mold meat mixture into a ring with a hole in the middle. Place extra bacon slices on top. Bake uncovered for 35 minutes or until middle reaches 180 degrees.


Enjoy over mashed potatoes or rice. Makes great cold meatloaf sandwiches the next day!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Turkey Pozole Soup

Here’s a tasty option for that leftover turkey from Thanksgiving. This is a spin off a traditional Mexican soup, typically made with pork.

4-6 Servings

½ Tbs1p oil
1 large carrot, diced
1 large celery stalk, diced
8 cups of chicken broth
1 red onion, sliced
5 large garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp dried Oregano
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2 Bay leaves (remove before serving)
3 15 oz cans of hominy, drained & rinsed (use 2 cans as is; puree one can)
1 cup cooked turkey, cubed or shredded
1 small can of diced fire roasted chiles
Fresh lime juice from 1-2 limes

Topping options:
Romaine lettuce
Diced tomatoes
Diced avocado
Sliced radishes
Sliced jalapenos
Chopped cilantro
Lime wedges
Crushed tortilla chips
Crumbled queso fresco

In a large pot over med-high heat, add oil with carrots and celery. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add broth and ingredients through Bay leaves. Simmer for 15 minutes. Add hominy, turkey and chiles. Simmer for 5 more minutes. Add lime juice before serving.

Spoon soup into shallow bowls and top with a variety of toppings, or serve toppings on the table and allow everyone to create their own topping combinations.

Enjoyed the soup with warm tortillas or cheese quesadillas.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Pumpkin Carrot Bars with Orange Icing

I can't wait for every October for two reasons: 1) Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, 2) I can't wait to make these sweet treats!

2 cups of flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp orange zest
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup finely shredded carrots (about 1-2 large carrots)
1 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 -2 Tbsp orange juice
walnut or pecan halves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 15x10x1-inch baking pan; set aside.

In a large mixing bowl stir together the flour, baking powder, orange peel, baking soda, and salt. Set the flour mixture aside.

In a medium bowl combine eggs and brown sugar. Stir in pumpkin, oil, milk, and vanilla. Then stir in carrots and chopped nuts. Add egg mixture to flour mixture, stirring with a wooden spoon until combined. Spread batter into the prepared pan.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack.

For Orange Icing:
In a mixing bowl combine powdered sugar and enough orange juice to make an icing that is easy to drizzle.

Spread with icing; cut into triangles or bars. Top each piece with a walnut or pecan half.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Rice Krispies Jack-o-lanterns (Rice Krispies Pumpkins)

I’m a mentor for an 11 year old girl through the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization and last Saturday she came over for a pumpkin extravaganza! We painted real pumpkins, and then made these tasty Rice Krispies Jack-o-lanterns. This was a fun thing to do together, messy, but fun. Afterwards, she decorated each little pumpkin with a different face.
These would be fun  to bring to any Halloween party.

Makes about 12

6 Tbsp butter (1/2 stick)
½ tsp vanilla extract
10.5 oz mini marshmallows
Orange or red and yellow food coloring
6 cups of Rice Krispies cereal
Tootsie rolls for pumpkin stems
Icing for decorating

In a large microwave safe bowl, add butter, vanilla and marshmallows. Cook on med-high for 1 minute. Stir and add food coloring to make orange. Cook for another 1 minute. Quickly mix in cereal until coated in marshmallow mixture.

Let mixture cool a little so they are easier to handle. Using slightly wet hands, roll into little balls. Set on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Allow to cool completely before decorating. 

For stems, roll tootsie rolls between your fingers and stick into top of each pumpkin.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Grilled Bruschetta and Salmon

A grilled lunch for a perfect Saturday.
1 ripe tomato, diced
4 large basil leaves, roughly chopped
1 Tbsp or so of freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 large garlic clove, pressed
Salt and Pepper
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
Loaf of crusty sourdough bread, cut into thick slices
2 5-oz salmon filets, with skin
Tajin seasoning (we put this on everything!)

Preheat grill to high, about 450˚.

In a small bowl, combine tomato, basil, parmesan cheese, garlic, salt and pepper, to taste. Drizzle with EVOO and mix; set aside. Prepare toast by brushing both sides of bread slices with EVOO; set aside.

Season skinless side of salmon with Tajin. Place skin side down on grill, allowing to char, about 3-4 minutes. Flip salmon and carefully remove skin. Allow to cook for about 2-3 minutes. Flip filet again and grill 1-2 minutes. Filets should easily flake, do not overcook.

Grill bread for about one minute. Flip bread and move to top rack of grill, away from direct heat. Spoon tomato mixture onto each slice and cook for another 1-2 minutes.

Plate salmon over a small bed of baby kale and serve with the bruschetta.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Buffalo Chicken Pizza

Here's an idea for some leftover grilled chicken.

1 cup of cooked chicken, diced (I used some leftover grilled chicken from the night before)
Frank’s Red Hot sauce
Pizza dough (usually in the deli section of the grocery store, or you can buy some from your local pizza joint)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
¾ cup sliced celery
Blue cheese crumbles
1 Tbsp minced fresh chives
1 small carrot, peeled into ribbons and roughly chopped
Ranch dressing
Jalapeno slices, optional

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

In a small bowl, toss chicken with hot sauce and set aside.

Roll out dough and using your palms press onto a flat pre-greased baking sheet. I usually make a rectangular shape with rounded corners. Gently brush with EVOO. Top with chicken, celery and blue cheese. Bake for 10-15 minutes until crust is crispy and brown. Remove from oven.

Top with carrots, chives and drizzle with ranch dressing and extra hot sauce. Top with jalapenos if desired.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Chocolate Stout Cake with Carmel Filling and Irish Cream Frosting

A while back, I made chocolate stout cupcakes using a similar recipe and they were a hit, so I thought I'd try it as a cake for a BBQ tonight.

1 cup stout (such as Guinness)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
½ Tbsp baking soda
¾ tsp salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cups vanilla Greek yogurt

Caramel Filling:
1 stick butter
Click to see savings1 cup sugar
Click to see savings1 Tbsp corn syrup
1/3 cup whipping cream

Irish Cream Frosting:
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar, or more as needed
3 Tbsp Irish cream liqueur (such as Baileys®), or more to taste

For Cake:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter two 8-inch cake pans with 2-inch-high sides. Line with parchment paper. Butter paper. Over med-high heat in a saucepan, bring stout and butter to simmer. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt to blend. In another large bowl, using electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream to blend. Add stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat just to combine. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed. Using rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined. Divide batter equally between prepared pans.

Bake cakes until tester inserted into center of cakes comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Transfer cakes to rack; cool 10 minutes. Turn cakes out onto rack and cool completely.

For Filling:
In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add sugar and corn syrup, stirring constantly for 6 to 8 minutes or until mixture turns a deep caramel color. Gradually add cream, stirring constantly for 1 to 2 minutes or until smooth. Remove from heat, and let cool. Chill 2 hours or until thickened and spreading consistency.

For Frosting:
In a bowl with an electric mixer, whip butter until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes.

Set mixer to low speed and slowly beat in confectioners' sugar, 1 cup at a time, until frosting is smooth and spreadable. Beat in the Irish cream liqueur; adjust thickness of frosting with more confectioners' sugar if needed.

To Assemble:
Once cake has cooled and filling and frosting have chilled, assemble cake. Place one cake on a plate as bottom layer, spread with caramel filling and top with second cake. Trim sides of cake and remove any extra edges to make both top and bottom cakes line up. (Save trimmed cake bits for decorating.) Gently frost cake with Irish cream frosting. Crumble trimmed cake bits and decorate edges of the finished cake.


Chill cake until ready to serve.
Helpful Tips:
· Make everything the night before and assemble the next day. This way you don’t have to wait for things to cool down before assembling.
· It’s tricky to frost the cake once the cake edges are trimmed since the crumbs stick to the spatula. Use a thick layer of frosting to help prevent this. This is the reason why I decorated using the crumbs.



Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Herbed Tilapia with Tomatoes and Jalapenos over Chive Mashed Potatoes

Baked Tilapia:
2 tilapia filets
Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
Lemon pepper seasoning
2 Tbsp minced fresh herbs (cilantro, flat leaf Italian parsley, Rosemary)
about 5 cherry tomatoes, halved (I used baby heirloom tomatoes)
1 jalapeno, sliced (seeds removed)

Mashed potatoes:
3 medium red skinned potatoes, cubed
2-3 tsp butter
1/4 cup nonfat Greek yogurt (you can also use milk, cream or sour cream instead)
season with salt and pepper
1/2 Tbsp minced fresh chives

Start with potatoes, by bringing a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until fork tender, about 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lay two sheets of parchment paper on a flat surface. Place a filet of fish on each sheet. Drizzle with EVOO, season with lemon pepper and salt. Sprinkle with herbs. Top with tomato halves and jalapenos.

Fold and crimp the top of the paper closed. Then repeat for the sides. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, until fish is no longer transparent.

Once potatoes are cooked, drain. Add butter and yogurt to pot. Return potatoes to pot and mash together. Season with salt and pepper. Mix in chives. Add more yogurt if potatoes need more moisture.

To serve, open parchment paper packs, plate fish over mashed potatoes. Pour over extra juices.