Archive | March, 2014

Mini Turkey Meatloaf

21 Mar

Ground turkey and ground chicken are two products I love cooking with. They’re perfect to put in sauces, lasagna, soups and tacos.  I have definitely made ground chicken meatloaf before but this time I used ground turkey. Also, because it is Lent, I did not want to make a huge loaf because the leftovers would really go to waste and for some reason I think if I had made a whole loaf vs. six cupcake sized loaves, there would have been leftover. It’s all about eating with your eyes first right? This only took 20 minutes at 400 degrees and then another 5 – 10 minutes at 425 (because I wanted to make sure it was cooked through).

What you need:

1 lb ground turkey (I only used 3/4 of the ground turkey and cooked the remaining 1/4 for future use)

1 egg, beaten

salt and pepper

BBQ Sauce

6 slices of bacon or turkey bacon (I used this)

1/4 cup of panko bread crumbs

1 medium red potato sliced thin

2 teaspoons of Italian seasoning or Herbs de Provence (optional)

6 count cupcake pan

meatloaf

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Combine all ingredients except for the BBQ sauce and the bacon. Don’t over mix the meat. Spray your cupcake pan with non-stick spray. At the bottom of each cupcake, I put one to two slices of red potato. Form six meatball shapes and put them in cupcake pan cups. Spoon BBQ sauce over the top of each meatloaf cupcake, just enough to coat. Don’t over sauce them. If you have extra potato, you can put it on top of the BBQ sauce. Top each meatloaf cupcake with some bacon. Bake at 400 for about 20 minutes. I checked the doneness of each and they were almost perfect so I turned the heat up to 425 and kept them in for another 10 minutes (you might notice the middle left meatloaf cupcake still looks a tid pink. This was taken before the 425). You want two things: crisp bacon and cooked through meatloaf cupcakes.

Serve hot with your favorite side! C’est si yum!

Spring Veggie Pasta Dish

20 Mar

Growing up I never ate cauliflower. Neither of my parents eat it so I always assumed it was gross. However, in the past year, I’ve tried it and love it. Spring time means lots of green and flowers, unless you live in the Boston area and Spring means praying that the snow will stay away. One vegetable that I see a lot of is asparagus and I made this easy and delicious pasta/veggie toss for dinner last night.

What you need:

2 cups of uncooked pasta of your choice or a handful of long pasta (i.e. angel hair or linguini)

Shaved or grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 pound of asparagus, chopped into 1 inch pieces

1/2 a head of roasted cauliflower, chopped in to 1 inch pieces (IF you are starting with raw cauliflower that’s ok! See the instruction adjustment below)

extra virgin olive oil

1 TBS of butter

Salt and Pepper

1/3 cup of orange juice or white wine (or both)

1 1/2 TBS of herbs de provence or Italian seasoning

1 garlic clove, minced or grated

Red pepper flakes (optional and I did not give a measurement because I did not measure it)

Cook pasta in salted boiling water. Drain but let enough of the pasta water drain back into your pot, just enough to cover the bottom. Put back on a medium flame. Drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil in the pan with the garlic and herbs. Don’t let the garlic burn! Add the roasted cauliflower and asparagus. If you are starting with raw cauliflower, then add the cauliflower first. Asparagus does not take long to cook so just saute the cauliflower until they get golden or fork tender (however you like your cauliflower) and then add the asparagus. 

Deglaze with the white wine and/or orange juice. If you like more of a sauce, then I would suggest adding more liquid but it will be light. Add the pasta back to the pan with the butter and sprinkle with red pepper flakes (optional).

Veggie TossFinish with the shaved or grated Parmesan and serve hot!

C’est si Yum!

Sausage and Kale Soup (Sort of Zuppa Toscano)

12 Mar

I’ve been in the Boston area for almost six years this May. While I love the South there is one thing that it will never have, my Gram. Growing up in the South, one of the best things about “vacation” was to visit Gram in Boston (Quincy to be more specific). Being up here has been great because I can see her whenever I want! She’ll be 91 this year and one of the things we like to do is, well eat.

One place she likes is Olive Garden. She’s a fan of the soup, salad and breadsticks lunch. She opts for the gnocchi soup, while I love their Zuppa Toscano soup (yes I said I love it). Long before the kale craze, it was in this soup. I decided to try to make it and while it’s not the same as the Olive Garden it turned out super yum.

What you need

1 package of Italian sausage, casing removed

1 garlic clove, minced or grated with my handy new kitchen tool

Italian seasoning herb mix (any variety in your pantry will do)

2 tsp, red pepper flakes

1 cup of kale, trimmed (no stems) or frozen

2 red potatoes, sliced thin

1/3 cup of onion, chopped small (you could do bigger pieces if you prefer a better reminder that onion is in your soup)

1 box of low sodium chicken broth

Flour

2 shot glasses of milk (I used skim and Pinterest recipes seem to opt for heavy cream but I didn’t have any)

Shaved Parmesan cheese

zuppa

One, just because I used skim milk does not make this healthy in any way. It’s a sausage soup with potatoes in it. Two, a shot glass was the closest thing to me at the time I decided to put milk in it. I don’t know what the exact measurement of said shot glass was so apologies. You could, in my opinion, eye ball the milk part but you want to pour it in a bowl or something to mix the flour in.

To begin, cook the sausage in a pan and season with black pepper, red pepper flakes and the herbs. I did not list salt because between the cheese and the sausage, the soup had a lot of flavor. Once the sausage is cooked, scoop the meat out leaving the fat and oil in the pan (see why this isn’t light?). If you like less sausage then you can definitely use some of it for another dish (I did). Saute the onion, garlic, some more herbs and potatoes in the same pan for about 8 – 10 minutes or until the potatoes feel tender but not soft. Pour in your broth and kale  and bring to a boil. Once it is boiling, add the sausage and turn the heat to a simmer. Stir flour into the milk. I didn’t want mine to be very thick so I only used a little bit but if you want something thicker you could make adjustments.

Always taste and if you want more heat then add more red pepper flakes! I finished the soup with some shaved Parmesan cheese. Serve hot! C’est si yum!

 

Delicious Parmesan Roasted Asparagus

11 Mar

Asparagus is in season! It’s such an easy vegetable to prepare that it’s perfect as a weeknight side dish. Super simple. Preheat your oven to 395 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Spread your trimmed  asparagus (fold one stem and then cut the rest where it breaks) on the sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle shaved Parmesan cheese over the asparagus. Bake for 10 – 15 minutes depending on how done you like your asparagus. I prefer when the cheese is crispy so I keep it in as long as possible without burning it! C’est si Yum!

Asparagus

Easy Five Ingredient Pork

11 Mar

Another adventure cooking in my boyfriend’s kitchen. I found some seemingly standard condiments in the fridge and voila! Easy baked pork chops with just four ingredients (minus salt and pepper).

What you need (what I used):

3 Medium-sized Pork Chops

1/4 Cup of Soy Sauce (I used low sodium)

1/2 Cup of Ketchup

1/2 Tablespoon of Jerk Seasoning (or any spice seasoning you can find)

Salt and Pepper

1 Beer

Four Ingredients

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. I don’t really know if setting it low and raising it made a difference but I started at 325 degrees and went up to 375 degrees after the meat had been in the oven for about 30 minutes. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. I used enough foil to tent over the meat and keep the juices from making a mess in the pan (I hate doing dishes). I seasoned with salt, pepper and the jerk seasoning and placed them seasoned side down on the foil. I mixed the ketchup and soy sauce in a bowl and spread that over the meat. Pour about half the beer over the meat and tent the foil (use a beer you like to drink and drink the rest). Cook at 325 for about 20 – 25 minutes, flip the meat over and then turn the heat to 375 for another 25 – 30 minutes or until the meat is cooked through and tender. Serve with your favorite side. C’est si yum!  

Garlic Grater aka the Coolest Kitchen Gadget EVER

10 Mar

My mom brought me back one of the coolest souvenirs from her trip to California, a grater. Don’t be fooled, this grater is about the size of a saucer and has little teeth to grate your garlic on. It can be used for chocolate and Parm too! To clean just wash with hot water.

Garlic Grater

Possibly the Best BBQ Pulled Pork Recipe to Date

4 Mar

If ever there was a crock pot season, it would be now. Anyone who has experienced this Winter season might agree! Did you know they started naming the Winter Storms?

My boyfriend and I are big BBQ pulled pork fans and I did another version in my new crock pot that you can set a timer on! It was so easy and the sauce was so good that I used it in baked beans and on some ham.

What you need:

1 lb boneless pork ribs (I’ve used the country bone-in ones too)

1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup of brown sugar

1/4 cup of beef stock (optional)

1/2 cup of orange juice

2 cups of soda, I used Coke Zero (cut the calories where you can, right?)

1 garlic clove, minced

Salt and Pepper

IMG_7645

Put all ingredients in the crock pot and cook on low for 5 1/2 hours. If you use the bone-in, it’s easy to pick them out. The sauce is amazing. I poured the sauce into a saucepan and added a little flour to thicken it. Pour over the meat and serve with your favorite side! C’est si yum!

  Sauce