Friday, June 29, 2012
I love sweet potatoes! Usually I like to bake them up and just eat them plain with nothing on them. But it seems that the way to prepare sweet potatoes these days is to make them into fries. I have never eaten them before like this, but some of the kids have and they love them. Since they enjoy sweet potatoes in this form it really made me want to try the sweet potato fries.
I made them with my turkey burgers; since I was trying to be a little healthier with this meal I made the fries in the oven. As always I was in a hurry so I put them in the microwave to speed up the process a little bit. Once the sweet potatoes were a little tender from cooking them in the microwave I cut them in to wedges and put them in a hot oven. But first I sprayed the baking pan with cooking oil so they would not stick and also sprayed the fries to help them crisp up.
The sweet potato fries didn't want to crisp up in the oven. I am not sure if it was due to the fact that I precooked them in the microwave or because that they were baked and not deep fried. My kids said that they have eaten them deep fried usually and they are crispy that way. Even though the sweet potato fries were not really crispy they were a nice treat. I wanted to top them with something a little different; I had seen this idea somewhere before but not quite sure where. I topped them off with a little cinnamon, sugar, and sea salt. The sweet salty taste was a great way to go.
Sweet Potato Fries
3 medium sweet potatoes
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Sea salt to taste
Precook sweet potatoes in the microwave 5 to 7 minutes, just until they are getting tender. Take out of microwave and let cool until they are easy to handle. Cut into wedges; the size that you desire. Take a baking pan and line with aluminum foil and spray with cooking oil. Place sweet potatoes on baking pan in a single layer and spray with cooking oil. Bake in a preheat oven at 450 degrees F for 20 to 25 minutes. While the potatoes are cooking mix the sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl. Once the fries are taken out of the
oven sprinkle them with the sugar and cinnamon mixture and sea salt serve immediately.
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Do you ever wonder what to do with ground turkey? I guess I don't buy it too often or I should say I buy it once in a blue moon. We probably don't buy it too often because I am never sure how I want to prepare it. Well I have noticed on a few different blog recipes that have Italian turkey sausage and have wondered if it would be as tasty as the pork version of Italian sausage. You see I love Italian sausage and was a little skeptical when it came to Italian sausage made with turkey.
But when wanting to be a little healthier I decided to give turkey Italian sausage a try. I was not having much luck when looking for the Italian sausage made with turkey in the stores where I live, so I decide to make my own. Frozen ground turkey was abundant in the stores, so that is what I started with. Next looking for the right combination of ingredients for Italian seasoning was found on the web. There were numerous recipes and I combined a couple of recipes that sounded good to me.
I decided to make pizza burger with my turkey Italian sausage; it was spicy and heavenly all in one bite. I added a little cheese in the middle of two burgers and sealed the cheese inside and topped the burgers with a little pizza sauce. Mike and our son Adam who were home for dinner when I made these burgers; and they loved them. Move over pork Italian sausage there is a new Italian sausage in town and it is made in a healthier way with turkey.
I served the pizza burgers with sweet potato fries. I will post about the sweet potato fries in the next couple of days.
Turkey Italian Sausage Pizza Burgers
2 pounds of lean ground turkey
2 teaspoons onion powder
3 teaspoons salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon thyme
2 teaspoon ground red pepper (less if you want less spice)
2 teaspoon fennel seeds
Mix all seasoning and garlic together, add to the ground turkey and mix well. Make 12 thin burgers, top 6 of the burgers with 2 tablespoons of cheese. The amount of burgers will vary upon what size you make the burgers. Place the plain burgers over the tops of the burgers that have the cheese and seal the edges so the the cheese does not seep out. These burgers can be grilled, fried, broiled, or your favorite way. I made mine on the George Foreman Grill. Make sure to cook until the burgers are no longer pink in the middle and the juices run clear.
Friday, June 22, 2012
Mike was away most of this week; traveling for work. It so happened that Krista and Adam were both at work one of the nights he was gone. I came home to an empty house with no one to have dinner with. This is the type of night I like to experiment with a new recipe. It is a great time to do this since I am the only one home so if the dinner is a flop there is no one to complain about it. And as the saying goes when the cat is away the mice will play.
I was hungry for some fish and I had a small amount of salmon in the freezer, about a half a pound. The recipe that I wanted to experiment with called for a pound of salmon, but I decided to try it and cut the recipe in half and make it anyway. I decided upon this recipe because it had a variety of ingredients and it was something that was outside of my comfort zone. If you follow my blog at all you will know that I like to do that every once and awhile.
I loved this recipe, nice flavor. The herbs along with the onion and garlic gave the salmon great flavor and the bread crumb gave it that little crunch that is a good thing. I did make a couple of changes since I was lacking some of the ingredients. It took a little time to put it together, but the end result was well worth the time it took. Serve with a salad for a nice and healthy meal.
Baked Salmon (Adapted from food.com)
As stated this was a half of recipe:
1/4 cup beer (One of substitutes the original recipe called for dry white wine.)
1/2 pound salmon
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 clove garlic minced
Salt and pepper to taste
2 teaspoons of real lemon juice-divided (Another one of my substitutes the original recipe call for 1 lemon)
1 Tablespoon olive oil - divided
Tomato thinly sliced enough slices to cover the fish (about 1/4 of a medium tomato)
Onion thinly sliced enough slices to cover the fish (about 1/4 of a medium onion)
1 tablespoon fresh parsley leaves or 1 teaspoon dried parsley leaves
1/8 cup of dried bread crumbs
1. Spray a shallow baking pan with nonstick cooking spray
2. Add beer. If you have the dry white wine feel free to use that. (I know that beer is not the best substitute for wine, but it was all that I had in the house to use. And actually I think the beer was fine in the recipe).
3. Place fish in pan, and sprinkle with oregano, garlic, salt, and pepper.
4. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of lemon and 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil.
5. Top evenly with tomato and onion slices and chopped parsley.
6. Drizzle with remain lemon juice.
7. Mix bread crumbs with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle over the veggies that top the salmon.
8. Bake in a 450 degree oven for about 8 to 10 minutes or until fish flakes easily.
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
I have joined yet another challenge. It is called the Blue Ribbon Challenge and is sponsored by Anna over at Crunchy Creamy Sweet. This month's challenge features mousse any way that you want to make it. Being that I am the chocolate lover that I am and anyone that comes to my blog will know this; I made chocolate mousse. Surprise! I guess that is not too much of a surprise is it.
I know chocolate mousse is not really all that exciting, but I like this recipe because even the serving dish is made of chocolate. Yep, that is right the serving dish is made of chocolate as well. It can't get much better than that. Here is what you do - take cup cake liners, melted chocolate, and pastry brush and using the brush you coat the inside of the cup cake liners with the melted chocolate. You repeat this two or three times, after each coating you set it in the refrigerator to harden. Once you have completed this task and the chocolate is hardened you simply peel off the paper cup and you have your little serving dish.
I made it chocolate mousse cups for my daughter and some of her friends a few years ago. They enjoyed it and it was fun to make. This time around though with the heat that we have been having the chocolate was a little harder to work with and the chocolate cups did not turn out quite as I would have hoped for. But my kids loved them and I didn't hear any complaints. I found my recipe in the Mrs. Fields I Love Chocolate! Cookbook
So head on over to Crunchy Creamy Sweet and see all the mousse creations that everyone made. Thank you Anna for sponsoring this challenge it was a fun one. I can't wait to see what everyone has made for this challenge.
Chocolate Mousse Cups (Mrs. Fields I love Chocolate! Cookbook)
2 cups whipping cream
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a small heavy saucepan, bring 1/2 cup of the whipping cream to simmer. Remove from heat, stir in the chocolate, and cover. Set aside for 5 minutes, then stir until smooth. Transfer the chocolate to a large bowl.
In another bowl, with the electric mixer, beat the remaining 1 1/2 cups cream with the sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form. Fold one-third of the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture to lighten it. Gently fold in the remaining whipped cream.
Chocolate Dessert Cups:
With a small pastry brush, coat the insides of paper muffin cup liners with melted chocolate. Chill the cups to set the chocolate and then brush on a second coat. If desired for a sturdier cup, add a third coat. When the final coating is set, carefully peel off the paper.
Monday, June 18, 2012
I hope that everyone had a great Father's Day this weekend. I wanted to make something special for Mike on Sunday since it was Father's Day. Mike has been a great father to our four children and really deserves something special on a day that honors fathers. He loves blueberries, lemon, and quick breads, so I started looking for a recipe that would feature all three of these things. I found a wonderful quick bread that included the lemon and blueberries.
This bread is super moist along with the wonderful flavor that the lemon gives it. After the bread is done baking you pour a lemony glaze over the bread, which is where the moistness comes from. But I went one step further. I made a powder sugar icing and used some grated lemon peel that I had left over from the bread to make it just a little bit more lemony and sweet. You see Mike loves his frosting/icing just about on anything and since it was Father's Day I had to give him what he loves.
Mike loved his bread along with our kids who had to sample it too. This bread is great for any occasion and is so easy to make. I hope you will give a try.
Lemon Blueberry Bread (Adapted from tasteofhome.com)
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1 tablespoons grated lemon peel
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon lemon rind
1/2 cup powder sugar
1/2 teaspoon soft butter
1 tablespoon milk
In a large bowl, beat the butter, sugar, lemon juice, and eggs. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; stir into egg mixture alternately with milk, beating after each addition. Fold in the blue berries and lemon peel.
Transfer to a greased 8 inch x 4 inch loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 60 to 70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Combine glaze and pour after it is taken out of the oven. Cool 10 minutes and remove pan to wire rack and cool completely. Combine the ingredients for the icing and drizzle over the bread.
Friday, June 15, 2012
This is something; I have baked two different bananas recipes in less than a month. This is more than I have baked in a whole year when it comes to bananas. Don't get me wrong I love bananas, but I guess you could say that I am a chocolate loving girl when it comes to baking. I am the type that love to make banana bread, but that is about as far as it gets when it comes to bananas.
I actually made these roasted banana cupcakes for the Martha Stewart Cupcake Club (MSCC). I was invited to join in on the fun by Ros over at The More Than Occasional Baker. She is hosting the cupcake club this month and is the one that picked the roasted banana cupcakes for everyone to bake. Each month the host of the MSCC chooses a recipe from Martha Stewart's Cupcake book for the participants to bake (you can change the recipe up if you so desire). In order to join this cupcake club you should own Martha Stewart's Cupcake book and you also must have a blog. Each month the recipe that is chosen is posted by the bloggers on the15th of the month.
Now back to the cupcakes. The bananas are actually roasted in there skins in the oven for 15 minutes and cooled before they are added to the batter. Yes, I said roasted in there skins. When you take them out of the oven after the 15 minutes are up the skins of the banana are totally black, but when you open the bananas up the bananas are soft and yummy. I do have to say that I was a little skeptical about the whole roasting thing, but do not fear the cupcakes are wonderful. MY cupcakes were a little firmer than most cupcakes that I have made in the past, but they have that nice banana taste.
There was no complaining at my house when I made these roasted banana cupcakes, only smiles and happy tummies. I will not be posting the recipe for this post, part of the rules of the baking club. Recipe from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes - Page 140-141.
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Just like everyone else I am always looking for those recipes that everyone in the family will like and yes simple to make. I found a great one when I came across a recipe called bacon cheeseburger roll-up. I did have to change it; I have one person that will not eat bacon. My daughter Krista is not a bacon lover so I decided to change this bacon roll-up to a pizza roll-up. Actually the pizza one was more appealing to me too.
The nice thing about this roll-up is there is just a ton of ways that you could make. Let your imagination go wild. The recipe called for a package of refrigerator pizza crust, which I did not have so I made my own pizza dough. I used a pound of lean ground beef, but you could use ground turkey, pork, Italian sausage, or what ever ground meat you prefer. I seasoned the ground beef with a few pizza seasonings which I will list later and served it with pizza sauce. Yum!
The night that I wanted to serve this roll up I actually had an appointment after work, so I decided to make it the night before and set it in the refrigerator until the next day. Just make sure that you cool your meat completely before rolling it up in the dough if you are not going to bake it right away. That way when Mike came home the next day he could pop it in the oven and he had his dinner in no time. I would bet that you could probably even freeze this for a later date.
Serve it with a salad and this pizza roll up with be the perfect quick meal. Both young and old will love it. If you don't like the idea of the pizza roll-up make it your own way. I hope you will give this a try and enjoy a quick and delicious meal.
Pizza Style Roll-up (Adapted from Kraft Food & Family Deliciously Simple. Everyday. Spring 2007)
1 pound of lean ground beef
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
Salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 mozzarella cheese
1 package (13.8 ounces) refrigerated pizza crust (or you can your favorite pizza crust recipe).
Add ground beef to a large skillet along with the onion powder, Italian seasoning, fennel seeds, salt, and pepper. Cook over medium-high heat until ground beef is evenly browned, stirring occasionally. Drain any grease that may be in the skillet. Add the mozzarella and stir until blend and cheese has melted (don't worry if it is not completely melted); set aside.
Unroll pizza dough onto baking dish sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Press into 15x8- inch rectangle. Top evenly with meat mixture. (If not baking right away make sure that the meat is thoroughly cooled all the way). Roll up dough, starting at one of the long sides. Rearrange, if necessary, so roll is seam side down on the baking sheet.
Bake 20 to 25 minutes in a preheated 375 degree F oven. (If the roll is made the day before take the roll out of the refrigerator while the oven is heating up and bake for about 30 minutes) or until golden brown. Cut into slices and top with your favorite pizza sauce.
Note: You can add your favorite pizza toppings to the meat such as onions or green peppers or what ever you prefer. Add these to your meat as it is cooking)
Monday, June 11, 2012
We love coffee cakes at our house. I like to make them for Sunday morning for a nice simple breakfast. I like to make the ones that are simple and usually topped with cinnamon and sugar. When I stumbled across this recipe on Pinterest I thought it would be one that my family would enjoy and it didn't look too difficult to make.
The recipe was from bettycrocker.com and the original called for strawberry preserves and sliced almonds. I had blueberries left over from my smoothie that I had made for my monthly cooking challenge, so I thought I would use half blueberries and half strawberries. And for the sliced almonds I knew there would be a few people that would be eating this brunch cake that wouldn't be pleased to see almonds sitting on top of this brunch cake.
We enjoyed the brunch cake, but to my taste I think it could have just a bit more sweetness to it. But it could be that my berry mixture was not as sweet as the preserve would have been. So if you are using the berry mixture taste it when you are preparing it and you can add a little more sugar if you like. I tried the brunch cake when it was warm and after it was cooled completely and found that the flavor was better when it was cooled. The cake stayed very nice for a couple days. Over all we liked this brunch cake, it was easy to make and I think if you make it you may find that you like it too.
Berry Cream Brunch Cake (Adapted from bettycrocker.com)
1 tablespoon water
1/2 cup sliced strawberries
1/2 cup blueberries
2-3 teaspoons (can add more if you desire a sweeter taste)
Place all ingredients into a small sauce pan. Take potato masher and crush berries slightly. Cook over medium heat until mixture is reduced to about half stirring constantly. This will take 1 to 2 minutes. Take of burner and let cool until room temperature.
Cream Cheese Filling:
1 package (8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar (can add more if you desire a sweeter filling)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 large egg
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup cold butter or margarine
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/2 cup sliced almonds (optional)
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease bottom and side of 10-inch springform pan or 11x7 inch (2 quart) glass baking dish with shortening; lightly flour.
2. In small bowl, mix filling ingredients until smooth; set aside.
3. In large bowl, mix 2 1/4 cups flour and 3/4 cup sugar. Cut in butter, using pastry blender or fork until mixture looks like course crumbs. Reserve 1 cup of the crumb mixture. Stir baking soda, salt, sour cream, vanilla extract, and egg into remaining crumb mixture. Spread batter over bottom and 2 inches up side (about 1/4 inch thick) of pan.
4. Pour filling over batter. Carefully spoon the cooled berry mixture over filling. (If using almond add to the reserved crumbs). Sprinkle the reserved crumb mixture of the berry filling.
5. Bake springform pan 50 to 60 minutes. 11x7 inch dish 35 to 45 minutes or until filling is set and crust is deep brown. Cool 15 minutes remove side of springform pan Serve warm is desired. Store covered in refrigerator. Makes about 16 servings.
(Note if substituting strawberry preserves for the blueberry sauce use 1/2 cup)
Thursday, June 7, 2012
It's time for the June Crazy Cooking Challenge. This challenge is being sponsored by Tina from Mom's Crazy Kitchen. The June challenge was to find a smoothie recipe, make it, and put a post on your blog about it.
Normally when I am getting ready for one of these cooking challenges I will head over to Pinterest to find a recipe. But this time I knew exactly where I was going to find the recipe for this challenge. Mary at Barefeet In The Kitchen has so many smoothie recipes; you will have a hard time to choose which one you will want to try. They all look so wonderfully yummy. You could probably be said that she is the queen of smoothies.
I chose the strawberry blueberry banana smoothie because I knew that it would be something that Mike would try. Mary has several that include things like spinach and kale which I know I would have enjoyed, but not so sure with Mike. Also I liked the fact that this did not have any ice in it, not sure why but I don't think ice and smoothies should go together. I guess I am afraid that it will taste watered down. I love that this smoothie used frozen fruit instead.
We loved this smoothie, it was thick, and great combination of fruit. We used honey to help with adding a little sweetness to the smoothie. You can use as much or as little of the honey to go along with your taste and also the sweetness of the fruit. So you end up with a great tasting smoothie and also a healthy treat.
Please check out Mary's blog at Barefeet In The Kitchen you will be amazed at all the wonderful recipes that she has on her blog. Also thanks Tina at Moms Crazy Cooking for sponsoring this cooking challenge again for the month Of June.
Strawberry Blueberry Banana Smoothie (Barefeet In The Kitchen)
2 cups of milk (whole or 2 % works well)
2 frozen bananas, ripe and sweet
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
8-10 frozen strawberries
1- 2 tablespoons honey, adjust to your taste
Layer it all into the blender in the above order and then turn on blender. Pour into glasses when it reaches the consistency that you like.
This will make approximately (3) 12-16 ounce servings.
Note: With fruit smoothies, the sweetness of the frozen fruits will have a direct impact on the flavor of the smoothies. The same combination of ingredients that tasted perfect one day, might need and extra boost of sweetener another day. Play with the ingredients to find the perfect smoothie combination for your tastes.
Monday, June 4, 2012
I love to post about old family recipes. It is so great when a recipe is passed down from generation to generation. Here is another one of those recipes. Once again this was something that my mom made for me and my siblings when I was a kid. This is one of those recipes that brings a smile to my family's faces when they hear that I am making patty rolls. One of the nice things for the baker of this recipe is that they are simple to make and they really don't take a lot of time to make.
You may wonder what a patty roll is. I would describe as a sweet roll, but yet it is a little bit like a biscuit. Not that this patty roll is flaky like a biscuit, but it is a little drier like a biscuit. If that makes sense. The dough itself is not overly sweet, but you add cinnamon and sugar just as you would a sweet roll. The dough is made the night before you are going to make it, which is nice if you don't want to take a lot of time in the morning.
To get the true experience of these patty rolls I guess you will just have to make them and experience them first hand. I am sure that they will bring a smile to your face and who ever is lucky enough to experience them with you. So I hope that you will give them a try. Enjoy!!
Old Fashioned Patty Rolls (My mom's recipe)
4 cup flour
1 cup shortening
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 packet of yeast
1 cup milk (scalded and cooled)
Mix flour, shortening, sugar, and salt as for pie crust. Dissolve yeast in cooled milk. Add eggs and beat. Add all this to first mixture. Mix well and set in refrigerator overnight. In the morning divide dough in 4 parts. Roll out lightly to about a 10 to12 inch circle and spread with soft butter, sugar, and cinnamon (like you would for sweet rolls). Cut into pie shape pieces, eight pieces for each circle. With the widest side of the pie shape fold the dough over to about 1/3 of the way and then with the pointed side bring that over the part that you just folded over and tuck end under the roll. Place on greased baking pan and let rise for about 45 minutes. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Place on wire rack and cool completely. Frost with a powder sugar icing. These rolls freeze nicely and even if you don't freeze them they will keep nice for a few days.