Turkey

Spatchcocked Turkey with Champagne-Thyme Gravy & #OXOTurkeyDay Giveaway

The biggest Thanksgiving problem is always how much oven space and time the turkey hogs. Try this sptachcocked turkey that not only takes up less space but is done in 90 minutes!

Friendsgiving 3

Turkey, the Thanksgiving staple. However I actually did try to convince my parents into having smoked ham this year instead but that was meat with instant dismissal. Maybe for Easter. It is true though, all the potatoes, green beans, and stuffing seems better fit for turkey. So a turkey is what I cooked when I hosted Friendsgiving at my friends home, marking only the second time I have ever cooked a Thanksgiving meal and both times in someone else’s kitchen. Thankfully I brought along some trusty OXO tools to make this adventure less stressful than the last time, because cooking in someone else’s kitchen is never as easy as your own.

  • Poultry Lifter – This is one heavy duty tool used to lift your turkey unscathed onto the serving platter.
  • Twine Dispenser – Although I did not need twine for a spatchcocked turkey this is a really handy tool if you do truss your turkey or use twine in other baking/cooking adventures. Pork loin roulade anyone?
  • Angled Baster with Cleaning Brush – Whether you are basting your turkey or sucking up the pan drippings everyone needs a good baster. It even has little feet for resting on the counter.
  • 2 Cup Fat Separator – Easily removes fat from pan drippings, comes with it’s own stopper and strainer, had measurement markings, and is heat-resistant.
  • Stainless Steel Butter Dish – Pass the butter! And don’t worry about butter fingers with this good grips butter dish.

OXO Turkey Day 1
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Turkey and Kale Panini & Stonewall Kitchen Giveaway

This turkey, pepperjack, and kale panini perfected with the addition of maple bacon aioli. Spread it on just about anything and you won’t be sorry.

Turkey and Kale Panini

August is National panini month. Paninis are just fancy grilled cheeses and I happen to love all forms of grilled cheese. This particular version was dreamed up when I received a jar of Stonewall Kitchen’s maple bacon aioli. Bacon makes everything better and the sweetness of the maple seemed perfect for turkey. Then I slapped on a little heat with pepperjack cheese and some healthy stuff in the form of kale. Yea it was good, so much so that I also spread it on top of a steak.

Steak with Maple Bacon Aioli

But I don’t want to be a tease so I am giving away a jar of the aioli to try out for yourself. Just use the Rafflecopter widget located at the bottom of this post. If you need more motivation,  on their website they also had a recipe for hot spinach and artichoke dip with this aioli in it – that has got to be tasty. Get a jar, make it and this sandwich, and then serve it together. And then continue to spread the aioli on everything in sight.

One year ago: Gnocchi with Sausage and Kale

Three years ago: “I Can’t Believe It’s Healthier” Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
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Spicy Mustard & Sweet Potato Turkey Burgers

It’s burger month! Crank up your turkey burgers with spicy mustard and sweet potato, served with spicy mustard-mayo and a pretzel roll.

Burger Month

It’s burger month! A month-long celebration of all things burger hosted by Kita (Pass the Sushi & Girl Carnivore) and joined by 30 other bloggers including myself. Every day this month each one of us is sharing a different burger recipe and to make the deal even more delicious we’re hosting a giveaway with prizes to help get your burger on. Just use the Rafflecopter widget located at the bottom of this post.

My burger is actually a turkey burger. A turkey burger mixed with sweet potato and smokey chipotle mustard, topped with a smokey chipotle mustard-mayo, and served on a pretzel bun. While I was at it I marinaded some zucchini and yellow squash in a mixture of olive oil and the same spicy mustard to grill along with the burgers. You may be thinking that mustard in every component is over-kill but I assure you it is not. The mustard added a different kick of flavor to each part. Why not slather the mustard on the burger bun too while you’re at it?

Spicy Mustard & Sweet Potato Turkey  x

Thanks for chcking out my burger for #burgermonth and an ever bigger thanks to all of the awesome bloggers contributing to this month month burger-fest and of course the fabulous companies that have donated prizes, El Diablo Hot & Spicy Mustard, FireWire Grilling Skewers, Hamilton Beach, KitchenIQ, The Spice House, and Wisconsin Cheese

One year ago: Breakfast Crème Brulee

Three years ago: Mixed Fruit Crumble
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Smoked Sausage with Peppers and Onion

This month I had the pleasure of browsing through the recipes by the very person who gave us The Secret Recipe Club – April of Angels Homestead! Some recipes of hers that I enjoyed included a festive Shamrock Pizza for St. Patrick’s Day, Creamy Salsa Verde, and even a recipe for 2-Ingredient Banana Pancakes using just banana and egg whites. She also just celebrated her 4th blogiversary last week, so head on over and check out her blog (there’s even a giveaway).

I chose to make her recipe for smoked sausage with bell peppers and onion. This recipe takes less than 30 minutes to prepare and couldn’t be easier, making it a perfect weeknight meal. Caramelize the peppers and onion, then add the sausage until heated through. There is no need for a sauce and just some garlic for seasoning. The sweet bell peppers, onion and smoked sausage bring plenty of flavor and moisture all on their own.

Smoked Sausage with Peppers and Onion

Two years ago: Grilled Balsamic Chicken with Mozzarella and Pesto

Three years ago: Cheesy Chicken, Bacon & Avocado Quesadillas
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Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Boats

When I first started this food blogging thing, I submitted several pictures to websites like Tastespotting and Foodgawker only to be consistently rejected. Honestly I cannot blame them as my pictures during those times weren’t that wonderful (as many food bloggers can relate to with their first photos). Now that I have a nice camera and a little more experience, I decided it was time to try them out again. And guess what? I got my first submissions onto both sites yesterday! The Smoked Sea Salt Caramel Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies made it onto both Foodgawker and Tastespotting, and the Cookie Dough Oreo Cake made it onto Tastespotting. Of course several others were rejected but that seems to be pretty typical and I still have plenty of learning to do when it comes to food photography.

Most of the time when my pictures don’t come out perfectly it is because I am in a hurry or don’t have the best lighting. It is especially difficult when you have hungry eaters anxiously waiting to eat the item you are photographing. Take these spaghetti squash lasagna boats for example: the lighting was not ideal but three other people were ready to dig in. I love cooking for more than just myself, but always feel bad making people wait until the photoshoot is done. It is a tricky thing to balance! Lighting aside, these lasagna boats were a delicious, low carb alternative to traditional lasagna with a fun presentation.

Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Boats

One year ago: Cake Batter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Two years ago: Gluten-Free Bananas Foster Muffins

Three years ago: Cashew Chicken
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Quinoa Turkey Meatballs

Per the request of my parents I have been cooking healthier meals. The only problem is that they eat about half as much as I do resulting in me feeling like a little piggy. Regardless, I guarantee I am still eating less than I normally did when I was on my own. I know this because I’ve been getting a lot of headaches, which is typical for when I am not eating enough. Sherrill has reminded me on more than one occasion to eat lunch. If any of my former labmates are reading this they will be shocked because I was nearly always the first one to initiate the “Lunch?” conversation. It’s hard to remember to eat when you’re the only one participating!

But yes, healthier meals are going to be spread across this blog on a more regular basis. I actually made this recipe before the meatloaf cupcakes. They were so darn cute I couldn’t wait to post them. These meatballs also deserve your attention, being made with not only ground turkey but also quinoa in case you were short on your protein intake for the day. These meatballs are great served over pasta, but would also make for a great appetizer.

On an unrelated note, if you didn’t watch the Olympics finale for mens snowboarding halfpipe then don’t read any further. Jump to the recipe and ignore all this. All I have to say is – holy crap Iouri. As for Shaun White and the rest of the USA team – there’s always 2018!

Quinoa Turkey Meatballs

One year ago: Red Velvet Molten Lava Cakes
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Hoisin-Glazed Turkey Meatloaf Cupcakes

I’ve only been here a week and am already loosing track of what day of the week it is, let alone the date. The days are blending together and it’s hard to remember what happened yesterday, or what it two days ago? Speaking of time-warps, I starting digging through my old stuff here and I’ve stumbled across many interesting things: terrible-style clothing from middle school, old tennis and soccer uniforms, prom dresses, and even stuff from former boyfriends. It’s actually been fun recalling memories but now what to do with it all? I think I should just bake up a storm while wearing the prom dresses. I’d totally look like a little baking fairy haha.

Now even though these may look like cupcakes, I did not bake them while wearing a prom dress nor are they sweet dessert items. These “cupcakes” are actually mini meatloaves baked in a muffin pan and topped with whipped sweet potatoes as the “frosting”. I’ve always thought that meatloaves were ugly to photograph and this made for a much more appealing presentation. And I get to say I made/ate cupcakes for dinner O:-).

Hoisin-Glazed Turkey Meatloaf Cupcakes

Two years ago: Valentine’s Day Recipe Roundup (2012)

Three years ago: Nutella Cream Cheese Swirl Heart Brownies
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Pizza Quesadilla

After fleeing the snow and below freezing temperatures in Rochester, NY, returning to 40-50 degrees in Memphis, TN seems like a heat wave and I thoroughly enjoy not requiring my huge winter coat to step outside (although tomorrow there’s a drastic drop into the teens). On the flip side, I am not enjoying sizing up all the things in my apartment in preparation for packing it all up by the end of this month. I have accumulated so much stuff since I last moved 4.5 years ago! Purging must be done, some of which involves food.

I have a habit of stocking up on essentials whenever I see them on sale. As a result, I have a lot of canned and boxed food items stacked up in my pantry, awaiting the apocalypse. This stock-pile has come in handy throughout the years at times of minimal funds, but I have no intention in moving it all. It will be fiscally beneficial to my ever-dwindling checking account to consume what I have instead of going out to buy more food anyway (I’ll still be buying some fresh food, for my sanity). So let the battle of pantry cooking begin! To start off this adventure, how about a pizza quesadilla?

Pizza Quesadilla

Two years ago: Gluten-Free Brownie Cookies

Three years ago: Blue-Cheese Scalloped Potatoes
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Quick Turkey Noodle Soup

Last Sunday I showed you how to cook a Thanksgiving meal for two with a little bit leftover to enjoy another day. Today I sharing a fun way to utilize Thanksgiving leftovers, inspired by my grandmother and her ability to make soup out of anything.

When I first decided to make a noodle soup with leftover turkey, I realized that gravy is literally reduced stock (assuming you cook down the turkey juices to make gravy) and therefore could be reconstituted in this soup. Take a moment to bask in my glorious realization. Of course you could use premade stock or a store-bought stock concentrate but if you have gravy you may as well use it! After how delicious my gravy turned out, I couldn’t see how it could possibly be a bad idea.

 Quick Turkey Noodle Soup

One year ago: Gluten-Free Ooey Gooey Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

Two years ago: Pecan Chocolate Chip Gooey Butter Cake

Three years ago: Matzo Ball Soup
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Thanksgiving Dinner for Two

Normally for Single Serving Sunday I try to share recipes that only make one serving, but with the upcoming Thanksgiving feast I decided to do something special – a Thanksgiving meal that serves two. Many recipes for Thanksgiving produce a magnitude of servings, but what about the people out there only cooking for two, or four? This menu I have prepared easily serves 2 with leftovers. Because who doesn’t want leftovers from Thanksgiving? That being said, the turkey could serve four but if you have hearty eaters you may want to double the sides.

This dinner consists of a slow cooker turkey tenderloin with gravy, Greek yogurt-rosemary rolls, bagel-bacon stuffing, roasted brussels, twice baked sweet potatoes, cranberry-pomegranate sauce, and pumpkin crème brulee for dessert. Take a moment to be jealous.

 Crockpot Turkey Tenderloin

My turkey tenderloin came out so juicy and flavorful that it will be hard to convince me to cook a whole turkey in the future. It literally fell apart when I lifted it out of the pot. By using a slow cooker I was also able to do whatever the heck I wanted in the oven, which is a huge perk for those of us with only one oven (one day I hope to be spoiled with a double oven). Even the gravy was amazing after cooking in all those delicious juices.

Crockpot Turkey Tenderloin with Gravy

As you are aware, I have a habit of adding Greek yogurt to anything I possibly can so it shouldn’t be a surprise that it shows up here in dinner rolls. The rosemary really sold me on these rolls. If you don’t like rosemary, please substitute for another herb because they will rock your world with their subtle herby-ness. You can also prep these the day beforehand and refrigerate before the last rise. The next day, take them out of the fridge about 30 minutes before you want to bake them.

Greek Yogurt-Rosemary Dinner Rolls

Then there’s the stuffing. I’ve seen stuffing made with all types of bread but this was the first recipe I had seen using bagels. I originally set aside two corn muffins for stuffing, but those were thrown into the freezer once I discovered I could use a bagel instead. I freaking love bagels! And I was not disappointed by the trade-off, especially since there was bacon involved.

Bagel and Bacon Stuffing

For a green side I chose brussels sprouts. Only a couple Thanksgivings ago I discovered that I no longer hated them and actually became obsessed. As a result, they are nostalgic to me at this time of year. Just a simple roasting and a drizzle of balsamic is all they needed.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Growing up we usually had both regular mashed potatoes and mashed sweet potatoes but knew I would burst if I tried to add both onto this already long lineup. I went with a twice baked sweet potato that is topped with pecans and coconut. Although it is less sweet than a marshmallow topping, it has a crunchier topping that will make you forget about those puffy white things (no offense marshmallows, I still love you).

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes

No Thanksgiving dinner is complete without some cranberry sauce. This version uses pomegranate juice for a more complex flavor. This can be made the day beforehand or even a few days before to minimize the amount of work you have to do on the big day. But if you do have to whip it up the same day, rest assured that it will only take 20 minutes.

Cranberry-Pomegranate Sauce

Of course, once you’ve stuffed your face you’ll still find room for dessert, right? Especially for pumpkin crème brulee. I know you may initially think it’s a crime to not have pumpkin pie but it’s basically pumpkin pie and crème brulee all in one. Are you really going to be upset by having both?

Pumpkin Creme Brulee 1

Now for some tips on how I timed everything in order to be hot and ready all at the same time. An hour before turkey is done cooking (mine only took 4 hours), take rolls out of fridge (if prepared the night before), toast the bagel for stuffing, and prep the brussels sprouts. Bake the stuffing and brussels at the same time and with 20 minutes of cook time remaining, add the sweet potatoes and rolls to the oven. At that time, remove the turkey from the slow cooker and prepare the gravy. Slice up the turkey and serve! Then once your belly has digested a little to make room for dessert, torch the creme brulee just before you’re ready to dig in.

 Pumpkin Creme Brulee 2

One year ago: Buckeye Cupcakes

Two years ago: Apple Blackberry Pie

Three years ago: Cranberry Sauce
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