Friday, April 30, 2010

Apple Turkey Burgers

Turns out, I get very lazy about cooking when I'm pregnant (and writing about cooking - I apologize for missing the past two weeks). So I'm grateful for quick, easy meals like this one that I can turn to when I don't have the energy to cook. I like these best topped with a sweet barbecue sauce and cheddar, but you can use whatever you normally like on your burgers.

Apple Turkey Burgers

1.5 pounds ground turkey
¼ cup applesauce
1 egg
1 teaspoon McCormick's Chicken Seasoning
2 teaspoons garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste
Hamburger buns (for 6 patties)
Burger toppings of your choosing

Combine all ingredients except buns. Shape into six patties. Cook either on Foreman grill or in a skillet over medium to medium-high heat until cooked through.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Honey Lime Chicken with Rice


4 chicken breast
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup lime juice
1/2 cup honey

In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, lime juice and honey, stirring well. Put chicken in a Ziploc bag and pour sauce over top. Refrigerate for about 1 hour, turning every 15-20 minutes. Remove from marinade and cook (either on grill or in oven for 350' for 35 to 45 minutes).


lime juice

Cook rice with chopped onions. Right before serving, pour lime juice over top, mix and serve.

Notes: Chicken: This recipe is a freezer meal recipe. If freezing, place container in freezer after 1 hour of marinating in the frig. Then to cook, Thaw chicken in refrigerator overnight. Remove chicken from marinade and BBQ on the grill, or cook in the oven at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes until juices run clear and thermometer registers 165'F.
I made this as a trial for a freezer meal class I am co-teaching with Michelle. It is a summer winner! I love it. I did not freezer it, so I am not sure how it freezes. I do have extra from my first try, so I am freezing it. I hope it turns out. I am thinking it will be even better as the chicken marinades even more. I would add a little salt and pepper before I grill it next time, for a little more flavor.
Rice: I actually love this rice recipe. I added it once to rice because I had extra lime juice from a fresh juiced lime. It adds so much flavor to the rice. Now whenever I can, I try to add fresh juice to rice. I add right before serving and not during cooking (some juices change flavor during cooking). I have added lemon, lime, or orange juice. Stir well to make sure all rice received the added flavor. If you have never done it, 1-2 Tablespoons is usually enough. Taste to make sure you put enough on the rice.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Homemade Granola Bars

So today I was watching the Barefooted Contessa on TV and she made homemade Granola Bars. Well I have been looking for a recipe for a while. So I tried them (with modifications) and love it. So I thought I would share. I will adjust the recipe for what I made. Here you go...

2 cups old-fashion oatmeal
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup shredded coconut, loosely packed
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
1/4 cup flax seed (whole or grounded)
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup honey
1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup dried cranberries
2/3 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter in an- 8 X 12 inch baking dish and line with parchment paper.
Toss the oatmeal, almonds, and coconut together on a sheet pan and back for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in the wheat germ and flax seed.
Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degree F.
Place the butter, honey, brown sugar, and vanilla in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook and stir for a minute, then pour over the toasted oatmeal mixture. Add the cranberries and chocolate chips and stir well.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Wet your fingers and lightly press the mixture evenly into the pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until light golden brown. Cool for at least 2-3 hours before cutting into squares. Serve at room temperature.

Notes: The Barefooted Contessa made her with chopped pitted dates (1/2 cup), chopped dried apricots (1/2 cup) and dried cranberries (1/2 cup). I LOVE cranberries and chocolate together and thought it would make a great granola bar. The only problem was that the chocolate chips melted immediately, so there are not really chocolate chips in there, but it is really good. Next time I may try adding the chocolate chips a little later when things cool down, but overall it was very, very good. I may try different combinations of dried fruits later on. We will see. I also added ground flax seed (and if you know me, this should be no surprise-- I love adding it to everything I bake!!!!). I hope you enjoy.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Easy Paella

Sometimes you just need a good, easy summer-y dish. This one fits the bill. It isn't authentic but it is fast and flexible with the ingredients, and the best part is that you only dirty one pot. Here is what you need:

1 bag yellow rice
some kind of meat/seafood (a good way to use up leftovers)
vegetables (we like tomatoes and bell peppers, but you could use asparagus, peas, artichoke hearts, or any leftovers you have.)
onion, chopped
herbs of choice (parsley is good)

This is what I do. It is a basic approximation, and I'm sure I don't always do things the "right" way, so feel free to adapt it any way you'd like.

Heat up some olive oil in a large skillet. If your meat isn't already cooked, salt and pepper it and then brown it in the oil with the onion (and garlic if you'd like). Remove. Brown veggies. Put meat back in. Put in a can of whole tomatoes, using some of the juice to de-glaze the pan. Let the flavors meld for a few minutes. Then put in some more water and add the rice. (Sometimes I cook the rice separately and add it at the end, which is easier--and you really can't tell much of a difference in flavor.) Cover and cook for 10 minutes or so or until rice is done. Crack a couple of eggs over the top and stir it around until the eggs have cooked. Add herbs of choice.

If you have fresh tomatoes or a similar vegetable, it is best to wait until the end to add them or they might get overcooked.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Roasted Potatoes

One of my all time favorite recipes is Oven Roasted Potatoes. It is super simple and taste wonderful.

baby yukon gold or baby red potatoes (in one package from the grocery store)
extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
fresh rosemary

Preheat oven to 425'
cut potatoes in half (really large ones, quarter)
place EVOO at bottom of baking sheet. We use stoneware, so it may cook slightly different on a normal baking sheet. but well worth the stoneware. Then place salt, pepper, and fresh rosemary (pull from stem, but don't cut) on bottom of sheet above the EVOO. Then place potatoes cut side down.
Place in oven for 30-45 minutes or so. When done, the cut side will be golden brown and a fork will easily fork into potato.
Serve with meat, chicken or whatever else you choose.

I really love rustic cooking and this is as rustic as you get. 5 ingredients, one baking sheet, simple, pure and delicious. Could you really ask for anything more? I personally prefer baby yukon gold potatoes, but either one is delicious. It is also very impressive with meat dishes if you put the potatoes at the bottom then the meat at the top. Plus if you really want to be easy you could put roughly chopped carrots with the potatoes for a colorful variation.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Chicken Pot Pie

I know of two sure-fire ways to get Emily to eat her vegetables. One is to stir vegetable baby food into her pancake batter before cooking it (hey, desperate times). The other is to make this chicken pot pie. When I made it this week, she ate more of it than I did. The sauce came from this recipe at, but I've tweaked the meats and veggies to fit my family's preferences. I like to make the insides during Emily's nap, and then stick them in the fridge until I'm ready to pour it into the crust and bake it.

Chicken Pot Pie

1 large chicken breast, diced
1 cup sliced carrots
3/4 cup frozen green peas
1/2 cup sliced celery
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
2/3 cup milk
2 (9 inch) unbaked pie crusts

Preheat oven to 425.
Combine chicken, carrots, peas, and celery in a saucepan. Add water to cover and boil for 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
In a saucepan over medium heat, cook onions in butter until soft and translucent. Stir in flour, salt, pepper, and celery seed. Slowly stir in chicken broth and milk. Simmer over medium-low heat until thick. Remove from heat and set aside.
Place the chicken/veggie mixture in the bottom crust. Pour the sauce over the mixture, then cover with top crust. Seal edges, cut away the extra dough, and make slits so the steam can escape.
Bake for roughly 30 minutes.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Chocolate Passion Trifle

I love trifles because the layering process make a simple combination of ingredients seem special. I make this in a large trifle dish, but it would also work well in parfait glasses for individual servings.

Chocolate Passion Trifle

One pan of your favorite brownies, baked (I love Ghirardelli Triple Chocolate)
3 cups cold milk
2 pkg. (4-serving size each) instant chocolate pudding
1 tub cool whip French Vanilla flavor, thawed
1 pt. (2 cups) raspberries, thawed if frozen

Pour milk into large bowl Add dry pudding mixes. Beat with wire whisk 2 minutes or until well blended. Gently stir in 1 cup of the whipped topping.

Place half of the brownie cubes in 2 quart serving bowl; top with half the pudding mixture, half the raspberries, and half the whipped topping. Repeat all layers.

Refrigerate at least 1 hour or until ready to serve. Store leftovers in refrigerator.