Gobble Gobble

November 21, 2012

Now that Thanksgiving is upon us, everyone is looking for that perfect turkey recipe.   The one that will have everyone going back for seconds and thirds until it’s time to crash on the couch and watch football..only to get up a few hours later to make a sandwich with the leftovers.

A dear friend recently shared the recipe her four-year-old son came up with in school when asked to scribe a turkey recipe for Thanksgiving.  Although, I do not recommend following these instructions for your Thanksgiving dinner, it is just too cute not to share!

Grant’s Turkey Recipe

There are two secrets to perfect egglant parmesan:

  1. peeling
  2. sweating

The skin of an eggplant is quite bitter and can ruin the whole dish.  Be sure to take a few extra minutes to peel your eggplant before slicing it.

Eggplant is packed with water.  To make it fry up crisp, you want to draw some of the water out.  To do that, you want to “sweat” the eggplant.  That means you will slice it and salt each side, very generously.  After just a few minutes, you will notice beads of “sweat” on the slices.  That is the moisture being drawn out.  After about 30 minutes, rinse the slices with water, pat dry, and they’re ready to get dressed for the frying pan!

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Nothing quite makes my mouth water like freshly fried eggplant. Especially when there is a pot of homemade marinara close by.

Eggplant Parmesan {+Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Sauce}

Ingredients

Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3 roasted red peppers, peeled, seeded and chopped (you can used jarred, or make at home)
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes and juices
  • 3 tablespoons freshly chopped italian parsley
  • 3 tablespoons freshly chopped basil leaves
  • 1/2 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Sugar, to taste

Eggplant:

  • 2 cups breadcrumbs
  • Oliv oil, for greasing dish (I use myMisto)
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped Italian parsley
  • 1/2  tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 medium eggplants (about 2 1/4-pounds), cut into round slices (it’s your preference how thick you want to slice them, my husband likes them really thin) and sweated
  • All-purpose flour, for dredging
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Sauce
  • 12 ounces grated mozzarella, plus1/2 pound fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
  • 12 ounces grated fontina
  • 3/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano
  • Fresh basil leaves, torn

For the Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Sauce:

Directions

Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and cook until soft.  Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for 1 minute.  Add the red peppers and cook for 1 minute.

Add the tomatoes, bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 25 to 30 minutes.  Emulsify with a hand blender and process until smooth.  Add the parsley, basil and oregano and season with salt and pepper.  Cook for 10 minutes longer and season with sugar to cut the acidity.

For the Eggplant:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Lightly spray the bottom and sides of a 15 by 10 by 2-inch baking dishwith olive oil and set aside.

Place the bread crumbs into a large shallow bowl.  Add the herbs, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper.  In another medium shallow bowl, whisk the eggs and 2 tablespoons of water together.

Dredge each eggplant slice in the flour, tapping off excess, then dip it in the egg, and finally dredge it in the bread crumb mixture.  Shake off any excess breading and transfer the egg plant to a baking sheet.  Repeat with the remaining eggplant.

Heat 1/2-inch of oil in a large straight-sided saute pans over medium heat .  Working in small batches, fry a few of the eggplant slices, turning once, until golden brown, about 3 minutes per batch.  Using tongs, transfer to a paper towel-lined baking sheet.  Repeat with the remaining eggplant.

Cover the bottom of the prepared baking dish with some of the tomato sauce and arrange 1/2 of the eggplant over the sauce.  Cover the eggplant with some of the sauce, grated mozzarella, fontina, Romano cheese and fresh basil.  Repeat to make 3 layers ending with the sauce. Bake for 20 minutes, until sauce is bubbling. Top with the fresh mozzarella and remaining Romano and bake another 10 minutes, until hot and just beginning to brown. Let rest 10 minutes before serving, slice and serve!

Check out more #SoulWarming dishes from the #SundaySupper community below:

Main Entrees:

Chili/Stews:

Soups:

Desserts/Beverages:

Join on us on Twitter throughout the day during #SundaySupper.  In the evening we will meet at 7pm EST for our weekly #SundaySupper live chat.

All you have to do is follow the #SundaySupper hashtag or you can follow us through TweetChat.

We’d also love to feature your Sunday Supper Soul Warming Recipes on our #SundaySupper Pinterest board and share them with all of our followers, too.

I’ve kind of been obsessed with cooking in the crockpot lately, so when I saw that this apple butter recipe was simmered for 14 HOURS in the crockpot I immediately had to try it.  This takes no time to throw together.  The biggest task is peeling the apples.  After that, just toss everything in the crockpot and cook overnight.  You will be rewarded with this thick, sweet apple butter that is delicious served over a biscuit, stirred into oatmeal or atop a pork chop.

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Your house will smell divine when you wake up to this.

A very important step of this apple butter recipe is selecting your apples. You want half tart and half sweet.  I chose to use four Granny Smith and four Gala apples. This combo was the perfect balance.

Let me know what apples you like to mix!

Easy Apple Butter

printable recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 3/4 pounds apples – peeled, cored and finely chopped (I chopped them in the food processor)
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Directions

Place the apples in a slow cooker. Add the sugar, cinnamon, cloves and salad and mix well. Cover and cook on high 1 hour. Reduce heat to low and cook 9 to 11 hours, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is thick and dark brown Uncover and continue cooking on low 1 hour. Spoon the mixture into a Mason jar and store in the fridge for up to a year.

I’m really loving cooking vegetarian on Mondays.  The challenge of eating meat-free one day a week, has me researching tasty entrees I probably wouldn’t try usually.  This tortellini dish literally blew us away.  I had my vegetarian friend over for dinner and she was also impressed.

I must say, the Georgia Olive Farms Olive Oil really made this dish.  It melded beautifully with the sharp bite of fresh garlic, the herbed pasta and the creamy goat cheese.  This recipe should probably serve four, but Jim and I ate 3/4 of it between the two of us. The only thing that would have made it any better, would be a fresh loaf of french bread to sop up the delicious sauce left at the bottom of the bowl.

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Isn’t that olive oil beautiful?

Fresh Tortellini with Asparagus, Peas & Parsley

printable recipe

  • salt
  • 1/3 cup Georgia Olive Farms Olive Oil
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne
  • 1 lb. fresh cheese tortellini (I used herbed cheese from the Farmer’s Market)
  • 1 lb. thin asparagus, trimmed of tough, woody stems, and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces (leave the tips whole)
  • 1 cup thawed frozen peas
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh Italian Parsley
  • 2 oz. fresh goat cheese, softened
  • black pepper
  • parmesan cheese, grated

In a covered pot, bring well-salted water to a boil over high heat. In a large pasta serving bowl, combine the olive oil, garlic, cayenne, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Cook the tortellini, asparagus, and peas in the boiling water until the tortellini is al dente, about 3 minutes. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water, then drain the pasta and vegetables and toss with the garlic-oil mixture. Add the pine nuts, mint, and goat cheese and stir until the cheese melts into a sauce, adding cooking water as needed to moisten the pasta. Season to taste with salt, pepper and parmesan and serve.

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This bowl was not full for long.

I was very excited about this week’s topic of Dishes in 5 Ingredients or Less, because I just made an amazing batch of these crock pot chicken tacos.  Not only does this recipe use only THREE ingredients, but since the meat is prepared in the crock pot, it’s effortless to throw together and comes out extremely juicy and tender.  Since I cook for the girls in the office, I love to toss all the ingredients in the crock pot before I go to bed and cook on low overnight.  In the morning, I pack the chicken to-go and take it in for lunch.

There is a an endless combination of meals you can make featuring this succulent and zesty chicken.  I like to use a wheat wrap and pile on the chicken, low-fat cheese, lettuce, onion, avocado, etc. for a healthy burrito; top shredded lettuce with cowboy caviar, the chicken taco meat, and drizzle with a balsamic vinaigrette for a flavorful salad; or make nachos by topping tortilla chips with cheese, chicken, cowboy caviar, lettuce and Greek Yogurt.

Whichever way you choose to serve it; it’s guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser!

Crock Pot Chicken Tacos

printable version

This recipe is as easy as…

  1. 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  2. 1 packet taco seasoning
  3. 1 16oz. jar of salsa

Place chicken breasts in crock pot. Cover with taco seasoning and top with salsa.  Seal the lid of the crock pot and turn the crock pot on low.

Cook for eight hours and serve!

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step one

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step two

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step three

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step four

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wake up in the morning to this! smells amazing

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shred and it’s ready to serve!

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taco salad is a delicious way to serve

Check out more delicious 5 Ingredient or Less recipes from the #SundaySupper community below!

Join us, September 30th, 2012 as we share our delicious, mouth-watering recipes! Here’s a sneak peak at what everyone is bringing to our #SundaySupper table. Be sure to stay after dinner at 7pm EST as we share our recipes during our #SundaySupper live chat!

Breakfast, Starters, Butters and Jams:

Main Dishes:

Desserts:

Beverages:

Please be sure you join us on Twitter throughout the day during #SundaySupper. We’ll be meeting up at 7:00 pm (Eastern) for our weekly #SundaySupper  live chat where we’ll talk about our favorite 5 Ingredient Recipes! All you have to do is follow the #SundaySupper hashtag, or you can follow us through TweetChat!  We’d also love to feature your apple recipes on our #SundaySupper Pinterest board and share them with all of our followers!

I made this yesterday for the girls in the office today.  As usual, I tasted a spoonful, to make sure it came out okay.  Oh my goodness.  I had to immediately pack up the salad and stow it in the fridge so I couldn’t have a second, third and fourth bite.  I know this will be a hit for today’s lunch and I will definitely be doubling the batch the next time I make it!

I’m serving it with a Roasted Butternut Squash Soup.  A healthy menu to kick off fall!

Roasted Broccoli and Farro Salad with Feta

printable version

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup farro
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 1 lb. broccoli
  • 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tbs. coarsely chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 Tbs. red wine vinegar

Directions

Pre-heat the oven to 375°F. In a saucepan, bring salted water to a boil over high heat. Bring the farro to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes, then remove from heat, cover and let sit about 10 minutes.  Drain well and transfer to a large bowl.

Meanwhile, remove the broccoli crown from the stem and cut into bitesize florets. Toss the stems or use them in a chicken or vegetable broth. In a baking dish, toss the florets with 2 Tbs. of olive oil. Roast until tender and browned in spots, about one hour. Add the broccoli, feta, scallions, red pepper flakes, and parsley to the farro. Sprinkle with the vinegar and 1 tsp. salt and toss. Drizzle with the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil and toss. Season to taste with more vinegar and salt. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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You won’t miss the meat!

I have to admit. When I saw the #SundaySupper topic was Autumn Apple Party, I thought I might skip this week. I couldn’t think of one dish I’d ever made with apples…and I don’t think dipping them in peanut butter counts.

However, after a bit of thought, I decided to accept the challenge and go outside my comfort zone and try something new. I thought about applesauce or pork chops with apples, but most of the ideas that came to mind were already accounted for.  So, while searching on my favorite recipe website, I stumbled upon this apple salad served in endive and thought not only did it sound tasty, but it’s a great appetizer.  You don’t need utensils and it can be enjoyed in just one, or two, bites.

I tested this recipe on my co-workers earlier this week and it went over okay.  I didn’t follow the recipe to a “t,” and eye-balled everything and it turned out a little too blue-cheesy and mayonnaise-y.  The also didn’t have endive at the Farmer’s Market (well, they had a sign that said “endive” but the lettuce underneath was not endive) so I served it over chopped red lettuce.  It was “eh.”

I made it again last night and followed the recipe almost verbatim (put a little less blue cheese and added pepper) and it came out absolutely delicious — and I found endive at Kroger, whew!  Such a gorgeous presentation and still a hit with the guys that came over to watch football.  Will definitely make again!

P.S. In my hunt for apple recipes, I found an amazing one for apple butter. It may have taken 14 hours to prepare, but it was worth the wait.  I will be sharing that recipe soon!

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Yummy pre-game nibble

Endive Spears Topped With Apple, Blue Cheese and Hazelnut Salad

printable recipe

  • 1 large Gala apple, cored and cut into 1/8-inch dice
  • ¼ cup blue cheese, crumbled
  • 2 celery stalks,chopped
  • 3 Tbs. light mayo
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 “head” of endive, leaves separated 1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped

In a medium bowl, combine the apple, blue cheese, celery, mayonnaise, and lemon juice. Stir gently to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To assemble, mound a small spoonful of the apple mixture onto the core end of each endive leaf. Sprinkle with the hazelnuts and serve.

Here’s our Autumn Apple Party Menu from members of the #SundaySupper community!

Soups, Salads, Starters and Breads

Main Meals

Sides

Desserts

Beverages

Please be sure you join us on Twitter throughout the day during #SundaySupper. We’ll be meeting up at 7:00 pm (Eastern) for our weekly #SundaySupper  live chat where we’ll talk about our favorite apple recipes! All you have to do is follow the #SundaySupper hashtag, or you can follow us through TweetChat!  We’d also love to feature your apple recipes on our #SundaySupper Pinterest board and share them with all of our followers!

Dress Up Your Salad

September 21, 2012

Homemade vinaigrettes are apparently all the rage these days.  Who knew I was ahead of the trend?  I’ve been making them for a while now and the flavor of a homemade dressing simply cannot be beat.  You can mix up the flavors with different kinds of vinegar, herbs and sweeteners.  My favorite is Balsamic Vinegar, but I’ve also used Raspberry Vinegar, Tarragon Vinegar and Red Wine Vinegar.  Fresh thyme is my go-to herb and I go back and forth between brown sugar and agave nectar to sweeten things up.  No matter what, garlic is always involved, as is a little salt and pepper.  I’ve also been known to sub citrus for the vinegar/acidity, so you can make a lemon or lime vinaigrette and even Dijon mustard can make a tasty appearance now and again.

Everyone has a different theory on the ratio that should be used.  I like to go 50/50 with oil/acid.  However, a lot of recipes call for three parts oil to one part vinegar.  It really depends on how you prefer the “tangy-ness” of your dressing, so feel free to play around with the ratios and go with what suits your palate best!
Do you make vinaigrettes at home?  If so, what’s your favorite ingredients to toss in and what ratio do you go by?

BeFunky Warming on iPhone

Always served best in a good ‘ol southern Mason Jar

Basic Vinaigrette

printable recipe

  • 1 cup evoo
  • 1 cup vinegar (I used ½ cup balsamic and ½ cup raspberry)
  • 1 tbs, fresh thyme, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tbs agave nectar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Mix all the ingredients in a Mason Jar, top with the lid, and shake.  Serve immediately or keep in the fridge for up to two weeks.

Dawgs in a Blanket

September 19, 2012

These little apps are great for tailgating or to serve while watching football.  The name is especially appropriate for any Georgia Bulldog fans out there :0)

Depending on kick-off time, you can use breakfast sausage (pictured) or hot dogs.  If you really want to get crazy, you can add cheese, onions or any others fillings you like.  Either way, I promise these little guys will go fast!

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Sweet & Savory: Maple-Brown Sugar Breakfast Sausages wrapped in Low-Fat Croissants

Dawgs in a Blanket

printable recipe

Ingredients

  • One package breakfast sausage
  • Two packages of croissant rolls

Directions
Cook the sausages in a pan on the stove until browned.  On a cutting board, lay out one uncooked croissant roll, lay a cooked sausage in the middle and roll up.  Place the rolled dawgs on a baking sheet and bake according to directions on croissant package. Serve hot!

For anyone that doesn’t get the Spanish translation, it’s “Party in Your Mouth” Enchiladas and they are exactly that.  These easy to prepare, rolls of flavor are so tasty you will want seconds…and thirds…and maybe even fourths.  Shhh, I won’t tell anyone.  When I brought leftovers to work, I practically had to beat my co-workers away with a stick after they tried a bite.

I like to start off this meal with a Chilled Avocado Soup (in the summertime) and serve with Spanish rice.  If you like an extra bit of heat with your meal, this Hot Habanero Relish is an amazing accompaniment!

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Que delicioso!

Chicken and White Bean Enchiladas

printable recipe

For the Chicken and White Bean Filling:

  • 1 tsp evoo
  • ½  white onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (4.5 oz) chopped green chiles
  • 15.5 oz can Cannellini beans
  • 2 cooked shredded chicken breast (I like to boil and shred mine and save the stock to use in the rest of this recipe)
  • ½ cup chicken stock from boiling chicken breast
  • 1 tsp cumin

For the Green Chile Enchilada Sauce:

  • 1 tsp butter
  • 1/2 white onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup chicken broth (from boiling chicken earlier)
  • 7 oz can chopped green chiles
  • 2 jalapeños, chopped (de-seed if you want to go light on the heat)
  • salt
  • ½ cup light Greek yogurt
  • ¾  cup reduced fat Mexican cheese
  • 8 medium whole wheat tortillas
  • chopped fresh cilantro

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375°.

For the Filling:
In a medium pan, heat olive oil on low. Add onions, garlic and saute until soft, about 2-3 minutes. Add green chiles, beans, chicken stock and cumin. Mix well and cover. Simmer on low 15 minutes. Remove cover, add chicken and cook an additional 5 minutes, or until it thickens and liquid boils down. Set aside.

Enchilada Sauce:
In a large nonstick pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens and starts to turn translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add flour and stir well. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Slowly whisk in the chicken broth, until it becomes smooth. Cook over medium heat until the sauce boils and thickens, about 4-5 minutes. Add green chiles, jalapeños, and salt to taste. Cook another minute then remove from the heat. Stir in the Greek yogurt.

Spread about 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 9×13″ baking dish. Fill each tortilla with 1/3 cup of the chicken/white bean filling. Roll the tortillas and place seam side down in the prepared baking dish. Continue filling remainder of the tortillas.

Pour the enchilada sauce over the top of the enchiladas. Top with cheese. Cover with aluminum and bake 20-30 minutes, until the enchiladas are hot and the cheese is melted. Remove from oven and top with LOTS of fresh cilantro…and the Habanero Relish, if you please.

Be sure to check out all the fabulous Mexican recipes from this week’s #SundaySupper group, listed below:

Sopas (Soups), Ensaladas (Salads), and Entremeses (Starters)

La Comida (the food)

Postres (desserts)

Bebidas (beverages)

Please be sure you join us on Twitter throughout the day (this coming Sunday, September 16) during #SundaySupper. We’ll be meeting up at 7:00 pm (Eastern) for our weekly #SundaySupper  live chat where we’ll talk about our favorite recipes for a Mexican Fiesta! All you have to do is follow the #SundaySupper hashtag, or you can follow us through TweetChat!  We’d also love to feature your Mexican Fiesta recipes on our #SundaySupper Pinterest board and share them with all of our followers!

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