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Open face turkey sandwiches

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Mike put in a request for this one awhile back. He recently brought it up again, so I figured it was time to give it a try. This really fits the bill for him, a piece of white bread, topped with turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy. Man pleasing at it’s finest. 

This was a first for me, so I did a little research and ended doing a hybrid of a couple different recipes that I found. One for the turkey in a crockpot, one for the gravy and then I used my own for the mashed potatoes. I was struggling a bit with how white the whole meal was going to be, so I mashed up sweet potatoes for my meal and I liked the flavor they added.

Turkey (adapted from Skinny Taste)

  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 onion, cut into quarters
  • 2 carrots, cut into thin circles
  • 6 garlic cloves, pressed (or chopped small if you don’t have a press)
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup white wine (really whatever you have in your fridge)
  • 2 tbsp fresh sage
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 lb turkey breast, with skin on
  • salt and pepper

Start by melting butter over medium heat and adding chopped onion and carrot, garlic. Cook for about 6-8 minutes. Stir in flour so it coats all the veggies. I added another 1/2 tbsp of butter here because the flour was really clumpy. Stir in one cup of broth and whisk together for about 2 minutes or until the mixture thickens up. Pour into your crockpot. 

Add additional cup of broth, water, wine, sage and bay leaves to your crockpot mixture and stir together. Place turkey breast into crockpot, skin side up, and season with s&p. Cook for about 5 to 7 hours on low, or until turkey starts to fall apart. 

For the gravy, strain the liquid left in the crockpot into a pan and heat over medium heat. Whisk together 1/3 cup broth and 2 tbsp flour and whisk into the liquid mixture. Keep whisking until it starts to tighten up. Add in 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme and fresh rosemary and keep warm over low heat until ready to serve.

And last but not least, the potatoes. Chop potatoes into fourths and add to a large pot of water. If you decide to do sweet potatoes also, you can add to the same pot. Bring water to a boil and cook until tender. Drain potatoes and add 1/3 cup milk, 2 tbsp butter, 2 tbsp sour cream, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary and s&p. Mash together to your desired consistency.

To create the open faced sandwich, place one slice of bread (I used sourdough because I love it) on the plate, top with a little gravy, 2-3 slices of turkey, a scoop of potatoes and another healthy pour of gravy and serve. 

 

Lightened up potato salad

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In true fourth of July form, it’s been a weekend filled with pasta salad, potato salad, burgers, hot dogs, the list goes on. You all know what I’m talking about. And don’t get me wrong, these things are great, but sometimes fall into the not so great for you category. I found this recipe for potato salad and was turned off by the amount of mayo in the ingredient list. Then I thought to myself, “I bet I could switch out most of the mayo for greek yogurt and no one would even notice.”

And that is just what I did. 

(Adapted from Epicurious)

Greek yogurt potato salad

  • 3 lb baby red potatoes
  • 3 tbsp unseasoned rice vinegar (I used red wine vinegar because we didn’t have unseasoned)
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  • 3 sliced green onions
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
  • 1 1/2 tsp finely grated lemon peel

Cook whole potatoes in a large pot of boiling water over medium-high heat, about 20. I did this step the night before and kept the cooked potatoes in the fridge overnight. Let the potatoes cook completely before chopping.

Cut potatoes into bite-sized pieces. Combine additional ingredients in a large bowl. Mix in potatoes and season with salt and pepper. Keep in the fridge until ready to serve. One tip, the longer this sits before you serve, the better the flavors will come together. Try to wait at least an hour.

The salad was a big hit, as you can tell there was nothing left. 

I told Mike about the switch and he said “I knew something tasted different.” I’ll take that as an ok to make again.

Tres leche cake

I learned so many great things at my food blogging class at The Loft last Saturday and I can’t wait to try out some new ideas, but first things first. I must tell you about the amazing cake my amazing husband made for me for my birthday.

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I came home from class and Mike was busy slaving away over the stove. Not only did he made a cake, he used the Kitchenaid to whip egg whites and fold them into the batter. Shocking really, considering the last thing he made was mac and cheese out of the box. 

I could go on, homemade whipping cream, chopped fruit for the topping. Really everything about the creation of this cake was pretty impressive. AND it tasted wonderful. 

Ingredients (adapted from The Pioneer Woman)

  • 1 cup All-purpose Flour
  • 1-1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 5 whole eggs
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 1 tsp vanilla (we didn’t have any so Mike used rum, turned out awesome!)
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 1 can sweetened, condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

Icing:

  • 1 pint heavy cream, for whipping
  • 3 tbsp sugar

Start by combining flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Separate the yolk from the egg whites for all five eggs.

Beat egg yolks with 3/4 cup sugar on high until mixture turns pale yellow. Stir in milk and vanilla (or in Mike’s case, rum). Pour egg yolk mixture over the flour mixture and stir very gently until combined, be sure not to over mix.

Next, add egg whites to mixer and beat on high until soft peaks form. Add in remaining 1/4 cup sugar and beat until egg whites are stiff, again don’t overmix here.

Fold egg white mixture into the yolk and flour batter. Be very gentle, only fold, don’t mix. Spray baking pan with cooking spray. Pour into 9×13 baking pan and even out. 

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes at 350 degrees or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow cake to cool completely.

Combine condensed milk, evaporated milk, and heavy cream in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Poke the cake with a fork multiple times after it’s cooled.

Pour all but about 1 cup of the milk mixture over the top of the cake, making sure you get a lot around the edges.

Whip 1 pint heavy cream with 3 tablespoons of sugar until thick, about 4-5 minutes and frost the cake. The original recipe says to chop with maraschino cherries, but Mike opted for the fresh fruit. Much better idea in my opinion. Chocolate chips would probably be good too. 

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Chicken enchiladas

Well, it’s been awhile and I do apologize. The business of summer caught up with me and writing about cooking feel to the bottom of my priorities. But, I’m getting back on track. Plus my wonderful hungry, hungry husband got me a class at The Loft on food blogging for my birthday so that means it’s really time to get writing again. I’m looking forward to trying out some of the new tips I learn on Saturday. 

I’ve been making a lot of repeats lately, really due to the fact that they are quick, easy and tasty. Spaghetti, chicken pesto sandwiches, lasagna, ya know the good stuff. I tried a new enchilada recipe this weekend and I specifically looked one for that included spinach because we harvested our first garden vegetables over the weekend and we have a lot of green stuff to eat. Lettuce, kale, swiss chard, spinach. Much to my surprise there are a lot of recipes out there. This one was great, Mike did question the green stuff in his tortilla which I tried to casually play off as cilantro. Didn’t work. 

Enchiladas (adapted from Runs with Spatulas)

Sauce:

1 tbsp canola oil
3/4 cup onion, chopped Image

1 tbsp garlic, chopped

1/4 cup chili powder 
2 tbsp tomato paste  
1 tsp dried oregano 
1 tsp ground cumin 
1/2 tsp ground coriander 
1/2 tsp sugar 
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup  chicken broth
1 (16 ounce) can tomato sauce

Filling:
2 tbsp canola oil
3/4 cup onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 tsp ground cumin
3/4 cup baby spinach, roughly chopped
1 lb chicken breast, cooked and shredded
2 cups monterey jack cheese, shredded
1 cup frozen corn
2 tbsp cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt

Heat oil over medium heat and add onion and garlic. Cook until onions are soft, 4-5 minutes. Add the next 8 ingredients (through cayenne) and cook for 1-2 minutes. Stir in broth and tomato sauce and simmer for 8-10 minutes, until flavors come together. Remove from heat and set aside until ready to use.

Heat oil over medium heat in a different pan and add onion, garlic, cumin to the pan. Cook until onion are soft, 4-5 minutes. Add the spinach, stirring until wilted, about 1 minute. Add the chicken, 1 cup of the cheese, corn, and cream cheese, stirring until combined. Simmer the mixture 2-3 minutes, then add the salt and pepper. Remove from heat.

Pour on the bottom of the baking dish to coat the bottom. Place about 1/3 cup of the filling on each tortilla. Roll each tortilla up then place in baking dish, seam side down. Pour the remaining 1 cup sauce over the enchiladas, leaving the edges dry (this is Mike’s favorite part when they get crispy). Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake for 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees. Serve with favorite toppings, cilantro (from our garden), sour cream, salsa, black olives. 

Buttermilk roast chicken

This is some good chicken. My sister sent me a text last week with a ringing endorsement for a Smitten Kitchen recipe that she had just tried, telling me “you must try it!” So what did I do? I tried it.  We’ve got a keeper here. The prep time is very minimal. What might get you is the cooking time, about 35 minutes. Which really isn’t too bad. Plus it was so moist I could cut it with my fork!

The recipe says to marinate for at least two hours, but preferably overnight. I would suggest listening to this advice. I think this is one of those where it only gets better the longer you marinate it. 

Buttermilk Chicken (adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

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2 cups buttermilk

5 garlic cloves, chopped (I used my press for this)
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika, plus extra for sprinkling on the chicken
Lots of cracked pepper
2 lbs chicken (use a variety of legs, thighs, breasts, whatever you prefer) I did legs and breasts
Olive oil for drizzling on the chicken 

Combine buttermilk, garlic, salt, sugar, paprika, pepper and chicken parts in plastic bag and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, I highly recommend overnight if you can.

When you’re ready to cook, preheat oven to 425, line 9×13 baking dish with tinfoil, again highly recommend this step – makes for super easy clean-up, and lay chicken in pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes until chicken browns on top. 

I also did some mashed sweet potatoes and roasted green beans on the side. For the potatoes, boil chopped potatoes with a few garlic cloves until tender. Mash with 1/3 cup buttermilk, 2 tbsp butter, s&p and a pinch of cayenne if you like the spice. For the beans, mix beans with olive oil, dried garlic and oregano and a squeeze of lemon juice. Add to the oven at about 22 minutes while the chicken roasts. 

Seriously good stuff here. This one is for sure going on the make again list. 

Chili

Well I made chili tonight. In june. In the crockpot. There is something wrong with that. It’s cold and rainy and soup was sounding really good. But it’s June, I should be grilling and making meals without having to turn the oven on. But the chili was good, so I guess that’s really all that matters.

This was a combination of all my favorite elements of good chili. Onions, garlic, cumin, cider vinegar, I could go on.

Ingredients (Adapted from Parsley Thief and Smitten Kitchen)

3/4 lbs ground beefImage

1 1/2 onions, chopped

4 garlic cloves, chopped

3 carrots, chopped

1 1/2 bell peppers

3 tbsp chili powder

1 tbsp cumin

1 tbsp oregano

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 can kidney beans

1/2 can fire roasted tomatoes

1/2 can tomato sauce

3 tbsp cider vinegar

1 cup beef broth

s&p

Combine chopped onion and garlic in large frying pan with 1 tsp of olive oil and saute for 4-5 minutes. Add ground beef, brown until no longer pink. Add in chili powder, cumin, oregano and paprika and cook for another minute. Finally, add in the chopped bell peppers. 

Now, there are two different cooking methods you could follow here. I chose the crock pot route, because I love coming home from work and having dinner ready. Or you could go stove top and let it simmer. Either way, add in the beans, tomatoes, fire roasted tomatoes, cider vinegar and beef broth and stir together. For the crockpot, turn on high for 8 hours and walk away. For the stove stop simmer on medium, low for about 60 minutes.

Top with your favorites, cheese, sour cream, chopped onion, cilantro, avocado, chipotle tabasco (my personal favorite). Please everyone go out and buy some chipotle tabasco sauce, it’s wonderful. 

Arugula salad and dijon chicken

I planned out our menu for the week and was giving the lineup for the week when something strange happened. I told Mike I was planning to make a repeat of the arugula salad he had made for me a couple weeks ago and he jumped for joy. Ok, not really jumped but gave me a very enthusiastic YES and a fist pump. Not a normal reaction for my meat and potato loving husband. 

I also made some dijon chicken from Rachael Ray to go along with our salads and got some really good sourdough to soak up the yummy sauce. 

Salad

6 cups of arugula

1/3 cup dried cherries (I found an inexpensive option at Trader Joe’s)

1/4 cup toasted pecans

Goat cheese crumbled – add as much as you like here

Dressing

3 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup olive oil

1 garlic clove

S&P

Mix together salad ingredients. Whisk together dressing ingredients. Top salad with dressing right before serving. 

Chicken (Adapted from Rachael Ray)

4 chicken breasts, pounded thinImage

Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling, plus 2 tablespoons

4 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped (should equal about 2 tbsp)

4 garlic cloves

1 lemon zested and juiced

S&P

2 tbsp butter

2 tbsp all-purpose flour

2 cups chicken stock

1 tbsp dijon mustard

Marinate the chicken in a shallow baking dish with olive oil, chopped thyme, lemon zest, lemon juice, chopped garlic and s&p. Marinate for about 10 minutes. Cook chicken in a hot skillet and for 3 or 4 minutes on each side. Cover cooked chicken loosely with foil to keep warm.

Use the same pan to make the sauce. Melt butter and whisk in flour for 1-2 minutes. Whisk in chicken broth, dijon mustard and a splash of lemon juice. Continue whisking until sauce thickens, season with s&p. Serve over the top of the chicken breasts. 

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