Sunday, November 30, 2008

Turkey Leftovers Part III

Turkey Monte Cristo Sandwiches
adapted from

4 slices sandwich bread
1 tablespoons honey mustard
1/2 pound sliced turkey
1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 eggs, beaten
1/8 cup milk
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon butter, divided
1/4 cup strawberry or raspberry jelly (if you have leftover cranberry sauce this will work too)
Powdered sugar for dusting

  1. Spread one side of 2 bread slices with mustard. Top remaining 2 slices with turkey. Sprinkle mozzarella evenly over turkey and close sandwiches, mustard side down.
  2. In a shallow dish or bowl combine the eggs, milk and nutmeg and mix well. Melt 1/2 the butter in a large skillet or on a griddle over medium heat. Dip one sandwich in egg mixture, turning to coat. Let excess egg mixture drip into dish or bowl, and place sandwich in hot skillet. Cook until golden brown and cheese is melted. Repeat with second sandwich.
  3. Dust each sandwich with powdered sugar. Serve with jelly or cranberry sauce.

Turkey Leftovers Part II

Mini Turkey Pot Pies
using Dorie Greenspan's Good For Almost Everything Pie Dough
adapted from Food Network

For Pie Crust:

Good for Almost Everything Pie Dough

- makes enough for a 9- mini pot pies -


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 sticks very cold (frozen is fine) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon-size pieces
2 1/2 tablespoons very cold (frozen is even better) vegetable shortening (non-trans fat), cut into 2 pieces
About 1/4 cup ice water


Put the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor fitted with a metal blade; pulse just to combine the ingredients. Drop in the butter and shortening and pulse only until the butter and shortening are cut into the flour. Don't overdo the mixing—what you're aiming for is to have pieces the size of fat green peas and others the size of barley. Pulsing the machine on and off, add 3 tablespoons of the water—add a little water and pulse once; add some more water and pulse again; and keep going that way. Then use a few long pulses to get the water into the flour. If after a dozen or so pulses, the dough doesn't look evenly moistened or form soft curds, pulse in as much of the remaining water, or even a few drops more, to get a dough that will stick together when pinched. If you've got big pieces of butter, that's fine. The dough is ready and should be scraped out of the work bowl and on to a smooth work surface.

Shape the dough into a disk and wrap it. Refrigerate the dough at least 1 hour before rolling. (If the ingredients were very cold and you worked very quickly, you might be able to roll the dough immediately—you'll know: the dough will be as cold as if it had just come out of the fridge.) The dough can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 1 month.

Roll dough out and cut into 18 4-inch circles about 1/4 inch thick. Refrigerate until ready to use.

For Filling:

1 1/2 cup turkey, chopped
1 1/2 cup frozen veggies (green beans, carrots, corn)
1/2 cup leftover gravy
2/3 cup water
salt and pepper to taste

Cook all ingredients in a sauce pan over medium-low heat until heated through (about 15 minutes).

Assemble and Bake:

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Take pie dough circles out of refrigerator. Spray 9 muffin cups from a muffin pan with cooking spray. Line the cups with 9 pie dough circles. Fill each cup with 2 tablespoons of filling. Top each cup with the remaining 9 pie dough circles. With a knife, cut the tops of each pie with a small 1/4-inch "x" to vent. Spray the top with cooking spray. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.

Turkey Leftovers Part I

Turkey Stroganoff
1 1/2 cups turkey, chopped into 1/4 inch pieces
2 cans cream of mushroom or cream of chicken soup
1 cup milk
pepper to taste
3 cups egg noodles, cooked

In a sauce pan heat turkey. Add cream of mushroom or cream of chicken soup, milk, and pepper. Cook over medium-low for about 15 minutes or until heated through and bubbly. Serve over egg noodles.

*or you can replace items 1 through 4 with a box of Hamburger Helper stroganoff and cook according to package directions except replace ground beef with chopped turkey

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

I almost didn't have turkey this year for Thanksgiving. I spent most of the day in airports or on planes trying to get back to Phoenix. My lunch meal consisted of chips and salsa at the Dallas airport. My wonderful hubby made a turkey and sweet potato casserole and surprised me with it when I got home. I made some green beans, gravy, and pumpkin chiffon pie to complete the meal. It was a nice meal for two and we still have lots of turkey for leftovers.

Thanksgiving 2008
Brined Turkey (we used the same method as Last Year's T-Day)

Green Beans
4 strips of bacon cut into pieces
2 cups fresh grean beans washed and ends trimmed
1 cup water
1/2 tsp black pepper

Cook bacon until brown and crispy in a sauce pan. Drain the grease except for 2 tablespoons. Add water, green beans, and pepper to pan. Cover and cook over medium heat until beans are desired consistency.

Drippings from turkey (up to 2 cups)
2 Tbs corn starch
pepper to taste

Add all ingredients to a sauce pan. Cook over medium heat until gravy thickens (about 10 minutes). Add more cornstarch if you like thicker gravy.

Pumpkin Chiffon Pie
as seen on Oprah
  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 large eggs , separated, yolks beaten
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 4 1/2 cups heavy cream , whipped
  • 1 (9-inch) graham cracker crust
  • Shaved dark chocolate *I omitted this
Combine gelatin, 1/2 cup of sugar, salt, cinnamon, allspice, ginger and nutmeg in a saucepan. Stir in milk, egg yolks and pumpkin. Cook over medium heat until thick. Chill saucepan in refrigerator until partially set—about 1 hour.

In a bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add 1/4 cup of sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form. Fold in 1/2 cup of whipped cream. Fold egg white mixture into filling. Pour filling into pie crust and chill for 1 hour.

Just before serving, top with remaining whipped cream and sprinkle some shaved dark chocolate on top. *I omitted this

Tiramisu Brownie Squares

Tiramisu Brownie Squares
Adapted from Pampered Chef All the Best cookbook

1 pkg brownie mix plus all ingredients to make brownies
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 pkg vanilla instant pudding (4 serving pkg) plus ingredients to make pudding
2 Tbs instant coffee granules
cocoa powder for dusting
1 container cream cheese frosting

Prepare brownie mix according to package directions. Add chocolate chips to mix. Spread in 9x13 inch pan and bake according to package directions. While brownies are baking prepare vanilla pudding according to package directions. Add coffee granules to pudding and stir until dissolved. Chill in refrigerator until pudding is set. When brownies are cool, layer pudding over brownies. Dust with cocoa powder. Pipe cream cheese frosting over brownies. Chill in refrigerator for 1 hour. Serve in squares.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Taco Bake

This is a versatile recipe that can be served as an easy weeknight meal or a fun party food.

Taco Wreath
(Various Sources)

1 lb ground beef
1 pkg taco seasoning
1/2 cup water
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 pkg refrigerated crescent rolls
1 cup shredded cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brown ground beef and drain fat. Add taco seasoning and water and simmer over low heat until sauce thickens. Add black beans. Separate crescent roll triangles. Arrange evenly in a circle on a baking sheet or baking stone with short side of the triangle facing the center and slightly overlap each triangle. Spoon taco mixture over the dough, one inch from the short end and leave the pointed end uncovered. Cover the taco mixture with shredded cheese. Wrap the pointed dough ends towards the center. Place in oven and bake for 15 minutes or until crescent rolls are light brown.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Spicy Vegetable Soup

The title of this blog is Spice N' It Up but it's been a while since I've made anything spicy. The weather is finally getting cooler in Arizona (sadly highs in the 80's is cool for us). So a bowl of hot and spicy soup seemed perfect.

Spicy Vegetable Soup
by Me

1/2 cup baby carrots, chopped
1/2 cup broccoli, chopped
1/4 cup celery, chopped
1/4 cup cabbage, chopped
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup red kidney beans
1 can diced tomatoes
1-8 oz can tomato sauce
3 cups beef broth
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
2 Tbs hot sauce

I made this in the microwave using my Pampered Chef large micro-cooker. I cooked the carrots, broccoli, celery, cabbage, and water in the micro-cooker in the microwave on high for 10 minutes. Then I added the remaining ingredients and cooked for an additional 10 minutes on high, stirring every 3 minutes.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Basic Biscuits

Basic Biscuits

Baking: From My Home to Yours By Dorie Greenspan

Yield: 12 - 2 inch diameter biscuits


2 cups all-purpose flour (or 1 3/4 cps all-purpose flour and 1/3 cup cake flour)
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces
3/4 cup whole milk


Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Get out a sharp 2-inch diameter biscuit cutter, and line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat.

Whisk the flour(s), baking powder, sugar and salt together in a bowl. Drop in the butter and, using your fingers, toss to coat the pieces of butter with flour. Quickly, working with your fingertips or a pastry blender, cut and rub the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture is pebbly. You’ll have pea-size pieces, pieces the size of oatmeal flakes, and pieces the size of everything in between, and that’s just right.

Pour the milk over the dry ingredients, grab a fork and toss and gently turn the ingredients until you’ve got a nice soft dough. Now reach into the bowl with your hands and give the dough a quick, gentle kneading-3 or 4 turns should be just enough to bring everything together.

Lightly dust a work surface with flour and turn out the dough. Dust the top of the dough very lightly with flour and pat the dough out with your hands or roll it with a pin until it is about 1/2 inch high. Don’t worry if the dough isn’t completely even-a quick, light touch is more important than accuracy.

Use the biscuit cutter to cut out as many biscuits as you can. Try to cut the biscuits close to one another so you get the most you can out of this first round. By hand or with a small spatula, transfer the biscuits to the baking sheet. Gather together the scraps, working them as little as possible, pat out to a 1/2 inch thickness and cut as many additional biscuits as you can; transfer these to the sheet. (The biscuits can be made to this point and frozen on the baking sheet, then wrapped airtight and kept for up to 2 months. Bake without defrosting-just add a couple more minutes to the oven time.)

Bake the biscuits for 14 to 18 minutes, or until they are puffed and golden brown. Transfer them to a serving basket.

Chocolate Chex Caramel Crunch

Chocolate Chex Caramel Crunch

8cups Chocolate Chex® cereal *I used Corn Chex
3/4cup packed brown sugar
6tablespoons butter or margarine
3tablespoons light corn syrup
1/4teaspoon baking soda
1/4cup white vanilla baking chips *I also used 1/4 cup chocolate baking chips
Instead of using waxed paper, you can spray the cookie sheet with cooking spray or line with nonstick foil.
Preparation Directions
1.Into large microwavable bowl, measure cereal; set aside. Line cookie sheet with waxed paper.
2.In 2-cup microwavable measuring cup, microwave brown sugar, butter and corn syrup uncovered on High 1 to 2 minutes, stirring after 1 minute, until melted and smooth. Stir in baking soda until dissolved. Pour over cereal, stirring until evenly coated. Microwave on High 3 minutes, stirring every minute. Spread on cookie sheet. Cool 10 minutes. Break into bite-size pieces.

In small microwavable bowl, microwave vanilla baking chips uncovered on High about 1 minute 30 seconds or until chips can be stirred smooth (bowl will be hot). Drizzle over snack. Refrigerate until set. Store in tightly covered container.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Fried Snickers

This creation was inspired by the latest trends in State Fair food. You can get some very unusual fried foods at the fairs now including fried twinkies, fried M&M's, and fried moon pies. One that I've always wanted to try is fried Snickers. We had lots of leftover Fun Size Snickers after Halloween and I really wanted to use some of them to make fried Snickers. This looks and sounds strange but it was so good!

1/2 cup of prepared pancake mix
4 Fun Size Snickers, unwrapped
Vegetable Oil for frying
Powdered Sugar for dusting

Coat Snickers in pancake mix. Set on wax paper and place in the freezer for 1 hour or more. Heat oil in a pot over medium heat. Add coated Snickers. Fry for 1 minute. Turn over and fry for 1 minute or until light brown. Remove from oil. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.

Homemade Fries

This was actually Chase's creation. He wanted to make french fries just they do in restaurants. I think these turned out pretty good. The last batch was the best. When the oil was the hottest the fries turned out the crispiest. The seasoning we added made them even better.

Halloween Cupcakes

I thought these were so cute and festive for Halloween. I love the Halloween M&Ms.

Eyeball Cupcakes

I saw these cupcakes on Confections of a Foodie Bride blog. I thought they were so cute and unique. Usually I don't do anything for Halloween except dress up my dog and handout candy to Trick-or-Treaters but this year I was invited to two parties. I went to a potluck in the afternoon and a wine party in the evening. I made two batches of these cupcakes and some other decorated cupcakes to take with me and they were a huge hit. These are so easy to make. Bake a batch of your favorite cupcakes. Frost with white icing. Place one Lifesaver in the center and one black M&M on top. Use red icing to make veins.