Thursday, April 30, 2009

Florentine Turkey Meatballs

I used the other half of the package of ground turkey to make Florentine Turkey Meatballs, which I served over egg noodles:

I'm not sure what happened but this version wasn't as good as it usually is. I think I usually use ground turkey breast and this was a mix of dark and white meat, which probably contributed to the texture and taste difference. The cheese sauce was also off, runnier and less cheesy then usual. When SP was at the store he called to tell me they only sold 8-ounce packages of the grated Italian cheese blend and the recipe called for 10 ounces. I figured two ounces wouldn't make much of a difference but the sauce definitely needed more cheese. Oh and learn.
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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Chili and Cheese Baked Potatoes

Two Sundays ago I defrosted a 3 1/2-lb package of ground turkey. I used half to make turkey chili that we served over baked potatoes:

I used my usual Emeril recipe for the chili and we just baked the potatoes in the microwave. For toppings we had grated cheddar cheese, sour cream and chopped scallions. Hearty and filling.
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Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Alas, I've fallen behind again in my blogging. I'm sorry! Here's a quick breakfast I threw together two weekends ago.

SP went out for breakfast with a friend, so I grabbed a link of breakfast sausage out of the freezer, peeled and diced a potato and a small piece of onion and scrambled up two eggs. I cooked the sausage and potatoes/onions together in the same skillet so I'd have less to wash and it made for very tasty potatoes.
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Friday, April 24, 2009

First Cookout of the Season

On Saturday the weather was absolutely gorgeous. It was sunny, barely a cloud in the sky, and that perfect spring temperature (somewhere in the 70s) where there's a slight breeze and no humidity. We invited our friends C & D over for the first cookout of the season.

We got some ground beef from the Amish market to make burgers and grilled some hot dogs. Potato chips, potato salad and coleslaw rounded out the meal.

C made brownies, which I just realized I didn't photograph. Trust me, they were delicious. She also brought some fruit to help cut the richness of the brownies.
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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Fat Rabbit Sightings

Two different rabbit sightings on two different days:

As soon as they sense that I'm there they get all hunched down:

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Italian Baked Chicken and Pasta

Another casserole recipe from my friend Lauren, this one for Italian Baked Chicken and Pasta:

Instead of pastina I used penne, but I kept everything else the same. I really liked this dish. Very comforting and easy to make. I especially liked the chunks of tomato, which reminded me that summer is right around the corner.
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Monday, April 20, 2009

Cheesy Casser-ravioli

I got this recipe for Cheesy Casser-ravioli from my friend Lauren. It was easy to make and SP and I really liked it.

I used fresh broccoli instead of frozen and left out the chicken. It was easy and delicious.
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Friday, April 17, 2009

Easter Lunch

Happy Easter!! I hope everyone had a great day. We had a marvelous lunch at my mom's house, but the weather was just not spring-like. It was sunny, but the temp barely hit 50 degrees.

My mom dyed some hard boiled eggs in fun, festive colors:

She also made her absolutely delicious potato salad:

I just love this simple potato salad. I've never made her recipe because I know I couldn't do it justice.

I made deviled eggs:

... keeping it simple with mayo, yellow mustard, salt and pepper with a dash of paprika on top for color:

Mom also roasted some asparagus in the oven with just oil, salt and pepper:

... and heated up some ham and two kinds of kielbasa:

The larger piece was slightly smoky and spicy. We also had some rye bread with butter:

The dining room table all laid out for the feast:

My plate with a little bit of everything:

Mom also made a lemon cheesecake:

... topped with fresh raspberries and served atop fresh raspberry sauce:

It was a delicious lunch and the perfect way to welcome in spring, even if Mother Nature didn't cooperate in the weather department.
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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Easter Breakfast

Easter was this past Sunday and while we had plans for a delicious lunch at my mom's house I wanted a good, hearty breakfast to start the day.

I browned some breakfast sausages in a pan and diced potato and onion for breakfast potatoes. Some fluffy scrambled eggs rounded out this great breakfast.
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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Shrimp Scampi with Baked Potato and Zucchini

We wanted a fun meal on Saturday night so we picked up some frozen shrimp for shrimp scampi. We love baked potatoes with seafood so we cooked up two of those, along with some steamed zucchini:

The shrimp was very easy to make and tasted fantastic, with plenty of garlic and lemon flavor:

I topped my baked potato with butter, sour cream, salt and pepper and it really hit the spot. And zucchini are always tasty simply steamed.

Shrimp Scampi
Food Network Kitchens

1 1/2 pound jumbo shrimp, shelled and deveined
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/4 cup dry white vermouth
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest

Put the shrimp on a large pie pan or plate and pat them completely dry with a paper towel. Arrange the shrimp so they lay flat and are evenly spaced.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper. Add the butter to the skillet. When the foaming subsides, raise the heat to high, and invert the plate of shrimp over the pan so the shrimp fall into the pan all at once. Cook the shrimp, without moving them, for 1 minute. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Turn the shrimp over and cook for 2 minutes more. Transfer the shrimp to a bowl.

Return the skillet to the heat and pour in the vermouth and lemon juice. Boil the liquid until slightly thickened, about 30 seconds. Scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Stir the zest and parsley into the sauce. Pour the sauce over the shrimp, season with salt and pepper to taste and toss to combine.

Divide the shrimp among 4 plates or arrange on a platter and serve.
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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Breaded Chicken, Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans

SP had the day off last Monday so he made dinner - breaded chicken with mashed potatoes and steamed green beans:

He pounded the chicken the way I always do and gave it a coating of egg and bread crumbs before shallow frying in some vegetable oil. The mashed potatoes were light and fluffy but the beans were disappointing. They were about a week old by the time we cooked them and they tasted past their prime.
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Monday, April 13, 2009

Fettuccine Alfredo

Last Sunday I had a craving for fettuccine alfredo, but wasn't in the mood to go out to eat. SP found a recipe and we took to the kitchen, producing this luscious plate of creamy, rich pasta.

I had tried this Giada recipe a few years ago (with the lemon) and promptly threw it out. I'm sorry if anyone reading this thinks this sounds like a good recipe, but lemon and cream just do not belong together, at least not in this kind of pasta recipe. Besides, lemon can curdle cream so I'm not sure why this seemed like a good idea. We followed the recipe exactly, only leaving out the lemon juice and zest.

It was exactly what I wanted - rich and delicious with plenty of sauce to sop up with the noodles. We made sure to use fresh, eggy fettuccine and it really made all the difference. Unfortunately it made quite a bit of pasta and since alfredo doesn't reheat very well I'd recommend halving the recipe for only two people.

Fettuccine Alfredo
Slightly Modified from Giada

18 ounces fresh fettuccine
2 1/2 cups heavy cream
12 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups grated Parmesan
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground white pepper

Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes. Drain.

Add 2 cups of the cream to a heavy large skillet. Add the butter and cook over medium heat just until the butter melts, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Add the pasta and toss. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of cream, and Parmesan to the cream sauce in the skillet. Add the nutmeg, salt, and white pepper. Toss the pasta mixture over low heat until the sauce thickens slightly, about 1 minute.
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Thursday, April 09, 2009

Mac & Cheese

On Thursday I took the last of the frozen mac & cheeses out of the freezer for dinner.

I really need to make more of these to freeze because they make such a nice, easy dinner during the week.
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Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Swedish Meatballs over Egg Noodles

I love making Swedish meatballs whenever I have some ground beef to use up. It's a simple recipe and since you can bake the meatballs it requires very little effort.

I always serve the meatballs with the sauce over egg noodles.
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Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Buffalo Chicken Tenders and Blue Cheese Mashed Potatoes

We love the flavors of chicken wings but they don't make a very good dinner (or leftovers for lunch). I love this recipe for Buffalo Chicken Tenders and this time I got the coating just right:

The chicken was nice and crispy, I think because I drained the tenders on a wire cooling rack instead of a paper towel-lined plate. I also waited until the chicken had cooled slightly before I tossed it in the sauce, which meant the coating had a chance to harden a bit.

A natural accompaniment to chicken wings is blue cheese dressing for dipping, so I decided to use some leftover blue cheese crumbles to flavor mashed potatoes. I also chopped some scallions to mix into the potatoes. They had a nice, sharp tang with a mild onion flavor. Delicious. A little blue cheese dressing for dipping and this was a great bar food meal made into a yummy dinner.
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Spring...and the return of Fat Rabbit

The days are getting warmer (and longer, thank goodness!) but I knew spring had really arrived with the return of Fat Rabbit:

I opened the back curtains when I got home from work one day and who did I see in our backyard but a fat bunny rabbit. He was chomping on some grass and looking fat and happy. Later, closer to dusk, we saw another rabbit clearly leaner then this guy, hopping around near our grill. It makes me happy to see them, just as long as they stay away from my vegetable garden later in the spring/summer.
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Monday, April 06, 2009

Penna al Amatriciana

I wanted an easy dinner during the week so I cooked up a pasta sauce with chopped bacon and onions:

I served the sauce over penne with a sprinkling of grated Pecorino cheese.
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Sunday, April 05, 2009


SP usually does the grocery shopping and these days he's been driving out to a supermarket near Warminster. Along the way there are a ton of strip malls and in one of them we found a little gem today. We'd seen the sign for Taco Suave many times but today we wanted a snack before going to the grocery store so we stopped in to check it out. We got an order of three soft tacos filled with ground beef, chopped tomatoes, shredded lettuce, cheese and sour cream. We got the tacos to go and when we got back to the car and opened the container this is what we saw:

How gorgeous are these tacos? We were drooling before we even caught the first whiff of seasoned ground beef and hot, spicy sauce they'd given to us in a separate container. We poured on some sauce and took our first bite - pure bliss. The meat was perfectly seasoned and all the fresh toppings came together to make one delicious taco.

Taco Suave is a little hole in the wall at the end of a strip mall at 200 W. Street Road in Warminster. There are a few tables inside and they've got a pretty decent-sized menu of everything from fajitas to tacos, even breakfast. The three tacos we got were $4.75 plus tax. They also serve more authentic tacos with fillings like goat and cow's tongue. SP already has his eye on those for next time. We wolfed these down and could have gone back for more. We'll definitely be back.
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Nutella Cupcakes

Someone on my cooking board recently posted a recipe for self-frosting Nutella cupcakes that sounded so good I knew I had to make them.

Unfortunately they didn't turn out quite the way I had hoped. I cheated and used boxed cake mix and I think the batter was too thin because the Nutella sank like a stone to the bottom of each cupcake. They still tasted great, but the self-frosting quality was missing. I guess next time I'll have to bite the bullet and actually make my own batter.
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Friday, April 03, 2009

French Toast

For Sunday breakfast we wanted something hearty so I made French toast:

... with sliced banana and the rest of the strawberries from the fruit I used in the salad for the girls lunch. We used some real maple syrup my parents bought us for Christmas and I dusted the bread with powdered sugar.
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Thursday, April 02, 2009

Pot Roast, Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans

Saturday night my parents came over for dinner and brought delicious pot roast, mashed potatoes and green beans:

The pot roast was from the Amish stand at a local farmers market. My mom made the fluffy, creamy, buttery mashed potatoes and since the supermarket didn't have any fresh green beans we experimented with Bird's Eye Steamfresh green beans. It seems simple - take the bag of beans from the freezer and microwave them in the bag for 5 minutes - but the end result was mushy beans with very little flavor. They were good in a pinch but it reminded me why fresh is usually better.
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Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Ladies Lunch

On Saturday I got together with Brooke, Colleen and Lauren for another ladies lunch. Lauren hosted this time and unfortunately Jenn and Katie couldn't make it, which was a huge bummer. The four of us ate a delicious brunch, starting with Colleen's chicken salad:

... that we made into mini sandwiches. Brooke brought a yummy tortellini pasta salad:

... with tortellini, olives, roasted red peppers, mozzarella and artichokes in a tomato vinaigrette. I decided to try to replicate a salad I love at a local restaurant and I was pleasantly surprised by how good it was. I combined mixed greens with mixed fruit (cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon, strawberries, blueberries, pineapple and orange), blue cheese and walnuts:

... tossed with a homemade roasted tomato vinaigrette. Lauren, our gracious host, made delicious French toast stuffed with cream cheese, chocolate and sliced strawberries:

... topped with more strawberries and powdered sugar. Here's my plate on round one:

... and my side plate with a serving of the French toast:

I had two servings of everything, it was all so good. As always, we had a great time and I can't wait for the next lunch. Thanks for a great afternoon, ladies!
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