Monday, November 29, 2010

Leftover Turkey and Dumplings

Well, I needed to clean out my fridge after Thanksgiving, I had turkey, a small scoop of mashed potatoes and turkey gravy. Also had leftover chicken broth and turkey stock from roasting the turkey. I had this dumpling recipe that I wanted to try, so I threw this and that in a pot and then did the dumplings and Yum!! Perfect for a cold winter's night, and it used up my leftovers!! You could also  do this with cooked chicken and just chicken broth.

Leftover Turkey and Dumplings

For the dumpling dough:
1 egg
3 Tablespoons cold water
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup all purpose flour

In a medium bowl whisk together the  egg, cold water, oil and the 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir in the flour. Mix until well blended and elastic. (dough will be sticky, but don't worry, you'll add more flour when rolling out into dumplings.) Cover and let dough rest in the refrigerator for at least 1/2 an hour.

For the soup (or should we call it Stoup, because it's like stew and soup)
5 cups chicken broth or stock (I used both chicken broth and turkey stock -just so you have 5 cups)
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 stalks celery, diced
2 medium carrots, diced
3 to 4 cups chopped cooked turkey
*1 cup leftover mashed potatoes-Optional,if you need to use them up, if not, recipe will be good without
*1 cup leftover turkey gravy--use it if you have it, if not, still will be good.

Bring the broth to a boil, then add the vegetables, and turkey to the pot. (**I also added about 1 cup leftover mashed potatoes, and about 1 cup of leftover turkey gravy. The pototoes dissolve into the broth and thicken it a little and add flavor!)  Let simmer until veggies are mostly tender.
When veggies are tender, but not mushy, strain the veggies and turkey out of the broth, return broth to the pot and bring to a boil.
Roll out dumplings by dumping the dough out onto a well floured surface, (Make sure this is well floured, you don't want the dumplings to stick) I floured the dough well on both sides and flattened a bit with my hands, then I used a rolling pin. You want the dumplings about 1/16 inch thick- you'll almost be able to see through them. Then, using a pizza cutter cut into 1 1/2 inch by 2 1/2 inch pieces.

Add dumplings to the pot of boiling  broth , I just picked them up and plopped them into the pot, after you get them all in the broth, time for about 3 minutes. DON"T stir them, you can shake the pot a bit, but let them cook without stirring.
After about 3 minutes the dumplings should be done, then add the cooked turkey and vegetables back to the pot and stir gently. You can add about  1/4 cup heavy cream at this point. I didn't because I had added the mashed potatoes and gravy, so my broth was thicker. Taste and add more salt if necessaary, and pepper.
Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes.
Serve and enjoy! Yumm!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Pecan Pie--so good you will cry with joy!!!

I think my favorite pie is pecan pie. I take after my Dad with my love for nuts or anything with nuts in it. I found this recipe on The only thing I did different was add another cupful of whole pecans on top... you can't ever have too many nuts can you??? Anyway, this recipe was to die for! I know Thanksgiving is over, but Christmas is on the way. The pioneer woman had lots of yummy looking pie recipes, I had a hard time trying to decide which one to make. I think for Christmas I will try the key lime pie.
You can use your favorite pie crust recipe, there are tons out there. I have a pie cookbook, and I use the crust recipe from that a lot, so I will post that one here. Enjoy!!

Pecan Pie
1 whole Unbaked Pie Crust (see recipe below)

1 cup White Sugar
3 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
½ teaspoon Salt
1 cup Corn Syrup
¾ teaspoon Vanilla
⅓ cup Melted Butter (salted)
3 whole Eggs Beaten
1 cup (heaping) Chopped Pecans --I add another cup whole pecans to look pretty on  the top)

Preparation Instructions:
First, whip up your pie crust.
Next, mix sugar, brown sugar, salt, corn syrup, butter, eggs, and vanilla together in a bowl.
Pour chopped pecans in the bottom of the unbaked pie shell.
Pour syrup mixture over the top. Then add the cup of whole pecans on the top, sinking them into the egg mixture a little.  Cover top and crust lightly/gently with foil. Bake pie at 350º for 30 minutes. Remove foil, then continue baking for 20 minutes, being careful not to burn the crust or pecans.
NOTE: PIE SHOULD NOT BE OVERLY JIGGLY WHEN YOU REMOVE IT FROM THE OVEN. If it shakes a lot, cover with foil and bake for an additional 10 to 20 minutes or until set. Required baking time seems to vary widely with this recipe. Sometimes it takes 50 minutes; sometimes it takes 75!
Allow to cool for several hours or overnight. Serve in thin slivers.

Basic Pie Crust

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup butter flavored crisco, cold
3 to 4 Tablespoons ice cold water

Stir flour and salt together in a medium bowl, or food processor. With a pastry blender cut in shortening until pieces are the size of small peas (or pulse 5 or 6 times in a food processor until it resembles cornmeal). Add the smaller amount of water and toss with fork until all flour is moistened and mixture starts to form a ball (or pulse a few times until you can mush it together and it sticks into a ball) If necessary, add remaining water to crumbs in bottom of bowl. Gather dough in your hands and gently shape into a flat ball. Wrap in saran wrap and let sit in fridge for an hour or two. This lets the water soak into the flour.
I always roll out in between two sheets of wax paper, that way I don't have to add more flour. Then peel off one sheet of wax paper and lay over pie plate, then peel off the other sheet of wax paper. Crimp the edges.
This recipe makes a single pie crust. Double the recipe  for a double crust pie and form into two flat balls.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Apple and Butternut Squash Soup

I had been wanting to try making Butternut Squash soup for a while. I found two recipes that looked Yummo! One was on a neice-in-laws blog,, and the other from the Food Network magazine. One had apples added to it, which I was a bit scared of and the other didn't. I took what I thought sounded good from both and combined into this recipe. The apples add a slight tartness to the soup which is good since the squash is kind of sweet. It was yummo! I will be making this again sometime. It's really good with bacon bits, french fried onions, or croutons as a garnish on top along with a little parsley! Definitely a comfort food!

Apple and Butternut Squash Soup

3 Tablespoons  Butter
1 Large Onions, Chopped
2 Tablespoons good quality Curry Powder
1 teaspoon Chili Powder
1/2 teaspoon thyme
5 Cups Chicken Stock, Homemade or low-sodium canned
1 Large Butternut Squash (Approximately 8 Cups), Peeled, seeded and chopped **see hint below
2 Firm, tart Apples (Such as Granny Smith), Peeled, cored and diced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
½ Cup half n' half
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley or fresh cilantro

In a large soup pot, melt the butter over medium hat. Add the onions and sauté until translucent, approximately 5 minutes. Add the curry and chili powders and cook for another 5 minutes. Add half the stock and bring to a boil.
Transfer the mixture to a soup kettle, add the squash and apples, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the squash is tender. Stir occasionally to prevent the vegetables from sticking to the pan.
Place the mixture in the bowl of a food processor, or in a blender (blend in batches) and pulse until pureed.
Return the puree, cream and the remaining chicken stock to a clean soup kettle and bring to a simmer.
Ladle the soup into warm soup bowls and sprinkle with chopped parsley or cilantro.
Garnish with croutons, bacon bits, or french fried onions (durkee onions)
Serves 10

Note: The soup can be made ahead or frozen without the cream.
**here's a hint on an easy way to cut up the squash. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut squash in halve lenthwise and scoop out the seeds. Place on a cookie sheet cut side down. Add about 1/2 cup water to the cookie sheet. Place in oven and bake about 35 to 40 minutes or until squash is fork tender. When cool to touch the skin peels off really easy and you can just cut into pieces. If you do this, then just add the apples at first and cook 20 minutes then add squash and cook another 20 minutes. Then follow the recipe as written.

Stuffed Mushrooms!!

I LOVE stuffed mushrooms. I had to make some for an appetizer on Thanksgiving along with Bruschetta (that recipe is already on this blog--look in appetizers). This recipe was Yummo!!! I found it at The only thing I did different was that I used chicken broth instead of white wine. They still turned out yummo!

 Stuffed Mushrooms

Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 25 Minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Servings: 8

24 ounces, weight White Button Mushrooms
⅓ pounds Hot Pork Sausage
½ whole Medium Onion, Finely Diced
4 cloves Garlic, Finely Minced
⅓ cups Dry White Wine (I used chicken broth)
8 ounces, weight Cream Cheese
1 whole Egg Yolk
¾ cups Parmesan Cheese, Grated
Salt And Pepper, to taste

Preparation Instructions
Wipe off or wash mushrooms in cold water. Pop out stems, reserving both parts.

Chop mushroom stems finely and set aside.
Brown and crumble sausage. Set aside on a plate to cool.

Add onions and garlic to the same skillet; cook for 2 minutes over medium low heat.
Pour in wine  (or chicken broth) to deglaze pan, allow liquid to evaporate.
Add in chopped mushroom stems, stir to cook for 2 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set mixture aside on a plate to cool.

In a bowl, combine cream cheese and egg yolk. Stir together with Parmesan cheese.
Add cooled sausage and cooled mushroom stems. Stir mixture together and refrigerate for a short time to firm up.
Smear mixture into the cavity of each mushroom, creating a sizable mound over the top.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown.
Allow to cool at least ten minutes before serving; the stuffed mushrooms taste better when not piping hot and you won't burn your mouth.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Chipotle Cheddar Macaroni and Cheese

Oh my goodness this recipe is YUMMO! I love grilling outside, and have always wanted a smoker, so my hubby bought me a Traeger Smoker, and yesterday we used it for the first time, and smoked a brisket. Have you ever eaten at "Famous Dave's BBQ"? They have a different-than-the norm mac n' cheese that they serve as a side with their brisket, ribs or whatever. So I looked through my piles of recipes that I have printed off the internet at different times, and ran across this one, it was originally from "Top Secret Recipes" but I tweaked it a bit for our tastes. It turned out awesome, needless to say, we were in heaven last night, eating great smoked brisket, mac n' cheese, and coleslaw..... mmmmmmmmm!

Chipotle Cheddar Macaroni and Cheese

2 Tablespoons butter
1 Tablespoons finely minced jalapeno, (I used the slices you get in the jar)Use 2 Tablespoons if you like really spice
1 green onion, finely minced (or 2 Tablespoons minced regular onion, minced)
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups half n' half
2 cups grated smoked cheddar cheese (I found this in the specialty cheese section at walmart, and I  used
   Hickory Farms smoked cheddar blend, and grated it myself. Smoky Gouda works well too)
1 cup regular cheddar cheese, grated (or colby jack cheese is good too, just grate it yourself, the pre-grated
   kind of cheese doesn't melt as well and is grainy, not as good)
1/4 teaspoon (heaping) salt
1/8 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
2 1/2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni

Chipotle Breadcrumb topping
1 Tablespoon butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
dash of salt
4 Tablespoons Panko (Japanese breadcrumbs, usually in the Asain section of the grocery store)

To make the cheese sauce:
Melt the 2 tablespoons butter in a large saucepan over medium/low heat. Add jalapeno and onion and saute slowly for 5 minutes. You want the jalapeno and onion to only soften, not turn brown.
Whisk in the flour and continue to cook over medium/low heat for another 5 minutes.
Add half n' half, salt , and ground chipotle pepper. Whisk to combine and continue cooking over medium /low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring often until mixture thickens.
While sauce is thickening, cook pasta in salted boiling water  until tender, see box for time. I use a whole grain pasta and that cooks in about 7 to 9 minutes, but all pasta's vary in cooking time. Remember you don't want it mushy! Drain when done. Set aside.
Make the breadcrumb topping by stirring in the 1/4 teaspoon chipolte powder and the dash of salt into the butter, then add the Panko and stir until the panko crumbs are well coated. Set aside.
When the cream mixture is thickened, add  both grated cheeses, and stir until melted, then stir in drained pasta. Stir until all pasta is coated. Then dump into a casserole, and top with breadcrumbs.
Place in oven under the broiler for a minute or two  or just until the Panko crumbs start to turn golden brown.

Take out of oven and serve with any smoked or BBQ'd meat! This is delicio-so good!!
Serves 4 to 6 as a side dish

Homemade Play Dough

okay... I know this isn't my usual kind of recipe, but I just had to post it for all you Mom's or grandma's out there. This was one of my favorite things to make with my kids!! I love play dough, but I don't like the kind you buy! It gets crumbly and messy, this recipe makes the softest play dough! I got it from Sarah's pre-school teacher up in Bremerton, WA many years ago!! Sarah went to help my Mom tend my neice and nephew yesterday, and we thought it would be fun to take playdough and take our many cookie cutters over too!! I hope you find this fun!  Oh, here's a hint, the recipe says to put food coloring in the water before cooking, but my kids always argued over what color to make it, so I made it white, no food coloring, then when kneading the extra flour in after cooking, I would divide into 4 pieces, and then add a couple of drops of color of my kids choosing to each ball, and then I kneaded it  a few times to incorporate the color. That way they each got to pick two colors and were happy. It kind of leaves color on your hands a bit while mixing it in, but it eventually goes away, after it's mixed in, it won't leave color on the kids' hands,so don't worry. Have fun!

Homemade Play Dough

Mix the following together in a medium pot:
2 cups flour
1/2 cup regular table salt
4 Tablespoons Cream of Tartar (Look for some in the dollar store, that way you don't use all your expensive cream of tartar up on play dough)

 Combine the following in a measuring cup then add to flour mixture:
2 cups water
2 to 3 teaspoons food coloring (see my hint in introduction to recipe)
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil

Stir to combine all together, then heat over medium heat on stove. Stir while cooking (this will take about 3 to 5 minutes). While this is cooking it will start forming little globs of dough, and look like a globby mess, and you will be sure it's not turning out and that you did something wrong, but keep stirring... it will turn out! When it cooks so most of the "gooey" is gone and it forms a ball in the center of the pot, turn out onto lightly floured surface and knead a few times so it's not gooey (this is when I devide into 4 pieces and add different colors to each ball, then knead each piece until color is incorporated in)
This is edible by the way in case your kids want to taste it, but not very yummy. :o)
When using this play dough, don't forget to have the necessary equipment available: cookie cutters of all shapes and sizes, rolling pins, plastic knives, plastic forks or toothpicks for poking holes for eyes or whatever, bottle caps,...etc.....
Have fun!!

Green Chili Mexican Rice

When I was on my road trip with Andrew, we ate at Z'Tejas in the Gateway mall in Salt Lake City. That's where they have yummy Blackened Catfish tacos, they serve a Mexican rice with them  that is white, not red, and it has green chilis and corn in it. So I tried to make that here at home last Sunday when I made my Green Chili Chicken Enchiladas. It turned out pretty close! Yummo!!!

Green Chili Mexican Rice

2 Tablespoons oil
1 cup regular long grain rice or jasmine rice (not the quickcooking kind)
1/4 cup chopped onion (more if desired)
2 cups chicken broth

1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 of a 4 oz. can chopped green chili's
1/2 cup corn
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
dash of chipotle powder
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a medium sized saucepan until hot. Add uncooked rice, stir to coat with oil and cook until it starts to turn brown. Add onions and cook a minute or two. Next add the chicken broth, garlic, chilis, corn, cumin, the dash of chipotle powder, and a little salt and pepper (can finish seasoning to taste when done) Stir. Bring to boil, turn heat down to medium low,  and simmer with lid on for 25 minutes.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Catfish Po' Boys

I love Catfish, especially when it's breaded in corn meal and fried (or  is that the only way to eat catfish!?) I get the catfish whenever we go to Texas Roadhouse! Yum! So when I saw this recipe on "5 Ingredient Fix" it looked way good so I had to give it try. It was yummo! They didn't put the coleslaw on it, but I thought it would be even better that way and it was! yum! Hope you like it as much as I did!

Catfish Po'Boys

Peanut or canola oil, for frying
4 hoagie rolls or 1 French baguette (I like to use the Hard Rolls from Walmart- they are perfect!)
3/4 cup corn meal
2 tablespoons Creole seasoning (recommended: Tony Chachere's)
 salt and  black pepper
4 (6 to 8-ounce) catfish fillets (I used frozen Catfish nuggets that I found in the freezer section at Walmart-2 or 3 pieces is perfect for one sandwich, I did about 12 or 15 pieces and we got 6 sandwiches out of it)
Remoulade sauce (see recipe below)
1 small package coleslaw mix (I put have the remoulade sauce on half a package)
 hot sauce, for serving

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a heavy-bottomed pot, (Dutch oven) heat enough oil to come halfway up the sides of the pot, to 365 degrees F.
Slice the  rolls in half, (not cutting through), and put them on a baking sheet. Lightly toast the bread in the preheated oven.
Combine the corn flour, seasoning and salt and pepper, to taste, in a shallow dish. Pat the fillets dry and dredge them in the seasoned flour mixture, shaking of the excess.
Once the oil is properly heated, carefully drop the catfish into the oil. Be careful not to overcrowd the pot. Fry until golden brown and beginning to float to the surface, about 5 minutes. Do not overcook. Carefully remove the fillets with a slotted spoon or tongs and drain them on paper towels.

When ready to assemble, Spread both top and bottom half of roll with a little remoulade sauce, put 1 catfish fillet (or 2 or 3 catfish nuggets) in each toasted roll and top with coleslaw, and drizzle with hot sauce to your taste. 

Remoulade Sauce

1 green onion, green and white parts, chopped
1 cup Best Foods Mayonaise
3 tablespoons whole-grain Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Hot sauce, to taste
Pinch salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pulse all of the ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth. Pour into a covered container and refrigerate until ready to use.
This made enough sauce so that I used have to spread on the rolls, and the other half on about 1/2 a small package of coleslaw. In the half for the coleslaw I added a dash or two of chipotle powder.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Pumpkin cookies (or you could call these "Thanksgiving Cookies"

I know I've posted these cookies before back in March. But I had seen a recipe where you add white chocolate chips and pecans, and I thought I bet they would be good with craisins in them too. So I gave it a try and Yummo!! Thanksgiving in a cookie!! You have pumpkin, pecan and cranberries!! and of course white chocolate is good with anything isn't it??? Hope you like them too!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened
2 cups dark brown sugar, packed (light works too)
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 Tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
12 ounces white chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
3/4 cup Craisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, egg and vanilla with an electric mixer. Add pumpkin and mix well.
In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and pumpkin pie spice.
Combine the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients and mix well.
Add the white chocolate chips, pecans, and crasins; stir until combined.
Measure 1/4 cup portions and place 2 inches apart on a greased baking sheet. (can line with parchment paper if you want instead of greasing the pan). Bake cookies for 12 to 15 minutes or until they are just beginning to brown slightly around the edges. Cookies will seem undercooked when they come out, but when cool, they will be crispy around the edges and soft in the center.

Makes 2 dozen cookies (or more is using less than 1/4 cup portions)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sweet Corn Bread

Sorry it's been a while since I've posted a recipe! I was in Arizona for a few days enjoying some sunshine. When I got back to Idaho the weather had turned cold and it had even snowed! So along with the cold weather came a craving for Chili and cornbread. This recipe is found on the Alber's Cornmeal box, but it's the one I always use! Turns out great everytime. I will make it for breakfast too, really good with honey drizzled on it while still warm! This recipe is for a sweeter cornbread, but I like it that way. It's Yummo crumbled into Chili (See my Wendy's chilli recipe on this blog) on a cold day!

Sweet Corn Bread
(Makes 12 servings)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup Albers® White or Yellow Corn Meal
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups milk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 Tbsp butter, melted

PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Grease 8 or 9-inch square baking pan.
COMBINE flour, sugar, corn meal, baking powder and salt in medium bowl.
 Combine milk, eggs, vegetable oil and butter in small bowl; mix well. Add to flour mixture; stir just until blended. Pour into prepared baking pan.
BAKE for 30 to35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean and the edges are turning golden brown.
Let cool for about 10 minutes, cut into squares and serve! Yummo!

You can also make this into muffins. Just grease your muffin tins, and fill 3/4 's full. Then bake in 350 degree oven for 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown around the edges and the toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Mongolian Beef

This is just about like P.F. Chang's Mongolian Beef! Sarah, Andy and I love to eat there and this is Andy's favorite dish! I re-vamped this recipe a bit from the first time I posted it. I added some red chili pepper flakes and a little cornstarch to the sauce. Yummo!!

Mongolian Beef

1 cup vegetable oil
2 pounds flank steak (or I used petite sirloin)
1/4 to 1/2 cup cornstarch
4 large green onion tops, chopped in about 1 inch pieces (save the white parts for another dish)

1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon minced ginger (or 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger)

1 Tablespoon chopped garlic
1/2 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes (or more if you like more spice)
2 teaspoons cornstarch
Hot cooked Brown or white rice (I like jasmine rice)
Slice the steak crosswise against the grain into 1/4 inch thick strips. (If you tilt the blade of your knife a little you can get a little wider but still thin slice.)
Lay strips of steak out on cookie sheet and lightly dust with cornstarch (I put cornstarch in a small sieve and sprinkle over the steak) turn over slices and lightly dust this side as well (here's a trick, lay another cookie sheet over the top and flip over, then dust the other side, takes less time!). Let sit for about 10 minutes to let the cornstarch stick to the beef.
While steak is resting, make the sauce by combining the soy sauce, water, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, pepper flakes , and cornstarch in a medium saucepan with a whisk. Then cook over medium/low heat by bringing to a boil, let cook for 2 to 3 minutes until the sauce thickens just a bit. Remove from heat.
While the beef is resting and the sauce is cooking heat the 1 cup vegetable oil in a wok or deep skillet over medium heat.(may have to use more oil if using a skillet, you want your beef to be mostly covered with oil). When the oil is hot, add the beef and saute for 2 minutes, or until the beef just begins to darken on the edges. Stir it around so it cooks evenly. Use a slotted spoon and remove the beef from the oil and drain on a plate covered with a couple of paper towels. May have to cook beef in a couple of batches. Drain the oil from the wok or skillet. Put the pan back on the heat and add the beef back into the pan, simmer for 1 minute. Add the sauce, cook for 1 more minute while stirring. Next add all of the green onions, and cook for another minute.
Serve over hot rice!
Serves 4