Just a little ole working gal, who loves food

Friday, October 28, 2011

Bacon Wrapped Turkey...thats right...I said it.

This post is a little late...but will be super handy for all the turkey laden events you will have in the future (Christmas is just around the corner!!!). Now trust me when I say this...Bacon made the turkey better. Really. It was so juicy, and tasty and the crispy bacon covered skin was to die for. And then the gravy..mmmmmmmm...the bacon fat really made it that much better!
 Prepare and start roasting your turkey with whatever seasonings/fillings that you normally would do. I have done this with a stuffed Turkey and non-stuffed turkey...both turned out fantastic. I highly suggest you use a meat thermometer...as the bacon goes on when the turkey is about 15 degrees out from being done.
 When your meat thermometer reads between 160-165F, remove it from the oven and cover in strips of bacon. Even wrap some around the legs. Return to the oven and roast until the turkey is cooked and the bacon is crispy!
Really a piece of art!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Weeknight Steak and Potatoes with Red Wine Reduction

Ever have the craving to make a fancier meal midweek? Then the fatigue of working long hours, and getting home late, and a can of soup takes over instead? Let me tell you this...a good meal doesn't always take long too cook!! This meal took us 20 minutes to cook and prepare. It was fast, easy and delish!

Before you start anything...Preheat your oven to 400F.
First I bought a bag of baby red potatos. I rinsed them and put them in a pot of boiling water. Boil these babies for about 10-12 minutes or until fork tender.
While the potatoes are boiling away you can start your steak. I like to use thick cut rib steaks (about 1 1/2-2 inches thick). Season the steaks on both sides with Sea Salt and Cracked Black Pepper
In an oven proof pan, set on high heat, add one teaspoon of butter
And the 2 steaks. You want to sear them on both sides quickly. About 1 minute per side.
Once you have seared both sides, place the whole pan in your preheated oven to continue cooking through. You can check the doneness of your steaks with a meat thermometer or by touch if you are confident enough ;)
While your steaks are in the oven, drain your boiled potatos and throw them in a saucepan with a little butter, fresh chopped garlic, salt and pepper and 1 chopped green onion. Saute on Medium low Heat until you are ready to serve...making sure to stir every couple of minutes.
In a second pan saute some small button mushrooms in a little butter or olive oil. season with salt and pepper too.
Once the mushrooms are browned, oven your oven door and dump the mushrooms and any juices over your steaks to finish cooking with them.
Steaks are done! Remove the steaks and mushrooms from the pan and set aside to rest.
Using the juices left in the steak pan, add a couple splashes of red wine and reduce by half.
Serve with your sauteed potatoes and drizzle red wine reduction over steak and mushrooms.
The key to this meal is multi-tasking to get it done in 20 minutes!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Lemon Garlic Chicken with Roasted Veggie & Feta Quinoa

Last week I was all about eating super healthy...I had a half marathon coming up on the
weekend and really needed to detox all of the thanksgiving goodness out of me.
So I made this go to recipe of mine that always makes me feel lighter after eating it!

Lemon Garlic Chicken with Roasted Veggie & Feta Quinoa
 First you need to marinate your chicken overnight. The longer it site in the marinade the better. For 5 Chicken Breasts I used 1 Tbsp Olive Oil, Juice of 2 lemons, 1/2 Tsp Lemon Rind, 3 Garlic Cloves Minced, 1 Tbsp Minced Fresh Thyme and Oregano, Salt and Pepper to taste.
 Make sure you cover all the chicken in the marinade and cover in plastic wrap. Place in your fridge until you are ready to grill.
 Place your veggies in a large oven proof pan and drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper and bunches of fresh oregano. I used Asparagus, Zucchini, Red Pepper and Red Onion. Roast at 400F until veggies are cooked through.
 While your Veggies are roasting cook your quinoa according to package directions. I used about 2 cups of Quinoa since we like leftovers for lunch!
 When quinoa is cooked, pour into a large bowl and add 1 can of rinsed chickpeas to it.
 And all the roasted veggies. Stir to combine.
 Top with crumbled feta just before serving. I like to serve this dish warm, so grill your chicken while you are roasting the veggies.
I served the chicken with homemade tahini...super yum!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Jalapeno Cornbread Muffins

Earlier this week I posted my recipe for chili...now here is the recipe for the part that stole the show. These don't have much heat to them..more of a zing, and are super buttery yet crispy on top if you serve them straight out of the oven. I recommend eating them warm with a little butter. So good!

Jalapeno Cornbread Muffins

 In a bowl combine all your dry ingredients: 1 Cup Flour, 1 Cup Cornmeal (fine ground), 6 Tbsp Sugar, 1 1/2 Tsp Baking Powder, 1/4 tsp Baking Soda, 1/2 Tsp Salt and a pinch of Nutmeg. Whisk together and set aside.
 Finely mince 1 Jalapeno Pepper, removing the seeds and membrane. Set this aside as well.
 In another bowl combine your wet ingredients: 1 Cup Buttermilk, 3 Tbsp Melted Butter, 3 Tbsp Canola Oil, 1 Whole egg plus 1 Egg Yolk.
 Pour your wet ingredients over the dry and gently combine, do not overwork it...you want it just combined.
 Now add 1 small can of creamed corn, 1 can of green chili's and your chopped jalapenos. Gently fold these in.

Spoon into a muffin tin and bake for 15-17 minutes in a 400F oven until edges start to turn a nice golden brown and the muffins puff up.
Not gonna lie...I ate these for breakfast all week. So awesome!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Homestyle Chili

Ok Chili connoisseurs, look away because I like to break all the rules when it comes to my chili. I like beans in my chili, and lots of vegetables...so there!! I really don't have a specific recipe when it comes to making chili. I like to put in whatever i have in the fridge and experiment with different kinds of meats. Here is the version I made last week!

First crisp up about 6 thick cut slices of bacon, chopped.
 Once the bacon is crispy add 1 lb extra lean ground beef, 1 lb ground pork, and 1 lb stewing beef cut into bite size chunks. You will need a very large pot for this recipe...when i make chili I make enough to freeze for many more meals.
 While your meat is browning now is a good time to add your first round of spice mix. My spice mix contains 1 tbsp chili powder, 1 tsp cumin, 1tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp cayenne, 1 tsp ground black pepper, 1 tsp kosher salt. Double this mixture and use half now, reserve the other half for later.
 Once your meat is browned you can add your vegetables. 1 added 1 large onion, 3 stalks of celery, 1 red pepper, 1 green pepper, 2 jalapenos and 5 cloves of garlic.
 I also found about 6 mushrooms in my fridge and added those as well.
Mix everything together and turn the heat down on low

 Now I like to add beans to my chili. They are high in fibre and a great way to get more protein in this dish. Today I added Red and White Kidney Beans and 1 can of Baked beans in molasses. Add the baked beans now but save the others for later.
Add 1 Can of Crushed tomatoes, 1 can of Tomato Paste, and 1 tbsp Brown sugar. Stir to combine.

 Cover your chili and let it cook on low for at LEAST 3 hours. The longer it simmers the more the flavours have a chance to come together.
One hour before serving add the White and Red kidney beans

 And the second half of your seasoning mix. Now is a great time to take a taste and see if you need more seasoning mix, or salt, or heat. Let this simmer for 1 more hour.
Serve with fresh scallions and a cornbread muffin (recipe for those later this week!) and park yourself somewhere warm and cozy. Really, this is the perfect fall/winter meal!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Pumpkin Pie....2 ways!

Its the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend starting today and I have 2 Thanksgiving desserts to share with you . One was used as a garnish for the other...but even alone they are both decadent!

First I made mini pumpkin pies! So cute and so easy to make.

 I purchased 2 frozen pie shells and removed them from the tin pie plates they came in. Lay them flat on your counter and with your rolling pin, roll them out slightly thinner.
 Using a round cookie cutter (or a glass like i did..lol) cut out 24 circles. I had to mash the dough together and re-roll it out to get 24.
 Next, place the dough in mini-muffin tins, molding a crust on the top.
 You can even make a little stem on the top so it looks like a pumpkin! Uber cute!
 I made 2 batches of 12 since the stems took up space on the tin.
 For the filling combine 1 250g package of cream cheese (softened..very important!) 2 Eggs at room temperature, 1 tsp Pumpkin pie spice (1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ginger, 1/8 tsp ground cloves, 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg) 1/2 cup of sugar and 1 cup pumpkin puree. Combine until mixture is smooth and creamy.
 Using a spoon, pour your filling into your pumpkin pie shells. Bake in a 350F oven for about 15 minutes, or until shell is a nice toasty brown.
 So cute!
Garnish the pies with a dollop of cinnamon whipped cream. These were truly one bite of heaven! Yum! BUT, these are also going to be served alongside some Pumpkin Creme Brulee!! On to that recipe!!

Follow the step by step instructions to make creme brulee here: Classic Creme Brulee

After you add the heavy cream to the egg mixture add 1 tsp of pumpkin pie spice (ingredients listed above)
Add 1 cup of pumpkin puree

Whisk to combine and skim off any bubbles my pouring your mixture through a sieve.
Pour custard into ramekins and place in a deep ovenproof dish or pan. Fill dish or pan half way with hot water and bake in a 350F oven for 50-55 minutes

I love the bright orange of this dessert!
Let creme brulee cool on the counter then refrigerate until ready to serve.

Top with a little sugar and blowtorch it (or broil in the oven) until caramelized! You still want the custard inside to be cold so blowtorch is the best route!