March 30, 2011

Stuffed Turkey Meatloaf

We finally started a cooking club here in Lincoln. Really, it's just an excuse to eat delicious food and have the girls get together. We had a blast. I hosted the first month so I did a simple theme "Favorite Foods." The only problem is I don't really have a "favorite" main dish... so I called Hannah and she told me hers, I cheated and made her favorite dish. It was quite delicious. (And just between you and me, it is healthy!)

Stuffed Turkey Meatloaf
recipe from my sister, Hannah
1 1/2 tsp canola oil
6 slices white bread (crusts removed, torn small pieces)
1/2 c skim milk
2 lbs ground turkey
2 tbsp dijon mustard
2 tsp italian seasoning
salt & pepper
1 egg white

For the stuffing:
2 lbs frozen spinach
1 tbsp olive oil
3 green onions (green tops only, chopped)
1 egg white pepper
1/3 c freshly grated Romano cheese
1/2 c toasted pine nuts

Line a cookie sheet with tin foil. (Make sure the foil hangs over the edge an inch or two...) Spray foil with cooking spray.
In a bowl, mash the bread with the milk until milk is fully absorbed. Squeeze bread to eliminate excess milk.
In another bowl, combine turkey, mustard, oregano, 1 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Add the soaked bread and egg white and mix until creamy, 2-3 minutes. Spread in prepared pan to make an even later. Cover the pan with plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 3 hours.
To make stuffing, cook the spinach according to the package and squeeze our excess moisture. Place spinach and green onion in frying pan and cook over medium-high heat until spinach is dry and fluffy. (About 5 minutes...) Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Add egg and season generously with pepper.
Spread spinach stuffing evenly over turkey, leaving a 1-inch border of the turkey. Add toasted pine nuts on top. Sprinkle cheese evenly over stuffing and pine nuts.
Lifting the foil along the long side facing you, roll up the meat and stuffing like a jelly roll, pushing it forward a bit at a time and lifting the foil away, until a long log has formed. Pat the log gently to compact it. Brush with the remaining 1 tsp canola oil and center it on the pan. Cook loaf for 1 hour at 350 degrees. Let rest for 15 minutes. Cut meat into 8-10 slices and serve over spicy tomato sauce.
*If you want to see step by step pictures see Hannah's post.

Spicy Tomato Sauce
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground cloves
2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 c. finely chopped yellow onion
1 clove garlic, minced
28 oz. can whole tomatoes & juice
28 oz. can chopped tomatoes & juice
2 c tomato sauce
Stir together spices. Set aside. Warm olive oil in deep pan. Add onion and saute until they begin to soften. Stir in garlic. Add tomatoes. Break apart whole tomatoes. Stir in spice mixture. Raise heat to medium high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer at least 20 minutes. Remove from heat and use immediately, or let cool, cover, and refrigerate for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 2 months.

March 28, 2011

Asian Glazed Drumsticks

Last week was my husband's spring break. I took one too - we left for Kansas City, saw some fun sites and museums. I didn't do much cooking or cleaning. It was fabulous.
Are you guys watching March Madness? Our team was in through the sweet 16, unfortunately loosing last Thursday night by just a few points. It was sweet while it lasted.
Even though it was just my husband and I watching the game I thought we needed some party food - so I finally made these Asian Drumsticks from Gina's Skinny Recipes. These were delicious, and you would never guess they were low calorie. Mmm!

Asian Glazed Drumsticks
recipe via Gina's Skinny Recipes
8 medium chicken drumsticks, skin removed
Pam spray oil
1 cup water
1 Tbsp Sriracha hot sauce (more or less to taste)
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce
4 tsp agave nectar (or sugar)
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp ginger, grated
2 Tbsp chives or scallions, chopped
1 tsp sesame seeds

In a heavy large saucepan, brown chicken on high for 3-4 minutes with a little spray oil. Add water, balsamic, soy sauce, agave, garlic, ginger, hot sauce and cook on high until liquid comes to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered for about 20 minutes. Remove cover and bring heat to high, allowing sauce to reduce down, about 8-10 minutes, until it becomes a thick glaze, turning chicken occasionally. (Keep an eye on glaze, you don't want it to burn when it start becoming thick) Transfer chicken to a platter and pour glaze on top. Top with chives and sesame seeds and serve.

March 15, 2011

"Golden" Caramel Popcorn

I have posted this recipe before, but it is so fun, I thought you might want a reminder.
A few years ago my sister and I started the St. Patrick's tradition of doing a gold hunt for our kids. They follow clues on rainbows to the next and finally end up at a pot of gold. When we took this picture, our pot broke, so we had a basket of gold. We used golden wrapped candies (Rolos, Twix, coins are all great) and I made Golden (caramel) Popcorn.

What are some of your St. Patrick's Day Traditions?

Caramel Popcorn
adapted from my Grandma Smith
6-8 c popped popcorn
1 1/2 c white sugar
1 c brown sugar
1/2 c white Karo Syrup
3/4 c water
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
4 Tbsp butter
1 tsp salt

Put popcorn in 9x13 pan and warm in 250 degree oven. Cook sugars, Karo, and water to 300 degrees. Add butter and salt. When melted, mix well. Remove from heat and add soda and vanilla. Stir well (and fast!). Pour over hot corn and stir and stir. Pour out on table and mold with hands.

These instructions are taken straight from my grandma's recipe card. I don't mold into balls with my hands, but be careful if you do - remember the sugar is super hot!

  • Use a larger pot than what you think - when you add the soda and vanilla it will puff up a lot!
  • If you want to double the batch, make in two separate waves. The sugar cools too fast to do one big doubled-batch.
  • Be patient, it does take a little while to get to 300 degrees. 
  • This is a crunchy caramel popcorn. The way to tell - soft caramel corn has sweetened condensed milk and crunchy has baking soda.

March 14, 2011

Monday Menu

So I was pretty good about making my meals last week that I thought I should post our menu again this week to keep me motivated through the week.
This week we are getting ready for a very fun spring break vacation next week. So my goal this week is to eat up the leftovers and make things easier toward the end of the week so I can focus on getting packed, etc.
Because nothing goes perfectly as planned, we weren't able to do all our meals from last week. So I am going to try and get them in this week.

Thanks to my sis for this picture from our celebration last year. I am sad we won't get to do our tradition together.

Monday - Stuffed Shells
Tuesday - Leftovers
Wednesday - Cooking Club (we finally started one up here, so excited!)
Thursday Happy St. Patrick's Day! -  Irish Stew and Soda Bread
Friday - Leftovers
Saturday - Chicken Bryan
Sunday - To be announced...

What are you making this week?

March 11, 2011

Ultimate Nachos

A friend and I were headed to meet at a local museum for a play date. Lou and I got ready and headed out the door. I was slightly late, so I was carrying Lou to avoid having to count each step on the two flights of stairs (cute, but time consuming). When we got outside it was cold, and there was just a skim of snow on the ground. In seconds I found myself on the ground with Lou on her back. This wasn't a slip-slip-oh-no!-fall type fall. It was a how-did-I-get-on-the-ground-so-fast? type fall. I felt terrible that I wasn't able to brace Lou, let alone myself for the fall. She wasn't hurt, just scared. I landed on my hands and knees so I wasn't worried about the baby, just my foot hurt a little bit. As I drove away from the icy parking lot, my foot started hurting more and more. After walking around the museum I decided walking was not a good idea and I should stay off of it.
It was to be the night for the delicious looking shrimp soup. But I decided to do my Ultimate Nachos since they were faster and I wouldn't have to be on my foot as much.

I am sure you know how to make Nachos, so this is more just so you can see my ingredient ratio for our nachos. As you can see, I like a lot of "stuff" on my nachos - yes, I promise, there are chips under there.

Ultimate Nachos
1 chicken breast
1/3 bag of Tortilla chips
6 oz shredded cheese (I used Colby Jack because that's what we had)
1 can pinto bean
1/2 jalapeno, sliced (optional)
1/2 small red onion, diced
2 roma tomatoes, diced
3-4 large romaine leaves, shredded
1 avocados
cilantro, roughly chopped
sour cream

Preheat oven to 275. Season chicken breast with salt and pepper. Cook chicken breast in saute pan until cooked through, cut into small cubes. Line cookie sheet with a single layer of chips, then cheese, beans, chicken breast pieces, and jalapeno. Continue to layer until chips are gone or until you have enough. Place in oven for about 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Keep a close eye on them - it will go from perfect to burnt quickly.
Top with remaining ingredients and eat!

I used to put these under the broiler but I found a lower temperature oven gave me a better cheese consistency.

March 09, 2011

Banana Bread

In college I had a roommate, Lisa.  She was a great cook and we all loved her food. She didn't bake too often because she was working full-time and going to school full-time. She was friends with everyone on campus (no really!). She worked for the corporate side of Cold Stone. She brought home ice cream all the time. She hated it when we would take a taste -- at least without asking. Mostly because she was planning on giving it away to a friend. That's how she was able to keep her girlish figure, and be friends with the entire campus! Lucky girl!
One thing Lisa made well was banana bread. I have yet to find a more delicious recipe. Lisa's is sweet, flavorful, and moist. Lucky for you, I made it the other day which means - you get the recipe now too!

Banana Bread
recipe thanks to Roommate Lisa

2 cups sugar
2½ cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp soda
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp nutmeg
½ tsp baking powder
1 cup oil
3 eggs
2 cups mashed bananas
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350°. Mix sugar, flour, salt, soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and baking powder. Mix in remaining ingredients. Bake in 2 greased bread pans for 1 hour.

Sometimes this bread can get a little dark. After about 30 minutes if the bread is looking dark, cover with foil while bread finishes baking.

March 07, 2011

Monday Menu

I haven't been as good about planning a menu since I started back to work. Now is when I could really use it. I thought if I made a post out of my menu for the week - it would inspire me to 1- actually make a menu and 2 - follow through! You also get a look at my schedule because that affects what we will have. (ie - easy meal after a night shift, something that is easily reheated on night shift, etc) Here's what we are going to have for dinner this week:

Monday (Family Home Evening) - Chicken, Mac & Cheese, Salad
Tuesday (Errands, Dr. appts, etc)- Coconut Curried Shrimp and Mango Stew
Wednesday (night shift) - Pasta (haven't decided what kind yet)
Thursday - Ultimate Nachos (easy, and perfect to eat while watching American Idol)
Friday (night shift) - Big Salad
Saturday (date night)- Try to recreate Chicken Bryan from Carrabba's
Sunday (church) - Stuffed Shells, bread, salad

What are you having for dinner this week? (I am looking for ideas for next week)

March 04, 2011

Out of Service

Sorry for my lack of posts - our internet is down. I am currently borrowing someone else's to let you know that I will be back next week!