Archive for kitchen
Looking for a dinner idea that is quick and easy and reminds you of summer? Try these Ground Turkey Burgers- simple to make and even easier to eat! I did them in a grill pan, as the weather wasn’t quite dry enough for grilling, but they would turn out fantastic on the outdoor grill as well.
1 lb ground lean turkey
1 Tbsp dried chives
2 Tbsp minced fresh basil
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp chipotle pepper
1/3 cup diced green pepper
1/4 tsp dried California-style garlic
Beat egg in medium bowl, adding in seasonings. Add ground beef and green pepper and mix very well. (Use hands if needed) Shape into 4 large or 6 medium burgers. Spray grill pan with a bit of olive oil and pre-heat. Cook in grill pan over med-high heat for about 8-10 min per side for medium-size burgers and 10-12 minutes per side for larger-size.
Serve on whole wheat buns (toasted lightly is best) with a dollop of mayo, fresh sliced tomato, romaine leaf lettuce and roasted red pepper slices. A yummy side-dish could be a crisp oriental salad or crusty onion rings. (or both!)
Enjoy and let me know what you think!
Need a dinner idea? Since one of my last posts was a dessert, I thought I would bring you a dinner recipe this time. If you haven’t made the Guinness Chocolate Cake yet, it will be the perfect sweet treat after my Chili with Cornbread- what could make your taste buds happier on a cool fall day?
Here is a simple chili recipe that I threw together for my own dinner the other night, so I thought I’d share it with you. For those of you who know me, you know I don’t do well with following recipes or even writing them down while I am creating them. So, this is being written while cooking, so I don’t forget what all went in!
Cooking Notes: I like to simmer my chili for as long as possible before serving, the flavors meld well and it becomes thicker without adding more tomato paste. I will often put my chili in the crock pot if I can’t be home to watch the stove. If using the crock pot, put all ingredients (except beans) into pot in order. Cover and cook 6 hours on high. Then stir well, add beans and cook another hour on low.
1 lb ground turkey
2-3 stalks celery, diced
1 large onion, diced
3/4 cup carrot, finely diced
Over medium high hear, brown all ingredients above in a large pot. Add next 11 ingredients-
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp chili powder
3 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 tsp coarse ground Kosher salt
1 tsp dried parsley
6-oz can tomato paste
4-oz can diced green chilies
2 quarts stewed tomatoes (or 2- 28 oz canned stewed tomatoes plus 16 oz can)
Simmer all ingredients for 45 minutes (or up to 2 hours), then add beans below.
2-16oz cans chili beans (I use mild sauce style)
2-16 oz can northern beans
Simmer for 20-30 minutes more. Serve with shredded cheddar cheese and/or sour cream.
Easy Corn Bread:
I use the basic recipe from the box of the cornmeal that I buy, with a few alterations of course! I like to use a cornbread/scone divided pan, so everyone gets an individual piece of cornbread, the crunchy edges and the moist middle. It’s a simple cornbread, perfect with butter and honey.
1 1/4 cups flour (I use whole wheat pastry flour)
3/4 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1/4 cup oil (or if you prefer- 1/4 cup applesauce plus 1 Tbsp oil)
1 egg, beaten
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray 8-9″ round, square or divided pan. Combine dry and wet ingredients in 2 separate bowls. Stir them together, mixing until dry ingredients are moist, but not over-mixing. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 20-25 minutes for round or square pan, 15-20 minutes for divided pan. Don’t over bake, bake until toothpick inserted comes out clean. When done, cool slightly, remove from pan and serve warm. Butter and honey insure there will be no leftovers. (9 servings with round or square pan, 12 with divided)
There you have it, a simple, healthy dinner that is sure to please. It’s a dinner that can be made when you don’t know what else to make, as the ingredients are basics that should be in a well stocked pantry, fridge and freezer. Make life easy on yourself by allowing those food storage areas to work for you.
Let me know what you think of the cornbread and the chili in the comments below. If you have some add-ins or some alterations, please note those as well. Enjoy your dinner!
To celebrate the flavors of summer for a few more weeks, I am sharing a grilled chicken recipe that I created a few months back that my family has been enjoying. It has become a simple and delicious alternative to traditional grilled chicken.
The ingredients can also be varied a bit to allow for whatever is handy to guide the flavor. Make it as a main dish to serve with various sides, such as grilled potato pockets, potato salad, rice pilaf, or even spinach salad. The recipe goes well with almost anything and therefore becomes a wonderful “go to” recipe for all occasions. Simple enough for everyday, yet elegant and special enough for a party.
I have made this for my family of 4 and for a larger party requiring 24 chicken breasts. (For a party, you can make and roll breasts a few hours ahead and keep sealed in refrigerator until ready to grill.)
WRAPPED CHICKEN BREASTS:
4 Chicken Breasts, pounded thin with meat mallet
1/2 Red Pepper, julienne sliced
Coarse Kosher Salt
Coarse Ground Black Pepper
Fresh Basil Leaves (2 per breast), washed and sliced into 3 sections
4 Bacon or Prosciutto slices
Place each chicken breast on cutting board, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with kosher salt, and ground pepper. Add sliced basil leaves and red pepper slices. Tightly roll up chicken breast and wrap with raw slice of bacon or prosciutto. Secure with toothpick.
Grill over medium-low coals turning occasionally for 25-45 minutes, (Depending upon size and thickness of chicken breast, larger rolls will take longer.) or until chicken is done and juices run clear. Let set 5 minutes before serving.
To serve as an appetizer, grill as above, then slice each rolled breast into 3-4 slices. Put a toothpick in each and serve a Hollandaise or Bearnaise sauce for dipping.
Here is a delicious recipe shared with me by my wonderful friend Brooke. A great recipe to share at a party or gathering, or to simply enjoy on your own patio. A delightful twist on a traditional favorite. Enjoy and let me know what you think!
Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Chips:
1 cup diced strawberries
1 or 2 diced kiwi
1 small can crushed pineapple, drained
1/2 cup mandarin oranges, drained and chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped green onion
1/4 cup diced orange or yellow bell pepper
1 diced jalapeno, seeded (or use 1/2 if you prefer less heat)
Juice from 1/2 of a lime
In a bowl, mix all chopped and diced ingredients, toss with lime juice. Set aside for at least 30 minutes to let flavors meld. Serve with fresh cinnamon chips, recipe below.
1 pkg of 10-6″ flour tortillas
2 T melted butter
1 T cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix cinnamon and sugar. Brush tortillas with butter, then coat with cinnamon/sugar mixture. Cut each tortilla into 6 wedges. Bake on cookie sheet for 8 minutes, or until dry and crispy.
Original recipe from Better Homes & Gardens New CookBook (published in 1996)
Would you like to update your eating area and create a special dining space? Are you longing to bring that open-concept living area a bit more formality? Is entertaining something your dining area isn’t up to? If you envision a dining space that is simple enough for family dinners, yet special enough for entertaining or a romantic dinner, here are some tips to get your dining space moving in the right direction.
1. Lighting is Key: Make sure your lighting is on dimmers, harsh lighting feels like you’re eating in a cafeteria. Candlelight is even better!
2. Slipcovers: A great way to add some design to your space is to slipcover a few of the chairs. Don’t do all of them, chose a combo to make more of an impact.
3. Panels: Add some drapery panels. Fabric absorbs sound and creates a cocoon-like feel, making the space more intimate.
4. Centerpiece: Create a centerpiece that sets the tone for your space. It can be a large floral, a rustic tray with a seasonal arrangement, or a candle menagerie. Think simple with “wow” factor.
5. Color: Don’t forget the backdrop- color defines your space and your design. Whether it is a warm chocolate, a romantic coral, or a earthy green, let color shape your design.
A few simple changes and you could be on your way to a whole new space to enjoy your dining experience. Some of these spaces use color as their defining statement, others use texture, and others use a unique focal point, but all have a specifically defined style that isn’t boring.
I love how the slipcovers blend the styles of chairs, I love how color can make one piece pop, I love how vintage pieces can create that gathered over time feel. Adding a modern or clean-lined piece can make the space less formal and less expected as well.
Don’t fall into the trap of purchasing a dining set from the store and bringing home every piece in the collection. Your room will quickly look like an outdated store display and will not feel personal or unique. If you already have that situation, make some of the changes above to start defining your space. Consider breaking up the set, or even painting some of the pieces to make it your own.
Whatever you do, have fun with your dining area. Dining should be a lingering experience, a time to savor the food, the ambiance, the conversation, and the company. Enjoy it. Celebrate it.