Posts Tagged ‘recipe’

Roast Turkey Roulade with steamed green beans--Perfect Holiday Bite!

Roast Turkey Roulade with steamed green beans–Perfect Holiday Bite!

I am waaaayyy behind on my blogging. The past few months of 2012 have been incredibly busy, but I am excited to wrap this year up and start anew in 2013 in just a few days!

This is a great recipe for a Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any special dinner calling for roast turkey. My favorite part of the turkey (with the exception of fried turkey skin) is a slice of juicy turkey breast meat. This year, rather than cooking an entire whole turkey, I opted to buy just the turkey breast. I was only feeding two, so a large bird would just be too much food. However, I didn’t want to compromise the luscious stuffing that accompanies roasting a whole bird. I found a great option from Ina Garten for a turkey roulade that I decided to give a try with a few adaptations to make the perfect bite of turkey breast and stuffing.

Depending on the size of the turkey breast you buy, you can adjust the proportions of stuffing ingredients. As written, you will have extra stuffing to cook in a separate pan for an excellent side dish to the turkey.

A note on the turkey breast prep: If you have access to a butcher who will de-bone the breast while preserving the integrity of the skin on the outside consider your self lucky and go for that option. If you are like me and pick up your meats at the supermarket with no special requests, de-boning the turkey breast will take a bit of work–but the upside is that your really learn the anatomy of a turkey! You want to end up with one, intact turkey breast with the skin still on. The skill keeps the turkey moist and adds to the flavor and color of the roasted roulade. But don’t be intimidated…this was my first attempt at deboning a turkey breast. I just looked up a few YouTube videos before attempting it on my own. The videos make it look easy…it took me a little longer and my cuts were not quite as clean but overall it was totally doable and worth the effort.

Holiday Turkey Roulade


  • ½ cup each of dried currants, large-diced dried figs (stems removed), dried cranberries, or any other dried fruits you like or have on hand
  • ½  cup Calvados, brandy, or AppleJack whiskey (for a non-alcoholic version use apple cider)
  • 2 Tbsp  unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 diced onions (yellow or white), approx 1 ½ cups
  • 3 celery stalks, diced
  • ½ lb. hot pork sausage, casings removed
  • ½ lb. sweet pork sausage, casings removed
  • 1 ½ Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 3 Tbsp pine nuts or walnuts, toasted (pine nuts are more expensive, walnuts are perfectly acceptable substitute)
  • 3 cups herb-seasoned stuffing mix
  • 1-2 cups chicken stock
  • 1  egg, beaten
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 whole (2 halves) turkey breast, boned and butterflied –see note above
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted

To make:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

For the stuffing:

In a small saucepan combine dried fruits, brandy (or whichever cooking liquid you prefer–see ingredient options above) and ½ cup of water, bringing the mixture to a boil. Lower heat and allow to simmer for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. Warning, do not pour alcoholic liquids in the saucepan while on the burner–if you have a gas stovetop–you do not want flame ups 🙂

In a  large skillet, melt 2 Tbsp butter with olive oil, add onions and celery. Cook until softened and onions are translucent (approx 5-7 min). Add the sausage and crumble with a fork or spoon as it cooks. Cook through until sausage is no longer pink and has browned. Add dried fruits (with liquid from the saucepan), rosemary, and nuts; cook an additional 2-3 minutes until combined

In a large mixing bowl combine bread stuffing mix, sausage mixture, chicken stock, beaten egg, 1 tsp salt ½ tsp pepper, stir until all stuffing ingredients are mixed well.

Place the stuffing mix in a large bowl. Add the sausage mixture, chicken stock, egg, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and stir well.

To prepare the turkey roulade:


Trussed, stuffed and ready to roast!

Place prepared turkey breast on a cutting board skin side down. Season turkey with salt and pepper. Spread the stuffing in an approx ½ in layer over the meat. Leave a ½ inch border on all sides so for ease of rolling the turkey. Place remaining stuffing in a lightly greased baking dish to be cooked separately for 45 minutes. Roll the stuffed turkey starting at one of the shorter ends (you will not be rolling from the top/tail part of the breast but rolling so that the turkey rolls back into its original shape). Once rolled, use twine to tie the turkey roulade firmly into a tight cylinder form. Place the turkey seam-side down onto a roasting rack on a baking sheet pan. Brush skin with melted butter, season with salt and pepper. Roast for approximately 2 hours until the internal temperature is 150 degrees—you want to check the temperature in a few places to endure the turkey is cooked fully and you are not testing the temperature of the stuffing rather than the meat. Remove from the oven, cover with aluminum foil and let rest for 15 minutes. Slice and enjoy!


Roasted, resting Turkey Roulade


Carved Turkey Roulade with Sausage Stuffing


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CSA box Veggie Chili–this is prior to the last few minutes of cooking…almost ready. A one-pot dinner filled with many healthy, delicious, perfect bites!

In trying to use up the bounty of fresh veggies in creative ways…I’ve come across plenty of perfect bites (and a handful of not-so-perfect bites).

This recipe is so easy and a great way to use up the veggies from your weekly CSA box. The “Farmer’s Market Chili” is a veggie-packed chili is full of flavor and can be adapted to be a great vegetarian main meal. This particular recipe is just shy of being vegetarian. I used beef broth but substitute vegetable broth and your meal is vegetarian…don’t top with cheese or sour cream and you have yourself a vegan chili! The portions can be increased exponentially to freeze for the upcoming chilly fall and winter days ahead. As far as the specific veggies—improvise based on what you have on hand. The key is to incorporate a few different textures in the chili. Another added bonus: this is a one pot meal! Have fun and enjoy 🙂

Simple Summer CSA Chili

3 medium zucchini, roughly chopped

2-3 medium/large yellow summer squash

1 bell pepper, roughly chopped

1 medium/large carrot, roughly chopped

1 small American eggplant (or…one small Japanese eggplant and one small white eggplant)

2 jalapeno peppers, roughly chopped (remove seeds to reduce spice level–use them to kick up the heat)

1 shallot, chopped

1 large clove garlic, chopped

2 cups broth (beef, chicken, or vegetable)

6 oz can tomato paste

28 oz can whole tomato (tear or roughly chop tomato, save all juice)

3 Tbsp chili powder

2 tsp ground cumin (fresh ground is best)

15 oz. can of beans (any type will do, I actually used chickpeas)

1 tsp salt

3 Tbsp canola oil (substitute 1 Tbsp bacon fat + 2 Tbsp canola oil if desired)

cheese and sour cream (optional for topping)

To make:

In a large dutch oven or other thick bottom pot, heat oil over medium high heat until shimmering. Add green peppers, jalapeno peppers, and diced carrot–saute until softened a bit. Add garlic and shallot, stir and cook 1-2 minutes. Add tomato paste and stir just until fragrant. Add eggplant, squash, zucchini, salt, cumin, and chili powder. Stir and saute for approx 1 minute–add 1/4 cup of the broth to de-glaze the bottom of the pan, continue to stir 1 more minute. Add tomatoes with juices, beans, and remainder of the broth. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer covered for approximately 15 minutes or until the veggies are done to your desired crispness. Add additional broth, wine, or water if chili becomes too thick. I prefer a thicker, chunkier chili but thin to your taste preference. Enjoy!

Optional: Let cool slightly, scoop into a bowl, top with a dollop of sour cream and cheese.

Farmer’s Market Chili

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Cherry Clafoutis: So easy and delicious–a great way to showcase fresh cherries of summer!

Summer is the season of cherries! Fresh cherries are a delight that I only recently started to enjoy. They take a little work to pit, but the sweet, tart taste of a fresh cherry makes a wonderful summertime perfect bite. When you are tired of eating the fresh cherries plain, here is a recipe that is quick and easy and makes the perfect rustic dessert or even sweet breakfast.

This recipe uses fresh cherries in a traditional French dish: Cherry Clafoutis. The most traditional way to bake this egg-pastry is to leave the cherries un-pitted. I prefer to go ahead and pit the cherries  prior to baking, so that each bite is full of sweet, tart, creamy, and a little chewy deliciousness.

Cherry Clafoutis


  • Approx. 2 cups fresh sweet cherries, stemmed and pitted (or leave un-pitted for a purist version–just warn every one of the pits prior to eating)
  • 3 large eggs (room temperature)
  • 1 cup milk (room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • Butter–for coating pan
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting/garnish

To make:

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 375°F.
  2. Coat a medium cast iron (or other oven-safe) pan with butter. Place cherries in pan in a single layer. Don’t get too attached to the design because they will shift as the Clafoutis cooks.
  3. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla and almond extracts, and salt until smooth and the sugar has dissolved. Add the flour and whisk until just combined. A few lumps are ok. Hint: the room temperature eggs and milk allow the ingredients to incorporate better than if used cold milk/eggs right from the fridge. The room temperature eggs/milk also help with giving the Clafoutis a better rise when baking.
  4. Pour batter over the cherries in the prepared pan.
  5. Bake approx. 30 minutes. The batter should be set, slightly puffed and light golden brown around the edges.
  6. Remove from oven and let cool on a  wire rack  for about 10 minutes (the Clafoutis will deflate).
  7. Garnish with powdered sugar and serve warm. Enjoy!

Ready to slice and eat!

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Dutch baby pancake–perfect breakfast, brunch, or dessert bite!

This recipe is one if the easiest recipes for a quick, tasty breakfast (or possibly dessert)!  When your husband, kids, or friends are in the mood for pancakes and you really don’t feel like laboring over a hot skillet to make single size pancakes for a crowd, this is a wonderful alternative–a Dutch baby pancake (also called a popover pancake, German pancake, Poffertje, or Bismarck).

There are a few notable differences from a traditional pancake. The Dutch baby pancake is a bit more egg’y (similar to a crepe) and makes one large pancake that you can slice up into single servings, or just put on a plate and let everyone gather ’round and tear off a portion family style. There are many ways to spice  up this recipe. You can add your favorite fruit, chocolate, cinnamon, etc.–your imagination is the only limit. This recipe is the basic version–not too sweet, a little chewy, and makes a perfect bite for breakfast, brunch, or sometimes dessert.

An additional bonus: you will get some good use out of your cast iron skillet and clean up is a cinch!

Basic Dutch baby Pancake


1/2 cup regular all-purpose flour

1/2 cup milk (I used skim, but whole or 2% will work as well)

2 eggs, lightly beaten

2-3 Tbsp butter

2-3 Tbsp powdered sugar

2-3 Tbsp lemon juice (or juice from 1/2 lemon)

To make:

Preheat oven to 425. Combine flour, milk, and eggs in a mixing bowl–beat lightly with a fork or whisk. There will be a few lumps, which is ok. Put bUtter in cast iron or other oven-proof frying pan and place in the pre-heated oven. When butter melts, carefully pour bAtter into heated pan. Return to oven and bake for approximately 20 minutes. The pancake is done when it is lightly browned at the edges and puffed. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and lemon juice. Serve immediately. Don’t worry if the pancake falls–it will still taste good 🙂

My new favorite “pancake” recipe

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Happy Zucchini Bread Day!

Today is both National Zucchini Bread Day and Administrative Professionals Day. What better way to combine the two “fun holidays” and make mini zucchini breads to take to work with you and share with your fellow co-workers! This recipe is a fun spin on plain zucchini bread. The sweet potato and adds some extra moistness and nutrition to this perfect loaf of not-too sweet quick bread perfect for sharing.

Sweet Potato Zucchini Bread

(slightly modified from epicurious.com)


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups zucchini (grated*, you can leave the peel on)–one medium/large zucchini
  • 1-2 cups sweet potato (peeled and grated*)–one small/medium sweet potato
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts, lightly toasted

To make:

*Note: To grate the zucchini and sweet potatoes, you can either use a box grater (large holes) or use a grater attachment for your food processor

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease 4 mini loaf pans (or a regular 9 x 5 loaf pan) with non-stick cooking spray. Sift flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into medium bowl. Beat sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla in large bowl until well combined using whisk or electric mixer. Stir in zucchini and sweet potato. Add dry ingredients and walnuts and stir well. Pour or scoop batter to pans. Bake for about 30-45 minutes (if using a full size loaf pan the cooking time will be approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes). Either way use a toothpick or sharp knife to test the center–when the tester comes out clean the loaves are done. Cool bread in pan on rack 15 minutes. Slide knife around bread to loosen. Turn out onto rack and cool completely.

Feel free to bake this bread a day ahead. Once completely cool, cover in plastic wrap and foil. Keep at room temperature. The mini loaves transport easily for sharing 🙂

Delicious mini Zucchini Bread Loaves to share!

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Molasses Breakfast Roll

This is one of the easiest recipes for making a sweet breakfast treat. The star of this recipe is molasses. The molasses glaze spices up the mundane cinnamon roll and adds a wonderful layer of caramelized flavor with a hint of smokiness. I’d put this recipe in a “semi-homemade’ category. If you really want to be fancy feel free to make your own dough, but I cheat and use Pillsbury crescent roll dough. I love to cook but I also love using pre-made doughs when I want to feel like I’m making something special but not put in the extra time of dough prep. The homemade glaze is the highlight of these breakfast rolls…the dough serves merely as the vessel 🙂

Molasses Breakfast Rolls

  • 1/4 cup Molasses
  • 4 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1-2 Tbsp butter–for the glaze
  • 1 Tbsp butter–for the rolls
  • 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 tsp plain white sugar
  • 1-2 cans crescent roll dough (press together along seams)

To make:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Line a round baking pan with foil, spray lightly. In a small saucepan combine molasses, butter (for sauce), and brown sugar over medium heat–stir constantly to melt sugar and cook down until bubbly. I use a small whisk for this stirring to help break up clumps and make a smooth, caramel textured sauce. Pour sauce into prepared baking pan. Roll out crescent dough (you can do one at a time) and press seams together. Brush a light layer of melted butter onto the rolls, sprinkle cinnamon and sugar onto the dough. Gently roll lengthwise then slice into individual rolls and place into pan with sauce. Repeat until pan is filled–do not over stuff the pan as the rolls will rise and spread a bit. I used only one can of crescent rolls and this did not fill the pan completely–so feel free to use an additional can of dough if you prefer. If not…that’s just more sauce for the rolls 🙂

Bake for 10-13 minutes. Remove from oven, let stand 2 minutes then flip pan upside down onto a serving plate. Serve alongside a fresh cup of coffee and you’ll have the perfect sweet start to your day!

Let cool just a bit...then flip!

Sticky, sweet Goodness!

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Although I am not a hunter myself, my family (and new family) enjoy the sport of hunting. I…enjoy the sport of cooking what has been hunted 🙂 Venison is a generic name that can refer to either deer, elk, moose, caribou, antelope, etc. For the past few years, we have received a few types of venison (deer) from my father-in-law. One of my favorite ways to prepare the meat is sausage. The deer meat can be used just as you would use regular sausage or ground beef. Generally venison will have a stronger or “gamey” taste compared to its more tame beef cuts. In this recipe the gamey flavor is dulled a bit due to the acidity of the tomato sauce. The result is a rich tasting meat sauce perfect for cooking up a delicious lasagna.

Deer Sausage Lasagna

approx 1-2 lb ground venison sausage

1 medium white onion, diced

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 (6 oz) can tomato paste

1 (20 oz) can diced tomatoes

1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce

1 Tbsp olive oil

Salt and pepper (optional/to taste)

1-2 cups cottage cheese

2 cups ricotta cheese

1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian/flat leaf parsley

3 tsp grated nutmeg

1 egg (slightly beaten)

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (or a mixture of Pecorino and Parmesan)

lasagna noodles (ready to bake or traditional–follow package instructions)

1 cup grated mozzarella cheese (or Italian blend) for topping

To make:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

brown deer sausage meat well

Begin with fully browning the venison. Usually I do not fully cook the meat when making traditional sauce, but in this case I fully cook the venison meat to ensure there will be no possible contaminants or bacteria from the fresh wild game processing. Drain and reserve meat to the side. In a large Dutch oven, or heavy pot, begin the sauce base: Saute onion and peppers in the olive oil until softened a bit. Add the garlic and cook another minute—do not over-cook or burn the garlic. Add the sausage and tomato paste, stir and cook just until well combined. Add diced tomatoes with juice and tomato sauce. Stir and simmer over medium-med/high heat for approximately 30 minutes until all flavors combine. Add salt and pepper to your taste (I actually don’t even add it to keep the sodium content lower). While the sauce is simmering, mix together the cheese layer. In a medium mixing bowl, combine cheeses (except mozzarella/Italian blend), nutmeg, parsley, and egg. To assemble the lasagna begin with a thin layer of meat sauce to coat the bottom of the pan, next a layer of noodles, then cheese mixture, then the meat sauce…repeat and end with the meat sauce on top. Sprinkle the topping mozzarella or Italian cheese blend over the sauce. Bake in 350 degree oven for 25 minutes covered with foil, remove, then cook additional 20 minutes (total cook time approx 45 minutes). Remove from oven and let cool for approximately 10-15  minutes. Slice and Enjoy!

Delicious Deer Lasagna

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