#FoodieExtravaganza: Maple Syrup

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The Foodie Extravaganza is a monthly party hosted by bloggers who love food! Each month we incorporate one main ingredient or theme into recipes to share with you. We take turns hosting and this month it’s my turn!

December 17th is National Maple Syrup Day and I challenged the crew to bake with, cook with, or make a beverage with maple syrup. (For some international bloggers who can’t find maple syrup, they’ll be joining the fun with honey as a substitute.)

With the hectic holiday season, I managed to forget to make something for this event. Before I scrambled to add extra maple syrup to my grocery list, I scrolled through my camera to see if I had anything that would satisfy my call for this maple syrup extravaganza.

Happily enough, I did! Unhappily enough, the photos made want to curl up into a ball and hide. Alas, that’s just the way it is.

I made this turkey breast in January. (Hey, at least it was January of this year!) In January we were living in Ohio. It was cold. I assume it was snowing. And it most definitely was dark at an unacceptable early hour. Those are the excuses I give for the awkward glare of the glaze. It’s a bummer, too, because as I pulled it out of the oven, my husband (and I remember this vividly) declared that it was almost too pretty to eat and that it belonged on the cover of a magazine.

This Rosemary Maple Glazed Turkey is perfect for your holiday table and pairs nicely with Roasted Pears and Parsnips.

Rosemary Maple Glazed Turkey Breast

Ingredients:

  • 1 turkey breast, 4-6 lb
  • 4 onions, halved
  • 6 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 6 stalk of rosemary
  • 2 C chicken stock
  • 2 C balsamic vinegar
  • 1 C maple syrup

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Season the turkey breast with S+P, inside and out. Stuff the cavity with 2 onions, 2 cloves of garlic, and 1 stalk of rosemary.
  3. Arrange the remaining onions, garlic, and 2 stalks of rosemary in the bottom of a roasting pan. Place the prepared turkey on top. Pour the stock into the pan.
  4. Roast turkey for 2 – 2 1/2 hours (or according to turkey instructions) until an internal temperature of 165 degrees F is reached.
  5. Make the glaze: In a small saucepan over medium heat bring vinegar, syrup, and remaining rosemary to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and allow to reduce 30 minutes, stirring often.
  6. Brush the glaze over the turkey every 30 minutes. Reserve any remaining glaze and keep warm for serving with the finished turkey.

*This recipe is adapted from Erin at http://www.5dollardinners.com/real-food-holiday/*

Rosemary Maple Glazed Turkey Breast for #FoodieExtravaganza from Sew You Think You Can Cook

And don’t forget to check out all these other maply recipes:

Basbousa – Egyptian Semolina Cake from Sneha of Sneha’s Recipe

Bangin’ Breakfast Potatoes from Rebekah of Making Miracles

Gluten-Free Maple Chestnut Cookies from Caroline of Caroline’s Cooking

Maple Pecan Bars from Nichole of Cookaholic Wife

Maple Sugar Cookies from Sue of Palatable Pastime

Maple Walnut Vinaigrette from Tara of Tara’s Multicultural Table

Momiji Tempura from Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla

Overnight French Toast Casserole from Elaine of Cookin and Craftin

Roasted Maple Glazed Carrots from Wendy of A Day in the Life of the Farm

The Back Forty Cocktail from Stacy of Food Lust People Love

If you are a blogger and would like to join our group and blog along with us, come join our Facebook page Foodie Extravaganza. We would love to have you! If you’re a spectator looking for delicious tid-bits check out our Foodie Extravaganza Pinterest Board! Looking for our previous parties? Check them out HERE.

#CranberryWeek: Cranberry Glazed Pork Loin

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Welcome to #CranberryWeek, hosted by Caroline’s Cooking and A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures. We’ll be sharing cranberry-inspired creations all week long in celebration of national cranberry day. Search #CranberryWeek to keep up to date and follow the #CranberryWeek Pinterest board for more cranberry inspiration.

When I made this glazed pork, I was hoping to find a turkey breast to serve with the cornbread dressing I shared yesterday.

Actually, I had a couple ingredient finding hurdles to overcome.

I’ve been in a grocery store loyalty crisis. Now that Treat is too big for the Baby Bjorn (not impossible, but highly uncomfortable), I prefer to shop with him in the cart. That leaves Firecracker to walk beside me. There isn’t enough magnetic force in the world to keep that kid by myside for more than three minutes! That energetic 2 year old is off running up and down the aisles as soon as I let go of his hand. Or, he’s touching every single item at arms level when he is staying near. My patience with him wanes thin and I have to load him up into the basket. As I try to start each grocery trip with a positive attitude, by the time I “give up” I have a cart full of groceries. And to add to the frustration, Treat has a habit of screaming at an insanely high pitch. He’s not upset or crying, just screaming to scream. It’s a happy and excited sound, but one that deafens ears. Naturally, his older brother follows suit and I’m standing in the grocery store pulling out my hair half laughing half crying and all about yelling at my children.

The solution is to find a grocery store with “car carts” so both of my boys can be buckled into a cart. The bonus of a steering wheel definitely helps. Unfortunately, there aren’t many option for that out here in SoCal.

I do a decent amount of shopping at the commissary on base, particularly for yogurt as it’s about half the price of the local grocery stores. Being tax free means that processed foods end up being a tad cheaper, too. Only problem, is that I don’t quite trust their meat and seafood department, and the fresh produce is hit or miss on quality.

For small trips, I love walking to the local Whole Foods, but I’m limited to the space under the stroller. And while the meat quality is fantastic, it’s a bit pricy.

One Monday morning, I decided to try another store about a mile away. Took the kids on a walk and did some recon. Yogurt was the same marked up cost as the other stores. THe produce department was beautiful, and their bulk foods section to die for. Their meat departement looked fine, but was small; there wasn’t a turkey breast in sight (I assume that changed closer to the holiday?). I settled on a beautiful looking pork loin instead.

Another missing ingredient? Apple cider.

I knew one of the grocery stores I like sells it, but did I really want to get in the car for one item? Nope. Instead, I popped into the local coffee shop and ordered a cup of cider to go. Mission accomplished. I’m sure that 12 oz cup cost the same as a half gallon at a grocery store, but you can’t underestimate the price of my time, energy, and sanity!

Cranberry Glazed Pork Loin

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp butter, divided use
  • 1/2 shallot, chopped
  • 1 tsp whole juniper berries
  • 1 C fresh cranberries
  • 2/3 C apple cider
  • 2/3 C maple syrup
  • 1/2 C red currant jelly
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher salt
  • pork loin, trimmed

Steps:

  1. Melt 1 tbsp butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Saute shallot until translucent. Add the juniper berries, and cook one minute. Add cranberries, cider, syrup, jelly, and S+P. Simmer 3-5 minutes, until cranberries burst.
  2. Transfer glaze to a blender and puree until smooth. Return to the saucepan after passing through a sieve.
  3. Bring glaze to a simmer over medium heat and cook until reduced to about 1 1/4 C, 10-15 minutes. Keep warm.
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  5. Melt butter in a large oven safe skillet, sear pork abour 2 minutes on all sides. Brush with glaze and put in oven until an internal temperature of 145 degrees F is reached. Brush with glaze every 10 minutes or so. Cook time will depend on thickness of pork loin.
  6. Be sure to bring any extra glaze back to a boil to prevent contamination before serving alongside pork.

*This glaze recipe is adapted from Martha Stewart at http://www.marthastewart.com/261237/cranberry-glaze*

Cranberry Glazed Pork Loin for #CranberryWeek from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Be sure to check out all the other cranberry recipes being shared today:

Braised Short Ribs with Hoisin-Cranberry Sauce and Asian Coleslaw from Culinary Adventures with Camilla

Cranberry & Cornbread Stuffed Pork Chops from Books n’ Cooks

Cranberry Borscht from Palatable Pastime

Cranberry Glazed Pork Loin from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Cranberry Lemon Curd Tart (No Bake, GF) from Caroline’s Cooking

Cranberry London Broil from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings

Cranberry Mustard from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures

Cranberry Vanilla Bean Donuts from Hostess At Heart

Grilled Brie with Cranberries from Full Belly Sisters

Honey Roasted Cranberry Ricotta Crostini from Take Two Tapas

Orange Cranberry Turnovers by The Bitter Side of Sweet

Panko Crusted Chicken with Maple Cranberry Sauce from Family Around The Table

Sweet Heat Cranberry Spread from Cooking With Carlee

Busia’s Sloppy Joes

Happy Halloween!

And Happy 4th Annual Sloppy Joe Recipe on Sew You Think You Can Cook Day!

It’s totally a thing. We should make it the world’s longest hash tag. It’s that recognized.

Any…who….

img_1062Today’s sloppy joe recipe comes from my grandmother via my aunt. Last year or so, when my aunt finally got a computer, she was introduced to my blog and has been supporting me ever since! When she discovered that, for me, sloppy joes are synonymous with pre-trick-or-treating fare, she immediately sent me an email with Busia’s sloppy joe recipe.

I didn’t get a chance to make them last year as I was in the hospital with my then one-day old.  Seriously, how is my Treat a year old already!?

This sloppy joe recipe is as simple and comforting as it gets. It’s on a regular rotation at my aunt’s house and I can definitely see why. She enjoys hers with a slice of American cheese on top.

This recipe makes 6 sandwiches.

Busia’s Sloppy Joes

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 C diced onion
  • 1 1/2 lb ground beef or turkey
  • 3/4 C ketchup
  • 1/2 C water
  • 1/4 C lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • pepper, to taste
  • 6 hamburger buns
  • sliced American cheese (optional)

Steps:

  1. Saute onions in olive oil over medium-high heat in a nonstick skillet. When translucent add the ground meat and brown until fully cooked. Drain.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the kethcup, water, lemon juice, sugar, vinegar, salt, Worcestershire, chili powde,r and pepper. Add to the cooked, drained meat. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook 20 minutes.
  3. Serve on hamburger buns. Add American cheese, if desired.

Classic Sloppy Joes | Sew You Think You Can Cook | http://sewyouthinkyoucancook.com

Turkey Lasagna

Fun fact: It’s National Lasagna Day!

It’s quite baffling to realize that I have had this blog for over two years now and have yet to share my lasagna recipe! I played off of it for a fancier version with lasagna roll ups last February.

Lasagna - Sew You Think You Can CookNo-boil noodles are the secret to making this dish easy to whip up. They don’t have that wavy shape of traditional lasagna noodles, but they make spreading ricotta on them as simple as spreading butter on toast. I like to sneak in extra veggies, too; bell pepper and onion join the ground turkey and I mix chopped fresh spinach in with the ricotta cheese. A double helping of cheese (mozzarella in every layer with the ricotta) doesn’t hurt anything either!

When I would have to travel for work I liked to prepare a lasagna the night before I left so my husband would have something to eat in my absence. (It’s also a great option to take to someone’s house in the event of a new baby’s arrival!) I most recently made this particular lasagna (read: this [poorly] photographed lasagna) the night before I took the little man to Florida for a friend’s wedding.

IMG_4253 (2)I’m happy to report that even my little man loved my lasagna! I was astounded by how much he devoured. I do think it was my favorite lasagna to date! I have a couple of theories as to why this one tasted better: whole milk ricotta cheese and Parmesan Romano marinara sauce – both of which are Kroger brands.

Turkey Lasagna

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/2 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 lb ground turkey (you could increase this up to 2 lb if you like a meatier lasagna)
  • 1/2 C chopped baby spinach
  • 1 container (15 oz) whole milk ricotta cheese
  • no boil lasagna noodles
  • 3 C shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 jar (24 oz) marinara sauce

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat saute onion and bell pepper in olive oil. When onion is translucent add the garlic and cook 60 seconds. Add the turkey to the pan and cook through, breaking up as you go. Seasoning with S+P.
  3. In a bowl, combine the spinach and ricotta. Season to taste with S+P.
  4. Layer the lasagna: Put a thin layer of sauce in the bottom of a casserole dish. Spread some of the ricotta mixture on the noodles and place in the dish (break up noodles as needed to fit your dish – I used a total of 7) ricotta side up. Top with half of the turkey mixture, half of the remaining sauce, and half of the mozzarella. Repeat with a second layer.
  5. Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes. Uncover and cook another 5-10, or until bubbly and golden. (Note: If you prepare the lasagna ahead of time, remove from fridge while oven is preheating and add an extra 5-10 minutes to the covered bake time.) Allow lasagna to cool for 5 minutes before cutting or it will fall apart.

Turkey Lasagna | Sew You Think You Can Cook

{Meatier} Turkey Chili

I don’t know what your summer’s looked like but here in southwest Ohio there’s been enough rain to make Florida seem like the dessert. The guy who cuts our lawn was telling me it’s the 4th wettest season in history! (Yes, Dad, that means our lawn mower is still broken….)

All of this rain made it perfectly acceptable to make chili in the middle of July.

I’ve never really cared for chili until I created my own recipe. My chili though is almost close to a soup because I don’t care for the meaty texture of popular chilies. Every time I make my chili I adjust it slightly and each time I’ve made it meatier by either forgetting the chicken stock completely, or adding more beans and/or turkey depending on how much I need to make.

So, I decided to branch out and try someone else’s recipe. … Kinda. I knew I didn’t need to make as much as Olivia made so I halved it – ish. I have to say, we absolutely loved this turkey chili! A dollop of sour cream and a generous sprinkling of scallion created (for me) the perfect bowl. Stuart added some shredded cheese, and we both scooped the occasional bite with tortilla chips. I’m partial to my original recipe, but this turkey chili is really threatening it’s crown. Maybe I’ll have to combine the two recipes!

I think it’s safe to say that I can no long claim “I don’t like chili”. Next up – experimenting with different meats!

Turkey Chili

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 vidalia onion
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 lb ground turkey (I used 85/15)
  • 1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15 oz) dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 C chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp hot sauce, or more to taste
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning

Steps:

  1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, saute onion and pepper in olive oil. When tender, add the garlic and cook another 60 seconds. Transfer to a large pot.
  2. In the same skillet cook the turkey, breaking it up. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cooked turkey to the pot.
  3. To the pot add the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook for at least 45 minutes. Note: If the chili becomes too thick, simply add some more chicken stock. 

*This recipe is modified from Olivia at http://www.oliviascuisine.com/best-turkey-chili-ever/*

{Meatier} Turkey Chili | Sew You Think You Can Cook

Blogger CLUE: Sweet Potato Turkey Burgers

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The sun is shining, the warm air is blowing, and Blogger CLUE is hitting the grill!

This month I was assigned the blog Anna Dishes. Anna’s blog is so bright and cheery it just invites you in to take a look around. She has a wide variety of recipes, beautiful floral arrangements, and even some travel posts!

I was on a mission to find something to throw on the grill and I settled on her Sriracha and Sweet Potato Turkey Burgers. I made a couple of changes to her recipe, though. Instead of Lawry’s seasoning and garlic salt I used Caribeque Island Thyme. I also omitted the Sriracha from the burger itself and instead made a Sriracha mayo as the burger’s condiment. The reasoning behind doing so was to control the amount of heat in the patty for my 1 year old. I am disappointed to say my little man did not have any interest in the burger and hope that he’ll try the leftovers with me for lunch tomorrow! My husband and I greatly enjoyed the unique flavor profile of this burger. The sweetness of the potato pairs with the subtle spiciness of the Island Thyme and helps keep the burgers perfectly moist.

Sweet Potato Turkey Burgers

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground turkey (I used 85/15)
  • 3/4 C mashed sweet potato (I peeled, boiled, and mashed)
  • 3/4 C panko
  • 2 tsp Caribeque Island Thyme
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/4 C mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 tsp Sriracha (or to taste)
  • cheese (optional)
  • 6 hamburger buns
  • favorite burger toppings: lettuce, tomato, onion, etc

Steps:

  1. In a large bowl combine turkey, potato, panko, seasoning, egg, and olive oil until fully incorporated. Form in 6 equal sized patties.
  2. Grill 5-6 minutes on each side, or until an internal temperature of 165 degrees F is reached. Add cheese during last minute of cooking time if using.
  3. Make sriracha mayo: whisk mayo, sriracha, and a pinch of salt.
  4. Assemble burgers: place burger toppings on bottom bun, top with patty, and spread sriracha mayo on the top bun.

*This recipe is modified from Anna at http://www.annadishes.com/sriracha-and-sweet-potato-turkey-burgers/#sthash.YLkvIG5n.MgYhoZtj.dpbs*

Sweet Potato Turkey Burger for Blogger CLUE from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Here’s a list of the other players of Blogger CLUE this month:

Disclaimer: I received Caribeque Island Thyme in participating in #HotSummerEats. All opinions are my own. 

Mozzarella Stuffed Turkey Meatballs

After we found out we’d be moving to Ohio I started to do some Facebook research on the spouse group connected to my husband’s organization here. I was excited to discover that there were multiple clubs and plenty of opportunities to get to know people.

One of the groups is the Recipe Club. You can imagine that I was excited for this one! It took five months before I could fit this extracurricular activity into my new mom schedule. I could have gone in December and was prepared to bring Broccoli and Grape Pasta Salad but I came down with a winter fever the night before.

Last week I was not only able to attend, but the theme of the night of “New Recipes” (something you’ve never tried before) fit in perfectly with a food blogger’s normal kitchen routine. The meatballs I was even planning to make could easily be adjusted to feed more and bring to the potluck-style event. Don’t worry, I did hold a few back for Stuart.

If you bring these to a party you can make them a but smaller than I did (or not!) and provide marinara for dipping. If you have these for dinner just whip up a quick batch of pasta! The leftovers can easily be made into an epic sandwich, too.

Mozzarella Stuffed Turkey Meatballs

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lb ground turkey
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 C freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 C Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 20 cubes mozzarella, from approximately 4 oz
  • 3 tbsp olive oil

Steps:

  1. In a large bowl, use your hands or a wooden spoon to combine the ground turkey with garlic, eggs, parmesan, breadcrumbs, and S+P.
  2. Form balls from 1 tbsp of the meat mixture. Place a cube of cheese into the ball, grab a little more of the meat mixture and seal it up. Repeat until all the meat is used up – I got 20 golfball sized meatballs.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  4. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown meatballs 2 minutes on each side. (I had to do this in two batches of 10.)
  5. Bake meatballs in a lightly greased casserole dish for 10-13 minutes, or until cooked through.

*This recipe is modified from Kayle at http://www.cookingactress.com/2014/12/mozzarella-stuffed-meatballs.html*

Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs | Sew You Think You Can Cook