#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

Cheesy Turkey and Rice Skillet

Today’s Thanksgiving leftovers recipe is one that I’ve made in my kitchen before. I made this one pot meal last month when my mother-in-law was visiting. We had just joined Sam’s Club and had a coupon for a free rotisserie chicken! This skillet meal was a perfect way to use some of that chicken. We all went back for seconds. So when I decided to Thanksgiving leftovers leading up to Turkey Day I knew this dish would be on the menu.

What makes this meal perfect for after Thanksgiving is that it only dirties one pot. Okay, two pots because you need to cook some rice ahead of time. But after a whole day of pulling out casserole dishes you forgot you had, eating on that once-a-year china, and stacking up the Tuperware it’s nice to not have to wash eight thousand dishes.

This recipe can be adjusted based on your leftovers. Swap out the broccoli for some green beans or Brussels sprouts.

Cheesy Turkey and Rice Skillet

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 1/2 C broccoli
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 C milk
  • 1/2 tsp ground mustard
  • 2 C diced cooked turkey
  • 2 C shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 C cooked rice (brown, white, or a mix of both)

Steps:

  1. In a high sided skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Saute onion and broccoli until tender. Stir in flour. Slowly mix in the milk. Allow to simmer until thickened slightly. Season with ground mustard, S+P.
  2. Add in the cooked turkey. Melt in the cheese. Mix in the rice.

*This recipe is adapted from Lauren at http://www.laurenslatest.com/broccoli-cheddar-brown-rice-skillet/*

Skillet

SRC: Turkey Pie

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Today’s Secret Recipe Club post kicks off Thanksgiving week. This year I want to celebrate everyone’s second favorite part of the holiday – leftovers! I knew that in my search through my assigned blog, Chocolate & Chillies, I knew I would be on the search for turkey friendly recipes.

If you don’t yet know, in the Secret Recipe Club, each participating blogger is assigned a blog from another participating blogger and secretly searches their site for something to recreate. The accompanying blog post then goes live on reveal day!

And last month, Asiya was assigned my blog! She made Pumpkin Zucchini Bread inspired by my Pumpkin Broccoli Bread. Asiya left the workforce as an analyst seven to stay home with her first son. I can relate as I too just left my job as an engineer after having my first child. She started her blog as a way to branch out in the kitchen, and she has a husband who happily supports her endeavor. Her family is Indian and her husband Pakistani, so her blog is heavily influenced by these two cultures.

Using dishes from other cultures is a wonderful way to use up those turkey leftovers without getting bored, so I must thank the Secret Recipe Club for helping me to think outside of the box! If you usually make soup with your leftovers give her homemade oyster crackers a try; they’re on my bucket list.

I pulled two recipes off of Chocolate & Chilles, Mummy’s Chicken Pie and Chicken Biryani. As I am posting a rice skillet dish tomorrow I opted for her chicken pie. Because I used precooked roasted turkey instead of cooking chicken for use in this dish, I added extra garlic and ginger paste. Normally I’d shy away from the eggs in the pie filling, but it’s Secret Recipe Club so I left the ingredient, and I’m glad I did! I’d also never worked with phyllo dough before, mostly because I’m too impatient to brush each layer with melted butter, but also because I don’t want to be using that much butter. I’m glad that Asiya used a milk and olive oil wash instead!

Stuart and I both loved this Thanksgiving leftover solution. I served it with the leftover twice baked sweet potatoes from my “Thanksgiving for Two” menu.

Turkey Pie

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb cubed cooked turkey breast
  • 2 hard boiled eggs, diced
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 3/4 C + 6 tbsp milk, divided use
  • 1 roll frozen phyllo dough, thawed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Steps:

  1. In a saucepan heat canola oil over medium heat. When hot add the ginger and garlic pastes, reduce heat – it will splatter. After 30 seconds whisk in the flour and return heat to medium. Slowly whisk in 3/4 C milk, whisk over medium heat until thickened slightly and free from lumps. Mix cubed turkey and diced hard boiled eggs. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  3. Whisk together 6 tbsp milk and 2 tbsp olive oil. Brush mixture on bottom of a 7×11″ casserole dish.
  4. Slice phyllo dough in half, place one half in the fridge until ready to use. Place one sheet of phyllo in casserole dish, brush with milk and oil mixture, repeat until all of the sheets have been used.
  5. Top phyllo with turkey pie filling.
  6. Top the filling with the second half of the phyllo dough – repeating the process of brushing with the milk and oil mixture. Brush the top of the pie with the milk and oil.
  7. Bake 20 – 25 minutes, or until the top is lightly golden and inside is hot.

*This recipe is adapted from Asiya at http://www.chocolateandchillies.com/2011/06/mummys-chicken-pie.html*

Turkey Pie FG1

To see the other bloggers who participated in the Secret Recipe Club this month click here:

Thanksgiving for Two and a Giveaway

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I love the food – not just the eating of the food, but I love the preparing of the food, I love traditions, and I love spending time with my family.

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After getting married Thanksgiving became my domain. My parents and brother came to the FL Panhandle along with my in-laws. And no, it’s not awkward and dysfunctional. We are very lucky to get along with both sets of in-laws and better yet, they get along with each other! It’s so much fun having 10+ people gathered around a table meshing traditions and sharing stories.

Now that we are living in Ohio, where it has already snowed this year, in a smaller house with a tiny oven I’ve passed my hosting duties to my mother-in-law. My parents are even flying to Alabama to join us! Unfortunately my brother can’t get away from work so he and his fiance will be spending the holiday with another couple.

Thanksgiving for TwoIf you are spending the holiday with a small group of people, or even just as a party of two, I encourage you to keep reading and look at my perfect menu for all your favorite Thanksgiving flavors made for 2 – 4! And come back next week to see how I use the leftovers in unusual round two recipes!

For my very first Thanksgiving as a Mrs. I introduced a new dish to the holiday table – creamed onions. It has now become my must-have side dish. (Well, that and green bean casserole.) The first time I made this I followed the recipe verbatim, and after a massive amount of leftovers and feedback from the family I have since halved it and removed the pearl onions. Today, I cut that original recipe by 2/3 and still keep the pearl onions out. There are lots of onions to cut and tears to fall, but it’s very much worth it! A bite of creamed onions is the one I save for my last bite of the meal.

Stuart’s must-have side dish is his Papa’s Sweet Potato Casserole. This dish has become a mandatory dish for my family’s Christmas meal, too! I wasn’t going to made a mini-version for this Thanksgiving for Two meal, but the sweet potato is still mandatory. I instead made Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes. The flavors in the filling give the illusion of eating a full holiday spread.

And of course, you must have a turkey. For a small party you don’t need to stress over roasting the perfect bird, instead get a 3lb turkey breast. Lather it with flavored butter, place it on a bed of veggies, and roast it for only 2 1/2 hours. Serve it with your favorite gravy if you so desire.

Roasted Turkey Breast

Ingredients:

  • 1 3 lb boneless turkey breast
  • handful of Kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 3 carrots, peeled
  • 2 ribs celery
  • 2 onions
  • 1 tbsp room temperature butter
  • 1/4 tsp Italian seasoning
  • zest and juice of 1/2 lemon

Steps:

  1. Once your turkey is thawed place it in a large bowl of salted water with a tbsp of sugar. Put the turkey in the refrigerator for at least two hours or even overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  3. Chop the carrots, celery, and onion into two-inch pieces and place on the bottom of a casserole dish.
  4. Remove turkey breast from brine and pat dry.
  5. In a small bowl combine the butter with the Italian seasoning, the zest of half a lemon and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, S+P. Rub butter all over the turkey. Place turkey on bed of veggies.
  6. Roast for 2 – 2 1/2 hours, until an internal temperature of 170-175 degrees F is reached. Allow turkey to rest 5 – 10 minutes before slicing.

*This recipe is modified from Kelsey at http://m.cookingchanneltv.com/recipes/kelsey-nixon/roast-turkey-breast.html *

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes

Ingredients:

  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 leek, cut into half moons
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 C ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 C shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh sage

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Wash sweet potatoes, pat dry, and poke with a fork. Bake for 1 hour, rotate potatoes halfway through cooking time. Allow potatoes to cool. (If you are making this with the rest of the “Thanksgiving for Two” menu at this point reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees.)
  2. Clean leaks by placing them in a large bowl of water. Using your hands, separate the layers, allowing all the dirt to settle to the bottom of the bowl. Remove using a slotted spoon.
  3. Heat olive oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Saute leeks until tender.
  4. Halve the cooled potatoes lengthwise. Scoop out the flesh of the potato, leaving enough attached to the skins for stability. Place potato flesh in a food processor. Puree with brown sugar, ginger, S+P. Add the ricotta and puree until smooth. Remove sweet potatoes to a bowl and combine with cooked leeks, Parmesan cheese, and sage.
  5. Place the mixture into the potato skins. Bake for 30 minutes.

*This recipe is adapted from Nicole at http://flavorsbyfour.blogspot.com/2012/11/twice-baked-sweet-potatoes-with-sage.html *

Creamed Onions

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 red onion, sliced into thin rings
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 leek, cut into half moons
  • 2 shallots, cut into half moons
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2/3 C heavy cream
  • 1/3 – 1/2 C panko
  • 2 tbsp shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp parsley

Steps:

  1. Clean leaks by placing them in a large bowl of water. Using your hands, separate the layers, allowing all the dirt to settle to the bottom of the bowl. Remove using a slotted spoon.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. (If you are making this with the rest of the “Thanksgiving for Two” menu 350 degrees is fine.)
  3. In a large, high sided skillet melt 1 tbsp butter over medium-high heat. Saute the red and sweet onions until soft. Season with S+P. Remove to a bowl.
  4. In the same skillet melt the other tbsp butter. Saute the shallots and leeks until tender. Season with S+P. Add the minced garlic and cook another 60 seconds. Remove to the same bowl as the other onions.
  5. Add the cream to the skillet, bring to a gentle boil and let reduce slightly. Add the onions to the cream and combine. Taste and season with addition S+P if needed.
  6. In a small bowl mix together the panko, parmesan, and parsley.
  7. Pour creamed onions into a small casserole dish, or individual ramekins. (At this point you can refrigerate the onions up to 24 hours.) Top with panko mixture. Bake 40 – 45 minutes, or until topping is golden and onions are bubbly.

*This recipe is modified from Bree at http://bakedbree.com/creamed-onions *

Do you remember the super cool ThermoPop I used to check my poached chicken for my Maize and Blue Chicken Salad that I served during the #10DaysofTailgate blog event? If not, ThermoWorks was one of our very generous sponsors. They provided participating bloggers with a ThermoPop and also had a prize package in the giveaway. If you weren’t that lucky person to win a ThermoPop of your very own then, I’m providing you with a second chance! Even if you don’t win, these would make the perfect stocking stuffers for your foodie friends.

The ThermoPop comes in 9 colors. Not only do their bright colors make it a fun kitchen gadget, but it also means it won’t get lost in my drawer of utensils. It comes with a matching “sheath” to keep the probe free from dirt and damage when not in use. The ThermoPop is also easy to use. A simple touch of the front button turns the device and backlight on (the backlight will automatically turn off after 10 seconds to save power), a button on the back will adjust the temperature from degrees Fahrenheit to degrees Celsius, and probably the best feature, another button will rotate the large digital display 90 degrees. There’s no more twisting your head in awkward angles to read your thermometer and there’s no need for a magnifying glass to read the temperature either.

ThermoPop

To enter the giveaway, please follow the link below for the Rafflecopter giveaway. Entries include a mandatory comment on this post answering the question “What is your must-have dish at Thanksgiving?” and additional optional entries to increase your chances of winning.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms & Conditions: This giveaway is open to residents of the United States only, age 18 and older. The ThermoWorks ThermoPop giveaway runs from Wednesday, November 19, 2014 12:00am ET through Saturday, November 21, 2014 12:00am ET. Winners will be randomly chosen and announced on November 22, 2014. Winners will also be contacted by email and will have 24 hours to respond to the email. If a winner does not respond in that time a new winner will be chosen. For more information, see the full terms and conditions in the Rafflecopter widget.

Disclaimer: ThermoWorks is providing the prize free of charge.  I received a ThermoWorks ThermoPop to use for #10DaysofTailgate. All opinions stated are my own.