Friday, December 19, 2014

Quick Turkey Chili

This has got to be the quickest chili recipe I’ve ever met. I love me some chili, and I’ve always loved my recipe for Crock Pot Chili, that cooks overnight for a Sunday lunch. That one is so easy too, and it doesn’t take long to throw together in the slow cooker. But when you need something to make and it’s almost supper time, and you want chili, this recipe is perfect and so stinking good!

When I made this, I had Megan helping me. I set her to work cutting the celery while I did the rest of the veggies. It’s a great recipe for littler children to help with because you can set them up with the celery or the green bell pepper (core it and slice into strips for them to dice) and by the time you’re finished with the rest, they’re usually done.

The only thing I’d do differently the next time I make this is add one or two carrots, diced. I add it to spaghetti sauce and it goes well with that, and boosts the nutrition. It’s a great way to add more vitamins, fiber, and so on.

So, anyhoo, let’s get cooking!

Dice the Vidalia onion, green bell pepper, and celery (do a carrot too!). Mince the garlic.

In a large saucepan, brown the ground turkey with the vegetables.

Add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, beans, sugar, and spices. Stir thoroughly to blend in that tomato paste.

Bring to a boil and then turn the heat down to simmer. Cook for 45 minutes to an hour, and it’s done!

Serve with sharp cheddar cheese and/or sour cream…we like both on ours! Enjoy! ~TMMF

Quick Turkey Chili
    (serves 6-8)

1 lb ground turkey
½ green bell pepper
½ Vidalia onion
1 ½ stalks celery
3 cloves garlic
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
1 6 oz can tomato paste
2 cans light red kidney beans
1 can black beans
2 Tbl sugar
½ tsp ground cumin
1-2 Tbl chili powder
½ tsp black pepper
1-2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

Monday, December 15, 2014

Cranberry Upside Down Cake

Cranberry Upside Down Cake? Wait, isn’t pineapple the fruit in an upside down cake??

No, with this holiday cake, it’s cranberries. This recipe is from Simply Recipes. I wanted to try it because it was different from the usual pineapple in an upside down cake, and it reminded me of something my Grammie would make. She made homemade whole berry cranberry sauce at the holidays, which always seemed so much more special than the canned. I think she would have liked this cake. I hope you will too, and that you make a wonderful holiday memory with it.

So, let’s get cooking!

In a small saucepan, melt the ¼ c butter with the brown sugar. Grease the 9” cake pan with butter. The pan has to be at least 2 inches high. This is important.

Pour the butter/brown sugar mixture into the pan and spread evenly. After you’ve sorted through the cranberries (a great job for young kids to help with), spread them evenly in the cake pan.

In a smallish bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, and spices.

Zest the orange and set aside.

Now, in a mixing bowl, cream together the ½ c butter and the sugar.

Add the eggs and beat, then add the orange zest and sour cream and beat. You can alternate adding the dry ingredients and the milk, but, um, I just dumped both in the bowl and mixed them in. Sometimes I’m a rebel like that. ;)

Pour the batter into the cake pan, covering the cranberries. The recipe said to preheat the oven to 350° and then when you put the cake in the oven, turn it down to 325°. I did do it that way, because sometimes I’m obedient like that. ;)

Bake for about 55 minutes, until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let it cool on a rack for 10 minutes or so, and then loosen the cake edges with a knife. Place a cake holder or platter upside down on top, and flip over to get the cake out. Voilá! Enjoy! ~TMMF

Cranberry Upside Down Cake

¾  c brown sugar
¼ c butter
12 oz fresh or frozen cranberries
1 ¾  c flour
2 tsp baking powder
½  tsp salt
½ tsp ginger
¼ tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1 ½ c sugar
½ c butter
3 large eggs
1 Tbl orange zest
½ c sour cream
¼ c milk

Monday, December 8, 2014

Spicy Pork Enchiladas

This is a recipe I found floating around on Facebook, with only a photo and a short paragraph of what the woman did to make them. She suggested what to use in them, but it was fairly open to just add what you like, so this is what I came up with. I think next time I make them I’m going to add some diced fresh jalapeños. These are SO good! I hope you like them too.

So, let’s get cooking!

For the pork, you can throw some loin or chops or whatever you like into a crock pot and cook it overnight, or even a day or two ahead and have it in the fridge. This is a great recipe to use up leftover pork from a previous meal, too.

Using two forks, shred the pork. Add one of the cans of enchilada sauce and coat thoroughly.

Dice the green bell pepper and Vidalia onion, and mince the garlic. I just use my handy dandy garlic press when it’s time to add it.

In a skillet, heat the oil and sauté the pepper, onion, and garlic on medium heat until just tender. It only takes a few minutes.

Add the sautéed veggies and the black beans to the shredded pork.

To assemble, just pile an eighth of the mixture in an oblong shape in the middle of the tortilla. What I did to try and make sure they each were even and that I had enough for all eight was to take a knife and simply cut through the mixture in the bowl as if I were cutting a pie. The “wedges” could be clearly seen and I just scooped them out with a spoon.

Fold over the two sides and then fold the other two sides to complete.

Place in a greased 11 X 15” baking dish, seam side down. I got all eight to fit by sort of  squooshing the three on each end of the baking dish up against the ends and then sort of wiggling the last two in the middle, end to end.

Pour the 2nd can of enchilada sauce over all. Now sprinkle the Mexican blend cheese on top. Use as little or as much as you like. I’m, um, wicked into cheese, so I tend to be a little heavy handed with it. Cheese is one of my four food groups. ;)

Bake at 350° for 30-40 minutes, until heated through and cheese is all melted and bubbly and your mouth is watering smelling it as it permeates the house. Enjoy! ~TMMF

Spicy Pork Enchiladas

1 ½ to 2 lbs pork
1 can black beans
   (drain and rinse)
½ green bell pepper
½ Vidalia onion
2 big cloves garlic
2 cans enchilada sauce
2 c Mexican blend shredded cheese

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Boston Brown Bread

Boston Brown Bread:

One cup of sweet milk,

One cup of sour,

One cup of corn meal,

One cup of flour.

Teaspoon of soda,

Molasses one cup;

Steam for three hours,

Then eat it all up.

— Old Yankee Cookbook

Ahhhhh, Boston Brown Bread. A recipe as old as the hills. Of Boston MA, anyway. ;) This is a bread I grew up with and loved passionately for its rich warm flavor. For a child, the fact that it’s cooked in a can is another delightful aspect of it. The cans are placed in a steam bath, and the bread can be cooked in the oven or on a stove top. They do need to be elevated even slightly to keep them off the bottom of the pan you use. Since I had no pan that would accommodate a rack, I used my big Nesco electric roaster. The sides are shaped in such a way that when I set the cans along the edges, they had water flowing underneath. Worked for me! ;)

Oh, and just as a side note, this bread can be made in a regular loaf pan, but, um, why on earth would you do that? Never mind; forget I even said it. Go to your recycling bin and get out 4 aluminum cans, the size of canned veggies. Clean them thoroughly, and afterwards, keep them for the next time you make Boston Brown Bread. I know you’ll want to.

So, let’s get cooking!

Set a large pot of water on to boil in preparation for the cooking process, and choose your kettle or whatever that you’re going to use. If you plan to cook on the stove, make sure the kettle has a cover. If using the oven, this won’t be necessary.

Mix the cornmeal, rye flour, whole wheat flour, salt, and baking soda together in a bowl.

Add the raisins and stir to mix and coat well.

Add the buttermilk and dark molasses and mix thoroughly with a whisk.

Take your four cans, which you’ve cleaned well and made sure have no little metal nibs poking out from opening (use a butter knife to flatten against the can), and grease. Do the sides, too. I just used cooking spray and it worked fine.

Pour the batter into the cans, dividing evenly among them. You want to make sure you have about 1 ½ to 2 inches of room at the top of the can, for rising as it bakes.

Cut four squares of aluminum foil to cover the tops. Grease them, then cover.

Place the cans on the rack in the cooking vessel (even crinkled tin foil underneath them will work, as long as they’re stable). Add boiling water so it goes about 2/3 up the cans. Cover and bring to a boil, then simmer and steam cook for about two hours. Go do something else. Read a book! Just make sure you check on them and add some boiling water as needed.

When done, remove from the water and allow to cool for about 10 minutes or so. Use a butter knife to go all around the sides of the can to loosen the bread, and then tip the can upside down and shake if needed, to get it to shimmy out.

Slice and serve with butter or cream cheese. Enjoy! ~TMMF

Boston Brown Bread
   (from King Arthur Flour)

1 c cornmeal
1 c rye flour
1 c whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 c raisins
2 c buttermilk
¾ c dark molasses

Monday, December 1, 2014

Chicken Tetrazzini Casserole

This recipe comes to us from and is SO good! I was researching how this dish got its name, and learned that it was named after an Italian opera singer named Louisa Tetrazzini. It is usually made with poultry or seafood, mushrooms, a parmesan sauce, and spaghetti. When I made this, I left out the dry white wine, and instead of sprinkling parmesan cheese on top before baking, I made a buttery crumb topping for it. It came out delicious.

So, now that our history lesson is done, let’s get cooking!

Set a pot of water to boil for the spaghetti.

While that’s going, cut the chicken into cubes about 1” in size.

Dice the onion, mince the garlic, and slice the mushrooms if using fresh. I didn’t happen to have any on hand, so I used canned.

When the water boils, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water.

In a large skillet, melt the butter on medium heat and sauté the chicken until starting to cook on one side.

Add the onion, garlic, and dried thyme, cooking until onion is tender.

Using a slotted spoon, scoop out the chicken and set aside in a bowl, leaving all liquid in the skillet.

With a whisk, stir in the flour to make a roux.

Slowly add the milk, whisking constantly, until thickened. Add the parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.

Add back into the pan the cooked chicken in the bowl, the mushrooms, frozen peas, and the cooked spaghetti. I used a spoon and my tongs to mix it all.

Pour everything into a 9 X 13” baking dish.

In a bowl, mix together the bread crumbs and melted butter.

Sprinkle the crumb topping on the casserole. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Enjoy! ~TMMF

Chicken Tetrazzini Casserole

8 oz spaghetti
2 huge chicken breasts
   (boneless skinless)
1 md Vidalia onion
3 cloves garlic
1 lg can sliced mushrooms
½ c butter
½ tsp dried thyme
¼ c flour
3 c milk
1 ½ tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 c frozen peas
½ c parmesan cheese
1/2 c bread crumbs
2 Tbl melted butter

Monday, November 24, 2014

Creamy Taco Unstuffed Shells

This recipe was found on and looked so good I knew I had to try it. Believe it or not, the zucchini was in the recipe already; it’s not something I added on. The only changes I made were using a green bell pepper instead of yellow because I only had green, and I added in the cream cheese. I may or may not have been a little heavy handed with the shredded fiesta blend cheese in this. ;) I liked how it came out, and I think you will too.

So, let’s get cooking!

Start a pot of water boiling for the shell pasta, and when it’s ready, cook the pasta until al dente. When done, drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking.

While that’s going on, do up the veggies. Dice the onions, bell pepper, and zucchini.

In a large skillet, brown the meat and vegetables. The original recipe called for hamburg, but I used ground turkey, as it’s so much less expensive. I also notice how much more tender it is in the recipes I make.

Add the can of diced tomatoes and the taco seasoning and bring to a boil. Turn down and simmer for about ten minutes.

Cut the cream cheese into cubes and add to the mixture in the skillet. Stir and simmer until the cream cheese is melted.

Turn the heat off and mix in the sour cream and half of the shredded Mexican blend cheese.

Pour into a greased 11 X 15” baking dish.

Bake for about 20 minutes at 350°. Pull out and sprinkle on the other half of the shredded Mexican blend cheese. Bake for another ten minutes or so, until the cheese on top is melted. Enjoy! ~TMMF

Creamy Taco Unstuffed Shells

4 c uncooked shell pasta
1 lb ground beef (or turkey)
1 Vidalia onion
1 bell pepper
1 zucchini
1 pkg taco seasoning mix
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
1 8 oz pkg cream cheese
1 c sour cream
1 c shredded fiesta (Mexican) blend cheese
   (I used about 1 ½ c at least!)

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Zucchini Pancakes

This is a recipe I made up years ago, using a basic pancake recipe and adding in what I think would be good. I like to add fruits and/or veggies to spike up the flavor and nutrition, and over the years I’ve come up with some winning combinations that my family loves. For the Zucchini Pancakes, you can add an apple, peeled and cut up into small chinks, and it works really well with the zucchini.

So, enough chitchat; let’s get cooking!

Start the griddle on the stove so it’s ready by the time you are with the batter.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, salt, and baking powder. I don’t add any sugar to pancakes; you’re going to be putting syrup on top and that’s sweet enough. Also, you would normally add the spices to the dry ingredients, but I forgot and had to add them in the next step. Just pretend you see cinnamon and ground cloves in this. ;)

Grate the zucchini. I use the larger grating side. If you’re adding an apple, peel, core, and dice it now, also.

Add the eggs, oil, and milk. Those spices on the left are just a figment of your imagination. Remember you visualized them back in the first step? ;)

                                Mix the batter well with a whisk.

Add in the zucchini and blend well with the whisk.

Spray the griddle with cooking spray. Using a measuring cup or a ladle, scoop out about 1/3 cup for each pancake. I usually do three at a time on my griddle.

When the pancake starts to bubble around the edges and the edges get dry looking, you know they’re ready to be flipped.

So flip them! Don’t you just love how I order you around? ;)

When they are thoroughly cooked, you’ll see that they have puffed up and the middle of the sides of the pancake is totally dry, not still moist.

Serve with butter and syrup. Enjoy! ~TMMF

*Note: These  can be made without the oil and come out just fine. If you take out the cinnamon, ground cloves, and zucchini, you have the basic pancake recipe. This recipe makes about ten 5” pancakes.

Zucchini Pancakes

3 c flour
1 tsp salt
2 Tbl baking powder
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp ground cloves
2 eggs
3 Tbl oil
2 c milk
1 c grated zucchini
(about 1/2 small zucchini)

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

Well, another casserole for the cold weather season, and is this one ever good! I used to make Chicken Cordon Bleu at a restaurant I cooked at, and this casserole version is just the hot diggety bomb! I did not change a thing in this recipe, which came from Six Sisters’ Stuff. It is perfect as is. And I will be making this many more times over the years.

So, let’s get cooking!

You’ll need to cook some chicken for this, and it called for breasts, but I didn’t have any at the time. I did, however, have 3 or 4 chicken leg quarters, so I used those instead. Use whichever you’d like. Cut the chicken into smallish pieces.

Cube the ham you’re using. I usually buy one of those 5 lb turkey hams at the store and have some of it sliced and use some for a recipe. It’s less expensive than buying sliced ham at the deli.

Make the box of stuffing mix according to the directions and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, mix together the cream of chicken soup and the Dijon mustard.

Mix in the ham, chicken, and broccoli.

Spread in a greased 9 X 13” baking dish. Lay out the slices of Swiss cheese, cutting the 7th piece into strips to fill in the spaces.

Put the stuffing on top of all and spread out evenly to cover the top.

Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes, making sure the broccoli is just tender. Serve and enjoy! ~TMMF

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

1 box chicken stuffing mix
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 Tbl Dijon mustard
3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
3 c fresh broccoli florets
   (or 1 lb frozen)
2 c (chopped) ham
6-7 slices Swiss cheese