• Turkey Breast Cutlets with Sweet Potatoes

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    This recipe comes from Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Recipes for Two. It had so much potential and I was really looking forward to tonights dinner. Boy what a flop. The sweet potatoes were too soft, the green beans were over done, and the turkey was dry. I think our 3 year old summed it up very well: “Mommy this is not good. You need to make a good dinner.” Oh well.  -s says this recipe is “smashed” and I agree.
    Ingredients:

    • 1 1.2 oz package of turkey gravy mix
    • 1/2 c. water
    • 1/3 c. dry white wine (I used chicken stock)
    • 3/4 c. whole berry cranberry sauce
    • 2 TBSP heavy cream
    • 1/4 c. dried cranberries
    • 2 medium size sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/3 inch thick slices
    • 4 oz. green beans, ends trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces
    • 1 large shallot, sliced
    • 1 pound turkey breast cutlets

    Directions:

    1. In a small saucepan over high heat, combine the gravy mix, water, wine, and cranberry sauce, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and whisk until thickened and the cranberry sauce has melted. Stir in the cream and dried cranberries. Set aside.
    2. Spray the inside of the crock with nonstick cooking spray. Arrange sweet potato slices in the bottom of the crock. Then add the green beans and the shallot. Roll up each cutlet and place in a layer on top of the veggies.
    3. Pour the warm cranberry gravy over the cutlets and veggies. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 7 hours, until the turkey and the potatoes are tender.

    Turkey Breast Cutlets with Sweet Potatoes:

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  • Curried Pumpkin-Peanut Soup

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    After last week’s disappointing Southwest Pumpkin Soup, I decided to make our tried and true all time favorite pumpkin soup. Even -s, who doesn’t care much for pumpkin, loves this soup. This recipe comes from the Seattle Times. I get weekly recipes by email from the Times, and I got this one in 2006. Apparently they liked it so much that they sent it again just last month. Everyone we’ve ever made it for has loved it. A curry aficionado loved it so much she asked for the recipe. If you like peanuts, curry and pumpkin this soup is for you!

    Ingredients:

    • 2 TBSP red skinned peanuts (I omitted)
    • 1 TBSP butter
    • 1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
    • 1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
    • 2 c. canned pumpkin puree
    • 1/2 c. smooth natural peanut butter (I used Skippy Natural)
    • 2.75 c. chicken broth
    • 2.25 tsp. curry powder
    • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
    • 1/4 tsp. salt
    • 1/2 c. plain nonfat yogurt, divided (I used sour cream)
    • 4 tsp. fresh lemon juice

    Directions:

    1. Put the peanuts into a small baking pan and roast in a preheated 350F oven for 10 minutes. Cool slightly; place in a kitchen towel and rub together to remove the skins. Chop coarsely and set aside.
    2. In a large sauce pan, heat the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic; saute until softened, about 5 minutes. With a whisk, stir in the pumpkin, peanut butter, chicken broth, curry, cayenne and salt. Bring just to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer over medium-low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cool slightly.
    3. Puree the soup in a food processor or in several batches in a blender (I omitted this step-I prefer the more rustic charm of the small tender pieces of onion and garlic). Pour back into the pan and set over medium-low heat. Stir in 1/2 c. yogurt/sour cream and the lemon juice. Heat through for about 5 minutes but do not let the soup come to a boil.
    4. Serve with a green salad and crusty bread! D’Lish!!!

    Curried Pumpkin-Peanut Soup:

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  • Penne with Turkey, Sausage, Spinach, and Nutmeg

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    This recipe comes from the Bon Appetit December 2007 issue. I really liked the dish, but -s just thought it was ok. I omitted the sausage for 2 reasons: (1) a full pound of ground turkey and a full pound of sausage seemed like an awful lot of meat and (2) I’m not a huge fan of sausage. My guess is, since -s loves sausage, had I left that in and omitted the ground turkey he would’ve liked it a lot better.

    Ingredients:

    • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
    • 2 cups chopped onions
    • 1 pound ground turkey
    • 1 pound spicy Italian turkey sausages, casings removed (I omitted)
    • 3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • 1 cup whipping cream
    • 1 pound penne (I used 12 oz of whole wheat pasta)
    • 2 6-ounce bags fresh baby spinach leaves
    • 3/4 cup freshly grated Asiago cheese or Parmesan cheese (I used pecorino romano), divided

    Directions:

    1. Heat oil in large deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté until beginning to brown, about 7 minutes. Add ground turkey and sausages. Sauté until cooked through and beginning to brown, breaking up with back of spoon and occasionally scraping bottom of skillet, about 10 minutes. Stir in nutmeg, then cream; bring to simmer. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper.
    2. Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain, reserving 1 1/2 cups cooking liquid.
    3. Add pasta to sauce. Cook over medium heat, adding spinach in batches and tossing until wilted. Stir in 1/2 cup cheese and enough cooking liquid to moisten. Transfer to large bowl. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheese; serve.

    Penne with Turkey, Sausage, Spinach, and Nutmeg:

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  • Southwestern Falafel with Avocado Spread

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    This recipe comes from the Cooking Light, September 2007 issue. It was delicious! I couldn’t find pita bread in our local store, so we used tortillas and they worked really well. The recipe as is yields 4 patties, but I made smaller patties which yielded more patties. The patty recipe was just enough for 2 adults and 2 kids, so if you’re really hungry or serving more people, double the recipe. The recipe below reflects the changes (like doubling) I will make next time I make this dish.

    Ingredients:

    Patties:

    • 2 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
    • 1 cup (2 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
    • 1/2 cup finely crushed baked tortilla chips (about 3/4 ounce)
    • 1/4 cup finely chopped green onions
    • 2 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
    • 2 large egg whites
    • Olive oil

    Spread:

    • 1 mashed peeled avocado
    • 2 tablespoons finely chopped tomato
    • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
    • 1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion
    • 2 tablespoons fat-free sour cream
    • 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt

    Remaining Ingredients:

    • Pitas or Tortillas
    • Thinly sliced red onion
    • Lettuce of mixed greens

    Directions:

    1. To prepare patties, place pinto beans in a medium bowl; partially mash with a fork. Add cheese and next 6 ingredients (through egg whites); stir until well combined. Shape bean mixture into oval patties, about 1/2 inch thick.
    2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add patties to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until patties are browned and thoroughly heated.
    3. To prepare spread, combine avocado and next 6 ingredients (through salt), stirring well. Place patty/patties in each pita/tortilla half. Spread about 2 tablespoons avocado spread over patty in each pita half; top with onions and greens.

    Southwestern Falafel with Avocado Spread:

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  • Southwest Pumpkin Soup

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    This recipe comes from the Watermark restaurant in Cleveland, republished in our local paper. This soup had so much potential, and I was so excited to try it, but it fell flat and it was too sweet. As is, I wouldn’t make it again, but with some changes I might give it a try. I’ll post the recipe as is and then what I would do differently.

    Ingredients:

    • 3 c. chicken stock
    • 1 c. whipping cream
    • 1 15 oz can pumpkin
    • 3 TBSP packed dark brown sugar
    • 1 tsp. ground cumin
    • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
    • 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
    • 1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
    • salt and pepper
    • 3/4 c. grated sharp cheddar cheese
    • chopped fresh cilantro

    Directions:

    1. Bring chicken stock and whipping cream to a boil in a heavy pot. Whisk in canned pumpkin, brown sugar, cumin, chili powder, coriander and nutmeg. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until soup thickens slightly and flavors blend, about 15 minutes.
    2. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
    3. Garnish with cheese and cilantro.

    What I would do next time:

    Ingredients:

    • 3 c. chicken stock
    • 1 c. whipping cream
    • 1 15 oz can pumpkin
    • 1 TBSP brown sugar
    • 1 tsp. ground cumin
    • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
    • 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
    • 1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
    • 1 c. sweet corn
    • 1-2 chipotles in adobo, minced
    • salt and pepper
    • 2 c. cooked chicken, bite sized pieces
    • 3/4 c. grated sharp cheddar cheese
    • 1 avocado, chopped
    • chopped fresh cilantro

    Directions:

    1. Bring chicken stock and whipping cream to a boil in a heavy pot. Whisk in canned pumpkin, brown sugar, cumin, chili powder, coriander and nutmeg. Add corn and chipotles. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until soup thickens slightly and flavors blend, about 15 minutes.
    2. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
    3. Stir in cooked chicken
    4. Garnish with cheese, avocado, and cilantro.

    Southwest Pumpkin Soup:

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    But willing to give it another try with the above changes

  • Hershey Kiss Cookies

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    These cookies have many names, and there are many different versions, but the one thing they all have in common is peanut butter and Hershey Kisses. I have no idea the source of this recipe, but -s’s family makes them every year at Christmas time. They are scrumptious!

    Ingredients:

    • 1.75 c. flour
    • 1/2 c. sugar
    • 1/2 c. brown sugar
    • 1 tsp. baking soda
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 1/2 c. shortening
    • 1/2 c. peanut butter
    • 1 egg
    • 2 TBSP. milk
    • 1 tsp. vanilla
    • Sugar for dipping
    • 48+ Hershey Kisses

    Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 375F
    2. Combine all ingredients. Blend well.
    3. Shape the dough into balls the size of whole walnuts. Roll balls in sugar and place on an ungreased baking sheet.
    4. Bake for 10-12 minutes
    5. Remove cookies from oven, and while cookies are still on the baking sheet, press one Hershey Kiss into each cookie until the cookie begins to crack. Remove cookies from baking sheet and allow them to cool on a wire rack.

    Hershey Kiss Cookies:

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  • Luscious Lemon Bars

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    Many years ago I came across this lemon bar recipe in a magazine-it was one of those recipe advertisements. I made them years ago and loved them. I love lemon bars, but am not a big fan of the usual cakie crust. This crust has wheat germ in it and the end result is a dense crisp crust that contrasts wonderfully with the lemon curd filling. They are delicous!

    Ingredients:

    Crust

    • 1 c. flour
    • 3/4 c. wheat germ, any flavor (I used original toasted)
    • 1/2 c. powdered sugar
    • 1/3 c. stick margarine, softened (I used butter)

    Filling

    • 2 c. sugar
    • 1/4 c. flour
    • 1 tsp. baking powder
    • 4 eggs
    • 1/2 c. fresh lemon juice
    • 1.75 tsp. lemon zest

    Top with powdered sugar

    Directions:

    1. Heat oven to 350F. Lightly spray 13×9 pan with nonstick spray.
    2. For crust, combine all ingredients into a mixing bowl and mix on low speed until well blended. The mixture will be very crumbly, like the texture of bread crumbs. Firmly press crumbs into bottom of pan and bake for 15 minutes.
    3. For filling, combine sugar, flour, and baking powder in a large bowl. Add eggs and blend well. Gently stir in lemon juice and zest. Carefully pour over hot crust.
    4. Bake 25-30 minutes until edges are lightly golden brown and filling is just set. Be careful, because it’s easy to overcook and burn these.
    5. Cool completely on a wire rack. Cut into squares and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

    Luscious Lemon Squares:

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  • Leftovers Turned Tacos

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    We had quite a bit leftover from last night’s dinner of Southwest Steak and Beans. Instead of just having the leftovers as dinner, we made tacos and used the leftovers as filling. Both -s and I agreed that it tasted better than last night. We just heated up the meat and bean mixture, put some in a flour tortilla, topped with cheese, chipotle Tobasco (undisputed king of all condiments in our house), and sour cream. The result was delicious and had both of us going back for seconds. As for the kids, they had bean and cheese burritos and loved every bite!

    Ingredients:

    • Leftover meat and bean mixture
    • Tortillas
    • Grated cheddar cheese
    • Salsa
    • Sour Cream
    • Guacamole
    • Whatever else you like on your tacos

    Directions:

    1. Heat meat and bean mixture
    2. Top with desired toppings
    3. Serve with some rice
    4. Enjoy!

    Leftovers Turned Tacos:

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  • Gingersnaps

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    I found this recipe on the picky palate blog, but it’s also located here. I have my aunt’s recipe for good old fashioned molasses cookies…the ingredients differ slightly, but the two recipes taste very similar. These cookies are really easy to make, and if you like these kinds of cookies this is a great recipe. My cookies turned out much darker than the other’s. Maybe I cooked mine a little longer, but I don’t think I overcooked them, because they were still soft and chewy. Maybe the molasses I used was much darker than the molasses that other people used, because even my dough was much darker than this finished product.

    Ingredients:

    • 3/4 cup shortening
    • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
    • 1/4 cup molasses
    • 1 large egg
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 2 teaspoons baking soda
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1 teaspoon ground cloves1 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 1/2 cup sugar (for dipping)
    Directions:
    1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
    2. Cream shortening, brown sugar, molasses and egg in large bowl. In a separate bowl sift flour, baking soda, salt and spices. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture, blending until mixed. Dough can be chilled for easy handling.
    3. Shape the dough into balls the size of whole walnuts. Roll balls in sugar, place on baking sheet. Bake 8-9 minutes at 375 degrees. Cool on sheet one minute before transferring to rack.

    Gingersnaps:

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  • Southwest Steak and Beans

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    We had some flank steak in the freezer that needed to get used up. -s doesn’t much care for frozen beef, so I figured crocking it would be a good preparation. I set out to find a flank steak crock pot recipe. This one sounded good to me, so we made it, and it was good. The only problem was that the meat didn’t turn out looking anything like this…no nice slices, it just kind of shredded itself. The flavors were good, though, so if we make this one again, we’ll use a different cut of meat. I put in an extra can of beans because our 3 year old loves beans, of course he wouldn’t touch dinner tonight. Next time I think I’d also double the salsa mixture.

    Ingredients:

    • 1-1/2 lbs. flank steak
    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • 16 oz. jar chunky salsa
    • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano leaves
    • 2 tsp. chili powder
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 1/4 tsp. pepper
    • 2 15 oz. cans black beans, drained and rinsed
    • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
    • 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
    • Rice

    Directions:

    1. Trim excess fat from steak. Place onions and garlic in bottom of 3-4 quart slow cooker and top with steak.
    2. Mix salsa, oregano, chili powder, salt, and pepper in small bowl and pour over meat. Top with drained and rinsed black beans.
    3. Cover slow cooker and cook on low for 7-9 hours until meat is tender.
    4. Remove meat from slow cooker and slice into thin strips against the grain. Turn heat to high and return beef to slow cooker along with sliced peppers. Cover and cook on high for 30 minutes, until peppers are tender. Serve with rice.

    Southwest Steak and Beans:

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