May 22, 2013
I’m sickened by the recent tornadoes lately. A tornado hit the town in Texas my sweet sister lives in over the weekend and I don’t think I’ve gripped my phone any tighter than I did in those moments when she was texting me. And now I’m tortured by the coverage of the Moore, Oklahoma tornado. I grew up in Central Illinois where tornado drills in school were as common as fire drills and a tornado warning still instills paralyizing fear within me. I even remember a storm hitting our town when I was around 7 or 8 and the tornado alarm went off, resulting in us lining up in the elementary school hallway, crouching down on the floor with arms wrapped around our heads as the older kids crouched over us. I remember looking down the long hallway out the door and seeing the outside sky such a disturbing color of black that I was certain the school would collapse on top of us. Even now as an adult and no longer living in a tornado zone, I’m still scared to death of tornadoes and my heart breaks for the people of Oklahoma.
On a much, much lighter note, I made these Barbecue Turkey Meatballs this past weekend. Luckily, they made enough that I have been heating them up and eating them for a quick dinner each night while I watch TV. I eat them plain, but obviously they would be perfect with some pasta. Slightly sweet, slightly smoky and totally tasty, these are perfect for when you need a quick bite.
Place brown sugar, vinegar, spices and tomatoes in a blender; blend until smooth.
Combine turkey, breadcrumbs, and chili powder in a large bowl; using wet hands, shape into 16 meatballs.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Lightly coat pan with cooking spray. Add meatballs; cook 2 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Add tomato mixture to pan; bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 6 minutes or until the meatballs are done.
Overall Rating: Like It
Source: Cooking Light magazine
March 4, 2013
Have you had one of those weekends where you either have too much to do or don’t feel well enough to do anything at all? That was me this weekend. After taking Friday off and laying in bed all day because the pesky cold virus that was threatening me most of the week final showed it’s ugly face, I still didn’t feel up to much the rest of the weekend. When you have a food blog and do almost all of your cooking on the weekends though, this doesn’t make things easy when all you want to do it lay in bed. So thank goodness for the slow cooker. Normally, I don’t have the patience to wait for food to cook in a slow cooker. But when every physical activity becomes exhausting and all you want to do is rest, the slow cooker is a life saver. And these Sweet Chili Rolls were worth the wait.
Ground turkey is mixed with a blend of water, pinto beans, ketchup, dijon mustard, garlic and chili powder in the slow cooker and cooked low and slow for 6 hours. The result is healthier version of a sloppy joe which is topped with cheese. I love the addition of the pinto beans here because the slow cooking process make the turkey meat tender and texturally perfect with the beans which also provides a boost of fiber. I substituted some of the chili powder with chipotle chili powder to add a little kick so consider adding in additional spices if you choose. I really don’t think you can go wrong here with other flavors like dry mustard or smoked paprika also. Whether you have a lot to and have no time to cook or just need keep your feet up instead of standing in the kitchen, these sandwiches are a happy no-brainer.
Blend chili powder, sugar and cornstarch in a bowl. Add ketchup and mustard and stir to combine.
Pour ketchup mixture into slow cooker and stir in 1 cup water, beans, onion and garlic. Crumble in half the turkey and gently stir to combine. Repeat with remaining turkey.
Cover and slow cook on HIGH for 6 hours or on LOW for 8 hours.
Uncover and add salt. Spoon 1/2 cup of the mixture onto a roll. Top with 2 tbsp shredded cheese.
Overall Rating: Love It
Source: Family Circle Magazine
January 31, 2013
I have to admit, I’m not the biggest sandwich person. Aside from the occasional Wawa junior hoagie, I don’t desire a sandwich very often. At lunchtime, I usually get so cold in my office that I need something warm and cold sandwiches don’t usually cut it. Sometimes, however, a warm panini with gooey cheese can be the perfect solution. Since sandwiches are paired so perfectly with soup I thought this Turkey Panini with Citrus Aioli would be a great complement to the Winter Tomato Soup I posted on Monday.
Smoked turkey slices and provolone cheese are the base to this sandwich which I topped with baby spinach instead of watercress (because I had a huge tub of spinach on hand). Adding a fresh and citrusy touch, an aioli made simply with mayonnaise, lemon and lime zests, garlic and lemon juice is lightly layered on the bread before topping it with the turkey and cheese. This panini, which can be grilled on either a grill pan or a panini maker, is a great twist on the standard turkey sandwich. If you have turkey and cheese in your fridge and you just don’t want another plain old sandwich, consider this. It doesn’t matter what kind of turkey or cheese you use or even if you don’t have any leafy greens. If you love mayonnaise like me, grab a lemon and a lime and whip up some of this citrus aioli for a yummy condiment to any sandwich.
Combine mayonnaise, lemon, lime, pepper and garlic and spread evenly over half the bread slices.
Top evenly with turkey, watercress (or spinach), cheese, and remaining bread slices.
Coat a grill pan or panini maker heated to medium-high heat with cooking spray. Arrange 2 sandwiches in pan. If using a grill pan, place a cast-iron or heavy skillet on top of sandwiches and press gently to flatten. Cook 2 minutes on each side (leave cast-iron skillet on sandwiches while they cook).
Repeat procedure with remaining sandwiches.
- Baby spinach
- Light mayonnaise
- Reduced-fat provolone cheese
- Whole-wheat bread
Overall Rating: Like It
Source: Cooking Light Magazine