Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Cheesy Broccoli

I am still low carbing it and complaining every minute. I don't even know why am I complaining. I am eating food I like..let me rephrase that! I am eating food I love! I just think I need to have something to complain about. What I love about low carbing is all the cheesy dishes I can eat. Tonight I made this cheesy Broccoli that I would have loved as a child. You remember the frozen box of cheesy Broccoli that our parents used to make? Well I am making that except it's a little less cheese whiz! And it is really easy. I tossed it together before I started browning my meat. I tossed it in the oven and it cooked or rather browned while I browned my meat. If I wasn't low carbing, I would have added bread crumbs to the top.

In a sauce pan on LOW heat warm up 1/2 cube of cream cheese. Do this kinda slowly. Add one cup of grated cheese and 1 TB mayo (yes mayo) and plenty of pepper.

While that is melting, Take one bag of frozen broccoli and microwave it for 3 minutes in the freezer bag. I usually take a knife and pierce the bag so it doesn't explode. My kids would love that but I am not interested in the clean up!

Add the broccoli to the cheese sauce and turn into a greased pan. Bake 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Sundried Tomato Cheese Spread

I never liked Sun dried Tomatoes as a kid and now I crave them. It's a good thing that they are really good for you. This is so easy to make that you can toss it together before company comes over. I am serving with pretzels only because they are whole wheat and somewhat healthier while I am low carbing (I am cheating today if you can call this cheating) but you could add this with some pretty crackers or even toast of some bread.

1 cube of cream cheese, softened
1 jar of diced sun dried tomatoes (save the oil for another recipe)

Mix together and serve!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Parmesan Corn Bread

This happens to be my FAVORITE corn bread recipe. It's easy which is a must but the cheese adds just a hint of flavor you don't expect. I am using Parmesan but you could add Pepper Jack or Cheddar. I like the Parmesan because it's mild.

Parmesan Corn Bread

2 ½ cups Bisquick baking mix
3/4 tsp baking powder
1 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs, beaten
1 ½ cups milk
1 cup of Parmesan cheese grated (please use the fresh and not the stuff in the green can)
1 cup butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees . Place a cast iron pan in the oven. Mine is a 10 inch. Leave it in the oven for 15 minutes while you mix up the ingredients.
Place all dry ingredients into a large bowl. Add the eggs, milk and all of the melted butter except a TB. Mix with a large wooden spoon or spatula, just until the dry ingredients are incorporated into the wet ingredients. Add the cheese and mix.

Pull the hot pan out of the oven. Toss that TB of melted butter in the bottom of the pan. Pour the Corn Bread batter in the pan. Bake 50 minutes.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Turkey White Bean Chili (Thanksgiving Leftover Recipe)

Turkey White Bean Chili (Thanksgiving Leftover Recipe)
4 cans of white kidney beans or Northern Beans (drained and rinsed)
1 onion diced
4 Hotlinks sliced in chunks
3 cups of leftover Turkey in chunks
1 cup-2 cups of turkey stock
1 Hot Taco Seasoning OR the following spices
1 tsp cayenne
1 tsp oregano (Italian seasoning works great too)
1 tsp smoked paprika (this is must! I use it in a huge amt of my recipes)
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tsp parsley (all I had was dried)
Salt and pepper

This is too simple...really

Take the hotlinks and saute with the onions. You will not need any additional oil.
Add all the beans. Make sure you drain and rinse them.
Add all the spices or the taco seasoning packet and stock. It will simmer down so make sure you add enough liquid.
Let simmer for 20 minutes
Serve with Parmesan Corn Bread (tomorrow's recipe) and a side salad

Friday, November 26, 2010

Mexican Turkey Pot Pie (Thanksgiving Leftover Recipe)

I have used this recipe time and time again each and every Thanksgiving. In fact, I have made it using Chicken too. This recipe is great to take over for a pot luck. It is better if it sits for a while. But isn't most recipes? This recipe was originally shared with me thanks to a great neighbor. I have changed it as I do everything. That is what is so sweet about sharing recipes. I hope you take this and make it your own too. I do not add any vegetables to this pie. I serve it with a side salad.

Mexican Turkey Pot Pie
3 cups of turkey (chunks)
1 can of cream of chicken soup
1 cup of sour cream
1 large can of diced Ortega Chilies
1 large handful of Jack cheese grated

Pie crust for top and bottom of pie (I am using a deep dish frozen pie crust and the roll out version of pie crust for the top. Use what you like. I do not like making pie crust so its the refrigerator version for me.

Mix all ingredients (except the pie crust..of course)

Turn into the uncooked pie shell

Cover with pie crust. Crimp the edges. Some trim off the extra but my Ballplayer LOVES the crust and will steal it off everyone's plate.

Cut a slit in the top of the pie crust
Bake 350 for about one hour. Make sure to bake it on a cookie sheet.
Let sit for five minutes before cutting (it sets up)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Turkey Leftovers

Oh it's the dreaded Leftover post. Most do not like leftovers. I am in the minority. Every year I take on Thanksgiving with the longing for the leftovers. Really there is nothing like a turkey sandwich the next day. I have made turkeys in the winter just for the sandwich. Guilty! I am careful to not let any of the turkey go to waste so the night of Thanksgiving, I measure out the leftover turkey into individual bags with the purpose for each meal. I then stick the individual bags of turkey into the freezer so the family does not eat it. Each recipe needs about a cup and a half. It doesn't matter if it is white or dark meat. I like to plan out three nights of meals off the leftovers. This year my plan is to make Turkey Soup(fast and easy), Mexican Turkey Pot Pie and Turkey Spaghetti. There usually is not enough mashed potatoes to worry about so I don't spend too much time concerned with all of the other leftovers. My family usually attacks the side dishes like a pack of wolves. If your family has leftover mashed potatoes, consider making potato pancakes the next morning for breakfast. My grandmother always did that. You can also freeze the mashed potatoes and save for the next week to top a shepherds pie. Again, we never get to this point.

If you are not looking forward to turkey leftovers, you can freeze all the meat and use it next month. Any Chicken recipe that calls for cooked meat can be substituted for turkey. Turkey Enchiladas are a favorite in our house as well as Turkey Spaghetti (also known as Turkey Tetrazini)

Happy Thanksgiving

Shamrocks & Shenanigans wishes you a warm and happy Thanksgiving. Here are a couple of the recipes I will be cooking today!
Simple Roasted Turkey
Piled high next to Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Covered with Turkey Gravy
Next to my favorite Individual Twice Baked Candied Sweet Potatoes

Green Beans
And you can't forget the Cranberry Relish
But my Favorite is the deserts! Pumpkin Pie
Phyllo Apple Pie
Dear Abby's Famous Pecan Pie

This is why I watched what I ate all month, right?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Easiest Pumpkin Pie

My kids do not like Pumpkin Pie. They will eat Pumpkin Muffins, Pumpkin Pancakes, Pumpkin Cake but not pie. More for me. This is the easiest way to make Pumpkin Pie other than buying it. I like to use the Pumpkin Pie Mix. Guilty! I add just a tad more spice to it, maple syrup and toss into a graham cracker crust. How easy is that?

Easiest Pumpkin Pie
1 can of Libby's Pumpkin Pie MIx
2/3 cup of Evaporated Milk
2 eggs
1 TB Pumpkin Pie Spice
2 TB Maple syrup
1 Graham cracker crust

Mix the pumpkin pie mix, eggs, evaporated milk, spices and maple syrup. Mix well.

Bake 350 for 50 minutes

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Dear Abby's Famous Pecan Pie

A friend shared this recipe with me years ago and this has been my go-to recipe for Pecan Pie. It's so easy that your guests will make a huge deal. This also happens to be one of my favorite pies.


9-inch unbaked pie crust
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar (I only have light brown and it is fine)
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 heaping cup pecan halves

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine corn syrup, sugar, eggs, butter, salt and vanilla; mix well.

Pour into unbaked pie crust

Sprinkle with pecan halves. Now this is where I become obsessive compulsive and have to make it pretty.

Bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes or until center is set. (Toothpick inserted in center will come out clean when pie is done.) If the crust or pie appears to be getting too brown, cover with foil for the remaining baking time. Cool.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thanksgiving Green Beans

Thanksgiving there is so much to cook that the veggies always get forgotten at my house. How can a vegetable compete with turkey and gravy? Or sweet potatoes? I make a vegetable every year but frankly it is more out of obligation that I need one on the table rather than a love for the poor green thing. Not that there isn't always one person that comes to eat that is excited about the vegetable dish. My family is an odd mix. This is my FAST green bean dish. Prep time is minimal and the outcome is pretty and good tasting to top it.

1 bag of frozen green beans (hey its easy!)
4 slices of cooked and crumpled bacon
1 package slivered almonds
2 TB butter
salt and pepper

take the bag of frozen green beans and toss into a microwave. They all are pretty much microwavable now. I even microwave the ones that don't claim are microwavable. I microwave for four minutes on high. Remember this is Thanksgiving and EVERYTHING is starting to be of use so microwaving is the perfect option.

Now take the butter and microwave it in a small bowl until melted. The microwave was just used so it is warm and the butter will melt fast. Keep an eye on it.

Dump the green beans into your serving dish. sprinkle salt and pepper over, add the melted butter, almonds and the bacon. Mix up quickly and serve.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

I am pretty easy to please with mashed potatoes. I like it all. It doesn't matter what you put in them and I am happy. Garlic Potatoes became very popular in restaurants in the last ten years. There was a big fuss over them and really its just garlic and potatoes but adding roasted garlic really does make it taste just a little more elegant. This version is not only easy but easy on the pocketbook.

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
1 head of garlic
olive oil
potatoes (about 8 large)
1 cube of butter (maybe more)
1 cup of Parmesan cheese grated
1 cup of heavy cream (maybe more)
1 green onion sliced
salt and pepper to taste

Morning of Thanksgiving wrap entire head of garlic covered in oil in foil. I usually like to cut the top of the garlic off.Bake 350 degrees for 1/2 hour. The smell will kill you. I forgot to do in the morning so I put it in the oven with the bird (barely)
Take out of the oven. Let cool for 15 minutes. Resist the urge to mix with butter and smear over the dinner rolls you are serving tonight.
After it cools, squeeze the garlic into a bowl and set aside. Make sure you get all that oil too.

45 minutes before you are ready to serve, boil your potatoes in salted water until fork tender. Drain
Add butter and garlic and smash. Add the heavy cream. Keep working until smooth. You could use a mixer for this. I have been guilty of it. It depends if it is dirty. It is Thanksgiving after all! Add the Parmesan cheese and green onions. Salt and pepper to taste. Keep covered until ready to serve.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Easy Turkey Gravy

Yesterday I showed you my easy method for roasting a turkey. Now you need some gravy to finish it off. This is the easiest way for me to make gravy. I have other recipes where I use wine, or other items but this is the easiest way. So if you are intimidated by making gravy, this is your recipe!

When you take the bird out of the oven, place your bird on the serving plate or in my case, on a cutting board. You will have veggies on the bottom of the pan, place these in the trash. They have done their work and are done.
You are left with most call the drippings. Mine are very lean. I used very little oil on the bird so the fat content is pretty low. If you used a ton of oil, skim off the fat. I like to put the pan right on the stovetop and make the gravy in the roasting pan. It's one less pan for my girls to clean up.Take 4 TB butter and 4 TB Wonder flour and mix it with a fork. Put directly into the pan and let it melt into the drippings over medium high heat.

Once the flour has melted, take the half container of Turkey Stock you have left from the turkey (remember we only used half) and pour it into the pan while whisking the whole time (or try to, I find I am busy tossing the rest of the meal on the buffet but it is pretty forgiving) Once it is thickened up to your liking, serve!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Easy Roasted Turkey

Yes!! I did just say EASY!! Most do not think of easy when they think Thanksgiving. I used to get so stressed out at the thought of cooking this meal for my family or friends but over the years, I started buying more than one turkey when they went on sale. How can you not? You can get them as cheap as the pot roasts you like to cook all winter long. I love making a turkey dinner for no good reason in the middle of winter and then loving all the leftovers for the next week. Once I started doing this I realized that roasting a turkey did not have to be as complicated as all those cooking shows like to make you think you need to do. Don't get wrong, I am known for my Perfectly Brined Turkey but I am also known for tossing a bird in the oven with little to no effort. They both are good.

If you have NEVER cooked a turkey before and are a little overwhelmed by it, this is the post for you. I will take you step by step and you will be amazed how easy it can be. Once you get a little confidence with the basic version, you can start changing it up!

Easy Roasted Turkey
Turkey (Pick you size, I'm cooking a little 12lb bird)
1 onion
1 package of celery
1 package of carrots
2 lemon or orange
1/2 box Turkey or Chicken Stock
olive oil
salt and pepper
paper towels
Meat thermometer

Preheat the oven 400 degrees

When you first get your turkey, it should be frozen. I ALWAYS buy frozen. You can get on any organic kick you want but buy it frozen. These birds get tossed around like you wouldn't believe and having a frozen bird ensures you wont get a bird that was dropped and bruised. Bruised meat usually ends up being not so go.

Leave the bird in your fridge for about three days to defrost. DO NOT DEFROST ON THE KITCHEN COUNTER.

Unwrap your bird in a CLEAN sink. Rinse the bird with cold water. Your bird hopefully has a bunch of STUFF inside the bird. Pull it all out and save it. The neck and organs can be used for gravy. I like to have a stack of paper towels to dump the bird onto. Pat the bird dry. PLEASE WASH YOUR HANDS WITH SOAP AND WATER AFTER EACH TIME YOU TOUCH THE BIRD.

If you have a Turkey pan with the racks, then great but if not then just use a deep cookie sheet. Line the bottom of the pan with celery, carrots and onions (1 onion)

Now take the lemon or orange and stuff it inside the front and back of the bird.

oil the outside of the bird and sprinkle salt and pepper all over the bird. Most birds come trussed already with a plastic ring holding the legs together. That is fine. Leave it on. If you do not have the plastic holder on your bird, you can take some kitchen twine and tie them together. If you have none, don't freak out! it can be cooked without. It just isn't as pretty. Take turkey stock and pour in the bottom of the pan. When I find this in the store, I usually will buy up every container.
I cook my bird BREAST SIDE UP. You will see all these recipes where you turn the bird. This is the EASY recipe. So need to worry about any of that.
Here is the technical part. I cook my bird at 400 degrees. Cook the bird 15 minutes per pound. If the top of the bird gets too brown, cover (tent) with foil for the remainder of the cooking. I will baste the bird every 30-45 minutes.When the timer goes off, have your meat thermometer ready. I like to stick the thermometer first in the breast, not touching the bone! It should read 165 and not less, not more. Then I stick it in the thigh, again not touching the bone. It should read 175.
Let the bird rest for 15 minutes.

You can tent with foil. This is usually the perfect amount of time for me to make the gravy. Transfer to a serving plate if you desire. I don't put it on a serving plate uncut like you see in the movies. I cut it on a huge cutting board and transfer the meat to a serving plate. I barely got this picture! I had two teenage girls that were trying to pick at the skin. Skin is a hot commodity in my house.

How I cut my bird;
I take the entire breast off the bird and slice it into perfect pieces.
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