Thursday, December 15, 2011


It just makes you cringe, doesn't it?  That's not what you want to hear when you walk in the door.

Truth be told, I'm not a fan of leftovers.  Of course if I make a whole tray of lasagna then I don't mind having it for two meals in a row.   But I'd much prefer to take the left over food and make something new with it.

Many food publications have "what to do with your turkey" issues, so it's nothing ingenious to advise making something new out of the basics.

I'm WAY behind on the Thanksgiving leftover bandwagon, but I made a fabulous curried turkey salad that I've been meaning to share.  I'm guessing that you don't have any thanksgiving turkey leftovers.  If you do, please throw them out.  Start from scratch.

Roast a breast of turkey per instructions on the package.  Roughly chop four cups of turkey breast. Dice one apple (your favorite variety), two celery stalks and 6 scallions.  Grate one half of a red onion. (I use my box grater for onions on salads.) Mix together.

Add one cup mayonnaise, 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt, and 1/4 cup dijon mustard. (or this Moroccan mustard, if you were lucky enough to snag a jar before Zingerman's sold out)  Mix to combine.  Add one tablespoon of your favorite curry powder.  I used a sweet blend.  (Pantry low on spices?  Check out Penzey's)  Season with salt and pepper.  Taste.  If you want it spicier, add more curry or hot sauce.

Mix sauce with turkey mixture.  Top with 1/2 cup sliced almonds.  Serve on lettuce or on tandoori naan. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

kelly's popcorn

I stopped buying microwave popcorn once I heard about this development a few years ago.  The biggest danger exists to those working in factories creating the magical bags o' popcorn, but why take the risk? Right? (I realize that I'm revealing my true hippie self in this declaration. --- as if you didn't already know, after everything that you've read on tLB)

In addition to the health concerns about the process, I don't really like the chemically smell and taste. So I ask you these important questions.  What's it about, if it's not about taste?  And why butter flavor when you can use real butter?

I used to only make it on the stove which is a whole production because it requires babysitting the pot.  (not easily done during a commercial or restroom break)

BUT :: Kelly reminded me of this.  You can POP corn in a plain lunch bag?!!  I can hardly call it a recipe, but here's the lowdown.

Put 1/4 cup of popcorn kernels in a brown lunch bag.  Fold over the top two or three times.  Run microwave for three minutes - or until you hear the kernels popping every two or three seconds.  If you're in the mood to make it decadent, pour a couple tablespoons of melted butter over the top.

The best part is that you won't feel guilty in the morning.  Unless you also drank that bottle of cabernet...

Thursday, December 08, 2011

pumpkin on the brain

what's playing in the kitchen? 
besides Handel's Messiah?... which is stuck on repeat on my mental turntable
Zooey Deschanel's voice can put anyone in the mood

Spiced PUMPKIN BREAD -A favorite in my house 

Paula Deen's always good for something with cream cheese - (a hit at Christmas advent)
Pumpkin Cheesecake
drizzled with  
Nigella Lawson's sticky toffee sauce 
and cinnamon whipped cream

Spiced Pumpkin cream cheese
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon cloves 
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1. In a small bowl, beat softened cream cheese, sugar, and syrup til creamy.
2. Add pumpkin, spices and vanilla and beat til smooth.
3. Refrigerate for at least an hour.

Pumpkin lattes anyone?
  • one cup Pumpkin Puree
  • one cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 cup Water
  • 2 teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoons Ground Nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoons Ground Cloves
  • one teaspoon vanilla
It will be delicious as is.  OR strain out spices through a coffee filter for syrup with a smoother texture.  Otherwise pour into a bottle, and keep refrigerated. Add to coffee or pour over ice cream. 
Pumpkin soup baked in a pumpkin
(you can find many different recipes for this online, including from Julia Child. Or this one from Ruth Riehl)
Here's my version.
Empty out one small pumpkin - 4-5 pound size.  Cut top off and keep it whole like a lid.  Scrape out the membrane and seeds.  Fill 1/2 way to the top with half and half.  Add 4 oz fresh goat cheese to cream and 1/2-1 cup grated asiago (or use any other grated hard cheese that you like). Add one finely grated garlic clove and freshly grated 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg into the cream.  Add one teaspoon thyme.  Season with salt and pepper. Top with cleaned lid of pumpkin.  Place on a foil lined baking sheet. Bake at 350degrees for 45 minutes. 

Try Roasting some for a salad: