Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Nicely Spiced Turkey Lasagna

What to do with a pound of ground turkey? Hmmm. Tomato sauce, white sauce, spices, noodles.....The sauces used in this lasagna are soft and succulent off-setting the pleasant spicy surprise of chipoltle spice. The olives are a nice addition too, especially the green onions.

Saute 1 pound of turkey with 1/2 cup of chopped olives (I used mixed, black and GREEN), 1/2 chopped onion, 1/4 cup of sundried tomatoes, 1/2 tsp. of poultry seasoning, 1 tsp. of basil, a pinch of salt and a 1/2 tsp. of pepper. Once cooked, add 1 cup of philly cream cheese with 1/3 cup of milk to ground turkey mixture and turn the heat off. In a separate pot make a sauce first by making a roux of 4 tsp. of butter and 4 tbsp. of flour (you may want to use more butter if the flour is too dry), 1 chopped green onion, and a pinch of chipotle spice; then add 2 cups of chicken broth with 1/2 cup of tomato sauce and bring to a boil. Once it boils, turn the heat down to simmer for a minute or two and then turn it off completely. I used no bake lasagna noodles. Layer a lasagna dish with at least one cup of sauce and layer noodles to cover the pan. Then add turkey mixture, 1 cup of cheese sprinkled evenly (I used Tex-Mex), then top with more noodles, the rest of the sauce, and top completely with 2 cups of cheese and cover with foil. Bake covered for 45 minutes at a 300 degree oven.

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Bootsy's Chocolate Cake and Cherry Slice

While spring cleaning today, I came across two recipes my Grandma made famous in our family.

Bootsy's Chocolate Cake: Cream 1/2 cup of margarine, 1 cup of sugar, 1 egg (set aside), 1 cup of flour, 1 tsp. of soda, 1 tsp. of baking powder (set aside), add one cup of boiling water to 3 tbsp. of cocoa and yes, set aside. Then alternately add dry inigredients and cocoa mixture to creamed mixture. Then grease an 8X8 pan and bake at 325 deg. for 45 minutes. Cool and ice.

Cherry Slice: 2 cups of white sugar, 1 cup of margarine, 4 eggs, 3 cups of flour, 1-1 1/2 tsp. of almond flavoring. t 1tsp. of vanilla, 1 can of cherry pie filling. Cream well with a mixer, the sugar, and margarine. Add eggs, flour, flavoring and vanilla and mix well. Line a cookie sheet pan wth 1/2 of this mixture (I'm not sure where the other 1/2 of the mixture is suppose to go? Perhaps on another pan? Perhaps over top. Grammy is no longer with us, so I am unable to ask her). Spread cherry pie filling over mixture. Bake at 325 degrees until done. May be iced with icing while warm.

P.S. I made this chocolate cake this afternoon and OH MY GOD, it is amazing. My mom has started baking it and it is so damn good.


Monday, February 26, 2007

Hot Chicken Salad

This is an old favorite I enjoyed a few years back at my friend Mrs. Govette's home. Yesterday my Dad, his girlfriend, and my sister came over for lunch and they LOVED this simple salad; asking for the recipe (it's great if you have left over chicken). I served a lower fat version of the original recipe since my Dad had been having a few chest pains of late. He seemed just fine after eating this dish, though to tell you the truth I haven't spoken with him today. But as far as I am concerned this lower fat dish can be served to anyone whose health is a little "iffy" because it's good for the soul! Put the following ingredients in a casserole: 2 cups of left over chicken, 1 cup of chopped celery, 1/4 cup of toasted almonds, 1/2 cup of low fat sour cream, 1/2 cup of half fat Hellman's Mayo, juice from one lemon, 1 cup of shredded cheese, pepper, and a pinch of salt. Top the casserole with a cup of crushed potato chips. Enjoy

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Sunday, February 11, 2007

Valentine Salad and Mother-in-Inlaw Cocktails

I created the loveliest salad the other day and put the lonely old red cabbage languishing in my fridge to some use. I had my mother-in-law coming over for lunch the same afternoon so in addition to the Valentine Salad, I also needed to concoct something of the alcohol variety so that I could stare deeply into her suspicious cranky eyes and think good thoughts Truth be told my Valentine Salad is really just a red cabbage cole slaw. However, if you were in my kitchen, you would have witnessed what looked like 1960's retro/art gorgeousness. You would have been captivated at the beauty of this salad sitting beside a gorgeous frosty glass of Pink Chystal light laced with a little Vodka - hence the christening of Valentine Salad. Because I'm getting physically ready for a Spring vacation to Mexico with my family, I was most impressed with how easy it is to assemble some old fashioned lunch favorites using some low fat ingredients and feel as though you're appetite has been royally filled up emotionally, soulfully, and joyfully. Here is the recipe for Valentine Salad:

Roast about 40 almonds at 300 degrees for about 20 minutes and cool.

Cut up in thin slices either a whole red cabbage or half of one and for God's sakes, please watch your fingers. Toss your sliced red cabbage into a bowl to mix up all of the following ingredients:

1/4 cup of lite sour cream, 1/4 cup of lite Hellman's mayonaisse, 1/4 cup of pickle juice (there is something magical about this vinegared little cucumber that adds the top note taste needed in this Valentine Salad), then finally a tbsp. or two of Spenda and 1/2 cup of feta cheese and 1/2 cup of baking cranberries. Remember to add the almonds. This salad is simply ADDICTIVE and it is outstanding to remember that you will loose weight pigging out on it.



Sunday, February 04, 2007

Pear Cheese Strata

I made this strata yesterday afternoon for friends and it was "fine." I say fine, because I think that it has enormous potential and I plan on making it again but with some tweaking. I got this recipe from the cookbook, Wine, Food, & Friends. It's funny, but when a recipe is in a cookbook, you expect it to be a knockout. Like I said, this recipe is fine and simple. I think that more refined tastes might enjoy this as is...but being from the burbs and having enjoyed mucho take-out and food fare cuisine, my palette expects a little more chemically enhanced pow! I think after reading that sentence I am in dire need of a simple French cooking course where everything is sensuously flavored and coddled to bring out the best that any recpe has to offer. Oh well, back to the basics. Rather than just adding Gouda cheese as this recipe suggested, I added goat cheese to it as well. I also tried some of this strata later on with a bit of ham and it tasted better. Also, I didn't have white bread so I baked some in my handy dandy 13 year old bread maker. The strata has an interesting suggestion to add white wine to the bread and I'd like to keep this suggestion. I also think that I will slice the bread really thin next time. I have hope for this recipe and I will definately try it again.