Wednesday, November 11, 2009


So, I don't like turkey. On Thanksgiving, I pile my plate with side dishes and save room for dessert. Call me crazy, but I have just never liked the stuff very much. But when I saw Turkey breasts at Trader Joe's I decided I wanted to try to roast one. Because I love the idea of roasted turkey this time of year. Also, my daughter loves turkey so I knew that even if I didn't like it too much, I could slice it up and make turkey sandwiches for her lunches.

I had the day off today (thanks Veterans!) so I decided that since it was rainy and gross outside, and I had a few extra hours to spare, I'd give the turkey breast a shot. I knew that it couldn't be that complicated. I've roasted meats before and it's one of my favorite ways to prepare proteins because it's so simple and produces such great flavors. All I really needed was a guide to oven temperature and what temperature the turkey needed to come to before we could dig in. So off I went to Surprisingly enough, when I typed "turkey breast" into the search field, I came up with a big fat nothing. I was dumbfounded. It's November people! Sites such as this one should be bursting with turkey recipes. Then I remembered seeing a delicious looking roasted turkey recipe on Annie's blog and traveled on over to see what I could see.

Annie's recipe was everything I was looking for. Not only did it sound like an amazingly simple but delicious recipe, Annie told me everything I needed to know about oven temperatures and internal temps for the meat. I knew Annie wouldn't let me down :) The woman is a cooking and baking powerhouse and never ceases to amaze me with her awesome skills in the kitchen. But I digress. Back to the turkey.

I can now honestly say that I love turkey. Prepared just like this. It was amazing. Tender, juicy, flavorful, just the right amount of herbs. The vegetables were out of this world and made me want to jump up and down. I didn't have any white wine in the house, so I used chicken broth instead, and I think I will do this every time I make this recipe. It made for an amazing pan gravy, which we enjoyed pouring over our meat and veggies. We all enjoyed this meal immensely (my husband looked at the pictures as I uploaded them to my computer and said "I miss that meal" heehee) So thanks Annie, for providing me with just the right recipe for an amazing meal for my family :) I strayed from the recipe only slightly, so I'll type it just as a made it, but I"ll link to the recipe on Annie's blog here.

Herb Roasted Turkey Breast with Vegetables

3 cloves garlic minced
1 tbsp. Italian seasoning
2 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 cup olive oil
2-3 lb. turkey breast
4-6 carrots, chopped into 2 inch pieces
1 onion, cut into small pieces
6 red potatoes, quartered
3/4 cup chicken broth

Preheat the oven to 325° F. Combine the garlic, herbs, salt, pepper and olive oil in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Spray a 13x9 inch roasting pan with cooking spray and arrange the vegetables in the pan in a single layer. PLace turkey breast on top of veggies. POur olive oil and herbs over turkey and vegetables, making sure to cover the turkey with the mixture liberally. Rub the oil and herbs into the turkey. If your turkey breast still has the skin on, rub some of the herb mixture underneath the skin as well. Pour the broth over the vegetables, as well as a few splashes over the turkey breast itself.

Bake uncovered for approximately 2 to 2 1/2 hours (mine only took about 1 1/2 hours, until the internal temperature of the turkey breast reaches 170-175° F. Transfer the turkey breast to a serving platter and surround with the roasted vegetables. Let rest 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Apple-Oat Cookies

Another winner from the Betty Crocker Fall Baking cookbook! I knew this cookbook would serve me well. These cookies are very yummy, and I am excited to take them to my coworkers tomorrow. The only issue I had is that the drizzle was not thick enough and basically soaked right into the cookies. So, aesthetically, they may not be too pleasing, but they sure are yummy.

Apple-Oat Cookies (source: Betty Crocker Fall Baking cookbook)

3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon abking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups old fashioned or quick cooking oats
1 medium apple, peeled and shredded (about 1 cup shredded)
1 cup powdered sugar
2-3 tablespoons apple juice or milk (I used milk because we never have apple juice in the house)

Heat oven to 375. Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray. In large bowl, beat butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until creamy. Beat in eggs and vanilla, scraping sides occasionally, until blended.

In medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Gradually beat flour mixture into sugar mixture. Stir in oats and apple. Onto cookie sheets, drop by rounded tablespoonfuls, 2 inches apart.

Bake about 10 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 15 minutes.

In medium bowl, beat powdered sugar and apple juice (or milk) until smooth, using wire whisk or fork. Drizzle over cooled cooking on cooling rack. Let stand about 1 hour or until glaze is set.

Makes approx. 3 dozen cookies.

Chicken Soup with Rice

So the pictures of this soup pretty much speak for themselves. There's not much more that I can say, except that this was one of the most comforting, delicious soups I have ever made. This was my first time making chicken soup with rice instead of noodles, and I definitely prefer the rice. Of course, Maura and Rob both said they prefer noodles, so there ya go. Anyway, I loved this soup and plan on making it this way from now on. So there! I decided to go ahead and cook the rice separately. I figured that way the rice would not soak up all the yummy broth.

I normally use boneless skinless chicken breasts in my soup, but I opted for chicken legs and thighs this time. My reason for this was that I was making my own stock, and I used chicken leg quarters to make it. So I just used the meat from making my stock in my soup. I definitely prefer the flavor of the dark meat over the white, and it is so much more affordable. I doubt that I'll ever use white meat in my soups again. It just dries out too quickly.

Chicken Soup with Rice
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 carrots, peeled and cut into coins
2 celery stalks, sliced
4 cups chicken stock (I used homemade. You could definitely use store bought)
3 chicken thighs and 3 chicken legs, cooked and de-boned (You could definitely use pre-roasted chicken here. Or you could use boneless skinless breasts. I just find that the dark meat is juicier and more flavorful)
Thyme, basil, oregano, salt and pepper (I did not measure these at all. Sorry!)

1 cup long grain rice
2 cups water

In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and onions and cook until softened. Add carrots and celery and cook over medium heat for approximately 3-5 minutes, or until vegetables are softened. Add stock, chicken, and herbs and spices. Cook over medium-low heat, testing the seasoning as it cooks, for approximately 45 minutes.

In a separate pot, add rice and water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook for approximately 15-20 minutes, or until all of the water is absorbed into the rice and the rice is light and fluffy. Fluff rice with fork and spoon into soup bowls. Ladle soup over rice and enjoy!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Pumpkin Cookies with Browned Butter Frosting

So, apparently, the big pumpkin scare is over. I was worried there for a while that I wouldn't be able to find any canned pumpkin this season, and I have to admit that I was getting kind of anxious about it. I did end up finding a bunch of sugar pumpkins to roast, which kept my anxiety at bay. But now the shelves in the stores seem to have an ample supply of the canned stuff so everyone can stop panicking :-) I grabbed a few small cans at Target last week, and my Mom grabbed me 4 of the big guys. So now I should be set until next year :) I'd also like to thank my good friend Meredith for picking me up a can of pumpkin when she found some at the grocery store. Sorry I had to turn it away Mere, but I just don't know what I'd do with one more can! Thanks for thinking of me anyway!

Now, on to these cookies. I believe I started hearing about these last fall on a cooking message board I used to frequent a lot more often than I do these days. I'm pretty sure I recall these babies being pretty popular and I'm not sure why I never tried them. I guess I just had so many other things to try, they never made it close enough to the top of the list. Well, I am really glad that I decided to give these a whirl because they are really yummy! A note of caution though, the frosting is very rich. I mean, 3 cups of confectioner's sugar will hurt your teeth, and your tummy. The recipe says to frost the cookies generously, but I think just a thin spread would be sufficient. I went ahead and generously frosted mine, and they are very yummy, but maybe a bit too much frosting for me. I think spreading too much frosting on hides the real flavor of the cookies. And these cookies deserve to shine. They are light and cakey with a hint of spice from the cinnamon. I'd even venture to say you could go without the frosting, if you're the kind of person who prefers their cookies frosting-free. Either way, these are a winner, and I'm excited for Maura to test them out when she gets home from school today.

Pumpkin Cookies with Browned Butter Frosting (source: Betty Crocker by way of Carrie's Sweet Life)

2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup pumpkin ( not pie mix)
2 eggs
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt

Browned Butter Frosting

3 cups confectioner's sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3-4 tablespoons milk
1/3 cup butter (do not use margarine or spread; it will burn)

Heat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, beat granulated sugar, brown sugar, 3/4 cup butter and 1 teaspoon vanilla with electric mixer on medium speed, scraping bowl occasionally, until well blended. Beat in pumpkin and eggs until well mixed. On low speed, beat in flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. (I always mix my dry ingredients together with a whisk before adding them to my wet mixture. This way, I'm sure that everything is as evenly incorporated as possible.)

On ungreased cookie sheets, drop dough by heaping tablespoonfuls.

Bake 10-12 minutes or until almost no indentation remains when touched in center. Immediately remove from cookie sheets to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 45 minutes.

In medium bowl, place confectioner's sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 3 tablespoons milk. In 1 quart saucepan (I used my 9 inch nonstick skillet and it worked just fine) heat 1/3 cup butter over medium heat, stirring constantly, just until light brown,

Pour browned butter over powdered sugar mixture. Beat on low speed about 1 minute or until smooth. Gradually add just enough of the remaining tablespoon of milk to make frosting creamy and spreadable. Generously frost cookies. (I did not need to add any additional milk. Three tablespoons was perfect.)

I wanted to add that I think this frosting would pair well with other types of desserts. I'm thinking some kind of spice cake or apple spice cake. Maybe I'll experiment with it a bit...

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Dutch Apple-Pumpkin Crisp and the (possible) return of my blog

Fall is officially here. Which means I'm probably going to be doing more baking, much to the chagrin of my bathroom scale. I had to cut back on my baking because we were all eating way too many sweets and no one could fit into their pants. So, now that I have lots of coworkers who are willing to eat all my yummy goodies so I don't have to, I figure I'll bake more and see how it goes. My problem is that when I take the goodies into work, I still have to face them and the temptation that comes along with them. So we'll see.

The other main reason for my complete abandonment of my blog is that I just don't make anything new and exciting. Pretty much the same stuff every week. All stuff that has already been posted here. So obviously, I had no reason to blog.

Well, while shopping over the weekend, my mom and I found one of those wonderful little Betty Crocker "cookbooks" in the checkout aisle at Target. It was full of a ton of really yummy Fall Baking recipes, so we both grabbed one and pored over it when we got back to her house. It was so hard to decide what to make first. A few things stood out to me, but I just couldn't pick something. So with the help of the lovely ladies on The Nest's What's Cooking message board, I decided to go ahead and try the Dutch Apple-Pumpkin Crisp.

I have to admit that I was a bit skeptical about this one. For some reason, the idea of pumpkin and apple together just sounded a little off to me. I don't know that I've ever had them together before now. Well, Betty Crocker sure does know her stuff. Cause this is a seriously delicious dessert. And incredibly easy as well. Chopping the apples is the most complicated part of the whole process. I highly recommend looking for Betty Crocker's Fall Baking mini cookbook in the checkout aisle of your local Target/grocery store. There are some really great looking recipes that I'm sure you'll see featured here in the near future.

Dutch Apple-Pumpkin Crisp (source: Betty Crocker's Fall Baking cookbook)

1 1/2 cups chopped peeled apples (2 small) - I used 2 small apples and didn't measure. But I don't feel like that was quite enough. I"ll probably do 3 small or 2 medium apples next time
3/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup of milk- I used half and half because all I had was skim milk and I really wanted this to be rich and creamy
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 egg
whipped cream, if desired

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spread apples over bottom of 9-inch glass pie plate. Microwave uncovered on high about 4-6 minutes or until apples are crisp-tender.
2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, toss 3/4 cup flour, the brown sugar, butter and 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice until crumbly. Set aside.
3. In medium bowl, beat remaining ingredients except whipped cream with wire whisk until smooth. Pour over apples. Sprinkle with flour mixture.
4. Bake 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and set. Cool 20 minutes. Serve warm with whipped cream.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


I got the inspiration for this hummus from Katie over at Good Things Catered. I will link her recipe here, but type my slightly different version below. I have been wanting to try my hand at some homemade hummus for a long time, and since I finally own a food processor, I decided that would be a great way to use it for the first time. I used 2 cloves of garlic, which worked out fine for me since I love the stuff. But if you're not a fan of lots of garlic, I'd cut it back to maybe just 1 clove. This is such an easy recipe, even for a first timer and I can't wait to dive into it with some pita chips!


1 15 oz can of chick peas, drained (reserve the liquid)
1-2 cloves of garlic
2 tbsp+ extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp+ tahini
1/4 tsp salt
juice of 1 lemon (I didn't happen to have any lemons today, so I left this out. Don't know how big of a deal it is. It tastes fine to me without it!)

In a blender or food processor, combine chick peas, garlic, olive oil, 1 tsp tahini, salt and half the lemon juice. Process for about 1-2 minutes and check the flavor and consistency. Add more tahini, lemon juice and reserved liquid from the chick peas as needed. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes before serving.

I found that I ended up needing more olive oil than just 2 tbsp. But that could be because I didn't use the lemon juice? I'm not really sure. I will definitely be playing with this recipe a little and maybe trying some adaptations like adding roasted red peppers or roasted garlic in place of the raw garlic I used today.