Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Turkey Shepherd Pie

This recipe comes out of a random food craving for comfort food. Comfort food to me is anything that has potatoes and gravy. But, my waistline would not appreciate the fact that potatoes and gravy would cause me to buy new pants and hit the gym more than normal. I took the original recipe for shepherd's pie and modified it to fit a healthier version of the original. Here goes nothing

#Turkey #Shepherd #Pie

Turkey Shepherds Pie.
Ground Turkey
3 cloves
1 pkg
White mushrooms (Caps chopped)
Carrots (shredded)
1 c
Frozen corn
Frozen peas
1 whole
Onion (chopped)
3 tbsp
2 cups
Chicken stock
1/2 tsp
1/4 tsp
1 tsp
Dried thyme
1 tsp
Dried rosemary
4 tbsp
Vegetable oil

Sweet Potato Mixture
1 1/2 lbs
Sweet Potatoes
1/2 c
Chicken stock
3 tbsp
Sour cream

Salt and pepper to taste

Peel and dice the sweet potatoes and place in a pot of salted water
Bring the pot to a boil and cook until fork tender.
Once tender, with a handheld mixture beat the sweet potatoes, chicken stock, and sour cream until combined and fluffy.

#turkey #shepherd #pie

Brown the ground turkey with salt and pepper until cooked thoroughly
Place in a bowl the turkey and cook the onions, mushrooms, and garlic until the onions are translucent, and mushrooms are not producing liquid
Add the ground turkey back in, and then add the olive oil and flour. Cooking that for a little bit to make the flour taste out.
Place in the chicken stock and stir until no lumps.
Add the carrots, peas, and corn
Add the seasonings to your liking.
Place mixture into an oven safe dish and then top with the sweet potato mix.

Bake until everything is warm and bubbly. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Orange Pistachio Ice box Cookies

          Today has been a huge baking day in my house. When I say big, I am talking about 3 batches of my grandma's sugar cookies, 2 batches of chocolate chip cookies, and 1 batch of the orange pistachio ice box cookies.

          The inspiration for the orange pistachio cookies came from a 6 hour flight to Minneapolis from Alaska and watching the first episode of  Holiday Baking Championship on the Food Network. The original recipe for this cookie was just a regular ice box cookie that has been in my family and passed down for years.
#Orange #Pistachio #vintage #china
Orange Pistachio Ice Box Cookies on vintage china

Orange Pistachio Ice Box Cookies
Zest of two oranges
1 1/2 tsp of orange extract
2 C Shortening (butter or Crisco)
1 C Brown Sugar (Packed)
1 C Sugar
2 Eggs
5 C Flour
1tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 C chopped pistachios

1.     Zest the oranges and set aside
2.     Cream the shortening, sugars, and eggs until pale yellow color
3.     Add in orange zest and extract
4.     In separate bowl place the flour, salt, baking powder and mix lightly
5.     Spoon the flour mixture and nuts into the wet ingredients.
6.     Mix until they are combined.
7.     Place on a sheet of aluminum foil forming a large roll.
8.     Stick in the freezer for about 12 hours.

Before baking pull out of the freezer. Slice them to the thickness you like and bake at 350 until edges are golden brown. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Lazy Sunday Of Football and Trying A New Recipe

Today has been a balmy 32  degrees Fahrenheit in Alaska and where I grew up in North Dakota it was -22 Fahrenheit with the wind chill of -57 below., BURR!! I spent today going to the gym and trying out a new recipe.  The original recipe was found on Pinterest.  Here is the link to the original Jambalaya. I have modified it for healthy substitutions.

Peggy's Healthy Jambalaya
1 green pepper chopped
1/2 large sweet onion, chopped
1 red pepper cut
1/2 jalapeno
4 Turkey kielbasa, sliced
1 28oz can of Crushed tomatoes in the heavy sauce
2 chicken breast
2 cups of brown rice
4 cups of Chicken broth (I like mine a little soupier than normal, and you can use less)
3 teaspoons of Cajun Seasoning
Frozen Okra

Chunk the chicken, brown it, and remove and set aside

Put the Peppers, onion,  and kielbasa in the pot with a tbsp of canola oil. Cook until they are tender.

Put the chicken back in the pot and add the rice. Stirring it around so that the rice gets coated.
Then you put in the chicken stock and Cajun seasoning in and let it simmer for 45 min.

Once it has simmered for the time allotted, add the tomatoes and okra, stir together. Let it simmer

It turned out AMAZING, and it froze well for a leftovers.   

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Butternut Squash Risotto and Pesto Salmon

        Sorry guys, I realized today that it has been almost six weeks since the last blog was put up. What better way to avoid doing homework, than finding and creating new recipes. Maybe I was a little overzealous this semester to take nine credit hours. The end is in sight, will be finishing my certificate in Pharmacy Technician and applying for nursing school in February.

       With the leaves changing, temperature getting cooler, and everything is coming up pumpkin.  Mentioning homework, II did a twist on a pumpkin sage risotto. I made mine with butternut squash and dried sage.  The risotto paired well with my silver salmon that I caught two weekends ago. Going to get a little off topic for a minute, but I am very proud of the salmon. It was caught out in the ocean when my husband and I went out for our halibut charter with Saltwater Safari in Seward, Alaska.  The pesto for the salmon is made in my food processor.

        The risotto would be great paired with chicken, fish or pork as a side dish. I made the serving size about 2/3cup, yielding about 6 servings.  In the recipe, you will need 1 cup of butternut squash puree. There are two ways that you could cook you squash for the risotto. A person can boil the chunks of cut up squash in water until tender or toss the pieces with a little olive oil, salt, pepper, and sage (baking at 450 for 20 minutes).  Once the squash is done put a little more that a cup of cooked squash in blender or food processor with a little bit of chicken stock until a thick puree.


Butternut Squash Risotto
4 cups Chicken stock
1 cup butternut squash puree
2 tsp olive oil
3 cloves of garlic (I run the cloves over a micro plane or chopped
1/2 sweet onion
1 cup arborio rice
1 tbsp of dried sage (more or less depending on taste)
onions and garlic saute in pan 
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/4 cup parmesan  cheese (use the real stuff, not the stuff you put on pizza)

In a large saucepan heat the broth and squash until hot.

In another large pan over medium heat, heat the oil. Add onions, garlic, and rice until the rice is coated with the oil. Takes about 3 to 5 minute. Place a ladle of stock in the pan, constantly stirring until all the liquid is absorbed.  Add the sage to the mixture. Then continue adding ladles of stock and stirring the risotto until the stock is absorbed. Do this until all the stock is gone, and the rice is tender to the tooth. The process will take about 30 minutes from start to finish.  At the end just before service, stir in the parm cheese.

On to the salmon
Pesto Baked Salmon
1/4 cup of pesto (I used my recipe)
2 salmon filets
2 tbsp olive oil
Tin Foil

Preheat the oven to 425. On the tinfoil put the olive oil and salmon down, then cover it with the pesto mix. Seal the foil, place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes.

Pour yourself a glass of wine and enjoy

Monday, September 8, 2014

3 Bean Hotdish and Golfing

On this Sunday, we had a little bit of an adventure. It started out with me prepping my favorite bean dish and taking it over to his mom to warm it up for supper while we are out on our adventure.  I got my recipe from my dad's sister and have tweaked it to my favorite beans!

3 Bean Hotdish
1/2 lb bacon
1/2 lb ground beef
3/4 c brown sugar
1 can Bush's baked beans (any flavor)
1 can chili beans
1 can butter beans 
Chopped onion
1/2 c ketchup
1 tsp mustard

Brown the bacon 
Pull off and drain on paper towel

Brown burger and drain. In a bowl combine all the beans, ketchup, mustard, brown sugar, bacon, hamburger, salt, and pepper. Mix well
Put in oven safe dish and bake at 350 for an hour. 

Before supper, we were enjoying a nice sunny day after 3 inches of snow.  We decided to hit the driving range for a couple of buckets of balls. I have to say that I am completely out of shape for a golf swing.   But here are some fantastic pictures.  

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Walnut Pesto

Final product

I LOVE pesto!! But, cannot stand the stuff that is in the jars at the grocery story. I have a ton of basil growing in a pot in my kitchen right now and put it to good use.  With this recipe, you will need a blender or food processor with a powerful motor. Interesting fact, you do not need to have basil for pesto. A person can use spinach or arugula.

Homemade pesto
1 1/2 cup packed basil leaves
1/2 cup packed spinach
1/3 cup walnuts
2 cloves garlic
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
1/3 cup light olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
lots of pepper

Yumminess, in progress 
Put the basil, spinach, walnuts, garlic, salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese in your food processor pulsing until coarsely chopped. While the processor is going, slowly add the olive oil from the top until it is the consistency you want. I leave me a course chop, but you could make it as smooth as you like.  Pour into jar, covering with a thin layer of olive oil. This will last in the fridge for about a week.

Smoother it on everything and enjoy!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Jalapeno Stuffed Chicken Breast Wrapped In Bacon

What can be better than a dish with bacon in it?? A dish that has bacon and cream cheese in it!! This recipe was inspired by another one that I had seen last week reading a magazine while waiting for an appointment.  Tonight's supper plans changed drastically when I came out of the post office after mailing some packages, and it was downpouring. Originally it was going to be grilled pesto chicken and potatoes. But, either way I needed to go to the grocery store to get chicken. I came up with this while wandering around aimlessly at the store trying to find what I needed.  The result was an amazingly moist chicken breast.

Things you need 
2 boneless skinless chicken breast
4oz cream cheese (room temp)
1/2 c shredded cheddar cheese
2 jalapenos diced (I used my sweet pickled jalapenos)
4-6 slices of bacon 

1)Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
2) Combine cream cheese, cheese, and jalapenos in a bowl
3)Place the chicken on the cutting board and create a pocket where you can put the cheese mixture in it
4) Split the cheese mixture in half and squish into the chicken making sure none of it is exposed
5) Lay out the bacon, wrap the chicken breast, and place in oven safe pan
6) Put the pan in the oven for 30 minutes*.

*Side note: I ended up covering mine because my no matter what I do when I cook bacon in the oven my smoke detector goes off even if the bacon isn't burnt. With my bacon issue, I then transferred it to a frying pan and browned off the bacon.  

The next time making this I will be adding more spice. This is a very quick, simple meal for a weeknight. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Breakfast Sandwiches

In the last couple weeks, I have done some serious money watching and realized that I spend too much on McDonalds breakfast because of not enough time to make something in the morning. Lightbulb moment, I decided to try and make a healthier version of the egg sandwich that can be frozen and reheated to eat in the morning.

6 eggs
6 whole wheat English muffins
6 slices of American cheese
6 slices of bacon or sausage

#breakfast #Sandwich
Eggs pre-oven 
1) Preheat oven to 350
2) Spray muffin tin for the eggs. Crack the eggs into the muffin tin, add salt/pepper or other seasonings

3) Stick that tin in the oven, set the timer for 13 minutes.
4) While the eggs are cooking, cook the bacon and drain it.
#breakfast #sandwich
Eggs out of an oven 
5) When the eggs are done, pull them out of the oven and set aside. 

6) Line up the English muffins on the counter, unwrap and place the slices of cheese on the muffin. Put the egg on top of that  and finish it with bacon on top.
7) Place the tops on the sandwiches
8) I used my fantastic panini maker we got as a wedding gift to melt the cheese and make them look beautiful
#breakfast #sandwich  
9) Wrap in foil and stick in the freezer. Pull out the night before and stick in the fridge for the morning.
#Breakfast #sandwiches

I am so excited to eat them this week for breakfast... Now off to meal prep for the entire week

Thursday, June 19, 2014

No Boil Lasagna

Life has been super busy lately. I got married June 7, 2014. To kick off wedding week, we had  his parents, my mom, both of his grandmothers, and my brother over for supper. The easiest thing that I could think of was lasagna. This recipe is super straightforward, can be made ahead of time and baked at a later date. Would be perfect to take to new parents as a freezer meal, to a family member who had surgery, or to a grieving family as a meal.

I really do need to get better at taking pictures of the entire process. But, I did get a picture of the final product. I think I picked the warmest day of the last two weeks to have the oven run for 3 hours between lasagna, dessert, and garlic bread.  This lasagna has been made by my mom for years and has been passed down to me.

No Boil Lasagna
2 lbs ground beef
Salt & Pepper
1/4 green bell pepper
1/2 onion
2 15 oz can tomato sauce
1 15 oz can of stewed or diced tomatoes
2 cups water
12 lasagna noodles
1 large container of cottage cheese
6 cups of mozzarella cheese
2 tsp garlic salt
1 1/2 tsp oregano

In a large pot place the hamburger, onion, bell pepper, salt and pepper in a pan. Brown and drain any excess grease off the meat.

Turn down the heat; add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, water, garlic salt, and oregano

In a 9x13 cake pan spread a thin layer of the sauce mixture

Lay down 3 noodles across and 1 on the bottom. Spread more sauce on the noodles. Put 1/3 of the cottage cheese and mozz cheese.   (Repeat this step two more times)

Bake at 350 for 75 minutes or until noodles are done, cheese is browned.

Now, I am off to spend some quality time with the husband...

Friday, January 3, 2014

Happy New Years!!

Happy New Years to all the people in blog land.  I have decided to start the year off right and get a new tattoo! It all began when my little brother entered college; I told him that when he finished college that I would go get new ink done with him. Well, college didn't work out for him, and he entered Job Corp for Welding. The deal changed at that point to he needed to complete the program and had a full-time job for six months before I would get one with him. He did it, when my mom and little brother came up for the Christmas Holiday from North Dakota we went to Eagle River Tattoo. Turns out getting a tattoo is on my mom's bucket list, so she got one too.
Mom's New Lady Bugs courtesy of
Matt @ Eagle River Tattoo

My tattoo in memory of my dad. Courtesy of Matt @Eagle River Tattoo 

My ink is AMAZING!!! The signature in my heart is my dad's name that was found on my kindergarten graduation card that I got in 1991. That card was 22 years old; I am lucky that my mom kept things like that. I walked in with an idea and no drawings. Described what I would like, and it came out a million times better than expected.

After the ink, it was finally time to eat our New Years dinner.  Before we had left for the tattoos, I had put the ribs I had bought from Costco in the roaster to cook on low. I wish I had taken a picture of them before they were devoured by the three of us, they were fall off the bone good! We also had Alaska King Crab and potatoes.

The sad point in the night came when I would have to say goodbye to my mom and little brother. I had gotten used to them being around, and house being noisier than when it is just me and the cats while the fiancee is on the slope working.  But, the countdown has already begun again because they will both be up here before the 7th of June for our wedding!!