Friday, December 19, 2008

Not Recommended

Here is a recipe that I do not recommend making. I liked it well enough, but it really was not good enough to make again. No one took a second helping... It was just fine...

I changed the original recipe a lot, but interestingly, the calorie information was almost exactly the same. The fiber/cholesterol/fat was different- but calories were exactly the same.
Keep in mind though that this original recipe may be quite tasty, but since I did not have chipotle peppers I changed the flavors. It did not work... I should stick to science :)

My Sweet Potato Shepherds Pie

3 slices of bacon
1.2lbs Ground turkey breast meat
1/2c Chicken stock
1 medium sweet onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
4 pieces of celery, diced
2T dried cranberries (I wanted to use more but this is all I had)
1 can of white beans (drained and rinsed)
Salt/pepper/Cayenne to taste

2 large Yams (3lbs?), peeled and diced
1/2c brown sugar
3T butter


Begin boiling the yams/sweet potatoes (they need 20-30min?)

Pan fry the bacon until it is *almost* done
Remove bacon from pan and place on paper towels
Reserve fat and cook the ground turkey breast in bacon fat
Remove the ground meat and drain the fat
Add onions to pan cook for 5-10m
Add the rest of the veggies (excluding the beans) and stock and cook for 5m

Place veggies in bowl with ground meat, add beans and diced bacon and mix well
Add to casserole dish

Mash yams with sugar and butter and spread over top.
Bake for 15min covered and 10-15min uncovered in a 350 degree oven

Enjoy! Well kind of... :)

Monday, December 8, 2008

Soul Food

My poor husband had his wisdom teeth extracted (all 4) on Friday. It was a terrible experience for him and I will not go into it here, needless to say he was on a liquid diet for the weekend. This left me feeling especially guilty eating around him- so I stuck to mostly cereal and whatever soups he ate. I bought some specialty soups from a local soup factory- the kind we would never buy under normal circumstances: potato and bacon, and New England clam and corn chowder- so bad for you, but when that is all you can eat you have to pack in the calories! Yesterday he was feeling a little better so I made mashed potatoes (2.5lbs Yukon Gold potatoes, 2T butter, 2oz cream cheese, and half a head of oven roasted garlic- mashed together: easy!) and Chili. This chili gets capitalized it is that good. I normally get sick of chili before we can finish the pot, with this chili that does not happen. I needed to really figure out exactly how many calories were in this recipe because I have been feeling guilty about estimating it as being equivalent as the beef chili in my PDA. So I plugged it into CRON-o-Meter and here is the chili you will thank me for (and it is better than the chili in my PDA!):

Sausage, Beef and Bean Chili- 12 servings

1lb of 95% Lean ground beef
1lb Hot Italian sausage (ground preferably out of casing)
1 Diced Onion
Chopped Adobo chilies or jalapenos (2) Optional
2 cups (1 can) pink beans
2 cans (15oz?) diced tomatoes
**dirty secret** 2-alarm Chili spice pack (purchased at supermarket)
6oz of beer
1c water

Brown meats, peppers and onions together
Once cooked add all the remaining ingredients and stew for 30min to 1hr
(I don't usually add the masa flour contained in the spice kit- I save it for my vegetarian chili!)

Calories: 200
Protein: 17g
Carbohydrates: 12g
Fat: 9g
Fiber: 2g
Vitamins/Minerals: 15%/20%

I totally want to know if any of you make this recipe- just to know if you love it as much as I do- so please- do tell!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Thanksgiving Part 1

This edition will not include the turkey- that will have to be a TE guest written edition- since I had absolutely nothing to do with prepping or cooking the turkeys.

I also apologize ahead of time for any blatant grammatical errors and all lack of continuity. I am quite tired today- I was up a bunch of the night with a sick King pup. I am hoping he just got into something, his symptoms were similar to human flu/stomach bug symptoms- quite pleasant. Makes me appreciate all that my family and friends do even though they are up more nights with sick/young children.

Anyway- onto food!
First picture is the spread! On our menu:

  • Cranberry sauce:
1 12-oz bag of fresh cranberries
1c sugar
1c water
Lemon zest to taste
  • String Beans with butter and slivered almonds
  • Roasted Root Veggies (parsnips, turnips, butternut squash)
  • Creamy pearl onions (MomE's recipe)
  • Corn
  • Mashed potatoes (MomE's recipe)
  • Sweet Potato Casserole
  • Stuffing
  • Green Salad (MomB's contribution!)
  • Pies!!

This edition will include my two favorite items: The sweet potato cassarole and the stuffing!
I used to think I hated sweet potatoes, not anymore! They are one of my newest obsessions. I love love them! What could be better than sweet potatoes, pecans, and marshmallows (even though my marshmallows melted into the casserole since I cooked it covered)?!
And the recipe was from Cooking Light. I doubled it because 2.5lbs of potatoes is really only 2 sweet potatoes, and even though it says 16 servings, I knew better. So I figured a "real" estimate would be double the calories.

Tradiational Sweet Potato Casserole
Serves 16 (32 for nutritional info)


  • 5 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1.5 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans, divided
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 cups miniature marshmallows


Preheat oven to 375°.

Place the sweet potatoes in a Dutch oven, and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes or until very tender. Drain; cool slightly.

Place potatoes in a large bowl. Add sugar and next 3 ingredients (through vanilla). Mash sweet potato mixture with a potato masher. Fold in 1/4 cup pecans. Scrape potato mixture into an even layer in an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup pecans; top with marshmallows. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes or until golden.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 186 (27% from fat)

Fat: 5.5g (sat 2g,mono 2.3g,poly 0.9g)
Protein: 1.6g
Carbohydrate: 33.1g
Fiber: 2.5g
Cholesterol: 8mg
Iron: 0.7mg
Sodium: 272mg
Calcium: 23mg
Mom's Turkey Stuffing Recipe
(to be cooked outside the turkey!)
From Simply recipes
238 calories/serves 10

  • 1 loaf of day old French bread, cut into 3/4-inch cubes (about 10-12 cups)
  • 2 cups each, chopped onion and celery
  • 6 Tbsp butter
  • 1 green apple, peeled, cored, chopped
  • 3/4 cup of raisins
  • Several (5 to 10) chopped green olives (martini olives, the ones with the pimento)
  • Stock from the turkey giblets (1 cup to 2 cups) (can substitute chicken stock)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon ground sage (to taste)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper (to taste)


1. If you haven't already made the stock, take the turkey giblets - heart and gizzard - and neck if you want, and put them in a small saucepan, cover with water and add a little salt. Bring to a simmer; simmer for about an hour, uncovered. Strain the stock into a container for use with the stuffing. Alternatively, you can use chicken stock or just plain water with this recipe.

2. Heat a large sauté pan on medium heat. Melt 3 Tbsp butter in the pan, add the bread cubes, and stir to coat the bread pieces with the melted butter. Then let them toast; only turn them when they have become a little browned on a side. Note, if you aren't working with somewhat dried-out day-old bread, lay the cubes of bread in a baking pan and put them in a hot oven for 10 minutes to dry them out first, before toasting them in butter on the stove top. The bread should be a little dry to begin with, or you'll end up with mushy stuffing.

3. In a large Dutch oven, sauté chopped onions and celery on medium high heat with the remaining 3 Tbsp butter until cooked through, about 5-10 minutes. Add the bread. Add cooked chopped walnuts. Add chopped green apple, currants, raisins, olives, parsley. Add one cup of the stock from cooking the turkey giblets or chicken stock (enough to keep the stuffing moist while you are cooking it). Add sage, poultry seasoning, salt & pepper.

4. Cover. Turn heat to low. Cook for an hour or until the apples are cooked through. (*Mine took 30min tops) Check every ten minutes or so and add water or stock as needed while cooking to keep the stuffing moist and keep it from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Serves 8-10.

Monday, December 1, 2008

In preparation

TE and I had an amazing Thanksgiving holiday- he made a wonderful smoked turkey for both of our parents, and aunt and cousin. We had a great couple of days (we actually cooked for two straight days!) and I have a ton of photos and some great recipes to pass along.
I am still feeling lazy and not quite ready yet to relive it (for fear that I will want to eat it all again) so in the meantime I will share a cartoon TE cut out of his New Yorker magazine for me :)