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Category Archives: Home Cooking

Thanksgiving

I am so excited right now – I don’t know if it is from the mug of coffee I just finished or because I have found so many amazing recipes for Thanksgiving that I just can’t wait to share! Every year my parents host Thanksgiving. About 8 years ago I asked if I could help cook. This was around the same time I became very interested in nutrition, so my ulterior motive was to turn our traditional WI thanksgiving into a more wholesome, healthful, and nutritious meal.  Thankfully that first successful year has turned into tradition of homemade pies, fresh vegetables, and made-from-scratch cranberry sauce.

Each year I search for new recipes to try. In the last few weeks I have found dozens of fall dishes that I can’t wait to try (but will likely have to with this thing called medical school in my way). Here are some of the favorites I have found so far. As I make them, I will post the recipes with notes about how they were.

Brunch

Sides

Dessert

Breads

Leftovers

 

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Turkey Tetrazzini

Slow Cooker Turkey Tetrazzini by A Year of Slow Cooker
(some modifications) 

Ingredients

  • 1 (16-ounce package) wheat spaghetti noodles, cooked
  • 1-2 pounds turkey breast, cut in small chunks
  • 5 ounces sliced mushrooms
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 (8-ounce) package Neufchatel cheese
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • salt to taste at the table

Directions

  1. Spray a 4qt or 6qt cooking spray.
  2. Mix all of the ingredients except the pasta together and place into the crock pot and cook on low 6 hours.
  3. Add cooked pasta and cook on low for 1 more hour.
 
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Posted by on February 15, 2012 in Casserole, Chicken, Crock Pot, Home Cooking

 

Turkey Sloppy Joes

Turkey Sloppy Joes
Adapted from Everyday Food (found on TheKitchenSinkRecipes.com)
Printable Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 carrots, coarsely grated (2 cups)
  • 2 ribs of celery, finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3/4 pound ground turkey (93% lean, dark meat)
  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons dark-brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 good-quality hamburger rolls, split

Directions

  1. In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium; add carrots, celery, onion, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4 to 5 minutes.
  2. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add turkey; cook, breaking up meat with a spoon, until no longer pink, 4 to 5 minutes.
  3. Add tomatoes, sugar, vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce. Cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, 12 to 14 minutes. Serve on rolls.
 
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Posted by on November 28, 2010 in Home Cooking, Meat

 

Tater-Tot (less) Casserole

Tater-Tot (less) Casserole
By TheKitchenSinkRecipes (with changes)

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 4 medium potatoes, scrubbed and diced (1/4-inch dice)
  • kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper
  • 1 pound ground turkey (light or dark, or a mixture of the two)
  • 16 oz bag frozen french-style green beans
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 teaspoon Italian herbs
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup finely shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Butter a large baking dish (a gratin dish or 9×13-inch pan) and set aside.
  2. Toss diced potatoes in 1 tablespoon of the oil and some salt and pepper, spread on a baking sheet and roast for 40 minutes, turning halfway through.  Reduce the oven heat to 350.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a heavy skillet or Dutch oven.  Add the ground turkey, a small pinch of salt and pepper, and cook until the turkey is nearly cooked through.  Add the garlic, celery seed, herbs, and a pinch of salt and pepper; saute for a few minutes until softened. Add frozen green beans and saute until thawed.
  4. Add 1/2 cup chicken stock to the pan. Place the flour in a small bowl, and whisk in the milk. Add milk mixture to pan, stirring constantly. Gradually add remaining chicken stock; cook 8 minutes or until mixture thickens.
  5. Pour the turkey mixture into the buttered dish.  Top with the roasted potatoes and grated parmesan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, until the top is golden brown.
 
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Posted by on November 28, 2010 in Casserole, Home Cooking

 

Sausage, Sweet Potato, and Spinach Soup

Here is another recipes from The Kitchen Sink Recipes blog. I made this back in the dead of a Wisconsin winter when there was a few inches of snow on the ground and the wind was bitter cold. I substituted spinach for the kale in the original recipe because there was no kale at the local grocery store we went to. Jason loves soup in the winter and this is hands-down, Jason’s favorite. The spice from the sausage penetrates the soup and is calmed by the sweetness of the sweet potato.

Sausage, Sweet Potato, and Spinach Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cups chopped onion (about 2 large)
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound bulk spicy turkey Italian sausage (I used Jennie-O hot sausages)
  • 8 cups coarsely chopped peeled sweet potato (about 2 1/4 pounds)
  • 5 cups water
  • 4 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 bunch spinach, chopped
  • 1 (16-ounce) can chickpeas or white beans, drained and rinsed

Directions

  1. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or pot over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 5 minutes. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper, and garlic; sauté 1 minute.
  2. Remove casings from sausage; add sausage to pan. Cook 5 minutes or until sausage is lightly browned, stirring to crumble.
  3. Add potato, 5 cups water, and broth; bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat, and simmer 8 minutes. Gradually add kale; cook 10 minutes or until tender.
  5. Stir in remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt (to taste) and beans; cook 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
 
 

EASY Homemade Yogurt

This is probably the coolest thing I have ever done with my slow cooker! Yes, that is right, I made yogurt in my slow cooker. I am so excited to tell everyone about this!

I found the recipe at A Year of Slow Cooking. It is a blog documenting a woman’s challenge to use her slow cooker everyday for a year. I think this is the coolest thing ever, since we are all so busy and rarely ever have time to cook good family meals. Plus, the slow cooker is much cheaper to run than an over – it only costs about 2 cents per hour!

Now, on the yogurt, The recipe is for whole milk (AKA vitamin D milk, which by the way has no more vitamin D in it than regular milk) but anyone who knows me knows that I would probably never even consider of purchasing whole milk. At the end of the recipe, Stephanie (the author of the blog mentioned above) mentions you can use unflavored gelatin with a lower fat milk. She also mentions you can strain runny yogurt with a cheesecloth or coffee filters. We had skim milk in the house (of course) so despite all of the warnings on her website about using whole milk for your first time, I decided I try the recipe with skim milk and unflavored gelatin.

The result was a little runny, so I let it sit overnight in a colander lined with coffee filters that I put into a big bowl. If you do this you want to make sure that the colander is not touching the bottom of the bowl – if it is, the liquid won’t be able to go anywhere! If the colander is too big for the bowl, your yogurt may strain into your refrigerator; you could place the colander on a smaller bowl and then place all of this into a larger bowl to catch any extra liquid.

I did loose about 1-2 cups of liquid, so the skim milk version does not make all 8 cups. If you really wanted to stick to skim milk, you could add some powdered milk and/or more gelatin to the recipe. This should help thicken the liquid up.Regardless, this is WAY cheaper than purchasing yogurt at the store. We buy 32oz plain yogurt tubs at Aldi’s for $1.60, which is an amazing deal (it would be $3 or so at Jewel Osco). We buy 1 gallon of milk for $1.89 at Aldis and the gelatin was about 25 cents a packet. Basically, we got about 2 tubs of yogurt for $1.15. I am going to try this with 2% milk next time; I think it will get a much higher yield.

Ingredients

  • 4-6 qt crock pot
  • 8 cups (half-gallon) of milk
  • 1 packet unflavored gelatin
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 bath towels

 Directions
  1. Turn your crockpot on low and add the milk. Cover and cook on low for 2 1/2 hours.
  2. Unplug the crockpot after the 2 1/2 hours and let sit for 3 hours.
  3. Remove 2 cups of milk from the crockpot and replace the lid. Pour the milk into a bowl and add 1 packet of unflavored gelatin (if using low-fat milk) and 1/2 cup yogurt. Whisk well and pour back into crock pot. Whisk everything in the crockpot well and replace the lid.
  4. Cover the crockpot with towels. Let stand 8-9 hours.
  5. If the yogurt is runny, line a colander with coffee filters or a cheesecloth. Place this into a bowl or pot so that the calendar is not touching the bottom. Scoop the yogurt onto the filters. Let stand in the refrigerator until it reaches the desired consistency. The yogurt closest to the filters will be thicker than the yogurt on top, so you can mix it together for an intermediate consistency.
  6. Scoop into containers and store in the refrigerator for 7-10 days. Reserve 1/4 cup for your next batch.
 
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Posted by on November 4, 2009 in Breakfast, Crock Pot, Favorites, Home Cooking, Snack

 

Potato Bake


This recipe received a 10/10 from Jason. I don’t know if I have ever made something he liked so much before…ever. He usually hates scale ratings. I always asked him to rate things on a scale of 1 to 10 and it usually ends with him changing the subject so I forget he never rated what I asked. This time, however, he said “10” instantly. This recipe is super easy and delicious. It is too heavy for me for summer, so I plan to make it again once things cool down here in IL in a few months.

Ingredients
– 4 baked potatoes, cooked and NOT peeled
– 3 TBSP butter
– 1/4 cup skim milk
– salt
– pepper
– 1 c. frozen peas, thawed
– 1/2 large zucchini, thinly sliced
– 1 onion, diced
– 1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
– 6 oz. marble cheddar cheese, shredded

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 9″ baking dish with nonstick spray.
2. In a large bowl, mash the potatoes. Add the butter and milk and whisk with an egg beater on high until highly whipped. Stir in the vegetables and seasonings.
3. Pour mixture into the sprayed dish. Smooth out with a rubber spatula. Top with bread crumbs and cheese.
4. Bake for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and the edges are starting to brown.