Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hurricane Food!!

I think it's safe to say that hurricane Irene was a total let-down. Since this was the first hurricane to hit NYC since 1985 (aka WHEN I WAS BORN) I had no idea what to expect. So I joined the masses at any open grocery store on Saturday to pick up a few, non-perishable staples. I walked out with apples, noodles and garbage bags...oh yea - and beer!

Luckily, I keep a fairly stocked kitchen at all times so we had plenty of dry-food options like chips, crackers, peanut butter, bread, tuna, etc. But media forecasts predicted that power could be out for days on end. Naturally, my mind went to my stomach. What could I make that will stay fresh with no power? Personally, I'd probably eat anything - including dairy products but it never came to that. We never lost power and storm did not live up to it's expectations, in my neighborhood at least. a frenzy on Saturday, I made 2 cups of quinoa...just in case. Sure, I was storing it in the fridge but it's a grain and grains keep for a long time, right? On the bright side, having this on-hand sure did make my post-Irene dinner quick on Sunday night. I was far too lazy from put any effort into cooking, nor did I have anything extravagant in my fridge.

What's a girl to do? Get creative!! That's just what I did with this recipe. I had ground turkey, frozen pasta sauce and I threw 'em together. It was amazing!! Quinoa can be pretty bland, especially pared with ground turkey. Thankfully, I had save some of my homemade pasta sauce, from the first go around (when I added way too many onions and hand-crushed full tomatoes for the sauce.) Throwing this sauce into the pan created a perfect balance of juice to hold the meat and grain together, but it also added so much flavor to the dish. The onions, garlic and basil married so well with this protein heavy dish.

If you're ever in a jam for dinner - keep this recipe on the back-burner (pun intended.) In just 20 minutes you will have a flavorful, full balanced meal, that is sure to please.

1.5 lbs ground turkey
1 cup prepared quinoa
1.5 - 2 cups pasta sauce, of your choice.

Cook meat until it is browned all the way through. Once meat is cook, toss in quinoa and mix with meat until heated through. Lastly, add sauce and mix to coat. Season with salt, pepper and other spices as desired.

It really is that easy! Enjoy. :)

Friday, August 26, 2011

Turkey Mushroom Risotto

I've spent a lot of time over the last few years watching Food Network absorbing tips about amazing food, cooking techniques and great dishes to try. I've heard to much about risotto (the good and the bad) and am embarrassed to say that prior to cooking this recipe I never had it.

My mother was in town visiting and I promised to cook her something great since she checks out my blog all the time and complains about how she never gets to try anything I make. :) I figured this would be the perfect time to give risotto a try. Obviously, it could have gone horribly wrong since I had heard risotto is a tough dish to make properly, but it was amazing! (And i don't really understand how someone could mess it up.) 

After spending a little quality time in the kitchen, my mom and I each dug into a delicious bowl of Turkey Mushroom Risotto. You definitely have to try this one!

1 lb of ground turkey
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced 
1 8oz package of mushrooms, chopped
2 tbsp of fresh tarragon (I couldn't find tarragon so I substituted with green onion instead)
6 cups of chicken broth
1 cup of white wine
21/4 cups arborrio rice
2 tbsp of butter
1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese

1) Cook turkey on medium high heat, in a deep skillet. When the turkey is about 3/4 cooked, add in diced onion and garlic.
2) Continue to cook the mixture for 1 to 2 more minutes then add mushrooms.Cook for and additional minute or two and then add in your fresh tarragon (or green onion, in my case.)
3) Let the meat cook for a final minute or two and remove the meat from the heat and set it aside.
4) In the same pan, add broth and wine. Bring the liquid to a boil then add rice and stir continuously for the first 2 to 3 minutes.
5) When the water's 3/4 of the way absorbed (about 20 minutes) add the turkey mixture back in and continue to cook and stir until the water is absorbed and the pasta/grain mix is creamy.
6) Remove from heat and stir in butter and cheese.
7) ENJOY! :)

Recipe courtesy of:

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

French Toast Cupcakes - UPDATE

I woke up yesterday morning with a craving for a delicious cupcake. It's been a few weeks since I've baked so it was definitely time to get back into the swing of things. I've made a lot of chocolate, red velvet and stuffed cakes and wanted to bake outside my realm.

After some searching, I found a great recipe on The Cupcakery Blog for French Toast Cupcake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting. I knew this was it!! Simple yet tasty.

Cupcake Recipe: 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 eggs, room temperature
1 tsp maple extract
1/2 cup milk

1) Preheat your oven to 350° degrees. Line muffin tin with baking liners.
2) Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a mixing bowl.
3) In a large bowl, whisk together butter, sugar, and eggs until combined. Then add maple extract.
4) Alternate between whisking in flour mixture and milk into your liquid mixture. Make three additions of flour and two of milk. Beat until smooth.
5)Divide batter into prepared pan and bake 20-25 minutes until golden brown and tops spring back when lightly touched.
6) Cool cupcakes for 10 minutes, remove from pan and allow to cool completely before frosting.

Frosting Recipe:
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
Pinch of salt
1 tsp maple syrup
4 1/2 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
cinnamon, as desired

1) Beat together cream cheese, butter and salt until creamy. Add maple syrup. Sprinkle in desired amount of cinnamon.
2) With mixer on low, add sugar 1/2 cup at a time until light and fluffy.
3) Increase mixer speed between additions.
4) Decorate and enjoy!

Recipe adapted from