Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

Turkey and Pesto Croissant Sandwiches

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012



These sandwiches were a great hit with us because Jace loves pesto and I enjoy almost any kind of sandwich. One of Jace’s favorite places to eat is Which Wich because he can get his favorite sandwich, a grilled turkey and pesto sandwich. I decided that I couldn’t let his favorite sandwich be from a fast food chain, and I needed to make a better one. I used our roasted turkey recipe (that is amazing by the way), but I just roasted a turkey breast. That was much easier than handling a whole turkey. Believe me, it’s worth your time to roast your own turkey but if you can’t any deli sliced turkey will do. I served this with some awesome buttermilk potato soup and it was a great meal.

Turkey and Pesto Croissant Sandwiches
Several slices of roasted turkey breast
2 cups basil
3 cloves garlic
handful of grated Parmesan cheese
handful of pine nuts
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil
4 large croissants

In a food processor or blender (I prefer the food processor) throw the basil, garlic, handful of Parmesan cheese, handful of pine nuts, salt and pepper into the bowl. Start the food processor or blender and drizzle the olive oil in until it is to the consistency you want. Taste and adjust as you would like. I added a little more basil after I was done, but everyone’s different when it comes to pesto.
Cut your croissant in half and smooth out a layer of pesto over the bread. Add the turkey and throw the sandwiches in the oven for 3-5 minutes just to warm them through.
Put them back together and enjoy!

Salsa

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011



Being the good Texas girl I am, I am very picky about my salsa. My favorite is the kind you get at the little hole in the wall restaurants here in west Texas. We have a great restaurant next door to where I work and I’m usually in there once a week begging for chips and salsa. I will eat some of the salsas you can get at the grocery store, but I can’t do picante sauce. I don’t care if it’s not from New York City!

This is more of a suggestion than a recipe. I start with this and then adjust to my taste. I use the jalapeño to adjust the heat. So start with half, taste and then throw more in after if you want it hotter. I normally leave all the seeds in the peppers because it’s easier to adjust the heat that way. Also, I almost always have to add more salt but I’d rather be safe than sorry.

Salsa
4 tomatoes
1 onion
4 cloves garlic
1/2 jalapeno (more or less depending on how spicy you want it)
2 lemons
2 limes
approximately 1 tbs salt
handfull of cilantro

Roughly chop the tomatoes, onion, garlic, and jalapeno (don’t worry too much about the chop it’s all going to be blended anyway) and throw them in a food processor or blender. Squeeze in the juice of the lemons and limes, add the salt and cilatro and blend until everything is blended together to your liking. Taste and adjust as needed.

Butterfinger Brownies

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011



So it turned out Brownies+Butterfingers=AWESOME. You must make these ASAP!

Butterfinger Brownies
adapted from Becky Bakes

8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter cut into cubes
4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour (I actually missed this ingredient and they came out very fudgy which I like better add this for cakey brownies)
4 regular sized Butterfinger candy bars roughly chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

In a double boiler or in the microwave melt the chocolate chips and butter together. Set aside.

In a bowl whisk together the eggs, sugar, vanilla, peanut butter and salt. Whisk in the chocolate mixture and then fold in the Butterfinger pieces.

Pour the batter into a greased 8” square pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out mostly clean. Cool, cut and eat!

Quick tip:
Line your baking dish with foil and grease the foil before you pour in the batter. When the brownies are ready and cool, pull the foil with the brownies out of the pan and set on counter. Flatten the foil out and use a pizza cutter to cut the brownies.

Sweet Tea Brined Pork Chops

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011



This recipe took us a couple of tries but I think in the end we nailed it. We used a brine to infuse the pork with flavor and then merely used pepper to season before cooking in browned butter. If you are wondering what a brine is you can read our turkey recipe where I attempt to explain it, or you can read this post. This was written by my sister-in-law’s brother, Graham Fontes, and he explains the process better than I ever could. He is an amazing chef at Pinzimini in Arlington, Virginia. His post also has a killer brine recipe that will make any meat delicious. You should also add his blog to your google reader or whatever you use to follow blogs because he has some great recipes that you don’t want to miss.

Sweet Tea Brined Pork Chops
3 thick cut pork chops
1/2 gallon sweet tea
1/2 cup salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

The day before you make the pork chops, combine the sweet tea, salt, brown sugar, garlic and red pepper flakes in a small pan and heat over medium-high heat until salt and sugar are dissolved. Refrigerate overnight (or at least until the brine is cool if you are short on time).

Place the pork chops in the brine and let them sit for 3-3/2 hours. Remove the chops from brine and rinse with cold water.
Pat dry and season the chops with pepper. DO NOT SALT! The brine took care of that.

In a saute pan brown 2 tbs of butter. When butter is ready, cook the chops in the pan for about 5 minutes on each side depending on how thick your chops are. If they are bone-in they may take a little longer. If they are pretty thin they make be less. When the chops are cooked remove from the pan and let them rest for at least 5 minutes so all the tasty juices don’t run out when you cut into them.

Celery Soup

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011



I know all of you just saw the title of this post and tuned me out, but give me a chance! This soup is not near as bad as it sounds. I found this recipe in my Family Chef Cookbook. After changing my eating habits I started eating a lot of salads, but after a while I get tired of rabbit food and want something with some depth. I wanted a soup that will fill me up but be low calorie. This soup tastes a lot like potato soup, but has a little celery flavor at the end. It’s also really good cold so when is its a million degrees outside and you don’t want a hot soup you can just pull this out of the fridge, pour it in a glass and use a straw to drink it.

Celery Soup
from the Family Chef Cookbook

1 onion, cut in medium pieces
1 leek, whites only (optional but they make the soup so much better)
6 cups (1 1/2 boxes) chicken stock
1 potato, cut into medium pieces (You can also use cooked white beans or even rice!)
12 stalks of celery, cut in medium chunks
1 bunch italian flat leaf parsley
2 handfuls of frozen peas
a pinch of nutmeg, cayenne and/or white pepper
salt to taste

Heat a large pot to medium-high heat. Add in about 1-2 tablespoons of oil. Add the onion and leaks to the hot pan and sprinkle with salt. Cook until translucent, do not brown.

As soon as the onions and leeks are translucent add in the chicken stock and the potatoes, and add salt and pepper. Cook until potatoes are tender.

Add the celery and cover the pot. Cook until the celery is soft.

In batches put the soup in the blender add handfuls of peas and parsley to each batch or if you have an immersion blender add a couple of handfuls of peas and parsley to the pot and blend until smooth.

Strain the soup through a mesh strainer and re-heat until warm. Season with salt, pepper, and/or pinch of nutmeg and cayenne pepper. Serve or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. This also freezes well.

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