Chipotle Turkey Salad

My favorite kind of lunch meat is Turkey! My favorite sandwich is a BLT! But since I am trying to lay off bacon for the time being I went with Turkey on this!

Anymore when I cook, I don’t know if I get more excited to cook, or to be trying a new recipe, or taking the pictures or posting the recipe and pictures on here! I think I enjoy taking the pictures and posting it on here! But I do LOVE cooking. But then after I cook, I can’t wait to get on the computer and upload the pictures and pick the best ones and get on my blog and post and type away like I am now…

This tasted even better the next day!

(I doubled this recipe enough to make 4 sandwiches, for lunch the next day)

recipe

1 cup chopped cooked turkey meat
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1/4 cup chopped white or red onion
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1/4 cup chopped celery
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1 Tbsp chopped fresh or canned jalapeño chili pepper (to desired heat)
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1 Tbsp chopped cilantro or parsley

1/4 cup mayonnaise
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1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder (to taste)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 Mix chipotle powder into mayonnaise.
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2 Put turkey,
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onion,
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celery,
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jalapeño,
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cilantro into a medium-sized bowl. Fold in the seasoned mayonnaise until well mixed. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
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Serve with avocados and sliced tomatoes, as a salad or in a sandwich. Makes enough for 2 sandwiches.
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Get you some yummy Ciabatta bread
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and some slices of tomatoes and make yourself and fabulous sandwich…
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Chipotle Turkey Salad
Chipotle Turkey Salad

I also made some homemade roasted tomato basil soup to go with our sandwiches…
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Lime Cilantro Rice

I am always looking for ways to make plain, boring white rice into not so boring white rice!

I also got me a new gadget for my kitchen! A Microplane! I have wanted one of these for SO LONG! Just go to Bed Bath and Beyond and they have a whole wall of them! It makes zesting a whole lot easier!
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recipe

2 cups water
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup long-grain white rice
1 teaspoon lime zest
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2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

1. Bring the water to a boil; stir the butter and rice into the water. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until the rice is tender, about 20 minutes.
2. Stir the lime zest,
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lime juice,
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and cilantro
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into the cooked rice just before serving.
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Grilled Chicken Breast with Ginger and Soy

I have hurt my camera! I am sorry to say. I don’t have a tripod so I use this as my tripod
My Tripod LOL
So one night I was taking pictures of my food and the camera fell off my “tripod” and I had just got done using the burner that it fell on, so this happened
I hurt my camera, fell on hot burner while shooting pictures one night :(
I cried a little when this happened. I do try to be careful with my camera, but this time I wasn’t. Its ok and everything still works fine. just looks bad, and I felt bad because I hurted it!

recipe

2 cups soy sauce
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup dark sesame oil
1 lime, juiced
4 inches fresh ginger, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded thin
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Combine the soy sauce, olive oil, sesame oil, lime juice, ginger, and garlic, and cilantro in the bottom of a bowl,
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whisk and then add chicken to the marinade. Allow chicken to marinade for 1 hour.
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Place a large grill pan on 2 burners over medium-high heat, or preheat an outdoor gas or charcoal grill.
Fold a few paper towels into a thick square. Blot some oil on the paper towels and then carefully and quickly wipe the ridges of the gill pan or the hot grates of the grill to make a non-stick surface.

Remove the chicken breasts from the marinade and season with salt and pepper. Lay the chicken on the hot grill
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and cook 3 to 5 minutes on each side until charred and firm.
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Serve.
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Biscuits and Country Sausage Gravy

My obsession with cooking started when I was younger…I used to sleep in the kitchen…
obsession with cooking started when I was real young, I would sleep in the kitchen
Oh and look here my mom busted me looking at her cookbooks…
See I'm by the cookbooks, my mom busted me!
My obsession with cake started young too, eating it then, (didn’t have to worry about getting fat) now I just bake them, and have a little nibble and go to the gym for 2 hours! ha-ha
My obsession with cake started young too eating it then, now I bake them now!
Oh there is me on the dishwasher. Seems I liked pictures in the kitchen! It’s a sign. I’m telling you it is! (I like my PJ’s here, need to get me some of those in my size now)
on the dishwasher with my purse! (again in the kitchen) I need me some pajamas like that now!

OK now on with the cooking boys and girls what did I make today…G-O-O-D-N-E-S-S my friends…(as always)

recipe

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
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1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup whipping cream, whipped (I was confused on if I whipped the cream, but I didn’t, I just poured it in)
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In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt.
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Stir in cream.
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Turn dough onto a floured surface; knead 10 times. Roll to 3/4-in. thickness; cut with a 2-1/4-in. round biscuit cutter.
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Place on an ungreased baking sheet.
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Bake at 425 degrees F for
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10 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve warm.
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Then you top those biscuits with some sausage gravy:
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recipe

1 pound pork sausage
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1 onion, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, finely chopped (I used orange cause that’s what I had)
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
salt and pepper to taste
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon minced fresh sage
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1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
2 cups milk, divided
2 cubes chicken bouillon
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley

1. In a skillet on medium heat cook pork,
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onion, green pepper, red pepper flakes, and garlic until pork is crumbly.
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Drain off excess fat, but leave a small amount.
2. Combine butter, salt, and pepper with the meat mixture and stir until butter melts. Slowly sift flour over the top.
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Mix gently and allow mixture to cook for 5 minutes. It will burn, so do not let it sit unguarded. Don’t forget to scrape the bottom of the pan. Add the sage and thyme.
3. Slowly stir in milk,
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about a half a cup at a time, and incorporate it well. When the mixture thickens, add more milk. Do not let it boil vigorously, or it will burn. Add chicken bullion and let cook for five minutes. Again, if it thickens too much, add more milk. Adjust taste with more salt and pepper if needed.
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4. Just before serving, add the parsley,
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and about a 1/4 cup more milk; the gravy will thicken quickly as it cools.
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That is one Happy Normy, ready to eat!
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James Classic Caesar Salad

My good friend James found and made this recipe but he said that I could share it with you all. He was so darn proud of his salad and homemade croutons, and dressing he made to go with it. I think he had a reason to be proud as it was yummy! Was nice to have someone make something homemade. I am ALL for homemade! I think if you can cook it homemade, well you should. I don’t like to take shortcuts usually. I think the time you put into cooking your food comes out when you eat it. You can taste the love.

So here is James Cesar Salad

recipe

You can substitute two 10-ounce bags of chopped romaine lettuce for the hearts.

1/2 cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves , minced
1(12-inch) piece French baguette , cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 4 cups)
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese , plus 1 cup shredded
2 anchovy fillets , rinsed and patted dry (optional)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3 romaine hearts , torn into bite-sized pieces (about 12 cups)

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk oil and garlic in large bowl; reserve ¼ cup. Toss bread with remaining oil mixture and season with salt and pepper. Bake bread on rimmed baking sheet until golden, about 20 minutes. Cool completely.

2. Process mayonnaise, grated Parmesan, anchovy (if using), lemon juice, vinegar, Worcestershire, mustard, ½ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper in blender until smooth. With machine running, pour in reserved oil and process until thoroughly incorporated.

3. Toss romaine, shredded Parmesan, and dressing in large bowl. Add croutons and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Serve.

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Crème Brûlée

So I have this torch that I have been wanting to use! And I Finally got to! I have always wanted to make Creme Brulee. It IS my favorite dessert ya know! So I made it to go with the fabulous dinner I made this past weekend.
For Dave LOL
I bought these pretty little ramekins JUST to make this dessert! (Thank you World Market/Cost Plus I love you)
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You know I had to do it!
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recipe
4 cups Heavy Cream
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1 whole Vanilla Bean
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10 whole Egg Yolks
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¾ cups Sugar
6 Tablespoons Superfine (Baker’s) Sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Pour the cream into the saucepan.
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Add vanilla and simmer over medium-low heat.
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Whip egg yolks with the sugar until pale yellow and thick.
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Strain cream using a fine mesh strainer.

Whip yolks while you very slowly drizzle in 1 cup of warm cream.
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Go slowly so as not to cook the eggs! Once the first cup is added, you can add the rest of the cream slowly.
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Place ramekins onto a rimmed baking sheet. Pour custard mixture into ramekins.
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Pour water in bottom of baking sheet until it comes halfway up the ramekins. Bake for 30 minutes, or until just set. Do not allow to get brown.

Cool ramekins on countertop, then chill for at least 2-3 hours, covered in plastic wrap.
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To serve, sprinkle 1 tablespoon over each ramekins of custard. Use a kitchen torch to quickly (but carefully) brown the sugar. There should be a thin, crisp surface of burned sugar on the top.
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Serve immediately!
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Jamie Garlic Bread

I just made this garlic bread up…I didn’t measure a thing I just did it all on taste. I call it everything but the kitchen sink bread. Everyone liked it so I did something right

I took 2 sticks of butter and let them come to room temperature (as I had 2 loaves of bread) I tried to make it between these two breads: got-to-have-it-garlic-bread and garlic cheese bread

from there I just went with it and added in May-o, 6 Garlic cloves, minced, parmesan cheese, smoked paprika, garlic powder, kosher salt, chopped green onions, shredded pepper jack cheese mixed it in a boil and smeared it all over the bread
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and baked at 400 for 15 minutes
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cut into slices and eat
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9 Hour Lasagna with homemade Bolognese sauce

This past Saturday we had us a dinner with friends. I was looking forward to this ALL week! We got some tomatoes from Russ’s Garden that James canned and they gave them to me a while back and asked me to make something with them. SO I decided to make lasagna! The tomatoes from the Garden are Uncle Nino and my most fav tomatoes EVER San Marzano tomatoes!
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So I invited Russ and James (of course) and Matt and Anisa. YAY! I LOVE to have friends over to cook for. If I could do it every weekend I would… heck why not a couple of times during the week too!
That is my happy place being in the kitchen for hours cooking for people I care about. I’m not so good with words, so I show them my love through my food. You can taste the love and you know they can taste it because they make sounds like mmmmmmmmm, and Oooooh and they make faces like this: (Think Russ likes the sauce)
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Whenever Russ comes to dinner, he tells me This is the best thing I’ve ever eaten since the last time I was here!
This Lasagna took me 9 hours to make, yes 9 hours! I am calling it my 9 hour lasagna. So you KNOW its good! I started with the Bolognese sauce, I will have to do this recipe in 3 posts as I start with the Bolognese sauce, and the lasagna and garlic bread, I also made Crème brûlée for the 1ST time and James made a fabulous Cesar Salad with home croutons that I wanted to share with you all (with his permission of course) so the next few posts will make your mouth water, so be ready!

So I woke up Saturday all excited to COOK! (most would say what is wrong with this chic?) Yes I get excited to cook. When I know I am getting ready to cook a big meal for people, I dream about it and I wake up so excited the next morning.

So I started with the sauce and I started it about 11AM. So first things first when cooking you must get all the ingredients together for your recipe:
fixings for Lasagna
fixings for Lasagna
pour yourself a glass of wine…doesn’t matter that its 11AM or 9AM. It’s like how the song goes, It’s 5 O’Clock somewhere…it’s OK! I won’t judge you!
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4 oz pancetta, chopped into chunks
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2 medium yellow onions (chopped)
4-5 stalks celery (chopped) (I add in leaves too, lots of flavor there, don’t worry they will be blended up later)
2 large carrots (chopped)
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4-6 cloves garlic (minced) (I used 6 of course as I LOVE garlic)
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2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 lb lean ground beef
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1/2-3/4 lb ground HOT Italian Pork (you need SOME kick in this)
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1 cup dry white wine
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1 (28 ounce) can italian style crushed tomatoes (or other)
2 large jars whole plum tomatoes, 1 small jar canned plum tomatoes
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1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon oregano
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1 cup red wine
1 can beef broth/stock
red pepper flakes, to taste
1 cup milk (I use 2%)

In a Dutch Oven or Medium Size Pot, heat butter and olive oil
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over medium heat until butter begins to froth.
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Add onions, celery, carrots,
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Cook until onions are translucent (about 8 to 10 minutes). Then add Garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes until you smell the garlic, do over cook garlic, as it becomes bitter.
start a 2nd pan/skillet turn up to med high heat, once heated add Ground beef, add salt and pepper to taste and
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then add ground Pork, and cook until meat loses red, raw color.

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Once meat is cooked drain the grease and juices with a colander. While thats draining add to the Onions, Celery and Carrots the can crushed tomatoes and bring to a boil.
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stir, and then bring out your hand blender and blend everything until it is smooth, should be no chunks
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Then open the home canned jar of tomatoes (if you don’t have home canned, just use three large canned, whole tomatoes, and one small can tomato chunks) preferably San Marzano Tomatoes
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1st add the small jar to the sauce
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liquid and all
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then add cooked, drained beef and sausage, stir
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In the pan that you cooked the beef and sausage in reheat to med heat and add the chopped Pancetta too
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cook until crisp and browned
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then add 1 cup of white wine to pancetta
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Yes I know very strange to add the wine to the pancetta, Well I forgot to add it to the beef when I was cooking it, so I needed to add it to some kind of meat, so thought the pancetta was just as good. (and there was no way I wasn’t adding the wine to the sauce)
Cook wine and pancetta for 5-7 minutes stirring a few times
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while the pancetta is cooking add oregano, salt, pepper, to the tomato sauce, then add pancetta and white wine
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and stir
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then add in the other 2 large jars of canned tomatoes
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then add red pepper flakes
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bring pot up to a boil, then add beef broth and then red wine
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at this point the pot is too darn full and you may need to add some to another pot so you don’t have a big mess
full pot
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Once the mixture comes to a boil again, return to simmer.
Let sauce simmer (very slowly) partially covered for about 2 to 4 hours (the longer the better), stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
About 5 to 10 minutes before serving, add milk.
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Remaining sauce may be frozen for up to two months for future use.

Have hubby and friends taste the sauce to make sure it tastes ok…
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To assemble your lasagna preheat oven to 350 then start by boiling lasagana noodles as instructed on the box
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get a big glass baking dish and start by layering the bottom of the dish with noodles, I actually do a little sauce first so the noodles don’t stick to the dish, then add noodles then cheese. My lasagna calls for 4 types of cheese:
Ricotta – I add the 2 15oz containers of Ricotta to a bowl and 2 eggs, 1 tablespoon of Italian Seasonings, salt and pepper and garlic salt to taste and then mix
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Fresh mozzarella Cheese, sliced thinly
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Pecorino Romano, grated finely

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Parmigiano-Reggiano, shaved
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So I learned the hard way to start with the ricotta on the noodles as it sticks really good, then do the meat sauce. First time I did meat sauce then I did the ricotta, didn’t work as good. So Noodles, ricotta, meat sauce, Shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano,

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then mozzarella,
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then grated Pecorino Romano
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So do thin layers, as the first layer I did I piled on the meat sauce and its best to do a thin layer and spread it out so you can get more layers of cheese and noodles. (also known as goodness)

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Place lasagna in oven (uncovered) and bake for 1 hour. I recommend putting a cookie sheet under it as I filled my pan too much and it baked over some in the oven.

after an hour this is what you get:
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when you take the lasagna out of the oven, I would let it cool for 15-20 minutes. I let mine cool 15 minutes and it was still HOT!
The lasagna has so much cheese that it didn’t stay together to well
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Layers of GOODNESS! YUM!
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Sit down with your friends and PIG OUT!
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So where do I get the 9 hours from, well I started it at 11AM and it didn’t finish cooking till 8PM. Between all the prep, chopping, dicing, pouring, stirring, sauteing, cooking, simmering, baking, cooling. This bad boy takes 9 hours…Trust me so worth the time and effort! Your friends will love you! Your feet will hate you! But SO worth it! (To me)!

Tomato, Cucumber and Red Onion Salad with Mint

Well it’s Monday! UGH! I don’t like Mondays! Today is my 11 month anniversary of not working…Trying to keep a good attitude. I have to or I will just cry. Who wants to see that? Not me! I feel like I just updated on here that it was my 10 month anniversary and now its 11 months. Time flies… Not sure how I will be when its a year…What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger I guess…Happy Monday to you all and Happy cooking! Anyone have a recipe they want to share with me or what me to make. I will make it and take pictures and say hey this person told me to make this so I did! Come on fan’s are you out there…Talk to me Goose!

recipe

2 large cucumbers – halved lengthwise, sliced
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1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 large tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped
2/3 cup coarsely chopped red onion
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

1. In a large bowl, toss together the cucumbers, vinegar, sugar and salt. Let stand at room temperature for an hour, stirring occasionally.
2. Add tomatoes, onion, mint and oil to cucumbers and toss to blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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