Friday, October 30, 2009

Another mighty fine burger

I haven't had much in the way of cravings while pregnant. Haven't sent Scott out late at night for ice cream or chocolate. Haven't been eating weird combinations of potato chips and jam or bananas and cheese. I do lust after certain foods from time to time, but unless they are readily available I just shrug it off and deal with it.

Except for hamburgers. Gah, I think about them so often the last month or so. Hamburgers, cheeseburgers, chicken burgers, veggie burgers. With bacon and lettuce and tomato. With ketchup only. With bbq sauce. Hang on, I've got to wipe up all this drool. I will admit that a couple of times in the last month I've given in and treated myself to a burger. But only a couple. Cause really, this could get out of control VERY easily.

So around these parts, I may have been talking about hamburgers; may have mentioned them a few (dozen) times in the past couple of days. And Scott was nice enough to suggest we have burgers for dinner last night.

I'd recently found a recipe I was dying to try from Rachael Ray for Asian pork burgers that she then cut into appetizer sized pieces. We made some changes.

Asian Turkey Burgers

makes 4

1 lb ground turkey
1 green onion, minced
1 Tb soy sauce
1/4 tsp ground ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pinch red pepper flakes
juice from 1/2 of a small orange

1 Tb honey
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 of an english cucumber, sliced into thin half moons
1 carrot, shredded

1 handful lettuce, shredded

4 large tortillas
hoisin sauce

Whisk together the honey and vinegar. Stir in the cucumber and carrot. Set aside.

Mix the ground turkey, onions, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, hot pepper and orange juice. Form into 4 patties.

Heat a large pan over medium heat and add a little vegetable oil. Add the patties and cook, turning once, until golden and cooked through.

While the burgers are cooking, spread approximately 1 Tb (or to your taste) with hoisin sauce on each tortilla. Top with lettuce and cucumber carrot salad.

When your turkey burgers are cooked through, place one on each tortilla.

Fold up the 4 sides of the tortilla, and turn the package over so the seam is at the bottom. Cut in half.

Eat and enjoy with plenty of napkins to mop up the juicy goodness. Plan to make again soon.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Oh nos!

Apparently I am showing off how miserable my time management and planning skills are - I've run out of time to take part in this months Bread Baking Babes bread of the month.

This month Gretchen was kitchen of the month and she chose a Peruvian Bread called Tanta Wawa for us to try.

My deepest apologies Gretchen that I can't take part. All the Babes breads are gorgeous - please check out the blogs - everyone is listed over on the right.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Epicure Selections

This summer I was approached by a lovely lady named Darcy from the company Epicure Selections to see if I would be interested in trying out some of their products and sharing my thoughts with you.

For those who haven't heard of Epicure Selections, they are a Canadian owned company selling food products, cookware and home and body items. The company was started in the early 1990's and sold only 4 spice blends. Today they sell nearly 200 different products.

Darcy generously sent me 8 items that I chose from their website, shown below.

Bacon Potato Topper I love potatos and I love bacon. This topper, which is vegetarian, tastes delicious. I sprinkle it on my baked potatos with a little sour cream and pretend I'm eating at a steakhouse, where they come around with their little caddy to dress up your spud. We also tried the website recommendation of adding it to scrambled eggs, and that was good too.

Greek Dressing This one was a dud for us. I have made it twice for salad dressing and both times it was a flat tasting bland dressing. I have saved it and will try again, in pasta salad and a marinade. As a dressing, this was not for us.

Cajun Seasoning Ages ago I worked at a restaurant that had blackened fish and chicken sandwiches on our menu and the cajun seasoning we used was so delicious. This spice blend is definitely a close second. This makes the most delicious cajun chicken sandwiches with a nice little blast of heat.

Lemon Chiffon Fruit Dip Mix This stuff is just plain good. Mixed with yogurt, the chiffon can be used as a dip (like we did), stirred together with fruit (also tried) or used as a filling for baked tart shells.

MBO All Purpose Cleaner We try to stay away from any harsh or harsh smelling cleaners in our house. This spray, safe for counters, tile and more, contains peppermint, orange and bergamot so it smells great as you clean.

Margherita Sauce Mix Sometimes we buy bottled pasta sauce and sometimes we make our own. This turns a can of tomatos into a light pasta sauce in a jif. It is also a great seasoning to add to your pizza (homemade or frozen) before you bake it.

Beef and Steak Rub This stuff is AWESOME rubbed on steaks and burgers. The ingredient list is vague - onion, garlic, herbs and spices - but it adds a whack of flavor. I'd also like to add how much I love the canisters that this rub and the potato topper came it. Nice and sturdy with large holes so the seasoning doesn't get stuck. They also lock and unlock easily but well, so you won't get a dump of spice in your bowl or counter. Love 'em.

Fruit Salsa I love salsa of any kind, but this fruit one was pretty cool. Mix the seasoning with diced tomato and diced pineapple or peaches. So good. I love pineapple and used that. I'm sure it's wonderful with peaches too though.

Thank you again to Darcy for sending me these wonderful products to try. I hope she will forgive me for taking longer than I anticipated to get through them all, but food and pregnancy don't always go together. :)

If you're interested in checking out their website, please visit Epicure Selections. Would you like to find a consultant in your area? Visit here. Interested in becoming a consultant? Visit here.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

U Pick Pumpkin Patch and Roasted Squash and Garlic Spread

It was raining pretty hard last Saturday when we went to the pumpkin patch after the farmers market. The field was so muddy they weren't letting cars in past the gate as 2 were already stuck and waiting to be towed out. We walked in. I didn't care, I'd never been to a pumpkin patch before.

After we got home and changed out of our muddy clothes I made us a snack. It was supposed to be a bruschetta of squash - I envisioned cubes of roasted squash tossed with a dressing, piled on bread. But it's been a while - since last winter - since I've attempted to cut into whole squashes. I had 2 small ones from the farmers market the week before and by the time we got them hacked into manageable pieces I knew there was no way this was going to be as pretty as I'd hoped. But looks don't matter as much as taste and this was pretty darn good.

I baked my squash pieces with chunks of red onion and unpeeled garlic cloves, all tossed with some oil and salt and pepper. When the squash was tender and the onions nice and soft, I let them cool briefly, then chopped up the onions and mashed the squash (rind removed). I squished the roasted garlic out of their papers and mixed them with some oil, balsamic vinegar and honey. Then I stirred the dressing into the squash, and slathered it on the bread.

So good.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


This one isn't about food, but what's under it.
Scott's Mom came to visit us for Thanksgiving and she brought us out some tablecloths that had belonged to Scott's Grandmother who recently passed away. I am not a huge table covering person, but these cloths are SO awesome.

(Please don't make fun of my (lack of) ironing skills.)

This one below is my absolute favorite

I can't even imagine the time and talent it would take to stitch something like this.

I don't know if Scott's Grandmother made this, or if it was made for her, but you don't see stuff like this anymore.

The fabric (linen?) is so delicate.

This one is a little sturdier, made of cotton, again with gorgeous embroidery.


This one is store bought I'm sure, but damn, how 70's is this one? Awesome.

This is the most beautiful and delicate one. I have a similar one that my paternal Grandmother made for my maternal Grandmother. This one is so thin and fine and delicate.

Sort of afraid to use this one - what if we spill?

Seriously, they do NOT make them like this anymore.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Potato Carrot Balls

This past weekend was Thanksgiving, and Sunday night the family stuffed ourselves silly on ham, mashed potatos, carrots, brussel sprouts, Nigella Lawson's fantastic peas and pancetta in cream, and carrot cake. The fridge is overflowing with leftovers and I'm trying to be somewhat creative in using them. Last night we made these Potato Carrot Balls. And liked 'em.

Potato Carrot Balls

1 cup mashed potatos
1/2 cup finely chopped or pureed cooked carrots
1 egg, separated
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400'. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with nonstick spray.

Warm the potatos and carrots in the microwave (30 seconds, just to take the chill off) or in a small pan. Stir in the egg yolk and season with salt and pepper. Whip the egg white until stiff, then fold into the potato mixture. Form into 10-12 balls, place on baking sheet. Bake for 12 minutes, then turn and bake for another 10 to 12 minutes, until brown and crisp.


I really liked these; they were light and tasty and I loved the sweetness that the carrots added. When I make these again I think I'll try adding some garlic. Yum!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Emeril's English Muffins

And just like that, Fall has shown up. Were you expecting it quite so soon? Not me. One day it's 30' and gorgeous, the next it's 20 degrees cooler and pitch dark by 6. However, this is probably the first time in my life I've been so happy to see October, as it brings us closer to our big day.

It was cool and sadly still dark when I got up this morning and it seemed like the perfect time to do some baking.

Last Fall at a book sale I picked up a copy of Emeril Lagasse's From Emeril's Kitchen. It was $2 and looked brand new, who could say no? Flipping thru it a couple of weeks ago I was sort of surprised at how many recipe there are that I'd like to try. I don't know why I was surprised. Anyway the first one I knew I had to try was for his English Muffins, which are served with onion soup at one of his restaurants. The cool morning today just screamed homemade muffins, and the recipe is super easy.

Homemade English Muffins
From Emeril's Kitchen
Emeril Legasse

1 tsp vegetable oil
1 1/4 cups water at room temperature
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1/2 tsp sugar
3 1/2 cups bread flour
2 tsp salt
3 tb dry milk powder
2 tsp solid vegetable shortening
1/4 cup cornmeal

Lightly grease a large bowl with the oil, and set aside.

Combine the water, yeast and sugar in a large bowl, stir well and let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients except the cornmeal and mix with a large wooden spoon until well blended, about 5 minutes. (I used my mixer and also held back on adding all the flour, as Mary has taught me) Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 15 minutes, until smooth, adding more flour 1 tsp at a time if the dough is too sticky. (I did not
kneadneed to use all 3 1/2 cups of the flour.) Place in the prepared bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, draft free place until doubled in size, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Dust a baking sheet with the cornmeal.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 8 equal portions. Roll into smooth balls and place evenly spaced on the prepared baking sheet. Cover with a slightly damp towel and let rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the dough balls, non cornmeal coated side first (down), in batches, and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes.

Turn the muffins over, press down on them with a large spatula to flatten slightly, and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes longer.

We really enjoyed these - they were easy to make and taste very very good. I had to turn my heat down to low as my first batch got a little too dark. I also flattened them when I first put them into the pan as well as when I flipped them.

I could definitely see making these on a regular basis. Next time (maybe a few weeks?) I'd like to try do a white/whole wheat flour mixture.

Here's Scott's breakfast this morning - poached eggs on homemade English Muffins. After the photo he added hot sauce and cheese. I had to charge him more for that.