Thursday, November 29, 2012

Low Fat Turkey Corn Chowder

I don't know about you but we had a lot of turkey left over from last week that we needed to do something with before it went bad. I really like soup this time of year--even though it's not very cold here in Texas... :( but hey, I can dream! So I really like the corn chowder at this local restaurant here in College Station, called Cafe Eccel. Only problem is, there are many many calories in the full deliciousness of Cafe Eccel's version of corn chowder. So I decided to try to make it lower in fat & add turkey! And let me tell you, it turned out DELICIOUS! Here we go:

1 tablespoon butter
1/4 of a large sweet onion (finely chopped)
2 garlic cloves (peeled and finely chopped)
1 tablespoon chives (finely chopped)
7 oz. turkey breast (shredded)
1/3 tablespoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 cups of fat free, low sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
3 cans of corn (9oz. each)
1 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 cups fat-free milk

First, put butter in large saucepan/pot over low heat, add chopped onion, garlic, and chives to skillet. Let saute until onions are translucent (about 3 minutes over low to medium heat), make sure they don't brown, then they'll turn crispy and chewy and the garlic will taste bitter. So that is definitely a no no.
(onions, chives, and garlic with butter)

Okay next step stir in 1 can of corn to onion and garlic mixture, add broth (KEEP STIRRING), then add kosher salt and pepper, keep stirring! Then add the turkey! Stir one more time and then bring to boil, make sure you stir/scrape the bottom because flour likes to get stuck on the bottom of the pot. Let boil for about 7 minutes. White this is boiling get our your food processor. Take milk and remaining corn and sugar and dump it into the food processor. Puree it until smooth, and then dump mixture into pot and stir stir stir! Let sit and boil for about 15 minutes, continue to stir and scrape every now and then. I served my chowder with chopped chives to top it off! 

Sorry the pictures are so terrible on all of my posts. Hopefully I am getting a camera with a great lens for Christmas! Until next time, Bon Appetit!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Sweet, Salty & Spicy Christmas Pretzels!

Okay so I have been flipping through all of my foodie magazines and keep seeing variations of some sort of trail/chex mix in every magazine I read! And I don't know about you, but my favorite part of the usual mix are the pretzels. And those of you that know me well, know I'm a sweet & salt gal 100%! So I found this recipe of Sweet & Spicy Nut Pretzel Mix in Cooking Light and decided to pull out the pretzels and make a few twists and turns to it and make it my own! My first batch burned (trial and error, ladies and gents!). So here we go! 

10 Cups regular size salted pretzels (I used the holiday shaped ones--so cute!)
1 tablespoon garlic salt
2 tablespoons cayenne
1 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
8 tablespoons light brown sugar
3 tablespoons salted butter
4 tablespoons pure maple syrup

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Measure out pretzels and place in a large bowl. In a small bowl combine garlic salt, cayenne, cinnamon, and brown sugar and then set aside. In small sauce pan combine butter and maple syrup and cook until melted and warm (DO NOT BRING TO A BOIL). Then set aside saucepan and allow it to cool for 3 minutes. Put on plastic gloves and then take saucepan with butter and syrup mixture, pour over pretzels in large bowl mixing with gloved hands (so you don't burn yourself). Mix until all pretzels are coated (when they all look extra shiny). Then let pretzels rest for 2 minutes. After they rest, take the garlic salt, cayenne, cinnamon, and brown sugar mixture (keep gloves on) and sprinkle/pour mixture over pretzels while mixing rapidly. Make sure all pretzels are covered in mixture. Then take a rimmed baking pan and poor pretzels evenly across it and again, make sure all pretzels are coated! Put in oven for 10 minutes, mixing at the 5 minute mark! When finished, take out of the oven and spread over a towel on the counter, evenly. Let cool for 20 minutes. And then ENJOY! This recipe also makes your house smell delicious--I could eat the air!

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Monday, November 26, 2012

Incredible Mouth-Watering Meatloaf

So I was flipping through my Food Network magazine and ran across this picture of something that looked absolutely delicious. And then looked to the side of it and it said MEATLOAF. Um, excuse me? Meatloaf isn't supposed to look this incredible. So right then and there I put my fear of meatloaf back in check and said "okay, I will make this and it WILL be as delicious as it looks" With that being said, I headed to the store and got to work! This recipe is an adaptation of the 1770 House Meatloaf Recipe from the luxury Inn & restaurant in East Hampton, NY! A few twix and tweaks and it turned out INCREDIBLE! (my pictures don't do it justice):


2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cups chopped yellow onion
1/2 cup diced celery
1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground veal
1 pound ground pork
1 tablespoon chopped parsley 
1 teaspoons thyme leaves
1 tablespoon chopped chives
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
2/3 cup of skim milk
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1/2 tablespoon black pepper
3 cups panko (Japanese bread flakes)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Heat the olive oil in saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and cook for 6 minutes or until the onion is translucent but not browned! Set this aside and let it cool for a little bit.
Place the beef, veal, pork, parsley, thyme, chives, eggs, milk, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl. Then add the onion mixture and the panko to the meat mixture. Obviously, with CLEAN hands gently toss the mixture together making it combined throughout but not super compacted. Then place a piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet and pat the meat into a large rectangle and then squeeze together to make sort of a cylinder. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until a thermometer inserted in the middle reads 160 degrees. Then remove from the oven and let it rest for about 8 minutes. Slice and serve hot with the garlic sauce (ingredients below):

Garlic Sauce

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
10 garlic cloves (peeled, DUH!)
2 cups chicken broth
3 tablepoons unsalted butter
kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper

Combine the oil and garlic in a saucepan and bring it to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 13 minutes until the garlic is lightly browned. Make sure you do not burn the garlic otherwise is will taste bitter. Remove the garlic from the oil and then set aside. Then combine the chicken broth, butter and cooked garlic and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and cook at a full boil for 38 minutes (it will be slightly thickened) When finished, mash the garlic with a fork and then whisk in 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper. Then it is ready to spoon over the warm meatloaf! YUMMY!
The pictures certainly don't do it justice. But let me tell you, it was INCREDIBLE! I ran some over to my foodie aunt and she devoured it (which was certainly an honor, because she's basically a professional!) But anyway, if you make it--leave a comment if you have any questions or just to say hey! I'd love to talk to you! Thanks for stopping by! 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Chocolate Explosion Mini Cupcakes

So once again (like the post before this one) I was in charge of desserts for the tailgate party before the football game today! By the way, my Aggies won! But any who I was trying to come up with something easy and delicious and let me tell you--these were an ABSOLUTE hit! I made 60 of these mini cupcakes and had 4 left on the platter after the tailgate party was over! So I thought that this was an absolute "must-share" recipe! So here it is:


  • 8 Chocolate peanut butter cups (the regular size, not the minis)
  • 1 Box of chocolate fudge cake mix (with all ingredients to make the cake)
  • 3/4 cup of whipping cream
  • 1 2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees & stick the peanut butter cups in the refrigerator to make it easier to chop. Line 60 mini (about 1 1/2 inch) muffin cups with the paper baking cups. Then prepare batter of cake mix (use directions on the box). Then take out 4 chocolate peanut butter cups and finely chop them. After cake batter is mixed well, toss in the finely chopped chocolate peanut butter cups and then mix well. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each cup two-thirds full. Bake for about 10 minutes or until toothpick inserted into centers comes out clean. Let cupcakes cool for 15 minutes one out of the oven. Remove from pans; and then let cool for 10 more minutes. While letting the cupcakes cool bring whipping cream to a boil over medium-high heat. Place chocolate chips in a bowl and set aside. Take boiling whipping cream and pour over chocolate chips--and let stand for 5 minutes without stirring. After 5 minutes; stir the mixture until smooth and thick. The glaze will thicken as it cools, put it in the refrigerator for several minutes to help it thicken. After glaze is done cooling and is thick enough, dip the tops of the cooled cupcakes in the chocolate glaze. Take the remaining chocolate peanut butter cups and finely chop--sprinkle on top of the cupcakes. And then finally--ENJOY! Everyone have a great Saturday night, don't do anything I wouldn't do ;)

Friday, November 23, 2012

Lemon Ricotta Cookies with Lemon Glaze

Hello everyone! Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving with lots of YUMMY food! Well tomorrow is our last football game and I was in charge of desserts! So here is the first dessert I made from Giada's Kitchen Cookbook with a tiny twist of my own flare. These are more cakey than crispy and they puff up as they bake. They are absolutely beautiful! They make me want to go to an elegant tea party at The Plaza Hotel. The lemon glaze add a tart and tangy sort of crunch to it. Divine!

Lemon Ricotta Cookies with Lemon Glaze
(makes approximately 31 rather large cookies)


  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temp.
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 (15 oz.) container of whole milk ricotta cheese
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Preheat oven to 375 degrees

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt and then set aside. (I used my Kitchen Aid mixer for this next part--it is much easier) In a large bowl, use an electric stand mixer beat the butter and suagar until light and fluffy. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating until incorporated. Add the cheese, lemon zest, and lemon juice and beat to combine. Stir in the dry ingredients.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Spoon the dough onto the baking sheets using a about 2 tablespoons (heaping full) for each cookie. Bake for about 15 minutes until slightly golden on the edges. Take out of oven and let the cookies rest on the baking sheet for 30 minutes.

While the cookies cool combine the confectioners' sugar, lemon juice in a small bowl and stir until smooth. I noticed that if left alone for awhile, the top will dry so make sure you stir it again to get the top film that formed back to a liquid-y consistency. Now spoon about 1 teaspoon of the glaze onto each cookie and use the back of the spoon to spread it evenly throughout. Then let the cookies harden for about 3 hours. Make sure you pack them in an airtight container and they will stay fresh!

Everyone have a great night tonight--I will be posting an easy recipe for Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup mini cupcakes tomorrow morning!