Welcome to One Little Corner of the World. I share with you new recipes, some family recipes, and the antics of my kids. Enjoy reading!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Turkey and Noodle Soup or Turkey and Noodles - Using leftovers from Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is over and I have leftovers in my fridge!  I know; it is surprising.  Who would have thought that someone would make more food than people would eat on a holiday?

One of my main concerns with Thanksgiving leftovers is making something tasty and healthy.  While I didn't watch my carbs too much on the holiday, I do have to watch almost every other day.  My goal in making leftovers is to morph my turkey into something that is low carb, or at least good carbs.

The whole wheat pasta that I used has lots of fiber and is made with whole grains.  It was a great change actually from the regular pasta I used to use.  The whole grain pasta doesn't fall apart, because it is much more substantial.

Anyway, today I made turkey stock and Turkey Noodle Soup - a really thick soup.  Hubby likes stew, I like soup, so I try to compromise and make a thick soup.  Maybe I should actually call this Turkey and Noodles....whatever.  It made for a terrific meal!!!

For the stock, I cleaned out my produce drawers from Thanksgiving.

Turkey Stock - my version today

1 turkey carcass
3 stalks celery, chopped in large pieces
3 carrots, chopped in large pieces
1 onion, chopped in large pieces
1 turnip, chopped in large pieces
1 small bunch fresh sage
1 small bunch fresh thyme
5 cloves garlic - whole
2 tsp peppercorns

Place all ingredients in a large stock pot and cover with water.  Bring to a boil, reduce and partially cover. Simmer for 2 hours.  Pull the carcass out and take off any meat.  Set aside.  Remove everything else from the stock and throw away.  Allow stock to cool.  Put in freezer safe containers and freeze.  Keep for up to three months.

Thick Turkey Noodle Soup or Turkey and Noodles - you choose

4 quarts turkey stock - thawed
8 oz, whole grain pasta - your choice
Leftover turkey from stock
Two tbsp Turkish seasoning - or steak seasoning of your choice
1 tbsp italian seasoning
4 tbsp butter
4 tbsp flour
One large bunch fresh parsley, chopped
1/8 to 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
salt and pepper to taste

Thaw four quarts of stock and bring to a boil in a stock pot.  Add Italian seasoning and Turkish seasoning to stock.  Add pasta and cook until al dente.  While pasta is cooking, make a roux with the butter and flour.

Whisk the roux into the soup mixture.  Add turkey and heavy cream to soup.  Stir in parsley.  Stir and season with salt and pepper to taste.

This soup was totally yummy!  I added a lot of turkey to make it a really thick, stick to your ribs soup.  The cream, while not a lot, added a richness and creaminess to the soup.  It hit the spot.  I have been making turkey and noodles or chicken and noodles for years, and I personally think this batch is the best I have made so far.  Homey comfort food at its best.

I hope your holidays were wonderful!  Talk to you soon!!!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Pumpkin-Chocolate Whoopie Pies

We tried a test run on a dessert for Thanksgiving today.  I think it is a hit!  Pumpkin-Chocolate Whoopie Pies!!  My oldest and I have been checking this recipe out for a while now, and today we decided to give it a test drive.  I know this isn't a good carb choice, but it is holiday time, and the kids need tasty desserts!!!

This is a very easy recipe to make - didn't take much time at all.  My only comment would be about the chocolate mixture.  If one goes by the exact recipe, I think the chocolate will be too stiff.  I added more heavy cream as I was mixing to loosen up the chocolate, and I think it worked out well.  There was also a lot left.  I added some to the pies, and still had quite a bit left over.

The pumpkin cookie was moist, but not too sweet, and I really liked the middle - so did my son - he is cleaning out the bowl as I type.  This will definitely be on the dessert table this year.

Pumpkin-Chocolate Whoopie Pies

2 c. all purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. fine salt
2 large eggs
3/4 c. pure pumpkin puree
1 c. packed light brown sugar
1/3 c. unsalted butter, melted, plus 1/4 c., room temperature
3/4 c. heavy cream
2/3 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 3/4 c. confectioner's sugar, plus more for serving

1. Preheat over to 350 degrees with racks in upper and lower thirds.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, pumpkin puree, brown sugar, melted butter and 1/4 c. heavy cream. Add flour mixture to egg mixture and whisk just until combined.

2. Drop dough in 2 tbsp. mounds, 1 inch apart, onto two parchment- lined baking sheets. Bake until tops of cookies spring back when gently pressed, about 14 minutes, rotating sheets haflway through.
Transfer to wire racks and let cool completely.

3. In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat room temperature butter, 1/2 c. cream, cocoa powder and confectioner's sugar on medium- high until fluffy, 2 minutes. Spread filling on flat side of half the cookies; sandwich with remaining cookies. To serve, dust with confectioner's sugar. Makes 10.

Per pie: 446 cal; 19 g fat (12 g sat. fat); 6 g protein; 67 g carbs; 3 g fiber.

Source: Everyday Food Magazine

Enjoy your holiday with family and friends!!!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Dinner with Family

Ok - last Saturday night was family cooking night.  With pizza crusts from the hill, pepperoni from Volpi's, and sausage from the fireman, we were ready for pizza making.  The boys had a blast creating their masterpieces.

I love to shop on the Hill in St. Louis.  I usually try to go with friends, but sometimes I take the kids - they love to eat on the Hill.  Pizza or spaghetti is their favorite.

There are a few Italian grocery stores I love to go to on the Hill.  Viviano's, DeGregorio's, and Urzi's always have what I am looking for.  Volpi's is a great little meat place, where I like to get sausage and other meats.

I always make a stop at World's Fair Donuts on the way home.  They are the only donuts in the world worth stopping for.  Opened in 1977, this little donut shop is the Bomb!!!  If you get a chance, head down there.  Great donuts from scratch are hard to come by.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Crabmeat Dip

A few months ago, I made a crab dip from a cookbook I bought while on vacation in the Outer Banks.  It was an easy recipe that was enjoyed by everyone.  I unearthed the recipe yesterday and made it for the Chicken and Beer dance.

The Chicken and Beer dance is an event that is put on by the Community Hall trustees- it is a local event that has been going on for years.  The chicken, beer, and music is provided, and people bring their own sides.

We had a good time dancing and hanging out with friends.  It is nice to have a night out with adults and no kids every once in a while.

Crabmeat Dip from A Taste of the Outer Banks

3 oz. package cream cheese softened
1/2 cup mayonaise
2/3 cup tomato soup, undiluted
1/2 pound crabmeat, cooked
1 clove garlic, minced
Dash of salt
Dash of pepper
Tabasco (optional)

Stir in mayonaise and tomato soup into softened cream cheese and blend well.  Mix in crabmeat, garlic, salt, pepper and Tabasco.  Serve with crackers, vegetables, or chips

I like to let the dip sit in the fridge for a while - let the flavors combine.  The soup really adds a creamy texture and great flavor.  Try it next time you are in a pickle for what to make!

Graham Cracker Banana Muffins

Ok so I went to the store and bought more graham crackers.  My muffins are in the oven as I type.  I just wanted to jot down the recipe so I could recycle the graham cracker box.  I don't have the nuts to put on top - I actually just used the last of my walnuts and totally forgot to buy more.  Oh well; maybe next time.

Banana-Nut Graham Muffins

16 graham crackers, finely crushed
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup milk - it called for fat free, but I used 2 percent
2 tbsp honey
2 fully ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine graham crumbs, sugar, and baking powder until well mixed.  Mix all remaining ingredients except nuts in a large bowl.  Add graham mixture; stir until just blended.

Spoon into 12 paper lined muffin cups; top with nuts.

bake 15-18 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Cool in pan for five minutes.  Remove to wire rack; cool slightly.

My boys and I tried one - they took a lot longer to cook than what the directions said.  They were very moist; the moistest muffins I have ever tasted.  I thought they had an interesting flavor - we will see later!

I am taking these to a "Chicken and Beer" dance that Hubby and I are going to.  I hope everyone likes them!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Raspberry Corn Muffins

I wanted to make something for the boys this morning, since I didnt' have to work.  I had originally planned to make banana graham cracker muffins, but I didn't have enough graham crackers.  They are next on the agenda after a trip to the store.

I looked to my Good Housekeeping cookbook for inspiration.  That book always seems to have a recipe that sounds yummy.  I decided on the Blueberry Corn Muffins.  This past summer, my youngest developed a love for corn bread; I thought this was a great fit for him.

The muffins were great.  I used raspberries instead of blueberries, and mine were frozen, but they worked well.  The cornmeal added a coarser texture and an earthiness to the muffins that I really liked.

Blueberry Corn Muffins

1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup blueberries or raspberries

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Grease muffin tin or use muffin cups.  In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  In a small bowl, with fork, beat buttermilk, oil, egg, and vanilla until well blended.  Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture; stir just until flour is moistened (batter will be lumpy).  Fold in berries.

2.  Spoon into prepared muffin tins.  Bake until toothpick inserted in center of muffin comes out clean - 20 to 25 minutes.  Immediately remove muffins from pan.  Cool on wire rack or serve warm.  Makes 12 muffins.

I hope if you have today to share with your family, you have great family time!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Cubed Beef Stroganoff

I know I have talked about this before, but I am going to mention that we get a side of beef each year once again.  The reason this time, is that I made a beef stroganoff with cubed round steak that was really very good.

I am always wondering what to do with some of the meat that comes with the side.  We always seem to get a ton of cubed round steak, and I always have a problem deciding what to do with it.  It is a very tough cut of meat.  I have dredged in flour and egg, and made a version of chicken fried steak, but I don't want to do that all the time.  I have made a beef stroganoff before in my electric skillet, but again, the meat is usually pretty tough.

This time, though, I finally got smart.  I cooked my meat mixture in the oven for two hours - made for the most tender beef stroganoff I have ever made.  It was one of my best dishes, I think.

Here is the recipe - I don't have a picture.  The ones I took didn't turn out well.

Cubed Beef Stroganoff

3 lbs. cube steak, cut into bite sized chunks and combined with steak seasoning
1/2 tbsp steak seasoning
olive oil
1 leek, chopped fine
4 cloves garlic minced
1/2 to 1 lb. mushrooms, sliced
1 tbsp steak seasoning split
1 - 2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 1/2 quart beef stock
1 lb. pasta - your choice, cooked per package directions.
sour cream
salt and pepper to taste
Italian parsley chopped

Heat oil (enough to liberally coat bottom of a large oven proof skillet or brasier).  Add leeks and cook until softened.  Add garlic and mushrooms - you may have to add more oil to pan, and cook until softened.  Add meat and saute until meat is browned.  Add rest of steak seasoning, Italian seasoning,  and beef stock.  Stir to combine.

Cover pan and cook in a 300 degree oven for 1 - 1 1/2 hours.  Remove from oven.  Add flour; combine until mixture is thickened to your likeness.  Add sour cream and parsley.  Season with salt and pepper.  Serve over pasta.

I didn't put a lot of measurements for the ingredients, because I add until the taste is where I want it for my family.  I also used a whole grain pasta - it really holds up well in this recipe.  The steak seasoning I used is a very bold seasoning with a lot of pepper - adds a great punch to the dish that is a little mellowed by the sour cream.

I hope you all enjoy! This was an easy recipe to make.  There were leftovers, and dinner was enjoyed by all!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

One Mistake - A New Recipe

I used to wonder how recipes were created.  I figured out one way a few months ago.  I was cooking some chicken breasts and thighs in the oven, and darn it! I overcooked them a bit!  While that really isn't a big deal with the chicken thighs, I was worried about the chicken breasts - they get so dry.  I could tell by looking at them that they were dry.  I didn't want to get rid of them, but I wasn't sure what to do with them.

I decided to put the chicken in the food processor.  I don't know why, but that was my decision.  I made a spreadable chicken salad.  I didn't know how it would turn out, but I was pleasantly surprised.  Hubby and my oldest went nuts - they really liked it.

My philosophy concerning this particular salad is to just put in whatever ingredients you have in the fridge.  I have made this salad with quite a few ingredients, and it always turns out well.

Here is the basic recipe.

Chicken breasts and/or thighs
Olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Steak seasoning

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Place chicken on a sheet pan.  Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and steak seasoning.  Cook about 10 on the first side, flip and cook about 6 minutes on second side, or until chicken is done.  Let cool.

When chicken is cool, cut into medium sized chunks and place in food processor.  Process until chicken is starting to break up.  Add any combination of other ingredients to the chicken and process until desired consistency.

Here are my other ingredient combinations that I have come up with.

hard boiled eggs

Black olives

Black olives
Green onions

Come up with your own combinations - this is a creative dish!

Put mixture in a large bowl and add mayonnaise and Dijon mustard.  Combine; season with salt, pepper, and steak seasoning if desired.

This turned out to be one of my favorite recipe creations.  I really like that it came out of a mistake in cooking.

This is also a good recipe for those who are watching carbohydrates.  What I have added to my chicken is either low in carbs - or has no carbs at all.  Just watch what you put the salad on.  Enjoy!!