Branching Out….

I promised myself that I would do my best to blog every week in 2019. That being said I am giving myself the liberty to stray away from the subject of food from time to time. This is one of those times.

There was a man at my church who with his wife started a ministry called Rising Above Ministries. Jeff and Becky Davidson knew first-hand about being parents to a child with special needs. They were able to funnel that experience towards a vision to help other families who were blessed with children who required special care. Jeff has passed on but Becky has continued on in her calling. Common Man, Extraordinary Call is the legacy Jeff has left and Becky has seen to completion. This book is available on Amazon and LifeWay Bookstores. I’m putting this out there because you never know what people are dealing with and could use a little help. Rising Above Ministries can be found on Facebook. Jon Alex is Jeff and Becky’s son and is on the book cover with his dad.

Becky also has something on her site titled A Redefined Life. Took my breath away and reset my mind’s agenda.

I’ll close with this thought: we don’t have to look far for inspiration. It’s in our families, friends, neighbors, people we see in daily living. It’s those we sit in church with, go to school or work with.

Here we are!

Time has a way of creeping up on us and then it’s gone. So here we are headfirst in 2019, ready or not. The Lemon Drop Kitchen is again active and I’m full of ideas to share with you. But first things first. The World Food Championships is moving it’s location to Dallas this year (October). When I have more info I will clue you in. Check out their Facebook Page. The media crew at the 2018 food fight was amazing and they captured some really special moments that can’t be put into words. Don’t miss the World Food Championships Sizzle Reel. They have also put 100 pictures of exciting moments on their site.

One of the WFC ambassadors is Suzanne Kosnik Clark. She is a two-time WFC Pasta Champ (two consecutive years). She is a mother of five (knows how to stretch a dollar with a husband, four sons and a daughter), an artist and oustanding cook. She represents Challenge Butter and Red Gold Tomatoes. MidDay Arizona (local Arizona television show) showcases her recipe and cooking talents. Best of all you can meet her on her site at LivingACreativeLifewith Suzanne.net. I’m excited for you to meet her. (She’s one of my cousins)!

Keep on making lemonade and I’ll post again soon.

Day 4 of Leftovers…and so it goes

A few days have passed since my last blog but I still have recipes for leftovers. Today is an easy meal that’s warm, hearty with easily accessible ingredients that can be changed out.  Perfect for breakfast, lunch/brunch or dinner (brinner). Its one of my favorites.

Fried Eggs and Hash (for one generous portion)

  • 1/2 sweet potatoes diced and roasted (can use roasted potatoes. I used red).
  • 1/2 cup diced roasted butternut squash (I usually buy the pre-diced package. Dice the potatoes to match size of squash)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil (divided as needed throughout recipe) Can use more or less
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter 
  • 1 cooked Sweet Italian Sausage link, sliced
  • 1/4 cup onions (or caramelized onions)
  • 1/4 cup salad greens, chopped (prepackaged)
  • 1 fried egg
  • 1 slice chopped bacon
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Heat oven to 400 degrees and spread out potatoes and butternut squash. Drizzle with olive oil, melted butter and sprinkle salt and pepper. Bake in oven for 20 minutes then check. Vegetables should be fork-tender and slightly charred. Put back in oven for 10 more minutes if not finished.
  • Cook Italian sausage the way you prefer and slice when cool enough to handle. I plan on one sausage per person. Turkey sausage works well.
  • Dice onions and caramelize in melted butter (your preference here).
  • Fry egg the way your prefer here also. Salt and pepper to taste the.
  • Pile the roasted veggies, onions, sausage and chopped salad greens onto serving plate and top with fried egg. Scatter chopped bacon on top.
Too pretty to eat!

Other options:

  • Chopped brussel sprouts, zucchini or yellow squash can be added to potatoes and squash before roasting.
  • Use grease from bacon to roast veggies instead of olive oil and/or butter.
  • Fry egg in bacon grease.
  • Butter can be completely eliminated if you choose.
  • Polish or other smoked sausage works well. Sausage can also be replaced completely with bacon.
  • Fresh sauteed mushrooms would be a great replacement for butternut squash.
  • Ideal served on wilted spinach dusted with parmesan cheese.
  • Red pepper flakes are a nice addition for heat as is cayenne pepper or hot sauce.

 

Jeweled Turkey Salad

Actually we are on the 4th blog continuing on using Thanksgiving leftovers. I thought we needed better titles. Anyways, we have ham, chicken, egg and tuna salad. Today, I’m introducing the turkey salad. Still using the pistachios (I have 3 bags) and dried cranberries (the jewels) it’s a great lunch or brunch option.

Lunch today?
  • 1 cup small-dice turkey (bite size)
  • 1/4 cup minus 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons finely diced red onion
  • 2 tablespoons finely diced celery or 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/3 cup chopped pistachios
  • 1/3 cup chopped dried cranberries
  • Chopped bacon to taste

Carefully mix together and taste. Refrigerate for several hours if you have time. (The mayo makes it wet so I started with a small amount. Add more if too dry). The flavors will have time to marry together. Taste again and adjust seasonings to suit your preference.

I served this on lettuce leaves with crackers, sliced pear, cheese slices and strawberries on the side. Also good on a croissant, good quality bread (or toast) or hoagie rolls. It can be stuffed into fresh tomatoes that have been cleaned and seeded or colored mini peppers that have been split and seeds removed.

I’m using what I have but other options include:

  • Diced apple or sliced grapes instead of dried cranberries
  • Almonds, pecans or walnuts instead of pistachios
  • Perhaps a scant amount of orange or citrus peel to brighten it
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried or fresh Basil
  • Same amount of poppyseed dressing as mayo (enough to add moisture) with citrus peel or ranch dressing
  • Go in a spicy direction with creamy Italian dressing with dried red pepper flakes

Turkey Leftover 3

Comfort food at its best.

A Diner Classic

I am continuing on using up leftovers but will start varying up the recipes starting next week to celebrate the Christmas Season. Being a single woman with a small kitchen every ingredient I purchase is purposed in more than one way. I always make extra to freeze in small containers for this reason. This makes lunch planning and pre-made tv dinners a breeze. I hope this blog inspires you to be creative with your leftovers.

Today I bring you the Turkey Open Face Sandwich. Easy, inexpensive and hearty for the cold winter evening.   

Turkey Open Face Sandwich

  • 1 slice of hearty bread for each sandwich (I am using Farmhouse Hearty White)
  • 3 1/4″ slices of turkey per sandwich
  • Mashed Potatoes (these can be purchased in refrigerator section pre-made). They can be made from scratch or a box as well. I’m trying to keep this simple.
  • Gravy (same as above. Use leftovers or purchased already made).
  • Sliced green ends from green onions for garnish

Per Sandwich: Lay one slice of bread on plate. It can be toasted if you prefer. Lay 3 slices of turkey and drip gravy over turkey. Serve with mashed potatoes and a green vegetable. Garnish with green onion ends.

Options:

  • Serve with soup or side salad
  • Add chopped hard boiled egg to gravy
  • Use other meats:
  • Left over roast beef or pot roast with drippings or beef gravy. Chicken (breaded or baked) with chicken gravy.
  • Dressing is a great side optionĀ 
  • Scalloped potatoes or roasted instead of mashed
  • Biscuits are a great option instead of bread

Turkey Leftover 2

Lets face it. The holidays are filled with heavy food options. You don’t have to look far for them. They can even be delivered to your door. So today I’m celebrating a salad. Not fat free or minus the carbs but a hearty, filling salad. It makes a great side dish to a protein because it contain fruits, veggies and bread. Great served at room temperature and can be made a day ahead.  

The Panzanella Salad

(Dried  bread salad)

There are variations of this salad. The bread options alone are many-Sourdough, Ciabotta, French baguette or Italian. The key is to cube it and let it dry out or toast it in the oven. I used a honey cornbread made from a package mix.  The following are the ingredients I added:

  • Cubed dried bread, 2 cups
  • Red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup roasted red sweet potato cubes
  • 1/2 cup roasted butternut squash cubes  
  • 1/2 cup diced apple or pear
  • A handful of chopped bacon
  • A handful of chopped nuts, whatever you have on hand
  • Fresh basil, torn
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Bacon maple viniagrette

Mix together in large bowl. Be sure to add enough seasoning because it will soak in. Drizzle dressing and carefully toss salad. Taste, taste, taste! Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Taste again and add  additional spices and/or dressing.

Dressing:

  • 6 tablespoons bacon fat
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 6 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Shake well. Adjust to suit your taste.
  • You can also use a bottled viniagrette and add the maple syrup to it if you don’t want the bacon. Shake well.

Other options: 

Add leftover turkey or ham

Dried cranberries or pomegranate seeds boost color and flavor

Walnuts, almonds, pistachios, pecans are great choices

Roasted vegetables including broccoli, parsnips, carrots (root vegetables) are incredible in this dish

Cheeses also boost flavor. Perhaps a cheddar in one that serves as a side in a barbecue or steak dinner. Mozzarella and Parmesan in an Italian. Pepper Jack for a Mexican choice and Feta for Greek.

A Greek Panzanella salad may contain chopped olives,  diced roasted red peppers, pine nuts, diced cucumber, mint, chopped tomatoes and drizzled with a bright lemon  viniagrette (or your favorite bottled one).

I’m interested in hearing thoughts on the Panzanella Salad and will revisit it again. There are so many options and the key us to think outside the box.  

Turkey Leftover 1

I love leftovers! Especially at the holidays. Finding ways to recreate food that has already been cooked in different recipes is fun and challenging. Let’s talk about the soup. I can eat soup about every day. I’ve always been around soup but it seems I’ve rediscovered it.

I have paired a butternut squash and sweet potato soup with a hearty turkey sandwich. So good!

Butternut Squash Soup with sweet potato and pear

  • Leftover squash, cubed (1-1/2 cups)
  • Leftover sweet potato, cubed or mashed (1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 cup diced pear or apple
  • 1/2 cup onion, finely diced
  • Stock, any kind,  1/2 cup (or more depending on thickness)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream 
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese 5 Spice Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic and onion powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste 
  • Chopped bacon and pistachios for garnish
  • Balsamic Glaze, for garnish

Put first 6 ingredients in a saucepan and heat to blend and mixture starts to reduce. Add spices and taste. Alter spices to meet your taste.

Serve in bowl garnished with chopped bacon, pistachios and a drizzle of  balsamic glaze. Serves 4.

Other options:

  • Instead of sour cream use coconut milk or Half and Half
  • Add curry powder or nutmeg instead of Chinese 5 Spice
  • Drizzle finished bowls with cream and fresh basil

Turkey Lurkey Sandwich 

Sliced sandwich bread, 2 slices per sandwich (I used Farmhouse White)

  • 2 slices thick-cut turkey per sandwich
  • 2 slices  Swiss Cheese per sandwich
  • 2 slices pear or apple per sandwich 
  • Thinly sliced red onion
  • Lettuce or leftover green salad
  • Chopped pistachios
  • Chopped bacon
  • Dijon Mustard
  • Cranberry Sauce

Using 2 slices bread per sandwich spread one slice with mustard and the other with cranberry sauce. One the  mustard slice pile on turkey, cheese, pear, onion, salad mix, chopped bacon and pistachios. It’s a generous sandwich so 1/2 might be enough.

Options:

  • Cheddar Cheese instead of Swiss
  • Mayo as a condiment
  • Use strips of bacon instead of chopped
  • Any meat can be used instead of turkey. Roast beef with  horseradish and french-fried onions
  • Chicken with spinach with the pear or apple
  • Remove the pear or apple and cranberry sauce and top with a fried egg. Put mustard on one slice and mayo on the other.