Oh, meatloaf. Loved by many, despised by some. Or is it the other way around? I like meatloaf. I always have. My mom used to make one in a pie plate that was topped with ketchup and lemon slices and baked in the microwave. Yes, the microwave. I have very fond memories of that dish.
This turkey meatloaf can be made as one large loaf or 4 mini loaves. I chose to do the mini ones so they would cook a bit quicker…and I like the idea of my own cute personal meatloaf.
Here is the link to the original recipe from skinnytaste.com. I used 93/7 ground turkey, soaked the oats in a few tablespoons of buttermilk for some more moisture, and used a combination of dried thyme, basil, parsley and oregano instead of the marjoram. Whatever herbs you like would be good. These were tasty. I’ll make them again.
With the leftover loaves I made meatloaf sandwiches the next night. You don’t have to reheat the meat, just toast some whole wheat buns, spread with mayo, slice the meatloaf, layer on the bun and top with dill pickle slices. Ben first opted out of the pickles, but after a few bites he decided to give them a chance and said it was much improved. Enjoy!
Mini Turkey Meatloaves
Adapted from skinnytaste.com
1/2 small onion, chopped
1.3 lb 93% ground turkey
1/2 cup oatmeal
3 tablespoons buttermilk (or milk)
1/4 cup ketchup + 2 tbsp
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 large egg
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon each dried thyme, basil, parsley and oregano
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 350°.
Soak oatmeal and buttermilk in a small bowl for 5 minutes.
In a medium bowl mix turkey, onion, oatmeal, egg, ketchup, salt, pepper and herbs.
Divide into four equal loafs and place each loaf into a non stick mini loaf pan or shape into small loafs on a cookie sheet lined with non-stick foil or parchment.
In a small cup mix remaining 2 tbsp ketchup with Worcestershire sauce and brush onto each loaf.
Bake uncovered for about 40 minutes at 350°. After baking let them sit for 5 minutes before serving.
My sister worked at Half Price Books a couple years ago and got her hands on this neat cookbook from the Cook’s Country editors. It contains recipes that have been around for a while that have been shared by home cooks. Stories accompany each recipe telling who they came from, and how and where they originated. The goal of this cookbook is to bring back recipes that are worth remembering.
This simple chocolate sheet cake is called “Scotch Cake” in the cookbook. The note about this recipe says:
“The origin of the name of this simple sheet cake, with its unique pecan and coconut topping, was a mystery to Melinda and her mother, whose recipe card for it included a note that said: “I don’t understand the name of this cake. I just call it my “boil it” cake”.”
I brought this cake to a potluck dinner, and it received a few compliments. It’s a great potluck dessert because you can make it a day in advance and keep it in the fridge, it’s simple to prepare, you can take it in the pan and it cuts really nicely. After being refrigerated the cake becomes almost fudgy and the coconut pecan icing gets that nice sugary crunch. You know what I’m talking about.
Chocolate Snack Cake with Coconut Pecan Icing
From America’s Best Lost Recipes
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 sticks of butter
1 cup water
4 teaspoons cocoa powder
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick butter
6 tablespoons whole milk
4 teaspoons cocoa powder
4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sweetened, shredded coconut
1 cup chopped pecans
For the Cake
Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour a 9×13 pan.
Whisk flour and sugar in a large bowl.
Heat butter, water and cocoa in a saucepan over medium heat until it comes to a boil. Pour over the four mixture and stir to combine.
Stir in the buttermilk, eggs, baking soda, vanilla and salt until combined.
Pour into prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
For the Icing
Heat the butter, milk and cocoa in the same saucepan over medium heat until the butter melts.
Take it off the heat and stir in the powdered sugar, vanilla, coconut and pecans.
Spread over the warm cake and let cool completely.
Serve or refrigerate for up to 3 days. Bring the cake to room temperature before serving.
The only part of this recipe that you have to cook is the couscous. Couscous, as you may or may not know, is one of the simplest things to prepare. Boil water, add couscous, stir, turn off heat, cover, wait for 5 minutes. That’s it. I don’t think it gets much simpler than that.
Adding chopped artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes, Italian dressing and crunchy almonds make for a lovely and light meal. If you need meat in your meal, as many people do, add a cup or so of chopped cooked chicken (grilled or rotisserie chicken from your grocery store).
This recipe comes from picky-palate.com. She serves this salad tossed with arugula. I served it over a bed of baby spinach. If this is something you are not going to eat all of the first time around, don’t toss the almonds in with the salad. They’ll lose their crunch, so just sprinkle some on top of each serving. You could substitute quinoa for the couscous for an extra punch of protein. Enjoy!
Artichoke & Sun-dried Tomato Couscous Salad
Courtesy of picky-palate.com
10 ounce box Couscous
15 ounce can artichoke hearts, chopped
½-1 cup sun dried tomatoes
½-1 cup fresh shredded or grated Parmesan Cheese
1/4 cup Italian dressing of choice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1-1 ½ cups chopped cooked chicken (half of a rotisserie chicken)
½-1 cup slivered almonds, toasted
8 ounce bag baby spinach
Cook couscous according to package directions. Toss to fluff and chill until cooled.
Add artichokes, tomatoes, dressing, salt and pepper, and parmesan, stirring to combine. Serve or chill until ready to serve.
Serve over a bed of baby spinach, top with toasted almonds.
When I heard that Borders was closing all of its stores I became really sad about the whole thing. Empty stores left in shopping centers. It’s depressing. But I’ve seen the signs. iPad, Kindle, Nook, etc. Books are dying. I’m pretty sure that at some point kids will no longer check out books from a school library, but download them instead. This makes me a little sad. But I’m contributing to this paperless future by getting a lot of my recipes online. Cookbooks are lovely, and I have too many. I’ve lamented about this problem before.
My sister lives in Brooklyn, so I was able to get some goodies from Baked last summer on my visit. The bakery is cool. Their sweet offerings make you weak in the knees. I want to go there right now for breakfast.
My sister turned me on to this blog, Crepes of Wrath, who has made a few of the recipes from the Baked cookbook. Every time she posts one I start to salivate and my tummy rumbles.
In an effort to keep the book alive, I want to add this cookbook to my collection even though I’m not sure where I’ll put it…
Whenever I eat goat cheese I wonder why I don’t use it more often. I love its tang and creaminess. Even the tiniest of crumbles of the stuff can transform a dish. The honey goat cheese dressing on this salad was so tasty, and took an already great salad to another level of deliciousness.
My mother in law turned me on to skinnytaste.com after making two meals for us with recipes from the site. Both tasted great and were pretty healthy. If you do Weight Watchers, then you’re in luck because Gina includes the points.
I added some grilled chicken to this salad to make it a meal. Instead of apples I used pears, which I think pair better with the other ingredients. You must, must, must toast the pecans. The flavor of any nut is improved by a quick toasting in the oven or in a dry skillet on the stove. Do the same when you are adding pecans, walnuts or almonds to baked goods. They just taste better. So take the extra 5 minutes. You’ll be glad you did.
This salad recipe used measurements for the apples and cranberries, but I just added what I wanted. This probably messes with the points, so here is the link to Gina’s original recipe. If you don’t care so much about counting out how many cranberries or slices of apple you can use, then just pile on a plate the following ingredients and top with the dressing.
Spring mix or baby spinach
1 Bosc Pear, sliced
Toasted pecans, halves or pieces
Grilled chicken, sliced (optional)
The dressing was a little on the thick side when I made it, so I added a little more water, lemon juice and a touch of olive oil to loosen it up a bit. After storing the leftover dressing in the fridge it was no longer pour able, so either let it warm up at room temp before you plan to use it again, or zap it in the microwave for a few seconds and stir it up. Enjoy!
Honey Goat Cheese Dressing
Courtesy of skinnytaste.com
4 oz goat cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 tbsp honey
2-3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 lemon, juiced
1-2 tbsp water
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a small blender, combine goat cheese, honey, olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, water.
Season to taste with salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper.
Add more lemon juice, water, or oil to create desired consistency.
When I came across this recipe I practically ran to the kitchen to begin making it. I took out a stick of butter, 2 eggs and buttermilk to bring them to room temperature. Since my little guy was asleep, I couldn’t make it to the store to get the one ingredient I lacked…fresh peaches. So I used…canned peaches. Did you just cringe? I’m embarrassed, especially when there are fresh, juicy peaches available about a mile from my house. While I am sure fresh peaches would have been better, the cake still turned out wonderfully. That means you can make this in the dead of winter, when peaches aren’t so abundant.
Thanks to Ina Garten, one of my favorite Food Network people, for this recipe. Her recipe calls for sour cream, which I did not have. I substituted 3/4 cup of buttermilk and 1/3 cup softened butter. I think it would have been fine to use 1 cup of buttermilk without the additional butter.
This cake can be eaten for dessert with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or for breakfast. Enjoy!
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Grease a 9-inch-square baking pan.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the all the butter and 1 cup of the sugar for 3 to 5 minutes on medium-high speed, until light and fluffy. With the mixer on low, add the eggs, one at a time, then the buttermilk and vanilla, and mix until the batter is smooth.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the batter and mix just until combined.
In a small bowl, combine the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and the cinnamon.
Spread half of the batter evenly in the pan. Top with half of the peaches, then sprinkle with two-thirds of the sugar mixture.
Spread the remaining batter on top, arrange the remaining peaches on top and sprinkle with the remaining sugar mixture and the pecans.
Bake the cake for 45 to 55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve warm or at room temperature.
In honor of Bastille Day…or possibly just an excuse to use the madeleine pan that has been sitting in my cupboard for a few years now? Regardless, these French lemon madeleines are light and lovely.
This was one of those times in the kitchen where you begin to wonder, “Is this just not in the stars for me?” First the butter exploded in the microwave, with great flair, I should add. Loud popping clumps of butter going everywhere. Then I was separating eggs and almost added the whites instead of the yolks to the bowl. Then I spilled cake flour all over myself and the floor, something I really hate cleaning up for some reason. Really? It was just one thing after another. A lesson in patience and being slow to anger? Maybe so.
Madeleines are beautiful little treasures, but impossible to make without a madeleine pan. I only have one small madeleine pan and I didn’t feel like waiting for it to cool, washing it out and re-greasing it before making another batch, so I used my remaining batter to make little lemon rosemary muffins. Simply grease 24 mini muffin cups, fill them 3/4 full and bake for about 12 minutes, rotating halfway through, until the tops are just beginning to brown. Dust with powdered sugar and enjoy! They don’t have the same cute little ruffled shell shape, but they are just as good.
Fresh and light lemon flavor with just a subtle rosemary flavor, these little cake-like cookies are wonderful. I think they’d be perfect for a tea party, baby or bridal shower.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter two madeleine pans; set aside. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl; Mix in chopped rosemary and set aside.
Put eggs, egg yolks, granulated sugar, vanilla, and lemon zest and juice in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium-high speed until pale and thickened, about 5 minutes. Mix in butter. Using a spatula, fold flour mixture into egg mixture. Let rest 30 minutes.
Pour batter into buttered pans, filling the molds 3/4 full. Bake cookies, rotating pans halfway through, until edges are crisp and golden, 7 to 8 minutes. Let cookies cool slightly in pans on wire racks. Invert, and unmold. Dust with confectioners’ sugar, if desired.
This tasty potato salad is one of the sides we had on the Fourth of July. While I do have a special place in my heart for a nice mustard potato salad, this one was lighter and fresher in flavor than the traditional yellow side dish.
When dressing this salad I didn’t use the measurements in the original recipe. I don’t like to overdo it on the oil, so I just drizzled a little olive oil, squeezed the juice of one large lemon, sprinkled some salt and pepper, tossed, then tasted. At this point you can add more of whatever it needs. I added a little more lemon, salt and pepper.
This is a nice, simple summer side. Fresh ingredients make such a huge difference, so it’s the perfect time of year to make this salad. I used a combination of red potatoes and baby Yukon golds that came fresh from a garden. The light and lemony dressing make this potato salad a healthier option than those with mayonnaise based dressings. If you like a creamier dressing, I think adding some yogurt would be a good option. Enjoy!
1 small red onion, peeled and sliced thinly (about 1/2 to 3/4 cup)
1 large bunch fresh basil, rinsed, dried, and leaves picked
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 large lemons, juiced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
About 15 grinds freshly ground pepper
Place the potatoes in a large pot of salted water and bring to boil. Cook until just fork tender, about 15 minutes. Fish out the potatoes with a spider or slotted spoon and place them in a bowl of ice cold water to stop them from cooking.
Shuck the corn and break each ear in half. Cook in the same boiling water for 5 to 7 minutes until tender but not soft. Remove the cooled potatoes to a dish-cloth to drain. Immerse corn in the same ice bath until cool. Cut each potato into quarters and place in a large bowl.
Remove corn from water and also let drain. Use a chef’s knife to cut the kernels off each ear. Add kernels to bowl. Add grape tomatoes, onion, and whole basil leaves. Add olive oil and lemon juice and toss gently to combine. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
Most weekday mornings Ben is out of the house before I even roll out of bed. He almost always has a bowl of cereal for breakfast. He always uses one of our green soup bowls. He is a creature of habit, and I love that about him. But I changed up his routine this weekend.
This past Saturday I was up first and managed to throw together these muffins for breakfast. They came together so quickly! Buttermilk makes these muffins wonderfully moist. The berries provide a burst of tart sweetness. A little sprinkle of raw sugar gives a nice crunch without the extra work of making a streusel. Yes, I am too lazy to make a simple steusel.
I used a combination of fresh raspberries and blueberries, about a cup of each. Blackberries would also be delicious. This recipe comes from The Joy of Baking. Enjoy!
Buttermilk Berry Muffins
2 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
zest from 1 lemon
3/4 cup buttermilk
2/3 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups fresh berries
1/4 cup raw/turbinado sugar
Preheat oven to 375°F. Prepare 18 regular size muffin cups with muffin cups or grease and sugar cups.
Whisk flour, sugar, powder, soda, salt and lemon zest in a large bowl.
In a separate bowl whisk buttermilk, oil, egg and vanilla.
Gently fold wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined.
Fold in berries, being careful not to mash them too much.
Summer means an abundance of fresh basil. Fresh basil means fresh pesto. So, summer must mean fresh pesto.
There are so many things you can do with pesto. Spread on baguette slices and garnish with a slice of tomato…make it even better with a piece of fresh mozzarella. Toss it with warm pasta. Mix with some mayo for basil mayonnaise. Use on pizza and panini. Thin it out with more olive oil and drizzle over roasted chicken or fish.
A lovely college friend of mine went to a Giada De Laurentiis cooking demo at Sur La Table when she was in LA 5 years ago. She bought me a signed copy of Everyday Italian. It is one of those cookbooks that I love, but don’t use nearly enough. This pesto recipe is from that cookbook and it is so simple and delicious.
You can make this in a blender, or in a food processor. If you’re planning to double the recipe, which isn’t a bad idea, so that you have some extra pesto for freezing, then use the food processor.
From Everyday Italian by Giada De Laurentiis
2 cups packed fresh basil leaves, washed and dried
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1-2 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2-2/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup grated parmesan
Toast pine nuts in a 350°F oven for 6-8 minutes until slightly browned. Be careful not to burn them.
Place basil, pine nuts, garlic, salt and pepper in blender with a tablespoon or so of the olive oil and blend.
With the blender still going, slowly drizzle in the remaining oil until the consistency is to your liking. You may need to stop every now and then to push any stray basil leaves back down.
Transfer to a bowl and stir in parmesan, season to taste with more salt and pepper if desired.