Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Turkey Soup

I saved the uncooked turkey neck and all of the bones from the turkey I cooked on Sunday. Today I had my sous chef, Alex, make the stock while I was at work. He put the bones and neck into a big stock pot. He added half an onion, cut into slices, some celery (the tops of the bunch), and the tops and bottoms of some carrots. He also added a couple of tablespoons of peppercorns (cracked), a couple of hefty pinches of kosher salt, and a palmful of dried parsley flakes. He brought it to a boil and then let it simmer for about 5 hours.

Prior to my getting home he cut some vegetables and had my apprentice photographer, Baxter, take some pictures.

Vegetables for the soup included onion, bell pepper, celery, and carrots.

Once I got home, we started the soup making process. We first drained the stock through a colander.

Then we drained it through a sieve. We actually did this twice.

I received a great tip from my friend to add the contents of a gravy packet and a can of turkey gravy. This made the soup incredibly tasty. I was worried about sodium content but since I had so much stock it was a good flavoring without tasting like you were eating gravy and vegetables.

I stirred the pot and then added the vegetables my sous chef cut up previously.

Now, add cut up turkey. This is about 4-5 cups of turkey I cut up Sunday night.

Stir everything to incorporate all the ingredients and let it simmer for about 20-30 minutes or so.

After the vegetables have simmered, add pasta. Or not. I like egg noodles in my turkey soup!

Just before serving, add a tablespoon or so of worcestershire sauce. It adds amazing depth of flavor!

Now, serve! This soup was the most amazing turkey soup I have ever made.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Spaghetti with Veal

Spaghetti with ground veal, broccoli, and Texas toast. I used Fred Meyer's generic spaghetti sauce and it was actually pretty darned good!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Casserole from Leftover Turkey

Company Turkey Casserole

Recipe by Hillbilly Housewife.

This was all right. The noodles got very mushy. I did alter the recipe; I put turkey gravy in the crockpot instead of chicken broth. This was tasty but I definitely would not serve it to "company".

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Pre-Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner


It was raining today, so cooking a turkey was not too bad. It made the house a bit muggy but that's okay. It's worth it!

We had the turkey dinner pictured above tonight. Tomorrow night we're having a casserole made in the crockpot with leftover turkey. On Tuesday we'll have turkey soup with homemade turkey stock. I have about 4 more cups of turkey meat to use for a different occasion. I also have a quart-sized freezer bag full of mashed potatoes. I have heard that mashed potatoes are great in soup but I have never tried it.

About a month or so I came across a great frugal tip. Whenever you have something left after dinner that may not be a full serving, put it in a freezer bag or container anyway. I've got one going for vegetables that has corn, broccoli, and peas in it. I figure it'd be great for pasta or for soup.

The only bad thing about making a turkey dinner is the clean-up afterwards. It's a major pain. But it's still worth doing once a quarter or so.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Pasta with Vodka Sauce

Pasta with Safeway's vodka sauce (vodka is a theme tonight) and broccoli.

This is yummy. It's also the second meatless dish we've had this week. The vodka sauce is much better without meat than it is with meat.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Cabbage Roll Casserole

1 onion, chopped
1 pound hot Italian sausage (this was pretty spicy; you should probably use half hot, half mild or just mild)
4 cups of cabbage, shredded
2 cups of cooked brown rice
2 8 oz. cans of tomato sauce
1 tsp. worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. seasoning salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

Put the sausage and onion into a frying pan.

Cook it up until the sausage and onion are fully cooked.

Add the cooked rice. I used brown for better nutrition.

Then, add the cabbage. I used slightly over four cups. It's a rough measurement.

Stir it all up so everything is incorporated.

Mix the remaining ingredients (tomato sauce, worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, seasoning salt, brown sugar, and pepper).

Put the meat-cabbage-rice mixture into a casserole dish. Preheat the oven to 350.

Pour the tomato sauce mixture over the top of the meat-cabbage-rice mixture.

Cook for about an hour.

Stir prior to serving.

Like I said, this was pretty spicy using only hot Italian sausage. If I make it for the kids I will only use mild. They would never eat this but I thought it was pretty good.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Ravioli and Vegetables

Ravioli and Vegetables with Texas Toast

Also, meatless Wednesday!

This was very simple and although I made it to use up ravioli leftover from a Costco bag (and that has been in my freezer for a long time) next time it would be better to use smaller ravioli. Even tortellini would be excellent with this. Basically you boil a big pot of water, add the vegetables and ravioli; cook until done. Then you add about 1/4 cup of butter or margarine and stir until melted and everything's coated. Then I added about a teaspoon or so of Mrs. Dash but I'm sure you can use any seasoning you have on hand. I followed that by about 1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese. Stir everything gently so as not to disturb too much and there you go.

Easy peasy, which is exactly what I needed on this rainy summer night.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Crumb Coated Chicken Thighs

Crumb-Coated Chicken Thighs, Stove Top Stuffing, and corn.

I used matzo meal instead of bread crumbs and this was fantastic. Here is the recipe as from

Crumb-Coated Chicken Thighs


* 1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon ground cumin
* 1 teaspoon paprika
* 1 teaspoon chili powder
* 1 teaspoon curry powder
* 1/4 teaspoon pepper
* 8 (5 ounce) chicken thighs, skin removed


1. In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the first seven ingredients. Add chicken, a few pieces at a time, and shake to coat. Place on a baking sheet coated with nonstick cooking spray. Bake, uncovered, at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes. Turn chicken pieces; bake 15-20 minutes longer or until a meat thermometer reads 180 degrees F.

I used about triple the crumbs, half the cumin (personal taste), half the paprika (because I have intense smoky paprika and not the McCormick's stuff - not that there's anything wrong with that), and then 7 chicken thighs with skin on. This was a definite success and I'll be making it again. I've been really pleased with my chicken lately!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Hot Dogs!

Two Reduced Fat Hebrew National hot dogs (with mustard, kraut, and Wickles' pickle relish), tater tots, and cucumber slices.


Sunday, August 17, 2008

Au Gratin Potatoes

Variations on a theme...

Au gratin potatoes with smoked sausage and edamame. I'm sure the protein was boosted with the edamame. It was actually pretty good. Snappier than the peas I used previously!

I also noticed that when I cook this in a 2 quart casserole dish it comes out very watery and yucky. I had to transfer it into a 9x13 pan in order to get the sauce to the correct consistency. Good to know for the future.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Lemon and Oregano Chicken

This chicken was amazing...! Here's what I did. I made a marinade first (put everything right into a Ziploc bag).

Lemon rind from one whole lemon
Two pinches of kosher salt
Two tablespoons olive oil
About one tablespoon of oregano
Juice from one lemon
A good amount of freshly ground white pepper
About 1/4 cup of white wine (I used viognier)

Mash it all up in the Ziploc bag. Add the chicken. I added two breasts (with rib section) and three bone-in thighs. Let it marinate for about an hour. Due to the lemon juice, you really don't want to let it go over night or for the whole day, I don't think. Heat up your BBQ nice and hot and grill the chicken as you normally would.

This chicken was easily the best chicken I have made for a very long time. I paired it with two easy things: Herb & Butter Rice-a-Roni and some mixed vegetables. Lovely!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Breakfast for Dinner!


Breakfast Sausages
Bell Pepper

I had a lot of vegetables in my refrigerator that needed to be consumed. Cut the veggies up into a medium dice or bite sized pieces. I cut the chicken breakfast sausages into quarters. Because I used lean chicken sausages I had to add a bit of olive oil to the pan prior to adding the onions, bell pepper, and breakfast sausages.

While those are sautéing until they're soft (and cooked, in the case of the sausage), break your eggs into a bowl for whisking.

After the bell peppers and onions are soft and the sausages are mostly cooked, go ahead and add the zucchini.

I got inspired and added some Italian seasoning.

Once everything is nice and soft and a lot of the water has evaporated, add the beaten eggs.

Stir everything around and scramble the eggs.

Add a couple handfuls of shredded cheese (about a cup).

And you're done! You have an Atkins-approved meal! It might be South Beach approved if you use lowfat cheese. It was very yummy. As you can see above, I put some pico de gallo on top of mine.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Chicken Casserole with Stuffing

An American Classic!

Chicken tenders (about a pound)
Cream of mushroom soup
Mixed vegetables
Half-dead mushrooms ;) (optional)
Stove Top Stuffing
Sour cream

Pour the stuffing into a bowl.

Next, poor 1 1/2 cups water into the bowl and mix the stuffing. Set aside while you do the rest of the work.

I had some mushrooms in the fridge that needed to get eaten pronto so I sliced them up.

I also happened to have about 1/3 cup of sour cream. I bet you can make this even without the sour cream.

Pour the cream of mushroom soup into the sour cream and mix together.

Cut the chicken tenders into bite-sized pieces and put in a 2 quart casserole dish that's been sprayed with cooking spray.

Add the soup mixture.

Mushrooms want to go into the party!

Then I added about 2 cups of mixed vegetables.

Mix all of that up.

Finally, top it with the stuffing. I cooked mine in a 375-degree oven for about 50 minutes. Make sure your chicken is done.

When it comes out it's kind of crispy and beautiful!

Dig in!