Friday, November 27, 2015

Thanksgiving Leftovers!

Well, the big day is over. All the food was prepared. The table was set. Everyone said the blessing and dug in to the marvelous feast. The dishes have been washed. The post-gorging nap took place. The guests have gone home. And now you have a refrigerator full of delicious leftovers that you have no idea what to do with. Look no further because this post has tons of ideas for all your leftover turkey, sweet potatoes, and cranberry sauce. Let feast #2 commence!!


I made these yummy baked donuts to take to my roommate's family Thanksgiving yesterday. They were nice enough to let me join in on their festivities since I was unable to go home.


Sweet Potato Baked Donuts
Makes 14
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
Dash of nutmeg
½ cup butter, softened
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1 large mashed sweet potato (about a cup)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and oil a donut pan. Mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Add the milk, eggs, and sweet potato. Stir until just combined. Mix the wet and dry ingredients together, once again mixing until just combined. (You do not want to overmix!) Divide the batter between the holes in the donut pan. Bake for 12 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow the donuts to sit in the pan for 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Turkey-Bacon-Ranch Naan Pizza
serves 1
1 garlic flavored naan bread
3 slices chopped bacon
2 ounces cook turkey, chopped
1 button mushroom, chopped
½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 green onion, sliced
2-3 tbsp ranch dressing
Spread the ranch over the naan. Sprinkle on the cheese and remaining toppings. Broil on high for about 2-3 minutes, or until the cheese melts.
The traditional shepherd's pie gets both a healthy and Thanksgiving-themed makeover when the usual mashed potatoes are replaced with sweet potatoes and the ground beef is replaced with shredded turkey. It will be a new favorite!
Pre potato-ing! Look at the yummy filling. :)

Single Serving Sweet Potato- Turkey Shepherd’s Pie
1 small sweet potato, cooked until tender and peeled
2 tbsp milk
2 tbsp butter
½ cup chicken broth
1 tbsp flour
½ cup mixed frozen veggies
2 tbsp chopped onion
3 ounces chopped cooked turkey
1 tsp minced garlic
¼ tsp Italian seasonings
salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and butter a 2 cup ramekin. Mash up the sweet potato with 1 tablespoon of butter and the milk. Set aside. Heat ½ tablespoon of the butter over medium heat until it melts. Whisk in the flour and cook for a minute, stirring constantly. Slowly whisk in the broth. Cook, stirring often, until the gravy thickens. Season to taste and mix in the Italian seasonings. Wipe out your pan and heat the remaining ½ tbsp. of butter over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic. SautĂ© until the onions are tender. Add in the frozen veggies and cook until they are thawed, about 5 minutes. Mix the veggies, turkey, and gravy together and then pour them into the ramekin. Spread the sweet potato over the top. Bake for 15 minutes.
Overnight Cranberry Oatmeal
½ cup milk
½ cup applesauce
½ cup quick or old fashioned rolled oats
handful of cranberries (fresh, frozen, dried, or a mixture)
1 tbsp maple syrup (optional)
1-2 tbsp cranberry sauce
Mix together the first four ingredients the night before. In the morning, swirl in the cranberry sauce. Sweeten with maple syrup to taste and enjoy!


Coconut Sweet Potato Muffins
makes 18
2 cups rolled oats, blended into a flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup coconut flour
1 cup sugar
¼ tsp salt
1 tbsp baking powder
3 cups buttermilk
1 large sweet potato (about 16 ounces)
2 eggs
¼ cup coconut oil, melted

Prick the sweet potato all over with a fork. Place it on a microwave safe plate and microwave for 8 minutes, or until it is tender. Allow it to cool before peeling. (Or skip this step and use a precooked sweet potato.) Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and oil a muffin pan. Mix the flour, oat flour, coconut flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder together. Blend the sweet potato together with the milk, eggs, and oil. Combine the wet and dry ingredients, stirring until just mixed. Divide the batter between the prepared muffin pans. Bake for 22 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let the muffins sit for 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely.



Friday, November 20, 2015

A Taste of My Fall Kitchen

I am finally posting again! I cannot believe that I have practically missed all of Autumn here on my blog. There are so many apple, pumpkin, squash, and Thanksgiving recipes I wish I had time to share. Plus, I have a boatload of craft ideas and a ton of countries on my list of things to do once I can breathe again. The end is near. I see the light at the end of this long tunnel that is senior year (or senior semester). Only a few more weeks before I have my diploma! Hopefully I can make it until then. This whole 4 hours of sleep a night thing is really getting to me....

Anyway, even though I am not posting, I still do eat. I justify spending time cooking and eating because if I don't, I will die. If I die, who will write my papers? Who will get my diploma? Who will do that laundry that has been sitting on my bed for what feels like years, just waiting to be folded? The answer is nobody, so cooking is a must. :) Since instant ramen noodles just don't cut it, I have some recipes to share that use up some of the yummy ingredients that are ever-so-popular this time of year. Enjoy!


This first recipe is just in time for Thanksgiving. I absolutely adore dressing. (And yes, it is dressing, not stuffing.) I can eat a whole pan all by myself, and that is exactly what I did with this delicious butternut squash filled and hazelnut coated dressing.

Butternut and Hazelnut Cornbread Dressing
12 cornbread muffins, or 1 recipe cornbread
1 onion, finely chopped
1 small butternut squash, peeled and cut into small cubes
3 apples, peeled and cut into small cubes
3 eggs
2 cups chicken broth (or more if you like a wetter dressing)
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried sage
½ cup chopped hazelnuts

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and prepare a large baking pan or several smaller ones. Chop the cornbread into small cubes. In a large bowl toss the apples, squash, onions, and seasonings. Whisk the eggs and broth together in a separate bowl. Add the broth mixture and bread cubes into the bowl and mix until well combined. Evenly spread the mixture into your baking dish and top with the hazelnuts. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the squash is tender and the hazelnuts are toasted.


Recipe #2 uses butternut squash again to make a creamy, fall-themed pasta sauce. It is so good!

Butternut Squash Alfredo
1 pound cubed butternut squash (about 1 medium squash)
3 cloves garlic
1 cup milk
Salt and pepper, to taste
12 ounces grated mozzarella cheese
6 ounces grated parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
6 tbsp butter
16 ounces pasta noodles, cooked according to the directions on the box

Boil the butternut squash in a pot for 20 minutes, or until extremely tender. Blend together the squash, milk, and garlic in a high speed blender. Heat the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the sauce and continue to stir until it begins to bubble. Season to taste. Mix in the cheese, remove the pan from the heat, and toss the sauce with the pasta. Top with more parmesan cheese and serve.


Here's a recipe to make your Thanksgiving brunch amazing. Any leftovers will be the perfect way to prepare for hours of Black Friday shopping in the wee hours of the morning. Plus, they are whole grain, so you can feel good about eating them after all that apple pie and sweet potato soufflé.

Multigrain Pumpkin Muffins
makes 2 dozen
1 ¾ cups rolled oats
2 cups whole wheat flour
½ cup Bob’s Red Mill 10 Grain Hot Cereal
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp cinnamon
½ tsp salt
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
1 ½ cups milk
4 eggs
2 cups canned pumpkin
½ cup oil

Soak the 10 Grain Hot Cereal and milk in a covered bowl for at least 3 hours. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees, and oil a muffin pan. Blend 1 ¼ cups of the oats into a flour using a high speed blender. Mix the flour, oat flour, oats, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and baking powder together. Whisk the Hot Cereal and milk mixture together with the eggs, pumpkin, and oil. Combine the wet and dry ingredients, stirring until just mixed. Divide the batter between the prepared muffin pans. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let the muffins sit for 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Friday, November 13, 2015

An Autumn African Stew

My most recent stovetop travel took me to the African country of Angola. It was a past colony of Portugal, and it was the Portuguese who gave named it based off of the indigenous Ndongo’s name for their leaders, ngola, back in 1571. The Angolans gained independence in 1975 and right afterward went into a civil war that lasted several decades. Since the end of its civil war in 2002, Angola has been on an upward trajectory. Angola's economy is centered around diamonds and oil. The government has also just instated a new push towards better healthcare and vaccinations. Let's hope that Angola continues to become a happier and freer place to live.


Muamba de Galinha is like a lot of African stews. It uses chicken, okra, and red palm oil to create a delicious and nutritious meal. Unlike African stews that I have cooked in the past, Muamba de Galinha has the delightful addition of pumpkin. Leave it to Africa to show us how good a savory pumpkin dish can be.


Muamba de Galinha
¼ cup lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 chili pepper, minced
½ tsp chili powder
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 pound chicken breast, cubed
1 onion, chopped
2 tbsp red palm oil
1 cup chicken stock (traditionally palm soup base)
4 okra, sliced
1 small pie pumpkin; seeded, peeled, and cubed

Mix the lemon juice, garlic, chili, and seasonings together. Pour this marinade over the chicken and let it sit for 20 minutes, mixing occasionally to ensure that the flavors meld. Heat the red palm oil over medium high heat in a saucepan. Add the onions and cook until golden, about 6 minutes. Toss the chicken into the pan and cook each side for about a minute until browned all over. Pour in the marinade and chicken broth. Cover and reduce the heat to a simmer for 20-30 minutes. Uncover the pan, and add the pumpkin and okra. Cook for another 15 minutes until the pumpkin is tender.


This yummy pumpkin and chicken stew proved to be a delicious fall-themed comforting meal that provided the African flavors that I adore. It came together pretty easily, was relatively inexpensive (boneless, skinless chicken breasts are $1.99/ lb from the meat counter at Kroger, but around $4 or $5/lb if you buy the prepackaged kind), and was delicious!! I love African food, and I love trying out new African recipes. I have been trying to space my African meals out to savor them, but I am flying through the country a lot faster than I would have liked. If only Eastern Europe could go by as quickly….