Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Turkey Croquettes

Aren’t we all looking for a way to repurpose left overs?  I start searching for weeks before Thanksgiving to ensure that we can use every bit of the food I make for Thanksgiving.  My husband is from the south, so we always have a few “classics”, and well as some twists on traditional fare.  


I started this year, by making my own Cranberry Orange Sauce, which I split between our house and my sisters, unknowing that at her house there was a contest!  I tied for 1st place!!!  At our house, I heard, “that’s nice, where’s the canned.  Win some lose some!  I also handmade rolls!   

We always have turkey, there’s no redirecting that ship!  We did buy a Farmer’s market turkey (Small fortune, but VERY good!!! We’ll stick with our .47 from our local grocer!) 

Gotta have mashed potatoes, and gravy, this isn’t a time of year to play around with a new mashed recipe, go with the standard, don’t mess it up! (Although, I did use my Instant Pot, and added garlic….don’t tell!)  


As for other sides, the green ones, I have free range on.  Typically I go with Brussels Sprouts, but I wasn’t feeling it this year, so I went with Fresh, “Frenched” Green Beans.  It’s truly the ONLY way to eat them!  

Now on to the Starches!!!  We always have a Turkey CornbreadDressing and Sweet Potato Casserole.  For the TurkeyCornbread Dressing, I’m told there is a recipe, but have yet to see it.  I know most of what goes into it, but mine is never the same.  Years ago, Craig’s mom came for a visit, and cooked us Thanksgiving dinner while we were working, and placed all of the “nasty’s” (Giblets and such) in the corner of the dish, stating “didn’t know if ya’ll liked those”  We promptly cut out that corner and tossed it.  One day I’ll be trusted with the recipe….it’s only been 17 years….got a few more to go!  

My favorite is the Sweet Potato Casserole.  Some may like the marshmallow topping of the “traditional”, but ours is much smoother, and tastier.  I’ve mashed, riced and this year, pureed the sweet potatoes.  They came out more like a soufflé.  Then we add toasted pecans, coconut and a few other delights.  Top it with a brown sugar crust….YUMMMEEEE!! 

So that brings me to my post. For leftovers, over the years I’ve tried Turkey Soup, Turkey Salad, Turkey Egg Rolls, and a slew of other items, but nothing compares to my Thanksgiving Croquettes.  While there’s really no recipe, it’s more of a technique.  I will include what I did, but please take advantage of what you have leftover to make these delicious treats!  We also tried to air-frying them. Craig said that style was his favorite.

Let’s not forget dessert!  Pecan Pie Cheesecake  

Turkey Croquettes


1 Cup cooked  Turkey, diced

1 Cup cold mashed potatoes

1 Cup cold dressing (Stuffing, or whatever you call it!)

2 stalks celery, diced

2 stalks green onion

2 Eggs, beaten

Bread Crumbs, as needed


For Coating:

1-2 Eggs, beaten


Oil, Canola, or Peanut (high heat)



Mix together the Turkey, potatoes, dressing and vegetables.  Add in the beaten eggs.  If the mixture is too loose, add small amounts (1/4 cup) of bread crumbs until “tightened up”.  Roll mixtures into equal sized balls.  I use an ice cream scoop to portion out the same sizes.  While I’m rolling the balls, I make sure that my oil in heating up.  If your using a fryer, heat to 350F.  If you’re using the store top, make sure you have a high heat thermometer, and set the to 350F.  Once the balls are rolled, you will dip them one at a time into the beaten eggs, to coat, then into the Panko.  Coat 5-6 at a time.  Carefully drop 4-5 balls into the oil, one at a time.  Wait until they are golden brown, and remove.  All items are fully cooked, so you’re just warming them up.  If you would like to temp them, aim to get them to 140-150F.


We eat them plain, but you could totally dip them in a cranberry sauce, warm or cold, Gravy, warm or cold, or ranch…..for that matter whatever strikes your fancy!


If you’re feeling guilty for the heavy food, lighten them up with a green salad!



Saturday, November 4, 2017

Beef Roll ‘em Ups

When I was growing up, my grandma used to make Beef Roll ‘em Ups. I always loved unrolling these little “gifts”. She always made them in a pressure cooker.  When she passed, my dad took over making these, but mom was always scared of pressure cookers, so dad made them in a crock pot.  Still good, but we all missed Grandma’s version.  A few years back I saw an automatic pressure cooker, and told Craig, “this is what I want for Christmas”!  He did a ton of research and decided that Instant Pot was the only brand to buy.  That Christmas Day, I made my first dinner, and fell in love with that pressure cooker.  The real reason I wanted a pressure cooker, was to recreate my Grandma’s recipe.


Because Craig doesn’t eat beef, I had to make them when he was out of town.  Here is my version of my Grandma’s recipe for Beef Roll ‘em Ups, for the Instant Pot:

Beef Roll ‘em Ups

2lbs Flank Steak

1 clove garlic

1 tsp salt

1/4 t pepper

4-6 bacon strips

4-6 pearl onions

1/2 c flour

8 oz tomato sauce

1/2 tsp salt

1/8 tsp marjoram leaves 

1 tsp snipped parsley

1/2 c onion, minced

Rub steak with garlic.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cut steak crosswise into 4-6 strips. In a large skillet, partially cook bacon (do not cook to crispy), remove bacon, pouring grease into Instant Pot. 

Place a strip of beef on your work area, place a strip of bacon on the beef, and a pearl onion on the bacon.  Roll steak and bacon around the onion, securing with a toothpick. Coat the rolls with flour.  Set the Instant Pot to sauté, and add a little more oil, working in small batches, place Roll ‘em Ups in the Pot, and sear until brown.

Once browned, remove from the pot, and let rest.  Add tomato sauce, herbs and onions to the pot and stir. Allow to lightly boil.  Return the beef rolls to the pot, and cover with sauce.  Push the Cancel button on the Instant Pot, Put the lid in place, making sure the vent is turned to “Pressure.” Push the manual button. Make sure the cooker is on the “High” setting and set the timer for 15 minutes.

Walk away, make a cocktail, pour a beer, walk the whatever it is you do to kill time, before you eat something delicious. 

When the timer goes off.  Allow the steam to release, naturally. (I have a hard time waiting, but you need to!)

Serve and enjoy!

*note, I added potatoes and carrots and fresh rosemary in while I was pressuring.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Rainbow Rose Veggie Tart

Rainbow Rose Veggie Tart

A few weeks back I came across a savory tart recipe, called Rainbow Rose Tart. I thought that's beautiful, but I'll never make it. Well the damn thing kept popping up everywhere I looked. So I looked into the recipe and then realized that it didn't involve much and with our CSA recently delivering the rainbow carrots, why not make it. And just in time for Easter. 

Rainbow Rose Tart 

Rainbow Rose Veggie Tart


  • 1 roll puff pastry
  • 15 ounces ricotta 
  • 3 eggs
  • 6 ounces grated fresh Parmesan
  • 1 pinch nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano, (double if using fresh)
  • 1⁄2 cup fresh mozzarella, shredded
  • 4 large multi-colored carrots
  • 2 zucchini


  • Unfold a puff pastry sheet over a tart pan. Place parchment paper or foil in the center and weight it down with beans or pie weight.
  • Bake the tart base in a preheated oven at 350°F for 15-20 minutes. Remove the weights and parchment paper. Let it cool. Raise over temp to 375°F. 
  • In a food processor, add the eggs, ricotta, grated parmesan cheese, grated nutmeg and pinch of salt. Pulse until smooth. Add the mozzarella and oregano. Pulse mixture until smooth.
  • Slice strips of zucchini and carrots length-wise using a vegetable peeler or a mandolin. Place the slices in a bowl and cook in the microwave for 1-2 minutes. This step will soften the slices and make them much easier to roll.
  • Spread the cheese mixture on top of the tart base.
  • Take one slice of a vegetable and roll it up very tightly; this will form the core of the rose. Take another slice and keep rolling. With around 2-3 slices you should obtain a decent-size rose bud. Place the bud in the center of the tart, pushing it down into the cheese. Keep rolling roses of different colors and place them one next to the other in a spiral formation.
  • Brush olive oil on top of the vegetables and bake the tart at 375 degrees F for 50 minutes.

(Inspired from


  • make sure you use large carrots. And have an even selection of colors. 
  • Use the pie weights. The sides of my pastry fell while baking. I improvised and it came out undetected. 
  • Rolling the "roses" takes time. Allow yourself plenty of time!  I rolled all of the roses up, the placed according to how many colors I had. 
  • I used a vegetable peeler. Next time I might use the mandolin. The first piece needs to be paper thin to get the right tightness. 
  • Next time I might use thyme in place of the oregano. 
  • Might try a couple of tomatoes next time. 
Before the oven 

Teriyaki Chicken and Broccoli

Teriyaki Chicken and Broccoli


One of my favorite quick go to dinners is Teriyaki Chicken. It's quick, so easy and customizable to your taste. Living in he Seattle area, you can get Teriyaki anywhere. It's almost like the Starbucks of Asian food. Some are good, others are great, everyone has their favorite. What I find is that all are way too salty for me. 

Here are some interesting facts about soy sauce:

Soy sauce is arguably the most used condiment in the world. 

Soy sauce is the product of fermented boiled soy beans. 

Soy sauce was originally a way to stretch salt and fermented with fish. Fish was separated from the process, and created fish sauce as a separate ingredient. 

Soy sauce was first introduced to the Webster culture in the Netherlands, decades before Asian foods were introduced, and the Europeans couldn't reproduce it, as they didn't understand the fermentation process, developed by the Chinese. 

Light soy sauce traditionally has no reference to lower salt, as we know it today. It refers to it being fresh, or the first brewing. And lighter in color. (This is my favorite!!)

Dark refers to a thicker darker style. This is more common in the US. 

There is a different style for almost every Asian region. From Chinese (where soy originated) to Burmese, Filipino, Hawaiian, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Malaysian, Singaporean, Taiwanese, Thai, & Vietnamese. And multiple styles within each region. 

And a little bit on Teriyaki:

The word teriyaki derives from the word "Teri" which refers to a shine or luster given by the sugar content in the sauce, and yaki, which refers to the cooking method of grilling or broiling.

Traditionally the meat is dipped in or brushed with sauce several times during cooking. This popular dish was originally created by Japanese cooks of the seventeenth century, when urbanization, changes in agricultural methods and exposure to new ingredients from abroad gave rise to new, innovative cooking styles.

So here is my version of:

Teriyaki Chicken, with Broccoli

Mix together:

1/2 c Soy sauce (use low sodium, you won't miss the salt!)1/2 c Rice wine vinegar 

2 T Garlic, diced (or use the prediced kind you can buy)

1/2 t Red pepper flakes, adjust according to your taste)

1/4 c Brown sugar

2-3 T Oil

2 boneless Chicken breasts, roughly chopped (boneless thighs would be great in this too)

1 Onion, chopped

12 oz fresh Mushrooms, sliced

1 head fresh Broccoli, chopped into florets 

6-8 oz fresh Snow peas

1 can Water chestnuts, sliced, and drained

Prepare pan by heating oil.  Carefully add chicken and onions.  Once the chicken is cooked and onions are translucent, add Mushrooms and Broccoli. Cook 3-4 minutes, constantly stirring. Add in sauce mixture and stir. Before serving, add water chestnuts and snow peas. Serve over rice. 



Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Coconut Chicken Corn Chowder

Coco-Corn Chowder

Recently we were on vacation visiting our neighbors who moved to Maui. The first night we were there we went to PuPus (local for appetizers) at a restaurant in Waimea called Monkeypod. We had AMAZING Mai Tais, with a passion fruit foam on top and some really great food, although not necessarily "island" food it was exceptional. From Kauai Shrimp & Hamakua Mushroom Potstickers, to Pumpkin Patch Ravioli (kiawe-roasted squash, chèvre, spinach, toasted walnut sage pesto), and Kalua Pork & Pineapple pizza (caramelized onions, kula county farm rosemary, pine nuts, garlic white sauce and Roasted Butternut Squash pizza (onions, kula country farm rosemary, pine nuts, garlic with white sauce). 


But what really got me interested was the Coco Corn Chowder (local coconut milk, yukon gold potato, celery, fresh island herbs, organic kale, local tomato, local lemon grass). Our friends both order a bowl of it, saying how delicious it was and offered us tastes. While I'm not really one to try something off of another dish, I had to come up with a recipe for this soup. In fact it was all I could think about the rest of the trip, ok. Not all I could think about. But I was ready to make it when I got home. 

After rereading the ingredients from the menu, I must have blocked out the kale (hehehe), and I'm definitely adding in lemon grass next time I make it. 


Here's my version, for now!

Coconut Chicken Corn Chowder


  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 14 oz), diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small sweet potato (about 5 oz), peeled and diced
  • 2 red potatoes, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup finely diced celery (about 4 stalks)
  • 4 large ears corn, husked, and de-eared.
  • 1 bunch green onions, light and dark green parts divided
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
  • salt & black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes (or shredded coconut), toasted (optional)

  1. Place coconut oil in large pot.  Heat to medium high heat.  Place diced chicken in pot, and cook until mostly cooked.  Add garlic, and stir.
  2. Add potatoes, celery and red peppers.  Stir to cook.
  3. Cut kernels from corn, add to chicken potato mixture.  Salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Add chicken broth and coconut milk.  Bring to a low boil.
  5. Remove 1-2 cups of the soup mixture.  Blend into a smooth purée.  This will thicken the entire soup mixture.
  6. Reduce and allow to simmer at low heat until potatoes are completely done. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Garnish with green onion tops, basil and toasted coconut.

Recipe inspired by Monkeypod restaurant in Waimea, Maui Hawaii

all the ingredients I used 

chicken onions and garlic continue cooking  diced potatoes  
finished soup