Creamy Turkey Soup

Turkey time means great prices on turkeys to cook a meal for a family or group of friends.  That is exactly what we did.  The turkey this year was much larger and no only fed the guests but we also had a fridge full of leftovers.

So what can you do with your turkey leftovers?  Make creamy turkey soup.  I found this Creamy Turkey Soup recipe on Food.com and it turned out fabulously.  I used fresh chopped carrots and macaroni as the noodle.  I used fresh turkey stock that I had made with the carcass of the turkey dinner that mulled in its own bones overnight and reduced down to a nice, rich turkey stock.

I love simple recipes with ingredients that you have at hand.

1/4 cup butter
1 cup chopped green onion
2 cups frozen sliced carrots, thawed and drained
1/4 cup flour
5 cups turkey broth, divided (or chicken bouillon)
2 cups milk or 2 cups cream
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon dried parsley
3 cups chopped cooked turkey
8 ounces noodles (fusilli, rotini or similar)

Directions:

1
Saute onions and carrots in butter until soft, not brown.

2
Add flour and mix well.
3
Gradually add 2 cups broth and milk.
4
Cook and stir until it thickens.
5
Stir in remaining 3 cups broth, and all remaining ingredients.

6
Simmer 10-12 minutes until noodles are tender, stirring occasionally.
Creamy Turkey Soup


Dessert: Lemon Pudding Cakes



I have a subscription to Everyday FOOD magazine by Martha Steward and I was attracted to the Lemon Pudding Cakes recipe because it is simple luxury.  Very few ingredients that will turn into a gourmet dessert in an hour.

Everyday Food, January/February 2012
  • Prep Time 20 minutes
  • Total Time 50 minutes

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more, room temperature, for ramekins
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest, plus 1/3 cup lemon juice (from 2 lemons)
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk
  • Confectioners' sugar, for serving

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter eight 6-ounce ramekins or a 2-quart baking dish. Set in a shallow baking pan. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together egg yolks with 1/2 cup granulated sugar until pale and smooth. Whisk in butter, lemon zest and juice, milk, and flour mixture. (Refrigerate mixture, up to 3 hours.)
    Lemon Batter

  3. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer (or by hand with a whisk), beat egg whites with 1/4 cup granulated sugar until stiff peaks form, 5 minutes; fold into batter.
    Whisked Egg Whites

    With a ladle, divide batter among ramekins, keeping sides clean. Pour enough hot water into baking pan to come halfway up sides of ramekins. Bake until cakes are puffed and slightly golden on top, 30 minutes. Dust with confectioners' sugar and serve immediately.
Lemon Pudding Cakes

After preparing this easy gourmet dessert, you will have confidence to bake other sweet treats for your family.  I never knew that making a nice, light pudding cake would be so easy. 

White Chocolate and Cranberry Cookies

December is around the corner and I decided to organize an intimate cookies swap with some girlfriends.  I have been known for my lack of interest in holidays and that is something I've been working on.  In my attempt to celebrate Christmas, I thought a cookie swap was a good idea.  Cookie swaps are a great way to share and be able to have a variety of cookies for family and friends during the holidays.

I didn't know what kind of cookie to make so I began my research and found this festive recipe from The Hummingbird Bakery Cake Days cookbook.  Since the measurements are in grams, I cheated and tried a white chocolate and cranberry cookie recipe on the internet.  That was a mistake!  My cookies were lumpy and I wasn't happy with them at all.  Everyone who tried them enjoyed the taste but it wasn't perfect.

It wasn't the cookie that was pictured in The Hummingbird Bakery Cake Days cookbook.

So I got out my digital scale and followed the recipe in the cookbook.  The cookies were exactly how they were pictured.  Nice, large, soft and chewy cookies.  Delightful!  I had found my cookie swap cookie recipe.  It perfectly makes a dozen cookies.

Now I can't wait to try other recipes from the cookbook.  If I can't be in London to go to the bakery, then preparing the recipes at home from scratch is the 2nd best thing.  Enjoy!


Gourmet Dinner: Barbeque Pork Ribs Recipe

Summer is here and you can find meat on sale.  The "other" white meat that is the most affordable is pork.  I bought a family pack of pork ribs and used on side of ribs for Lentil Stew dinner and froze the other side of ribs until tonight.  I love Sundays in the kitchen to make a gourmet dinner .  The family pack of ribs were under $10.

Barbeque Pork Ribs Recipe
Marinate pork ribs with barbeque sauce and let it sit for at least 30 mins (longer the better).  Then place in a 350 degree oven and cook for 1 hour.  Turn halfway through.

Roasted Carrots Recipe
The recipe came from the Food Network.
Cut up carrots diagonally and toss with olive oil, pepper, salt, parsley and dill.  Wait until the ribs are halfway cooked and then toss in the baking sheet of carrots to roast for about 20 minutes.  You can take both out at the same time.


Kale, Pepper, Tomato Side Dish Recipe
This dish is actually from Oxygen Women's Fitness Slimming Soba Salad.  I decided take the ingredients but not include the soba noodles for a nice side dish.

Cut up kale and saute on medium heat.  Add cut up yellow/orange pepper, juice from 1/2 lemon and saute for 5 more minutes.  Then add 1 chopped tomato and saute til tender.  Season with salt and pepper.  Kale and lemon are a winning combination.
Mashed Potatoes
Boil potatoes, mash with butter and sour cream or milk or cream cheese.  Optional to add cheddar cheese.

Place barbeque pork ribs on top of the mashed potatoes.  Put the roasted carrots and kale side dish beside the potatoes and pork for a colourful and healthy gourmet dinner on a budget.


Potluck: Classic Macaroni Salad Recipe

I was invited to a BBQ and this is the most affordable classic that will feed lots of people.  It's the Classic Macaroni Salad.  I loved the All Recipes Classic Macaroni Salad video that made it look so easy.  Of course I modified it to suit my needs and based on reviews from other chefs.  That's one great thing about All Recipes website - there is an active pool of chefs who review and rate the recipes. 

Classic Macaroni Salad Recipe

  • 4 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons honey dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1/4 cup grated carrot

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, mustard, salt and pepper. Refrigerate overnight.
  2. The next morning,  Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni, and cook until tender, about 8 minutes. Rinse under cold water and drain. Stir in the onion, celery, red pepper, carrot and macaroni. Refrigerate for a few more hours (it was 2-3 hours for me to have a creamier salad) before serving. 

Sunday Brunch: Ham and Cheese Omelette Recipe

Sliced ham was on sale so I bought a package of two thick sliced for $3.50.  I thought it would be a good addition to a savory breakfast.  I then started to search for recipes with ham and cheese which is a popular combination.  I originally found a Ham Cheese Quiche recipe but couldn't do it in the morning because I didn't prepare the homemade pie dough the night before.  Instead I found this Ham and Cheese Omlette Recipe from Food.com.  This was an easy recipe that I adapted with what I had in the fridge.

3 eggs
dash of milk
1 slice of ham, chopped
fresh chives, chopped
bit of butter for pan
grated cheddar cheese
salt & pepper

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine eggs, ham, milk, salt and pepper. Beat well.
  2. Heat skillet on medium and melt margarine.
  3. Pour egg mixture into skillet. As the omelette begins to set, lift up edges with egg flipper so uncooked portion of egg can flow under the cooked portion.  (This is where I had a problem so my omlette so mine looks like a french omlette)
  4. When eggs are set but the top is still moist, sprinkle ¾ of the cheese over it and chopped chives.
  5. Slide omelette onto the plate and cut into portions.
It was delicious!  The key is to not overcook the eggs.  I served the ham and cheese omlette with toasted french loaf and fresh strawberries.



Gourmet Dinner: Baked Lamb Chops Recipe

Lamb chops were on sale at the grocery store.  I pondered over pork tenderloin or lamb chops and I rarely have lamb so lamb chops won me over.  It's perfect for a gourmet dinner on a budget.  A pack of three small lamb chops cost under $5.

Baked Lamb Chop Dinner
Baked Lamb Chops Recipe
pack of lamb chops
dash of rosemary
salt & pepper

Season the lamb chops with rosemary, salt & pepper.  Bake in 400 degree oven for 45 minutes or until done.  I like to put tin foil on the baking sheet so I have easy clean up.

Roasted Vegetables
1/2 red onion, sliced
2 large carrots, peeled and sliced diagonally
1 zuchinni, sliced
6 button mushrooms, sliced
olive oil, rosemary, thyme
raspberry balsamic vinegar

Add red onion, carrots, zuchinni to a bowl and toss with olive oil and rosemary & thyme.  Bake in oven with lamb chops.  Meanwhile toss oil, balsamic vinegar with the mushrooms and let it sit.  After 25-30 minutes, remove the vegetables to turn and add the mushrooms to bake for the last 15 minutes.

Mashed Potatoes
5 potatoes, peeled and chopped
butter
milk
salt

Cook potatoes in boiling water til tender.  Drain the water and mash with butter, milk and salt.

Roasted Vegetables