Saturday, December 31, 2011

Candy Cane Mocha!

Start the New Year off right by keeping five bucks in your pocket and make this at home! It is warm, richly comforting, and so delicious. Just as good as the Starbucks Peppermint Mocha, if you as us :) And you've got even more of a reason to make this if you got stuck with a bunch of candy canes over Christmas and you have no idea what to do with them!

Candy Cane Mocha

Serves 1

You will need:

1 cup prepared coffee with milk or cream or however you would normally make it
2 tablespoons finely chopped milk chocolate, or semi-sweet choc chips
1 teaspoon candy cane bits
Optional - 1 1/2 teaspoons white sugar
Optional 1 tablespoon whipped cream
Optional - cinnamon for sprinkling

Heat coffee, chocolate, candy cane bits, and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring to ensure chocolate melts evenly and doesn't stick to the bottom. When warmed through, pour into a mug, top with whipped cream and cinnamon. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Ham and Swiss Mini Pizzas

Our apartment has an over-sensitive smoke alarm that goes crazy and starts yelling "fire" every single time we use the oven at 400 F or higher. Without fail. It's possessed or something. While we appreciate the safety feature and feel very protected with it around, it is very annoying to feel your blood pressure jump up at the sudden alarm, especially when handling very hot food. Anyway, as much as I despise the stupid smoke alarm, these mini pizzas were so worth it! Two of these are filling enough for a meal, but these would be great as appetizers too. They couldn't be easier to make. Plus, it's a great way to use up some of your leftover Christmas ham  :)

Ham and Swiss Mini Pizzas

Serves two.

You will need:
2 english muffins
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1/2 cup shredded cooked ham
Optional - leftover roasted veggies such as leeks, onions, mushrooms, or any other veggie, thinly sliced
4 oz thinly sliced swiss cheese (or any cheese really!)

Position an oven rack in the top third of your oven. Preheat oven to 400 F. Split each english muffin and spread with mustard, lay these open faced on a baking sheet.  Layer ham, veggies and cheese on top of each english muffin. Broil or bake these two to three inches from heat for eight or nine minutes, just until cheese has melted and muffin is toasty. Enjoy!

Note: these would be a snap to make in a toaster oven too, if you have one!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Easy Barbecue Turkey Buns

As I mentioned in my previous post, we are STILL enjoying our leftover Thanksgiving Turkey now, a couple of weeks after the day. I've tried two new experiments this year with the leftovers...this recipe is much easier than the first but both are totally delicious! Seriously, this one is easy easy easy. For Chinese food or dim sum fans, this is a very close cousin of those delightful Chinese Barbecue Pork Buns. This one uses store-bought refrigerated biscuit dough, and takes less than five minutes of prep time, and only twelve minutes cook time. Hope you try it!

Easy Barbecue Turkey Buns


 You will need:

1 tube refrigerated biscuit dough (8 biscuits)
1 1/2 cups leftover cooked shredded turkey
1/2 cup barbecue sauce

Mix turkey and barbecue sauce until well combined and set aside. Separate the biscuits. Cut a small hole in the side of each biscuit, and fill with a heaped tablespoon of the turkey mixture. Pinch the hole shut. Once all are filled, steam these for about 11 or 12 minutes in a cooking-spray coated foil-lined bamboo steamer or whatever you normally steam veggies in. The buns will puff up to around two and a half times their size and firm but springy to the touch when done. Enjoy!

Note: regular biscuits (non-flaky layers) work best for this recipe.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Rustic Turkey Soup with "Stuffing Dumplings"

Who doesn't enjoy leftover Turkey for days after Thanksgiving? There is sheer genius in cooking a large bird just so you can enjoy the leftovers afterwards. Turkey soup, Turkey chili, Turkey pot pie, Turkey quesadillas. You name it...we've all had it.

I tried two new experiments this year, and these have to be my favorite leftover turkey recipes so far! Turkey Soup with "Stuffing Dumplings", balances delicate herbs with rich roast turkey (it's even better with homemade turkey stock!) with the added surprise of "stuffing dumplings"! Who knew that leftover stuffing could make wonderful dumplings in soup. And Barbeque Turkey Buns are super fast to make, moist and delicious. If you're looking for ideas, I hope you enjoy these is the first in a series of two posts. This soup has all the comfort of its chicken noodle cousin, and is a wonderful way to use up some of those leftovers in a fun new way!

Turkey Soup with "Stuffing Dumplings"

Serves 5 - 6

You will need:

1 large carrot roughly chopped
2 stalks celery roughly chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped white onion
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 cups cooked leftover shredded turkey meat
1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
salt to taste
3 tablespoons flour, divided
2 cups leftover stuffing
juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 cups broth or stock of any kind

Heat olive oil in a soup pot on medium heat.  Saute onions and garlic for two or three minutes, just until onions are translucent. Add carrots, celery, rosemary, salt and pepper, and saute for another four or five minutes, stirring occasionally, just until vegetables start to soften. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of flour into the vegetable mixture. Then add broth or stock and bring to a boil. 
Mix 2 tablespoon flour into the stuffing mixture, and mix well. Form tablespoon sized portions into "balls", pressing them well to bind. Drop these into the soup once it starts boiling. 
Then lower heat to a simmer and add the shredded turkey. Cover the pot and simmer for ten minutes. Stir in lemon juice just before serving. Enjoy!