Turkey Meatloaf with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Basil

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Whether you are a huge fan of meatloaf or not, I wanted to introduce you to one of my favorite meatloaf recipes that I developed using ground turkey. Ground beef or pork may be substituted for the turkey, but the ground turkey works well with the fresh combination of basil, garlic and sun-dried tomatoes. Anyone can put this recipe together with ease, and yes, it can be made up ahead of time and baked later in the day or even prepared up to one day in advance and warmed up just in time for dinner. Serve with a big salad and your favorite vegetable or potato side dish for a delicious comforting meal.

 

Turkey Meatloaf with Sun-Dried Tomatoes 

Prep: 15 minutes

Cook: 1 hour

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

1 pound ground turkey

3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs (use can use plain breacrumbs if you like)

3/4 cup chopped fresh basil

2/3 cup tomato sauce

1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped

1/4 cup chopped onion (optional)

2 egg whites

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/3 cup ketchup

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9-x 5-inch pan with aluminum foil. Combine ground turkey and next 8 ingredients in a large bowl, mixing well. Shape into a loafpan. Bake 50 minutes. Spread 1/3 ketchup evenly over the top and bake 10 minutes more.

Thanksgiving Pecan Pie Bars

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If you’re looking for a twist on pecan pie, try these simple Pecan Pie Bars. With ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry, you can prepare these with ease. I put my pecans in the food processor to speed up the prep time on this recipe. If you want to make them lighter, use skim milk instead of whipping cream. Just don’t forget to have a glass of milk on hand and an empty stomach (I’m stuffed as I am writing this).

 

Prep: 15 minutes

Cook: 45 minutes

Yield: Makes about 28 squares

Ingredients

2  cups  all-purpose flour

2/3  cup  powdered sugar

3/4  cup  butter, softened

1/2  cup  firmly packed brown sugar

1/2  cup  light corn syrup

2/3  cup  butter

3  tablespoons  whipping cream or milk (skim milk may be used)

3 1/2  cups  coarsely chopped pecans

Preparation

1. Sift together 2 cups flour and 2/3 cup powdered sugar. Cut in 3/4 cup softened butter using a pastry blender or fork just until mixture resembles coarse meal. Pat mixture on bottom and 1 1/2 inches up sides of a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish.

2. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool.

3. Bring brown sugar, corn syrup, 2/3 cup butter, and whipping cream (or milk) to a boil in a saucepan over low heat. Stir in pecans, and pour hot filling into prepared crust.

4. Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Cool completely before cutting into 2-inch squares.

Sunday Night Dinner Menu

There’s always been something about Sunday night dinners that I love. When I worked as a Food Editor at Southern Living Magazine we spent a lot of time on ideas for Sunday night dinners and even featured a monthly column devoted to “Sunday Night Suppers”. It’s actually a time where my kids don’t usually have any sports actitvites, and we can sit down all together (okay for me, maybe when it’s not baseball season). Enjoy this steak that’s really simple to prepare with only 5 ingredients. The marinade is really versatile and works well with almost any side dishes or salads.

 

Grilled London Broil

This marinade makes a flavorful London Broil. For convenience, you may make the marinade the night before. The longer you let this recipe marinate, the more time the flavors have a chance to penetrate the meat. Based on individual tastes, you can marinate meat up to 24 hours. You can fancy up this simple dish with grilled mushrooms and a wine reduction sauce. Look at our the long version recipe below.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Marinade time: 1 hour

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

4 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme, divided
1 pound lean top round steak

Preparation

1. Combine soy sauce, garlic, ginger and 1 tablespoon thyme in a small bowl. Pour over steak and marinate in a zip-top plastic bag in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
2. Grill steak, covered with grill lid, over medium-high heat 6 to 8 minutes on each side or until steak is desired degree of doneness, basting steak occasionally with marinade. 

Cooking Tips: Be sure to cut the meat across the grain in thin slices. Look for natural striations in the meat, which resemble lines running in the same direction (the grain). Cutting across the grain helps tenderize the meat by breaking down the meat’s natural structure. 

Grilled London Broil – Long Version

This is the expanded version of our London Broil recipe which includes grilled mushrooms and a shallot wine reduction sauce.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Marinade time: 1 hour

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

4 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme, divided
1 pound lean top round steak
1 (8-ounce) package button mushrooms
1 (6-ounce) package sliced Portobello mushrooms
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 shallots, chopped
1/2 cup red wine or fat-free, beef broth
Thyme springs (optional) 

Preparation

1. Combine soy sauce, garlic, ginger and 1 tablespoon thyme in a small bowl. Pour over steak and marinate in a zip-top plastic bag in the refrigerator 1 hour.
2. Brush mushrooms with olive oil. Grill steak, covered with grill lid, over medium-high heat 6 to 8 minutes on each side or until steak is desired degree of doneness, basting steak occasionally with marinade. Grill mushrooms at same heat 2 to 4 minutes on each side.
3. Sauté shallots in a small skillet over medium heat 3 minutes or until tender. Add wine and remaining thyme and bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Pour over steak and mushrooms and garnish with thyme sprigs, if desired.

Recipe and photo courtesy of Laura’s Lean Beef http://laurasleanbeef.com

 

Dijon Roasted Potatoes

Prep: 10 minutes

Cook: 25 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

11/2 pound small red potatoes, quartered

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

3 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1/2 cup chopped green onions

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 425°F.

2. Toss potatoes with olive oil and next 2 ingredients and place on a large lightly greased baking sheet. Roast 25 minutes or until tender.

3. Whisk vinegar and remaining ingredients in a small bowl.  Toss with potatoes before serving.

 

Sautéed Spinach with Goat Cheese and Pine Nuts

Prep: 5 minutes

Cook: 5 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

2 (5-ounce) packages fresh spinach

Vegetable cooking spray

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese

2 tablespoon pine nuts, toasted

Preparation

1. Add half of spinach in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat. Cook 2 minutes; add remaining half, salt and pepper and cook until spinach wilts. Top with goat cheese and pine nuts; serve immediately. 

Food Network’s Iron Chef Kevin Rathbun’s restaurant-Rathbun’s in Atlanta

While in Atlanta last week, I went to “Rathbun’s”, a very cool, sexy restaurant, in Inman park which is definately worth checking out. You may have heard of Kevin from the Iron Chef on the Food Network or in one of his reviews about his success in publications such as Oprah, Esquire, USA Today or Travel and Leisure. All of his accolades are well deserved! Everything on the menu is worth a try, but save room for dessert. This Banana Peanut Butter Cream Pie is out of this world. For more information on Rathbun’s check out www.rathbunsrestaurant.com/. His other restaurant, which I can’t wait to try is “Kevin Rathbun’s Steak” and don’t miss his “Krog Bar”, at the same location.

 

You will want to savor every bite in this delectable dessert-the infamous Banana Peanut Butter Cream Pie.

Fajitas and Guacamole: Say No More

I thought I would start off the week with some options if you would like to cook easy Mexican dishes. Some of my friends eat Mexican every Sunday night, and I have others that have a standard Thursday which is “Mexican night” at their house. With all of the recipes I have to develop and test, I don’t really have the flexibility for a specific night of the week to be the same on a weekly basis. However, my kids love fajitas and guacamole, and they always look forward to “Mexican night” at our house. Feel free to substitute or add chicken, shrimp or more vegetables for the Fajitas below.

 

Grilled Steak Fajitas

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

1 pound Ribeye Steak (May substitute strip, sirloin or shell)

1 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1 green bell pepper

1 red bell pepper

1 medium-hot Poblano pepper (dark green and triangular)

1 medium yellow onion

8 fat-free flour tortillas

tomatoes, optional

Preparation

1. At least two hours before dinner, dust a 1-pound ribeye steak with freshly ground black pepper, cumin, and chili powder. Let sit in refrigerator so spice flavors can penetrate the meat.

2. Cut the peppers into large segments, discarding the ribs and seeds. Next, cut onion into thick slices, making sure not to pull onion rings apart.

3. Prepare grill and adjust heat accordingly.

4. Place peppers and onion slices on grill and cover. Roast peppers by turning frequently until they are covered with dark spots, but not burnt. Cook onion slices until brown, being sure not to char. 

5. Remove peppers and onion slices from grill. After allowing the peppers to cool 3-4 minutes, pull off the waxy-papery skins. Slice the peppers crosswise into strips. Next, take the onion slices and break into rings. Mix the peppers and onions in a serving bowl.

6. Place ribeye on grill, turning frequently. 

7. Warm eight fat-free tortillas on the edge of the grill, keeping them away from direct heat, so they warm and soften but don’t dry out or turn crisp.

8. After cooking, remove steak from grill and cut diagonally into thin slices. Roll several slices of steak and a share of the peppers and onions into tortillas and serve.

Cooking Tip: It is important to let the dry rub of spices penetrate the meat. It not only tenderizes the meat, but also adds extra flavor. For a short cut, peppers don’t have to be peeled.

Cooking Tip: To help keep the meat moist when grilling, use the cover on your grill during part or all of the cook time to help lock in flavorful juices. If your grill doesn’t have a cover, improvise by putting a large, disposable foil roasting pan over the food.

Recipe and photo courtesy of Laura’s Lean Beef http://laurasleanbeef.com

Best Guacamole Ever

This is one of my favorite guacamole recipes.

Prep: 15 minutes

Yield: about 3 cups

Ingredients

4 ripe avocados

3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

1/2 cup finely chopped red onion 

1 large garlic clove, minced

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 medium tomato, seeded, and small-diced

Preparation

1. Cut the avocados in 1/2, remove the pits, and scoop the flesh out of their shells into a large bowl. (I use my hands.) Immediately add the lemon juice, hot pepper sauce, onion, garlic, salt, and pepper and toss well. Using a sharp knife, slice through the avocados in the bowl until they are finely diced. Add the tomatoes. Mix well and taste for salt and pepper.

 http://foodtv.com

Leigh’s Favorite Simple Chocolate Cake

   Okay, I will first tell you that this cake is SO GOOD! I am a full-time Recipe Developer for national food magazines and food companies, but I promise this cake is worth a try! For those of you who are in a huge hurry, just need a break or want something their kids can make, but here is the new version!

   My daugther Leigh, who is 9-years old, made the cake from the box instructions, and she was amazed she could make this on her own. After that, I discussed with her how this cake could be better. Basically we added added chocolate syrup and deleted some of the water.

Here’s is new version. No one will ever know that this cake was made from a cake mix (although I do love you Duncan Hines)! www.duncanhines.com

Gather these ingredients:

Combine 1 (18.25-ounce) package Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Devil’s Food Cake Mix, 3 eggs, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 2/3 cup chocolate syrup and 2/3 cup water and follow package directions for spraying and flouring the pan as well as mixing. Bake according to package directions. Let cool and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

 

To make your own chocolate sauce drizzle, melt 1 (8-ounce) package semisweet morsels with 1 tablespoon milk. Place melted chocolate in a zip-top plastic bag and cut a hole in the bottom corner of the bag and drizzle over cake.

And here it is! I know Leigh went a little overboard with the powdered sugar, but all is well! Just remember one thing! This is best served with a glass of cold milk!

Leigh and Me Cook

   Many of you who have read my blog today asked about what “Leigh and Me Cook” is…..

   Leigh is my 9 year-old daughter who I call little “Martha”. Leigh is ahead of her time and passing me by quickly. She makes her own smoothies everyday, homemade omelets cooked to order, cookies, cakes, cupcakes and wonderful chocolate-dipped strawberries. She can cut garlic and fresh herbs just as well as I.

   The recipes filed under this category will be recipes or products that Leigh loves and can make all by herself with minimal assistance. I thought those of you who have children might love some of these ideas to get your kids cooking and interested and knowledgeable about food.

   I have to be honest. Some days she “shows” me up in the kitchen which can by a little scary! She loves the pizza and crust in today’s earlier blog, and she recommends it highly! 

Look for her Simple Chocolate Cake coming soon! A good friend of mine (who has exceptional taste in food) calls it “AWESOME”!


Easiest Pizza Ever

It’s pizza night, and everyone loves it! My favorite new crust is quick, easy and delicious! It’s Pillsbury® refrigerated thin pizza crust. Just unroll, add your favorite toppings and bake, and you’ll have fresh, homemade thin crust pizza just the way you like it. It makes a rectangle pizza so enjoy having square pizza slices for a change.

Here is the pizza crust. If you like Pillsbury’s original crust (which makes great pizzas on the grill by the way), you will love this if you’re a fan of thin crust pizzas.

www.pillsbury.com

Molten Lava Cookies

You will love these cookies for the holidays or anytime of the year. These cookies were inspired by my love for molten cakes, but they are very simple to prepare and come out fabulous!

This recipe can be found on www.allrecipes.com and http://wisdairy.com

Molten Lava Cookies

“These pillowy-soft, brownie-like cookies are made possible with real butter and a chocolate lava center made with semisweet and dark chocolate melted with vanilla.”

RECIPE RATING:

The reviewer gave this recipe 1 stars. This recipe average a 5 star rating.

 


  
PREP TIME  30 Min
COOK TIME  11 Min
READY IN  41 Min

SERVINGS: 24

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/3 cup roughly chopped dark or semisweet chocolate (at least 60% cocoa)
  • Powdered sugar for garnish (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cream together butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Add cocoa powder, eggs and vanilla; mix until combined.
  2. Combine flour and baking powder in a separate bowl. Gradually add to butter mixture.
  3. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Using your thumb, press a thumbprint into the center; fill with a piece of chocolate and fold dough over to cover chocolate.
  4. Place balls 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake 9 to 11 minutes or until edges are firm and tops are soft. Remove cookies to a cooling rack; dust with powdered sugar, if desired. Serve warm, if possible. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
  5. To reheat cookies, place cookie on microwave-safe plate and microwave on high for 5 seconds, or until cookie is slightly warm

 

 

Nutritional Information
Molten Lava Cookies

Servings Per Recipe: 24

Amount Per Serving

Calories: 205

  • Total Fat: 9.3g
  • Cholesterol: 38mg
  • Sodium: 105mg
  • Total Carbs: 30.1g
  • Dietary Fiber: 1.3g