Cajun Turkey Burger Skillet

Growing up, I loved Hamburger Helper.  I know, I know, it isn’t healthy and it is full of nasty processed stuff, but it is pretty darn good.

However, I don’t know if I have outgrown Hamburger Helper or it just isn’t that good when you try to dress it up, because this dish didn’t really do it for me.

Zack and I both agree that it was okay, but not good enough to have again.

Cajun Turkey Burger Skillet

– 1 lb lean ground turkey

– 1 small red bell pepper, chopped (1/2 cup)

– 2 t cajun seasoning

– 2 c hot water

– 1 c milk

– 1 box Hamburger Helper cheeseburger macaroni

– 1 c shredded cheese

In a 10-in nonstick skillet, cook turkey, bell pepper and Cajun seasoning over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until turkey is no longer pink; drain.

Stir in hot water, milk and contents of uncooked pasta and sauce mix pouches (from Hamburger Helper box).  Heat to boiling, stirring occasionally.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer 13-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until pasta is tender.  Sprinkle with cheese and allow to melt before serving.

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Creole Turkey Wraps

We, like probably every other Americans, had an abundance of turkey left over after our Thanksgiving dinner.  I knew we didn’t want to eat it in the exact same way again today, so I searched through my recipe binder looking for a sauce to make for it.

First I was going to make Creole Turkey Sandwiches, but I had to run in the grocery store to get some cake baking supplies and I saw Ole Extreme Wellness High Fiber Low Carb Tortillas sitting on a shelf beckoning to me.  I had never had them before, but they looked delicious and only had 71 calories per tortilla.  I bought a bag and brought them home to use for dinner.

The sauce was really yummy and the wraps were AMAZING.  I ate two turkey wraps without even feeling guilty, because hey, each tortilla only had 71 calories!

I highly recommend these meal and the tortillas.  I will definitely be buying them again.

Creole Turkey Wraps

– turkey (we used probably 3 cups of shredded leftover turkey)

– 1 large onion, thinly sliced

– 1/4 c chopped green pepper

– 1/2 c ketchup

– 1/2 c water

– 1 T Worcestershire sauce

– 1/2 t salt

– dash pepper

– 4 Ole Extreme Wellness High Fiber Low Carb Tortillas

In saucepan, saute onion and green pepper until tender.  I just sauted them in a pan sprayed with cooking spray.  You could also saute them in butter or oil.  Stir in ketchup, water, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper.  When thoroughly combined, add in turkey.  Simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Place on tortillas and wrap up.  For an extra spice kick, put some BBQ sauce on them.

Our First Thanksgiving Dinner Party

AAHHH… That’s my sigh of relief and happiness.  Our dinner party couldn’t have gone any better.  I am so pleased.  My dad, mom, stepdad, Zack’s parents, two brothers and his brother, Caleb’s, girlfriend all came!

We have tons of leftovers, though.  I sent two whole trays of food home with my dad.  Next year, I won’t double the recipes like I did this time.

Everyone said everything was really good.  I’m so thankful for both of our families and for the fact that everyone gets along so that we can have dinners like this.

I spent all of today and yesterday cooking.  I am exhausted.  It feels so good to be sitting on my couch with my Zack doing nothing right now.

I’m just going to share all of the recipes from today in this post.  I hope you enjoy.

Be thankful for your families and for the time you get to spend with them.  I know I am.

Appetizer Course:

Here’s our appetizer table:


No Bones Chicken Wing Dip

Prep: 15 minutes

– 1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, softened

– 2 c (16 oz) sour cream

– 1 c ranch dressing

– 1/2 c buffalo wing sauce

– 2 1/2 c shredded cooked chicken

– 1 block (8 oz) Monterey jack cheese, shredded

– baby carrots, celery ribs, and crackers

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, sour cream, salad dressing, and buffalo wing sauce until blended.  Stir in chicken and Monterey jack cheese.

Transfer mixture to a greased 2-qt baking dish.  Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.  Serve dip warm with baby carrots, celery, and crackers.

Yield 6 1/2 cups.

Main Course:

Our main table.  We used the oreo turkeys and little name cards as place cards.  I think it turned out adorable.


Roast Turkey

– 1 large turkey, neck and giblets removed

– 1/2 c butter, melted

– 2 large onions, peeled and chopped

– 4 carrots, peeled and chopped

– 4 stalks celery, chopped

– 2 sprigs fresh thyme

– 1 bay leaf

– 1 c dry white wine

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Thoroughly rinse turkey.

Brush turkey with melted butter.  Place breast side up on a roasting rack in a shallow roasting pan.  I cooked mine in an oven bag in a roasting pan.  Stuff the turkey cavity with 1 onion, 1/2 the carrots, 1/2 the celery, 1 sprig of thyme, and the bay leaf.  Scatter the remaining vegetables and thyme around the bottom of the roasting pan (in the bag for me) and cover with white wine.

Roast uncovered 3 1/2 – 4 hours in preheated oven until internal temperature of thigh reaches 180 degree.  Allow the bird to stand about 30 minutes before carving.

 Side Dishes:


Butterflake Rolls

1 t yeast

– 3/4 c very warm water

– 1/4 c sugar

– 1 egg

– 2 egg yolks

– 3/4 t salt

– 1/2 c buttermilk

– 2 1/2 – 3 c AP flour

– 1 stick butter, softened

Prepare a muffin tin for baking by spraying it with nonstick cooking spray, or tossing a small pat of butter into bottom of each cup.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix yeast in 1/4 c warm water until dissolved.  Add the sugar.  Whisk in the salt and eggs.  Beat in milk and remaining water until well mixed.

Use a wooden spoon to stir in about 2 1/2 cups of flour, adding more (up to 3 cups) as necessary to make a soft dough.  You want to be able to knead the dough and not have it stick to your fingers, but still have the dough be soft and pillowy.  Less is definitely more here.

Knead dough a few times.  Roll out dough to 1/2″ thickness and spread with a thin layer of butter (it should be about 2 tablespoons).  Fold dough in half, then spread with butter.  Repeat this 4 more times.

Once you’ve finished buttering, roll into 1/2″ thickness and cut dough into 1×1 inch squares.  Place 3-4 squares in each non-stick sprayed muffin tin.  Let rise about 45-60 minutes or until well-risen.

Bake in middle rack at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.


Stuffed Ham & Provolone Rolls

– 2 c herb flavored stuffing cubes

– 1/2 c boiling water

– 2 T + 2 t butter, divided

– 8 slices deli ham

– 8 slices provolone cheese

– 1 egg, beaten

– 1 T water

– 1/2 c dry bread crumbs

Combine stuffing, boiling water and 2 T butter.  Cover and let stand 5 minutes.  Top each ham slice with a cheese slice.  Spoon 1/4 c stuffing mixture over center of cheese; roll up and secure with a toothpick.  Whisk eggs and water together.  Roll ham rolls in egg mixture, then roll in bread crumbs.  In a large skillet over medium heat, saute ham rolls in remaining butter for 4-5 minutes, or until golden, turning only once.  Discard toothpicks before serving.

Yield: 8 rolls

Turkey Gravy

Prep: 10 min.  Cook: 7 min.

– 3 cans (14 oz each) chicken broth

– 1 (10 3/4 oz) can cream of chicken soup

– 1 t poultry seasoning

– 1/2 t black pepper

– 1/4 t garlic powder

– 1 c milk

– 1/3 + 2 T AP flour

– 2 T corn starch

Bring chicken broth to a boil in a large saucepan.  Stir in soup and season with poultry seasoning, pepper, and garlic powder.  Reduce heat to low and let simmer.

Warm the milk in the microwave and whisk in the flour and cornstarch with a fork until there are no lumps.  Return the gravy to a boil, and gradually stir in the milk mixture.  Continue to cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute or until thickened.  Be careful not to let the bottom scorch.


Stuffing

– 4 T butter

– 1 medium onion, chopped

– 3 celery stalks, diced

– 1/2 t salt

– 1 t ground sage

– 1 t dry thyme

– 10 c dried unseasoned bread cubes

– 1 1/2 c chicken broth

– 1 egg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Melt butter in a large pan.  Saute onions, celery, salt, sage, and thyme for 5 minutes on medium heat.  Turn off heat.  Add bread cubes and gently stir them into the onion mixture.  Slowly pour chicken broth over the bread cubes folding everything so the bread cubes do not break apart too much.  In a small bowl, gently whisk the egg and add it to the stuffing mix.  Continue to fold everything until the egg is incorporated.  Scoop uncooked stuffing into a medium casserole dish and bake uncovered for 40 minutes or until nice and toasty on top.

 

Creamy Cheesy Mashed Potatoes

– 6 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks

– 3/4 c evaporated milk

– 1/4 c butter

– 1 c (4 oz) shredded cheddar cheese

Place potatoes in a large saucepan.  Cover with water; bring to a boil.  Cook over medium high heat for 15-20 minutes or until tender; drain.

Return potatoes to saucepan; add evaporated milk and butter.  Beat with hand-held mixer until smooth.  Stir in cheese.  Season with salt and pepper.



Sweet Potato Souffle

– 6 c mashed sweet potatoes

– 2 c sugar

– 1 t salt

– 4 eggs

– 2/3 c stick butter, softened

– 2/3 c milk

2 t vanilla

Combine with mixer and pour into greased casserole dish.

– 2 c brown sugar

– 1 c flour

– 2 c chopped pecans

– 1 stick melted butter

Mix well and distribute over potatoes.  Bake 30 minutes at 325 degrees.

 Deviled Eggs

See Deviled Eggs for recipe.

Green Beans

Just take some green beans, I used about 3 lbs here and then add a bouillon cube (1 per lb).  Bring to a boil then simmer.  The longer you let it simmer, the better they are.

Desserts:


Pecan Pie

Prep: 20 minutes.  Bake 50 minutes.

– Pastry for 1 crust pie

– 2/3 c sugar

– 1/3 c butter

– 1 c corn syrup

– 1/2 t salt

– 3 large eggs

– 1 c pecan halves broken halves

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

Beat sugar, butter, corn syrup, salt and eggs in medium bowl with wire whisk or hand beater until well blended.  Stir in pecans.  Pour into pastry lined pie plate.  Bake 40-50 minutes or until center is set.

 


Colossal Caramel Apple Trifle (COLOSSAL = key word)

Prep: 40 minutes

– 1 package yellow cake mix

– 6 c cold milk

– 3 package (3.4 oz each) instant vanilla pudding mix

– 1 t apple pie spice

– 1 jar ( 12 1/4 oz) caramel ice cream topping

– 1 1/2 c chopped pecans, toasted

– 2 cans (21 oz each) apple pie filling

– 2 cartons (16 oz each) frozen whipped topping, thawed

Prepare and bake cake according to package directions using 2 greased 9-inch round baking pans.  Cool for 10 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

In a large bowl, whisk milk, pudding mixes and apple pie spice for 2 minutes.  Let stand for 2 minutes or until soft set.

Cut one cake layer if necessary to fit evenly in an 8-quart punch bowl.  Poke holes in cake with a long wooden skewer.  Gradually pour a third of the caramel topping over the cake.  Sprinkle with 1/2 c pecans and spread with half of the pudding mixture.

Spoon one can of pie filling over pudding; spread with 1 carton of whipped topping.  Top with remaining cake and repeat layers.  Drizzle with remaining caramel topping and sprinkle with remaining pecans.  Refrigerate until serving.


Pumpkin Pie

Prep: 20 minutes.  Bake 1 hr 10 minutes.  Cool 2 hours.

– pastry for 1 crust pie

– 2 large eggs

– 1/2 c sugar

– 1 t ground cinnamon

– 1/2 t salt

– 1/2 t ground ginger

– 1/8 t ground cloves

– 1 can (16 oz) pumpkin

– 1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk

– whipped cream, if desired

Heat oven to 425 degrees.  Make pastry for unbaked one pie crust; before adding filling, partially bake pastry (carefully line pastry with double thickness of aluminum foil, gently pressing to bottom and sides of pastry. Let foil extend over edge to prevent excess browning.  Bake 10 minutes; carefully remove foil and bake 2-4 minutes longer or just until pastry begins to brown and has become set.  If crust bubbles, gently push bubbles down with back of spoon..

Beat eggs slightly in medium bowl with wire whisk or hand beater.  Beat in remaining ingredients except whipped cream.

Cover edge of pie crust with 2-3 inch of aluminum foil to prevent excess browning; remove foil during last 15 minutes of baking.  To prevent spilling filling, place pie plate on oven rack.  Pour filling into hot pie crust.

Bake 15 minutes.  Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.  Bake about 45 minutes longer or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool on wire rack 2 hours.  Serve with whipped cream.  After cooling, pie can remain at room temperature up to an additional 4 hours, then should be recovered and refrigerated.


Oreo Turkeys

– Double Stuff Oreo Cookies

– Candy Corn

– Whoppers

– Peanut Butter Cups

– Chocolate Frosting

– Writing icing (any color) for eyes

Grab a cookie and put some chocolate icing in the edge.  Stick some candy corn in.  The icing makes it stick better.  It’s easier if you do all the cookies through this step.

Next, secure the opposite end of those cookies to a bottom cookie with a gob of icing.  If they are not sturdy, you can set them against the wall until the icing hardens a little.

While they are drying, unwrap the peanut butter cups.  Take a sharp knife and cut a sliver off of one end.  It helps to gently cut in a sawing motion so you don’t break the peanut butter cup.  Cut from the bottom.

Place a gob of icing on the peanut butter cup and place it on the bottom cookie.

Glue a whopper on top of the peanut butter cup with icing.  I put frosting on the side of the whopper touching the peanut butter cup and the cookie.

Use another gob of icing and glue on the white tip of a candy corn for a beak.  Put two dots of your writing icing for eyes.


Hot Mulled Cider

Float a few apple slices and some cinnamon sticks in the drink as it warms.

– 2 qt apple cider

– 1 orange, quartered

– 1/4 c brown sugar, packed
– 1/4 t pumpkin pie spice

– 2 (4-in) cinnamon sticks

– 6 whole cloves

Combine all ingredients in a 3-quart slow cooker; cover and cook on low 2-4 hours.  Remove orange sections and spices before serving.

 

BBQ Cups

Zack and I love barbeque sauce, turkey, cheese, and bread.  This recipe incorporates all of them.

These would be great finger food-type appetizers for a get-together.  In fact, I think they were in that section of the cookbook that I got the recipe from.

There is a little bit of prep work for these, because you have to brown the turkey before you can bake them, but it really does not take that long and the end result is so good.

The can of biscuits that I used had 8 biscuits in it, so I just baked the extra two on a baking sheet and Zack got breakfast out of the deal, too! 🙂

BBQ Cups

– 1 lb ground turkey

– 1 onion

– 1/2 cup BBQ sauce

– 1 tablespoon brown sugar (optional, I used a sweet barbecue sauce so I omitted this)

– 1 can biscuits

– cheese

Brown turkey and onion.  Add BBQ sauce and brown sugar.  Simmer 15 minutes.  Cool.  Roll canned biscuits to fit jumbo muffin tin.  Place meat mixture inside.  Add cheese on top.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.  Makes 6 jumbo BBQ cups.

Mexican Stuffed Shells

This dish combines two of my favorite things: stuffed shells and Mexican spices.  When I saw this recipe, I knew I had to try it.

I really liked the way it turned out.  I like it just as much as I like regular tacos (which, believe me, is a whole lot).

Zack says he likes regular tacos better, but he isn’t a big fan of any type of pasta, so that’s understandable.

That being said, I would definitely make it again.  It found a place in my ‘favorites’ recipe binder.

For those of you that don’t know, instead of having cookbooks with pages marked everywhere, I print out all of the recipes I want to try (if they’re in a cookbook, I just copy them).  Then, I put them in a binder that I have organized by food types.  After I try a recipe, it gets moved to either the ‘favorites’ binder or to the trash.  In my opinion, it’s a great way to keep everything organized and allow you to quickly see what recipes you have.  Plus, you don’t have to search for a recipe, you know exactly where it is.  Can you tell I’m pretty anal about organization? 🙂

Mm, cheesy, spicy goodness.  The original recipe called for two cups of cheese, but one cup was definitely enough.  Two cups would have been overpowering.

When I make it again, I might leave out the cream cheese, too.  I didn’t really see where it helped or hurt the flavor and it’s just extra calories.

Mexican Stuffed Shells

– 1 lb ground turkey (or beef)

– 1 package taco seasoning (or use homemade!)

– 4 oz cream cheese

– 14-16 jumbo pasta shells

– 1 1/2 cups salsa

– 1 cup taco sauce

– 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese

– 3 green onions, optional

– sour cream, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a frying pan, cook ground turkey/beef and add seasoning and prepare according to package directions. Add cream cheese, cover and simmer until cheese is melted.  Blend well.  Set aside and cool completely.  While ground beef is cooking, cook the pasta shells according to directions; drain.  Set shells out individually, taking care that they do not all stick together.

Pour salsa on the bottom of 9×13 baking dish.  Stuff each shell with the meat mixture.  Place shells in 9×13 dish, open side up.  Cover shells with taco sauce.  Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, add shredded cheese and bake for 10 minutes more uncovered.  Top with any condiments you’d like (green onions, black olives, jalapenos).  Serve with sour cream and/or more salsa, if desired.

Sloppy Jerky Turkey Joes

I haven’t been feeling very well these past few days, so Zack and I made dinner together last night.  It’s a lot of fun working with him in the kitchen.  Plus it makes things move so much faster!

Consider this entry more of a recipe review.  Although these sloppy joes look really tasty, they were a one time thing.

I really liked that the recipe called for lots of fresh ingredients, but there was just something about the taste that I was not a big fan of.  This recipe was highly recommended to me, though, so I am going to still include the recipe so that you can try it for yourself.

As you can see from the picture, they definitely live up to the ‘sloppy’ part of their names.

Sloppy Jerky Turkey Joes

Prep time: 10 minutes.  Cook time: 15 minutes.  4 servings.

– 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

– 2 lbs lean ground turkey

– 1 onion, chopped

– 2 Fresno chile peppers or 1 Anaheim pepper, seeded and finely chopped

– 1 sweet bell pepper, seeded and chopped

– 3 to 4 cloves garlic, chopped

– salt and pepper

– 1 tablespoon paprika

– 1-inch piece fresh ginger, grated or minced

– 1 teaspoon allspice

– 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

– sprinkle of nutmeg

– 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves

– small handful cilantro leaves, finely chopped

Sauce:

– 2 tablespoons cider vinegar

– 2 tablespoons brown sugar

– 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

– 1 lime, juiced

– 1 cup tomato sauce

– 8 whole wheat rolls, split

– chopped scallions, for garnish (optional)

– chopped pickles, for garnish (optional)

– chopped cilantro leaves, for garnish (optional)

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  When the oil ripples and is hot, add the meat and brown.  Add the onions, chile, bell pepper, garlic, and salt and pepper.  Stir in the paprika, ginger, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, thyme, and cilantro.  Stir occasionally for 8-10 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, lime juice, and tomato sauce.  Stir the sauce into the turkey mixture.  Simmer for a few minutes, then serve on rolls with a garnish of scallions, chopped pickles, and chopped cilantro.

The water in the turkey when I put it in the hot oil caused quite an eruption.  Hot oil covered my stove, kitchen counters, and my arm.  It kept on popping and spraying everywhere until most of the water was cooked out.  I would recommend browning the turkey then adding some oil to cook the rest of the ingredients in, because that was disastrous.

When I was on my way home from school yesterday, Zack sent me a text message saying he had made me something.  When I got home, this was sitting on the step on our screened in porch.  Isn’t it cute?  He is so sweet.

Slow Cooker Firehouse Chili

Yesterday was a chilly, dreary day.  What better to do then break out the crock pot and cook up a pot of chili?  Chili goes hand in hand with fall…for good reason.  It warms your tummy and makes the fall weather tolerable.

I especially like this chili, because it was spicy.  Not too spicy where it was intolerable, but it still had a nice little kick to it.

Zack isn’t a big fan of chili that is really soupy with beans in it, so this kind was perfect for him.  It was just meat and sauce.  I really liked it, too.

It also couldn’t be any easier to make.  All you have to do is throw everything into the crock pot!  Plus, it makes your house smell so good all day long.

I sprinkled cheese on mine and added some diced jalapenos.  I love spicy food!

Slow Cooker Firehouse Chili

– 3 lbs ground turkey

– 2 (8 oz) cans tomato sauce

– 2 tablespoons garlic powder

– 1/4 cup chili powder

– 2 tablespoons ground cumin

– 1 tablespoon paprika

– 1/4 teaspoon ground oregano

– 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

– 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

– 1/2 teaspoon salt

Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker.  Cover and cook on high 1 hour.  Reduce heat and cook on low 4-6 hours.

Makes 6-8 servings.

Turkey Burger

Normally, I’m not a big fan of turkey burgers.  I think they have a strange consistency and I tend to avoid them.  This recipe actually called for ground chicken to be used, but we didn’t have any at the time, so I just hesitantly used ground turkey.

In these burgers, you actually bake cheese, BBQ sauce, and spices INTO the burgers.  This completely changes the consistency and makes them so yummy.

The recipe also says to caramelize onions and serve them on the sandwiches, but I didn’t think they needed it.  I’m sure it would be delicious, though, and if any of you try it, let me know how it turns out!

BBQ Turkey/Chicken Burger

1 lb ground turkey breast (or ground chicken)

¼ cup finely grated sharp cheddar cheese

1 tsp. smoked paprika

½ tsp. onion powder

¼ tsp. garlic powder

¼ tsp. black pepper

¼ tsp. salt

¼ cup BBQ sauce + some for topping

4 whole wheat buns

1 onion, sliced

1 tablespoon olive oil

In a large bowl, combine chicken, BBQ sauce, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and cheddar cheese.

Mix until just combined and then form 4 patties.

Preheat the grill or a skillet and cook the burgers until fully cooked through (if using a skillet, about 8 minutes per side).

While burgers are cooking, heat a skillet on medium heat and add olive oil. Add sliced onions with a pinch of salt and saute until carmelized, about 10 minutes.

When burgers are ready, top with cheese, onions, BBQ sauce and lettuce and tomato. It’s also good to toast the buns.