A Delicious Mistake

Today was such a fun day! I didn’t think I had any plans, but after we left some stuff behind where we babysat last night (HI NINA!), I found myself in my old neighborhood in the North suburbs of Chicago. I called my mom to see what she was up to today, and it turns out she was meeting my sister for brunch, so I got to have brunch with my mom and sister! I walked into The Bagel and who should I see but Fancy, our favorite blog commenter (who should have a food blog, even though she doesn’t thinks she should). It was so good to see her since we were like family in college and I hadn’t seen her in YEARS! Then, my sister and I got to go shopping for her (which we never get to do), and then Adam and I went to the grocery store.

WHEW! What an eventful day! While at brunch, my mom gave me a recipe for turkey burgers that I just had to try, and then later emailed the full recipe. She was right. I had to try them! When we went to the grocery store, we bought the ingredients. We got home, and I started cooking. I put what I thought all the ingredients were in my mixing bowl, and formed patties, and started cooking the turkey burgers. They did not look right. I went to flip them, and they were way too soft. Then I realized: I forgot the bread crumbs! SO when you make these burgers (and you absolutely have to IF you eat turkey!), make sure you put the bread crumbs in! We ate our “burgers” patty melt style on toasted bread with spicy (fat free) mayo.

I messed up, but still so delicious!

I messed up, but still so delicious!

Grilled Turkey Burgers with Sweet Pickles

(From Sara Foster, House and Garden)
Serves 4
1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon hot sauce, such as Texas Pete or Tabasco
2 scallions, minced (white and green parts)
4 fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon sea salt, plus extra to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra to taste
4 whole wheat hamburger buns, lightly toasted
Sweet pickle slices
1 tomato, cored and sliced

Prepare a hot fire in a charcoal or gas grill. (Or just before you’re ready to cook the burgers, heat a grill pan or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until hot.) Combine the turkey, bread crumbs, mayonnaise, chives, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, scallions, basil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl and work the mixture with your hands just to mix. (Do not overmix or the burgers will be tough.) Form the meat mixture into four 1-inch-thick patties. Season both sides of the patties with salt and pepper and grill them for 5 to 6 minutes per side, or until they’re just done. Remove the patties to a platter, cover them loosely with foil to keep warm, and set them aside to rest for about 5 minutes. To assemble the burgers, lay a few pickle slices and one tomato slice on the bottom of each bun and place the burgers on top. Serve with mustard and mayonnaise on the side.

For my WW friends, these are 5 Points® a piece, 6 with bread.

I did not use tomato or sweet pickles on the burgers, mostly because I couldn’t find good tomatoes and i hate sweet pickles. The flavor in these was downright incredible. They don’t scream “GREEN ONIONS” or “BASIL” but rather have very subtle flavors. I might actually make these, correctly, again this week! I made a sriracha mayo to put on top (1 tsp. sriracha and fat free mayo), but they really didn’t need it.

Not just sweet potatoes, garnet yams!

Not just sweet potatoes, garnet yams!

We went to a local international produce market for groceries today, and much to my delight, they had garnet yams! They have such an incredible flavor, and are so much easier to cut than regular sweet potatoes. I dusted the sweet potato slices with cumin and baked them at 425 for about a half hour, until the smoke alarm told me that the thinner slices were burning!

You’ll get to meet a member of our extended family this week! My mom and stepdad are going out of town for a few days and we’re watching their dog, Stella. She’s a goldendoodle and absolutely adorable! Luckily, she and Raven get along well!

Since it’s Sunday, I’m off to watch Flight of the Conchords and work on a bit of a surprise for my 100th post on Wednesday!

Have a great night and I’ll “see” you tomorrow!

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Parmesan Tilapia With Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

I happened upon a recipe today for something that had roasted red peppers in it. Then my mind started to wander… what else can I do with roasted red peppers? Salad? Nope, too cold out. Sushi? Nope, too difficult for a Tuesday. Pasta? Maybe… I need more protein than that. AH! I’ll make a roasted red pepper sauce to go on whatever protein is on sale at the grocery store!

Something about roasted red peppers reminds me of being a very little girl. I know, not your average “little girl” food… but I have vivid memories of my mom making toasted bialys with slices of roasted red pepper, a little garlic powder, and shredded mozzarella cheese. This had such a distinctive smell, and it was SO delicious! I wanted a dinner that sort of tasted like that nostalgic breakfast, but since bialys are hard to come by, I went with a parmesan-crusted tilapia.

I swear, the sauce is a beautiful red color!

I swear, the sauce is a beautiful red color!

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Ingredients

1 jar roasted red peppers

1 clove garlic

1/4 c. chicken broth

1/4 c. fat free sour cream

Directions

In a small pot, puree the red peppers, garlic, and chicken broth into a smooth liquid. Heat through without boiling, then stir in sour cream.

Served on a bed of sauteed spinach

Served on a bed of sauteed spinach

Parmesan Crusted Tilapia

Ingredients

1 lb. tilapia fillets

1 egg, beaten

2 Tbsp. fat free milk

salt and pepper to taste

2/3 c. panko crumbs

1/4 c. shredded parmesean cheese

1 tbsp. oil

Directions

Mix the egg and milk in one dish, and the panko and parmesean cheese in another with the salt and pepper. Coat the fish with the egg mixture, then with the crumb mixture. Sautee in a large pan with the heated oil.

I served the fish on top of a bed of sauteed spinach, then topped the whole thing with a generous helping of the sauce. It was so fresh tasting! It had just the right flavor combination to completely throw me back to being a kid, but still “new”. This is definitely something that will be put into regular rotation… well, the sauce will be since thats the “new” thing!

Tandoori Chicken Tenders

Happy (?) Monday all! I still have this nasty cold, but my dad’s still in town from Eugene, Oregon, so he came over for dinner tonight!! I asked my dad what he wanted, and after a few suggestions, he asked for tandoori chicken. I have a fantastic simple recipe, and I was so excited to make it so I can share it with all of you.

Can you see all the spices?

Can you see all the spices?

Quick Tandoori Chicken

Ingredients

1 lb skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into strips or chunks

1 c. fat free plain yogurt

1/4 c. lemon juice

1 tbsp. paprika

1 tbsp. chili powder

1 tsp. curry powder

1 tsp. garam masala

1 tsp. garlic powder

Directions

Mix all ingredients except chicken together in a small bowl. Pour mixture over chicken and allow to sit for at least one hour, but up to overnight (in the fridge of course). Remove the chicken from the marinade and grill or broil until golden brown and chicken is cooked through. Make a sauce with extra yogurt, lemon juice, and garlic and serve with vegetables and/or rice.

This recipe is an old favorite! My mom used to make it first with whole chicken pieces, then later on skewers on the grill. Its a very simple, yet complex-tasting dish that is fantastic with rice, veggies, in a pita…

I of course had some sides! I made sweet potato fries:

I started out making fry shapes, but ended up just slicing rounds

I started out making fry shapes, but ended up just slicing rounds

and roasted broccoli, which, as you may know, is my new favorite thing!

Pre-roasting, it just looked so pretty!

Pre-roasting, it just looked so pretty!

QOTD: What’s your favorite roasted vegetable? Mine is a toss up between brussels sprouts, broccoli, and potatoes.

I’m off to spend more time with my dad, and to nurse this darn cold…

OH! And make sure to check out Brandi’s blog at Bran Appetit! She’s fabulous (and I made the header!)

Party Time!

Today was our engagement party!! My mom and stepdad threw us one heck of a party at their house this afternoon (and well into the evening!) Thanks to all of you that were there, especially my college friend Meghan who drove over 4 hours just to come!! We’re exhausted, so here’s a gallery of some photos we took… please note: our names are spelled out in BAGELS!!

Hope you all had a great Sunday! “See” you tomorrow with more fantastic recipes… my dad’s in from Oregon and he’s coming over for dinner tomorrow!

“Kid Food” on a Cold Day

It was even colder today than yesterday…so cold, in fact, that THERE WAS NO SCHOOL!!! I got a phone call at 4 a.m. telling me that school had been canceled!

Adam made dinner tonight, but despite my asking, he didn’t want to write the blog… so I’ll write about it!
We had a very “kid” friendly (despite our ages) dinner of:

See? Kid friendly!

See? Kid friendly!

  • hot dogs and beans
  • bbq baked potato chips
  • salad with baby tomatoes and low fat Caesar dressing
  • Whole grain crust frozen pizza (the Archer Farms brand from Super Target, by far the BEST frozen pizza I’ve had! Thanks Beadie!
Complete with diet orange soda!

Complete with diet orange soda!

After a few requests from various readers, I decided to post pictures of the smaller, furrier members of our household… our 3 amazingly cute pets!

First, there’s Raven. Raven is a 9-year-old Rottweiler, and quite possibly one of the sweetest, most loving dogs I’ve ever known! She “smiles” on command, but apparently not for the camera. She sleeps at our feet every night, and is a fantastic companion!

Raven, the sweetest Rottweiler EVER

Raven, the sweetest Rottweiler EVER

Next, we have Ozzy… Adam swears that one day, Ozzy will try to take over the world! He’s very smart, probably too smart for his own good. He likes playing with string, like any other cat, but he also will not eat from his bowl if the quantity left is less than 3 crunchies deep. He will meow at the door when Adam gets home.

Can anyone think of a LOL Catz caption for this?

Can anyone think of a LOL Catz caption for this?

Last, but not least, we have Big. Big was adopted by my stepdad, David about in 2003 or so. She’s always been a super-loving cat, and we’ve always joked that if she could snuggle UNDER our skin, she would! When David and my mom got married, Big and one of our older cats, Timmy, didn’t get along. That’s how Big came to live with James. She lived with James for 2 years until I got my own apartment, and then she came to live with me. She sleeps on my head every night. Literally, on my head. She has definitely lived up to her name…she’s BIG!

She's cute, huh??

She's cute, huh??

Wow, long post…sorry ’bout that…

One last thing! One of my friends started a food blog, and its seriously fantastic! Check it out at Bran Appetit!

Day 2 of the New Year!

Well, Adam and I had a very busy new years eve and new years day! New years eve was spent at my best friend Lizz’s house with a bunch of her boyfriend’s friends. We had a blast, and yet again, a vat of my buffalo chicken dip was consumed in under an hour. I discovered a new favorite wine too! Polka Dot Riesling is absolutely amazing!

CUTE and delicious!

CUTE and delicious!

We rang in 2009 with cheap champagne, noisemakers, confetti poppers, and kisses…and we had SO MUCH FUN!

We're cute, huh?

We're cute, huh?

New years day was spent at my mom’s best friend’s house, a.k.a. my “aunt”, and had some amazing food! She made chilled shrimp, rock crab, Asian chicken skewers with peanut sauce, guacamole and chips, and I brought yet another dish of my buffalo chicken dip! We got to bring some of it home this time. We played a couple rousing games of Scene It on XBOX 360… it was quite a fun day!

To finish off, here’s a picture of me and Skylar (our flower girl) on New Years…she’s wearing my shoes!

She thought she was Barbie!

She thought she was Barbie!