Friday, April 29, 2011

Turkey Burgers with Creamy Cucumber Dill Sauce

After absolutely loooooving Southwest Turkey Burgers with Avocado Sauce, I've been thinking about what other yummy sauces I could make to top turkey burgers. I always buy ground turkey in bulk at Costco so have it in my freezer almost all of the time and on my last Costco visit I also picked up some cute baby cucumbers. They inspired me to whip up a creamy cucumber dill sauce to top off the burgers.

 My hubby didn't seem very excited about the idea, but one spoonful of the sauce changed his mind. It's like a simplified version of tzatziki sauce. Creamy, tangy, a little crunchy. It was very yummy on top of juicy turkey burgers and melted cheese, but could also be a dip for pitas, crackers, veggies, whatever your little heart desires!
Turkey Burgers with Creamy Cucumber Sauce
An Ashley's Cooking Adventures Original

4 small cucumbers
1 1/2 cups sour cream
2 tablespoons fresh dill
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Ground turkey
Seasonings of choice
Cheese slices, if desired

Slice cucumbers into large pieces. Place into food processor and pulse until diced into small pieces. 
Add in garlic, dill, and lemon juice. 
Pulse to combine. Remove from food processor and scoop into small bowl.
Stir in sour cream and salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Prepare turkey burgers and desired and cook. Top with melted cheese if desired. Remove from grill and plate. Scoop creamy cucumber sauce on top of burgers. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Poppy Seed Bread

This poppy seed bread recipe is from my wonderful friend (and foodie) Jen. She brought this bread to share at a gathering and I got to have some of the leftovers. It was gone in a day! This bread is so delicious. It's sweet and fluffy and has a yummy glaze covering it. I made this bread myself for family and everyone loved it!
 The next time you are having brunch or just want a heavenly little goodie at breakfast, do yourself a favor and make this bread. This recipe makes 2 loaves, so be sure to share with someone you care about! 
Poppy Seed Bread
From Jen
Printable Version

1 cup oil
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla flavoring (I used my homemade vanilla extract)
1 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 teaspoon butter flavoring
1 1/2 tablespoon poppy seeds
For the Glaze
1/4 cup orange juice
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla 
1 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 teaspoon butter flavoring

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream oil and sugar together in an stand mixer or with an electric hand mixer. Add eggs and mix well. Mix the vanilla, almond, and butter with the milk. In a small bowl mix flour, salt, and baking soda.
Alternately add in milk and dry ingredients to the sugar/egg mixture. Mix well after each addition. Add in poppy seeds and mix. 
Pour into 2 large greased and floured bead pans. 
Bake for 50 - 60 minutes. While baking make the glaze by whisking all ingredients together. After removing bread from the oven, punch holes in the top with a fork. Pour glaze over bread and let sit for at least 20 minutes.DSC_4551 
Remove from bread pans. Slice and serve.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Meatless Mondays: Gnocchi with Tomato Basil Cream Sauce

I came up with the idea for my third Meatless Monday dish when I looked in my pantry and saw a package of gnocchi and a can of diced tomatoes. I looked around and found this recipe on I decided to go with it because it included diced onions and basil. The results were a creamy, tangy, very tasty sauce. It was great with the gnocchi, but would work with any pasta of your choice. This recipe is quick, simple, and great for a weeknight meal.
Gnocchi with Tomato Basil Cream Sauce
Printable Version

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 white onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 tablespoon basil (I used frozen basil and added it to sauce with tomatoes)
3/4 tablespoon white sugar
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream (I used fat free half & half)
1 tablespoon butter
1 package gnocchi

In a large saucepan saute onion and garlic in olive oil over medium heat and allow to soften, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes in their juice, sugar, oregano, and salt and pepper. 
Bring to a boil and continue to boil for five minutes, or until most of the liquid evaporates. Meanwhile bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add gnocchi. Cook as directed on package. Remove tomato sauce from heat and stir in cream and butter. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for five more minutes.
 Pour over gnocchi and garnish with basil. 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Meatless Mondays: Fettuccine with Asparagus and Mushrooms

For my second Meatless Mondays post, I am sharing a recipe a modified from my Williams-Sonoma Bride and Groom Cookbook. The original recipe calls for peas, which would be absolutely lovely in this dish, but I didn't have peas and used mushrooms instead. A combination of asparagus, mushrooms, and peas would be really great in this light, creamy, citrusy pasta dish. It's a wonderful spring meal.

Fettuccine with Asparagus and Mushrooms
Modified from Williams-Sonoma Bride and Groom Cookbook

1 bunch thick asparagus 
1 tablespoon butter or lie oil
2/3 cup heavy cream (I used fat free half & half)
Minced zest and juice of 1 or 2 lemons
Kosher salt and pepper
3/4 cup peas OR 8 ounces fresh mushrooms OR both
1 pound fresh fettucini (I used Bertolli, in the refrigerated section)
Leaves from several sprigs of fresh basil (I used dill instead)
Shaved or grated Parmesan or pecorino cheese for garnish
To prepare the asparagus, snap off the tough woody ends. Cut the asparagus into diagonal pieces. In a small saute pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add in the mushrooms and asparagus and saute for 2 minutes. 
Reduce the heat to low, add the cream, and heat until warm. Add lemon zest, salt, and pepper to taste. Do not allow the mixture to boil.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the peas and cook for 30 seconds. Add the pasta and cook until the pasta is tender and rises to the surface, 30 seconds - 5 minutes depending on the freshness. Stir occasionally so that the pasta cooks evenly. Drain the pasta and peas, reserving a few tablespoons of the cooking water.
Return the pasta and peas to the pot and season with salt. Pour the asparagus cream sauce mixture over the pasta and toss to coat. Add the reserved pasta liquid as needed to loosen the sauce. Tear some of the basil leaves into pieces and add along with lemon juice to taste and additional salt and pepper. Serve at once, garnished with additional basil leaves, pepper, and cheese. 

Friday, April 15, 2011

Caprese Pizza

This past weekend hubby and I were in Washington D.C. visiting family. We went out for drinks and appetizers and had the most scrumptious caprese flatbread. Since caprese salad is one of my most favorite dishes, I couldn't get it out of my head, the melty mozzarella cheese, the juicy tomatoes, the tang from the balsamic vinaigrette. I just had to make my own version of it at home this week. I decided to go with a pizza, using 5 Minute Pizza Dough. Instead of using fresh basil, I used frozen chopped basil that I got a Trader Joe's because this way I could sprinkle the basil all over the pizza. Chopped fresh basil would be wonderful on this pizza as well. Hubby and I loved how this turned out and will definitely be adding this easy, delicious pizza to our meal rotation. 
Caprese Pizza
An Ashley's Cooking Adventures Original
Printable Version

Pizza dough of your choice
7 small fresh vine ripened tomatoes 
Fresh mozzarella cheese
Fresh basil
Olive oil
Balsamic Vinegar
Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice the tomatoes and mozzarella and lay on a paper towel for 5 minutes to reduce some of the juice. 
Roll out the pizza dough and place on pan. Place tomatoes and mozzarella on the dough. Layer on the basil. Drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
Bake in the oven for about 14 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and slightly golden brown on the edges. Remove from oven and drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette. Allow to cool for a couple of minutes before slicing and serving.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Chicken Pot Pie

I've been really into comfort food lately and chicken pot pie is the quintessential comfort food. I decided to go all out and to make this chicken pot pie completely from scratch, with homemade crust, fresh veggies and herbs, and oven roasted chicken. Unfortunately my pie crust did not turn out. It was too sticky to roll and even though I kept adding flour it still didn't work out. I consulted my mom on what to do and she told me to  just piece it on. That was great advice because while it wasn't the prettiest pot pie in the world, it still tasted incredible. 
The best part was honestly the smell it created in my house while it was baking. It reminded me of my Gram's house when she was cooking. I feel like I get my Gram back for a little while when I am making her food or when my food smells like her food.  
This meal takes a while, but is well worth the time and effort. It's creamy, rich, and belly and heartwarming! 
Chicken Pot Pie
Adapted from Simply Recipes and Baking Bites
Printable Version

For the pie crust:
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, diced into 1/2 inch cubes (best to chill cubes in freezer for at least 15 minutes before using)
1/4 cup vegetable shortening, chilled
3-4 tablespoons ice water
For the filling:
3 cups of chicken, cooked and diced (I oven roasted my chicken with thyme, rosemary, and olive oil)
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup onion, thinly sliced
1 cup celery, thinly sliced
1 cup carrots, thinly sliced
1/2 cup flour
2 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 cups peas
Salt and Pepper to taste

Prepare the crust. Combine the flour and salt in a food processor. Add the chilled butter cubes and pulse 5 times to combine. Add the shortening and pulse a few more times until the dough resembles a coarse cornmeal with some pea-sized pieces of butter. Slowly stream in ice water, one tablespoon at a time, pulsing after each addition until the dough sticks together when you press some between your fingers. Empty the food processor, placing the dough on a clean surface. Use your hands to mold into a ball, then flatten the ball into a disk. Sprinkle with a little flour, warp in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (or up to 2 days) before rolling. 
Preheat the oven to 400. In a large skillet melt the butter over medium heat. Add in onions, carrots, and celery and cook for 5-10 minutes, until the vegetables begin to soften. 
Stir in the flour and cook, stirring continuously for one minute. Stir in chicken stock and milk. Bring to a simmer then decrease the heat to low and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the chicken, peas, thyme, and salt and pepper to taste. Pour filling into a 9 or 10-inch pie plate. 
Take the chilled dough fro the fridge and roll it out on a lightly floured surgace until it is large enough to cover the top of the pie plate. Cover the filling with the dough, pressing around the edges of the plate. Cut 4-5 slits in the top to allow steam to escape. Bake for about 30-35 minutes until the filling is bubbly and the pie crust is golden. Let pie sit for about 5 minutes before serving. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Blueberry Raspberry Muffins with Streusel Topping

I stocked up on frozen berries at my last Trader Joe's visit, thinking I would start making smoothies. I made one smoothie and gave up. Smoothies are just not my thing. So I decided to make muffins with the berries instead.
I found this recipe of Emeril Lagasse's on Food Network and was sold because it received a 5 star rating. I didn't follow the recipe exactly because I didn't have walnuts, so substituted almonds instead for the struesel. I didn't have lemons either, but I am sure the lemon peel and lemon zest would have these muffins even better. They were very moist and I loved the pop of the berries in each bite. The streusel topping is of course the best part!
Blueberry Raspberry Muffins with Streusel Topping
From Emeril on Food Network
Makes 18 muffins
Printable Version

For the topping:
1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel

For the muffins:
2 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
2 large eggs
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
3/4 cup blueberries
3/4 cup raspberries

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease muffin tins or line with a standard with paper liners. To make the topping, in a medium bowl, mix together the topping ingredients until crumbly. Set aside.
In a bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
In a large bowl beat the eggs with the melted butter. Add the buttermilk and lemon zest and whisk to combine. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir just to combine. Batter will be somewhat lumpy, do not over mix. 
Gently fold in the blueberries and raspberries to the berries do not break open. Pour into the prepared muffin tin. 
Crumble the streusel to topping over the muffins and bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cool in the tins for 10 minutes, then remove and cool on wire racks.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Meatless Mondays: The Mushroom Soup

Now that my list of 30 Things to Make Before I Turn 30 is completed, I have moved on to "Meatless Mondays", where
every most Mondays, I will attempt to post a "meatless" recipe. I did a little research and found there is a whole "Meatless Monday movement" going on, with celebrities, lots of food bloggers, and tons of scientific and medical data supporting the act of eating less meat. One thing I really am excited about is the environmental impact of going meatless once a week. Here are a couple of places you can check it out if you are interested:
I could go most days without eating meat, but for my wonderful hubby this would not a happy marriage make. He enjoys some meatless meals, but not all meatless. I have to make sure to incorporate things he likes in my meatless meals, like this mushroom soup from Tasty Kitchen. Hubby and I both love mushrooms and soup is one of his favorite things, too, so I knew this was going to be a good choice for my first Meatless Monday.
 The recipe recommended eating it with crusty French Bread to sop up the goodness, which is exactly what we did. This soup is rich, creamy, and filling. We ate it all in one night!
The Mushroom Soup
Serves 4

3 tablespoon olive oil
1 whole carrot, finely minced
1 whole celery stalk, finely minced
1 tablespoon garlic, crushed and minced
1 pound white mushrooms, sliced thin
4 ounces white wine
4 ounces tomato juice
4 ounces chicken broth (if you want to go completely vegetarian vegetable broth would work here too!)
1 pint heavy whipping cream (I used fat free half & half)
1 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
1 teaspoon corn starch
1/4 cup water
Salt and Pepper to taste

Heat oil over medium heat in a Dutch Oven or large, deep pot. Add in the carrot and celery and allow to soften. 
Add garlic and mushrooms. Allow the to reduce and soften.
Pour in the wine and let it cook for a few minutes.Add the tomato juice and broth and raise heat to a boil. 
Boil for 5 minutes before adding the heavy cream and then bring to a soft boil. Grate the parmesan and add it to the pot. Allow to cook for a few minutes until the cheese is melted and blended into the soup. Add cornstarch to 1/4 cup of water and add to the soup.
Lower the heat and let the soup simmer for 10 minutes, or until thickened. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve with french bread or buttery crackers. 


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