Snausages! (Spicy Turkey Breakfast Bites)

Oh, my goodness. The twelve year old inside me cannot stop giggling at calling something bites. (It’s a French thing, you’ll have to google it.) But! Saw this idea while scouring the Pinterest for low carb breakfast ideas other than eggs.

I’ll give this a good grade – it’s yummy. Ground turkey mixed with some grated butternut squash and onion for moisture and flavor, with some fresh rosemary, sage and red pepper flakes to add spice. I am actually looking forward to mornings this week for the first time in a while.

Spicy Turkey Breakfast Bites
(Can we call it sausage? I don’t know if we can….but that’s the idea.)

1 lb. 85% lean ground turkey
1/2 c. grated white onion
1/2 c. grated butternut squash (or zucchini)
1 Tbsp. AP flour
1.5 Tbps. dried sage (leaves, not powder)
1.5 Tbsp. minced fresh rosemary
1 tsp. crushed red pepper

Preheat your oven to 400″. Line a baking sheet with silver foil and spritz with baking spray.
In a medium bowl, mix together everything but the turkey, then add in the turkey and mix well. I use clean hands, but use a paddle attachment in your mixer if you need to. Make twelve meatballs out of the mix, about the size of a golf ball. This is really sticky, btw, so just be mentally prepared. Then, wet your hand or the bottom of a glass and smoosh the balls down so they’re about 1/2″ thick and look like slider patties. Bake 20 minutes, turn, bake 10-15 more minutes. If they didn’t get brown enough, broil for 2-3 minutes. (Don’t bake much longer because you don’t want dry little hockey pucks.)

And, are you asking yourself why there’s a tablespoon of flour in there? It’s a back-up sponge; the ground turkey, grated onion and squash have a LOT of water between them. A little dash of starch (like bread crumbs in your meatloaf) keeps the moisture in the meat instead of running out the sides. I think. Since, you know, this is theoretical as I am not a food scientist.

Cool, and serve for brekkie. We had ours with an oven frittata, although a three-pack of these would be a great breakfast on their own.

The next time I make these, I am adding chopped spinach. Just for the added color and nutrients.

servings: 12

According to the recipe nutrition analyzer, each patty has:
Cal 89
Fat 5.8g
Sodium 24mg
Carbs 1.9
Protein 7g

The Yum’s Top Posts 2016

2016. It’s been a slog of year, honestly.
I removed my self-imposed deadline of a post a week, so this year saw only 20 or so recipes and about 5,000 views, which brings the historical total to 15,000. Inspiration has been elusive, and it is, alas, the impetus for a new recipe worthy to shoot and write about.
I still have the goal of self-publishing a cook book. I still have the goal of increasing readership without resorting to all those awful, grasping ads so many foodbloggers whore themselves out for. We’ll see, I guess. If I could find a way to unobtrusively and tastefully do them, I may be forced to eat some crow. Himself would love to see my hobby offset some of its own costs.

But the food! Far and away, my favorite recipe this year was the tacos de camotes. The interwebs had a different take, though. The lemon pistachio scones were finally edged out of the top three. (Two years running ain’t bad, gals. Good job!) This year’s top are:

Mini Oven Omelettes
Sweet Potato and Kale Skillet
Cucumber Watermelon Salad

The omelettes, of course, have five times the number of hits as each of the others (since they were picked up in an article at Daily Burn about a year and a half ago.) But hell, who knows why one thing hits more than others. Maybe it’s just the red plates.

Let us see where 2017 takes us. I wish us all health, happiness, prosperity and balance. And thanks, you guys. It is just lovely to share with others who also love to eat good stuff.
Brightest blessings for the coming year,

Cold Steak and Ramen Salad

This all started when I saw gluten-free ramen at Costco. You know, that den of the budget-killing impulse buy. It’s freakin’ hot, but I thought they might make a nice cold salad – you know how you have cold soba noodles? Then of course I Google to see if this an original idea, and nope. It’s called Hiyashi Chuka, but looks like there has to be corn and slivered egg to be called that. Or, I could be wrong. But man there are some tasty-sounding options out there!
This is really best with these noodles just cooled to room temp (since they’re rice-based. You know how rice noodles get hard when they’re ice cold), and all the other ingredients icy cold.
Cook, rinse and cool the noodles according to package directions.
While that is happening, slice up:
green onion
leftover steak (or shrimp, or tofu)
In a small dish, mix together:
1T soy sauce or tamari
1 T rice vinegar
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp grated ginger
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
Serve hot chili oil on the side
Mix it.
Eat it.
The end.

Share if you try it!

BEEF! Potroast with Mushroom Gravy

Beef! (Hopefully pronounced in your best butch voice.)  We really like a roast around these parts for Sunday dinner.


Typically, I roast my veg and all with the meat, but since I want to set aside some of this bad boy for some barbacoa and some bbq beef later this week, I’m doing him up plain with garlic salt and pepper. 


This is a recipe for a quiet day at home – it roasts for a good four or five hours. And before you ask about using a crock pot, just, no. What makes this dish work is that the the liquid slowly evaporates during the roasting, so the meat stays meaty and doesn’t turn to mush. 


Since I didn’t roast the veg in the pan, I cook some up on the stove top to go in the gravy. 

There are three secrets that make for a great pot roast at our house: porcini, brandy, and Bisto.  (You can get that magic at Amazon and sometimes World Market. ) What is this sacrilege, you decry?!? Am I using gravy mix??? Hell no. Bisto is a thickener, with some carmel color and potato starch.  It makes your gravy deep brown and shiny. You know how flour slurry can lighten the color of your gravy? Bisto doesn’t do that. It does add some salt, though, so be careful and season at the end.  Seriously, buy some of that shit immediately. You will be SO happy. 


This recipe has a lot of steps – but don’t be escared. It’s leisurely, and freaking delicious. Try it and tell me how it went!

For the roast
4-5# chuck roast
1 qt beef broth
Garlic salt & pepper.
Past their prime onion, carrot and celery, washed.
For the sauce
¼ c. dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in
1 c. hot water
2 Tbsp. bacon fat or butter
½ c. diced white onion
½ c. diced celery
½ c. diced carrots
8oz pkg button mushrooms, sliced or quartered (your preference)
½ c. brandy, or marsala or dry sherry
1 tsp. dried thyme
3 c. beef broth (defatted from the pan, you may need to add some to get to 3 c.)
½ c. cold water mixed with 2 heaping Tbsp Bisto gravy granules, or with the same quantity of flour if you don’t have Bisto. The Bisto makes the gravy more brown and shiny (it’s potato starch based).
S&P to taste
Heat oven to 325*
In a large enameled cast iron dutch oven, put the veg. They’re the roasting rack and you’re tossing them when this is done so no need to peel or chop – just break up the big pieces with your hands.
Place the roast on the veg layer.
Pour over the broth. It should come about 1” up the meat.
Season with the garlic salt and pepper.
Roast with the lid on for five or so hours. You’ll know when it’s done –
the roast will be quite brown and falling apart.
When the meat is done, remove the roast from the pan and use a spatula to scrape down all the brown bits on the sides of the pan in to the juices. Toss the veg, and pour the pan juices in to a defatter or a large pyrex that will be easy to pour from.
This next part you can do about ½ before the roast is done, or after you take it out of the oven. In a very large (12”) skillet, gently sweat the onion, celery, mushroom and carrot in the bacon fat, with salt, pepper and the dried thyme.When they are almost tender, turn the heat to medium and add in the brandy and cook it down. While that is reducing, remove rehydrated porcini from their liquid, mince them and add them to the pan. Strain the porcini soaking liquid through a paper or gold mesh coffee filter and add that liquid to the pan (they can sometimes have fine sand.) Add 3 c. of the defatted beef broth and then whisk in the the bisto or flour slurry. Cook over medium until thick. Season to taste with salt & pepper (if you used flour. ) For four people, slice up about half of your roast, and gently add it to the pan. For 8 people, put it all in. The gravy ratio is higher with the four people version. obvs.
Serve with buttered egg noodles, or mashed potatoes, or cauliflower mash.
If you like a thicker gravy, cut the stock down to 2c. Don’t go nuts with the Bisto or it will be too salty

serves 4
calories 257
fat 9
cholesterol 35mg
sodium 2980mg
carbs 18g
-fiber 4g
-sugars 7g
protein 23g

Coconut Curry Meatballs

Meatballs.  Coconut. Thai red curry. What is not to like?


Mix the turkey with a little grated onion and zucchini, some minced red pepper and jalapeno, and some unsweetened coconut.


The zucchini and the onion add some moisture since the turkey is lean.


The sauce is simple – just some curry paste and coconut milk.


Finish with some fresh basil and call it yum.

For the meatballs
1/3c grated zucchini
1/3 c grated onion
¼ c grated unsweeteened coconut
2 Tb chiffonade of basil leaves
1 tsp. lime zest
2 Tbsp finely minced red bell pepper
1 Tbsp finely minced jalapeno or serrano chili
For the sauce
3 Tbsp. Thai red curry paste
1 can (14.5oz) coconut milk
fresh basil leaves
fresh cilantro leaves
Preheat oven to 375*.
Line a baking tray with parchment or foil
Mix together the meatball mixture.
Roll or ice-cream scoop (2oz) in to 1.5in balls.
Space evenly ½” apart on baking sheet.
Bake 20 mins.
In a 10” skillet, warm the curry paste and slowly whisk in the coconut milk.
Put the meatballs in the sauce, and just barely simmer for 15 mins or so.
tir in the fresh basil right before serving.
(DO NOT BOIL or the coconut milk will break. It will still be delicious tasting, but unappetizing looking)

serves 4
calories 252
fat 24mg
cholesterol 0mg
sodium 129mg
carbs 11g
-fiber 2g
-sugars 5g
protein 4g

Barbacoa Tacos

Tender shredded beef, seasoned to mouth-watering goodness, topped with tangy, crisp onion.
Tender shredded beef, seasoned to mouth-watering goodness, topped with tangy, crisp onion.

If you are not from the southwestern US or Mexico, I need you to sit down. There’s something important you need to know. Diana Kennedy or Rick Bayless may have already told you but just in case, here it is:

Enchilada sauce is not made from tomatoes. Truly. It’s red color comes from red chile.  

In fact, every time enchilada sauce is made with tomatoes, a kitten dies.

Chiles (two kinds!), garlic, onion, laurel
Chiles (two kinds!), garlic, onion, laurel


Enchilada (hey – look at the word in the middle of that – chile!) means chile-fied, enrobed in chile, etc. Now, don’t be embarrassed. I remember when my sister-in-law, the one who’s now the chef, explained this to me when I was so excited about a new “decoration” for my front door. It was a beautiful chile ristra and she remembered the last one she got and how her Nana E took them all because the chile was so good.  And I was all like, what? You don’t *eat* that.  And she was all like, what? Why the hell do you think people dry them and hang them up? Well, duh. Color me educated. Think about it – bunches of herbs, garlic braids, chile ristras. They are all for the pantry, in the pre-supermarket way.

So by now we all know my Sunday dinner plan to make a big roast of some kind. That whole “cook once, eat thrice” thing. This week it was a 7-pound chuck roast from Costco.  I knew I wanted to have it potroast style, and then thought some shredded beef soft tacos might be this week’s carb indulgence for Himself.  So I started googling barbacoa recipes and found the most awesome YouTube channel for a lady called Abuela Oti.  She has a chili-based sauce for hers, which led to the little opening spiel. Mmmm…..barbacoa tacos…..

Small corn tortillas, ready to grill and fill.
Small corn tortillas, ready to grill and fill.

That made me think of the plethora of fabulous taco stands we have here, and the wonderful condiments to go with them: radishes, pickled carrots and jalapeños (zanahorias en escabeche), and pickled onions (cebollas en escabeche), grilled spring onions (cebollitas asadas al carbon), grilled jalapeños…..oh my. And wouldn’t that rich, rich beef pair beautifully with some cold, crisp, zingy pickled onion?…my mouth waters just thinking about it.

Cebollas en escabeche
Cebollas en escabeche

So, is this a post about the pickled onions, or the meat? Honestly, it has to be both. But we’ll start with the meat.

For the sauce
2 large or 3 medium dried chile california or chile guajillo (those are the smooth, oxblood-colored ones. Get medium or mild unless you’re muy macho.)
1 dried chile pasilla (that’s the crinkly, raisin-looking one)
1 cup boiling hot water
2 cloves garlic
½ small white onion
½ teaspon Mexican oregano leaves
2 bay (laurel) leaves
For the meat
1 # shredded beef (leftover potroast)
S&P to taste
Pop the top on the chilis, discard that and the seeds. Put the chilis in a shallow bowl, cover them with the hot water and let them sit for half an hour until they soften. Put them, their soaking liquid and everything for the sauce but the laurel in the blender and blend until smooth.
Pour the puree through a strainer into a 10” saute pan, heat to medium and cook for about ten minutes. Add the shredded beef, reduce heat to medium-low and cook for about fifteen more minutes, or until most of the liquid of the sauce is evaporated. Taste for seasoning at this point, and add S&P to taste.
Remove the laurel leaves, and serve with hot corn tortillas. And those pickled onions, of course. But that is for another post.
You can serve this with rice, too, like Abuela does in her video.

Bacon Tomato Chicken Salad

So….it would appear I am slightly obsessed with chicken salads. Were I not blogging, I might never have known. However, this chicken salad is so fucking tasty you may just forget every chicken salad post before. 

Tender chicken, crisp bacon, tangy tomato....oh, my!
Tender chicken, crisp bacon, tangy tomato….oh, my!


Seriously, this is amazing.  Worth an extreme close up, even.

Where's the toast?!
Where’s the toast?! Dammit, make me a sammich!


Easy peasy ! Whisk together the sauce….


...add in the chopped.
…add in the chopped.


Crunchy bacon! Tender chicken! Tangy tomato! Subtly sweet celery sauce! Let’s do this!
For the dressing
1/3 c. mayo
1 Tbsp. dijon
1Tbsp rice vinegar
1 Tbsp sugar
¼ tsp. celery seed
2 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley
For the salad
2 cooked chicken breasts (about 1#), chopped.*
1/3 c. seeded, diced tomato
1/3-1/2 c. (about 4 strips) of cooked bacon, chopped
3 green onions, chopped
Whisk together the dressing ingredients.
Stir in the salad ingredients.
Serve immediately.

Tarragon Chicken Salad

Trader Joe’s gets what they call “champagne grapes” this time of year.  They’re gorgeous, tight bunches of teensy, super-sweet and seedless gems.  I just couldn’t get them out of my mind this week, thinking of them in a variation of a Waldorf salad. Turned out pretty tasty.  I’m losing the light this evening, and alas have but one semi-decent image. 

Creamy avocado, grapes, and pecans with the chicken in a tarragon sauce. Yum.
Creamy avocado, grapes, pecans with the chicken in a tarragon sauce. Yum.


Perhaps losing the light foreshadows the coming end to summer. Well, we’re going to enjoy our no-cook late summer supper, and hope you try it, too. 

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Mediterranean Chicken Tajine

Salt and pepper.

Bread and butter. 

Summer and tomatoes……..

A few months back I had a serious cook-on for this tajine at World Market. After dithering over several visits, I finally said “the hell with it!” and just bought the damn thing.  It has looked very lovely collecting dust on my sideboard since.  Until this morning, when I discovered my buttermilk had decided to grow hair and the scheduled asiago thyme scones were off the board. I was bemoaning my fate, looking at these gorgeous tomatoes on the counter when that beautiful cerulean babe called to me from her place of disuse.  And I answered, dammit.

Browned chicken breasts, with a little white wine to deglaze…
Those gorgeous toms, plus what I had in the fridge.
Tajine joy, ready for the oven.
Tajine joy, ready for the oven.


And tender, flavorful lusciousness, ready to consume!
And tender, flavorful lusciousness, ready to consume!


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Crisp & Crunchy Curry Chicken Salad



We do love us some curry chicken salad at our house.  And when I discovered that the deli counter at Safeway sells shredded rotisserie chicken breast for $5.99/# – I was ON IT!  This is fast, easy, moderately healthy and although it does involve some chopping, no cooking is required!

Dudes! Get some chicken!Mix it all up with a little mayo (or Greek yogurt, if you’re lucky enough to be able to eat dairy), and let’s eat!


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