Turkey Meat Loaf
Posted Sun, 10/19/14
A unique but appetizing twist on meat loaf from McCormick:
Confetti Turkey Meat Loaf
2 LBS ground turkey
1/2 C plain breadcrumbs
1/2 C grated carrot
1/2 C grated zucchini
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning
1/2 tsp. salt
1 C ketchup
Preheat oven to 350-swgrees F. In a large bowl, mix together ground turkey, bread crumbs, carrot, zucchini, egg and seasonings. Shape into a loaf; place in a shallow baking pan. Pour ketchup over top. Bake for fifty-five to sixty minutes, or until meat loaf is cooked through. Allow to stand for five minutes before serving.
Scrumptious and colorful, and relatively easy to prepare.
Quick "Southern" Brunch
Posted Sun, 10/19/14
Although Biscuits & Gravy is one of my favorite breakfast and/or brunch meals, I typically only prepare and eat it two or three times a year. While utterly tasty, the contents and preparation thereof are not known to be the healthiest of food arrays.
The following is my original recipe for Biscuits & Gravy, but today I assembled something entirely different.
Biscuits & Gravy
4 bacon strips, fried & drained
3 sausage links, fried, drained & sliced thin
1/2 C to 3/4 C Bisquick Baking Mix
Salt & black pepper to taste
1 C milk (or more to regulate gravy consistency)
1 container Pillsbury Biscuits
Cook the biscuits according to package directions. Fry bacon in a large skillet until crisp; drain on paper towels. Important: Reserve grease in skillet. Fry link sausage in a skillet until cooked; drain on paper towels and then slice. Add Bisquick Baking Mix to grease in skillet; brown over medium to medium-high heat and mash lumps with a fork or a whisk. Add salt and black pepper to taste. Add milk, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens. Add more milk if necessary to thin gravy. Keep in mind the longer you stir over high heat the thicker the gravy will become. Add link sausage slices, stir and heat through. When desired gravy consistency is reached, remove from heat and ladle over biscuits. Serve. Use the leftover bacon as a side accompaniment.
Shenanchie's Note: I learned how to make biscuits and gravy in 1981, taught by my aunt Delores O'Toole, who is a native of Shawnee, Oklahoma. Over the years, I've made my own adjustments to the basic recipe, changing from flour to Bisquick Baking Mix early on. The mix gives an extra-rich flavor to the gravy. However, the gravy can also be made using flour to preference.
I didn't have any biscuits or bacon, so I cooked link sausages and made gravy from the grease (using Bisquick and milk as usual, along with salt and black pepper). I also fried two frozen hash brown patties and toasted an English muffin to accompany the meal.
Not bad for a "quick" southern brunch.
Kikkoman Halloween Treat
Posted Fri, 10/03/14
The following is an unusual but tasty Halloween treat from Kikkoman:
Crispy Apple Rings
2 C Kikkoman Panko
3/4 C sugar, divided
3 tsp. cinnamon, divided
1 C Kikkoman Tempura Batter Mix
2 TBS cornstarch
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 C Kikkoman Pearl Organic Original Soymilk
Vegetable oil for deep frying
1 C powdered sugar
Mix together Panko, 1/2 cup sugar and one teaspoon cinnamon in a medium bowl; set aside. In a large bowl, stir together Tempura Batter Mix, cornstarch, baking powder, salt and remaining 1/4 cup sugar and two teaspoons of cinnamon. Add Soymilk to the flour mixture with a whisk to make a smooth batter. Peel the apples and slice into six circles. Remove seeds from each apple ring with a sharp knife. Add apple rings to the batter, coating all sides. Heat a deep fryer or a large pan to 350-degrees F; add 1-1/2 to 2 inches vegetable oil. Dredge battered apple rings through the panko crumbs and place in the hot oil, several at a time so they don't touch. Fry until brown, then flip and brown the other side. Remove from oil and drain on a paper towel. Cook the remaining coated apple rings. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve warm. Recipe makes twenty-four servings.
Soupy Day in the Kitchen
Posted Fri, 09/26/14
I haven't prepared homemade soup in quite awhile, but yesterday settled in to make a big batch of pasta and vegetable goodness.
(Above): Ingredients for Chicken & Vegetable Pasta Soup.
Click on image to view larger size in a new window.
The soup is mostly comprised of fresh vegetables and ditalini pasta, although at the last minute I also tossed in lightly-breaded chicken tenders (chopped).
Chicken & Vegetable Pasta Soup
3/4 C baby carrots, chopped
1/2 purple onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, peeled & minced
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 small zucchini, sliced
1 small yellow squash, peeled & sliced
1 small acorn squash, peeled & cubed
2 fresh ears corn, shucked & kernels scraped off
1 small head cauliflower, cut into small florets
1/2 head green cabbage, roughly chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded & sliced into strips
1 broccoli crown (without stem), broken into small florets
1 pkg. (8 oz.) sliced button mushrooms
Fresh parsley, chopped
1 container (32 oz.) vegetable broth
1 container (32 oz.) chicken broth
Water (if needed)
1-1/2 LBS cooked & lightly-breaded chicken tenders, chopped
1 C ditalini pasta, cooked & drained
Salt & black pepper to taste
4 TBS soy sauce
Heat olive oil in a large cooking pot over medium heat. Add chopped carrots; cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the remaining ingredients (except for water, chicken and pasta). Stir and simmer on medium-low, partially covered, for about one hour to ninety minutes. In a separate cooking pot, boil ditalini pasta according to package directions; drain and set aside. Chop chicken tenders; set aside. After soup has cooked, gently stir in prepared pasta and chicken. Add water if soup appears dry. Heat through (three to five minutes). Serve. Freeze unused portions.
(Above): Chicken & Vegetable Pasta Soup. Click on image to view larger size in a new window.
Frozen peas were the only non-fresh vegetable in my soup, although I prefer the frozen variety anyway as opposed to mushy canned peas.
The recipe made a massive amount. I filled two large tupperware containers along with five quart-sized freezer bags. The soup will see me many months into the future.
New Blog Digs
Posted Tue, 09/16/14
I've wanted to change the overall design of Appetizing Muse for many years, but could never find or create a template that struck my fancy. I've found it now (you're looking at it): red and green scheme, with a fairly simple layout. I created page header buttons using the "Nadall" font, which reminds me of the print style found on old movie posters.
I've included blog archives from 2003 onwards, so in essence the history of Appetizing Muse has spanned fourteen years. The design has changed only three times. The first template (2003-2010) was narrow with blue-purple colors and linked calendar, while the second (2010-April 2014) was green and yellow. (Click on images below to view larger samples in a new window).
The design will not likely change for another several years. While tromping down memory lane during assembly of the archives was enjoyable, reconstituting more than a decade's worth of blog posts was a long, tedious process and not one I'll willingly undertake again. When all was said and done, 1,182 pages constituted the new blog (exhausting just to hear the number). Still, re-visiting my culinary and personal past was rather bittersweet. I was all of forty-one years old when Appetizing Muse began, so do the math. My late husband Wilbert Alviso was also frequently mentioned in blog posts during 2003-2007, which brought him back to life for me in an odd way as I edited the many archives.
The re-design process was also long because of several personal issues. My mother was diagnosed with stage five-into-six Alzheimer's disease in May 2014. The months (and to some extent, years) leading up to the diagnosis were nearly unbearable. The associated mind slippage has been growing worse over time, culminating with threats of self-harm and wanderings. The situation accelerated beyond anyone's control, therefore Mum was placed in a care facility which caters to patients with Alzheimer's disease. My own health issues - along with those of my father - have also grown worse recently, seeming to come on just as Mum was going through her transition into managed care. There were many days when I just wanted to give up and hide my head under a pillow, but I pressed on. Pecking away on the Appetizing Muse archives helped keep my mind occupied.
Some things haven't changed, though. I have yet to find a reliable or cost-realistic commenting system that works with my web host, so the ability to leave real-time comments after blog posts is still not available. However, anyone wishing to send a message or question about a particular blog post (whether new or ancient) can do so by filling out the general Comments form.
*Related Blog Posts:
Tamales & Tomato Soup II
Posted Mon, 09/15/14
Many years ago I concocted a simple recipe using tamales and tomato soup. It was such a tasty treat, and one I've enjoyed many times since.
Today for lunch I put together an even simpler variation of the dish, which includes only two ingredients:
Tamales & Tomato Soup II
2 Ruiz frozen tamales (beef or chicken), cooked
1 container (15.4 oz.) Campbell's tomato soup ("Soup to Go")
Cook tamales in microwave according to package directions; allow to cool before removing corn husks. Chop tamales into bite-sized pieces. Heat soup according to container directions. Pour hot soup into a large serving bowl; gently stir in cooked tamales pieces. Heat an additional minute in the microwave if necessary. Serve. Recipe makes enough for one or two servings.
(Above): Tamales & Tomato Soup. Click on images to view larger sizes in a new window.
Ruiz tamales are the best, so I'd recommend their beef or chicken flavors for use in the above recipe.
*Related Blog Post: Tamales & Tomato Soup (10/10/03).