Saturday, January 29, 2011

Turkey Meat Loaf Burgers with Cranberry Sauce and White Cheddar

Contrary to my last few posts, I have prepared food that is not made of chocolate!  Earlier this month I was reading through some of my favorite blogs and found Turkey Meat Loaf Burgers with Cranberry Sauce and White Cheddar posted at Brenda's Canadian Kitchen.  I love a good burger now and then and this one really appealed to me...turkey burgers are more healthy and this has cranberry sauce and white cheddar!!  Now what could be better than Thanksgiving in a bun?  I loved the idea of apples and poultry seasoning....these were delicious burgers and would be just as delicious as a meatloaf.

Brenda shared that this recipe originally came from Rachael Ray's Look + Cook.  I don't own any of Rachael's cookbooks however, I do watch her cooking show on occasion.  I will be checking out this cookbook.  Heaven knows that I need another cookbook (once I figure out where to put it)!  

I followed Brenda's recommendation and used Panko breadcrumbs and I used wheat hamburger buns.  Those were good choices. My cheddar ended up shredded because I grabbed the wrong brick of cheese when I was making another dish...after shredding and eating as I shredded....I realized I had the wrong cheese.  Turkey burgers don't care if the cheese on top is shredded!

Turkey Meat Loaf Burgers 
with Cranberry Sauce and White Cheddar

4 T (1/2 stick) butter
1 small or 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1 small celery stalk, finely chopped
1 small McIntosh apple, peeled, cored, and finely chopped
salt and pepper
1/3 cup bread crumbs 
1 pound ground turkey
2 tsp. poultry seasoning 
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
2 T Dijon mustard
1 medium egg
extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
4 slices sharp white cheddar, for topping the burgers
4 sandwich-size sourdough English muffins 
1/3 cup whole-berry cranberry sauce
3 T sour cream
2 T chopped fresh chives
4 thin slices red onion (I didn't have a red onion so I used a was surprisingly great!)
4 red leaf or red romaine lettuce leaves (All I had was iceberg.)

Heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the butter to melt, then add the apple, onion and celery; season with salt and pepper.  Cover and cook until softened, 3 to 4 minutes.  Stir in the breadcrumbs, then transfer to a bowl to cool; reserve the skillet.  Mix in the turkey, egg, parsley, mustard and poultry seasoning; season with salt and pepper.  Form into patties.

Wipe out the reserved skillet and add a liberal drizzle of olive oil.  Warm over medium-high heat, add the burgers and cook, turning once, until cooked through, 11 to 12 minutes. Top with the cheddar during the last minute. 

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix the cranberry sauce, sour cream and chives. 

Serve the burgers on the English muffins with the red onion, lettuce and cranberry-sour cream sauce.

Serves 4.


Visit Brenda's Kitchen when you have a chance.  She has so many yummy recipes to share.  
You will enjoy your time there!  

Friday, January 28, 2011

Whoopie Do and Whoopie Pies for Me and You!!

What can I saw about Whoopie Pies?  Well, I think I judged without trying them...or I tried a very bad one.  The idea of a chocolate cookie/cake squishing marshmallow cream out the edges...well, it just didn't appeal.  That said,

I am rethinking my initial opinion!

It is a good thing to rethink on occasion....especially in this case!!

I love the Whoopie Pies I just made!  They were moist, they were light, the marshmallow cream wasn't so sweet that I was perfect! This is me...the lady who gives her sweets away so that too many are not consumed by me....I am consuming the Whoopie Pies!!  Help is needed!

I would have never made Whoopie Pies if I had not had the good fortune to receive a few goodies in the mail from Solo!  If you recall, I made some Almond Crescent Cookies a few posts ago using Solo's Almond filling.  They were delicious.  I have been anxious to try out some of the goodies that I received.

Since we have been craving chocolate my daughter and I decided we would make the Whoopie Pies.

This was so quick and easy!  We were eating Whoopie Pies within the hour.  How great is that?!  This mix would be perfect for the young aspiring cook in your family.  There are two packages inside...the cake and the marshmallow filling. the marshmallow cream ooze out the sides...yum!  So simple and so good!

I think, after I hike a few miles.....I will make some more!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Strasbourg Rooftops and Red Wine Pot Roast with Honey and Thyme

When it is cold and foggy I immediately think of comfort food.  I want to activate the senses...the house needs to be nice and warm and there must be the smell of "something" in the oven wafting through the house.   I had a chuck roast in the freezer and pot roast on my mind!  We all have made pot roast numerous ways.  Sometimes I wonder if I have made it the same way twice!  I have...but I do like to vary it now and again.  I had some red wine, beef broth, onions, potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots and thyme so I could start from there.  There would be mashed potatoes and gravy too!   Cold weather, hardy meal equals comfort!

Red Wine Pot Roast with Honey and Thyme

1 chuck roast
Salt and fresh ground pepper
4-5 Tbs olive oil
1 medium onion, large dice
3 cloves garlic, mashed
5 carrots, peeled, rough cut
1 large sweet potato
2 cups beef broth
2 cups red wine (medium-bodied)
1-2 Tbs tomato paste
2 Tbs honey
6 sprigs thyme
6-7 potatoes, peeled, chunked (can be added to pot or make mashed potatoes)
1 Tbs butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Season roast with salt and pepper. Heat oil in large oven-safe pot.  Brown the meat well on all sides, about 10-12 minutes.  Remove and set aside on a plate.  Lower heat to medium and saute the onions, garlic for five minutes.  Add the broth, tomato paste, wine, honey and thyme.  Stir to combine.  Put the roast back in the pot.

Cover and transfer to the oven.  Bake for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, turn the meat once.  After one hour, add the sweet potatoes, potatoes if you aren't mashing them, and carrots.  Cover and continue to bake until the vegetables and meat are fork tender.

Remove the meat and vegetables from the pot.  If you are mashing the potatoes, thicken the sauce to make gravy and finish with the butter.


On our rainy tour of Strasbourg, I was craving comfort food.  It was cold, I was wet, the camera lens seemed to always have a water spot and I was hungry!  The rooftop talk didn't help.  What?  A rooftop talk?

Yes, I learned that the very old homes have small openings/vents in the roof.   Hundreds of years ago, the families stored their food in the attic and the openings allowed the air in so that the food was kept cool.  What about the summer, you ask....I had the same question.  I did a little research and didn't find too much other than keeping food dried out preserved it and what better way than keeping it in a warm and airy place?

I looked at a lot of rooftops....and thought about food...wish I had had some pot roast!

I am sending this over to Susan at A Southern Daydreamer for Outdoor Wednesday.  Thank you for hosting, Susan!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Michel Rostang's Double Chocolate Mousse Cake

I really tried to not eat sweets after the holidays.  I meant to stick with my promise to be good.  But, what does one do when everybody in the house is craving sweets?  Well, one thinks of a reason to make something!  I came up with my rationale easily.  I visited Dorie Greenspan's webpage, French Fridays with Dorie, to see what I was supposed to be making...I have been a bit lax lately and thought I would make an effort to get back in the groove.  I was in luck!  This was the week for Michel Rostang's Double Chocolate Mousse Cake.  There couldn't have been anything that would have had more appeal.

The wonderful aroma that wafted through the house had everybody anxiously waiting...but there were questions...."What?  It has to cool for how long?  Then it has to chill for how many hours?  Geeez mom!"  Oh, but it was well worth the wait!

This was an easy cake to make.  The mousse was smooth, like velvet....just like the first bite..this cake is velvety and rich.  It isn't overly sweet.  It just has a wonderfully deep chocolate flavor that had all of us savoring each bite.

I hope that Santa brought you Dorie's cookbook, Around My French Table.  It is a delightful read packed with super recipes.  (You can find the recipe on page 446.)  If Santa didn't put a copy in your stocking maybe he will bring you one for Valentine's Day! ....or bring you one, just because!

I am linking this to French Fridays with Dorie.  Stop by if you have time and take a look at the variety of recipes that have been made and what is coming up!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Streets of Strasbourg

While in Strasbourg, France I must have become fascinated by the streets, rooftops and doors...I say that based upon my pictures!  Today I am sharing the doorways that intrigued me for their age as well as variety in design and color.

The year above the doorway indicates when the building was constructed!  
1761!  Wow!

This date on this one is 1747!

The Strasbourg Cathedral is unbelievable!  It was constructed between 1284 and 1439 and is Romanesque and Gothic in design.  The spire extends upward 466 feet.

I am sending my walk to Susan at A Southern Daydreamer for Outdoor Wednesday.

Thank you for hosting, Susan!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Dutch Cheese Soup

Last week I got an email from Viking River Cruises.  I was surprised to find that there was a recipe included in the email! Throughout the entire Rhine River cruise we sampled local cuisine that was wonderful.  Sending a recipe brought back great memories of the fantastic dining we experienced!

The recipe was for Dutch Cheese Soup.  I was really thrilled to see a soup recipe.  It has been cold and foggy here.  When the dampness sets in, soup comes to mind.  This particular soup looked quite tasty and reminded me of the various cheeses that we sampled on our journey and during our stay in Amsterdam.

This is a quick and easy dish for when the dinner hour is approaching and you have just gotten home!

I did make a couple of changes to the recipe.  The ingredient list didn't include any herbs and since I had a bundle of fresh thyme in the refrigerator, I added some.  I also accidentally purchased Hickory Smoked Gouda.  That worked out fine as it was a good match with the Canadian bacon.

Dutch Cheese Soup
adapted from Viking River Cruises

Serves 4

1/4 cup vegetable oil (I used olive oil.)
2 Tbs butter
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 cup diced cauliflower
2 potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 cup carrots, cut into 1/2 inch cubes (I used two carrots, 1/4-1/2 inch slices)
1/2-1 tsp fresh thyme
4 cups chicken stock
4 ounces Canadian bacon, diced
5 ounces Gouda cheese, thinly sliced (I used one round about 7 ounces.)
8 slices sourdough baguette
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil on medium-high heat in a 1 1/2 quart saucepan.  Add onion and saute until softened.  Add cauliflower, carrots, and potatoes; saute for 5 minutes.  Add the fresh thyme during the last minute.  Stir in chicken stock and bring to a boil.  In a small skillet, heat the butter.  Add the Canadian bacon and saute until lightly browned.  Add bacon to soup.  Reduce heat to low and cover, simmering until vegetables are tender (about 15 minutes). Ladle soup into four individual flameproof crocks or bowls.  Top each portion with two bread slices and 1/4 of the cheese.  Place under the broiler until cheese is bubbly.  Serve immediately.


It only takes a spoonful of thyme to prepare this meal.  The family loved it!  I will be making this recipe again!
Um, Um Good!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Breisach, Germany

After the morning trip to the Black Forest, we decided to take a walk through the little city of Breisach which is in the Rhine Valley situated halfway between Freibrug and Colmar. It is in the state of Baden-Wurttemberg. The city dates back over 4,000 years!

We started our walk from the dock to the center of town.  From this location we could see our destination, the cathedral, St. Stephansmunster situated on a hill, high above us.

As we hiked up the hill to the cathedral, on narrow cobblestone roads and paths, we had to pass under Hagenbach Tower. 

 The tower was constructed in 1319.  

It was originally a prison for citizens and where Governor Peter of Hagenbach from Burgundy was imprisoned in 1474, prior to his execution for murder, breach of oath and rape.

St. Stephansmunster looks out over the town and the Rhine River.  It was built from the end of the 12th century on into the 15th century.  The cathedral houses numerous treasures and artwork. As the construction of the cathedral spanned centuries, Romanesque and High Gothic elements are evident.  Taking pictures inside the cathedral was not permitted.

We left the cathedral on a winding cobblestone street.  As we headed back to the ship we enjoyed visiting the hotels and shopping areas.

It was so much fun to have time to explore the city of Breisach, Germany!

I am participating in Outdoor Wednesday at A Southern Daydreamer.  Thank you, Susan for hosting us!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Shrimp Remoulade

Shrimp can be really, really great or it can be less than wonderful.  I have eaten both kinds.  I have made both kinds.  I have actually made rubber shrimp...I am certain that they could have bounced they were so  rubbery.  That is definitely not the case with the Shrimp Remoulade that I recently made.

The shrimp preparation was different than what I had done in the past.  (After my rubber shrimp disaster I usually bowed to the Kitchen Gnome to cook the shrimp.)  I decided I would give it a worked!!  Awesome succulent, flavorful shrimp!!  I recommend that you give this preparation a try.

The remoulade sauce was delicious.  I wish I could have thought of something else to use it with as I had extra and hated to let it go to waste.  Alas, I could not.

The group gave this appetizer a big thumbs up!!

Shrimp Remoulade
adapted from The Best of Fine Cooking, Dinner Parties, Spring 2008

Yield:  8 as appetizer
1 1/3 cups sauce

Remoulade Sauce
1 Tbs white-wine vinegar
1 Tbs prepared yellow mustard
2 Tbs Creole mustard (Country-style Dijon mustard may be substituted.)
2 tsp tomato paste
1 small clove garlic
Dash of Tabasco sauce
1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 large egg
1/4 tsp paprika
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 Tbs. chopped scallions (white and pale green parts from 2 scallions)
3 Tbs chopped celery
2 Tbs chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Kosher salt

For the shrimp
1/3 cup kosher salt (in two parts)
1 Tbs cayenne
2 Tbs whole black peppercorns
2 lemons, cut in quarters
1 large clove garlic
4 bay leaves
1 medium onion, diced
1 1/2 lb large (21-25 per pound) shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails left on

Make the sauce:  In a food processor, combine the vinegar, mustards, tomato paste, garlic, Tabasco, lemon juice, egg, and paprika.  Pulse to mix.  With the processor running, slowly add the oil in a steady stream.  Add the scallions, celery, parsley, and salt to taste; pulse briefly to combine.  Overprocessing may cause separation.  Chill

Prepare the shrimp:  In a 6 to 8 quart pan, combine 1 gallon water with 1/4 cup salt, the cayenne, peppercorns, lemon, garlic, bay leaves, and onion.  Bring to a boil and then simmer for 15 minutes.  Add the shrimp and cook until they're pink and just barely opaque through the center, about 3 minutes.  Pull the shrimp from the boil and put them in a large bowl.  Cover with ice and then add 2 cups of the boil liquid to the iced shrimp.  Soak for 5 minutes. Add the remaining salt.  When the shrimp are well chilled, drain.

Arrange shrimp on a platter with the remoulade sauce.
To serve as a plated appetizer, dip each shrimp in the remoulade sauce to coat and arrange on a bed of leafy lettuce that has been cut into strips.


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Black Forest and a Trifle

I was so excited this fall to have the opportunity to visit the Black Forest.  My ancestors are from this region of Germany and for me to "walk where they walked" was very moving.  As an avid genealogist I really wanted to stop and do some research but that was for another time.  This trip was to see the area and be awed by the beauty.

We visited St. Margen on a plateau in the southern Black Forest.

The countryside was beautiful.  It was October and about 35°F when we were there but it didn't matter!

We visited a wayside on our return that had the world's largest cuckoo was fun to watch it strike the hour.  This particular stop is also known for those who have spent the night on their journey through the area.  Marie Antoinette and Goethe both stayed in the lodgings available here!

There was also an opportunity to sample a very large piece of Black Forest Cake.  The cake usually has four layers of chocolate cake, cherries, and whipped cream.  It is frosted with whipped cream and covered with chocolate shavings.  Of course, each of the layers is brushed with Kirschwasser (cherry schnaps or brandy).  Delicious.

Historians believe that the cake originated in the 16th century in the Black Forest Region (Der Schwarzwald in German) located in the state of Baden-Wurttemberg.  It was during this era that chocolate was first used in cakes and cookies.  This region is also known for its sour cherries and Kirsch...I cannot think of a more winning combination!  It is thought that the cake was named after the cherry brandy/Kirsch.

Today I want to share with you the Black Forest Trifle that I made.  It is delicious and easy!  I did not have time for make a four layer cake so I did a little improvising....I am certain that my ancestors will forgive me!

I must fess-up....I used a brownie mix....

Black Forest Trifle

6-8 individual trifles (large)

Prepare Brownie mix as directed.

24 ounce jar of Morello Cherries in syrup
2-3 Tbsp Kirsch or Cherry Brandy (to your taste)
2 Tbsp sugar

Whipped Cream
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 Tbsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp Kirsch or Cherry Brandy

Shaved or grated milk chocolate

When the brownies have cooled, cut 6-8 brownies.

To make the cherry sauce, drain the cherries, reserving the liquid.  In a small saucepan simmer the liquid along with the Kirsch and sugar.  Simmer for about 7 minutes or until the sauce is syrupy.  Remove from heat and add the drained cherries.  Let the sauce cool before assembling.

Whip the cream, sugar and Kirsch/brandy in a bowl using a hand mixer until stiff peaks form.

To assemble the trifles:  Take the brownie and break it into bite-size pieces.  Place a few of the pieces in the bottom of the dish.  Next place a spoonful of the cherries and their juices on top of the brownies.  Place a large dollop of the whipped cream on top of the cherries.  Repeat the layers, starting with the brownies.  Cover and refrigerate for 4 to 24 hours to allow the flavors to mingle.

Just before serving sprinkle each trifle with grated or shaved chocolate and top with a cherry.


The trifles were delicious and kept well!  I had a second helping on the next day!!  It was too good to not eat.

I am sharing this at Susan's site, A Southern Daydreamer, for Outdoor Wednesday;

and at Michael's site Designs by Gollum for Foodie Friday.