Saturday, June 30, 2012

Spicy Orange Chipotle-Glazed Turkey Tenderloins

I was thumbing through, yet another, new cookbook, Simple Weeknight Favorites from America's Test Kitchen when I found a great suggestion for turkey.  If cookbooks weren't my weakness, I would blame my friend, Chris, for sharing about this one.  She mentions on Facebook some great meals that she has prepared from this cookbook.  The lady really needs a blog but since she doesn't have one, I had to add the book to my you know why I was reading another cookbook....and thinking about turkey, in June.

I love turkey.  I love Thanksgiving.  I love all of the leftovers that go along with a roasted turkey.  Since that is true, why is it that I never seem to have turkey at any other time of year?   It might be availability.  But it's probably our hot weather...who wants an oven on all day when it is over 102° F outside?  Not me.  That is why the recipe for Spicy Orange Chipotle-Glazed Turkey Tenderloins caught my eye.  No oven involved!

Spicy Orange Chipotle-Glazed 
Turkey Tenderloins
America's Test Kitchen

3/4 cup orange juice (2 oranges)
1/4 cup lime juice (2 limes)
1/4 packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp molasses
2 tsp minced canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce
2 (8 to 12 ounce) turkey tenderloins, trimmed
Salt and pepper
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

Stir orange juice, lime juice, brown sugar, molasses, and chipotle in small bowl.  Pat tenderloins dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.

Heat oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking.  Cook turkey until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes.  Reduce heat to medium.  Add orange juice mixture and cook, turning turkey occasionally, until turkey registers 160 degrees, 14 to 17 minutes.  Transfer turkey to cutting board, tent loosely with foil, and let rest for 5 minutes.

Simmer glaze until thick and syrupy, 3 to 4 minutes.  Cut tenderloins crosswise into 1/2 -inch thick slices and arrange on platter.  Stir cilantro into glaze and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Pour glaze over turkey and serve.


That was really simple and quite tasty. I loved the combination of sweet, hot, and smoky from the molasses and the chipotle. It is an all around winner to us.

The next time I make it I will cook the tenderloins longer initially.  Mine may have been larger than the ones used in the Test Kitchen, but it took longer than 17 minutes to reach the recommended internal temperature which caused the sauce to thicken too soon.  That aside....This is worthy of a repeat performance. time with sweet potatoes!

The best part, is that I got to have turkey in June!

I am participating in On the Menu Monday hosted by Yvonne at Stone Gable.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Lofthouse Sugar Cookie Bars

Every once in a while my sweet tooth takes over and everything with sugar looks wonderful.  My friend, Brenda, at Brenda's Canadian Kitchen tempts me frequently.  Last week I saw her recipe for Lofthouse Sugar Cookie Bars.  She commented that she made the cookie dough but was too lazy to make individual cookies so she put the dough in a jelly roll pan...  I was feeling pretty lazy myself....I liked the idea of making cookie bars.  These were simple and didn't overtly advertise additional inches for one's body!

Brenda mentioned that some of the recipes that she had seen included cream cheese but it wasn't her preference.  I went searching and comparing recipes that used cream cheese.  My spritz cookie dough is made with  cream cheese and I love those little I knew that I would love sugar cookie bars with cream cheese!

Lofthouse Sugar Cookie Bars
adapted from Cookies and Cups

1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup butter, room temperature
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda

Preheat over to 350° F.

Lightly grease a jelly roll pan and line it with parchment paper.  Lightly grease the parchment paper with butter.

On medium speed, cream the butter, cream cheese and sugar together.  Add the egg and vanilla.  Mix until just incorporated.

With the mixer on low, add in your dry ingredients:  flour, baking powder, and baking soda.  Mix until combined.

Press dough evenly into your prepared pan.   (Dough will  be sticky.)

Bake for 20 minutes until  edges begin to golden.

Cool completely before frosting.


These were tasty!  I had do trouble eating one or two and then sharing with everybody in the neighborhood....these may not overtly threaten inches...but, you see, it is the covert cookies you need to watch!  Enjoy.  We did.

I am sharing at Full Plate Thursday hosted by Miz Helen's  Country Cottage and  Foodie Friday hosted by Michael at Rattlebridge Farm.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Kubota Gardens, Seattle, WA

The Kubota Gardens in Seattle, Washington is an urban garden refuge featuring streams, waterfalls, ponds, rock outcroppings and mature plants representing the life-time vision and commitment of the Kubota Family.  The vision of the patriarch, Fujitaro Kubota, was to display the beauty of the Northwest in a Japanese manner.

As we walked through the gardens this spring, I was amazed at the beauty and tranquility that surrounded every pathway and vista.

Thank you for joining me on the walk around the gardens.  I am participating in Outdoor Wednesday, hosted by Susan at A Southern Daydreamer.  It is the perfect weather for the great outdoors...stop by A Southern Daydreamer and take a peak  at what is happening around the country and world!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Linguine with Clam Sauce

In the spring, we met some friends on Bainbridge Island, WA for a week of vacation.  We all love to cook and Mr. T wanted to recreate a clam dish that Mr. G had made on a fishing trip a few years back.  That sounded good to the two, we labored and prepared the appetizers.  We did need something to munch on while we lounged about waiting for dinner!

Ever since the fishing trip I had heard about the wonderful clams that Mr. G had made.  I was eager to sample them and wasn't disappointed!

Linguine with Clam Sauce

8 ounces uncooked linguine
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup chopped onions
1 can (14 1/2 oz) stewed Italian-style tomatoes, drained and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp dried basil leaves (we made a chiffonade of fresh basil)
1/2 cup dry white wine or chicken broth (we used wine, of course)
1 can (10 oz) whole baby clams, drained, juice reserved (we used fresh clams)
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black  pepper

Cook linguine according to package directions.  Rinse, drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat oil in large skillet over medium heat until hot.   Add onions, cook and stir 3 minutes. Add tomatoes, garlic and basil, cook and stir 3 minutes  Stir in wine and reserved clam  juice; bring to a boil and simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes.

Stir in clams, parsley, salt and pepper.  Cook 1 to 2 minutes or until heated through.  Spoon over linguine.  Serve immediately.


It was a week of good friends, great conversation, delicious food and lots of wonderful wine!

I am participating  in Full Plate Thursday hosted by Miz Helen's Country Cottage and Foodie Friday hosted by Michael at Rattlebridge Farm.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Crawfish Feed!!

Never having been to a Crawfish Feed, I was thrilled to get a call  from our neighbors inviting us to a Crawfish Feed at there home!!  How fun is this going to be!?  Our host and hostess had everything  decorated and ready for the evening.  There was new learning...crawfish have pincers that can hurt!

The crawfish were flown in from Louisiana, hosed downed and, well, boiled....

...Round about the cauldron go...

There was no fillet of snake, eye of newt, toe of frog, or tongue of dog..., 
just crawfish, corn and potatoes!

Double, double, toil and trouble
Fire burn and cauldron bubble...

This was one big cauldron to stir...

At just the right time, everything was tossed out on the table and the serious work began....creating piles of empty crawfish the raccoon in the area were wishing they had been invited!

There were many light moments...lots of great laughs, great company and wonderful food!  
A great evening was had by all!

Cheers to our wonderful host and hostess!!

I am participating in Outdoor Wednesday hosted by Susan at A Southern Daydreamer!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Disappearing Pork Tenderloin

Wow! Today is Secret Recipe Club reveal day.  I was really excited when I got my assignment for the month.  You see, last month, Aimee, at from Chapel Hill to Chickenville, was assigned my blog...this month, my secret blog was Aimee's!  How serendipitous is that? Aimee has had an adventurous life.  Reading about her, I soon learned that she is a risk taker who found the love of her life on a singles camp out sponsored by her church.  She has four children who are not picky eaters and that is an accomplishment!  Aimee shares a variety of family recipes on her blog that her family loves and after sampling a few, I can see why!

 I combed Aimee's blog trying to narrow it down to one can do....I found three that I just had to try.  So, today is the first of the three:  Disappearing Pork Tenderloin on the Grill.  We love pork tenderloin and  I am always looking for new ways to prepare it.  I was also intrigued by the name...where did the tenderloin go?  Just how did it disappear?  After taking the first bite,  I got it....everybody ate it up, so, it disappeared!

Disappearing Pork Tenderloin

2 pork tenderloins, about 1 lb each

1/2 orange juice
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce 
1 tbsp molasses
1 tbsp minced garlic

2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper 
1 tsp kosher salt 
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp granulated garlic 

Whisk together the marinade ingredients. Separate the tenderloins and trim any excess fat from them. Put the tenderloins in a ziplock bag and pour in the marinade. Allow the pork to marinate in the refrigerator an hour or two.

Remove the tenderloins and discard the marinade. Coat both loins with the rub by patting it all over. Make sure the meat has enough time to come to room temperature before grilling.  If it has been in the refrigerator, let it sit on the counter for about 20 minutes.

Grill the tenderloins over indirect medium heat for about 25 minutes until the internal temp reads 155° F. on a thermometer.  When it's done, take it off the grill and put it on your serving platter. Then make a tent out of aluminum foil and put it over the pork. Let it rest for 5 minutes before slicing.

Aimee said that the recipe called for  pico de gallo but she decided not to  pair it with the tenderloin.  We love pico de gallo so I quickly chopped up a tomato, some onion, a jalapeno, garlic and cilantro to serve on the side.  It was delicious and a perfect balance to the meal.

Thank you Aimee for sharing a great tenderloin recipe with disappeared at my house, too!

I am pleased to be part of the Secret Recipe Club with cooks such as Aimee.  It is so much fun to get a blog assignment each month and find the perfect recipe to try and share on reveal day.  In case you are not familiar with the Secret Recipe Club, I will give you some background.  Each month club members are assigned a secret blog from which we select recipe to prepare and write about in a blog post.  We keep our assignment secret until  reveal day when everybody's posts appear at the same time.  That takes a little behind the scenes coordination by our new leader, April at Angel Foods Kitchen and Group C's leader, Angela at Big Bear's Wife.  Thanks to both of you!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Warm Spinach and Chicken Salad

As the temperatures go up I am looking for light meals to prepare for lunch or dinner.  While temperatures in the 90s aren't unreasonable, I still don't feel like standing in the kitchen over a warm stove.   Today's lunch was perfect!  It was light and just enough for lunch.

Warm Spinach and Chicken Salad

Serves 1-2

2 1/2 cups fresh baby spinach, cleaned, dried and torn
3 mushrooms, cleaned, dried and sliced
1 green onion, minced
3 oz. cooked chicken, cubed
2 slices bacon, center cut, chopped
2/3 Tbsp bacon drippings
1 1/2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp Fructose, granulated
1/8 tsp each salt and pepper
1 hard boiled egg, white only, diced
1 medium apple, sliced

Place the spinach in a large bowl  and add sliced mushrooms, chopped onion,  and cooked chicken.  Just before serving, fry bacon until crisp and remove from pan.  To hot bacon drippings,  add vinegar, lemon juice,  fructose, and salt and pepper until hot and bubbly.  Pour immediately over spinach and toss.  Sprinkle salad with diced egg whites and rumbled bacon.  Serve with apple slices.


This was a delicious salad that I will serve for dinner the next time that I make it.

Sharing today at On the Menu Monday hosted by Yvonne at Stone Gable.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble

It is spring and in the spring my favorite vegetable is ripe and readily available!  There aren't many times that we make a vegetable pie or a vegetable crumble that tastes so good, are there?  But, rhubarb is considered a vegetable.  It is closely related to garden sorrel and so it is a vegetable  as opposed to a fruit.  It was initially grown for medicinal purposes but in the 18th century in Britain and America it was grown for culinary purposes.

The stalks of the plant are edible and are used in pies, jams, jellies, sauces and juice, but the leaves are poisonous.  The leaves contain oxalic acid crystals which cause the tongue and throat to swell, preventing breathing.  I am glad that I didn't know that when I was little...I would have been scared and wouldn't have eaten it at all...I would have missed out on an my all-time favorite!

In an earlier post I mentioned Rustic Fruit Desserts by Cory Schreiber.  It is a cookbook that my daughter said was a "must have".  I never have to be told twice when it comes to cookbooks so this cute little book joined the library at Christmas.   Luckily, it is still on Google Books so you can take a look here.  There is a Rhubarb, Oat and Pecan Crumble in the book that is good but not as good as the recipe  posted by Marie at The English Kitchen.  Marie added strawberries to her crumble which really enhances the flavor, uses walnuts in the crumble instead of pecans and she also reduces the amount of fruit which I highly recommend.  Marie's version rocks!!

Strawberry-Rhubarb Crumble
adapted from Rustic Fruit Desserts by Cory Schreiber
and Marie at The English Kitchen

Preheat oven:  375° F.
Butter a large glass baking dish and set aside.

3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 pound rhubarb, trimmed, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 pound strawberries, hulled and quartered
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract

Make the crumble first.  Mix the flour, oats, sugar, salt and walnuts together in a bowl.  Pour the melted butter over the top.  Stir and press together to make a few small clumps.  Set the bowl in the freezer while you make the  filling.

To make the filling, mix together the cornstarch and sugar in a bowl, then add the rhubarb, strawberries and vanilla.  Toss gently until evenly coated.

Transfer the strawberry-rhubarb mixture into the prepared pan.  Remove the crumble from the freezer and scatter it over the top.

Bake for 45 minutes or until the topping is golden brown and the filling is bubbling around the edges.  Cool for about 20 minutes and serve.

This crumble is best eaten the day that it is prepared.  It does not keep very well and should be eaten within a few days.


This is so delicious!!  I made it three times last month.  The second and third times, I added a scoop of vanilla ice cream to the top.  That was a very good idea!

I know that I cannot let the summer go by without making it again. Delicious...delicious....I wonder what else Marie is cooking up?  She certainly knows how to make a great crumble!

I am participating in Full Plate Thursday hosted by Miz Helen's Country Cottage and Foodie Friday hosted by Michael at Rattlebridge Farm.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Baked Pasta with Spinach, Artichokes and Chicken

Mr. T came home with a 2.5 pound bag of fresh baby spinach last week!  We really like spinach but I must admit it has been a challenge to find multiple ways of serving spinach!

Needing a new recipe led me to my new cookbook, Pasta Revolution from America's Test Kitchen.   There were a number of recipes that caught my eye but I kept going back to Baked Penne with Spinach, Artichokes and Chicken!  I am happy that I did!  A casserole with lots of flavor and made without using a can of soup!  It is like turning the popular spinach and artichoke dip into casserole!!

I did make a few adjustments based upon what was in the pantry.  I switched out the penne for rotini and sadly, I didn't have the frozen artichokes required in the recipe so I used a can of artichoke hearts.

Baked Pasta with Spinach, Artichokes 
and Chicken
adapted from Pasta Revolution from America's Test Kitchen

Serves 6-8

12 ounces penne (3 1/2 cups)
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 onion, chopped fine
3 garlic cloves, crushed
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
18 ounces frozen artichoke hearts, thawed, patted dry, and quartered (I had one can of artichoke hearts, about 14 oz.)
10 ounces of frozen spinach, thawed, squeezed dry and chopped fine.  (I used fresh spinach which I steamed and chopped fine, about 8 ounces.)
10 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded (2 1/2 cups)
2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (1 cup)
2 Tbsp lemon juice
4 cups shredded cooked chicken

Preheat oven to 450° F.

In a large Dutch oven bring 4 quarts of water to a boil.  Add pasta and 1 tablespoon salt and cook, stirring often, until nearly al dente.  Drain pasta and set aside.

In another large pot, add butter, and melt over medium heat.  Add onion and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.  Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute.  Slowly whisk in broth and cream until smooth and bring to simmer.  Stir in artichokes and spinach and continue to simmer until vegetables are heated through, about 1 minute.

Stir in 1 1/2 cups mozzarella and 1/2 cup Parmesan until melted.  Off heat, stir in lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste.  fold in cooked pasta and shredded chicken, breaking up any clumps of pasta.  Pour into 13 X 9-inch baking dish and sprinkle with remaining 1 cup mozzarella and remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan.  Bake until bubbling around edges and cheese is spotty brown, 12 to 15 minutes.  Let cool for 10 to 15 minutes and serve.


When I saw the amount of spinach that Mr. T brought home I was a bit over-whelmed but I am so glad that he brought it home.  If he hadn't, I wouldn't have found this delicious recipe!!

Since I have been on a quest for ways to prepare spinach, earlier in the week, we had one of my favorites...Spinach Salad with Snappy Dressing.  It is a nice variation from wilted spinach and the snappy dressing is a perfect match.  

I also made a Spinach Chicken Salad which will be posted later this week.

I am participating in On the Menu Monday hosted by Yvonne at Stone Gable!  Take a look at all of the yummy dishes!!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Smokey Clam Dip

While thumbing through the current issue of Sunset Magazine, I came across a recipe for Smoky Clam Dip that I had to try.  Who wouldn't want a "5-minute crowd-pleaser snack"!

I had everything needed in the pantry so it really was going to happen!  Well, almost everything....I served it with crackers instead of chips.  While the recipe called for 1 to 1 1/2 cans of clams, I put in two cans.  We felt it was needed.

Smokey Clam Dip
adapted from Sunset Magazine, June 2012

8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 cup sour cream
1 garlic clove, minced
1 green onion, sliced
1 Tbsp flat-leaf parsley, minced
1 tsp sweet smoked Spanish paprika
2  6.5 oz cans minced clams, drained and liquid reserved

Whisk together cream cheese, sour cream, garlic, green onion, parsley and paprika.  Add clams and enough of the reserved clam liquid to create a good dipping consistency.

Serve with a variety of potato chips or crackers.

It truly takes just about five minutes to prepare.  Everybody commented on it so we know it was a hit! It is definitely something that I will make again.


I am sharing today at On the Menu Monday hosted by Yvonne at Stone Gable.