Thursday, October 30, 2014

Creamy Chipotle Turkey Sausage Lasagna

When the weather gets cold, or at least cooler here in AZ, I love nothing more than to make large batches of lasagna. They last a couple of days, and contrary to what your traditional mother tells you, the limits are endless as to what you can bake in between those beautiful noodles.  While I tried to convince my boyfriend to make a pumpkin kale lasagna with me, he simply stated that he was "pumpkin-ed out", and vetoed the option before I could say another world. In my defense, he ate about 10 pumpkin chocolate chip muffins the same day that I proposed this, so I guess I will have to accept defeat on that front. However, this smoky lasagna was my next suggestion, and it was an absolute home run (#sports). I used my mother's classic lasagna recipe as a starting point, and then added all of the flavors. Chipotle. Cream. Spinach. It's all there.

Creamy Chipotle Turkey Sausage Lasagna

  • 1/2 lb. ground Turkey
  • 1/2 lb. Italian turkey sausage
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 9 lasagna noodles
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 can dices tomatoes, drained
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, chopped
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 3/4 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the lasagna noodles until al dente, about 10 minutes. They will continue to cook when the lasagna bakes in the oven.  Drain and set aside to cool enough to handle with your hands.

Meanwhile, in a large pan, cook the ground turkey, the sausage, and the onion together, breaking up the meats with a spoon. Cook until browned. Add in the garlic and spinach and continue to cook until the spinach begins to wilt.

Remove from the heat and set aside while you make the cream sauce. Heat a soup pot over medium heat and add in the butter. Once the butter has melted, whisk in the flour and cook for one minute. Slowly add the milk in 1/2 cup at a time, whisking continuously, and waiting for the mixture to thicken before adding the next 1/2 cup. Once all of the milk has been added and the sauce has thickened, add it into the sausage mixture and stir to coat. Add in the diced tomatoes, salt, and chipotle pepper. Mix well until combined.

In a medium bowl, mix together the mozzarella, ricotta, salt, and pepper with a spoon. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a 9x13 baking dish with some non-stick cooking spray. Spread a light layer of the sausage mixture on the bottom of the pan to keep the noodles from sticking. Lay 3 lasagna noodles down and top with 1/3 of the sausage mixture. Then top with 1/3 of the cheese mixture. Repeat with 2 more layers of the noodles, sausage, and end with the cheese layer.

Cover with tin foil and bake in the oven for 45 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Remove from the oven and allow to sit for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Halloween Monster Brownie Bites

A couple of months ago I spotted some candy eyes at the grocery store on sale. And in July, Andrew may have thought I was crazy, but I knew that these babies would come into good use. That time is now. Can you believe Halloween is only 3 days away?! It's my favorite time of the year, and even though I didn't go all out on my costume this year, these treats will make up for the lack of creativity. Plus, how much do the green ones remind you of the little aliens from the Toy Story movies?

Halloween Monster Bites

  • 1 batch mini brownies or chocolate donuts
  • 1/2 can white/vanilla frosting
  • green & purple food coloring
  • candy eyes

In 2 small bowls, place 1/2 of the frosting into each bowl and add a few drops of the green food coloring into one bowl, and a few drops of the purple food coloring to the other bowl. Mix well until the frosting turns a nice shade of green and purple. Using a spoon, frost the brownies and build it up into peaks. Top with 1, 2, or 3 candy eye balls. Serve.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Mexican Taco Pizza

Growing up in Arizona, it's no secret that I love me some Mexican food. Even though I grew up not eating cheese (we've talked about it before, and I am ashamed, but it's true), I would eat almost anything you put in front of me, scraping off the cheese as necessary obvi. And then. There's pizza. And who doesn't love pizza? But as sad as it sounds, I wouldn't touch a slice of cheese pizza with a ten foot pole. But my how things have changed. This pizza is cheesy, and topped with all your favorite Mexican food toppings; i.e. tomatoes, green chiles, olives, sour cream, oh, and cheese, duh. Mexican food and pizza. A match made in my kitchen.

Mexican Taco Pizza

  • 1 ball pizza dough
  • cornmeal for dusting 
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese
  • 3/4 cup cooked ground turkey or beef
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup diced green chiles
  • large handful of chopped lettuce
  • 1 small can of sliced black olives
  • sour cream for garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare large baking sheet or pizza stone by covering in corn meal. Stretch dough out into a large circle and place on baking sheet or stone. Cook for 5 minutes in the oven, then remove.

Top with 1/2 cup shredded cheese, then the ground turkey, tomatoes, and green chiles. Top with the remaining shredded cheese and bake in the oven until golden brown and the cheese is bubbling, about 20-25 minutes. 

Remove from the oven and top with the black olives, shredded lettuce, and sour cream. Serve hot. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

HDFB Weekend Recap: Boston & Maine

I'm writing this as I sit in the Boston Logan International airport,  waiting for my flight back to Phoenix,  so if this post seems scattered, it's because I probably am.  Since Thursday,  Andrew and I have been out east,  exploring the city of Boston and then made our way up to Maine to witness one of his childhood friends get hitched.  I've never been to either of these new England landmarks,  so I was thrilled to be able to see so much in so little time.  And the food was just unbelievably delicious.  If you follow me on Instagram,  then you got a sneak peak into my weekend diet,  which consisted a of a lot of clam chowder and lobster rolls.  On Friday we ate breakfast at the cutest little bookstore and Cafe,  where Andrew ordered a Monte Cristo sandwich between two slices of French toast.  Sadly we ate it all before a decent picture could be captured,  but I'll just let your imagination take you there.  We also explored the Commons in Boston as well as Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market to grab a quick bite before driving up to Portland,  Maine.  

As if the trip hadn't been fabulous enough already,  Andrew's parents met up with us in Portland and we had dinner at DiMillo's,  which is a floating restaurant on the harbor.  After stuffing myself with clams,  scallops,  haddock, and gulf shrimp,  we headed out for a night in Portland to reunite with all of the wedding party and guests for drinks.  Saturday morning we stopped at the one place I basically planned or entire trip out east for,  The Holy Donut.  Their donuts are made out of real Maine potatoes,  and once they are out of donuts for the day,  they're done.  We arrived around 9am and surprisingly it wasn't too overly crowded,  but the staff was extremely friendly,  and packed us up a box filled with flavors like pumpkin ginger glazed, holy canoli, flaky coconut,  maple bacon, dark chocolate sea salt,  and cinnamon sugar.  

Hands down the best donut I've ever had. No contest.  Saturday night was the wedding,  and I had the pleasure of wearing the most beautiful dress,  provided by Modern Dress,  owned by my sorority sister,  college roommate,  and one of my best friends.  We danced the night away,  took entirely too many photos,  and made memories to last a lifetime.  I can't wait to get back to the east coast,  because a every trip is a new experience,  and I feel so lucky to be able to get back as much as I do. 

This post is not sponsored in any way, but purely based on my experiences at each of these establishments. 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Here it is. My obligatory pumpkin muffin recipe. I know it's the "basic" thing to make this fall, but the reason everyone is talking about pumpkin so much is because it is so damn delicious. I am currently making my way to Boston as we speak, and I can't wait to take in all the autumn-y things like crispy color changing leaves,  fall decor, and to pull out my boots and sweaters that I have been frantically shopping for since I own nothing of the sort. Then tomorrow we are traveling up to Portland, Maine to watch one of Andrew's good friend get married. I plan on packing in as much "fall" as I can in these short 4 days, and if I come across any pumpkin muffins, you better believe I'll be ordering 1 (or 2).

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 can (15-oz.) pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup mashed banana
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups chocolate chips, plus more for topping
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare 2 muffin tins with liners or non-stick cooking spray. 

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, pumpkin, banana, and oil.

In a medium bowl whisk together the flours, baking soda, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, and salt.

In small batches, add the dry ingredients to the wet, mixing well between each addition. Fold in the chocolate chips. 

Fill the muffin cups 2/3 full and bake for 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Keep in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Chocolate Bacon Breakfast Scones

Because it's the middle of the week, and because I love you all, I present to you the scone of all scones. Dessert for breakfast, practically. As long as you don't burn them (I learned the hard way, but Andrew still picked off the non-burnt pieces and ate them), these are quite the man pleaser. Bacon. Chocolate. Maple Glaze. What more could you want? Tomorrow we are making our way to the east coast, and I have basically planned out trip around food stops that I just have to visit (I'm coming for you Holy Donut!), but until then these will do just fine. 

Chocolate Bacon Breakfast Scones

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 6 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, chopped into chunks
  •  1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 4 slices thick bacon
  • 1/8 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chunks
  • 2 large eggs, separated
Maple Glaze
  • 2 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. water
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare the bacon by topping the bacon with cinnamon, brown sugar, and maple syrup. Bake on a tin foil lined baking sheet until browned and crisp, about 14-17 minutes. Let cool to room temperature before chopping into small pieces.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Add in the butter, cream, and 1 egg. Using a fork or pastry cutter, mix until the dough just comes together. Add in the bacon pieces and chocolate chunks. 

Cover your work surface in the excess flour, roll out the dough onto the counter and pat the dough into a 6-inch round. Cut into 6 even wedges and place them onto a non-stick baking sheet, leaving 2 inches between each scone. Whisk the remaining egg in a small bowl, and brush the tops of the scones with the whisked egg. 

Bake in the oven for 25-28 minutes until golden. Watch carefully, for they can burn (lesson learned the hard way). Transfer to a cooling rack to cool. Meanwhile, whisk together the maple glaze ingredients in a small bowl and drizzle over the scones. Serve once cooled. 

Keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days. But I highly doubt they will make it that long.

Recipe adapted from Bacon Today.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Tuesday Tip: Proper Food Storage

 You know those times when you spend half of your week's earnings at the grocery store "stocking up for the week", only to get home, put everything away, and 2 days later your produce has already gone bad? Well I'm here to share some tips on how to properly store your food so that you can get maximum usage and life out of all of your precious goodies! Don't forget to wash and dry them really well before putting them away.

Apples: unwrapped in the fridge drawer; up to 3 weeks
Avocado (whole): refrigerator shelf: 4 days once ripe
Banana: counter top: 3 days once ripe
Berries: in plastic container: refrigerator drawer: 3-4 days
Citrus: refrigerator shelf: 2 weeks
Grapes: colander bowl: 1-2 weeks
Melon (whole): counter top: 5 days
Melon (cut or halved): wrapped in plastic: refrigerator shelf: 7-10 days
Peach/Plum: refrigerator shelf: 5 days
Pear: counter top: 4 days
Tomatoes: in plastic container: counter top: 5 days

Asparagus: refrigerator shelf: in unsealed plastic bag: 4 days
Bell Pepper: plastic bag: refrigerator shelf: 1 week
Broccoli: refrigerator drawer: wrapped in plastic: 5 days
Cabbage: refrigerator drawer: wrapped in plastic: 2 weeks
Carrots: refrigerator drawer: plastic bag: 3 weeks
Cauliflower: refrigerator drawer: wrapped in plastic: 5 days
Celery: refrigerator drawer: wrapped in tinfoil: 2 weeks
Cucumber: refrigerator drawer: wrapped in plastic: 1 week
Garlic: dark area: unwrapped: 1-2 months
Lettuce: refrigerator drawer: plastic bag with paper towel: 5 days
Onion: dark pantry: unwrapped: 2 months
Onion (halved): plastic bag: refrigerator drawer: 5 days
Potatoes: dark pantry: paper bag: 1-2 months
Summer Squash: plastic bag: refrigerator shelf: 5 days
Winter Squash: dark pantry: unwrapped: 1 month

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