Wednesday, November 28, 2012

WIAW #50: Turkey Primavera Orecchiette

Are you sick of turkey yet? Do you even have any left? I know we spent all weekend eating up the leftovers from the THREE turkeys my family had. I know, it’s ridiculous. Now, in all fairness, one of those turkeys was just a breast and another was a smoked turkey we didn't know was coming. And the third one was 20 lbs...but that's beside the point here. What was good for us is there were plenty of leftovers and thrifty me got dibs on the carcasses! Yeah!

What did I do with all of those turkey bones? Well, the bones from the 20 lb. turkey and the breasts made a lovely whopping 9 cups of deliciously thick turkey broth I plan on making risotto and broth ice cubes out of for quick and easy weeknight meals. With the smoked turkey I am going to make a version of ham and bean soup I used to have as a kid but since I no longer eat ham, the smoked turkey will serve as a great substitute.

I never got around to posting my Thanksgiving eats mostly because I was exhausted but also because I didn’t get very many good pictures. So instead I just show you what I made with the leftovers!

But first one Thanksgiving recipe I was so proud of I need to share ASAP:

Roasted Asparagus with homemade tomato sauce, prosciutto, and sharp provolone

This is a recipe based off of a special appetizer Aaron and I had at a South Philly Italian restaurant a while back for our “It’s been three months since we’ve been to a restaurant! Celebration.”

Everyone at my Thanksgiving meal went nuts for this recipe and I must agree, it was delicious. I must post this soon so DON’T LET ME FORGET! This is a crowd pleaser!

But back to other eats:

Here’s what I ate after the food coma


Enjoy Life chocolate granola with chocolate almond milk, chia seeds, almond butter, and pomegranate seeds


Fried potato cakes (with leftover potato filling) with eggs and sautéed spinach


Turkey Primavera Orecchiette


An amazing Sarah Bakes Brownie from the Bala Cynwyd Farmer’s Market with Hagen Daas Coconut macaroon ice cream. Mmmmmm

With the leftover turkey meat, stuffing, potato filling, etc. this is what I've made over the last four or five days:

Arugula salad with turkey, pears, pecans, pomegranate seeds, chia seeds, and Dijon vinaigrette

Eggs noodles with sautéed carrots, tomatoes, and turkey (and kale gratin)

Thanksgiving Turkey sandwiches on brioche rolls

Coming home on Black Friday I had the desire to stop at the relatively new Wegman’s right off the Philadelphia turnpike exit just to look around. Well that turned into a $30 trip but hey! I got some good stuff including their store brand orecchiette which I am in love with. If you have never cooked orecchiette before, it’s time you start. It definitely isn’t the easiest pasta to find as it is often handmade to provide the shape of an “ear.” But it is heartier than your average variety since it is the high quality Semolina pasta and not macaroni like every pasta made in America. I love how easily it clings to the sauce and when cooked al dente, it’s perfect. 

So what better way to use some of my leftover turkey meat that a delicious primavera pasta with a light sauce? Basically the recipe is cherry tomatoes, zucchini, good quality shitake mushrooms (I’m converted from the regular button!) and a light wine, lemon, butter sauce. Yummy.

If you’ve already used your leftover turkey (like me) try this with leftover cooked chicken or just cook some chicken or turkey and add it in. Either way you will want to try this recipe. Aaron loved this and I made it again two nights later. If you have a splash of white wine USE IT if not, this is still a great recipe for any night of the week.

Turkey Primavera Orecchiette


 1 1/2 cup dried Orecchiette
 1 cup shredded Turkey (or chicken)
 1 cup shitake Mushrooms, chopped into quarter sized pieces
 1 medium Zucchini, thinly sliced and cut into fours
 2 Shallots, finely chopped
 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
15-20 multi-coloured Cherry tomatoes, chopped in half
3/4 cup dry white wine
 Zest of half a lemon
Juice of half a lemon
Olive oil
2 tbsp. butter
Drizzle of Garlic oil
1 tsp. dried Oregano
 Parmesan for garnish
Black Pepper
Garlic salt
1 tsp. Crushed red pepper


Cook pasta al dente according to package, about 13 minutes and drain.

Meanwhile in a large pan, heat olive oil with the shallots and half the garlic until shallots are tender.  Add mushrooms and zucchini and sautéed until lightly browned and soft. Add ½ cup of the wine and allow it to absorb.

Add shredded turkey and lightly brown. Lower heat and add rest of wine, 2 tbsp. butter, lemon zest and juice and stir. Season with oregano, a little garlic salt, black pepper, red pepper. Add tomatoes at the last moment and wait until a light sauce forms and wine cooks down alittle.

Take off heat and add cooked pasta. Lightly toss and serve with grated parmesan and a drizzle of garlic olive oil.

Enjoy! Happy leftovers!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

WIAW #49: Catch-up

The darling Jenn has requested that What I Ate Wednesday this week shall be combined with Thanksgiving giving us overachieving bloggers a chance to do two posts:
one on Wednesday and one for Thanksgiving-pantless if needed.

Jenn, you and pants I swear! If the Forever Lazy was ever made for anyone….

That won’t be necessary as I’ve elected to do both.

I am finally finished with my 25 page paper on Jewish intellectuals in Stalin’s Soviet Union (don’t ask) and I am FRIED tired! It wouldn’t be so bad but as I know work 9-5 both Saturday and Sundays at a great café/coffeeshop here in Philadelphia I now have even less coherent writing time on my hands.

Wait until December 3rd to the 7th when I have a marathon run of papers and projects everyday! It will make last week’s 25 page paper, 10 page paper, 150 pages of Hemingway, 2 reading responses, and Chemistry exam look lazy. God help me please.

But no worries my lovely readers and WIAW guests, (stay awhile!) my new job serves coffee…and we make all of our food, bread, and baked goods in house. Darn it. If I wasn’t standing/working/running up and down stairs/cleaning there for 8 hours at a time I would probably gain some Winter weight from all of the Brioche rolls I’ve been eating! Sooooo good!

But enough of that! On to my eats are a few notable ones you missed over the past two weeks when I was busy dying of college.


Doce Breve Macchiato (I’ve now learned this means two shots of espresso, and a little foamed half-n-half on top but I cannot bring myself to order a Doce Breve Macchiato yet in the fear of sounding wayyyyy too pretentious. But it’s good)

My treat: piece of pumpkin “roll” bread- basically pumpkin bread with a baked cream cheese topping. Mmm…

Fresh orange juice to round out this “breakfast” and fight the ever impending stress-ladled cold I am sure to get soon.


Quick stop at home between classes produced rigatoni with sautéed broccoli and shallots in a light ricotta parmesan sauce with chia seeds and crushed red pepper. That was good.


Aaron was away so I was bad and had more rigatoni with a semi-homemade tomato sauce, sautéed mushrooms and asparagus side for veggie kick and to very thin slices of easy chicken-parmesan. Hit the spot.

Here are some of the other eats
you missed while I was away:

Half a chocolate chip muffin from work I bought after pulling these babies out of the oven and having to take one home topped with one scoop of salted caramel Haagen-Dazs (this was after I finished my 25 page paper)
Poached egg on toast with Dijon and orange slices, coffee

Homemade spicy turkey chili topped with tomatoes, cheddar, chia seeds and cilantro
Awesome Protein meal for Aaron to prepare for his PFA annual physical:
Baked salmon with protein topping: chia seeds, chopped walnuts, sesame seeds, crushed red pepper, chili powder, a little brown sugar

Sautéed spinach and mushrooms and buttered pasta
Chobani with Trader Joe’s ginger granola and chia seeds
The chicken it came from that produced BBQ, risotto, and a lot more...

Wishing a happy Thanksgiving to everyone! See you after for a look at all the things I’m making today and my family’s contributions as well!

Checkout my Thanksgiving recipe roundup!


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Cuisiner Favorites for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is only a couple days away and I am sure most of you have the whole menu of what you are making/bringing to dinners with family and friends.

But do you know what to make with your leftovers????

I was surprised this year not to see more “for Thanksgiving” recipes since it seemed all the rage last Thanksgiving to post all your ideas for recipes. Well, not a problem because I am going to share some of my favorite recipes for Thanksgiving and after Thanksgiving for the leftovers!

Be excited people.

I must say, I am very much looking forward to the three day break Thanksgiving brings as I just turned in my 25 page Seminar paper yesterday and am completley fried! But there are other things to be thanksful for like a happy, healthy family (extended and otherwise), a great Fiancé, and the simple fact we get to celebrate Thanksgiving in a country like ours. Hey, you know I've been around a bit, but at the end of the day as corny as it sounds I am proud to be an American and be able to celebrate Thanksgiving (I'm a little ashamed of Black Friday though, just saying to my international readers. It is a crzy thing.)
On to the food!
I know I am limited so here is a mix of my own favorite Thanksgiving Recipes and ideas as well as few from some of my favorite bloggers.

My Recipes:

L'autumn Haricot Verts with Sauteed Apples (great healthy alternative to green bean casserole!)

Roasted Acorn Squash with Pesto Drizzle

Sweet Potato Gratin (adapted from Chez Us)

Romaine Hearts Salad with homemade blue cheese dressing (an instant favorite!)

Crockpot Carrot Soup- perfect compliment to the meal and super easy. Tastes just like butternut squash soup!


Fresh Crantinis with homemade cranberry juice (from last Thanksgiving)

Super Simple Winter White Cosmopolitans (White Cranberry Juice Cocktails based on a Bonefish Grill cocktail and the most pinned thing on this blog)

Jewish Apple Cake- a new family tradition
Victoria Sponge Cake- my favorite London treat and a great surprise for your guests!

For the Leftovers:
Thanksgiving Leftovers Turkey Dumpling Soup

Turkey BBQ and Zucchini Slaw
Some of my personal leftovers favorites:
  • Use leftover mashed potatoes for fried potato cakes with eggs for a Black Friday breakfast
  • The "Friends" sandwichleftover turkey, cranberry sauce, a thin layer of stuffing and middle piece of bread soaked in gravy (the moist maker) and some extra veggies for good measure if you have them.

Some of my favorite Recipes from others:
Apple Braid Bread from Eat, Live, Run

Crockpot Cranberry Sauce from Jenn at Peas and Crayons
(Celery Root= the best thing to ever happen to mashed potatoes, TRUST ME!)
Some of my favorite craft ideas from others:
Rook No. 17's amazingly cute Mini-Mayflower Place Cards!
Jeanne Winter's Fall Leaves Centerpiece

Some of my favorite Thanksgiving Recipe Wrap Ups:

The hilarious Jenn from Peas and Crayons

Amelia from Bon Appétempt

What do you do for your Thanksgiving festivities? Anything out of the ordinary?

Follow my Thanksgiving Pinterest board!

Happy Thanksgiving! see you on Friday for the second annual What I Ate Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey BBQ and Zucchini Slaw

Thanksgiving is fast approaching and it makes me think of two food related things:
  • What to man for the big family meal.
  • And what to make with the leftovers.
Last year I posted homemade turkey soup, a great way to use the meat and the bones for another meal. This year I thought I'd do something different. I love chicken BBQ so what would be better than using your leftover turkey (especially the dark meat) for a another weekday or weekend meal for your family?

 Saturday after Thanksgiving no one wants to cook so make an easy meal that everyone will love.

 Two things about my leftover thanksgiving turkey BBQ. First, I make my OWN barbeque sauce and I do not use ketchup! It is almost impossible to find a recipe online for homemade BBQ without ketchup so here it is. Instead I use tomato paste and several other ingredients (like beer.)  Also, I simmer this BBQ for about an hour so the meat is super tender and the flavors mix together.
Depending on your taste you may want to adjust some of the ingredients such as the hot sauce and the vinegar. It is all about a preferable ratio of tastes but really you can't go wrong with the beer.

The second recipe is for a zucchini coleslaw I made simply because I had zucchini and no cabbage! It's based on a Taste of Home recipe and I hope you make it either as a part of your Thanksgiving Day meal (like us) or for your leftovers! We have a Pennsylvania Dutch tradition of Thanksgiving coleslaw so this will hopefully be well received as a delightful twist!

Whether you decide to make this with your leftover turkey meat or just regular chicken meat (like me) I hope you decide to make this as in my opinion it is super delicious and Aaron approved!

P.s. Save the carcass for more ideas like homemade broth for risotto!

Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey (or Chicken) Barbeque
Makes 5-6 servings

5-6 cups shredded cooked turkey or chicken meat, mixture of white and dark
 1  bottle of lager beer ( I used Sam Adams)
 1 cup water
 3tbsp. Tomato paste

2tbsp. Apple cider vinegar
 1/2 cup brown sugar
 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
 2-3 cloves garlic minced
 1 small-medium yellow onion, chopped
 2tbsp. Butter
 1 tsp. garlic powder
 1tsp. Onion powder
 2 tsp. chili powder
 2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
 1 tbsp. sriracha or hot sauce
 Black pepper


In a medium sauce pan sauté tbsp butter with minced garlic and onion and a little salt.
Once onions are tender add all ingredients except beer and shredded meat. 
Mix together and simmer on low for 10 minutes until sauce is thick. Add shredded meat and coat well with sauce. Add beer and cook on high stirring for 1-2 minutes.

Reduce to low heat and cover. Cook meat for 1 hour, stirring often.

After 1 hour meat should be tender and mixed into the sauce. Serve hot with coleslaw on toasted bread.

Zucchini Coleslaw Makes 5 servings
(Adapted from Taste of Home)


1 large zucchini, raw
 2 large carrots, peeled
 1/4 cup finely minced onion
 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
 4 tbsp. light mayonnaise
 1 tsp. garlic salt
 Dash of hot sauce or sriracha
 1 tbsp. sugar
 Black pepper


Cut zucchini into very thin rounds, use a mandolin if you have it. Stack several rounds together and slice into thin matchsticks.

 Cut carrots lengthwise in half and then in 4 sections. Chop carrots into matchsticks similar to zucchini.

 Add both to a large bowl with rest of ingredients and mix well.
 Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Serve on top of BBQ!


Come back next week for my countdown of favorite thanksgiving recipes both on and creative ideas for leftovers!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Plentils Crunchy Lentil Chips

A while ago I was contacted by Enjoy Life Foods who were nice enough to send me a sampling of their new very first savory snack, crunchy lentil chips, Plentils.

I was first introduced to Enjoy Life foods after writing a review for GoPicnic and their delicious little boxes of joy. Included in one of those boxes was Enjoy Life’s Double Chocolate Cookie.

I was impressed by how chocolately it was and it was quite a treat. Did I mention it is gluten free? That’s right. Now it definitely had the grainy taste of a gluten-free cookie that I’ve became unaccustomed too but considering they’ve created a pretty tasty cookie without gluten, it didn’t take away from the experience.

My second introduction to Enjoy Life was very different. I came home to apartment with a GIANT box waiting for me. I was so excited to open it and even more excited when I saw that FOUR large bags of Plentils chips were included brightly packaged like a gift just for me.

Included were all four flavors of the newly released chips which come in Garlic Parmesan, Margherita Pizza, Sour Cream and Dill, and Light Sea Salt.

(After taking some photos) I ripped into the first bag of chips in Garlic parmesan flavor. The first thing I noticed was how crunchy these babies were. I wasn’t sure what to expect from lentil chips but I was surprisingly happy with them.

Next I sampled the Margherita Pizza and the Sour Cream and Dill. WOWOW! Talk about some flavor! This are definitely the chips for the flavor fanatics. The Pizza flavors from the Margarita are so powerful it’s like eating a pizza (without the cheese, crust, etc.) I was really impressed with the Sour Cream and Dill as well as they had a really nice tang perfect for those people who like a little zing with their crunch.

I had the Sea Salt variety last, which of course was the most subtle of the varieties. I think this was the kind of chip that everyone can enjoy while still being flavorful.

This also makes a great chip for thick spreads and dips as they won't easily crumble. The Sea Salt variety could even replace cron tortilla chips for salsa and guacamole as they airy lentil texture makes a great dipper for anything from chili to French onion dip!


All Enjoy Life products are free of the 8 common allergies:

 Wheat
 Dairy
 Peanuts
 Tree nuts
 Egg
 Soy
 Fish
 Shellfish

Plentils are all-natural, made from lentils that are full of protein, and have %40 less fat than most potato chips. Of course as mentioned before, they are gluten-free, and both Kosher and Halal.

This is a very crowd friendly chip! What is so great about Plentils is that whether you have allergies, want a healthier alternative to savory snacks, or just want something tasty, it is all in one bag!

Favorite Flavors: Hands down the Margherita Pizza and the Dill and Sour Cream coming in as a close second. Both chips are super flavorful and the best on their own-no dip required. The Garlic Parmesan and sea-salt are great base chips as well as for people who are not fans of “flavored” chips because really who buys “ketchup” or “pickle” flavored chips anyway?

“Downside”: I cannot judge these chips on their lack of thin crispiness. This is a pretty thick chip compared the standard potato slice. But I think that’s what makes them so versatile and great for other things other than just snacking. I used the crushed up chips as a crunchy topping on parmesan chicken. Yes, meat and dairy does defeat the purpose of an 8-allergen free chip but what’s nice about Plentils is they are for everyone, not just those people with allergies.

I couldn’t keep them away from Aaron! Always a problem.

This is a relatively a new product so let me know if you find it in stores and check their store locator! (You can find them at most Whole Foods and other grocery store nationwide. If you are interested, Enjoy Life is offering a 75 cents coupon for you try a bag of Plentils!

I can’t wait to use the sour cream and dill to make homemade fish sticks!

Let me know if you try them.


The College Cuisiner