Thanksgiving Juicy Goosey

With Thanksgiving right around the corner (and because I’m a lover of all things turkey) I am super excited about this post! I am also convinced that this will go down in history as one of thee most delicious burgers I will have ever made.

Juicy Goosey 1


 

But first, some backround …

I recently visited Chicago and the minute we touched down, we were starving! An hour or so later, we found ourselves at The Fat Cat. We started off with some appetizers that included Reuben Balls, Pork Belly Sliders and Southern Fried Chicken Sliders. The Reuben Balls were really tasty and exactly what one would expect. As far as the sliders go, I would choose the Pork Belly Sliders again over the Southern Fried Chicken sliders if I had to. The Pork Belly sliders were far more interesting, had this delicious cabbage slaw on them and they certainly weren’t something you could find on an every day appetizer menu. And while tasty, the Southern Fried Chicken sliders were a little bit on the dry side, but overall a really well seasoned piece of breaded chicken on a bun with lettuce. I thought it would have be cool if they’d put a little Sausage Gravy on them or a rich and spicy mayonnaise.

 

Side bar: If you didn’t already know, I’m from Minnesota; and if you’ve ever watched ‘Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives’ on the Food Network, Minnesota is home to the famous ‘Matt’s Jucy Lucy’, amongst other contenders such as ‘The Nook’ or ‘The 5-8 Club’. Burgers stuffed with cheese is our thing around here and we take them seriously.

But what is truly to note here, while scouring the internet looking for a place to go for dinner, The Fat Cat popped in to my search results. I began to sift through the menu and the name instantly caught my eye … The Juicy Goosey … I knew exactly what it was going to be … A stuffed turkey burger!!

FatCatJuicyGoosey

It was worth every second I waited. This thing was stuffed with Brie cheese, had a cranberry glaze and it was on an onion bun. I substituted the sweet potato fries for the regular fries and later regretted the decision (they were dry and flavorless). But the burger was all that really mattered and it lived up to my expectations. I also hesitantly shared with my friends and they agreed, it was a winner!

*If you find yourself in the area, seriously check this place out. Not only was the food pretty darn good overall, the drinks were great and the atmosphere was stellar. 

 

Back to why we’re really here … making something delicious!

When I returned home from my weekend away I was left with the usual task of making a meal for the work week. Naturally my mind was made up the moment I walked in to Costco and saw ground turkey was marked down. I would be making stuffed turkey burgers for the week.

I decided I would put my own twist on things and make a similarly stuffed burger but add a few components to make it Thanksgiving day themed (I was having a serious hankering for stuffing) and add a little bit of my style in there (which usually means heat).

So I found these delicious Jalapeno Cheddar buns from Target and picked up a box of Stove Top Stuffing. I snagged my cranberry sauce from Trader Joe’s, along with my Brie Cheese (cheese is cheap as all get out there) and then decided I would add some caramelized onions to the mix for a little rich sweetness. I also decided I would try my hand at baking my own sweet potato fries to add as a side.

 

Before you get started on the burgers, I suggest you start your caramelized onions. They can take a bit too really get brown and sweet. **If you’ve never caramelized onions before … Go HERE for some assistance.**

If you’ve never made a stuffed burger before it’s really quite easy. Basically you just make two patties, each a little on the thinner side, putStuffed Burger Patties your cheese in the middle of the two patties and then gently press the patties together, pinching the sides closed all the way around to keep the cheese sealed in while you cook the patty. There will be a  bulge in the middle, it’s perfectly normal!

 

*If you’re into seasoning your meat, I strongly suggest using some Season All and black pepper. Just mix it in with the raw ground turkey BEFORE making your patties. I use just enough so that you can sparsely see it throughout.

I finally got to try out my new (new to me) cast iron skillet! It worked great for cooking up the burgers! They seemed to cook a little bit longer than I Cooking Stuffed Burger Pattieshad expected, but I just kept the patties, using my meat thermometer. *It should read at least 165°.*

 

 

 

You should now start making your sweet potato fries if you so desire. They are truly a great side for this burger and really hone in that Thanksgiving vibe! **If you’ve never baked your own sweet potato fries before … Go HERE for some assistance.**

While my burgers cooked I also prepared my stuffing. Just follow the box instructions. Pro Tip: If you want really moist stuffing, I suggest substituting low sodium chicken broth for the amount of water it suggests on the box.

Once your burgers are done, slice your bun in half, place a thin layer of stuffing on the bottom bun, then about 2 tablespoons of caramelized onions on top of the stuffing, then your burger patty, spread the cranberry sauce on your top bun and put everything together … Voila! 

Juicy Goosey 3

I really hope you enjoy this burger as much as I did! I’d love to hear from you all and what you thought! Please leave a comment or send me a message any time!

Cheers!

Crista

 

 

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds (Pizza and Sweet & Spicy)

PumpkinSeedsDone

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds (Two Ways)

Pumpkin seeds are staple in my house during the fall! There is just about nothing better than carving your pumpkins and then reaping the real benefit; roasting your own pumpkin seeds to have as a snack around for weeks to come. Not to mention, pumpkin seeds are chalked full of good stuff for you! Some of those benefits including protein, fiber, magnesium, potassium, and antioxidants.

In the years past I’ve gone with the traditional flavor of salt and pepper, but this year I was inspired by a blog I follow; Back To Her Roots. Back in September, she featured Roasted Pumpkin Seeds Six Ways, and it was a done deal for me. This year I was determined to make several different flavors.

I had originally planned on doing almost all of the flavors she talked about and trying to experiment with a few of my own, but much to my disappointment, the pumpkins I purchased didn’t produce much more than 2 cups of seeds!

I did however make two of the flavors she blogged about, and they are DELICIOUS! I went with Pizza and Sweet & Spicy. Sweet & Spicy is by far my favorite (shocker)!


 

Preparing your pumpkin seeds is super easy! After removing them from your pumpkin and removing as much of the larger pieces of “guts” as possible, place them in a large bowl of water. You can use your hands to swish them around in the bowl and remove the remaining “guts” on your seeds. Most of the “guts” should float to the bottom, but I usually transfer my seeds to a strainer by hand to avoid the guts just going right in to the strainer with your seeds.

After straining them, place on flat surface and pat dry or leave them out to air dry for a couple of hours. CleanPumpkinSeeds

Once seeds are dry, toss them in a bowl with olive oil (or any other type of oil you prefer), using approximately 1 teaspoon per 1/2 cup of seeds. I use my hands to really mix the seeds with the oil, ensuring that each one is covered.

Then for the spices, use the following amounts per 1/2 cup of seeds:

Pizza

  • 1 Tbsp Grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 tsp Basil
  • 1/2 tsp Oregano
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/8 tsp Garlic Powder

 

Sweet & Spicy

  • 1 Tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 1/8 tsp Cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/8 tsp Black Pepper

Mix your seeds up with the spices, this time I’d use a spook or spatula, making sure to cover all of your seeds.

MixingPumpkinSeeds

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil and spread out your seeds evenly, not overlapping them too much.

Preheat your oven to 300° and bake for approximately 20-30 minutes or until seeds are a golden brown.

RoastedPumpkinSeeds


Don’t forget to check out Back To Her Roots for her other flavors! And check back here for more experimenting when I get my hands on some more pumpkins seeds in need of roasting!

Cheers!

Crista

Poll Time!

Do you like to cook and brag about your creations? Do you eat out and often find yourself taking pictures of your meal because it looks that delicious and you wish you had someone to share or talk to about it with?

I would love to host an environment where you could do just that! But I’m looking to see who would be interested first! Let’s take a vote and if you’re one that is interested in being a featured blogger, shoot me an email on my “Contact” page as well as your contact info and I’ll be in touch.

Cheers!

Crista

Canning Salsa

CannedSalsa1

This past weekend, I took my first shot at canning salsa. There is just something about it that I’ve always admired. It’s very pioneer’esque. And I would imagine it’s a great way to save money if you are growing your own goods in the garden. Man, is it a lot of work! But totally worth it!

There are several things I would have done differently, knowing what I know now. One thing right off the bat! … Get a canning stock pot! Trust me, just get one.

CanningStockPot   <—- Like this bad boy! 

The rack alone and then the width and depth of the canning stock pot would immensely help with saving time, by being able to sterilize more jars at one time. I used my 12 quart stock pot and could only sterilize 6 pint sized jars at a time. It would have been nice to be using my 12 quart stock pot for making the salsa, while my jars were being sterilized. Your other option would be to use several different pots at a time. Making sure ahead of time that the pots you plan to use are deep enough and wide enough to accommodate the size jar you choose to use.

Primary goal = To be sterilizing while reducing your salsa.

Sterilizing Process: 

Your lids and lid rings can be sterilized together in one pot. Bring the water to a slow rolling boil and allow rings and lids to simmer for 10 minutes*. Then place your rings and lids out to dry, on some dry clean towels on a flat surface.

Your jars should be sterilized in a similar manner. Make sure they are mouth up and there is approximately one inch of water above the jars. Again, bring your water to a slow rolling boil and allow your jars to simmer for 10 minutes*. Remove your jars from the water with a jar lifter (pictured further down in this post) and empty them entirely of all hot water. On some dry clean towels on a flat surface, place your jars mouth down to dry.

*If you are lucky enough to live way up in the mountains, you need to change the amount of time you boil your lids, rings and jars. For every additional 1,000 feet of elevation, add 1 minute.

Blanching your Tomatoes:

Preparing your tomatoes is super easy! And it’s called blanching. Never heard of it? Neither had I before this.

For my recipe, you’re going to need about 8 cups of peeled and gutted tomatoes.

Fill a large pot with water and set it on the burner with your heat at about medium. Bring to a very slow rolling boil (just seeing the bubbles start to rise from the bottom of the pot is hot enough). Wash the tomatoes removing any dirt and remaining stems. With a really sharp knife, cut shallow “X’s” on opposing sides of each tomato. Taking 4-5 tomatoes at a time, place them in the hot water for about 30-60 seconds. You should start to see the marked “X’s” peel away from the tomato. Then using a slotted spoon, pluck each tomato out and place them in a dry bowl or on a dry surface.

Once they are cool enough to handle, you should be able to remove the skin with ease. If you find some aren’t easy to peel, you can place them back in the hot water for an additional 30 seconds until more of the tomato skin starts to peel away.

Cut the tops of the tomatoes off (where the stem once was) and then in half. Then start to remove the seeds and guts.

*You can skip this last step if you’d like to keep the juices and seeds in your salsa, but I personally don’t care for them.
**Some people like to set the guts and seeds aside and use it for other recipes (tomato sauce, marinara, bloody mary mix, etc). I have yet to try this myself. 

Ingredients:

Prep Time: 30 Minutes (approx)   Cook Time: 30 Minutes (approx)   Servings: 10 Sixteen Ounce Jars

*Approximate times are given due to every kitchen being set up a little differently and whether or not you have a canning stock pot, multiple burners, etc. 


  • 8 Cups  Tomatoes, prepared
  • 4 Cups  White Onion, chopped (approx 2 1/2 onions)
  • 4 Cups  Bell Peppers, chopped (any color you’d like, approx 4 peppers)
  • 7 Garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 Cup  Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 Cups  Tomato Sauce
  • 10 oz  Tomato Paste
  • 1/3 Cup  Sugar
  • 2 tsp  Black Pepper
  • 2 Tbsp  Kosher Salt
  • 1 tsp  Cumin
  • 5 Hot Peppers (any color or level of heat you’d like)
  • 2 Tbsp  Lime Juice

*I ended up straining some of the juice from my guts and seeds in to my salsa because I wanted it to be more liquidy. This can be negated at your discretion. 

Once all of your ingredients are chopped up, throw everything in a large pot and turn your burner on medium heat and just continue to stir while the tomatoes break down and everything cooks together! You’ll let all this stuff simmer for about 10-20 minutes.

Processing the Salsa:

Once your salsa is ready it’s time to fill your jars! Make sure to leave about 1/2 – 1″ of space from the top. Then you’ll want to remove any air bubbles. Use any type of non-metallic utensil (I used a small spatula) and run it around the edges of the jar, smashing the salsa against the sides of the jar, working your way from the bottom all the way to the top. Then, using a clean damp cloth, wipe the edges of your jar clean. (This will help make a good seal) Next center your lid on top and then the jar band to follow. Screw the band on until they are finger-tip tight, stopping before you have to exert any force.\
Now take your closed jars full of salsa and place them back in the pot or canning stock pot you used to sterilize the jars, with the same or fresh, boiling water. Leave jars to sit in boiling water for approximately 15 minutes.

*And like before, if you’re lucky enough to live in the mountains, you need to change the amount of time you process your jars. For every additional 3,000 feet of elevation, add 5 minutes.

Remove your jars from the boiling water, using your handy jar lifter. And place them on dry surface. I laid some towel down to wick up the water.

Jar Lifter for Canning <— Jar Lifter

**I strongly suggest you get one of these! They’re less than $3 at Wal-Mart and absolutely worth it! You don’t want to be dropping your delicious salsa in a hot glass jar on to the floor or worse yet, back in to the pot of boiling water. Trust me.**

Now you wait to hear the oh so magical sound … the sound of your success! You know the sound a jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce makes when you open it for the first time? It’s the same sound, like a “ping”! That’s your jars indicating they are officially pressure sealed. But don’t mess with the jars or get too excited and open them for at least 24 hours!

CONGRATS! You just canned salsa for the first time!! Do you feel like you could do just about anything this world throws at you now!? Go ahead, celebrate, snap a picture, post it on Instagram, text your friends and relish in your success! It’s exciting stuff!

If you made any modifications or found something to be easier or too hard to do. I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment, send me a message, whatever your heart desires! But most of all, enjoy your salsa!

Cheers!!

Crista

Cauliflower Inspirations

So I’ve been trying to eat healthier as of late. Not only healthier, but more specifically low carb.

Apparently the new big thing with substitutions and low carb eating is CAULIFLOWER …You read that right, cauliflower.

It’s a great way to cut carbs and still get your hands on some of the most popular “cheat” meals we all LOVE to have, like mashed potatoes or pizza! So maybe now we can just have our “cheat” meals on any day and it not break the calorie bank!? Count me in!

A friend posted this Buzz Feed list on her page and I can’t help but share:

http://www.buzzfeed.com/christinebyrne/cauliflower-not-carbs#.uyj4XVyXZ

It inspired me to join this cauliflower bandwagon and try some of these recipes! Below are the ones I’m gonna give a go for sure, but if there are any others you would like to see featured, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment or send me a message!

Here’s the line up ….

   CHEESY CAULIFLOWER BREADSTICKS

       jocooks.com

   PEPPERONI PIZZA CAULIFLOWER CASSEROLE

    

      ibreatheimhungry.com

   BAKED CAULIFLOWER TOTS

       brunchtimebaker.com

   CAULIFLOWER CRUST GRILLED CHEESE

 

     theironyou.com

   CAULIFLOWER RICE TABBOULEH SALAD

 

   CAULIFLOWER HASH

 

     anediblemosaic.com

OLIVE OIL, GARLIC & ROMANO CHEESE MASHED CAULIFLOWER

    faithfulnessfarm.blogspot.com

   CAULIFLOWER FRITTERS

   CROCKPOT CAULIFLOWER AND CHEESE

   JALAPENO AND CHEDDAR CAULIFLOWER MUFFINS

    ibreatheimhungry.com

Be on the look out for these delicious things to come outta my kitchen!

Until next time,

Crista

Smoky Dill Salmon & Chive Dip

Smoky Dill Salmon & Chive Dip
This stuff is DE-LI-CIOUS! It’s the perfect dip to bring to a BBQ or have out if you’re hosting a gathering this summer. And it’s so easy to make!

Ingredients

8 oz                       Cream Cheese (I use reduced fat it tastes just the same!)
2 oz                       Packaged Smokey Dill Salmon (Trident brand)
1-2 stalks                Green Onion Chives
Mix all ingredients in a med sized bowl really well (until your cream cheese turns pink) and serve cold with crackers!

You’re welcome in advance.😉

Let me know what you think if you end up making this! I would love to hear from you. Leave a comment, send me a message!

Crista

Ham & Pickle Roll Up Dip & Spicy Taco Roll Ups

Two posts in one today people! 

By special request from a special friend, I am here to share a recipe for my delicious Ham & Pickle Roll Up Dip that I made back at Christmas time.

However, I am also going to share my Taco Roll Up recipe, because if we’re going to talk roll ups and roll up dips, these are where it’s at!

Everyone knows the class Ham & Pickle Roll Ups

*I do not own rights to this picture, it was found on Google.com images.

Well I turned this one in to a dip, and it was a hit! Serve it with some Ritz crackers and it’ll be gone in a matter of minutes! And the recipe is just as simple as the roll ups. 
Depending on how much you want to make, use equal parts Cream Cheese & Sour Cream. I like to go on the light side of things, so I usually buy the Reduced Fat Cream Cheese and Light Sour Cream. And then I just eyeball the Ham & Pickles.You want to have a little bit of both in every single bite. I suggest buying the already diced Ham in your deli section. And for pickles I use Vlasic Whole Pickles and dice them up fairly fine. It is suggested that you use Whole Pickles, as using not whole pickles can make your dip more watery (from the pickle guts/seeds and juice) once it has sat a while.

It’s that simple!

*I do not own rights to this picture, it was found on Google.com images.





Now, on to Spicy Taco Roll Ups
*I do not own rights to this picture, it was found on Google.com images.


These are equally as simple to make! Again, depending on much you need to make, buy equal parts Cream Cheese & Sour Cream. (1 8oz Cream Cheese = 1 8oz Sour Cream is going to make 2 cups of mixture, filling approximately 5 10″ tortillas). If you want to go on the lighter side of things, feel free! Mix in to Cream Cheese/Sour Cream mixture a packet of Taco Seasoning, Shredded Mexican Cheese and Diced Jalapeno. Again, you have to just eyeball the cheese and Jalapeno, there is no right or wrong way to portion it out, you simply just want cheese and heat in every bite. For assembly: I like to use the 10″ Super Soft Mission Tortillas. Spread approximately 1/4″ of your cream cheese/sour cream mixture on to one side of your tortilla, then roll up the tortilla and cut in to circles approximately 1-1 1/2″ thick. Chill them in the fridge until you’re ready to serve!

Yummmy & Enjoy!

Gimme Some Oven

I love food, and I like talking about food.

for the LOVE OF NOSH

I love food, and I like talking about food.