Kitchen Concoctions: November 2010

Monday, November 29, 2010

All "Turkeyed" Out

I can't believe it but I am all turkeyed out! You see, weeks ago when I decided to do this whole left over turkey week, I of course had to cook a whole turkey to have the "leftovers" to make all of the tasty recipes I featured this week (I mean the past two weeks). So with all this turkey and the two Thanksgiving dinners I went to, I have had enough turkey! LOL!

In fact Eric told me I ruined Thanksgiving for him because we at all these wonderful turkey dishes right before the big turkey day! HA! But I had fun coming up with all these delicious ways to use up all that turkey. And I hope you enjoy these recipes too!
You can't have turkey leftovers without first cooking the turkey. I was amazed how this turkey turned out! Easy to make and the juiciest most flavorful turkey I have ever eaten.
White turkey chili is a great way to use up your left over turkey. It makes a lot and will warms you up on these chilly fall days.

I love cheesy enchiladas! And left over turkey makes a great filling!

Good ole turkey sandwiches are my favorite way to eat Thanksgiving turkey leftovers. And I know it is as well, for a lot of you! So if you want to change up that classic mustard and turkey sandwich try this cranberry version. Just trust me on this one!

Have turkey, veggie, and stuffing leftovers to use up? Make this cheesy veggie and turkey casserole! It is easy, yummy, and uses up all those leftover!

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving! I sure did (and I hope to be back to regular blogging soon)!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Still just trottin' along...

When I started this whole 'turkey themed week' I did not expect it to last over TWO weeks! I was simply going to share one recipe a day for one work week the week before Thanksgiving and then the week of Thanksgiving I had planned to share the cookbook of the month for November. But as I shared in my last post (exactly a week ago) life has been pretty hectic as of late.

So....... thanks for being patient and if by chance you still have some turkey leftovers to use up, today's recipe is super easy and a crowd pleaser! A cheesy casserole filled with veggies and turkey, and then topped with stuffing. MMMM... this casserole revamps those Turkey day leftovers into a delicious casserole that will have dinner guests of all ages asking for more!

Notes: This casserole is extremely versatile. I used broccoli and cauliflower as my veggie but if you are not a fan use what you like and have on hand. I think peas and carrots would be great or even some frozen mixed veggies. You can also top this casserole with leftover homemade stuffing instead on the boxed version I used. And of course this casserole is delicious any time of year, with chicken a great substitute for turkey.

Cheesy Turkey and Veggie Casserole
by Heather of Kitchen Concoctions
Printable Version
Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 25-30 Minutes Serves 6

1 (10 3/4 oz) can broccoli cheese soup
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups shredded, cooked turkey (or chicken)
1 cup broccoli, chopped
1 cup cauliflower, chopped
1 box stuffing mix, turkey flavor
3 tablespoons butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 9x13 inch pan with cooking spray.

In a large bowl mix together 1/2 cup chicken broth, soup, cheese, salt and pepper. Stir in prepared turkey, broccoli, and cauliflower. Spread cheese/turkey/veggie mixture evenly in prepared pan.

In a medium sauce pan melt butter. Add remaining 1 cup of chicken broth and stuffing mix. Stir until stuffing is moistened. Remove from heat and spread evenly on top of cheese/turkey/veggie mixture. Bake in 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes or until set and top is beginning to brown.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Don't Knock It Till You Try It!

One of the most popular (and my favorite) ways to use up your left over turkey is in a sandwich. Whether on potato, whole wheat, or white bread and then smothered with mustard, mayo or both... a big fat turkey sandwich several hours after the big feast and a little nap is a good thing!

A leftover turkey sandwich, anyway you like it, is a no brainier for those Thanksgiving day leftovers. And I know what you are thinking "Heather, you are not really going to try and share a 'recipe' for a turkey sandwich, are you?" Well my friends, to get technical, no this is not a recipe per say. Just an idea. An idea you may find a little strange. But I am asking you, please don't knock it tell you try it.

This classic turkey sandwich has all the makings: whole wheat bread, check; leftover Thanksgiving turkey check, check, Miracle Whip (ok I am sure there are Miracle Whip haters out there but it is essential to this sandwich), and then the star of this turkey sandwich: whole berry cranberry sauce.

Yup folks, that's right. You are going to mix some of you leftover cranberry sauce, with the Miracle Whip to create a sweet and tangy smear to spruce up that plain ole' traditional turkey sandwich! I know it sounds odd, and I was skeptical myself, but this is delicious! Plus not only do you have a tasty turkey sandwich that is perfect for the holidays, you are using up TWO things that you probably have consuming your fridge that need to get eaten up. So go try it today (or after Thanksgiving) and let me know what you think! : )

Turkey Cranberry Sandwiches
Printable Version
Prep Time: 5 minutes

  • Your Choice of Bread
  • Miracle Whip
  • Jellied Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce
  • Fresh Leftover Turkey
Mix equal amounts of cranberry sauce and Miracle Whip in a small bowl until thoroughly mixed. Smear cranberry/Miracle Whip on one side of each slice of bread. Top bread with leftover turkey and sandwich together. Enjoy!

adapted from Lick the Bowl Good and The Dean Bros. Cookbook: Recipes From The Road

One Year Ago: Pumpkin Pie Spice

Friday, November 19, 2010

I try...

I try... I really do.

I try to follow through on the things I say. I try my darnedest. Like when someone invites me to a function, I make every effort to be there. If I am asked to bring a dessert to dinner at a friend's I never show up with something store bought. And most importantly I try to blog regularly and when I promise something like "a week of leftover Thanksgiving recipes" I try to have all the recipes made and blogged about and ready for each day of that week.

But then something always happens. I have computer or Internet problems, or I have to go out of town, or this time my excuse reason is that I started a new job, a second job. What have I gotten myself into?!?! As if I wasn't busy enough. Hopefully it won't be for long that I will have to juggle two jobs and soon I can just focus on just one, the one I love the most (which deals with food and writing. oh my! I am in heaven).

And until then, I will am high and TRY to blog regularly and faithfully (especially when I promise). And maybe one day I can totally be prepared and organized and blog every day of the work week like some of the blogs I love do (I admire their dedication, organisation, and TIME).

One day...

I promise...

I will try and get to that place...

Ok enough mumbojumbo. This long past due leftover turkey recipe was another awesome one. To create this concoction I took several of my favorite recipes mixed them all together, added a touch of Heather love and vola... Leftover Turkey (or of course Chicken) Creamy Enchiladas!

Leftover Turkey (or chicken) Creamy Enchiladas
By Heather of Kitchen Concoctions
Printable Version
Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 20 Minutes Serves 5

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 medium onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups shredded, cooked turkey (or chicken)
1 (4 ounce) can diced green chilies
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup salsa verde/tomatillo salsa
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon tabasco
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
10 flour tortillas
1 cup shredded colby jack cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9x13 inch pan with non-stick spray.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until tender. Add the turkey, diced green chilies, cream cheese, 1/2 cup salsa verde, 1/2 cup sour cream, tabasco, and seasonings. Heat through.

Fill tortillas with turkey mixture. Roll up tightly and place tortilla seem side down in prepared baking pan.

Combine remaining 1/2 cup of sour cream and 1/2 cup of salsa verde. Pour over enchiladas and top with shredded cheese. Bake for 15 minutes until cheese is melted.

One Year Ago: Chocolate Cake

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Fall Lovin'

It finally feels like fall here in central Texas! And I am as happy as can be!

I love sweater weather (not when it is freezing cold but cool autumn days).

I love going for a run in the morning and feeling the cold crisp air fill my lungs.

And I love the comfort food that accompanies these fall days. Casseroles, soups, and chilies are delightful when there is a bit of a nip in the air.

And I love how this hearty White Turkey Chili turned out. Lovely on a chilly day and a perfect way to use up that leftover Thanksgiving turkey.

White Turkey (or Chicken) Chili
by Heather of Kitchen Concoctions
Printable Version
Prep Time: 5-8 minutes Cook Time: 23-28 minutes Serves 6-8

1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup flour
5 tablespoons butter
2 cups half and half
2 cups of chicken broth
1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 can navy beans, drained and rinsed
1 can great northern beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1 (4 oz) can chopped green chilies
2 cups cooked, shredded turkey (or chicken)
1 cup grated Monterrey Jack cheese
2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
cheddar cheese
tortilla chips

Cook onion and garlic in 1 tablespoon of butter until soft, not brown, about 3 minutes. Set aside. Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter and whisk in the 1/3 cup of flour to make a roux. Boil for 2 minutes stirring constantly. Add the cooked onion and garlic to the roux.

Add the half and half and chicken broth. Simmer 3 minutes or until thick. Stir in the 1 cup of Monterrey Jack cheese, and stir until melted.

Add the beans, corn, chilies, turkey, Tabasco sauce, salt, pepper, cumin, oregano, and cayenne pepper.

Simmer for an additional 15-20 minutes, until thick and heated through. Great served topped with cheddar cheese and tortilla chips.

Note: I used leftover cooked Thanksgiving turkey in this recipe. However, if you don't have leftover turkey, leftover chicken, such as from a Rotisserie chicken, would also taste great. Or if you don't have leftover precooked chicken or turkey you can place 2 large chicken breasts in a pot of boiling water and boil until done, about 20 minutes. Remove from water and carefully shred cooked chicken with a fork. Continue with recipe as written.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Gobble, Gobble

I love this time of year! It makes me so giddy inside! I love the changing of the seasons, and pumpkins and the changing of leaves. I love the holidays; Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years and of course my birthday (yep my birthday is a national holiday if you all didn't know! HAHAHA) I love all the decorations, and food, and traditions. I love it all!

And for me I think it is so awesome that I live so close to my family and 'in-laws' that we make it work to spend some of each of the holidays with each family. And I love that I get to experience the food and traditions of both families!

And because Eric and I both have large families there is always a TON of food. And a TON of food means a TON of leftovers! Of course these leftovers are perfect just reheated, or made into a traditional turkey sandwich (I love sandwiches made with Thanksgiving turkey leftovers, and look forward to them all year), but depending on your crowd and the amount of turkey you have left over you might want a few more options to use it up.

So this week, while all the other blogs, food TV shows, and recipe websites feature your typical Thanksgiving day menu ideas I will be focusing on the day after! Which means this week is left over turkey recipe week!

But first, before we can have left over turkey we must first cook the bird! Now I know a lot of people (I would say most people) are afraid to be in charge of cooking. I know I was quite nervous the first Thanksgiving I hosted myself. I didn't want to under cook it or over cook it and it be to dry or for it not be ready by the time everyone was ready to eat. Well folks I have an absolute easy peasy roasted turkey recipe for you today. This turkey only takes minutes to prepare, two hours and 40 minutes to cook, and is the juiciest, tenderest, moistest turkey I have ever had! Easy. Peasy. And the turkey is done!

Notes: This is definitely an unusual cooking method for a turkey. Some sites and guides (such as this one) advise not using paper bags to cook turkeys. I used one and did not have any problems. But I did have reservations about doing so. So please do what you feel most comfortable with. I did recently discover that Reynolds makes a turkey roasting bag. I have not tried it but I am sure that it would work just as well!

Aunt Marilyn’s Incredible Turkey
Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 2 hours and 40 minutes Rest Time: 30 Minutes
Servings: Vary depending on size of turkey

1 12-22 pound turkey
carrots, onion (peeled and cut into large chunks), garlic cloves (peeled and smashed)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon seasoned salt
1 tablespoon pepper
1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
brown paper bag

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees and let it heat for one hour. Meanwhile, remove giblets and neck and wash the turkey. Fill the cavity of the turkey with carrots, garlic and onion. Combine the lemon juice, salt, pepper and poultry seasoning in a small bowl. With your hands, rub the entire turkey with the lemon juice mixture.

Place the turkey breast down (this is opposite of how a turkey is normally cooked – so just flip the turkey upside down) in a large roasting pan. Place the roasting pan in the hot oven for as many minutes as the turkey weighs (ie. 19 lb. turkey = 19 minutes). Bake for the allotted time.

Meanwhile, grease a large brown paper bag with butter on both sides. Remove the roasting pan from the oven and carefully (because the turkey and roasting pan are HOT) make a tent out of the paper bag and drape it over the turkey, taking care to tuck the sides of the bag into the roasting pan (otherwise, the butter will drip off the bag, leap onto the oven burner and possibly create a large fire). Turn the oven down to 400 degrees and cook the turkey for two hours and 30 minutes.

Remove the roasting pan and turkey from the oven and let turkey sit for 20 minutes. Remove turkey from the roasting pan and pour the drippings into a medium-sized saucepan. Bring to a boil. Make a slurry from flour and water (to the consistency of thick, heavy cream) and add to the drippings until desired consistency is reached to form gravy.

adapted from My Kitchen Cafe

Friday, November 12, 2010

Meet Super Ham's Trusty Sidekicks....

Every Super Hero Ham needs a trusty sidekick dish to help pull off the feat of dinner time success. To conquer the terrifying villain (planning and preparing a dinner party for 8-10 guests) I (and my Super Hero Ham (which is a dinner time hero because it is effortlessly cooked in the crockpot and comes out tender and juicy)) needed to team up with some sidekicks dishes that were just as easy and delicious but did not take away from the star of this Kitchen Comic but only enhanced it's story. What better a partner in dinner time crime than dinner rolls that take about 2 hours to make from start to finish and some new and improved mashed potatoes.

First meet sidekick Parker House Rolls, buttery, soft and tasty. Next meet sidekick: Herbed Mashed Red Potatoes, smooth and flavorful. With their powers combined....

The dinner time villain is demolished! Now go conquer your own dinner villains with the help of Super Ham and it's sidekicks Parker House Rolls and Herbed Mashed Red Potatoes! May the force be with you...

P.S. I know I am weird. I have been told that since I was a toddler. But I feel it keeps life interesting.

Parker House Rolls (Two Hour Roll Recipe)
Printable Version
Prep Time: 15 minutes Rise Time: 11/2 hours Bake Tim: 18-20 minutes Makes 16-18 rolls

1/2 cup sugar
2 cups hot water
1/2 cup oil
6 – 7 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
2 tablespoons instant yeast
1/4 cup butter, melted, for shaping rolls

Add hot water to sugar and oil and beat with electric mixer (or by hand). Add eggs and salt; beat well. When mixture is lukewarm, add yeast and keep beating. Add flour until a soft dough forms. Do not knead. Let rise in covered, oil bowl for one hour.

Form rolls. To make Parker House rolls, roll out dough to 1/2-inch thickness and cut circles with round cutter, about 3 inches in diameter. Spread melted butter on one side of dough circle. Fold in half on baking sheet and pinch edges together to seal (don’t be afraid of this step – use your index and middle finger to indent the edges of the roll together all the way to the bottom of the sheet pan otherwise they will pop open while baking). Brush additional melted butter on top of folded roll. Arrange folded dough in rows in pan, each nearly touching the other. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes. Serve warm with additional butter if desired.

adapted from My Kitchen Cafe

Herbed Mashed Red Potatoes
by Heather of Kitchen Concoctions
Printable Version
Prep Time: 10 minuets Cook time: 15-20 minutes Serves 6

4 pounds red potatoes
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon thyme
1 tablespoon rosemary
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup half and half

Wash and dice potatoes. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. When water starts to boil add potatoes. Boil potatoes for 15-20 minutes until tender. Drain water and return potatoes to pot. Add remaining ingredients to potatoes and using an electric mixer, whip potatoes until smooth and creamy.

One Year Ago: Eric's Classic Chicken Parmesan

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Super Ham

The star of the Hormel dinner party I threw was definitely the ham! And how could it not be?!? This Brown Sugar Ham (cooked in the slow cooker) was juicy, sweet and savory all at the same time, and not only that, it was a cinch to make. I had seen several recipes floating around the internet for a ham cooked in the crockpot and decided I wanted to make my own version. The Hormel dinner party was the perfect opportunity. Not only was the entire party centered around Hormel products, utilizing the crockpot to cook my ham allowed me to not have to worry about the main dish, leaving me able to focus on the sides and the other party prep! Another thing I loved about this effortless recipe is that the ham did not dry out, which is typical for cooking a ham in the oven! This recipe was a huge success and would be perfect to serve at you next holiday get together, when you have more important things to focus on!

Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Ham
by Heather of Kitchen Concoctions
Printable Version
Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 4-5 hours on low Serves 8-10

7-8 pound bone-in spiral-cut ham
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons seasoning packet included with ham
1/3 cup molasses
2 cups orange/pineapple juice

Use a 6-7 quart slow cooker. Unwrap the ham. Place the ham into the slow cooker stoneware, flat-side down. Mix brown sugar with 2 tablespoons of seasoning packet. Rub brown sugar mixture on all sides of ham. Pour on molasses and orange/pineapple juice. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours. An hour before serving, baste ham with the collected juices from the bottom of the slow cooker. When cooking is done, remove carefully and let it rest on a cutting board for 10 minutes before carving.

One Year Ago: Cheesy Pretzel Dipping Sauce

Hammin' It Up!

Today's blog entry I dedicate to all my bacon lovin, ham obsessing, pork pleasing friends. This one's for you. And for all my peeps that keep Kosher and/or don't eat pork for whatever reason please don't hate. Next week I will be featuring a week of recipes that use turkey left overs just for you. But that might not work either if you don't eat pork because you are vegetarian or vegan because then you won't eat turkey either. And if that's the case then please just tune in for my witty (and corny and sometimes just plan boring) commentary.

But I digress. Today and over the course of the next several days I will be sharing several recipes that involve ham and bacon bits. Hormel ham and bacon bits to be exact. Why so much ham? Why not I say!?! With the holidays coming some yummy ham recipes might be useful. Plus Hormel asked me too! Actually Hormel asked me to throw a dinner party using some of their ham/pepperoni/bacon products and then share it all with you! Good thing I love ham and all my dinner guest did too because it was hamtastic!

Wanna know what I made that had my dinner guests ohhhing and ahhhing? Well I thought you'd never ask!

Here's what we had:

For starters we had Wedge Salads. Which had crunchy iceberg lettuce, creamy blue cheese dressing, tangy blue cheese crumbles, plump and juicy cherry tomatoes, which was all topped with Hormel Bacon Bits.

Next was our main course. Flavorful, juicy Hormel spiral cut ham (cooked in the crockpot of all places), with soft buttery rolls, and herbed smashed potatoes! Yum!

And the icing on the cake of this delicious meal? These rich, decadent Espresso Brownies. (remember those bad boys).

And that's not all folks! Wanna know what you can make with your ham leftovers? Well a huge pot of creamy Ham and Potato Soup might just be what the doctor ordered on a fine fall day!

So I invite you to stay awhile and be a part of my Hormel party (and maybe you will be inspired to host your own)! (I will be posting the recipes for all of these dishes over the next few days!)

Disclosure: As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program, I received packages of Hormel Bacon Bits and Hormel Turkey Pepperoni. I also received coupons for $10 off any Hormel Ham. The opinions and reviews expressed here are my own.
One Year Ago: Cheesy Pretzel Dipping Sauce

Monday, November 8, 2010

And we have a winner...

The randomly generated winner of the Pillsbury Flaky Cinnamon Rolls with Butter Cream Icing and scrapbook kit giveaway is:

Random Number Generator

Min: 1
Max: 12
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Comment number 4 came from Aviva:

Aviva said...
I am a follower, will become a FB fan when I can figure out how to do that :) My favorite breakfast times were the mornings that my sister and I would make French toast.

November 3, 2010 10:58 AM

Congratulations Aviva! Please email me at with you mailing address. Thank you to all who entered! Don't worry if you didn't win this time, I have a few more giveaways up my sleeve to share soon!

P.S. Stay tuned for some yummy recipes coming later tonight (hopefully) or tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Giveaway: Take Two

Ok guys I know I posted this giveaway the other day at the bottom of one of my tasty Halloween recipes. But do to the lack of responses and the fact that I had several people ask me about this giveaway but did not enter I thought I would repost the giveaway here all by it's self. I hope this makes it easier for you all to read about how to enter the giveaway and what is included as part of the giveaway.

Now I realize that this is a cooking/food blog and that part of this giveaway is for some yummy Pillsbury Flaky Cinnamon Rolls with Butter Cream Icing (totally food related) but the other half of the giveaway is not so much on the food related side but is still very fun and totally right up my alley. You see besides my love for all things food related, one of my other deep passions is photography and scrpabooking! That is why I was super excited and jumped at the chance to host this giveaway for not only some delicious Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls but for the fact to giveaway some fun, very nice, and cool scrapbooking supplies! So I apologize if you already entered the giveaway when I posted it the other day. But going forward only comments posted in the comment section of this post will count towards being entered into this giveaway.
Now on to the giveaway! Today's giveaway is brought to you by Pillsbury. Their new Flaky Cinnamon Rolls with Butter Cream Icing are flaky and gooey and delicious. They bring me right back to my childhood and Sunday morning breakfasts. With different school schedules and Saturday activities, Sunday was the only day of the week that the entire fam got to sit down and eat together. And we always had cinnamon rolls, and my mom knew better than to get any other brand besides Pillsbury!

Today's giveaway consists of a coupon for Pillsbury Flaky Cinnamon Rolls with Butter Cream Icing, and a scrapbook kit with scissors, scrapbooking glue, and a quality scrapbook with decorative paper, stickers and embellishments. Perfect for preserving all those great family memories.

You have FOUR separate ways to enter the Pillsbury Flaky Cinnamon Rolls with Butter Cream Icing and Scrapbook prize pack giveaway (NOTE: Please leave a SEPARATE comment for each response below):

1. Leave a comment on this post sharing your favorite breakfast time traditions. Maybe they are traditions and fond memories from your childhood or maybe you want to share you favorite breakfast time memories you are creating now with your own family.
2. Become a follower of this blog and come back to this post and leave a comment letting me know. And if you are already a follower just leave a comment letting me know that too.

3. Tell someone about this giveaway, whether it be on a blog, Facebook or Twitter. Then come back here and leave a new comment letting me know.

4. And finally, if you have not noticed Kitchen Concoctions is now on Facebook! For a fourth entry to this giveaway, head over to Kitchen Concoction’s Facebook page and click ”Like”. Then come back here and leave a separate comment letting me know you did. (And if you are already a Facebook fan leave a comment letting me know!)

This give-away closes Sunday, November 7, 2010 at 10 pm CST. Winner will be chosen at random and will be announced sometime shortly after the give-away ends. Wow that was a long big post! But what better way to celebrate November and the upcoming Hoiliday season! Good Luck!

Disclaimer: I did not receive monetary compensation for this review. Pillsbury provided me with the product, information, and prize packs through MyBlogSpark.
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