Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Squash Boats

I came across this side dish when a friend of mine posted a picture on facebook of this amazing dinner she made.  She used Zucchini to make the boats and I have tried both Zucchini and Yellow Squash but favor the Yellow Squash more.  Try both and see what you like!

3 Squash (yellow or zucchini)
1 Roma Tomato, Chopped
½ Teaspoon Garlic, Minced
1 Teaspoon Olive Oil
¼ Cup Breadcrumbs
Salt to taste
Black Pepper to taste
½ -1 Cup Mozzarella Cheese, Shredded

Cut the squash length wise and scoop out the center making a “boat” trimming off the bottom if you need to stabilized it on the sheet pan.  In another bowl, mix together the tomato, garlic, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, and olive oil to make a wet sand type mixture.  Pack the mixture into the boats and bake in a 375 degree oven for about 35-40 minutes until the squash is tender and cooked through.  At this point, top the boats with cheese and return to the oven for 5-10 minutes until the cheese is melted and slightly browned. 
This makes a delicious side dish to any meal! Whatever you eat it with, take the Thyme to Savor…

Monday, February 27, 2012

Baked Fudge

Have I ever mentioned on this blog how much I {LOVE} The Pioneer Woman?? I think I might have a few times!! I love her recipes, they always come out delicious.  I do have to admit, usually when I make her recipes, I have to modify them to use less butter and cream but even with the modifications, they are amazing.  The baking recipes, however, I do leave as is.  I discovered this one about a year ago and made it for my hubby and we both instantly fell in love with it.  Then I made it again, and again, and finally for some family.  Everyone loves this and its so easy. 

2 whole Eggs
1 cup Sugar
2 Tablespoons (heaping) Cocoa
2 Tablespoons Flour
1/2 cup Butter, Melted
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Preparation Instructions
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Beat eggs until light in color. Beat in sugar until just combined. Add cocoa, flour, melted butter, and vanilla extract. Mix gently until well combined.

Pour the batter into four large ramekins. Set ramekins into a larger pan halfway full of water.

Bake 55 minutes, or until upper crust is crispy and the rest of the batter is firm but not set. Toothpick should come out…not clean, but mixture should not be overly runny. If you pull it out of the oven and have second thoughts, stick it back in for ten more minutes.

Like I said, this is a definite keeper and is a quick dessert you can whip up when you have company.  This Baked Fudge is definitely one you want to take the Thyme to Savor….  

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Shepherd's Pie {MY VERSION}

I had never really tried Shepherd's Pie before a long conversation with my cousin, who makes it all the time.  She told me it was super easy and it was a favorite in her house so I knew I had to get the recipe and try it.  I made it and was shocked at how easy it was and how delicious it was.  This was going to be a keeper for us as well, I just knew it! This is my version, modified from the traditional Shepherd's Pie made with Lamb Meat and Vegetables. This recipe makes enough to serve between 6-8.

1/2 tray of ground turkey
2 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon cayenne (more or less depending on taste)
1 teaspoon fresh garlic, minced
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 onion, chopped
2 packets brown gravy mix (any brand you like)
1 shepherd’s pie mix (I use the Coleman Brand)
1/2-1 cup water depending on how thick you want the meat
Mashed potato (your favorite recipe or boxed)

In a frying pan, add butter and the turkey meat, mixing it until it starts to brown. Then add onions, Cayenne (to taste), salt (to taste), black pepper (to taste), and garlic.  Once all that is combined, add the brown gravy mix, shepherd’s pie mix, and water to make the gravy (starting with ¼ cup, adding more as you need).  Adjust thickness as you like.  Transfer the meat to a baking dish and allow it to cool as you prepare the mashed potato.

In another pot make mashed potatoes like you usually do (make sure you make enough to cover the meat).  I usually use about 4-5 large russet potato to make enough to cover a large rectangle dish.  I love homemade mashed potatoes so boxed is really never an option for me!

Top the meat with the potatoes, making sure to cover the entire surface.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 40 minutes.  Once 40 minutes have passed, top the potatoes with your favorite cheese and return to the oven for another 5-10 minutes or until the cheese has melted completely.  Allow the Shepherd’s Pie to cool for about 10 minutes and cut and serve. 
This is one of my family's favorite comfort type dishes.  It is so delicious and even better right out of the oven with the cheese hot and bubbly! Make this today and you will not be sorry! Whenever you do, make sure you take the Thyme to Savor...

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Indian Style Lettuce Wraps

This is my take on a favorite at PF Changs, the lettuce wraps.  In an effort to eat healthy, I have created this dish as a staple to our low calorie diet.  Here is how I make this.

1/2 Lbs. Ground Turkey Meat (or any other ground meat you like)
2 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
3 Teaspoon Garlic, Minced
1 Small Jalapeno, Minced (more for more  heat)
1 Teaspoon Fresh Ginger, Minced
3 Tablespoon Fresh Cilantro, Chopped
2 Teaspoon Ground Tumeric
4 Teaspoon Ground Coriander
2 Teaspoon Garam Masala
1/2 Teaspoon Tandoori Masala (optional)
1 Teaspoon Salt (more or less depending on your family's taste)
2 Cups Spinach, chopped
½ Cup Fresh Green Beans, chopped small
½ white onion
½ red bell pepper
Lettuce (any type you like, we usually use butter lettuce or whole romaine leaves)

Heat the oil in a large frying pan.  Once hot, add the green beans, bell peppers, and onion and allow them to cook for a minute or two.  Then add the turkey and allow it to cook for another minute or two.  Add all the spices, garlic, ginger, and jalapeno, mixing well.  Allow the meat to fully cook.  Once fully cooked, add the spinach until the spinach has wilted down. Check the seasonings and adjust to your taste.  Serve the meat in a plate with your favorite lettuce and enjoy. 

Whether you are dieting or not, this is a must try and remember to take the Thyme to Savor...

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Turkey Noodle

This is a dish I have been making for years now. I just recently made it again at the request of the hubby! I actually had to pull the recipe up on the Food Network and reread it to get ready to cook it! I had not made this in so long; I actually forgot what went in it.  Crazy, I know!  I have taken the original Rachael Ray Turkey Noodle Casserole Recipe and modified it to fit my family’s taste and to make it a bit lighter and healthier.  Here is my version!

  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
  • Salt
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 slices bacon, chopped
  • ½ lbs. Ground Turkey
  • 1 pound white mushrooms, wiped, trimmed and sliced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Red Pepper Flake to taste
  • 3 cloves Garlic, minced
  • ½ jalapeno, minced
  • 1 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves

Bring a large pot of water to a boil for your pasta. When it boils, salt the water and cook to al dente.

Preheat a large, deep skillet over medium high heat. Add bacon. Render the bacon fat 2 to 3 minutes, until bacon begins to brown at edges. Add meat, garlic, jalapeno, and thyme and brown it, crumbling it. Once the meat is cooked, remove on a plate and set aside.  In the same pan, add the olive oil and add mushrooms and onions. Cook mushrooms and onions until tender and slightly browned, then combine the meat with veggies and season the mixture liberally with salt and pepper.  Stir in stock and bring to a bubble, deglaze the pan, lifting up pan drippings and bits, then stir in cream and reduce the heat to low. Taste to adjust seasonings. Add the red pepper flake here if you like it spicy. Let the sauce cook in the meat and veggie mixture until you have a slightly thick sauce, making sure not to let all the liquid burn off. Even if the sauce looks a bit thin, once the pasta is mixed in, it will be ok. 

Add the cooked pasta into the sauce mixture, top with the parsley and enjoy! This will make roughly 6 1 cup servings!

This is a great family style pasta dish you can whip up and serve tonight! Who ever you enjoy it with, remember to take the Thyme to Savor...

Friday, February 10, 2012

Chicken Tikka Masala

This dish brings me home.  This is one of those recipes that my mom made while growing up that we used to eat all the time.  It really is a super easy recipe as long as you have the ingredients, all of which you can easily find at any local Indian Grocery Store.

For the Chicken
  • Chicken cut into cubes (use either breast pieces or thigh pieces) about 2 cups
  • 1 tsp. Ginger, minced
  • 1 ½ tsp. Garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • 2-3 tsp. Tandoori Masala (Rajah Brand)
  • 1 tsp. Cayenne Pepper (add more if you want it spicy)
  • 2 Tbs. Oil
Mix all the ingredients except the oil together and let the chicken marinate for at least an hour but marinate longer if time permits.  The longer it is marinated, the better the flavor will be.  Once marinated, cook the chicken in the oil until done, making sure not to overcook.  Once cooked, remove from pot and set aside. 

For the Sauce
  • 1 Yellow Onion, chopped
  • ¼ Green Bell Pepper, chopped
  • 2 Tbs. Tomato Paste
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • 2 Tbs. Tandoori Masala (Rajah Brand)
  • ¼ tsp. Turmeric
  • 1 tsp. Cayenne Pepper (add more if you want it spicy)
  • 3 tsp. Coriander, Ground
  • 1 ½ tsp. Garlic
  • 1 tsp. Ginger
  • 3 Tbs. Oil
  • 1 Pint Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 1 Cup Water
In the same pot, heat oil and add onions and peppers and sauté until tender.  Usually about 10 minutes or so on medium low heat. 

Once the onion is tender, add tomato paste. Stir until it all comes together.  Then add all the other spices, garlic, ginger, salt, turmeric, cayenne, ground coriander and tandoori masala and cook tomato paste mixture. I cooked mine for a good 10-15 minutes. Then add the entire container of heavy whipping cream and use a whisk to blend. Once all is blended, use a hand mixer to blend sauce. Once blended, check the thickness and add water to get the sauce to the thickness you like.  The sauce should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon but not so thick that a spoon stands up in it.  Once that is done, add the cooked chicken and simmer for 5-10 minutes.

Just keep an eye out on the sauce so it doesn’t get too thick.

Serve with naan and rice.

This dish really does take me back to my childhood and it will transport you to your favorite Indian Restaurant.  Make it today and see for your self... remembering to take the Thyme to Savor...

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Lemon Basil Pasta

This is one of the best Pioneer Woman recipes I have tried.  I love this pasta and I think my hubby and kids love it more. The basil and lemon go perfectly together and the chicken is super yummy.  I prefer it to be cooked outside on the BBQ for added flavor but in the winter months the good ol George Forman works perfectly.  This is also a must try...

For the Chicken Marinade:
  •   2 Chicken Breast, Boneless & Skinless
  •   2 Tbs. Olive oil
  •   2 Lemons, Juiced
  •   2 Tbs. Dijon Mustard
  •   2-3 Garlic Cloves, Minced
  •   1 tsp. Salt
  •   1 tsp. Pepper
  •   Red Pepper Flake to taste.
Mix all the ingredients into a bowl and let it set for 20 minutes or so.  Once marinated, grill the chicken either in an indoor grill or bbq.  Cover and set aside to rest.

For the Pasta:
  • ½ pound Penne Pasta, Cooked Until Al Dente
  • 1/4 stick Butter
  • 2 whole Lemons, Juiced
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream (more or less depending on how thick you want the sauce)
  • 1-1/2 cup Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • Salt And Freshly Ground Black Pepper, To Taste
  • 20 whole Basil Leaves, Chopped
Cook pasta according to package directions. Set pasta aside in a colander.

In a large frying pan, melt butter over medium heat. Squeeze in the juice the lemons. Whisk together. Pour in cream. Whisk until it is hot and bubbly. Dump in cheese and whisk until melted. Add salt and pepper. Check consistency, adding more cream to loosen the sauce if needed (some of the pasta water could also be added to loosen).  Add the chopped basil and let the sauce cook for a minute or so.

Add the pasta into the sauce and toss to coat.  Plate the pasta and add the grilled chicken chopped into slices on top.  Garnish with more basil if desired.  Serve immediately!

This really is a super yummy pasta dish.  Make it today and remember to take the Thyme to Savor...

Friday, February 3, 2012

Macaroni & Cheese Cupcakes

This is a great little dish to have for your next party.  Small enough to be just the right amount of pasta and cheese but full of flavor.  This is always a hit with the kids... I love macaroni and cheese, but when it's homemade, it is even better. Here is the recipe.  The original recipe calls for cheddar cheese but I used a blend of Italian cheese from Trader Joe's and it was to die for! So don't be afraid to mix and match cheese to see what you like!

  • 8 ounces elbow macaroni
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, plus a little more for garnish (or any blend you like)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper
1. Preheat oven to 400.  Line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper or foil liners.

1. Cook the macaroni until done.  Drain and immediately return to pot.

2. Add cheese and stir briefly until almost melting.

3. Beat eggs into milk, and then pour mixture into macaroni.  Mix well.

4. Ladle macaroni mixture into muffins tins, and bake for 20 minutes.  Cool slightly before serving

Serve this at your next party... or make it for a small dinner for kids! What ever event you make it at, it will surely be a hit and remember to take the Thyme to Savor...

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Red Velvet Cookies

Red Velvet is my {BEST FRIEND}.  I will try anything red velvet and will almost everytime, love it! I had to try these cookies when I saw them.  I modified this recipe a little to leave out the filling, but they were still delicious.  This is a must try... One of these days, I will make the cookies as they are, filling and all!

For the Cookies
1 box red velvet cake mix (I used Duncan Hines)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the white chocolate drizzle:
1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips, melted
1 Tbs. oil

To make cookies, in a large bowl combine cake mix and flour. Whisk until clumps disappear. In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together cake mix, flour, eggs, oil and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap. The dough will be oily. Refrigerate for at least two hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.  Gently roll about a tablespoon size dough into a ball and place on prepared baking sheet.  Bake for 9-11 minutes or until the cookies begin to crackle. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes. Remove from baking sheet to a wire cooling rack and cool completely.

Melt the white chocolate chips and oil in a microwave safe bowl or over a double-boiler. Drizzle the white chocolate over the cooled cookies. Let the cookies set until the chocolate hardens. Serve and enjoy!

Make these today and remember to take the Thyme to Savor...