Category Archives: Josh’s Favorites

Thanksgiving Cranberry Turkey Salad

My work graciously gave us vouchers for either turkeys or hams this year at Christmas. Since we are in the process of moving, I waited until the very last minute to pick up my turkey breast at the Piggly Wiggly. We only had until the last day of February to purchase them which really worked out in our favor since we did not have our own refrigerator until mid January. 

My husband and I waited until Saturday to roast the turkey breast in the slow cooker while we house shopped. The turkey pretty much took that long to thaw out in the refrigerator. It sure was nice to have dinner done when we returned home from an exhausting day of decision making. What location to buy the house? Which neighborhood ? What house? 

What I love most about roasting poultry is there are unless outcomes with the end result. First of course sliced and served with a heeping amount of garlic mashed potatoes than served in pot pies, soups, salads, pastas,  Ect. 

Yields: 5 Servings 

Ingredients:

4 Tablespoons of roasted sunflower seeds

4 Tablespoons of dried cranberries 

2 teaspoons malt vinegar 

2 teaspoons whole grain Dijon mustard

4 Tablespoons of light miracle whip

4 Tablespoons plain fat free Greek yogurt

2 cups of cooled roasted turkey breast, chopped 

Salt and pepper to taste 

Directions: 

1. Mix the first 6 ingredients together in a sealable container (should hold at least 3 cups). 

2. Fold in the turkey to the salad dressing blend. Lastly salt and pepper to taste. 

3. Enjoy with some whole grain crackers or whole wheat bread with spinach! 

Muffuletta Pizza


One of my husband and I’s favorite vacations we went on was New Orleans in 2011. The culture in NOLA is very unique and welcoming. The food is amazing and like no other. We even attending a one of a kind cooking class at the New Orleans Experience to advance our skill-set on Creole Cooking.When we stayed in NOLA, we stayed at a wonderful Bed and Breakfast called Ashtons.  In the morning we had an elegant breakfasts and the hostesses even prepared vegetarian entrees for me. For the rest of the day we would scout out local restaurants to eat. One of my husband’s favorite new foods he consumed on the trip was a muffuletta sandwich. The ingredients on a muffuletta vary from where you purchase one; however, one element says the same there is always a marinated olive salad spread topping off the sandwich.  There is also some type of pork (ham, prosciutto, mortadella), beef (salami), & a cheese (provolone, swiss, mozzarella) on the sandwich.

Fridays are generally Pizza day at our home (homemade). Growing up Pizza Friday Night was always something I looked forward to as a kid. My mom would get us our favorite pizza and we would go next door to First Row Video and return a movie. It was the only day of the week we were permitted to have pop (and the way it should be), eat in the living room and watch TV at the same time. My husband’s family had a similar tradition with Pizza on Fridays, several years later, my husband and I still practice the tradition and look forward to the occasion.

I have made several variations of muffuletta dishes from pasta to the traditional sandwich, maybe even some muffins. This is a new favorite and a way to honor the tradition of Pizza Friday and take my husband I back to NOLA without a plane ticket.

This pizza recipe yields six slices

Ingredients:

1 lb Pizza Dough, Fresh (link attached my our recipe) or store bought for $1-2 at the deli of the grocery store (If you are using frozen dough make sure to let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight). If using dough that has been in the refrigerator allow the dough to come to room temperature an hour before placing in the preheated oven.

2/3 cup of Jarred Muffuletta Mix

1 Cup of precooked diced ham

1/3 cup of Reduced Fat Feta Cheese, Crumbled

1/3 cup of Italian Blend Shredded Cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.
  2. Form the dough to fit a deep dish pizza stone. I like to roll my dough out and then press the dough into the dish. Once the dough is rolled out, gently place fork marks randomly to allow the steam to escape during the baking process. If you skip this step large bubbles may appear during the baking process.
  3. Once the dough is ready, place the muffuletta spread evenly on the dough leaving 3/4 of an inch boarder of the dough around the rim for the crust.
  4. Sporadically add the diced ham on top of the muffuletta spread. Place the pizza in the oven and allow it to bake at 500 degrees for 20 minutes.
  5. Remove the dish with oven mitts from the oven.  Sprinkle both of the cheeses on-top of the pizza evenly. Return the dish back into the oven to bake for 5 more minutes or until the cheese is melted. Remove from the pizza from the oven place on cutting board and cut pizza to your portion liking and serve.

 

 

Reuben Pizza

Reuben Pizza

 

We had some leftover corned beef last week from St. Patrick’s Day and the question was, how could I repurpose it?  I made a super easy corn-beef recipe in my pressure cooker, which I am starting to really like for it’s quick cook times. Now, I still love my crockpot but if you are pinched for time the pressure cooker is the way to go. Since St. Patrick’s day was Thursday this year, the pressure cooker had to be used since I ran to the store after work to purchase the meat and did not have time to let it go low and slow in the crock pot.

My husband loves Rueben’s and Pizza. This is a perfect combo to use the leftovers in a fun way. We generally make a pizza once a week using prepared homemade dough. I usually make 2-4 dough recipes at one time and portion them off and freeze them to last several weeks. It is so inexpensive to make your own dough and it tastes 100% better than the stuff in a can or that’s delivered. You can also buy  fresh dough at most deli’s for 1-2 $ a lb. That is if you don’t want to make the dough yourself. Or you can buy frozen dough as well, which can cost just about the same as the fresh; however, the frozen dough you can generally find a coupon in the weekly paper.

Predirections: Preheat oven to 500 degrees.

Ingredients:

1 lb of prepared dough, if using frozen make sure it is thawed, I like to pull my out a day in advance

3-4 T Fat Free Thousand Island Dressing

6-7 slices Swiss Cheese, Sliced Thin

1/2-2/3  Cup Sauerkraut (drained very well)

6-8 1/4′ Slices of Leftover Corned Beef (You can always dice this up int small bits it you prefer)

2 tsp. Caraway Seeds

Directions:

  1. Place the dough in a deep dish stoneware dish, spread the dough to the sides and form edges,
  2. Place on top of the dough the thousand island dressing. Spread the dressing to the sides leaving an 1 inch rim of the dough. Sprinkle with caraway seeds.
  3. Place evenly small amounts of sauerkraut on top of the dressing.
  4. Sporadically place the sliced meat over the sauerkraut and place the dish in the oven. Reduce the temperature to 450 degrees and bake for 20 minutes.
  5. Remove the dish from the oven and layer with cheese and return to oven for 5 minutes or until the cheese has melted.
  6. Place on cutting board and divide into 6 slices. Enjoy!

 

 

 

Pasta Pie





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Yesterday despite the snow we ventured downtown to our favorite place to shop for kitchen essentials and pantry staples. I also love to shop the Strip District for inspiration on what to make the following week. Lucky it was Saturday and one of our favorite bakeries & cafe’s was open. I was checking out the showcase and the owner had made an Italian Meat Pie. This inspired me to look for a meat pie recipe. I did not find exactly what I was looking for; however, stumbled across a recipe by One Little Project at a Time, Three Cheese Italian Rigatoni Pie that intrigued me. This will not stop me from researching to find a pastry meat pie recipe, so be on the lookout for more details in the upcoming week.

I slightly modified the original recipe with the link from of above to incorporate some lighter ingredients and add additional seasoning. This pie turns out picture perfect and ridiculously delicious (Husband approved)! 

Ingredients
  • 1 pound Rigatoni
  • 3 cups; plus 1/3 cup of homemade pasta sauce or your favorite store bought sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil,
  • 1 pound extra lean ground beef (93/7)
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (grated)
  • 1/4 cup Romano Locatelli (grated)
  • 1/4 cup Asiago cheese (grated)
  • One 16 oz container of fat free cottage cheese (fat free ricotta cheese) or my family always likes a combo of both
  • 1 large egg
  • 1-1/2 cups of 2% mozzarella cheese
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp of Pasta Sprinkle or Italian seasoning
Instructions:
  1. Cook the Rigatoni in a large pot of boiling water. Cook the pasta according to the package but decrease the time by Cook it about 1 minute. Drain the pasta and rinse under cold water.
  2. Toss pasta with 1 Tablespoon of oil to prevent it from sticking. Then add the parmesan cheese, asiago cheese, and romano and mix until the cheese is evenly distributed. Set aside.
  3. Spray a large skillet preferably nonstick with cooking spray, sprinkle meat with salt and pepper, brown the ground beef on medium heat. Remove any excess liquid once cooked and no signs of pink meat.
  4. Add 3 cups of pasta sauce to the meat and bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer for at least 20 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and let it cool for 10 minutes.
  7. Mix together the container of cottage cheese and the egg & pasta sprinkle.
  8. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  9. Cooking spray a 9 inch springform pan and place the remaining 1/3 cup of pasta sauce on the bottom of the springform pan. Spread the sauce evenly.
  10. Take the cooked rigatoni and stand each piece up on its end in the pan. Continue until the whole pan is tightly packed. You will feel like you don’t have enough noodles but you will.
  11. Pour the cottage cheese mixture over the rigatoni and spread evenly over all the noodles. Shake the pan and gently pound the pan on the counter to get some of the cottage cheese to venture down in the noodle vessels.
  12. Pour the meat mixture over top and spread evenly over the noodles. Use your a straw to poke the meat and cheese mixture down into the noodles. You can also gently pound the pan on the counter and shake this helps as well.
  13. Bake, uncovered, the beautiful pie for 15 minutes at 400F.
  14. Remove from the oven and top with the mozzarella cheese.
  15. Bake for another 15 minutes at 400F.
  16. Let stand on wire rack for 10 minutes then run a plastic knife (this will prevent scratching of your pan) around the edge of the pan to help remove the springform pan.

 

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Enjoy!

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Vegan Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer

  

My husband loves pumpkin spice coffee creamer! Now we can have it all year round! This is a very simple recipe and way more delicious than store bought. 

Ingredients:

2 cups of soy creamer or soy milk

3 Tbsp puréed pumpkin 

3 three inch cinnamon sticks

1 tsp ground pumpkin spice 

1 tsp pure vanilla

3 tbsp of pure maple syrup 

Directions:

1. Place the soy creamer, puréed pumpkin, maple syrup, cinnamon sticks, and ground pumpkin spice in a 2 qt sauce pan. Place on medium high heat and bring to a boil. 

2. Once boiling remove from heat and cover and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Add vanilla and stir.

3. Pour into a heat safe container and store in refrigerator. Shake well before using.

Enjoy!

rosemary horseradish ham bites 

 
I love using my grandfathers homemade horseradish in dishes. This one is unique since it calls for rosemary which adds a bit of flare. I love making these on the weekend. I often share them with my neighbors since there are only two of us or they freeze nicely. 

Ingredients:

3 1/2 cups of heart smart bisquick mix
1/2 cup chopped green pepper 

1 c skim milk
1.5 cups of egg substitute or 6 eggs

1 teaspoon of kosher salt

2/3 cup of shredded 2% cheddar cheese

2/3 cup of lean ham or Canadian bacon chopped

1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

2 TB of fresh pureed horseradish

1/2 TB of chopped fresh rosemary

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 and cooking spray line 12 standard size muffin tins and set aside.

2. In a small bowl mix the horseradish, salt, pepper, and eggs or egg substitute. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl mix biscuit mix, and milk to form sticky dough. Pour out dough onto a lightly floured clean countertop surface and use a rolling pin to evenly spread dough out into about 1/4 inch thick dough. Use a biscuit cutter or a glass about 3.5 inches to form biscuits.

4. Place the cut biscuit into the prepared muffin dish and press evenly up the side and into the tin. Add half the cheese evenly onto the biscuits (about a tsp or so in each). Also add 3-4 slices of the ham onto of the cheese (about half the ham). Add a few pieces of chopped peppers.

5. Divide the egg mixture into the cups evenly about 1/4 cup into each tin. Finish off the cups by adding evenly the remaining ham, pepper, & cheese.

6. Lastly dust with rosemary.

7. Bake the bites for 25 minutes or until the eggs are set. Keep the bites in the tins for 5 minutes on wire rack. Yield: serves 12

breakfast Stromboli

 

Josh loves a savory breakfast meal whether it’s for breakfast or dinner. This is a good twist on a breakfast pizza and now a family favorite!

Ingredients:

1 lb of home made pizza dough or frozen (thawed)
1 cup shredded smoked pepper jack cheese
1/2 cup of chopped green pepper
1/4 lb of breakfast sausage
1 egg
1 oz of skim
1/2-1 tsp poultry seasoning ( i used ruth ann’s from penzey’s)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees and place your pizza stone in the oven while it heats. Let it heat for an hour.
2. In a large pan season the sausage with poultry seasoning and brown the sausage until no pink meat remains on medium heat. Once fully cooked pour meat into dish ( I like to line it with paper towel which removes some of the fat). Lightly cook the peppers and place them on top of the cooked sausage.
3. In small bowl mix the milk and egg lightly season with more poultry seasoning. Pour into medium heat skillet and scramble eggs. Once eggs are fully cooked remove from heat and set aside.
4. Take dough and roll it out into a square on a lightly floured surface. Place the meat down evenly in the center of the dough in forming a rectangle. Top with pepper evenly and also with egg evenly. Lastly add the smoked hot pepper cheese. Fold the dough with corners first and the longer sides second. Place the dough fold side down on the hot stone (I like to put cornmeal down to help prevent sticking). Brush with olive oil. Bake for 18 to 25 minutes (until outside becomes lightly brown).  Yield: serves 4

Grammy Ulam’s Spaghetti Sauce


My husband’s grandma aka Grammy Ulam makes one of the best spaghetti sauce recipes ever. It is suppose to be a local restaurant back homes authentic sauce. Let me just say it is not a Ulam Family gathering without her sensational sauce. The sauce pairs best with Warren Bakery Bread and some brummle and brown butter spread slathered on the top. The sauce also goes well with homemade pizza or chicken parm…just about anything really.

Please note we have made this recipe several times and may have altered her original recipe slightly to accommodate our kitchen pantry.

Recipe yields 6-7 Quarts

Ingredients:

3 Cans of Tomato Puree (Quart Size)

3 (28 ounce) Cans of San Marzano Tomatoes in Sauce (DOP)

2 TB Italian Seasoning or Penzey’s Pasta Sprinkle

3 TB Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 TB Hot Pepper oil (From home canning)

6 Fresh Garlic Cloves

1 TB garlic powder

1 Tsp Kosher Salt

1 Tsp Fresh Ground Pepper

2-3 TB of granulated sugar

12 QT Stock Pot

Directions:

1. On medium low heat, saute fresh garlic in olive oil and hot pepper oil until effervescent in stock pot. Add remaining ingredients into stock pot keep heat on medium low until it simmers for at least an hour and then decrease the temperature to low  and cook for at least one more hour but maximum of 4 hours. If you feel the sauce is becoming too thick add some water to the mix.

2. Can the sauce according or freeze in quart size freezer safe bags (grammy freezers hers).

3. Enjoy!

 

Zesty Enchiladas

  
If you’re looking for a quick easy supper try these zesty enchiladas. You won’t be disappointed! Who said good food can’t come fast? So skip the drive-through! 

Makes 7 enchiladas

Reheat oven to 350°

Ingredients:

1/2 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese

7 reduced carb whole wheat tortillas (28g each) 

1/3 to 1/2 pound of ground beef 93/7  (Or vegetarian soy crumbles)

1/3- 1/2 bag of frozen Birds Eye Southwest Style Protein Blend (12.7 ounce bag)

1 cup of Enchilada sauce

1-2 tsp cholula

2 tsp taco seasoning (penzeys or mrs dash if you need low sodium version) 

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350° 

1. Spread 1/3 cup of enchilada sauce on the bottom of a oven safe dish. Set side. 
2.  Brown meat in skillet on medium heat. Sprinkle meat with taco seasoning. Make sure to brown until no pink remains. Add in protein blend veggies. Cook until veggies are soft.

3. Add about 1/4 cup of protein mix into each tortilla. Roll the tortilla up and place the folded side down on into the enchilada sauce. Repeat until no tortillas or filling remains. Pour remaining enchilada sauce and cholula sauce over tortillas.

4. Sprinkle with cheese and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until cheese melts.

Ranch Pork Tenderloin in the Slow Cooker

This recipe is real quick and easy! Perfect for a weekday dinner for the family. You would be crazy not to try! I put this in the slow cooker this morning and all I had to do when I got home from work was make some mashed potatoes to go with it! My husband said it is some of the best pork he has ever had! Please note this recipe is high in sodium using the buttermilk ranch dressing seasoning; however, lower in saturated fat. So if you are watching your sodium intake please consider either reducing the amount of the initial buttermilk ranch ingredient or consider trying Mrs. Dash Ranch Dressing Dip Packet. If you use the ladder it will be all around a heart healthier meal!

Serving 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients:

1 (1 to 1.5 pound) pork tenderloin

1 (8 oz) package of fresh sliced button mushrooms

1 (10.5 oz) can of cream of chicken soup (healthy request)

1 soup can of water

2 TB dehydrated onions

3 TB of dry buttermilk ranch dressing base seasoning (I love Penzey’s) However a lower sodium option would be Mrs. Dash Ranch Dip Seasoning Package

1 TB Canola oil for sautéing

Directions :

1. Sear the pork tenderloin in oil on all sides for about one to two minutes each side on medium heat (just enough to brown up slightly).

2. Place the pork in the slow cooker. Top the meat off with mushrooms, ranch seasoning, onion flakes, soup and water. Place on low and cook for 8 to 10 hours in the slow cooker.

3. Serve with brown rice or redskin mashed potatoes.