Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving Pizza

We all love Thanksgiving.  The turkey, the mashed potatoes, the stuffing, the cranberry sauce.  And we all love the leftovers... for a day or two.  But by the time Monday rolls around, nobody really wants ANOTHER cold turkey sandwich.  So we've come up with a fun and different way to use up the last bit of your Thanksgiving leftovers: Thanksgiving pizza!  It might seem a little strange at first, but you are going to love it.  This pizza is comfort food at its finest!

-1 refrigerated pizza crust
-1 1/2 cups shredded cheese
-1 1/2 cups mashed potatoes
-1/2 cup shredded turkey
-1/2 cup prepared stuffing
-1/2 cup whole sweetened cranberries (from cranberry sauce)
-1 small celery stock, diced
-1/2 small onion, chopped
-2 sprigs fresh thyme, stripped
-Leaves from 2 strips of marjoram
-10 tarragon leaves, torn into small pieces

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Begin by rolling a store bought pizza crust out onto a pizza pan or cookie sheet that has been greased or lightly sprinkled with cornmeal.  If you want to make your own crust, be our guest, but you've already cooked an entire Thanksgiving dinner so don't feel guilty about going store bought.  Spread a thin layer of mashed potatoes on your crust.  We used about a cup and a half.  Make sure you reheat the potatoes first for easy spreading.  We also suggest using very flavorful mashed potatoes since they will be the base of your pizza.  If you prefer your potatoes plain with Thanksgiving dinner, just add some extra butter, milk and garlic when when you reheat them.  Once you've spread the potatoes, cover with a layer of shredded cheese.  We used a blend to mozzarella and provolone.  Evenly spread shredded turkey, celery, onions, and herbs over the pizza.  If you don't have the herbs listed above, use whatever fresh herbs you have left over from making dinner.  Next, evenly distribute the stuffing in small batches over the surface of the pizza.  Finally, add the cranberries.  We didn't have have any cranberry sauce, so we just cooked down 1/4 cup of fresh cranberries in a 1/2 cup of water with a couple tablespoons of sugar over medium heat until they began to pop.  Turn off the heat and allow cranberries to cool before adding to the pizza.

Bake on the bottom oven rack for 10 to 12 minutes.  We only left it in for 10 minutes and found that the crust wasn't quite as crisp as we would have liked in the middle.  Keep an eye on the pizza, and pull it out when it is done to your liking.

Way cooler than cold turkey sandwiches in your lunchbox don't you think?

Tall and Small

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving Turkey Burger Sliders

The past year has been a whirlwind for both of The Spatularettes, but in all of the craziness we have found so much to be thankful for!  In honor of the season of giving thanks, we want to share a couple of new recipes with you.  They may be Thanksgiving inspired, but are perfect to make any day of the year!  After all, just like we should give thanks year round, not just on Thanksgiving day, we should also eat delicious food year round!  (maybe just in smaller quantities)

This year Tall One was not able to make the 7 hour trek home to spend Thanksgiving with her family and instead stayed in Philadelphia.  Just because she was spending the holiday alone, doesn't mean she didn't celebrate!  She spent her morning with a Pumpkin Spice Latte downtown watching the Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day parade.  Macy's New York parade may be the most famous in the country, but Philadelphia's parade was the first!  After the parade she spent a few hours serving Thanksgiving dinner at the Sunday Breakfast Association.  This is a seriously cool organization that is doing a lot of good for Philadelphia's homeless community.  If you live in the area, we suggest checking them out as they are looking for volunteers and donations year round, not just at the holidays.

After a busy day, Tall One decided on a relaxing evening at home with a fun twist on Thanksgiving dinner.  Cooking for one is already tricky, but trying to make a holiday dinner for one is nearly impossible!  That's why Tall One dreamed up these Thanksgiving Turkey Burger Sliders with cranberry spread.  These are an awesome and easy alternative to Thanksgiving dinner and can be enjoyed any day that you are looking for a little comfort food or feeling extra thankful and want to celebrate.


-1 lb ground turkey
-1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
-1/4 cup frozen whole corn kernels, thawed
-1 1/2 Tbs fresh herbs, chopped
-1 1/2 tsp salt
-1 tsp pepper
-1 tsp garlic powder
-Pre-made stuffing, warmed
-8 dinner rolls

-1 part cranberry sauce
-2 parts mayonnaise or miracle whip
-pinch of salt

For the burgers, start by chopping 1 1/2 Tbs of fresh herbs.  Tall One used tarragon, thyme, and marjoram, but use whatever herbs you typically feature in your Thanksgiving dinner.  In a bowl, use a wooden spoon (or your hands) to combine the first seven burger ingredients.  Form the mixture into 8 small patties and use your thumb to make a small indent in the center of each patty to help them cook more evenly.  Cook the burgers until done in a frying pan or on a grill pan on your stove top.  Feel free to use a grill, but lay the burgers on foil first so the cheese doesn't drip through the grates.  In the frying pan, the burgers took about 5 minutes on each side over medium heat to cook through.

For the cranberry spread, put 1 part whole cranberry sauce and 2 parts mayonnaise or miracle whip in a food processor.  Pulse a few times to break up the cranberries and then allow the processor to run for about 30 seconds.  Tall One used about 1/3 cup of miracle whip and 1/6 cup of cranberry sauce.  Add salt to taste and then whirl one more time to make sure it is well combined.

To assemble the burgers, slice the dinner rolls in half.  Spread each side with some of the cranberry spread.  Top rolls with burgers, and top burgers with a Tbs or so of hot stuffing.

Serve these sliders with a side of sweet potato fries and some gravy for dipping, and you will have one more thing to be thankful for this year!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Savory Stuffed Apples

You may have noticed, but since we started posting, we haven't really done much blog maintenance.  Sure, we've posted a few fun recipes, but the rest of the site, well... needs some work.  We are here to tell you though that we have loads of great ideas for the site, and that they will actually be COMING SOON!!  The problem is the last couple of months have been nothing short of overwhelming for The Spatularettes.  So this week we are going to share some new recpies and let you know a little more about what we've been up to lately.  And we will leave you with the promise that things are about to get a whole lot better over here in Spatularette world!

Tall One's free time over the last few months has been filled with one thing: MARATHON TRAINING!  That's right, last weekend Tall One ran the New York City marathon!  The race didn't go quite as well as she would have liked, but she managed to finish and had the opportunity to experience NYC in a very unique way.  With the race behind her, Tall One has been able to enjoy a little extra free time in the evenings this week, and could think of no better way to spend it than in the kitchen.

In honor of Tall One's recent athletic endeavor in The Big Apple, we bring you a recipe for Savory Stuffed Apples.  They do require a bit of prep work, but are still easy enough to pull off as a weeknight side dish.

-3 baking apples (we suggest Empire)
-olive oil
-1/2 small onion, chopped
-1 clove garlic, minced
-1/4 lb sweet Italian sausage, casing removed
-2 fresh sage leaves, chopped
-1 slice of bread (multi-grain is really good, but any kind will work), torn into small pieces.
-splash of apple cider

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.  Core three apples from the top, but leave the bottoms intact so you are able to fill them later.  Use a knife to create a wider opening so you are left with a cavity that is large enough to fill.  Discard the cores and stems.  Chop the remaining bits of apple that were removed from the cavity into small pieces.  Set cored apples and chopped apples aside.

In a medium sized pan, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add onions and allow to soften for a couple of minutes.  Add garlic and sautee for another couple of minutes.  Next add the sage and Italian sausage, and use a wooden spoon to break the meat up into small bits as it cooks.  Once the sausage is cooked through, toss in the chopped apple and let soften for a minute before adding the bread pieces and the splash of apple cider.  Stir together until the mixture forms a stuffing consistency.  Slowly add additional cider if needed.  Finally salt and pepper to taste.

Spray a loaf pan (or other baking pan with sides) with cooking spray.  Place hollowed apples in the baking pan and fill with stuffing.  Bake for about 30 minutes or until apples become soft.  Be careful not to bake your apples for too long, or you risk them falling apart when you trasnfer them to a plate.

Want to make this into a complete dinner that will look like you were slaving in the kitchen all day, but in reality only takes a few extra minutes??  Of course you do!

Once you've stuffed the apples, crank the heat back up to medium under the same pan you made the stuffing in (don't eve bother cleaning it).  Salt and pepper 2 boneless pork chops and then toss them in the pan to brown for about 2 minutes on each side.  Transfer the pork chops to a glass baking dish.  Slice up one apple along with the other half of the onion you didn't use in the stuffing.  Toss them into the baking dish with the chops.  Finally pour enough apple cider into the baking dish to evenly coat the bottom, but not submerge the pork.  Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.  (How convinient, that is the exact time and temp that the apples bake at!)

While your dinner is in the oven, whip up a delicious sauce to drizzle over everything.  Over medium heat in the same pan you've been using all night, melt 1 Tbs of butter.  Mix in 1 Tbs of flour and stir together for a minute or two to form a roux.  Pour in about 3/4 cup of apple cider.  Whisk the mixutre over medium heat until it begins to thicken.  Stir in about a 1/4 cup of half and half and simmer over low heat until your meal is finished baking.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Check back this weekend for another new recipe and to see what Small One has been up to!

Tall and Small

Friday, November 4, 2011

Pumpkin Cheesecake Cupcakes

Looking to impress friends this fall?  How about family?  Or co-workers?  Or a hungry Spatular?  Well, we promise that this recipe for Pumpkin Cheesecake Cupcakes will do the trick!  This is the second part of our One Recipe, Two Ways Special, so check out yesterday's recipe for Amish Pumpkin Bread for another alternative. 

So far we've served these to friends, roommates and co-workers, and received nothing but rave reviews and begs for the recipe!  Nobody could believe how easy they were to make and that the frosting is baked right in!  Make these to serve at your next fall bonfire, for an after work (or school) snack, or even for breakfast on Thanksgiving morning. Oh yeah, you can even pass these babies off as muffins and serve them with coffee before noon!

3 c sugar
1 c vegetable or canola oil
4 eggs, beaten
28 oz can of pumpkin puree (the big one), not the pumpkin pie mix
3 1/2 c flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2/3 c water

2 blocks (8 oz each) of cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place 3 dozen paper liners in muffin tins.  If 36 cupcakes is too many, just halve the recipe!

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine sugar, oil and eggs.  Add the pumpkin and beat just until combined.  In a seperate bowl sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  With your mixer on a low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients.  Once they are incorporated, add the water and continue to mix until batter is smooth.

Divide batter equally between tins.

Back in your stand mixer, beat the cream cheese on medium speed for a couple of minutes until it begins to look fluffy.  Add eggs and sugar and beat until well combined.  Gently plop the cheesecake mixture into each tin of batter.  If you want the cheesecake to be more of a frosting, pop them right into the oven.  If you would like the cheesecake to serve more as a filling, gently pour some additional pumpkin batter over the cream cheese mixture.  Sprinkle cupcakes with a little bit of pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon if you like.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out mostly clean.  Allow to cool for 15-20 minutes before removing cupcakes from tins.

Now go out and bring these Pumpkin Cheesecake Cupcakes to the world!  It is the season of giving after all!

Tall and Small

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Amish Pumpkin Bread

The time has been flying and somehow it is already November!  Although we've been deep into pumpkin season for quite some time, there is something about November that begs for even more new pumpkin recipes.  So we've got a special treat for you this week.  One recipe, two ways.  We will start off with the basic today and post a fun twist on this classic recipe tomorrow.

Tall One's mom gave us the recipe for this delicious Amish Pumpkin Bread and we made a slight change to it, purely by accident, but loved the results!  Tall One likes to multi-task.  One example of this multi-tasking is yacking on the phone while grocery shopping.  She had printed out her mom's recipe for pumpkin bread which called for a 1 lb can of pumpkin.  It turns out that talking on the phone while grocery shopping usually ends with a) misreading one's shopping list, or b) misreading a label.  Tall One isn't sure where she went wrong, but she came home with double the pumpkin and tossed the whole thing into her mixing bowl before she realized the mistake.  No harm was done and the bread turned out even better than expected.  This slight adaptation resulted in an incredibly moist and flavorful bread which stayed fresh for a week!

3 c sugar
1 c vegetable or canola oil
4 eggs, beaten
28 oz can of pumpkin puree (the big one), not the pumpkin pie mix
3 1/2 c flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2/3 c water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour 2 loaf pans.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine sugar, oil and eggs.  Add the pumpkin and beat just until combined.  In a separate bowl sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  With your mixer on a low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients.  Once they are incorporated, add the water and continue to mix until batter is smooth.

Divide batter between the 2 loaf pans.  2 loaves, too much?  Just cut the recipe in half and make a single loaf.  Bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool for a half hour or so, and then run a knife around the outside of the bread for easy removal.

This bread is fabulous by itself, or spread with butter or cream cheese!

Check back tomorrow and we'll show you a great way to turn this same recipe into something totally different, but equally delicious!

Tall and Small