Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Homemade Turkey Sausage

There's all kinds of stuff you can make with turkey.... 

 *in my Forrest Gump voice* 
"You can make...Turkey Burgers, Turkey Bacon, Turkey Taco's, Turkey Spaghetti, Turkey Sausage...."

 Ok, Who else out there loves turkey as much as I do?!
I have ALWAYS been pretty picky when it comes to meats... I literally butcher our chicken breasts trying to cut away all the fatty/veiny parts when I prep chicken to cook it. And honestly, it has gotten to the point to where I eat so much chicken, I've gotten a little tired of it, so turkey burger is a second option for us! We shop on base at the commissary and as I have mentioned before, it is hard to actually get ground turkey there from time to time because so many people are eating it nowadays and it is so cheap on post. The same company that makes the turkey burger, also makes a Hot Italian turkey sausage and it has to be my FAVORITE meat to use for breakfast. It is amazing! You can add it to anything actually. I love to put it in my risotto as well but as I have mentioned the turkey burger is hard to get on post, and so is this sausage I speak of! When we go I usually stock up on them... Lately with eating healthier, I decided to look through an old diet cook book I have and I ran across a recipe for homemade apple turkey sausage. Mr.Hooah isn't a huge apple fan, so I didn't make the recipe from the book but I did use it as a guide-line!
Much to my surprise, these turned out great! 

I had all of the ingredients on hand already so it made this recipe even easier! 
It makes 16 patties for the price of one of the 8ct. boxes of Jimmy Dean's turkey sausage I buy at around $3.57! You can freeze these also and then just pop them onto a baking sheet lined with foil, broil for 7mins on each side and VIOLA! They're done! 
Easy peasy, right?! And honestly you can "spice" this any way you want it, it is completely customizable! I actually like adding in a bit of my newest addiction, FlavorGod seasoning... If you guys haven't bought any of these yet, you're seriously missing out and I don't even know what you're doing with your life! Lol. These can be bought over at www.flavorgod.com and is ground fresh daily!
 These seasonings are amazing and I swear by them! :)

Give this one a try, let me know if you love it or hate it... 
I'm pretty sure you'll love it tho! :)
-XO!
Ingredients:
1 (1.25lb) pack of raw ground turkey
4 TBSP soft bread crumbs (I used Progresso Italian)
1 TBSP dried sage (I used )
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/8 tsp. sea salt
1/8 tsp. paprika ( I used smoked paprika)
1/8 tsp. ground red pepper 
Couple of dashes of nutmeg and garlic powder

  •  In a large bowl, mix together bread crumbs and seasonings; add in turkey and mix well. Shape mixture into 1/2in. thick patties.
  • Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with non-stick spray. AT THIS POINT YOU CAN COOK THESE OR FREEZE THEM (which is what I like to do so I can just pull them from the freezer whenever I'm ready to use them)...

Freezing: Place the patties (mine made 16) on the sprayed foiled pan, spaced apart, and stick in the freezer for about 1 1/2hrs. Remove and put patties in a freezer ziplock bag!  
  • Bake under broiler for 7 minutes on each side or until sausage is no longer pink and cooked through! (If cooking from frozen, no need to thaw, just put them on a foiled non-stick sprayed pan and into the oven they go for the same cooking instructions above!)

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Bacon Cheddar Dog Treats

Mr.Hooah & I have been making small changes to be healthier this year and so far so good!
 He has actually been trying a few new veggies and some have been a success! 
With all the healthy changes we have been making, I thought maybe our pups could use some too! 
As you all know, our pups are pretty much our kiddos, we definitely treat them as such. 
To say they're spoiled rotten is an understatement...these guys are past the point of no return, they're SO BAD. (HaHa!) When they do something bad (which is often, Lol) I always tell him,
 "Babe, they're just babies!" (LMAO!)

A year or two ago when the brand we were feeding them started having all these recalls on their dog foods/snacks, we immediately took them off of it and swapped them to another brand that has natural and simple ingredients. We can definitely tell a difference! Our dogs love it because it has real veggie pieces in it and our chi-weenie, Kizzie, no longer has the tummy problems she had when she was on the other brand. With our dogs being like our kids, we only want the best for them. I started looking into recipes so I could start making their treats and know exactly what is in them. I ordered some cookie cutters that came with a few other doggie type shapes (paw print, dog house, and a dog silhouette) but I stuck with the bone shape this time as it was my first time making these and our dogs love their bones.
Of course, Pinterest never fails and I got a wide array of recipes to choose from! After looking through several recipes and finally deciding, I made these Bacon Cheddar Dog Treats and they definitely did not disappoint the pups! These have to be their favorite thing ever right now! And since they're made with "people food" we actually got to eat one to test them out as well and let me just say, they taste pretty good! Lol.

I strongly urge everyone who has fur-babies to do research on the food they feed their pets...to swap to more natural dog foods to pro-long their life span... there have been so many awful recalls where plastic, metal, or other harmful substances were found in dog foods by bigger name brands.

 I promise your pups will appreciate and love you even more for these homemade treats... and they're so fun and easy to make!
Being able to eat them too, you could even share one or two together! Lol! 

 -X's & O's with woofs and wags...
from two furry little loves and myself!

Bacon Cheddar Dog Treats
4 strips Bacon (cooked crispy)
1/2 c. Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 1/2 c. Milled Oatmeal
2 Large Eggs
Additional Milled Oatmeal
  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Combine bacon, cheese, and oatmeal in mixing bowl. Allow mixer to break bacon and cheese up into little bits.
  • Add eggs to the dry mixture to form a thick sticky dough.
  • Dust surface of counter with additional milled oatmeal, to prevent sticking.
  • Roll dough out to approximately 1/4 of an inch. Use cookie cutters to cut out desired shapes.
  • Bake treats on a parchment paper lined baking tray for approximately 20 minutes (slightly longer if treats are larger). Treats will be a pale-ish brown when they're ready.
  • Allow to cool completely before feeding to your pet.
***Note: I just used my food processor and quick oats to make the milled oatmeal, I also put my bacon in with it to chop it up!

Monday, January 4, 2016

Teriyaki Chicken and Rice Casserole

I feel like, if I ever met Yoda, he would say, 
"The love for Asian food, strong in this one is...Aaaauuummmm!"

Haha, how nerdy am I, right?! 

But for real, as I have mentioned before, I am half Korean so I have a natural love for Asian foodage! I love sushi, bulgogi, kimbap, all things rice, black pepper chicken, general tso's chicken...man, the list goes on for days I tell ya'! 

This Teriyaki Chicken and Rice casserole that I made tonight was SO stinkin' easy that the ease of making it alone, was enough to make me want to add it to our meal plan! And on top of this being so easy-peasy, the taste was phenomenal and this is actually pretty cheap to make! I have had a lot of teriyaki dishes in my day, usually I just buy the sauce instead of going the homemade route, but the sauce in the recipe has to be hands-down THE BEST teriyaki sauce that I have ever made! And the fact that this dish has all these veggies makes it even more of a plus! Mr.Hooah loved that it had actual pineapple in it as well! We with that being said, we're definitely sold on this one! I added this from EmilyBites of course, and as always, it did not disappoint! It is also great as leftovers the next day! By the way, this recipe along with all of her other recipes, are WeightWatcher friendly! It is healthier than take-out and you can honestly customize it any way you please; Different veggies, etc... It is healthier and filling, we absolutely LOVED this one! 

SHOUT OUT: 
Thanks Emily, though you probably do not even know me from Adam, for making your recipes and blog so awesome that I am always cooking something new and delicious! :)

-XO
 

Teriyaki Chicken and Rice Casserole


¾ c. low-sodium soy sauce
½ c. water
1/3 c. packed brown sugar
1 TBSP. honey
¾ tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. EVOO
½ tsp. garlic, minced
2 TBSP. corn starch
2 TBSP. water
1½ lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts
32oz. frozen mixed vegetables (look for the un-sauced stir fry or Asian varieties)
1 c. drained canned pineapple tidbits or chunks (packed in juice or with no added sugar)
3 c. cooked brown rice


  • Pre-heat the oven to 350.
  • Combine the soy sauce, the ½ cup water, the brown sugar, honey, ginger, olive oil and garlic in a small saucepan and cover. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove lid and cook for one minute once boiling.
  • While waiting for the sauce to come to a boil, stir together the corn starch and 2 tablespoons of water in a separate dish until smooth to form a slurry. Once the sauce is boiling, add the slurry to the saucepan and stir in to combine. Cook for another minute until the sauce starts to thicken and then remove from heat.
  • Lay the raw chicken breasts flat in a 9×13 casserole dish and pour about a cup of the sauce over top of the chicken. Place the chicken in the oven and cook for 30-35 minutes until breasts are cooked through*. Remove the dish from the oven and shred the chicken right in the dish using two forks.
***While the chicken is cooking, steam or cook your frozen vegetables according to package directions.***
  • When the chicken is shredded and the vegetables are cooked, add the vegetables, pineapple and rice to the casserole dish with the chicken. Add most of the remaining sauce, reserving a bit to drizzle over the top when finished. Stir everything together in the casserole dish until well combined. Return the dish to the oven and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, drizzle with the remaining sauce and serve.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Sugar Cookie M&M Bars

What do I have to blog about today you ask?

Oh, nothing crazy, just these super delicious Sugar Cookie M&M Bars

 OMG you guys, these are SO good and absolutely perfect for the holidays!

I made these yesterday and it makes a whole 13x9 pan... THEY'RE GONE!
 Yes, you read right, gone ALREADY! Lol. In our defense, I sent some home with our friends and Mr.Hooah took some to work with him as well!

I found this recipe randomly on Facebook, someone had shared the Betty Crocker Christmas cookie list and these were on it. I was pretty much sold at just seeing "sugar cookie..." and wrote the recipe down to try. I had initially intended on making these to mail back home with some Christmas presents, but hey, every good cook/baker must test it out before feeding it to anyone else... right?! Lol.
I absolutely LOVE soft sugar cookies and these bars are right on the money!
 And by the way, anyone who knows me well, knows that I'm not crazy about M&M's in anything really... whether it be cookies, ice-cream, etc...
(I've just never really been a fan. I guess that must make me the weirdest person on the planet huh?!)
But the M&M's and the white chocolate chips really OOMPH up this simple little cookie!

These would be awesome for cookie-swaps, a quick dessert for a holiday gathering, or even gifting to a neighbor! This recipe is as simple as it gets for "homemade" cookies.
 Give it a try, you wont be disappointed I promise, and I'm pretty sure you'll get no complaints from Santa if you leave these out with a glass of milk!

-XO 

Sugar Cookie M&M Bars
1 pouch (1lb 1.5oz.) sugar cookie mix
1/2 c. butter, softened
1 egg
1 c. red & green M&M's
1 c. white vanilla baking chips   

  • Heat oven to 350°F. Spray bottom only of 13x9-inch pan with cooking spray. 
  • In large bowl, mix cookie mix, butter and egg with spoon until soft dough forms. Stir in 1/2 cup of the candies and the white vanilla baking chips. Press dough in bottom of pan. Sprinkle remaining candies over top. 
  • Bake 22 to 24 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely on cooling rack, about 1 hour. Cut into 6 rows by 4 rows. Store in airtight container.


 

Friday, December 11, 2015

Sausage and Tomato Risotto

Risotto...

For some reason "risotto" intimidates people.

Not this girl though! 

I absolutely LOVE anything rice wise, it doesn't really matter what.
 I mean, I am half Korean, could that have something to do with it?!  

Perhaps... 

The first risotto that I ever decided to make was a mushroom-parmesan risotto recipe I found on Pinterest and it was pretty delicious. Since then, I realized that the combos are endless really because rice goes well with almost anything!

I probably look like a serious blog-stalker, I have been looking at and cooking so many of the recipes Emily Bites  has been putting up on her blog lately! Coincidentally, Lol, this recipe is also one of hers and Mr.Hooah & I love this as much as we do all of the other recipes by her that we have tried! 

Although, I do have to say that I think this one, so far, is my FAVORITE! 

The white wine and the rich tomato'ey sausage taste paired with the arborio rice (it is a short-grain Italian rice) which absorbs all those good flavors and pulls this dish together... It is seriously just DIVINE!

We shop on base at the commissary and if you grocery shop on payday, you better get there early because a lot of times they have already ran out of stock of some things, such as the turkey sausage we needed for this recipe.

 Usually, we get turkey sausage, bacon, and ground turkey in place of the regular stuff because it is a way we can eat a little healthier... my newest addiction though is the Hillshire Farm Cajun Chicken Sausage, SO GOOD
Anywho, this time we had to settle for Johnsonville Hot Italian sausage...
OH HOT DAMN people! 
It was actually really good and SO AMAZING in this recipe! And there wasn't any bother with removing casings etc... of course Mr.Hooah loved it, so we definitely recommend it! 

Ok, so now back to the whole risotto being intimidating to most people... 
DON'T LET IT! 
Let me be completely honest...
Yes, it sounds super fancy and yes to some it sounds complicated, but you guys... it isn't! It is really just about patience, that's it! Waiting for the liquid to absorb so you can add in more liquid and repeating of the process.
 And oh, what a delicious process it is! Lol. 

You can find the original recipe here Sausage & Tomato Risotto. It is a serious must try and I recommend this for when you want that "MMMMM..." kind of food goodness! Enjoy you guys!

-XO 



Sausage & Tomato Risotto
1 (28oz.) can of diced tomatoes in juice
3 c. water
¾ lb hot Italian turkey sausage, casings removed 
1 small onion, finely chopped
Salt & Pepper, to taste
1 c. uncooked Arborio rice
½ c. dry white wine
9oz. fresh spinach, chopped (I used frozen, that I popped in the microwave!)
½ c. grated Parmesan cheese
2 TBSP. light butter (I used Move Over Butter)

  • Combine the tomatoes and their juices with the water in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Turn heat to low to keep the mixture warm until needed.
  • In a large pot or saute pan, combine sausage and chopped onion, add salt & pepper to taste. Cook over medium heat, breaking the sausage up with a wooden spoon until meat is brown and onions have softened. Add the rice and stir to coat the rice and combine. Cook for 1-2 mins and then add in the wine. Stir until wine is absorbed about 1-2mins.
  • Add two cups of the tomato mixture to the rice and stir. Turn the heat down to a simmer (medium-low heat) and cook until liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally. Add another cup and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is absorbed. Continue, one cup of liquid at a time until all of the tomato liquid has been added and absorbed. Rice will be tender and creamy. Add the chopped spinach and stir in until combined. Cook for another 1-2 mins until spinach is wilted and combined.
  • Remove risotto from heat, add the butter and cheese. Stir until thoroughly mixed. 
  • Serve immediately.