"No matter how terrified you may be, own your fear and take that leap anyway because whether you land on your feet or on your butt, the journey is well worth it."
-- Laurie Laliberte
"If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough."
-- Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage."
-- Anais Nin

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

New Home, New Kitchen, New ... Blog?

Okay, no, not really. Just a new blog feature. I've been toying with this idea for a while and my obsession with all things Pinterest has fueled my desire to cook. Not just cook, but to try new things.

I have about 1500 recipes pinned in my Pinterest boards. They are in desperate need of organization. But why organize when I haven't tried them? They will simply sit in their virtual cages collecting virtual dust until I decide I need to try them out.

So what's my solution? Simple: I'm going to begin testing them, one or more at a time, until I decide not to do it anymore. What do you think of that? So my plan is to try one or two new recipes each week and post the results here for all the world to see. Then, as I try each one, I will categorize the keepers and delete the rest.

"But," you ask, "what of the brilliant posts we rise early to read every Sunday morning? What shall we do without them?" Fear not, faithful readers; I will not abandon you. Although I have taken the past two Sundays off because I've been packing and moving half way across the country (more on that this weekend), I will continue with my usual fun Sunday morning treats including the occasional crochet pattern, original recipe, and shenanigans in the world that is independent publishing.

Enough set-up. Let's talk turkey. Specifically ground turkey. I literally just moved from Boston to Oklahoma City with three carry-on-sized bags. Any of my other possessions, I packed up and shipped via USPS to a pal here in OKC. I'm in a small, temporary, furnished location with a full, but small, kitchen for now. So I've had to purchase all brand new kitchen items. I still don't have dishes or cookware.

What I DO have is a crock pot, a (provided) microwave, and a toaster oven. So I CAN slow cook, nuke, and bake. PERFECT! Therefore, the two recipes I want to share with you this week are quite simple and take a minimum time investment.

Prep and Forget Turkey

First, is one that I talked about on the blog a few weeks back. It is truly my favorite slow cooker recipe (so far). I must give credit to my BFF for turning me on to it. As I've mentioned in the past, She's got a great nose for finding simple, great tasting recipes that take very little time.

I did tweak it just a bit, but the tweaking was completely unnecessary. You'll find the pin here. It's essentially Thanksgiving dinner in the crock pot, and easily one of my favorite comfort foods. Also, compared to most comfort foods, it's quite healthy, and a well-rounded meal.

So, what did I do to tweak it? Here's the list:

  • Instead of using the traditional veggie mix, I used a mix of frozen broccoli and cauliflower
  • I chunked the onion rather than chopping it fine
  • I chopped up and added a huge stalk of celery because I had it in the fridge
  • I used a tablespoon of barbecue sauce in place of the teaspoon of A-1 (I can't stand A-1)
  • Instead of turkey stuffing, I went with corn bread
  • I got off to a very late start, so I cooked it on high for 4 hours instead of low for 6-8
The verdict: I still love it. The next time I make it, I may substitute pearl onions for the chopped onion. I found the cornbread stuffing wasn't quite as good as the basic, everyday Stove Top, but it's better for me as I should be on a gluten-reduced (if not gluten-free) diet, so I will probably continue to use it even though I prefer the traditional. And, I will make sure that from now on I have a full eight hours for the cooking time. Everything was cooked satisfactorily, but the stuffing didn't pick up as much moisture from the steam in the pot as it does when cooked on low. The leftovers were much better than that first night.

What of those leftovers? I doubled the recipe, so there are TONS. So I packed most of them into individual containers and froze them for nights when I'm in no mood to cook.

A tip about the size of your slow cooker: If you're making a single shot of this (which easily serves six), use a four quart or smaller cooker. If you're doubling the recipe, use a six quart or larger.

This photo was totally stolen from the original blog post for this recipe click the pic to go there 

In spite of my love of chicken nuggets, tenders, and strips, I've never had Chick-fil-a and probably never will. I happen to love the Tyson Crispy Strips and will have them occasionally, but this sauce is definitely one that is great for chicken cooked any which way you want to serve it. (I'm thinking grilled strips to cut the bread and therefore, the gluten content.)

The tweaks were unintentional, but here they are:
  • I had no actual garlic powder, so I used onion powder instead
  • I also used chopped raw garlic, about half a clove to make up for the missed garlic flavor
  • I kept the salt to a minimum, just a pinch rather than really salt it up as most restaurants would
The verdict: YUM! This will be my go-to honey mustard dressing-type thing from now on. However, I will use a blender or food processor to mix it rather than just a spoon or fork. It came out too lumpy from the mayonnaise not wanting to mix well with the other ingredients.

I kept it simple, opting to serve the chicken with a huge salad rather than the oven fries I originally intended to make.

So there you have it. Are there any Pinterest recipes I MUST TRY? Give me a shout in the comments below.

Happy Pinning!

Added 2/23/13: I had dinner this evening at Chick-fil-A for the very first time and that copycat sauce is spot on!


  1. Blerg! I tried commenting this morning and apparently it did not stick. So. OKC?? Can't wait to hear about what is going on with all that.

    I am all up on pinterest, but I can't think of any specific recipes to recommend. I do know two sites though: Gluten Free Girl (glutenfreegirl.com) and A Year of Slow Cooking (crockpot365.blogspot.com). I'm sure I have mentioned them before!

    1. Hahahahaha! They're two of my favorites. I think I actually found glutenfreegirl because of you, but I've been a Stephanie O'Dea fan forever. We're twitter buddies.

  2. Glad you're cooking! I can't wait to see what you've been eating. Enjoy!

    1. I'm trying to behave. Rather than cutting all the "forbidden" foods at once, I'm trimming them in ways that I don't feel it's impossible. I'm also getting completely spoiled by trying all these new recipes.

      BTW, to any of the "lurkers" who might be reading our comments here: Both Meg and Roz have great blogs you should check out.

      Megan is gluten free/reduced by choice and Rozelyn has a child with food allergies/sensitivities that are actually much more severe than mine.