Monday, June 28, 2010

Buffalo-Style Turkey Burgers

A turkey burger smothered in hot sauce and topped with melted cheese, yum!! Since we still had corn muffins we ate the burgers without a bun. For our vegetable side, I roasted green beans and peanuts together until browned and then topped with the juice of half a lime and a drizzle of low-sodium soy sauce – loved them!


  • 2 tablespoons EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 rib celery with leafy tops, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground turkey or chicken
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup hot sauce
  • 1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles, optional
  • 4 deli-sliced cheddar cheese
  • 4 sandwich-size English muffins, toasted
  • 1/4 head iceberg lettuce, shredded
  • 1/4 cup pickle relish

In a small skillet, heat 1 tablespoon EVOO, 1 turn of the pan, over medium heat. Add carrot, celery, onion and garlic, and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and let cool. Reserve the skillet.

Mix the turkey, dill and poultry seasoning into the vegetable mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Form into 4 patties.

In the reserved skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon EVOO over medium heat. Add the patties and cook, turning once, until firm, about 12 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Add the butter to the skillet to melt, then stir in the hot sauce. Add the patties back to the skillet, turning to coat in the sauce. Top each with some of the blue cheese and a slice of cheddar. Tent with foil, turn off the heat and let stand until the cheese is melted.

Top each muffin bottom with some lettuce, a patty, some relish and a muffin top.

Recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Banana Chocolate Chip Oat Cookies

Really, really good quick and easy little cookies.

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Makes approximately 25 cookies, 65 calories each

• 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
• 1 cup oats
• 1/2 tsp baking powder
• 1/2 tsp baking soda
• 1/4 tsp cinnamon
• 1 tbsp ground flaxseed meal
• 1/4 cup agave nectar
• 1/4 cup milk
• 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
• 1 tbsp canola oil
• 1 ripe banana
• 1/2 cup chocolate chips
• 1/4 cup walnuts, optional (chose to leave them out)

Preheat oven to 350*F. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well until batter is blended evenly.

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Use a tablespoon scoop to portion cookies on a greased baking sheet, approximately 1-2 inches apart.

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Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes. Remove cookies from baking sheet and allow to cool on wire rack.

Recipe courtesy of Carrots n’ Cake

Durham Dining: Fish Shack

Always so much fun when we’re able to get together with Kristin & Laurence. We met over at the Fish Shack for dinner last night, a recently opened new spot that Andy and I had yet to try. It was exactly what a fish shack should be - the food options were plentiful but not overwhelming, the ordering was easy and our order was ready quickly.

I ordered the rock shrimp basket with coleslaw and fries, I never order fries and figured why not give into my craving.

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I also requested corn tortillas and fresh salsa on the side so that I could make myself shrimp tacos, since that wasn’t an option on the menu. This method worked out great. I topped a couple shrimp tacos with the salsa and enjoyed one with coleslaw.

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Our orders also came with hushpuppies :) 

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After our seafood feast, we headed over to Local Yogurt, for the best dessert in town. I ordered a small with half plain, half peanut butter and topped with bananas, blueberries, and dark chocolate curls. Yummmmm!

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We finished up the night back at our friends house where we had a nice evening playing a couple rounds of hearts…followed by a late night cheese course: blue cheese, fig goat cheese, & fresh raspberries…

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Corn Muffins with Honey Butter

I met Kelly this morning for a quick spin through the farmers market where I picked up another pint of blueberries (they are SO good in muesli). I also have local peaches that I purchased at the Wednesday market, they are so perfect right now.

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We walked over to Scratch Bakery, we were still a bit early but there was lots of seating outside so we sat in the shade for about 10 minutes. Soon enough the bakery was open and we were overwhelmed with options. We each decided to get a Sticky Peanut Bun with iced coffee, I also picked up a few Pigs in a Blanket to go for Andy (though Kelly and I did split one, how could we resist!?) The sticky buns were still warm from the oven, I enjoyed every slow bite of it.

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For lunch today I roasted some of my CSA wax & green beans along with chickpeas. I just tossed them in a little olive oil, s&p, and chili powder then baked at 425 degrees for about 30 minutes. Along with the beans we had corn muffins with honey butter…my favorite! (I used to eat honey butter and toast all the time as a kid for a snack.)

Delicious, simple meal!

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  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more, room temperature, for muffin tins and serving
  • 1 1/2 cups cornmeal, finely ground
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • Honey, for serving
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Generously butter a standard 12-cup muffin tin; set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together cornmeal, baking soda, and salt. Whisk in buttermilk, eggs, and melted butter until smooth; batter should be loose and pourable. If not, whisk in additional 1/4 cup buttermilk.
  3. Pour batter into prepared muffin tin and transfer to oven. Bake until golden brown, 12 to 20 minutes. Immediately turn muffins out onto a wire rack to cool slightly.
  4. Place softened butter on a small plate and drizzle with honey, stir; serve with warm muffins.

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From The Martha Stewart Show, May 2010

Friday, June 25, 2010

Foster's Salsa

“Fresh, homemade salsa is infinitely better than packaged salsa. This recipe is quick and easy, and keeps 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator.” – Foster’s Market, Durham NC

This was my first attempt at making homemade salsa with purely fresh ingredients and we were very pleased with it. This makes a mild batch, Andy would like for me to add some more heat next time, I‘m thinking two more jalapenos and perhaps a few shakes of hot sauce would make a nice medium style salsa.

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Makes about 3 cups

  • 5 tomatoes, cored and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper or Anaheim peppers, core, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 red or Vidalia onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped or 1 Tbsp hot sauce
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
  • Juice of 1 lime or lemon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

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Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Pulse until the ingredients are combined but still chunky. Adjust seasonings, depending on how hot you like your salsa.

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Recipe courtesy of Foster’s Market

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I served the salsa as part of a “Taco Bowl”, ground beef, taco seasoning, black beans, olives, cooked together. In a large bowl, top romaine or spinach leaves with meat mixture, salsa, and plain Greek yogurt.

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Dessert tonight was tart frozen yogurt drizzled with peanut sauce (1 Tbsp each pb & milk warmed in the microwave for 20 seconds, stir) and mini chocolate chips.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Seared Salmon Fillets with Bulgur

Very nicely balanced and delicious dinner tonight.

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Serves 2

  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil, plus more for cooking if needed
  • 1/2 cups bulgur
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 skinless salmon fillets (4 ounces each)
  • Lemon wedges (optional), for serving
  1. In a medium pot, heat teaspoon oil over medium-high. Add bulgur and stir to coat. Cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes. Add 3/4 cups water and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat to low, and cook until water is absorbed, 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit, covered, 5 minutes. Fluff bulgur with a fork and stir in scallion.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, heat remaining a teaspoons oil over medium-high. Pat salmon fillets dry and season both sides with salt and pepper. When oil is hot, add fillets to skillet. Cook until salmon is opaque throughout, about 3 minutes per side, flipping once. Divide bulgur among plates and top with fish. Serve with lemon wedges if desired.

Topped with leftover chipotle cherry sauce

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Recipe courtesy of Everyday Food

Brinkley's Farm Spring CSA - Week 9

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Homemade salsa is in my future, first attempt this weekend!

  • 6 anahiem peppers $1.50
  • 2 lbs red potatoes $2.00
  • 2 lbs red tomatoes $4.00
  • 1 lb roma tomatoes $2.00
  • 1/2 lb green beans $1.25
  • 1/2 lb yellow wax beans $1.25
I'll leave you tonight with a couple fun videos:
I'll take a breakfast burger with prosecco, please!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Chipotle Cherry Glazed Pork Chops

Really loved this sauce.

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  • 2 boneless pork chops
  • 2 teaspoons grilling blend
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups fresh dark sweet cherries
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped seeded chipotle with 1/2 teaspoon adobo sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

Heat  a small saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add cherries, vinegar, chipotle, sugar, thyme and remaining 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper to saucepan; cook for 20-30 minutes or until thickened.

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Preheat grill pan. Sprinkle both sides of the chops with ¼ tsp salt and pepper. Place on grill pan  and cook 3 to 4 minutes per side over medium-high heat. Serve pork with cherry glaze.

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The boys were so cute this past weekend, here’s one more photo I was able to capture.

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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Menu Plan Monday: June 21-27

Monday: Trader Joe's trip & 60-minute massage, packed meals to-go (Muesli, Gazpacho, Quinoa Salad, hard boiled egg, cherries, & crackers)

Tuesday: Yoga@Duke, packed meals to-go as above

Wednesday: Chipotle Cherry Glazed Pork Chops with Roasted Asparagus

Thursday: Seared Salmon with Bulgur & Roasted Asparagus; Brinkley's Farm CSA pick-up

Friday: Homemade Salsa & Taco Bowls

Saturday: Wax Beans, Chickpeas, and Spinach (Everyday Food, Issue 74) & Corn Muffins with Honey Butter

Sunday: Khicheri (Creamy Lentil and Rice Indian Dish)

Sweet Corn and Chickpea Quinoa Salad

Last night, my friend Megan posted a Quinoa with Sweet Corn dish that was just the inspiration I needed for all the ears of corn and chickpeas that we prepped yesterday. My first thought was to keep it simple with corn, chickpeas, and sun dried tomatoes…but as I prepared the dish, more ingredients jumped out at me. Along came a few items from our garden: a couple jalapenos, cherry tomatoes, and fresh basil and parsley.

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I found organic red quinoa at Trader Joe’s last month, it was too intriguing to pass up.

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Makes ~5 cups

Quinoa Mix:

  • 1 cup quinoa, dry
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup chickpeas
  • 2 ears corn kernels, kernels removed and cobs discarded
  • 1 large jalapeƱo, minced
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4 sun-dried tomatoes, minced, optional
  • 1/2 cup parsley & basil mix, roughly chopped


  • 1/4 cup olive oil or oil from sun-dried tomato jar
  • 1.5 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

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Rinse and prepare quinoa according to package directions. Prepare dressing mixture, shake or whisk together and pour over the warm quinoa. Add in remaining ingredients and herbs. Refrigerate for several hours to allow the flavors to marry.

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A little music inspiration: along with The Kickin’ Grass Band, I’ve also really been enjoying the music of Thad Cockrell this weekend. He’ll be at the American Tobacco Campus later this summer and I can’t wait to go and enjoy.

Farm Blogs: I’ve been making my way through this listing of 30 Outstanding Farm Blogs, I’m interested in checking these three out further:


Doggy-sunbathing…Finley is always the ‘Regal Beagle” and little Wilson is under the edge of the table.

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Cucumbers in Vinegar

Super crisp and so refreshing

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  • 2 medium cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped dill, optional

Mix together the vinegar and sugar. Slice cucumbers into a shallow dish, pour sweet vinegar mixture on top, plus dill, if you’d like. Cover with several ice cubes (the ice will crisp the cucumbers) and refrigerate for 20 minutes or so.

Family recipe from Grandma (Ginny) Fisher

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Blueberry-Orange Daiquiri

Such a beautiful way to relax on a hot North Carolina day…

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  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 3 ounces light rum
  • 1/2 orange juice
  • 1/2 cup crushed ice
  • 1/4 cup superfine sugar

In a blender, combine all ingredients and process for about 30 seconds. Pour into a chilled glasses.

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Recipe courtesy of Emeril Lagasse

A few other highlights of our day:

After hitting up Southpointe Mall’s Sunglass Hut for Andy and Williams-Sonoma for me to pick up a 3 piece stainless steel colander set with an old gift card…we had Gazpacho for lunch…only Andy informs me he’s officially decided he doesn’t like gazpaho…but if I call it salsa…it stands a chance…quirky :P

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Finley’s cuteness

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Wilson’s cuteness

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along with an ice cube “treat”

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a little floor lounging…

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Dinner local burgers mixed with shredded cheese

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Roasted CSA beans and tomatoes (fresh green beans our way > than frozen, both of us were amazed at how good this was). Baked at 425 degrees with s &p, EVOO until the skins begin to caramelize.

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evening movie entertainment to come!

Firecrackers & Vanilla Cherry Ice Cream

I woke up this morning with a longing to be in the kitchen - it’s peaceful, cool, and quiet at that time of day. The best time of day. 3.5 hours later I had…

7 cups of my favorite gazpacho to serve for lunch w/ diced avocado (and shrimp if I had any),

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8 cups of cooked chickpeas,

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10 ears of shucked corn, thanks to Andy + a beautifully manicured lawn,

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(We even saw a red cardinal perched on our fence, he left before I could grab a photo, but a few moments later he swooped back through the yard.)

Male red cardinal (northern cardinal) - click to see all state birds


3 jars of Firecrackers (aka pickled green beans),

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Makes 1 quart (I doubled the recipe to get 1 quart & 2 pints)

  • 1/2 pound green beans, mini carrots, cauliflower, or beets
  • 2 springs thyme
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili flakes

Place vegetables in a spring-top glass jar. Bring the water, sugar, cider vinegar, onion powder, mustard seeds, salt, and chili flakes to a boil in a non-reactive saucepan. Boil for 4 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.

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Slowly pour the hot pickling liquid over the carrots, filling the jar to the top. Allow the vegetables to completely cool before sealing. Refrigerate for 2 days up to 2 months.

Recipe adapted from Alton Brown

and a quart of Vanilla Cherry (Chocolate Chip) Ice Cream!

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Makes 1 quart

  • 3 cups heavy cream, or 2 cups heavy cream + 1 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise, optional
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped fresh cherries (stones removed)
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped dark chocolate or mini chocolate chips, optional

1. In the medium sauce pan, pour 1 cup of the cream and add the sugar and salt. Scrape the vanilla bean seeds into the pan and add the pod. Stir the mixture over medium heat, until the sugar dissolves.

2. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla extra and the rest of the cream or cream + milk.

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3. Chill the mixture thoroughly in a covered plastic container. Remove the vanilla bean before churning, just rinse it and reserve for another use. Follow the manufacturers directions for your ice cream freezer. (Cuisinart: Turn machine on, pour mixture into freezer bowl through ingredient spout and let mix until thickened, 25-30 minutes. Add cherries and chocolate, if using, during the last 5 minutes of mixing.)

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Recipe courtesy of Andrea’s Recipes