Turkey Brie Turnovers

The perfect use for leftover Thanksgiving turkey. And if you're already out this recipe might make you want to go buy more. I know what you're thinking.  No more turkey!  If thats the case substitute the turkey for any other meat. Ham, Chicken.  Really anything with melter brie wrapped in puff pastry is going to be delicious.

1 cup shredded turkey (hand torn)
4 slices of brie (any size desired)
1 sheet thawed puff pastry
4 tbsp melted butter
Confectioners sugar

1. Preheat oven to 375 degress
2. Cut your puff pastry into 4 even size squares

3. Place 1/4 cup of the shredded turkey in the center of each square
4. Place a slice of brie on top of the turkey

5. Gently fold the puff pastry over into a triangle so the edges meet
6. Press the sides together with your fingers, then use the prongs of a fork to make indentations all the way around the edges

7. Poke a hole in the top of the turnover with a knife or with your fork
8. Lightly coat the top of the puff pastry with melted butter so it will brown well
9. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until top of turnover is golden brown
10. Sprinkle with a bit of confectioners sugar and a pinch of cinnamon

I know that the sugar and cinnamon with savory items like turkey and brie sound strange but trust me, its amazing!  And these little bites are totally reminiscent of the holidays.


This week's tasty delights!

Butternut squash with blue cheese and pecans, Marisa's contribution to friends-giving

Cornbread stuffing, recipe coming soon

Baked brie with sugared walnuts, Allison's contribution to friends-giving

Turkey Brie Turnover (the most amazing use of left over turkey. Recipe to come)

Mojito mashed sweet potatos

We had a friends-giving cocktail hour this past Sunday, prior to Thanksgiving.  I made a delicious cornbread stuffing (recipe to come) and this tasty twist on mashed potatoes.  These zesty mashed sweet potatoes are great for any holiday or just a normal everyday dinner. Sweet potatoes are inexpensive and pack so much nutritional value.  Trust me you will want to add this recipe to your repertoire.

(Recipe adapted from Rachael Ray, see original here)

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons sugar
2 shots rum
1 lime, juiced
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint, 3 whole leaves for garnish

1. Place the sweet potatoes in a small pot and cover with water.
2. Bring water to a boil and salt it.
3. Cook the potatoes until they are tender, approximately 15 minutes.
4. Drain the potatoes and return to the hot pot.
5. Mash the butter, sugar, rum, lime juice and chicken stock together.
6. Stir with a hand mixer or immersion blender until smooth.
7. Gently fold in the chopped mint leaves.
8. Add additional salt to the top of the potatoes.  

Serve 2-4.



Pumpkin Lasagna

I've been thinking about making a pumpkin lasagna for a while.  I've had butternut squash lasagna before and it's always been delicious.  I love creamy whipped squash layered with cheese and spices.  So I thought why not substitute pumpkin for squash!  After researching online I found a recipe  from taste of home that I thought would be really tasty.  It turned out to be the perfect combination of sweet and savory and perfect for the season.

The picture may not be the prettiest but believe me this gooey layered noodle casserole is totally worth the time it takes to make.

1/2 pound sliced mushrooms
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
1 can (15 oz) pumpkin
1/2 cup half and half
9 no-cook lasagna noodles
1 cup reduced fat ricotta
1 cup shredded part skim mozzarella
3/4 cup shredded parmesan

1. Saute mushrooms and onions in olive oil until tender.
2. Combing pumpkin, half and half, pepper and salt in a bowl and set aside
3. Spread a 1/2 of the pumpkin sauce in a baking dish coated with cooking spray.  Top with three noodles. Top with 1/3 of mushroom mixture, 1/3 cup ricotta, 1/3 cup mozzarella and 1/4 cup parmesan. Repeat layers.  Top with remaining sauce and cheese.
4. Cover and bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake for 10-15 minutes until top is golden brown. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Check out those cheesy pumpkin layers.  I'm drooling.
See original recipe here.

What else can you make with pumpkin?

Mini chocolate chip, walnut, pumpkin muffins.
See recipe here.


Virginia Wine Country

Marisa decided this year she wanted to play it low key for her birthday and boy am I glad she did.  She opted for a day out in Virginia Wine Country.  So with her boyfriend, Scott, as our DD we hopped from winery to winery enjoying delicious wine and cheese.  We all had so much fun that i'm sure we'll end up doing it again someone soon.

[Hat-Bakers, Sweater and denim shirt- H&M, Sunglasses-Marc Jacobs, Jeans-Forever 21, Boots-Bakers]

First stop, Capitol Vineyards. Our tasting took place in a small one room cabin that was a post office in the 1800s and converted into a general store from 1890-1950. 

The wood bar was the original counter from the general store.

Enjoying wine on the front porch.

Next stop, Aspen Dale Winery. By far our favorite. Our tasting took place in a beautiful old converted barn with exposed wood beam ceilings.

Almost every wine we tasted was paired with two different bits of food to demonstrate how different food brings out different flavors in the wine.  Who knew certain red wines went well with chocolate?!

After our tasting we enjoyed a bottle of red outside in a little wood gazebo while we watched mini horses enjoy grazing.

Our mini horse friend....who we determined was wider than Eddie but probably shorter.

The birthday girl.

After our photoshoot by this little stone hut we went inside to enjoy the rest of our bottle and a basket of wine and cheese by a roaring fire while we listened to a solo guitarist play some mellow music.

Enjoying MORE wine and cheese on the Barrel Oak Vineyard patio at sunset.

Deep in conversation.

The fire pit we sat by after the sun went down when it got chilly. 

Gorgeous sunset in VA.

The most delicious eggs

I have a secret.  The secret to making the tastiest scrambled eggs you've ever had.  Here it comes! Get ready for it.


I know it sounds strange. But something about the mix of spices and the dehydrated vegetables make the most delicious eggs I have ever had.  Seriously, try it!

Start with two eggs.  Whisk them well.  Add 3 tbsp of milk and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Whisk in 1 tbsp of vegetable soup mix.  Scramble on low and toss in a sprinkle of cheddar cheese just before they are done and enjoy.

I enjoy mine with a mini whole wheat bagel smothered in vegetable cream cheese and some raspberries drizzled with honey. Mmm Mmm.


Stuffed peppers

What a delicious, colorful meal.

3 peppers (color is your choice)
Olive oil, 5 tbsp
Small white or yellow onion, chopped
5 chopped white button mushrooms
1 clove garlic, finely diced
1/2 pound ground turkey
3/4 cup Marinara sauce
1 1/2 cups cooked white rice

1. Cut the top off of each pepper and remove the seeds and membranes from the inside.
2. Place the hollowed peppers in boiling water for 3 minutes, until slightly soft.
3. Saute chopped onion until translucent in 4 tbsp olive oil.
4. Add mushrooms and garlic and continue to stir for 2-3 minutes.
5. Add ground turkey.  Cook until turkey is no longer pink.
6. Add marinara sauce and bring to a boil.
7. Add rice and stir.
8. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
9. Place pepper in baking dish with a 1/2 inch of water in the bottom.

10. Fill with rice and turkey mixture until heaping.
11. Drizzle remaining olive oil over top of pepper.
12. Bake for 15 minutes until top is lightly browned.

And enjoy your delicious, healthy meal.

Fried Stuffed Olives and Mini pickles

If you love salty snacks as much as I do then you'll love these.  They are incredibly easy and make the perfect appetizer or party snack.

Large Green Olives (as many as you wish to serve)
Small Pickles
Pancetta or roasted red peppers for stuffing (or buy pre-stuffed olives)
1 egg, cracked and whisked well
Panko bread crumbs
Vegetable oil for frying

[My dredging station]

1. Heat oil to 350 degrees
2. Dry the olives and pickles off with paper towel
3. Stuff olive with pancetta or roasted red pepper piece
4. Toss olives and pickles in flour
5. Shake off excess flour and dredge in egg
6. Let excess egg drip off and toss in Panko bread crumbs
7. Fry until golden brown (this only takes about a minute)

Optional: Serve with a remoulade sauce


Find inspiration in others

Inspiration is all around.  I've previously discussed my "look book" (which is essentially a book of magazine cutouts) and you've seen my pension for taking pictures of mannequins to inspire outfits (click here) well recently i've been trolling blogs for even more inspiration.  If you have the space make a cork board of inspiration to put up by your closet, hang your favorite jewelry of the moment, images from magazines, fabric swatches, anything that sends your mind to interesting places.

For now here are some images that I seem to be looking at over and over lately