Showing posts with label Cast Iron. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cast Iron. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Turkey Legs

I know, a post about cooking turkey legs.  Something so simple that it may not warrant a bit of time as a full post.

Except they are so delicious, make a great addition to soup, can be used in enchilada's and are the perfect size for a family of one or two.

I remember being a young couple living in TX at Bergstrom Air Force Base (which is now the airport in Austin) and being overwhelmed with the idea of cooking a huge turkey.  First, I did not think we would eat a whole turkey; secondly, I did not know the first thing about preparing a bird, a whole bird.

So for these two reasons-easy to prepare and can be used in so many things-I decided to go ahead and write a short recipe of how I prepare our turkey legs.

I buy two at a time from Whole Foods and they range in price from $4-$5…very affordable.

I set my oven to start preheating to 425 degrees while I get the legs ready to cook.

I use four basic ingredients:

garlic powder
olive oil

Now if I want to jazz up the flavor I can add any or all of these:

curry powder
dried herbs: thyme, rosemary, basil or oregano
onion powder
Old Bay Seasoning (Maryland  required spice that works on everything…LOL)

I like to use my cast iron pans but you can use any pan the legs fit into.  Try to give them some room, I try to keep them from touching.

Bake for 20 minutes, turn legs, and bake another 20 minutes.  These legs are larger than chicken legs and I like to check the internal temperatures to make sure they are done. Use a thermometer to do this.
Internal temperature should not be below 165 degrees.

Remove from oven and let legs rest for 10 minutes.

I have served them whole, one per guest.  Picked the meat off and used them in a variety of recipes.  Used the leg bones to make broth.

Turkey legs are simply useful in my kitchen when it comes to creating easy or gourmet dishes.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie with Peanut Butter Sauce

I have told you before how awesome I think cast iron pans are.  

My love and adoration for them has been bumped up another notch after making this one dessert.

Two weeks ago my husband and his buddies read a book about being wheat free.  They have decided  they would like to cut wheat out of their diets.

Honestly, sometimes you have to just shake your head.  I say this with a ton of love for my hubby but I have been saying this for about 3 years.  This is when I first discovered I had a sensitivity to wheat and some other foods myself and started limiting my intake.  

For the most part I am wheat free and so we have lots of wheat free stuff in our house to eat.  I cook a lot of vegetarian dishes, I make all of my own sauces (most of them without wheat), we eat meat in moderation and try to eat more fish than we used to.

I have kids and so we do have the healthy boxes of cereal (with wheat), I buy pretzels (with wheat) and on occasion I make bread, cookies, cakes and breakfast foods, (all with wheat).

We try to eat wheat in moderation.  With my husband, it is usually a case of being in a hurry and grabbing what is easiest to eat on the run.  Sandwiches, a bag of pretzels, a cookie here and there. The amount of wheat he ate started to add up and his diet was not balanced with fruit, veggies and proteins. He ate almost all carbs and pretty soon his body craved them all the time.

I will say this, just because you drag a horse to the watering hole does not mean it will take a drink.


I cannot make him eat a certain way just like he cannot make me eat a certain way.  It has to be a choice that you/they/us make. 

He  believes, after reading this book, that he has a wheat gut.  He exercises until he is blue in the face and still he has his Budda belly.

I have watched him struggle with portion control, running, going without and then giving up.

So you can imagine my surprise when out of the blue he made this announcement, another diet.

I want to be that supportive wife, but I cannot babysit my husbands diet.  He would have to make the decision and LIVE by it no matter what food we had in our house.  He had to fight his own temptations to say NO, walk away and make a better choice.

I cannot do that and our kids cannot do that for him.  

I will say this:  I am so proud of him.  He has committed to making a lifestyle change with his eating habits and he is succeeding.

I have admired Cory as he has tackled his eating habits and changed things slowly.  He made himself a success in changing the way that he was feeding his body. 

I know how hard it is making these choices from my own experience.  I was encouraged to go cold turkey.  He recognized that in order for him to accomplish his goal, he would have to give up some of the things he enjoyed having: cookies, cakes and breads.  I explained to him that this was not always the case.  He would have to change what he reached for but not give up completely.  I know this is not new "news" but, we do have many more grains and flours at our disposal than just wheat.  Many of these recipes are healthier for us.  

I went on a quest to find him healthy alternatives to some of the things he had chosen to give up.  In searching, I have found many low carb, vegan  and high protein snacks.  

Choice and change are possible but it does take work, motivation and a desire.  Cory was willing and he had all three.  I just made it easier for him to feel his success by preparing things he can eat, staying positive, applauding his journey and encouraging him every step of the way. 

I may not be able to control what he puts into his mouth, but I certainly am willing to be his cheerleader as he goes through this process.

I am going to share two recipes, one with pictures and the other without (we ate them too fast) that are wheat free and low carb.  You don't have to be on any type of diet to enjoy a yummy and healthy treat. 
I know that it is easier to reach for a bag of this or that, but with a little bit of time and a few ingredients on hand, you can make something that is tastier and healthier for you and your family.

Your friends and family will be amazed after they finish their serving and ask for seconds. They also may be surprised to learn what this delicious skillet cookie was made of as well.

Quite simply, this is a simple recipe in a simple cast iron skillet, with the best peanut butter sauce served over the top to add that gourmet touch.


Recipe:  Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie with Peanut Butter Sauce

1/2 cup of coconut oil (see note)
1/2 cup of peanut butter
1/2 cup of real maple syrup
1 tablespoon of vanilla
pinch of salt

1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
3 cups of almond meal 
1/2 cup of dark chocolate chips ( I use bittersweet)

Preheat oven to 350.

NOTE:  Virgin coconut oil will taste like coconut, refined coconut oil will have little to no flavor of coconut.  I used the virgin coconut oil in this recipe.

In a blender, combine the first 5 ingredients and blend for 5-6 minutes.  The ingredients will pull together and make a caramel type sauce.  

I used a 10 inch cast iron skillet.  Add one cup of caramel to the pan.  Add baking soda, almond meal and dark chocolate.  Combine until well blended.  

Using your fingers, pat mix into pan.  Bake 12-14 minutes.  The cookie will be golden brown and puff up.  This is a good sign it is done.

Remove from oven and spread the remaining sauce over the cookie.  

Serve with a bunch of spoons and eat right out of the skillet or dish it up, either way it won't last long.

Recipe: Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup of mashed ripe bananas
2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon of baking soda
pinch of salt
1 1/4 cup of almond meal
1/4 cup of chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350.

Combine all of the above ingredients in Kitchenaid or bowl.  Mix together.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Using a cookie scoop, scoop dough 1 inch apart on sheet.  They don't spread too much.  Bake for 12-14 minutes, they should be golden when done.

Let cool slightly on cookie sheet and remove to cookie rack to cool.

Donut Breakfast Casserole

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