Cheesy Turkey Meatballs

Trying to clean out all the magazines I have stock piled. Cooking Light, Southern Living and Fine Cooking are my favorites and I have quite the stack of issues lying around. I think I have at least 8 years of Fine Cooking, if not more because I love all the information that is given in each issue. But I need to clean these out.

So now as I am Marie Kondo “ing” my life I am pulling out recipes that I want to try. This one rose to the top! Then the magazine heads to the recydle bin or possibly put aside for a big gargage sale this spring. Any one interested in old Fine Cooking magazines?

Looks good over spaghetti!


1 pound 93% lean ground turkey

12 ounces sweet Italian turkey or chicken sausage, casings removed (about 4 sausages)

1/2 cup whole-wheat panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish

2 tablespoons grated pecorino Romano cheese (1/2 oz.)

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

2 garlic cloves, grated

Cooking Spray


1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

2 garlic cloves, smashed

1 (28-oz.) can unsalted crushed tomatoes

Crushed red pepper to taste

3/4 cup fresh mozzarella cheese, torn into pieces


Prepare the meatballs: Combine turkey, sausage, panko, parsley, pecorino, Italian seasoning, salt, and grated garlic in a large bowl; form into 18 (2-inch) meatballs.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium; coat skillet with cooking spray. Working in batches, add meatballs to skillet, and cook until browned on all sides, about 2 minutes per side. Remove meatballs from skillet, and set aside.

Prepare the sauce: Reduce heat to medium-low. Add oil and smashed garlic to skillet; cook until garlic is golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and crushed red pepper; return meatballs to skillet. Cover and simmer until cooked through, about 3 minutes. Uncover; add mozzarella pieces. Cover and cook until cheese is melted, about 2 minutes. If your skillet doesn’t have a lid, you can put it under the broiler until cheese is melted, 2 to 3 minutes. Garnish with additional chopped parsley.



When someone mentions comfort food people think meatloaf or mac and cheese.  I dig back in my childhood memories and Goulash pops up.  My Dad was great at throwing things together and creating a tasty meal or soup.  When I was little 9 up to about 12 years old) my parents ran a small town diner and Dad manned the kitchen.  Dinners were generally from the diner and generally prepared quickly and pretty hearty.  None of my Dad’s recipes were written down, so I like to try and recreate them from either memory or find something similar and close to it. This recipe was pretty close.  I lightened it up with a half ground beef, half ground turkey.  This is a good meal to make in a hurry because most of this is pretty much on hand pantry items.  With the snowstorm coming this might be a great meal to make.


2 onions chopped
1 pounds lean ground beef

1 pound ground turkey breast
2 cloves garlic minced
1 jar tomato based pasta sauce approx. 26 oz.
1 28  oz cans diced tomatoes, un-drained
1 can 6 oz tomato paste
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
2 bay leaves
3 cups water
salt & black pepper to taste
2 cups macaroni noodles uncooked
1 cup cheddar cheese

Cook ground beef, onion and garlic over medium high heat until no pink remains. Drain any fat.
Add pasta sauce, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, water, seasonings and bay leaves. Simmer covered for 15 minutes.

Add in the in the macaroni and continue to simmer, covered, stirring occasionally until pasta is tender (about 20 minutes). Remove & discard bay leaves. Top with cheese and replace the lid. Let sit about 5 minutes or until melted.


Fettucine with Sausage Meatballs

I was looking for a quick recipe that our son would appreciate one night when he had a basketball game and could be quickly made when I got home from work.   So if you haven’t figured it out yet, that would be anything that includes pasta.  This recipe seemed easy to make in  the time frame we had.  I never realized how easy it is to make sausage meatballs.  Just remove from casing, and roll into the meatball form.  What really made this dish is the simple sauce that when with it.  A very flavor full meal that was kid tested and approved and the fresh fettuccine  was a delicious change.  


My Pasta Lover!

Fettuccine with Sausage Meatballs 


1 (9-ounce) package refrigerated fettuccine
3 (4-ounce) links sweet Italian turkey sausage
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups sliced onions
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 large garlic cloves, crushed
2 cups lower-sodium marinara sauce 
1/2 ounce pecorino cheese, grated (about 2 tablespoons packed)
8 basil leaves, torn


 Cook the pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain.

Remove casing from sausages. Shape sausages into 12 (1-inch) balls. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add meatballs to pan; cook 7 minutes, browning on all sides. Remove the meatballs from pan. Add onions, red pepper, and garlic to pan; sauté for 2 minutes. Return meatballs and add marinara sauce to pan, and bring to a simmer over medium heat, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 5 minutes or until meatballs are done. Add pasta to sauce mixture; toss well. Sprinkle with cheese and basil.


Goulash! Comfort Food to the Max!


One someone says Goulash, what do you think?  For me it is one of the staples in the comfort food category, right up there with Macaroni and Cheese and Meatloaf.  Growing up my Dad would make Goulash with whatever he might have on hand.  I decided to make this when I hit a major sale at the grocery store on ground turkey. 

Well, it really wasn’t a sale but a package miss mark issue.  We went grocery shopping over the holiday break and as I was walking down the meat aisle I noticed 3 lb. packages of ground turkey marked at $2.39 each.  My curiosity got the better of me so I asked an employee if they were marked incorrectly, which he proceeded to tell me no because they would be out of the date in three days.  To me, this explanation was still not right, so as I looked at the smaller portion package’s, I noticed they were marked down to $2.39 a pound.  Once again, I approached the employee and then told him that this had to be an issue with the pricing.  It took him a couple of second to realize that someone was told to mark them at $2.39 a pound and not $2.39 a package!  So, because of their error, I got 9 pounds of ground turkey for $7.17!  And he quickly removed the rest of the packages to correct the pricing. 

I took my bargain home and immediately repackaged in 1 1/2 lb. sizes and froze them all. So, when the weather called for something that would be warm and filling, I though about a recipe from Paula Deen for Goulash.  I tweaked it a bit to add the ground turkey and beefed up the tomatoes.   Then bonus on this dinner was that I left the recipe out on the counter one morning before I went to work and had our daughter whip it up for dinner.  I love coming home to dinner that is already prepared.



1  pound lean ground beef
1 1/2 pound ground turkey
2 large yellow onions, chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped

3 cups water

2 (15-ounce) cans tomato sauce

2 (15-ounce) cans diced tomatoes (Italian Seasoned)

2 tablespoons Italian seasoning

3 bay leaves

3 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon House Seasoning, recipe follows

1 tablespoon seasoned salt

1 lb. box elbow macaroni, uncooked



In a Dutch oven, sauté the ground beef  and turkey over medium-high heat until no pink remains. Break up the meat while sautéing. Spoon off any grease. Add the onions and garlic to the pot and sauté until they are tender, about 5 minutes. Add 3 cups water, along with the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, Italian seasoning, bay leaves, soy sauce, House Seasoning, and seasoned salt. Stir well. Place a lid on the pot and allow this to cook for 15 to 20 minutes. Add the elbow macaroni, stir well, return the lid to the pot, and simmer for about 30 minutes. Turn off the heat, remove the bay leaves, and allow the mixture to sit about 30 minutes more before serving.

House Seasoning:
1 cup salt

1/4 cup pepper

1/4 cup garlic powder

Mix the ingredients together and store in an air-tight container for up to 6 months. Use as a seasoning on meat and when cooking vegetables.
Recipe is a tweaked version from of Paula Deen
Dinner, Meatloaf

Favorite Comfort Food Alert – Turkey Meatloaf

Did you ever remake a favorite comfort food and find that you love it as much, if not more, than the original?  I found a recipe a few years back that I modified a bit and now make it as often as the old standby.  Who can resist Turkey Meatloaf with Sun Dried Tomatoes, wrapped in Pancetta? 

This was a Giada recipe for Turkey Meatloaf Sandwiches.  I would rather have it as a meatloaf dinner with a  baked potato and salad along as sides so I removed the mayo recipe that followed it.  The pancetta makes the meal when it gets crispy during baking.  And the baking method is pretty cool.  No meatloaf pan to clean, just unwrap and throw away the parchment paper.

This was also a  great meal for when we have our foodie friends, “Giada” across the street and husband and our backyard peeps down for wine tasting. We paired this up with a great spicy mac and cheese and a couple of great bottles of wine and we had a party!

Turkey Meatloaf


1/2 cup plain dried bread crumbs
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons whole milk
1/2 cup grated Romano
1/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound ground turkey, preferably dark meat
10 ounces sliced pancetta, about 10 slices


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

In a large bowl, stir together the bread crumbs, parsley, eggs, milk, cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, salt, and pepper. Add the turkey and gently stir to combine, being careful not to overwork the meat.

On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, lay out the pancetta, overlapping the slices, into a large rectangle shape. In the middle of the rectangle, place the turkey mixture, shaping into a loaf.

 Using the parchment paper, wrap the pancetta up and around the turkey loaf to cover completely. Squeeze the parchment-covered loaf with your hands to secure the pancetta and solidify the shape of the loaf. While still covered in parchment, bake the loaf until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer, about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.


Chef and Dietitian in training! Sloppy Buffalo Joes

It was a rare night when our kids made it home before us.  The dinner menu had been planned,

meaning the hubby picked up the ingredients while he was working that day.  Something very simple, yet full of flavor.  Something quite easy to make during the week.  It is from Rachael Ray and a twist on an old classic.
When we do get home at night after working the last thing we really want to do is jump right into making dinner.  You know you want to get it over with, but you also want to just rest for a few minutes, change your clothes, have a cup of coffee and not do anything.  Well, when you 16 year old daughter is home and loves to cook, take advantage of it.  Say “Here’s the recipe, can you put this together for dinner?”  Surprise!  She jumped at the chance. 

Our “little girl” is a junior in high school and is interested in becoming a Registered Dietitian.  We have already visited 4 colleges and another one coming up this weekend.  It is wonderful to hear that she has focused on a career choice, she knows what she wants to do already.  Now the down side of this might be that she will start analyzing my meals and tell me what is good for me and what might not be in my best interest.  (Note the mixed vegetables as the side to this dish.  Not one of my favorites.  Lima Beans, yuck!)But hopefully she will leave me with some sinful choices to indulge in. 

Sloppy Buffalo Joes


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 pounds ground turkey breast
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
2 to 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 to 1/3 cup hot sauce (recommended: Frank’s Red Hot)
1 cup tomato sauce
1 cup chicken stock
8 good quality burger rolls, split and toasted
1 cup blue cheese crumbles


Heat a large skillet with extra-virgin olive oil over medium-high heat. Add meat and break it up with wooden spoon, cook 5 to 6 minutes. Add in carrots, celery, onions and garlic, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, cook 7 to 8 minutes more. In a bowl combine the vinegar, sugar, Worcestershire, hot sauce, tomato sauce and stock. Pour into the pan and stir to combine.

Simmer a few minutes more. Pile sloppy Buffalo filling onto buns and top with blue cheese.


A Midwinter Night’s Dinner



I remember mentioning in my very first blog post that because of our love of cooking, we have been in a gourmet dinner club for probably 12 years now.  Our Dinner Club started when hubby and I, along with our foodie friends invited 2 other couples to join us.  One couple, who have been with us from the start, is “Giada” from across the street and her “no green veggies or no seafood main course” husband Mike (had to put that in there, “Love ya Mike!”).  Then we asked friends of ours that we know through my husbands job at the time to join us. 
Our dinner club was to get together every other month and we would rotate the host couple.  The host  selects the menu, assigns a course to the other couples and makes sure the menu and recipes reaches them 2 weeks before the dinner. The host supplies the main course and some sides, wine or cocktails, coffee and a welcoming table.  
Well 12 years later and an exchange of one couple for another, we are still going strong.  We now have a wonderful southern cooking influence with our beautiful artist friend and her always happy and smiling husband that she refers to as “farm boy” in her blog in the group, along with our foodie friends and neighbors.  We have had menus ranging from prime rib (1st dinner) to an Italian Feast, a Chinese smorgasbord, a Thai dinner, some wonderful southern delights, Mexican entrees, tailgaters delights’, crock pot entrees and more.  So many menus and recipes from all these dinners that they fill up two binders I have in my kitchen. 

Well this weekend is our time to host.  Our menu was inspired by two things, a need for an easy preparation because of a planned afternoon basketball game and some recently viewed recipes that we wanted to try.  The first recipe I saw is from the Traditional Home magazine I saw while at the hair salon.  I love Michael Chiarello and his restaurant Bottega in Yountville, Ca.  His whole menu loved wonderful, probably not for dinner club, but the appetizer could work.  The salad is from Fine Cooking Magazine.  I wanted something a bit different and the shaved asparagus made this interesting.  And Ina’s Turkey meatloaf and Green Beans Gremolata, how could you go wrong.  The potatoes have been assigned to our neighbors.  First because we thought we had a basketball game in the afternoon and second, they live right across the street and so their oven is really close.  They were so delicious.
Now the dessert…. It looked very tasty, light  and because the difficulty level was hard.  Ha ha, we assigned that to our “Foodie Friends” because we know that they are up to the challenge.  When we sent the menu and recipes out, we put in fine print that if that thought it was too difficult they could contact us for a substitute.  But they didn’t and it was very good. What a wonderful evening with great friends, good food and delightful conversations. Who could ask for anything more!
Bon Appetite!