Smokey Bacon Asparagus Wraps

Yeah. Isn’t that title enough to make you drool already?! I’m drooling. Really. Two of my favorite things in the world? Asparagus. And bacon. Hallelujah!

This is a little gem from Abel James! The spice rub gives it a “barbecue” feel, the bacon adds that smokey flavor, and of course the asparagus gives you your greens! Not to mention it is probably the best vegetable. Ever. Can I get an amen?!

Whoo. Calm down Rodgers. Apparently this recipe makes me go gospel. PRAISE THE LORD! For bacon is delicious and His love never fails!! 😀

ANYWAYS! Back to the recipe! I used turkey bacon, because I am still up in arms about pork. I love pork. But does it love me? I just don’t know.

So, here’s what you need:

 

  • 1 lb Asparagus, tough ends popped off
  • 8 to 10 Slices Turkey Bacon
  • 1/2 tsp each of: sea salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika (optional, add a dash of chipotle chile powder for a kick!)

 

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees, and cover a baking sheet with foil.
  2. Combine spice mixture in a small bowl.
  3. After your asparagus is trimmed, separate it into 8 to 10 even piles, with 4-5 pieces each.  Obviously this will depend on the size of your spears ;).
  4. Wrap the bacon around each bundle, taking care to not overlap too much, as you don’t want the bacon to be too thick or the bottom layer will not cook all the way.
  5. Lay your bundles on the baking sheet, with seam down.  Sprinkle each bundle generously with your spice rub.
  6. Slide into your preheated oven and cook for 20 or more minutes, until asparagus is tender crisp and the bacon is cooked through.
  7. Serve along side a protein and be happy!  This is most definitely a man pleaser!  Even for a man that loves vegetables like my Mr. Rodgers…they always look more alluring when wrapped in bacon, haha!!  Let me know how you like it!

 

Peectures:

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Here’s my little bundles, all wrapped up and ready to go!

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Then they got their spices!

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And cooked…oh yummy!

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Is your mouth watering yet?

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It surprised me how much the spice rub acgtually did taste like barbecue!

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And serve with your protein!  This was with a lovely roasted chicken!  And we actually got to sit down at the dinner table together and eat!  It was amazing!!  And then Mr. Rodgers did the cutest thing!  His computer was sitting on the table, and he pulled up a video of a crackling fire place while we finished our dinner…it was so romantic!!  I hope you guys have a memory just as sweet to go with this asparagus, hehe!

Strawberry Turkey Burgers

I considered titling this “The Most Interesting Burger You’ll Ever Eat.”  For real!  The whole time I was prepping and cooking these guys, I was so intrigued and excited to try the outcome!  And I must tell you, I was not disappointed!  In fact, I was snapping photos and sending them to all my foodie family members back in Washington because I was so enjoying this creative, out of the ordinary recipe!  As you can probably guess, this goes hand in hand with the Strawberry Salsa recipe I gave you earlier this week!  I’m too excited to say anything else…let’s get down to business!!  (Insert manly voice…to defeat the Huns, HYEAH!) <— If you understood that reference, you are my new best friend.

Adapted from Abel James, The Fat Burning Man:

 

So, here’s what you need:

  • 1 lb Ground Turkey
  • 1 C Strawberry, Diced
  • 1/2 Red Onion, Diced
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 Tbsp Almond Flour
  • 2 Tbsp Flax Meal
  • Handful Fresh Spinach, Chopped
  • Salt and Pepper

And here’s how you do it:

  1. In a large bowl, combine strawberry, onion, garlic, and spinach.
  2. Add in turkey, egg, almond flour, flax meal, salt and pepper.  Mix it all together until combined.
  3. Form into patties.
  4. Heat a small amount of grass fed butter in the bottom of a cast iron skillet, medium heat.  Place patties in skillet and cook for about 8 minutes per side, covering at least the first 8 minutes.  You can also attempt a grill, that was the original method but it was cold outside the day I made these.  🙂
  5. Top with Strawberry Salsa and enjoy your impressively creative meal!!

 

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Place spinach, strawberry, onion, and garlic in a large bowl…

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Combine.

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Add almond flour, flax meal, egg, salt, and pepper.

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Combine.

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Form into 4-5 patties.

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Place into lightly greased cast iron skillet, cover and cook for 8 minutes, flip and cook 8 more minutes.

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Top  with strawberry salsa and enjoy!!!

Turkey, Cheddar, Relish Grilled Cheese: On the 12th Day of Christmas…

…my true blog gave to me a sammich that made me so happy I might pee!!!

Okay, that’s terrible I know. But really. This thing was phenomenal. I could eat it every day. Your kids will love it. Your spouse will love it. Your friends will love it. You will love it. You will want to make it over and over until you have no leftovers left!

Yes, that’s right. This is made almost completely out of Holiday Feast leftovers!!! Relish, turkey, special reserve extra sharp cheddar we had left over from our appetizer… It was so heavenly. I’m a big fan of the marriage of salty and sweet. Especially when the salty is cheese. Kind of like we explored in my Crackers, Cheese, and Marshmallows post!

So you can probably tell where this is going, but here ya go…here is what you need:  (For one sammich…my pictures shows me making two!)

  • 2 Slices Bread
  • A Handful Left Over Turkey (Shredded)
  • 2-3 Slices Cheddar (We use special reserve extra sharp cheddar…Mr. Rodgers’ favorite!)
  • A Large Spoonful Cranberry Orange Relish
  • Butter.

 

And here’s how you do it:

Basically, you are going to make a normal grilled cheese, just with goodies in it!!:

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Heat a skillet over medium heat.  Butter one side of your bread and lay it down in the skillet.

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Spread enough cheese slices to cover bread.

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Cover cheese with a layer of turkey…

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Smear on some relish!!

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Add any extra cheese you have…I was going to just cheese one side but I figured this may help make a layer between the bread and relish so it would help it not get soggy…and more is better with cheese on a grilled cheese, right?!

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Butter your other slice of bread and place it on top, buttered side up.

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Flip sammich when cheese is getting melty and bread is nice and browned to your liking.

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Now…devour!!!!!!!!  There is really no other way to eat this sammich than to DEVOUR it.  Cause it’s just so good.  Oh man.  I gotta go eat something.  Enjoy the recipe, Merry Late Christmas…peace out!!

Cornbread Buttermilk Biscuit Stuffing. On the Fourth Day of Christmas…

…my true blog gave to me a buttery Southern stuffing recipe!!

Stuffing, my friends, does not come out of a bag.  I am so sorry if I offend you when I say that.  But that fact was driven into me at a young age.  I had never even tried the bagged stuff until I moved to New York.  Now that I know how to make the traditional Kirkwood/Gilliland recipe (our friends that are proud of their southern cooking!!)…I hope to never have to eat it again, or make my family do so either.

Because this stuffing.  Is.  So.  Good.

I mean, it is most of my favorite things.  Butter.  Biscuits.  Cornbread.  Butter.  Did I mention there is a lot of butter in this recipe?!  😀  You can’t get any better than this.  Soft, but crispy…herby and a little hint of sweet.  Perfection.  I’m drooling.  So let’s get to it!!

Note:  There are a few different steps, but do not be afraid.  None of them are complicated, and while you wait for one thing to bake is the perfect opportunity to be working on your other dishes!!

Here’s what you need:

Buttermilk Biscuits:

  • 1/4 C Shortening or Oil
  • 2 C All Purpose Flour
  • 3 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 3/4 C Buttermilk

Cornbread:

  • 1 C Yellow Corn Meal
  • 1 C Flour
  • 1/4 C Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/3 C Oil
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 C Buttermilk

Stuffing:

  • 3 Sticks Butter
  • 8 Stalks Celery, Diced
  • 2 Medium Onions, Diced
  • Sage
  • Poultry Seasoning

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Preheat oven to 450*.
  2. Start your biscuits.  Cut shortening or oil into flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Stir in just enough milk so dough balls up and leaves the side of the bowl.  It should not be too sticky…but also not too crumbly!
  4. Turn the dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet.  Pat down into a 6 inch square with floured hands.  Cut into 2-inch squares.
  5. Brush with melted butter.  Bake until golden brown, 15-20 minutes.
  6. Now for the cornbread!!  When your biscuits are done, turn the oven down to 400*.
  7. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl.  Combine wet ingredients in a separate bowl.
  8. Stir wet ingredients into dry mixture until just blended.
  9. Heat a cast iron skillet on the stove top with a small amount of oil in the bottom.  Pour batter into pan and transfer to hot oven.  Bake for about 25 minutes, or until done and starting to brown.
  10. When breads have cooled to a manageable temperature, crumble them both into a large bowl.
  11. Using same cast iron skillet, melt 3 sticks of butter over medium heat.
  12. Add onions and celery and cook until tender.  Dump buttery veggie mixture over breads and stir till coated.  Add sage and poultry to taste (original says “to smell”) about 2 tsp.  Season with salt and pepper, stir, taste, adjust.
  13. Stuff in turkey, or bake for 20 minutes!  I actually love it even more not stuffed, because the breads get moist and buttery but still hold together!!  Up to you!!  Let me know what you think!!!

Photo (10)Starting the butter milk biscuits!   Cut shortening or oil into flour, baking powder, and salt.

Photo (11)Stir in just enough milk so dough balls up and leaves the side of the bowl.  It should not be too sticky…but also not too crumbly! Turn the dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet.

Photo (12)Pat into a 6 inch square with floured hands.  Brush with melted butter.  Cut into 2 inch squares (yes, I forgot that step…doesn’t really matter if you are just using it for stuffing, but kind of important if you want actual biscuits!)

Photo (13)Bake until golden brown, 15-20 minutes.

Photo (14)Start your cornbread (after you turn the oven to 400*).  Combine dry ingredients in a bowl…

Photo (15)And wet ingredients in a different bowl…

Photo (16)Add wet ingredients to the dry ones and stir till JUST combined.

Photo (17)Heat a small amount of oil in the bottom of a cast iron skillet.  Pour in batter then transfer to hot oven and bake until done and golden brown, about 25 minutes.

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Photo (21)Melt three sticks of butter in same cast iron skillet your cornbread was in…

Photo (22)Dump in your veggies and cook, stirring until tender…

Photo (24)Buttery goodness!!

Photo (25)Then pour on top of your breads…season with salt, pepper, thyme, and poultry seasoning.  Stir to combine!

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Now you are ready to either stuff your turkey, or simply bake this mixture for 20 minutes and devour just how it is.  BEST STUFFING EVER!!!  Let me know how you like it!!

Garlic Bacon Butter Fish

Yes.  Three of my favorite things.  Garlic.  Bacon.  And butter.   Can you tell that I have the genes of a sweet little Oklahoma Grandma running in my veins?  I even used my cast iron skillet!!  She’d be so proud.  🙂  Anywho.   Despite the sound of the title…I believe this to be at least decently healthy and light!  If you have followed me long, you know that I don’t have a problem with a little butter now and then.  Sure, don’t go deep frying it and eating it by the stick (yes, I have seen people do that on Food Network.)  But a bit here and there is alright.  🙂  And I used turkey bacon from the health food store.  No nitrites yaaaay!!  Wanna see my favorite brand?  Mr. Rodgers and I have tried multiple brands of turkey bacon and we always come back to this one:  BAM!

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LOVE IT.  You should too.

So now that we all feel better….let’s discuss this wonderful recipe I adapted from Coastal Living on myrecipes.com.  I realize that the title is a little generic, and I will tell you why.  The original called for Cod.  Yum.  I love Cod.  But I was already about to hit my limit on the budget, so I used Haddock instead, which was cheaper and still heavenly.  However…I think this would go well with pretty much any fish.  Like salmon.  I flipping love salmon.  Gaaaaaaah!  So basically…whatever fish is your fave…try cooking it this way and you will love it.  That is…if you share my love for garlic, bacon, and butter.  And if you don’t…I don’t really know if you are human.

 

So, here’s what you need:

  • 1/4 C Butter, softened
  • A Squeeze of Cilantro Paste
  • 1-2 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp Red Onion, minced
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1 Tbsp Gluten Free flour of choice (I was going to use almond, realized I was out, and used a GF multipurpose)
  • Juice of 1 Lemon
  • 2-3 Pieces Turkey Bacon
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 4 Fillets Haddock (Or your favorite!)

 

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Place bacon in a pan and heat until just cooked through and starting to crisp.  Cut or crumble into small pieces
  3. Mix everything but the fish and coconut oil in a bowl.  I mashed mine together with a fork to create a sort of paste.
  4. Heat coconut oil in an oven safe skillet over medium-high heat.  Salt and pepper fillets then add to pan.  Cook for about 3 minutes, then flip.
  5. Top each fillet with a spoonful of butter mixture and continue to cook until almost melted, just a minute or so.
  6. Slide pan into oven and cook until done all the way through, fish is opaque and flakes easily with a fork!

 

Peectures:

Photo (17)Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.  Mix everything but the fish and coconut oil in a bowl.

Photo (18)Make a paste of sorts.

Photo (19)Salt and pepper your fillets.  Melt your coconut oil in a cast iron (or oven safe) skillet and add your fillets, cooking for 3-4 minutes.

Photo (20)Flip and top each with a large spoonful of your garlic bacon butter!

Photo (21)Let melt, just a minute or so, then slide into your preheated oven and cook until opaque, cooked through…so it flakes easily with a fork!  Then enjoy these “few of my favorite thiiiiiings!!”

Photo (22)Here is mine, with some Kale Chips for a perfect lunch!!

“THE BEST” Chicken (or Leftover Turkey!) Barley Soup

Why do I call it “THE BEST” you ask?!  Well…because of this…

Photo (7)Hahahahaaaa.  I think instead of being a post about “Feeding Mr. Rodgers,”  this should be “Pleasing Mamma Monaghan.”  The original idea was to create a chicken noodle soup without noodles.  Haha, I tend to cook classic foods without their main ingredient I have noticed.  Mr.  Rodgers loves chicken noodle soup…especially on days like the ones we have been having.  Cold.  Wet.  Dark.  Well I wanted to leave out the noodles for health reasons, but still wanted something nice and tasty other than just veggies and meat.  And I began to reminisce on my childhood when my mamma would make barley soups, so I thought I’d try it out.   Well my mamma in law decided to try a bowl…and promptly informed me that there might not be any left when I came home from work that night.  She then packaged it up and put it in the fridge for me…and I found this note.  Hahahah.  So sweet and fun!  And it really didn’t last very long either.  She devoured it, and I am so glad, cause she’s not a big eater so I love it when she goes crazy on healthy foods!!

But she wasn’t the only one thrilled with it.  It truly was perfect for our rainy day and the flavor was beyond wonderful and comforting.  I used chicken breast, but here is the beauty of a soup like this…you can use whatever meat you have laying around.  So tomorrow is Thanksgiving.  Why not re-purpose the left over turkey into a barley soup?  Not only delicious…but oh so frugal!  And a good way to get the kids to eat the same thing for days without realizing (or complaining about) it, eh?

So…I think this was adapted from marthastewart.com.  But honestly, when you look up Chicken Barley Soup recipes…they are pretty close to identical so I can’t remember for sure which one I based this off of haha!

 

Here’s what you need!

  • 3 Tbsp Butter or Coconut Oil
  • 4 Large Carrots, Diced
  • 4 Celery Stalks, Diced
  • 3-5 Garlic Cloves, Minced
  • 1 Onion, Diced
  • 2-3 Lg Chicken Breasts, Cut into cubes (or about 2 Cups cooked Turkey!  Or meat of choice!)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 6 C Low Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 5 Sprigs Thyme
  • 1 C Barley (I did not use quick cooking because I wanted to let it simmer!  You can use either and just adjust the time/wait for it to get tender)

 

And here’s how you do it!

  1. Prep all your veggies!
  2. Melt your butter or coconut in a large pot over medium heat and add all your veggies except the garlic.  Cook until starting to get tender; about 8 minutes.  Add garlic and stir in, cooking another 30 seconds.
  3. Cut up your chicken and season with salt and pepper.  Add to the skillet and cook a few minutes, until starting to brown. (If you are using leftover meat, you just have to throw it right on in there!)
  4. Add chicken broth and thyme.  Bring it to a boil then add the barley.  Now cover and reduce; letting simmer until you are ready to eat!  (At least 15 minutes so the chicken gets cooked through, but I let mine simmer for a good part of the morning while I did laundry and such wifely things!  Gotta love mornings off!)  How easy as that?!  Easy as pie!  Speaking of pie…you will probably be regretting all the pie you eat on Thanksgiving, so this recipe will be really good for upset tummies and trimming for expanding waist lines, haha!!!  Enjoy!

 

Prep your veggies!

PhotoMelt your butter or coconut oil in a big ol’ pot…

Photo (1)

Add onions, carrots, and celery and cook until tender, about 8 minutes.  Add garlic and cook another 30 seconds or so, until fragrant.

Photo (3)Add your meat source…be it chicken breast, left over turkey, browned ground beef…don’t forget a little salt and pepper!

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Add chicken broth and thyme….

Photo (5)Bring to a boil, add barley, reduce heat, and simmer till done!  At least 15 minutes but can be simmered as you do your laundry until you are ready to eat!  😉

Photo (6)Yummy yummy in your tummy, healthy healthy for your body!! Hopefully you will find a note kind of like this on top of your soup!!

Photo (7)❤  LOVE IT!