Monday, March 31, 2014

Recipe: "Kind of a Big Dill" Burger

This recipe was born 
of bit of a miracle; my 
step-mom, who admits 
to having a "black thumb",
grew her own herbs 
last summer!  Always
generous, she shared 
with us and I whipped up these really tasty, healthy, 
and very simple burgers.


1 lb. lean ground turkey
2/3 c. reduced-fat feta cheese, crumbled
fresh dill (about a handful or so), roughly chopped
freshly-ground black pepper, to taste

cooking spray or olive oil
4 sturdy artisan buns or ciabatta rolls
1 1/2 T Dijon mustard
Fresh baby spinach, if desired


Place a large skillet over medium-high heat.  In a large bowl, combine the 
turkey, dill and feta.  Mix well.  Form into four patties.  Spray the skillet 
with cooking spray (or use 1 T of olive oil, if you prefer.)  Cook the patties 
until no longer pink in the middle (about 4-5 minutes per side).  Season with 
a dash of pepper, if desired.  Toast the buns or rolls, and spread the mustard 
on the tops.  Assemble the sandwiches.  If desired, top the burgers with fresh
baby spinach.  Serve with sliced vegetables and ranch or dill dip.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Welcome to My Cyber-Kitchen!

As I am continuing to revamp the look and content of my blog, I will be incorporating some of my own recipes into weekly posts!  I had a sandwich blog that wasn't getting a whole lot of attention (probably because I only updated it every month or so), but since this blog has a healthy following, I'll be reposting the recipes here, with pictures.

I don't subscribe to any one particular diet, so the recipes will range from super-healthy to about-as-good-for-you-as-that-Double-Down-thing-KFC-put-out-a-while-ago.  The one consistent thing I'll promise is that they will be EASY.  My sandwiches are created with three things in mind.  The first is the use of simple ingredients.  Generally, I try to use ingredients you can find almost anywhere - and ingredients you can pronounce.  The second thing - er, person - I keep in mind is my husband.  He loves sandwiches and would eat them at every meal if I made them.  He appreciates my creativity, and, fortunately, he's not very picky (his short banned-ingredient list includes mushrooms, onions, and olives, and he's iffy about tofu).  I don't post anything that doesn't get his seal of approval!  The third thing is cost.  I try to keep things reasonable, knowing that most of my friends and peers, regardless of their lifestyles, have limited budgets for groceries, so I try to keep these meals within a reasonable price range.

The only thing I'll warn you about is that I typically don't use recipes myself.  I don't measure anything.  I guess.  And, nine times out of ten, things turn out pretty tasty, so I must be doing something right.  As a result, however, you will end up seeing some suggested "ranges" when it comes to things like adding spices.  I am a person who likes loads of flavor and uses very little added salt, so I'll note that in my recipes.  If you like milder or blander foods, you'll want to tone things down.

Last but not least, if you're not much of a cook yourself, or if you want some new ideas, I'm up for a challenge!  Suggest an ingredient or theme and I'll try to create a custom-made "sammich" just for you!

Thanks for reading.  Your support means so much to me!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Team Pink or Team Blue?

If you're a friend or follower of mine on social media sites, then you already know.  But for those of you who might not be aware...

It's a boy!

Trust me, as thrilled as we are, both Ross and I are shocked off our rockers.  I was convinced I was carrying a girl.  Most of my friends thought it was a girl.  Heck, even my Italian-American, meat-loving, gun-toting Papa was excited to have a granddaughter.  

Maybe in a few more years.  But first up, a bouncing baby boy!

Our anatomical ultrasound could have been nerve-wracking, but our technician, Connie, was relaxed and friendly.  Ross asked her to check the heart for abnormalities, which she is supposed to do anyway, because, in the back of our minds, we wondered if this little baby might suffer from the same heart defect Ross was born with.  We immediately received the news that the heart was were the brain, bowels, spine, and everything else - even the baby's tiny little toes!

I suppose things didn't look too different than the 8 bazillion sonogram images my friends have posted online, but when it's yours, it's just a little more - magical?  Miraculous?  I don't know.  It's pretty neat to get to post pictures of my little guy on my bedroom mirror and think that, in a few short months, I'll be seeing him face to face.

Even though we "cheated" and learned the gender before we had originally planned to, we went ahead and had my stepmom's birthday cake act as our gender reveal cake.  We wanted to keep things pretty intimate, so we just invited family and a few of her closest friends to join us for a little party.  She didn't know the cake she was cutting was going to be pink or blue, though, so she definitely started to cry when she put two and two together (which was pretty quickly; she's a smart cookie).  A cheer went up when she sliced the cake to reveal its neon blue interior.  Of course, everyone would have cheered if it was pink, too.  I think our friends and family were just as relieved to know that the baby is healthy and growing normally.  

We are immeasurably grateful for that.  Trust me.  

What I'm less than grateful for is the comments I've gotten.  I shouldn't really complain; I haven't had the onslaught of them that some of my friends have received (my buds Matt and Jaime, happily expecting their FOURTH little girl - because they actually wanted a large family - get nasty looks from total strangers because they have - gasp! - more than two children).  Still, hearing, "You're big for 21 weeks - are they sure it's not twins?" is a bit of a stab in the gut.  "Why, yes, I am certain that all four of my ultrasounds were incorrect and I'm not carrying a single child, but actually a litter of them!"  I mean...people...I'm five feet tall.  I'm all chest and hips.  I have virtually no torso.  There is nowhere for the baby, plus my internal organs and pre-existing fat stores, to go.  My other favorite comment was from a family member who insisted that the name we chose would cause the child to be made fun of his entire life.  Never mind the fact that we carefully chose it for its meaning, significance, lack of uber-trendiness, and sound with our last name (which, as you know, is pretty distinct). 

Fortunately, most folks have simply been as joyful and grateful and excited as we are. 

I'm wondering what these next few months are going to be like.  Although I didn't suffer the morning sickness that bothered a lot of my friends, I've had pregnancy rhinitis for the past four months.  That's pretty much non-stop sniffles and watery eyes.  It's definitely been unpleasant.  And, now that I'm showing, I'm swinging between feeling like an absolute goddess (ooh, I am glowing, aren't I?) and wanting to curl up in a ball and cry because none of my clothes fit and I am already having a hard time putting on my socks (thankfully, they still fit).

They say it's quite a roller coaster, and I'm inclined to agree.