Not the Same Old Soup

Turkey soup…again?

Our quest to find as many ways as possible to use our roast turkey had to include soup, of course. But this week’s version took a turn for the tasty! In addition to onion, garlic, carrot and mushrooms, we added in a thumb-sized chunk of ginger, julienned. Just the thing for fighting off the bug that has been going around (and finally caught us). We finished it off with the stock we made from our turkey carcass, some leftover turkey, and tipped in a good handful each of short grain brown rice and red lentils.

It simmered into a thick, hearty consistency that doesn’t taste like the same old turkey soup at all – and warmed us for our excursion out into the rainy world.


Turkey for a Chili Day

We roasted a turkey on Wednesday, and set a challenge for ourselves – use it as many ways as possible, given that there are only two of us now, without getting that, “oh, no, turkey again?” feeling.

Of course we started with the roast dinner, and then the possibly predictable hot turkey sandwich. Next, a lunch salad of mixed greens, turkey, dried cranberries, dressed with a spicy Dijon vinaigrette. Having been felled by the crazy cold/flu that is going around, something spicy and comforting was in order, and this turkey chili was just the ticket. It also had the advantage of using up some of the beans and veg we had put up in the freezer.

At 88 cents a pound, this little bird is working wonders for our grocery budget.


Shank You for a Delicious Meal!

We made a lovely road trip with the parents on Saturday, including a visit to Grammy, now aged 100. Side stopovers included Oulton’s meats, where we watched the talented team of butchers make short work of preparing a variety of delicious meats. In our case, we bought half a lamb, which included these two tasty shanks. We expect to be featuring all sorts of fall lamb recipes over the next weeks.


We wanted to take advantage of local produce as well, including the delicious apples we picked up on our last trip to the Valley, and some potatoes we grew in our own plot. Here’s how we did it, for 2:

2 (12-ounce) lamb shanks, trimmed
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
3/8 cup alcoholic sparkling cider
2 large diced apples
A good handful of fresh basil, thyme and oregano, minced
1/8 cup chopped fresh parsley for topping

1. Heat oven to 300F. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Sprinkle lamb with freshly ground black pepper. Add lamb to pan, and cook 4 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove from pan. Add garlic to pan; sauté 15 seconds. Add cider; cook 2 minutes, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Stir in apples and herbs; cook 2 minutes. Return lamb to pan. Cover with apples, cover pan and bake 1 hour. Turn lamb over; cook 1 hour more or until meat is done and very tender. Remove lid and cook until thickened if necessary. Serve sprinkled w parsley, and mashed potatoes on the side.

Wait, Where's Spring?!


In two days we’ve entered a deep freeze. The garden is full of tulips but you would never know it is spring by the weather. So what better than a hot spicy dinner to raise the temperature? We were over at Brian and Eric’s store yesterday, and we picked up a batch of kidney beans. Last night we cooked them up, so we had the perfect starting point. But chili seemed too obvious.

Instead, we cooked a batch of vegetables, including celery, carrot, onion pepper, and cauliflower. To this we added some beans, a chipotle, and a big handful of basil. After a good simmer, we sat down to a warming meal. Ahhh.

How would You Braise a Mixed Grill?

The other night we didn’t have as many people for dinner as expected, so there were leftover lamb chops. Plus we had a piece of beef tenderloin that hadn’t been used. (Such is life when adult children begin to flee the nest…sometimes here, sometimes eating elsewhere).

The idea was that we should make something a bit liked mixed grill. We didn’t have sausage, but the meats were enough. We browned them nicely with some red onions, peppers, and a carrot or two, diced. Then, a little wine tipped in to loosen the nice browned bits. At the end of the browning, we put in some mushrooms, and a good handful of rosemary, chopped, plus a grind of pepper.

We covered this with a can of diced tomatoes with herbs, and popped it in the oven for an hour, with the cover on. Then we removed the lid, and left it bubbling along (at about 350F) while we made some mashed potatoes.

In the end, it was a great way to celebrate what we hope was the last day cold enough for braising until the autumn!