Friday, December 2, 2011

Cinnamon Explosion

We found the basic cake recipe on the video podcast. The basic recipe starts with 1 stick of butter to melt in the bottom of the pan as it bakes and 1 can of drained fruit of any kind. In a bowl, stir together 1 cup of all purpose flour, 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 cup sugar and then mix in 1 cup of milk. Pour the batter over the butter and fruit. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Mel added about 1 teaspoon of all spice, cinnamon, and vanilla to the recipe the first time. It was delicious. We found out that the spices work better added to the flour mixture, instead of the fruit. Adding it to the fruit weakened the spice flavors.

Also we used a can of lite apricots and it was better the second day.

Fresh fruit can also be used. Mel prepared it with apples that we needed to use up.

Recently I decided to try my hand at this very basic recipe. What could go wrong? Well, let me tell you that there is a reason why I titled this Cinnamon Explosion.

I decided to added a couple of splashes of vanilla. It went pretty smoothly. I only put in about 3 teaspoons of it. No problem so far. Then I decided to sprinkle in the cinnamon. Well, I accidently opened up the side with the big hole, instead of the little holes. I ended up with several tablespoons to 1/4 cup of cinnamon in the batter. Well, it ended looking like a shade lighter than chocolate after I stirred it all together. Not knowing what else to do, I baked it anyway, hoping it would turn out.

Thankfully it did. Instead of tasting bitter, it had a wonderful cinnamon flavor.

Next time I want to try to make it with brown sugar, instead of the white sugar. I wonder how that will change the flavor.

Your Cooking Goddess,
Ellen Tevault

Chicken Noodle Casserole

This is based on the basic tuna noodle casserole. I found canned chicken on sale cheaper than tuna, so I used that instead. You could use leftover chicken or turkey (especially at Thanksgiving). I didn't have enough egg noodles, so I used whole wheat rotini instead. I didn't have peas, carrots, or mixed vegetables in a can or frozen, so I used some frozen stir fry vegetables. I tossed them in with the pasta to cook. When they were finished, I strained the veggies and pasta, before assembling the casserole.

I preheated the oven at 350.

I mixed the chicken, pasta, and vegetables in my stone casserole dish, before I poured the cream of mushroom soup over them. I baked it for 20-30 minutes.

Mel loved the stir fry vegetables in the casserole. This recipe was deemed a keeper.

Your Cooking Goddess,
Ellen Tevault

Thanksgiving Manhattan

This is a turkey manhattan with a Thanksgiving twist. Manhattans are comfort food for me from my childhood. School lunch served beef manhattan or turkey manhattan about once a month. It consisted of 1-2 slices of white bread, deli meat of either roast beef or turkey, mash potatoes, and gravy. Chicken gravy for turkey and beef gravy for the beef. It was either made as an open faced sandwich with only a slice of bread on the bottom, the meat on top of it, then a scoop of mash potatoes before the gravy or make a sandwich, then cover it with mash potatoes and gravy. That's a basic manhattan.

Here's my Thanksgiving manhattan.
1) place one slice of bread on the plate.
2) place shredded or cubed turkey from Thanksgiving on the bread.
3) add a scoop of stuffing on top of the turkey.
4) pour some chicken or turkey gravy over the stuffing.

Some of you may have already had this before, but called it a different name, such as leftovers. :-D

This is another way to use those leftovers. Happy Cooking.

Your Cooking Goddess,
Ellen Tevault

Friday, November 25, 2011

How to Use Thanksgiving Turkey Leftovers

Are you looking forward to a week of cold turkey sandwiches after Thanksgiving? I didn't think so. That's why I have come up with several alternative uses for those turkey leftovers.

Things You'll Need
• Turkey
• Imagination

1) Turkey Salad - Cut up turkey, onion, celery. Mix with mayonnaise. Serve on crackers or bread.

2) BBQ - Cut up turkey. Mix with your favorite BBQ sauce. Serve on hamburger bun.

3) Casserole - Replace the meat in your favorite recipe with turkey chucks, such as Tuna Noodle Casserole made with turkey instead.

4) Tacos - Mix turkey with taco seasoning. In a taco shell, layer turkey, cheese, salsa, and lettuce.

5) Turkey Noodle Soup - In a sauce pan, mix turkey, celery, onion, and seasoning in broth. Add egg noodles about 10 minutes before the vegetables are tender.

6) Stir Fry - In lightly oiled skillet or wok, stir fry vegetables with turkey chunks with an Oriental sauce packet. Serve over rice or Asian noodles.

7) Hash - Finely chop up turkey, onion, and potatoes. Cook in skillet. (I know, you thought hash only came in a can.)

8) For more ideas, look through a cookbook with the idea that turkey can replace the meat in a lot of recipes, especially chicken. Think of it as an adventure.

Tips & Warnings: Your family may not realize that they are eating leftovers.

Previously published on

New: Since publishing this article a few years ago, I have found out that some people love leftover turkey sandwiches because they combine turkey, cranberry sauce, and stuffing on a dinner roll or whatever bread is leftover from Thanksgiving dinner. My grandma's idea of a leftover turkey sandwich was white bread with mayonaise and turkey. That was it. Nothing fancy. Mel taught me the pleasure of a Thanksgiving sandwich described previously with all the fixings.

Try it in an omelet. I bet it is delicious.

Have fun experimenting with a new way to have the turkey leftovers.
Your Cooking Goddess,
Ellen Tevault

Monday, August 15, 2011

Mel started me on watching this video podcast. It is wonderful. The guy running it seems to be an average guy, which makes it less threatening. In fact I recently saw him try to melt chocolate in the microwave like I did. I felt like I found a kindred spirit in this journey of learning how to cook. I highly recommend going to his site and check it out. Some of his videos are on YouTube, but not all.

Your Cooking Goddess,
Ellen Tevault

Orange Marmalade Salmon

I tried a new rub for Salmon. It was sweet and delicious.

2-3 Tablespoons Orange Marmalade
few squirts Dijon Mustard
dash of hot sauce

Rub it on Salmon fillets and bake until flakes, about 15 minutes (a little less or little more).

Mel doesn't like Salmon too much, but this recipe was deemed a keeper.

Your Cooking Goddess,
Ellen Tevault

Asparagus: White versus Green

Well, I tried white asparagus because I like to try new produce. I love green asparagus, so I decided to try white when I saw it at the store. My opinion is that it is too much work. You have to break off the wooden end (the same as the green variety), but then you have to peel it before you cook it. This extra step seemed cumbersome. It didn't taste any better or have any more nutrients than the green variety. I decided to stick with the green ones for now on.

Your Cooking Goddess,
Ellen Tevault