Thursday, August 27, 2015

Juicy Mediterranean Turkey Burgers with Yogurt Sauce, Peaches & Arugula

Last night I was on my own for dinner so that only meant one thing - there would be olives (because I love them & Chris hates them)! I’ve been on a Greek salad & Greek yogurt kick as of late so those were also making the cut. I opted to make a Mediterranean style turkey burger with a yogurt sauce that is pretty much like tzatziki sauce with olives in other words a creamy garlicky & salty sauce. Then I added some feta, sliced peaches & arugula to hit all the other notes I love (read: salty, sweet, spicy).

I have to admit I scoured Pinterest in hopes to learn how to make a juicy turkey burger & thanks to this blog post I will always add pats of butter & milk to my burger mixture. I also opted to grate the onions & garlic into my mixture so that you don’t get big chunks or bites of either but you do get the flavor.

How do you make your turkey burgers juicy?

PS: remember if you make this pasta be sure to snap a pic & then tag me in your photos on instagram (@mrshoh or #HeatherOMade)!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Better Home Cooking Basics: #71 Cool Down Summer Drinks with Frozen Fruit Instead of Ice.

If you didn't know - summer is here! I'm keeping cool with ice cold drinks except I'm swapping out traditional ice cubes for frozen fruit. Lately, I've been really into filling my glass with frozen strawberries, mango & peaches & then pouring a can of limonata (a fizzy lemonade) on top of all that goodness. As the fruit defrosts it adds more flavor to the limonata & cools it down at the same time. Then at the end I have a nice fruit cocktail to snack on. Plus, it looks really pretty.

I also use frozen fruit in my smoothies. That means I skip the ice cubes all together & just blend up frozen fruit. It adds flavor without watering it down. I'd opt for smaller sized fruit when making smoothies. Larger pieces like peach segments should be cut in half as they can sometimes get stuck in the blender & don't chop up as evenly as small chunks of mango would.

PS: Frozen fruit also works like magic for wine & cocktails. Try frozen grapes in your favorite glass of white wine or prosecco.

How are you staying cool this summer?

Get more of my better home cooking basics here.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Fusilli with Fresh Tomato Sauce & Ricotta Cheese

After college I moved to NYC to “grow up,” which means I worked three jobs in attempts to make rent & pay off student loans while having some fun too. Glamorous, right? One of my three jobs was waiting tables  in NYC’s Little Italy. During this time I survived on a few staples for dinner: cannolis, pasta dishes my boss would generously share with me & Chinese food from my favorite place a block away.

I really hadn't thought about these meals until I was watching Giada’s show on Food Network yesterday. She was in Italy making all kinds of pasta. The one dish that she made took me way back to my early twenties when I used to share fusilli (the long curly pasta) with tomato sauce & fresh ricotta with my boss. I easily ate this once or twice (maybe more) a week. Giada’s method was simple & straight forward so feeling nostalgic for it I recreated it from memory of what I learned earlier in the day. 

The one key method for making Giada's simple & super fresh tomato sauce sung out to my inner love of tomatoes - especially fresh summer tomatoes. She took fresh tomatoes & used a box grater to break them down for the sauce. Apparently if you do this in a fancy food processor or blender the heat from those kinds of appliances actually change the flavor of the tomatoes (& we don't want that). I had to try it. I did & I loved it. This maybe my new favorite way to make tomato sauce. It’s so easy & fresh that you’ll be making on the regular too. I think it’s time to get this dish back in my weekly rotation like when I first moved to NYC.

Do you have specific food that reminds you of your first “adult” years? I’d love to hear about them. Leave me a note in the comments below.

PS: remember if you make this pasta be sure to snap a pic & then tag me in your photos on instagram (@mrshoh or #HeatherOMade)!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Better Home Cooking Basics: #70 Neutralize Too Acidic Soups & Sauces with Baking Soda.

There’s a few things I learned about cooking with wine. The first is you have to have some in order to cook with it. If you have no wine you can’t cook with it. The second is vinegar is not the same as wine. It’s much MUCH more acidic. When you cook wine (or vinegar) it concentrates the flavor so you better like the flavor to begin with.

Why am I rambling about all this? To get to my tip of course so you can learn through my crazy mistake & miraculous quick fix. On Sunday I decided I was going to make this sauce. Four cups of red wine makes up most of the liquid of the sauce. I didn’t have any red wine on hand but I did have some red wine vinegar & some beef stock. (Remember: vinegar & wine are not the same.)