Bologna to Bolognese: Adventures With Food

Food is necessary. Food is fun. Food is an adventure!

My name is Shannon and this is my adventure, my love affair with food.

I hope you'll come along for the ride.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Tossed Together Turkey Tortilla Soup

Turkey with all the trimmings, turkey sandwiches, turkey noodle casserole, you've done it all and there is still leftover turkey. If you're wracking your brain for how to spice up the last of those leftovers this is the perfect answer. Turkey Tortilla Soup!

I love turkey and I'm all over leftovers but there comes a point where just the sight of turkey leaves me cold. I've found it best to dissect the carcass Thanksgiving night and parcel it out right away into quart bags for freezing. (Freezers baby, the best appliance ever. Aside from my washing machine without which I am certain I would die. I'd at least be very dirty.) I keep the choicest breast bits for day after leftovers and sandwiches and the rest gets bagged up for future nights when I need something quick and I'm all out of fresh options. 

But I digress, my quick and easy weeknight desperation meal is usually tacos because I always have most of the ingredients on hand, except for the day I was out of ground beef.  I'd not made it to the grocery store the day before and completely forgot that I'd already used the last of the frozen ground beef so I was momentarily at a loss when I unearthed this frozen bag of turkey labeled "For Soup". I'm fairly certain I intended to make white chili but I never have the ingredients for chili in my pantry and whatever I made had to be crock pot friendly. Which is how this soup was born.

Turkey Tortilla Soup


1 lb (approximately) shredded turkey
1 can black beans (rinsed)
1 cup frozen corn (canned or fresh is fine also)
1 onion chopped
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
1Tbsp cumin
1 cilantro seasoning cube (optional - fresh cilantro when serving would be better)
3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 large can of stewed diced tomatoes with liquid
1/2 can of water (use the tomato can)


Combine all ingredients in a crock pot and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Stir occasionally and adjust seasoning to taste. Serve topped with crushed tortillas, shredded cheese and a dollop of sour cream.

It is that easy. If I were to change anything next time I'd add some chili pepper. Either a few jalapenos or birds eye chilies or some dried red pepper flakes. Whatever you have on hand.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Savory Sausage Cranberry Tart

Thanksgiving is just a few days away and if you haven't already made your menu or you need a last minute side to take to a gathering then may I suggest this gem. A rich savory treat, a little goes a long way. This combination of tart cranberries and spicy sausage in a flaky crust is to die for!
I've been making this tart for about 8 years now and I look forward to it every year. Initially I needed a side to take to an office party and I really wanted something with cranberries and I didn't want to take a dessert. I found a recipe for a breakfast tart and adapted it to fit my needs. You may get funny looks the first time you serve this but I promise once you've got them hooked they'll be begging for more.

Savory Sausage Cranberry Tart


1 refrigerated pie crust (1/2 of 14.1-oz. pkg.)
1 pkg fresh cranberries divided in half (approximately)
1 pkg ground sausage (I prefer spicy or sage flavored pork sausage)
1 tsp ground sage
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp garlic powder
1-2 onions diced
4 stalks celery diced
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 pkg (8oz) shredded cheese
½ cup whipping cream

Preheat oven to 375°F.  Cook sausage in large skillet over medium heat until browned, stirring frequently. Reserving some of the fat drain the sausage and remove from skillet; set aside.
In the reserved fat in the same skillet sauté onions, celery and 1/2 the cranberries until soft. Be careful as the cranberries will occasionally pop with the heat. Allow to cool. In a large bowl combine eggs, spices, cheese, onion celery and cranberry mixture, cream and sausage; mix well. Press pie crust into a tart pan and pour in the filling. Top with remaining cranberries. Bake 30 - 45 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean and crust is golden brown. 
Feel free to adjust the spice to taste. Sage can be overwhelming so if you use the sage flavored sausage or are sensitive to that flavor I might cut it in half. Additionally if you don't eat pork, turkey sausage can certainly be substituted but you may need to add some butter or add some additional seasoning to amp up the flavor. I hope this festive favorite finds a place on your holiday table. Happy Thanksgiving!