Tag Archives: Turkey

Karen’s Big-Ass Sandwich

1 Sep

Ok so I know this sort of doesn’t really count as a “recipe” per se, but dammit, it’s one of my specialties and it tastes really good, so hear me out. You ever have one of those occasions where you’ve got a crowd coming over and it’s lunch time and it’s too hot to cook and even if it weren’t you don’t feel like making a huge meal? Yeah. This sandwich is for those times. The awesome thing is, anybody who sees this gigantic sandwich is gonna be impressed. Even more so when they eat it. And I guess you could get all fancy and make potato salad or something to go with it (if you’ve got the extra time and motivation), but I’ve found my guests are more than happy with some tater chips or Doritos on the side. Maybe some grapes if they’re lucky. At any rate, this is how I make my world-famous sandwich. (Each sandwich serves 4-5 adults).

  • 1 loaf French bread
  • mayo
  • mustard (I like Dijon)
  • 1/2 pound turkey*
  • 1/2 pound roast beef*
  • 5-6 slices cheese (I like cheddar or Colby jack)
  • 1 jar Sandwich sliced Dill pickles
  • 1 jar sliced banana peppers
  • 2 tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 head Green or Red Leaf Lettuce**

Place the bread on a large cutting board and cut it in half lengthwise. Place each half cut-side up on the board. Using a spatula (it’s easier than a knife), spread a thin layer of mayo on both halves of the bread. Spread a thin layer of mustard on just one half of the bread. On the bottom half of the bread, layer the turkey and roast beef. Don’t just lay it flat. Pretend like you have a Sandwich Artist degree and sort of bunch it up like they do on the commercials. It’ll look prettier and give each bite more meat. Make sure you go all the way to the end of the sandwich with all ingredients. You don’t want the person who gets the end piece to get hosed. Continue layering ingredients on top of the meat starting with the cheese and working down the rest of the ingredients. Use your judgement on how much to put on. Obviously you’re not going to want to put an entire onion on one sandwich (unless you’re insane). Make sure the sandwich is evenly covered with all ingredients. When you get to the lettuce, just use the usual amount.***

When you’re done layering on all the toppings, put the top half of the sandwich on and cut the sandwich into about 5 equal parts using a bread knife and a gentle sawing motion. Don’t squish the thing or all that hard work is going to go down the tubes along with the appetites of your guests. If you’re making this to take to a picnic or something, you may want to hold off on cutting it until you get to your destination. Oh and don’t make it too far ahead of time, otherwise it’ll get all soggy from the pickles and such and the lettuce will be limp and no gooder. If I’m going to take it somewhere, I generally just plastic wrap it to the cutting board for easy transportation.

So there you have it! Obviously this combination of ingredients is my go-to, but if you’ve got a more adventurous crowd or feel like something different, you could totally mix it up. How about turkey, swiss, and avocado? Or a big ‘ol muffaletta sandwich? Maybe an Italianish one with salami, pepperoni, and provolone. The possibilities are endless!

*Don’t buy the crappy meat that’s pre-packaged. Go to the deli counter and get it freshly sliced. I know, it’s really scary and a little more time-consuming, but the quality is so much better and it’s actually cheaper!

**The common theme for this sandwich is quality. Please don’t ruin your sandwich with regular iceberg lettuce. It doesn’t have as much flavor as the green or red leaf lettuce and it isn’t near as pretty. Think Presentation. These little details are what make your sandwich taste awesome and look like the ones on the tv.

***I can’t help but love this movie. I always have to ask Seth how much lettuce he wants on his sandwich.  If you have time, watch the whole montage. Gotta love Billy Bob Thornton.


Grilled Reubens

16 Aug

This was the first time I’ve ever made “real” Reubens and I have to say they turned out pretty good. I can’t decide which recipe I like better though… this one or my tried and true Vegetarian Reubens.

  • 8 slices rye, pumpernickel, or French bread
  • Butter
  • 10 ounces smoked, sliced beef or turkey
  • Thousand Island dressing (I didn’t have any so I made my own using this recipe: Thousand Island Dressing Recipe)
  • ½ cup sauerkraut, well drained
  • 8 ounces Swiss or provolone cheese, thinly sliced

Butter eight slices of bread on one side. Turn bread over. Layer four slices with meat, desired amount of Thousand Island dressing, a small mound of sauerkraut, and sliced cheese. Top with bread slice (buttered side out). Fry in buttered skillet over medium heat until one side is brown. Turn sandwich over and brown the other side until cheese is melted and bread toasted. Makes 4 sandwiches.

From: The Essential Mormon Cookbook by Julie Badger Jensen

Faster Chicken Pot Pie

24 Jun

This is has been my go-to chicken pot pie recipe for years. It’s super easy and produces a flavorful pie with a great consistency. Now, recently I’ve made a couple adaptations to make this a more weekday-friendly dinner. You can still make the purely homemade version if you want, but if you’re pressed for time (or just hate making pie crust like I do…) this cheater way is a fabulous option.

So there are two things I do differently when I want to make a fast(er) chicken pot pie: use pre-made crust and rotisserie chicken. I’m sure you could use any brand of pre-made pie crust that you like, but my favorite thing to use is frozen puff pastry sheets, specifically Pepperidge Farm brand. All you’ll need to do is allow them to thaw for at least 30 minutes so they’re pliable enough to roll out and work with. This brand of crust comes in square sheets, so if you choose to use these, it may be easier to use an 8×8″ pan instead of a standard pie plate. If you do want to make a pie crust, my favorite recipe (shown below) is a little time consuming, but tastes fabulous.


  • 1 (10-16 oz) package frozen peas & carrots
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup onion, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 ¾ cup chicken broth
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 ½ to 3 cups cooked chicken or turkey, shredded

Rinse veggies in water to separate, drain. Heat butter in a large saucepan over medium heat until melted. Stir in flour, onion, salt & pepper. Remove from heat. Add milk and broth. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute. Stir in chicken and veggies. Put half of crust in a casserole dish (or pie pan) and pour in filling. Top with remaining crust and seal edges. Cut 3-4 2″ slits in the top of the pie and bake in a 425°F oven for about 35 minutes until crust is golden brown.

All-Butter Pie Pastry

(For double crust pie)

  • 2 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus additional for work surface (12 ½ ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 16 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1/2-inch cubes and frozen for 10 minutes
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1/3 cup ice water (or more)
Process flour, salt, and sugar together in food processor until combined, about 3 seconds. Add butter and pulse until butter is size of large peas, about ten 1-second pulses.

Using fork, mix sour cream and 1/3 cup ice water in small bowl until combined. Add half of sour cream mixture to flour mixture; pulse for three 1-second pulses. Repeat with remaining sour cream mixture. Pinch dough with fingers; if dough is floury, dry, and does not hold together, add 1 to 2 tablespoons ice water and process until dough forms large clumps and no dry flour remains, three to five 1-second pulses.

Turn dough out onto work surface. Divide dough into 2 balls and flatten each into 4-inch disk; wrap each disk in plastic and refrigerate until firm but not hard, 1 to 2 hours, before rolling. (Dough can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours. Let thoroughly chilled dough stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before rolling.).

Remove 1 disk of dough from refrigerator and roll out between 2 large sheets of parchment paper or plastic wrap to 12-inch circle, about 1/8 inch thick. (If dough becomes soft and/or sticky, return to refrigerator until firm.) Remove parchment from one side of dough and flip onto 9-inch pie plate; peel off second layer of parchment. Working around circumference, ease dough into plate by gently lifting edge of dough with one hand while pressing into plate bottom with other hand. Leave dough that overhangs plate in place; refrigerate until dough is firm, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, roll second disk of dough between 2 large sheets of parchment paper or plastic wrap to 12-inch circle, about 1/8 inch thick. Refrigerate, leaving dough between parchment sheets, until firm, about 30 minutes.

From America’s Test Kitchen

Today’s Theme: Greek!

27 Apr

Seth doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth, but I’m pretty sure he has both a tomato tooth and a Greek tooth. Lately he has discovered Greek pasta salads, though the circumstances usually denote that said pastas are from the grocery store deli. Not terrible mind you, but I knew I could make something better. So, this week I decided to have a Greek dinner night complete with my favorite Greek Turkey Burger and my first attempt at a Greek pasta salad. That’s right! I made a main dish AND a side! Things are getting fancy over here. For the record, I have posted this recipe for the turkey burger before, but it’s so good I think it deserves another day in the spotlight.


Greek Turkey Burgers with Tzatziki Sauce

Serves 4

For the tzatziki:

  • 1/2 cucumber, seeded and grated
  • 6 oz  greek yogurt (fat free)
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • pinch of sugar
  • 2 tbsp fresh dill, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste


Mix all ingredients in a small bowl. Chill.

For the burgers:

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • ¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes, drained of any oil
  • ½ cup fresh baby spinach leaves, chopped
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 Sandwich Thins (such as Orowheat)
  • 1-2 cups fresh baby spinach leaves


  1. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat for several minutes until very hot.
  2. Combine the turkey, feta, sun-dried tomato, spinach and seasonings in a mixing bowl until just combined.
  3. Spray the grill pan with non-stick spray, form the meat mixture into four patties, and cook for 7-8 minutes on each side until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. Let rest on a plate covered with foil for 5 minutes before serving.
  4. Garnish with tzatziki sauce and additional spinach leaves and serve on sandwich thins.

 Recipe adapted from Just the Tip


Greek Pasta Salad

  • 1 Recipe Greek Salad Dressing (see recipe below)
  • 12 oz. Bow-tie Pasta, cooked & cooled
  • 1 pint Grape Tomatoes, halved
  • ½ cup Kalamata Olives, roughly chopped
  • 1 Cucumber, seeded & diced
  • ¼ cup Pepperoncini Peppers, chopped
  • 5 oz. Fresh Baby Spinach, chopped

Place all ingredients in a large bowl and toss to combine. Start with approximately 1/2 of the Greek Salad dressing and add more to taste. Refrigerate salad for several hours or overnight for best flavor. Additional dressing can be used to freshen up the salad later on.

 Greek Salad Dressing & Marinade
Recipe by Our Best Bites

  • ¼ c. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¼ c. white vinegar
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • ½ tsp. seasoning salt
  • ½ tsp. red pepper flakes (this will not make the dressing spicy, just flavorful)
  • ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
  • 1 c. canola oil (or other salad oil)
  • ½ c. crumbled feta cheese
  • ¾ tsp. Italian seasoning
  • ¼ tsp. dry oregano

In the jar of a blender, combine all the ingredients through the garlic. Blend until smooth. While the blender is running, add the oil in a steady stream. Turn off the blender and add the feta and pulse the blender a few times (more if you want a creamier consistency). Whisk in the herbs. If possible, refrigerate for at least an hour before serving. Use as a marinade for chicken, lamb, or flank steak or drizzle over a Greek salad.

Cafe Rio-Style Taco Salad

24 Apr

It’s been pretty dang hot around here over the last week so my food preferences have shifted quite a bit. Last week was all about the soups but this week I just want something on the cooler side. I’ve been wanting to recreate my favorite Cafe Rio salad/tostada so I gave it a go last night. 

Now, I didn’t do the full-fledged salad with the roast beef and rice, etc. However, I did find a fabulous copycat recipe for the creamy Cafe Rio Cilantro dressing. I made the dressing first so it could sit in the refrigerator while I finished making the rest of the salad components. I went with a healthier, cheaper option and made some taco meat using ground turkey *cough* and a packet of taco seasoning *cough*. I told Seth after he’d finished eating that I’d used ground turkey instead of beef and he was shocked it hadn’t been ground beef. Trust me, no one will know the difference.  I also ended up making my own taco shell bowls. The store-bought ones were $4 for a box of 4. A little steep for my tastes, especially since I’m sure half of them would have been broken anyway. But, luckily I remembered some wavy metal bowls Seth’s coworker had given us for making just this sort of thing. I used some whole wheat tortillas I had on hand, pressed them down into the bowls, sprayed them with vegetable oil spray and baked them at 400°F for 10 minutes. And I’m telling you they tasted fabulous! Baking the shells gave them a great sweet, nutty flavor. I’m sure you could also use any other small oven-safe bowl/ramekin to make your own tostada bowls, they just won’t be wavy like these ones.

The rest of the assembly was super easy. I heated up some canned black beans and put a small scoop in the bottom of the bowl, followed by a scoop of taco meat, & grated cheddar cheese. I topped that will some chopped green leaf lettuce, a scoop of sour cream & pico de gallo. Garnished with cilantro and a side of delicious cilantro lime dressing and we were set! Seriously… this is one of the best dinners we’ve had in a while. So good!

Cilantro Lime Dressing Recipe

Asian Lettuce Wraps

6 Jun

I was looking for a lighter meal and this recipe fit the bill. It was super simple to make and was a nice change from the typical dinner fare. I used ground turkey instead of the suggested chicken and it was tasty, healthy option. However, I’d say if you want to up the flavor a notch and don’t mind a few extra calories, try using ground pork. I bet it would be delicious in this!

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Killer Club Sandwich

18 Apr

Do not underestimate the power of a sandwich for dinner. Especially this sandwich. Because it’s the most amazing sandwich in the whole world. This is a Pioneer Woman recipe and she did not disappoint this time. Who would have thought of using tomato pesto and basil pesto as a sandwich spread? So so good. I’m still dreaming about this one. Mmm…. killer club sand wedge… aghhh… (that was for you Heidi and Paul).

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