28 May 2012

Rosemary's Turkey

For those of you who aren't grilling this Memorial Day and find yourself with a hankering for turkey, try this recipe from my aunt.

It's simple and features my all-time favorite herb, rosemary, a sprinkling of brown sugar, a bunch of garlic cloves, and salt and pepper. Throw it all in the slow cooker and, 4-6 hours later, you're experiencing turkey nirvana.

In the words of my aunt, "So easy, so moist, so good!"

Get thee to your slow cooker.

Rosemary Turkey Breast, Slow-Cooker Style
1 bone-in turkey breast (6-7 pounds)
6 fresh rosemary sprigs
5 garlic cloves, peeled
1-1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1 teaspoon salt

Place turkey breast (breast side up) on top of 4 rosemary sprigs in slow cooker.

Place garlic and remaining rosemary around turkey.

Combine brown sugar, salt and pepper; sprinkle over turkey.

Cover and cook on low 4 to 6 hours or until turkey is tender.

Note:  My aunt has "an ancient, small old-time crockpot and a 7-pound breast filled it, so [she] just put all the garlic and rosemary in the bottom of the cooker."

However you smoosh it all in there, you won't be disappointed.

22 May 2012

We All Scream

Ben, Jerry and the boys

I remember my first taste of Ben & Jerry's. It was outside the IGA in East Hampton, CT, with my friend Rachel. We were eighth-graders, loitering in the grocery store parking lot after school as only teenagers seem to enjoy doing. We each had a pint of Cherry Garcia — Rachel insisted we each have our own pint — and marveled at the generous chunks, the perfect cherries.

Never, EVER has ice cream tasted as good as it did on that hot day, sitting on the hot sidewalk, with my best friend.

Except maybe this past weekend. With my nephews. And the man in my life. And obscene quantities of frozen sweet cream that no 5-year-old, 10-year-old or 30-something-year-old has any business ordering. Servings larger than some of our heads. Servings that would later be regretted by a few of us.

But, really, we had to do it. We had journeyed to the mother ship, Ben & Jerry's HQ in Waterbury, VT, and there was no going back.

We toured. We bought. We binged.

  Auntie, I want to stay here forever.

Cherry Garcia was had. Chunky Monkey was had. Shakes, cones and cups were had.

Lactose intolerance and bloating aside, it was an awesome day.

What's your favorite Ben & Jerry's flavor?

06 May 2012

Sliders for the Slacker

Simple Sliders (my Honey Barbecue Chicken Burgers in miniature), originally published in Kids VT magazine.
Slack much?

I do. And I did. And I probably will again.

It's my nature to slack off when not toiling away at work or making dinner or cleaning the toilet or running errands or otherwise managing the day-to-day doings of my life.

Good things happen when I let my slacker ways take over, I say. For one, I started this blog during a period of slackdom. For another, I discovered new television passions like "Mad Men" and "Breaking Bad" and "Game of Thrones" — not to mention the beauty of DVR.

But slacking has its downside. It's made me (made me, I tell you!) neglect this blog for far too long. Love & Scraps' 199 Facebook fans are disappointed in my performance, I know. Or maybe they don't care and haven't noticed. Either way, it's time to get back into the blogging saddle.

So here goes: Check out this link to my latest (and last) cooking column in Kids VT magazine. It features my recipe for Simple Sliders (my Honey-Barbecue Chicken Burgers in miniature). They're moist. They're delicious. And they're pretty healthy, all things considered. Made with ground chicken, these baby burgers are given a boost by grated carrot, onion and Worcestershire sauce. Top them off with toasted mini-burger buns (aka dinner rolls) and your favorite cheese, and all is right with the world.

Make them today and eat them by the fistfuls while you and your loved ones slack away on this lazy Sunday afternoon.

Honey Barbecue Chicken Sliders
(written by moi for Kids VT magazine)
(makes about 12 sliders)

2 pounds ground chicken
½ medium sweet onion, grated
1-2 carrots, grated*
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, or more to taste
salt and pepper to taste
½ medium sweet onion, diced (optional)
1 cup barbecue sauce
¼ cup honey
12 mini-burger buns (dinner rolls work well), split and toasted
6 slices cheese of choice, divided in half (to make 12 pieces)

In a mixing bowl, combine ground chicken, grated carrot and onion, olive oil and Worcestershire sauce. Season mixture with salt and pepper. Form 12 patties from mixture.

Heat large skillet over medium heat. Brush it with olive oil.

Place patties on the skillet, being sure not to crowd. Cook the patties for about 8 minutes, flipping halfway through cooking time, until juices run clear when a knife is inserted in center. It may be necessary to cook patties in 2 or 3 batches, depending on the size of the skillet.

Set aside cooked patties on a clean platter.

Add diced onion to skillet, if using, and cook until translucent. Add barbecue sauce and honey, whisking to loosen any bits from the bottom of the pan.

Reduce heat to medium-low and return patties to skillet, flipping them to coat with sauce.

Place toasted bun bottoms on a platter. Top each with cheese and a patty, scooping up a bit of sauce to drizzle over top. Cap with toasted bun tops and serve.