Saturday, September 15, 2012

Mom's "meat" turkey sauce

Craving: a healthy "meat sauce"

My mom is a great cook. She's really the reason I know how to cook. My whole life my parents were always diet conscious. Not diet as in, "I'm on a diet" but diet as in, "we eat a healthy and balanced diet."

I've spoken before that we always, always, always have a few vegetables and salads with meals, and rarely have red meat. Add to that the fact that my dad doesn't eat cheese - the true story is that when he was a kid his parents took him to a cheese factory and it stunk so bad, he's never been able to eat cheese. He is weird about it - if something is too "creamy" but doesn't actually have cheese, he still can't handle it, but he can have certain types of cheese like if ricotta is in a pastry, or the rolls at Red Lobster. Until he KNEW that there was cheese in them, he would gobble them up. Now he knows and he can't do it anymore.

What was I talking about? Oh yeah, my dad doesn't eat cheese, so we never had that added fat in our diets. Now I am a cheese lover and I have found that if I keep good quality fatty cheeses, I can satisfy a craving with one bite and move on.

What was I talking about..????? Oh yeah, healthy's "meat" sauce. Sheesh, sorry for the digression!

Well, mom would always make these healthy dishes. Before I went to college she decided I should know how to make her sauce, and only then did I realize it was lean ground turkey, and not beef! I have since added a couple ingredients to this recipe that I think make it even meatier! Red wine and worcester sauce.  The next time I make it, I am going to soak some dehydrated shitakes, and then grind them up in my food processor and add them in. I have heard this gives it great meaty flavor, without making it taste like mushrooms actually!

Okay so this recipe was made back in Alabama at Sarah's house (Charlie's sister).

-about 2-2.5 pounds of lean or extra lean (I used a combination) ground turkey.
*note: lean is 97% fat free, extra lean is 99% fat free. You can use 93% fat free if you want but I have really found that the lean and extra lean work great.*
-olive oil (regular vegetable oil is fine for this recipe though)
-1 large onion, or 2 small onions

-2 tsp minced garlic

-salt and pepper to season
-1 big jar of tomato sauce
-1/3 cup red wine
-1.5 tbs worcester sauce
-1 tbs ketchup


1. Chop your onion and sautee it on medium heat. Add salt to cover it. Then add garlic.

2. Once your onion has softened significantly (about 5 minutes), add the turkey. Break up the turkey with a wooden spoon so it cooks up ground.

*Most recipes say to make sure that the turkey cooks all the way through before adding sauce. I have NEVER done it like this. I cook this for so long to let the flavors meld that I know the turkey is cooked through.*

3. Add the worcester sauce, then the jar of tomato sauce right after all the turkey is broken up, mix it all in together.




4. Add ketchup and wine. Keep stirring until it all is incorporated well together.

5. Cook it for about an hour on low, mixing every so often.

I forgot to take a picture of the final product. I think we ate it all!

Serve over pasta, by itself, with beans, or however you want! In college I used to make big batches and freeze them.

Homemade Jewelry Cleaner

Craving: Something sparkly! Diamonds are a girls best friend.

After posting that craving, I am realizing that dogs are actually a girls best friends. But they aren't sparkly. Unless you count their eyes when you take pictures of them and they get all glowy!

I forgot my jewelry cleaner while I was in Alabama.

I LOVE my ring. LOVE it. Charlie got me the exact ring that I always dreamed of, and went beyond any expectations I could ever have in terms of quality etc. With that in mind, I do actually try to clean it as often as I can remember!

Usually with all the cooking and dishes I do, I remember to clean it frequently. I also try to remember to take it off when I put hair cream in or lotion/moisturizer on, but sometimes I forget.

While I was staying with Charlie's sister Sarah, I asked if she had any cleaner and she did not, so while she was at work I decided to put pinterest to some good use.

I totally forgot to take a before picture!

1 cup of hot water
1 tbs salt
1 tbs baking soda
1 tbs dish soap
dirty ring


Let it soak in for a few minutes:

(I wear my grandmother's band, which is why there are two rings in there).

When it's finished, you can clean it off with a clean toothbrush or tinfoil, or you can just rinse it off with hot water.

The result:

Not the shiniest the ring has ever been, but pretty clean, especially compared to what it was!!!

I definitely recommend just getting jewelry cleaner (in fact, most jewelry stores will give it to you for free).  I usually take my rings off when I shower, and then when I'm finished applying all my lotions etc, the ring is good to go.

Engagement Pictures

Craving: something to check off the wedding to-do list!

Back in February, Charlie got me my dream present for Valentines Day, a Canon Rebel.
AMAZING. I love that I can take professional looking photographs now. Sadly, most of my blog pics are still from my phone, just because I always have it with me.

Our good friend, Ryan Malone, is our wedding photographer, but it was already July 4th and we did not have our engagement pictures. I started getting nervous and decided to ask Charlie's Uncle Will to snap some of us at the family Lake House.

My instructions for Uncle Will? "Just keep clicking, take pictures the whole time."

My instructions for me and Charlie?
1. Look online at engagement pictures and see what you like.
2. Have a beer. Or two. (seriously, this helped us).

There were SO many pictures. SO many. It was so hard to choose a few good ones. Uncle Will did such a great job, Thank you!!!

Here are some of my favorites:



Yes I know the photoshop on that is kinda overdone w/the sepia etc, but I love it!!! We actually chose that picture for our ketubah (Jewish marriage contract), and are having the text that we sign printed over the picture ( I used photoshop to do it, easy-peasy if anybody wants it done), and then we had it printed on a canvas from Sam's Club. Sam's and Costco both do canvas prints and it's much cheaper than going off of etsy.

After our engagement pics (and the two beers) we decided to jump off the dock. Dressed. Two beers in I was still clear enough to realize to change out of my silk shirt and put on a swim top!
Enjoy us jumping in!

I changed out of my silk shirt for the jump








The really funny pictures come next when we jumped in again. I guess when I jumped in the first time my swim suit top fell a bit from the impact. Well on my second jump in, you can see that my hands are....supporting myself, shall we say, the WHOLE WAY DOWN! Hahaha. I didn't even realize I did that, but only Charlie gets to see my girls :-)

Back to July: "I want an apple for my birthday"

Craving: Catching up on the blog! Expect many posts and recipes coming soon.

No idea why I fell off the blogging bandwagon. I have replaced it with scentsy and wreath making. And working out - been working out a lot! Wedding weight goal - I will do it!

Back in July I turned 24 again (for the 4th year in a row).

As you all remember, Charlie and I were living in a hotel room for 2 months this summer. We were staying on base, and stores are closed on Mondays on military bases. We got back from a weekend away and it was too late to get some fruit. Then my birthday was on a Monday and all I wanted was an apple. Starting Sunday night, I just wanted that darn apple!

Monday morning Charlie came into the room during one of his breaks and when I came back in this is what I found:

Mmmmm coke zero. That was a buritto big enough for 3 of me, but I think I probably ate it all considering how much I weighed when I came back from AL, hahaha! (Okay in reality, my AL weight gain was not that drastic, and I attribute it to lays bbq chips).

Well, I opened my present, and it wasn't an apple, but an apple!!!!

I was in TOTAL shock. I had needed a new computer for forever, and was seriously not expecting it. It was actually from my parents and Charlie, and it's been phenomenal in wedding planning etc.

I have the best family in the world. Thanks Charlie and Ima/Aba.

Two recipes coming soon!