Turkey and Artichoke Puttanesca

It’s still a cold one here on the east coast and we still have snow on the ground. It was a chilly, rainy day today and I wanted something warming to the soul, yet a little spicy and deeply satisfying. And I also want to do a little bit of spring cleaning, starting with the freezer. And that bag of artichokes has been staring at me for quite a while. And they always feel like spring to me. A girl can be hopeful right? Lol. This makes a juicy potful of goodness that’s great topped on a pile of rice, broken noodles, or even mashed potatoes. Enjoy!


  • 1 1/4 pound turkey cutlets, cut into strips
  • 1 14oz. bag of frozen artichokes, defrosted and squeezed dry if necessary
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup Castelvetrano olives, ripped in half
  • 2 1/2 cups good quality puttanesca sauce (a 24 oz. jar)

In a heavy bottomed pot, melt the butter over low heat until bubbling add turkey and saute for about 10 minutes or so. Add tomato sauce, artichokes and olives and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes until turkey is cooked through. Serves about 4.

DSC05634I just love the rustic-fanciness of this dish! It’s so tasty too!

Make someone happy tonight! ;)

Super Garlicky Turkey Puttanesca

Don’t plan to make this on a make-out night with your love, unless you are both garlic lovers. This sauce is full of garlic cloves, super spicy and has a fiery effect, that is almost sexy. Using a good jarred marinara sauce saves on time and has dinner on the table in less than an hour. Pair with a nice Riesling and enjoy!

  • 1 pound turkey breast cutlets, cut into bite size pieces
  • 10 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • (1) 26. oz. jar good marinara sauce
  • 20 Kalamata olives, pitted and halved lengthwise
  • a tablespoons of capers, quickly rinsed
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • generous sprinkling of red pepper chili flakes
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • sea salt

Start off by combining the garlic slices and olive oil in a large Dutch oven, heat on low for about 7 minutes, until they are softened a bit. Stirring often is key and keeping an eye on the garlic so it doesn’t even begin to brown is really important to a good sauce. Remove the garlic and any garlic bits and set aside. Into the remaining oil, add in the turkey (patted dry) and saute for about 5 minutes on low heat. (You don’t want it to brown, so it really absorbs all of the rich flavors.) Add in the garlic, olives, capers, chili flakes, marinara sauce, Sriracha sauce, bay leaf and black pepper. Give it a good stir and increase the heat until it boils. Once it boils, lower the heat on the lowest setting and simmer for half an hour, stirring often so it doesn’t stick. Season with sea salt if needed. Start the meal off with a chunky green salad and pair the turkey puttanesca with ziti, pan-fried potatoes, rice or a creamy polenta. Makes 4 servings and this is great heated up as leftovers.


Turkey, Sorrel & Garlic Patties

The panic that I felt early on this year when I saw those bikinis at Target is amplified as I’m no where near bikini ready. My attempted juice fast was not as successful as I had hoped, as I cut it short. My gym sweatathons, felt great but I just love food too much and I need to make wiser choices as well as portion control. Taking advice given to me moons ago from a trusted psychic, I’m going to avoid sugar and dairy, along with my beloved gluten. (Deep, deep sigh.) Please join me as I lighten up my recipes a bit and hopefully in turn the numbers on the scale, will lighten up also. With that said, was I excited as I walked out of the door a few weeks ago, to find my sorrel growing, knowing how much flavor it adds to dishes. But since it was still chilly out, I wasn’t in the mood for its’ lemony fresh flavor yet. But today is a beautiful spring day, that’s just perfect for all of the brightness that it has to offer. If you don’t have sorrel available, substitute a teaspoon of fresh lemon juice and a little lemon zest. Enjoy!

  • 1 pound ground lean turkey
  • 1/2 zucchini finely grated, about 1/2 a cup
  • a few leaves of sorrel or more, finely chopped, plus one leaf used for garnish
  • 2-4 garlic cloves
  • sea salt
  • ground black pepper
  • cooking spray

Smash the garlic and mince finely. Sprinkle with sea salt to create a paste, using the back of the knife helps. Set aside the garlic and squeeze the the zucchini dry. Mix with the rest of the ingredients and divide into 8 patties, about a quarter to a half an inch thick. Heat up the cooking spray in a non-stick pan and cook for about 2-3 minutes per each side. These are nice piping hot or room temperature. If you aren’t avoiding carbs, these would be nice as sliders, topped with sliced tomatoes and crumbled goat cheese. Garnish with slivers of sorrel. Makes 8 patties to snack on or 4 servings.

Turkey Mince Meat Pie

So there is this great Dutch bakery near the house that has the best lemon filled donuts. Around a mile away from the bakery, my mouth starts watering. (I really should keep a bib in the glove compartment, lol.) And in this bakery, besides delicious baked goods are Dutch food items, cheeses and such and I came across this meatball seasoning that I have used a few times and has been a great seasoning to yes, meatballs. It’s spicy with nutmeg, coriander and ginger and it adds a nice and different touch to the average meatball. It’s a nice transition from the parsley and lemon or cilantro and lime flavors, from the warmer days. And as I see these jars of mysterious mince meat pop up around this time of year, I can see how a savory and sweet meat pie would be appealing. So I thought to myself, this seasoning would be great to make a mince meat pie! And the flavor of the filling was great, slightly sweet, a little spicy and oh so savory. But the filling ended up shrinking a bit, so if there are any true mince meat pie makers out there, I would love some tips! And I ended up poking the pie to take the internal  temperature and after that, the juices ran from the center (volcano-like), spreading the juices throughout the crust, softening it. So I wonder if I didn’t poke the center would it have come out better? I would love to hear any thoughts! And if you want to hold the crust, mince meatballs or mince meat patties would be nice using the filling. Enjoy!

  • 2 pounds ground lean turkey
  • 1 Fuji apple, peeled and grated, squeezed extra dry
  • 2 Medjool dates, pitted and finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Gehakt seasoning, (or you can also use a mix of ground mace, cloves, pepper and nutmeg)
  • 2 teaspoons heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • sea salt
  • 1 9″ ready to roll pie crust

Combine the turkey, apple, dates, panko crumbs, egg and seasonings well. Prepare your pie crust, pressing firmly into the plate, trimming the excess if you like or scalloping the edge. Press the turkey mixture into the pie shell, smoothing the surface of the pie, so it’s even. Cover the pie crust with pieces of aluminium foil so they don’t brown too quickly and end up burning. Place in a 350 degree pre-heated oven and bake for 45 minutes. Uncover the crust and continue baking for about 30 minutes or longer until nice and brown. Let it rest about 10 minutes before you cut into it. If making the meatballs or patties, heat up a canola oil until hot and fry up in batches. Serve with creamy mashed potatoes and sauteed red cabbage and onions on the side. A creamy gravy would be nice too. Enjoy!

 This seasoning may be hard to find, so this is Bliss House Happiness’s first giveaway! I’m so excited! Send me an e-mail at blisshousehappiness@gmail.com and enter your first name and last initial, your city and state and on December 12th, I’ll have the drawing and announce the winner! Sorry at this time, only U.S. addresses will be in the drawing. Don’t worry if you can’t find the seasoning, you can order it at http://www.hollandamericanbakery.com/store/component/virtuemart/?page=shop.browse&category_id=8 mention Bliss House Happiness and get 10% off! Great spice to have in your cupboard!

Chicken Fried Turkey

The last day of November! The cold weather is upon us. And there is nothing better on a cold day than a hot plate of stick-to-your-ribs food fare. And when you look up “stick-to-your-ribs” in the dictionary, there is a picture of chicken fried steak but we are watching calories here, substituting the steak for turkey. (I am in denial, I know, lol.) I remember the first time having country gravy at a small hometown place, in one of the Carolinas for breakfast with hearty grits and thought to myself, that it wasn’t very exciting!? I fantasized for the longest time, probably since knowing I was taking the road trip to see my cousin off to college, how I would fall in love with this thick luscious looking gravy and how it would be my go-to-gravy, that saved every bland meal, but I wasn’t so excited about it, until I had it with chicken fried steak in a great soul food restaurant years later. Country gravy goes with chicken fried steak and mashed potatoes like peanut butter to jelly and butter to bread. They just go together nicely. But I never learned how to make it, so I thought who better to learn that from than the Pioneer Woman? The pictures are great and so easy to grasp. You can check out the purist recipe at http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2011/02/chicken-fried-steak/ I played around with the recipe a little bit, adding sun dried tomatoes, fresh sage and butter (?) I don’t know what I was thinking but it came out good, especially because I like that herb-y deep flavor of sage. This does a good job of sticking to your ribs, on a cold, late autumn, overcast day. Happy weekend everyone!

For the turkey steaks: 

  • 1 pound turkey breast cutlets, about 4 pieces
  • milk for dipping
  • 1 cup flour
  • generous pinch ground sage
  • pinch of sweet paprika
  • lots of fresh ground black pepper
  • sea salt
  • canola oil

For the country gravy:

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 sun dried tomatoes from a oil packed jar, drained and finely minced
  • 1 sage leaf, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons of grease from pan
  • 2 tablespoons of flour
  • sea salt
  • lots of fresh ground black pepper

Begin by pounding the turkey cutlets until thin. (I use a wooden board that is used just for this purpose and put plastic wrap over the meat and then pound with a meat mallet, using the flat side.) If the pieces get too large, which they can, cut them in half. Set up a breading station, one plate with the milk, one with the seasoned flour and one large platter for the seasoned cutlets. Mix the dry ingredients of the flour, ground sage, paprika, sea salt and ground pepper. Next dip the cutlets into the milk followed by the seasoned flour, pressing the flour deeply into the turkey, ensuring that every millimeter is coated. Heat up your canola oil in a large heavy bottomed pan until nice and hot. Next fry your seasoned cutlets. They cook in a matter of less than a minute per each side. You really have to keep an eye on them. Once they are browned around the edges, flip and fry on the other side. Drain on paper towels, then move them onto paper bags, so they stay crisp. Work through the rest of the batch until all are fried up. Carefully drain all but 2 tablespoons of the grease from the pan, leaving the bits for flavor. Sprinkle in the 2 tablespoons of flour, whisking quickly and allowing it to brown on low to medium heat. Add in a little of the milk, the sun dried tomatoes, minced sage, sea salt and pepper. Continue adding in the remaining milk and butter, increasing the heat if needed. Cook until the mixture bubbles away and turns into a country gravy. It doesn’t take long at all. (If you want more gravy, double the country gravy recipe.) Serve with mashed potatoes or flaky buttery biscuits. Mmmm….Serves 4.

Baked Turkey Wings Basted with Apple, Fig & Rosemary

A couple of years back, I found myself single on Thanksgiving Day with slippery sleet keeping me from family and friends. It was a time of uncertainty and I used a lot of Kleenex, to wipe away the tears. Now I laugh at the thought of Daisy (my dog) and I cuddling in bed, while watching the Thanksgiving Day parade, as crumpled up balls of tissue collected around us, forming a snowy terrain. It was kind of like a replay of The Holiday, where Iris cried and felt sorry for herself in the kitchen. I feel you girl! That was me but it wasn’t Christmas time but Thanksgiving Day. I then decided to make the best of it, before the sleet really started sticking, I went to the gym, then got a delicious cup of pumpkin spice coffee and went to do some last minute food shopping. Standing in line at the grocery store with turkey wings, hot sausage (pretty much all that’s left at the meat counter on Thanksgiving day, lol) and more Kleenex in hand, I vowed to make the best of the day. And it was the most memorable Thanksgiving day, for many reasons, with one of them being the turkey wings and spicy stuffing for dinner. If you were ever to find yourself with that package of turkey wings and not quite sure what to do with it, here is a great recipe! Hope you enjoy!

  • 2 turkey wings
  • 6 tablespoons hard apple cider, divided*
  • 4 tablespoons fig marmalade
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Frangelico liqueur
  • 1/8-1/4 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary or more
  • generous pinch of cinnamon
  • ground black pepper
  • sea salt

Combine all of the ingredients, except for the turkey wings and half of the hard apple cider and adjust the seasoning as needed. Place your turkey wings, in a heavy bottomed 13×9 baking pan. Pour half of the hard apple cider in the bottom of the pan. Baste 2 tablespoons of the apple mixture on the wings and cover with foil. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and turn the wings over and baste with another 2 tablespoons of the apple mixture, return to the oven, covered and bake for another 45 minutes. Remove from the oven once again, baste with the remaining apple mixture and bake uncovered for 25 minutes, until the wings get nice and brown. Serves 4.

*You can substitute non-alcoholic apple cider or apple juice instead of the hard apple cider. If the apple cider or juice is too sweet, you can make a mixture of apple cider and water to dilute it a bit to make the 6 tablespoons needed.

Sage Turkey Cutlets with Mushrooms & Beans

Ahh…the beginning of November. Visions of Thanksgiving dinners are dancing in my head and I can’t wait for all the flavors of that day. And you don’t have to wait till Thanksgiving day and have these treasured flavors tonight. Herb-y sag-ed turkey and sweet mashed potatoes with a little creamy gravy. Beans add a little extra creaminess to the dish but you can always skip them if you are not a fan. The best part of this meal, is it doesn’t take hours to make, about an hour tops! And if you are craving that pumpkin pie at the end of this meal, you can always make Pumpkin Pie Greek Yogurt! Enjoy!

  • 1 pound turkey cutlets
  • 10 oz. button mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cups cooked great northern beans
  • heaping 1/4 cup flour
  • pinch ground sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon marjoram leaves
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 champigion mushroom bouillon cube, (or any type of mushroom)
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 3 small sage leaves
  • ground black pepper
  • sea salt

Combine the flour, ground sage, salt and pepper. Adjust the seasoning if needed. Dredge the turkey cutlets in the flour and set aside. In a Dutch oven, melt the butter on medium heat, until sizzling. In batches, add the turkey and brown for a few minutes on each side. Once brown, set aside. Add the mushrooms and stir until they get a little brown. They can burn, so keep an eye on them. Dissolve the mushroom bouillon in the hot water and pour over the mushrooms. (You can use 1/2 to 3/4 cube of the mushroom bouillon, to reduce the sodium.) Scrape the bottom of the pot, to bring up any brown bits. Increase the heat and bring to a boil. Once the broth is boiling, lower the heat to low and add the turkey, any accumulated juices, the sage leaves and marjoram. Simmer for 10 minutes covered, occasionally moving the cutlets around, so they don’t stick to the bottom of the pot. After 10 minutes, turn the cutlets over and add the beans, simmer for another 10 minutes, until the broth thickens to a light gravy. Serve with quick mashed sweet potoates. Cook 4 sweet poatoes, cut into similar sizes, and cook until fork tender. Add in 2 tablespoons unsalted butter and 2 tablespoons heavy cream or milk, salt and ground pepper, mash until combined well. Adjust the seasonings as needed. Makes 4 servings.

Turkey Cutlets over Dandelion Greens & Apple Salad with Warm Vinaigrette

I mowed the lawn yesterday and I tried to ignore the few fallen leaves laying on the grass, a reminder that fall is around the corner. There really is no escaping that summer is slowly slipping away. August is my most favorite month of the year but it’s also bittersweet as it marks the end of summer. And as I came up with this salad, I couldn’t help but think that it has a little bit of an autumn feel to it. But it’s just so good and if you take a walk while the sun is out and close your eyes for a moment, summer is here as long as you want it to be. ;)

  • 1 pound turkey cutlets, 4 pieces
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • sea salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 1 bunch dandelion greens, about 2 pounds, chopped 
  • 1 golden delicious apple, cored and quartered and sliced thin
  • 1/2 seedless cucumber, sliced thin and ripped in half
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red cabbage
  • 2 cups ripped up pieces of ciabatta bread, or any good stale bread you have on hand
  • 1 pat unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 oz pear vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons rinsed capers

In a bowl combine the flour, salt and pepper. Dredge the turkey cutlets into the flour and set aside. Heat the 3 tablespoons of butter until sizzling on low heat. Add in the turkey cutlets, sauteing for 5 minutes on each side. Set aside your turkey cutlets. In the remaining butter, (add more if needed ) saute your ripped up pieces of bread. Saute the croutons on medium heat and stir a few times until golden brown. Once brown, let drain on paper towels and set aside. To make your salad, combine the dandelion greens, cucumber slices, apple slices and cabbage. To make your warm vinaigrette, melt your pat of butter and stir in the olive oil, vinegar, honey, capers and salt and pepper and heat for about 2 minutes. Reserve a few teaspoons to pour over the turkey cutlets, toss the remaining warm vinaigrette with the dandelion greens. This makes 4 servings. Enjoy!

Turkey Soup With a Side of Wings

A summer cold has found me. And this means one thing, it’s soup making time. As odd as it sounds, I loved the days when my mom made soup especially late in a summer day. Walking into the kitchen, my bare feet hitting the cool linoleum floor while the apartment was sweltering from the hot stove. Asking if it’s done yet, lol. I actually made this last weekend because I wanted to try making grilled turkey wings and it came out great! So with this recipe you get two for the price of one, a delicious soup and grilled turkey wings which I’m sure once you try, will become a favorite at your barbecue.

  • 2 turkey wings, cut at the joints
  • 3 celery stalks, cut diagonally into 1 inch pieces
  • 3 carrots, cut diagonally into 1 inch pieces and then cut in half again
  • 6 scallions, cut diagonally into 1 inch pieces
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed, peeled and left whole
  • 1 bay leaf
  • large handful of parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Vegeta or any all-purpose seasoning that you like

In a large Dutch oven, place your wings, bay leaf and cover with water, leaving about an inch and a half to the top of the lid. Separating the wings at the joints becomes easier with practice, usually I feel where the joints meet and wedge my knife, a sharp knife is key and carefully cut in between the joints, feeling as I go along. If you are apprehensive ask the butcher and I’m pretty sure they will do it for you with no problem. Cover and bring to a boil occasionally skimming the surface of the stock. Reduce the heat and cook for an hour. Remove the bay leaf and discard. Remove the turkey wings and set aside to grill. To your stock add the celery, carrots, scallions, garlic and Vegeta. Let this simmer for 20 minutes. Add your chopped parsley, stir and you are ready to enjoy your soup. If you want to skim the extra fat from your soup just let it come to room temperature and then put it in the fridge. The next morning you can see all of the fat come to the surface and remove it. On the side you can make any kind of starch to add to your soup, macaroni, rice or potatoes. Last weekend we added couscous. My mom would usually make macaroni the first night and the second night would make rice or potatoes. But this veggie filled broth is great on it’s own.

 To make your grilled wings, brush them with your favorite barbecue sauce or  sprinkle with an all-purpose seasoning. Heat up your grill up to 400 degrees and place your wings on the grill and leave them on for a few minutes per each side so they get some nice grill marks on them. These are really fun and messy to eat so save it for a crowd that isn’t afraid to get dirty, lol.

Island Turkey Burger with Plantain Chips

It’s summertime and I need an island inspired meal! And this meal transported me to sandy beaches, clear turquoise waters and scents of coconut. And it was great, I even felt the hot sun until Daisy started pawing at my leg, she wanted a taste too. My tropical daydream was over as I gave her a little of the sweet Hawaiian bun. She was happy and I was too. Hope you enjoy this as much as we did. I multiplied it so it’s easy to make for a family of four. May happy tropical thoughts be with you!

  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1/3 cup minced Vidalia onion
  • a little zest of lime
  • 4 “Hawaiian” sweet hamburger buns, regular buns will work just fine
  • a few lettuce leaves
  • 1 ripe avocado, sliced
  • 4 tablespoons Island flavored ketchup
  • 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • bottled hot sauce
  • 4 green plantains, peeled and cut diagonally about 1/2 inch thick
  • canola oil
  • salt & ground pepper

Combine the turkey, onion, lime zest, a little salt and pepper. Heat your grill and lightly coat your turkey burgers with a little canola oil. Once your grill is hot, about 400 degrees, throw your burgers on and let them grill for about 5 minutes per each side, until they are cooked through. Once done, pull them off the grill and keep them warm. Grill your “Hawaiian” buns until toasty, keep an eye on them as they toast quickly. Heat a nice amount of canola oil on medium heat until hot. Add your plaintain slices and fry them for about 5 minutes on the first side, until lightly brown. Flip them over and fry them for a few more minutes. Drain them on paper towels. On a wood board, one at a time, smash the plaintain until it is thin, about a quarter of an inch. I used the flat side of a meat mallet. I used to make these with my neighbor when we were teenagers. She called these “tostones” and I give her credit for teaching me how to make them. It was so much fun and she even had a cool wooden plaintain smasher to make them. I need to find one, but for now the meat mallet works great! Once all are smashed thin, place them back in the hot oil until they are light brown. Turn them so the other side browns also. Once done, drain them on paper towels, and quickly season them with sea salt. You might want to make a few more, they are addictive, especially when piping hot and freshly salted. Make your island sauce by combining the ketchup and the mayonnaise. You can now assemble your turkey burger. Spread a little sauce on both sides of the buns. Layer your lettuce leaf, turkey burger and avocado. Serve with your plaintain chips. Any extra island sauce is great on the side to dip your plantains in and hot sauce is great on the turkey burger if you are looking for a little extra heat. Grilled pineapple would be a great dessert to end this meal. Enjoy!

Going clockwise starting at the top is plantain no.1 just out of the oil, plaintain no. 2 is just smashed and no.3  is the re-fried plantain freshly salted.