Monthly Archives: September 2013

Turkey and Bean Chili

turkey chili

The weather is starting to turn colder making it an excellent time to start stocking the freezer with fall comfort food. This is one of my favorites to make in bulk, you can freeze it for individual servings or you can feed a crowd with it.

When cutting up the jalapeno it is very important to wear gloves! If you get the residue from the seeds on your hands and say, rub your eyes or touch a baby they will be burning soon after. Play it safe and wear gloves.

  • 4 slices bacon cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3 pounds ground dark-meat (7 percent fat), turkey
  • 4 cups chopped onions
  • 1/4 cup minced garlic cloves
  • 2 medium fresh jalapeno chiles, ribs and seeds removed for less heat, if desired, minced
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 cans (28 ounces each) whole tomatoes in puree
  • 2 tablespoons unsulfured molasses
  • Coarse salt
  • 3 cans (15 1/2 ounces each) pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • Fresh cilantro leaves, sliced pickled jalapeno chiles, reduced-fat sour cream, crumbled cornbread, grated cheddar cheese

Heat a Dutch oven (or other heavy 5-quart pot) over medium heat. Add bacon; cook until crisp and brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Raise heat to high; add turkey. Cook, stirring and breaking up meat with a spoon, until no longer pink, 8 to 10 minutes.

Add onion, garlic, and jalapenos; cook until soft, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Stir in chili powder, cocoa powder, and cumin; cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1 minute.

Break up tomatoes with a spoon or your hands, and stir them in along with the puree. Add molasses, 1 cup water, and 4 teaspoons salt; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer; cook, partially covered, 30 minutes.

Add beans; continue cooking, uncovered, until meat and beans are very tender, and chili is thick, about 30 minutes more. Serve with desired toppings.

 This is a Martha Stewart recipe. 


Homemade Banana Ice Cream

plainWhen I was a kid and I wanted something sweet, my mom would always say “Have a piece of fruit”.  For someone with a sweet tooth, a piece of fruit is a pretty sorry excuse for the treat that I really wanted. If only she knew about homemade banana ice cream. Frozen bananas and a little bit of milk together make something that is almost exactly like ice cream and totally satisfies any desire for a treat.

You’ll need to do a little planning ahead. When the bananas on your counter get overly ripe and mushy to the point where they are too yucky to eat its time to freeze them. The key to the whole thing is to peel the bananas before you freeze them. If you don’t peel them first, it will be very frustrating to remove the peels from frozen bananas. So peel your very ripe bananas, freeze them for several hours and put them in the food processor with the milk of your choice. I’ve tried them with 2% milk, half&half and even with almond milk. Drizzle a little chocolate syrup on top to make it extra special.wchoco

  • 3 overly ripe bananas
  • ¼ cup of milk
  • chocolate syrup (optional)

Peel the bananas and put them on a small tray or plate so they are not touching each other. Once they are completely frozen (at least 6 hours) put them in a food processor with the milk and blend until all chunks are smoothed out. Enjoy immediately. Serves 2-3.

You can do this with any number of bananas that will fit in your food processor. Keep drizzling in more milk until the consistency is where you want it.

Blueberry Hand Pies


Oozing with blueberry deliciousness

The Nursing Mom’s Cookbook is back from hiatus! I’ve been on a summer break for the last few months while I’ve had my kitchen renovated and took a few out of town summer trips. While the kitchen was technically useable during the renovation, meaning the appliances were hooked up and the water was running, there was a thick layer of dust coating everything. Each day that I was home I would clean up the dust to prepare a meal but as soon as the guys started working again there was sawdust and plaster everywhere. So I took advantage of every opportunity and invitation to get out of town while the work was ongoing. The upside of all this is I now have about 50% more kitchen space, 75% more light, a built-in pantry and shiny new bamboo flooring. Hurrah!

One of my excursions was my family’s annual vacation in Maine. Summer eating in Maine is a wonderful thing involving lots of lobster, fresh corn, local beer and of course Maine blueberries. Blueberry pie has long been one of my specialties and one of my favorite things to make in the kitchen. This year I discovered these clever little blueberry hand pies which are sort of like homemade hot pockets that you can eat for dessert. These are especially great to hand out to children who can gobble them up without utensils. Kids love food they can eat on the go.

If you choose to make your own crust, I’ve included a recipe here. You can make the crust ahead of time and keep it chilled for up to 3 days. Now that I’m a mom I often skip the homemade crust in favor of a store bought one that I roll out. In terms of taste and texture the store bought crust will not let you down but the shape may be an obstacle here since hand pies work best as rectangles.

  • Pie crust*
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 large egg whisked with 1 tsp water
  • 1 tbsp raw sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 375

Toss blueberries, lemon zest, sugar and salt in a medium bowl.

Roll out dough onto a floured surface to a 15”x12” rectangle. Cut into 6 rectangles. Brush the edges o f the rectangles with water. Mound some blueberries in the center of each. Fold dough over and press the edges with a fork to seal. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet, brush with the egg wash and sprinkle with raw sugar. Cut slits in the top.

Bake 35-40 minutes rotating the sheet halfway through. The finished product should be golden brown with bubbling juices running onto the parchment. Transfer to a wire rack and serve warm or at room temp.


  • 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ cup chilled unsalted butter cut into ½” pcs
  • ice water

Pulse flour, sugar, salt in a food processor. Add butter and pulse until the texture is course meal. Add ¼ cup ice water. Pulse, adding a tablespoon of water at a time if the dough seems dry and just until it comes together in clumps. Form into a square, wrap in plastic and chill for 2 hours.

This recipe was published in Bon Apetit July 2013