Turkey chili.

I love chili.  In fact my entire family does.  It is the quintessential food for cold days, football viewing days & rainy days – whenever.  I lighten this recipe up by using lean organic ground turkey & by using a lot of spices to pump up the flavor.  I hope you give this one a try!


2 tsp of olive oil
1 lb lean ground turkey (not the dark meat)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 – 15 oz cans of dark red beans
1 – 28 oz can of chopped tomatoes.  I like Furmano’s with onions and peppers for this recipe.
1 – 6 oz can of tomato paste
1/4 c of water
1 tsp of chili powder
2 tbl of ground cumin
2 tsp of cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional:  I throw in one jalapeño chopped with seeds.

Low fat cheddar cheese
1 red onion, diced
1 jalapeño, chopped

In a large Dutch oven, heat the olive oil.  Once hot, add the onions, peppers and ground turkey.  Cook until no longer pink.  Add the garlic & the remaining ingredients.  Bring to a boil.  Turn down, cover and let simmer for 1-6 hours.  Stirring, of course, occasionally.  Top with cheddar, onions or jalapeños.  Enjoy!

The spoon was made for me by Carrie.  Here is the link to her Etsy page :)




— Knead to Cook

Double Baked Plum Chicken.

This recipe is from Cooking Light, January, 2012 issue. We hosted a dinner party with friends that eat a strict Paleo diet.  This menu choice fit the bill along with a spinach salad with Asian pears & chopped walnuts.  And for dessert, a fresh fruit and berry salad with fresh lemon zest & juice.

My husband cooked this part of the meal tonight.  The only modification he made to the original recipe is that we baked it in the oven for 20-25 minutes not 6 minutes, as the original recipe called for.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • 1/3 cup sliced shallots
  • 2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1/2 cup plum wine
  • 3/4 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon chile sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese mustard
  • 1/2 cup halved dried plums (about 9)
  • 4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup (1/2-inch) slices green onions
  1. Preheat oven to 425°.
  2. Heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon oil to pan; swirl. Add shallots and ginger; sauté 1 minute. Add wine; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute. Add broth, chili sauce, and mustard; bring to a boil. Cook until reduced to 3/4 cup (about 8 minutes). Stir in plums. Remove from heat.
  3. Heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat; swirl. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Add chicken to pan, and sauté for 3 minutes. Turn chicken over; pour plum mixture over chicken. Bake at 425° for 20-30 minutes or until done. Let chicken stand 5 minutes. Sprinkle with green onions.

— Knead to Cook

Snack attack plan!

I promise, with a little bit of time, you will be ready any time you are craving a snack!  You plan & organize your life… why not your snack?  You will be more likely to eat healthy if you surround yourself with good food.  Happy 2012!!!  You deserve it!

— Knead to Cook

Giveaway time!




Because I’m so happy that I reached 1,300 friends on my Facebook page, I thought it would be fun to do a giveaway.  This giveaway is from one of my dearest friends in the world.  Her husband manufacturers the American version of the Silpat liner for baking.  It isn’t sold to the general public and is only available to commercial businesses.  She is giving me 3 Shape2Bake 12×16 inch baking liners.  The best thing about these – you can cut them to fit whatever pan you like or use as they come for baking on your cookie sheets.

Here is the product information:

Finally, we found an American improvement to the French Silpat! Unlike the thick silicone Silpats, Shape2BAKE is made in the USA from a super durable TEFLON® polymer – for the ultimate in non-stick and long life. Unlike Silpats, Shape2BAKE can be used on both sides for longer life and functionality. Unlike Silpats, Shape2BAKE doesn’t insulate the oven’s heat leaving uncooked product, overcooked top/edges and unbrowned bottoms. Shape2BAKE is even thin enough that it can be cut to any size or shape with scissors to custom fit your cookware (I have eliminated soaking and scrubbing by using these cut-to-fit sheets to line cake pans, round pie tins, lasagna pans, roasting pans, cookie sheets, mini toaster liners, microwave deck liners, skillets, egg pans…everything in my kitchen). Try doing that with a Silpat! They can even be used as an oven deck liner to eliminate the clean up of spills and carbonized debris on the oven floor.

Cook healthy and save time and money by eliminating parchment paper, grease, fats or oils when you bake, roast, cook or fry. Use Shape2BAKE when working with sticky materials such as batter, taffy, caramel, pralines, or anything your imagination allows. Go ahead and add all the sugar you like — it won’t stick — and Shape2BAKE will save you a mess! Shape2BAKE pan liners are thin and easy to store either flat or rolled up.

Make sure your a fan of Knead to Cook’s Facebook page by Sunday @ 6:30 p.m.  Random.org will randomly select a winner and they will be announced on Sunday night, 1/8/12 @ 8 p.m.   Happy Baking!  ~Robin





— Knead to Cook

Orange cheesecake with gingersnap crust.

There are certain members of my family that ❥ cheesecake.  I thought it would be fun to create a recipe that combined her favor flavors & would allow me to use up some oranges from Florida that I received as a gift & some gingersnap cookies leftover from the holidays. Win-Win, right?  I was hopeful and enthusiastic!

The end result was fabulous!  I have to admit, the flavor combination was right on.  I did sneak a taste when cutting it.  ;)  I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family will tonight.


Preheat the oven to 325 degree.
40 gingersnap cookies (small one bite sized cookies)
1 tsp of sugar
1/4 c of melted I can’t believe it’s not butter or butter

In your food processor, add all of the ingredients for the crust and pulse about 12 times.   Pour the crumb mixture on top of the parchment paper that is lining your glass 9×9 pan.  Push it down with a large spoon so it is evenly distributed and smooth.  Bake for 12 minutes.  Remove and let cool.

Next step:
I took my 9×9 glass baking square and coated it with butter.  I then cut a piece of parchment paper and placed that over the glass pan.  I pushed it down to fit inside, going up the sides as well.  See photo.

Cheesecake Filling:

2 -8 oz blocks of low fat cream cheese, at room temperature
Zest of 2 oranges
Juice from 1/2 an orange
2 eggs, room temperature
1/2 c of granulated sugar

Add to your food processor and blend for about 1 minute.  Pour this mixture on top of the cooled crust.  I then took my 13×9 pan and filled it 1/3 filled with tap water, to make a water bath.  I then place my 9×9 into the water bath.  This will help the cheesecake cook slowly and it will help it not to crack.  See photo above for a reference.

Bake this for 40-45 minutes.  When you remove it, it should be slightly jiggly but not watery.  Remove the 9×9 pan and place on a cooling rack for 40 minutes.  After the 40 minutes, place in the refrigerator for 4 hours to overnight.

To remove, gently pull up on the parchment paper and lay on a flat surface.  Slice with a large, sharp knife.  Enjoy!

I need to give a shout out to the amazing artisan that made the spoon for me…
Carrie is a remarkably talented woman!!!


— Knead to Cook

A task for the day…

I shared this on my FB KTC page but just in case, I wanted to post it here too.

A task for the day: Take a stack of post it it notes that will be nearby you throughout the day. Yes, keep them in your purse, on your desk –wherever! Write the world “Liar” on the top note in bold. Any time during the day when you..

~Feel you aren’t good enough.
~Feel you aren’t strong enough.
~Don’t have the willpower to make the better food choice.
~You can’t avoid junkfood.
~Can’t get motivated.
~Don’t have the time to workout because you’re too busy.
~Feel like being overweight is the only option for you.
~Can’t get enough sleep.

Peel that post it not off look at it and know that the little voice inside of your head is a LIAR and that you can do ANYTHING! Hold that note in your hand… believe it – crumble it up and toss it and repeat!

— Knead to Cook

Red sauce with garlicky turkey meatballs.

I’m very much an Italian girl.  Grew up eating pasta, sauce & meatballs my entire life.  It is, without a doubt, one of my comfort foods.  Memories of my family gathering around the table, fighting for more meatballs (I remember one time someone “accidentally” getting stabbed with a fork, are part of my fondest memories.)  Being a Gambino – you can understand why.

But as I got older, and adopted healthier eating habits, I revamped the old school recipe to be a bit healthier.  The sauce has remained the same… the meatballs have undergone a huge change & white pasta has been replaced with whole wheat.  All in all, still very tasty and comforting.  I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do.


1/2 c olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
6 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 (28 oz) can of Furmano’s diced tomatoes
1 (28 oz) can of Furmano’s chopped tomatoes
1 can of tomato paste
2 bay leaves
2 pinches of red pepper flakes
2 tsp of Italian Seasoning
1 tsp of Oregano

In a Dutch oven, heat the oil over a medium flame.  Once hot, add the onions and stir for about 8 minutes.  Add garlic for 30 seconds.  Add salt and pepper, both cans of tomatoes, paste, bay leaves, and the remaining seasonings.  Turn the flame down as low as it goes, cover and simmer.  Stirring occasionally.


1/2 c of Panko breadcrumbs
1/4 c of parsley, chopped
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 c of Parmesan Reggiano cheese, grated
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 lb of 85/15 ground turkey
1/4 c of olive oil

Combine all ingredients (except for the olive oil) in your mixing bowl.  Mix by hand until incorporated, avoid over mixing.  Roll into balls and place on a plate or cookie sheet.  Your going to work in batches browning them.  Once complete.  Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium flame.  Once the oil is hot, add several meatballs to the pan.  Allow for room to roll them around for growing.  Avoid overcrowding.  This process will take about 10-12 minutes  Once browned on the outside, gently place the meatballs into the sauce.  Be careful when adding and stirring the sauce as you can break up the meatballs.  Work in batches until all of the meatballs are browned and added to the sauce.

I let the sauce simmer on the stove for about 4 hours or more.  Keep a watchful eye and stir occasionally.  Serve over your favorite pasta and enjoy!

— Knead to Cook

Menu for tonight…

Okay so last night I found it was National Spaghetti Day… how do I keep missing those things?  Ha ha.  Well I had this on the menu for tonight – nice and soft foods for my daughter who is still having significant mouth pain.  Recipe & pics to be posted tonight.  Hope everyone is having a great afternoon!

Oh and now you get to see where I got the idea for the chalkboard wall background.  My wall is in my kitchen and we love it!  ~Robin

— Knead to Cook

Mixed fruit & spinach protein smoothie

Okay I have one child that lives to eat & one that eats to live!  My youngest daughter doesn’t have a huge appetite ever!  So, with that, I try to make every bite as vitamin packed & healthy as possible.  This smoothie is super healthy & delicious.  I promise… the kids have no idea how good it is for them!
In a blender, add a handful of baby spinach leaves, two cups of fruit – frozen, fresh – whatever.  I added peaches/strawberries/cherries & 1 banana.  I scoop of Whey protein powder.  Optional – you can add a scoop or two of low fat frozen yogurt or ice cream (I normally do this but didn’t today) or a scoop of yogurt.  I also add one cup of almond milk (you can use regular low fat milk) and 2 tsp of flax seed meal and then start to blend it.  My blender has a smoothie setting so I use that.  Once it starts to combine, I will drizzle more milk in to get the consistency that I wish to achieve.  Pour into a glass, add a straw and enjoy!

There is so much flexibility that you have when making smoothies.  You can go all green – spinach, green apples, avocados etc.  You can add or delete what you like.  Have fun with it but my only suggestion is if you’re adding the spinach… whip the smoothie up before the kids see it :)

— Knead to Cook

Crock Pot Beef Stew.

We don’t normally eat a lot of red meat in our home but when the cold weather rolls in, as it has, there is something about a pipping hot bowl of beef stew that just warms you up.  I served this stew over whole wheat egg noodles.  The family loved it!  Another benefit, it was made in the crock pot so dinner was remarkably easy.  I served this with the crusty bread I made yesterday.  Great pairing!


2 tbl of olive oil
5 carrots, finely cubed or run through your food processor grater attachment
1 medium yellow onion, finely diced or run through the food processor as well
3 celery stalks, finely chopped (or use the food processor)
3 lb beef chuck roast, fat trimmed and then cubed into bite-sized pieces
1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
1 c of beef broth
5 garlic cloves, sliced
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 bag of whole wheat egg noodles

In a skillet over medium flame, add the olive oil.  Add the carrots, onion & celery & cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring often.  Then remove and add to the crock pot.  Add the cubed chuck roast along with tomatoes, broth, garlic, pepper flakes, salt & pepper.  Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.  If you have less time, cook on the high setting for 4-6 hours.  Right before serving, cook the pasta according to the manufacturer’s directions.  Drain and plate.  Pour the beef stew over top and serve with a good crusty bread.

— Knead to Cook