Thursday, September 18, 2008

Autumnal Equinox Dinner Date!

To celebrate the start of fall (which I think is officially Monday) I concocted a harvest themed meal for the tots. On the menu was turkey breast stuffed with cranberry pumpkin seed Kashi pilaf, cider glazed sweet potatoes and pumpkin pudding for dessert. It was a MISS, HIT, HIT meal.

Turkey Breasts stuffed with
Cranberry Pumpkin Seed Kashi
(serves 2 + leftover Kashi)
zero toddler smiles :o(
1 package of Kashi 12 grain pilaf
2-1/2 c. chicken or turkey stock
1/4 c. dried cranberries
2 tbsp. toasted pumpkin seeds
1/4 tsp. sage
1/4 tsp. thyme
salt and pepper to taste
1-2 turkey breasts
2 tsp. olive oil
1. Prepare Kashi according to package directions except replace the water with the chicken or turkey stock. While cooking, add the cranberries, sage, thyme, salt and pepper. When fully cooked, stir in the pumpkin seeds. Set aside.

2. Ok, part of where this recipe went wrong for me but will hopefully go right for you is that I thought I bought full turkey breasts but when I got the package home I realized I had split (and split again!) breast meat. Assuming you have a full breast proceed as follows...using a sharp knife, butterfly the breast. Place between two sheets of waxed paper and flatten with a tenderizing mallet (a rolling pin works good too.) Scoop some of the pilaf onto the breast (enough so that you will still be able to roll it up jelly roll style.) Roll from end to end. Tie with string in each direction.

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat olive oil in a cast iron skillet over med-high heat. Brown turkey breasts on all sides.

4. Place cast iron skillet in the oven and bake uncovered for about an hour. This was WAYYYY too long for mine because the pieces of turkey were so small. I got chatting with Kara and didn't check in on them and by the time the timer went off they were overcooked and dry. :o(

5. Remove from oven and let stand for about 15 minutes before cutting off string. Slice and serve!

The overdoneness of these certainly didn't help their chances of being enjoyed by the girls however I don't think it would have mattered. Both girls seemed equally skeptical and disinterested in them. I thought they might have some "nugget appeal" since you could pick them up and bite them but..well...I was wrong. Live and learn. I can't recommend the pilaf enough (from one adult to another). It was delicious. The girls didn't try it but the Mom's did and it was great! Moving on...

Cider Glazed Sweet Potatoes

(Serves 2)

2 Toddler Smiles!

(Side note: Would someone please tell me why blogger puts these huge spaces in my text?! It's only when I post the numbered instructions and the recipe titles. Its making me crazy!!)

1 large sweet potato

1/2 c. apple cider

1 tbsp. brown sugar

2 tbsp. butter

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/8 tsp. cloves

1. Wash, peel, chop and parboil sweet potato until tender.

2. In a small saucepan or fry pan melt the butter over med-high. Stir in the cider, brown sugar and spices until the sugar dissolves.

3. Reduce heat to medium and add the sweet potatoes. Cook for about 5 minutes occasionally spooning the cider mixture over the tops of the potatoes.

4. Using a slotted spoon, remove the potatoes from the cider mixture. Serve!

These were thoroughly enjoyed by toddlers and Mommies alike!

Pumpkin Pudding

(serves 4)

2 Toddler Smiles!

1 c. canned pumpkin

2 eggs

6 oz. 2% evaporated milk

1/2 c. sugar

1 tbsp honey

1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

cool whip

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. In a mixing bowl combine the sugar, egg, pumpkin, honey & spices until well mixed.
3. Gradually add milk.
4. Pour into four custard cups or ramekins that coated with nonstick cooking spray.
5. Place in a 9x13 baking dish. Bake uncovered for 10 minutes.

6. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and continue to bake for 30-35 mins (until knife inserted near the center comes out clean).
7. Top with a dollop of cool whip and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Serve hot or cold.

Mmmmmmmmmmmmm!! This is basically crustless pumpkin pie and it was a delicious alternative. It had much less sugar than regular pumpkin pie filling which was actually very nice. This one was gobbled up by the toddlers and the Mom's were happy that this meant they each got 2 servings of orange vegetables tonight!


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