Pressure Cooker Thanksgiving Turkey Meatloaf

Sometimes it is hard being a friend,not because you don’t want to be but because you don’t know how to be. Sometimes your friend is going through something that is just tearing her apart. I Know there is nothing I  can say or do to fix the situation or make it better for her and it makes me feel helpless and a failure as a friend. I know she doesn’t feel this way about me but it is how I feel about myself.

In my head, I know all I can do is be present when we are together, let her talk when she needs to talk, cry, if she needs to cry, ignore the whole sorry mess, when she needs to ignore it. It doesn’t feel like nearly  enough.

I think that is why I was so grateful on Sunday when she asked if I could come spend the night and help her get her apartment together before our friend comes to town this weekend. Finally, I have some concrete way I can help. I can do something for her that makes a difference. The whole time she was working in the living room and I was working in the kitchen she kept telling me she was sorry she asked me to do this, she should be able to clean her apartment on her own. I tried to tell her I don’t mind we all have times we can use a hand.

At various  times throughout my life I have had people who called themselves my friend for as long as I was happy, fun and willing to help them when they had difficulties.  As soon as I wasn’t happy and fun and couldn’t help them with their problems they didn’t want to be around me.  In my book, that isn’t a friend. A  friend is someone who is there in good times and bad even when it is hard. I hope  I am suceeding for her, even just a little bit.

Pressure Cooker Thanksgiving Turkey Meatloaf

adapted from The Big Book of Paleo Slow Cooking

1 TBS olive oil

1/2 medium onion, diced

1 lb ground turkey

3/4 tsp salt

1/8 tsp black pepper

1 celery stalk, diced small

1/2 tsp rubbed sage

1/2 tsp rosemary

1/8 tsp dried thyme

2-3 TBS dried cranberries

In a medium bowl, combine the onion, turkey, salt, pepper, celery, rubbed sage, rosemary, thyme, and cranberries.  Using your hands. gently combine the ingredients.  Don’t squish the meat between your fingers.  You don’t want tough, overworked turkey.  When the ingredients are thoroughly mixed, shape the meat into a loaf.  I use a 5′ x 3′ loaf pan to shape and cook my meatloaf.  You could free form it and cook it in any pan that fits your pressure cooker.  Lock the lid.  Bring to high pressure and cook for 5 minutes.  Natural release the pressure. 

Meatballs 2 Ways

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Apparently, meatballs are a thing.  This week I have made 3 different kinds and two other bloggers that I follow have also made meatball dinners. Although we all made meatballs, we all varied cooking methods, type and flavor.  What’s For Dinner Moms made slowcooker sweet and sour Meatballs.  Kitchen Portfolio made taco meatballs with black bean spaghetti.  I made wonton meatballs, from Nom Nom Paleo, turkey and cranberry meatballs and Thai green curry meat balls from the cookbook, Well Fed 2, baked in the oven.

I can’t speak for the other blogs yet but the three meatball recipes I made were beyond fantastic.  I like to eat them on a salad or just cold out of the fridge for a snack.  You could serve them with pasta with a sauce or in a soup of some kind.  The only changes I made were to the Well Fed 2 recipes.  I made the meatballs out of 2 tablespoons of the meat mixture instead of one tablespoon. I felt the meatballs were too small otherwise.

Turkey and Cranberry Meatballs

2 TBS warm water

½ tsp cream of tartar

¼ tsp baking soda

1 lb ground turkey

1 TBS orange juice

2 cloves garlic, minced

¼ cup cranberries, coarsely chopped

1 ½ tsp rubbed sage

1 ½ tsp orange zest

1 tsp salt

¼ tsp black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, combine warm water, cream of tartar and baking soda, mix well. In another bowl, combine the turkey, orange juice, garlic, cranberries, sage, orange zest, salt and pepper. Add the water mixture to the meat mixture. Using your hands mix well. Using 2 tablespoons of the meat mixture shape into 12 balls. Place the balls on a sheet pan covered with parchment paper. Cook 20 – 25 minutes, or until cooked through.

Thai Green Curry Meatballs

2TBS warm water

1/2  tsp cream of tartar

1/4 tsp baking soda

1 lb ground beef

1/4 cup canned coconut milk

2 ts[ fish sauce

2 TBS green curry paste

2 cloves garlic, minced

10 – 12 basil leaves, minced

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ginger

1/8 tsp ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, combine the warm water, cream of tartar and baking soda. Miix well. In another medium bowl, combine the ground beef, coconut milk, fish sauce, green curry paste, garlic, basil, salt, ginger, and pepper.  Add the water mixture to the meat mixture.  Using your hands, Mix well.  Using 2 tablespoons of the meat mixture shape into 12 balls. Place the balls on a sheet pan covered with parchment paper. Cook 20 – 25 minutes, or until cooked through.

Crispy Skillet Turkey Burgers

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Today I  lost my beautiful Budgie boy, Annie. I knew he was sick for a while and there was nothing I could do to make him better but nothing prepares you finding his bright spirit has left this world.

Annie spent the last few days sleeping next to his bff, Harper. Now that Annie is gone, does Harper understand what happened to Annie? Do Harper and the other birds miss Annie?  All I know for sure is I will miss Annie.

Crispy Skillet Turkey Burgers

1/2 lb ground turkey

1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

1/4 cup cheese, shredded

2 TBS mayonnaise

1/2 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp canola oil

Combine the turkey, panko bread crumbs, cheese, salt and pepper in a bowl.  Using your hands shape the turkey into the 3/4″ patties about 4 inches in diameter.  Sprinkle with a little more salt and pepper.  Heat oil in a 12 inch skillet over medium heat until the oil is shimmering.  Add patties and cook until well browned, 6-8 minutes per side.

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A Small Batch Thanksgiving — Brown Sugar Rubbed Turkey Roast and Wild Rice Stuffing with Cranberries and Walnuts

728There are three days until Thanksgiving so it is time to post the center piece of our Thanksgiving feast …. turkey and stuffing.  This year I went traditional for the meat part of my meal.  I found a 3 pound turkey roast that was just the perfect size for one.  I know that it isn’t the prettiest when it come out of the bag because it is made up of pieces of turkey rather than a whole turkey breast. Once you rub it and cook it, roast looks just as nice as a whole breast without all the leftovers. You will have plenty of time to thaw the turkey roast too.  It only takes a day or so in the fridge.

Brown Sugar Rubbed Turkey Breast

1 3 lb turkey roast

2 TBS brown sugar

1 tsp parsley flakes

1 tsp sweet paprika

1/2 tsp dried mustard

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/4 tsp ginger

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Pat the turkey with paper towels to dry.  Mix the brown sugar, parsley flakes, paprika, dry mustard, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, cinnamon, pepper and ginger in a bowl.  Pat the rub all over the turkey.  Arrange the turkey in a baking pan and roast until a meat thermometer registers 170 degrees, about 1 hour 15 minutes to 2 hours  Let rest before slicing.

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For the stuffing this year I used wild rice and my favorite, cranberries.  Since this recipe is a little heavy on the prep time cook the Wild and Basmati rice the night before and finish it off in the oven Thanksgiving day.

Wild Rice Stuffing with Cranberries and Walnuts

1 1/2 tsp olive oil

1/2 yellow onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 3/4 cups vegetable broth

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup uncooked wild rice

1/2 cup uncooked Basmati rice

1/2 cup dried cranberries

2 TBS fresh parsley, chopped

1 1/2 tsp fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp dried thyme

2 TBS chopped walnuts

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more. Add broth and salt and bring to a boil. Stir in wild rice, cover, reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 45 minutes.  Stir in Basmati rice, cover and simmer until rice is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes longer. Stir in cranberries, parsley, thyme, and walnuts, cover and cook for 5 minutes more. Season with pepper and additional salt to taste.  Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a 1 1/2  quart baking dish. Transfer rice mixture to dish and bake until light golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes.