Happy Monday to everyone!

And in case you were having too much fun and missed it, check out the fun & easy soup recipes that came out of the Fanatic kitchen over the weekend 🙂

Riddle me this my friends, is it cold/rainy/snowy where you are too? I guess Spring decided to take a little break this year…

So to combat said cold weather & gray skies, we decided to have a comforting Sunday dinner last night!  Take that winter-that-never-wants-to-go-away 😛

  • Roasted Turkey Thigh w/ Fig Almond & Red Wine Reduction
  • Bleu Cheese & Onion Orzo
  • Broccolini Sautéed w/ Garlic & Olive Oil <– told you I was hooked

Roasted Turkey Thigh w/ Fig Almond & Red Wine Reduction

Well I have to tell you that after this wonderful delivery from The Gracious Gourmet the other day and the amazing Vegetable Soup w/ their chile red pepper tapenade, I just couldn’t resist cracking into another jar and giving it a whirl last night!

This time:  Fig Almond Spread.

Chunks of almonds and the flavor of figs throughout, and yet again another wowza in the tastebud department!

I still can’t believe how good these products are?  They taste like someone just made them right in your own kitchen and the flavor combos are so unique!  Plus I can pronounce all of the items in the ingredients list – win 😀

And this would be a Heritage turkey thigh, which I picked up at the farmer’s market the other weekend from Empress Farm and roasted at 350F for an hour w/ just some salt & pepper.

Heritage turkeys are not quite the same as the turkey you will find at your local grocery store, but instead an ancestor of the “industrial breed”.  For more info you can read here.

They are closer to what your grandparents would probably remember as turkey.  Moister and with a richer flavor, which you can see in the sliced, cooked dark meat of the thigh below.

I’ve never had duck before, but I’m envisioning that it may taste something like this?  Correct me if I’m wrong though.

To compliment the rich, dark meat of the turkey I made a sauce with about half the jar of fig almond spread and a few glugs of red wine (a nice Malbec).

I allowed the sliced meat to cook in the sauce for a few minutes, covered, then removed the meat and brought the sauce to a boil.  After about 5-10 minutes, the sauce reduced into a gorgeous glaze, which I then spooned over the cooked turkey.

This sauce made my mouth water!  It was so fantastic 😀 

The heritage turkey thigh was a new experience for this dark-meat lover.  It was super rich and texturally not quite the same as the dark meat of a chicken thigh that I’m used to, but overall I think it paired wonderfully with the fig/wine reduction.  I just made sure to trim off the fat before serving…

This sauce would go beautifully on pork too I think.  I would definitely make it again!

You know what else pairs wonderfully with this fig almond spread?  Plain Chobani.  And fresh pear.  Had those lil’ treats today, yummmm-O 😉

Bleu Cheese & Onion Orzo

Bleu cheese just seemed like the obvious answer to pair with this lovely fig sauce, so I came up with a super simple side dish to go with our meal.

3 ingredients:  orzo, onion (chopped) and bleu cheese crumbles.

Boil the orzo per the instructions, adding the chopped onion during the last minute of cooking.

I used about 3/4 of the orzo package.  This would serve about 6.

Drain the pasta & onions, then toss with your bleu cheese crumbles while still warm.

I used half the container of bleu cheese, since a little goes a long way.

The warm pasta will slightly soften the bleu cheese and make the mixture come together nicely.

Give it some salt & pepper too!!!

Broccolini Sautéed w/ Garlic & Olive Oil

Remember when I made this ohhhhh 2 nights ago? And proceeded to go on and on about it?

It’s backkkkkkkkk!  I just couldn’t resist making it again 😀

Just. So. Good.

Sunday night dinner just got served 🙂

Perfect way to end a wonderful weekend 🙂

Glass of wine – check.  Fireplace warmth (is it really almost April?) – check.  Deliciously rich meal – check.

I’ll take it!

What is your favorite pre-made product to use for a fast n’ easy dinner?! 


Last night’s dinner was what I would call a typical “three dish plate”

Meat. Potatoes. Veg.

With the cold temps & rain we’ve been experiencing lately (ummm, we need to have a talk “Spring”…. where are you?) I couldn’t think of anything more comforting.

1. Local Hot Italian Sausages w/ Caramalized Onions

2. Smashed Potatoes w/ Garlic & Green Onion <— Chobani snuck it’s way in there!

3. Broccolini Sautéed w/ Garlic & Olive Oil

This meal came together pretty easily, since the sausages did their thing while I prepared the rest!

Local Hot Italian Sausages w/ Caramalized Onions

Guess you’re recognizing the name by now, but yet another fabulous product from Faith Farm Foods.

I have got to make it back to the Souther of the James Market next weekend to replenish my stash since I won’t be able to tomorrow… I’m loving their products.

I got this little skillet from Santa and must say that it’s a blessing in the kitchen.

Keeps the stove clear for other cooking while also having the perfect covered, evenly heated area for cooking a dish such as this.

Cook up a sliced onion in some olive oil for a few minutes, until it starts to get a lovely brown.

Then push the onions to the side and add your sausages, cooking until the outside browns. 

(I kept the skillet covered during this time)


Once the sausages were browned, I piled the onions on top and added 1/2 cup water, then covered and let do their thing while the rest of dinner was prepared.

The water helped to steam the sausages and also, as it reduced, created an amazing sauce with the caramalized onions.


I think this one made The Man’s Italian heart happy happy 😛 

We both decided that these were some of the best sausages we’ve ever tasted. The seasonings were perfect. And not fatty at all either. 

Smashed Potatoes w/ Garlic & Green Onion

Red potatoes.

Chopped large and peeled, since The Man is not a tater peel fan.  Such a good girlfriend, right? 😉

Into a pot of water with 2 cloves of peeled garlic.

Then boiled until tender, about 25 minutes.

Drain.  Smash in a bowl with a large fork.  Couldn’t be easier and they get pretty darn smooth, with just a small bit of texture!

Super secret power —>  Plain Chobani.

Add to the mash along with the chopped green onion.  Stir to incorporate, but not too much, you don’t want your potatoes to get gluey.

Then, to really make the dish taste rich, add in 1 tblsp melted butter and a few spoonfuls of freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Smashed potatoes, very close to mashed potatoes, all in a matter of time!

Decadant in flavor but not in fat 😀

Broccolini Sautéed w/ Garlic & Olive Oil

Just like I tweeted last night, I can’t believe that I haven’t used broccolini in our kitchen before?!

How beautiful is this stuff?

I’m currently having a love affair with it, no big deal 😉

And since I’m a huge broccoli fan, but not too keen on the thick stems, this is the perfect solution.

This method made the broccolini so tender and delicious, trust me!

Just add to a pan with 1″ water and cover, bring to boil for 5 minutes.

Then remove the broccolini and drain, set aside.  Add 1 tblsp olive oil plus 2 cloves chopped garlic to the hot pan.

Cook garlic for 1 minute then add broccolini back in.  Cook another 2 minutes.

Prepare to fall in love 🙂

A meal fit for a cold spring night!

I’d say so 🙂

What’s on tap for you this weekend?

I’m looking forward to watching not one, but two, Richmond teams in the Sweet 16 tonight and cheering them on!  Then lunch with a good friend and a hair appointment for this gal tomorrow.  Other than that, I foresee lots of cooking and relaxing in these abnormally cold temps…  Snow Sunday?  Really?