Autumn Risotto with Chicken & Cranberries

I had a Pampered Chef party in November and was able to get the Deep Dish Covered Baker at a fabulous price! I haven’t used it much, but tonight, I made this great recipe for Autumn Risotto with Chicken & Cranberries – YUMMM!!! Did I mention I made this in the Microwave!??

We loved it. And when I say “we”, I mean Chad & I. Maria doesn’t try much when she is tired. And Charlie only ate one bowl. (This kid is a machine eater lately, and only one bowl, is not even close to what he does with cereal or anything with cheese!)

OK. so here is the recipe, with my modifications.  I did not add Almonds as it makes me all itchy. I used turkey instead of chicken, because I had some in the freezer from Thanksgiving. I did not have parsley, so did not use it. And used all chicken stock, instead of some wine.  But if you like any or all of those things, then reference the original recipe. AND if you don’t have a Deep Dish Covered Baker, then I would suggest a nice glass dish with a top on it.

Autumn Risotto wih Turkey and Cranberries

Autumn Risotto with Chicken & Cranberries

1 cup sweetened dried cranberries
2 cups hot water
1 medium onion
1 cup uncooked Arborio rice
1 tbsp olive oil
2 3/4 cups chicken stock
3/4 cup dry white wine such as Chardonnay
1/2 tsp each salt and coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 cup blanched slivered almonds
2 stalks celery
2 oz cream cheese
2 cups diced cooked chicken or turkey breasts
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley (optional)

  1. Combine cranberries and hot water; set aside. Coarsely chop onion. Combine onion, rice and oil in Deep Covered Baker and stir. Microwave, uncovered, on HIGH 2-4 minutes or until onion is translucent. Add stock, wine, salt and black pepper; microwave, covered, on HIGH 13 minutes or until rice is still slightly firm, stirring once halfway through.
  2. Meanwhile, toast almonds in Sauté Pan over medium heat 5-7 minutes or until golden brown, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Slice celery. Cut cream cheese into cubes. Drain cranberries; set aside. Carefully remove baker from microwave. Add chicken and celery; stir. Microwave, covered, on HIGH 3-5 minutes or until rice is tender and risotto appears creamy.
  3. Carefully remove baker from microwave. Add cream cheese and almonds; stir until cheese is fully incorporated. Fold in cranberries. Garnish with parsley, if desired.

Yield: 6 servings (about 6½ cups)
Autumn Risotto with Chicken & Cranberries

Barbecue Glazed Turkey Meatloaf

Another Weight Watchers Recipe. Very good.  I think I will make some changes next time. Like add carrots like my favorite meatloaf recipe.  I think that will add a little more dimension to the turkey  (this recipe kind of proves that I love my red meat – not bad, I just like red meat!)

Barbecue Glazed Turkey Meatloaf

1 1/4 pound(s) uncooked ground turkey breast, Skinless
1/3 cup(s) dried bread crumbs, seasoned
1/4 cup(s) low-fat shredded cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 cup(s) onion(s), minced
1 large egg(s), lightly beaten
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
2 Tbsp ketchup
2 tsp packed light brown sugar
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp Heinz Spicy Brown Mustard, or other brand

  1. Fold a 24-inch length of foil in half lengthwise. Fit into the bottom and up the sides of a 5–6-quart slow cooker insert.
  2. Put the turkey, bread crumbs, cheese, onion, egg, oregano, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl; mix with hands until well combined. Shape the mixture into a loaf and place on the foil in the slow cooker.
  3. Cover the slow cooker and cook until the meatloaf juices run clear or an instant read thermometer inserted in the center of the meatloaf registers 165°F, 3–4 hours on high or 6–8 hours on low.
  4. Combine the ketchup, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and mustard in a small bowl. Spoon the mixture over the meatloaf, spreading it smooth. Cover the slow cooker and cook until the glaze is heated through, about 30 minutes longer. With the help of the foil, lift the meatloaf from the slow cooker and transfer to a platter. Discard foil and cut the meatloaf into 6 slices.

Yields 1 slice meatloaf per serving.

Italian Sausage and Potato Roast

Another easy weeknight recipe, especially if you take the time to cut up the veggies the night before. I found this at through some other blogs I’m sure. I don’t remember how I found it now. I used turkey sausage. A great fall or winter recipe!

Italian Sausage & Potato Roast

Italian Sausage and Potato Roast

1 Package of Italian Sausage (about 5 links)
2 Bell Peppers (I use one yellow, one green for color)
1 Sweet Onion
1 lb Red potatoes (cut in quarters) about 4 potatoes
1-2 Tbsp Olive oil
¼ tsp oregano
1 tsp Garlic salt
Dash of pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Wash a cut Peppers and onions into strips. Wash and cut potatoes too.
  3. Place all of the cut veggies onto a large baking sheet.
  4. Toss veggies with olive oil and seasonings.
  5. Cut sausages into 3 or 4 pieces per sausage. Place the sausage pieces on the pan with the veggies.
  6. Place pan in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
  7. Remove and serve!

    Makes enough for 4-6 people

    Chicken Macaroni Bake

    I had this recipe set aside to try. Chad is always up for a good hotdish (or casserole as you may call it).

    Last week I made a turkey breast in the crockpot, so I used the leftovers for this instead of chicken. It was delicious!! Total comfort food and easy to prepare ahead of time. I’m not so sure about what is involved with buttered bread crumbs, so I just crumbled some Ritz crackers over the top.

    Chicken (or Turkey) Macaroni Bake

    1/4 cup Onions, chopped
    2 Tablespoons butter or margarine
    1/4 cup milk
    10.5 ounces cream of chicken soup
    1 1/2 cups chicken (or Turkey), cooked & cubed
    4 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
    8 ounces pasta, any variety, cooked
    1/8 cup buttered bread crumbs or Ritz cracker crumbs

    Prepare pasta according to package directions. Brown onion in butter. Stir in soup, chicken, milk, and 3/4 cups cheese; heat until cheese melts. Blend sauce with cooked noodles; pour into buttered baking dish. Mix the remaining cheese and bread (cracker) crumbs and place on top. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until hot.

    Skillet Penne and Sausage Supper

    Last night I made Skillet Penne and Sausage for dinner. It was a huge success. YUMMMMM!! This is definitely a keeper! The recipe is from America’s Test Kitchen, but I found it though Definitely RA.

    I added about 1/2 cup more cream near the end of the cooking time, because it was looking a little thick and my penne wasn’t quite done.   I also spooned off some of the grease after cooking the sausage, which may have been why it was looking a little thick.

    Skillet Penne and Sausage Supper

    1 tablespoon olive oil
    1 onion, minced
    1 pound hot or sweet Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
    3 garlic cloves, minced
    1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, rinsed and chopped fine
    8 ounces penne (2 1/2 cups)
    2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
    1/2 cup heavy cream
    1 (5-ounce) bag baby spinach
    1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (1/2 cup)

    1. Heat the oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering.  Add the onion and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
    2. Stir in the sausage and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 4 minutes.
    3. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Sprinkle the tomatoes and penne evenly over the sausage.  Pour the broth and cream over the pasta.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is tender, about 10 minutes. (I added about 1/2 cup more cream with about 3 minutes left)
    4. Stir in the spinach a handful at a time and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes.  Stir in the Parmesan and season with salt and pepper to taste.


    Hot Turkey Sandwich

    4/21 **Update: I don’t think I’ll make this again. Reheated it wasn’t much better. I think if I go through the effort of slowcooking a turkey,  I’d prefer just the turkey without the creamy sauce.

    I found this recipe for Hot Turkey Sandwiches from the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church cookbook.  It was very easy and pretty tasty (although I didn’t exactly serve them warm… oops)   I don’t know if I’ll make them again. I’ll probably decide over the leftovers.  I think once I had the turkey cooked, it smelled so good, and couldn’t figure out why I wouldn’t just eat the turkey.  I served them with homemade sweet potato fries. I think a cranberry jello would be good with them too!

    Hot Turkey Sandwich

    1 3-4 lb turkey breast
    2 cans cream of chicken soup
    1 can cheddar cheese soup
    1 pkg onion soup mix

    Cook turkey in crockpot for 8-10 hours on low (I added a little water, and seasoned with salt, pepper, oregano, thyme).  Cook until tender.  Shred turkey. Return to crockpot and heat with soups and soup mix.  Serve as filling for sandwiches.


    Herbed Turkey

    Since we were home on Christmas Day and Chad’s parents came over, we decided we couldn’t get by with just leftovers!  But I also didn’t want to spend my day in the kitchen. I made this turkey in the crockpot (recipe from my sister-in-law) along with mashed potatoes and Pear-Spinach Salad. Chad’s mom brought stuffing and cranberries.  It was easy and delicious! Perfect for the day!

    Herbed Turkey – Crockpot

    5-6# turkey breast (thawed or frozen)
    2 T butter
    ¼ cup garden vegetable flavored whipped cream cheese
    1 T soy sauce
    1 T minced fresh parsley
    ½ tsp. dry basal leaves
    ½ tsp. rubbed sage
    ½ tsp. dry thyme
    ¼ tsp. pepper
    ¼ tsp. garlic powder


    1. Place turkey in Crockpot
    2. Combine all the ingredients
    3. Brush the mixture of turkey
    4. Cook on low for 8-10 hours or high for 4-6 hours

    Makes 10-12 servings