a Cook at Heart

practical tips and recipes for busy cooks

Turkey Burger with Feta Cheese and Grilled Onions

There’s nothing like a day off from work. I’m not talking about weekends, I’m talking about a day off during the middle of the week when everyone else is working. Occasionally I take a day or two off to handle things around the house – cooking, cleaning, errands etc. The best part of a day off is being able to cook whatever I want – especially things that hubby won’t eat. Case in point – this grilled turkey burger with a big fat slab of grilled onions. I love turkey burgers – much better than hamburgers. It doesn’t take much to make them taste great

Cauliflower and Sausage Skillet

Cauliflower has never been part of our normal vegetable rotation. It’s one of those veggies that really didn’t catch my attention but not because I thought it tasted bad. I’ve always thought it was sort of boring, bland, with no personality. When I decided to cut back on wheat products, I gave cauliflower another look as a substitute for pasta. It’s quickly turned into one of my favorite vegetables. It’s a complete blank canvas as far as taste so you can mix it with anything. This recipe as a cajuny flare with the Andouille and Cajun seasoning but you can adjust this a lot of different

Asian Chicken Legs

Back in my college days, chicken wings were a dietary staple for my friends and I. You could buy a big family pack of wings for a few bucks and eat well for days. Of course that was before wings became trendy and every restaurant in the country started selling them. It was also before I started Weight Watchers and realized that 3 wings are almost a third of my daily points allowance. Bye bye wings. Around Nashville, wing pieces are in the $3.00 to $3.50 per pound range, which I think is crazy for what you’re getting.  I refuse to pay that much so chicken legs are the new wings at

Crockpot Beef Tacos

You may not have heard, but it’s been crazy hot in Nashville lately – way too hot to do alot of heavy duty baking and roasting. Even though I don’t want to heat up the kitchen, we still love a roasted chicken or juicy pot roast from time to time. Enter my handy dandy crockpot. It’s been a lifesaver this summer.  I love coming home from work with half of my meal already done. Last spring we joined a meat CSA and ended up with a freezer full of stuff. We decided not to renew our membership for the summer and we’ve been eating out way through the rest of

How to Cook Butternut Squash – Sausage and Butternut Squash Dressing

How to Prepare Butternut Squash Butternut squash is probably the easiest winter squash to prepare. I avoided it for a long time because I thought it had a hard outer shell like spaghetti squash which I have filed under “not worth the work”. When you cut it open. the flesh is bright orange and smells a little like cantaloupe. Whether you’re roasting it for soup or sauteing it for a salad, learning the proper way to prepare it will make it much easier to deal with. Cut it, Peel it, Slice it Make sure you have a really sharp knife. Cut the bottom and top off so that

Shaking Beef

For most of life my life I’ve never really cared where my meat came from. As long as it’s hermatically and hygenically packaged and reasonably priced, I didn’t question it. “All Natural” and “grass fed” were foreign terms and price was often the determining factor when it came to choosing our purchases. A couple of months ago hubby and I decided to take some steps to improve the quality of the food we purchase. We joined a CSA. We bought a half share in a farm here in Tennessee and every other month from November to March, we pick up a 20+ pound package of meat. We get

Chicken a la King

  If I haven’t mentioned it, I’m an estate sale junkie. To be more specific, I love old kitchen stuff – refrigerator dishes, cookbooks, dinnerware, etc. At one point a few years ago I had a room full of cool things I had bought with the intention of selling them on eBay. Unfortunately that room full of stuff started to overflow out into the rest of our small house so I decided to part with the majority of it.  Most of the pieces were easy to get rid of but there were a few things that I couldn’t bring myself to sell. Over the next month or two I’m