Turkey Burgers -- with Instant Potatoes

Yet another use for instant potatoes: a way to stretch hamburger meat a bit further. My picky eater prefers anything with onions and garlic, so you can adjust those ingredients down to your preference. He often doesn't notice that it's turkey burgers, though, because the flavor is sufficiently good. I usually eyeball quantities, but paid close attention today to give a good estimate of quantities. Fresh herbs are always preferable (this group comes in a pack together called "poultry herbs" back home), but dried works nicely too (just rub the dried leaves a bit before tossing them in to release their flavors).

1 lb ground turkey
1 egg
1/2 onion diced fine
3 cloves garlic minced/diced fine
1/2 cup instant potatoes
1/4 cup milk
2 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp dried rosemary (3 sprigs fresh chopped fine)
1 tbsp dried sage (2 sprigs fresh chopped fine)
1 tbsp dried thyme (1 handful fresh leaves pulled off stalks)
black pepper/salt to taste

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, mix all the ingredients really well.
  2. Separate the meat into burgers. You should be able to get five (5) respectable sized burgers out of this mixture.
  3. I usually store individual burgers in resealable bags in the freezer to offer meal flexibility, however in Grenada the freezer is so humid that the bags quickly freeze to the walls and are difficult to remove. So here I put them in leftover containers, with burgers separated by foil or plastic wrap.


Instant Potatoes Transformed

As we get close to break, we're trying to empty our cupboards so the ants don't have a field day in our absence. Number one thing to eliminate: the GIANT tub of instant potatoes. After the second week of having mashed potatoes with every meal, Dan requested that I get a bit more creative. So this is perhaps the first in a series of "what to do with instant potatoes when you can't stand potatoes anymore."

Salmon Croquettes
  • 15 oz can salmon
  • 1 cup instant potatoes (or breadcrumbs)
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 tablespoons dried parsley (I use cilantro/coriander)
  • 1 medium size onion finely chopped
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried cumin
  • 1/4 cup of milk
  • 2 tablespoons oil for frying


  1. Open your can of salmon, probably out of sight of any picky eaters in your household. You'll need to pick bones out. Most would prefer to drain and rinse the fish. I saw my omega 3 fatty acids floating on top and decided to keep it. Place salmon in a medium bowl.
  2. Mix all ingredients together. I added milk because the original recipe was pretty dry and the patties fell apart upon cooking. Add just enough milk to make the patties not crumbly. You can make 4-5 cakes from a can of salmon.
  3. Fry the patties in small amt. of 100% pure virgin olive oil, or a good corn oil, till golden on one side, then flip over & brown on second side. Drain on paper towels.


Funeral Potatoes

Hello everyone! This is my first entry, I am thrilled to finally have something worth sharing. I made sure it passed the test of having a group of people eat it without barfing. haha

12 larger potatoes or a 32 oz bag of frozen hash browns
2 Cups Sour Cream
2 Cans Cream of Chicken (I used Cream of Chicken with Herbs, gave t a nice flavor)
1/2 Cup Melted Butter
1/3 Cup Chopped Onions (I sauteed them with a little bit of butter until they were transparent)
1 Cup Grated Cheddar Cheese

2 Cups Crushed Corn Flakes (I put a bit more)
2 Tablespoons Melted Butter

   Peel Potatoes, boil them whole until just barely tender(or add hash browns). Let cool. In a bowl combine sour cream, cream of chicken, melted butter, onions, and cheese. Mix well. Grate potatoes in bowl and fold in until everything is mixed evenly. Put mixture in a 9x13 baking dish. Combine corn flakes and melted butter (I crush corn flakes in a ziploc bag and then I pour the melted butter in with them and shake). Put topping over potatoes. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

*Perfect for large groups. Enjoy!!!


Papaya Pot Roast

Papaya Pot Roast was something I improvised because I had read that papaya has natural meat tenderizers and some website generally recommended trying this technique. It was really tasty, though it could use a bit of improvement. I'll write what I did and recommendations for future improvements and you can see what works best for you.

1 Giant papaya
1 lb meat for roasting (cheapest slightly streaky beef roast for me)
2 carrots peeled and sliced
2 ribs celery sliced
3 or 4 potatoes diced (next time, I think I'd parboil because they took forever to just bake)
1 onion diced (size determined by your preference)
2 cloves garlic minced
3 cardamom pods
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp ground coriander seeds
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg (I didn't use because friend is allergic)

  1. Dice up all your veggies and put them in a bowl with a lid.
  2. Preheat oven to 350F or 175C and set the rack low enough so the uncut papaya has at least two inches from the ceiling.
  3. Dice up your meat into 1" cubes and add that to the bowl.
  4. Add the spices to the bowl and put on the lid. Toss the bowl contents until everything is evenly coated with the spices. Keep bowl covered and set aside. I went with sweet kinds of spices because I figured it was a fruit, but I think savory spices could be good instead (maybe cumin, chili pepper, black pepper, etc.).
  5. Grease a deep baking dish (glass is easiest to clean in my book) to make your cleanup easier. Ensure the papaya will fit lengthwise uncut.
  6. Prep your papaya: Wash the outside and lay it horizontally in the baking dish. Cut an oval out of the long side so that you have a bowl with a wide-mouthed lid. Scrape out the seeds from both parts of your papaya. The seeds are edible and have a peppery taste, so you can crush them and use them for seasoning, but the ones you are cleaning out now are in squishy sacs, so you'd probably have to use seeds from a prior papaya. Set the lid somewhere clean briefly.
  7. Put your bowl papaya back in the baking dish and fill it with the meat and veggies. You can fill it to the rim or a bit above because the lid papaya is somewhat hollow.
  8. Put the lid papaya on top, ensuring it is secure enough so it won't fall off in the oven.
  9. Bake at 350F/175C for several hours. As mentioned, my potatoes refused to cook even after four hours. The meat was definitely cooked before that. I usually just check periodically by cutting sample pieces. The skin of your papaya may look shrivelly and burnt, but the stuffing is still tender and juicy, so don't worry too much about appearances.
  10. When finished, you can either serve as-is with the lid off or scoop everything out into a bowl. The papaya has a pumpkin-like flavor and really matches well with the beef, so do scoop out plenty of papaya if you transfer to a serving bowl.


Tapioca Pudding

This recipe is timed by 5 so you may want to cut it down a bit. It makes a lot!

1 2/3 cups sugar
5 eggs separated
15 Tablespoons tapioca
10 cups milk
5/8 teaspoon salt (do not confuse this with 5 to 8 teaspoons. if you do, it will make a very salty tapioca. haha)
3 1/3 teaspoons vanilla

Separate eggs. Beat whites until foamy, add 10 teaspoons sugar and beat until smooth and stiff. Set aside. Mix milk, remaining sugar, egg yolks, tapioca and salt. let stand 5 min. Cook tapioca mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly until it comes to a full boil and is slightly thickened. (6-8 min) Remove from heat and VERY slowly add hot mixture to egg whites stirring rapidly to blend well. (If you add it too quickly it will cook the egg whites.) Add vanilla and cool.

Simple Fruit Salad

OK, here is my best attempt at a recipe for the fruit salad. I hope I get it right, haha.

8oz cream cheese (if it's room temperature it's easier to mix)
2 cups sour cream
1-2 cups of powdered sugar (it takes quite a bit of powdered sugar, but use whatever you want for the amount of sweetness you want)
Grapes washed and separated
Granny Smith apples cut into bite size pieces
(I like to add strawberries when they are in season too)
Brown sugar

Combine cream cheese and sour cream together until smooth. Add powdered sugar until you achieve desired sweetness. Add fruit and chill. Top with brown sugar before serving or serve brown sugar on the side and let your guests put it on themselves.

If you make this and find that the amounts are off PLEASE let me know. I'm not very good at translating my recipes onto paper. haha.


White Bread

2 Tbs dry active yeast
2 cups warm water
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbs salt
2 eggs beaten
1/4 cup oil
6 1/2 cups flour

dissolve sugar and yeast in warm water and let sit until yeast activates. Add eggs, salt, oil and 3 cups of flour and beat until smooth. Stir in remaining flour to make a soft dough. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 6-8 min.) Place in a greased bowl, turn once to coat the top. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour. Punch down dough. Divide into 2 pieces and form into loaves. Place in greased bread pans and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour. Bake at 375F for 25-30 min or until golden brown. Remove from pans and let cool on racks.

Cornbread Muffins

I got this recipe from the blog My Kitchen Cafe and we tried it last night. They were SO delicious.

Cornbread Muffins
adapted from The New Best Recipe

2 cups (10 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 cup (about 5 ounces) yellow cornmeal (the original recipe calls for fine, stone-ground, but I used the average, everyday Quaker brand and it worked great)
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
¾ cup (5 ¼ ounces) sugar
8 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled slightly
¾ cup sour cream (I used reduced fat sour cream)
½ cup milk

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease a standard 12-cup muffin tin and set aside (when I made them, it made about 16 muffins).

Whisk the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, soda and salt in a medium bowl to combine; set aside. Whisk the eggs in a second medium bowl until well combined and light-colored, about 20 seconds. Add the sugar to the eggs; whisk vigorously until thick and homogenous, about 30 seconds; add the melted butter in 3 additions, whisking to combine after each addition. Add half the sour cream and half the milk and whisk to combine; whisk in the remaining sour cream and milk until combined. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients; mix gently with a rubber spatula until the batter is just combined and evenly moistened. Do not over mix. Using a large spoon sprayed with cooking spray, divide the batter evenly among tins.

Bake until the muffins are light golden brown and a skewer inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 15-18 minutes, rotating the muffin tin from front to back halfway. Cool the muffins in the tin 5 minutes; invert the muffins on a wire rack, stand the muffins upright and cool 5 minutes. Serve warm.