These Smoked Gouda & Turkey Artichoke Quesadillas come together quickly using leftover turkey, two types of cheese, red peppers and artichokes! They are a delicious and easy appetizer or light dinner!
Do you ever have those moments when you just think your work “isn’t good enough”? When you think everyone else is having “it click” for them?
I am guilty of being overly hard on my work and myself. Often I am adding more stress to my life when it is simply not needed nor justified. I am responsible for making my to do list far too long when there not enough time in the day. I love to think I can handle it all, when in reality, it is far from that.
Blogging is by far the hardest, yet most rewarding career I have ever embarked on. I became my own boss and started to chase a dream of sharing my love of creativity and food with the world. Yet, most days, my stomach is in knots because I continually think that ‘I can do better’. Between my recipes not being imaginative enough, my photography not comparing to others and to seeing my ‘behind the scenes’ as a total mess. When in all reality, we are comparing our behind the scenes, to others showpieces, their perfectly edited reel.
Before I started this blog, I had never picked up a DSLR camera. Never really spent time making my food look photo worthy, certainly didn’t know one thing about editing photos and coding a website was a completely different language. The last one, pretty much still is.
Lately, I have been overly stressed that I am not living up to my expectations, when in all reality, those expectations are unrealistic. I am a rookie trying to play in the big leagues. I have no formal training (besides culinary school) with photography or how to run a website. I get overly frustrated far too easily and worry that my work is just not up to par.
My husband reminds me every time I fly off the handle and start crying that my photos stink, that I am not going to be perfect today and definitely not tomorrow, but I am learning. I am giving it my heart that that is what matters. I have come a long, long way from my first post given my circumstances of working and planning a wedding full time for the first year of blogging. Now that I have dedicated time, I am able to improve yet I still get lost in the social media vortex and forget to spend time on myself, and trying to improve my food styling, my photography, editing capabilities and my writing. I forget that if I just spend time improving the core of this blog, that the rest will come easier.
Being your own boss is a double edge sword. It has its wonderful moments when I can call the shots on which days I take as vacation but I also am my hardest critic. And for someone that attempts to ‘be it all’, it can become daunting.
So what does this all have to do with quesadilla’s? Well, beyond the fact that these are top notch delicious, this is a prime example of being my own critic. I recently finally upgraded my camera lens to a 50 mm 1.8 and I am currently getting familiar with it. Which means, there are going to be some less than perfect photos. Hence these. I have realized that an aperture of 1.8 is wayyyyyy to low, resulting in too much bokeh, or blur. And I am still learning my way around Photoshop and Lightroom to make my photos look they way I have envisioned them.
After a small temper tantrum and a few venting sessions, I am realizing that my work isn’t going to be perfect, no matter hard I try. With every new adventure there is a learning curve.
But I can tell you, even though these photos are not my favorite, I assure you, this quesadilla will not disappoint. After falling in love with Panera’s Turkey and Artichoke Panini, I know what you need to do with all the leftover turkey that we will all have after Thanksgiving next week. It comes together in a flash and is perfect for an appetizer during the big football game, or a light dinner paired with a side salad. With two times the gooey cheese, cream cheese and smoked gouda, a bit of salty artichokes and crisp red pepper, they most definitely make your mouth water.
With every new hobby, there is a learning curve and despite the perfectionist in me, I am embracing my imperfections as that means I am still trying in this crazy thing we call life. But one thing I can get behind and be overly excited about, are these quesadillas.
So the day after thanksgiving, turn on some football and relax with a meal that is sure to please!
- ½ tbsp olive oil
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 2 heaping cups baby spinach
- ½ cup diced artichoke hearts
- 1½ cups leftover diced turkey
- 3 oz low fat cream cheese, cubed
- ¾ tsp salt
- ¾ tsp pepper
- 4 - 10 in flour tortillas
- 1 tbsp butter
- ¼ cup smoked gouda
- In a large sauté pan over medium heat, add the olive oil. Swirl around to heat then add the diced red pepper. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until softened.
- Add the spinach and stir around to cook down. Once it starts to wilt, add the artichokes, turkey, cream cheese, salt and pepper. Mix well then remove from heat and add to a bowl. Set to the side and keep warm by placing a towel over it or place in oven.
- Wipe out the sauté pan with a paper towel and heat over medium heat. Add half the butter and melt. Once melted, add one of the tortillas. Layer with 2 tbsp gouda, and a heaping ½ cup of the turkey mixture, 2 tbsp more gouda and another tortilla. Press together. By the time you are done layering, the bottom will start to crisp up. Check to see if the tortilla is golden brown. If it is, then it's time to flip. Press together with a spatula or your hand, carefully flip then cook for 4-5 minutes to allow the other side to crisp and the cheese to completely melt. Remove from the heat and to a large cutting board. Cut into 4 triangles and serve immediately.
Hungry for more quick meals?
If you make this recipe, make sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #HOUSEWIFEINTRAININGFILES. I’d love to see what you are cooking up in your kitchen!