Really Good Holiday Turkey

I am not an expert on turkey roasting, but I make a pretty darn good, turkey. You can alter ingredients as you like but this recipe is my 2019 favorite.

Dry Brine : for a roughly 15 lb bird

  • 1 tsp to 1 TBLS of paprika. ( Spanish, smoked or sweet. Your choice )
  • 1 TBLS Onion Powder
  • 1 TBLS Garlic Powder
  • Fresh Ground Black Pepper
  • Sugar ( Using a natural unbleached sugar is best )
  • Salt ( I buy a pink mineral salt in bulk, but Kosher or any nice quality salt will work great )

Combine ingredients and rub all over turkey. Front, back and inside. Let sit in refrigerator for 24 hours. Cook to general specifications. Usually 15 to 20 minutes per pound at 325deg.

Tip: before roasting the bird, bring just to room temp, then put ice packs on breast and let sit until breast is noticeably cool. After removing ice packs, put in preheated oven. Cooling the breast will slow the cook time and give your bird a tender and juicy breast.

I also like to stuff my turkey with apples and fresh herbs. Gives a delicious flavor and keeps moisture up.

Really good Pumpkin Cake Bars.

Making up and/or recreating a recipe is one of my favorite things to do. Now, there are recipes that should never be messed with but many should be and like this one, are so much better for it.

Really Good Pumpkin Cake Bars. With or without Frosting.

Cake Bars

2 Cups of Sugar. ( a little less is good, no need to totally fill each cup ) I use organic Sugar. You can find it pretty darn affordable these days. Costco is a great source.

1/4 cup buttermilk. I LOVE Grace Harbor Buttermilk. It is incredible! Also makes the most unbelievable buttermilk pancakes. http://stores.graceharborfarms.com/buttermilk/

1/2 cup oil. Original recipe calls for applesauce, and it’s good too.

3 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla. PLEASE use real vanilla. Four Fold Mexican is my absolute favorite bus as long as you buy the real deal, it will be good.

1 tsp or a little less of salt. ( I only use Sea or Kosher in all of my cooking ) Much better flavor.

2 cups of organic pumpkin. My favorite go to is Farmer’s Market Organic Pumpkin ( 150z. )

2 cups of flour

1 tsp of baking soda

1 tsp baking powder ( aluminum free )

2 tsp of cinnamon

1/4 to 1/2 tsp of ground ginger

1 TBL or so of freshly grated orange zest is nice too. Add if the feeling moves you.

Preheat oven to 350. Mix ingredients in order listed. I like to beat the eggs and vanilla together first.

Mix well enough to get most lumps out. Spread in a buttered, 13 x 9.5″ pan or similar size. Bake for about 20-25 minutes. Each oven varies and my batch too about 25 minutes.

Let cool before frosting. Or eat while warm because it’s super lovely and wonderful warm.

Cream Cheese Frosting and CC Frosting variations. 

Cream Cheese. About 8oz. but I used less because my kid likes them as is. Kept in  separate bowl and added frosting as I went. I really like organic cream cheese, it has a richer flavor but the tried and true brand is yummy too.

A bit of vanilla.

Enough powdered sugar to sweeten it up a bit. I like it less sweet.

A bit of milk or cream to help soften it up.

Mix until smooth and frosting like.

Variation: Add Whiskey. Cream cheese, whiskey frosting is really good.

Add orange or lemon zest.

  • No photo. My phone camera doesn’t do them justice but if you crave a pic just Google Pumpkin Bars, there a gazillion delicious looking photos.

Enjoy!

Donna Ferrato’s Photography Capturing Domestic Violence

Photography is a passion of mine. I am not an expert by any means but I love taking photos of my dogs, close-ups of flowers and objects, embracing the small parts of big things. But what drives me is the idea of capturing life. Struggles, happiness, pain and events that move us. That makes us cry, laugh, angry, inspired. After watching this introduction to the documentary film about Donna Ferrato capturing domestic violence, this solidifies my need to take photographs. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/donna-ferrato-photos_us_57508158e4b0eb20fa0d31fd?

Domestic violence and any form of abuse seems to still be tucked into the shadows of our society. It’s important that it’s dragged out into light over and over again. A huge issue that I could write a book about but I want to share this intro of the documentary.

It’s difficult for me to explain why photography and capturing certain genres is a need. I think there are many answers. So, stay tuned for more.

Teach love, patience, kindness, honor, tenderness.

Have the crud? Simple recipe that helped my gut while taking antibiotics.

I’m on my third day of intensive antibiotics and it has wreaked havoc on my stomach. Unfortunately being this sick I have to deal with the repercussions of the medicine. This morning I tried a little breakfast that so far, has worked magic!

Plain yogurt. You must buy the kind with live cultures. These live cultures or probiotics, help repair and improve your gut health.  There are several good brands, I buy Nancy’s. It’s good and really easy to find at most stores I shop at. http://www.nancysyogurt.com OR, if you are more ambitious in this regard, make your own.

Organic, quick oats. Not cooked.

Black strap, unsulphured molasses. My favorite is Brer Rabbit, http://www.brerrabbit.com/products/brer-rabbit-blackstrap-molasses/ My other favorite is Grandma’s Molasses. Why unsulphured? There is a good amount of information out there if you search the benefits of it and why unsulphured is better for you. http://www.grandmasmolasses.com/products/grandmas-original-molasses/ 

Homemade brown sugar. Why homemade? SOOOO much better, and better for you! I do make my own and the recipe is here on my blog. 

Mix all together, choose your own amounts to taste. I rarely if ever measure things like this, so mix to your liking and enjoy!

So far, my belly has been happy all day. YAY! images-2

Eat well and feel better!

 

More food stuffs I need to share

With the chili I made tonight, ( See previous post ” I love secrets” ) homemade cornbread. Making it with buttermilk really is the only way to go. I use whole milk, full cream buttermilk from Grace Harbor Farms. It has changed my life. Speaking of life changing moments, browned butter on popcorn. For me this happened by accident. Kinda forgot about the butter in the hot pan.

( I digress here)

Still getting used to cooking with a gas stove. ( which is THE ONLY WAY TO COOK ) Oh, I do love a gas stove/oven. Food begs you to cook this way.

So, I threw away the air popper because it just goes against the true nature of really good popcorn. Big stock pot and a mixture of organic vegetable oil and olive oil. I usually don’t add butter because popping corn in oil makes it well, perfect. Add salt and sometimes Old Bay. Yum! BUT, browned butter is where it’s at! A good dollop in a cast iron skillet. Medium heat. When it’s good and melted shake the skillet so the butter swirls up the sides of the hot skillet. Keep at it until the butter turns a light golden brown. Pour over popped corn, add more salt if you are a salt fiend such as myself. Put on a good movie. Scary or romance actually goes best with popcorn. Enjoy! 

Good Eats

photo-2http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1017523-zucchini-parmesan

Check out this link for the recipe. A friend of mine made this dish and it is delicious! I varied it a bit. I don’t have access to over 2 pounds of perfectly ripe garden tomatoes so I used one 28oz. can of fire roasted, crushed tomatoes and one of whole peeled. Way less time consuming!  I did use garden fresh zucchini that were given to me. I also tossed in some of my home dried oregano. 

Enjoy!

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