Monday, November 30, 2009

pumpkin chocolate chip muffins

I got this recipe from my friend Rachele. So yummy! Spice cake mix, 1 can of pumpkin and (mini) chocolate chips. I added 2 eggs to mine, because the batter was to thick. They were so yummy. Next time I will make regular size muffins instead of mini muffins.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Leftover turkey?

Make turkey and dumplings!
Chop up some carrots, celery, and onions. (I had corn left over, so I added that too.) Toss in a pan with a little olive oil just until soft. Add shredded turkey. Then, add some poultry seasoning and if you have any leftover gravy, add that too. Add broth and cook until boiling. Once boiling, add dumplings to cook for about 20 min. I use bisquick to make my dumplings and the recipe is on the box. This is a favorite in my house.

You can also make this yummy soup with those rotisserie chickens you can get at the grocery store. Fast and easy, plus it's perfect comfort food as the weather gets cooler. Warms you right up.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Best Turkey Ever (part 1)

The best turkey ever starts the day before. I make a brine for the turkey to soak in. I use the ingredients above plus 2 or 3 gallons of water to make the brine. Mixing until the salt and brown sugar are dissolved. I also like to squeeze the juice out of the orange pieces to add more flavor.
I don't have a bowl large enough to hold a turkey, so I bought a large plastic bin with a lid. It's the perfect size and still fits easily into my fridge.

Slowly, add the turkey to the brine.

Pushing it down, until the brine covers the bird completely.

Stick in the refrigerator until bake time. I like to brine mine for about 24 hours.
Scroll down to find out how to bake the best turkey ever. (In my opinion, of course)

Best Turkey Ever! (part 2)

The next day, I drained the brine from the turkey.

Discarding all fruit and herbs. I then rinsed off the bird.

After rinsing the turkey, I stuffed it with fresh rosemary, thyme, sage...

apples, oranges, and onions...

The next thing I did is make a butter compote with butter and fresh (or dried) herbs. Once the butter and herbs were mixed together, I shoved it under the skin of the bird, on top of the breasts. Sorry, no picture of this.. Butter and camera do not get along very well.

Then, I added cut up apples, oranges, celery, onions and carrots to the bottom of the roaster.

I prefer to use my Rival roaster oven to my oven. It keeps all the heat right next to the bird and it keeps all the moisture in. No need for basting, and it is still super moist and fall off the bone tender.

This is what it looks like after cooking for four hours. It is so moist it is falling off the bones. I am telling you, this turkey is to die for! It is so good, I hardly ever have leftovers.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Yummy gifts

This past weekend, I went on a little scrapbooking retreat with a few girl friends. We had a blast! It was a such treat to get away from real life for two nights. I am very grateful I have such good friends.
Our wonderful hostess, Mary, made us feel very welcome in her home. She set us up a great work space and had some really fun scrapbooking door prizes. But, what I really want to talk about is the food! She made an amazing chicken dinner and a really tasty chicken and rice soup. Even her daughter, Holly, made us some homemade nachos one night. All of these meals were really good, but one of my favorite things was this adorable gift basket we received, full of yummy, take home treats. Each item is homemade and gift wrapped. Dill dip, cider simmer, hot chocolate, flavored coffees, and even potato soup. Mary was so sweet, she even made mini coffee recipe books. She really went above and beyond what we ever could have imagined. Thank you, Mary!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

So close to the real thing

Hubby brought this home from the store the other day. I

had been doing pretty well in avoiding it. But tonight, I just had to give it a taste...Oh My!! It is so close to real pumpkin pie, it's crazy!! You can smell the pumpkin pie spice when you open the lid up. Plus, it has little swirls of whipped cream and chunks of graham cracker crust through out. I was able to stop at a small bowl, but just barely. If you love pumpkin pie, then you have to give this a try.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Pumpkin Carving

Our Halloween pumpkins. I loved carving pumpkins this year. For one, I got to carve a white pumpkin. I've never had a white one before. I like it. Plus, Jason bought a pumpkin dremel tool. It made carving the pumpkin a breeze. I don't know how I ever carved a pumpkin with out it.