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Recipe: Cranberry Apple Cake


The flavor combination of cranberries and apple in deliciously moist cake... perfect cake to start the weekend...
Last week I posted a Cranberry Buttermilk Cake that is out of this world...  the recipe left me with about 3/4 of a cup of cranberries leftover...  not enough for a second cake... not really enough for any of my cranberry recipes... and I sure didn't want to run out to the store for more.. and besides that would just leave me with more leftover.
So what did I do?.. I simply combined them with a couple of apples I had in the fridge....
TIPS
If you're not big on a tart flavor .... I'd recommend you use  sweet apples for this cake...  I used Granny Smiths but we like the tart flavor.
Unlike the last cake.. I highly recommend you use the two teaspoons of flour to coat the fruit.. don't cut it back.
Try this delicious cake.. it's easy to prepare and in fact you can refrigerate the batter overnight in an air tight container .. just spread it in the pan in the morning and pop it in the oven.






Recipe:  Cranberry Apple Cake
All you need:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups fresh cranberries
2 medium sized apples, peeled, cored and diced
1/2 cup buttermilk
Butter flavor cooking oil spray
All you have to do:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 inch baking dish with butter flavor cooking oil and set it aside.
Add 2 cups flour to a medium bowl. 
Put the cranberries and diced apples into a medium bowl and remove 2 tablespoons flour from your other bowl.  Toss the cranberries and diced apples with the flour to evenly coat them.
To the flour bowl, add the baking powder and salt.  Mix completely with a wire whisk. 
In a standing mixer, cream together the butter, 1 cup sugar and vanilla.
Add the flour mixture and the buttermilk, alternating between the two, to the butter mixture... beating at low speed.  Beat until well combined.
Fold in the fruit.
Spread the batter into the prepared baking dish.
Bake 35-45 minutes until the top is lightly golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Set the timer for 35 minutes and check every 5 minutes until done.  Mine took 40 minutes this time. 
Allow to cool at least 15 minutes before serving.

 

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Recipe: Beef Noodle Skillet


Beef Noodle Skillet is just what it sounds like... a one dish meal of beef and noodles..
I love making skillet meals... one pot..  all the ingredients everyone likes... who could ask for more.... oh.. and they cook in under 30 minutes.
TIPS
I keep certain staples in the house... like powdered gravies... and noodles.. I always have noodles in the house.. they can be used in so many quick meals... I never "have nothing for dinner".
Powdered gravies are not the best.. but in a pinch they are perfect for skillet meals.  I usually have the basic ones on hand as well as Onion Gravy.. it adds flavor to a lot of dishes.. this one included.
If you don't want to use a powdered gravy.. you can substitute a jarred gravy or even better homemade...  when you make homemade gravy.. make a bit more than you need and freeze the leftovers for a meal like this.
I use fresh mushrooms.. you can use canned or jarred.. or if you don't care for them.. leave them out.
This recipe will make 4 servings.  i serve a steamed vegetable like broccoli on the side.






Recipe:  Beef Noodle Skillet
All you need:
1 pound of ground beef
1 medium onion, diced
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 pkg. (8 oz.) fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 package McCormick Onion Gravy mix
1 package McCormick Brown Gravy mix
1/2 package wide egg noodles
All you need to do:
In a large skillet brown the meat for about 4-5 minutes, then sprinkle the garlic powder over the meat.  Add the diced onions and mushrooms continue to cook until the meat is until no longer pink.  Drain any excess fat.
Sprinkle the onion gravy mix over the meat .  Add the 1/2 package of noodles and 2 cups of water.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover. simmer until the noodles are cooked.   Stir occasionally.
In a measuring cup, combine the Brown Gravy mix and 1 cup of water, stir to mix well.   Then add it to the skillet and stir well.  Cook until sauce is thickened .... about 3 minutes. 
Serve immediately.

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Recipe: Hasselback Potatoes


These potatoes not only look good.... they are good!  Named for a restaurant in Sweden... these are surprisingly easy to make.
There are numerous variations... as mine is a variation of the original too.  The original is peeled.. I don't peel mine.. we like the potato skin and that's where all the nutrients and flavor are.. so I keep the skin on.   I didn't sprinkle mine with bread crumbs in the picture... my taste tester asked me not too... either way they are good.
TIPS
The best ....  and I do mean the best tip ever is.... drum roll please.... lay two cooking spoons on either side of the potato... and hold them next to the potato with one hand and cut with the other.  The cooking spoon handles will keep you from cutting too far through the potato.
I sprinkled the potato heavily with garlic salt...  I also put garlic salt into the butter... about a teaspoon... it adds flavor... 
Try these easy potatoes... they're great for a dinner with guests.. little work and they look impressive!







Recipe:  Hasselback Potatoes
All you need:
4 baking potatoes
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Garlic salt *See TIPS
Pepper
Parmesan cheese
Bread crumbs
All you need to do:
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Wash and dry the potatoes.   Make slices about 1/8 to 1/4 inch apart across the potato the short way.  DO NOT GO ALL THE WAY DOWN... you want the slices to stay conected.  See TIPS.... use 2 cooking spoons as a guide to keep you from cutting all the way through.
Lay the potatoes on a baking dish.  Drizzle with half the butter and season with garlic salt and pepper.
Bake for 35 minutes.  Remove from the oven and drizzle with the remaining butter... season with garlic salt and pepper.  Sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese and bread crumbs.
Bake for 20 minutes or until the potato browns.

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Recipe: Chili Cheese Dip


This quick and easy Chili Cheese Dip is perfect for those nights watching the game....  you can use store bought chili or do as I do.. when I make chili I freeze some of the leftovers in a small container..  a perfect size for just this kind of recipe.

TIPS
This recipe can easily be doubled... I use a 6 inch square baking dish for this recipe.. if doubled use a 9 inch square (an 8 inch will work also.. it'll just be a bit thicker).
If you forget to soften the cream cheese head of time..  click here for easy instructions how to soften cream cheese quickly.
You can use store bought chili (with or without meat) or homemade... if your homemade is a bit runny... just use a slotted spoon to spoon it on the cream cheese. 
I use about 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese... this is where an exact amount is not important.. just don't overdo it.. otherwise it will be too gooey to scoop easily with a chip.
Mexican blend, Colby Jack and Monterey Jack also work well with this recipe.
Use both the white and the green parts of the green onion.
This is just delicious... I hope you try it!






Recipe:  Chili Cheese Dip

All you need:
1 pkg. (8 oz.) Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups chili
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 green onion, chopped
1 Roma (plum) tomato, chopped
All you need to do:
Spread the cream cheese in the bottom of a 6 inch baking dish.
Spread the chili over the cream cheese.
Sprinkle the cheese over the top.
Microwave on high for about 3 minutes or until the cheese has melted.
Sprinkle the tomato and chopped green onion over the top.
Serve with chips.

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Recipe: Crockpot BBQ Chicken Sandwiches


This terrific Crockpot BBQ Chicken is perfect for hectic days or for watching the big game.... 2 ingredients... yes... you read that right... TWO ingredients....AND no work involved... repeat no work involved.... okay... you will need to spend about 5 minutes shredding the chicken... if that is how you want to serve it....
Another truly great thing about this recipe... make it for one or two or a whole bunch of people...
I shred it.. and serve it on rolls with coleslaw... a side of oven fries.. and you're done... TADA!
TIPS
You can use any BBQ sauce of your choosing... I make mine.. it's easy.. I keep it in a mason jar in the fridge...  try mine.. make it when you have time and plan this Crockpot BBQ Chicken recipe later in the week...
If you use a commercially made BBQ sauce use a good one.. don't skimp... it will make all the difference in this dish.
Coleslaw can also be store bought or homemade... here is a great Coleslaw recipe.
I made 2 average size boneless chicken breasts and we got 4 generous sandwiches from it.  I used about 3 cups of BBQ sauce. 
The amounts really don't matter... you coat the bottom of the pot and put a generous amount of BBQ sauce on the chicken... after cooking ... you take the chicken out.. shred it with a fork and put it back in the pot... add more BBQ if you need to if the chicken is dry... and cook on low for as little as  1/2 hour or as much as 4 hours... to let the flavor blend into the chicken a bit more.

Sometimes the chicken will really release a lot of water.. especially if your making a large pot.... and it makes the BBQ sauce thin... so I then dump out all or most of it.. and add fresh BBQ sauce.
Have extra BBQ sauce to serve with.. we like to put some on the bun before putting the chicken on it.
Try it.. it's easy AND delicious!







Recipe:  Crockpot BBQ Chicken Sandwiches
All you need:
Boneless skinless chicken breasts *See TIPS
BBQ sauce *See TIPS
All you have to do:
Pour enough BBQ sauce into the bottom of the crockpot to coat it well.
Put the chicken breasts in... pour more BBQ sauce on top of the chicken to cover them.
Cook on high for 3-4 hours and 6-7 hours on low.  Remove the chicken and shred it with a fork... return it back to the pot and mix with the sauce... add more sauce if needed and cook on low for 1/2 - 1 hour.... I've done for as long as 4 hours... it allows the flavors to be absorbed.

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Recipe: Cranberry Buttermilk Cake


 I love baking with buttermilk and I love the tartness of cranberries , a hint of orange.. just perfect for a morning cake to go with your coffee. 

This is slightly adapted from a recipe I have from a Gourmet June 2009 recipe for a Raspberry Buttermilk Cake.

TIPS
I almost tried the recipe without the orange zest because I didn't have oranges in the fridge.. I decided to wait and when I was at the market I picked up an orange...  good decision.. I truly think the orange zest adds the perfect balance to the cranberries... I highly recommend you don't omit it.
The recipe instructions include tossing the cranberries in 2 tablespoons of the flour... 2 tablespoons was a little bit too much... so be prepared to toss a little out.
As for tossing the cranberries in flour.. it is a must... this is a tip to use whenever adding berries and baking chips) to batter..  you coat them in flour to prevent them from sinking while baking...
I always use a wire whisk to mix together dry ingredients like flour, salt and baking powder... it helps to evenly distribute the ingredients.
You can make the dough the night before and store it in an air tight container in the fridge.. the next morning prepare your baking dish and spread the dough in it.  You may have to adjust the baking time, you may need to increase it a bit.
 







Recipe:  Cranberry Buttermilk Cake
All you need:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
The zest from 1 orange
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
1/2 cup buttermilk
Butter flavor cooking oil spray
All you have to do:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 inch baking dish with butter flavor cooking oil and set it aside.
Add 2 cups flour to a medium bowl.  Remove 2 tablespoons flour and put it into a medium bowl.
Put the cranberries into the medium bowl with the 2 tablespoons of flour.  Toss the cranberries with the flour to evenly coat them.
To the flour bowl, add the baking powder and salt.  Mix completely with a wire whisk.  *See TIPS
In a standing mixer, cream together the butter, 1 cup sugar, vanilla and orange zest.
Add the flour mixture and the buttermilk, alternating between the two, to the butter mixture... beating at low speed.  Beat until well combined.
Fold in the cranberries.
Spread the batter into the prepared baking dish.
Bake 35-45 minutes until the top is lightly golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Mine took 45 minutes.. and was perfectly done. 
Baking times do vary with different ovens.  Also if you are baking this from batter stored in the fridge overnight, it may take a bit longer. 

TIP:   Set the timer for 35 minutes and check every 5 minutes until done.
Allow to cool at least 15 minutes before serving.

 

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Recipe: Sausage Egg and Cheese Breakfast Stromboli



Sausage Egg and Cheese Breakfast Stromboli... genius.. pure genius!

The other day I was looking at my pizza dough in the fridge... yes... I do dorky things like that...  and thought...  you know... I could stuff a Stromboli with cooked breakfast stuff... and it just might taste pretty darn good.... and it did!..

Yes siree.... it was reminiscent of my Sausage Egg and Cheese Bagel Sandwich addiction that I developed from the cafeteria at work.  I just could not help myself... I had to have them ... although  I  did limit them to once a week so my butt wouldn't become the size of Alaska (largest land mass state in the US).
What makes this genius... is that ... you can make the stuffing ingredients ahead... and two.. you can use Pillsbury pizza dough... and three... it bakes fast.. to serve the minions you just slice it.. you can breakfast made in a flash.. all while calmly and serenely sipping your morning coffee.... ahhh now I have your attention!
TIPS
The key to success here.. is breaking up the scrambled eggs and lots of cheese... I had egg "lumps" in my first try at this.. and not enough of the other stuff in spots...... and the whole point is to have sausage, egg and cheese in every bite. 
I also used shredded cheese rather than sliced cheese... both work.. sliced cheese is easier..  and with shredded cheese.. you'll think you have a lot of cheese in it.. and after it bakes it won't seem like enough... so if you use shredded cheese... pile it on.
I used cheddar cheese... you can use any cheese you like... American, Monterey Jack, Colby Jack, and Mexican blend all work well also.
I listed the cheese amount as 2+ cups... if you like it cheesy .. use more.. if you like it less cheesy use less or the directed amount.
Instead of bulk sausage.. you can also use sausage patties and cut them up... I would say cut in half.. would work well.  Use your favorite breakfast sausage.
My best suggestion is break up the scrambled eggs into crumbles.... when spreading the ingredients on the dough... put a generous layer of cheese on the dough... then the egg crumbles, then the sausage crumbles or patty chunks... then a generous layer of cheese...
Make the ingredients ahead and assemble  in the morning... then bake... 5 minutes of prep.. and 15-20 minutes later... breakfast!







Recipe:  Sausage Egg and Cheese Breakfast Stromboli
All you need:
1/2 pound breakfast sausage, cooked, drained and crumbled
6 eggs, cooked as scrambled eggs
2 + cups shredded cheddar cheese or thin sliced cheese slices *See Tips
1 can (13.8 oz) Pillsbury Refrigerated Pizza dough
Cooking oil spray
All you have to do:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Lightly spray a non-stick baking sheet.
Unroll the pizza dough and gently press it into a rectangle about 12 X 8 inches.
Sprinkle a generous amount of shredded cheese or lay the sliced cheese down the center making a column about 3 inches wide.
Layer the scrambled eggs on top of the cheese *See Tips
Layer the crumbled sausage over the eggs.
Layer another generous layer of cheese over the sausage.
bring the long sides together and pinch closed.  Pinch ends closed also.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until crust is golden.
Remove from pan and slice to serve.


 

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Three Great Bread Stuffing Recipes.. and Easy Too!

 
Looking for last minute recipes for bread stuffing?  You've come to the right place! 

Here are links to three of my favorite stuffing recipes... all three recipes have easy to follow instructions to help make preparing your holiday meal a snap.









Bread Stuffing - traditional bread stuffing is always welcome at a holiday meal









Sausage and Apple Bread Stuffing - a little Southern spin on the tradition bread stuffing







Apple Cranberry Bread Stuffing - combines the wonderful flavors of apple and cranberry in a traditional bread stuffing...
perfect for turkey, cornish game hens and pork

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Lots of Potato Recipes for Thanksgiving



One Potato Two Potato...Three ..Plenty of potato  recipes to choose from... after all .. what's a turkey dinner without potatoes? 

Whether you've been asked to bring a dish of potatoes or you're hosting the celebration.. potatoes are likely on the menu... and you really can't have too many kinds either... seems just about everybody loves a good spud.

Here are some recipes for you to consider... all with easy to follow instructions...










Creamy MashedPotatoes- what can I possibly say about Creamy Mashed Potatoes..  it just goes with a a turkey dinner!










Easy Duchess Potatoes -  these are a real show stopper and really quite easy to make...







Herb Roasted Potatoes- a nice alternative for those that don't care for mashed potatoes... delicious all by themselves or with gravy.. a perfect bring along dish.



 





Scalloped Potatoes - so fine and fancy.. and another great dish.



Crockpot Au GratinPotatoes - a great dish that cooks itself and the crockpot makes it easy to serve and keep warm.. great for those of you that serve ham also on Thanksgiving.


Mashed Sweet Potatoes - can't forget mashed sweet potatoes... they're just sooo good!


Sweet Potato Mashtini-  a great way to portion out a serving with style... these make a great presentation... don't have enough martini glasses?  Get the plastic ones at the party store...









Sweet Potato Casserole- this classic Southern dish is so good you'll think it's a dessert!



Whew... whatta list!  Look under the "Potato" label for even more great potato recipes.... I hope you find something that strikes your fancy!

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Fabulous Last Minute Thanksgiving Desserts



It's always crunch time in our house the last few days before holidays... I always want to make something different... an alternative to the ordinary pies... and every year I add a few more to my recipe box... these are great additions to the menu!






Here are a few suggestions...



Southern Apple Crumble with Vanilla Ice cream or Whipped Cream - this really easy dessert uses an ingenious short cut ... a fool proof recipe for sure!










Pumpkin Flan - another really easy recipe.. and I promise you it is fool proof... looks really elegant - a wonderful alternative to pumpkin pie.








Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake - a wonderful pumpkin cake recipe that is so delicious you will certainly wow your guests!









The Beaumont Inn’s Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce -

This luscious dessert is always a hit, a true southern treat!








Perfect Peach Cobbler - another simple recipe that's foolproof - don't want to use peaches? - Substitute another favorite fruit! Serve this with vanilla ice cream or homemade Chantilly Cream - It's sure to please!

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Recipe: Sausage and Apple Bread Stuffing


Sausage and Apple Bread Stuffing combines the tartness of an apple and the sweet sausage flavor .. a truly winning combination.
I know Stove Top advertises the thinking that you should have stuffing instead of potatoes... well as a potato lover.. sacrilege!   BUT... that doesn't mean I don't love a good stuffing... so why not make both...  you do on the holidays... so why not other times?  ... and leftovers... well... they speak for themselves.. many a time I caught my son with spoon in hand raiding the fridge...
TIPS
You can use any kind of sausage you want..  I use a basic breakfast sausage that comes in  a tube... you can usually find in by the bacon in the grocery store.
This recipe is not one to use with Italian sausage...  which makes a good sausage stuffing too.. just not this one.... the seasoning would be different and it would be sans the apple... so if you want an Italian sausage stuffing this recipe is not for you.
There are many sausage flavors though, that you could try...  I saw a chicken sausage seasoned with sage.. that might work quite nicely.
I use dried seasoned bread cubes you can buy that are specifically for making stuffing.. you can use fresh bread also... I'd recommend drying it out a bit before making the stuffing... unless you prefer a softer stuffing.  Remember to add seasoning.
I used chicken broth to moisten the stuffing.. you can also replace some of the chicken broth with apple juice.. to strengthen the apple flavor in this.
These directions are for a casserole... if you want to actually stuff your turkey.. follow stuffing instructions that usually come with the turkey.
Try this really delicious stuffing... it's perfect with turkey or even chicken.







Recipe:  Sausage and Apple Bread Stuffing
All you need:

4 cups of seasoned dried bread cubes (homemade or store bought)

1/2 pound breakfast sausage, cooked, drained and crumbled (See TIPS)

1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and chopped

4 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup chopped onion

2 celery ribs, chopped

1 1/2 cups chicken broth

All you have to do:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Spray a 9 inch square baking dish or equivalent with butter flavor cooking oil spray.

In a large skillet melt the butter over medium high heat. Add the onions and celery and cook about 5 minutes... make sure the onions do not brown.. turn the heat down if necessary.

In a large bowl.. combine all the ingredients until well mixed. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish and bake uncovered for 30 minutes or until the top begins to brown.

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Recipe: Bacon and Cheddar Breakfast Muffins


These delicious Bacon and Cheddar Breakfast Muffins are quick to put together and pop into the oven....  nothing says a weekend breakfast like warm muffins just out of the oven.
They will also make a great addition to a brunch buffet.
TIPS
These muffins can be made lower fat by using lower fat cottage cheese and substituting chopped Canadian bacon or ham for the bacon.  Turkey bacon is also an option.   You can also use egg substitute instead of whole eggs... just use the equivalent amount to the 2 eggs (see the carton for equivalencies)
Make the bacon in the oven.. it's so easy .. and clean up is a snap.  Click here for the how to instructions.
I highly recommend you use sharp cheddar cheese...  mild cheddar cheese doesn't seem to flavor the muffins much.
Use both the green and the white parts of the green onion.
I got 11 regular sized muffins from this recipe.
They are best served warm.






Recipe:  Bacon and Cheddar Breakfast Muffins
All you need:
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/4 cup Fat Free milk
1/3 cup oil
3/4 cup Daisy Brand cottage cheese
3-4 strips bacon, cooked, drained and chopped
1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
2 large green onions, chopped
Cooking oil spray (butter flavor preferred)
All you have to do:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Spray a regular size muffin tin with the cooking oil or line the muffin wells with paper liners and set it aside.
In a large bowl, add the flour, baking powder and salt.  Use a wire whisk to mix so the baking powder is evenly distributed.  Add the shredded cheese, bacon and green onion and  toss to evenly distribute.
In another large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and oil.  Add the cottage cheese and stir.
Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until moistened.
The batter will be very thick.  I used an ice cream scoop to fill the muffin tin.  The muffin wells should be about 2/3 full.
Bake 20 minutes or until they are golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Note.. mine were not very golden in color.... don't over bake them.. or they will be dry.
Serve warm.

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Choosing a Cooking Method for Turkey


Okay ...  you've decided on the size and type of turkey you want to make.. now the next question is how do you want to cook it.... you have options...

 I hope this information helps you decide what cooking method is best for you.







There are a number of ways to cook your turkey….

• Roasting
• Grilling
• Rotisserie
• Deep Frying
• Brining

Roasting is the most popular way to cook the turkey… it utilizes an oven … so no special equipment is needed…. and you can stuff the turkey….but depending on the part of the country you’re in, some of these other methods are popular too.

Grilling sounds great provided you have the Charcoal Grill or Gas Grill to accomadate that size piece of meat…. and you’re not waste deep in snow (ode to Colorado).

Rotisserie is the method of cooking used when you cook and brown your turkey evely as it rotates over the heat source. This method works best with turkeys that are 12 pounds or less. You don’t stuff the turkey… you cook the stuffing separately in a casserole dish in the oven. You also need a rotisserie oven.

Deep frying turkey is very popular here in the south, a lot of people deep fry their turkeys in large deep fryers…. this time of year you see lots of displays in grocery stores with large containers of peanut oil …. (Imma Yankee… and well… we roast our turkeys…. )… this method requires a large deep fryer …either an outdoor propane fryer or an indoor electric fryer. You can’t stuff the turkey with this method… you need to cook it separately in the oven. It is recommended that you fry turkeys that are 14 pounds or less. … turkeys over 15 pounds… you need to separate the legs and thighs and fry them separately.

Brining is taking a raw turkey and soaking it in salted water for a number of hours while refrigerated to help it retain moisture during the cooking process. For this you need a fresh, non-basted turkey. Brining is ineffective on frozen turkeys and may interfere with the flavor of basted or kosher turkeys... it is also important to take the wrapper off and take out the insides (giblets etc) (you'd be surprised how many people forget to do that!).

So when choosing a cooking method… you need to consider:

• Special equipment you may need
• The limitations of the size of the turkey
• Whether or not you want to stuff the turkey
• Personal taste and preference

You can go to the Butterball website to get step by step instructions for cooking turkeys for each of these methods.

Roasting
Grilling
Rotisserie
Deep Frying
Brining

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Recipe: Roasted Turkey Gravy


I love to make my Roasted Turkey Gravy a day ahead of a holiday meal... it's one more thing out of the way.. it just reduces stress in the kitchen when preparing the final details of a meal.  I'm not big on making the gravy from giblets... and a few years ago came on a recipe that uses smoked turkey wings... we loved it and it now is a staple in our house when serving roast turkey.
This gravy recipe is also very doable anytime.. not just for holidays... even when making a dinner of hot turkey sandwiches... It's a perfect recipe when you don't have giblets available and want to make a gravy and not use one of those jarred or powdered gravies.
This recipe is very, very easy.... I promise you!  The recipe is slightly altered from Tyler Florence's recipe at the Food Network. 
His gravy is far too thin for our liking so I make mine thicker.  The method I use is a bit different also..  he thickens his gravy by adding the flour in with the vegetables... I thicken it traditionally by first making a roux of butter and flour and slowly adding hot liquid ...  it makes for a smooth gravy. The butter ... in my opinion.. also adds to the overall flavor of the gravy.
He roasts his vegetables with the smoked turkey wing... which I do also... he only uses 1 large or 2 small wings... I usually use about 3 good sized wings... I found the flavor is better with more. 
He uses far more oil than I do... I found it isn't necessary.
And finally... he removes the wings from the pot after roasting and simmers the broth with the vegetables only... I leave one wing in while simmering.. I know it adds a bit more of grease.. but .. again.. I found the flavor a bit bland when I followed his recipe completely.
TIPS
The original recipe uses fresh herbs... which honestly... is the way to go ... especially for a holiday meal... I do use dried herbs in its place if I have to.. and the gravy comes out fine.  Start with a teaspoon of thyme and 1 teaspoon of sage.. and add more to your taste.
If you do use dried herbs.... add them to the pot right after you add the vegetables... then add the turkey wings... I made the mistake once of adding them after the turkey wings... and not much got on the vegetables... you want the flavor of the herbs infused into the vegetables... since you will be removing most of the wings after you're done roasting them...
If you do think too much of the dried herbs are taken out when you take out the wings.. don't worry.. you can always add more.
Notice a salt quantity isn't listed... you really don't need much.. the smoked wings will add salt to your gravy..  do a taste test at the very end and adjust to your tastes.
When you cut the vegetables... it's a really rough chop... a 5 minute prep time is not an exaggeration.  When you cut your garlic... I just remove a few of the those loose paper thin layers around the garlic. 

Update:  I recently found turkey stock in the grocery store... what a great find... it was so difficult to find in previous years... so if you can find it.. (be warned .. it is more expensive than chicken stock)... but if you want to...by all means... use it!
Try this delicious recipe... it is so easy!







Recipe:  Roasted Turkey Gravy
All you need:
About 2-3 tablespoons olive oil (enough to coat the bottom of the pot)
3 good sized smoked turkey wings
1 large onion, peeled and quartered
2 carrots, chopped
1 large rib celery, chopped
1 head garlic, split through the equator
4 stems fresh sage
4 sprigs fresh thyme
6 parsley stems
6 cups chicken or turkey stock
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup flour
Salt and pepper to taste
All you need to do:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium high heat.  Add the vegetables and herbs.. then the turkey wings.  Cook for about 5 minutes.
Place the pot in the preheated oven and roast for 30 minutes.
Remove the pot from the oven and place on the stove.  Remove two turkey wings, leaving one.  Add the stock to the pot and bring it to a simmer.  Simmer for about 45 minutes or until it is reduced by 1/4.  Strain the gravy and return it to the pot.
In a small saucepan, melt the butter and then add the flour.  Stir until well mixed and cook over medium heat for about 3 minutes to cook off the flour taste. 
Slowly add some of the hot liquid from the cooked chicken stock... whisking vigorously to ensure it remains smooth.  Keep adding more stock until you have about 2 to 3 cups of very thick gravy. 
Add it to the remaining chicken stock and whisk to make sure it is smooth and no lumps.
Add salt and pepper and adjust seasonings to taste.

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Mexican Omelet

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