Here on the frontier, There are falling leaves, Although my neighbors are all barbarions…And you? You are a thousand miles away. There are always two cups on my table.

Archive for July, 2010

The Best Turkey Recipe: Brine it!

If you haven’t brined a turkey before you are in for a surprise.
First of all, it’s easy, everything I do is easy so no fear there!
It makes turkey, which is sometimes a difficult bird to cook well, come out amazingly flavorful and juicy even the usually dried out breast.

You are going to love this!

I promise!

In a pot (large enough to hold your turkey submerged) put:

1 – gallon vegetable stock

1 – cup kosher salt

1 – cup brown sugar

2 – cups maple syrup

3 – tablespoons crushed rosemary

2 – tablespoons thyme

2 – tablespoons black peppercorns

Heat his mixture so solids mix and sugar dissolves.

Let cool to room temperature.

Put defrosted turkey into brine adding enough cold water so that the brine covers the

turkey.

You may need to weigh the turkey down with something to keep it submerged.

Put the pot into your refridgerator for 24-72 hours.

When you are ready to cook your turkey, discard the brine.

Rinse off the turkey.

Make a dry rub of:

4 – teaspoons kosher salt

4 – teaspoons brown sugar

2 – teaspoons black pepper

2 – teaspoons garlic powder

2 – teaspoons onion powder

4 – teaspoons paprika

Rub this all over the inside cavity and outside of the turkey.

Put a quartered onion and a sliced apple into the cavity of the turkey and cover loosely

with foil.

You are ready to cook!

Remember a brined turkey cooks faster then a regular one.

I always baked at a low heat for longer periods of time.

My turkey cooked at 250 F for 6 hours.

Because I have an open floor plan, meaning my kitchen opens directly into our living

areas, I don’t like to run a hot oven during the day.

So I slow cook during the night.

Thus my blogging at 6 a.m. and just took my turkey out of the oven.

But you can cook your turkey at 300-325 F for 20 minutes a pound.

You will never eat another turkey again without brining it first!

This is gmom and Cujo,
wishing all the WP bloggers out there
a happy and safe weekend.

Hmmmmmmm!!!! Turkey!!!!!!!!!!!

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The Best Macaroni and Cheese (dinner is in 20 minutes)

Hi WP kids.

Get ready cause this one is super easy even if you don’t know your way around a kitchen.

Forget the neon orange boxed version of macaroni and cheese.

This is the real deal!

Ingredients:

1 – 1 pound box macaroni or ziti

1 – 8 ounce package of shredded pizza cheese, ( mild cheddar is fine or several slices American cheese) cut into small pieces

2 – cups of milk

4 – ounces of butter

3 – tablespoons flour

2 – teaspoons kosher salt

1 – teaspoon black pepper

1/4 – cup bread crumbs (seasoned)

Directions:

Put a pot of water up to boil.

When it is boiling stir in your macaroni.

Keep stirring for a minute so it doesn’t stick to the bottom.

While macaroni is cooking.

Take a 2 quart saucepan and warm the butter in it until it is melted being careful not to burn it.

When the butter is melted stir in the flour.

Mix the butter and flour until it is smooth.

This is your roux.

Now slowly add in the milk, continously stirring.

At first the roux will be very thick but as you add in more milk it will thin out.

It is important to keep stirring!

When you have finished adding in the milk pour in the shredded cheese.

Keep this on a very low heat so that the cheese will melt.

Add in the salt and pepper.

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By now your macaroni or ziti is ready.

Strain the water out and rinse the macaroni.

Drain it and put it into a baking pan.

Pour the cheese sauce over the macaroni.

Srinkle the top with the seasoned bread crumbs.

Bake for 10 minute at 450F.

If your crew can’t wait to eat, you can skip the bread crumbs and baking part and serve the macaroni straight from the pan.

Enjoy friends!

As always this is gmom and Cujo,

Peace out.

Plank Cooking – Salmon With Mango is Outrageous!

Plank cooking elevates simple dishes from the simply delicious to the sublime.

It is by definition cooking your food on a cedar plank.

You can buy the plank at a high end store like Williams Sonoma (4 planks for under $20) or from a good lumbar store and having them cut “untreated” cedar wood into pieces that will fit on the grate of your grill or your oven.

My son, The Chef, feels that you can attain similar results on the grill by tossing a few cedar wood chips into your coals while cooking.

I disagree.

I have found that apple or cedar burning in the coals will impart a woody flavor to meat or fish whereas plank cooking is much more subtle.

The cooking method is very simple.

You soak the plank in water for 2 hours or over nite.

Season your fish, meat, poultry or vegetables and lay them on the plank.

Put the plank on your grill or in your oven and cook as you normally would.

In the grill the plank will blacken on the edges and you will need to discard it after 1-2 uses.

Using it in the oven affords it a longer life.

I love using the plank with this salmon recipe.

It was inspired by a wordpress blog that has since dissapeared.

2 gals who posted recipes with music?

I have changed the recipe up quite a bit but want to give them some cred.

Salmon/Mango on the plank:

1 – Cedar Plank

1 – Salmon Filet 2-4 pounds

1 – mango peeled and cut into thin slices

1 – thinly sliced orange

1/4 – cup butter

1/4 – cup honey

1/8 – cup brown sugar

2 – tablespoons lemon juice

2 – teaspoons ginger

2 – teaspoons siracha or chili paste

DIRECTIONS:

Put the plank into a baking pan.

Lay orange slices all over the cedar plank.

Lay the Salmon on the orange slices.

Put this aside.

IN A SMALL SAUCE PAN:

Warm up the butter, honey, brown sugar and spices until well mixed.

Spoon half of mixture over the salmon.

Layer the mango all over the salmon.

Spoon the rest of the sugar/spice mixture over the salmon.

Bake on 350 F for 10 minutes per inch of fish or until thickest part of fish flakes easily.

Turn oven up to broil for last 2-4 minutes to brown edges and carmelize mangos.

Enjoy this yummy dish.

The Bunnies Beside Us (Ruby and Sable)

Ruby and Sable are 2 rabbits who seemingly happily reside in a large ground level hutch in our backyard.

They are lionhead dwarf rabbits.

I picked both of them up the day they were to be euthenized.

Ruby was the “runt” of the litter, small and blind.

She waves her head side to side continually, grazing the air.

But she does fine, locates the water and food and was an enthusiastic participant in digging the family burrow.

Sable is a big girl.

Shivery and wide eyed.

Both sisters cuddle together under their house in their hutch

They work on their underground burrow together.

I hope they are happy here.

My human kids ask.

What is the point of having rabbits that won’t come to you?

That you can’t play with?

That are so not domesticated.

I don’t know.

I saw the sign, “free rabbits”.

I just stopped so Hoo could maybe pet a bunny.

When the owner told me she was moving the next day, and was euthenizing whomever was left…I didn’t want them to be killed for no reason other then no one wanted to offer them a home.

I wanted to do something for no reason other then it was right and not because I got something back.

I wanted to try to get it right for once.

I wanted to try.

The Best Roast Chicken Ever, I am not Kidding!

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This chicken is so good it is worth the obscenely long bake time.
It is sticky and juicy and everyone will be sucking their fingers for every last drop of spicy goodness.

I always,(you know this is coming, don’t say you didn’t) double the recipe for my family and I suggest you do the same.

Cold chicken makes great salads for the next night’s dinner.

You can also make chicken wraps with honey mustard, romaine lettuce, tomato and red onion slices on whole wheat wraps.

You will need the cellophane oven bags but they are strictly optional.
I use them because frankly kids, I am lazy, and the less mess I have to clean up the happier I am.

You know the saying, “If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.”

So turn up the music, do a little dancin’ around the kitchen and make this chicken with a side of corn on the cob and green beans.

You will need:

1 – large (Reynold’s) oven bag

2 – 2-4 pound chickens

2 – oranges (any kind)

6 – teaspoons kosher salt

4 – teaspoons paprika

2 – teaspoons onion powder

2 – teaspoons garlic powder

2 – teaspoons thyme

1 – teaspoon black pepper

2 – tablespoons brown sugar

DIRECTIONS:

Mix spices and brown sugar in a small bowl.

Cut the oranges into quarters.

Rinse and pat dry chickens.

Rub spice mixture inside cavity of chickens and outside.

Stuff each chicken with 4 pieces of the quartered oranges.

Put chickens into oven bag and set into roasting pan.

Put the pan into your fridge and allow to marinade for up to 24 hours.

Cook chicken at 250 F, That is right!

250 F for 4-5 hours.

You can check if chicken is done by inserting a meat thermometer,it should reach 180 F.

Another way is to see if the leg moves easily,kind of like you could pull the bone right out. That way takes a bit of practice.

A third way is to cut into a meaty part of the chicken, if the juices run clear it is done.

Enjoy your chicken.

Happy week ya’ll.

As always Cujo says hi,

I remain,

gmom

A Poem For Bear (Coldplay: Fix You)

Sadness clings  like a shadow,
Reaching for an endless hug,
that won’t be denied.

Restless, weary,
no understanding,
all children are sad.

Aren’t they?

Looking into a red fire truck,
for answers,
in a big world.
Where nothing makes sense.

Where is man?
Who this?
Why Ma cry?

Come to me,
Little-Bear,

Rock with me,
In the quiet of this corner,
I will hold this space for you,

I can be your familiar,
warm scent and sound,
I can be your safe space,

A constant presence,
in a chaotic crib,
I will quiet the storm around you,

and whisper peace into your ear.

I will stay with you,

For however long it takes.

Watermelon Mango Lime Bars From A Teenage Gourmet

I am eating it as I type early Friday morning.

One of the best desserts ever.

The trick to our table arrangments is simplicity. Edit is the word!

link to teenage gourmet watermelon lime bars.

“A Teenage Gourmet” created this awesome recipe so all the credit goes to that young genius. Be sure to visit her blog. It’s young people like her that give me hope for America. We will eat well in the future.
WE WILL!!!!

The only change I made in the recipe was to put a layer of pureed mango on the watermelon layer and that was because a friend came by with a case of ripe mangoes to share. So there you go.

The dessert is cool and refreshing and looks gorgeous.
The textures contrast nicely.
I like to let it sit briefly and not serve it right away, to let the watermelon slush a bit.
I served it straight away to my 20 month old granddaughter yesterday and when she tried to dig in with her spoon her slice flew off her dish. Too icy!
But once it’s sits a few minutes it has staying power.

I am going to be eating this all weekend it is that good.

20 coming for dinner tonite, family and friends.
No biggie.

Probably won’t have time to blog.
But I will be thinking about you and thanking “A Teenage Gourmet” for her great dessert”.

Girl you rock!!

As always,

I remain,

gmom and Cujo

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