Friday, November 29, 2013

3-Day Dry Brined Turkey with Herb Rub

I apologize!  I didn't take a pic of the turkey when it was done! 
I know.  Yesterday was Thanksgiving...
and now I'm posting my turkey recipe... today.  But I couldn't in good conscience post a recipe I hadn't tried and didn't absolutely love.

So, just in case you make turkey for Christmas or any other time of year, you have got to try this.  My hubby raved that this was the best turkey he had ever eaten. 

If you are making this turkey for Thanksgiving, it is important that you start this process with a fresh organic (or thawed) turkey the Monday prior.  It does take a little time, but not a lot of effort.  And the results are a moist, flavorful turkey.

And it was beautiful...  I just wish I'd remembered to take a picture for you!

Three-Day Dry Brined Turkey with Herb Rub

Herb rub:

  • 1 T olive oil
  • 2 T fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 T fresh sage leaves
  • 2 t fresh rosemary leaves 
  1. Wash turkey and pat dry. 
  2.  Place herbs in food processor and pulse until finely chopped.  Add oil and pulse to combine. 
  3.  Rub herbs under the skin on the breast and thighs of turkey.

Dry Brine:
  • Approx. 1 T real salt per 5 lbs.
  1.  Rub salt all over turkey, concentrating salt on the thickest parts of the breast and thigh.  Don't forget to salt the cavity, too.
  2.  Tuck wings under neck and tie legs together. 
  3.  Place in large plastic bag. 
  4.  Remove as much air as possible and close bag. 
  5.  Place turkey in refrigerator on a rimmed cookie sheet for 3 days, taking out once a day to turn and rub lightly without taking out of the bag.
The night before:
  1. Take turkey out of brining bag and pat dry. 
  2.  Place on clean rimmed baking sheet. 
  3.  Refrigerate, uncovered, overnight. 
Two hours before roasting: 
  1. Take turkey out of the refrigerator.  
  2. Rub inside of cavity with butter. 
  3.  Fill cavity with:
  • 1 onion, cut into 8 wedges
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut in half
  • 2 celery stalks, cleaned and cut in half 
  1.  Rub skin with butter. 
  2.  Place breast-side down in roasting pan. 
  1. Place turkey in 425 degree oven for 30 minutes. 
  2.  Meanwhile, make basting sauce, simmering for a few minutes to burn off alcohol and impart herb flavor:
  • 4 T melted butter
  • ½ C dry white wine
  • 2 bay leaves 
  1.  After 30 minutes, take turkey out of oven.  Turn so it is breast side up.  Baste.  Place turkey back in oven. 
  2.  Reduce heat to 325 degrees. 
  3.  Baste every 30 minutes 
  4.  Roast until min. 180 degrees  internal temp at thigh. (15 lb. bird = approx. 3 hours at 325 degrees)
  5. Note:  If your turkey isn't done and the skin has already reached a beautiful, deep golden brown color, cover loosely with foil to keep skin from browning more.
  1. When turkey is done, take out of oven.  Transfer bird to rimmed baking sheet.  Cover with foil and allow to rest 30 minutes before carving.
  • 1 C dry white wine
  • Pan drippings
  • 4 C giblet or chicken stock
  • 3-4 T arrowroot mixed with 1/4 C water
  1. Deglaze pan with 1 C dry white wine.
  2. Pour wine/drippings into glass bowl or measuring cup.  Allow to sit for 10 minutes.  Skim off excess fat. 
  3.  Heat pan drippings with giblet stock in saucepan until boiling.  
  4.  Mix in enough arrowroot mixture to thicken gravy.  Allow to cook for 1-2 minutes.  
  5.  Turn down heat to low to keep warm.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

5 Kernels of Corn - A Thanksgiving Tradition

Photo credit
A couple of years ago, I shared with you our favorite Thanksgiving Traditions.  While all of those traditions are meaningful to us, none drew as much response as the tradition of the five kernels of corn.

First, if you don't know the significance of those five little kernels of corn, it's important that you do.  During the second winter, the Pilgrims' food supplies were so low that it is said that they survived on merely five little kernels of corn a day.  For us, it really puts into perspective how blessed we are and the bounty of our home's table.

So, the biggest question?  What do you do with the five kernels of corn?

Answer:  We leave them on the plate.  (Of course we use edible sweet corn, not popping corn! :) 

We serve our meal on top of those five little kernels.  As we eat our meal, you will find one from time to time.  It is yet another reminder throughout your meal of the many blessings you and your family have received throughout the year.

Happy Thanksgiving,

Monday, November 25, 2013

Menu Monday, November 25

I love home schooling!  We haven't taken any time off since the beginning of the year so we are taking the whole week off!  That gives me extra time to finish making some new napkins and start prepping for Thanksgiving Day. 

This is the first time EVER that I put together a Thanksgiving Planner to help me stay on task.  Normally I kind of wing-it, but I like lists and check boxes.  Makes me feel like I'm actually accomplishing something, ya know?  We'll see how it goes.

So during this week of busy-ness, I'm really trying to take time to really think about all the things our family has been blessed with.  God is so good, isn't He?

Breakfast (a combination of these items):
  • Eggs (we've been doing a lot of scrambles that include various veggies like spinach, mushrooms, onion, etc.); bacon or sausage; avocado; fruit/berries;
  • Oatmeal with fruit, nuts, and yogurt 
Mid-Afternoon Snack:

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Rum Raisin Ice Cream

The first time I ever had rum raisin ice cream was shortly after watching a movie titled "Thief of Hearts" back in the mid-80's.  It quickly became my favorite ice cream flavor, but by the early 90's it was difficult to find.  So when we got our ice cream maker several months ago, I knew I wanted to try my hand at recreating this sensationally sinful flavor.

One thing I should mention:
Some things do change...

Steven Bauer, then... and now...

...but I still love the ice cream.

Oh, and just like the movie wasn't fit for families, this ice cream may not be suitable for every member of the house either.

You've been warned.

Rum Raisin Ice Cream

  • 1-1/2 C milk, preferably raw, whole milk from pastured cows
  • 4 egg yolks from pastured hens
  • 1-1/2 C cream or milk, preferably raw from pastured cows
  • 1/4 C Grade B maple syrup
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1 T good quality vanilla extract 
  • 1/3 C spiced rum
  • 1/3 C chopped raisins
  1. In a mixing bowl, beat egg yolks until thick and lemon-yellow in color.
  2. Pour the milk into a saucepan and scald it (bring slowly up to boiling point). 
  3. By spoonfuls, gradually add the hot milk to the egg yolks, stirring constantly. 
  4. Pour the hot milk/egg yolk mixture into saucepan.  Gently heat over low while stirring constantly until the custard thickens.  When you can see a film form over the back of your spoon it's time to remove the saucepan from the heat.  (DO NOT ALLOW TO BOIL.  Maximum temp is about 165 degrees.)  This should take around 10-15 minutes.  So when I say low heat, I mean low heat.
  5. Cool. 
  6. Add maple syrup, sea salt, vanilla extract.  Stir to combine.  
  7. Refrigerate until chilled.  (About 4 hours.) 
  8. Meanwhile, soak raisins in the rum at least 2 hours.
 Depending on the finished product you like best, you can do 1 of 3 things:
  1. Ice milk:  Add remaining milk to the cooled custard.  Transfer mixture to an ice cream maker, following manufacturer's instructions on adding in any fruit, chocolate pieces, or nuts.
  2. Thick, custard-like ice cream:   Add remaining cream to the cooled custard.  Transfer mixture to an ice cream maker, following manufacturer's instructions on adding in any fruit, chocolate pieces, or nuts.
  3. Lighter-fluffier"slow-churned" ice creamWhip the cream until it is like whipped cream.  Gently fold it into the cooled custard.  Transfer mixture to an ice cream maker, following manufacturer's instructions on adding in any fruit, chocolate pieces, or nuts.  (This is my favorite!)

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Our Thanksgiving Menu

Photo Credit

Some years we have a houseful...  Some years it's just the four of us.  Some years we try a new side dish... most of the years, not.

Creating your own family traditions is important stuff.  So if this menu helps give you the start to creating those traditions, I'd be honored.

5 Kernels of Corn
Herb & Garlic Roasted Turkey
(Going to try a dry brine this year... 
I'll let you know how it goes!  It was fantastic!!!)
Mashed Potatoes
Green Bean Casserole
Black Olives
Maple-Sweetened Whipped Cream
Whole Raw Milk & Coffee

Monday, November 18, 2013

Menu Monday, November 18

Blueberry Lemon Sweet Rolls
Happy Monday!  And it's an even happier Monday because I have our menu done for the week!  Yee haw!  

I got so spoiled yesterday.  My wonderful friend, Jerri, and her family brought us dinner last night.  Jerri is an amazing cook and we were blessed to have some of her to-die-for lasagna.  They brought over everything!!!  All I had to do was make dessert, which was Streusel Blueberry Buckle served with maple-sweetened whipped cream.  One thing I did a little differently was I had about 1/2 C white chocolate chips leftover from Friday's white chocolate creme brulee (oh, my...that is another yummy story in itself!) so I added those to the buckle batter.  It was a nice addition, but I think next time I'll add more chips!

Breakfast (a combination of these items):
  • Eggs (we've been doing a lot of scrambles that include various veggies like spinach, mushrooms, onion, etc.); bacon or sausage; avocado; fruit/berries;
  • Oatmeal with fruit, nuts, and yogurt 
  • Sunday, I'll be making these with real food substitutions: blueberry lemon sweet rolls
Mid-Afternoon Snack:
 *Sharing the recipe this week

Friday, November 15, 2013

Free Shipping This Weekend!

FREE Shipping is back from Tropical Traditions!  Tropical Traditions is my favorite place to get coconut oil... and the expeller-pressed is my favorite because there is no coconut aroma or taste.

Use coupon code 131511 at checkout and you will receive FREE ground shipping on orders of $12.99 or more! Also, please note that, we are including Hawaii and Alaska in this special. In the past, it has only been for the lower 48 states, so this is an awesome addition. This the perfect time to order heavier items, like coconut oil, non-toxic household cleaning supplies, and more!

FREE Shipping ends Monday (11/18)!

Celery & Apple Dressing

Photo Credit
I love sauteed apples in my dressing.  It wasn't something I grew up with, but I can't imagine making dressing for Thanksgiving dinner without them.

One other thing.  Don't feel that you have to stuff your turkey... really.  Some of us folks just think that's gross.  Just sayin'. 

Celery & Apple Dressing
Serves 4-6

  • 4 C dried bread cubes (dried in dehydrator or in a 200 degree oven)
  • ½ small bunch celery including leaves, chopped
  • ½ yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 apple, cored and chopped
  • 2 T butter
  • 2 t sage
  • ½ t thyme
  • ½ t parsley
  • 2 C chicken broth
  • Salt & pepper to taste

  1. Sauté celery, onions, and apples in butter until softened.
  2. Place dried bread cubes in a large bowl.  Add sautéed mixture and spices.  Mix.
  3. Add enough chicken broth to sufficiently moisten.  Correct seasoning.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees 30-45 minutes or until heated through.