Monday, November 19, 2012


So, if you are going to make the BEST TURKEY EVER, then you MUST make the Gravy to go along with it!!

Again, Chef Alton Brown has one my vote for best gravy!  It's easy and SUPER delicious!

The Red Wine is really key.  As with all recipes, never use a wine that you wouldn't drink.  Or in other words, don't use crappy wine in your cooking!  It should be wine that has good flavor!!  If you aren't a red wine drinker, then ask a friend who is, for suggestions!

Best Gravy Ever

Recipe courtesy Alton Brown, 2008
Prep Time:
10 min
Inactive Prep Time:
Cook Time:
15 min
10 to 12 servings


  • 24 ounces reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 8 ounces red wine
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon fresh herbs such as oregano, thyme or rosemary
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


Remove the turkey from the roasting pan and set aside to rest. Leave the drippings from the turkey in the pan and place the roasting pan over medium heat. Add the broth and wine at the same time. Whisk to combine, scraping the bottom of the pan until all of the bits have come loose. Cook for another 2 to 3 minutes in order to reduce the mixture slightly. Transfer the liquid to a fat separator and let sit for 5 minutes to allow fat to separate. Return 2/3 to 3/4 cup of the fat to the roasting pan and place over medium-high heat. Discard any remaining fat. Add the flour and whisk to combine. Cook, whisking continuously, until the mixture starts to thicken and become smooth, approximately 2 to 3 minutes. Once this happens, gradually add the liquid back to the pan and whisk until smooth and you have reached your desired consistency, approximately 5 to 6 minutes. Remember, your gravy should be slightly thin in the pan as it will thicken once you serve it. Add the herbs and whisk to combine. Season with salt and pepper.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The BEST Turkey EVER!!!

This coming week, we will all gather with our friends and families to celebrate and give thanks for all we have.  It's a time to remember all of God's blessings in our lives.

Usually the highlight for Thanksgiving is THE FOOD!  Last year I went looking for a new way to prepare the food feature of every table, the Turkey.  

I came across a recipe that produced the most amazing turkey I've ever tasted!  It was so good, we had it at Christmas too!  Everyone complemented how moist and flavorful it was.

So, I just had to share the recipe with you all!  It's all thanks to the quirky mind of Alton Brown.

Unfortunately, my pictures from last year are NO WHERE to be found.  But, here's the recipe!

Stay tuned for the BEST gravy recipe EVER!

Please Note: the Brine STARTS 2 or 3 days before roasting!!

**I use a 5 gallon bucket.  I purchased a clean one with lid for under $5.00 at Home Depot.  I labeled it for Food only, so that it can be reused.

Good Eats Roast Turkey

Recipe courtesy Alton Brown, also featured in Food Network Magazine
Prep Time:
15 min
Inactive Prep Time:
7 hr 0 min
Cook Time:
2 hr 30 min
10 to 12 servings


  • 1 (14 to 16 pound) frozen young turkey

For the brine:

  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 gallon vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons allspice berries
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped candied ginger
  • 1 gallon heavily iced water

For the aromatics:

  • 1 red apple, sliced
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 sprigs rosemary
  • 6 leaves sage
  • Canola oil


Click here to see how it's done.
2 to 3 days before roasting:
Begin thawing the turkey in the refrigerator or in a cooler kept at 38 degrees F.
Combine the vegetable stock, salt, brown sugar, peppercorns, allspice berries, and candied ginger in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally to dissolve solids and bring to a boil. Then remove the brine from the heat, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate.
Early on the day or the night before you'd like to eat:
Combine the brine, water and ice in the 5-gallon bucket. Place the thawed turkey (with innards removed) breast side down in brine. If necessary, weigh down the bird to ensure it is fully immersed, cover, and refrigerate or set in cool area for 8 to 16 hours, turning the bird once half way through brining.
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. Remove the bird from brine and rinse inside and out with cold water. Discard the brine.
Place the bird on roasting rack inside a half sheet pan and pat dry with paper towels.
Combine the apple, onion, cinnamon stick, and 1 cup of water in a microwave safe dish and microwave on high for 5 minutes. Add steeped aromatics to the turkey's cavity along with the rosemary and sage. Tuck the wings underneath the bird and coat the skin liberally with canola oil.
Roast the turkey on lowest level of the oven at 500 degrees F for 30 minutes. Insert a probe thermometer into thickest part of the breast and reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Set the thermometer alarm (if available) to 161 degrees F. A 14 to 16 pound bird should require a total of 2 to 2 1/2 hours of roasting. Let the turkey rest, loosely covered with foil or a large mixing bowl for 15 minutes before carving.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Pinterest Picked - English Muffin Bread

Who hasn't heard of Pinterest!  It's the booming idea board for millions of creative (and not so creative!) minds to steal ideas from one-another!  Pinterest can be agonizing for the perfectionist but can rescue those that struggle to envision details!!

I've pinned exactly 215 recipes in the past 14 months.

When I joined, I never realized how HARD it would be to actually USE these pins!

So, I have started actually making some of these pinned recipes!  I will post all about those that have succeeded and even those that will inevitably fail!

My first recipe, is a complete success!  It's even addicting in my household.  Bread, glorious bread!

Who doesn't love a good english muffin?  Those nooks and crannies full of buttery goodness! Who wants to pay almost $4.00 for 6 muffins?  NOT ME!

Here is a wonderful recipe for English Muffin Bread.  It's amazing toasted, with your favorite spread.  I adore butter and honey, or some homemade apple butter.  YUM!

English Muffin Bread (printable recipe)

2 3/4 cups warm water
1 1/2 packages or teaspoons RAPID RISE yeast
(Update: You can use regular yeast, but you will need to let is rise TWICE. Once in the bowl, til it reaches the top…and then again in the pans, til it reaches the top. With the RAPID RISE you only need to let it rise once in the pans.)
1 Tablespoons salt
1 1/2 Tablespoons sugar or honey
5 1/2 cups flour

Mix all ingredients together, then spoon into (2) well greased loaf pans.

Let rise in pans until dough reaches the top of the pans, and bake in 350 degree oven for 45 minutes or until golden brown. (My oven runs a little hot so I ended up cooking mine for a total of 35 minutes. Just keep an eye on it. You’re looking for golden brown.) 

10 minutes before done, brush with melted butter. 

Makes 2 loaves. Bread will be moist at first. Allow to COOL COMPLETELY before cutting. Makes delicious toast.

It's bubbly, rose to the top and is ready for the oven!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


One of my favorite things about Autumn, is the food!!!

I try to make applesauce every year.  I've only been doing this for the past 4 years, so it's still a work in progress.  Each year I've used different apples, each year I've had a hard time picking which apples to use!

This year my brother Cameron and I dove right in!  Never mind that I had a 6 week old, 3 year old and 6 year old at home with us!!

We started out with purchasing our apples at a local orchard.  I always go to Kauffman's Fruit Farm to purchase their seconds, which usually run about $8.00 a 1/2 bushel.  Always check our your local farms and orchards for the BEST deal, especially if you plan on making lots!

We walked away with 5 bushels of apples!  2 bushels of Summer Rambo (we had to buy firsts, because we were too late for seconds, but I REALLY wanted Rambo's this year), 1 1/2 bushels of Macintosh and 1 1/2
bushels of Honeycrisp.  All delicious apples that I would eat on their own.

I don't think I could ever make applesauce without my Mom's Victorio Strainer!  It has to be at least 30 years old and it's probably time for me to purchase my own.

This baby makes it easy!  No peeling, no coring!

We quartered the apples, cooked them with a little bit of water, cranked them through the Victorio...and VOILA!  77 quarts & 13 hours later (remember I have 3 kids!  Next time I'll ship them off, so that it takes less time!) we had some delicious applesauce!

Elise seems less than enthusiastic about this venture!

Nora is a bit more excited, little did she know her job would be keeping the other two kids distracted!

A few apples

There is something beautiful about canning!

Now that I have applesauce made, it's Apple Butter time!!!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

All Sorrows are Less With Bread...

Ok, so obviously bread doesn't heal all sorrow, but MAN, it HELPS!

I've recently made the decision to make all of our bread from scratch.  Store-bought bread is SO expensive and not really that good.  I've tried a few different wheat bread recipes, but they all turned out like BRICKS!  NOT what I want to eat with my turkey and provolone.

I finally found the perfectly moist, light and airy wheat bread!  It's not totally wheat (i'm working my way to getting it mostly wheat).  You can add nuts and grains if you desire and it turns out perfectly every time!


  • 1 (.25 ounce) package rapid rise yeast
  • 1 teaspoon raw honey
  • 1/2 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk (I read you can use regular milk, I haven't tried this yet)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 1/2 to 1 cup of wheat germ or other grains/nuts (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons butter


  1. Dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon honey in 1/2 cup warm water.
  2. Combine milk, 1/4 cup water, shortening, honey, salt and 2 cups wheat flour in food processor or kitchenaid bowl. Mix in yeast mixture, and let rest 15 minutes. Add remainig 1 cup wheat flour, bread flour,wheat germ (or nuts) and process until dough forms a ball. Knead dough by processing an additional 80 seconds in food processor, kitchenaid with dough hook for 7 minutes on speed 2, or mix and knead by hand 10 minutes. Place the dough in a buttered bowl, and turn to coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rise for 45 minutes, or until almost doubled. (depending on the weather, this can take up to 2+ hours)
  3. Punch down, and divide dough in half. Roll out each half, and pound out the bubbles. Form into loaves, and place in buttered 9x5 inch bread pans. Butter the tops of the dough, and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm area until doubled; second rise should take about 30-60 minutes.
  4. Place a small pan of water on the bottom shelf of the oven. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  5. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, or until tops are dark golden brown. Butter crusts while warm (this keeps the crust soft). Slice when cool.
  6. Note: Check the bread at about 20 minutes, I usually have to cover with foil, so it doesn't get too dark.

For the day, your home smells heavenly.  Who doesn't like the smell of freshly baked bread!  Enjoy!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Ordinary Kitchen

One thing you have to know about me, I want to have anything BUT an ordinary kitchen!  However, if you are like me, schedules, family, school, temper tantrums and blood curdling screams (from the friendly neighborhood dog) can sometimes cause dinner to be less than exciting.  It's time to bring adventure back into the kitchen.

I LOVE to cook.  I cook for my husband and 2 girls.  I cook for family.  I cook for friends.  But, I find as life happens, I start to lose the joy and excitement in cooking.  This blog is to celebrate the mundane, to bring life back into my kitchen!

Grab a cup of joe and the new recipes you've been meaning to make. Join me in the kitchen as I celebrate new recipes, new aromas, constant distraction and a love of food and friendship!