Tuesday, November 24, 2015

"Turkey for you and turkey for me!"

I have a dilemma!

    This years turkey will be the third or fourth turkey we have prepared. We have tried a few different methods. Last year with a medical grade serum bag.... (Yikes! Um, what? From the hubs work! Insert image of "Frankenturkey". Anyway, they actually make fantastic bags for brining, and of course.. Thank goodness! Medical purposes!) We brined for the first time. Delicious moist and flavorful! Really splendid! My hubby usually gets a turkey from work. "Frankenturkey".  I hit a few different stores looking for the right spices and ingredients. Intent upon recreating the juicy goodness of last years bird. Bought them all. Got home. Saw turkey was pre injected.

Great! Commence hair pulling!

    I just spent half my paycheck on spices. Good grief. I have been trolling the internet for rescue. Someone to say "Yes! Proceed with your dream of turkey that falls off the bone! Brine your already salted turkey! Rejoice with a triumphant leap from the table as they shriek Eureka!" High fives all around! Tears of joy! Victory! Random, vivid imagination. Oh how your dreams change as you age. Laughing. Out. Loud.

    Determined am I! I think Tom will get a bath anyway. I think he will spend a luxurious 24 hours in chilled apple cider. Floating amidst fleshy pomegranate kernels. Orange peel swirling around our esteemed guest. Steeping in spices and crisp fall apples...

Because I'm Fairly certain last years turkey was also pre injected!

In addition to my usual determination I am also an:


1. One who usually expects a favorable outcome.

    The cheesecake turned out silky smooth. No cracks on the top. Buttery golden. Happy birthday to my Grammie. Baby girl made the most beautiful place cards for the guests. Rolls are rising as we speak. The people I love, and who love me will gather to give thanks. At this time next week Thanksgiving 2015 will be on the books. What will we remember?

How is your turkey day prep coming?

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Cheesy Jalapeno Rolls...

"Baby it's cold outside!"

    As the Fall weather winds down and Winter prepares for her debut I find myself preferring the crock pot for dinners. Warm aromas permeating the senses. Warming you from head to toe, heart and soul. Sunday dinner is the perfect opportunity to indulge in the smell of fresh rolls. Rolls with crisp outsides and tender, soft white centers, perfect cheesy layers...

     Because my little one is sensitive to spicy foods we halved our batch of jalapeno rolls. Which also meant we had plain rolls later for a dripping butter and honey dessert! The jalapeno rolls were served with crock pot sloppy joe meat. I used the ingredients from the Food.com version of Test Kitchens: Sloppy Joe Recipe.  To convert the recipe to crock pot, simply brown your meat, onions and garlic. Then add it as well as the other ingredients to your crock pot on low for 4-5 hours. Once your meat is going, roll up your sleeves and start the rolls.

    Start by combining room temperature milk with warm water and yeast. You could use whole milk, I always have 2% on hand and it works like a charm. Allow the yeast mixture to become frothy before adding it to a mixing bowl that contains: sugar, room temp butter, salt, one egg, and two cups of flour. Mix until everything is wet and well mixed. Change to bread hook and add remaining flour a cup at a time. Mixing well after each addition. When dough is sticky, but firm and pulls away from sides of bowl turn onto floured surface and hand knead until smooth and elastic.

    Allow dough to rest and double in size! Punch down and roll out into a large circle. Add your jalapenos and cheese. Cut into triangles. (I usually get 16 triangles, you can cut more for smaller and more rolls) Roll them up into a cheesy croissant. Place on a buttered baking sheet and allow to rise once more. During the last few minutes of rising, boil 5 cups of water. Pre heat oven and place boiling water on the lowest rack with the rolls on the middle rack. Hello crispy crust. Hello tender middle. Bake for 20-25 minutes until tops are golden brown. Brush tops with melty butter. Serve warm, and of course... Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

A little inspiration...

        The Holidays are approaching! Are you getting ready? Or waiting a few more weeks?

     We are doing things a little different this year. We typically are not completely done with shopping and/or decorating before Christmas Eve. Sincerely. I couldn't really tell you why. It is just how it has been. Our "style" you could say. This year we are in new territory! Our shopping is very nearly done, and I have a jump start on our decorations! I must say.... It is kind of nice! This lull, the quiet before the holiday storm. Taking advantage of this slow time has been most productive! Now ordinarily crazy time will be spent snuggled up in a blanket downstairs with my cute family. Christmas lights glowing on the tree.... Yes! We even have one of two trees up!

    Last Saturday while the hubs was pheasant hunting my gals and I headed into town. Our little valley is the newest to welcome Tai Pan Trading. Really exciting! I did not want to leave. I was completely enamored  by the hanging Christmas wreaths they had displayed. As I quickly began formulating a plan to duplicate the wreath, the total started to creep upwards. Although completely head over heels with the store and their wholesale pricing, I could not bring myself to spend the nearly sixty dollars it would have been to purchase all the supplies.... and really, sixty is not bad, but cursed am I with a frugal mind.

    A simple Christmas garland can be purchased for less than a traditional wreath. I wrapped a tree garland around an old grapevine I already had. Then secured it with wire. I used white string to attach silver snowflakes at different lengths to the grapevine on the outer edge. My old reliable friend jute was used to hang the ornaments from the ceiling first then through the middle of the wreath after it was hung.  I literally only spent $10 on this wreath! Hobby Lobby is having a fantastic 50% off sale on all of their Christmas items. I bought 5 large ornaments. Everything else I had from previous years! The cute deer? Dollar store!

  Inspiration and creativity are endless. It is really what we do as bloggers. Inspire one another. Make our own special touches and contributions. I really love Tai Pans wreath. Like, love it! I really love mine too! Maybe a little more. Something rewarding about creating for my family.

    How have you been inspired this Holiday season?

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Mini Cheesy Turkey Shells...

        This is the picture that popped up in my "memories" from Facebook this morning! Two years ago today we were enjoying our first snow fall! You would have to know my family to really understand the disappointment today's mere rain showers are bringing! I promised my hubby a snow dance before he left the house for the day. Channeling ancient Winnebago Indian powers....... Just kidding, but really we are on pins and needles. 

     You could say we bleed ski doo. Its an old family tradition passed down through many wintery generations. The past few Utah winters have been... meh! We have had snow of course, but it has been years since we got a good dumping.

     So as I sit here with my hot chocolate and Ludo omelet... Did you watch "What Phil is having" last night? He is a riot! The little one is busy with "homework" and AM 1390 has been transformed into the annual holiday station fittingly playing "Let it snow"... I realize just how ready for the season I am. Yesterday the little and I got a jump on Christmas shopping. Putting the horse before the cart as usual, because first of course is turkey day! Our family will have the opportunity to host, and I couldn't be more excited. Stuffed with the fixings, blissfully content as we welcome the holidays! I can hardly contain myself waiting for time spent with my little family away from the hub bub. 

     Just in case you are feeling like me today, lets talk turkey! Lets take it a day at a time. A holiday at a time. Here is a turkey recipe to rein the emotions back in....  

My intention was turkey pot pie but I ended up with a "cheesy turkey shell" due to my poor planning and not purchasing enough pie crusts to top these tasty little things!

Try them out my kiddos and husband loved them! You cannot go wrong with a creamy white sauce and cheese! You will need:

1/4 cup butter or margarine
3T. finely chopped onions
3T. finely chopped celery
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 cup flour
2 c. milk
two 9" pie crusts
about a cup each of your choice in veggies
and of course turkey!

    Preheat oven to 375. In a medium saucepan, melt butter. Add onions, salt, pepper and celery. Saute until tender. In a separate saucepan bring your diced mixed veggies to a boil. Do not overcook them! They will cook in the oven, so you want them slightly crunchy. Once your onions and celery are tender add flour and cook over low heat, stirring constantly until thickened. Stir in milk and bring to a boil. Boil one minute then remove from heat. Stir in your veggie mix and your turkey...diced or shredded will work!

1. Roll out the pie crust. Using a cookie cutter or kitchen glass cut out 12 circles.
2. Place pie crust circles into greased muffin tin.
3. Load them up with your turkey mix! Don't be afraid to fill them up as they will cook down in the oven! Top with cheese.

                   Top with shredded cheese and paprika. Bake uncovered for 15-20 minutes.

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