Friday, November 30, 2012

Don't Make This Fabulous Chocolate Cake with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting! But, Do What I Tell You :)

I was so tired yesterday, I took a short nap after watching the Nutcracker Ballet with Sophie. After dozing for about 30 minutes, I shot up with a sudden urge to bake a cake!  Without a recipe in hand, I just threw together some ingredients and ended up with this! 
It was almost perfect :) 

Friday, November 23, 2012

Waste Not, Want, Not! Roast Those Turkey Bones for Stock!

Don't throw out the turkey bones...

This yummy bird can give you enough stock for half a winter! 
The trick is to brown it enough to make a super-rich glaze, that will intensify the flavors. 

Throw the lovely bird into the oven at 425-450, and roast 30-45 minutes, until the bones are brown and juices dripping all over bottom of the pan. You can roast longer, depending on the size of the bird.

  The longer it roasts and the browner the juice, the better it is! 

Let cool and throw all of the bones and the juices-scraping the bottom, into a (very) large pot.  
Cover with water and then boil the dickens out of it, and simmer for hours. 

Strain out bones and skin and meat. Freeze in plastic containers, for soup stock.

Later, add veggies, herbs, and spices to taste when you reheat for soups and more :) 

My favorites to add include: onion, garlic, thyme, rosemary, lemon, celery,
 curry, sea salt, and black peppercorns.  

Allow stock and ingredients to simmer on low for 2-3 hours and strain. 

Waste not, Want not! 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Bag the Canned Cranberries! Make This Beautiful Cranberry Conserve in 15 Minutes!

Super easy, fresh and filled with chunky fruit...everyone loves it! 
This picture is before cooking, so you can see all of the beautiful fruit. 

Take a Bath, Turkey!

There is much to be thankful for, this year. 
Including, the fact that I did not drop 
my wet bird, nor tip over the brining-bin on my kitchen's wood floor. 

Getting a wet 25 pound bird and a bin full of water into the garage 
is no easy task! 
Especially, when my husband is out of town and my eight-year-old son is my aide. 
But, with the use of a towel as a slider, and a little prayer, we did it! 
I learned about brining from Martha Stewart, of course, and have used her recipe for years, with modifications, to create a tender and juicy bird with great depth in flavor. 

If you wish to try it this recipe is below. 

Happy Thanksgiving! 

Brine Recipe: 
1 Turkey, rinsed, patted dry, neck and giblets reserved (optional)
1 Large, Clean bucket or bin-large enough to hold turkey and water to cover
1 1/2 cups salt-course if possible
1 cup sugar
3 bay leaves
2 tbsp coriander or coriander seeds
2 tbsp black peppercorns
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 bottle of Reisling or other white whine
2 medium onions
6 garlic cloves-crushed
1 bunch of fresh thyme
1 bunch of rosemary

Bring 1 quart of water, and all ingredients to boil on the stove, stirring until salt is dissolved. Let cool 5 minutes.  

After rinsing and drying turkey place in clean or cooking bag-lined bucket. Add the hot water mixture from the pan and add additional water, enough to cover the bird fully.  If necessary, weigh the bird down with a plate to keep it submerged. 

Place in refrigerator, or add ice as necessary to keep bird at 40degrees.