Thursday, November 27, 2014

In Honor of Thanksgiving....

In honor of Thanksgiving this year, I want to thank our wonderful readers who have viewed and contributed to our blog.  I feel blessed to have you as a part of my life and hope to share more time with you all in the future.

I hope your day is also filled with a prayer of Thanksgiving.  Prayer has always been a part of the Thanksgiving tradition even from the very beginning.  Would you like a little proof?  Here is a public notice given to the Plymouth Colony from 1636:

"In ye Meetinghouse, beginning some halfe an hour before nine & continued untill after twelve aclocke, ye day beeing very cold, beginning wt a short prayer, then a psalme sang, then more large in prayer, after that an other Psalme, & then the Word taught, after that prayer - & then a psalme…" and then was followed by dinner, "…the poorer sort beeing invited of the richer."

Today, I wish you health, happiness and joy as you and your family reflect on the goodness that you enjoy.  There is goodness in any situation, no matter how trying.  It is a time for gratitude, forgiveness, and love.  Make good memories today.....

May the Lord bless you all this Thanksgiving Day!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Cooking your Turkey.....early!

Why you might want to cook your Turkey early!

This is an encore post from a few years ago.  The information still applies and I hope it helps you prepare for your upcoming holiday!  It takes one more stressor out of your plans!

Many folks are intimidated with cooking a Turkey.  I certainly was the first time I attempted it. After I was done, I remember thinking....'what was I afraid of?"  

I cooked a Turkey yesterday.  I try to reduce the stress of the actual that I can enjoy it as well.    Here is the method I use and find that it works well. I hate being the only one who isn't in a position to 'play' before the big feast.  I decided to do this because my husband carves the turkey before we serve it anyway so the presentation is not a big deal

Yes, I am using my Roaster Oven again.  So, I laid out the rack on the counter. See the little blue box.  In my world, this is a 'must'.  Get the Oven Cooking Bags for Turkeys.  They are totally worth it.

Take your thawed Turkey out of the wrapping.  If you are buying a frozen Turkey, let it thaw in your refrigerator for several days.  This is a very safe method to thaw your bird.   Rinse the bird.

Remove the neck and giblet packets from the neck and little 'butt' opening. Rinse the cavities.  After rinsing, I often salt the cavities.

I cut up onion, apples, and always add citrus.  These help keep the meat moist and flavorful.  

Fill the cavities with these.  You can also add herbs such as Rosemary as well.

Follow the directions on the box of the Oven bags by putting in flour and shaking it in the bag.

Tie the legs closed to keep your content inside the cavity.  You can also use toothpicks to keep the other cavity closed.

Place your Turkey in the bag.  I placed the bagged Turkey on the rack and then carefully loaded it into the Roaster Oven. You can place you Turkey in your Standard Oven at this point as well.  

Put water into your oven as well, set the temperature gauge, put the lid on, and wait until it is cooked.  You hopefully can see the little red 'dot' on the Turkey.  I am a big proponent of using these little gauges.  Why?  they not only ensure the Turkey is cooked, but you may also be surprised at how fast your Turkey can cook not only in the bag, but also in the Roaster.  The combination can cut some time off the process.

On the day of Thanksgiving, I use my Roaster Oven to warm the Turkey meat inside another Cooking Magic bag with a big of water.  The meat is still moist and delicious.  You can make gravy with the drippings ahead of time and warm it either in a crock pot or in a saucepan.  Then I serve it to to everyone!

Consider it!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Countdown to Thanksgiving......The Rolls!!!!

Pumpkin-shaped Rolls for Thanksgiving!  So easy..

I love the holidays....and my house is already sporting my Thanksgiving decor!  As much as I love the holidays, I hate the stress that can accompany them.  Soooo, I will be posting (and planning) ideas for Thanksgiving so that when the big day comes....I can be ready and relaxed.

One of the crowd favorites are.....ROLLS!!!  I have made different types over the years. Some were more preferred than others.  This year, I have something fun for you to try....

You can do this with home-made dough or the 'frozen' option.  Yes, these are the frozen option....let's just say that I was in a hurry!  I let them unthaw for about an hour. Then I used my kitchen shears and made 8 cuts-slits around the roll.  

After making the cuts, cover the rolls with a towel and allow them rise per the directions of your recipe or your frozen-roll dough.

When they have risen sufficiently, use a kitchen tool with a rounded-end. Make an indention in the middle of the rolls.

Here you see my rolls with the circular indention's.

 Brush with egg-white. This gives you a glossy finish and a firm crust.

Oh, and just before baking insert either a walnut or pecan nut or sliver.  I used Almond slivers here.

Baked according to directions.  These are cute and fun!  It is a nice addition to any Thanksgiving table.  So easy and delicious too!

Try it!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

I Was Canning "CANDY" The Other Day!

Preserving your 'Candy Bounty' from Halloween...

Yes, if you look really hard, you can see a lot of treats in these canning jars. That is by design.  I went to the big box store early in the morning on November 1 and found lots of Halloween candy on sale for 50% off. There was a bit of a mob picking through all the candy. One lady complained about another customer who came in and 'took 200 bags of chocolate candy'.  I thought that he was pretty savvy myself.  Anyway, I digress...I actually bought lots of different kinds of candy during that shopping trip.

I decided to help preserve it....for posterity. I really mean that.  Rooster Senior thinks candy is another food group...I keep waiting for the Doctor to give him 'what for' because of all the candy and soda he consumes. However, they keep telling him he is just as healthy as can be.  

I decided to can different candies in pint that when we did get into them....there wouldn't be mounds of candy to consume quickly all at once.  I did this because vacuum sealing helps keep chocolate from getting white, and helps keep things like taffy and licorice stay soft.

It is important that all the edges of the packaging do not interfere with the seal.

I turned all the edges under before placing the lid on it.

I sealed the candies in both wide-mouth and regular-mouth jars.

Now, why would I do all this?  Well, for several reasons:
  • It think it is important to have known comfort foods in your storage.  Not only is it fun, but it really can be comforting in times of stress
  • I do this when candies are on sale and save money.
  • I have treats for when little ones come to visit.
  • I hopefully can keep the little ones from raiding Grandpa's stash without permission....because this secret stash really is not so secret!

Try it!

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