Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving Turkey

This year for Thanksgiving Nate and I were in charge of cooking the turkey, stuffing, and pies. So I've cooked a turkey twice before and they've both been good, but this turkey was definitely my best. It was so moist and tender and had a golden brown skin too. Nate's dad even told me it was the most moist turkey breast he's ever had. This is the way I'm cooking my turkeys from now on. I loosely followed some ideas from Saveur and I want to write them down so I can refer to them again. Enjoy!

1 (21 lb.) turkey, thawed and neck and giblets removed
3 Tbsp. kosher salt
1 Tbsp. poultry seasoning (I used McCormick's GrillMates chicken rub)
1 1/2 tsp. black pepper (I used Lawry's seasoned pepper)
2 tsp. A1 garlic and herb seasoning
Reynold's turkey roasting bags

Rinse and thoroughly dry turkey. Place turkey inside a roasting bag. Stir all seasonings together in a small bowl. Now rub the turkey with the seasoning mixture, on top of the skin. Be sure to use it all and get all parts of the turkey, including some inside the cavity. Seal up the oven bag and refrigerate the seasoned turkey for 24-36 hours (we did 36 hours). Essentially rub the turkey with seasoning Tuesday night and then cook it Thursday (Thanksgiving) morning. When you're ready to cook your turkey, remove it from the fridge and let it sit on the counter for an hour before baking. Rinse off all the seasoning from the turkey and dry thoroughly. Get another roasting bag, add 1 Tbsp. of flour and shake throughout the new bag. Now remove the turkey from the old bag an place it in the new floured bag. Seal up. Bake in a roasting pan at 350 degrees F for 3-3 1/12 hours. Mine was done right at the 3 hour mark. To check for doneness use a meat thermometer and check the deepest part of the thigh without touching bone for a temp of 180 degrees F, and the deepest part of the breast without touching bone for a temp of 170 degrees F. Cut the bag off the turkey and tent with tinfoil. Let the turkey rest for 30 minutes before carving. Serve hot with your favorite side dishes!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Creamy Crock Pot Hot Chocolate

I made this recipe as part of our Family Home Evening last night. It's become a tradition when we're with Nate's family at the holidays that Nate and I make a hot chocolate buffet. I branched out and tried this new recipe last night and it was a hit with everyone. Now I don't like hot chocolate but this made the kitchen smell divine while it cooked! We'll definitely be making this again. I saw the idea here. Enjoy!

1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
6 cups milk
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups of chocolate chips (we used milk chocolate chips, they're Nate's favorite)

Combine all the ingredients in the crock pot and stir. Place the lid on and cook on low for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally. You want it to cook until the mixture is nice and hot and all the chocolate chips are melted. Stir before serving and top with your favorite hot chocolate toppings!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Pumpkin Shaped Rolls

This is one idea from Pinterest that actually turned out! I've tried several recipes I've seen on Pinterest that have been a big let-down. This idea comes from Thistlewood Farms. They are so easy to make and would be great for Thanksgiving. Enjoy!

Rhode's rolls
green Sour Patch Kids or whole pecans cut into thirds for the stems

Spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray. Place the rolls on the pan and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise for 2 hours. Uncover rolls and use a sharp knife to cut 7-8 sections into the rolls, leaving the middle intact. Now press a hole into the center of each roll to make room for your stems. Recover the rolls with plastic wrap and let rise for another 1-2 hours. After finished thawing/rising make sure there is still an indent for your stem and if needed, press again. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Brush egg wash over tops of rolls (I forgot to do this and they still turned out great). Bake rolls for 13-17 minutes or until golden brown. Insert stems into center indents of rolls. Serve.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Copy Cat Wingers Wings

First of all, I need to wish my husband a happy happy birthday today! Each year I have Nate choose out 3-4 meals that he would like around his birthday. This year he requested the following: Copy Cat Chick-fil-a Nuggets with Baked Onion Rings and Salad, Ham Fried Rice with Garlic Soy Broccoli, these wings with breadsticks and salad, and Homemade Crunchwraps with Salsa Rice and Salad. I found the copy cat Wingers sauce recipe over at Six Sisters Stuff, Nate just requested that it have a little more spice to it than the restaurant version. Nate ranked this dish a 20 on a 1-10 scale! We'll definitely be making these again and again. You can also use the sauce to coat chicken fingers like they do at the restaurant.

2 lbs. chicken wings
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp. Lawry's seasoned salt

1 1/2 cups brown sugar
8 Tbsp. Frank's Hot Sauce
4 Tbsp. water

Rinse chicken wings and pat dry. Fill a large pot halfway with water. Add the red pepper flakes and the seasoned salt to the water and bring to a boil. Once boiling add the chicken wings. Boil for 15 minutes. Line a baking sheet with tin foil and spray with non-stick spray. Once the chicken has boiled 15 minutes remove from water and place on the baking sheet. Next the chicken broils for 15 minutes with the oven rack set one from the top. After 15 minutes remove chicken and flip. Return to oven and broil for another 15 minutes. While the chicken is broiling, make your sauce. Combine brown sugar, hot sauce, and water in a sauce pot over medium heat. Heat until hot and all the sugar is dissolved. Once sugar is dissolved, reduce heat and keep warm. Once chicken is done cooking, place chicken in a large mixing bowl and then pour sauce over the top. Toss to evenly coat the wings. Serve hot and enjoy!

Caramel Chocolate Drizzle Chex Mix

Made this for Nate to take to work and share. I saw the recipe here. Caramel reminds me of fall so I thought it would work well this time of year. Enjoy!

3 cups Corn Chex® cereal
3 cups Rice Chex® cereal
1/2 bag (14-oz size) caramels (about 25)
2 Tbsp. butter or margarine
2 Tbsp. milk
1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate chips, they're Nate's favorite)

In large microwavable bowl, mix cereals.
In medium microwavable bowl, microwave caramels, butter and milk uncovered on High 2 to 3 minutes, stirring after each minute, until caramels are melted and mixture is smooth. Pour over cereals; gently stir until evenly coated.
Microwave on High 3 to 4 minutes, stirring after each minute, until just beginning to brown. Spread on waxed paper to cool.
In small microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate chips uncovered on High about 1 minute or until chocolate can be stirred smooth. Drizzle over snack. Refrigerate until set. Store in airtight container.