So I brine a turkey every year because it makes me happy. What is Brining? Brining involves soaking a turkey in a very salty solution for a certain length of time, long enough for the salt to get into the turkey and actually make the meat so yummy. It doesn’t turn it into a salty mess, either. It just results in a juicy, fantastic turkey. You will Sing & Dance
You can buy pre-made brining solutions. The one that I have trusted comes from The Pioneer Woman. It works every time and nothing needs to be changed in my opinion.
3 c. apple juice or apple cider
2 gallons cold water
4 tbsp. fresh rosemary leaves
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 c. kosher salt
2 c. brown sugar
3 tbsp. peppercorns
5 whole bay leaves
Peel of three large oranges
Brine Bag or Tub to submerge the turkey
Combine all the ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil, stirring until the salt and sugar dissolve. Turn off heat, cover and allow the brine to cool completely.
Place the uncooked turkey in a large brining bag or pot, pour in the brine solution to cover the turkey, and refrigerate for 16 to 24 hours.
Before roasting, remove the turkey from the brine (discard the brine) and submerge the turkey in a pot or sink filled with fresh, cold water for 15 minutes. This removes excess salt from the outside.
Remove the turkey from the water, pat dry, and cook according to your normal roasting method.
Pico de Gallo is easy to put together. It’s a great addition to so many meals. We add Pico (for short) to fajitas, tacos, omelets, and sometimes just love it by itself with chips. The freshness of the flavors add something to each entree. This is my simple recipe you can add to or take away. I make it early in the day to let flavors sit for a little while. This recipes make a lot so feel free to divide ingredients if you want a smaller batch.
3 white or red onions
12 Roma tomatoes
2 cups fresh cilantro leaves
2 to 3 jalapeños (soak in ice water before using)
Chop up onions and tomatoes. I like to make sure the tomato and onion ratio is about the same. Chop the cilantro.
Slice 1 or 2 jalapeños in half. I always wear gloves when chopping jalapeños. With a spoon, scrape out the seeds and membranes. (If you want it spicy, leave in some of the white membranes.) Finely chop the jalapeños.
Combine onions, tomatoes, cilantro and jalapeños in one bowl.
Slice the lime in half and squeeze the juice from half a lime the bowl. Sprinkle with salt, and stir together until combined. Do a taste test. You can make adjustments to your pico de gallo by adding more jalapeños, salt, or lime.
How do you cook hard boiled eggs? It is actually a question that has a lot of debate. Most cooks have their way they like to cook hard boiled eggs. But you must be careful to not overcook. I have tried it several ways and this is my favorite way to do it. Another tip in cooking hard boiled eggs: don’t use fresh eggs. It is okay if they are a few weeks old. That actually helps the shell peel easier.
Dozen large eggs
1 T Kosher salt
2 T white vinegar
Start by gently placing your raw eggs in a large saucepan. Cover with at least 2 inches of water. (If you don’t have enough water, your eggs will not cook throughly) Add salt and vinegar.
Place the pan over high heat until it reaches a boil. Let boil for 3 minutes. Then turn off heat, cover and let it sit for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove the eggs from the pan and place them in an ice-water bath and let them cool for five minutes.
Soak Your Eggs In An Ice Bath
Now you can either carefully crack the egg shells and gently remove the shells. OR you are ready to decorate your Easter Eggs. These eggs can be stored in the refrigerator for four days.
Okay, we are finishing up last minute details so that our Halloween night is all we want it to be. As you are carving that crazy Star Wars or Paw Patrol design to be parents of the year, be sure to save the pumpkin seeds.
Scrape the innards out of the pumpkin, separate the seeds from the squishy, stringy stuff, then rinse and spread the seeds out on a baking sheet to dry for about 24 hours. When your seeds are all dry, it’s time to roast. Toss seeds with your favorite seasoning combo. Then spread them evenly on a baking sheet and bake until toasted.
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
1 cup pumpkin seeds, rinsed and dry
1/2 t Garlic Powder
1/2 t Kosher Salt
1/2 t Pepper
1/4 t Cayenne Powder (if you want spicy)
2 T olive oil
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
In a bowl combine all ingredients until seed are coated well.
Spread evenly on a baking sheet and bake until toasted and slightly browned, about 15-20 minutes, tossing halfway through. Watch carefully to avoid burning as all ovens vary on cook times. Remove from oven, and let cool before serving.
Cooking is an art work. I feel like an artist with vegetables, spices, and grains at my fingertips. I have never trained in a culinary institute but I have learned from some of the best. My mom, grandmothers, and local chefs have sprinkled inspiration on me. I’m an open cookbook and continually learning. I will share recipes that are tried and true.