• Pumpkin “Yum-kin” Pie: A Thanksgiving Series

    Finishing it all off with some pie!

    A Thanksgiving meal is never complete without some pumpkin pie to top off the decadent food marathon!

    If you’re brave enough to channel your inner pastry chef, this challenge is perfect for you.

    To save time on Thanksgiving Day, this is another one of those recipes you can attempt in advance. Actually, you’ll want to attempt it in advance! Between pre-baking the pie crust and letting the actual pie cool, the process, while totally worth it, can take a while to make.

    pumpkinpieIf you do end up making some of the Bosworth family recipes, please share your creations with me and my family (I’m back in Laguna for the holiday!) using the hashtag #LoCooks . If you’ve enjoyed this series, please let me know if you’d like something similar for Christmas!

    x

    Lo

    1. A pre-baked pie crust

    2. 2 cups (15oz can; 450g) of pumpkin puree

    3. 3 large eggs

    4. 1 and 1/4 cups (250g) of packed dark brown sugar

    5. 1 Tablespoon (15g) of cornstarch

    6. 1/2 teaspoon of salt

    7. 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon

    8. 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger

    9. 1/4 teaspoon ground of freshly grated nutmeg

    10. 1/8 teaspoon of ground cloves

    11. 1/8 teaspoon of fresh ground pepper

    12. 1 cup (240ml) of heavy cream

    13. 1/4 cup (60ml) of milk—any is fine

    1. Preheat oven to 375F.

    2. Whisk the pumpkin, 3 eggs, and brown sugar together until combined. Add the cornstarch, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, pepper, cream, and milk. Vigorously whisk until everything is combined. Filling will be a little thick.

    3. Pour pumpkin pie filling into a warm pre-baked crust. If you did not use a deep dish pie pan, you will have too much filling. Only fill the crust about 3/4 of the way up. Bake the pie until the center is almost set, about 55-60 minutes give or take. A small part of the center will be wobbly – that’s ok. After 25 minutes of baking, be sure to cover the edges of the crust with aluminum foil or use a piecrust shield to prevent the edges from getting too brown. Check for doneness at minute 50, and then 55, and then 60, etc.

    4. Once done, transfer the pie to a wire rack and allow to cool completely for at least 3 hours.

    Time: 30 minutes to prepare, 1 hour to bake, and 3 hours to rest

    Level: Medium

    Serves: Depends on the size of your slice!

     

  • Brussels Sprout Salad: A Thanksgiving Series

    Get your greens on!

    To balance an otherwise heavy and hearty meal, I like to plate some greens.

    What better a recipe than one that includes brussels sprouts and pomegranate seeds?

    Roasted or sautéed “mini cabbages”—as I like to call them—are everywhere as of late. To put a unique spin on things, however, I’m roasting mine by the leaf. Doing so makes for a much crispier texture!

    Because this salad is super easy to make, I recommend saving it for last on the Thanksgiving meal to-do list.

    saladIf you do end up making some of the Bosworth family recipes, please share your creations with me and my family (I’m back in Laguna for the holiday!) using the hashtag #LoCooks . If you’ve enjoyed this series, please let me know if you’d like something similar for Christmas!

    x

    Lo

    1. 2 pounds brussels sprouts

    2. 2 tablespoons olive oil

    3. 1 cup pomegranate seeds

    4.¼ cup pine nuts

    5. 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

    6. 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

    7. 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

    8. ½ tablespoon tahini

    9. ½ tablespoon pure maple syrup

    10. ¼ teaspoon sea salt

    11. Black pepper, to taste

    1.Preheat oven to 350F.

    2. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

    3. One at a time, trim the brussel sprouts and separate the leaves. You will need to trim the base of the sprout a few times to get as many leaves as possible from each. Add the leaves to the baking pans and repeat with each sprout.

    4. Once all of the leaves have been added to the pans, drizzle each pan with 1 tablespoon olive oil and massage the oil into the leaves. Spread the leaves out evenly over each pan and bake for 15-20 minutes or until most of the leaves are crispy and just turning golden. Make sure to toss the leaves every few minutes as they bake to prevent burning. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.

    5. While the leaves are baking, make the vinaigrette by adding the lime juice, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, tahini, maple syrup, salt, and pepper to a small bowl. Whisk for 15-30 seconds until incorporated.

    6. To serve the salad, add the leaves to a serving bowl or tray along with the pomegranate seeds and pine nuts. Pour the dressing over, toss to coat, and serve immediately.

    Time: 30 minutes from start to finish

    Level: Easy

    Serves: 5 people

  • “Only the Best” Gravy: A Thanksgiving Series

    It’ll require the “brown bits” you saved from the turkey pan.

    So you know how I just told you Sage Stuffing is my favorite part of the meal?  I’m now actually leaning more towards gravy because you can put it ON the stuffing and pretty much everything else!

    When flavored appropriately, gravy is smooth, decadent, and brings out the deep flavors that a roasted turkey creates after hours of browning and bubbling.

    This gravy recipe is unique in that the first part allows you to save some time on the day of and really expand your recipe to accommodate more guests.  The day before the big day, simply make a roux and add chicken stock, allowing it to boil and cool.  This will serve as your gravy base.  The day of, you’ll make a nice stock using the bones and giblets, and then deglaze the roasting pan itself to collect the brown bits from that pan.

    The most important part of the gravy making process?  Allowing those brown bits to form in the bottom of the turkey roasting pan as your Thanksgiving turkey cooks. When the turkey begins to roast, brown bits form from the juices falling off the bird as the temperature rises (a Mallard reaction).  Keep your fingers crossed for as many brown bits as possible as they add complexity and flavor to the gravy once the roasting pan is deglazed with a bit of wine.

    In general, this gravy recipe is a bit “out of the box” because there are a couple different processes, but the final result is a delicious and smooth gravy your guests won’t be able to get enough of!

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    gravyIf you do end up making some of the Bosworth family recipes, please share your creations with me and my family (I’m back in Laguna for the holiday!) using the hashtag #LoCooks . If you’ve enjoyed this series, please let me know if you’d like something similar for Christmas!

    x

    Lo

    6 tablespoons butter + more for other steps

    6 tablespoons flour

    Chicken Broth (about 8 cups)

    Turkey neck and giblets

    Half an onion, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

    1 carrot, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

    Half a celery stick, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

    2-3 bay leaves

    Parsley stems

    Kosher Salt

    Black Pepper

    Juice from Turkey Roasting Pan

    Brown Bits from Turkey Roasting Pan

    White Wine to deglaze

    1. The day before Thanksgiving, make the base for your gravy by making a roux then adding chicken stock until it boils and thickens.  To do this, melt butter completely in a sauce pan then add flour, whisking together into a paste and cooking for 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly over medium heat.  Add hot chicken stock (about 5-6 cups) to the pan, stirring constantly to avoid clumps.  Allow the gravy base to boil so the starch in the flour expands, thickening the gravy.  Boil for 5-10 minutes.  Allow gravy base to cool completely and refrigerate until Thanksgiving.

    2. On Thanksgiving, brown neck and giblets in butter in a large sauce pan.  Once browned remove from the pan, melt some additional butter and brown onion, carrot, and celery.  Add the bones and giblets back to the pan, add chicken stock (or turkey stock if you have it) to cover, bay leaves, parsley stems, and black pepper.  Bring to a boil then simmer for 1-2 hours.  Strain , cool the liquid and set aside.

    3. When the turkey is finished cooking, pour the juice from the pan into a bowl and allow the fat to come to the top.  Spoon the fat off of the turkey juice.  Over medium heat, deglaze the brown bits off of the pan using white wine and by scraping the bottom of the pan.  Add turkey juice, the turkey liquid from the bones, and the gravy base to the pan.  Allow the gravy to boil to let the different liquids come together.  Scrape any fat that comes to the top off of the gravy.  Season with salt and pepper until it tastes just right.  If your gravy needs to thicken, you can boil it down further (the saltiness will intensify so be careful) or add a bit of flour and butter paste (take soft room temp butter and mix it with equal parts flour) to the gravy, stirring to thicken (it must boil).

    Serves: 8-12 people

    Difficulty: Medium

    Time: 3 hours over the course of 2 days

     

  • Sage Stuffing: A Thanksgiving Series

    It’s called “stuffing” for a reason…

    The overwhelmingly tasty Sage Stuffing is probably my favorite part of my family’s Thanksgiving meal.  It’s full of butter, sausage, and sage.  No watching your waistline here!

    It’s SUPER important to note that I NEVER stuff the bird.  Never.

    It really messes with the time it takes to cook the turkey and causes it to cook unevenly.  More often than not, if you stuff your bird, the inside of the stuffing is so compact that it may never cook, leaving it bacteria-laden and susceptible to making your guests sick. Ew!

    The solution? Just do all the stuffing in a glass baking dish (or two), and add chicken stock!  You get a moist interior and crisp exterior, aka the perfect Thanksgiving Stuffing.  Best of all this dish is full of sage, my favorite herb.  Yum!

    stuffing

    If you do end up making some of the Bosworth family recipes, please share your creations with me and my family (I’m back in Laguna for the holiday!) using the hashtag #LoCooks . If you’ve enjoyed this series, please let me know if you’d like something similar for Christmas!

    x

    Lo

    1. 1 loaf of good sourdough bread cut into small cubes and dried out in the low-heat oven until stale

    2. 3/4 to 1 stick of butter

    3. 1 large onion, diced

    4. 4 celery sticks, diced

    5. 2 heaping tablespoons of dried sage

    6. 1 Jimmy Dean or Farmer John’s Sage Sausage

    7. 3 cups of good chicken broth (can add some Better Than Buillon flavoring to increase flavor)

    8. Salt and Pepper to season

    1. Cut bread into cubes and dry the cubes out on a cookie sheet in a 250F oven until dry, stale, and toasty.

    2. Melt butter in pan, add diced onion and celery until soft, add sage, salt, and pepper.

    3. Cook sausage in a separate pan until just about done, then add sausage and fat to softened onion and celery.  Check the seasonings – you’ll need quite a bit since you’ll be adding bread and chicken stock.

    4. In a large bowl mix veggies, sausage, and bread making sure to coat the bread with the fat.  Taste test.  Add more salt, pepper, and sage per your taste!

    5. Pour 3 cups of broth over stuffing and mix together well.  Each piece of bread should be coated with fat and stock.

    6. Put stuffing mixture into a buttered 12×16 (or is it 10×15?) glass dish.  Bake in convection oven at 375 for about 40 minutes (if it’s coming out of the fridge).  Stuffing will be bubbling at the base and crispy and yummy on top.

    Serves: 6-8 people

    Oven: 250F and 375F

    Time: 90 minutes

    Level: Easy

  • Tackling the Turkey: A Thanksgiving Series

    Hi, everyone!

    It’s been a minute.  I hope you’ve all been well!

    Launching Love Wellness has kept me quite busy, but I’m back and ready to share a couple Thanksgiving recipes with you!  Throughout today, starting at 9:00 a.m. and ending at 1:00 p.m., I’ll be releasing some Bosworth-family secrets—tricks I use to ensure my feast, everything from prepping to cooking, goes off without a hitch.

    First recipe I’m starting with? The turkey, of course!

    If you’ve thawed out the sucker (2-3 days in advance, depending on size) and are still debating the best way to cook him, here are three techniques I use to ensure a foolproof turnout:

    1. I like to dry brine my turkey with kosher salt for 2 days before cooking him on Thanksgiving. You can dry brine a frozen turkey but start to thaw 2-3 days before doing so because getting it to cooking temperature takes FOREVER.  The dry brine helps to trap moisture in and creates a really nice flavor.
    2. I cook the turkey at 500 F for 30 minutes at the top using canola oil on the bird to create a beautiful brown skin and to create a moisture seal around the meat.
    3. After lowering the heat, I like adding some beer and wine to the bottom of the pan to help add additional moisture to the turkey as the liquid steams.

    turkey

    If you do end up making some of the Bosworth family recipes, please share your creations with me and my family (I’m back in Laguna for the holiday!) using the hashtag #LoCooks . If you’ve enjoyed this series, please let me know if you’d like something similar for Christmas!

    x

    Lo

    1. 1 raw turkey (can be frozen, but you must start thawing it 2-3 days before Thanksgiving)

    2. A ton of kosher salt

    3. A ton of butter or duck fat

    4. Black pepper

    5. Canola Oil

    6. Cinnamon Stick

    7. 1 Apple, halved

    8. 1 Onion, halved

    9. Fresh Rosemary, thyme, sage

    10. Your best beer

    11. Your best white wine

    12. A very large plastic bag

    13. Large roasting pan

    14. Thermometer

    15. Twine

    1. Dry brine your turkey 2 days before Thanksgiving while allowing him to thaw out in the fridge.  Wash the turkey, removing the neck and organs (but save them for gravy), and dry the bird very well.  Next, turn your huge-ass plastic bag (must be air-tight once closed) inside out and set aside.  So as not to cross-contaminate your salt, put the salt you’ll be using for the brine in a bowl separate from the salt you always use.  Rub kosher salt all over the outside of the turkey and also underneath the skin on the breast.  Be very gentle when peeling the skin away from the breast meat as you don’t want it to tear.

    2. Wash your hands and grab the inside-out bag, wrapping it around the turkey so once the bird is in the bag, it’s right-side out again.  Tie the sucker shut (tight) and place the turkey breast side up in the fridge until Thanksgiving.

    3. On Thanksgiving preheat your oven to 500 F.  Take your turkey out of his bag and rinse all the salt off of him.  Dry him very, very, very well again and set aside.

    4. In a microwave-safe container (I just use a piece of tupperware), microwave your halved onion and apple along with your cinnamon stick together with some water for about 3 minutes until soft.

    5. Prepare to season the bird, butter and oil him up, and fill the cavity – aka have your butter and oil ready to go along with salt and pepper in specific bowls (so you don’t cross contaminate), and your onion, apple, cinny stick, and all your herbs.  Make sure your roasting pan is out and ready to go and your twine is on-hand to truss.

    6. Salt and pepper the turkey very generously (but be prepared to move fast after this with your butter as the salt brings out moisture which repels the fat from sticking) outside and inside the cavity as well.  Like at least 3 handfuls of salt.  Seriously.  Massage the salt and pepper into the turkey.

    7. Butter the entire turkey, massaging into the breast as best as you can without breaking the skin.  Insert onion, apple, cinnamon stick, and a bunch of fresh herbs into the cavity.  If you’re making my Sage Stuffing Recipe (it’s coming out at 10:00 a.m.) def use some sage!

    8. Tie the legs together using twine.  Watch this video on how to truss a turkey.

    9. Create a shield for the breast of your turkey using aluminum foil (this is Alton Brown’s genius idea) and set aside.

    10. Drizzle canola oil all over the outside of the bird so he is completely oiled up.  Leave no part oil-free.  Place your turkey breast side up in your roasting dish and into a 500 F oven for 30 minutes.

    11. After 30 minutes, reduce the heat to 350 and allow the bird to finish cooking for another 2 to 3 hours (depending on the size).  Add some beer and wine to the bottom of the pan.

    12. I wouldn’t recommend using the pop-out thermometer (generally included in most turkeys these days) to indicate total done-ness of the turkey.  If the pop-out thermometer is in the breast and it pops out, the breast meat is done but the legs will definitely NOT be (they always take longer, just like on a chicken).  If you’re super brave you can remove the turkey from the oven at this time and remove the legs from the rest of the body and put them back in the oven to continue cooking without over-doing the breast.  If you choose to do this, simply set the breast and carcass aside on a cooling rack (over a cookie) sheet and let rest.  Your thermometer should be in the deepest part of the thigh without touching bone, and should reach 160 before you determine your legs are done.  160 is basically the magic number.  Hit it and pull your bird out.  Go to 170/175 like the Health Department recommends and you’re going to have a dry turkey.

    12. Allow your turkey to rest for 20 minutes minimally no matter what.  If you’ve removed the legs or chosen to keep them on, still let all the parts rest to allow the moisture to be sucked back in.  Simply pop the bird back into the oven momentarily before serving to heat him right back up.

    13. SAVE THE BROWN BITS from your pan for gravy (recipe coming out at 11:00 a.m!).

    Time: 30 minutes to prepare the dry brine, about 4.5 hours start to finish for preparing and cooking the turkey

    Level: Medium

    Serves: Depends on how big your turkey is!

  • How to Make an OG Mojito

    Happy National Rum Day!

    Here’s a shoutout to all the random national “holidays” that give us an excuse to eat, drink, and be merry!

    Rum, the star of today’s show, and possibly my favorite alcohol ever, also happens to be the front player in my never disappointing and always delicious cocktail of choice–the mojito!

    Before I share with you my top-secret and super easy recipe, let’s all imagine we’re here:

    Paradise (at least according to Architectural Digest)

    Did I set the mood? Great!

    For a girl who’s had all sorts of crazy mojitos, I’d like to pay homage to the OG. Hang on to your pants, we’re going old school.

    HERE’S WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

    • 10 fresh mint leaves
    • 1/2 lime, cut in 4 wedges
    • 2 tablespoons white sugar
    • 1 cup of ice
    • 1 1/2 fluid ounces white rum
    • 1/2 cup club soda

     

    HERE’S HOW YOU DO IT:

    1. Put a couple mint leaves and a lime wedge at the bottom of your glass.
    2. Muddle the mint and lime to release its juices. This nice man will show you how its done. If you don’t have a muddler, you can also use a wooden spoon.
    3.  Add 2 more lime wedges and sugar to taste. Feel free to add less if of both if you don’t like your cocktails sweet.
    4. Muddle again.
    5. Fill your glass with ice.
    6. Pour your rum over the ice.
    7. Top the drink off with some club soda.
    8. Mix, sip, and repeat.

    DRINK UP!

     

  • The Healthiest Make-Ahead Breakfast Ever (+ Tasty, Too)

    What Do I Eat For Breakfast?

    With a new puppy, a blog, a podcast, a super secret business I’m building and launching in the fall (hint – it’s all about the vagina), a hungry boyfriend, and a big ass apartment to keep in order I don’t really have a lot of time to make an elaborate, healthy breakfast every morning.  Does anyone?  Raise your hand if ya do because let a sister in on the secret.

    I recently began thinking “ahead”…as in a few days ahead about how to keep my man and I fueled up in a healthy and tasty way with little to no effort.  What could I make once or twice a week that will keep for a few days, won’t require silverware, can be eaten on the run, and delicious?

    BAM.

    paleo egg muffins.

    Yep, the paleo egg muffin is the perfect breakfast specimen.  High in protein, low in fat, tons of veggie (flavor) options, easy to whip up, and can be taken to go in an instant.  Try them.  You won’t be disappointed.


    Egg muffins before hitting a hot oven...

    Egg muffins before hitting a hot oven…

    paleoeggmuffins

    …and after! Yum!

    1. 2 dozen eggs

    2. Any variety of vegetable you like

    3. 6 slices of turkey bacon or other protein (cooked) chopped up

    4. Black or white beans (1/2 tablespoon for each muffin)

    5. S&P to taste

    6. Cooking Spray

    1. Heat oven to 350 F.

    2. In a bowl, scramble 2 dozen eggs and season with a bit of salt and pepper (or no salt if you’re looking for a low-sodium option).

    3. Prepare any veggies and cut into small pieces (I like to use the food processor to speed things up here, like with garlic and onion).

    4. Add veggies and beans to eggs.

    5. Spray muffin tin (probably 2 muffin tins for this many eggs) so your muffieesss pop out easily when done. Sprinkle turkey bacon bits into bottom of each space in a muffin tin. Fill with egg mixture.

    6. Cook for about 20 minutes until firm.  Then, Enjoy!

    7. These should stay fresh for up to 5 days.

    About 24 egg muffins

  • The Cold Buster: Ginger Tea From Scratch

    I just got over a horrible cold.  Actually, it hasn’t even completely left my system and we’re 2 solid weeks in.  Still a little cough, cough going – ya know how it is.  When I was in the deepest, darkest part of my cold my brain was rummaging through itself trying to come up with something, anything that could help.  Finally, a moment of enlightenment: GINGER.

    I always have ginger root in my kitchen. I love anything ginger: tea, the spicy ginger shots at Butcher’s Daughter that seem to clear anything up in an instant, ginger candies.  I remembered an old mate of mine from the French Culinary Institute who once made me the most delicious ginger tea from scratch and how it warmed my insides just right….

    Now, with my nose sniffling and my head pounding, it was my turn to make the most healing and delicious ginger tea from scratch.  Trust me – it seriously helped me feel a lot better, even if it was just for a few moments.  Here’s what you’ll need:

    [ingredients title=”Ingredients”]
    • Fresh ginger root, peeled, and cut into 1 cm slices (about 1/4 cup total)
    • A few slices of lemon
    • Honey or agave syrup (about 1 tablespoon)
    [/ingredients] [directions title=”Directions”]
    1. Boil 4 cups of water to a rolling boil (the water will reduce when you boil so more is better than less).
    2. Add ginger root, 2-3 slices of lemon, and honey, and reduce to a simmer.  Cook for at least 20 minutes until the flavors come together in a strong way when you do a taste test.
    3. Strain out the ginger root and lemon into a small, round colander directly over your favorite mug.  Add a squeeze more lemon and honey to taste.
    4. Enjoy, and feel better!
    [/directions]

     

     

  • Foolproof Thanksgiving Dinner

     Use the hashtag #LoCooks on your pictures to show us your Thanksgiving dinner!

    Thanksgiving Turkey (1000x1000)

    Foolproof Turkey

    1. 1 raw turkey (can be frozen, but you must start thawing it 2-3 days before Thanksgiving)

    2. A ton of kosher salt

    3. A ton of butter or duck fat

    4. Black pepper

    5. Canola Oil

    6. Cinnamon Stick

    7. 1 Apple, halved

    8. 1 Onion, halved

    9. Fresh Rosemary, thyme, sage

    10. Your best beer

    11. Your best white wine

    12. A very large plastic bag

    13. Large roasting pan

    14. Thermometer

    15. Twine

    1. Dry brine your turkey 2 days before Thanksgiving while allowing him to thaw out in the fridge.  Wash the turkey, removing the neck and organs (but save them for gravy), and dry the bird very well.  Next, turn your huge-ass plastic bag (must be air-tight once closed) inside out and set aside.  So as not to cross-contaminate your salt, put the salt you’ll be using for the brine in a bowl separate from the salt you always use.  Rub kosher salt all over the outside of the turkey and also underneath the skin on the breast.  Be very gentle when peeling the skin away from the breast meat as you don’t want it to tear.

    2. Wash your hands and grab the inside-out bag, wrapping it around the turkey so once the bird is in the bag, it’s right-side out again.  Tie the sucker shut (tight) and place the turkey breast side up in the fridge until Thanksgiving.

    3. On Thanksgiving preheat your oven to 500 F.  Take your turkey out of his bag and rinse all the salt off of him.  Dry him very, very, very well again and set aside.

    4. In a microwave-safe container (I just use a piece of tupperware), microwave your halved onion and apple along with your cinnamon stick together with some water for about 3 minutes until soft.

    5. Prepare to season the bird, butter and oil him up, and fill the cavity – aka have your butter and oil ready to go along with salt and pepper in specific bowls (so you don’t cross contaminate), and your onion, apple, cinny stick, and all your herbs.  Make sure your roasting pan is out and ready to go and your twine is on-hand to truss.

    6. Salt and pepper the turkey very generously (but be prepared to move fast after this with your butter as the salt brings out moisture which repels the fat from sticking) outside and inside the cavity as well.  Like at least 3 handfuls of salt.  Seriously.  Massage the salt and pepper into the turkey.

    7. Butter the entire turkey, massaging into the breast as best as you can without breaking the skin.  Insert onion, apple, cinnamon stick, and a bunch of fresh herbs into the cavity.  If you’re making my Sage Stuffing Recipe def use some sage!

    8. Tie the legs together using twine.  Watch this video on how to truss a turkey.

    9. Create a shield for the breast of your turkey using aluminum foil (this is Alton Brown’s genius idea) and set aside.

    10. Drizzle canola oil all over the outside of the bird so he is completely oiled up.  Leave no part oil-free.  Place your turkey breast side up in your roasting dish and into a 500 F oven for 30 minutes.

    11. After 30 minutes, reduce the heat to 350 and allow the bird to finish cooking for another 2 to 3 hours (depending on the size).  Add some beer and wine to the bottom of the pan.

    12. I wouldn’t recommend using the pop-out thermometer (generally included in most turkeys these days) to indicate total done-ness of the turkey.  If the pop-out thermometer is in the breast and it pops out, the breast meat is done but the legs will definitely NOT be (they always take longer, just like on a chicken).  If you’re super brave you can remove the turkey from the oven at this time and remove the legs from the rest of the body and put them back in the oven to continue cooking without over-doing the breast.  If you choose to do this, simply set the breast and carcass aside on a cooling rack (over a cookie) sheet and let rest.  Your thermometer should be in the deepest part of the thigh without touching bone, and should reach 160 before you determine your legs are done.  160 is basically the magic number.  Hit it and pull your bird out.  Go to 170/175 like the Health Department recommends and you’re going to have a dry turkey.

    12. Allow your turkey to rest for 20 minutes minimally no matter what.  If you’ve removed the legs or chosen to keep them on, still let all the parts rest to allow the moisture to be sucked back in.  Simply pop the bird back into the oven momentarily before serving to heat him right back up.

    13. SAVE THE BROWN BITS from your pan for gravy.  That recipe comes next week!

    Time: 30 minutes to prepare the dry brine, about 4.5 hours start to finish for preparing and cooking the turkey

    Level: Medium

    Serves: Depends on how big your turkey is!

    Sage Thanksgiving Stuffing 2

    Sage Thanksgiving Stuffing

    1. 1 loaf of good sourdough bread cut into small cubes and dried out in the low-heat oven until stale

    2. 3/4 to 1 stick of butter

    3. 1 large onion, diced

    4. 4 celery sticks, diced

    5. 2 heaping tablespoons of dried sage

    6. 1 Jimmy Dean or Farmer John’s Sage Sausage

    7. 3 cups of good chicken broth (can add some Better Than Buillon flavoring to increase flavor)

    8. Salt and Pepper to season

    1. Cut bread into cubes and dry the cubes out on a cookie sheet in a 250F oven until dry, stale, and toasty.

    2. Melt butter in pan, add diced onion and celery until soft, add sage, salt, and pepper.

    3. Cook sausage in a separate pan until just about done, then add sausage and fat to softened onion and celery.  Check the seasonings – you’ll need quite a bit since you’ll be adding bread and chicken stock.

    4. In a large bowl mix veggies, sausage, and bread making sure to coat the bread with the fat.  Taste test.  Add more salt, pepper, and sage per your taste!

    5. Pour 3 cups of broth over stuffing and mix together well.  Each piece of bread should be coated with fat and stock.

    6. Put stuffing mixture into a buttered 12×16 (or is it 10×15?) glass dish.  Bake in convection oven at 375 for about 40 minutes (if it’s coming out of the fridge).  Stuffing will be bubbling at the base and crispy and yummy on top.

    Serves: 6-8 people

    Oven: 250F and 375F

    Time: 90 minutes

    Level: Easy

    gravy

    Gravy

    6 tablespoons butter + more for other steps

    6 tablespoons flour

    Chicken Broth (about 8 cups)

    Turkey neck and giblets

    Half an onion, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

    1 carrot, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

    Half a celery stick, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

    2-3 bay leaves

    Parsley stems

    Kosher Salt

    Black Pepper

    Juice from Turkey Roasting Pan

    Brown Bits from Turkey Roasting Pan

    White Wine to deglaze

    1. The day before Thanksgiving, make the base for your gravy by making a roux then adding chicken stock until it boils and thickens.  To do this, melt butter completely in a sauce pan then add flour, whisking together into a paste and cooking for 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly over medium heat.  Add hot chicken stock (about 5-6 cups) to the pan, stirring constantly to avoid clumps.  Allow the gravy base to boil so the starch in the flour expands, thickening the gravy.  Boil for 5-10 minutes.  Allow gravy base to cool completely and refrigerate until Thanksgiving.

    2. On Thanksgiving, brown neck and giblets in butter in a large sauce pan.  Once browned remove from the pan, melt some additional butter and brown onion, carrot, and celery.  Add the bones and giblets back to the pan, add chicken stock (or turkey stock if you have it) to cover, bay leaves, parsley stems, and black pepper.  Bring to a boil then simmer for 1-2 hours.  Strain , cool the liquid and set aside.

    3. When the turkey is finished cooking, pour the juice from the pan into a bowl and allow the fat to come to the top.  Spoon the fat off of the turkey juice.  Over medium heat, deglaze the brown bits off of the pan using white wine and by scraping the bottom of the pan.  Add turkey juice, the turkey liquid from the bones, and the gravy base to the pan.  Allow the gravy to boil to let the different liquids come together.  Scrape any fat that comes to the top off of the gravy.  Season with salt and pepper until it tastes just right.  If your gravy needs to thicken, you can boil it down further (the saltiness will intensify so be careful) or add a bit of flour and butter paste (take soft room temp butter and mix it with equal parts flour) to the gravy, stirring to thicken (it must boil).

    Serves: 8-12 people

    Difficulty: Medium

    Time: 3 hours over the course of 2 days

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    Crispy Brussel Sprout Salad

    With Pomegranate Seeds

    From BlissfulBasil

    For the Salad
    • 2 pounds brussels sprouts
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 cup pomegranate seeds
    • ¼ cup pine nuts
    For the Lime Vinaigrette
    • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
    • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
    • ½ tablespoon tahini
    • ½ tablespoon pure maple syrup
    • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
    • black pepper, to taste
    1. Preheat oven to 350F.
    2. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
    3. One at a time, trim the brussels sprouts and separate the leaves. You will need to trim the base of the sprout a few times to get as many leaves as possible from each. Add the leaves to the baking pans and repeat with each sprout.
    4. Once all of the leaves have been added to the pans, drizzle each pan with 1 tablespoon olive oil and massage the oil into the leaves. Spread the leaves out evenly over each pan and bake for 15-20 minutes or until most of the leaves are crispy and just turning golden. Make sure to toss the leaves every few minutes as they bake to prevent burning. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.
    5. While the leaves are baking, make the vinaigrette by adding the lime juice, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, tahini, maple syrup, salt, and pepper to a small bowl. Whisk for 15-30 seconds until incorporated.
    6. To serve the salad, add the leaves to a serving bowl or tray along with the pomegranate seeds and pine nuts. Pour the dressing over, toss to coat, and serve immediately. 

     

    The-GREAT-pumpkin-pie-recipe-with-my-secret-ingredient-its-absolutely-my-favorite-recipe-for-pumpkin-pie._

    Pumpkin Pie

    From Sally’s Baking Addiction

    • Homemade Pie Crust (full recipe makes 2 crusts: 1 for bottom, 1 for leaf decor)
    • 2 cups (15oz can; 450g) pumpkin puree1
    • 3 large eggs
    • 1 and 1/4 cups (250g) packed dark brown sugar2
    • 1 Tablespoon (15g) cornstarch
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger3
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground or freshly grated nutmeg3
    • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves3
    • 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
    • 1 cup (240ml) heavy cream
    • 1/4 cup (60ml) milk (I use 1% – any is fine)
    • 1 large egg beaten with 1 teaspoon milk, for brushing
    1. Preheat oven to 375º
    2. Whisk the pumpkin, 3 eggs, and brown sugar together until combined. Add the cornstarch, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, pepper, cream, and milk. Vigorously whisk until everything is combined. Filling will be a little thick.
    3. Pour pumpkin pie filling into a warm pre-baked crust. If you did not use a deep dish pie pan, you will have too much filling. Only fill the crust about 3/4 of the way up. Use extra to make mini pies with leftover pie dough scraps if you’d like. Bake the pie until the center is almost set, about 55-60 minutes give or take. A small part of the center will be wobbly – that’s ok. After 25 minutes of baking, be sure to cover the edges of the crust with aluminum foil or use a piecrust shield to prevent the edges from getting too brown. Check for doneness at minute 50, and then 55, and then 60, etc.
    4. Once done, transfer the pie to a wire rack and allow to cool completely for at least 3 hours.
  • Flavor of the Month: Thyme, Bacon, Zucchini Quiche

    Quiche

    Flavor of the Month

    Thyme

    I’ve been loving thyme this month and it’s been suggested that I institute a flavor of the month moving forward and focus a couple of recipes here and there on that particular addition.  I love this idea.  So, I officially declare October the month of THYME with this thyme, bacon, zucchini quiche.

    I Instagrammed this photo of my quiche the other day, and perhaps it’s the neato lighting or the fact that you can almost smell it through the screen but because it’s a staple of mine, I’m delighted to share the incredibly delicious, simple, and tasty recipe.  I use a pre-made, frozen pie crust to save time – but if you want to whip out your food processor you could, of course, make a homemade crust.

    A note about the green and yellow zucchini I use – yes, they are best during summer.  I try to use produce when they’re in season, but because zucchini is becoming available year round almost everywhere, this quiche can easily be added into your year-round rotation.  Let’s get to it!

    1. 2 pre-made, frozen pie crusts

    2. 3 large yellow and green zucchinis, cut into thin, round slices

    3. 1 large yellow onion, diced

    4. 4 tablespoons fresh thyme

    5. 8 strips of super crunchy bacon

    6. 6 tablespoons of triple cream cheese (I use Prince La Fontaine)

    7. 10 eggs

    8. splash of water

    9. olive oil

    10. salt and pepper to taste

    1. Preheat your oven to 350, and place bacon on a baking sheet and cook until very crunchy. When they’re done, place onto a plate covered with a paper towel to soak up the grease. Break them into small pieces.

    2. Cut zucchini into thin, round slices (a couple mm thick)

    3. Dice onion, and remove thyme leaves from sprigs. Gently chop to open up the flavor.

    4. In a pan on medium-high heat, add olive oil and then onions. Begin to sauté for 2-3 minutes, then add the zucchini and thyme, seasoning with salt and pepper. Drizzle with a bit of extra olive oil to coat the veggies completely and cook for about 10 minutes. Taste the veggies to make sure they’re seasoned appropriately.

    5. Remove the veggies from heat, and in a bowl crack all the eggs and add a “splash” of water (for 10 eggs, add about ¼ cup of water). Season the egg mixture with salt and pepper. Think about how much salt and pepper you would put on one egg if you were to eat it solo, and do that 10 times.

    6. Cut the triple cream into bite sized pieces. It’s a sticky and creamy cheese, so don’t be afraid to get a little messy. Set aside on a plate.

    7. Mentally dividing everything into 4 parts (2 quiches, and 2 layers of stuff per quiche) add a layer of the zucchini mix to the bottom of the crust. Add a layer of bacon, a layer of cheese, and pour ¼ of the egg mix into one of the crusts. Repeat in the other crust. Then once the “first” layer is complete on both crusts, repeat until the crust is full but not running over with raw egg.

    8. Gently pop the quiches into the oven at 350 for 40 minutes, or until the middle is no longer runny. They’ll probably puff up a bit out of the crust. That’s okay, they’ll settle back down once they’ve come out of the oven.

    Serving Size: 2 Quiches
    Oven to 350 F
    Will keep in fridge up to 4 days
  • Light Cream Cheese Frosting

    Absolutely everyone loves cream cheese frosting, but not the fatty-fatty-two-by-four-can’t-fit-through-the-kitchen-door waistline that comes with it.  At least I don’t.  Anyway, I thought I’d share my recipe for a much lighter version of cream cheese frosting that is super tasty and light!  It features plain greek yogurt (this shiz is popping up everywhere these days) as a substitute for some of the 174623 pounds of cream cheese traditionally used.  If you want to get super health-conscious, substitute Earth Balance (it’s tasty) for butter.

    I frequently use this lighter version when I make Flag Cake on the 4th of July (the pic below is my Flag Cake of ’12).  I also don’t take measurements too seriously and once you get comfy in the kitchen you won’t either.  Cook and add until it tastes good!

     

    …and here is the recipe.  Nom, nom, nom.

    1. 2-3 cups of powdered sugar (I say 2-3 because I play with it to get the right consistency)

    2. 8 oz. of cream cheese (that’s one brick)

    3. 8 oz. of non-fat, plain Greek Yogie (I prefer Chobani)

    4. 1/2 cup of butter (or Earth Balance – it’s vegan in addition to being yum) softened to room temp

    5. Couple drops of vanilla extract

    6. One big squeeze of lemon juice from half a lemon

    1. In a mixer, whip up the butter, cream cheese and yogurt.

    2. Add the powdered sugar until the consistency and sweetness is where you want it.

    3. Add the vanilla extract and lemon to taste.

    4.  Stick this in the fridge or frost your treats right away.

    Serving Size: Enough for one large cake

    You can stick this in the fridge overnight if you wish, and bring it back to life by sticking it in the microwave for 10 seconds, then giving in another whirl in the mixer + some more lemon juice.

  • TheLoDown