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Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Top Ten Turkey Mishaps And How To Avoid Them

1. Forgetting To Defrost  Soak your frozen turkey in a brine solution. Unwrap the packaging, rinse well and place in the sink or large container , breast side down. For a 16 pounder, dissolve 1 1/2 cups of kosher salt in 2 gallons of cold tap water. Change the brine every 30 minutes. This trick should halve your defrosting time to 15 minutes per pound.

2. Dry Turkey Breast  Your turkey is being overcooked. Make sure  you use a meat thermometer and remove the turkey from the oven when the temp reaches 155 F. Once out of the oven, the bird will continue to cook and the temp will rise to 165F. Remove the stuffing from the cavity immediately since a stuffed bird retains more heat.

3.Turkey Breast Is Too Dry  After cooking, soak the breast in pan juices ASAP. Otherwise, douse with gravy or save it for turkey day leftovers.

4. Turkey Skin Is Not Crisp Either rub the skin with softened butter or extra virgin olive oil and then season before roasting, OR salt the skin of a thawed turkey and let it air dry overnight in the frig.

5. Turkey Lacks A Golden Hue You need to baste it more. With  a brush or basting bulb, coat the turkey evenly all over with pan juices every 15 minutes for the last hour of roasting. If the top is browning too much before the bird is cooked, just cover it with a piece of foil.

6. You Forgot To Take Out The Giblet Bag Even if you do, the turkey is safe to eat. In the future, rinse your turkey inside out and you'll find the bag before you cook it.

7. No One Knows How To Carve It First, you need a sharp knife. Then cut off each leg and slice the band of skin connecting it to the body. Then twist the drumstick to pop out the joint and slice through. Next, wiggle the thigh bone to find the joint and slice through. For the breast make a deep horizontal cut above the wing joint,then make  perpendicular slices. Slice behind the wing joint to remove it.

8.Not Enough Breast Meat For Everybody  Just cook an extra turkey breast along side your bird.

9.Safely Cook Stuffing Inside The Bird To make sure your stuffing is safe to eat, insert an instant read thermometer in the stuffing when it comes out of the oven. If should read 160 F. If not ,then make sure you transfer it to an oven safe dish. Don't serve from the bird. That way you can pop it back in the oven  to get up to 160 F. 

10. Attend A Home Coming Game And Cook Your Bird Too Just roast the bird cut into parts. This only takes an hour for a 12 pound turkey.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

No Brainer Thanksgiving Treats Everyone Will Love

Basil Butter  Just blend 1 cup chopped basil into 1 pound of unsalted butter and a pinch of salt . Then its good to go on the Thanksgiving dinner table or in a glass jar as a gift with a hand written label. Cheap glass jars and  blank labels are available at the dollar store. Be sure to wash and dry the jars before putting anything in them.

Honey Walnut Butter Simply blend in a food processor 1 pound of butter, 1/2 cup honey, 1/4 tsp of cinnamon and a 1/4 cup of  walnuts. Just serve with store bought or homemade apple bread. Or just present in a glass jar as a gift with a hand written label.

Chocolate Bark You'll need a 10 ounce package of chocolate chips, 1 Tbsp of vegetable oil, 1 tsp. of peppermint or almond extract, some nuts, dried fruit and candy bits.  Just melt the chocolate chips in the microwave at 50% power for 3 minutes, stirring halfway through. Add the veggie oil and the extract. Stir in the nuts, dried fruit and/or candy bits. Then spread it out on a baking pan lined with greased foil. Let it harden in  the frig for about 2 hours. Then break apart and serve . You can also place the bark in a small gift bag lined with white tissue paper from the dollar store and give it out as gifts.

Orange Cello Vodka You'll need 7 medium navel oranges,( preferably organic) One 750 ml bottle of plain  cheap domestic vodka, 2 1/2 cups of water, and 1/12 cup sugar . use a veggie peeler to remove the peel from the oranges in long strips.  Save the oranges  for a snack or another use.  Using a small sharp knife, trim away the white pith and discard. Place the orange peels in a 2 quart pitcher or a large glass bowl. Pour the vodka over the peels and cover with plastic wrap.  Steep the orange peels in the vodka for 4 days at room temperature. After the 4 days are up,  in a medium saucepan, combine the water and sugar over medium heat. Bring to  a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the syrup to cool for about 20 minutes. Then pour the syrup over the vodka  mixture. Cover and let stand at room temperature overnight. Strain the mixture through a mesh strainer. Then discard the peels, and transfer the orange vodka into another bottle with a funnel. Then serve as an after dinner drink.  You can pick up a large cheap bottle, a funnel and gift labels at a dollar store for $1 each.Or  buy several smaller bottles to use as gifts. Hand write your own labels and place on bottles. Make sure you wash and dry the store bought  bottles before putting  the orange vodka in them.