Sunday, November 28, 2010

He Asked For More! Cranberry Sauce

My father-in-law has always liked the canned, gelatin cranberry sauce.  This year, many of us are watching our weight and working toward a more natural diet so I tried making whole-berry sauce.  He loved it!  He asked for more!  My DH loved it!  And, it's lower in calories, too!  What's not to love?  I adapted the recipe from the back of the cranberry bag:

1 bag fresh cranberries, washed, then ground in food processor
1 cup Splenda(tm) (or sugar if you're not watching carbs)
Water to cover in saucepan

Equipment:  2-quart saucepan, food processor with chopping blade, spoon, and final serving dish

Wash, pick out the bruised berries, then grind the cranberries until they are in about 1/4 to 1/8 inch pieces.  Turn into the saucepan and add Splenda(tm), then water to just more than cover.  Simmer on low, stirring often, until the cranberries are soft and the mixture glossy.  They should thicken slightly.  Turn into the final serving bowl, cover, and refrigerate until serving.  I made this at least a day in advance.

Important note:  DO NOT STIR once you've put the mixture into the serving bowl until you serve.  This will thicken a bit in the refrigerator.

Stand back and enjoy the contented sighs!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Savory Scarborough Turkey

One of the biggest stresses of the holiday season is wondering if the turkey will turn out perfectly.  Many fuss and stress and inject and fry and do all sorts of unnecessary things.  Roasting a turkey is practically the easiest thing on earth.  Here's my "secret" recipe!

1 turkey, 15-18 pounds, thawed, drained, cavities emptied
2 large sweet onions, peeled and halved
1 bunch of fresh parsley, halved
1 bunch of fresh sage, halved
1 bunch of fresh rosemary, halved
1 bunch of fresh thyme, halved
1 t. Salt, kosher
1/4 t. Black pepper, freshly cracked
1/4 t. rubbed sage
1/2 t. dried thyme
1/2 t. dried rosemary
4 T. olive oil, plain (not extra-virgin)
4 T. unsalted butter, melted.

Equipment:  Roasting pan with rack, aluminum foil, meat thermometer (absolutely essential)

Place wire rack in roasting pan and tuck the wings under the bird (as best as possible).  Fill the neck cavity with half of the fresh herbs, and using one half of an onion like the "stopper."  Tuck the skin under the bird.  Fill the large cavity with the remaining fresh herbs and use the remaining onions to seal the cavity.  If the legs are not wired together, tie them together with butcher's twine. 

Dry the skin with a paper towel, then slather with the olive oil, making sure all the skin is covered.  Rub the dried herbs into the skin.  Tent aluminum foil over the entire bird (you will probably need two lengths) to prevent burning the skin.  Pour water into the roasting pan so that it covers the bottom but does not touch the bird.  If you can refill through the cooking process, do so.

If you have a programmable oven, set it to cook at 325 degrees for 20-25 minutes per pound.  I set mine before I go to bed and let the bird cook while I sleep.  At the end of the 20 minutes per pound time period (5 hours for a 15-pound bird), check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer.  I like 175-180 degrees deep in the thickest part of the breast and near the thigh.

Once your bird is nearing done, about 170-175 degrees, remove tent and drizzle butter over the skin.  Continue cooking until correct internal temperature is attained and the skin is crispy and golden brown.  Let set for 5-10 minutes before carving.  Your bird should be juicy and tender.

Serve on a bed of herbed wild rice.  For larger birds, you will need to increase the herbs.

Count your blessings during this holiday season!

Sunday, October 31, 2010


Dear friends,

Just a quick note to thank you for your business and to let you know about some exciting changes! In addition to working with you directly, I'm opening Savory--a shop-within-a-shop at The Bee Hive at Riversedge in Rossville. Your favorite Double Strength Vanilla and Hand Cream will be on the shelf as well as a select variety of Watkins flavorings, seasonings, and personal and home care products.

In addition to the fine Watkins products you've enjoyed in the past, I am also offering unique knitted goods exclusively at The Bee Hive. Imagine wrapping up in a toasty shawl, cowl, or scarf. Luxuriate in the feel of 100% cotton knitted dishcloths, wash cloths, and bath mats. I have more ideas in the works and I'll pass them along as they become available.

The holidays are just around the corner, so check your vanilla (do you have enough for your holiday recipes?), look at the date on your sage (it's one of the herbs that will grow stale), check out the ingredients in your household cleaners (just how green are they?) and give me a call to freshen up your supply.
Thank you for your business!