Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Last Minute Touches

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If you need some last minute touches to make your meal extra special, take the time to break out those cookie cutters for another use. I cut up some leaves and pumpkins using cheese slices and even watermelon. Trust me, people notice when you take the extra step.

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HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Thai-spiced Deviled Eggs

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I know it’s getting close to Thanksgiving, but I just had to share these yummy deviled eggs. They turned out super cute looking like pumpkins too so save this recipe for your next Fall party or if you are hosting this weekend, they are easy to whip up. You can decorate them plain too with a simple piping, but they have a perfect orange color to them they make fantastic pumpkins. (See below for how to do it.)

So regardless if you try this recipe or another one I do have a few tips for you when it comes to making the perfect shaped (and cooked) boiled egg.

#1 Don’t overcrowd the pot! The eggs need to be in a single layer with an inch of water covering the top. Don’t be ambitious and think you can boil a pot filled with eggs, they won’t all cook evenly.

#2 You can’t use fresh eggs. It’s best that the eggs are about a week old to make them easy to peel. If you use fresh eggs you’ll have a hard time peeling them and have to resort to Pinterest fixes on how to get the egg to peel.

#3 In order to get the yolks perfectly in the middle of the egg, simply flip the eggs in the carton over (as in one at a time not the whole carton closed!) this will allow the egg yolk to slowly settle, otherwise you end up with the yolk on one side of the egg. Just do it the day before you plan on cooking them.

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Thai-spiced Deviled Eggs

(Adapted from Foodista)

 

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6 Eggs

2 Tablespoons thick coconut milk, cold(not low fat) or mayonnaise

2 Teaspoons Thai Curry paste (we used the Thai Kitchen brand)

1 Teaspoon ketchup

½ Teaspoon paprika plus more to sprinkle

½ Teaspoon spicy mustard

¼ Teaspoon Sriracha or other red chilli sauce

Salt to taste

For the pumpkin look -

Paprika

1 Spring/green onion

 

Cover the eggs with an inch of cold water and bring to a boil.

 

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Boil for a minute, then cover and set aside for 10 minutes.

 

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Drain and then fill the pan with cold water. After 5 minutes, peel the eggs. Slice each egg length-wise and gently remove the yolks.

 

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Place the yolks and all the other ingredients in a small bowl and mash until very smooth.

 

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Mound the yolk mixture into the egg whites or transfer it to a ziptop bag and pipe it out.

 

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Wet your finger and pat the surface of the filling smooth. Using a toothpick draw lines to make the 'pumpkin' indentations.

 

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Sprinkle with paprika if desired. Cut up the green part of the onion to make tiny stems and add them to finish off the pumpkin look.

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Friday, November 21, 2014

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bites

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This is a super easy dessert that can be made ahead of time. The thing I loved most is that you can cut the sheet pan into smaller bite size pieces to insure your guest will take a piece rather than having a pie or cake that everyone is too full to try. The cheesecake comes out a little thin so if you would like thicker pieces use a smaller pan, but trust me it’s full of flavor and rich so you won’t want to do it too thick. You could even do this in a cheesecake pan, but you’ll need to adjust your baking time to do so. Get creative if you would like too and instead of cutting them into squares, use cookie cutters to make shapes.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bites

(Adapted from Eat Live Run)

 

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1 15-oz can pumpkin

3 eggs

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 tbsp cream

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 tbsp cornstarch

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp ginger

1/2 tsp salt

1.5 lbs cream cheese, at room temperature

 

for graham cracker crust:

18 graham crackers (2 sleeves)

1 stick butter, melted

1/4 cup sugar

*whipped cream to top

 

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

 

In a large bowl crush graham crackers with your hands. Add sugar and butter and mix well.

 

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Press graham cracker crumbs onto a lined (parchment paper or silpat) jelly roll pan. Bake for 5 minutes until toasty. Remove and reduce oven temperature to 325.

 

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Mix together the pumpkin, eggs, brown sugar, cream and vanilla in a large bowl.

 

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In the bowl of a KitchenAid, beat together the cream cheese, granulated sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and ginger.

 

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 Beat until light and fluffy then slowly pour in pumpkin mixture.

 

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Continue beating until mixture is smooth and no lumps remain.

 

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Pour batter onto baked crust and bake for 50 minutes until edges begin to pull away from the sides of the pan.

 

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Let cool completely before cutting into small squares and topping with whipped cream.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Roasted Beer-Brined Butterball Turkey with Onion Gravy and Bacon

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Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway, it was the largest amount of entries to date! Congrats to Tonya and Buddy I hope you guys enjoy the Butterball turkey and I would to see what you make this year! Also a huge thank you to our sponsor Butterball for the turkey vouchers!!

Don’t forget all the ways you can “Butterball It” this season:

  • Facebook and Twitter click to see tips, special savings and more.
  • Pinterest page for even more inspiration.
  • Instagram to get a behind-the-scenes look at recipe development for Thanksgiving meals and more.
  • Live chats: 1-800-BUTTERBALL (1-800-288-8372) TurkeyTalk Line experts will be available this season starting November 3, 2014, through December 24, 2014, to answer questions and assist all Thanksgiving cooks.
  • Butterball App: Download the free Butterball Cookbook Plus app on your Apple device (Available for Android devices beginning in October) to get recipe ideas and cooking advice at your fingertips.

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I bought a 11.30 pound turkey and it took a little less cooking time so be mindful of that when you buy a turkey and adjust it to the recipe. I also injected the turkey once I took the bacon off to make sure it stayed nice and moist. Overall the recipe is really good. My only word of caution is make sure you have a large enough pot to brine the turkey. We used our crawfish/turkey frying pot. I love how the gravy came out and hubby loved the nice crunch the bacon added.

Roasted Beer-Brined Turkey with Onion Gravy and Bacon

(Adapted from Food & Wine)

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1/4 cup yellow mustard seeds

2 tablespoons black peppercorns

8 bay leaves

1 cup dark brown sugar

1 cup kosher salt

2 onions, cut into thick wedges

1 pound slab bacon, skin removed and meat sliced 1/3 inch thick

Six 12-ounce bottles Guinness stout

One 12- to 14-pound turkey

1 cup turkey stock or low-sodium chicken broth

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

 

In a very large pot, combine the mustard seeds, peppercorns and bay leaves and toast over moderate heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes.

 

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Add the brown sugar and salt and remove from the heat.

 

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 Add 4 cups of water and stir until the sugar and salt are dissolved; let cool completely.

 

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Add the onions, bacon, Guinness and 16 cups of cold water to the pot. Add the turkey to the brine, breast side down, and top with a heavy lid to keep it submerged. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.

 

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Preheat the oven to 350° and position a rack on the bottom shelf. Lift the turkey from the brine, pick off any peppercorns, mustard seeds and bay leaves and pat dry. Transfer the turkey to a large roasting pan, breast side up. Scatter the onion wedges in the pan and add 1 cup of water.

 

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Using toothpicks, secure the bacon slices over the breast.

 

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Roast the turkey for about 2 hours, turning the pan occasionally, until an instant-read thermometer inserted deep into the turkey thighs registers 150°. Remove the bacon and return the turkey to the oven.

 

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Roast for about 1 hour longer, until the breast is browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted in a thigh registers 170°. Transfer the turkey to a carving board.

 

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Pour the pan juices and onion wedges into a saucepan and boil until reduced to 3 cups, about 5 minutes.

 

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Add the turkey stock and return to a boil. In a small bowl, mash the butter to a paste with the flour. Whisk the paste into the gravy and boil until thickened slightly, about 5 minutes.

 

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Meanwhile, cut the bacon crosswise 1/2 inch thick. In a large skillet, fry the bacon over high heat, stirring occasionally, until browned and crisp, about 3 minutes.

 

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Carve the turkey and serve with the gravy and bacon.

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Disclaimer: 3 Butterball checks where sent to me one for me and two to giveaway have been provided by Butterball for this Review & Giveaway. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”