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What’s for Dinner {November 20, 2014}

If you’re new here, read my first What’s for Dinner post to get filled in on what’s going on. If you’ve been to this rodeo before, let’s get to business.

We had soup for dinner tonight.

I just realized we had soup last Thursday, and the Thursday before that too. Ha! Apparently we like soup.

Kale and Sausage soup with Cannellini BeansTonight I made an easy favorite, Kale and Sausage Soup with Cannellini Beans, except I didn’t use sausage tonight. I had some in the freezer, but I got started with dinner late and was to lazy to run down and get it out of the freezer in the basement. Yes, I’m that lazy.

The soup is delicious with or without the sausage. It’s one of those simple recipes that explodes with flavor. Yes, explodes.

I made a super quick loaf of Artisan Bread to go with our soup, I halved this recipe and had it rise in the oven so it would be done jiffy quick. Start to finish in under and hour. Yes, jiffy quick.

I wish I could get out of the habit of putting off dinner preparations until the kids are home form school. Why or why do I keep shooting myself in the foot like this? [Read more…]

Simple “How to” Tips for Cooking a Turkey…and other great Thanksgiving Recipes

How to make a turkey the easy way

For those of you who will be cooking a turkey for the first time this year or even for those of you who have made one in the past, but haven’t been happy with the results, I’ve put together a quick post of simple steps I follow when cooking my own turkey.

I’ve cooked a fair amount of turkey’s in my day and on occasion I’ve been sucked into trying a new “trendy” method. Each time I’ve been disappointed and go back to my good old trusted simple steps.

And just so you know the year I decided to try brining, I almost burnt my house down. True Story.

What you will need:

  • a roasting pan (a disposable one will work fine if you do not have one. it needs to be at least 5 inches deep, so juices won”t spill out. Also if you use a disposable one put it on top of a cookie sheet so it won’t bend and be hard to get out of the oven once the Turkey is cooked.)
  • an oven bag (turkey size)
  • a turkey…how big of a bird will you need to feed your crowd? (rule of thumb is one pound per adult and 1/2 pound per child you plan on feeding) …also you need to defrost your turkey if it is frozen. Depending on it’s size you will need to put it in your fridge for 2-3 days so it can unthaw. If it is still pretty frozen the night before you need to cook it you can stick it in a sink or large bowl full of cold water.
  • an orange and a lemon (you can use two oranges if you don’t have a lemon)
  • a little bit of olive oil (canola oil is fine if you don’t have olive oil)
  • salt and pepper

Oven Bag, Turkey size


Simple Steps for Awesome Turkey:

  • Prepare oven bag according to directions on back of package (wait to make slits until you have the turkey all ready to go)
  • Preheat oven to temperature indicated on Turkey package…also note how long your turkey will need to cook (depends on it’s weight)
  • Unwrap turkey and remove giblets and anything else that may be lodged in it’s cavity (some turkeys come with a gravy packet)
  • Place Turkey in prepared oven bag
  • Squeeze the lemon and orange all over turkey and put the squeezed out halves into the turkey’s cavity (if you prefer to put stuffing in the turkey’s cavity just leave the squeezed out halves out all together or you can put them in the bag with the turkey)
  • Drizzle a small amount of olive oil over turkey (a tbsp or two)
  • Generously salt and pepper entire turkey ( I use about a tbsp of salt per 6 pounds of turkey and 1/4-1/2 tsp pepper per 6 pounds)
  • Close bag, now here is the secret, put the turkey breast side down in the roaster pan, (this step puts more juices into the breast meat making it super moist.) Now, if you were hoping to have a perfectly roasted whole turkey to bring out to the table to wow your guests, this is not your method. This method gets the turkey so moist and tender that an attempt to flip it back over will most likely result in it breaking apart. I always pre-cut the meat before putting it on the serving table so this is never an issue at our house ….and having the tender flavorful turkey is well worth it to me.
  • Once bag is closed and Turkey is upside down in the roaster, make the suggested slits in the bag before placing it in the oven.*****NOTE: that cooking turkey breast side down will prevent the little turkey popper thing (most turkeys come with this and it tells you when the turkey is done) from being able to pop up. You need to follow the suggested cooking time per pound that the turkey package gives you. I usually do an extra 30 minutes just to be safe.
  • When Turkey is done carefully remove it from the oven and cover it with foil (so it will stay nice and warm) until you are ready to cut and serve. If you need to get the drippings out of the bag and the roaster pan for gravy, just do it carefully and quickly and then cover the turkey back up until you are ready to cut and serve.

I love this method because of the tasty results but also because of how low maintenance it is. ’cause seriously, who has time to baste when there are pies to be made. :)

I hope you all have a great and super delicious Thanksgiving!

Check out these other recipes to make your Thanksgiving Dinner Awesome!

Coconut Cream Pie Recipe with Secret Ingredient...sour creamEasy Coconut Cream Pie

Best Green Beans Ever, Gluten FreeAmazing Green Beans with Mushrooms and Caramelized Onions

Lunch Lady Cafeteria mixer neededLunch Lady Cafeteria Rolls

Mom's Cherry PieCherry Pie

Fake Pecan Pie...aka Oatmeal PieFake Pecan Pie….made with oatmeal

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Hearty Stuffed Pepper Soup

Hearty Stuffed Pepper Soup Recipe

Last week a friend asked me if I had a Stuffed Pepper Soup recipe on the blog and I didn’t, so I decided it is high time I posted one. I made this that night for our family and it was hearty and delicious. You’re gonna’ love it!

The pepper and tomato flavors are perfect together and the rice and meat give it a great texture and make it nice and filling. Pair it with some Artisan Bread or rolls and you’ve got a perfect dinner for a cool fall night. Did I mention this comes together in just over 30 minutes. Bonus! [Read more…]

What’s for Dinner {November 13, 2014}

If you’re new here, read my first What’s for Dinner post to get filled in on what’s going on. If you’ve been to this rodeo before, let’s get to business.

Stuffed Pepper SoupI made stuffed pepper soup for dinner tonight. I wasn’t intending to, but after a friend had mentioned it on Facebook this morning, I had it on the brain. Later today day when the weather turned freezing cold and wet I remembered I had peppers in the fridge I needed to use up anyway, so it was on.

Dinner HelpersI started the soup right when we got back from picking up the big boys at school. Trever was still acting content in his car seat so I tried to get everything chopped up before he realized I wasn’t holding him. Charlotte took advantage of the situation and found an iPad to entertain herself with while I was busy. [Read more…]