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Saturday, June 30, 2012

A Pizza Dinner {Foodie Pen Pal}

Thanks for the Pizza & Goodies, Pen Pal! I joined in this month to receive a box from a Foodie Pen Pal. I thought, this sounds like fun, let's give it a try. I also sent a box to a lucky foodie penpal, Mary. My pen pal, Mary and her box of goodies that I sent can be found at A Small Loss, you can check that out too. But let's get onto my box of yummy'ness.....

The Lean Green Bean

I received my Foodie Pen Pal from Crystal at Counting by 4,
my box was filled with lots of pre-made packages to make and a few snacks.


My kids made up both packages of pancakes one morning (when I was at work, bummer). Then for dinner we enjoyed the pizza crust. I made up the homemade pizza and used some left-over spaghetti sauce, what a great easy way to get some hamburger meat mixed into my son's plain Cheese Pizza. It worked like a charm, I will be using that trick more often. Next up I will be making the Corn Muffins and freezing them for our 16-day road trip to Missouri next month. All this delicious food in one tiny box.



The pizza was delicious and it was a great quick meal. Thanks Pen Pal.


This great event was created by The Lean Green Bean. Here are all the details if you'd like to join the Foodie Penpals. If you’re interested in participating for July, please CLICK HERE to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions. You must submit your information by July 4th as pairings will be emailed on July 5th!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Juice Smoothie 50/50

I thought this was so interesting, a split of 50/50 Vegetables and Fruit for smoothies! WOW, what a concept, we have such a hard time getting in vegetables, fruits are easy.

I made this smoothie and was quite surprised, I will for sure be sneaking in more veggies now to our smoothies.


Juice Smoothie 50/50
idea found at Vegan Yack Attack

3 Carrots
3-4 Small Tangerines, Peeled
1 Small Fuji Apple, Cored
1-1/2 Cup Green Grapes
3-4 Stalks of Celery

Place all ingredients through your juicer (Magic Bullet), stir juice together and if you’d like it colder, serve over ice or mix up some ice in your blender.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Dirty Dancing Movie & Skinny Cow Ice Cream Party

It's Summer Time and what better way to celebrate then with lazy days watching movie classics like Dirty Dancing and enjoying Ice Cream! In our summer plans this year we decided to get a bunch of friends together once a week at our home to relax, have all-night sleepovers, and enjoy the summer sun playing in the pool. My kids are loving it so far, lots of friends and family around to hang out with, what's not to love?



When I was invited by Foodbuzz to host a Skinny Cow Ice Cream Party and a movie screening of Dirty Dancing I knew this would fit in perfectly with our Summer Slumber Parties. With my girls (twins), and their best friends (a set of twins and a set of triplets), that's an EASY party of 7, plus throw in a few younger brothers and we've got a house full. And with 4 of the 7 teenagers loving DANCE, the movie Dirty Dancing is right up their alley. The two sets of twins have been dancing for over 10 years together.


We invited everyone over for the slumber party and the festivities began. Of course, number one on the list was munchies. A party at our house is never complete with out chips and homemade pan fried onion dip, then they moved right into the movie and ice cream, followed by a fun day at the pool.





We enjoyed the Skinny Cow Slimited Editions Oh Fudge Nuts Cones (this was our favorite, my son even ate two), next the older girls and my girlfriend tried the Mmmocha Truffle Bars (and for any coffee lovers out there... DE-LI-CIOUS) and lastly we all enjoyed the classic Best of Both Swirleds Sandwiches. The Skinny Cow ice cream was amazing, no one could believe that is was Skinny Cow, they all said they would toally have this ice cream AGAIN. I knew that was the case when all the ice cream that was purchased was completely gone. Plenty of Ice cream was enjoyed by all.

As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program, I received a stipend, DVD,
and coupons for free Skinny Cow® product.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Better Then {Anything} Cake

This cake is a famous cake, which I am sure many of you have heard of before {Better Then Sex Cake}. I've had it many times myself at a Bed and Breakfast in Big Bear, but have never really tried to make it myself. I came across this cake on Pinterest over and over again and thought, I need to try this out. With kids in my house, posting on facebook for youngin's to look at, I felt that a new name for this cake would better suit my family. I came across a different name {Better then Anything Cake} I liked this name better and more appropriate for a food item and thus this is what we call this OUT-OF-THIS-WORLD delicious cake. I will be making this again this week for my husband's work.


Better Than {Anything} Cake
adapted by me, recipe found on Barefoot and Baking

1 box chocolate cake mix (plus ingredients it calls for on the back of the box)
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 jar hot fudge sauce or 1 jar of caramel sauce
1 (8 oz) container of cool whip
4 Heath Bars, Skor Bars or 1 pkg of Andes Toffee Crunch Candies, crushed

Make and bake cake according to box directions in a 9x13 in pan. As soon as it comes out of the oven, poke holes with the handle of a wooden spoon all over the cake. Pour sweetened condensed milk over the top. Let cool completely. Next spread fudge over the cake, and put in the refrigerator to set. When it is cool, spread cool whip over the top and then top with crushed candy. Serve after the cake has been refrigerated and cooled. Some people like this cake better the next day as the cake gets more moist, and make sure to refrigerate leftovers.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Strawberry Smoothie {TWC Linky Party #87 - Summer Berry Recipes}

THIS WEEK'S CRAVINGS Linky Party #87
(Summer Berry Recipes)

I love berries, strawberries, blueberries and raspberries are my all time favorite. I got this great little tool at Crate and Barrel. It's SO cool. It makes strawberry cleaning so much easier, we keep this right in the silverware drawer and use it all the time. Best investment ever, I think it was around $6 bucks.

I've been pretty good so far on my once a day smoothies last week, so I am sharing another one of my own creations with you today.

Strawberry Smoothie
original recipe by me: Tina Hudgens

5 to 10 strawberries (add a few raspberries if you have some)
1 container yogurt (Activia Vanilla)
1 tbsp honey
1 glass of ice
a few splashes of milk, if needed for consistency

Throw it all into the awesome Magic Bullet (or whatever blender you like to use), mix it up and then you are off to a great morning start with a healthy smoothie.

This week's theme is: SUMMER BERRY RECIPES
Please only link recipes with our theme!

If you are a regular to THIS WEEK'S CRAVINGS Linky party, then link-up we're excited to see what you made this week. If you are new, please just follow our simple rules, so that everyone can enjoy the linky party! If you forget to follow the theme, your post will be deleted. Please don't feel hurt, just come back and link up a recipe that follows the theme. Thanks a million, we look forward to blogging with you!



Please Grab Our Button!!!

This Week's Cravings Upcoming Linky "THEMES"
Here is a complete list of the past and what's coming up next on THIS WEEK'S CRAVINGS!
July 2 - July 4th Celebration (ONLY Red, White & Blue Food)

July 9 - Fried Foods

July 16 - Seafood Recipes

July 23 - ICE CREAM Goodies & Treats 
Your hostess for this party are: Tina from MOMS CRAZY COOKING, Nicole from The Daily Dish and Kristi from Veggie Converter. We host this theme linky party every Monday (and the party stays open all week long)! We hope to inspire you to make something with our theme or get an old post notice by linking it up to the linky party below. 
The LINKY PARTY is opened ALL Week!

PLEASE do not link more then 3 recipes per week.

This week's theme is: SUMMER BERRY RECIPES
Please only link recipes with our them!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Seasoned Baked Potato

Seasoned Potato, good enough for a meal but great as a side dish too! I choose to cook one of these up for lunch at work one day after seeing this amazing recipe on Pinterest (we have a great toaster oven that works perfectly at work for quick meals like these). Either way this is a great way to spice up the plain ole' baked potato.



Seasoned Baked Potato
recipe found at Iowa Girl Eats

1 Baked Potato
1 tbsp Butter
1 tbsp Parmesan Cheese (fresh is best)
2 tsp Lawry's Seasoning Salt

Cook the potato (which ever way you wish - I prefer the oven - the microwave just doesn't do it justice). After the potato is fully cooked, cut the potato in half, then cut each half into squares. Don’t cut all the way through, just down to the skin. Season with butter, Parmesan cheese and Lawry's Seasoning Salt, then pop them into the middle rack of your oven set to broil for 10-15 minutes. I like to add a drop of Sour Cream to the top and Eat Away! I promise you won't be sorry! DELICIOUS!!!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Pineapple Bacon Burgers


What a neat way to serve up a burger, Pineapple, Bacon and the Burger all in one. I premade these, stuck them in the freezer a while back from this great idea I saw on Pinterest (of course the pin had no recipe attached, so I just winged it), then when we decided to head to the park with friends, these were already in my freezer ready to go. I just took them out and let them defrost before throwing them on the BBQ.

I want to tell you these are OUT-OF-THIS-WORLD YUMMMMYYYYYYYY!



Pineapple Bacon Burgers
original idea found on Pinterest, source unknown

Make Your Favorite Hamburger patty recipe. If you don't have one here is mine.

2 lbs favorite ground beef, well chilled
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 to 2 tsp of Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp garlic salt
1 to 2 tsp seasoning salt
1 egg
1 lb bacon
1 can sliced or fresh pineapple
8 to 12 slices Kraft American Singles (we like DOUBLE cheese)

Mix all ingredients together (except bacon and pineapple) and form patties. Then you can lay them on foil (if you are freezing for later) or just on a cooking sheet if cooking them now. Take two pieces of bacon and lay them cross ways, 1 slice of pineapple and lay on top of the formed patty. wrap the bacon around the top and pineapple and it's ready to BBQ.

Favorite Hamburger Buns
Iceberg Lettuce
Fresh Tomato Slices


After burger are cooked, top with lettuce, tomato and your favorite burger sauce and ENJOY!

My friends husband was the BBQ man of the day! Thanks Wayn-o !!!



Having a good burger is one thing, but enjoying it at the park with friends makes it even better and believe it or not, my husband was there too! This was a RARE-RARE occasion lately in our family. Don't tell anyone, but this event actually happened on Easter Sunday, it's just taken me this long to FINALLY post this awesome recipe. And by the way we had a wonderful Easter too!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Chinese Sweet & Sour Chicken {TWC #86 Linky Party - International Foods}

THIS WEEK'S CRAVINGS Linky Party #86
(International Foods)

My plan for today was to step out and make some home made Egg Rolls, that's about as International as I can stretch, but time got away. And well there are my two FAVORITE International Foods to pick from Mexican or Italian, I LOVE them both very very much and make them very often. But, I did have this one recipe stored away that I made and my whole family LOVED, Sweet and Sour Chicken. Kinda like the chicken at those fast food Chinese places, my 13 year old son told me it just wasn't the same, but we all thought it was SO MUCH better. I will be making this AGAIN soon!


Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken
recipe found at Six Sisters Stuff, recipe originally from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Chicken:
3-4 boneless chicken breasts
salt & pepper, to taste
1 cup cornstarch
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup canola oil

Sweet and Sour Sauce:
3/4 cup sugar
4 tbsp ketchup
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp garlic salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Rinse your chicken breasts in water and then cut into cubes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Place the cornstarch in a gallon-sized ziploc bag. Put the chicken into the bag with the cornstarch and seal, tossing to coat the chicken, then dip into the eggs.

Heat your 1/4 cup oil in a large skillet and cook your chicken until browned but not cooked through. Place the chicken in a 9x13 greased baking dish. Mix all of your sweet and sour sauce ingredients in a bowl with a whisk and then pour evenly over the chicken. Bake for one hour and during the baking process you will need to turn the chicken once or twice about every 15 minutes. This chicken is delicious and will for sure be made again in my house. 


This week's theme is: INTERNATIONAL FOODS
Please only link recipes with our theme!

If you are a regular to THIS WEEK'S CRAVINGS Linky party, then link-up we're excited to see what you made this week. If you are new, please just follow our simple rules, so that everyone can enjoy the linky party! If you forget to follow the theme, your post will be deleted. Please don't feel hurt, just come back and link up a recipe that follows the theme. Thanks a million, we look forward to blogging with you!


Please Grab Our Button!!!

This Week's Cravings Upcoming Linky "THEMES"
Here is a complete list of the past and what's coming up next on THIS WEEK'S CRAVINGS!
June 25 - Summer Berry Recipes (anything with berries)

July 2 - July 4th Celebration (ONLY Red, White & Blue Food)

July 9 - Fried Foods

July 16 - Seafood Recipes 
Your hostess for this party are: Tina from MOMS CRAZY COOKING, Nicole from The Daily Dish and Kristi from Veggie Converter. We host this theme linky party every Monday (and the party stays open all week long)! We hope to inspire you to make something with our theme or get an old post notice by linking it up to the linky party below. 
The LINKY PARTY is opened ALL Week!

PLEASE do not link more then 3 recipes per week.

This week's theme is: International Foods
Please only link recipes with our them!

German Chocolate Cracker Candy {SECRET RECIPE CLUB}

SECRET RECIPE CLUB
German Chocolate Cracker Candy

I've been running all over the place lately, in the last two months I've been to Florida, Missouri (twice), thrown a HUGE 120+ people graduation party for my girls, spent a weekend at Pebble Beach (arrived home last night at 9pm), and now I am finally HOME SWEET HOME (I am NOT complaining, I LOVE LOVE it all); but I am home now! (at least for the next 11 days) Then I have one more GIRLS ONLY trip to Big Bear for a scrapbooking weekend, a small break in the month of July then our BIG BIG trip in August will be to drive my twins to college from Southern California to St. Charles, Missouri. But today it's time for the Secret Recipe Club; Group C! This is my 14th post for the Secret Recipe Club and I am still having a great time (ahhhh, when I remember to make my recipe and not have to wake up at 5:30am on the day of to whip out a recipe). OH, did I say that out loud! No, really it's happened more then once and today was one of those days. One of my girls even woke up (at 6am) and said "WHAT IS THAT SMELL, IT SMELLS SOOOOO GOOD"; so I will tell you, the recipe was well worth it!

Secret Recipe Club

When I am sent my blog assignment, I always jump right over and check it out. Of course, I start pinning everything that I would LOVE to make, so last night when I was in the car while my husband was making that LONG 7 hour drive home from Pebble Beach, I knew I had already pinned a handful of recipes I was wanting to make. I clicked on over and there were three recipes I had chosen. Now, I just need to pick the one I was gonna make at 5:30am and I was ready to go. I knew I had all the fixin's for the German Chocolate Cracker Candy, so that was an easy decision. My secret blog this month is Authentic Suburban Gourmet.

The funny thing is that I use to make a recipe JUST like this when I was a kid. I was going to share with you also, my recipe (it's really similar, but mine has no coconut). Here is the recipe from ME when I was about 10 years old (in my lovely handwriting, with my awesome signature) TOO CUTE! And YES, YES, that is a lovely photo of yours truly.


I don't know why I don't make this recipe more often, everyone LOVES it. Today, though I made this new version from my Secret Recipe Blog and it was just as delicious. Oh, the possibilities.

German Chocolate Cracker Candy
recipe adapted by me, found over at Authentic Suburban Gourmet,
originally from Southern Living 2011 Christmas Book

10 Graham crackers (1-1/2 pkgs)
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1-1/2 cups milk (or dark) chocolate chips (or if you run out use melting chocolate like me)
2/3 cup coarsely chopped whole walnuts (or almonds or your favorite nuts)
1/2 cup shredded coconut, lightly toasted
extra 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (if you wish for topping)

Preheat the oven to 350. Arrange the graham crackers tightly on a cookie sheet that has sides on it or the sauce will run over the edges. I like to use parchment paper for less of a mess (but it's not required).

Heat the brown sugar and butter in a saucepan over medium heat until melted and smooth, and slightly bubbling, about 5 minutes. Pour over the graham crackers and spread to cover all crackers. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes. The mixture will be bubbly. Remove from oven and spread some more if necessary pushing any excess butter and sugar mixture onto the crackers. Also at this time you can spread your coconut onto a small baking dish and toast for about 7 to 9 minutes in the oven at the same time.

Sprinkle with the chocolate chips and let melt for about 10 minutes (if using melting chocolate, I melt in the microwave first and then spread the melted chocolate over the graham crackers). Sprinkle the nuts, toasted coconut and mini chocolate chips. Press gently to adhere to chocolate, I like to return to oven for about 3 minutes to just toast the tops a little and melt the mini chocolate chips in place. They will re-harden once you remove from the oven and they should keep their form. Chill in freezer for 15 minutes or on the counter for about an hour or so. Remove and break apart gently. Store in an airtight container and best kept chilled in the refrigerator. Enjoy!




Here is a list of my past Secret Recipe Club recipes:

Friday, June 15, 2012

Chicken Parm Sandwich {What to Expect Book}

This was such a quick and easy sandwich to make with left-over Chicken Parmesan (some may even have this in your refrigerator right now) and for a busy mom this meal is just what you may need caring for those little ones. Just after my little niece came home from the hospital, I headed over to my sister-in-laws house to make her a quick lunch and to let her shower in peace while I watched the little ones, my niece is 2 months old and my nephew is almost 2 years old. I know this is a handful, with sleepless nights and long days. I was sent this book What to Expect the Second Year, and I thought she was the perfect person to give this too, my nephew Ace will be two in August and her little one will be right behind him.


Chicken Parm Sandwich
recipe created by me

left-over Chicken Parmesan or Mozzarella Chicken, thinly sliced
French Rolls (butter and sprinkle with garlic salt)

Butter and sprinkle rolls with garlic salt, then Broil for about 4 to 6 minutes. Heat the left over chicken Parmesan in the microwave and unless it has lots of cheese still left on it, you can cut a few extra slices of mozzarella cheese to top it off with. Add the thin slices of chicken to one side of the bread, top with some extra cheese and return to broil for about 4 more minutes, until cheese is melted. Remove from oven, put sandwich together and serve hot. This is GREAT meal for left-overs and it's quick and easy.

I know my sister-in-law loved her sandwich and I am sure when she gets a spare two minutes she will really enjoy this book from What to Expect.


Filet Mignon, Restaurant Style

Cooking Steak around our house is a rare occasion. Not sure why, it's just not my go-to meal. But, I love Filet Mignon, I order it at every steak house we go to. I have a feeling BBQ'ing and Steak (my son's favorite too) will be meals that I will be seeing more often after my girls leave for school, it will be only my son and long-lost-hard-working hubby I will be cooking for and my son LOVES steak.


This was one of my first attempts at a Restaurant-Style Filet Mignon. It was super delicious.


Fliet Mignon, Restaurant Style
adapted by me, recipe found at Amuse Bouche

2 (8 ounce) filet mignons
4 tsp kosher salt
4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 stick butter
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp parsley, chopped
1 tbsp herb de Provence
1 tsp freshly grated lemon zest

Take 1/2 stick of butter, softened, and mix well with the peeled, chopped garlic, the chopped herbs, and the lemon zest. Form into a log and refrigerate. Generously season the filet’s with salt and pepper, approximately 1 teaspoon of seasoning per side.

Heat the remainder of the butter (1/2 stick) and the olive oil in a skillet to a screaming hot temperature. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Sear the filets in a screaming hot pan for about 2-3 minutes per side, or until a nice brown crust has formed. While the steak is searing, continue to spoon the residual butter in the pan on top of the meat while it’s cooking. Once both sides are seared, place in the center of the oven for about 6-8 minutes, depending upon how thick your steak is. In the last minute of cooking, take the log of compound butter and slice a nice thick piece to place on top.



Thursday, June 14, 2012

ULTIMATE CRAZY COOKING CHALLENGE RECIPE - Fruit Smoothies

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I am in LOVE with all of the smoothie recipes and yes, along with my other faithful helpers, I think I pinned almost every single one of the fruit smoothies so that I can make them all summer long starting Monday. My girls and I have vowed to drink one smoothie a day all summer long in replace of a meal (kinda trying to jump kick a healthy diet... let's see how long it lasts). Did you see all the Fruit Smoothies/Shakes? The combinations are endless and I am in love with SO many of them.

I am excited today to announce the winner, voted on by you the readers and bloggers. This is our tenth month of the CRAZY COOKING CHALLENGE; and it just keeps getting better and better! If you missed the post or if you are new here make sure you go back and check them out... we have 68 TOTALLY WONDERFUL Fruit Smoothies from the challenge last week!

The Ultimate Recipe is chosen from the blog that received the most traffic/most clicks from the linky party. Did you know that our little challenge received over 21,978 hits in one week. You guys are AMAZING! That's so wonderful and many bloggers who participate say that their challenge recipes are their most popular posts. If you want more details about this challenge or joining this challenge for next month read all about it here. Next month we will be baking and blogging about the ULTIMATE FRIED CHICKEN. Please come join us!

Now, let's announce the June WINNER of the CRAZY COOKING CHALLENGE. We had a CLOSE tie.. and I am so honored that my recipe the Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Smoothie was the top recipe again this month. But I wanted to highlight the second place recipe instead.... so here it is! A BIG ROUND OF APPLAUSE to.....

The Ultimate FRUIT SMOOTHIE Recipe

Thank you, Melissa's Cuisine for finding this recipe over at The Royal Cook. We'd like to thank you for sharing your recipe with the CRAZY COOKING CHALLENGE. You deserve a big round of applause and you are entitled to the ULTIMATE CRAZY COOKING CHALLENGE BUTTON, please feel free to grab it below if you wish and post it proudly on your blog.

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Also a BIG THANK YOU to the bloggers below who participated in the challenge!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Turkey Cranchiladas

There are so many fun things to do with Turkey left-overs. I found this amazing enchilada recipe that I am sharing with you today, make sure you book mark this, pin it or print it out to make after Thanksgiving or if you are a CRAZY cook like me, you might just be making a whole Turkey in the month of June. Summer Time at it's best and fresh Turkey sandwiches all week long! I LOVE IT! I hope I have inspired a few of you to make a Turkey this summer to enjoy! Turkey is NOT just for Thanksgiving.

Now nothing beats a good ole' fashion white bread turkey sandwich, but after a few days of those you might be looking for something better. Last year I made these Cranberry-Turkey Quesadillas or my all time favorite was a Turkey, Cranberry & Brie Pizza.

Sometimes throughout the year I like to randomly make a big 20 lb plus turkey just so I can get some of my favorite turkey left-over meals like these. Here is a new one to try.
 

Turkey Cranchiladas
adapted from recipe found at Pink Parsley, originally from Better Homes and Gardens

2 to 2 1/2 cups shredded turkey
2 cups fresh cranberry-pomegranate sauce (or 1 (16 oz) can)
1/2 cup sour cream
1-1/2 cups shredded cheese (mozzarella & cheddar)
1/2 cup salsa + 1/4 cup salsa
1/4 cup diced green onions
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
10-12 (6-inch) flour tortillas

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and lightly spray a 9x13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine the turkey, 1 cup of the cranberry sauce, sour cream, 3/4 cup shredded cheese, 1/2 cup salsa, green onions, cilantro, cumin, salt, and pepper.

Spoon about 1/3 cup filling into each tortilla, and roll tightly. Place seam-side down in the baking dish.

In a medium bowl, combine the remaining cranberry sauce and 1/4 cup salsa. Stir to combine and pour over the enchiladas, sprinkle with remaining 3/4 cups of shredded cheese. Cover the dish with foil and bake 45 minutes. Remove foil for the last 10 minutes of cooking. Continue to bake until cheese is crisp and bubbly. Sprinkle with additional cilantro and scallions, and serve.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Upside-Down Roasted Turkey

Turkey is NOT just for Thanksgiving. We stocked up over the holidays and have a few Turkey's in the freezer (and we paid only $7 bucks for them). I just LOVE making them fresh for us to enjoy a great meal on a Sunday afternoon and lots of scrumptious fresh Turkey sandwiches all week long. Plus we enjoy  many other Turkey left-overs like Cranberry-Turkey Quesadillas, Turkey, Cranberry and Brie Pizza and a few new ones I will be sharing with you this week (watch tomorrow for a very different kind of Enchilada). Yah, I know it's June, but Turkey is in the house! YUMMY!


This I do have to say has been my BEST Turkey I ever made (to date). I tried a brand new recipe and I don't know if I will ever try another. This Turkey was not just moist the day we made it, but days later the Turkey left-overs were still moist and delicious. Now that is a perfect Turkey recipe in my world.


Roast Turkey
recipe found at Simply Recipes

1 turkey, approx. 15 lbs.*
Juice of a lemon
Salt and pepper
Olive oil or melted butter
1/2 yellow onion, peeled and quartered
Tops and bottoms of a bunch of celery
2 carrots
Parsley
Sprigs of fresh rosemary
Herb de Provence spice

Defrost the turkey according to the package directions. Then bring it to room temperature before cooking. Keep it in its plastic wrapping until you are ready to cook it.

Handle a raw turkey with the same amount of caution as when you handle raw chicken (I use gloves). Remove the neck and giblets (heart, gizzard, liver). Use the heart and gizzard for making stock (I use this recipe for Homemade Chicken or Turkey stock).

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Wash out the turkey with water. Pull out any remaining feather stubs in the turkey skin. Pat the turkey dry with paper towels. Lather the inside of the cavity with the juice of half a lemon. Take a small handful of salt and rub all over the inside of the turkey.

In this method of cooking a turkey, we don't make the stuffing in the turkey because doing so adds too much to the cooking time. For flavor, put inside the turkey a half a yellow onion, peeled and quartered, a bunch of parsley, a couple of carrots, and some tops and bottoms of celery. You may need to cap the body cavity with some aluminum foil so that the stuff doesn't easily fall out. Close up the turkey cavity with either string (not nylon string!) or metal skewers.  The neck cavity can be stuffed with parsley too.

Rub either melted butter or olive oil all over the outside of the turkey. Sprinkle salt and pepper generously all over the outside of the turkey.

Place turkey BREAST DOWN on the bottom of a rack over a sturdy roasting pan big enough to catch all the drippings. (yes, this is UPSIDE DOWN) This is the main difference. Cooking the turkey breast down means the skin over the breast will not get so brown. However, all of the juices from the cooking turkey will fall down into the breast while cooking. Add several sprigs of fresh (if possible)  rosemary and dried Herb de Provence spice to the outside of the turkey.

Put the turkey in the oven. Check the cooking directions on the turkey packaging. Gourmet turkeys often don't take as long to cook. For the 15 lb turkey, start the cooking at 400 F for the first 1/2 hour. Then reduce the heat to 350 F for the next 2 hours. Then reduce the heat further to 225 F for the next hour to hour and a half.
 
If you want the breast to be browned as well, you can turn the bird over so that the breast is on top, and put it in a 500°F oven or under the broiler for 4-5 minutes, just enough to brown the breast. Note that if you do this, you will have a higher risk of overcooking the turkey breast. (I do NOT do this)

Start taking temperature readings with a meat thermometer, inserted deep into the thickest part of the turkey breast and thigh, an hour before the turkey should be done. You want a resulting temperature of 175°F for the dark meat (thighs and legs) and 165°F for the white meat (breast). The temperature of the bird will continue to rise once you take it out of the oven, so take it out when the temperature reading for the thigh is 170°F, and for the breast 160°F.

Once you remove the turkey from the oven, let it rest for 15-20 minutes. Turn the turkey breast side up to carve it.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Ranch Chicken Enchiladas {TWC #85 Linky Party - MAN'ly Meals}

THIS WEEK'S CRAVINGS Linky Party #85
(MAN'ly Meals)

After a long weekend of graduation celebrations we are back in business (haha) for a day at least. Tomorrow I leave for Missouri for a two day trip and Friday I am headed for a QUIET weekend with my husband at Pebble Beach Golf Course (this is one of my husband's dreams).


Ranch Chicken Enchiladas
recipe found at Do You Smell That !!?

4 to 6 boneless chicken breast (fresh or frozen)
1 packet of dry ranch dressing
1 packet taco seasoning
1 can chicken broth
1 large packet of corn tortillas
1 to 2 cups of grated cheese
bottled ranch dressing

Put everything in the crock-pot and put on low for 3 to 4 hours. After it's all cooked, shred chicken and then you can serve in tacos or make these amazing enchiladas.

To make enchiladas you start layering the corn tortillas along the botton of a 9x13 pan, then add the chicken, the cheese and a few tbsp of Ranch Dressing in between each layer.

Cook at 350 for about 45 minutes and serve.


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This week's theme is: Man'ly Meals
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