Friday, December 31, 2010

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


***So, I know that this post is a little late, but I wanted to share some photos from this Christmas with you all.  I still cannot believe that 2010 is coming to a close.  It seems like this year just flew by so fast.  

I also want to take this opportunity to wish you all a very blessed and prosperous 2011!!  May this year be the best one yet!***

For the past 3 years, we've made it an annual tradition to make THESE CINNAMON ROLLS from scratch.  You may remember my previous posts about these incredible treats.  They are so amazingly delicious, that they should be illegal!  My mom-in-law talks about them all year long, so I look forward to baking them up for everyone.  The Pioneer Woman's recipe makes 6 - 7 aluminum tins full of ooey, gooey, incredibly sinful cinnamon rolls, so make a batch for all of your friends and family! 

We had a lot of fun making them this year on Christmas Eve!

I think that Brad had the most fun, though! Hehe

Pouring the Maple-Coffee glaze...oh my...


 It's important to move the tin around, to make sure the glaze soaks into every little crevice!


 Here they are folks, the most delicious cinnamon rolls on the planet!


The makings of Peppermint Bark...Melting the chocolate in a double boiler...

The Peppermint Bark was a big hit!

Chocolate covered pretzels have always been one of my favorites...they are my weakness!  This platter of goodies didn't last very long.

We had our own little Christmas miracle in Alabama this year...SNOW!  Look at what we woke up to on Christmas morning...It was beautiful.


The pups played and played with their new toys and treats that Santa brought.  ;-)

My adorable little niece, Dakota, had a blast on Christmas day!

My other little cute-as-a-button niece, Amber, does the funniest little thing...she does "The Look."  Here's a video...
video

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Orange Balsamic Glazed Chicken


***Wow...So, this is the second recipe that I've tried from Rachael Ray's new cookbook, Look + Cook.  This dish not only photographed beautifully, but it was packed with delicious flavor.  I served this chicken with some homemade Parmesan mashed potatoes, which made the perfect accompaniment. They were a perfect pair, because the potatoes were even more delicious when  mixed with some of the scallions and balsamic sauce from the chicken.  

This is a very simple dinner that would be perfect for a busy weeknight.  The chicken sautes in a very short time, and there isn't a mountain of other ingredients needed.  The balsamic glaze can be mixed together very quickly (it's made up of only 3 ingredients!), and then it's just a matter of adding it to the chicken and waiting for it to thicken.  Instead of arugula, I simply substituted some fresh Spring Mix salad...Yum!

I have to say, so far I am really loving Rachael's Look + Cook cookbook.  I bought the ingredients for several other dishes during my last grocery trip, so stay tuned for more deliciousness!

Bon Appetit!***


Orange Balsamic Glazed Chicken
Source:  Rachael Ray's Look + Cook cookbook


Ingredients:
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts or any combination of light and dark meat
  • Salt and coarse black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves chopped
  • 1/3 cup orange marmalade
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 2 scallions, whites and greens, finely chopped
  • 4 cups baby arugula
Directions:
In a large skillet, heat the EVOO over medium-high to high heat.

Season the chicken liberally with salt, pepper and poultry seasoning. When the EVOO ripples, add the chicken and brown for 5 minutes, then turn and sprinkle with rosemary. Cook until the chicken is tender and cooked through, about 5 minutes more.

In a small bowl, stir together the marmalade, vinegar and stock and pour over the chicken. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until the sauce has thickened and becomes a thin glaze. Arrange the chicken on a serving platter and serve topped with the glaze, scallions and arugula greens.


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Marsala Mushroom Burgers - Rachael Ray


***I am loving Rachael Ray's new cookbook, Look + Cook!  Of course, the fact that she autographed my copy just adds to my excitement.  ;-)

I've officially broken in this book by trying my first recipe - Marsala Burgers. Your family will love this dish, because it's a deliciously different take on the traditional American cheeseburger. These burgers were pretty awesome...The ground beef (I used only beef instead of Rachael's combination of sirloin and veal) is mixed with garlic, fresh parsley, nutmeg, and salt/pepper.  This makes the meat very, very flavorful.  The portabella mushrooms are sauted until golden brown and then doused with a healthy splash of sweet marsala wine....YUM!

I found some freshly baked onion rolls at the grocery store, which made the perfect accompaniment to these burgers.  Mozzarella cheese makes a great substitution here, instead of the more expensive Parmigiano-Reggiano.  That's what I had on-hand, and I simply melted a few slices on the burgers before adding the mushrooms.

Give this one a try!


Bon Appetit!***
Marsala Burgers
Source:  Rachael Ray's Look + Cook cookbook
  • 1 pound ground sirloin
  • 1 pound ground veal
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), divided
  • 4 portabello mushroom caps, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Marsala wine
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 crusty Kaiser or ciabatta rolls, split
  • A chunk of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for shaving
Directions:
In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground meats with the garlic, spices, salt and pepper and chopped parsley. Score the meat into four equal portions, then form four patties thicker at the edges and thinner at the center for even cooking.
Pre-heat a large nonstick skillet with 1 tablespoon EVOO over medium-high heat. Add the patties to the hot skillet and cook for about 8 minutes total for medium-rare, 10 minutes for medium, or 12 minutes for well done, turning once.

Meanwhile, heat another large skillet over medium-high heat with the remaining EVOO. Let the EVOO get hot, then add the mushrooms and sauté until golden brown. Season with the salt, pepper and thyme. (Hold off seasoning unti lthe mushrooms are brown because the salt will draw out liquids that would otherwise slow down the browning process.)  Douse the pan with the Marsala and reduce for 30 seconds, then add the butter, melt, and turn off the heat.

If the rolls are not super-crusty, warm them in the oven on low heat.

To assemble, place a patty on the roll bottom and top each burger with mounds of Marsala mushrooms. Using a vegetable peeler, shave a few curls of Parmigiano on top of the mushrooms and set the roll top in place.  Serve with fries alongside.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Easy & Festive Peppermint Bark Candy


***If you are looking for an easy candy recipe for your holiday gift-giving, this just might be the one!  You may be familiar with the beautiful Peppermint Bark that Williams-Sonoma sells during the holiday season.  The only problem is, it is pretty expensive ($26.50 per lb).  The good news is, you can make your own Peppermint Bark that is equally pretty and just as tasty.


Peppermint Bark is extremely easy!  In fact, there are only about 3 main ingredients - white chocolate, dark chocolate and crushed peppermint candies.  Voila!  If you can find it, peppermint oil or peppermint extract would be a delicious addition to this particular recipe.


Right now, my refrigerator is filled with little gift tins of holiday candies for my co-workers.  I made an assortment of different candies...I sure hope everyone likes them!  I made dark and white chocolate covered pretzels, peanut clusters, and ritz/peanut butter crackers that are dipped in chocolate...Yum!


The Peppermint Bark turned out beautifully...I'm excited to share these goodies with everyone tomorrow morning!


Bon Appetit!***


Peppermint Bark
Source: Adapted from JoyofBaking.com

Ingredients:
24 ounces semi sweet OR milk chocolate morsels
8 teaspoons vegetable oil
24 ounces white chocolate morsels
50 crushed peppermint candies

Directions:
Line the bottom and sides of a large baking sheet with aluminum foil, smoothing out any wrinkles (I used a silicone baking mat).

Melt the semi sweet chocolate and 4 teaspoons of vegetable oil in a heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Immediately pour the melted chocolate into the prepared pan and tilt/shake the pan so the chocolate makes an even layer. Place in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes, or until the chocolate has set.

Then, melt the white chocolate and remaining 4 teaspoons of vegetable oil in a heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Immediately pour the melted white chocolate over the dark chocolate and tilt/shake the pan so the chocolate is in an even layer. 

Sprinkle the crushed candies evenly over the white chocolate, lightly pressing them into the chocolate (crush the candy using a zip lock bag and hammer...do not use a food processor). Place in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes - 1 hour, or until the chocolate has set.

Remove the Peppermint Bark from the pan by lifting the edges of the aluminum foil. Peel back the foil and break the bark into small irregular pieces. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. 


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Meeting Rachael Ray!!


A few months ago, I found out that Rachael Ray was coming to Birmingham, AL for a book-signing.  I was SO excited to hear this news, because I missed it when she was here last time.  I've been a big fan of Rachael for quite some time.  Her recipes are always easy to follow, and are packed with flavor.

If you haven't heard, she has an awesome new cookbook out, called Rachael Ray's Look + Cook.  It's FILLED with photographs of each dish...600 photos, to be exact.  As a food photographer, I really love this.  There are even photos of the preparation process, which is very helpful!  Cookbooks with a lot of pictures are always my favorite.  And it's always neat when cookbooks include photos of the prep...and not only the finished dish.  This would make the perfect Christmas gift for the foodie in your life (or for yourself!).




My wonderful hubby, Brad, came along with me tonight to meet Rachael.  I was lucky enough to get an early line number...I was #12!  Rachael greeted me with a big smile, and when I told her that I was a food blogger and photographer she lit up!  She shook my hand, and then she even opened the cookbook and started showing me different pictures and telling me about them.  She said that for most of the photos, it was just her and a photographer friend.  She'd make the dish, and the photographer would simply snap some photos.  She said that they did not spend much time styling each shot, and they tried to use only natural lighting.  Now, I was thrilled when she went into so much detail with me!!  I found the info she shared very interesting...especially the parts about natural lighting and not spending hours styling each photo...how refreshing!  Rachael was EXTREMELY nice, and I am so happy that I got to meet her!

I am thrilled to have a copy of this cookbook (especially an autographed copy!).  There are so many recipes that I cannot wait to try.  Without a doubt, it will keep me busy for a while.  I feel inspired already just by flipping through the book.  I'll definitely be blogging about every recipe that I try! 
Here's a link to her official website - www.rachaelray.com  

Rachael took the time to open the cookbook and tell me all about the photos...
It was awesome!  :)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Caramelized Sea Scallops - Thomas Keller


***If you haven't heard about a wonderful chef named, Thomas Keller, then you are missing out.  He is quite the chef and is classically trained in French cuisine.  Chef Keller has several famous and very successful restaurants, three of which include The French Laundry, Bouchon and Ad Hoc.


Now, if I am ever out in Yountville, CA, I definitely want to visit Ad Hoc.  It has such a unique concept, that I think is awesome.  The concept is best described on the official website:
"The idea for Ad Hoc was simple - 5 days a week we'd offer a 4 course family style menu that changed each day, accompanied by a small, accessible wine list in a casual setting reminiscent of home."

Sounds neat, doesn't it?  Last Christmas, Brad gave me a copy of Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc at Home cookbook.  This book quickly became one of my favorites....a staple in my kitchen!  You can see my collection of other recipes from the Ad Hoc cookbook right HERE on my blog.


A friend of ours that is currently in culinary school gave us some fresh sea scallops.  They were large and beautiful...and I had just the recipe!  I've had my eye on Chef Keller's recipe for Caramelized Sea Scallops since I got the cookbook.  It's a simple recipe, with an outstanding result.  These scallops came out beautifully...Perfectly cooked, moist, and very flavorful!


His suggestion of using a stainless steel pan instead of a non-stick pan is essential!!  You'll get a much pretty caramelization that way.


Bon Appetit!!***

Caramelized Sea Scallops
Source:  Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc at Home Cookbook
www.adhocrestaurant.com
Ingredients:
2 cups kosher salt, plus more to taste
2 cups hot water
8 cups cold water
12 large sea scallops (about 1 3/4 pounds), preferably dry-packed, tough side muscle removed from each one
About 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) Clarified Butter
1/2 lemon (optional)

Directions:
Line a small baking sheet with paper towels. Combine the 2 cups salt with the hot water in a large bowl, stirring to dissolve the salt. Add the cold water.

Add the scallops to the brine and let stand for 10 minutes (no longer, or the scallops may become too salty). Drain the scallops, rinse under cold water, and arrange in a single layer on the paper towels.

Heat the clarified butter in a large stainless steel frying pan over medium-high heat until it ripples and begins to smoke. (Although you may be tempted to use a nonstick pan, a stainless steel pan will produce a more beautiful caramelized exterior.) Sprinkle the scallops lightly with salt and add them to the pan, without crowding. (If necessary, cook the scallops in two pans or in 2 batches; if they touch, they will steam rather than caramelize.) Cook, without moving the scallops, until the bottoms are a rich golden brown, 3 to 3 1/2 minutes. Turn the scallops and caramelize the second side.

Transfer the scallops to a serving platter and serve with a squeeze of lemon juice on top, if desired.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A Decadent Vanilla Bean Cheesecake



***About two weeks ago, we celebrated my niece's birthday, Dakota.  She is so special to me...I love that little girl so much!  :-)  She asked for a simple, classic cheesecake this year.  I was up for the challenge!

With limited time to prepare and bake the cake, I began searching for the perfect recipe immediately.  After searching, and searching, and searching, I stumbled across this recipe for Vanilla Bean Cheesecake in my copy of Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Baking cookbook.  It looked decadent, with a creamy and wonderful texture.  I made a grocery list and got to work!

Thanks to this cake, I think that I have officially convinced my hubby to like cheesecake!  This cake has an incredible texture - Everything that you want in cheesecake when you decide to indulge yourself.  The vanilla beans in this recipe make all the difference.  Once you begin baking with fresh vanilla beans, it will probably be hard for you to stop.  You can't really tell from the pictures, but the vanilla beans look so pretty mixed in with the cake.  The vanilla beans infuse the entire cake with deliciousness!  The topping is easy to make and adds a beautiful finish to the top of the cake.  Needless to say, none of this cake went to waste!

Bon Appetit!***



Vanilla Bean Cheesecake
Note: To get the best texture, it’s important that your cream cheese and eggs are at room temperature, and to beat as little as possible to prevent whipping air into the mixture.

Crust:
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (from about 8 crackers)
6 tablespoons butter, melted
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
3/4 cup pecans or walnuts

Filling:
4 8-ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 eggs, at room temperature
2 vanilla beans
Juice of one lemon, strained (use only half a lemon if you prefer less tartness)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Topping:
2 cups sour cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 

In a food processor, combine the crumbs, butter, sugar, nutmeg, and nuts. Pulse until mixed thoroughly. Press the mixture into the prepared pan and 1.5 inches up the sides (it helps to use a flat bottomed, straight-sided cup to press in the crumbs). Bake the crust until it darkens a bit, 10-12 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and let cool. 

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese on low speed until creamy. Add sugar and beat until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, beating gently after each addition. Split vanilla beans lengthwise and scrape seeds into the cream cheese mixture. Add vanilla extract and lemon juice, and mix until smooth and creamy. 

Put the pan with the crust on the baking sheet. Pour the batter into the crust – you may have a bit too much filling, depending on the size of your pan, so don’t necessarily put it all in (you can bake the extra in a ramekin, or as I did, just eat it with a spoon). Cover the cake pan with a lid. Bake the cheesecake until the centre jiggles slightly when centre is shaken, 50-70 minutes. If it looks soupy, keep baking a few more minutes. 

For topping: in a small bowl, combine sour cream and sugar. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and add to the bowl, stirring well. 

When cheesecake is baked, remove from oven and pour sour cream topping over. Gently spread the topping over the cake. Return the pan to the oven for 5 more minutes. 

Transfer the cake to a wire rack and let cool for 1-2 hours. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Sweet Potato Biscuits with Maple and Pecans


***When I saw this recipe in the November 2010 issue of Bon Appetit magazine, I tore it out immediately.  It sounded like the perfect addition to our Thanksgiving table.  The recipe calls for 100% maple syrup and chopped pecans to be added directly to the biscuit dough.  Can biscuits possibly get much more scrumptious than that??  I think NOT!

These biscuits have a sweet and nutty taste, and because of their small size I bet you won't be able to eat just one of them.  I did substitute regular AP flour, instead of using the gluten-free flour that the recipe mentions.  I had already been to the grocery store and wasn't really excited about going yet again before Thanksgiving.  I couldn't really tell a difference...the biscuits still tasted great.  However, I later found a note on the Bon Appetit website that recommends reducing the baking powder to 2 teaspoons if you use AP flour.  Maybe when I make these again tomorrow, I will try this suggestion and see if it makes them any better.

Happy Thanksgiving and Bon Appetit!!!***

Ingredients:
  • 1 large red-skinned sweet potato (yam; about 1 1/4 pounds), pierced with fork
  • 1 1/3 cups gluten-free flour plus additional
  • 2/3 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup Grade B maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup pecans, toasted, chopped
  • Ingredient Info

    For the gluten-free sweet potato biscuits, we used King Arthur Gluten-Free Multi-Purpose Flour. The mix of white rice flour, brown rice flour, tapioca starch, and potato starch gave us tender, delicious results ($8 for a 24-ounce box at kingarthurflour.com).

Preparation

  • Preheat oven to 425°F. Line baking sheet with parchment. Microwave potato until tender, about 6 minutes per side. Halve; scoop out 1 cup flesh. Cool. Blend 1 1/3 cups flour and next 3 ingredients in processor. Add butter; pulse to coarse meal. Add potato, buttermilk, and syrup; process to blend. Add nuts; pulse to blend.
  • Sprinkle dough with flour. Pat into 81/2-inch square. Cut into 16 biscuits. Transfer to baking sheet. Bake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, 18 to 22 minutes.

Classic Cornbread Dressing - Southern Living


This classic recipe for Cornbread Dressing hits all the right marks.  It's pretty perfect in every way.  This dish is described as "deliciously moist and perfectly seasoned" on the myrecipes.com website, which are the perfect words.

Of course, Cornbread Dressing from scratch takes a little more time and effort to make, but in my experience it is well worth it...especially at Thanksgiving!  Brad looks forward to this dressing all year long!

The biggest change that I made to the recipe below is the addition of mild sausage.  I simply cooked a package of mild country sausage and added it to the vegetable mixture, before mixing everything together.  I took elements from my Mom's Cornbread Dressing recipe and combined them with this recipe from Southern Living.

I always put this dressing together the night before Thanksgiving and chill it in the refrigerator overnight (without baking).  That way, all you have to do is pop it in the oven and cook it for about 35 - 40 minutes on Thanksgiving day!

Bon Appetit, my friends!

Cornbread Dressing
Adapted from:  Southern Living magazine; November 2002

Yield: Makes 16 to 18 servings

Ingredients

  • 1  cup  butter or margarine, divided
  • 3  cups  white cornmeal
  • 1  cup  all-purpose flour
  • 2  tablespoons  sugar
  • 2  teaspoons  baking powder
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons  salt
  • 1  teaspoon  baking soda
  • 7  large eggs, divided
  • 3  cups  buttermilk
  • 4 slices sourdough bread, torn into pieces
  • 1/4 lb. saltine crackers, crushed into small pieces
  • 2  medium onions, diced (2 cups)
  • 1  large bunch celery, diced (3 cups)
  • 1/2  cup  finely chopped fresh sage*
  • 48 oz reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1  tablespoon  pepper
  • 1 lb mild country sausage, cooked (optional)

Preparation

Place 1/2 cup butter in a 13- x 9-inch pan; heat in oven at 425° for 4 minutes.

Combine cornmeal and next 5 ingredients; whisk in 3 eggs and buttermilk.

Pour hot butter into batter, stirring until blended. Pour batter into pan.

Bake at 425° for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool.

Crumble cornbread into a large bowl; set aside.

Melt remaining 1/2 cup butter in a large skillet over medium heat; add onions and celery, and saute until tender. Stir in sage, and saute 1 more minute.

Stir vegetables, sausage, remaining 4 eggs, chicken broth, sourdough bread pieces, cracker pieces, and pepper into cornbread mixture (There are no better tools than your hands to properly mix the dressing at this stage!); pour evenly into 2 lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dishes. Cover and chill 8 hours.

Bake, uncovered, at 375° for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown.

*1 tablespoon dried rubbed sage may be substituted for fresh sage.

Andouille Sausage, Apple, and Pecan Dressing: Brown 3/4 pound diced andouille sausage in a skillet over medium heat; drain. Add sausage; 2 Granny Smith apples, chopped; and 2 cups chopped toasted pecans to dressing. Proceed as directed, baking 40 to 45 minutes or until done.

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Maple Glazed Roast Turkey with Applewood Smoked Bacon


***First of all, I want to wish you all the happiest Thanksgiving that you've ever had!  I hope that your holiday is filled with the people that you love and the food that you love to eat!

What a long day!  I got home today from work at about 5:30PM and immediately started preparing a pre-Thanksgiving dinner.  Turkey and dressing is by FAR Brad's favorite meal in the whole world.  He says he looks forward to it all year long...haha.  This year, I promised to make him our own little Thanksgiving dinner celebration, just the two of us (and our 2 pups!) before all of the family festivities begin.

After almost 5 hours in the kitchen, I'm relieved that round one of Thanksgiving cooking was a success!  Now, on to 2 more nights of cooking!  Tomorrow, I hope to start putting up the Christmas decorations after a yummy dinner of leftovers from tonight's meal...I'm so excited to put the tree up!  This is my favorite time of year, no contest.  I love the holidays and everything that they mean....Faith, Family and Friends!  It doesn't get much better than that.

The menu tonight included:
Maple Glazed Roast Turkey with Applewood Smoked Bacon
Sweet Potato Biscuits (Stay tuned for this recipe!)
Roasted Asparagus

I adore this recipe for roasted turkey, because it's the way that my Dad always roasts his Thanksgiving turkey.  The flavor is absolutely incredible.  The maple syrup makes the finished bird perfectly shiny and golden brown.  The bacon ends up a little crispy and sweet from the maple syrup, which makes for a stellar combination.
Bon Appetit!***
Before going into the oven...

Ingredients: 
12 lb. whole turkey
6 slices applewood smoked bacon, thick sliced
1 cup 100% grade A maple syrup
1 large tart apple, quartered
1 medium onion, quartered
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature and cut into 1/4 inch slices
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Wash turkey well under cold running water, including the outside and inner cavity of turkey. Pat dry. Be sure to remove the neck and giblets from the inside of the turkey.  Tuck wings underneath body.

Starting at neck end, very carefully slide hand between skin and breast meat.  Carefully slide butter slices between skin and breast meat to cover.  Season skin and cavity of the turkey generously with salt and pepper. Place the quartered apple and onion in the seasoned cavity. Using a brush, paint the turkey breast, thighs and legs with some of the maple syrup. Then cover the entire breast with the slices of bacon, slightly over-lapping the bacon slices.  Make sure the entire breast is covered, using more bacon if needed.

Position turkey, on a rack, in a roasting pan with 1/2 cup pf water, uncovered and place in the preheated 325 degree F oven.  Roast for about 3 1/2 hours (time may vary depending on the size of your turkey), basting the turkey with pan drippings and maple syrup every 30 minutes. If the bacon begins to get too brown, cover loosely with aluminum foil.

In the last half hour, baste the turkey one more time with maple syrup. Continue to roast until the internal temperature reaches 180 degrees in the thigh or 170 degrees in the breast.

Remove pan from oven and allow the turkey to rest for 15 minutes before slicing.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Everyday Granola - Bon Appetit Magazine


***Here's a simple, quick and delicious recipe for "Everyday Granola."  I found this while flipping through a recent issue of Bon Appetit magazine...one of my favorites!  The ingredients sounded perfect for what I had in mind.  It was sweet and salty at the same time, and makes an awesome snack.  You can serve it with yogurt or milk, but I preferred mine plain.

While it's baking, be sure to stir it around on the baking sheet every 10 minutes, as the recipe calls for.  This will keep the pieces around the edges from burning and ensure evenly cooked granola.

The combination of the salty and sweet in this granola is a crowd AND palate pleaser!

Bon Appetit!***

Everyday Granola

Ingredients:
  • 3 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 3 tablespoons (packed) brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon (generous) salt
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup assorted dried fruit

Preparation

  • Preheat oven to 300°F. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment. Mix first 7 ingredients in large bowl. Stir honey and oil in saucepan over medium-low heat until smooth. Pour honey mixture over oat mixture; toss. Spread on prepared sheet. Bake until golden, stirring every 10 minutes, about 40 minutes. Place sheet on rack. Stir granola; cool. Mix in fruit. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 week ahead. Store airtight.