Happy Turkey Day!

Happy Turkey Day!  Well…a little late, but hey…it’s turkey!

And since I had nowhere to be this weekend, I decided to do my own little Thanksgiving Dinner.  I did turkey for the first time!  And I didn’t dry it out!  I do have to say one thing…BRINE YOUR BIRD!!!  Ever since I saw the Good Eats episode where AB brined his turkey, I’ve wanted to try it, but I could never convince the family to do it.

Their mistake.

This is, without a doubt, the most incredible turkey I’ve ever eaten.  Juicier than any turkey I’d ever had.  And trust me, I’ve had some dry turkey!  I got a 7 pound breast, brined it overnight in a gallon of water with a cup of salt and half a cup of brown sugar dissolved in.  This morning, I pulled it out of the liquid, patted it dry, then put it in the fridge uncovered for about an hour to let the skin dry a bit.  Next, brushed it with melted butter and sherry, then baked at 350 until it reached 153 degrees.  Carryover did the rest.

Seriously…I’m taking juice running down the chin juicy.  Turkey you don’t want to stop eating juicy.  Holy crap I can’t believe that I made turkey that good my very first time juicy.

Have I mentioned that you need to BRINE YOUR TURKEY??

I also spent the morning making Green Bean Casserole (yes, I LOVE it!), Sweet Potato Casserole, Stuffing, Cream Cheese Corn, and Maple-Worcestershire Gravy.  Gravy recipe here:


Needless to say, I had no counter space left over…

IMG_2879And because Strider was such a good helper, he got a Thanksgiving meal of his own.


Chow down!

And before anyone reams me for the corn…it’s fresh, and that’s all he gets for the next year.

Of course, I had to have dessert…I’d call it Classic Pumpkin Pie…Crustless PieBut as you can see, there’s something missing.  That’s because the crust fell apart when I was trying to put it in the baking dish, so I tried it without the crust, and it turned out really good.


And finally…the food coma:

Sleeping Strider

Sorry folks…no love for the Cranberry Sauce.  It’s okay, but I’ve never been a huge of it; fresh or canned.  Besides, everything else was good enough!

Happy Holidays everyone!  And brine your turkey!


Early Saturday Mornings

Okay.  I love my job.  Even though it requires me to get up at 3:30 am every day.  I really, really love my job.

But I also really, really love my weekends.  I get to sleep in.  Normally, I get up around 8 am.  Now, I know that for most people, 8 am on a Saturday is early.  But for me, anything past 4 am is sleeping in.

There’s not much that I’m willing to get up for before 8 am on a Saturday.  As a matter of fact, there’s only one thing I’m willing to set the alarm for 6:30 am for.

The Farmer’s Market.

The HaulThis is $20 worth of food.

Three heads of garlic, two zucchini, three squash, one, patty pan(?) squash, five cucumbers, one head of broccoli, four tomatoes, one pint of blackberries, and one pound of green beans.

Oh, do I have plans for cooking this week!

And since it’s summer, and tomatoes are FINALLY at the Farmer’s Market, I can make my favorite summer sandwich.

The NomsToasted Bagel, Cream Cheese with Tomato.

Best.  Sandwich.  Ever.

So…anyone got any good recipes for a ton of squash??




Man…I haven’t posted in ages!  And this past week has been insane.  Storms, power outrages, no sleep, and HOT.

My air conditioner has issued another challenge…”I will not work!”  My AC guy…”Challenge Accepted!”

The winner?  Well…that has yet to be determined, but the (jerry-rigged) AC is still running.  For now.

So, I was going to post last weekend, but I kinda got distracted by the tornado sirens going off in Pittsburg.  Camping out in the bathroom with the frightened fuzzy-one is not fun.  This happened the same night that Moore, OK got hit.  Just a few hours after.  Lost power for a few hours.

This damage is literally across the street and a few feet up the block from me.  It was determined to be straight line winds only, thankfully.  The storm also took out many of the trees at Schlanger Park, and the wall of a welding shop, both just a few blocks away.  It was not pleasant.  I haven’t heard winds like that since the Parsons tornado back in 2000.

Rolling InThe storm rolling in.

And I had wanted to post these recipes last week, but as I said…I was a bit distracted.  So, here they are now!

First:  Chicken Noodle Casserole  http://blogchef.net/chicken-noodle-casserole-recipe/

Chicken Noodle CasseroleThis was freaking incredible!  I didn’t use Cream of Mushroom, cause…yuck. It’s tangy, and savory, and buttery, and yum.

Then, cause I wanted something a tad healthier… Key Lime and Honey Winter Fruit Salad  http://barefeetinthekitchen.blogspot.com/2013/02/key-lime-honey-winter-fruit-salad-recipe.html

Fruit SaladThis one was really good too.  The only catch is that after about two days, the juice from the lime and pineapple breaks down the kiwi.  It still tasted awesome, but the texture was a little off.

Finally, I was watching this really cute video this evening… http://screen.yahoo.com/puppy-wakes-205914028.html  and Strider got REALLY interested in the cute, yelping puppy.

Strider Interested in Puppy


I guess I can call this past weekend… Productively Lazy?  Yeah.  I’m gonna go with that.  Got nothing done on Saturday.

It was cold, windy, and rainy.  Hello?  April??  Where is my Spring?  Enough of the wintery weather already!!  I was far too lazy to do any real cooking, so I dug an old college staple out of the pantry…

Ramen!  But I made it look pretty!!

Lazy Ramen Day

Okay…so I just stuck some chopsticks in the bowl…but they’re pretty chopsticks!

…you really don’t want the recipe for this, do you?

And continuing the lazy theme…dessert was the last piece of Bread Pudding (from the last post), with a big pile of ice cream on top of it.  I will be making that again.  And again…and again…

Last of the Bread Pudding

Doesn’t it just look yummy?

Sunday was a bit more productive…but not by much.  I made bread, but I did it the lazy way.  In the bread maker.  I didn’t take photos of the loaves, but they turned out really good.  And for you bread maker owners out there…

Country White:  http://www.food.com/recipe/country-white-bread-or-dinner-rolls-bread-machine-71373

Cheesy Potato:  http://www.food.com/recipe/cheesy-potato-loaf-bread-machine-498890

Now today on the other hand…I was feeling very productive!  I made shrooms.  And pie.  Because pie is good.

Mushrooms are growing on me.  Especially cooked ones.  I’ll eat them raw like they’re candy.  But cooked…I’m iffy on them.  Once they get slimy…no thank you.

Perfect Sautéed Mushrooms

Perfect Sautéed Mushrooms.  I was very pleased with how they turned out.  There was a bit more sauce then I would have liked, so next time, I’ll probably omit the butter.


And for dessert…Chocolate Truffle Pie.  Now, you have to understand something about me and pie.  I love it.  I mean…REALLY love it.  Well, eating it.  As for making it…that scares the shit out of me.  I’ve wanted to try for a while, but never really did, until now.  I cheated and used a store bought crust, and most likely will for a very long time.  This recipe though, looked very simple.  So simple that a pie-baking-novice like me couldn’t even screw it up.  And I didn’t!

The pie!

Chocolate Truffle Pie

My apartment smelled AMAZING!  It still smells amazing!  And if you think this picture looks nice, take a look at this one…

Pie with Vanilla

Stephanie…you need to make this pie.  Now.

For my first attempt at baking pie, I’m very proud of myself.  It’s chocolate.  How do you think it tasted?  A-freaking-mazing!  I think the next time I have a piece, I’ll put some the Caramel Sauce I made last week on top of it.  Can you say sugar coma?


A note here.  I’m out of foil, so I didn’t put a strip of it around the edge of the crust to keep it from browning too much.  And it turns out that I didn’t even need it anyway.  The crust came out perfect!

One more thing I want to mention.  May is ALS Awareness Month.  As most of you know, this blog is dedicated to my Mother, whom was taken from us far too soon by this disease.  Please, take a few moments to learn about ALS, and what you can do to help those who suffer from it, and help their families.  http://webkwc.alsa.org/site/PageServer?pagename=KWC_homepage

So…go be productive.  Go make pie!  Go make Chocolate Truffle Pie, and be happy!

Oh, it’s been a BUSY weekend!

Has it ever!

I went to the Farmer’s Market on Saturday morning, and bought some Ossabow Bacon.  Very yummy.  Then I spent the day cleaning.  No easy task when you have a glass collection with over 80 pieces.  And of course…nothing beats Classic NES in HD…so I had to hook up the old Nintendo…and dust two years of crap off parts of the TV stand I have’t reached in as long.  Then went to a friend’s wedding and had quite a bit of fun.

Today…I cooked.  A lot.  *grin*

So, I present to you…Honey Mustard Chicken with Crispy Bacon!

Honey Mustard Chicken with Crispy Bacon


I had to bake it a little longer than the recipe called for, but that’s because I doubled the recipe.  I wanted enough to last me the week.

More Chicken!I was amazing.  I could taste the chicken without it being overwhelmed by the mustard flavor.  And I’m a huge fan of mushrooms.  I actually sauteed them in some of the rendered bacon fat as opposed to oil.  Just adds more bacon-y awesomeness!

Here’s where I found the recipe:


For dessert…Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce.

There’s a bit of a story behind this one.  I’ve mentioned Miss Muzzie’s several times on this blog.  Well, before they closed, they had this REALLY good Bread Pudding with Caramel Curd.  I ordered it the first time, and Mom turned her nose up at it.  She did not like Bread Pudding; too much of it as a kid, I think.  Somehow, I convinced her to try it, and she was hooked.  I’ve been looking for a recipe as good as theirs ever since.  I’ve finally found one!  Actually, rediscovered it.  Mom sent me a copy of the recipe back in 2009, and it got relegated to the massive “Food” folder in my e-mail.  Dug it out, and decided to give it a whirl this evening.  I am soooo glad I did!  I only wish I would have done it sooner.

Bread PuddingIt looks so pretty!!  It was kinda puffy coming out of the oven, but once it cooled, it deflated a bit.

Bread Pudding with CaramelLooks even prettier with the Caramel on it!

I only have one thing to say about this recipe.  Ho-ly shit.  I’m pretty sure it’s the best thing I have ever eaten.  I had two helpings.  I think next time, I’ll have it with some ice cream.  And die a happy woman.

The recipe is from a closed Wichita restaurant called Tanya’s Soup Kitchen.  And I’m so glad Mom sent it to me.


9 eggs
6 cups milk
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon vanilla
12 cups stale bread, torn into chunks**

Caramel Sauce:
2 sticks butter
2 cups brown sugar
2 cups heavy cream


Mix the eggs, milk, sugar and vanilla until blended. Place bread in a 9×13-inch pan and pour mixture over it, then squish together with your hands until “well mushed.”

Bake at 350 degrees for about one hour, until top is browned and pudding is puffed. Remove from oven and cool 15 minutes before serving. (Pudding will deflate.)

Meantime, make caramel sauce by melting butter in a saucepan. Add sugar and cream and stir with a whisk until the sauce comes to a boil, then lower heat and simmer 10 minutes. Makes 12 servings.

**Just a side note here.  I picked up two loaves of French Bread from the Walmart Bakery for this.  It was cheap, and I didn’t want to waste a whole bunch of money in case this didn’t turn out.  I ended up using about a loaf and a half.
Enjoy!  And remember…Share the Bread Pudding.  It’ll be hard…but you’ll make people happy.


I only have two words for you…

Monkey.  Bread.

I really don’t need to say more, but I’m going to…I’m pretty sure EVERYBODY has this recipe, but it’s special to me because my parents would make it for the holidays.  I don’t remember the last time I had it.

And I’m pretty sure that last time mom and dad tried to make it, they let the dough rise too long and came into the kitchen to find it crawling down the side of the fridge.

Not happening this time.  *girn*

IMG_2533I’m pretty sure that this bundt pan belonged to my grandmother.  And if that’s the case, then it’s older than I am.

IMG_2534It’s well loved.

IMG_2535Fresh out of the oven!  It doesn’t look like much now…but just wait.  The hard part is next.

Turning it out of the pan.  This is where things would go wrong when I was a kid.  Inevitably, part of the bread would stick to pan and would have to be pried out with a crowbar.

Not today!!

IMG_2536I used a shit-ton of cooking spray and a basting brush to make sure it got into all of the ridges.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen Monkey Bread come out of the pan that easily before.

Add a bit of butter, and it’s breakfast for the next week!


A side note…I did not cover with foil for the last 15 min.  And I used enough cooking spray that I didn’t even need the knife to loosen it from the pan!