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Country Kitchen

Country Kitchen

Monday, November 23, 2015

Roast with the Most - Turkey

I know there are probably fancier methods for roasting a turkey involving brines and rubs and the like but this is a fool proof and easy way.  It tastes great and make lots of juice for gravy, YUM! I'm definitely not a professional carver (as you can see from the video) so you may want to look up how to carve a turkey after roasting it. Hope you enjoy! 
1. Thaw your turkey in the refrigerator for 2-3 days until completely thawed (on a plate or bowl to catch any leaking juices)
2. Clean out your turkey and remove the innards 
3. Put the turkey in a roasting pan and cover the skin with a healthy amount of butter and sprinkle with seasoned salt. 
4. Cover the top with heavy duty foil creating a tent with the edges tightly secured.  
5. Place in a 400 degrees for the first several hours (see the chart below from the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook for roasting times) ** The last hour reduce temp to 350, remove the foil and baste the turkey every 10-15 mins to keep it from drying out but allowing the skin to get crisp. 
Basting means to cover the outside of the turkey with its own juices, usually using a baster. 
6. The turkey is done when the red thing pops out or the internal temperature has reached 165 degrees. 
7. Remove the juice and make gravy just like in the beef roast video 
8. Allow the turkey to rest for at least 20 min before carving to allow the inside juices to settle. 
9. Carve and enjoy! 

1. Pour juice into a skillet and bring to a boil.  
2. Remove 1/2 cups worth of the hot liquid and stir in 2 Tbsp of cornstarch.
3. Stir back into the skillet and whisk until thickened. 
4. Add salt to taste and add 1-2 tsp kitchen bouquet or turkey flavor enhancer  

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Soup a dup - Broccoli Cheese Soup

1. Finely chop 3 stalks of celery and between 1/2 and 1 onion (depending on how much you like onions)
2. Saute in the bottom of a dutch oven or stock pot in 1/4 cup butter until tender (5-10 min) over medium heat. 
3. Add 1 carton of either chicken broth or chicken stock and 2 bunches of broccoli heads cut into small pieces (or 1 bag of frozen broccoli). Cover and cook until broccoli is soft (about 10 min)
4. Add 1 cup of milk and 1 cup of half-n-half.  
5. Cut 16 oz of Velveeta cheese into small cubes and add to the pot, stir until all the cheese is melted. 
6. To thicken the soup remove about 1/2 cup of the liquid and mix in 2 Tbsp flour then stir back into the pot. This is supposed to keep lumps from forming but it they do just whisk away ;)
7. Let thicken and serve with sourdough bread. 

Friday, September 25, 2015

Pasta La Vista, Baby - Spinach and Artichoke Casserole

1. Boil 1 frozen chicken breast in water mixed with seasoned salt, until done. Let rest and chop.  (you can add more chicken or omit for a vegetarian dish)
2. Cook 1/2 lb of penne pasta to al dente
3. In a saucepan melt 1Tbsp of butter over medium heat. Add 1 Tbsp of flour and stir until a rue has formed.
4. Add 1 cup milk and 1 tsp salt, stir until the sauce starts to thicken
5. Add 4 oz cream cheese cut into cube and stir until it starts to melt
6. Add 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese and 1 cup of mozzarella or Italian blend cheese and stir until melted. Turn off heat.
7. Add 1/2 cup of sour cream, 2 Tbsp mayonnaise, 2 Tbsp Miracle Whip and stir.
8. Add 1 or more cups of chicken water (or chicken stock or pasta water) and stir
9. Add a pinch of red pepper flakes for a kick
10. Mix together chicken, artichokes, onions, spinach and sauce
11. In an oblong baking dish, spread out pasta and pour over sauce mixture, and stir
12. Crush 1/2 package of Ritz crackers and sprinkle over casserole, drizzle with 1/2 stick of melted butter.
13. Cover with foil and bake for 15 min, remove foil and bake for another 10-15 min.
Serve and enjoy

Friday, September 4, 2015

Pork-n-Pineapple Tacos

1. Place a pork tenderloin in a slow cooker and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper
2. Add 3 oz tomato paste, 1/2 cup tomato juice, 6 oz pineapple juice, 
1 Tbsp brown sugar, 1/2 tsp cumin, and 1 Tbsp chili powder
3. Add one onion cut into fourths, let cook for 6 hours. 
4. Remove pork and shred with a fork
5. Discard the onion and add pork back to the sauce until serving. 
Pineapple Salsa
 One jalapeno or mini sweet pepper (according to preference) finely chopped
1 slice of onion finely chopped
1 Tbsp cilantro minced
1/2 cup chopped pineapple chunks
Lime juice and salt to taste
Combine and chill until serving


1. Chop 6 cherry or grape tomatoes, 2 slices of onion, 1-2 Tbsp cilantro and place in a bowl
sprinkle with 2-3 Tbsp lime juice and let soak for an hour or so
2. Mash 2 ripe avocados and add to the vegetables. 
3. Mix and add salt to taste.  

Saturday, August 22, 2015

I Think I Can - Canning!

Canning Basics and Recipes for: Canned Tomatoes, Sweet Lime Pickles and Dill-Lime Pickles

The Canning Process

1.  Fill water bath with enough water to cover the size of jars you are using and turn the heat on
2. Sanitize the jars, lids and rings in boiling water (make sure they are hot when you fill them)
3. Using the canning funnel, fill each jar with the hot food you are preserving 
(make sure the top of each jar is clean and dry)
4. Touching as little as possible (for sanitation) place a DRY lid on each jar and screw down with a DRY ring.  Screw down all the way but not too tight. 
5. Place each jar in the wire rack
6. When the water bath is simmering lower the rack of jars into the water. Place on the lid and wait for a full rolling boil
7. Once the water is boiling start the timer (15 mins for quart jars, 10 mins for pint or 1/2 pint jars)
8. After the correct amount of time, use the gripper to bring out the jars and set on a towel
9.  Observe the "popping" sound of each jar as the seal sets. 
Store in a dry, cool (such as a pantry) place for up to a year or more. 

If they haven't popped after 15 or so min. Store in the fridge and use contents within a couple of weeks. 

The Key to Crunchy Pickles

For the pickles we washed and cut (into 1/4 in slices) about 5 pounds of cucumbers and then split them among the sweet and dill recipes.  We soaked all 5 pounds in a solution of 1/4 cup pickling lime to 1 gallon of water.  The cucumber soaked in that solution overnight 

The next day we drained and throughly rinsed the cucumber slices and let them sit in ice cold water for 3 hours.  The colder the water the crisper they will be so keep adding ice to the bowl throughout the 3 hours.  

Sweet Lime Pickles 

(For about 2 1/2 pounds of cucumbers)

1. In a large stock pot add 4 cups sugar, 4 cups white vinegar, 1 1/2 tsp pickling spice (a dash of salt if desired) and some green food coloring (also optional)
2. Bring that to a simmer and then add the cucumbers and bring to a boil. 
3. Fill jars and continue with the canning process

Dill-Lime Pickles 

(For about 2 1/2 pounds of cucumbers)

1. In a large stock pot add 1 pint of white vinegar, 1 quart of water, 4-6 Tbsp pickling salt (if you like salty pickles add 6, if you like less salty pickles add 4 or 1/4 cup) and 3/4 Tbsp dill seed and bring to a boil
2. Add dill stems and dill heads to each jar (you can also add a clove of garlic if desired)
3. Pack each jar with as many cucumber slices as you can and then ladle in the hot liquid to within 1/2 in from the top
4. Continue with the canning process

Canned Tomatoes 

1. Blanch tomatoes then cut out the core and peel them
2. dice them up and put them in a large stock pot
3. Bring to a boil and proceed with the canning process
**For extra flavor add some salt to each jar**

Thursday, August 6, 2015

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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Fresh Whipped Cream

Making you own Fresh Whipped Cream is as easy as 1, 2, 3...

1. Pour 2 cups of heavy whipping cream to your stand-up mixer
2. Using the whisk attachment, whisk on med-high for several mins
3. Add 1/4 cup sugar about 1/2 way through and continue to whip until stiff peaks form.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Caramel Blended Coffee

Caramel Blended Coffee

1/2 cup cold coffee (I just use some left over from my morning brew)
1/4 cup half-n-half
1/4 cup milk
2 oz caramel syrup (Starbucks sells it by the bottle if you ask for it)
2 cups ice

Blend in a blender for 30 seconds, pour in a glass and top with whipped cream and caramel sauce
**Makes 2 regulars or 1 extra large drink

Friday, June 5, 2015

Breakfast Yo! - Fresh Cream Butter and Microwave Strawberry Jam

Fresh Cream Butter

1. Put 2 cups heavy whipping cream in a stand up mixer
2. Attach the whisk and mix for 4-5 mins, while mixing add up to 1 tsp of salt for salted butter
3. Mix another 3-4 mins until the butter bits form and liquid separates. 
4. Grab a handful of butter bits and squeeze as much of the liquid out as possible. 
5. Repeat until you gotten as much of the butter out as you can and discard the liquid. 
Use right away or store in refrigerator 

Microwave Strawberry Jam

1. Empty a 16oz package of frozen whole strawberries into a large glass microwaveable mixing bowl
2. Sprinkle strawberries with 1 1/2 Tbsp of powdered pectin
3. Microwave for 12 mins
4. Remove bowl and add 1 1/4 Tbsp lemon juice and 1 1/4 cup sugar.  Stir until the sugar is melted. 
5. Microwave for another 12 min on 60% power. 
6. Skim off foam that has collected and stir once more.  If it sheets off the spoon you have done it correctly. 
7. Transfer to a sterilized jar and allow to cool. Top with lid (and fabric square) and store in the refrigerator.  

Friday, May 29, 2015

Fingerlickin' Chicken - Courtney's Hot Wings

Courtney's Hot Wings

1. fill deep fryer to max fill line with canola, vegetable or peanut oil and turn heat to 375 degree.  (Fry outside to avoid stinking up your house)
2. In a large bowl combine flour and seasoned salt
3. Add wings (40 count) and coat with flour or dredge
4. In a saucepan add 1/4 cup butter, 1 bottle of Louisiana Hot Sauce and 2 Tbsp (or more) agave nectar or honey. Turn the heat to medium and stir until butter is melted and sauce is combined.  Turn heat to low to keep warm while wings are frying
5. When the oil it hot add wings (fry in shifts of 6-8 wings of similar size)
6. The wings are done when they float to the top and turn a golden brown color (anywhere from 4-7 or more min depending on size)
7. Remove wings and drain on a paper towel
8. Coat in sauce
9. Serve immediately with celery and ranch or blue cheese dressing.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Pasta La Vista, Baby! - Tuscan Chicken Pasta

Tuscan Chicken Pasta

1. Cook 1/2 lb of corkscrew or penne pasta to al dente
2. saute 1/2 jar of sun-dried tomatoes in the oil they came in and 2 whole cloves of garlic
3. Remove from pan and chop up tomatoes
4. Lightly dredge 1/2 lb of chicken breast cut into pieces in flour mixed with seasoned salt
5. Fry chicken in the tomato oil on both sides for several min (until chicken is done)
6. Pour in 1 cup milk and 4oz (1/2 package) of cream cheese cut into small pieces
7. Stir and break up cream cheese with spoon
8 Add 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese and 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese, stir until melted
9. Add 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp basil and chopped tomatoes
10. Add pasta and stir to coat
**If sauce gets too thick add some of the salted pasta water to skillet and stir

Monday, May 11, 2015

Breakfast Yo! Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

1.     Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2.     Peel and mash 4 overripe bananas with a fork
3.     Place in a stand up mixer (you can always mix by hand if you don’t have a mixer)
4.     Add ½ cup agave nectar or honey
½ cup packed brown sugar

2 eggs
½ cup softened butter
1 cup natural peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla
5.     Place on the paddle attachment and mix to combine
6.     Sift in 2 cup of flour (white or wheat or a combo of the two)
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
7.     Mix to combine
8.     Add 1/3 cup milk and mix a final time
9.     Place 24 cupcake liners in muffin trays and spray with baking spray
10. Bake for 22 min

11. Let cool and enjoy!

**Optional Rum Sugar Glaze.
1. In a saucepan melt 2 tbsp butter, add 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1-2 tbsp milk
2. Add 1/4-1/2 tsp rum extract
3. Stir and drizzle over muffins.
4. Sprinkle with chopped pecans.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

I ham what I ham -Sandwiches

Yummy Ham Rolls
1. Preheat oven to 350 degree
2. Melt 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) butter and add 1/2 Tbsp mustard, 1/2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce, 1/4 tsp onion powder and 1/2 Tbsp poppy seeds
3. Place sandwich rolls on a baking sheet and layer ham and cheddar cheese
4. Brush some of the butter mixture on the top of each roll and place on the ham and cheese
5. Brush the remaining butter mixture over the tops of each sandwich
6. Cover in foil and bake for 15 min
7. Remove more and bake for another 10 min
Serve immediately

Ham Salad Sandwich 
1. dice ham into cubes and pulse in a food processor until finely minced
2. Add 1/4 cup miracle whip and mix
3. Serve between 2 slices of bread

Friday, March 27, 2015

Pasta La Vista, Baby! - SpCourtney and Meat Sauce w/ Stuffed Mushrooms

SpCourtney and Meat Sauce (Add in your own name ;0))

1.    Chop 1 small zucchini and mince ¼ cup onion, sauté in olive oil, over med. heat until the zucchini starts to brown
2.    Transfer to a separate bowl and brown the ground beef.  Add ½ tsp garlic powder to meat as it is browning.  Remove the extra grease and throw away when cool (don’t put grease down your sink, it will clog when it hardens)
3.    Add vegetables back to the skillet along with a jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce, 1 can diced tomatoes and ½ tsp salt. 
4.    Cover with a lid and allow to simmer for at least 30 min, stirring every so often
5.    Meanwhile cook your pasta in salted water to al dente (soft but with some bite left)
6.    Serve with Parmesan cheese.

Stuffed Mushrooms

1.    Wash and de-stem about 12 button mushrooms, place them on a foil lined baking sheet
2.    Mix together 4oz soften cream cheese, 2 Tbsp Italian style breadcrumbs, ½ tsp salt and ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese.
3.    Fill each mushroom
4.    Place under low broil for about 10 min, until brown and you see some liquid at the bottom of each mushroom
5.    Brush each mushroom with butter and serve immediately!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Sammiches - Turkey Surprise

Turkey Surprise 

 Cover a pan with foil and lay out your bread cheese and meat
Place under the low broiler until the cheese melts

Spread on mayonnaise and mustard  
Cut into four sections and serve with Italian dressing for dipping (That's the surprise part;0)).

Lettuce Eat Salad - Oriental Chicken Salad

Oriental Chicken Salad

Salad Ingredients 
Grilled and sliced chicken breast
Chopped Lettuce 
Chopped Cabbage
Crunchy Chinese noodles
sliced almonds
Mandarin oranges (optional)

Dressing ingredients 
6 Tbsp agave sweetener
3 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tsp spicy brown mustard
1/4 tsp sesame seed oil

Friday, March 13, 2015

Orange Chicken

Orange Chicken

**If you don’t have a deep fryer you can fry in a pan on the stove.

1-2 pieces boneless skinless chicken breast
About 1 cup dry pancake mix
Seasoned salt to taste
Jarred Orange sauce
Orange zest (optional)
Rice and vegetable of your choice
Frying oil

1.     Cook the rice
2.     Fill up your fryer to the max fill line and turn on to 375 degree.
3.     Cup chicken into bite size pieces and dry thoroughly
4.     Mix pancake mix, seasoned salt and water to a soupy consistency
5.     Add chicken and stir to coat
6.     Steam your broccoli (or vegetable of your choice)
7.     When the fryer is ready drop 6-8 pieces at a time in (don’t crowd the fryer)
8.     When the pieces float to the top and turn a golden brown color
9.     Remove pieces and place on a paper towel to absorb the extra oil
10. Place chicken in a bowl and add the orange sauce
11. Add broccoli and more sauce if needed and stir

Serve immediately with rice.