Friday, November 30, 2012

Turkey in my Electric Roaster Oven

I have had my roaster oven for many years, but this Thanksgiving was the first time I used it to cook my turkey.  It was so nice to have the oven to cook fresh warm rolls while the turkey finished cooking.  I will be cooking turkey this way from now on.  It was really easy and I didn't have to worry about basting it.

Recipe from:

1 whole turkey, thawed up to 20 lbs
1/4 cup olive oil or 1/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon seasoning salt
Take the insert pan out of the roaster and pre-heat the roaster to 450.

Prep the turkey by rinsing and patting dry. Sprinkle salt in the cavities. Stuff your turkey if desired. (I did not stuff mine. I did slice 3 onions and toss those inside to add some flavor.)
Place the bird in the roasting pan on top of the wire rack that comes with your roaster. Make sure the handles are up, not tucked below.
Rub the entire bird with olive oil.  Doctor up your bird with whatever special seasonings you wish. I used some rosemary and thyme.
Finish with a good sprinkle of seasoning salt and black pepper. The olive oil will help the skin brown nicely.
Roast at highest setting for 30 minutes. The oil, seasoning salt and the searing time will make the skin beautifully browned and perfect!
After 30 minutes, turn the oven temperature down to 325.
The bird will self-baste if you do not lift the lid, so you don't have to baste it every 20 minutes like you do in your conventional oven. DO NOT LIFT LID during cooking time! Lifting the lid will increase cooking time because roaster ovens lose their heat unlike regular ovens. 

Check your Bird - Figure your total cooking time from the time you first put the bird in the roaster. FINAL TEMPERATURE FOR SAFETY AND DONENESS IS: 180 DEGREES IN THIGH AND 165 DEGREES IN BREAST AND STUFFING. Juices should be clear, not pink. 
Your turkey will almost certainly be done at the earliest of the suggested times on the chart. Lift lid only slightly and quickly to check the pop-up thermometer or use your meat thermometer. If necessary, check after another 30 minutes, but you shouldn't have to do that. If the pop-up thermometer isn't popped, double check with your regular meat thermometer because those little plastic things stick sometimes. Check after 30 minutes because it's really OK to let the bird roast a little extra - you won't dry it out using this method if you let it go for 1/2 hour.
Figure your total cooking time from the time you first put the bird in the roaster. Check your bird at the EARLIEST of these times:.
8 to 12 pounds 2¾ to 3 hours.
12 to 14 pounds 3 to 3¾ hours.
14 to 18 pounds 3¾ to 4¼ hours.
 18 to 20 pounds 4¼ to 4½ hours.
8 to 12 pounds 3 to 3½ hours. 
12 to 14 pounds 3½ to 4 hours.
14 to 18 pounds 4 to 4¼ hours.
18 to 20 pounds 4¼ to 4¾ hours.
When done, remove the bird from the roaster, tent with foil, and let rest for 20 minutes. This allows the juices to really seep into the meat, so they say.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Great Harvest Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

I don't know if this tastes like Great Harvest's pumpkin bread, but it had a great texture with the fresh ground wheat and a fantastic flavor.  My kids gobbled it up!  

Recipe from:  The Recipe Link

2 1/2 cups white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
3 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
16 oz cooked or canned pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
1 cup oil
4 eggs, beaten lightly
2/3 cup water
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two (9x5 inch) loaf pans or three (8x4 inch) loaf pans.

Mix flours, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt together in a large bowl; set aside.

Mix pumpkin, oil, eggs, and 2/3 cup water together and stir into dry ingredients. Stir in chocolate chips. Place batter in prepared pans.

Bake 60 or 70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake

This dessert was so good....better than pumpkin pie!  So, let's just think that this is at least somewhat healthy because it has pumpkin.  And it's ok to make because you're going to share it with people this Thanksgiving, right?  John does not care for pumpkin pie, but he did like this cake.  My kids were all super excited about it, too. 

Recipe from: Take the Day Off via Paula Deen

  • 1 (18 1/4-ounce) package yellow cake mix
  • 1 egg
  • 8 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin (I used fresh cooked pie pumpkin instead of canned)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 8 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3 3/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine the cake mix, egg, and butter and mix well with an electric mixer. Pat the mixture into the bottom of a lightly greased 13 by 9-inch baking pan.

To make the filling: In a large bowl, (I mixed all of my ingredients in my VitaMix instead to get the pumpkin nice and smooth)  beat the cream cheese and pumpkin until smooth. Add the eggs, vanilla, and butter, and beat together. Next, add the powdered sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and mix well. Spread pumpkin mixture over cake batter and bake for 40 to 50 minutes.  Check on them after about 35 minutes so you make sure not to overbake them. (I cooked mine 47 minutes)  The center should be a little gooey. 

Let the pan cool completely before you cut the squares.  I usually cut them pretty small since they are so rich.  Dust them with powdered sugar to make them extra pretty before serving them.  We liked our topped with whipped cream.  :)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Apple Fritter Coffee Cake

This was another great recipe for our fall apples.  John really liked it and I caught him sneaking another piece before bedtime :)  I think the cake tasted even better the next day when the flavors blended a little more.  Although this cake is great cold or warm, we liked ours slightly warmed before eating.  

Recipe from: Nerdy Baker


For Apple Filling:
1 heaping cup of sliced apples
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
small pinch nutmeg
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons water
Crumb Filling
1/2 cup brown sugar (I used a 1/4 cup each of dark and light)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
For Cake:
1/3 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup greek yogurt
For Glaze:
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons milk


For filling:  Make your filling by combining apples, sugar, water, cinnamon and cornstarch in a small saucepan.  Cook on low heat for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring constantly until the sauce is thickend and the apples are a bit soft.  Set aside to cool.  In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar and cinnamon together until well combined and set aside.
For Cake:  Preheat oven to 350°.  Grease and flour a 9×13 baking dish.  Set aside.
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add applesauce and vanilla and mix till combined.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Sift the dry ingredients together.  Add the dry ingredients to the batter in three parts alternating with the yogurt in two parts, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.  Beat until just combined.
Spoon half of the batter into the prepared pan.  Spoon the cooled apple mixture over the batter carefully and spread as evenly as possible.  Sprinkle 2/3 of brown sugar cinnamon mixture over apples and cover with the rest of the batter.  Sprinkle the rest of the brown sugar cinnamon mixture over the top.
Bake for 45-55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
For Glaze:  While the cake is baking, make the glaze.  In a bowl, mix the powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk until the glaze is desired consistency.  When the cake comes out of the oven, wait 5 minutes, then carefully pour icing onto hot cake.  Try to pour as evenly as possible.  You might have to pick up the cake and tilt it to spread the icing.  Let the cake sit for awhile for the glaze to set.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Muffins

These muffins were a huge hit with my kids.   Of course they love chocolate muffins, but these have a great peanut butter swirl on top that made them an extra special treat. 

Recipe slightly adapted from: Eat Drink Pretty

Yield: about 24 muffins


For the muffins:
6 tbsp. unsalted butter
2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips, divided
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tbsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1¼ cups buttermilk (I used lemon juice/milk)
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract

For the peanut butter swirl:
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
2-3 Tbsp. milk


Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line muffin tins with paper liners. To make the chocolate muffin batter, combine the butter and 1/3 cup of the chocolate chips in a saucepan. Using LOW heat, melt the chocolate and butter and stirring until smooth. Set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk or mix briefly to combine. Add buttermilk, eggs and vanilla and whisk until combined. With the mixer on low speed, blend in the buttermilk mixture just until combined. Blend in the melted chocolate mixture. Stir in the remaining chocolate chips with a spatula. Divide the batter between the prepared paper liners, filling each no more than 2/3 full. (These muffins will rise a lot!)

To make the peanut butter swirl, combine the peanut butter and butter in a heatproof bowl and microwave briefly until smooth. Whisk in the confectioners’ sugar and milk until smooth. Drop a small spoonful of the peanut butter mixture on top of the chocolate muffin batter. Swirl together using a skewer or knife.

Bake 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Double Crunch Honey Garlic Chicken

This chicken was a nice change of pace.  It was too spicy for our kids, but John and I enjoyed it.  I served it with some rice.  The breading turned out nice and crunchy, but the chicken was tender and moist.  
John's Rating: 9

Recipe from: Rock Recipes

2  large boneless chicken breasts

Slice the breasts by placing them flat on a cutting board and using a very sharp knife to slice them into halves horizontally.
Mix together:

1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup corn starch
2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1-2 Tbsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp chipolte chili powder

Egg wash: 
Mix one egg with 2 Tbsp of water
Dip the breast into the flour/spice mix, then the eggwash and then a final time into the flour/spice mix, pressing the mix into the meat to get good contact.

Heat a skillet on the stove with about a half inch of canola oil covering the bottom. You will want to carefully regulate the temperature here so that the chicken does not brown too quickly. The thinness of the breast meat practically guarantees that it will be fully cooked by the time the outside is browned. I find between the medium and high heat works well. I use a burner setting of about 7 1/2 out of 10 on the dial and fry them gently for about 4 or 5 minutes per side until golden brown and crispy.

Drain on a wire rack for a couple of minutes before dipping the cooked breasts into the Honey Garlic Sauce.  (or you can just drizzle them with sauce).  Serve with noodles or rice.

Honey Garlic Sauce

In a medium saucepan add

 1tbsp olive oil
 4 cloves minced garlic

Cook over medium heat to soften the garlic but do not let it brown. Add:

3/4 cup honey
¼ cup soy sauce 
1 tsp ground black pepper

Simmer together for 5-10 minutes, remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes. Watch this carefully as it simmers because it can foam up over the pot very easily.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Apple Fritter Bread

Since it's apple harvest time, I will be trying out some new apple recipes.  This is the first recipe I tried.  It is best warm, out of the oven.  John LOVED this bread.  He said it was better than eating an apple fritter.
John's Rating: 9

Recipe from: Flour Me with Love (She has lots of step-by-step photos if you need them)

3 C flour
1 package yeast
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 C brown sugar
1/4 C water
1 egg, beaten
3/4 C milk
1/4 C butter

6 small apples, peeled & diced
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 C brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tbsp. cornstarch

1 Tbsp. butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 C powdered sugar
3 tsp. half & half (I used  milk instead)
 In a skillet, cook apples, lemon juice, brown sugar, vanilla, butter, cinnamon & cornstarch until mixture is thickened.  Set aside to cool.
Heat the milk in a small saucepan until it bubbles; remove from heat. Add the butter and stir until melted; set aside.
Put flour, yeast, brown sugar and salt in a bowl, mix well.
Add the water, egg and milk/butter mixture.

Mix until dough forms into a ball; knead for an additional five minutes.
Preheat oven to 350.
On a well floured surface, roll dough into a rectangle. 
Evenly spread apple mixture over dough.
Cut dough into even squares (I cut 20 squares).

Carefully stack pieces of dough onto each other forming four piles.(use a spatula, it makes stacking much easier!)

Place piles of dough into prepared pan.
Bake 45-50 minutes; until golden brown.  Wait a few minutes and  remove from pan.

Mix butter, vanilla and powdered sugar into a bowl.  Add half & half; stir until you get a creamy consistency. 

Pour on glaze and allow to setup for a few minutes.

Pull some apart and enjoy!