Don’t wait hours for your turkey to cook in the oven, and don’t be afraid to cook your stuffing in the bird – this stuffed turkey roulade cooks in a fraction of the time and gives you moist, flavorful stuffing all in one!
They see me roullin’, they hatin’… try rollin’, roulin’ turkey!! So, I don’t have the patience for a turkey that takes hours to roast. I’m all for Thanksgiving traditions and turkey with all the fixins – and a giant swimming pool of spinach dip with loaves of sour dough bread to last me for days, as is protocol – but really, the 5 hour turkey time thing kills me. It’s a cruel. Like that mean girl in 5th grade who said your pleated acid washed GoodWill jeans that had bows at the ankle “weren’t cool”. Or that your flowered button up, that you insisted on buttoning all the way up to the neck was straight out of the 60′s. Ain’t no one got time for turkey teasing smells and 5th grade means girls.
The thing I love about this roulade is that it’s already debones, so there is no carving, just slicing. And stuffed turkey roulade cooks in a fraction of the time! And unlike cooking the stuffing in a whole bird – which can be a bit risky on the food safety, this is totally safe. Though if you have family that you’d rather dispense with, I’m not sayin that the food poisioning wouldn’t be a deal breaker… Holidays with crazy family are stressful, yo!
Anyway, this stuffed turkey roulade cooks the turkey and stuffing safely all in one. And when you slice it you get a little bird with a little bread, then can proceed to piling that fork high with a little smidgen of everything else on your plate where you have to unhinge your jaw like a snake to fit it all in. There is no shame here.
The beauty of a chicken, or in this case, turkey roulade is that it can serve as few or as many people as you need. Want to feed a crowd – make an additional roulade! One large chicken breast section will easily feed four people. And you’re not left with a lot of turkey pieces or a carcass to clean up after! Although if you do roast a full bird you can always make your own stock out of it!
Movember is here people – and I for one couldn’t be more over joyed. Well, scratch that. There are some men that just should not grow a beard. Or a ‘stache. Or some patchy half-assed excuse for facial hair. Love the sentiment dudes, but let’s be real, it’s like the yoga pants of facial hair. It may be super comfy, but it doesn’t mean everyone should do it. Patchy hair just looks scheevy and should be avoided at all costs. And a stache on any man under the age of 50 who isn’t at least salt and pepper gray just look like you should own a van and live down by the river. It’s terrifying. Which is why I am so relieved I married a man that can grow a full on manly-man beard this time of year. It makes me want to give him an axe and tell him to go chop me down a tree and build me a cabin. Or fix a lightbulb for me. It’s those little manly things that make a girl swoon.
On second thought…he better leave the tree chopping to me. Hanging out with lumberjacks all through college (Yes- I was a lumberjack) I could distinguish between a good beard and a bad beard. And thankfully most of those guys had amazing pieces of facial pelt, which led me to believe that once a man puts an axe in his hand the beards begins to sprout. Like a Chia pet. It just happens over night.
Since Ben is in nursing school, he has to stay professional and clean cut so the pelt on his face isn’t going to get out of control and he can’t do anything funky with it like Todd Hoffman and his chin banner. Do any of you watch Gold Diggers, too? Or am I a one woman Alaskan Reality TV Freakshow? For those of you that know who Todd Hoffman is let me ask – What is that thing? Seriously, cut it off! Gold miners grown beards, not face banners. ew.
But I digress – It’s deep into the depths of fall and Ben has started to grown the face sweater – I’m beyond thrilled and it looks remarkably good on him. Other girls seem to think so too, since I’ve noticed he’s been getting a lot of stares lately from less-than-his-aged girls who apparentl also know a good beard when they see it. Ohhhh you should see the side eyes being thrown back at them. Go back and listen to your Justice Beaver girls and leave the beard admiring to me. I’ve got it firmly covered.
And what else do I have covered? Your new Thanksgiving Cornbread Stuffing recipe! This is full of fall like things – fresh crumbled corn bread, spicy pork sausage, cranberries and even a few smoked oysters for some added moisture, and smokey flavor. If you’ve never added oysters to your stuffing, this is the year to do it! You won’t even be able to tell they are in there – they just give it a really flavorful boost! Promise!
There really isn’t anything that isn’t made better by chocolate. Let alone chocolate ganache. It’s like chocolate on creamy steroids. So yeah – it doesn’t get better. And what better time to slather everything in ‘roided up chocolate than at the holidays! See, I’m glad we’re on the same page. Chocolate ganache is really easy to make, you just have to have a touch of patience, an love of butter, and a deep seeded desire to cover every bit of your face with this like a mud mask. Too far? Well, you get my drift…
First, you need three things – Chocolate, butter and heavy whipping cream. I told you this was a ‘roidy combo. No regrets.
Then, if you don’t have a double boiler – like me, gather a sauce pan and a heat-safe bowl. I use a stainless steel bowl in this case.
Fill the bottom of your saucepan with about 1 inch of water and place the heat safe bowl over the top. As exhibited above. Be sure that the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl – with the direct heat you would risk scalding your chocolate and ruining your ganache. No bueno!
When the water is at a simmer in the bottom of the double boiler, add in the chocolate and butter. What’s most important to remember is keep the simmer low and not a rapid boil. Just like with the direct heat, the rapidly increasing temperature can scald the chocolate.
Using a rubber spatula, stir and fold the chocolate and butter until they start to melt. I like to remove the chocolate from the heat when there are just a couple of chocolate chips left to melt. Chocolate retains its temperature very well and the chocolate will continue to melt even once it is removed from the heat and off the double boiler. Keep folding the chocolate until the chocolate melts completely.
Once it’s removed from the heat, stir in the heavy cream until incorporated and smooth. Then – lick the spatula. Again, no judgements.
Drizzle over your favorite treats, pour over desserts, cakes or ya know, whatever needs jazzing up with chocolate. And by that I mean, everything? Challenge Accepted!!
This quick dip will be a big hit at your next fall shindig. With whipped cream, caramel and bits of sweet apples this 5-minute whipped caramel apple dip is the perfect treat for your next event.
There are a list of items I will tear into ferociously and wish wild and reckless abandon. And this weekend’s purchase wasn’t one of them. Which only goes to show the huge disaparity between what excites me versus Ben…
What I will tear into like a wolverine?
A bag of butterscotch chips – to which might look something like this… It’s horrifying.
A new calendar. I live new calendars every year at Christmas time. Is a calendar a mandatory Christmas gift for anyone else in their family? Like underwear?
New shoes – because being a girl doesn’t make that apparent enough.
And new cleaning products – it’s stupid how excited new house hold cleaning products make me. My first job in high school was at a local vet hospital where I did all the cleaning, dog walking and scrubbing of the joint. Doc threw me plenty of side-eyes my way when he’s brought in bags of new dish soap, or Mr. Clean in meadow fresh and I got animatedly excited. Or when I became visibly disappointed at the repeat of the previous months’ orange scented Mr. Clean. A girl craves variety in her life! And the trend of cleaning products continues to this day.
But there are things I don’t get wildly excited about – which Ben finds terribly disappointing…
Like YouTube videos. Fantasy Football. Cerebral dramatic movies *cough* Gravity *cough*. And apparently, external hard drives.
This weekend Ben was able to pull his face away from the YouTubes and the studying to do the weekend grocery shopping and Costco run with me – how romantic – and as I made a B-line right for the TVs in an attempt to convince him that we need a new one to appropriately show off the fabulousness that is the Apple TV he diverted my attention to the external hard drives.
What man doesn’t get hot and bothered by a new TV – ESPECIALLY when his wife is volunteering to buy it for him no questions asked?! Oh right, mine. He was more excited that I was going to buy myself a new external hard drive so I can store the obscene number of photos I can’t bring myself to delete from my computer… 4 TB and all. Somewhere in the back of my mind Tim Taylor is doing the “MORE POWER” grunt. 4 Terabites? Tim Taylor would be proud. Remember when 512MB in a flashdrive was big doins?!
Now who’s throwing side eyes at who? So the thing got added to the cart with the 137 roll pack of paper towels, a four-pack of picture frames I couldn’t pass up, and a half gallon of heavy whipping cream that makes me feel really guilty to even have. But not guilty enough not to buy it! So tonight – to make the man happy – the computer is getting backed up. Wish me luck! If you hear a plethora of swears echoing through the glens, mountains, skyscrapers and hills like Maria von Trapp sings to the birds, don’t worry – it’s just me.
This one-pan skinny chicken florentine pasta bake feeds a crowd and doesn’t leave you feeling guilty! Make it with light jarred alfredo sauce and whole wheat pasta for a healthier twist on a classic pasta dish.
Dang you diets – why must you be so torturous?! This week me and a few girl friends started a Diet Challenge with eachother. Something about all of us being uber competitive and there being Target gift cards being on the line makes some beeches throw down and lose pounds! Boom! (Shaka Lacka.) You know you were saying Shaka Lacka in your head, too…
The first three days of the diet have been going okay…with the exception of me being hyper-focused on not devouring alllll of the Peanut Butter Oreos stashed in the apartment. Ben did however catch me sniffing the package just to get an Oreo high. No shame. And because we’re adults and can practice moderation, we’re still allowing ourselves one alcoholic drink per night if necessary, which I can tell you now, has been necessary every day of the week. As a group we’re all very conscious of balancing all of our meals with one starch, one protein and one veggie and we have free days and free meals through the week. But there is one part I’m getting really hung up on…
It’s the drink-half-my-weight-in-ounces-of-water-rule to ensure I get my precious “Water Points” for the day. I’m not about to lose those precious 15 daily points because I couldn’t drink my obscene number of ounces of water. That amount of water consumption does however yield one problem, the nearest bathroom at work happens to be a 300 yard walk outside and into a different building. And? Yup – there is an “and”. It happens to rain a lot in Seattle. Are you seeing my predicament? There it is. We’re in the middle of another big storm and boy is it convenient! Sike!
But there is something uber convenient and it’s filling up each bit of my diet in one plate - this! Oh yeah – try this light and skinny chicken florentine pasta bake and it will keep your fueled and save you a ton of time with leftovers that taste great for days! Got my 6 meal points right here, yo! Woo!! The game is indeed, ON!
This easy to make treat is sinful and full of cozy holiday cheer – these Brown Butter Toffee Shortbread with Chocolate Ganache made a great holiday treat or homemade gift. Learn how to Make Your Own Brown Butter HERE!
I live in a testosterone filled household. I mean it’s only 2:1, and one of the two has no balls to hang (It’s Huck…he’s neutered) – but I am still outnumbered in “Man”. And there is definitely a camaraderie there leaving me in the dust. Huck has his people – me and Ben, and it is very clear to me that that mutt is firmly on the side of Ben right now. And I have a serious case of the sads. #DogMomProblems
Mom is the evil one who cleans the allergic-to-everything-under-the-sun puppy ears, clips the paws, restricts his food intake so he doesn’t balloon to become a walking barrel on toothpick legs and cuddles with him against his will.
Did I mention that I’m the one that lets him on the bed? Yeah… I’m the evil one!!
But Ben does all the cool stuff. Like Dads do. Ben takes him out, scratches him ’til cows come home, plays tug-o-war until his shoulder comes out of its socket, doesn’t clean the mutt’s ears, or give him a bath (except that one time…), and gives him treats just because he’s a big giant two legged pushover. Dads are always the cool ones.
Huck has to know where his people are at all times and wanders around the house making sure he is right where he left you. In the morning after our morning walk and coming back inside Huck has the compulsion and need to go find out if Ben is still in bed. Every morning. For that reason I keep our door closed as much, even if it doesn’t latch without a swift yank. But that dog is persistent! He’s a bull in a china shop to get to his person in the morning and trying to stop him is pointless!
It starts off with “Huck, leave Ben alone…come here” all while making my lunch in the morning, which usually holds his attention hoping for some cheese or lettuce to fall. His response? “Lol. Nope.” where he paws off and HEAD BUTTS the door, bursting into our room to stick his big wet nose in Ben’s face, wag his tail, and then lay down right next to the bed. SCREW THE CHEESE!!
If having a toddler is anything like having to repeat myself, bathe them, did I mention repeat myself, and provide basic human needs – I’m going to need to have a LOT MORE shortbread around to get me through it. And a couple more years of well-tempered baby fever.
Learn how fall time is the best time for shellfish and learn how to shuck and grill your own oysters with some safety tips and step by step photos.
I grew up as a shellfish hater. Unless it came in chowder form, I wouldn’t touch it. What a load of wasted years!! I grew spending weekends at the parental’s place out on the calm, briny waters on Puget Sound, and averting all forms of shelled fish.. and the fish with too many or too few legs – fish of the star and jelly variety, if you catch my drift. But I’m finally coming around to them, 28 years later. So a couple weeks ago on our last visit out to see the folks, I wanted to be the Daniel-san to Bonus Dad’s Miyagi and learn the way of the shellfish, how to shuck the oysters and how to make his family famous clam chowder. See, no more shellfish aversion for me! I’m sold and I know you will be too. I mean just WAIT until tomorrow ’til you get this chowder. Your falls will never be the same again.
The shucking of an oyster is pretty easy – it’s the “try not to stab yourself with the shucker” that is the hard part. For people that love raw oysters like their life depended on it – shucking is how you open them up. For those who want to cook their oysters, you can open them up first, or apply some heat to them and they will naturally open. I wanted to learn it from the beginning, so I got snaps of it from start to finish.
Step one : Procure a shucker. Do not use a knife, oh dear lawdy you’re asking for it then. Even more so than with a shucker.
Step two : Find the narrow end of the oyster, where the muscle is.
Step three : Wrap your hand with a towel and FIRMLY grip the fluted and frilly, wide end of the oyster. And I mean Grip. It. Like you’re Rose and that Oyster is Jack and you’re never gonna let it go. *Note* Also make sure the cupped or bowled side of the oyster is facing downward. The flat side of the oyster should be facing upward. No losing juice here, people!
Step four : Wedge the shucker into muscle, and wiggle it until it starts to penetrate the shell. Once it does, twist your wrist to help pry the oyster open. Thennnn…once it pops open, run the blade along the top of the shell to dislodge the additional muscle that connects the oyster to it’s shell.
Step five : Remove the flat top shell, and run the blade along the bottom bowl of the oyster shell to remove the other side of that muscle that connects the oyster to it’s shell. The oyster should then kind of move freely in it’s shell. And no, do not drain the juice.
Step six – if you’re an oyster shooter : SLURP!! But that’s not for me. Don’t worry we’re getting to the good stuff!.
I’m one of those who prefers them grilled and not raw. It’s a texture thing. Slippery things just don’t suit me. Like, at all. Instead – we grill our oysters over the fire with a couple of not-so-secret-but-OMG-good ingredients. Namely, BUTTER. Duh. And Garlic Power sauce.
So once you’ve shucked all the oysters you can muster and your arm is the size of Arnold’s from back in his Terminator days, top each oyster in his little oyster shell with a little butter and drizzle with garlic sauce.
If you don’t have access to a fire with a grill during the winter months – take them to your gas grill!! They will be just as tasty. Let them heat over the fire until the liquid starts to boil and the oysters are no longer opaque. Carefully remove from the grill onto a plate – and let them cool for just a hot second so you don’t end up saying good bye to your taste buds forever. Then, devour.
All the work of oyster shucking is totally worth it. And if shucking oysters for just a few on the grill isn’t worth it – you can always lay them on your grill – rounded, cupped side down – and they will open naturally. Then you can gently spoon in your butter or sauce in then. It’s just easier with them all the way open.
Grill season isn’t over yet – and oyster season is just beginning in the PNW. Get to it – you won’t believe what fantasticness awaits you!!
Thank you to Yakult USA for sponsoring this article. Learn why Yakult’s exclusive L. casei Shiorta probiotic strain can make all the difference for digestive health.
Every year without fail, I can count on two things – one is getting super pumped and jazz-handsy about fall time and the other is getting sick. Fall is my favorite time of year, but the getting cold thing is obviously my least favorite. I eat (mostly) right, eating a good breakfast, having a yogurt for a snack, and an apple after work. I try to take my vitamins, usually having Ben remind me every night, and then eat my 17 servings of vegetables that Ben insists I have at dinnertime because three servings I already had plated was not enough. I married a farmer, so veggies are sacrosanct. Then lastly, I’m an avid lunchtime walker and after work runner, doing my best to stay active to keep my heart and the rest of me in shape. Well, a shape.
But for all of those things that I try to do right, I still get sick. Darn it. Recently I tried adding a probiotic to the mix to see if that would help my body fight the good fight and give my innards a little boost to keep my digestive system and hopefully my immune system in check. I’d like to think of those little bacteria as reinforcements to my intestines. I just never knew that all probiotics were not created the same.
Probiotics, like the one I recently tested – Yakult – can help with a myriad of health issues, helping bolster the system of those with possibly compromised immune systems or those who have recently been ill and may have just finished with a round of antibiotics to replenish the good bacteria the medications have destroyed. For those that are healthy, probiotics can reduce intestinal discomfort like bloating, abdominal pain, and other not so savory rear end issues. Have you ever experienced a UTI? A UTI is an overabundance of bad bacteria that has over taken the good in your urinary tract. Ouchie. Maintaining a healthy and active balance of bacteria can help reduce the number of uncomfortable and painful occurrences such as these.
Replenishing your body with the good bacteria before the bad bacteria set in can save you a lot of time, discomfort and pain in the long run and help keep your body and your intestines running at full speed, even allowing your body to take in more nutrients, like vitamins and minerals from the foods you eat.
Probiotics can really pack a one-two punch. The Yakult brand includes one specific probiotic that sets it apart from the rest, the Shirota strain. We have to remember that not all probiotics are created equal and some, although well intentioned, don’t always survive the entire trip to your intestines. The specific Shirota strain found in Yakult is shown to survive the entire way through your digestive tract, meaning it’s working the entire journey. A probiotics entire journey should not be for nothing – so picking one that can get the job done is important. After a week of drinking my Yakult, twice a day, I noticed a considerable reduction in bloating – super sexy – but if they reduce just that one side effect – what else could they be helping me with?
With fall in full swing, I’m determined not to let one cold get me down and hopefully continuing to drink my daily Yakult will keep me, my intestines, and hopefully my immune system in check all season long. And beyond.
This is a paid post sponsored by Yakult USA and Technorati. I received a free 10-day supply of Yakult Probiotic Drinks to complete my review. Although I have been compensated to help spread the word about strain-based probiotics, all opinions expressed here are genuine and my own.
Try these Gluten Free Cranberry Orange Almond Bars with Whole Foods 365 Organic Cranberry Sauce for your next holiday shindig! Easy to make and packed with flavor, they will be a hit at your holiday party!
I don’t know what it is about being kid at Thanksgiving, but you can’t go through the holiday without the infamous jellied cranberry sauce. It was, and still is, my favorite part of the holiday Thanksgiving spread. Even as a small child my mom would let me help open the can, slice it, and serve it to the whole family. I think it was me who ended up eating the majority of it every year, but it was mine and I ate it ravenously.
Even though this comical canned creation graces our tables only once or twice a year – it’s amazingly versatile and this year I will be including it into a new classic Thanksgiving Day treat, gluten free cranberry orange almond bars featuring Whole Foods 365 Organic Cranberry Sauce.
This semi-homemade treat is a cinch to put together, makes you feel like a kid when you get to crack a can and see it slide out of the can in one piece, and doctor it up with seasonal citrus and warm and cozy almond flavors. These bars will be hard to keep on the table until dessert time!
These can be made gluten free or with standard flour to suit your needs. They are delicious either way.
A fall twist on neo-classic monkey bread! Get stuffed with Apple Pie Stuffed Monkey Bread rolled in cinnamon, sugar and homemade Apple Pie Spice.Yesterday marked the start of my 28th year and I think it’s off to a pretty good start. Dinner with friends, carbs covered in marinara and wine is always a good way to do it. And I’m partial to sweet carbs covered in apple-y goo, too. Ben and I don’t make big hay over birthdays and that’s kind of the way I prefer it. In the way of keeping it low key we didn’t really plan gifts and really I didn’t have my eye on much of anything at all. So after last week’s dinner party with friends he spent the evening scoping out and man-drooling over the host’s entertainment set up and honed in on the Apple TV. As a self proclaimed Hulu addict, it was getting a bit tiring of watching my cell phone streaming Hulu while I was cooking all weekend and catching up on the shows I don’t get to watch since I am part of the pre-mature early bird special club. Being in bed as soon as primetime TV starts is really putting a burr under the saddle of my TV time.
And as it turns out Ben was just excited about getting the new Apple TV as I was and texted me as soon as it arrived to see if I wanted to open it myself or if he would like me to set it up and have it ready for my viewing pleasure. I can see right through that thinly veiled attempt at cloy… he’s really really bad at it. He was way to excited for his own good. So my birthday gift became a gift for me for him for me and us. Which is more than fine. And as soon as I woke up this morning what did I put on – nope, not my normal morning TV with the lame traffic an the traffic girl who we are convinced is wearing the same dress every. single. day. but Nashville.
Let me tell you it’s hard to pull yourslef away from the Scarlett-Gunnar-Avery triangle!! And don’t eveennn get me started on Juliette and Richie Rich!! What is THAT!?!
Even harder to pull yourself away from – is this Apple Pie Stuffed Monkey Bread. Just don’t be a hero – dive in an enjoy. It’s the holidays and I for one am firmly committed to working on the sweater body of mine.
Apple Pie Monkey Bread:
½ cup Milk, heated to 104 degrees
1 package Quick Rise Yeast
¼ cup Sugar
½ tsp Salt
2 Tbsp Butter, melted
1 tsp Apple Pie Spice
1 can Apple Pie Filling, roughly dice apple chunks
3 cups Bread Flour
Monkey Bread Coating:
½ cup Sugar
1 tsp Apple Pie Spice
Caramel for Drizzle
For Monkey Bread Dough:
Set up stand mixer with a dough hook attachment.
In cup with heated milk, stir in sugar. Sprinkle yeast over the top of the warm milk and sugar - gently stir to moisten yeast. Set aside for about five minutes to activate yeast.
Pour warm milk/yeast mixture into stand mixer with dough attachment. Stir in salt, melted butter, apple pie spice together and start to mixer to incorporate together. Begin to incorporate the flour slowly until it has been fully added and just incorporated together. Turn mixer to medium-low speed and allow to knead for about 4 minutes or until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
Spray a ceramic bowl with non-stick spray and pour dough into the bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside in a dark, and warm place. Place a towel over the bowl to make sure light does not get in as well. Let rise for about an hour. The dough should about double in size.
After dough has risen, spray a non-stick bundt pan with cooking spray.
In small bowl, mix together Monkey Bread Coating, 1 teaspoon of Pumpkin Pie Spice and Sugar. Set aside momentarily.
Take about egg-size sections of dough out of the bowl, and spread out into a small disk with your fingers. Add in 1/2 teaspoon of apple pie filling and then pinch together the edges of the dough. Roll each ball into the monkey bread coating and place into bundt pan. Repeat with remaining dough. When all dough has been rolled in coating and put into bundt pan, place plastic wrap over the bundt pan and set back into warm, dark place. Allow to rise another hour.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Place bundt pan on a baking sheet. Place into oven and bake for 30 minutes or until the dough on the top of the bundt pan just becomes brown on top. Remove from oven and cool in pan for about 30 minutes.
To remove from pan, invert a large serving plate over the bundt pan. Grasping both the plate and the pan, invert the two and allow the monkey bread to fall onto the serving plate. Serve while warm.
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