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Archive for the ‘Hospitality’ Category

I’m sharing this recipe for those of you who are looking for a great easy way to roast your turkey this year.

Our family has used this one for decades and we always get rave reviews about how moist and tender it is.  Never dry! Make note that the turkey needs to be started in the oven the night before you plan to eat it.

And if it’s not quite thawed the day before, you can quick thaw it by following these instructions from Butterball.

Turkey in the Oven

It’s great because you can put your turkey in the night before. YES, the NIGHT BEFORE you want to eat it and you wake up in the morning with the delicious aromas filling the house. Another awesome thing about this recipe is that even if you cook a large turkey, it comes out moist and tender.

I first found the recipe in a book by Emilie Barnes called “The Complete Holiday Organizer”. I was going to add a link to buy the book, but it appears to be out of print. Sorry. For those of you who haven’t heard of her, she was a homemaking guru before anyone ever heard of The Martha. I’m going to include the text from the book to give you some background. I hope you try it and enjoy it. It’s SO easy!

“Perfect Turkey Every Time”

” Trust me on this one. The white meat melts in your mouth. This is a SLOW roasting method, but once in the oven, you can forget it until it comes out.

Choose desired size turkey, wash it well, and remove the neck and giblets from inside the cavity. Dry turkey with paper towels. Rub the outside well with pure olive oil.  If you want to cook your stuffing inside the turkey, stuff with dressing of your choice.  This is optional.  It can be cooked with or without stuffing/dressing.  (Sometimes if I’m not stuffing the turkey, I’ll add a few whole pieces of celery, carrots and onion to add a bit more flavor to the bird.)

Set the turkey BREAST side down  on a rack in a roasting pan (this bastes itself, making the white meat very moist).

VERY IMPORTANT: Place into a 325 degree F [preheated] oven for one hour to destroy bacteria on the surface. Then adjust the heat to 180-185 degrees for any size turkey. (note: I’ve updated the temp for the first hour of cooking to 325 merely as a precaution since many recipes now call for roasting temps to be at that level.)

This is important. The turkey can go in the oven the night before eating it!

Turkey Slow Roast Chart

Turkey Slow Roast Chart

Example: I have a 22 pound turkey. At 5:00 p.m. Thanksgiving Eve I put the turkey in the oven prepared at 325 degrees for one hour. I turn the temperature down to 185 degrees and leave the turkey uncovered until it’s done the NEXT day about 10 or 11 a.m.

Although the cooking times seem startling at first , the meat is amazingly delicious, juicy and tender. It slices beautifully and shrinks so little that a turkey cooked at regular temperatures no longer tastes good. It cannot burn so it needs no watching. It literally cooks itself. ” I do feel the need to baste every once in a while, but that’s probably more habit than anything, besides I like to open the oven and smell the turkey.

A good rule for timing is about 3 times longer than a standard recipe. For example: a 20 pound turkey that normally takes 15 minutes per pound to cook would take 5 hours. This slow cook method would be 3 times 5, so it equals 15 HOURS to cook the slow way. A smaller turkey cooks 20 minutes per pound, so an 11 pound turkey takes 3 hours, 40 mins standard, times 3 which equals 11 hours for the slow roast way.

ANOTHER IMPORTANT NOTE:  Many newer ovens are set to automatically turn off after 12 hours (I guess it’s assuming that you forgot to turn it off.) You don’t want your turkey sitting in an oven for hours without any heat.  It will be uncooked and dangerous to eat, plus you’ll have lots of unhappy and hungry guests come dinner time.  If your turkey will be reaching the 12 hour mark while you’re sleeping, just before you go to bed, be sure to turn off the oven temperature for a few seconds, then turn it back on to 185 degrees.  This will reset the oven’s internal timer so as not to automatically turn off. Be sure to make note of any time that 12 hour window ends, so you can be sure to “reset” the oven before that.

Now here’s the cool part. Once it’s done, it will NOT overcook or dry out. You can leave it in the oven an additional 3 – 6 hours and it will still be perfect! Thus your roasting can be adjusted totally to your convenience. So allow yourself plenty of time. It’s better to put it in a little early than too late though, since you want to be sure that it’s done. That’s it. That’s all you need to do. Can it be more simple?

Many standard recipes call for allowing the turkey to “rest” outside the oven for about 30 minutes before cutting. This can be done with the slow roast method as well.  Besides allowing the juices to settle in the turkey, it also allows you to have your oven free to cook or warm other items for the meal just before serving.

I’ve been using this recipe for probably 25 years and have never been disappointed when I followed the directions.

One item I need to point out. If your family actually puts the whole turkey on the table as a nice presentation, then you need to know that cooking it breast side down will not be quite as pretty as what you’re accustomed to.  There will still be some crispy skin on the top side, but the breast will not be crisp since it was on the bottom of the pan. If you’re like our family and you just take it out of the oven and slice it up on platters, no one will even know that you cooked it upside-down, except that it will taste AMAZING!

Have fun and let me know how your dinner turns out.

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Happy Easter!

Easter

Happy Easter
by Don & Tonya Christner


If you’re thinking of making Quiche for an Easter Brunch, here’s an easy recipe that I’ve been using for decades.  The secret to keeping your quiche from coming out soupy or runny is to toss the grated cheese in a little bit of flour before baking (see recipe).

I also love the fact that you can use a variety of cheeses and a variety of fillings.  I’ve used Swiss, Monterey Jack, Mozzarella, Cheddar – most any semi-soft cheese. For fillings I’ve used ham, bacon, broccoli, crab and more. Just choose your favorites.

This link also takes you to a couple of other tasty brunch recipes.

Hope you have a wonderful day celebrating our risen Lord with family and friends.

 

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Hey there friends,  I have been staring at the last post for much too long and I’m sure you’ve been wondering where I’ve been, so here’s a little sumthin’ for your summer inspiration.

I know, it’s way past time to bring out the summer decorations.  It will be Independence Day next week, after all!  Can I confess that I still have my Easter decorations on my branch in the living room?  Yowzah!  Hopefully, I can switch them out for summer decor this weekend.

Things have been quite buzy around here with a bunch of changes happening, as well as more on the horizon.  Sadly, my time to concentrate on the transitions are limiting my time to post.  No worries though, there will be more news and posting to come.

In the meantime, here are a few photos of my Summer Centerpiece.  I happen to use mine in the guest bath.  Yes, a centerpiece in the bathroom!  As you know I try to trick myself into believing that I live near the water, especially in these hot summer months when our temperatures are consistently in triple digits (this week it was up around 113 degrees F)!

I keep this simple centerpiece in the bathroom where I get ready every morning.  It fills my mind with memories of sandy beaches, coastal breezes and the sound of waves lapping on the shore.  Which reminds me…I may have a chance to visit my little hometown on Lake Erie in September and I can’t wait to walk on the beach and hear the sounds of the waves as I drift off to sleep!  I never realized what a blessing it was to live just steps from the shore until recently.

For this fun candle arrangement, just find a rustic container, fill it with sand, shells, a candle (or 3) and things that remind you of summer.  Try one yourself and post a link here so we can all see it?

More ideas for your summer inspiration:

Patriotic Slipcover Transformation

4th of July Beverage Ideas

4th of July – Summer Recipes

4th of July – Patriotic Decor

Let me know your plans for the summer and have an awesome holiday!

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I pray that each and every one of you enjoys a holiday filled with the love and comfort of family and dear friends.  There are many hurting in this season, so please remember those who are in need of physical or emotional support.  Our hearts are with you…

Thanksgiving Table in the back yard

This photo was taken at Thanksgiving a few years ago.  It makes me thankful that the weather in Arizona is often nice enough to sit outside during the holidays.

Perkins family

And here’s a Perkins family photo from last year.

On this day of remembering, I’m also thankful for…

  1. Wonderful family that’s always there in good times and bad
  2. Precious friends who love and encourage me
  3. God’s provision for our needs and beyond
  4. A comfortable home filled with joy
  5. Plenty of food on the table
  6. A house filled with music
  7. The gift of creativity and imagination
  8. God’s amazing creation
  9. Good health
  10. The freedom to travel this glorious planet

And soooo much more…

Blessings from our family to yours today and throughout the coming year.

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In looking for some refreshing summer beverages for the 4th of July, I was reminded of a delicious pitcher of Sangria that we had recently with some friends at our favorite Mexican restaurant in Tucson.  If you haven’t visited El Charro Cafe in Old Town Tucson, it’s a place that’s well worth your time.  This is a view of the welcoming courtyard. When the weather’s nice (as it is for over half the year in this part of Arizona) it’s the most relaxing place to enjoy dinner or even just a drink with friends.

El Charro Courtyard - Tucson AZ

El Charro Courtyard - Tucson AZ

Ryans and Hanns

We happened to be in Tucson for Terry and Bob (aka The Catfish Hunters) to play at the Tucson Folk Festival and we had a chance to enjoy a wonderful dinner here with Bob & Helen.

But I digress.  This post is supposed to be about beverages and one of the sweet parts of the evening was our Summertime Blackberry Sangria. Doesn’t it look delicious!  I can taste it now.  Imagine washing down your chips and salsa with that colorful concoction.

So to bring this full circle.  I’ve been enjoying Sangria at a variety of spots this year and thought I’d share a patriotic version and eye-catching recipe for serving a group without having to make individual drinks for everyone.

Check out this Red, White and Blue Sangria from Recipe Girl!  (and she’s having a giveaway too)

She used pineapple for her stars, but I think I’d try star fruit since it already has the shape you need.   I LOVE the red strawberries, “white” (kinda) pineapple or star fruit, and blue-berries to carry through the patriotic theme.  Just imagine your giant glass beverage dispenser filled to the brim with all these summery ingredients.  It’s a party waiting to happen.  In case you haven’t seen it before, this is what star fruit looks like and here’s some more info about it too.  Hey, think about adding star fruit to your salads on the 4th as well!

…now where are the fireworks.

Let me know your plans for the 4th.  I’d love to hear how you celebrate.

Stay tuned for parts 2 (food) and 3 (DIY crafts and decorations) for the 4th of July series in the coming days.

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O.k., so the first day of Spring isn’t until March 20th, but actually here in Phoenix we start enjoying Spring weather quite early.  It was up in the 70’s all week and looks to continue in that same vein for a while.  Oh, we may get a few more cold days, but my guess is that we’ve already had our winter this year and although short-lived it was much colder than usual.

We had about a week straight with temperatures getting down below freezing at night and our plants in the front yard are pretty pathetic looking as a result.  I won’t bore you with those ugly photos, but I’ll share a little inspiration for those of you who might be stuck in the cold country and want to find a way to chase away those winter blahs.2010.Flowers in Spice jars

Here’s a great way to perk up your home with flowers and make a little bit go a long way.

Not long ago I was helping a group with decorating for an event.  Our budget was very tight or more accurately, it was non-existent, so I was trying to find a way to dress up the room without spending a lot of money.  So. here’s what we did.

I went to the local Goodwill Store and found this set of 10 spice jars that came with their own metal storage/carrying rack for a few dollars.  They were  dirty and some still had worn and torn labels on them.  Each one also had a silver screw-on lid, that isn’t in the picture.

I brought them home and washed them well.  Had to use a little bit of Goo Gone to get all the adhesive off the glass from the labels, but that didn’t take long.  Soon they were sparkling clean.

When it was time to use them for the event, I filled each jar with water, put the lid on and put them back in the holder that they came in.  You see the cool thing about having a carrying rack and lids for the jars was that I could transport all 10 of them with water without spilling a drop.  The event that we were setting up didn’t have easy access to water to fill them there, so I brought it with me.

Then I bought just one inexpensive bouquet of flowers at the local store.  Being in the city, grocery stores are great, but if you have a Costco nearby their flowers are always beautiful and very reasonably priced.  Of course, during growing season in the cold country you may have them growing in your backyard or available at a farmer’s market or roadside stand.  I trimmed the stems at home, then carried the bouquet in a plastic pitcher to the event and inserted the flowers in the mini-vases after we arrived.

With ten mini-vases we were able to put one vase of a few flowers on each table to add just a touch of fresh scent and color and make the ladies feel pampered.  I mean really – who doesn’t love fresh flowers!

And of course, you can use those precious little beauties all together for more impact (like in the photo above) or in any combination or groupings you can imagine.   What fun, right?  Imagine them lining your windowsill or scattered throughout the house to brighten up each room.  Or place them in front of a mirror for double the impact.

If you had these mini-vases how would you use them?  What other ideas do you have for spreading the wealth with your flowers?

Today I’m linking to:

Frugal Friday

 

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Do you struggle with the dilemma of whether to spend a bundle on the eco-waste of printing and mailing those custom gorgeous paper invitations or saving energy and trees (plus quite a bit of money) to send something of lesser quality via email?

Well, now you can send a card with the same look of those custom printed ones for free or close to it!

Today I discovered the Paperless Post website and was very impressed by the quality and variety of paperless invitations that they offer.  The site is currently in Beta version, but I LOVE what I see so far.  Your guests can receive their invitation,  enclosed in a paperless envelope with their name on the front, complete with a matching envelope liner! Custom colors are available throughout the process as well, so everything can be coordinated with your theme.

What a great way to make every invitation feel extra special without blowing your budget on paper, printing, stamps, and all.  Plus think of all the time you won’t have to spend hand-addressing all those envelopes.

Sample Save the Date Card

When you set up your free account you automatically receive 25 free “Stamps” and 10 free “Customization Coins” which are used for additions such as envelope liners, logos, etc.  That means you can send 25 free cards right off the bat.  Additional “stamps” and “coins” can be earned by referring  friends to their site or can be purchased at a reasonable cost, which ends up being so much less than mailing physical cards.

And who knows…hopefully, at some point in the future, if they can get enough traffic, the site may be totally free.  So check it out and sign up today.

If you love good quality cards and stationary, I think you’ll love what they offer!

After you take a look, let me know what you think.  Are there other sites that you like better?  I’m always looking for new options for my big and small events.

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