Month: November 2011

The BEST cider brined & smoked turkey! Smoke the turkey on your grill and free up your oven space//Peanut Butter & Dill Pickles Blog

Cider Brined Smoked Turkey

Before we take off for Texas to celebrate Thanksgiving I wanted to post my favorite way to make turkey! I’ve always thought that brining a turkey was the way to go.  It makes it so juicy but it’s important to use a smaller bird (10-12 lbs).  If you need a bigger bird to serve more people really consider making 2 small ones.  This way of preparing the turkey is delicious but know up front that you’ll want your turkey thawed and ready to go 12 hours in advance of cook time as you’ll need 10-12 hours to brine.  Smoking the turkey also frees up oven space and who among us wouldn’t wish for more oven space!  The end result is a juicy, smoky bird that has become a family favorite and a staple at every Thanksgiving! PrintCider Brined Smoked Turkey Adapted from Emeril LagasseIngredients4 cups reduced cider (Boil 8 c. fresh cider until concentrated and reduced by half) 4 cups hard cider 8 cups fresh apple cider 2 cups coarse salt, plus more for seasoning 1/2 cup …






Creamy Chunky Tomato Soup

I really love this time of year for several reasons one of which being the craving for cozy, warm comfort food.  Today was double coupon day at our grocery store and on my way there I decided tonight would be a great night for a big pot of soup.  Mike has been craving grilled cheese lately so I decided to pair that with some tomato soup.  Below is the recipe I threw together.  I hope you enjoy! {Creamy Chunky Tomato Soup}serves 4 1 tbsp. butter 1 tbsp. olive oil 1 small onion, chopped 2 cloves of garlic, minced Salt & Pepper Basil (two  cubes Dorot or 1 tsp. dried) 28oz can crushed tomatoes (recommend Muir Glen crushed tomatoes w/ basil) 14oz can crushed tomatoes (recommend Muir Glen crushed fire roasted tomatoes) 1 1/2 c. half & half 2 tsp. sugar 2 tbsp. port wine Melt the butter and olive oil together in a soup pot over medium heat.  Add the onion, garlic, salt and pepper.  Saute for 5-7 minutes until the onions are translucent and …






Guinness Bacon Shepherds Pie

This past week there was a great deal at the grocery store and we got 1lb of ground beef for free.  I’ve been leaning towards making a shepherds pie out of it and today was perfect since it was so cold and rainy.  Below is my interpretation of a recipe that inspired me.  Hope you like it! {Guinness Bacon Shepherds Pie}Adapted from Rachel Ray 1 c. Guinness Fresh thyme sprigs 4 slices bacon, chopped 1 lb ground beef 1/2 c. each: diced carrots, peas, and diced onions 1/2 tsp. fresh thyme 2 tsp. dijon mustard 2 tbsp. butter 2 tbsp. flour 1 c. beef stock 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce 2 c. mashed potatoes (I had frozen sliced potatoes that I heated and mashed with warm milk and butter.  You can use instant or make them homemade.  I just did what was easiest.) 1/4 c. crumbled gorgonzola cheese Salt & Pepper Smoked Paprika Heat oven to 375°. Start with the Guinness and a few sprigs of thyme in a small saucepan.  Heat to low boil and reduce …