Recipes

Moist Roasted Turkey ….. Turkey Perfection!


After Christmas I found a great deal on turkey’s … .10 cents per pound. I got a 20 pound turkey for $2. I knew I couldn’t pass up that deal. I decided to look for a new turkey roasting recipe when I came upon this one.

I must admit this was the best turkey we had ever had. I think the key is to start cooking the turkey with broth already in the roaster. It really helped to steam the turkey. Not only was it full of flavor but it was almost incredibly moist. I don’t think I have ever eaten a turkey so moist.

I will be honest you when I say I am not a big turkey fan, but this turkey was exceptional! I have never had one better!

Ingredients:
  •  1 (18-20 pound) whole turkey
  •  1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  •  Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  •  1 1/2 quarts turkey or chicken stock 

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Place rack in the lowest position of the oven.
  2. Remove the turkey neck and giblets, rinse the turkey, and pat dry with paper towels. Place the turkey, breast side up, on a rack in the roasting pan. Rub the skin with the softened butter, and season with salt and pepper. Position an aluminum foil tent over the turkey.
  3. Place turkey in the oven, and pour 2 cups turkey or chicken stock into the bottom of the roasting pan. Baste all over every 30 minutes with the juices on the bottom of the pan. Whenever the drippings evaporate, add stock to moisten them, about 1 to 2 cups at a time. Remove aluminum foil after 2 1/2 hours. Roast until a meat thermometer inserted in the meaty part of the thigh reads 180 degrees F (80 degrees C), about 4 hours.
  4. Transfer the turkey to a large serving platter, and let it stand for at least 20 to 30 minutes before carving.

Original Recipe Source

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Recipes

Canned Verses Homemade… Which One Is Cheaper?


Over the last year I have been buying a lot of canned chicken from Sam’s Club. I buy the Members Mark brand which comes in a 5 pack. Each can is 13oz for a total price of $9.98 (We don’t pay sales tax on food in Texas).


A few days ago our grocery store HEB had whole fryer chickens on sale for .67cent per pound. I decided to buy one and do an experience to see if it’s cheaper to buy a whole chicken, cook it myself, remove it from the bones, and separate it into 2 cup servings, then freeze or was it cheaper to stick to the cans and not worry about all the work? 

Don’t get me wrong I knew it was pretty obvious what the outcome would be, but I wanted to know the numbers. We had friends over for dinner and a whole chicken was left over so I thought what the heck! Let’s see what we can find out!!

The chicken I purchased was 5lbs. for a total of $3.35. which is .67 per pound. After I cooked the chicken it weighed exactly 4lbs bringing the total cost up to about .84 cents per pound. After I removed all the skin and bones the chicken meat weighed 2.1 pounds bringing the total up to $1.59/lb. OUCH in that case you are almost better off buying boneless chicken breast and forgetting about the hassle of de-boning the chicken. I can normally get boneless chicken breast between $1.50-$1.99/lb.
  • Sam’s club is 5 cans for a total of 65 ounces for $9.98 
  • Homemade deboned fryer is 33 ounces for $3.35
  • Sam’s club is .15cents per ounces
  • Homemade is .10 cents per ounces

The difference between buying canned verses homemade is a .05 cents savings per ounce when you go homemade. OK so .05 cents doesn’t seem like much but when you consider 1 pound is 16 ounces 16x.05 cents = a savings of .80 per pound.


Almost $1 a pound … I will take a little extra work on a Sunday afternoon to save some money. I over paid on my 5 cans of chicken buy $3.25 OUCH!

I can also see buying the boneless chicken breast when they are on sale and saving myself a ton of time and work!

*BONUS*
If you make your own chicken broth you have the leftovers to bring down the cost of your chicken. You can’t beat a freebie mixed into that equation!

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Recipes

Herbed Roast Chicken


We were having some guests over a couple of nights ago and I wanted to serve them something that wouldn’t be too time consuming to make, because I was going to be short on time, and it had to be something I already had on hand because I didn’t have time to run to the grocery store and it had to go a long way and feed everyone. Ugh! That’s a test!

I remembered I had two whole chickens in the freezer and thought I could figure out something to do with them. I am never a fan of roasted chicken because they never turn out as flavorful as I would like them to be. I started looking around the web and came across this recipe and thought it was perfect. 

It was definitely perfect! It honestly could not have turned out any more perfect. This chicken was fantastic! The flavor was amazing and the house smelled divine while it was cooking. I couldn’t believe how moist it was! I couldn’t have asked for a better presentation. My guest raved about it which made me very proud. This is a must try if you have an extra chicken in need of a cooking!


Ingredients:
  • One 5 lb. chicken
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 small handfuls of fresh herbs (basil, parsley, thyme, marjoram or oregano), finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 sprig of fresh rosemary
  • 1 oranges quartered

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven and a roasting pan to 400°F. Rinse the chicken and chicken cavity with water and pat dry with paper towels.
  2. Rub salt over the inside of the cavity. Grasp the skin at the tip of the chicken breast and gently pull up. Use your fingers to gently separate the skin from the breast meat, taking care not to tear the skin. Sprinkle a little salt into the gaps and insert as much of the chopped herb mixture as you can. Drizzle with a little olive oil. Stuff the cavity with the lemon, bay leaves, rosemary, and any remaining herbs and the quartered orange. Pull the skin of the chicken breast over the breast so that none of the meat is exposed. Tuck in the wings and truss with kitchen string.
  3. Rub some olive oil over the chicken and sprinkle all over with salt and pepper. 
  4. Carefully remove the hot roasting pan from the oven and add a little oil to the bottom of the pan. 
  5. Place the chicken on one side, breast side down, on the roasting pan and put it back in the oven. Cook for 5 minutes, then turn the chicken so that the other breast is on the pan and cook for another 5 minutes. Starting off by cooking the chicken this way will help brown the breasts. Then turn the chicken over so that it is back-side down. Cook for 1 hour, or until the juices run clear (not pink) when a knife tip is inserted into both the chicken breast and thigh, about 165-170°F for the breast and 175-180°F for the thigh.

Original Recipe Source


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Recipes

Tortillini and Cheese



Taken with my Smartphone… Not the best Pic!

My husband and I came home from long day of looking for a freezer. Neither one of us were in the mood for anything from a drive through nor we both felt too tired to deal with going to a restaurant. We were both craving Italian food, but without having to go out.

I remember that I had a bag of frozen tortellini in the freezer awaiting our arrival, but no sauce. I decided to make a simple cheddar cheese sauce then kick it up with a few spices. The tortellini turned out fantastic. It made me realize once again that there is no need to buy things in jar and cans when something quick, easy and homemade taste so much better! This sauce would be great on just about anything… like steamed veggies.

Ingredients:
  • 2 pounds of dry or frozen tortellini (cooked according to the packaging)
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ¼ cup flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon of onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried parsley

Directions:
*Note: I find when making a cheese sauce that having everything measured out and ready to add to your pot immediately is the key to making sure this turns out correctly. You need to have everything ready to go when you need it. You won’t necessarily having time to start measuring or you might end up with more lumps in your cheese sauce than sauce.*
  1. Place your burner on medium and begin to melt the butter in saucepan, and gradually start adding flour using a whisk to mix everything together. Be patient and go slow with this process.
  2. When your flour butter combination starts getting thick slowly start adding milk and whisking at the same time. Stay patient! If it starts lumping up don’t panic just keep whisking it should start coming together. Go slowly while adding the milk
  3. As it starts to thicken up keep whisking and add the spices while doing so. DO NOT allow your cheese sauce to come to a boil at any point because once you add your cheese the oils in the cheese and the milk will start separating you don’t want that or the recipe will be ruined.
  4. Stir in the cheddar cheese and continue mixing with the whisk. Heat until cheese melts and sauce the sauce becomes a smooth consistency. **if you find your cheese sauce to be lumpy you can slowly pour it into a blender and run it for a few seconds. This will remove all of your lumps. If you don’t have a glass blender you will need your cheese sauce to cool a bit before pouring it in the plastic blender.**
  5. Add tortellini to the cheese sauce and heat through.

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Recipes

Corn and Cheese Enchiladas


We loved this recipe! The corn in the enchiladas adds such a nice change to your “typical” enchilada recipe. One thing I will say is you are not expecting the corn yet the sweetness from the corn paired with the spiciness from the enchilada sauce is a nice combination.

I have been dying to try this recipe for a long time, but for some reason I kept forgetting to make it. I am so happy I did and I can’t wait to make it again. It’s probably my new favorite enchilada recipe. It’s going to be hard for any other recipe to top this one. Delicious!

Directions:

  • (8) 6-inch corn tortillas
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 5 scallions, white and light green parts, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels (from 2 medium ears) $
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • Salt (Just a few dashes or leave it out)
  • 2 cups grated pepper Jack or cheddar (I used cheddar)
  • 1 10-oz. can enchilada sauce (I used Homemade Enchilada Sauce)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Stack tortillas, wrap in foil and bake until softened, 8 to 10 minutes.
  2. While tortillas are baking, oil a 7-by-11-inch glass baking dish. Warm 1 Tbsp. oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add scallions and garlic, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in corn and milk and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 7 to 10 minutes. Season with salt.
  3. Remove tortillas from foil. Set aside 1/2 cup cheese. Spoon a heaping tablespoon of corn mixture in center of a tortilla. Sprinkle with a heaping tablespoon of cheese. Roll up tortilla and set in dish, seam side down. Repeat with remaining tortillas, overlapping them slightly. Pour enchilada sauce over tortillas and sprinkle with reserved 1/2 cup cheese. Bake until bubbling, about 20 minutes.

Original Recipe Source

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Recipes

Christmas Gift Card Savings Plan



A year or so ago my friend Krista gave me a great idea that she lives by. I thought it was such a great idea that I am going to give it a try this year. She calls it her Christmas Gift Card Savings Plan.

Every payday she buys a gift card that does not have an expiration date like for instance a Wal-Mart Gift Card. She stores her gift cards in one place and then stores a sheet of the gift card numbers in a different place just in case something happens to them.

She knows her daughter Casey loves Macy’s so she will go buy a $25 gift card there one pay day, and the next pay day she might get one at Sephora. Nope none of them expire.
Krista buys a lot of stuff at Wal-Mart during the holidays, in truth I think she does the majority of her shopping there, so she always make sure she purchases the majority of her gift cards from Wal-Mart.

She also knows that her Dad always wants a gift card for a sporting goods store, her mom a hobby store, her sister and brother in law love to eat out, that’s another gift card, her kids love iTunes, and Amazon, and her Mom loves anything from Bath and Body works.

When Krista walks into Bath and Body Works right before Christmas she can pick her Mom up some sweet deals and pay for it all on the gift cards she may have bought in June! The great thing is she stays within her budget, and the money has already been set aside for her Mom’s gift.

By the time Christmas Rolls Around in 2013 Krista will have 25 Gift Card because she doesn’t buy any in December. At $25 each that’s a grand total of $625 dollars.
WOW that’s a lot of money you don’t have to worry about at the last minute. She is so smart that she even buys two gift cards from Home Depot throughout the year because she knows they are going to buy their Christmas tree there. No cash needed she just whips out her Home Depot Gift Card! 


Okay so you know the critics are going to have something to say about this…

“Why not just put the money in the bank and draw interest on it?”  

Although I would agree with you … you could put it in the bank, but how many people are so disciplined? If you are GREAT! That is wonderful, but if you know yourself better than that you could always try the Christmas Gift Card Savings Plan. You are not going to be losing much in interest anyway!

Just remember to do your homework and only buy Gift Cards that don’t expire. Do you think this is something you could do? I think the biggest problem I would have would be remembering to buy the gift cards each payday!

Thoughts?

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Recipes

Molasses Cookies




My husband loves molasses cookies so this year for Christmas we decided instead of making both molasses cookies and gingerbread men we would make molasses men. We didn’t want to have all the extra cookies around the house. They actually turned out really cute and killed two birds with one stone. I really like this recipe because it has (to me) just the right amount of spices and they stay soft for a long time which I love.

I live in a very humid climate so it normally doesn’t take long for cookies to get hard. These cookies are still fantastic two weeks later. We really enjoyed this recipe!

Ingredients:
  • 1-1/2 cups butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 3/4 cup coarse sugar

Directions:
  1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. 
  2. Beat in eggs and molasses. 
  3. Combine the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. 
  4. Fold in pecans.
  5. Shape into 2-in. balls and roll in coarse sugar. 
  6. Place 2-1/2-in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 13-15 minutes or until tops are cracked. Remove to wire racks to cool. 

Yield: 2 dozen.

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