How To Cook a Perfect Turkey

With the season of feasting upon us, I thought I would share a new way of preparing the PERFECT turkey, that my
friend Sue shared with me!

How to cook a turkey

Wait a minute… is there really a perfect way to cook a turkey? What you need to find out is, what is the
perfect way for you & your family ­čÖé

If the thought of …
Juicy dark meat, as well as juicy white meat
All the skin being crispy, instead of half of the bird having soggy skin
Quick cooking times
Delicious juices to make gravy
Having a platter filled with beautiful slices of meat
And my personal favorite… not having to spend half the day picking a carcass clean to get the meat

Then you’ll love this cooking method!

It’s called “Spatchcocking” your turkey.

Here’s a full video to teach you these “secret” methods ­čśë

Enjoy your feast… and the compliments on the juicy meat… and all the extra free time you’ll have!!

Best Apple Pie Recipe

Best Apple Pie Recipe

Some days are just meant for baking pies, and today is one of them!

We’ve been so anxious for apple season to get here, so as soon as we could, we picked up some beautiful honeycrisp apples! We’ve already been enjoying them as snacks with a bit of peanut butter, I’ve made a few batches of apple crisp, and today is pie day ­čÖé

If you’re like me, you have a special Pinterest board set aside just for the special dessert ideas that you want to try! Well, I’ve had a pin that I’ve been waiting to try as soon as apple season got here. It’s called Cider Caramel Apple Pie. I got my initial inspiration from Hannah’s pin below, and have added my own tweaks to it.

Cider Caramel Apple Pie

The pie has three parts to it – Crust, Cider Caramel, & Apple Filling

We’re going to start making the caramel, and let it simmer while we’re making the crust. You could also make it ahead & use it for other recipes as well.

Caramel:

4 Cups Apple Cider
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup Unsalted Butter (I used sweet salted, because I had it on hand)

Simmer cider in a heavy sauce pan until it reduces by half – approx 20 minutes (you can make the crust while it’s simmering)
Add sugar & butter, stir occationally & reduce again to approx 1 1/4 Cups – until it thickens slightly. Then turn of the heat.

Pastry Crust:
This pastry crust recipe was given to me by a friend – be sure to follow her on Instagram @pottersarms
She loves this recipe so much, that she doesn’t ever use any other! I can tell you, it was very easy to make!

2 Cups Flour (sifted or lightly spooned – if it’s packed it could come out dry)
1/2 Cup Butter – cold but soft
2 Tablespoons Castor Sugar (finely ground sugar – I just used my emersion blender to make reg sugar more fine)
1 Egg Yoke
3 Tablespoons Cold Water
* For pastry topped pies such as this one, simply double the recipe & keep the top half covered until ready to roll out & finish pie.

Mix flour & butter with fork or pastry blender until they resemble fine crumbs. Mix in sugar. Make a well in the center, and add egg yolk & cold water. Mix gently until it’s mostly together. With flour dusted hand, gently work pastry dough togehter. Don’t overmix, because the crust will be tough. Roll out gently on a lightly floured surface. Lift dough with your rolling pin, and place in pie dish removing excess. Place in fridge while making filling.
*To make a savory pie, you can simply leave out the sugar.

Apple Filling:
5-6 Cups Peeled/Sliced Apples
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup Flour
1 tea Cinnamon – I use Saigon for the absolute BEST flavor
1/4 tea salt
2 tea vanilla – I use Pure Madagascar Vanilla Extract for the BEST flavor
1 Cup Warm Cider Caramel

Mix spices, then mix in flour & sugar. Sprinkle over apples in the bowl & mix. Stir in vanilla & caramel, and pour into crust.

Best Apple Pie

Roll out crust & top pie, crimping sides. Using a knife, cut 4 steam vents in the top crust. Beat 1 egg and brush on top of crust, then sprinkle sugar & cinnamon. Bake for 45-60 minutes – until brown & juices are bubbly. If the edges of your crust start to brown more than you’d like, simply cover the edges with some tinfoil for the remaining baking time. You must allow pie to cool before cutting, or it will be too runny.

I LOVE this cobalt blue pottery pie dish that my mom bought for me years ago! It was made by a local potter – Mr. White.

Pottery Pie Plate

Enjoy & feel free to Pin & Share!
~ Pearl

Italian Toast Recipe – Great Anytime of Day!

Italian Toast Recipe
There’s something┬áso┬ábeautiful about simple fresh ingredients being brought together, to create delicious
meals for our families.

There are some ingredients that I love & wouldn’t mind enjoying every day (I know you probably
feel the same way)! This recipe brings together some of those favorites, and I know that you &
your family will love it as much as we do!

We’ve enjoyed this simple little recipe for many years, and have affectionately┬ánamed it “Italian Toast”. And,
although you may think of “toast” as being a breakfast food, this meal is equally delicious any time of day!

  • It all starts with a┬átoasted slice of your favorite bread
  • On top of that, add some slices of┬ágarden fresh tomatoes
  • Now add some of your favorite cheese {fresh mozzarella or aged provolone are nice}
  • Season with some Italian spices {oregano & basil for sure}
  • Sprinkle with a pinch of garlic, and some freshly ground pepper & sea salt
  • To add the finishing touch,┬ádrizzle with some extra virgin olive oil
  • Broil in the oven until the tomatoes are warm, and the cheese is bubbly
  • Two slices make a meal, so be sure to make enough for everyone!

Enjoy!

Pearl

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Easy Fruit Cocktail Cake Recipe – and a new friend in the cottage garden

Orange Salamander on Pink Flowers

My granny used to make this wonderful recipe for us. This is a very simple cake using a can of fruit cocktail and a few other ingredients – and it is unbelievably moist & delicious!

FRUIT COCKTAIL CAKE
2 c. unsifted flour
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 scant tsp. soda
Pinch of salt
2 beaten eggs
1 (1 lb.) can fruit cocktail
1 tsp. vanilla

Sift together flour, sugar, soda, and salt. Add remaining ingredients. Beat well. Bake in greased and floured 13 x 9 x 2 inch pan at 300 degrees for 50 minutes. While cake is hot, pour icing over it. This cake freezes well. If cake batter looks thin, add a little more flour. Some fruit cocktail has more juice than others. Ice with Fruit Cocktail Cake Icing.

ICING FOR FRUIT COCKTAIL CAKE
1 stick butter
1/2 c. evaporated milk
1 c. sugar
1 c. coconut
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. chopped pecans or walnuts

Cook together the ingredients. Pour over cake as soon as you take it out of oven.

*Pictured above – a new little friend in our cottage garden! I was coming out of my front door, and there he was… this beautiful little orange salamander having a peek around the garden! We couldn’t resist this little photo opp before sending him on his merry way ­čÖé

Easy Noodle Casserole – A Warm Dish for These Cold Winter Days

As you can see by the picture, we had another 4 inches of snow fall last night. Although we (well – my hubby) have to work to clear a path for walking – as well as our driveway (750 ft long), it is so beautiful to look at! We love looking out the windows to see the trees dressed with piles of freshly fallen snow. I feel like we’re in our very own winter wonderland!

Because we are “very” used to having snow this time of year, the kids hardly ever have a snow day (last year I don’t think we even had one!). So… things continue on as normal.

I wanted to share a little recipe with you that we had for dinner this week. It’s a warm hearty meal – great to have on Winter days like these.

Noodle Casserole (Some people call it lazy pierogi)

As in every recipe that I make, things can be added or removed to taste. This is a recipe that might not have exact measurements – you kind of “feel as you go” ­čÖé

– One container (2 handfuls) of fresh mushrooms
– One large onion
– 1/2 stick of butter
– 1 27 oz can of sauerkraut
– 2 lbs Polish kielbasa
– 1 lb noodles (I used fettuccine)
– 1 26 oz can of cream of mushroom soup

While preparing the other parts of this dish, cook kielbasa by broiling it in the oven, or BBQ on the grill (which is what we decided to do, because we love that flavor!) Once it’s finished, slice into chunks & put into large mixing bowl.

At the same time the kielbasa is cooking, cook the noodles according to package directions. Drain & run under cold water to stop cooking process, then add to mixing bowl.

Clean & slice mushrooms, add to a large skillet to which the butter has been added. Cook over low heat until browned. Remove from heat leaving butter in pan, then add to the mixing bowl.

Add onions to the pan & cook until just tender, then pour in sauerkraut (and juice). Let simmer until juice starts to reduce (this helps the flavors all mingle together). Add all contents of the pan to the mixing bowl.

Warm the can of mushroom soup & an equal amount of milk on the stove or in the microwave – then add to the rest of the ingredients.

Mix all ingredients well, and pour into a large baking pan. You can sprinkle bread crumbs or grated cheese on the top if you wish.

Bake at 375 degrees until brown & bubbly.

This dish is wonderful the first day & even better the next day for lunch!

Enjoy!

A Sweet Surprise! ~ A unique little treat for those you love!

Don’t you love getting those great little fortune cookies when you eat at Chinese restaurants? Well here’s a few great ideas to put an element of surprise in your life!

Fortune cookie recipe:
1/2 C flour
1/2 C sugar
2 egg whites
a bit of almond extract & vanilla extract

Beat egg whites until light, slowly add sugar – then flour.

Add extracts – Batter will resemble a runny pancake mix.

Pour onto heated pan cook watching closely – turn.

As soon as you take cookie from pan, lay message strip in the middle & carefully bend in half, then pull ends together in the fortune cookie shape.

Here are some ideas for how you can use your batch of fortune cookies:

* Put them in kids lunch boxes – tell them you love them, or write secret messages.
* Put them into hubbies lunch – you’ll know what to say ­čśë
* Use them as party favors
* Send them as invitations
* Door prizes
* Scriptures for church dinners, or Sunday school class
* It’s a boy or girl – give birth information
* Do home parties? Use them for coupons!
* Teachers gifts – let the kids tell them how much they like their class ­čśë
* Boy scouts, girl scouts
* Tea & garden parties – personalize them to your group

Have Fun!