I had started to take down all the Christmas decorations. The dining room and kitchen were finished and I had moved onto the family room and fireplace. As I removed all the colorful figurines, stockings and garland, I found myself getting gloomy. So, I put them back up! It’s only 354 days until Christmas and I still have a smile on my face.


The stockings were hung by the chimney with care for another 354 days? 

When making this yummy turkey I used a Fresh Young Turkey at 22 pounds. It was so juicy and tender. There was no need to add butter if it already is pre-basted.  For a super tasty bird brine it overnight first.

22  pound Turkey 1/8 teaspoon Basil
1/2 teaspoon Poultry Seasoning Paprika
1/4 cup Salt; I prefer Kosher Sea Salt 1 1/2 cups Chicken broth; For basting Turkey
1/8 teaspoon Oregano 1  cube butter; Optional for basting
Turkey… I love it any way I can get it.  It does have to be cooked first thought.  This one is ready to go into the oven and then basting for several hours.

Turkey Stuffed with Apple Pecan Dressing along with extra Paprika for even browning.
Turkey Stuffed with Apple Pecan Dressing along with extra Paprika for even browning.

Cooling for awhile so we can carve it up.
Give me the carving knife – I’m hungry!

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DON’T DROP THAT TURKEY, PLEASE!

Turkey Stuffed with Apple Pecan Dressing Preparation

1.  Make sure turkey is fully defrosted.  I prefer a fresh young bird at around 22-25 pounds.

2.  Completely rinse inside of turkey and remove any remaining insides that you may see in the cavity.  Pat dry with paper towel.

3.  Liberally season inside of cavity with 2/3 of the spice mixture of salt, poultry seasoning, oregano and basil.  I mix the seasoning in a small bowl and then just grab liberal pinches of the mix to season.

4.  Lightly pack neck cavity with Apple Pecan Dressing (or another of your choice) and then secure skin to bottom of turkey with short wooden or metal skewers.

5.  Lightly pack bird cavity with Apple Pecan Dressing (or another of your choice).  Most turkeys now come with a oven proof plastic catch to secure the leg which helps to hold the dressing in place.

6.  Place turkey in large roasting pan and add a small amount of Chicken Broth if desired for basting (reserve broth for gravy).  Note: I added the broth after cooking the bird for 3 hours so that some turkey drippings would glaze and brown on the bottom of the pan. If the bird you choose does not come pre-buttered or injected with butter, then a 1 cube butter to the bottom of the pan for initial basting.  Also, when basting the bird if you notice that the bottom of the pan is beginning to brown to much, add the chicken broth then.

7.  Evenly season entire outside of turkey with remaining season mix.

8.  Sprinkle top of turkey with Paprika which will help with an even browning.

9.  Cover wing tips with foil so they do not burn or turn them down and under the turkey if possible.  Crunch up a little foil and place over the dressing so that it does not burn.  You will remove this foil later to allow for some browning.

10.Cover entire bird with a large piece of foil set loosely over the bird so that it does not brown to quickly.  I use the extra large foil size.  I use the heavy duty 18″ foil so that it easily covers the entire pan.

11. Cook in 325 degree oven for 5 1/2 to 6 hours for a 22 to 25 pound bird.  Baste turkey with pan dripping once every hour while cooking.  I usually add the chicken broth at the first stage of basting.

12.  If the bird has not browned sufficiently after 4 1/2 hours, then remove the foil to allow for final browning.

I love turkey any way I can get it.  After stuffing myself so I can zip the pants, a few hours later you can find me slicing off another piece… add a little salt and pepper… and I’m have a late snack.  The next day it’s not a sandwich for me.  I’ve got to make homemade egg noodles, heat up the mashed potatoes, make some more gravy and toss in lots of cut up turkey.  This is a famous farm dish from Idaho the is the perfect comfort food.  Start with the mashed or smashed potatoes on your plate, spoon over the gravy turkey combination and dig in.  Yummmmmmm…

Turkey Stuffed with Apple Pecan Dressing
Turkey Stuffed with Apple Pecan Dressing from KCinAZ BigOven

If you like this recipe from KCinAZ, then give me a like or comment on this post. ūüėÄ I‚Äôll try to give you more fun recipes.

Turkey stuffing for those of us who used to hate stuffing. I started making this dressing many years ago and it’s always been a hit. Can be prepared the day before and then baked with Turkey the next day. For a vegetarian version use Knorrs vegetable cubes prepared in water to replace chicken broth.

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18 Servings

INGREDIENTS

    • RICE MIXTURE:
    • 1 cup unsalted butter
    • 1/2 cup mild onions ; chopped into small pieces
    • 1/2 cup celery ; chopped into small pieces
    • 1 cup Basamati rice
    • 1 1/2 cup chicken broth
    • 1 pinch saffron ; optional
    • 1 teaspoon ground sea salt ; or to taste
    • 1/2 teaspoon Cavendars Greek Spice ; or substitute poultry seasoning
    • BREAD MIXTURE:
    • 1 pound bread stuffing ; cubes/seasoned
    • 1/2 cup mushrooms ; canned/drained & chopped into small pieces
    • 2 smal granny smith apples ; chopped into 1/4″ pieces
    • 1/2 cup pecans ; chopped, can substitute slivered almonds
    • 2 cups chicken broth ; substitute Knorrs Vegetable cubes in water for Vegetarian

      INSTRUCTIONS

      1. In a very large skillet, saute onions and celery in butter over low heat. Add rice and continue to saute for 2-3 minutes until onions and celery are slightly tender. Add chicken broth, salt, and Cavendars Spice. Bring to a boil. Cover pan tightly, lower the heat to maintain in a slow boil and continue to cook 15 minutes (rice will not be fully cooked). Rice will be soft and of a thick soup consistency.

      2. Remove rice mixture from heat and mix in bread croutons, canned mushrooms, apples and pecans. If your pan is not large enough then combine rice and bread mixture in a mixing bowl large enough to handle all the ingredients.

      3. With a large spoon, mix bread and rice together along with other ingredients until well blended. I like my stuffing to be of a slightly dry texture prior to adding to the bird. After combining all the ingredients, I then slowly add more chicken broth and continue to turn the stuffing until I reach my desired consistency which is loose and slightly moist. If you like your stuffing more on the dry side, then leave the texture loose and slightly moist. If you like your stuffing soft and thoroughly moist, like bread pudding, then continue to add broth until the bread and rice begin to pack together into a slightly tight and soft consistency.

      (If prepared the day before: place 1/2 of dressing in a one-gallon bag and the remaining in a baking dish. Refrigerate until the following day.)

      4. Fill the cavity of a medium sized turkey or large roasting chicken with lightly packed dressing and allow to overfill a little. Fill the breast pocket if the turkey with more dressing as well and make sure to tuck and secure the skin with a metal or wooden skewer. When you begin to brown the bird, cover the dressing with foil so that it will not burn, but is brown and slightly crunchy on top. Bake according to Turkey Recipe instructions.

      5. Place any remaining stuffing in a covered clay baking crock. Cover and refrigerate baking dish until the final hour before dinner then bake in 350 oven for 1 hour.

      6. Remove the cover from the baking crock for the last 15 minutes of cooking so that it can crisp a little on the top.

      7. Serve hot in baking dish.

Merry Christmas 2014
Merry Christmas 2014 – After Picture

Central Park After Fresh Snow
Central Park After Fresh Snow – Before Picture

Originally this image was posted on KCinAZ in December of 2013, but I was never truly satisfied with how it turned out. I hope you’re not getting tired of seeing it again and again in different stages. ¬†Last year I was still just getting back into Photoshop and was in a learning phase when I posted the first version in December 2013. If you would like to see how the first post processing turnout out here is the link; http://kcinaz.me/2013/12/24/winter-at-central-park/. This time I‚Äôm much more pleased with how it turned out. ¬†First, I cropped out the street and set my focus on the building. In Lightroom most of the changes were the usual; increasing light clipping, black clipping, highlights, upped the exposure a little, increased vibrance, sharpened, increased luminance and added a preset vignette. These changes brightened the image up and added depth and color to it.

After working in Lightroom, the image was edited in Photoshop where I took in my creative side to turn the image into my card. There, I made changes to building windows and turned on the lights in the house. Then the street lights and lamp lights near the house were illuminated. Next, the building color was changed so that it was a much brighter red for a holiday card. A little bit of chimney smoke was added. Lastly, thought they are a little hard to see, I added a string of lights to the building eves in green and red plus lights on the lower bushes near the house.

When all as done I was able to upload the new colorful version to SendOutCards and turn it into a Christmas card that was personalized and then mailed by them to all my friends and family. ¬†This week I am submitting this picture to Stacy’s ABFriday Forum. ¬†Take a look now to see what everyone else is up to.

How appropriate for the Weekly Photo Challenge during this holiday season. There is a lot of twinkle going on all around us.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.  How I do love this time of the year and the Holiday Season.

Weekly Photo Challenge Twinkle Angel
Weekly Photo Challenge
Twinkle Angel

These two pictures were taken in Toronto, Canada by my best friend LG. ¬†This was one of their first snows early in the winter season just a few weeks before they lost power for several day. ¬†They were lucky to have a fireplace to help keep them warm. ¬† I like the brave sole who ventured out at early evening for a brisk cycle! ¬†Many years ago I lived in Toronto for awhile and loved the city. ¬†However, the cold didn’t agree with me and I returned to Phoenix AZ after 3 1/2 years.

45 minutes later…. ¬†I must confess a correction ūüėÄ … the fireplace only used little paper logs that were worthless in this type of cold that penetrated the inside to the core. ¬†The inside temperature of the house was around 5 C or approximately 41 F. ¬†Too cold for any normal person to experience. ¬†They survived with plenty of wine, ¬†lots of extra blankets and multiple layers of clothes.

First Snow of the Season

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Brave Brisk Ride

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. 

I’ve been busy wrapping presents and going out for last minute gifts.¬† I did finally find the perfect gift for that friend who has everything and then a¬†bottle of Chocolate Port for my hubby at one of my favorite specialty groceries here in Southern Arizona; AJ’s.¬† No, we are not in Central Park!¬† Though I do long to go back.¬†¬†This is one of those images that takes me to a Christmas like setting like when I was growing up in Idaho.¬† Here in Arizona, we do not get snow and I do miss it at Christmas.¬† Not the cold though.¬† I don’t miss the cold one itty bit.¬† I left the cold country many years ago as it seem to freeze me right to the bone.

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Winter at Central Park

I had a little fun with this image in Photoshop. Thought not perfect, the windows and the lighting outside is now aglow with light. I also enriched the color of the buildings and the cottage.¬† I don’t know if it’s re-opened but it was once a restaurant that was closed when we were there.