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!
turkey-stuffed-with-apple-pecan-dre-3
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.

Smoked New York Steak Valentines Dinner
Smoked New York Steak Valentines Dinner
Parsley and Butter Sautéed Potatoes
Parsley and Butter Sautéed Potatoes
Toni's Super Salad
Toni’s Super Salad

What’s for dinner tonight? Smoked New York Steak Roast again. ¬† See the recipe¬†here. ¬†I keep coming back to this one. ¬†It’s so easy and entertaining friendly. ¬†While the Roast is smoking away in the Cookshack and then the oven I’m able to visit with friends without feeling stressed. ¬†Lots of time to do everything necessary for a nice Valentine’s dinner. ¬†There is still plenty of breathing room¬†to figure out the sides and get them going too.

I’m fixing it up again today for friends who have escaped the minus 9 F South Dakota freeze that has moved into the north and northeast. ¬†They are here in sunny Arizona for an extended visit. ¬†Mrs. T is one of my best friends and the special lady who made up Grandma Olga’s Homemade Noodles with Chicken for me last year when they were visiting then.

Smoked New York Roast
Smoked New York Roast

This time we’re cooking it with 2 ounces of cherry wood instead of apple wood. ¬†Also, I needed to watch the bold spice due to an onion allergy for Mr. B. ¬†I’m not worried about how it will turn out though because it’s all in the smoking. ¬†The roast was liberally coated with simple salt and pepper and is now in the smoker. ¬†It’s a Cookshack Smoker that been getting a lot more use this winter. ¬†Here are more Cookshack Recipes¬†direct from the Cookshack website.

A little later:

Mrs. T is putting together a dinner salad of fresh lettuce, sliced mushrooms, slivered carrots, cucumber, sliced tomatoes, bacon bits and whatever else is in the vegetable bin.  Idaho russets are resting in water ready to boil later for twice cooked potatoes.  First the potatoes will be boiled in salted water and then pan sautéed in butter and parsley.  Yum.  We can smell the aroma of the smoked roast as it is now slow cooking in the oven at 170 degrees for 1 hour and then let to rest for 1 1/2 hours. It should all come together in another 2 1/2 hours.

I looked in the pantry and there was no BBQ sauce for my meatballs. Panic! I’m taking meatballs to a birthday party tomorrow and wanted to get a head start. ¬† So, I decided that I would¬†try a new type of meatball sauce similar to one I found on BigOven. ¬†This recipe¬†is a twist on the grape jelly meatball sauce where cranberry sauce is used instead. ¬†It was changed it up in a big way to make it my own and get the taste I wanted. ¬†The only thing I didn’t do was make it a “Drunkin” dish. ¬†It was posted on BigOven¬†just now. ¬†Visit there to see more of my recipes and those of many others. ¬†The cooked meatballs are now marinating in the thick sauce in the fridge. ¬†Into the crockpot they will go tomorrow to finish up for¬†a few hours before the party.

IMG_0294

 

Ingredients

12 ounces Cranberry Sauce; or Cranberry Jelly 2 tablespoons Chili powder
16 ounces Tomato sauce 1 teaspoon Chili Spice; Carroll Shelby’s
1 tablespoon Sugar 1 teaspoon Onion powder
1 tablespoon Honey 1 teaspoon Salt
2 tablespoons Dark Corn Syrup 1/4 teaspoon Pepper

Preparation

Combine all ingredients in mediums size saucepan and cook over medium heat until thickened and smooth. If you are using leftover Cranberry Sauce instead of jelly, then use a masher to reduce the size of the berries. Pour hot sauce over pre-cooked meatballs in a crockpot. Stir occasionally to coat. Keep warm on low until ready to serve.

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

I’ve been negligent in posting out these fun images. ¬†The original photo was taken at the Renaissance Festival in the Phoenix Arizona area. ¬†I shared the images with my good friend TB and she in turn shared then with her good friend Joyce. TB and Joyce share postcards of their water colors and Joyce honored me by painting from the Renaissance images. ¬†Here is the first of the series called Project Joyce. I’ve been so impressed with her work that I asked for permission to post her postcards.

 

If you like good food, laughter, the sounds of exuberance and celebration, a mostly loud festive atmosphere then you will enjoy Osaka Japanese Grill in Mesa, Arizona at Power Road and US 60.   They specialize in Teppanyaki cooking  which is an entertaining dining experience where the food is cooked on a large hot griddle.  Everyone seats around the Teppanyaki and enjoys the show.  The food probably tastes even better just because you have the pleasure of watching a specially trained Teppanyaki chef  while they prep, chop, dice it up and cook your food.

chef

We had six of us for dinner on ¬†Monday night and thought it would not be extremely busy. ¬†Not… it was hopping anyway. ¬†We arrived a little early¬†for a 7:15 reservations and sipped a wine while waiting for the show to begin. ¬†While it took awhile for the cook to make his rounds to our table we watched and laughed at the antics at the other tables. ¬†While ordering drinks we also placed our food orders. ¬†Drinks came promptly for those who had not already ordered one at the bar. ¬†We continued to be amused by our surroundings and then received our salads and soup some 15 minutes after ordering.

The salad and soup were both good from my perspective. ¬†The soup was a delicate and mildly flavor of mushrooms and onion. The salad was too small and due to the size too heavy in dressing. ¬†Other diners at the table didn’t care for the dressing which had a little too much ginger.

soup salad

Now it is 8:15 and we are all getting very hungry but there is a lot of fun going around us so we are still entertained.

Peter, our chef finally makes his appearance and all was forgiven for the wait the minute he started entertaining us.  He was delightful, fun, comical and made the dinner most delightful.  Mr. B ordered scallops and shrimp. Gus, Ms. T, Ms. K, Mr. D and I had filet mignon and scallops.  Osaka makes a fried rice standard at their restaurant which is not typical of all Teppanyaki restaurants.  Usually it is an upcharge.  Now for the cooking show…

Dinner served as prepared.

Well we are all so full and it was worth the wait. ¬†Peter was diligent with his required Saki pours that were squirted right into your mouth.¬† I was afraid that I would be wearing the drink down the front of my shirt but he was so practiced that not a drop was spilled. ¬†I do believe they were diluted since I didn’t get stinkin’ drunk.

Someone gave Peter the idea that it was my birthday so they did the traditional birthday celebration with carnival mask and candle lit cake.

mask1 bday

Five Star Rating from KCinAZ

:star: :star: :star: :star: :star:

Osaka Japanese Grill and Steakhouse
6730 E Superstition Springs Blvd Mesa, AZ 85206
Phone: 480.830.8884

Viceroy at Mead's Bay

We departed from Simpsons Bay on the Dutch side of St. Martin¬†early enough in the morning to catch the draw bridge at¬†Marina Port de Blaisance¬†and¬†motor to customs right away.¬† In order to depart from St. Martin the Smitten Kitten’s captain, Stuart, had to speed off to clear all those aboard through customs so that we could go into International seas and set sail to Anguilla.¬† We were pretty much first in line, though a hot-shot from another charter (to remain un-named) did try to one up us.¬† He almost¬†“tagged” us as he tried to snuggle between us and the shore.¬† He gave up quickly, rounded about and moved away to allow for clearance. After clearing customs, we set sail along the coast of St.Martin heading towards the French side.

Stmartin

As we sailed along the North West side of St. Martin (French Side) we passed several sights of interest including a mansion in Meads Bay that sold a few years back for 11 million.  This same mansion was awarded the best worldwide architectural award 2012-2013 by International Property Awards and was the winner from over 2000 entries.

Very close to this mansion is a timeshare resort called the Viceroy. It expands the coast line on Mead’s bay for quite some time.

Viceroy at Mead's Bay
Viceroy at Mead’s Bay

Along the way to Viceroy on our first day sail to Road Bay and Anguilla, ¬†Stuart, our captain¬†made us up some of the best¬†pain killer cocktails¬†ever.¬† You have got to try them and the secret to the recipe is the nutmeg topper. I was hoping to get the actual recipe but have guessed at the measures.¬† I’m going to experiment diligently but until then here is my best guess.

Captain Stuart's famous Pain Killer
Captain Stuart’s famous Pain Killer

Pain Killer Cocktail

Fill blender with Crushed Ice
1 can Coco Lopez
1 cup Orange juice
1 small can pineapple juice
Caribbean Rum to taste!!
garnish each cocktail with ground nutmeg

The mid-day appetizer made especially delicious by Jenny, first mate on the Smitten Kitten, featured spring rolls, fresh ginger and a wakame seaweed salad.¬† I’ve never liked seaweed but this was different.¬† It was light and slightly sweet.¬† A lovely taste.¬† I was surprised to see¬†a package in Costco back in Arizona a month later¬†that looked very similar to the seaweed that Jenny served.¬† Maybe it was the same dish. ¬†This seaweed salad doesn’t have that typical taste of seaweed which I normally do not like.¬† I didn’t buy it¬†to try because it was to large a package for two people but I was tempted. ¬† These were some yummy Appetizers.

Spring Rolls with Fresh Ginger and Seaweed Salad
Spring Rolls with Fresh Ginger and Seaweed Salad

Dinner that same night was chicken stuffed with goat cheese and lemon sauce over pasta noodles. A very original dinner served by Jenny and with the help of Stuart.

Chicken Stuffed with Goat Cheese
Chicken Stuffed with Goat Cheese

We were to have continued on to Road Bay to dock for the evening but the waters were rough enough that we decided to stay where we where over night.  I for one was in favor of anchoring the boat and our butts right there and not pitching with the waves to make our way onward so quickly.

Overnight there was a constant patter of evening rain on the decks. ¬†The poor Greek hubby left side port window open and he got late evening bath. ¬†In the dark of night, I had to help him close the window. ¬†I don’t think he had ever closed them himself. ¬†Oh, well…. he demanded to sleep on that side of the bed. ¬†His loss! ¬†My gain! ¬†Of course, I would probably would have closed the window a little better than he did.

Up next… Day 2 Anguilla and Guadalupe.

Captain Stuart's famous Pain Killer

While stopping for a swim and at anchor along the Viceroy (a time share resort) on our first day sail to road bay Anguilla,  Stuart, our captain made us up some of the best Pain Killer Cocktails ever.  We also enjoyed a lovely spread of appetizers which will be in a different post.

You have got to try this delectable desert like drink and the secret to the recipe is the nutmeg topper. ¬†It is rich and creamy like a robust Pina Colada but much better. ¬†Stuart and Jenny are top-notch and I submit¬†my vote for¬†the best Captain’s and First Mate of the Festiva Sailing Fleet if not for their fine hospitality and vibrant smiles, then just for the great cocktails alone. ¬†The Greek and I hope you enjoy the recipe for Pain¬†Killer Rum Cocktail.

Captain Stuart's Pain Killer Cocktail
Captain Stuart’s Pain Killer Cocktail

Pain Killer Cocktail
Fill blender with Crushed Ice
1 can Coco Lopez
1 cup Orange juice
1 small can pineapple juice
Caribbean Rum to taste!! (Try Captain Morgan for great spices)
garnish each cocktail with ground nutmeg

Add crushed ice to blender, then the remaining ingredients, except nutmeg.  Run blender at the appropriate mix speed on your blender to crush ice and mix drinks.  Immediately pour into chilled glasses.  Sprinkle nutmeg lightly on top of drink.  Add straw and serve.

If you like the recipe from Stuart and Jenny, then give me a like or comment on this post. ūüėÄ ¬†I’ll try to give you more fun drink recipes.

We had eight of our closest friends at our home to celebrate and ring in the New Year.  Cocktail and appetizer hour started at 7pm and dinner was ready to serve an hour and half later.  The twice baked potatoes were prepared the day prior and were ready to place in the oven for the final baking one hour before dinner.  The tenderloin smoked for 1 hour, grill seared for 15 minutes and then slow cooked in the oven (on and off) for the balance of the day before carving to serve at a delicious medium-rare.

Oh how I wish I were better at remembering to take pictures.¬† The appetizer table was adorned with so many good foods brought by our friends to share while we enjoyed each others company.¬† There was a splendid crudit√©s platter.¬† I just learned this phrase when my friend who just returned home from living in Italy asked if she should bring crudit√©s or humus and chips.¬† I had to asked what¬†crudit√©s was and¬†learned that it’s vegetable tray.¬† Another friend brought smoked salmon¬†served with several very tasty spreads and toasted French baguette.¬† ¬†We provided a cheese platter,¬†beef and salami slices¬†and an assortment of crackers for additional noshing.

The table was preset so that it was easier for serving buffet style and so that I was not so rushed at last-minute.¬† I’ve found that this makes life much easier, less stressful and then I’m able to enjoy the company of my friends without looking frazzled when they arrive.

Again, I forgot to take pictures of the food as it was set out¬† but did remember to snap on quick photo of my own dinner plate with the perfectly cooked beef tenderloin and twice baked potato served along with saut√©ed green beans seasoned with chipotle pepper¬†and praline pecans.¬† The green bean dish was a quick change-up from my standard saut√©ed green beans with mushrooms and slivered almonds.¬† I’m still not sure which I prefer to serve.¬† The chipotle dish was a hot and sweet dish while the other is savory.

Beef Tenderloin:

Let the tenderloin set out on the counter until it comes to room temperature.¬† Remove all fat and sinew from the outside of the beef with a sharp knife.¬† Turn the small end of the tenderloin under and then tie the meat so that it cooks evenly.¬† Season the tenderloin liberally with a robust rub like the A1-Bold or Barbarian’s Steak Rub.¬† Liberally add ground salt and ground pepper.¬† Make sure to cover all the surface of the beef (top, bottom, side and ends).¬† Place in smoker uncovered¬†at 225 degrees for 1 hour.¬† Remove from smoker and place on hot BBQ grill at 500 degrees and sear top and bottom for around 7-8 minutes per side.

Next, remove from grill and place in a 175 degree pre-heated oven to slow cook for 3-4 hours uncovered.  This will ensure that the tenderloin cooks to a rare Рmedium rare inside temperature.  If you want the meat to be rare then remove from oven at 130 degrees and let it rest for 10 minutes or so before carving.  If you want it at medium rare then remove from oven at 140 degrees.  The tender loin will continue to cook while it rests and then be perfect when carving.

Cooking Tip:¬† I had to keep turning my oven on and off¬† to make sure it didn’t over cook.¬† This did lead to the crust of the beef becoming a little soft instead of the normal crusty.¬† If this occurs (check it before serving) then place your oven on high¬†broil and crust up the outside again before removing from the oven.

Entertaining Tips: 

  1. Set the table the day before if you will be having a large number of people.  This can take more time than you think and will cut into your cooking time if saved to the day of the party.
  2. Set up your cocktail¬†bar the day before.¬† Place a plastic table cloth under any fabric cloth¬†to protect the furniture’s surface if it could be damaged by the drinks or ice.¬† Set out a few bottles of tonic water, tomato juice, fruit juice and club soda for mixers.
  3. Prepare a cooler filled with soda pop and plenty of water.  Add ice the day of the party around 3 hours before the begin time.
  4. If serving the food buffet style you can set up the buffet table and serving dishes.
  5. Do any decorating and set out centerpieces and/or candles.
  6. Prepare cheese platters, meat platters and condiments for the appetizer table in their serving dishes, cover and keep in refrigerator until ready to serve.
  7. Set up your appetizer table with any table clothes and decorations.  Prepare cracker platters, cover and set on appetizer table.
  8. Make sure your champagne is in the refrigerator the day before so that it is chilled to perfection.  One bottle of champagne pours 5-6 glasses.
  9. Figuring out how much meat to buy; 1/2 pound per person to ensure there is plenty.  Allows for second servings and ample leftovers.
  10. Figuring out how many pounds of fresh vegetables; 1/4 –¬†1/3 ¬†pound per person.
  11. Use 1 extra-large baking potato for every two people.  Add 2 extra for those that like more or especially when making twice baked.  Often, many of your guests will share a baked potato or a large twice baked.  Bake in oven for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.  If making twice baked allow to cool before handling.

 

If you like this recipe and entertaining ideas from KCinAZ, then give me a like or comment on this post.¬†ūüėĬ†¬†I‚Äôll try to give you more fun recipes for entertainment.