3 Ways to Cook the Perfect Turkey

Cooking turkeys can be a daunting task. Instead of resorting to an old recipe, try something new this year if you’re up for the challenge, here are three different ways you can cook that perfect turkey. Smoke It Smoking turkey takes about the same amount of time as cooking it traditionally in an oven, however it requires more attention. You’ll need to truss your turkey to make it easier to flip in the smoker for an even cook. Cotton butcher’s twine is a must. You’ll need to have a slow and mellow fire. Be sure to keep your coals glowing and add some hardwood chunks for a unique flavor. Keep an eye on the turkey throughout the day and measure its temperature. Avoid a dry, hot smoker as this will make the turkey’s skin crack. Have a silicone brush on hand to keep the turkey basted. Grill It A gas grill can be ideal for cooking turkey with the right tools. You’ll need a roast rack to hold up your turkey upside down and away from the grill as it starts to cook. The breast will take the longest so start with the breast side facing the burners. After an hour or two you can flip it over directly on to the grate. Add some smokey flavor with a smoke box as gas doesn’t naturally do this. Keep track of the temperature of your turkey. Use a dual probe thermometer as the breast will take longer to cook. Fry It One of the quickest ways to cook a turkey is frying it. You can cook an average sized turkey in about an hour, making it a much more attractive method. It’s best to brine your turkey beforehand to maintain moisture in the turkey as frying can dry it out. Safety is key when it comes to frying a turkey. Be sure you have a thermometer to keep track of the oil’s temperature. Use proper equipment when lowering and lifting the turkey in the oil, such as heat resistant gloves. Turn off your fryer prior to lifting it out of the fryer and check the turkey’s temperature once it’s out. It’s only safe to fry a turkey outdoors and with the proper fryer. Keep flammable items away from the area. How are you going to cook your turkey this year? Let us know over on our Facebook and Instagram, or in the comments below. Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving this year! Sources: HGTV

Spice Up the Season With These Easy Recipes

The holiday season is upon us, and with that comes delicious foods for the whole family! Snacks are a staple for any occasion but are often overlooked. Don’t miss the opportunity to bring a memorable experience when you impress your family with these recipes. Learn how to make these delicious treats below, courtesy of Reindeer Pecan Brownies Prep time: 20 minutes Cook time: 15 minutes Yield: 20 brownies Nonstick cooking spray 1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter, melted 1 tablespoon pecan or canola oil 1 cup, plus 2 tablespoons, granulated sugar 2 large eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla extract ½ cup all-purpose flour ½ cup cocoa powder 1 teaspoon espresso powder (optional) ¼ teaspoon kosher salt 20 raw pecan halves, cut in half 40 candy eyeballs 20 red chocolate candies ¼ cup chocolate chip Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray mini muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray. In large bowl, whisk melted butter, oil and sugar until well combined. Add eggs and vanilla extract; beat until mixture is thick and pale in color, about 1 minute. Sift in flour and cocoa powder. Add espresso powder, if desired, and salt. Using rubber spatula, fold dry ingredients into butter mixture until just combined. Batter should be thick. Using 1-tablespoon cookie scoop, transfer batter to prepared mini muffin tin. Bake 13-15 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out mostly clean, with some lingering crumbs. Add chocolate chips to heat-safe bowl; microwave until smooth and melted. Pour melted chocolate into sandwich bag and cut off small portion of one corner to use as tip. Use melted chocolate to “glue” on pecan antlers, candy eyeballs and red candy noses to brownies. Allow chocolate to set before transferring brownies to airtight container. Note: Brownies will stay fresh for up to three days. No-Bake Pumpkin Pecan Pie Bites Prep time: 15 minutes Chill time: 1 hour Yield: 12 bites (6 servings) Crust: 1 1/2 cups raw pecan pieces 3/4 cup pitted medjool dates (about 7 dates), soaked in hot water 10 minutes 1 pinch pink salt Filling: 1/3 cup pumpkin puree 1/3 cup full fat coconut milk 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice 1/4 cup maple syrup 1 pinch pink salt 1 scoop collagen peptides (optional) 12 raw pecan halves, for topping To make crust: In food processor, process pecan pieces, drained dates and salt until combined and “dough” starts to form into ball. To make filling: In bowl, combine pumpkin puree, coconut milk, pumpkin spice, maple syrup, pink salt and collagen peptides, if desired. Whisk until smooth. Line cupcake tin and evenly distribute crust mixture, about 1 1/2 tablespoons in each cupcake opening. Use fingers to press crust into even layer. Evenly disperse pumpkin pie filling among openings until tins are about half full. Top each with one pecan half and place in freezer at least one hour. Source: American Pecan Council

Fire Up the Grill for Father’s Day

It’s a time to fire up the grill, slow down and enjoy father’s day. When you’re thinking about what to feed your family off the grill, it should be a breeze, and you shouldn’t have to choose between good and good for you. Consider these tips for creating healthier, flavorful meals you can feel confident serving. Keep it simple. Skip the complicated recipes that call for a wide variety of ingredients, a multitude of steps and long cook times. Instead, seek out products and dishes that are made with ingredients you recognize and have just a handful of instructions. This will ensure less time in the kitchen and more time with loved ones. Focus on seasonal, clean ingredients. Get inspired by your local farmer’s market. One of the best parts about summer is the abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables that can add flavor and nutrients to your plate. Don’t forget the sides. To balance your spread of burgers and hot dogs, consider serving fresh asparagus or sweet corn in place of other salty, processed options. Fruits like peaches and pineapple work well on the grill, too, but remember to group produce by similar cooking times. Aim for a quick and fun cleanup. Perhaps one of the most overlooked secrets to a stress-free meal is to cut down on cleanup. A backyard barbecue can be one of the easiest messes to maintain as most of the prep is done outside on the grill. Try setting up a buffet line on your deck or patio where your family can build their burgers with customized toppings, like cheese, veggies and sauces. Then add a little bit of fun by putting on your favorite music playlist to help make a simple, everyday meal feel even more special. Burger with Grilled Pineapple and Honey Garlic Barbecue Sauce Total time: 30 minutesServings: 2 2 rings freshly cored pineapple 2 Burger patties, thawed salt, to taste freshly ground black pepper, to taste1 cup baby arugula2 sesame seed burger buns, lightly toasted1/4 cup crispy fried onions2 tablespoons honey garlic barbecue sauce Heat grill to medium heat. Grill pineapple slices 4-5 minutes per side until grill-marked and slightly caramelized. Cut slices in half and set aside. Wipe down grill to cook burger patties.  Season burger patties with salt and pepper, to taste. Grill 4-5 minutes per side until burgers are evenly browned with internal temperature of 165 F. To assemble, layer handful of baby arugula leaves on toasted bottom buns, top each with burger and two cut slices each of grilled pineapple. Sprinkle on crispy fried onions, drizzle with honey garlic barbecue sauce and place toasted sesame seed bun on top. Asian Marinated Grilled Shrimp Skewers 1 Pound large shrimp, shelled and de-veined (you can leave the tails on if you like, I took them off so we could shovel them in our mouths faster, ha!)3 Tbls unsalted butter2 Tbls soy sauce2 tsp lime juice, fresh squeezed1 tsp ginger, grated2 cloves garlic, minced1 1/2 Tbls sugar2 green onions, bruised but not chopped Place all ingredients except for the shrimp in a sauce pan over medium heat. Let come to a simmer then take off the heat and let cool on the counter. Place shrimp and marinade in a bag or bowl covered in plastic wrap and marinade for at least an hour in the fridge. Try to let marinade around 3-5 hours but not longer. Take shrimp out of marinade and place on skewers. If using wooden skewers, let these soak overnight in water. Grill over high heat until just cooked. Do not overcook or shrimp will become rubbery. This will only take about 3-4 minutes per side, depending how big the shrimp are. You can baste the shrimp with the marinade when they first hit the grill but after that, toss out the marinade. Serve and enjoy! These don’t need any condiments, they are super flavorful and moist on their own! Happy Father’s Day!

Sensational Summer Recipes to Try this Weekend

Whipping up a fresh cooked meal is one of the true joys of weekend summers, especially when grilled grub is paired with tantalizing sides and tempting desserts. Spice things up with Mexican Beef Sliders with Jalapeno Salsa and Avocado Cream coupled with a side like Roasted Potatoes then cap off a filling meal with these sweet and decadent Strawberry Cream Cheese Tartlets. If you’re looking for ways to mix meat and veggies all at once, these ideas for kebabs are a surefire way to please a variety of palates. Find more summer meal ideas at Cook Up Kebabs As one of the most versatile main courses that can be grilled, kebabs offer nearly endless opportunities for customization. From protein to veggies, soaked wooden skewers can be loaded with just about any favorite flavors before hitting the grates. Consider these options for kicking your kebabs up a notch: Steak, cut into chunks Chicken, cut into chunks Bratwurst or sausage, cut into slices Ground beef, shaped into balls Lamb Shrimp Salmon, cut into chunks Bacon, cut into small pieces Sliced onions Sliced bell peppers Sliced jalapenos Sliced mushrooms Sliced cucumbers Cherry tomatoes   Summer Sliders with a Spicy Kick Summer calls for firing up the grill for a fresh-cooked meal, and sliders are an ideal way to enjoy a downsized version of a warm weather favorite. These Mexican Beef Sliders with Jalapeno Salsa and Avocado Cream are perfect for summer with their spicy kick of salsa and bright, cooling cream. Made with grass-fed beef, these mini burgers boast a lean, finely textured meat that tastes just as nature intended.   Mexican Beef Sliders with Jalapeno Salsa and Avocado Cream Prep time: 20 minutesCook time: 15 minutesServings: 4 Patties: 1 1/3 pounds lean grass-fed ground beef 1 clove garlic, crushed 1 medium onion, grated or finely chopped 1 egg, lightly beaten 3/4 cup red kidney beans, rinsed and drained 2 tablespoons tomato paste 3 teaspoons dried oregano, chopped 2 teaspoons mild smoked paprika 2 teaspoons ground cumin 1 teaspoon ground coriander 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated salt, to taste pepper, to taste olive oil Jalapeno Salsa: 1 cup cucumber, thinly sliced into long ribbons 3/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped 1 red onion, finely sliced 1/2 cup pickled jalapenos, finely chopped salt, to taste pepper, to taste olive oil lime juice Avocado Cream: 1 avocado, mashed 1/2 cup sour cream 1 lime, juice and zest only salt, to taste pepper, to taste 8-12 slider buns, halved 2-3 cobs sweet corn, cooked and sliced into shards 8-12 small bamboo skewers To make patties: In bowl, combine beef, garlic, onion, egg, kidney beans, tomato paste, oregano, paprika, cumin, coriander, Parmesan cheese, salt, to taste, and pepper, to taste. Shape into 8-12 small patties. Cover and refrigerate 15 minutes. Heat grill or frying pan to medium heat. Brush patties with oil on both sides. Cook 2-3 minutes on each side, turning once to brown both sides evenly, until cooked through. To make Jalapeno Salsa: In bowl, combine cucumber, cilantro, onion and jalapenos; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Drizzle with olive oil and lime juice. To make Avocado Cream: In bowl, combine avocado, sour cream, lime juice and lime zest; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Spread Avocado Cream on bottom buns and place patties on top. Top patties with Jalapeno Salsa, corn and top buns. Press down gently and poke in skewers to secure sliders. A Sweet Summer Treat Sweet flavors and warm weather go hand-in-hand, and many summer occasions and get-together call for dessert. Take advantage of warm weather favorites like strawberries and raspberries with these Strawberry Cream Cheese Mini Tarts. Made using the best berries nature can provide, these bite-size tarts feature a graham cracker crust base and an indulgent cream cheese filling flavored with sliced strawberries, honey and lemon topped with sweet, juicy strawberries and raspberries.   Strawberry Cream Cheese Tarts Makes: 24 tarts (4 ounces each) 1/2 cup water 2 tablespoons lemon juice 3 tablespoons lemon zest 2 tablespoons gelatin 4 cups Well•Pict Strawberries, sliced, divided 1/3 cup honey 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese 1/2 cup sour cream 1 cup ice cubes 2 cups graham cracker crumbs 1/2 cup melted butter 1 cup  Strawberries, rinsed, for garnish 1 cup  Raspberries, rinsed, for garnish In blender, mix water, lemon juice, lemon zest and gelatin until frothy. Add 2 cups strawberries and honey; blend until smooth. Pour into bowl and chill mix 15 minutes. In blender, mix cream cheese, sour cream and ice cubes while incorporating strawberry mixture. Mix in remaining strawberries. In blender or food processor, mix graham crackers and melted butter to crumb consistency. Lightly grease two medium muffin pans and pack graham cracker mixture at bottom of each opening. Pour strawberry mixture over graham cracker mixture and chill until set. Gently pull tarts from muffin tins and place on serving tray. Garnish with strawberries and raspberries. Roasted and Ready to Serve Summer meals centered around grilled fare call for a complementary pairing that completes the classic profile of warm weather food. Using a versatile vegetable like potatoes allows you to think up different methods of cooking for a new flavor each time. While you’re focused on the main dish being grilled, these Roasted Potatoes can bake away indoors for a simple side that requires little attention. Roasted Potatoes 1 pound potatoes, chopped into 1-inch cubes 1/2 cup onion, chopped into 1-inch cubes 1/2 cup green pepper, chopped into 1-inch cubes 1 teaspoon garlic, finely chopped 1 teaspoon vegetable oil 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon pepper 1 tablespoon parsley, finely chopped 1/2 teaspoon paprika Preheat oven to 350° F. In medium bowl, mix potatoes, onions, green peppers and garlic. Add vegetable oil, salt, pepper, parsley and paprika. Mix well. Cover bowl and refrigerate 15 minutes. Spread potato mixture evenly on cookie sheet. Bake about 35 minutes. Photos courtesy of Getty Images (Kebabs and Roasted Potatoes)

Quarantine Cooking-Insanely Good-for-You Treats

While eating healthy and enjoying sweets seldom go hand-in-hand, choosing the right combination of nutritious ingredients can allow for guilt-free indulgences that shirks conventional dieting wisdom. In fact, some eating plans take it a step further by actually encouraging eating big in the evening when you’re naturally hungriest to help achieve your weight loss goals. Fruit Tarts Recipe courtesy of “Always Eat After 7 PM”Prep time: 40 minutesCook time: 1 hour, 20 minutesServings: 20 Custard: 8  egg yolks 1 cup raw honey 1 tablespoon coconut flour 3  cans (13 2/3 ounces each) full-fat coconut milk 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest Sugar Cookie Crust: 1/2 cup coconut oil, plus additional for greasing 1/2 cup palm shortening 1 cup coconut palm sugar 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon cream of tartar 1/4 teaspoon salt 3  egg yolks 1⁄2  teaspoon vanilla extract 1  cup blanched almond flour 1⁄4   cup coconut flour 2 tablespoons arrowroot starch Toppings: 2 kiwis, peeled and sliced 1 mango, peeled, pitted and sliced into 1/2-inch strips 1/2 cup raspberries 1/2 cup blackberries 1/2 cup blueberries 1/2 cup red grapes 1 cup strawberries, thinly sliced fresh mint leaves, for garnish To make custard: In saucepan, whisk egg yolks and honey until smooth. Mix in coconut flour. In medium saucepan over medium heat, combine coconut milk, vanilla extract and lemon zest; bring to boil then remove from heat. Pour hot milk mixture into egg yolk mixture, stirring while pouring. Over low heat, simmer 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and let cool, continuing to stir occasionally. Once cooled to room temperature, pour into individual custard cups. Chill in refrigerator 30 minutes, or until serving. To make crust: Heat oven to 350° F. Line bottom of pie pan with parchment paper and grease with coconut oil. In large mixing bowl using electric mixer on high, beat coconut oil and palm shortening 30 seconds. Add coconut palm sugar, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt; beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg yolks and vanilla until combined. Beat in almond flour, coconut flour and starch. Chill dough in refrigerator 15 minutes. Press chilled cookie dough into bottom of pie pan and 2 inches up sides. Bake 12 minutes, or until crust is golden and browned on top and edges. Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes. Place cooled crust in refrigerator 30 minutes or overnight before assembling. To assemble fruit tarts: Spread custard over chilled crust. Decorate top in circular pattern with kiwis, mango strips, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, grapes and strawberries. Before serving, chill at least 30 minutes or freeze 1 hour to help keep toppings in place. Remove from freezer and set out at room temperature 20 minutes before slicing. Garnish with mint leaves. Nutritional information per serving: 192 calories; 14 g fat; 16 g carbohydrates; 61 mg sodium; 2 g fiber; 1 g protein; 9 g sugar. Cherry Garcia Ice Cream Recipe courtesy of “Always Eat After 7 PM”Prep time: 10 minutesServings: 4 1/4 cup fresh Bing cherries, pitted and halved 1/4 cup stevia-sweetened dark chocolate bar, chopped 3 overripe frozen bananas, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk 1 pinch sea salt Chill cherries and dark chocolate. In food processor, pulse frozen bananas, milk and salt until smooth, creamy consistency of soft serve is achieved. Stir in cherries and chocolate. Serve immediately or place in freezer-safe container and freeze until serving. Nutritional information per serving: 165 calories; 7 g fat; 27 g carbohydrates; 134 mg sodium; 6 g fiber; 2 protein; 12 g sugar. No Bake Salted Caramel Bars Recipe courtesy of “Always Eat After 7 PM”Prep time: 30 minutesCook time: 40 minutesServings: 30 Cookie Layer: 2 1/2 cups raw pecans 8 pitted dates, soaked in hot water 10 minutes then drained 2 tablespoons blanched almond flour 1 teaspoon coconut flour 1/4 teaspoon sea salt 1/4 cup granular zero-calorie, natural sweetener 3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted Caramel Layer: 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar 1/2 cup granular zero-calorie, natural sweetener 2 tablespoons full-fat coconut milk 2 tablespoons coconut oil 1 pinch sea salt 1 tablespoon vanilla extract 1/2 teaspoon baking soda Chocolate Layer: 2 cups stevia-sweetened chocolate chips 2 tablespoons coconut oil coconut oil 1/3 cup dry roasted macadamia nuts, chopped coarse sea salt To make cookie layer: Place large skillet over medium heat. Spread pecans over skillet and toast, stirring often, 8-10 minutes until golden. Remove from heat. Transfer toasted pecans to food processor and pulse until fine. Add dates, almond flour, coconut flour, sea salt, sweetener and coconut oil; pulse until dough forms. To make caramel layer: In skillet over medium heat, combine coconut palm sugar, sweetener, coconut milk, coconut oil, sea salt and vanilla extract; bring to boil. Once boiling, decrease heat to low and cook 5 minutes, stirring often. Remove skillet from heat; whisk in baking soda. Return pan to low heat and cook 2 minutes, stirring often. Remove caramel from heat and let cool and thicken 5 minutes. To make chocolate layer: In double boiler, melt chocolate chips and coconut oil. Stir until mixture is smooth then remove from heat. To assemble salted caramel bars: Line bottom and sides of 9-by-9-inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving some hanging over sides. Lightly rub parchment paper with coconut oil. Press cookie dough into bottom of pan to create even layer. Place in freezer 5 minutes to harden. Pour caramel over cookie layer and spread to coat evenly. Place in freezer 5 minutes. Pour chocolate over caramel and spread to cover evenly. Sprinkle with macadamia nuts and coarse salt. Place in freezer 10 minutes until chocolate sets. Use overhanging parchment paper to ease set mixture out of pan. Transfer to cutting board and slice into bite-size bars. Nutritional information per serving: 180 calories; 15 g fat; 15 g carbohydrates; 56 mg sodium; 4 g fiber; 2 g protein; 4 g sugar.

Cook Once, Enjoy it Twice Mexican Beef Recipes

With so many Americans preparing meals at home, the practice of cooking once and eating twice can extend your grocery budget while also making meal planning less stressful and more comforting. Cook a base dish that can be enjoyed today and used for an entirely different meal tomorrow. It’s a kitchen practice as simple as it sounds. For example, bake some fish for tonight’s dinner, and   fish tacos for tomorrow’s lunch. Cooking meals that feed the entire family is essential and even better if they give you a jump on a second meal. Whether your love for cooking runs deep or is being newly discovered, keep the following in mind when planning to cook once and eat twice: Stock up on staples. Before heading out to the store, develop a list of ingredients that can be used for multiple dishes. Canned goods, such as black beans and corn, are great items to store in the pantry and have on hand for a variety of favorite family recipes. Other basics like corn tortillas can be used in multiple ways, such as tacos, casseroles and even salads. Don’t forget produce. To increase flavor and nutrition, adding produce is key in your planning.  Make meat go further by using the same meat base two days in a row in two different ways in dishes like Mexican Lasagna and Tacos.  Beef Tacos Makes: 8 tacos Ingredients 1 lb. 90% to 93% lean ground beef 1 Tablespoon chili powder 1 teaspoon ground cumin 3/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper 1/2 cup tomato sauce 1/4 cup water 12 taco shells – either hard shells or small 6-inch soft flour tortillas will work Optional Taco Toppings: shredded cheese shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, diced red onion, taco sauce, sour cream, guacamole, etc. Instructions Add the beef to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Break the meat apart with a wooden spoon. Add the chili powder, cumin, salt, oregano, garlic powder, and pepper to the meat. Stir well. Cook until the meat is cooked through, about 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the tomato sauce and water. Stir to combine. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 7-8 minutes, until some of the liquid evaporates but the meat mixture is still a little saucy. Remove from the heat. Warm the taco shells according to their package directions. Fill the taco shells with 2 heaping tablespoons of taco meat. Top with desired taco toppings: shredded cheese, shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, diced red onion, taco sauce, sour cream, guacamole, etc.   Mexican Lasagna Servings: 6-8 Ingredients 1 pound ground beef  1 package taco seasoning 1 (10 ounce) can of tomatoes with green chilies, undrained 1 (15 ounce) can refried beans 1 (15 ounce) can corn, drained and rinsed 1 (15 ounce) can black  beans, drained and rinsed 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese 1/2 cup sour cream 10-12 corn tortillas Instructions Preheat oven to 350 In a large skillet brown ground beef, drain off any grease. Add the undrained tomatoes with green chilies and package of taco seasoning, stir mixture until seasoning has dissolved. Let mixture simmer until all liquid is gone, about 6 minutes. Then remove from heat and set aside. Meanwhile, drain and rinse the black beans and corn. Set aside. Open refried beans and set aside. Spray a 9×13 casserole dish with cooking spray. Begin your casserole with a base layer of corn tortillas 4-6 depending on the size. Then layer the rest of the ingredients in this order, refried beans, taco meat, corn, black beans, sour cream and cheese. Repeat, until your fillings are gone. Bake 30 minutes, let cool 5 minutes before serving. Top with your favorites like avocados, tomatoes, and cilantro!

Sweet and Savory Brunch Recipes

Many spring celebrations and gatherings have been canceled due to the corona-virus outbreak. So people are getting creative and finding new ways to connect and spend quality time with their favorite people. From virtual concerts to happy hours and Netflix parties there’s something fun for everyone. A  group of friends I know are planning a virtual “Sunday brunch” over the weekend and because I love a good brunch that’s the  inspiration for  this recipe post. Springtime brunches call for fabulous food.  A wide variety of recipes may fit the occasion, but a combination of comforting bites with sweet and savory flavors is perfect for appeasing all appetites. This menu of morning recipes includes Chive and Orange Blossom Honey Waffles and Spicy Garlic Honey Chicken as a filling option to base the meal around with Breakfast Casserole as a more traditional dish. For a sweet sendoff, this Brown Sugar Bundt Cake is best served warm as a midday dessert or can be added to your plate as a simple side. Add flavor to your brunch with the sweet taste of honey as part of a remade rendition of a breakfast favorite: chicken and waffles. This recipe for Chive and Orange Blossom Honey Waffles and Spicy Garlic Chicken combines sweet with savory to shine as the main course for your gathering Chive and Orange Blossom Honey Waffles and Spicy Garlic Honey Chicken Servings: 4 Chicken: 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs 2 cups buttermilk 2 tablespoons kosher salt, divided 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided 1/4 teaspoon rosemary, chopped 2 tablespoons orange blossom honey 2 cups all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper 1 teaspoon garlic powder 1 teaspoon onion powder 2 teaspoons paprika 1/2 teaspoon ancho chile powder vegetable oil, as needed Waffles: 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons orange blossom honey 1 teaspoon orange zest 1 teaspoon kosher salt 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 1/4 cups whole milk 2 large eggs 1/4 cup fresh chives, chopped 3/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded honey To make chicken: Rinse chicken thighs and pat dry with paper towels; place in large bowl. In separate bowl, combine buttermilk, 1 tablespoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, rosemary and honey. Pour buttermilk mixture over chicken; cover and let marinate 8 hours or overnight. In separate mixing bowl, combine flour, remaining salt, remaining pepper, cayenne, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika and ancho chile powder; stir. Remove each piece of chicken from buttermilk, shake to remove excess liquid and dredge in flour mixture. Shake off excess. In deep fryer, heat oil to 375° F. Fry chicken until internal temperature reaches 175° F or juices run clear, approximately 5 minutes per thigh. Drain on paper towels. To make waffles: In large mixing bowl, mix flour, honey, orange zest, salt, baking powder, milk, eggs, chives and cheese until combined. Use waffle maker to cook four waffles in batches. Place chicken on waffles and drizzle with honey. A Traditional Brunch Dish Whether it’s just part of a brunch spread or the focus of your meal, an egg-based casserole is a perfect way to appease a morning crowd. This version of Breakfast Casserole calls for potatoes, ham, eggs, milk and cheese for a simple dish that requires little preparation before popping in the oven. Breakfast Casserole Prep time: 25 minutesCook time: 45 minutesServings: 6 1 pound red or white potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces water 1/2 small onion, coarsely chopped (about 1/2 cup) nonstick cooking spray 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided 1/4 teaspoon pepper 1 cup reduced-fat and reduced-sodium, chopped, cooked ham (about 4 ounces) 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Swiss or cheddar cheese 4 eggs 1 1/2 cups skim milk 1 tablespoon mustard Heat oven to 350° F. In large saucepan, cover potato pieces with enough water to just submerge. Bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, 5 minutes. Add onion. Return to simmer, covered, about 5 minutes, or until potatoes are just tender. Drain well. Cool slightly. Coat 8-by-8-by-2-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Place potato-onion mixture in baking dish. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Gently stir to combine. Sprinkle ham and cheese on top. In medium bowl, lightly beat eggs. Whisk in milk, mustard and remaining salt. Pour over layers in baking dish. Bake, uncovered, 40-45 minutes, or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. A Bundt Cake for Brunch Many brunch festivities may center around classic breakfast foods like quiches and fresh fruits, but you can take your gathering to the next level with a treat to pair with nearly any dish. This Brown Sugar Bundt Cake can be the simple, sweet side your guests crave as a complement to the savory recipes on the table. Made using just a handful of household ingredients it can be created in about an hour and served warm during your next brunch gathering. Brown Sugar Bundt Cake Prep time: 15 minutesCook time: 50 minutes Nonstick cooking spray 2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon kosher salt 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature 1 3/4 cups packed Golden Brown Sugar 1/4 cup Granulated Sugar 2 large eggs, at room temperature 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla 1 cup full-fat Greek yogurt Confectioners’ Sugar, for dusting Heat oven to 350° F. Grease 10-cup bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside. In medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add vanilla and mix on low speed. With mixer on low, add flour mixture in three additions, alternating with yogurt. Begin and end with flour mixture. Mix until just combined. Pour batter into prepared bundt pan and use offset spatula to level batter. Bake 50-55 minutes, or until cake is golden brown and toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out

Stuck-at-Home Easy Meal Hacks

Not sure what’s for dinner tonight? You’re not alone.  After weeks on lockdown and exhausting your favorite go-to meals you’re probably working extra hard to be creative in the kitchen. Even if you’re stuck at home your meals don’t have to be boring, with a little meal planning your family can enjoy healthy, flavorful meals during the coronavirus quarantine. More cooking can also mean more time spent preparing meals so innovation and technology can make meal prep easier, and kitchen hacks like turning to ready-to-heat meals that take just minutes can enhance your productivity. Consider these simple ways to rethink your dinner routine in an effort to create more moments with loved ones: Look for recipes with as few ingredients as possible. Dishes that include longer ingredient lists typically require more legwork in the kitchen, which usually involves additional prep steps and sometimes longer cook times. Plus, you’re more likely to already have the necessities on-hand for recipes that call for 5-10 ingredients rather than lengthy lists.   Buy pre-cut vegetables to trim time spent on prep work. One of the processes that can surprisingly consume more time than you realize is cutting, chopping and dicing veggies prior to even really diving into a recipe’s instructions. If you’d still prefer prepping your own fresh produce, try completing your work the night before when it doesn’t interfere with quality time spent with family.   Meal kits certainly save time in the store, but be careful to avoid options that still include a lot of prep and cleanup. Focus on frozen kits that contain pre-chopped and measured ingredients that are ready to go.   Stock your pantry with the basics to make cooking quicker and easier. From condiments and canned goods to seasonings and spices, keeping the essentials on-hand means less time scrambling for a quick run to the store and more moments spent at home.   For one of the ultimate comfort foods that’s simple to make, try thischeesy baked potato casserole. Stock Up on Pantry Essentials Running to the store every other day isn’t an option when you’re on lock down, so try to keep your pantry stocked with non-perishables that are often necessary in a variety of meals. Seasonings and spices (salt, pepper, dried herbs, cumin, chili powder, paprika, onion powder, etc.) Canned goods (tomatoes, beans, corn, broth, cream of mushroom, cream of chicken, etc.) Grains (flour, pastas, breadcrumbs, rolled oats, instant rice, etc.) Condiments and oils (olive oil, canola oil, ketchup, mustard, vinegars, barbecue sauce, butter, cooking wines, etc.)

Four Irish Recipes to Celebrate St. Patty’s Day

From hearty stews to minty pies, St. Patrick’s Day celebrations are all about enjoying the flavors of the holiday. Whether you’re cooking up a feast or simply serving appetizers, this Irish Potato Bread is a simple, tasty snack to feed your guests. Irish Potato Bread INGREDIENTS 2 medium or large russet potatoes 1 egg 1 egg white 1/3 cup canola oil 3/4 cup milk 2 tablespoons green onion, minced 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for dusting and kneading 1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder 1 teaspoon salt DIRECTIONS Heat oven to 375° F. Peel potatoes. Slice one potato and boil in saucepan 15 minutes, or until tender. Remove potato from saucepan into large bowl. Mash potato then set aside. Grate second potato onto cloth. Wring potato in cloth to remove excess water. Add grated potato to mashed potato in large bowl. Add egg, egg white, oil, milk, onion, caraway seeds, 3 1/4 cups flour, baking powder and salt. Stir with wooden spoon until mixture is soft and sticky. Turn dough onto floured surface. Adding flour as needed, knead dough to form 8-inch round shape with slight dome. Place dough onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cut large “X” on top of dough about 1/2 inch deep. Bake 55 minutes until golden brown. Cool on wire rack 1 hour before serving.   Irish Beef Stew As most stews go, this is a humble and forgiving recipe. Add your favorite root vegetables and serve with mashed potatoes. Serves 6. INGREDIENTS 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided 3 pounds beef chuck, excess fat trimmed, cut in 1 1/2 inch pieces Salt Freshly ground black pepper 4 cloves garlic, chopped 1/3 cup tomato paste 2 cups beef stock 1 1/2 cups stout beer 2 teaspoons dried thyme 2 bay leaves 3 large carrots, sliced 1/4-inch thick 1 large yellow onion, cut in 1-inch pieces 1 large rutabaga, cut in 3/4-inch pieces 1 large parsnip, cut in 3/4-inch pieces DIRECTIONS Preheat oven to 325 F. (170 C.) Heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat in an oven-proof pot or Dutch oven. Season the beef all over with salt and pepper. Add beef in batches to pot in one layer, without overcrowding. Brown on all sides, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining beef. Return beef to pot and add the garlic. Sauté 2 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook stirring, one minute. Add stock, beer, thyme, bay leaves, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper. The meat should be just covered with liquid. If not, add additional stock or beer to cover. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Transfer pot to oven. Bake until meat is tender, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. While the meat is cooking heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a deep skillet or large pot over medium heat. Add vegetables and lightly sprinkle with salt. Sauté the vegetables until they brighten in color and begin to take on a golden hue, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove beef from oven. Skim any fat on the surface of the liquid with a spoon. Add vegetables to the beef, stirring to combine. Return beef to the oven, uncovered. Bake one hour, stirring once or twice, until the sauce is slightly reduced, the vegetables are tender and the meat is fork-tender. Remove and taste for seasoning. Serve hot with mashed potatoes. Source: Irish Pub Nachos If there’s one thing the Irish, it’s how to celebrate with good food. These potato based nachos feature some of your favorite toppings, making them perfect for sharing at any get together. INGREDIENTS 1 1/2 lbs russet potatoes, scrubbed and sliced into quarter inch coins 2 tbsp olive oil 1/2 tsp dried rosemary leaves scant 1/2 tsp ground thyme salt and pepper, to taste 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese 5 slices thick cut bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled sour cream, or Greek yogurt, to taste pico de gallo, to taste 2 green onions, thinly sliced optional 1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro leaves DIRECTIONS Make sure you’ve washed and scrubbed your potatoes. Use a clean dish towel to dry up any of the excess moisture. Use a sharp knife to slice them into 1/4 inch thick coins. Add the potatoes to a large mixing bowl. Drizzle them with olive oil. Add in the seasonings–rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper. Use a spatula to toss them to coat, gently but until all the spices and oil are evenly covering all the potatoes. On a large, rimmed baking sheet place the potatoes out in an even, single layer. Drizzle any remnants from the bowl evenly out over top. Bake the potatoes at 450 degrees for 20 minutes, flip the potatoes oven, and then return them to the oven to bake for a final 20 minutes. Let the potatoes cool just enough to safely handle. Transfer them to a flat cast iron pan, with the edges slightly overlapping in a spiral pattern. Spread the cheese and bacon out evenly over top. Bake another 4 minutes, or until the cheese is melted. Remove the skillet from the oven and let the potatoes rest for a minute. Serve these nachos with a scoop of sour cream in the center, a dollop of pico, and with green onions or cilantro sprinkled over top. Source : Luck o’ the Irish Mint Pie Even if you’re not Irish, a green treat like this Luck o’ the Irish Mint Pie can get you and your guests into the festive spirit. With enough seasonal flavor to go around, this recipe makes two pies, so be sure to cut every leprechaun a generous portion. Watch this video to see how to make this yummy recipe! Makes: 2 pies (9 inches each) INGREDIENTS  3 3/4 cups heavy whipped cream, divided 8 ounces cream cheese, softened 1 1/4 cups, plus 2 tablespoons, powdered sugar, divided 5 drops green food coloring 1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided 1/4 teaspoon mint extract 1 bag mint chocolate candies, chopped, divided 2  chocolate cookie crusts (9 inches each) 1 bag mint

Put Your Convection Oven to the Test with These Delicious Recipes

If you’re trying to figure out how best to cook with your convection oven, we’ve got some helpful advice and delicious recipes to get you started. Cooking Tips: Cooking simple dishes (like cookies) or shorter cooking times, lower the expected temperature by 10-15 percent. Cooking complex dishes (like roasts) that require a lot of time, lower the temperature by as much as 30 percent. Convection is good for: Roasting ham, turkey, roast-ready beef cuts, and similar meats Roasting vegetables and potatoes for an extra crisp Cookies and muffins—especially when you have a big batch to bake at once.  Pies and pastry Casseroles—when covered they won’t lose much moisture. Toasting breads or buns   Maple Balsamic Roasted Vegetables Vegetables roasted with rosemary and olive oil, then finished with a drizzle of maple balsamic reduction. These vegetables are a must for your next dinner party. Prep Time: 20 minutes Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes Recipe by foodnessgracious Ingredients 1 1/2 pounds whole thin rainbow carrots 1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes peeled chopped into 1 inch cubes 2 small red onions cut into thick chunks 1/2 pound rutabagas peeled and diced 1 1/2 pounds parsnips peeled and sliced thinly 1/3 cup olive oil 2 tsp sea salt 2 tsp black pepper 1 tsp fresh chopped rosemary 1 1/2 tbsp dry herb de provence 1 cup maple syrup 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar Instructions Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl combine all of the vegetables. Add the oil, salt, pepper, herbs and rosemary and toss to coat well. Place the vegetables on a large roasting pan or two baking sheets, making sure they are all level and not on top of one another. Place in the oven and cook for about 45 minutes, checking that the point of a sharp knife spears the vegetables easily. When the vegetables are cooking in the oven, place the maple syrup and balsamic vinegar in a pan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer slowly until it has reduced by about half and is nice and thick. Once the vegetables are ready, lightly drizzle some of the syrup over them and return to the oven for 5 more minutes. Serve warm or store in the refrigerator until ready to use. HOMEMADE ROTISSERIE CHICKEN  Who loves Rotisserie Chicken? just about everyone. Rotisserie Chicken is so tasty, juicy, convenient, and it’s just the recipe you need to keep in your arsenal.Chicken rotisserie marinade 4+ pound Whole chicken .5 bottle lemon juice .25 cup white wine .25 cup extra virgin olive oil Chicken rotisserie rub 1 tablespoon Honey 3 tbsp unsalted butter 1/4 cup brown sugar 4 tsp garlic powder 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme 1/4 teaspoon dried basil Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper Marinade instructions Clean cavity of whole chicken, wash and pat dry. Combine all marinade ingredients and mix. Pour into a large freezer bag and add the whole chicken. Refrigerate for 4-6 hours. Rub instructions Remove chicken from the marinade. Melt the butter and honey in the microwave and mix. Evenly brush the butter and honey mixture on and inside the chicken. Mix all of the dry ingredients and apply it to the entire chicken. Tuck wings underneath chicken and truss the legs together with twine. Run rotisserie rod through the cavity of chicken and insert the rotisserie forks into the skin of the chicken. At 350 degrees F, a whole chicken takes about 20 to 30 minutes per pound to cook. Therefore, a 4-pound chicken should take 1:20 – 2 hours to cook. Use a meat thermometer to test the internal temperature. When chicken reaches 175 to 180 degree F, it is done. Old Meatloaf  Perfect the preparation of a meatloaf by combining  conventional and convection oven performance for the perfect meatloaf dish.  Prep Time: 45 minutes Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes Recipe by Scott Basye  Ingredients 1 cup fresh bread crumbs(soft white bread) 1/3 cup milk 1 1/2 pounds ground chuck (85/15) 1/2 pound ground pork (not lean) 2 tablespoons butter 1 large onion, diced 2 celery stalks, diced 1 medium carrot, diced 2 garlic cloves, minced 1/2 cup creme fraiche 2 eggs, beaten 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce 1 teaspoon dry mustard powder 1 teaspoon paprika 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 6 slices bacon 1 cup ketchup 2 tablespoons brown sugar 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg Instructions Preheat oven to 350°F. In a small bowl place bread crumbs and drizzle the milk over the top. Set aside. Melt the butter in a large skillet, add the onion, celery and carrot. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally until vegetables are soft, but not browned. Add garlic and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat, scrape into a small bowl and allow to cool to room temperature (about ten minutes). In another bowl, whisk together the beaten eggs, creme fraiche and Worcestershire sauce. In a large bowl place the beef and pork, add the breadcrumb mixture, vegetables, egg mixture and the rest of the ingredients except the bacon, ketchup, brown sugar and mustard. Use your hands to thoroughly combine the meatloaf ingredients and then place into an large ovenproof baking dish. Lay five strips of bacon lengthwise over meatloaf; cut the remaining bacon strip in half and place at each end of loaf. Place in oven and set timer for 45 minutes. Meanwhile combine Ketchup, Brown Sugar, Mustard and Nutmeg and set aside. At the end of 45 minutes, set oven to convection and cook meatloaf for another 15 minutes. When completed, remove meatloaf from oven and pour or brush glaze all over the surface of the bacon (it’s ok if some drizzles down into the pan). Place back in over and bake for an additional 15 minutes until the glaze is bubbling. Remove from oven and let sit for 15 minutes. Serve! Huevos Rancheros Bake This is a flavorful dish that checks all the boxes for a  yummy weekend brunch, or a breakfast-for-dinner moment.  Prep Time: 35 minutes Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes Recipe by Tablespoon Kitchens Ingredients