Two Hour Turkey!!!

For really real you can have a beyond yummy Thanksgiving Day Turkey cooked and ready to serve in two hours! And, I’m not talking small turkey, I’m talking big enough to feed the family turkey (22lb’s the first year I did this method)!

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Time to eat!

I’ll be totally up-front that the origins of this recipe are unknown, and I am in no way taking credit for this recipe, or claiming it as my own. That’s not stopping me from sharing it though because frankly it’s brilliant! I’ve lost count of how many turkeys I’ve cooked at this point, but no matter the size (from 22lb down to 12lb) it always turns out perfect.

Just know, if you offer to cook the turkey using this method, that will become your “thing” every Thanksgiving forevermore!

Here’s what I love most about this process…it leaves me free to do whatever I want Thanksgiving morning…which mostly means watching the parade, in pj’s, with a mimosa! Not gonna lie it does feel a bit “wrong” to be relaxing all morning while everyone is posting on FB about being up early and the turkey’s in the oven, and I haven’t even started thinking about it. But, on the flip side it feels really great to sleep in and enjoy the morning!

The best part…since it only takes two hours there is no reason not to cook turkey any time of year. No need to wait for a special reason or holiday. If you like turkey this makes it way more accessible any time of year, time wise anyway.

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Roasting the turkey on its side makes better use of the heat and shortens the cooking time!

Two Hour Turkey

Serves: a lot 🙂  Prep Time: 10 -15  minutes  Cook Time: 2 Hours (maybe a bit less depending on size of turkey) plus 10 minutes of resting time Heat: 400

Ingredients: 

8-20 pound turkey, completely thawed

Salt

Pepper

Paprika

Oil (I use Olive Oil)

Directions:

Cut the “crop skin” at the neck of the neck of the bird off, and cut wings off at second joint. Also, cut off the tail.

Salt and Pepper the turkey inside and out. Sprinkle a generous amount of paprika on the turkey (I sprinkle inside as well) and massage into the bird using 1 cup of oil, coating the entire bird.

Arrange the turkey on its side in a roasting pan, on the roasting rack. Roast bird at 400 for up to 2 hours, a little more or less may be needed depending on size of turkey. 3/4 of the way through cooking remove turkey from oven and turn on to its other side. Be careful not to pierce the skin as you do not want the juices running out. (I use two kitchen towels…make sure they are not nice ones as the paprika will stain them).

As the skin darkens and becomes crispy, the meat should be checked to see if it’s done. The skin should look like a new football. Make a small cut in the thigh joint and if juices run clear the turkey is done, you can also insert a meat thermometer and when it reads 165 the turkey is done.

Let rest for 10 to 15 minutes before carving.

Serve with good company, yummy sides (for real the turkey is so easy you can get fancy with sides if you want to), and good wine!

Enjoy, and Happy Thanksgiving!

Thankful Thursday

Today I’m thankful for a few things:

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So thankful for my babe and my baby!

-Perspective – seeing life through the eyes of others…hearing their story, and learning about their situation.

-Common Ground – focusing on finding what can be agreed on, finding a common ground to work from rather than argue and debate over the many, many things that can be disagreed on.

-Time – 20 minutes here or there to read a few chapters, 10 minutes for coffee in a pretty red cup, 4 hours to drive to see family, 5 days off to enjoy time with those I love, a few hours a day to enjoy being home with Sky, like the good old days (you know from 3 months ago…before school happened). Life feels so busy and so rushed, yet there is still time for small moments of slowing down and just being.

-Love – lots and lots of love in my life from family and friends, and my two main squeezes!

-Football – it’s the most wonderful (sports) time of year!

I wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving

Today I’m so thankful for the simple things. For being someone who’s happy with simple things like new Christmas pj’s, Friday nights home with a glass of wine watching a movie or reading a book, walks at the park, unexpected play dates with friends, 20 minutes to kill with a book and cup of tea, cuddling with Sky while we make silly faces at each other or hide under the blankets, conversations with family & friends…a few moments to remind ourselves why we love each other.

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The things Sky is thankful for.

All those simple little things create little vacations in the middle of the day, week, month…time to stop and breath, re-center, re-connect, just be. No to do list, not rushing around, just being, enjoying the moment and people in the moment.

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Sky’s Pre School class.

Finding simplicity in the craziness of every day life. I’m a lucky girl to be married to someone who appreciates simple moments, and to have a little girl that is just as happy walking at the park with mommy & daddy as she is going to Toys R Us and picking out a new toy.

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Gobble Gobble. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

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All Sky wanted for the school feast was graham crackers…that felt too simple so I make marshmallow fluff & graham cracker sandwiches. So messy, so yummy.

Adding a New Family Member!

I hope everyone enjoyed the Thanksgiving weekend! I love that we get to travel, but not to far, to visit family. It feels like more of an event that way, plus we love visiting our family. It’s a nice little vacation really. Plus, Sky loves the space to run around and the chickens. She’s all about feeding them, taking care of them, and looking for eggs!

It was very exciting to wake up to snow Saturday morning! I had to snap this pic, because next time we are over there it will be planting time and this is going to look a whole lot like a vineyard! We are so excited to help my aunt and uncle make their dreams come true!

Grandpa and Sky dancing along to Frosty the Snowman

I didn’t take a ton of pics, and hardly any food pics…we all know what cooked turkey looks like! Really I was busy cooking, visiting, and having fun. Plus my phone is super hit and miss and the camera seems to be what kills it.

This trip was a little unusual in that we were actually looking forward to the end of the trip. Not that we wished our time away, or wanted it to go faster, but we were picking up something very special on the way home!

Remember all those changes I posted about a few days ago…the ones we were not ready to share yet? Well here goes!

We added a new 4 legged family member to the mix Saturday. Mark’s sister had two dogs and needed to find a new home for one of them. We already knew Silas and Bishop got along because Bishop stayed with Amy over the summer while we upgraded his kennel. So we took the plunge and decided to see how things would work with Silas.

He is a 1 year old Catahoula Leopard Cur, traditionally used to hunt wild boar, and is the Louisiana State Dog.  You can read more about them HERE. So far Silas has been a breeze. He and Bishop are getting along great, and Sky adores him. When we can’t find him all we have to do is look in her room and he’s on her bed cuddling with her. The big “thing” we need to work out is his sleeping situation. It’s very clear he doesn’t want to be too far from us, but we have never let our dogs sleep in our room. Other than that he is falling right in line with house rules and the little leash training we have done in one full day.

 Already best buddies.

Once the leash training is a bit better I’ll start training with him so he can be my buddy on the trails. I need a bit more trail running in my life, but won’t run them alone, so he is the prefect solution!

Speaking of running, that brings us to change #2. Last week was our last run with the stroller group. I knew it was coming, but was really hoping I could get through another year, until Sky was in Pre-School Wednesday mornings. But, not only was pushing the stroller becoming harder and harder on my neck and shoulders, it was not what Sky wanted to be doing.

For months she would cry and cry on the way to the store. She just didn’t want to do it any longer. “Mommy I just want to run with you, no more stroller…no stroller Mommy please”. I waited a while to make sure it wasn’t her just having fits, but once I realized she really was done with being in the stroller I made the decision to hand the group off to a few of the regular ladies that will take great care of it.

I’m going to miss them so much. I have some good friends from that group, and I loved being part of Fleet Feet and was sad to see it all end. But, when I talked to Angela about the situation she asked if I’d be willing to slide on over to the Tuesday night group and “lead” it. I won’t really be leading anything, there are some 6 minute milers in that group, but I will be able to sweep like a pro, and make sure everyone makes it back safe. Plus, Michelle will be running with the group, so we get our Sunday Mornings and Tuesday Group Runs again! It feel so good to have my running life slowly moving back towards “normal”!

So looking forward to the first Tuesday Night group run as the coordinator tomorrow night!

Having treats with the group after Wednesday’s last stroller group run for Sky and I.


Got up and ran my fave 4 mile loop Sunday morning, and it was so cold that my hair froze! Never had that happen before. Man it felt good to run though. My pace is slow, but the run seemed to go by so fast. Before I knew it I was back at home and feeling great! I really needed to see where I was at pace wise mostly so I know what I can do with the Tuesday Night group. I have to balance doing what I need to for the group and making sure I’m being smart about getting back to running post accident. 
Big change #3 is that Mark got a temporary promotion at work! It’s good that it’s temporary because it’s not a job he wants long term, but for now (until they hire a replacement) it means he’s getting to do new things, and it’s a pay increase, so yea for us!  🙂
We have a bit more up our sleeves and I’ll share as the time is right.  🙂
A picture from our trip over to E WA.  We left after Mark got off work, so it was dark, and Sky likes to read her books on the road.  Headlamp to the rescue! 
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Who’s still eating leftovers? 
We are…the wild rice and mushroom stuffing just gets better and better!

Harvest Feast and a Hair Cut

Yesterday was sort of all about Sky. It started with a special Harvest Feast at her preschool, and she got to pick which hat she wanted to wear for singing songs, and which food item she wanted me to bring.

I found out she really wanted watermelon (which explains why she’s been talking about it for weeks), but her teachers helped her settle on muffins since watermelon is not in season right now. It also explains why when another parent asked her which snack she brought she said watermelon, as she was eating the muffin I made. Thankfully someone did bring watermelon and she was all about it!

I’m not so sure Sky is going to be the sing in front of large groups type of kiddo.

She was not thrilled about any of it really. Not even the hat that she picked out!  The Christmas program in a few weeks will be interesting.

After that and tons of cuddle time, movie, and lunch it was time to go get her hair cut. It has been ages since it’s been cut. It was growing out so nicely that we waited a while to do it again. But, because those darn curls turn into a tangled rats nest every single day I knew there were probably a ton of split ends and frizzy strands that needed to go. And, Santa pictures are right around the corner!

Sky was strangely emotional about getting her hair cut. I think she was afraid it was going to hurt, or that she’d miss her hair. I’m not sure, but once I told her we were going to see Eleanor for a hair cut she was not happy. She kept asking for cuddle time and saying she didn’t need a hair cut, and was not herself. She’s not usually a worried or stressed out child, but she was all out of sorts for most of the afternoon.  

Thank goodness Eleanor at Embellish is amazing with Sky, and it probably helps that Sky knows her from our days in Stroller Fit class together. Given how anti haircut Sky was I was rather shocked that she wanted to get her hair wet in the basin. Last time Eleanor had to spray her hair with a spray bottle. I didn’t get any during or after pics because 1. Sky needed me to held her hands during the cut, and she kept asking me “what’s happening mommy…are we done”?  2. I’m having nothing but trouble with my phone and the camera keeps giving me random fatal error messages. So when it was time to get the finished product pic my phone crapped out on me. I’m bummed because Eleanor got Sky to walk the catwalk to show off the bounce in her curls.  

Given how much I use my phone for business, photography, and blogging I need to get a new one, but dang they are expensive. What happened to the days of a free phone with a 2 year contract?! It is about time though. I do factory resets every week and restart it several times a day to keep it sort of working.

Sky must like her new cut because she came home and sat on the floor in front of her mirror staring at herself, making faces, tossing her head and smiling at herself. Again, no pics of that, dumb phone.

We wrapped up the day with corn-dogs for dinner. It’s one of her favorite things, but she doesn’t get them often. I figured she earned it though after being so brave about the haircut.

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I’m going to go ahead and say Happy Thanksgiving right now, because tomorrow it’s all about family. I don’t know if I’ll have a few moments or not to do my Thankful Thursday post (seems like if ever there was a day for a Thankful Thursday post it would be tomorrow!) or not. If I get up early enough I will, but I’m not willing to take time away from family to do a blog post. And, I’m more of a write my post the day of rather then write it early and schedule it to post type of blogger. So, Happy Thanksgiving, enjoy the food, family, friends, and football! I know I will be!

 

    

Stuffing Time!

Since Thanksgiving is two days away, and food is on everyone’s mind I thought I would share the Stuffing recipe I use, and make every year: Wild Rice & Mushroom Stuffing. It’s GF and DF (if you use vegan butter, which I do and it still taste great)! I already made it once this year for early Thanksgiving, and am getting ready to make it again on Turkey Day!

Photo: Rachaelraymag .com
You can find the recipe on the magazine website or here: Wild Rice & Mushroom stuffing
A few tips for you: 
-Wash the leeks really well. They hold a ton of dirt and grime!
-Leave the leek greens in big pieces…it makes it easier to discard them once the rice is cooked
-I used a combo of sliced fresh cremini mushrooms and dried porcini mushrooms. The porcini mushrooms give it a richer, meatier flavor, and you can use the water you soak them in (to reconstitute them) in place of 1/2 cup of the broth. 
-For some reason I could not find currents anywhere this year, so I used dried cranberry’s instead and no one noticed, and I thought it tasted great still.
-Pay or bribe someone to zest the lemons for you! My least favorite thing to do in the kitchen.
Prep work.

It’s a really great way to assure those with food allergies/issues still have a yummy stuffing dish to eat with Mr. Turkey.  
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What’s your Thanksgiving “thing” that you make every year…aside from the turkey of course! 

We Turkey Trotted!

The highlight of my Turkey Day was running Sky’s first race with her!  Mark and I were all grins as we ran alongside her!  A big Thank You to the Beckham family for taking time out of their Thanksgiving morning to come watch Sky run, and to Grandpa for getting up at 3am, driving 4’ish hours over the pass (and 4’ish hours to get back home) to see Sky run for all of about 11 minutes.  It meant a lot to all three of us to have all of you there!    

If you follow on Instagram or FB then these pics are old news, but I’m going to share them here anyway.  A cute little in-race story…There was a lady and two little girls running behind us the whole way, and at different points one of both of the little girls was crying (more like wailing) and Sky was so worried about them.  She kept stopping and turning around to see if they were ok and looking at Mark and I with the most worried look on her face I have ever seen.  It was pretty distracting, but cute to see her concern at the same time.

  Dressed and waiting to go “run, run”. 

 A bit of a form issue with that leg kicking out.  😉

 She is this happy every single time she runs! 

Running her little heart out.  

It ended up working better for me to be a few steps ahead of her to keep her going in the right direction. She stopped a few times wanting Mark to give her the “Ready, Set, Go” count down before she would start again.  
All the little kiddos were so adorably cute!  I usually cross the finish line of my distance and then head out, so have never seen a tot race before, I’m really glad I got to see all the cuteness!  

We wrapped the day up with Mark’s family watching football and eating lot’s of yummy food.  I did something wrong though, because after we got home I was hungry again.  Clearly should have gone back for seconds!  It actually felt good to eat a little of everything, but not feel stuffed.  
After Sky was in bed and Mark was relaxing I headed to Target to get Christmas PJ’s.  I know there are strong opinions out there about stores being open Thanksgiving evening, but I have to say it was nice to do it last night, and be able to sleep in this morning and hang out with my babe and baby instead of getting up early and shopping.   
I toyed with the idea of getting my run in during Sky’s nap today, but I had enough wine after shopping last night, that I feel a bit blah.  So, I’m drinking lot’s of water and will get the last of my miles in tomorrow to meet both the 30 Miles in 30 Day’s challenge (met that one early last week) and the Pile On The Miles challenge (need 4 miles tomorrow to reach it)!  
I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and are enjoying the rest of the long weekend!!!
What was you favorite food from yesterday?

What’s your plan to get back on track food wise after a day of indulgence?