frida enjoys nacho prep because i am a sloppy cheese shredder.
frida watches odin make no-bake “energy bites” for his hockey teammates for upcoming away game snacks. She really, really, really wants him to share
i was going to write up the recipe, but turns out i already did almost three years ago!
typically we travel for thanksgiving and i’m not “in charge” of The Bird so i don’t have strongly held opinions about The Best Method to Cook To Cook a Turkey. but this year, we stayed home and i found myself wondering how on earth i was going to cook the Twenty Three Pound Organic Poultry Monster in our freezer that was too big to fit in any of our pans. and i know enough about turkey to understand that cooking a bird that big without special prep would probably result in a bird with dried out breasts. what to do? spatchcock the bird by removing the backbone and flattening it out before cooking.
i learned about the technique from a serious eats article from a few years back, “How to Cook a Spatchcocked Turkey: The Fastest, Easiest Thanksgiving Turkey”:
“This particular method is for folks who don’t give a damn about whether or not the whole, barely-adulterated bird makes an appearance at the table, but want the fastest, quickest, easiest route to juicy meat, and ultra-crisp skin. Basically, it’s a method for lazy folks with great taste. ”
i don’t know about the lazy part, but i do know i don’t care much about having a perfect bird presented on the table but i do care a lot about the juicy, crispy, fast part! and as an added bonus, i could cut the bird in half and cook the monster in a more manageable manner. ( side note, apparently spatchcocking turkeys is A Thing thanks to mark bittman ).
i followed the serious eats directions and removed the backbone and cooked at 450F for about 90 minutes. whoila! crispy skin and incredibly juicy meat.
henceforce, if i’m in charge, all the turkeys will be spatchcocked!
thanks to a tweet from xeni jardin i discovered that homemade soft pretzels are easy to bake and while i try to live a pretty-much-mostly-gluten-free lifestyle i love a soft pretzel as much as anyone else, so i had to give it a try. and, yes, they are ridiculously easy to make. and super tasty.
— Xeni Jardin (@xeni) November 16, 2014
odin and discovered that the only thing better than a soft pretzel straight out of the oven is one slathered in melted organic valley butter
here is the recipe we followed. king arthur has a similar sourdough pretzel recipe that i’m going to have to try soon.
2 1/4 cups AP or bread flour
¾ cup of warm water
1 tsp bread yeast
1 Tbs brown sugar
⅛ tsp salt
Additionally: Baking Soda, and Salt
Pre-heat your oven to 400ºF.
Mix yeast and brown sugar in the ¾ cup of warm water and let proof for 10 minutes.
Put flour and salt in large mixing bowl. Add liquid. Knead until the ball of dough has picked up all the loose flour and is smooth.
Start a 3-5 quart pot of water boiling. Add 2-3 tablespoons of baking soda. Let boil.
Roll out pretzels. I suggest taking golf ball sized balls of dough and rolling them in your hand until the string of dough is about the diameter of a grease pencil or sharpie. Then twist into pretzels.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or your favorite non-stick method. Boil pretzels in the baking soda water mixture for 10-15 seconds each. My rule is to let them sink to the bottom and then retrieve a few seconds after they float to the surface. Place the pretzels on the baking sheet.
Immediately before placing in the oven, sprinkle with salt to your preference. Bake for 18-19 minutes.
bacon and jalapenos make for a simple and tasty way to spruce up a hotdog ( we love organic prairie’s 100% grass-fed organic hotdogs ).
simply cut a line down the length of the hotdog deep enough to fit several slices of jalapeno. precook some bacon so it’s tender enough to wrap around the hotdog. then secure the bacon with some toothpicks. cook on medium heat on a grill until the hotdog is hot and the bacon is crisp.
top with sweet pickle relish and mustard.
served with homemade fries spritzed with apple cider vinegar for a Delicious Flavor Bonanza ®
after a winter of this, going for a 6 mile run on 60°F with the smell of spring in the air inspired me to light up the grill for the first time of the season.
salmon. simple and super delicious.
i very much enjoyed a 100% organic lunch delivered from organic valley HQ thanks to a new delivery service. i haven’t had a lunch like this since being relocated after the fire ( there’s no on-site kitchen at our new digs ).
tater tot casserole, mind bending chocolate pudding goodness and a chocolate chip cookie – ’cause that’s how i roll.
seriously, if you’re ever visiting organic valley ask if there’s any chocolate pudding around. it’s incredible. it all starts with the best ingredients and a dash of love
btw, i’m not denigrating the local faire, so much as i’m making an observation about the spectacular awesomeness of the folks in our kitchen.
thank you all.
some might recall i’ve been concocting purple moon ice cream which is my 100% organic homage to the froot loopy blue moon ice cream without the artificial food coloring, or other mystery ingredients. it took a few iterations but i’ve finally perfected the recipe.
nearly everyone – young and old – who taste it, loooooove it ( you can’t win everyone over ). if they’re familiar with blue moon they say it’s even better than the original, which is not terribly surprising given the delicious organic valley dairy ( yes, i’m the ov milk and cream brand manager and i’m biased. but really, the quality of the ingredients always matters, and with ice cream they might matter even a little bit more. ) and real fruit and citrus flavors. if they’re not familiar with blue moon, then they just think it’s super great ice cream with a bright fruity flavor and a smooth mouthfeel ( thanks to the heavy whipping cream and vanilla pudding ).
a few unsolicited remarks:
get out of here! this is the best ice cream i’ve ever had!
are you kidding me? how did you make it sooooo good?
omg. you need to start selling this.
i didn’t do anything magical. i think most people are just used to mediocre ice cream and using the best ingredients really highlights how extraordinary ice cream can be.
of course, odin is the only critic that matters to me. he loves it and says it’s his favorite ice cream. that’s all the praise i need to put it into permanent rotation.
basically, after the original experiment, i tried a bunch of things that didn’t work and the final recipe is close to the first with a few key changes. the quantities are doubled to make a full batch in standard ice cream mixer. the amount of raspberry juice was tweaked to give more natural color and flavor and maybe most importantly, the vanilla pudding is added after scalding the milk, not in the last 5 minutes of mixing. let me tell you from hard won experience, a little vanilla pudding is good. too much is not
1 cup organic valley whole milk
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup organic valley half-and-half
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla oil
3 cups organic valley heavy whipping cream
6 teaspoons vanilla pudding mix
2 cups frozen raspberries, pureed and strained through fine mesh sieve ( makes about 1 cup of juice )
2 teaspoons lemon flavored oil or 1 teaspoon lemon extract
1 cup of milk scalded in pan.
add 1 cup of sugar and 1/2 tsp of salt. stir till dissolved.
add 1 cup of half and half.
add 3 cups of heavy whipping cream.
add 6 teaspoons vanilla pudding mix, slowly. mix well.
add vanilla, raspberry, lemon flavoring.
chill in fridge till very cold.
put in ice cream machine for 20 minutes
transfer to a freezer safe container and freeze for at least 4 hours.