Wednesday, November 17, 2010


There's been lots of cooking going on at our house. There have been several times I've thought "I need to blog about this!" But then the time comes and I have zero inspiration or gumption to follow through. Today, I'm following through despite the fact that it feels like my brain is lugging around cement blocks today.

What have I been reading lately? Nada. It's sad, I know! I'm the kind of person who has to know everything about everything before I can make a decision. It's really a hindrance more than a help. Well I got into this kick where I had to know everything about everything about having babies. So I become completely engulfed in reading baby/labor books. Yes, I had a problem. No, I'm not pregnant. So basically I've read 316545321 baby books and 0 fun books the last few months. I'm actually starting to miss reading just for fun, so hopefully I will start back up soon.

So now back to cooking... there's been lots of it happening at Casa Us.

First things first - dessert. Paula's Loaded Oatmeal Cookies. They are divine. They smell warm, just like an oatmeal cookie should. I didn't use walnuts because lets all be honest - walnuts are the worst nuts. Blech. If you like them then I'm sorry, & you're wrong allowed your own opinion :) In all honesty, I know I'm weird because I don't like them. I mean - who doesn't like walnuts?! This girl. Back to the cookies - they're amazing & wonderful and probably the best oatmeal cookie you will ever eat. I promise.

I made those cookies after two utter & complete failures at other cookies. I mean, failures that would make Betty Crocker beat me senseless. And I would deserve it. We won't talk anymore about those, though.

Last week I was without any & all inspiration for dinner. I wanted to make this corn & Anaheim pepper thing that my father in law made years ago. I mean, this dish he made was amazing. Everyone loved it, but he hated it so he's never made it since. Unfortunately the store I went to didn't have Anaheim peppers. A few hop, skips, and jumps (in my head) later I walked out of the store with bell peppers. We had left over cooked rice that I knew I wanted to use up. I ended up heating the rice, sauteing the corn with the bell pepper (chopped), also included were garlic & onion. I then combined the sauteed mixture with the heated rice, making it a sort of pilaf-but-not-really thing. I don't even know what you would call it but it was really good, if I do say so myself.

For Thanksgiving this year we are bringing a smoked turkey. Talk about Yum. We had never smoked a turkey before, so obviously a practice turkey was in order. We pick up our bird, thawed it, fought over who was removing the gizzards & neck (I lost), and then brined that sucker. We used the brine recipe from Good Eats Roast Turkey. I mean really... at this point... doesn't everyone brine? If not then you should. If you dread the curse of dry turkey every Thanksgiving, then definitely brine your bird! You'll thank me. I promise.

After the turkey was done brining we rinsed it off & dried it, stuffed it with the aromatics, applied the coating of oil and then applied a light sprinkling of our own dry rub that Ted uses on almost everything he smokes. 6.5 hours later we had the most gorgeous turkey. A couple hours after that, when we finally had time to try it, we discovered we also had the most delicious & moist turkey. We could taste the brine, but not in an overwhelming way, just in a... "that was the perfect compliment to the turkey" way. We were thinking we would inject the turkey while it was cooking, but I'm actually glad we didn't. It absolutely didn't need it! Ted took most of the turkey to his work, where they brought sides & had an impromptu Thanksgiving of their own. He said people were inviting themselves to our Thanksgiving because they loved the turkey so much. So seriously... give it a try.

Ok, well this post has seriously gone on long enough. Yes I have more recipes to share with you - you're going to have to wait until tomorrow.