December 4

My Home Made Smoked Turkey

I love Thanksgiving ok let’s be honest I love cooking the food, decorating and having friends and family over. Thanksgiving tends to be the same meal at everyone’s house a turkey and a few 100 sides including appetizers. Yes I exaggerated but you get the gist of the matter. Personally I grew up on turkey as a way to stretch a meal even when it wasn’t the holiday season so I like to put a little twist on my bird. I enjoy a ham but its a no no for this holiday so I ham a bird!

This recipe is truly a smoked bird and can be made at home if you have the time on your hands and the space to keep it cold. I am giving you a notice now this is no quick easy recipe. This is a sweat blood and tears type of cooking that will bring you nothing short of a blue ribbon. If anything it is sure to weed out the people at your table that appreciate you which might just fall under the jurisdiction of Festivus not Thanksgiving.


Curing Your Bird

This process takes 6 days. Yep you read it right 6 days. If you live in a colder environment I’d advise you to use a cooler and set it outside with a block of ice that way you don’t take up your refrigerator.

First thaw you 18-20 lbs turkey enough so the you can get the bag of gizzard out. So not throughly thawed but enough to work with easily.

Pour 4 quarts of water in to a deep stock pot and set stove on medium, then add ingredients below.


2 cups coarse Kosher Salt (you can add less like 1 cup if you are worried about high salt content)

2 cups light brown sugar

3 table-spoon of curing salt  Morton’s Tender Quick (can be found on Amazon)

12 whole cloves

6 bay leaves crushed

6 cinnamon sticks crushed

3 tablespoon black peppercorn

Stir until salt and sugar dissolve the let cool to room temperature. Place turkey in a zip lock bag with room. I know your saying where do I find a bag that big? No worries use Ziploc Big Bag Double Zipper X-Large you can find these at Walmart Target or Amazon in the home section. Your going to fill this with lots of water so to make things easier put bagged turkey in a high walled container so that you don’t spill brine every where. I like to place mine inside a cooler. Then pour your room temp brine water in bag then add cold water until turkey is covered then seal squeezing as much air out of the bag as you can while you seal bag. Place in refrigerator or in cooler with ice on top to keep cool. Wait 6 days periodically turning and checking on turkey.


Day 6

To prep you turkey you want to remove it from refrigerator or cooler and pour out brine. Rinse turkey and pat dry. Let turkey rest for about 35 min.

Get your smoker ready! I use a Weber Smoker Mountain cooker I’m not sure if it matters if you use natural fire or electric but I like doing things the old-fashioned way. I also use 100% natural coal chunks. Once your smoker has cooled down to about 200-250 degrees ( if your smoker has a water reservoir fill this too at this time) add your chunks of apple and hickory wood they are best soaked in water for an hour but not necessary. You want to maintain this temperature throughout the cooking process.

Cover turkey in olive oil Salt and pepper to taste I like to use McCormick rotisserie chicken seasoning. Tie turkey with cooking twine so that wings and legs are safely tucked away so they won’t touch sides of smoker. cook 30min for every pound so and 18 lbs turkey takes approximately 5hrs 40 min.

Another way to smoke your bird is cover it in olive oil and make a blanket with thick cut bacon by crisscrossing bacon on top then smoke.


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March 1

Homemade Croutons

I love fresh croutons on a salad. The problem is though that usually only happens in a restaurant. I like to make a loaf of bread just for this but, you can buy a loaf of french or fresh-baked store bread. After it is made you can freeze these and use them straight out of the freezer into your salad.

  • 1 loaf of bread approximately thick cut pieces cubed
  • 1 stick of butter (for lighter use ICBINB)
  • 1 tsp garlic minced
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).  In a large stock pot, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in garlic; cook and stir until garlic is fragrant about one minute. Be sure not to brown garlic and butter. Add parsley then bread cubes.  Fold bread into butter until fully coated. Spread on ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes. 

Category: Food & Drinks, Salad, Toasting | Comments Off on Homemade Croutons
February 13

Lamb chops with creamed spinach

This is an eyeballing it recipe. I say that because this is just one of those things I make and I don’t use measuring devices. So feel free to tweek the numbers a little.

I love little lamb chops. They are just so yummy adorable yet have huge flavor. For this recipe I love to use fresh herbs but it is not at all necessary. When you using dried herbs reduce your amount. My rule of thumb is a tablespoon of fresh = a teaspoon of dried.


  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 lamb chops

Mix this into a paste and rub on top and bottom of meat.  Let the meat rest for about 40 min in refrigerator to absorb flavors. Remove from refrigerator and let chops warm to room temperature.Pre heat oven to 400 degrees.  Heat a grill pan over high heat, add the chops and sear both sides for about 2 minutes. Put chops in  oven 3 minutes for medium-rare and 3 1/2 minutes for medium.

Creamed Spinach

  • 16oz. frozen spinach
  • 8 oz. Neufchâtel cheese or cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • salt and pepper

Mix frozen spinach  and half of cheese in 8 oz. sauce pan over medium heat. Once cheese has fully melted add nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste. Let spinach heat for about 10 min once blended or until completely warm stirring occasionally.

For an added side I sautéed some mushrooms and added naan bread.

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