Tuesday, December 24, 2013

This Christmas Part twelve

Today there will not be a lot of pictures. Most of what is here is just prepping you for what will happen latter tonight and tomorrow.

We made it this far, no stopping us now!

Here is one last recipe for you:

Baking Your Brussels Sprouts with Bacon


  • 1 ½ lbs fresh Brussels sprouts
  • 2 pieces slab bacon cut into 3/4 inch
  • 1/2 cup walnut pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Wash and then peel off any loose or damaged leaves from the sprouts. Trim the root end and cut an “X” into the root end.

Cook the bacon pieces along with walnuts stirring well in a skillet over medium heat until bacon just begins to crisp and walnuts are toasted, about 4 minutes. Transfer the bacon and walnuts with a slotted spoon to a bowl and set aside. Add the Brussels sprouts to the skillet and stir until the sprouts are well coated with the bacon fat, if necessary add 1 tbs of oil to coat them well. Season with Kosher salt and pepper.

Place on a baking tray with ½ inch sides. Put the tray in the oven and roast the Brussels sprouts for about 30 minutes, stirring twice (about every 10 minutes), with each stir – sprinkle with a pinch of sugar!

Add the bacon and walnuts and continue to roast until the sprouts are cooked through and starting to have touches of brown, about 10 to 15 minutes more.

Even confirmed Brussels Sprout Haters will devour these wonderful morsels.

Copy and paste this sample Christmas Dinner time line for reference on the big day. This is just a suggestion. You will have to make your own time line based on what You are cooking and when You want to eat.

Christmas Feast at 6 PM time line

1:30PM Prep tray of Brussels sprouts.

2:00 PM Turn on oven to 400 degrees. When preheated put tray of aprouts in oven. Remember to stir the Brussels sprouts every 10 minutes – this is important

2:45PM Take out sprouts and put in a microwave safe covered dish. They will need reheating latter.  Move rack to lowest run.

3:00PM Remove turkey from brine and rinse then pat dry with paper towels. Put aromatics in cavity and “butter” the skin with mayonnaise then insert an oven safe thermometer into the thickest part of the breast.  Set for 151 degrees.

3:20PM Put in Oven! (Roasting estimate of 2 hours & 15 minutes + fudge factor of 10 minutes) Drop temperature down to 350 degrees

5:00PM Put dressing in oven along side of turkey.

If family insists on rolls, put them in oven now

5:45PM IF the thermometer has gone off, if not wait for that indicator. Out of oven to rest (leave dressing in)

5:45PM MICROWAVE TIME: Cook the potatoes for 7 minutes, take out to mash, Brussels sprouts in microwave for no more than 3 minutes, Same for carrots and 2 minutes for gravy.

While microwaving, mix 2-3 tbs of drippings from the pan into the bowl of gravy before heating that for 3 minutes and stir before serving.

6:00PM Carve and Serve!


Did you follow how slave subtracted the time each step would take from the time dinner was to be?

NOTE: The biggest pace for error in this method is if you forget that an hour only has 60 minutes, not 100!  
When you start subtracting it is almost automatic! 

Think about it. Double check, add it up, then add it down. Do this on paper not in your head! Tape the paper on a cabinet door so that it is right in front of you!.

Once you get your time line down, it will surprise you how easy the rest of the cooking just flows. This will allow You to be relaxed and that will make everybody else happier!

Now back to today! Tonight we are going to brine the turkey breast! So today we will make the brine and let it cool before we put the bird to sleep in the deep tonight!

Turkey Brine

                        Asleep in the deep!

1 gallon cold water
1 cup of kosher salt
1 cup of brown sugar (either light or dark)
Bring to a boil to completely dissolve the salt & sugar. Remove from heat and add:

2 quarts of vegetable stock, NOT the low sodium kind, you need the salt
3 tablespoons peppercorns
5 whole bay leaves
3 cups apple cider

Allow to cool to room temperature, then cool in refrigerator.
Pour cold mixture in to brining pot.

Open the turkey breast up and rinse, then pat dry. Make sure the cavity is empty, also patted dry.

Place turkey into brine with breast side down, add ice water until it reaches the level we found last night. Weight the bird down with a heavy plate like we did yesterday and leave pot in a cool place.

YOU DO NOT have to worry about bacteria or the turkey going bad because of the salt! 
 Remember to turn the bird over once half way through the time. Or when you get up in morning!

Yes, slave knows that there are last minute presents to wrap, things to gather, people to call. Etc Etc.

Please let slave urge you: tonight, take the time with your special someone, to just sit and look at the tree. Each take turns telling what makes this Christmas special. Hug them, and when you do, make sure you are touching from shoulder to hips. Take a breath and let it out to relax into the hug. Not “air kisses” or “lean over” hugs. This is the time to connect and tell them how much they mean to you. 

For without them, without the caring and effort, 
it is no holiday,
 no special night, 
no special time. 
 Anytime with them is special. 

 If you are the praying type, do it now! If not, take a moment in silence to reflect on this last year, and ask have you done your best? What can You do better? How can you care more?

Serving my Master Indy and Wishing You A Merry Christmas!


To satisfy and restore.
To nourish, support and maintain.
To gratify, spoil, comfort and please,
to nurture, assist, and sustain
..I cook!

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