Wednesday, November 18, 2015

1- Hour Turkey - How to Bone and Roast a Fresh Turkey Breast

Fresh Roasted Boneless Turkey Breast

 In the spirit of full disclosure, everything I learned in this post came from a Rachel Ray Special YEARS ago.  The info was so helpful to me that it's become my tradition and bears repeating.

We go to my in-laws for most holidays so I don't have to cook.  I REALLY enjoy left overs so it's not uncommon that I will prepare a turkey breast for home.  Also, our supermarket offers a free turkey if you spend $400 during the month of October and November.  Instead of getting a whole turkey (which is too much for us) I opt for a frozen turkey breast to make our holiday meal.

In this post you will learn:

1.  How to bone a fresh turkey breast
2.  How to roast a fresh turkey breast
3.  How to make broth

Each section is clearly labeled so that you can skip to the section you need.


First, please know that if you buy a fresh (not frozen) turkey breast you can simply ask the butcher to bone it for you.  Ask to take home the bones.  They make a great broth!  I get a free (frozen) turkey from the supermarket each year, so I bone it myself.  Plus, I like the boning process.  The other option is to buy a boneless breast, but then you won't have bones to make broth.

For this project you will need:

Cutting board
Garbage bowl or small bag
Cutting Board
Plate for carved meat
Large pot to make broth and store bones
Sharp knives!
Kitchen scissors (optional)
Roasting pan

Safely thaw your turkey breast

Safely thaw your turkey breast.  [I allow mine to sit in the refrigerator for about 2 days.]    Rinse the breast and pat dry with paper towels.  Toss the paper towels.

Sharpen your knives! 

With a sharp knife, split your breast down the middle from top to bottom.

Split breast down the middle (front)

Next, turn the breast over and cut  down the back.  It might already be cut for you! (mine was).  Since you'll be cutting through bones, kitchen scissors work well for this job

Back of turkey breast
Remove the spine
Next cut off  the turkey spine and place it in the stock pot.  The spine in the very bony piece in the middle of the back.

Spine remove!
Spine in stock pot
Now, you'll need to remove the meat from the bone.  The goal here is to keep the breast in 1 piece.  Work slowly and carefully with a sharp knife.

Peel the meat away from the ribs
 Now that the spine if gone, you should be able to peel the meat away from the bone a little bit.  Using your knife slowly cut along the rib cage and separate the meat from the bone.

One breast removed!
Let the bone be your guide.  Cut along the bone until the breast is removed.  If you get stuck as to what to cut next, hold the turkey up by the breast.  Gravity will pull the meat away from the bone and show you where to cut next.

Both breasts removed!
Before you know it both breasts are removed!  Put the turkey carcus (bones) in a stock pot.


For this section you will need:
Roasting Pan
Seasonings (salt, pepper, onion powder)
meat thermometer

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.  Oil a roasting pan.  (I use a pizza pan).  You'll need something with sides to catch the juice.

Lightly oil a roasting pan
 With the skin side down, season the bottom side of your turkey breast.

Season the bottom side of the breast
I use basic seasonings (salt, pepper and onion powder)
There are a million turkey seasoning mixes available!  I like to keep things pretty basic, so I use salt, pepper and onion powder.

Seasoned breast bottom
Now, turn the breast over and season UNDER the turkey skin.

Season UNDER the turkey skin
Use a sharp knife to gently separate the skin from the meat.  Season UNDER the turkey skin.

Season the top of the turkey skin
Finally, season the top of the skin.  Be generous with your seasonings!

UN-tucked turkey edge

Tucked edges
Nobody likes dry turkey.  To help it cook more evenly, tuck in any loose edges.

Now, it's ready to bake!

Bake in a 300 degree oven for approximately 45 minutes or until it reaches a temperature of 160 degrees.

Allow the meat to rest covered in foil

Remove the turkey from the oven and cover it with foil.  Since the meat will continue to cook once it's removed from the oven, leave it covered until it reaches an internal temp of 165 degrees.

Once the meat reaches 165 degrees, remove the foil.  Now you're ready to eat!

Fully Cooked!
Note:  If you like the skin extra crispy, run the breasts under the broiler for just a few minutes.


For this section you will need:

Turkey carcus
large stock pot
assorted veggies (carrots, onions, etc)

If I'm cooking a full holiday meal, I keep a stock pot simmering on the stove.  As I cook I'll toss in most food waste.  That is to say carrot tops, onion skins, parsley stems, etc.  This recipe is for a basic broth.  It's SUPER easy and works well.

Place the turkey carcus, bones and trimming in a large stock pot.

Turkey carcus in a stock pot
Add a hand full of salt, 2 Tablespoon of pepper and 3 Tablespoons of onion powder.

About this much salt
Basic seasonings
In truth you could add just about any seasonings to this broth.  Since I use it in lots of different foods I typically stick to the basics.  That is salt, pepper and onion powder.

Add veggies to stock pot
Add 1 whole [uncut] onion and a couple of [washed, uncut] carrots to the pot.  Fill the pot about 1/2 - 3/4 full of water and simmer over med/low heat with the top on the pot.

Simmer over med/low heat
Allow the broth to simmer with the until the veggies are fully cooked.  Strain out the meat and veg and use the broth to make gravy, rice, soup or anything you heart desires!

I store strained broth in mason jars in the refrigerator or in ziploc bags in the freezer.

Broth Pro Tip:  Making from from bones is very easy and pretty forgiving.  It can be cooked quickly or slowly.  It can even be made in the slow cooker if you like.

If I have a long cooking day, I bone my turkey first and start the broth early.  As the day goes along I add veggie scraps to the simmering pot. 

If I have a short cooking day, I turn up the heat to medium and cook things a little faster.  It works out great either way!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Crafts: Embellished Flask - Quick Method

My monogram flask
I recently attended an event where I needed a flask.  The event was a nice upscale cocktail party at the Tiffany's in Garden State Plaza.
Tiffany's at Garden State
I LOVE these kinds of events and I always have a GREAT time!  The problem is that I DON'T drink alcohol.
Cocktails at Tiffany's

When there is limited food space, event hosts tend to serve more alcohol and not a lot of non alcohol options.  And so I bring my own flask of ginger tea (or ginger ale).  Ginger ale is great because it's pale and sparkly and it looks like champagne.

Ginger ale in a champagne flute

I've been asked to post a tutorial on how I made my little flask, so here you go!  There are a variety of ways to bling out your flask.  I just used what I has on hand.

Because I had less than 24 hours to decorate my flask I used the quick method.


For this method you will need:

Weatherproof Shipping labels (I like Avery 5526)
Color printer
Picture of your choice

Wrap a piece of paper around your flask to make a template

Make a template

Next find an image that you'd like to use to decorate your flask.  I chose a vintage flower print

Print the image on the weather proof label.

Now lay your template on the printed label and cut the label to size.

Remove the label back and apply the printed label to the clean dry flask.

That's it!  You're done!

This quick method is great for flasks of all sizes.  HOWEVER - Avery 5526 labels come 2 to a sheet.

If you have a larger flask, your image might have a seam.  I added my initials to my flask to cover the seam.  (Nobody could see the seam but me, but I wanted perfection).

If you'd like to monogram your flask, you'll need to find a google image of your initials.  Google "monogram" and your initials.  My initials are KW and so I googled "monogram kw" then I clicked the "images" tab.

I saved the image I liked and printed it on an Avery 5526 Label.  I cut the label out and stuck it to my flask.

That's it!

Here are a few pix from the party at Tiffany's

For more CRAFTY ideas, click HERE!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Sewing - Flower Clutch

I'm going to a kind of dressy event tonight and I needed a clutch.  I have an old flower print dress that I figured i'd cut up and turn into a clutch.

I'm not really a clutch kind of girl.  I pretty much carry my entire house with me, so I was looking for a simple tutorial.

In my mind I was thinking that i'd make something like this:

Basic (but cute) flower print clutch

Just a basic bag to carry my junk.

Well imagine my surprise and delight when a quick google search revealed THIS:

Adorable Flower Clutch

Yes, ma'am, I knew right away that this was the clutch for me!  Credit where credit is due - this delish design comes from the website Melly Sews.  Her site includes a great tutorial and a free downloadable pattern.  YAY  MELLY - I think she's my new favorite person!

I was able to make the clutch in about an hour using left over fabric from when I made the circle skirt from a sheet.

Circle Skirt from a sheet

I used beads at the center of my flower clutch instead of a fabric knot, but i'm very pleased with how it turned out.

I'll post pix of my the event after the party.

UPDATE:  We had a great night of fun and friends hosted by Tiffany and Co at the Garden State Plaza in Paramus, NJ.  Here are a few pictures from the event!

This is my stylist Iman Schuk from Styled Fabulous
Iman chose really beautiful accessories for me!

I liked this pattern so much that I made a second bag

For more CRAFT ideas, click HERE.  For SEWING and REFASHION ideas, click HERE!