Apple Braised Turkey Thighs

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Although Spring is around is around the corner we still have cold days where nothing beats having the oven warm up the house and the lovely aroma of turkey and apples wafting through it. Who says turkey and apples are just for the Fall? I love meals like this where the preparation is pretty simple, the oven does most of the work, and in the end you have wonderful comfort food to sit down to. What makes it even better is turkey thighs aren’t as pricey as breast meat and it changes up the Sunday dinner menu.

Apple Braised Turkey Thighs

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 turkey thighs
  • coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 2 large shallots, thinly sliced
  • 4 Cortland or Granny Smith apples, peeled, quartered, and cored
  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 14.5 oz low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tsp cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 F. In a medium Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat oil over medium-high. Season turkey on both sides with salt and pepper and add to pot, skin side down. Cook until skin is golden and crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer turkey to plate and add shallots to pot. Cook until shallots soften, about 5 minutes. Add apples and cook until slightly softened, about 5 minutes.

Return turkey, skin side up, to pot. Add cider and broth. Bring to a boil, cover, then place pot in oven. Cook 1 1/2 hours. Uncover and cook 30 minutes more.

Remove pot from oven and transfer turkey to a plate. Skim fat from cooking liquid and stir in vinegar. Slice meat off bones (discard bones) and serve turkey with apples and pan sauce.

Source: Everyday Food, October 2009

Shamrock Shake Copycat

I first realized the goodness that is a Shamrock Shake from a co-worker. We didn’t have them back home in South Carolina and when my co-worker said he was heading out to get one my ears perked up. Thankfully, he brought one back for me to try. I was hooked! Every year around this time I would drive by and see if our local McDonald’s has the sign out advertising them. I don’t eat there so I don’t want to go through the drive-thru for nothing. This year, I’m making it at home. The funny thing is I still waited for March to roll around before I made one at home. It just wouldn’t be right. The Irish girl in me will have corned beef and cabbage more than just once a year, but a Shamrock Shake must be saved for St.Patty’s day :)

Here’s a very easy way to enjoy one at home. It makes two, so you can treat yourself to both since you know you really want to! Clean up the blender and no one will ever know!

McDonald’s Shamrock Shakes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups vanilla ice cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup half and half
  • 1/4 teaspoon MINT extract (not peppermint)
  • 8 drops green food coloring

Add all of the ingredients into a blender. Mix all of the ingredients on high speed until smooth. Stop blender, stir and blend again, if necessary to combine ingredients. Makes 2 − 12 oz. shakes.

Source: Insider’s Recipes Master Edition Cookbook

Alexia Oven Fries

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Recently, I was given the chance to try and review an Alexia brand product through Foodbuzz’s Tastemaker program. Along with a coupon to try any product I was given a cute apron and a great pot holder. I opted to try Alexia’s Oven Fries which are seasoned with olive oil and sea salt. There were some great varieties out there, but I have a little one that loves french fries and it would be nice to have a bag in the freezer handy at times. I’m actually surprised I haven’t tried Alexia products before now. I’ve passed their items in the freezer aisle and they look very tempting. The fact that they are organic and made from quality ingredients really makes me feel OK in giving these to my daughter.

When I pulled the french fries out of the oven my daughter made a beeline for the kitchen yelling, “French Fries!” We patiently waited for them to cool off a bit and then dug in. They really were delicious! They tasted like great pub fries without all of that extra seasoning that is usually added to sway someone into thinking they are good. Simply put, they were probably the best frozen french fry I’ve ever had. Here I was hoping that I’d like them so I would have something nice to say in my review. Ha! I’ve already got these on my grocery list for next time. I also decided to pair these french fries with ketchup made from scratch. It was pretty easy and the results are worth it!

Alexia is currently running a contest to “Reinvent a Classic” on their Facebook page. Follow this link and vote for your favorite idea. You can also grab a coupon for your next purchase!

Ketchup

I know what you’re thinking. Why bother when you can grab a bottle from your refrigerator? I wondered the same thing, but since I’m slowly trying to rid our house of store bought items I figured I’d give this a try. It’s a simple recipe and if you make any kind of tomato sauce you’re almost there! It’s nice to know that you have fresh ingredients and you can pronounce everything you put into it! This tastes pretty good, but I will add more sugar next time around as we realized we do like it a bit sweeter. I’m sure as we detox from the mass produced stuff we’ll be able to get over not having corn syrup etc. in there sweetening things up.

Ketchup

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped medium
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 28-oz can tomato purée
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add in the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned, 5 to 8 minutes. Add in the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomato purée, brown sugar, vinegar, tomato paste, salt, mustard, cloves, allspice, and cayenne pepper and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened to the consistency of ketchup, 45 to 60 minutes.

Place ketchup in the jar of a blender and purée until completely smooth.

Wash and dry saucepan, then place a fine mesh strainer over top. Pour ketchup in the strainer and, using a spatula, force through all of the ketchup.

Taste ketchup and adjust seasonings if necessary. Pour ketchup into a jar, seal, and store in the refrigerator for 3 weeks up to a month.

Source: Serious Eats