TURKEY BRINE IN A JAR November 28th 2018

Because I have become such a brine fanatic, this is a simple way to turn a tremendous brine into a gift for the people who love cooking or hosting. This specific brine is best for a turkey anywhere from 12-16 pounds. Not only are you able to give them a handmade gift made with a lot of love, care & thoughtfulness... You also give them the gift of pride, an overflow of compliments & bragging rights for years to come. My hope is that for every person who tries cooking with a brine, it will open the door of opportunity on an abundance of different meats you’re able to brine, successful experiments that you get to boast about & the pure bliss of increasing your confidence in the kitchen, therefore raising the bar on your cooking confidence. Spread the love, spread the joy & keep encouraging people to get cooking.

IMG_4201.JPG

PRETENTIOUS AND SIMPLE TURKEY BRINE November 21st 20178

I never cared much for turkey when I was younger unless it was just being used as the vehicle for the plethora of gravy to be had. The turkey leftovers always made a great soup that didn’t last long in our full house with six kids running a muck. I was usually a fan of the sides of broccoli rice casserole, minted carrots or dressing/stuffing, depending on the personal ritual of the individual who calls it what they will.

My mother is a wonderful cook & always has been. Not just the ridiculous amounts of pie’s we would have at our Thanksgiving table; apple pie, apple cake too, pecan pie, pumpkin pie, sweet potato pie, sometimes blackberry & huckleberry pie as well that were frozen in bags by plentiful. All were homemade & the most important ingredient was love... the next most important ingredient; kicking all six kids out of the kitchen so they would come out right. Some of my favorite memories as a kid was climbing the apple trees in the yard & picking the right ones to be made into apple pies or a personal favorite of mine, apple butter. Or the hot summer days we would take whimsical excursions with wheelbarrows, yes plural, all around the property & beyond in search of blackberries one day & huckleberries another. The days with blackberries we would set out in the morning before the heat set in on the day, comb the property & then move on to another neighbors property & then another. It took half a day of all of us kids & my mom scouring the bushes & picking all of them. Nevermind the little scratches we were getting on our mitts that were stained from the berry juice, as were our faces from tasting them. Days of huckleberry picking were similar, with less scratches, fewer berries & just as stained. We would come back with wheelbarrows, as well as buckets, overflowing with our berries collected & pride. We set out on the day with hope & returned with stained faces, hands & clothes with love in our hearts & the anxious understanding that a pie was being concocted in the near future. Whew, I digress.


VEGAN KIMCHI November 14th 2018

Football season is upon us & as much as I admit I like the chips, dips, wings & beer, my go-to, reminiscent food for football watching is kimchi. Thanks to my longtime friend Jeff, whose family is from Korea, I was introduced to kimchi when we had gathered at his house for football one fateful Sunday. Jeff always has some delicious meets on the loose like short ribs or skirtsteak. His mother though... Wowzer! She made the fluffiest-sticky rice, the most buttery, warm out of the oven, chewy oatmeal chocolate chip cookie that she told me the day I met her, the secret was a mistake. She accidentally doubled the butter one time & they were such a hit, she kept on doing it that way. My favorite from that day was the tacos with kimchi. It was such a new experience of spicy & tart that was new to me & I loved it.

Over the years I’ve had so many great kimchi’s & it remains a staple in my kitchen. The one thing I wanted to change about either the store bought versions or traditional ingredients is the sugar content. I avoid sugar at all costs & sometimes sugar or corn syrup is one of the first ingredients. So I set out to make one without added sugar, I used an apple & sweet onion to add some natural occuring sugar to help aid in the fermenting process. Thanks to Jeff’s mom, I adapted this recipe from hers!