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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Left Over Turkey Recipes: Turkey Nacho's

Turkey Nachos is great way to use up that left over Turkey when you have already had Turkey two or three days in a row. It's a little spicy and gives it a totally different taste than your roasted bird!

Ingredients: You can use any amount you like, no measurements needed here, very easy!
  • Left over Turkey sliced thin or shredded
  • Taco Seasoning
  • Salsa
  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese and Mozzarella if you like
  • Two Green Onions chopped
  • Shredded Lettuce, Kayle or Romain
  • One Large Tomato Chopped
  • Sour Cream - optional
  • Guacamole - optional
Place your shredded turkey maybe two cups for a (large nacho) in a large fry pan, sprinkle with Taco Seasoning, one cup of salsa and 1/2 of your chopped green onion. Stir until combined well and simmer for about seven minutes or so.

Spread Nacho chips on oven safe platter or sheet, top with the shredded Turkey mixture and top with shredded cheddar cheese. Place under broiler until cheese is gooey and melted.

Remove from oven, top with shredded lettuce, tomato's, Sour Cream, Guac and additional Salsa. Serve!


Friday, November 27, 2009

Winner Of The Lucky Leaf Pie Filling Gift Box Giveaway!

The winner of the Luck Leaf Pie Filling Gift Box Giveaway is:


Please email me your address so Lucky Leaf can send your gift right away!

I'm so happy to be able to share fun gifts and items with my readers! Lucky Leaf has wonderful products and I'm sure you will all enjoy them. You can go to their site and grab some coupons for their products also!

Happy Thanksgiving and Shopping :)

Karen B.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Deep Fried Turkey Safety Tips

We all love deep fried turkey! But please take an additional five minutes and follow these safety tips to prevent a disaster from happening (a fire or serious burns):

Please read all instructions with your turkey fryer kit before attempting to cook!

  • Before you begin preparing your turkey, Make sure it is defrosted. Place it in the turkey fryer pot and pour water in it just to barely cover the bird. Mark the outside of your pot with a marker. This mark is your oil level, do not add oil past this line. Remove turkey and prepare for cooking. Completely dry water from pot. Peanut oil is a wise choice for frying.
  • Make sure your fryer is not on the grass or wood surface. Cement is a safe place. Keep children away at all times!
  • Make sure your turkey is completely defrosted, dry and at room temperature. Doing these steps will prevent the oil from having a reaction to the frozen bird hitting the hot oil which will cause the oil to boil over which may cause a fire. Making sure the bird is at room temperature will prevent the oil temperature from falling when the turkey is placed in the hot oil. It will also give you a more accurate cooking time. Which at the proper temp should be 3 to 4 minutes per pound.
  • When the turkey floats that means it's done! Pretty much regardless of the time if it floats the bird is done. Remember that the temperature will rise at least five degrees after removing from heat and continue to cook.
  • Let your turkey rest to redistribute the juices back in to the meat.
Please be careful and Happy Holidays ;)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Get Black Friday and Cyber Monday Food Coupons and Savings Now!

With Thanksgiving here this week we all know what the day after Thanksgiving means "Black Friday"! The busiest shopping day of the year.

I love to save and make things "easy" for you. Here are some great savings I can pass on to you food lovers!

Click here for some great Black Friday Specials on your favorite places like Wine.com, Harry and David, Whole Foods, Ghiradelli Chocolates and more.

Not only can you get Black Friday Specials but you can also receive Cyber Monday Deals as well. It's simple click the link and type in food savings or go to categories and up pops pages of coupons, deals and special savings.

You can get coupons and savings on stores that carry great cookware, kitchen utensils, Holiday gifts, thanks to savings.com.

The best part is most of your shopping can even be done online. Ghiradelli is one of my fav's and we shop at Whole Foods all the time. It's nice to get savings handed to you on a "silver platter".

Here you have more on Black Friday Shopping if you are not up to date on what exactly Black Friday is, check it out ;)

Leave me feedback let us know what you think.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Brining Your Thanksgiving Turkey Keeps It Moist!

Brine your turkey or chicken before roasting. When you use a brine your bird will stay tender and moist with tons of flavor. And it easy to do!

You will need a large stock pot or spaghetti pot. Room in your fridge or a cooler. If your brining a turkey you can use a plastic garbage bag and a cooler (and ice if using the cooler method).

Here are a list of ingredients you will need:

  • Orange Juice
  • Brown Sugar
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • liquid (water, broth, beer)

Spices: You can use what ever you prefer try a few or use them all!

  • Dried Parsley
  • Dried Oregano
  • Basil
  • Poultry Seasoning
  • Sage
  • Dry Mustard or Mustard Seed
  • Rosemary
  • Bay Leave
  • Granulated Garlic (use Granulated instead of Garlic Salt)

Or you can use spice blends which are found at any supermarket. I prefer Italian Seasoning Blend, it has all my favorites all in one jar:

  • Thyme
  • Garlic
  • Marjoram
  • Onion
  • Rosemary
  • Oregano
  • Basil
  • Savory
  • Sage

In a pot on the stove add all your spices about a tablespoon of each if you are brining a Turkey, for a chicken 1/2 that amount.

Like I said I tend not to measure exact so you can eyeball it if you want.

One cup of Brown Sugar for a Turkey, 1/2 cup for a chicken.

1/2 cup to 1 1/2 cup of kosher salt for every gallon of liquid used. So for a chicken I would use 1/2 cup and a turkey I would use 1 1/2 cup salt.

Add two cups water, bring to a quick boil and turn off. This releases all the oils of the herbs and gets the flavors going! Also, it dissolves the sugar and salt.

Let cool or add ice to cool it down quickly.

Add your orange juice one cup for chicken two cups for Turkey.

Rinse your bird, place in your large pot or bag. Add the spice mixture with juice. Add water or broth enough to cover your bird. Make sure brine is mixed good. Turn the bird a few times to make sure all the spice mixture gets distributed.

Place in fridge or cooler with ice and let brine for 6 to 8 hours for a Turkey, 3 or so for a chicken. Less time for other meats. Shrimp for example only need 1/2 hour. I like to brine my Turkey overnight.

Remove from brine rinse and dry. Your ready to roast!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Free Lucky Leaf Pie Filling and Topping Gift Box Giveaway!

Lucky Leaf Gift Box Giveaway is here!

Win this Free Lucky Leaf Gift box filled with two Pie Fillings and Toppings, Pie Pan, Can Opener, and the best part a "Free Cookbook" to boot!

Lucky Leaf has wonderful pie fillings now with more fruit and NO high fructose corn syrup!

To enter to win all you have to do is:

  1. Go to this link: Lucky Leaf Premium Pie Fillings to learn more about their wonderful products.
  2. Return to this post (Karen B's) and post a comment about their products.
  3. Sign up to follow Karen B's Cooking Made Easy.
  4. Drawing deadline is November 24th 10:00 p.m.
Follow these simple steps and you are registered to win the FREE gift box sent directly to you at no cost what so ever..... YES it's really free!

I love to share wonderful things with you!

Good Luck and Enjoy!

Thanksgiving Ginger Spice Apple Tart

This Ginger Spice Apple Tart made with Lucky Leaf's New Apple Pie Filling and Topping is "wonderful".

It's easy! Which is the best part and that is what I am all about!

It actually took me less than the 25 minutes prep time to prepare, but cooking is what I do. So it may take you the full 25 or less.

  • 1 Package refrigerated, unbaked pie crust (2 crusts)
  • 2 - 21 ounce cans Lucky Leaf Apple Pie Filling (or any pie filling if you don't have Lucky Leaf, I recommend theirs)
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 Tbsp finely chopped crystallized ginger
  • 1 Tbsp pure vanilla
  • 1 -1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • whipped cream topping or vanilla ice cream for topping
  • additional chopped crystallized ginger
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Prepare Tart Pan: Spray with nonstick cooking spray (butter flavor if you have it).

Defrost crusts according to package instructions.

Combine sugar and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon in small dish, mix and set aside for later.

On lightly floured surface roll out one crust to a 13" to 14" circle to accommodate the tart pan (which is larger than a pie pan). Lay crust into prepared pan.

Using a cookie cutter cut shapes (stars, hearts, Holiday shapes) out of the second pie crust. 5 to 6 cutouts should work. Set off to the side.

In a large saucepan combine pie filling, butter, 1 tablespoon crystallized ginger, vanilla, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg and fresh ginger. Heat over medium heat until butter is melted gently stirring frequently.

Pour apple filling into your crust in the tart pan. Lay the cutout pie crust on top of the pie filling. Trim crust to edge of tart pan and gently press together to seal; crimp edge as desired.

Place the cutouts on top of the tart careful not to cover the openings.

Lightly coat the tart with non stick cooking spray; sprinkle cinnamon and sugar mixture over entire top of tart.

Bake for 40 minutes on a cookie sheet (to prevent browning cover edges with foil or a pie ring). After 40 minutes remove foil and continue to cook for 10 more minutes until tart is golden brown.

Cool on rack for one hour. Serve warm and top with whip cream or vanilla ice cream.


How To Set Your Holiday Tables With Help From Pfaltzgraff

With the Holidays upon us here are some helpful tips on setting your Holiday tables.

We can always use help in the decorating department. First thing is to make sure to choose your dinner ware and flatware or silver flatware Those are your major "investment" items. Then plan your theme. You can always change out the accessories allot easier and less costly than the dinner ware.

You will need to start with at least place mats, napkins, and table linens. Make sure they coordinate with your dinner ware pattern. Don't make it too busy though. Too many flowers on the china and too many on the place mats, napkins and linens will collide and give you and your guests a headache. So I suggest simple patters that compliment and or solid colors.

Then add your accessories and centerpiece (remember not taller than your shoulders, you want to be able to see the guest sitting across from you and have a conversation). Extra tall candles are always a hit and very elegant for any occasion.

Place cards are always a great idea. Very impressive and then you can choose where you and who you want your guests to sit with. The boy then girl, boy then girl is always recommended. And this keeps the men from talking shop and or football at the dinner table.

Your local Florist or Supermarket always has greenery available for the season. Stop in and grab a bunch. Add some evergreen branches to flowers and or get the firs (a softer pine) are a nice touch to napkin rings or displayed down the center of the table with votive candles placed here and there. Sprinkle some fresh cranberries in as well.

Remember to dim the lights just a bit.

When you have all your table decorations planned get your menu ready. Karen B's and Food Network are great resources for menu planning.

There are a ton of ideas and help at the touch of your fingertips. Please feel free to ask me for help anytime.

Happy Holidays ;)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Free Food Information and Coupons From Savings.com and Food Network

I am always one for sharing. Here are a couple things that I can share with you food lovers today. I do like to have a ton of food info on had at all times. It makes my life so much easier when cooking a meal or preparing for a party.

The Food Network site is a wonderful place to gather food info on recipes, helpful hints, cookware and so on.

Here we have some Olive Garden coupons for all you food lovers that like to dine out. In today economy we all love to save a little "dough" where we can right? So click the link if you are interested in Olive Garden coupons.

Here are more free online coupons. You can get a coupon for practically anything you need form anyplace with these free online coupons.

Happy shopping. I will bring more helpful and usual information when I get it. Have a great day!

Enjoy ;)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Giveaway Starts Soon For Lucky Leaf Pie Filling Gift Box!

Keep your eyes and ears open in the next few days we will be starting a giveaway for a fantastic gift box from Lucky Leaf. I will be making some of their fabulous recipes to share with you and give you a chance to win those products!

Tell your friends and stay tuned ;)

Karen B.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

How To Cook A Pumpkin or Squash For The Holidays

Cooking a pumpkin is a piece of cake and the bonus is you don't need to toss those porch pumpkins out anymore! This recipe can be used for any edible pumpkin or squash.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

Cut pumpkin in have and discard the seeds. Spray a cooking sheet with non stick oil and place pumpkin or squash halves cut side down skin up.

Bake for about 30 to 45 minutes or until fork tender.

Scoop out cooked pumpkin from the skin. It is ready for any of your Holiday recipes! You can put in a zip lock freezer bag and freeze until ready to use.

If you would like to cook it with spices just turn cut side up and sprinkle with cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, butter and brown sugar for a wonder easy dessert. Cover with foil and bake until fork tender.


Holiday Pumpkin Crunch

We received this yummy recipe from friends and then lost it! So I did research, found a Hawaiian recipe and then found the old one I had lost. After trying to duplicate it I made several versions. The mistake which is this one is the one we absolutely love.

So here is my version of Pumpkin Crunch.

  • 1 Large Can Pumpkin with spices added
  • 1 Can Evaporated Milk
  • 1 Cup Sugar (for healthier version use 1/2 C Sugar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 3 Eggs beaten
  • 1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla
  • 1 Box Spice Cake Mix
  • 2 Sticks of Butter melted (Paula Dean would be happy ;)
  • 1 Cup or more of chopped Pecans
Additional Topping Optional:
  • 1 - 8 oz package of Cream Cheese (or low fat)
  • 1 Cup Cool Whip
Preheat Oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare a 13 x 9 metal pan (preferred over glass if you have one) by spraying with non-stick cooking oil.

In large mixing bowl combine pumpkin, evaporated milk, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and beaten eggs. Mix well using a whisk. Pour into prepared pan.


Sprinkle one box of Spice Cake Mix on top of uncooked pumpkin mixture. Drizzle with melted butter. Then sprinkle with chopped pecans.

Bake at 350 for one hour until set and nuts nicely browned.

Optional Topping:

Combine Cream Cheese and Cool whip, mix well, spread over top of cooked Pumpkin Crunch (we prefer just plain old whip cream on top).

Serve warm for best results. If you liked the Karen B's Homemade Carmel Apple Bread Pudding recipe your gonna LOVE this one!


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Vintage Silver and China Serving Pieces "In" for the Holidays

With the Holiday's already here by what the TV and stores are saying....

Here are some great helpful ideas to dress up your Holiday tables and buffets.

Vintage Silver and China serving pieces can make a great show. From the Napa Style site here we have some old serving pieces used to dress up any buffet or table.

I have several hand me down silver trays, pitchers, china and crystal that I love to use. The old Butler trays that held the coffee carafe, creamer and sugar can be used as a hourdouve' tray.

Take old crystal martini glasses and fill with seasonal nuts. Tall crystal water goblets can be filled with tall thin crispy bread sticks... All you need is some doilies and or leaf shaped paper cutouts to place a cheese wedge on. Even evergreen sprigs can spruce up any event. Most supermarkets have a floral department now with the make it yourself section. Grab some greenery and lay around the trays or centerpiece for that extra touch.

Happy Party!

Cast Iron Cookware For Your Kitchen

The Holidays are here believe it or not. Family gatherings and parties are right around the corner. If you entertain and or love to cook having the best cookware is a must. Even if it is one item make sure it's a good one!

Every kitchen should have at least one cast cookware enamel iron roaster, baker or large deep fry pan. I prefer the French Oven or a Dutch Oven. It's a one stop shop piece of enameled cast iron cookware. You can make stew, soups, fry, sear, saute' and then pop right in the oven with out changing pans. Making Holiday meals so much easier.

The only thing that you need to know ahead of time that any cast cookware enamel iron pieces are extremely heavy compared to stainless cookware. A French Oven with a large roast will surprise you when you go to pick it up to pop it in the oven. You will need to use those are muscles!

A good piece of cast cookware enamel iron has wonderful heat retention and can be used on the stove top and oven. Making slow cooking and recipes easier with much better results than that old crock pot. Do your research before purchasing there is several Chef's out their now with their own lines, Emeril, Martha, Rachael Ray just to name a few so not to confuse you with the originals like Le Creuset or Lodge.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Tip Of The Day: Cooking Hamburgers Indoors

Want that just cooked outdoor on the grill taste but are cooking hamburgers indoors?

Try this simple tip:

Sprinkle a little bit of Mesquite Rub onto your uncooked burgers and spray with a little non-stick cooking oil. Don't use too much you just want to make "taste" like it was cooked on the grill.

You will get a robust and smoky flavor. You can also use it on steaks, ribs, chicken and turkeys.

Enjoy ;)


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