Spicy Avocado Ranch Dip

I was looking for something a little more fun then guacamole. This came out spicy, creamy and perfect for dipping veggies in.

Ingredients:

2 Small Avocados

1 Cup Yogurt

1/2 Lime

1/2 Cup Fresh Cilantro

1/2 tsp Salt

1/2 tsp Garlic

1 tsp Oregano

1 tsp Parsley

1 tsp Sugar

1 Jalapeño Diced ( leave seed if you want extra spice)

 

Using a food processor mix together avocado, cilantro, lime and jalapeño. One mixed well add yogurt, salt, garlic, parsley, oregano and sugar. Pure until smooth and serve cold.

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Brined Turkey

I have never brined a turkey before but I wanted to give it a try. I had tons of cider around and wanted to do something special. The result was amazing and the turkey was super juicy.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 Gallons Water

2 Cups Cider

2 Peeled Oranges

2 Cups Kosher Salt

1 Cups Brown Sugar

3 Garlic Cloves

1 Tbs Pepper Corns

4 Bay Leaves

(This brine recipe is for a 7 Pound Turkey Breast on the bone)

The most important part of the method is to start the process 24 hours before you plan to start cook the turkey. First, add water, cider to a large pot and start to head. Add remaining ingredients to pot. Stir and heat until bubble start to form. Make sure all the sugar and salt have dissolved and shut of heat. Allow mixture to cool fully, at least 4 hours. Later, add cleaned and rinsed turkey to the solution.  Make sure the turkey is fully submerged in the liquid, if it starts to float try placing a bag filled with ice on top. Place the whole thing in the fridge and allow it to chill from 8-12 hours (no longer).

Once your ready to roast remove from liquid. Rinse the turkey very well to get ride of any extra salt. Prepare as you normally would and roast. Enjoy!

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Paleo Sweet Potato Casserole

Making a holiday meal that is gluten free / paleo can be a challenge especially with many gluten eating guests.  Sweet potatoes alone are great and I wanted to avoid adding all the sugar and junk. Plus I used the slow cooker to make this dish super easy.

Ingredients:

6 Sweet Potatoes (cleaned and cut into large cubes)

2 Apples (peeled and cut into cubes)

2/3 Cup Apple Cider (fresh, not pasteurized)

Topping (optional)

1/2 Crushed Pecans

1 teaspoon Cinnamon

2 Tbs Butter (any kind)

Place all the sweet potatoes and apples in a large slow cooker. Pour in the cider and turn the heat on low. Place cover on top and cook for about 8 hours. Once done, give a good stir and mash with a potato masher. Potatoes should be very soft and easy to work with. Most of the liquid with be gone but if not then cook an addition 45 minutes with the cover off. Then using a food processor or blender process the mix until you get the consistency your looking for. You can serve at this point or our into a nice casserole dish and add a topping. Simple mix nuts, butter and cinnamon by hand in small bowl. Sprinkle topping on top and bake at 350 for ten minutes. Enjoy!

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Super Simple Roast Turkey

It is funny to me how so many people are intimidated to roast a turkey. I came up with this recipe in college and it is alway a hit. I host thanksgiving every year and always do it that same. Feel free to use the same recipe for a fun week night chicken.

Ingredients:

1 Turkey (Breast or Whole)

2 Carrots Cut into Chunks

2 Celery Stalk Cut into Chunks

2 Oranges

1 Lemon

2 Onions

1 Garlic Head

1/3 Cup Olive Oil

Salt

Pepper

Paprika

Sage, Thyme and Rosemary *Optional

Prepare your turkey, rinse and dry it. Place into roasting pan with pieces of carrot and celery at the bottom, the vegetables will help make a super flavorful gravy. Slice and peel lemon, orange, onion and garlic and place into a large bowl. Now you need to place about half of all the slices under the turkey skin. I start by making small cuts in the skin all over the bird including the legs, thighs, breast and so on. Then just insert all different pieces of the fruit, onion and garlic all over. I try to put one piece of each in every section of the bird. This will really keep the meat moist and add a lot a flavor. Take the remaining pieces of everything and stuff inside the bird. Pour oil all over bird coating all the skin. Then sprinkle all the seasoning all over the skin and rub it all in. Cover the bird with foil and bake covered at 325 degrees for about 3 hours depending on the size. I leave it covered for about two hours and then uncover it for the last 45 minutes to an hour and also baste it every 40 minutes. The best rule of thumb is an internal temp of 160.

When turkey is done, remove and let it sit covered with foil for 30 minutes before cutting.

For a gravy, put all the drippings in a pot. Add corn starch and a splash of red wine. Cook down and stir until gravy becomes thick and bubble.

Enjoy.

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