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Monday, January 30, 2012

Let's Talk Turkey!!

  • Recently a listener called into the station with a cooking question.  I thought I’d address this in case anyone else had this issue.  Marie of Piqua wondered if I had any tips for moist turkey. I’m pleased to say, “Yes, ma’am!!”

    I actually cook my turkey the day before I serve it.  I roast the bird very simply, seasoning with salt & pepper, covering it with a tent of aluminum foil.  I place 1-2 cups of chicken broth in the bottom of roasting pan.  An inexpensive meat thermometer is my roasting buddy. When it registers 165 degrees, the turkey is done.

    To test for internal temp, insert the thermometer into the meatiest portion of the turkey breast, making sure you are not touching the bone.  When the turkey is done, I allow it to rest for 30 minutes.  I slice it with an electric knife, and place the slices in an ovenproof pan. I place the bones and skin into a soup pot as I go along.

    When I have removed all the meat, I take those juices in the bottom of the pan, skim off the fat, and pour that broth over the turkey meat. Then I refrigerate my turkey to be reheated in its juices later.  Since it sits in those flavorful juices, the turkey remains moist.

    I re-heat my prepared turkey at 3500 until warmed through, about 30 minutes.

     The bones and skin are covered with water and heated to simmering.  I add some roughly chopped celery, leaves and all, an onion quartered, and some pepper. I hold off on the salt just yet.

     I simmer this to for an hour or so. You can even do this in the crockpot, and just let it cook all day.   Remove all the solids, and strain the broth.  Skim off the fat.

    I use this low sodium broth, and mix it with the commercial turkey gravy packets found in the seasoning aisle of the grocery store instead of the water it recommends.  Your mashed potatoes will never find a better topping than this!!

Weight of Bird
Roasting Time
Roasting Time
10-18 lbs
3-3.5 hours
3.75-4.5 hours
18-22 lbs
3.5-4 hours
4.5-5 hours
22-24 lbs
4-4.5 hours
5-5.5 hours
24-29 lbs
4.5-5 hours
5.5-6.25 hours
  • The turkey is done when the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F (75 degrees C) at the thigh.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Banana Pudding

Hi WEEC listeners,

Wednesday's Segment referenced my friend Jack and his love of Banana Pudding.  The pastry cream below is the pudding layer of the dish.  Use vanilla wafers and ripe bananas to create the dessert.  Add the whipped cream if you want a lighter taste to the pudding.  Leave out and you will still have a rich tasting pudding base for your dish.

Layer the cookies in a dish or bowl, spread about 1/2" layer of pastry cream, then a layer of bananas.  Repeat with the pastry cream as the final layer.  It can be thinly spread over the banana layer to prevent them from turning brown.

I'm also including the tart dough I reference in the notes farther on down.

'Confectionate'ly Yours,


Pastry Cream

3 c. milk (not skim)
1/4 c. cornstarch
3/4 c. sugar (or Splenda for sugar free recipe)
4 large egg yolks
1/4 tsp. salt 
4 T. butter
2 tsp. vanilla 
1 c. heavy cream, whipped (optional)

1 T. all purpose flour

Separate eggs and save (or freeze) the whites for another use. In a medium sized sauce pan, stir together 2-1/2 cups of the milk, sugar, & salt.
Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat. Meanwhile, whisk the cornstarch, flour, and egg yolks with the remaining 1/2 cup milk. 
Whisk some of the hot mixture into the egg yolk mixture
until smooth. This will temper the eggs so they will not "scramble" when you add them to the rest of the hot mixture.

Whisk the egg mixture into the hot milk and return
to the stove. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, and boil for 30 seconds. Remove from heat and strain through a fine sieve into a bowl. Stir in the butter and vanilla. 

Place plastic wrap on the surface of the pastry cream and refrigerate until cool. Fold in the whipped cream into the cooled mixture. 

Use this cream to fill eclairs, cream puffs, or
as the 'pudding' layer for banana pudding, or to fill tart shells.

Note: This recipe can be used so many ways. One of my favorites is to pipe a small amount into a tart shell, press in one slice of a perfectly ripe banana and cover it with the cream. The banana flavor will infuse into the cream. Garnish with a smidgen of whipped cream and a banana "chip" for presentation.

2-1/2 c. all purpose flour
 2 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
1/4 c. sugar
 2-4 T. cold heavy cream or ice water
1/4 tsp. salt
2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into 
small pieces

Pulse flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor until combined. Add butter and process 
until mixture resembles coarse meal, about 10 seconds. 

With processor running, add 

egg yolks. Stop the processor and add the ice water or cream.

Pulse briefly (no more 
than 30 seconds) until dough begins to come together. Pat dough into a disk and wrap 
in plastic. Refrigerate at least 1 hour. This dough can be made up to 2 days in advance 
or frozen up to one month. 

When ready to use, roll out dough 1/8". I use a round

cookie cutter approximately the same size of the tart pan to cut dough, then place into 
tart pan and press into shape. Place in freezer for 10 minutes. 

Prick dough with fork, 
then place a small piece of aluminum foil onto the dough. Fill foil with pie weights or 
dried beans. This will keep the dough from shrinking in pan while baking. 

Bake @ 
350° for 15-20 minutes until lightly browned. Cool and remove from tart pan. Fill 
with your favorite mousse, pudding, pastry cream, lemon curd or fruit filling. These 
have a crisp cookie texture.

Note: I keep dried beans in a labeled container just for pie crusts. They should not be 
used for cooking after being used as pie weights. Baked crusts may be frozen, then 
filled when ready to serve. They are fairly delicate, so don't stack too many on top of 
each other when freezing or storing.

Use this cream to fill eclairs, cream puffs, or
as the 'pudding' layer for banana pudding, or to fill tart shells.

Note: This recipe can be used so many ways. One of my favorites is to pipe a small amount into a tart shell, press in one slice of a perfectly ripe banana and cover it with the cream. The banana flavor will infuse into the cream. Garnish with a smidgen of whipped cream and a banana "chip" for presentation.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Fluffy Rice & Chicken


1 (10 3/4-oz.) can cream of chicken soup
1 jar mushrooms, sliced with liquid (opt.)
1 soup can milk 
1 (1.4-oz.) env. onion soup mix
3/4 c. white rice, uncooked
 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Heat oven to 350°. Mix chicken soup and milk. Reserve 1/2 cup of the mixture.

Mix in the onion soup mix, rice, and mushrooms. Pour into ungreased baking dish.

Place chicken breasts on top. Pour reserved soup mixture over chicken. Cover with foil and
bake one hour. Uncover and bake 15 minutes longer.

Yield: 4 servings Add a little extra chicken broth at the end of cooking time if needed.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Italian Cream Cake

Hi, WEEC listeners....Here is the recipe I mentioned today with regard to the difference between baking powder & baking soda.  It's a keeper!!  Hope you enjoy it.


1/2 c. butter
 5 eggs, separated
1/2 c. Crisco shortening
 2 c. sugar
2 c. cake flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 c. buttermilk
 6 oz. coconut
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 c. pecans, chopped
Beat egg whites and set aside. Cream butter and shortening until light fluffy. Add sugar gradually, beating well. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir together flour and soda; add alternately with the buttermilk, beating well.

Stir in vanilla, coconut, and pecans. Fold in the beaten egg whites gently.

Grease and flour three 8" round cake pans. Bake in preheated 350° oven for about 25 minutes or until lightly browned.
Cool for 10 minutes, then remove from pan. Frost with cream cheese frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

2 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2-1 c. butter, softened
2 lbs. confectioner’s sugar

Beat cream cheese until softened and no lumps. Add softened butter. Gradually mix in confectioner’s sugar and vanilla. If you want a softer icing, add full amount of butter.

I usually add the smaller amount of butter as I pipe a border around the cake and the stiffer icing makes that possible.

Confectionately Yours,  


Monday, January 2, 2012

New Years Goals

I've made resolutions in the past, but they never seem to stick.  I'm NOT doing that anymore!!  However, a new year DOES make me feel as if new beginnings are appropriate.  

This year I want to find joy in little things-an unexpected time with a friend, a good joke, hearing my son or daughter laugh, savoring my children's wise choices as they maneuver through the difficult young adult stage, forgive, meet a need in someone's life.

I want to simplify my life by organizing my home better.  I want to down-size unnecessary "stuff" because I don't need it, but still have to take care of it, store it, & move it around to get to stuff I DO need.  

I want the people I love to know it.  I want to serve the God I love in the way He would have me do.  I want to sing.  I want to praise Him.  I want to feel grateful...I AM grateful!!

Happy New Year!!

Confectionately Yours,