Kim’s Thai Red Curry

Kim’s Thai Red Curry

For my very first Thankful post in 2019 I wanted to write about someone who has been very dear to me ever since I started my blog. Kim at Later Levels was one of the first people to follow, comment on, and give advice about my blog. She is one of the most supportive and kind people I have had contact with in recent years. Her dedication to staying positive in the confusing and sometimes toxic world of gaming is an inspiration. She regularly volunteers her time and runs charity streams on Twitch to support good causes (like Game Blast). And her creation and maintenance of a wonderfully accepting community within gaming bloggers has been extraordinary.

But more recently, Kim has become a real friend. I don’t have many friends who want to sit around and talk about gaming, even fewer who are women. But I have one in Kim. And we can not only chat about games, but we talk about baking, politics, culture, and understanding the different lives we lead across a wide ocean. And that is why she’s getting a highlight this month! If you don’t already follow her blog, make sure you go check it out. You’ll probably find something worth reading within a few minutes.

Kim’s Thai Red Curry
meter for thai curry

When I asked Kim what her favorite food was, something she could eat forever, of course she would pick something I’ve never even had in a restaurant, let along something I’ve never made. So with all my guessing, scouring the web for the similarities between recipes, and begging Mr. Sheikah Plate to tell me EXACTLY what he thought, this could be the first recipe I’m 100% unsure of. So Kim/anyone else, if you give this a go – please let me know how it tastes and if it’s even remotely similar to a Thai Red Curry.

If it happens to be right, the logistics of this recipe are pretty simple. Start by getting the rice going. This recipe doesn’t actually take that long, so we want the rice to be done when we finish! Simply rinse the rice (as we’ve done MANY times before!), add water to the first knuckle of your finger when it rests on top of the rice, and turn on the rice cooker. I promise guys, one day I’ll make rice in a pot for those of you without a rice cooker… I’m just not brave enough!

Then move on to the chopping by dicing the peppers and broccoli into bite-size pieces. Then slice the green onions into 1/4 inch pieces, much smaller than we usually do. Mince the garlic and ginger (if you’re using fresh garlic and ginger). You can then use the same cutting board to dice the chicken. Now, for food safety, it’s very important that you do the chicken last. Otherwise you should dice the chicken, wash the cutting board and knife, and then cut the veggies. We don’t to cross contaminate anything.

Heat some oil into a heavy bottom pot/dutch oven on medium. When the oil is nice and hot add the chicken. Cook the chicken until there’s no more pink showing on the outside, about 3 minutes. The inside, however, should still be raw. Add all the salt and pepper and stir it around a bit. Then add the garlic, ginger, half the green onions, and red curry powder or paste. Stir that around until everything is coated in the seasonings.

curry with coconut milk

Add the coconut milk. Sometimes coconut milk separates in the can and you may need to whisk it together in a separate bowl to get it combined first. Stir the chicken, soy sauce, and coconut milk until combined. Then bring it to a nice simmer and turn down the heat slightly so it’s just barely simmering. Allow to simmer for about 10-15 minutes.

At this point add all the veggies and stir them around until everything is coated. Bring back up to a simmer and allow to cook for 3-5 minutes more, or until everything is soft and the chicken is cooked through.

Add the remaining green onions and, if desired, lime juice at this point and stir briefly. Serve over (or next to) rice!

close up

Kim's Thai Red Curry

  • Servings: 5
  • Difficulty: moderately easy
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A spicy, savory Thai Red Curry sauce with rice

Ingredients

  • 2 large chicken breasts (about 1.5 pounds)
  • 1 bunch green onions
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 large crown of broccoli
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger (or 1/2 teaspoon dried ginger)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh garlic (or 1/2 teaspoon dried garlic)
  • 2-3 tablespoons red curry powder (2 for mild, 3 for medium) or 3 tablespoons red curry paste
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt (or more to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper (or more to taste)
  • 1.5 cans full-fat coconut milk
  • 1.5 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
  • 2.5 cups rice
  • enough water to rinse and cover the rice

Directions

  1. Rinse the rice several times, add water up to your first knuckle of your finger when it rests on top of the rice, and press start on your rice cooker. Or cook according the manufacturer’s directions.
  2. Dice the red and green peppers into bite-size pieces. Chop the broccoli into small pieces, with most of the stalk removed.
  3. Slice the green onions into 1/4 inch pieces.
  4. Mince the fresh garlic and ginger.
  5. Dice the chicken into 1 inch pieces.
  6. Heat the oil in a heavy bottom pot or dutch oven on medium.
  7. When the oil is hot add the chicken and cook until there’s no more pink showing on the outside, about 3 minutes. The inside should still be raw.
  8. Add all the salt and pepper and stir to coat the chicken.
  9. Add the garlic, ginger, half the green onions, and red curry powder or paste. Stir until everything is coated in the seasonings.
  10. Add all the coconut milk, which may need to be whisked to combine in a separate bowl.
  11. Stir the chicken, soy sauce, and coconut milk until combined. Bring to a simmer and turn down the heat slightly so it’s just barely simmering. Allow to simmer for about 10-15 minutes.
  12. Add all the vegetables and stir until combined. Bring back up to a simmer and allow to cook for 3-5 minutes more, or until everything is soft and the chicken is cooked through
  13. Add the remaining green onions and lime juice and stir briefly. Serve over rice!

Meat Stew

Meat Stew

We’re back! We’re finally back! And you know what? It feels good.

Now, raise your hand if you, like me, prefer winter to summer. Really? That few? Come on! Winter is way better than summer. With that delightfully chilly weather, sweaters and sweatshirts, heated blankets, hot cocoa, and warm, thick soups. It’s the best time of year for most of my favorite things and I love it! Plus, there’s nothing like sitting near a window watching new-falling snow, reading a book under a cozy blanket, and drinking delicious hot chocolate. I’d take that over blistering heat and sweaty armpits everyday.

But enough about me, let’s get on to this stew, surely something we can all appreciate in the next few cold weather months.

Meat Stew
difficulty and time meter

So this recipe is a bit of a departure from the photo. Yes, they really just show three pictures of meat stew with varying degrees of large chunks. But I didn’t want to bore you or your tastebuds with a new take on my new favorite stew recipe. And since Link himself can make this with bird, let’s go along that route and make a thick, creamy chicken and wild rice soup.

I start with chicken breast. I mean, yes, the recipe calls for drumstick, but who has time to scrape meat off the drumstick bone? Certainly not me! So chop the chicken into 1 inch or smallerish pieces. Then dice your onion and get ready to cook!

Add some oil to the bottom of a large pot or (you knew I was going to say it) a dutch oven. Heat on medium high until hot. Add all your chicken at once, season with the salt and pepper, and cook until the outsides are nearly cooked, about 1-2 minutes. Add all the onion and stir together until the chicken is completely cooked on the outside, another 2 minutes max. This means no pink is showing on the outside, but they’ll definitely still be raw on the inside! We want that. It’ll mean the chicken with finish cooking with the rice and not get rubbery.

rice to the chicken

Add all the rice and stir and cook until the rice is fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. It’s really not that much. It should only have been about 5 minutes from the time we first started cooking the chicken.

chicken, broth, herbs

Add 4 cups of the chicken broth and the remaining seasonings, and bring to a nice, rolling simmer. Nothing too fancy, just enough to be considered a simmer. Cover and let it simmer for 1 hour 15 minutes. Yes, I did say that correctly, and yes, it’s very specific. We are walking a fine line between cooked rice and rubbery chicken. I’ve found that 1 hour 15 minutes is kinda that happy medium. If it goes a little long, I don’t think it’ll ruin the dish. If it goes a little short, I hope you’re okay with slightly underdone rice.

Meanwhile, chop the carrots and the celery. Add them all at once with another cup or two of the chicken broth at the end of the 1.25 hours. Bring to a simmer and then check for seasoning. Add more of anything (but mostly the salt and pepper) at this time.

Then add the milk and flour. Whisk the soup together until all the flour is completely mixed in with no lumps. Allow to simmer and thicken for 10 minutes, or until the carrots are soft. Serve in your favorite winter bowls and enjoy!

close up

Meat Stew

  • Servings: 5
  • Difficulty: moderately easy
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Creamy Chicken and wild rice stew with carrots and celery

Ingredients

  • 2 large chicken breasts (about 1.5 pounds)
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 1 cup wild rice
  • 5-6 cups chicken broth
  • 3 medium carrots
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt (or more to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper (or more to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt or garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable (or other) oil

Directions

  1. Dice the chicken into 1 inch pieces.
  2. Dice the onion
  3. Add oil to the bottom of a large pot or dutch oven. Heat on medium high until hot.
  4. Add all the chicken at once, season with the salt and pepper, and cook until the outsides are nearly cooked, about 1-2 minutes.
  5. Add all the onion and stir together until the chicken is completely cooked on the outside, another 1-2 minutes.
  6. Add all the rice and stir and cook until the rice is fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. It should only be about 5 minutes from the time we first started cooking the chicken.
  7. Add 4 cups of the chicken broth and the remaining seasonings, and bring to a rolling simmer.
  8. Cover and let simmer for 1 hour 15 minutes.
  9. Chop the carrots and the celery while the stew is cooking.
  10. Add them all at once with another cup or two of the chicken broth at the end of the 1.25 hours. Bring to a simmer and check for seasoning, particularly salt and pepper.
  11. Add the milk and flour. Whisk the soup together until all the flour is completely mixed in with no lumps.
  12. Allow to simmer and thicken for 10 minutes, or until the carrots are soft. Serve in your favorite winter bowls and enjoy!

Let’s Talk About the Blog… and Backlog

Let’s Talk About the Blog… and Backlog

Hey, everyone! It’s really nice to finally be back on the blog and back to cooking up new recipes for you! I took a bit of a break (obviously), starting with the holidays, but January has been a bit introspective for me. I sat down at the beginning of January, talked to some amazing bloggers about their “New Year Resolutions” and tried to come up with a few goals for this blog. But instead of discovering new, exciting changes to try to implement, coming up with some unattainable numbers goal, or even settling down for a mediocre goal, it turned into some deep thinking about what I even want out of this experience.

I started this blog as a way to talk about the things I love in a space and community that felt the same. I was feeling really lonely, really unfulfilled, and ready for a new project. This became that new project. And with that came a host of exciting new adventures! I met new people who loved cooking, baking, and especially gaming. I’ve been able to participate in some amazing community events and become friends with some really great, intelligent people. And I’ve been able to push myself creatively in both baking/cooking and writing.

And as I realized where I started, what I thought I wanted, and where I thought this blog was going, I realized I had my priorities wrong. I thought this blog was my “in” to making a cookbook. And, quite frankly, I haven’t given up on that. It’d be really nice to, down the road, get some kind of deal going with Nintendo to make an official BotW cookbook. But when I delved into the roots of what I love about this blog it wasn’t that hanging dread of numbers, influence, and what it would take to become a cookbook writer. It was interacting with all of you – the readers, the other bloggers, the new chefs and the old bakers alike – that made this blog such a good experience for me.

So I’m going to stop having this mental background of “how do I make this a career” and start focusing on the reasons I love blogging. I have some pretty smart people, people who write amazing blogs and who have been so supportive of me through thick and thin, to thank for this epiphany. If lightening couldn’t strike my brain at least it struck theirs (well that must have hurt). So let’s just forget about the dread of not posting and the dread of not meeting some imaginary numbers game that shouldn’t exist anyway and get back to blogging, interacting, and making myself and others happy. Because that’s what this is really all about, right?

And now for the changes that’ll come with that. Guys, I’m switching days on you. Thursdays will now be my Breath of the Wild posts. I’ve realized that cooking new recipes over the weekend doesn’t always work out. I make plans, go out of town, get busy, and then it’s Tuesday and I have nothing to show. I do most of my big cooking during the week, leaving weekends to pizza, eating out, or macaroni and cheese in an attempt to squeeze everything in. So expect Thursdays to become Breath of the Wild posts and, hopefully, that’ll mean a new post every week – with very few excuses (other than illness) to mess it all up!

But that means my Thursday posts need somewhere to go. Why not simply switch them, right? Tuesdays will now be my Gaming and Thankful posts. I’ll try to post one BotW post every week, one Gaming post every month, and one Thankful post every month. I want to participate in at least one community event every quarter, to make sure I get to help other amazing bloggers with their blogs. And I’m also going to run (sort of) a community event twice a year. Instead of doing gaming or thankful posts one month of spring and one month of autumn I want you, my friends and followers, to help me pick a fandom, and then pick 3 foods from that fandom to create recipes for. I’ll post each one and then round it all off with a reason why I love that fandom. What do you think? Sound like a good plan?!

But Teri, you say, there’s only 2 Tuesdays left this month. When will you do your posts? Ah, never fear. Today’s post will be my gaming post and, trust me, it’s a short one. So many wonderful bloggers and gamers talk about backlog. The complex ways they deal with it, the struggle of finding time to work on and finish games they want to play. So let me tell you my incredibly simple way to deal with backlog. I didn’t even realize I was doing it until a conversation with a friend pointed it out to me. You want to know my secret?

I don’t have a backlog.

That’s right – I don’t have a backlog. Oh, I have games I want to play, and games I haven’t started yet, but the way I keep my backlog non-existent is by not purchasing a game until I’m ready to play it. That means that I don’t buy new games until I finish the one I’m currently playing. It means that when the time comes to purchase a new game, my priority already exists, because it’s the game I want to play most. Yeah, it means I get really far behind in playing games, but I don’t ever feel the stress of those titles I’ve never gotten around to staring me down from their shelf (or menu, if you purchase digital games).

So how do you deal with backlog? How do you keep your priorities straight when it comes to choosing a game or picking what to purchase?

Mom’s Beef and Broccoli

Mom’s Beef and Broccoli

As I’ve mentioned before, my mom lived in Taiwan for a few years in her twenties (for more information about why, feel free to DM me on Instagram or Twitter).  This means that, not only did she come home with some amazing experiences, but she came home with some amazing small-town, authentic Taiwanese/Chinese recipes.  But this one is my favorite.  And in a post dedicated to my wonderful mother, what better recipe to share than my favorite thing she taught me to make.

My mother is incredible.  She’s easily one of the most dedicated, hardworking people I’ve ever met.  She had a successful career, raised several kids, and always managed to find time to get things done around the house.  Her energy and willpower seem limitless.  It’s quite inspiring to watch her (and also a little daunting)!  She’s strong and opinionated, determined and fierce.  And she’s my hero.  I mean, I’m pretty sure my mom is Wonder Woman (*recently confirmed by my dad).  She doesn’t see it- she’s always got one reason or other for how she can do everything and still find time to read about 2-3 dozen books a year – but I know the truth.  And while I can’t be her and do everything under the planet successfully and efficiently, I’ve learned so much about the person I can be from her.  So this post is dedicated to my mom, for the example she is and the life she taught me to live.  Thanks, mom.

Mom’s Beef and Broccolitime etc

Guys, this recipe is really easy.  In fact, it may seem so easy that you’ll wonder if it’s even worth eating.  Yeah, it’s a little basic – like all good homemade classics are – but I think it’s so good I’ll literally find excuses to drink the leftover sauce.  It’s so good you’ll probably stop eating beef and broccoli at restaurants because it won’t taste quite like this…

First, and always, we start the rice.  Come on, you’re old hats at this by now!  Rinse the rice, add water up to your first knuckle, turn on the rice cooker.  Again, if you don’t have one of those Christmas is just around the corner…  Maybe it’s time to splurge on the most-used gadget in my kitchen.

Then let’s slice the steak into long, thin strips.  Preferably about 1-2 inches long and 1/8-1/4 inch thick.  To make it easy, slice against the grain.  You see the way the muscle lines flow?  Slice perpendicular to that.  It’ll make a cleaner, easier cut.  Place all the meat in a bowl and add enough soy sauce to submerge, but not drown the meat.  It’s a fine line.

Wash everything (knife, cutting board, counter) so there’s no cross contamination.  Then rinse and cut the broccoli.  We want to keep just the florets in bite-size pieces.  I usually cut the stalk off and then break the broccoli up.  When you cut broccoli, sometimes the floret breaks apart, so this is my recommendation.  You can remove or leave as much of the stalk as you want – me, I remove as much as I can.  Place the broccoli in a separate bowl.  Then wash and dice the green onions into 1 inch pieces and separate into 2 piles.

When the rice is done (or nearly so) get out your trusty wok.  I guess you could try and make this in a frying pan, but it won’t cook the same and it may not taste the same.  Also, it’ll probably take way longer to cook.  But if you try it, let me know!

oil and onionsAnyway, add half the vegetable oil to your wok and turn the heat on as high as it’ll go.  Two things about this are important: 1) turn the heat up as high as it’ll go.  Trust me.  A proper stir fry, a proper wok, is cooked over very high heat.  Because of the way a wok works, things’ll get mushy and take forever if you cook it low.  And 2) use vegetable, canola, avocado, or some other high heat oil.  DO NOT cook this with olive oil.  The oil can’t handle those temperatures and it’ll burn, baby burn. 

Add half the green onions to this oil and wait until the onions start to sizzle and pop.  When they do, you know the oil is ready.  Add all the meat and soy sauce together (it should be nicely marinated by now) and cook, stirring frequently/continuously, until the steak is brown on the outside, but still probably pink on the inside.  Depending on how much liquid you added you may need to push the meat up out of the liquid onto the sides.  We don’t want the meat to boil, we want it to fry.  This’ll take between 2-4 minutes.

remove the steak

Remove the steak carefully, I don’t want any burns on my conscience, and put it into a new bowl – or the same bowl, but washed.  Again, no cross contamination here!  Add the remaining oil and green onions and wait for the sizzle and pop.

When you hear it, add the broccoli and stir until it’s completely shiny, about 1 minute.  At this point, make a well in the middle of the broccoli so the wok shows through and add all the cold water at once.  Quickly cover and allow the broccoli to steam for several minutes, or until tender.  Check after 3 and see how it’s doing – add more water if necessary, but be quick, we don’t want the steam escaping!

cook together

When the broccoli is ready add the steak and sauce back to the wok and stir until everything is well-mixed.  Allow to cook for 2-3 minutes so the broccoli can soak up all that delicious soy sauce.  Serve over rice and enjoy!

close up

Mom's Beef and Broccoli

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Delicious beef with broccoli in a soy sauce marinade

Ingredients

  • 1 pound london broil or sirloin steak – 1-1.5 cups soy sauce – 4-5 large broccoli crowns – 1 bunch green onions – 1 cup very cold water – 4 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil – 3 cups calrose or other sticky rice – enough water to cover the rice to your first knuckle

Directions

  1. Rinse the rice and add water so that it comes to your first knuckle when your finger rests on top of the rice. Add the lid and turn on the rice cooker. 2. Slice the steak into long, thin strips, preferably about 1-2 inches long and 1/8-1/4 inch thick. 3. Place all the meat in a bowl and add enough soy sauce to submerge, but not drown the meat.  It’s a fine line. 4. Wash and cut the broccoli into bite-size florets. Place the broccoli in a bowl. 5. Wash and dice the green onions into 1 inch pieces and separate into 2 piles. 6. When the rice is done (or nearly so) add half the vegetable oil and half the green onions to your wok and turn the heat on as high. 7. When the onions start to sizzle and pop add all the meat and soy sauce together and cook, stirring frequently/continuously, until the steak is brown on the outside, but still pink on the inside. You may need to push the meat up out of the liquid onto the sides. This will take between 2-4 minutes. 8. Remove the steak carefully and put it into a new bowl – or the same bowl, but washed. 9. Add the remaining oil and green onions and wait for the sizzle and pop. 10. Add the broccoli and stir until it’s completely shiny, about 1 minute. 11. Make a well in the middle of the broccoli so the wok shows through and add all the cold water at once. Quickly cover and allow the broccoli to steam for several minutes, or until tender, about 5-8 minutes. You may need to add more water halfway through. 12. When the broccoli is ready add the steak and sauce back to the wok and stir until everything is well-mixed. Allow to cook for 2-3 minutes so the flavors can meld together.

    Serve over rice and enjoy!

Veggie Cream Soup

Veggie Cream Soup

Alright, guys, I think I’m about to throw you for a loop.  After checking recipes, matching BotW photos, and deciding on what I want to make, I’m making a change up to my recipes.  Now, I have a Veggie Cream Soup already made.  But the BotW photo is much more orange, the Cream of Vegetable Soup is more creamy, and I wanted to make cheese soup.  Because, quite frankly, I don’t love Cream of X soup.  I utilize it in other recipes to make other things, but I never actually just eat Cream of X soup.  So I’m renaming my last veggie soup Cream of Vegetable soup, after all, it’s veggies, cream, and soup.  And the new and improved Veggie Cream Soup, is about to follow!

Veggie Cream Soup

time and difficulty

Basically, folks, we are making cheese soup.  And while I have photos one way, I’d really like you all, please, to follow what I say, not what I show!  It’ll make sense when I start describing what’s going on.

Start by chopping all the veggies up into lovely bite-size pieces.  Carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower can go into a bowl together, but keep the onions separate.  When everything is diced heat a heavy-bottom pot (or, I guess, any pot) and add all the butter but 3 tablespoons.  Add the onion and saute for 1 minute.  Then add the other veggies and saute for 2-3 minutes, until shiny and starting to soften.  

shiny veggies

Here’s that part where you get to ignore what I’ve done and pay attention to what I say!  I have you add the extra butter and flour to the sauteed veggies, but the roux really struggled to come together, and without a solid roux, the likelihood that your cheese will break is pretty high.  And, for me, I can handle that, but I don’t want that for you people at all!

So now we’re just going to remove the veggies and put them in a bowl.  Then, add the 3 tablespoons of butter, melt it down, add the flour slowly, and make a nice roux by whisking continuously.  I have photos from the old Veggie Cream Soup…  Pretend like they’re from this recipe.

Add the milk 1 cup at a time and whisk until completely mixed.  This’ll thicken the milk.  Continue with the remaining milk.  Then add the cream and chicken or vegetable stock (your choice to make this vegetarian!) and stir in the veggies, salt, and pepper.  We don’t add a lot of salt because the cheese is salty, so don’t be tempted to add more.  It’ll feel bland at this step.

veggies and liquid

 

Here’s the next step, and it’s an important one for winding up with a nice, smooth soup instead of a cheesy broken mess.  Don’t let the soup boil.  It should simmer, barely bubbling, to cook the veggies, but it shouldn’t boil.  Keep an eye on it.  If it boils you may not get a great soup.

cheese added

Simmer it for 10ish minutes, or until the veggies are tender and delicious!  Then remove from the heat and let it sit for a few minutes until it cools slightly.  This is like adding chocolate to cream – if you do it while it’s too hot the fat will break out and won’t be able to reform properly, so you end up with a mess.  Cheese into hot things is the same.  So once it’s cooled slightly, add the cheese, 1 cup at a time, and stir until smooth and creamy.  And then eat it all while you can – you won’t really feel like stopping!

close up

Link’s Veggie Cream Soup:

    • Fresh Milk
    • Rock Salt
    • Any Carrot or Pumpkin

Veggie Cream Soup

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A creamy cheese soup with broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots.

Ingredients

  • 1 large broccoli crown – 1/2 head cauliflower – 3 medium carrots – 1 small onion – 1/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons butter – 1/3 cup all-purpose flour – 4 cups milk – 1 cup vegetable or chicken stock – 2 tablespoons heavy cream – 1 teaspoon kosher salt – 1/5 teaspoons black pepper – 3 cups sharp cheddar cheese

Directions

  1. Chop the carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower into bite-size pieces. Place these into a bowl. Dice the onion and keep separate. 2. Heat a heavy-bottom pot on medium and add all the butter but 3 tablespoons.  3. Add the onion and saute for 1 minute. 4. Add the other veggies and saute for 2-3 minutes, until shiny and starting to soften. 5. Remove the veggies and put them in a bowl. 6. Add the 3 tablespoons of butter, melt it, and add the flour slowly. Make a roux by whisking this constantly until thickened and yellow. 7. Add the milk 1 cup at a time and whisk until completely mixed and thickened. 8. Add the heavy cream and chicken or vegetable stock, stir in the veggies, salt, and pepper, and stir until combined. 9. Simmer the soup, barely bubbling, to cook the veggies, about 10 minutes. 10. Remove from the heat and let it sit for a few minutes until it cools slightly. 11. Add the cheese, 1 cup at a time, and stir until smooth and creamy. Serve hot.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time | The Game That Defines Sheikah Plate

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time | The Game That Defines Sheikah Plate

Hey, everyone! It’s Tuesday, and you know what that means – a new recipe! But I wanted to do something a little different. Yesterday my post for one of the most amazing collaborations went live. Normal Happenings has been running a series every day since November 1st on The Games That Define Us. 35 AMAZING collaborators have written up their feelings about the game that has meant the most to them. If you’re ready to shed some tears and experience some feelings, please go check out every single post. They’re all wonderful. But I’m reblogging mine here today because A) I want you all to read it and B) I created a special recipe homage to my favorite game of all time. So while it’s not Breath of the Wild, it’s still Zelda. Here’s The Game That Defines Me: Ocarina of Time.

Normal Happenings

<< Previous | Adventure Map | Next >>

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Audio

The Games That Define Us features carefully chosen music and remixes from the franchise of the game represented. Music is a key component of sharing the emotions one feels about a game, so we hope you will press the play button if you’re in a position to do so. 

introductionJust a brief summary if this is your first time here: This collaboration is a 34-day long adventure through video games. Each piece is its own unique audiovisual experience, complete with artwork, designs, music, and (most importantly) amazing works of prose by brilliant bloggers around the world. This adventure will take you through nostalgia, joy, ambition, self-discovery, regret, anxiety, frustration, mourning, and every human experience in between. Video games exist as fragments on the timeline of our lives, and each one of us have chosen the adventure we feel most defines us.

Well, do we…

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Happy Thanksgiving and Salt-Grilled Gourmet Meat!

Happy Thanksgiving and Salt-Grilled Gourmet Meat!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.  Here in the U.S., and especially for me, this holiday is all about food.  Growing up, my mother would get up at an ungodly hour (for a holiday) to make everything from scratch on Thanksgiving day.  We’d tumble out of bed and start to help out when we could.  Now, as an adult, it’s become a tradition to get up as early as mom and stand around the table as she teaches us how to properly make pie crust, make stuffing from scratch, and roast a 30 pound(ish) turkey.  Thanksgiving for my family was about passing on the traditions of cooking, of learning and honoring those who came before you with family recipes and family stories shared over an entire day of cooking and eating together.  It’s the best way I know how to truly observe this holiday – with thankful hearts toward the people in my past who have made this holiday possible.

This year, that also means you guys, the faithful blog readers.  I feel so blessed and honored that so many people follow my blog and comment on my posts.  I feel lucky that I have the opportunity to learn how to better express myself through cooking.  And I feel grateful so many of you are so supportive of me, in spite of my long breaks between posts and ghost status on social media lately.  Thanks for all you do to help me become the best I can be!  And, in honor of the from-scratch people who were up at the crack of dawn (I love you, mom!) to make dinner, here’s a reblog of my Thanksgiving turkey recipe – Salt-Grilled Gourmet Meat.


It’s the second of two Thanksgiving posts and the day is almost here, which means this recipe is just in time!  So open this up, thaw your turkey (properly), and let’s make a turkey.

Raise of hands, how many of you have ever made a turkey before?  Really?  That few?  Well don’t be intimidated.  I promise it’s a lot easier than it sounds or looks.  Quite frankly, it’s just like any other salt-grilled meat recipe we’ve already done, with a few adjustments, of course.  And you’ll love the finished product.  It’ll be picture perfect and deliciously juicy for all your guests/family!

Salt-Grilled Gourmet Meattime and heart meter

Now, you should have started thawing your turkey by now following the instructions provided with your turkey (they almost always come with instructions).  It can take up to 4 days to thaw a turkey (depending on the size) in the fridge.  If you need to speed up the process you can fill a sink with cold water and place the turkey in.  Continue checking the water to make sure it doesn’t get too warm.  Drain the water every 1/2 hour and refill with cold water again.  Do this for roughly 8 hours.  It’s easier to thaw in the fridge but in a pinch, this other way will work.  Just whatever you do, please thaw it correctly!  I don’t want to be responsible for any food poisoning here!

turkey ingredients

We start with what’s called a brine.  Now, there are several ways to brine a turkey but I’ve chosen the easiest of them all.  You have enough to do on Thanksgiving – no reason to make it harder.  The brine with a turkey is the same principle as with pork – it tenderizes the meat and allows the juices to stay inside instead of the bird getting dry and gross.  It also negates, with an extra step, the need for basting!  That’s two time savers here people.  We’re on a roll!

You’re going to need to remove the bird from the packaging and take out any extras they throw in for the really hard-core people a.k.a the giblets and the neck.  Open the bottom of the turkey and they should be in there.  It’ll be a long neck and a packet of weird mushy stuff.  If the packet isn’t in there check where the neck is supposed to be attached.  Sometimes they put it up there to be sneaky.

Once everything gross is out pat the turkey dry with paper towels and coat it with kosher salt and pepper.  Be generous, it’ll help!  Allow the turkey to sit, with the salt and pepper, at room temperature for 1 hour to take off the chill.  The skin will be crispy and delicious if you do it that way.

While the turkey is warming up wash the sage and oregano or thyme, slice a medium onion into quarters, and remove the skin from 6 garlic cloves.  Place these inside your roasting pan, or if you don’t have excess cash floating around to buy a new pan for one meal a year (like me) a normal 11X15 cake pan.  If you want to get extra easy buy one of those disposable cake pans, like my mom does, and just throw it away when you’re done.  Whatever will fit your turkey comfortably will work!  Line the bottom of your pan with these ingredients, putting the onions in the corners.

buttering the turkeyThe next step is almost as important as the brine.  It’s also, for those of you who are a little squeamish, the grossest part of the entire affair.  Rub the room temperature butter all over your hands.  Then rub the entire turkey with those hands, pausing to get more butter if needed.  Make sure the entire bird in covered in the butter to make sure there’s an even crisp to the skin.  A safety note, just because I’m a microbiologist, please don’t reuse any butter you may have touched with raw poultry again.  Just throw it out and save yourself a horrible bought of food poisoning.

Preheat the oven to 425°F.  It’s very important you don’t go much higher than that because most glassware will shatter if you do and that would ruin your entire night.  If you’re using metal feel free to go up to 450°F.  Put your turkey in the pan and put your pan in the oven on the middle shelf.  Close the door and walk away for 45 minutes.  Plenty of time to get started on literally 1 million things to be cooked for dinner.

turkey in the pan

Once the turkey has been roasting for 45 minutes take some tinfoil and cover the breast of the turkey, molding it to keep it in place.  It’ll help trap in the moisture and make for a much more juicy bird!  If you need to make a piece of tinfoil bigger to cover the whole turkey simply fold over the edges of the foil together and press down to seal.  It’ll work.  Trust me.

Lower the temperature of the oven to 350°F and bake for the remainder of the time.  Here’s a handy, dandy chart for approximate times if you need one.  It’s all based on pounds, really, so make sure you know the poundage of your bird beforehand.

9-11 pounds: 2 1/2 hours

12-14 pounds: 3 hours

15-17 pounds: 3 1/2 hours

18-20 pounds: 4 hours

21-23 pounds: 4 1/2 hours

24+ pounds: 5+ hours

turkey thermometerTo check if the turkey is done you’ll need an instant read meat thermometer.  You can buy them in any grocery store this time of year for about $5.00.  It’s worth it.  You’ll use it again (maybe…).  When the time is up stick the thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh, making sure you aren’t touching any bones.  Allow the thermometer to read.  Your turkey temperature should be 165°F.  If it isn’t, your turkey needs more time to cook.  Mine took an extra 20 minutes to get up to temperature.  If you need to check again make sure you check in a different spot than the first time!  If you want to be extra careful, check in the breast under the wing, as well.  The temperature is much more important than the color.  Any turkey could have a pink coloring naturally, but if it got up to 165°F or higher, you’ll be just fine!

Remove the turkey from the oven and cover loosely with foil for at least 30 minutes to allow the turkey to rest.  This equalizes the juices inside so you have perfectly moist, delicious meat.

foiled turkey

Remove the turkey from the pan and start slicing!  There are several excellent videos if you google “how to slice a turkey”.  I think you’ll be alright!

While someone is slicing you can make the gravy.  Technically this isn’t part of the recipe but who eats Thanksgiving turkey without gravy?  Remove all the herbs, onions, and garlic, and pour all the drippings into a pot and add all the chicken or turkey stock.  Heat the liquid to a boil and, while you’re waiting, make the cornstarch mixture.  You could use a roux if you feel like it, but that takes longer and we are all about making Thanksgiving easy here!  Mix the cold water and cornstarch together until dissolved.  Once the liquid is boiling slowly add the cornstarch slurry to the drippings.  Stir and continue to heat until thickened.  If you need it thicker, just add more cornstarch liquid.

Serve with all the Thanksgiving trimmings and have an incredible time!

turkey leg

Link’s Salt-Grilled Meat

    • Raw Gourmet Meat or Raw Whole Bird
    • Rock Salt

    Salt-Brined Roast Turkey

    • Servings: dependant on turkey pounds
    • Difficulty: moderate
    • Print

    Turkey

    • 1 Turkey
    • 1/2 tsp kosher salt per pound of turkey
    • 1/4 tsp pepper per pound of turkey
    • 1/2-1 cup butter, room temperature, based on turkey size
    • 7 sprigs fresh oregano or thyme
    • 5 sprigs fresh sage leaves
    • 6 garlic cloves
    • 1 medium onion
    • 1 instant read meat thermometer

    Gravy

    • 1 pan turkey drippings
    • 3 cups chicken or turkey stock
    • 1/4 cup cold water
    • 3 heaping spoonfuls cornstarch

    Directions


    1. Thaw your turkey according to the packing instructions, generally refrigerated for a few days. If you need a quicker thaw, fill a sink with cold water and place the turkey in. Drain the water every 1/2 hour and refill with cold water. Continue this process for 8 hours until the turkey is thawed.
    2. Remove the bird from the packaging and take out the neck and giblets. These should be located inside the turkey at either the bottom or the neck holes.
    3. Dry the entire turkey with paper towels
    4. Coat the turkey in the kosher salt and pepper.  Allow the turkey to sit, with the salt and pepper, at room temperature for 1 hour to take off the chill.
    5. Wash the sage and oregano or thyme.
    6. Slice the onion into quarters.
    7. Remove the skin from 6 garlic cloves.
    8. Line the outside edges of a glass or metal cake pan large enough to hold your turkey with the aromatics, putting the onions in the corners.
    9. Rub the room temperature butter all over your hands, coating them completely.
    Then rub the entire turkey with those hands, pausing to get more butter if needed.  Make sure the entire bird in covered in the butter.  A safety note, if you touch any butter with turkey or turkey-covered hands please throw it away to mitigate the risk of food poisoning.
    10. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Put your turkey in the pan and put your pan in the oven on the middle shelf.  Close the door and bake for 45 minutes.
    11. Once the turkey has been roasting for 45 minutes take some tinfoil and cover the breast of the turkey, molding it to keep it in place. If you need to make a piece of tinfoil bigger to cover the whole turkey simply fold over the edges of the foil together and press down to seal.
    12. Lower the temperature of the oven to 350°F and bake for the remainder of the time. Please see the chart in the body of the post for the correct times.
    13. Insert the instant read thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh, making sure you aren’t touching any bones.  Allow the thermometer to read.  Your turkey temperature should be 165°F or higher. If the temperature is not quite high enough, roast the turkey until the temperature reads the correct amount.
    14. Remove the turkey from the oven and cover loosely with foil for at least 30 minutes to allow the turkey to rest.
    15. Remove the turkey from the pan.
    16. To make the gravy remove all herbs, onions, and garlic, and pour all the drippings into a pot. Add the chicken or turkey stock and bring to a boil.
    17. Mix the cold water and cornstarch together until dissolved. Once the drippings are boiling slowly add the cornstarch to the drippings, stirring to mix.
    18. Stir the gravy and bring it back to a boil. Add more cornstarch and water if a thicker gravy is desired.