The Fastest, Easiest, Juiciest Turkey-Cooking Method is Spatchcocking. Because Jesus Loves Us.

Nov 23 2015

SpatchcockedTurkey

Mark Bittman’s Spatchcocked Turkey. Want to know how to spatchcock the heck out of a bird? See Mr. Bittman’s tutorial on The New York Times here.

I read an article in The New York Times on how to roast a turkey in 45 minutes.

FORTY FIVE MINUTES, friends, to cook a 12+ pound bird.

Not only that, but this method results in tastier, juicier, more evenly cooked meat with crisper skin.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t have time to pee some days. I don’t have time to brush my teeth, much less my hair. I don’t have time to stop or breathe or finish a cup of coffee while it’s hot. So a Thanksgiving turkey roasting method that cuts cooking time by 75% AND is more delicious?? THAT IS THE COOKING METHOD FOR ME, folks. That makes an actual difference in my life.

And then I found out this cooking method is called … wait for it … spatchcocking.

Spatchcocking.

Spatch. Cocking.

And do you know why it’s called spatchcocking?

Because Jesus loves us. Or because someone was drinking. But probably because Jesus loves us. That’s why. And Jesus is not content to simply give good gifts like a faster bird-cooking time. Nope; that’s not enough. Jesus is EXTRAVAGANT, y’all. Excessive. And Jesus knows the only thing better than fast turkey is making sure it’s got a name like spatchcocking.

Spatchcocking.

Spatchcockery.

So we can spend Thanksgiving getting up to our usual spatchcock shenanigans, formerly known as tom-foolery.

Spatchcock-enanigans.

Just in time for Thanksgiving, American friends, I’ve decided I’m as aspiring spatchcocker.

Spatchcocking is for me.

Spatchcocking, after all, is fast, easy and juicy, and who doesn’t like fast, easy and juicy? No one. No one is who. No one doesn’t like fast, easy and juicy.

SPATCHCOCKING ALL AROUND.

Look. I’m not here to tell you how to live your life or Do Things a Better Way. This is not that blog. I’m just saying if you’re not spatchcocking… if you’re not a spatchcocker… if you’re not, you know, totally into spatchcockery… you’re probably ruining Thanksgiving. And America.

The End

P.S. While the breasts are fully exposed with any turkey-cooking method, the spatchcocked bird allows heat to be evenly distributed to all parts, meaning spatchcocking results in breasts, thighs and legs that finish at the same time. Simultaneous finishes, folks! Which is, after all, the goal.

P.P.S. I contacted my dad, my usual turkey-roaster, and informed him that he would be spatchcocking this year. He wasn’t sure he ought to discuss spatchcocking with his daughter, but eventually came around enough to ask if I thought he could spatchcock on a rack. “Do you think I can spatchcock on a rack?” he asked. I politely but firmly informed him that, while I’m generally a proponent of open communication and discussing things as a family, I draw the line at deciding for him exactly where he ought to spatchcock.

P.P.P.S. I’ve since discovered that a rack is, in fact, ideal for spatchcocking.

A Vote for Trump is a Vote for Tuna

Aug 29 2015

.

Greg texted me yesterday with important information about participating in a class action settlement.

TrumpIsFishy1

A class action settlement, friends, and not just any class action settlement, like the one where you can get $20 in deodorant or the one where you can get $3.70 because you used a Talbots credit card. No; compared to this one, those lawsuits are peanuts. Peanuts, I tell you! Because this one is a class action settlement for FREE TUNA. Like, $50 worth of FREE TUNA which everyone knows is TWICE as good as $25 worth of free tuna or FIVE TIMES better than $10 worth of free tuna.

I admit, though, it did strike me as a little strange, given how much Greg and I detest anything that smacks of frivolous litigation, that Greg signed onto this settlement. Until, of course, I realized that free tuna would only cost us our conscience and our scruples. Then I was all, THAT IS TOTALLY A FAIR TRADE.

TrumpIsFishy2

Now, Greg may not have fully understood the sincerity of my message, mistakenly taking it as sarcasm, so he explained a little more background on the issue.

TrumpIsFishy3

And Greg was right, of course, because we cannot continue to be placid bystanders while tuna crimes are being committed all around us! When push comes to shove and fractions of tuna ounces are being omitted, we must stand for JUSTICE and THE AMERICAN WAY. And I hate to get into politics too much on this site, but when the tuna manufacturers betray us, I think we can all agree that there’s only one person likely to solve America’s Tuna Woes. “America’s Tuna Woes” being one of the key social issues of our time.

TrumpIsFishy4

HELL STATE. That is what this country is in. A HELL STATE, friends. It is time to open our eyes to the tuna injustices all around us and to realize that Donald Trump is here to rescue us from our own folly.

In case you’re not sure yet that you’d like to vote for a man who belittles women and minorities, bullies people who question his plans and policies, and has, well, the judgement, restraint and maturity of a pickle, I am here to tell you you are wrong. You are WRONG, friends, and it may be hard to hear, but I have GOOD REASONS.

TrumpIsFishy5

In conclusion, a vote for Trump is a vote for Tuna.

I mean, probably.

Just thought you’d want to know.

Love,

Signature

 

 

 

P.S. Now that I’ve had a few minutes to think about it, I wonder if I’ve been a bit hasty in my endorsement of Trump as the most pro-tuna candidate. It belatedly occurs to me that we have not vetted each candidate on his or her tuna policy. However, if we’re basing our judgement on the most fishy of all the candidates, I think we can still make our case.

Proof America No Longer Leads the World in Innovation

Apr 19 2015

Dear America,

This is a Spaghetti Sandwich.

IMG_2943

It’s an enriched, bleached, white wheat roll stuffed with spaghetti noodles and red sauce; simple carbohydrates wrapped in simple carbohydrates, and, I think we can all agree, nutritionally deficient GENIUS. 

GENIUS, I tell you.

You would think this kind of innovation came from America.

It’s our legacy.

It’s in our collective blood.

Crap food + crap food. Like deep fried Oreos. And Every Single Thing at the Cheesecake Factory. Delectable. Deadly. Delicious.

Yes, you would think this kind of innovation came from America, but you would be wrong.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the Spaghetti Sandwich is a product of Japan.

JAPAN.

Land of electronic wizardry and bullet trains. 

Land where 90% of the population belongs to the middle class.

Land of prosperity.

Listen; I don’t want to be an alarmist here, folks, but when Japan is not only leading the world in technological advances and economic success — when Japan is taking over the world of delectable anti-nutrition — we ought to wake up from our Doritos- and Twinkies-induced stupors and take notice. THIS IS OUR TERRITORY, America! Our domain! And Japan is STEALING it from us. 

First, we let the Canadians invent poutine right under our noses, AND NOW THIS. 

COME ON, AMERICA. 

We can do better. We can BE better.

Ethnocentricly Yours, 

Signature

 

 

 

P.S. Lest I leave you on a sour note, let me also say All Is Not Lost. Not yet, friends. Via Starbucks, an American original, we are infiltrating the Japanese sandwich empire with inventions of our own…

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…like the Banana and Bacon Sandwich. Granted, bananas are full of potassium, and fail to turn immediately to fat in our bodies like spaghetti and white bread, but we’re on the right track by adding bacon. We have a long way to go, I’ll grant you, but, led by Starbucks, we have not totally conceded the fight. 

In other words, Carry On, Warriors. Carry on.

On All the Wins Nobody Sees: A Guest Post by Stephanie Gates

Aug 29 2014

On All the Wins Nobody Sees
by Stephanie Gates of A Wide Mercy

My name is Stephanie, and I didn’t eat any brownies last Thursday.Those brownies sat on my counter all day long, and I didn’t eat a single one when nobody was looking. Not eating them was the most productive thing I did all day. I fought those brownies – and I won.

And nobody ever even knew about it.

Food is not a daily struggle for me. I mean, I’m not exactly lean. Four babies later, I’m twenty pounds – and a whole lot of muscle – from my ideal weight. But I’m not usually an emotional eater. When I look in the mirror, twenty extra pounds do not measure my worth. In my day-to-day life, food is not the cross I carry.

But this summer, one of my kids had a run-in with death. Thanks be to God, my child is fine, yet the experience threw my subconscious mind into a sort of primal survival mode. Eat sugar! All of it! Prepare yourself to survive the impending doom!

Since then, I’ve been fighting food. Every single day, all day long.

But I’m fighting food. I’m not losing to food, I’m fighting it. Every day I walk past breads, cakes or ice cream – any sugar, really – and tell myself, you aren’t in danger. You don’t need sugar. Your brain is confused. Keep moving. Most of the time, I don’t pick them up.

To tell you the truth, I’m pretty proud of myself. I’m not losing weight right now, but I’m not gaining either. There is a very real battle in my head right now, and I’m in the lead.

But nobody around me knows I’m engaged in a fight. Nobody knows what I don’t eat in a day.

Nobody knows right now I have to make a conscious decision to be healthy, emotionally and physically, about every ten minutes. I fight – and win! – all the time, but I never share my victories with my husband or friends. I just collect them. I collect them all. Each tiny win reminds me I can do this. I can stare at death and move back into life. My unnoticed achievements are me putting one foot in front of the other. They each lead me a half inch closer to peace.

Then I wonder, what battles are you winning right now?

What are you fighting no one ever sees? I wonder who among us is slowly, deliberately healing. Who is engaging unhealthy thoughts right now, making tiny but important decisions toward peace. Who is waking up the next morning, and deciding to fight all over again. Is that your story?

If so, come sit by me. Tell me what threw your life into primal survival mode. Tell me how you’re climbing back into the sunlight. I want to hear it all. Tell me your story, and I’ll tell you mine.

Because our victories may be silent, but we are not alone. We’re both fighting, you and I, and we are both going to win. I may have seen death this summer, but I’m not giving in to it. I’m going to keep inching closer to peace.

We’ll begin right here. My name is Stephanie, and last Thursday I didn’t eat a single brownie.

……….

StephanieAWideMercyI am Stephanie – mom to four beautifully rambunctious little kids and wife to a guy who still makes me smile. Last spring I moved to Colorado, where I fell in love with the mountain air and the Anglican church. If you have ever abandoned religion in search of faith, ever had to leave your hometown to find your home, or ever climbed to the very tip-top of a jungle gym to rescue an overzealous toddler, come sit by me.  We’ll talk.


You can follow my story at A Wide Mercy or follow along on Facebook.  

……….

WE FOUND IT! The Perfect Eating Plan!

Apr 22 2014

photo (87)I was on a quick trip with my cousin last week, and now I’m home Doing All the Laundry and Drinking All the Coffee and Being Late for All the School Drop-offs and Listening to All the Urgent MomMomMomMomMommyMoms!, but I need to interrupt All Those Fun Things to tell you what Jen and I discovered in the middle of Rachel Ray’s magazine while sitting on a boring, blissful beach in the scalding, silent sun for two whole days

YOU GUYS!

We found
THE PERFECT EATING PLAN.

Which I’ve been searching for for at least FOREVER. 

And there it was at the bottom of page 36. 

The VB6 Cookbook: More than 350 recipes for Healthy Vegan Meals All Day
and Delicious Flexitarian Dinners at Night

photo 2 (75)

So the premise is you eat vegan meals during the day, which is NOT the part of eating plan that’s perfect. Obviously. Because I’m not going to be a vegan before 6pm or, really, anytime. Not because I’m opposed to veganism; it’s just a) I’m nowhere near organized enough to put an entire vegan eating plan together and then, hahaha, stick to it, and b) cheese.

But did you see the second part of that subtitle?! 

Because I realized what I am capable of doing was right there on the page in green and white.

I am, in fact, already doing it.

FLEXITARIANISM, friends.

The PERFECT EATING PLAN.

And OK, yes, I’m behind the times.

And OK, yes, I’m defining it all wrong.

But whatever.

Because I AM A FLEXITARIAN where Flexitarianism is defined not as eating mostly vegetarian with the occasional sidecar of meat but instead as totally flexible eating.

The Mixed Martial Arts of Eating!

A hodgepodge of food plans.

Like a chocolate cupcake, a banana and the handful of Easter candy I snuck from my kids’ baskets for breakfast. And trail mix with M&M’s for lunch. And my kid’s leftover fried rice for second lunch. And a trip to the farmer’s market for fresh, organic, local produce in the afternoon, because I care about healthful eating, folks, followed by I’m Confused Why You Keep Asking What’s for Dinner – Have We Run Out of Fake Kraft Mac & Cheese? for dinner.

FLEXITARIANISM.

It’s my -ism!

Which is when Jen noted that, when it’s defined right, she’s a Flexitarian, like, all the time.

Me, too!

So we decided to start the Flexitarian All the Time Diet.

To support our fellow Flexitarians! And to make millions, of course. Millions. 

FLEXITARIAN ALL the TIME, guys.

We’re calling it F.A.T. for short. 

Who’s in??

15 REAL Dos and Don’ts of Juice Cleansing

Jan 30 2014

I’ve started a juice cleanse to jump start myself back into better eating habits following this past season of life which I shall call the Unlimited Chocolate and Cheese season. And also the Don’t Hold Back the Butter season. And the Of Course I’ll Have Fries With That season. A good season, to be honest. A great season. And one I fully intend to revisit. But one from which my clothes and I need a brief break if we’re going to have any hope of making our relationship long-term. 

I’m also — obviously doing the juice cleanse because I’m an Oregonian so this kind of thing is periodically required. Frankly, a juice cleanse is an easier way to keep my Oregonian card than buying therapy llamas, although not nearly as awesome.

Of course, before I started, I researched juice cleansing and juice fasting online. Ostensibly so I could do it right, but really to plan exactly which rules to break. Like the No Solids Rule. Yeah – totally breaking that one with small amounts of lean protein because I’ve met me without protein and I’m not very nice. 

Now that I’m a day and a half into my juice cleanse, though, and, therefore, an expert, I’ve realized my research didn’t fully prepare me. 

Just in case you, like me, are curious about juicing, I thought I might put together a list of what to expect at the beginning. What to know ahead of time. And what behaviours to avoid. Not, you know, the kinds of Dos and Don’ts that come from a registered dietitian with master’s degrees in nutrition science and public health. No. This list is more of a nuts and bolts list; a practical list; or, as I like to call it,

15 REAL Dos and Don’ts of Juice Cleansing

juiceReady? Here we go.

1. DO understand you will be drinking things that look like Jabba the Hutt… like if you took Jabba the Hutt, crammed him into a blender, flipped liquify, and poured him into a cup. This is, I am now convinced, why people say blended fruit and vegetable juice tastes surprisingly good. Because you look at it, expecting a sort of chunky, foamy Jabba the Hutt flavor, and are so pleasantly surprised to be choking back something that tastes more like apple and spinach that you can hardly believe your good luck.

2. DO understand what a juice cleanse means: no refined sugar, no salt, no fat, no solids, no alcohol, and no caffeine.

3. DO understand a mother of five will insist coffee is a plant derivative and, as such, can be reasonably included in a diet of fruits and vegetables.

4. DO understand she will also make an exception for half-and-half which is really just juice of cow.

5. DO NOT try to tell the mother of five she’s breaking the rules, doing it all wrong, and shouldn’t even bother if she’s not going to do it right. She’s been breaking the rules and doing it all wrong for years; if she previously abandoned all rules of socially appropriate behavior by, oh, say, wearing her pajamas to the store in the middle of the day, sans makeup, bra, panties, socks and dignity to procure medicine, a nasal aspirator and off-brand Popsicles with extra dye and sugar for a sick child, then juice cleanse rules really don’t stand a chance. Nice try, though.

6. DO understand when you get caught eating Pop Chips in the bathtub that it will be hard to convince your 7-year-old that you are eating juice of potato. This is not meant to discourage you from making the argument; it’s simply fair warning to be prepared to really sell it.

7. DO realize that if you have ever said to your child, “If you were really hungry enough, you would eat it,” the Jabba juice is karmic justice, and it’s time to put up or shut up. It’s time to decide… are you really hungry enough? If not, it’ll be waiting for you at breakfast. Maybe by then you will be.

8. DO understand, after you have put up, that Jabba the Hutt will wreak havoc on your digestive system. 

9. DO understand this is what cleansing means.

10. DO understand you must remain within darting distance of a toilet for at least 24 hours.

11. DO NOT think you can run out for a quick errand.

12. DO NOT think it will only be a few minutes and you really, really need just one thing from the store.

13. DO NOT, I repeat do NOT, get stuck waiting for a train.

14. DO thank your lucky stars for indoor plumbing.

15. And DO thank God you made it in time.

……….

There you have it. 15 REAL Dos and Don’ts for Juice Cleansing. 

Do you juice? If so, what would you add? AND what’s your favorite recipe? I’m looking for more ideas. FYI, I do not recommend the spinach, celery, carrot, cucumber, lemon combo… blerg.

Easy Peasy 2-Ingredient Fudge (and Day 3 of 7+ Giveaways)

Dec 16 2013

Reposted from December 2012 because Christmas is almost upon us, and I don’t know about you, but I need something to be ridiculously simple right now.

Do you already know about this fudge recipe? Do you? Because, if so, you should not have been keeping it to yourself all these years. I cannot even believe the amount of time I spent standing over a stove waiting for marshmallows to melt, you guys. That’s time I’ll never get back.

OK, here’s the deal. This recipe was originally created by Eagle Brand or Kraft or some company like that. I don’t know for sure; the internet’s a murky pit of unconfirmed rumors. All I can tell you is that my mom-in-law let me in on the Great Fudge Secret after I told her I didn’t believe she made her fudge in less than 10 minutes of hands-on time.

“Impossible!” I said. “Everyone knows the major ingredients in fudge are time and danger, stirring pots of bubbling fat and boiling sugar over fire while dozens of tiny children play with balls and Legos and Hot Wheels underfoot. It’s tradition, Judy. Practically one of the doctrines of the Christian faith.”

And Judy said, “Nuh uh.” (Which is a total lie. My mom-in-law has never, to my knowledge, said “nuh uh” because she’s classy. But she meant “nuh uh” in her heart.)

And I said, “Prove it.”

And then she did.

Now, I’ve looked online for this recipe because I was just going to link you to it on Facebook — you know, a quick “hey, check this out” — but every one I found makes this harder on you than necessary. And can I just say? We’re moms. We do not always have time for double boilers or myriad ingredients. We need some things, sometimes, to just be easy, and since that easy thing apparently can’t be communication with our husbands or acquiring self-raising children, I give you:

Easy Peasy 2-Ingredient Fudge

Here’s what you need:

    • 3 cups (510 g) chocolate chips
    • 14 oz (396 g) sweetened condensed milk

And here are some optional ingredients (select some or none but not all ’cause ew) :

    • 1 T. vanilla
    • Nuts
    • Crushed candy canes
    • 1 T. booze, like bourbon or rum or peppermint schnapps
    • Whatever sounds delicious

Step 1: Combine chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk into a microwave-safe bowl.

Step 2: Microwave until chocolate chips are melted. I microwave on high for one minute, stir, microwave on high for 30 seconds, and stir. When it all stirs smoothly together, it’s done.

If you want to add other ingredients, now’s your chance. Feel free to throw in vanilla, peppermint oil (see below), nuts, candy cane bits, sprinkles or booze. Check your cupboards and add whatever looks yummy. One note on liquids, though… don’t add more than 1 tablespoon of those, ’cause you don’t want to change the consistency of the fudge too much and prevent it from setting. Serve the fudge with a sidecar of bourbon, is what I’m saying.

Step 3: Pour into a greased 9×9 pan. Embellish if you must.

What do you want me to say about this? I was feeling very Better Homes and Gardens today. Or Family Fun magazine. It happens sometimes, and then I try to love myself and not feel ashamed. Kind of like when I secretly think that Snuggies look awesome.

Let it set in the fridge for one hour.

Step 4:

Cut and serve.

And that’s it, folks. The easiest peasiest fudge on the planet.

Enjoy!

……….

Easy Peasy 2-Ingredient Fudge:
the faster, more boring directions

  1. Combine 3 cups (510 g) chocolate chips and 14 oz (396 g) sweetened condensed milk in a microwave-safe bowl.
  2. Microwave ’til melty (1-2 minutes) and stir ’til smooth. Add other ingredients if you insist on making this complicated.
  3. Pour into a greased 9×9 dish. Let it set for 1 hour in the fridge.
  4. Cut and serve.

……….

Today is Day 3 of 7(+) Giveaways!

I invited the 5 Kids Blog advertisers (see the column to your right) to join me for 7 (or more!) days of giveaways. CHECK BACK for a NEW GIVEAWAY EVERY DAY.

DSCN4111Today, Aliesha of Aliesha’s Oils is giving away a bottle of doTerra Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade Essential Peppermint Oil.

Peppermint oil is used for headache, fever, heartburn, varicose veins, bad breath, and nausea, and it’s completely safe to take while pregnant.

It’s also ideal for cooking; just add a couple drops to your favorite fudge recipe and VOILA! Mint fudge! 

This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations, Tina!

TO ENTER: Leave a comment on this blog post by 11:59pm (Pacific Time) on Tuesday, December 17th. One entry per person, please. A winner will be selected using a random number generator and posted on Wednesday.

This giveaway is open to international participants. International shipping provided by me.

Note: The 5 Kids Blog advertisers provided no additional compensation for these giveaways. Aliesha is paying for the cost of the giveaway and U.S. shipping. She paid me for her ad only, and this just seemed like a fun way to work together for your benefit. OK? OK.

……….

Do tell, friends: what’s your go-to recipe during the holidays? The food you always make because you can count on it. Or the food your family insists on having. Is it an elaborate Beef Wellington? Or Kraft Mac & Cheese? Your grandma’s famous apple strudel? Or Breyer’s ice cream straight from the carton? We’re not judgers. You can tell us. And you can link us up to recipes, too!

If you’re in the market for other simple, delicious recipes, check these out:

  1. Easy Peasy FAST Homemade Cinnamon Rolls — yep, from scratch to table in 1 hour and 15 minutes. Like a Christmas miracle.
  2. Easy Peasy FAST Homemade Bread
  3. Super Duper Uber Cheater Pants Cookies
  4. Easy Peasy Apple Cake – or substitute other fruit. A fun, quick holiday treat.
  5. Or, for the full list of Five Kids Blog Recipes, click here.