Cooking a Turkey!

Over the years, I’ve made many a turkey.  I’ve done it the old-fashioned low and steady way, the oven bag and the foil method.  And to be honest, cooking a turkey isn’t really that hard… the key is to catch the turkey when its ready to come out.

I think the foil way is my favorite.  Its easy, clean up is easy, the turkey is totally juicy and there’s LOTS of stock for gravy and leftovers.  When you use the foil or bag, it creates a crock pot kind of environment – lots of moisture!

I use a mix of a couple of recipes (I’ve included them in the references section), but its basically like my “Cooking a chicken in a crock pot” recipe.

Ingredients:

  • Roasting pan (turkey will give off an inch or more of juice)
  • Heavy duty aluminum foil
  • Turkey (thawed/defrosted)
  • 1 medium to large onion, sliced
  • 2-3 stalks of celery, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 2-3 stalks of carrots, sliced in half lengthwise
    • Spices
  • 2-3 sprigs of thyme
  • 1-2 sprigs of rosemary
  • 2-3 leaves of sage
  • 1 tablespoon of salt per 8 pounds of turkey
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • 3+ tablespoons of paprika

Directions:

If you’re using a foil roasting pan that you will be tossing:

You don’t need to line it.  You’ll just need two pieces of foil to cover the pan.

If you’re using a metal roasting pan:

You’ll want to line it.  I can give the instructions on how to do it, but Reynolds has a really good video about it.

 

Preheat the oven to 450°. Take out the giblets from the turkey (they usually come in a pouch, but sometimes they are loose.  If they’re loose, look for the heart, lungs, liver & neck).  If you want to make your own gravy, save the giblets minus the liver (you can eat the liver separately, but I don’t recommend cooking it to make gravy… it changes the flavor).  Rinse the turkey out.  Make sure to rinse from both sides.  Then pat the turkey dry with some paper towels.

After you have lined the pan, put celery, carrots and half of the onions in the bottom of the pan. Place the turkey in the pan.  Put all of the spices except the paprika inside the turkey cavity.  Then rub the paprika on the outside of the turkey skin.  To be honest, I never measure the paprika… I just sprinkle paprika all over to make sure it is covered.

If your turkey does not have a pop up timer, you’ll need to insert a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh.  Make sure that the pop up timer or the thermometer are facing the front of the oven when you put the turkey in.

Fold the foil over the turkey making sure to leave a few inches of space.  You want the moisture to be able to circulate around the turkey.

Use the cooking time chart from the Reynolds website to determine how long you’ll need to cook the turkey for.  Set your timer for 45 minutes – 1 hr before its supposed to be done.

When the timer goes off, either remove the foil (if you’re using an aluminum throw away roasting pan) or open the foil and fold it back.  Pull the rack out completely or take the turkey completely out of the oven so that you don’t accidentally burn yourself on the side or top of the oven before removing the foil.

Then either using a ladle, brush or large spoon take juice from the pan and distribute evenly all over the skin.  The basting is what helps make the skin crispy – it does not make the meat juicy.  If you’ll be making your own gravy, take a cup or more of the stock from the bottom of the pan and start making your gravy.

Reduce the heat to 350° and then set your timer for 30 minutes.  If you have a light and a see-through door, you don’t need to open the oven (which will help the turkey cook faster). Check to see if the timer has popped or the thermometer reads 180.  Set your timer to go off every 10 minutes until the turkey is ready.

When the turkey is ready, take it out of the oven and let it sit for about 30 minutes before you begin carving.

Enjoy!

Posted in Recipes

Can’t believe how well the air purifier works

For the past couple of months, my husband has been having crazy sneezing attacks. He doesn’t suffer from allergies, but I wasn’t sure what was causing it. However, about 3 weeks ago, I started having the same crazy sneezing and itchy eyes. Unlike my husband, I pay attention to when and where the sneezing started. It seemed to originate in my son’s room.

Of course, I hopped online and tried to find out what could be causing it. The 2 main culprits seem to be mold spores and dust mites. We stopped using the humidifier. We had been using it every night because my son had come to rely on the sound and the light. Neither of us thought that there would be too big of an issue. Every morning, I’d open the window and keep it open until night time. But both mold spores and dust mites love humidity. So we probably caused this problem by using it, especially since we didn’t really experience any symptoms until we were in our son’s room at night.  After some major cleaning including his carpets, I thought the symptoms would dissipate, but they didn’t.

In fact, I had used a dehumidifier in his room and I think all it did was push out any extra stuff into the rest of the house. After using the dehumidifier for a couple of days, I started noticing the sneezing attacks starting while hanging out in the living room.

After night after night of sneezing and runny noses, we finally got ourselves an air purifier by Germ Guardian. It arrived around 10 am a couple of days later and got it set up in minutes. By that evening, I noticed that my husband wasn’t sneezing like he normally does.

The next morning, I wasn’t woken up by my husband sneezing and blowing his nose.  When I told him I noticed a difference, he said he hadn’t thought about it.  Now after 3 days of constant use, I can say without a doubt that the air purifier we got has DEFINITELY helped.

It was kind of a tough decision about which one to get.  There are so many different kinds. In the end, I decided on one with a UV light filter since the light actually kills some cold and flu viruses. We’re keeping it in my son’s room. It has also done a WONDERFUL job at keeping the dirty diaper smell away (yes, my son still isn’t potty trained – that will change soon, though).

So if you’re on the fence about whether or not you should get an air purifier, I highly recommend it. If you have allergies or unexplained sneezing (as was our case), it can’t hurt and it can only do good.

Posted in Health, Technology

Some of my favorite things

Pilon Espresso
Silicone Case for AT&T HTC One X +Hard Cover With a Kickstand
Whispure Air Purifier, HEPA Air Cleaner

Chalkboard Contact Paper, 18″ x 6′

Tagged with:
Posted in Personal

We need an air filter desperately

Both my husband and I have been sneezing and having crazy runny noses. After some research, I think we’re going to get an air purifier. Can’t hurt, right?

Posted in Personal

Definitely a boy and boy am I happy!

While at a play date recently, another mom told me that her good friend was told that she was having a boy at the nuchal ultrasound and it turned out she was having a girl. My heart skipped a beat! You’d think (at least by my previous post) that I was hoping it would be a girl, but nope, it skipped because I have come to realize how much I really want another boy.

As I sort of mentioned in my previous post, I knew that my desire for a girl was really coming from my own personal reasons, not from my selfless mothering. After mourning for a couple of days (yes, it took me a few days to get used to the fact that I wasn’t going to have a girl), I realized how much I was looking forward to having two boys.

There are many reasons why I’m happy about having two boys besides the obvious boy hand me downs for clothes and toys, they can share a room longer, etc, but here are a few:

  • I won’t have to worry (too much) about how I’m portraying my own self image. With a girl, they pick up on everything you say, but more importantly every face you make when you look in the mirror. Too many of my friends have girls that are struggling with their self image. I know I did. My mom also had a really bad self image and I am 100% positive that she passed on some of the same insecurities. I have done a good job trying to get passed them, but they’re still their lurking in the background. To be honest, boys don’t really take it to heart if their mom has a bad hair day or a fat day (at least as long as they’re not on such a regular basis as to disrupt normal living). Boys: 1 – Girls: 0
  • As an adult, I actually find the boy toys quite a bit more stimulating. When I was a girl, I loved to play with my dolls and have tea parties. And while I admit to enjoying myself when I get the opportunity with some of my friends’ girls, I also admit to getting quite bored with it as soon as the novelty wears off. But give me a train set and I’ll play with it for hours. Yes, I said “I’ll play with it” – just ask my son!  We pull out his train set almost every day, and I can honestly say I sometimes look forward to figuring out how I’m going to make the track that day. I can’t wait till we get to bust out some Lincoln Logs and some Tinkertoys! Boys: 2 – Girls: 0
  • I like pink, but I surely don’t LOVE pink! I know there are some girls out there that prefer purple (which I’m actually not that fond of either) or that are rather tom-boyish but the vast majority of little girls LOVE pink! I definitely get overloaded on pink and am soooooooo grateful that I don’t get gifts for my son in pink. Even if I wouldn’t be buying “my” little girl pink, everyone else does. There just really is no escaping pink when you have a girl.  Boys: 3 – Girls: 0

The list goes on and on, but I got to go get some work done!

Posted in Parenting, Personal, Pregnancy

Dosing and concentration changes taking place with Infant’s Tylenol

Information about changes – Tylenol.com.

If you have Tylenol in your cabinet and purchase the new one, make sure you match the instructions to the right bottle. Using the new instructions with the old concentration levels could cause harm to your child.

Posted in Health, Infant

90% Certain we’re having another boy

Went to the nuchal screening ultrasound and the Dr. told us the baby seems to be really healthy… Yeah! I am truly happy for that because I cannot imagine what we would do if that weren’t the case.  Then he asked if we wanted to know the gender. Since my husband wasn’t there, he put it on a note card, folded it up and I took it to Eli at lunch… The card read 90% – Boy!

First thought, yeah Milan is going to have so much fun having a brother. Thoughts 2, 3 and on have not been as wonderful.

When I was a little girl, I was VERY close to my grandma (as well as my mom). When I was about 9 or 10, my grandma told me that she always had wanted one of her grandchildren to be named after her. I of course told her that I would name my daughter after her. So for almost 30 years, I have always assumed that I would have a girl and her name would be Rosemary. In fact, when my husband and I were just barely dating and we were talking about whether or not we wanted kids, I told him that my daughter was going to be named Rosemary. In my mind, I was prepared to say goodbye to this wonderful man if he wasn’t on board with the idea. It really was a deal breaker. Luckily, my husband loved the name. And its actually a triple whammy name, because his grandma’s name is Mary and my mom’s name was Mary. It really is the perfect name for us to give for a little girl.

So now today that I found out we’re having another boy, I feel like I let my grandma down. She died a few years back and I always felt like this was going to be my last gift to her. And now I’m not going to be able to. As I sit her and type up this, tears are rolling down my cheeks.

I’m so conflicted. I KNOW that I will love this baby tremendously. And its not really that I’m sad we’re having another boy, its just that we’re not going to have any more kids. So my dream of having a little girl has just ended. I feel so guilty for not feeling happy right now, especially because I know how sad I was during the last miscarriage.

You might be thinking I’m being selfish, but the way I’m feeling is akin to someone having their career dream cut short (like a baseball pitcher blowing his arm out or a dancer ruining their knee). I never really thought about much in life except being a mom. And that dream ALWAYS included a girl.

So today I say goodby to pigtails, little dresses and baby dolls. No girl talk as we get ready to go out, no days of shopping at the mall. No more getting to teach how to put on makeup, use a curling iron or blow dryer. No talks about first kisses or what is or is not acceptable on a first date. And the other myriad of life experiences I had always expected to share with a daughter.

I’m sure tomorrow I’ll be fine, but today I say goodby to my dream.

Posted in Parenting

Morning, noon and night sickness

Before you start feeling sorry for me, I really have been lucky with the sickness… its really not that bad. With that being said, I HATE feeling sick to my stomach. The sickness is not just in the morning… its all day. Luckily its not all the time or I would be completely miserable. It usually occurs after I have had something sweet to eat. So I think that is officially the signal to cut out the crap. Oh how I will miss my nightly ice cream. Yes, my hubs and I eat ice cream every night. We don’t pig out, just a small scoop or two.

Tonight, I couldn’t even finish my second small scoop. It made me quite sad knowing that the delicious, creamy, yumminess that is Trader Joe’s ice cream was going to waste.

Luckily, I have not actually hurled yet. But I sure have been close. I feel bad for those women that have really bad morning sickness.

As I said, I HATE being sick to my stomach. When I was in 2nd grade (I think), I got sick so bad that I couldn’t stop puking. I ended up breathing in my vomit and started choking. Luckily, my mom was with me in the bathroom and she gave me the Heimlich Maneuver. Ever since that day, I get so scared when I get sick… I start shaking and quivering.

I’m truly afraid of throwing up. I know (logically) that the chances of me choking again are actually quite slim, but it doesn’t change the fact that I fight it as much as possible. Luckily I have gotten better over the years – 3 bouts of food poisoning have helped my fear subside a little bit.

So if any other moms-to-be are reading this right now and you’re about to hurl – I feel your pain!

Posted in Pregnancy

Baby Size Chart from The Bump

I was just talking with my husband about how different it is this time being pregnant (and I’m not talking about the emotional issues dealing with the miscarriage). When I was pregnant with Milan, every day I was reading something.

There was not enough time in the day to get through all of the reading material I had. I got daily updates by email about the growing baby.

So as my husband and I sat on the couch discussing the results show from America’s Got Talent, I realized that I didn’t even know how big the baby was. Was it the size of a piece of rice? Or was it as big as a bean yet?

Of course, I hopped online to find out. Luckily, I came across a really cute Baby Size Chart from The Bump.  You should check it out.

Currently, there’s a raspberry growing inside of me! 😉

Posted in Pregnancy

I’m pregnant again

Although its still pretty early and considering what happened last time, I’m a bit hesitant to tell everyone the good news… but I’m really happy to announce that I’m pregnant again.  I’m about 7½ weeks.

The day of the ultrasound, I had some light spotting. Nothing too bad, but it was red and fresh. The ultrasound showed that I was only at 6weeks 1 day, when I “should have” been around 6 weeks 3 or 4 days.  We could see a heartbeat, but it was only at 117. So since the heart rate was lower than it should have been (they wanted it to be 120 or higher), the due date was off, the spotting and the disappointing results of the last pregnancy, the doctor wanted me to come back the next week.

I continued to spot on and off (although it wasn’t new blood) for the next week. I was prepared for the worst when we went in. But the ultrasound gave some good news. The baby measured at 7 weeks, 1 day – exactly one week of growth! The heart rate was 137 – right where it should be. The doctor seems to think that everything is on track for a healthy pregnancy!

Unfortunately, I’m still spotting on and off, but I’m not worried. This pregnancy feels better! I’m not anxious all the time like I was last time.

So here’s hoping for a healthy pregnancy with a happy, healthy child!

 

Posted in Pregnancy