I think making a turkey is one of the easiest things to do. Once it’s in the oven there isn’t much left to prepare (except sides) and clean up is a breeze. There are tons of different ways to prepare a turkey, but this is how I do it and have always had great results.
Here are a few pointers on turkey making:
- Figure 1- 1.5 pounds of bird per person (leftover turkey is never a bad thing to have and you don’t want to run short)
- Make sure your bird is completely defrosted before cooking. I like to leave it in the refrigerator for 3-4 days before I cook it (shorter or longer amount of time may be needed depending on the size of the turkey). If you don’t have time to defrost it this way or if it’s still partially frozen you can soak it in a sink filled with cool water. If you defrost it this way make sure you clean your sink before and after. Also, change the water out every 30 minutes.
- My way of preparing turkey does not call to brine it ahead of time (soaking the bird overnight in a mixture of water, salt, and sugar), but it is definitely a step you can do.
- Plan to cook the turkey for 20 minutes per pound. You can check the breast with a meat thermometer to make sure it’s up to 165 degrees. Don’t overcook!
- The more you open the oven to baste a turkey, the longer it may take to cook. Heat is lost each time you open the oven.
What you’ll need:
- A roasting pan with a lid (a use tin foil to cover it)
- Cheese cloth (found in most grocery stores). This helps keep juices on the bird during cooktime.
- 1-2 cups chicken broth
- Spices (see step 4 for a list of what I use)
- Baster or ladle
1. Rinse the turkey well and remove and innards.
2. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
3. Pour the chicken broth in the pan and set the turkey in.
4. Sprinkle the bird and pan with spices. I don’t measure amounts….I just use a little bit of everything listed: garlic, paprika, rosemary, parsley, pepper, onion powder, salt
5. Melt 1 stick of butter (I put it in a coffee mug in the microwave) and place a piece of cheesecloth (cut the size of the bird) into it to soak the butter. Place the cheesecloth over the bird. Cover the turkey and place in the oven.
6. Baste the bird every hour.
7. Remove the bird when it’s done cooking and remove the the cheese cloth. Let it sit for 20-30 minutes before carving.
How to make gravy:
1. Remove the turkey and any scraps from the pan, leaving just the juices.
2. Place the pan on the stove top and turn the heat on high.
3. In a separte container mix water with flour and shake (the constancy should be fairly thick, but still pourable)
4. Whisk the juices as it comes to a boil and slowly add the water/flour mixture until the gravy is to a consistancy you desire.
Using personal photographs as seasonal decoration is something I love to do. It adds special memories to holidays and gives more meaning to the decor you display throughout the year. I’ll use a couple of these shots to put in a frame or make a collage to help decorate the cabin for many July fourths down the road.
This weekend I dressed my 17 month old in all American gear, handed her a couple flags, and let her run around. Trying to get a baby to stand or sit still, look at the camera, and smile is just about impossible. So plan to take a bunch of photos in order to get some usable ones. My favorites are the ones of her running around or twirling the flags….. maybe not traditional good shots, but it captures the fun she was having.
Along with many holidays throughout the year this one always sneaks up me. It makes me realize that 1/3 of summer is already over…yikes! However, it is a great time to celebrate America, get together with others, and really get down to what summer is all about!
I like making ‘Martini Stations’. You can premake a large amount of a certain martini and keep it in a pitcher at room temperature. Then guests can pour the amount they want into a cocktail shaker, add ice, and have a great drink without the hassle of making martinis one by one.
What’s a great way to show your patriotism? Make a flag shaped fruit ‘pizza’ of course.
What you need:
- 1 refrigerated package of sugar cookie dough
- 2/3 of a package of light cream cheese, room temperature
- 2/3 of a container of light Cool Whip, thawed
- Blueberries and strawberries, rinsed and dried
Evenly spread the cookie dough into a rectangle (it may not turn out exact, so just trim the baked cookie as necessary to create a rectangle). Let it cool. Mix the cream cheese and Cool Whip together and spread evenly over the cookie crust. Add your fruit and enjoy!
I love making colorful layered cakes (for a gray ombre example Click Here). Making multiple and different colored layers does add a little time to making a cake, but not much and it really adds a lot to the festivities! You will want to use a white cake mix and make it with egg whites, not whole eggs (this keeps the color more pure). Separate the cake in 2 equal parts, add red food color to half and add blue food color to the other half. I only have 2 round cake pans, so I have to bake the red layers first and then once they cool I can bake the blue layers. Use white (not vanilla…it’s actually yellowy) frosting and decorate it as you wish!
I love me some glitter! I buy the inexpensive box of 12 of unscented ‘poured glass votive candles’, add some glitter, and you have cheap decorations!
What’s screams summer and America more than a Bomb Pop treat? You can relive those icecream truck memories, but with an adult friendly twist. Below are two different ways to make this festive cocktail:
Option One: Lemonade, Mike’s Hard Cranberry, UV Vodka Blue (the left half of the below photo)
Option Two: Smirnoff Ice, Blue Curacao, Cranberry Juice (the right half of the below photo)
Fill your glass with ice. Pour your blue liquid in (down the side so the color doesn’t stick to the ice), carefully pour in your ‘white’ liquid, and then the red. The colors blend quickly, so drink up!
Enjoy your cocktails in some patriotic washable glittered glasses. To learn how to make some sparkly glassware Click Here .
I’m a sucker for glitter. It just makes everything so much prettier and glassware is no exception! The question is…how to wash glitter? To see what I use for glittering Click Here
If you love the glittered goblets, but aren’t the crafty type that’s ok! You can purchase a set from me. If interested please Email me to figure out glitter colors, glass type, quantity, etc.
The only added step that you need to do to make stemware washable (hand wash only) is to spray 1 or 2 coats of clear sealant over the top of the glittered area (enter ‘how to glitter’ in the Search the Site section at the top of this website). I use a glossy top coat. Tape plastic over the part of the glass that you don’t need to cover with a clear coat.
I’m taking these to an overnight Bachelorette party this summer. The bride loves sparkles, so we are all going to wear glitz and sequins as a theme. I thought glittered wine glasses will be the perfect addition to the party. We’ll use them that night, be able to remember which glass is who’s, and the bride can take them home with her.
With summer approaching I need to have a set to help celebrate July 4th! For more 4th of July ideas Click Here
Nothing says Christmas like glistening sparkly champagne glasses!
Make glasses to match your wedding colors, any holiday, or a whole set of just black or silver glitter for a posh look.
I made this set for my book club when I hosted and we read ’50 Shades of Grey’. For more ideas on a gray themed party Click Here
I think glitter is the most fun. Unfortunately, it also can make the biggest mess….take your time to set out paper or plastic to work on.
- What you’ll need: modge podge, a cheap paintbrush, glitter, and plastic eggs (or whatever item you are glittering)
- Brush the glue onto the egg…yes, this is messy.
- Sprinkle glitter all over the egg…yes, this is messy too. You’ll probably need to rinse your hands off after each egg, so you can work on the next one.
- Let them dry overnight. Set up around a centerpiece, in a glass bowl, or hang them on a tree!
To see some glittery washable glassware Click Here
For sparkly DIY votives Click Here