The biggest gripe I have about roasting a turkey is that, when roasting the whole bird, to get the thigh to come up to the optimal temperature of 170° you often will end up with a dry, overcooked breast that only needs to reach about 150° to be perfectly done.
This afternoon I came across an article on lifehacker.com that solves the problem! Cook the breasts separately and brine them first in a buttermilk based brine that infuses the meat with an incredible amount of moisture and flavor while also adding some very needed fat to help retain both.
Word to the wise: buttermilk promotes browning so watch your breast carefully as you start to get into the latter stages of roasting. The breast in the picture had foil on it for the last 15 minutes of roasting.
Buttermilk Brined Turkey Breast
4-5 pound bone-in turkey breast
1 quart of buttermilk
1 quart of water
1/2 cup of salt
1/4 cup of sugar
5 smashed garlic cloves
1 teaspoon peppercorns (white are ideal)
1 bay leaf
Citrus fruit slices (A couple of lemons and oranges is plenty.)
Pour the water into a sauce pan, along with the salt, sugar, garlic, pepper and bay leaf. Bring everything to a boil, then remove from the heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar and salt. Let the brine cool to room temperature. Once it’s cool, combine it with the buttermilk, then pour the mixture over the turkey breast in a brining bag or small bucket. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.
Preheat the oven to 375℉, remove the turkey from the brine, and let drain on paper towels, blotting to remove excess moisture from the skin. Scatter your fruit in the bottom of a roasting pan or large skillet, place a trivet or rack on top of that, then set the turkey on top. Roast uncovered until the skin is well-browned, covering with foil towards the end if it starts to look dicey. Continue to roast until the thickest part of the breast reads 150℉, about 90 minutes to two hours. If your breasts are Dolly Parton sized 😉 cook them a little longer. Remove from the oven, and let rest for 15 minutes before carving. Sprinkle with some sea salt and citrus zest before serving. #ThisGirlLovesToEat
I’m not a big pumpkin spice anything girl, but I am a big fan of pumpkin pie and just about any bread or muffin that has pumpkin in it. I am not, however, a big fan of the amount of fat that usually accompanies those recipes and look for any way I can to trim that aspect down so I can enjoy more of those seasonal treats.
On this first day of October, it may have been 90° and muggy in the shade where I live, but I’m kicking off my fall baking (well after dark) with this recipe for pumpkin gingerbread with no added fat.
3 Cups sugar
1 Cup applesauce or banana puree
2/3 Cup water
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
3+1/2 Cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1+1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1-15oz can pumpkin puree
Preheat oven to 350° F (175° C). Lightly grease two 9×5 inch loaf pans.
In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar, applesauce or banana puree, and eggs; beat until smooth. Add water and beat until well blended. Stir in pumpkin, ginger, allspice cinnamon, and clove.
In medium bowl, combine flour, soda, salt, and baking powder. Add dry ingredients to pumpkin mixture and blend just until all ingredients are mixed. Divide batter between prepared pans.
Bake in preheated oven until toothpick comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cool loaves completely on wire racks. Store wrapped in refrigerator.
Very reluctantly, I’m back from my week of culinary indulgence. I gorged myself while sipping on every delectable wine I could in Napa and Paso Robles, so it’s back to the kitchen (& the gym) I go.
I adore veal saltimbocca, but have greatly cut back my intake of red meat, even the lighter pink/milky white young beef that is veal. With this recipe, I’ve kept the flavors, cut some of the fat by using a lean chicken breast, and even snuck in some vegetables.
Some saltimbocca ([saltimˈbokka]; Italian for jumps in the mouth) recipes are fried in olive oil and rely only on pan drippings for their sauce, which I find to be too dry, while others are covered in a heavy creamy – lemony sauce. I like to use a combination of the preparation methods and a make a lighter wine based sauce with just a kiss of lemon and cream to make the whole dish a little less guilt-inducing. #GirlsGoneWine
Chicken Saltimbocca with White Wine Sauce
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (4 oz each)
4-8 thin slices of Prosciutto ham
10 oz package frozen chopped spinach
16 whole leaves fresh sage
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
3 TBLS olive oil
1 TBLS all-purpose flour
5 ounces artichoke hearts, quartered
1/2 ounce capers
1/2 cup dry white wine like Sauvignon Blanc
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
1 TBLS butter
2 TBLS fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon butter
freshly ground salt and pepper
Pound the chicken breasts to flatten so they are all roughly the same thickness (3/8 to 1/2 inch). Lightly salt and pepper.
Squeeze the thawed, frozen spinach to remove the excess water. In a small bowl, toss the spinach with salt & pepper and 1 tablespoon of oil to coat.
Sprinkle flour on one side of first chicken breast and place flat on your work surface.
On one half of the unfloured side of the chicken, spread 1/4 of the spinach in an even, thin layer. Sprinkle 1/4 of the Parmesan cheese over the spinach and fold the empty side of the chicken over the filled side.
Wrap the sliced Prosciutto around the floured side of the chicken, placing leaves of sage between the chicken and the ham as shown.
Follow same steps with remaining chicken breasts until all 4 are ready to cook.
Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a heavy large skillet over high heat. Add the chicken and cook just until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side.
Add the butter. When it melts add the wine and lemon juice and scrape the browned bits off the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.
Add the cream, chicken broth, artichoke hearts and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium. Cover and simmer until the chicken is just cooked through, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Prepare your Angel Hair pasta while the chicken is simmering.
Remove the chicken & artichoke heart pieces from the pan and cover to keep warm.
Simmer the cooking liquid over high heat until it is reduced to about 2/3 cup, about 5 minutes. Season the cooking liquid with salt and pepper, to taste.
Serve the chicken breasts on a bed of Angel Hair pasta topped with the reduced sauce and garnish with capers if desired.
Enjoy with a chilled glass of the wine you used to make the sauce. #ThisGirlLovesToEat
I hate the fuzz on fresh peaches but, on a whim, I grabbed a half dozen at the store this week because they smelled so damn good. Women’s Day Magazine had a recipe that satisfied my criteria for weeknight meals: simple ingredients and under 30 minutes to prepare! I’m not a fan of couscous, so I mad one minor change to the recipe and substituted quinoa.
Chicken with Peaches & Ginger
1 TBSPextra-virgin olive oil
4 (6-oz.) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Freshly ground black pepper
6 Medium Fresh (peeled & sliced) or 12 oz. frozen peaches (no need to defrost)
1 TBSP packed light brown sugar
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp freshly grated ginger
3/4 cup dry white wine (like Sauvignon Blanc)
1 cup dry quinoa
Fresh chopped basil or parsley, for serving
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with 1⁄2 teaspoon each salt and pepper and cook on one side until golden brown, 4 to 6 minutes.
Flip, cook for 1 minute, then scatter the peaches, sugar, thyme, and ginger over and around the chicken.
Add the white wine, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the peaches are warm and starting to break down at the edges, 6 to 7 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the quinoa according to package directions. Serve the chicken, peaches and sauce over the quinoa and sprinkle with basil or parsley, if desired.
It’s finally cool enough in California, at least once the sun goes down, to justify getting the stock pot out to make a hearty soup that can serve as dinner with a big salad & crusty bread that can then live on as a couple of workday lunches too! Great for the wallet AND the waistline! This soup is so rich, and has such depth of flavor, that it seems like a cheat meal, which is a plus during the non-stop holiday feast season.
Tart & Spicy Butternut Squash Soup
1 – 2 to 2+1/2 lb Butternut Squash (Peeled/Seeded/Chopped into about 1″ Cubes)
1 – Large Granny Smith Apple (Cut into about 1″ Pieces – seeds/core/stem removed)
3 – Large Ribs Celery Chopped
3 – Carrots (Peeled/Chopped into about 1″ Pieces)
1 – Medium Yellow Onion (Peeled/Chopped into about 1″ Pieces)
4 – TBLS Butter
1 – 32 oz Container Organic Chicken Stock
1+1/2 Cups Water
Freshly Grated Sea Salt (To Taste)
Freshly Cracked Pepper (To Taste)
Freshly Ground Nutmeg (1/4 tsp)
Cinnamon (1/2 to 1 tsp)
Cayenne Pepper (Pinch to 1/8th tsp)
Chopped Parsley (if desired)
Melt the butter in a medium stockpot and add the onions, carrot and celery. Sauté over low heat about 10 minutes. When onions just start to brown, add the squash, apple, salt, pepper, chicken stock and water. Turn the heat up to medium-high and bring just to a boil. When bubbles appear at the edges of the pan, reduce heat to low. Cover pan tightly and simmer soup for 45 minutes until squash is completely softened.
Remove soup from heat and either process soup until smooth using your blender (I use my Vitamix) and returning to the pan after processed or an immersion blender as shown in the video.
Once soup is smooth, add the Nutmeg, Cinnamon and Cayenne. Adjust spices to taste.
I came across a video that uses the same technique I use to make my soup, with slightly different measurements, and it’s much prettier, so I’ll give the standard #ShoutOut and #HighFive to Simply Recipes for producing a great (and quick) video that I can also use to demonstrate how to assemble my soup!
I’ve already been remiss at keeping up with my blog, so not having to produce a video is a definite bonus! #ThisGirlLovesToEat
Everyone who follows this blog regularly knows that #ThisGirlLovesToEat. Anything that lets me eat unregulated amounts of food that I like, except kale #IHateKale, without bursting out of my jeans is something that is going to catch my attention. Sounds unlikely? I know, I doubt it too, but I’m willing to be a guinea pig!
According to scientists, you can eat as much of these 14 foods and not gain any weight due to their high water and low-starch fiber content while containing very few calories.
These foods are not high in muscle building (and fat burning) protein, but they are filled with vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants.
Contains potassium, folate, fiber, and 30% of your daily requirement of vitamin K
Has about 6 calories per serving
Eat when fresh – celery loses most of it’s nutritional benefits after 5-7 days
One of the few foods that contains an Omega 3 Fatty Acid
1 Cup has about 33 calories
High in vitamins and folate
Champion in the Antioxidant world – has more than any other fruit
1 cup has about 85 calories
1 cup has 14% of the recommended daily requirement of fiber
16 calories per serving
Seeds and skin contain most of the Fiber and Vitamin A (Beta-Carotene) which is good for your eyes
Contain lycopene, a carotenoid, which helps fight against chronic diseases
High in vitamins A, C, and B2, as well as folate, chromium, potassium, and fiber
1 medium-sized tomato has about 25 calories
High in fiber, which stabilizes blood sugar helps you feel fuller for longer
1/2 a grapefruit has about 50 calories
High in Vitamin C and folate
Grapefruit has been found to help in weight loss, lowering cholesterol, and improving digestion
Contains an anticarcinogen known as sulforaphane
Most nutritious when eaten raw or steamed
Contains vitamins A, C, E, and K
1 serving contains 20% of your daily fiber requirement
1 serving has about 31 calories
Contains beta carotene, a form of vitamin A that promotes healthy eyes
Contains more than 100% of your daily recommended value of vitamins A and C
1 serving has about 55 calories
Contains antioxidants and phytochemicals to help fight off chronic disease
An excellent source of folate, fiber, and vitamins C and K
Has about 25 calories per serving
Blackberries can help your brain to stay alert
Rich in vitamin C as well as antioxidants known as bioflavonoids
Can aid with digestion
Tightens tissue, leading to younger-looking skin
1 serving has about 62 calories
Whether Romaine, Green Leaf, Red Leaf, Romain, etc.: 96% Water
Folate, iron, and vitamins A and C
1 serving has 10 to 20 calories
High in Vitamin C which is crucial in collagen production: oranges help keep skin free of damage and looking good
Medium orange has about 80 calories
You need to eat the white stuff under an orange’s skin (pith) it contains a lot of fiber, which helps lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels
Fat-free, sodium-free, and cholesterol-free (healthy for the heart)
More vitamin C in one serving of strawberries than there is in one orange
Tons of polyphenols, a type of antioxidant
A good source of potassium and fiber
1 Cup of strawberries has about 50 calories
Only slightly more calories per serving than cantaloupe (64)
Contains over half of the recommended daily value of vitamin C
Contains over half of the recommended daily value of copper, which is crucial for healthy skin
If you are interested in more scientific details, you can read the original article on INSIDER.
If you’re interested in the things I may not devote an entire blog post to like: health articles, my favorite recipes, fun drinks, food facts, nutritional information, restaurant reviews, gadget reviews, photos and other things that make my mouth water, I have a community page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ThisGirlLovesHerFood
I’ve done the lemon dill salmon and it came out perfect. Next on my list to try is the pesto salmon. This girl loves pesto and this girl loves salmon! Let’s face it, #ThisGirlLovesToEat
If you use Facebook and are interested in the things I may not devote an entire blog post to: things like health articles, my favorite recipes, fun drinks, food facts, nutritional information, restaurant reviews, photos and other things that make my mouth water, I have a very active community page on Facebook you can visit too: https://www.facebook.com/ThisGirlLovesHerFood