Holiday Turkey Recipe-Amazing Every Time!

how to cook a turkey

If you’re looking for my recipe for “Perfect Turkey Every Time” I’ve updated the post and you’ll find it here.

I’m in the process of moving all my most popular content to my main website at Traveling with Purpose. That’s where I share about living a purposeful life at home and when I’m traveling.

If you haven’t tried it before, trust me on this one. This turkey recipe is delicious. Never dry! The white meat melts in your mouth. It’s a SLOW roasting method, and once it’s in the oven, you can forget it for hours, until you’re ready to eat.

Have fun and let me know how your dinner turns out.

Simple Summer Ideas – Eats, Drinks, Decor

Hey there friends,  I have been staring at the last post for much too long and I’m sure you’ve been wondering where I’ve been, so here’s a little sumthin’ for your summer inspiration.

I know, it’s way past time to bring out the summer decorations.  It will be Independence Day next week, after all!  Can I confess that I still have my Easter decorations on my branch in the living room?  Yowzah!  Hopefully, I can switch them out for summer decor this weekend.

Things have been quite buzy around here with a bunch of changes happening, as well as more on the horizon.  Sadly, my time to concentrate on the transitions are limiting my time to post.  No worries though, there will be more news and posting to come.

In the meantime, here are a few photos of my Summer Centerpiece.  I happen to use mine in the guest bath.  Yes, a centerpiece in the bathroom!  As you know I try to trick myself into believing that I live near the water, especially in these hot summer months when our temperatures are consistently in triple digits (this week it was up around 113 degrees F)!

I keep this simple centerpiece in the bathroom where I get ready every morning.  It fills my mind with memories of sandy beaches, coastal breezes and the sound of waves lapping on the shore.  Which reminds me…I may have a chance to visit my little hometown on Lake Erie in September and I can’t wait to walk on the beach and hear the sounds of the waves as I drift off to sleep!  I never realized what a blessing it was to live just steps from the shore until recently.

For this fun candle arrangement, just find a rustic container, fill it with sand, shells, a candle (or 3) and things that remind you of summer.  Try one yourself and post a link here so we can all see it?

More ideas for your summer inspiration:

Patriotic Slipcover Transformation

4th of July Beverage Ideas

4th of July – Summer Recipes

4th of July – Patriotic Decor

Let me know your plans for the summer and have an awesome holiday!

And the Bacon Winner is…

Thank you all for submitting recipes for the Bacon Contest.  The judge has reviewed the recipes and has determined that the most delicious sounding recipe is…

Green Beans with Bacon, Onion and Brown Sugar!

Congratulations to Cheryl Lohrke!

Please send your mailing address to my email at HannFamily[at]cox[dot]net and I will mail your coupon for a free pound of Oscar Mayer bacon.

If you’re at a loss for how to use it, check out the Oscar Mayer website to find a bunch more bacon recipes.

Thanks again for participating.

Enjoy your treat!

Amazing Summer Salad!

First let me say thanks to those of you who have hung in there during my “slow blogging season”.  I just realized that I only did 2 posts in all of April, which makes me sad.  Good news is that my lack of posting, in this case, means that I’ve been quite busy, as mentioned before.  And I’ve added even more since that last list was made, so THAT means I have lots and lots of photos and news to blog about, which I hope will be good news for you.

Roasted Beet Summer Salad
Roasted Beet Summer Salad

Today I’ll start with a quick and delicious recipe that I tried tonight.

Something that I LOVE about the internet (and Google in particular) is that I can type in a couple of ingredients that I have on hand and find a recipe that uses those exact ingredients.  In this case I have fresh peaches that were picked at the Queen Creek Peach Festival (more on that in a future post) and some freshly roasted beets that I wanted to use in a salad.  So…I Googled “peach and beet salad” and this is one of the recipes that I found.

The original salad recipe can be found here at the PCC Natural Markets site.  As usual, I tweaked it to fit the ingredients that I had on hand.  You can check out the recipe for ideas on quantities and other options.  Here’s what I used.

  • red beets
  • green onions
  • yellow peaches
  • fresh spinach
  • crumbled goat cheese
  • sugar snap peas
I’m sure the dressing in the recipe would make it even better.  But instead of the dressing, I merely drizzled a little bit of Blood Orange Balsamic Vinegar over the top of the salad and it was great!  I found the vinegar at our local Sprouts Farmer’s Market.  Fresh, healthy and a great combination of sweet, salty, fruits and veggies.  Mmmm!  Great way to ring in the unofficial beginning of summer!  (We’re creeping closer and closer to our 100 degree days after all.)
I hope you get a chance to enjoy this salad sometime this summer.
By the way, I was raised on canned beets, which was really all I knew (and loved) for decades.  In the last few years, I’ve tasted more fresh beets in restaurants and on salad bars and recently decided to oven roast some fresh beets of my own.  If you like beets or enjoy trying new foods, please give them a try.  They’re SO MUCH better tasting than canned and certainly more nutritious.  The last time I roasted them, I served them warm from the oven drizzled with a good balsamic vinegar.  You would think that the vinegar would make them taste tart, but it actually brings out the sweetness of the beets and makes them sweeter!  They are delicious hot or cold!
Let me know if you like beets and how you like to serve them.  I can always use new ideas.  Thanks!
I’m linking this to:

The Girl Creative

Double Bonus – Recipe and Giveaway!

Just a quick post to let all you photographers know about a lens giveaway.  Although I guess my odds are better if I don’t tell you about it, but oh well…maybe you’ll let me borrow it if you win.

Check out this post from The Steamy Kitchen with a Stuffed Zucchini recipe and then scroll down on the same page for the awesome lens giveaway!

Stuffed Zucchini Boats from The Steamy Kitchen



Actually if you want to be really nice you could comment there and register for the drawing even if you don’t have a camera that uses that lens, then you could GIVE it to the person who told you about the drawing!  Great idea?  O.k. maybe that’s asking a little too much.

Anyway, enjoy the recipe and the giveaway!


Christmas Crock Pot Ham

Of course, I have several events to post about, but no time at the present.  I thought I’d offer a quick suggestion for a great recipe if you’re making ham this year for your holiday celebrations.
I found this recipe last year and it was delicious and so easy!  I substituted orange juice for the ginger ale and added a few extra cloves and brown sugar for a larger ham, but otherwise stayed pretty much with the recipe.
The awesome thing is that you can do it in a crockpot and have it cooking while you’re at church or opening presents or busy with other things, then its’ ready when you are!  It has amazing flavor and doesn’t dry out!
Give it a try and let me know how you like it.
Citrus Crocked Ham Recipe (compliments of

Yogurt and Citrus Chicken or Turkey (with grilled vegetables):

Here’s a tasty new recipe that we tried and really liked! I thought of Amy & Andrew when I saw the instructions, because it says to cook it on a George Foreman grill and that’s what they have. We don’t have one, so we cooked ours on a regular gas grill.

I’ll link to the actual recipe, then tell you how we adapted it. It came from the April 2005 Oprah magazine (yeah, I have a hard time throwing magazines away-this one was hiding and I just rediscovered it.)

Here’s a link to the original recipe on Oprah’s site. The picture looks better online.

These are the ingredients:
2 lbs of 1/2 inch thick turkey cutlets
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
zest & juice of 2 large oranges
2 cups of plain lowfat yogurt
2 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
1/4 cup packed fresh mint leaves, chopped

Here’s what we did. First off we tried it two times. Once with the turkey and once with chicken thighs (bone-in) and (boneless-skinless) chicken breasts.

When we used turkey:

  1. First I grated the ginger and chopped the mint. I probably could have used more mint since the recipe says packed and I didn’t pack it too much in the measuring cup.
  2. I placed the cutlets in a plastic ziploc bag. Using a small bottle of unopened syrup (instead of the mallet or rolling pin), I pounded cutlets to around 1/2 inch thickness. I got tired of pounding to get them to 1/4 inch.
  3. I forgot to season with salt & pepper, like the recipe said.
  4. In a small bowl I combined orange zest and juice, yogurt, ginger and mint. Stirred until blended. Poured yogurt mixture into a large Tupperware container because there was too much to fit in a ziploc bag. Added turkey cutlets and turned to coat thoroughly. We were hungry, so instead of refrigerating 2 hours we went for about 20-30 minutes. (If I had waited any longer Terry would have eaten the whole bag of pretzels with dill dip – our appetizer.)
  5. Since we didn’t have a large panini griddle or Foreman grill, Terry preheated the gas grill to high. Removed cutlets from marinade, and allowed excess yogurt to drip off.
  6. Terry placed all cutlets on a preheated grilling pan (with holes) set on top of the grill, covered and cooked until done, about 10 minutes or so.

The results were very tasty, although the pounding of the cutlets seemed to break them up and they weren’t very pretty. We may have started out with some that were too thick to begin with.

When we used chicken:

  1. We were able to skip the step about thinning the meat, which saved time. Unfortunately if you’re using a panini or Foreman grill, you may have to do that for it to cook right. I’m not sure, since I haven’t used either before.
  2. I forgot to season with salt & pepper AGAIN, like the recipe said.
  3. In a small bowl I combined orange zest and juice, yogurt, ginger and mint. Stirred until blended. Poured yogurt mixture into a large ziploc bag. Added chicken pieces and turned to coat thoroughly. This time we refrigerated overnight instead of the minimum prescribed 2 hours.
  4. The next night, we preheated the gas grill to high. Removed chicken from marinade, and allowed excess yogurt to drip off.
  5. Terry placed thigh pieces on the grill first, on indirect heat and cooked about 40 minutes, then added the boneless breasts and cooked on direct heat until done, about 10-15 minutes. They came off perfectly moist and flavorful.

The results were much better and absolutely delicious! The taste of mint and orange especially permeated the meat and was so fresh. This is definitely being added to our recipe box. This would be a good one for those watching their diet as well, since it’s low cal, low fat and healthy, healthy!

We served the first meal with whole grain rice & sliced water chestnuts and fresh cut cantaloupe on the side. The second night we had fresh grilled vegetables as our side dish.

Maybe next time, if I actually USE the salt & pepper, they’ll taste even better! We’ll see…