Monday, November 21, 2011

My Spicy Turkey and Gravy Recipe!

**I just wanted to repost this turkey recipe.  If you're a bit daring and like to "spice" things up, this is the recipe for you!  Enjoy!**

Well, since my search for recipes was inspired by the "All-American" (or Canadian) turkey dinners, I thought I it would make sense to post "My Desi Turkey" as the first post on this page. "Desi" loosely means anything from the Indo-Pak subcontinent.

Please note, the recipe below is written for every 2 lbs of meat. So, if you have a 14 lbs turkey, multiply this recipe 7 times. You don't necessarily have to "multiply" it using a calculator but repeat it 7 times while you are adding the spices to your bowl. I just found it most convenient keeping the recipe this way.

All of these spices can easily be found in your local Indian/Pakistani grocery shop or even in the international section of your main grocery store. The soy sauce and chili garlic sauce is not actually "desi" but its from oriental cooking. You can find it in your main grocery store. The oven bag is a wonderful little thing. It works wonders and reduces your cooking time to just about 2 hours! I can't live without this. The turkey comes out juicy on the inside and crispy on the out. Just find it in the grocery section where you they carry foils, plastic wraps, etc.

Be prepared, this is loaded with spices and is not your conventional recipe.... :) You can tone down the red chili powder to your liking or just omit it all together. Enjoy!

1 1/2 tsp garlic powder, granulated
1 tsp ginger powder
1 tsp black pepper, ground
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp red chili powder (optional)
2 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp chili garlic sauce

1 oven bag
1 roasting pan or large foil pan

  1. Clean your turkey and remove any excess fat. Loosen the skin from the meat using a wooden spoon and carefully make deep cuts in the breast, thighs and legs. (This will allow the spices to get into the meat really well).
  2. Mix all of the above ingredients in a bowl except for water. Slowly add water until all spices become a uniformed, thick paste.
  3. Using your hands, apply the paste under the skin and into the slits and cuts. Rub the paste on the skin as well. Rub it in well.
  4. Cover and place into the refrigderator overnight.
  5. When you are ready to cook the turkey, remove it from the refridgerator and let sit.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  7. Prepare your pan and place an oven bag in the centre. Carefully open the bag and slide the turkey into the oven bag. Follow manufacturer's directions and seal closed with the provided tie. You will have to cut a few tiny slits on the top of the oven bag for steam to escape.
  8. Place in the oven and roast according to the manufacturer's directions. (Note: it usually takes a 14 pounder to roast to perfection in about 1.5 to 2 hrs, HONEST!).
  9. Place the roasted turkey in a nice pan, cover and place on the side.
  10. Remove the excess turkey juice from the roasting pan, discard the fat drippings and place in a sauce pan. Let simmer on stove on medium.
  11. In a small bowl, add some cornstarch with cold water. Mix until uniform.
  12. While stirring, add the cornstarch paste into the sauce pan. Cook until the gravy becomes thick and dark. Serve with your turkey!
If anyone tries this, please let me know how it turned out. You can also do this to a whole chicken and it tastes great!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Revamped Toddler Pants

So, I have these ultra worn-down pants I'm just so very attached to. They were my son's when he was 3 years old (my 2nd child) and...umm...he's 8 now...(nothing's wrong with that though...ha, I know what you're thinking...). I guess I've been hanging on to them because of the fond memories I have of him when he was oh soooo small and cute! Well anyway, now my daughter (my 3rd child) is about that age now and I thought I was time to revamp these for her.

These pair of pants look like they are in really bad shape...well they really bad shape. But I thought I would still give it a go and see what happens. Keep in mind that I loved these pants so much that I had my son wore them frontwards and, there are knee holes on both sides. Yikes! I know what you thinking but just watch what I can do to it! And if you're like hanging on to those no-so-lovely-full-of-memory-type-of-clothes, you can do it, too! So follow along and I'll let you in on how to extend the life of these nearly-impossibly-revampable munchkin pants.

First, I chopped off the elastic ends of the bottom of the pants. They had to go...too old school! Then I simply hemmed the bottoms with a contrasting zigzag stitch to add some visual appeal.

Then for a nice feminine touch, I decided to create heart-shaped applique knee pads. I sketched one side of a nice rounded heart on the fold of a paper. I made it large enough to cover those nasty holes and a bit more for durability. Cut out that template.

I placed the template on the worn-down knees to ensure it covered the entire area plus about 1 1/2 inch to 2 inches more around the tear.

When it all seemed good, I cut out 4 hearts, one for each good ol' hole. An easy way to do this is fold the fabric, place the template against the fold and then cut. I repeated this 3 more times.

Here's my lovely heart. I just love hearts! There sooo sweet and cute.

I cut a wide strip of interface, enough to cover all 4 of my hearts.

I then placed a large scrap piece of fabric, laid down the hearts right side down, covered it with interface and pressed with a medium heat iron. (Another way to do this is place your uncut fabric wrong side and interface glued side together, press and then cut out your shapes. This would be better but I was a little impatient and wanted to see the lovely hearts on the pants first...sorry...If you look at my applique tutorial on my Beginner Sewing Techniques page, you'll find the real technique). Anyway, I peeled off the interfaced hearts from the scrap fabric before it cooled.

And, it should look like this right side up.

Now after that, I cut out all the hearts.

Here they are! Aren't they lovely??

I placed the hearts on the hole and carefully pinned them down using straight pins.

Here comes the fun part....(like my yarn? So do I!).

I took colourful yarn and applied it to the edge of the hearts as I zigzag stitched along and around the hearts. Isn't that a neat idea? It adds enough colour for the applique to pop out!

I snipped off the yarn and I'm done one knee! Yeah! After that, I just repeated the steps again for the remaining 3 knee pads.

How do you like the finished look? Ok, so it's not professional or anything but its great for another season of playwear...until it'll be time to say goodbye for good. Oh, why do our munchkins have to grow up so fast?