Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Surviving the Storehouse: Thanksgiving Part 2 Sides

What is a turkey without sides? A flat turkey.

Ha ha ha. Just kidding. But it IS pretty boring.

The storehouse provides cranberry sauce, olives, and pumpkin for the gluten free among us.  Cranberry sauce and olives are self-explanatory (I think... I hope!).  The pumpkin can be used with other storehouse ingredients to make a wonderful pumpkin custard, which is what you would put in a pie shell.  I will admit that my family splurges a little on this holiday and gets some all-purpose gluten-free flour for pie crusts, rolls, and stuffing.  And cornstarch for gravy.  It IS a holiday after all.  But whether you can splurge or not, you can still have a wonderful feast!

Here are a few recipes for my favorite sides on a storehouse budget.

Mashed Potatoes

2-3 medium russet or large red potatoes per person
Butter (at least 1/2 cup)
Sour cream (optional)

Cut the potatoes into chunks, quarters or sixths should be fine.  You can peel if you want.  I don't usually, because it is more work (I don't have time for that!) and the peel has nutrition in it. But for special occasions, I often will peel them.  Bring to a boil in an appropriately sized pot with about 1/2-1 tsp salt per person.  Boil for 10-15 minutes, or until the chunks break apart when you poke them with a fork.  Drain.

Put the pot back on the burner on the lowest setting.  Add back the chunks, top with butter. Start mashing.  If it is a particularly large batch (like I have to do ALL the time, ha!), it helps to start mashing half, and then add the rest when you've got the first half mostly mashed. 

One fun way to mash potatoes is with a mixer.  A stand mixer works best, as it has the most power, but I've used electric beaters with success as well.  To do it this way, put the hot potatoes in your mixer bowl or a large mixing bowl and start the machine on low speed.  When they break apart, add the butter.  When that seems well incorporated, add milk to your desired consistency.  This is hard to quantify because it depends on the potatoes and how much butter you use and lots of other things.  But just add a couple tablespoonfuls at a time.  When everything is added, turn up the speed to the highest you can manage without either killing your machine or splattering the taters everywhere.  Voila! Creamy, smooth mashed potatoes.  Salt to taste, or leave the salting to the diner.

Au Jus

Meat drippings
Salt to taste

If you can't get any gluten free thickener, you can make a concentrated juice that is also delicious.

Strain the juice and meat drippings through a fine mesh sieve if you can.  Pour into saucepan.  Bring to a boil.  Let boil until the volume is about half of what you had to start.  Season to taste, and serve with your meat and potatoes and anything else you want to put it on. He he he.

Pumpkin Custard

I cheat and use the recipe on the can!  I did, however, lose the label once, so for good measure, I'll type it up here.  All credit goes to the brand on the can. *Non-storehouse ingredient, and quite optional

4 eggs, beaten
1 29 oz can pumpkin
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsps ground cinnamon
1 tsp ginger *
1/2 tsp cloves *
2 12 oz cans evaporated milk
2 pie shells *

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Mix ingredients in order given and pour into pie shells (*or any baking dish you desire without a crust).  Bake 15 minutes.  Reduce heat to 350 degrees F and bake 45 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. *Another recipe I've used just has you bake it at 375 degrees F for an hour.  This might be better for the busier crowd.  Do what works for you.

Yummy with ice cream!!!

Bon appetit! And happy Thanksgiving!  Tune in Friday for some great ideas for leftovers.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Surviving the Storehouse: Thanksgiving Part 1 Turkey

Nothing says Thanksgiving more (to me at least) than a delicious, crunchy-skinned, tender and moist meat turkey.  Mmm...

Not sure how to handle a turkey?  No problem! Here's how I cook my bird; it comes out flavorful and juicy EVERY TIME!


1 turkey of your size and choice (I'm on the Storehouse brand)
1 cup butter (softened) or oil (not as yummy, but doable)
1 Tbsp salt
Any herbs/spices you might have laying around (I like garlic powder, sage, oregano, and even basil)
Uncooked stuffing (optional)
Carrots, celery, onion, cut in chunks (double if not using stuffing)

Make sure your bird is thaw!  This can take a few days in the fridge, or overnight in a water-in-the-sink kind of deal.  Otherwise your hands are going to be VERY cold... Brrr!

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees F.  Take half of your vegetables and place in the bottom of your roasting pan.  On a cookie sheet, place your bird, starting with breast up.  Wash your hands!

Mix up your butter, herbs, spices, and salt.  I love using my hands for this; they're going to be messy in a bit anyway!

Go back to your turkey.  You're going to separate the skin from the meat.  Take off all your rings and bracelets.  Wear gloves if you have a sketchy nail polish job, or better, remove it entirely!  Nail polish flecks are not good eats.  Also, take out any timer that might have come with your bird. You can stick it back in later if you like.

Starting at the neck, carefully lift up the skin and break the mucousy stuff that connects the skin to the meat.  Keep your fingers close to the meat so you don't puncture the skin.  Work all the way back to the legs, then do the legs! Don't worry about getting your whole arm in there... Once separated, the skin is VERY stretchy and flexible. It can take it!  When you've separated all the skin from the breast, thighs and legs, flip the bird over and do the back side the same way.  If having your entire forearm under turkey skin freaks you out, you can often come from the tail end for part of the process.

Once you've separated all the skin, it's time to butter up Old Tom!  Take a few fingerfuls of the butter mixture and put it on the meat under the skin.  Get it all over under there.  When you're done with the backside, flip it back over and to the top side.  When that's done, take your greasy hands, and give that bird a massage on top of the skin.  Now take either your stuffing or the rest of your veggies and stuff them inside the old bird.  Not too tight with the stuffing! You want it to cook all the way through. You can put the timer back in if you want.

Now stick that bird in the oven!  Check on it in an hour or so.  When it's browned, you'll want to tent it with foil.  Then leave it in until the time is up, or your timer pops, or the thermometer reads the right temperature (follow the directions on the wrapper, or look it up online!).

When Tom's all cooked, set him out on a platter on a counter to rest a bit. (Being cooked is exhausting!)  Strain the cooking juice through a fine mesh strainer or possibly a flour sack towel, and start making that gravy (recipe to follow).  Toss the veggies, unless they look really appetizing to you.  Pull out the stuffing and keep it warm in the oven.  When the bird has rested 30-45 minutes, you can start carving.  I like to pre-carve as much as possible so I can just concentrate on eating.

Watch how the bird drips with juice as you cut through. Taste the moist white meat, and the tender and extra flavorful dark meat.  Best bird ever!  Give thanks, and enjoy!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Surviving the Storehouse: BBQ Pork



Tender, juicy meat surrounded by sweet, tangy, spicy sauce.

Think you have to go without when living from the Storehouse?

Think again!

I won't pretend this is the BEST EVER barbecue, mostly because that is pure opinion, but it is pretty darn good!

P. S. I had to triple this recipe to feed my family for two meals, but it still worked out deliciously!

Storehouse BBQ Pork

1 pork roast (I'd guess around 3-4 pounds, for you non-storehouse people)
1 cup catsup
1/2 cup honey or brown sugar
3 Tbsp yellow mustard
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook your roasts in a slow cooker or in an oven set at 200 degrees F for at least 12 hours.  When it is fork tender, remove from oven or slow cooker and transfer to large pot.  Add sauce ingredients.  Bring to a simmer and cook for 2 hours.  Shred pork with forks and cook for 2 hours longer.  Stir well and serve hot.  It's delicious by itself or over rice or on a tortilla.