For years, I was afraid to even look at the macaroni salad I saw in deli’s and on buffet spreads. I honestly don’t remember when I actually decided to give it a try. But, I’m so glad I did! It’s amazing! I chuckled while developing this recipe. Because I never imagined I’d eat this stuff let alone create a whole recipe for it. But, hey, here we are.
Fresh is definitely best when it comes to salads. Pick the best bell peppers and herbs you can find for this one. Your taste buds will thank you. I also use quality mayonnaise as well.
Guacamole is my favorite dip ever! I love the simplicity of it. You have to use the freshest ingredients to ensure that the taste is right. I learned the process from a local restaurant and I wanted to share it with my Cookies.
To stay as authentic as possible, I use a molcajete for this recipe. It’s a mortar and pestle. This renders the most flavor into your guacamole. It’s the absolute best tool to use to grind up spices and ingredients. I highly recommend incorporating this into your kitchen equipment.
When choosing avocados for your guacamole, make sure that it’s ripe. Give a gentle squeeze. If it gives a bit, it’s ready to use. Ripe avocados have a creamy flesh which are delightful in this recipe.
I prefer a chunky textured guacamole. So, I use the pestle to mash the avocados instead of grinding it up into a paste. But, the consistency is totally up to you. Make it as chunky or as creamy as you desire.
Watery guacamole is a huge no-no! Be sure to seed and pat the tomatoes dry before dicing and adding them to the mix. Be sure to check out my method in the tutorial.
Hey my Cookies! I have some exciting news to share. I am a 2021 Brand Ambassador for Reynolds Wrap® Foil and I am thrilled! Why? For years, Reynolds Wrap® has been the only foilof its kind that my family has used and trusted. You know how much I love simple cooking and easy cleanup after prepping food. Reynolds Wrap® Heavy Duty Foil makes cleanup a breeze! It’s also super durable and safe to use with heavier foods without worrying about it breaking or tearing. This makes Reynolds Wrap® Heavy Duty Foil perfect for cooking my Garlic Butter Steak Tips and Potato Packets recipe!
My local butcher shop has these amazing filet tips that are perfect for this recipe. If you can’t find that specific cut of beef, no worries. Just use sirloin steak or beef tenderloin. The size of the cuts of beef will vary:
For well done steak: Cut the steak into 2 inch pieces.
For medium steak: Cut the steak into 3-4 inch pieces.
For rare steak: Cut the steak into 5-6 inch pieces
I prefer to use buttery, Yukon gold potatoes. They pair perfectly with the meat and garlic. Chop them into quarters for even cooking. Don’t even bother peeling off the skin. There’s a lot of flavor there!
You’ll also want to parboil the potatoes. This will ensure that they cook on cue with the steaks. Just a quick 4-5 minute boil in salted water will do.
Let’s Talk Seasoning:
You know how I feel about flavor! We need it. I believe that placing onions and bell peppers at the bottom of our foil packs will render the best flavor! When heated, the aroma from the veggies will release into the meat and potatoes. Flavor overload! Use any color of bell peppers you’d like. I love using green and red bell peppers for this recipe.
Grill or Bake:
For this recipe, I always opt to grill my Garlic Butter Steak Tips and Potato Packets. There’s just something about that charcoal flavor on my steak that makes me drool! However, an oven will work as well. Reynolds Wrap® Heavy Duty Foil is high quality and is safe to use in an oven or on the grill. So, the choice of cooking method is all yours!
I prefer a little char to my steaks. So, during the last 4-5 minutes of grilling, I leave the pack open at the top to crisp up the edges of the steak tips a bit. Warning: the smell will make you want to eat them immediately! Don’t do it. Be patient.
When handling your l packets, please use care. They will be extremely hot to touch. Use tongs or heat resistant gloves to remove them from the grill or oven. Use caution when opening the packets, too. There will be lots of heat and steam released. Keep your face and skin away for protection.
Easy and flavorful steak and potatoes packet recipe made using durable Reynolds Wrap® Heavy Duty Foil. These packs can be prepared on a grill or in the oven. Cleanup is a breeze!
2lbsfilet tipstop sirloin, or beef tenderloin (cut into desired-sized pieces; see notes above)
1lbYukon gold potatoesquartered
1bell pepperthinly sliced
1TBSHerbes de Provence seasoning
Kosher salt and cracked black pepper to taste
Reynolds Wrap® Heavy Duty Foil
Cut the steak into the desired serving size.
Toss the steak in the Worcestershire sauce.
Set aside and allow it to come to room temperature.
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and parboil the potatoes for 4 minutes.
Drain the potatoes and set aside to cool.
Once the potatoes have cooled, add the potatoes and steak into a large mixing bowl.
Season the steak and potatoes with kosher salt and cracked black pepper to taste.
In a small mixing bowl, stir to combine the olive oil, garlic, parsley, onion powder, and Herbes de Provence seasoning.
Pour the olive oil and seasoning blend over the steak and potatoes; toss gently to combine.
Tear off (4) 16” long sheets of Reynolds Wrap® Heavy Duty Foil.
Toss the onions and bell peppers together. Then, add half of the mixture to the center of each sheet of foil..
Separate the steak and potatoes into two servings
Add one serving of the steak and potatoes on top of the onion and peppers per each Reynolds Wrap® Heavy Duty Foil sheet.
Bring up the long sides of the foil, so the ends meet over the food.
Double fold the ends, leaving room for heat to circulate inside.
Double fold the two short ends to seal the packet.
To avoid juices puddling around the food, use a grilling fork to punch 2-3 drainage holes throughout the bottom/sides of the packet.
Place the steak and potato packets on a hot grill for 10 minutes.
Carefully open the packet and check the level of doneness using a meat thermometer. Also pierce the potatoes to check tenderness.
If the steak and potatoes are tender and cooked to your liking, carefully slide the packets off the grill using tongs. If not, reseal them and continue grilling until cooked to your liking. OPTIONAL: For more charred steak and potatoes, leave the packet open at the top and continue grilling.
When steak and potatoes are grilled to your liking, remove the packets and allow them to rest closed for 10 minutes before serving.
Preheat oven to 450°F.
Bake the packets on a shallow baking sheet.
Bake the packets for 15-20 minutes before carefully checking doneness.
When the steak and potatoes are cooked to your liking, carefully remove the packets from the grill and allow them to rest closed for 10 minutes before serving.
Notes: Handle packs will caution! Steam and juices will be very hot. Carefully open the packets away from your face to release the steam after cooking and before serving.
So, I know this pandemic and quarantine will render countless baby showers this year! And you’re going to need some bomb recipes to serve the shower guests! Cause if I attend a baby shower and the food sucks, I’m taking my gift back! Okay, okay, back on subject. You need my crispy, fried chicken wing recipe!
I purchased the wings already separated. I’m lazy. We know this. But, if you’re less fortunate and have to cut your own, don’t fret. It’s super easy. Just chop at the joints.
Sometimes, you’ll encounter some chicken that was handled by someone like me. And those pieces of bird will still have a few feathers attached. Pluck ‘em! We want our wings hairless.
Spice it Up
This recipe is ridiculously easy! This is crazy. Now, we want to mix up our spice blend. Pour the spice in a bowl and mix with a spoon or something. The end. I know, right?!
This is my favorite part. Not really. That dang flour gets every damn where! Why did I keep it g rated in the beginning only to use profanity at the end? Pray for me. Flour mixture! Yes! Okay, I won’t lie and say that I studied the science of this. I haven’t. This may not even be a real thing. But, I add baking powder and cornstarch to my flour to make it extra crispy! Listen, it works for me. Could be in my head, but just do it cause we’re friends. I love you, too.
Throw that Old A** Oil Away!
Peanut oil. Yep. You need it. Unless you’re allergic. If so, don’t. No, seriously, please don’t. I’d cry. But, I love frying chicken in peanut oil. Again, in my mind, it contributes to the crunch in this chicken. While we’re here, we need to talk. IMPORTANT: THROW THAT OLD A** GREASE AWAY!!! I don’t care what yo mama did. (Mine did it, too. Hey, Ma!) I don’t care what they did! We’re stopping that generational curse! USE FRESH OIL EVERY TIME YOU FRY. YES! Every time. I’m not playing. Don’t argue with me. Thou shalt not win.
Can chicken be sexy? I don’t care. It is. Look at this bird!!! Bless, God! Major key alert: drain the chicken on a wired rack. Leave the paper towels alone. You need that wired rack to circulate the air around the wing and deliver the ultimate crunch! Paper towel draining can lead to soggy wings. Look it up. No, really look it up cause I didn’t, and I want to know if it’s true.
Okay, I think I’ve told you all you need to know. The rest you can figure out from the recipe down there and the tutorial on the You to the Tube. Anyway, I’m tired of typing. Grab the hot sauce. Peace.
No holiday spread is complete without a turkey. Well, at least in my household. The turkey is a given menu staple. And it HAS to be right! No dry bird allowed! Turkey gets a bad rap. Because, it’s very easy to dry out if not prepared correctly. If juice, flavorful turkey is your goal, you’ve come to the right place! Keep reading, babe.
When to Thaw the Turkey?
If you’re like me, you’re not about to pay extra for a fresh turkey. Frozen bird me, please! But, we have to thaw that thang well before roasting, of course. There are two ways to do so. You can thaw in the refrigerator or thaw in cold water. Whichever option you choose is up to you. See charts below for timing:
4 lbs: 1 day to defrost
8 lbs: 2 days to defrost
12 lbs: 3 days to defrost
16 lbs: 4 days to defrost
Make sure you don’t just throw the bird in the fridge. Place it in a large bowl to prevent leaks. The ice has to go somewhere. You don’t want to ruin your fridge with this bird. Trust me.
Cold Water Thawing:
4 lbs: 1 hours to defrost
8 lbs: 4 hours to defrost
12 lbs: 6 hours to defrost
16 lbs: 8 hours to defrost
This method is great if you forget to take the turkey out of the freezer. However, it takes a little more babysitting. You have to refresh the water every hour or so to ensure that the water stays cold and fresh. You’ll need approximately 30 minutes of cold water soaking per pound of turkey.
Now, that our turkey is thawed and ready. Let’s get to business.
Coop, No Brine??
No, baby. No brine. I’m lazy. I rely on injectable marinades. They have never failed me and they won’t fail your bird either. My preference is pictured. It can be hard to find, so if you have to go with another brand, it’s cool. Or, you can just use my homemade marinade recipe provided below.
I’m a serial “stuffer”. I jam pack my birds with goodness. Onions, garlic, peppers, herbs, and an orange. Yes, an orange. I use oranges instead of lemons, because I love the subtle citrusy, sweetness they add to the flavor of the turkey.
Butter or Oil?
Both. I need crispy skin on my turkey. Oil is the key to that. I chose olive oil. It’s light tasting, but still gets the job done. Both oil and butter will give you that beautiful brown color. But, butter burns. However, I still want that butter flavor. So, what can we do? Load that butter up with fresh herbs and spread it under the skin of the breasts. Then, massage that oil over the turkey and sprinkle on your favorite seasoned salt and dried herbs. A win for all!
The roasting timing of the turkey depends on its size. Don’t throw away the packaging of the turkey before removing and saving the little price tag. This will tell you the size of the turkey for accurate timing. I estimate that it takes about 13 mins of roasting per pound of the turkey. But, don’t quote me. Use the chart below as a guide. And don’t forget to grab a meat thermometer.
Size of Turkey
Timing at 325°F
3 – 3 ¼ hours
3 ¼ – 3 ¾ hours
3 ¾ – 4 ¼ hours
4 ¼ – 4 ¾ hours
I also cover the breasts and legs with aluminum foil to prevent early browning. I remove the breast covering halfway through the roasting time right before the first basting. I leave the foil on the legs throughout the duration of roasting time.
Let it Rest:
This is the hardest part. Waiting on this beautiful bird to rest before carving. Resting is imperative if you want a juicy turkey. Cover it with foil and allow it to rest for at least 1 hour. 2 hours is best, but I won’t torture you like that. Be patient and enjoy the best turkey you’ve ever had!
The most moist and flavorful turkey you’ll ever eat! No brining necessary. The perfect blend of Cajun spices, fresh, and dry herbs combine to render a turkey that you’ll want to include in your holiday spread every year!
10-14lbturkeyfresh or thawed
Lemon juice for washing
16ozCajun Butter injectable marinade*
1 1/2cupchicken broth
1TBSHerbes de Provence
Cajun or Creole seasoning
1stick unsalted butter
1sprig freshchopped rosemary
2sprigs fresh thymeremoved from stem
Homemade Marinade (ONLY use if you can’t find the injectable marinade above)
1stick unsalted butter
2TbsCajun or Creole seasoning
2tspcracked black pepper
2tspAccent seasoning optional
Mix all ingredients together and set aside.
Remove all contents of the turkey cavity (save it for gravy)
Rinse the turkey with lemon juice and water
Pat dry very well.
Inject the every part of the turkey with the marinade
Cover with foil or place in a large marinating bag and refrigerate for 24 hrs.
Preheat oven to 325°F
Place the turkey in a roasting pan
Pat dry again with paper towels
Rub olive oil all over the skin of the turkey
Gently push the herb butter until the skin of the breasts.
Sprinkle 1 tsp of salt into the turkey’s cavity
Stuff the onion, bell pepper, orange, garlic, celery, rosemary, and thyme into the cavity.
Sprinkle a thin, even layer of Cajun or Creole seasoning all over the skin of the turkey
Do the same with the Herbs de Provence seasoning
Tuck the wings behind and under the turkey
Tie the legs together with kitchen twine or dental floss
Cover the ends of the legs with foil and lay a piece of foil over the breasts to prevent early browning and burning
Pour the chicken broth into the bottom of the roasting pan under the turkey.
Place the turkey in the center of the oven and roasted according to the instructions on the turkey packaging. (Approx: 13 mins per pound)
Halfway through the roasting time, carefully remove the turkey and baste it with the turkey drippings.
Place it back into the oven, but rotate it in the opposite direction from the last time you placed it into the oven. (See tutorial for a visual.)
When there is about 30 minutes left in the roasting time, remove the turkey from the oven , baste again, and remove the foil from the breast.
Continue roasting until a meat thermometer stuck between the leg and the breast registers 165°F. To ensure an accurate read, be careful not to poke bones with the thermometer.
Remove the turkey from the oven, cover with foil, and allow it to rest for at least 1 hour before carving.
Melt the butter
Add the remaining ingredients
Stir and simmer for 5 minutes.
Strain the marinade using a mesh strainer
Allow marinade to cool completely before injecting.
You guys have been asking for this for years! Literally since I first started blogging. I’ve been hesitant, because I wanted it to be right. Sweet Potato Pie is a major thanksgiving menu component. It’s heavily debated. But, I don’t care about the opinions anymore. I’m giving you what my family and I enjoy.
I used two big sweet potatoes poked holes all over them. We’ll be baking them. I prefer baking over boiling because it preserves the flavor.
Please don’t be like me. Wait for them to cool first before peeling the skin and scooping out the flesh.
Mash your potatoes up a little before using your electric mixer. The mixer is extremely handy with this recipe. It will help you pull out those pesky sweet potato strings. Mix well and then rinse the strings off of the mixer and continue until the majority of strings are gone. Don’t try to remove every little string. That’s impossible. Just get as many as you can.
Don’t panic if your filling appears a little pale in color. It’s all good.
I suck a pressing my pie crust into the dish. Please don’t laugh at my poor crust. I have a bomb homemade Pie Crust on the site. But, store bought crust is perfectly fine as well.
Pie Crust shields are available for purchase. Or at least that’s what I call them. I just tear pieces of foil and gently cover the exposed pie crust with it. This will prevent the crust from baking too fast and burning before the filling is completely cooked.
I’m still conquering my cooking fears this month. Next up, the highly requested Birria Tacos! My pronunciation of these ingredients may be way off. Please forgive me. But this recipe is right on the money! I believe I’ve paired the right spices and chilies to create a robust and addictive consomé. Be forewarned, this recipe is not a quick one. However, I’ve made it as easy to follow as I could. It’s even beginner friendly. If you’re down to embark on a labor of love that is well worth the effort, keep reading.
Chilies or Chilis?
I had to order some of these chilies from Amazon. That’s how dedicated to this flavor profile I was. I knew exactly how I wanted this recipe to taste. That took some preparation. I love this combination of chilies. The Mulato lends a slight smoky, sweet flavor to the paste that shouldn’t been omitted. Track that one down. You need it.
Take your time and remove the seeds and stems from each pepper. The Chile de Árbol is the smallest. But, those suckers can hold some seeds! Dump them out. Wear gloves and do not touch your face or eyes! Please! These things aren’t for sensitive areas. It’s also important to toast the dried chilies in a dry skillet before soaking them. This will enhance their flavors. However, be very careful not to burn the chilies. They will become bitter. That we do not want. So, just toast them over medium high heat for 30 seconds per side.
Now, The Meats.
I love the lean strips of beef from a chuck roast in my tacos. But, I needed that bone flavor. So, I used both chuck roast and beef shank. The flavor was divine! They both cooked beautifully in my slow cooker. I didn’t need a knife or fork to shred the beef. It really fell apart when I picked it up! You can cook the meat in the oven, on the stove top, or in a pressure cooker as well.
Browning your meat on all sides is another must. This locks in the flavor and renders a more tender result. Be sure to sear all sides of the meat.
Spice No Girls
This chile paste doesn’t owe me nothing! I know that incorrect. I had to say it that way. Back to the paste. It’s saporous and very easy to prepare. Don’t let the amount of spices scare you. Each one is necessary and should be readily available in your nearby grocery stores.
Straining the paste into the slow cooker is imperative. If you have a racehorse of a blender, you may be able to skip this step. But, I don’t want to chance getting seeds from the chilies in the finished product. Sometimes we can’t get them all. Some may sneak out into the paste. That’s why straining is advised. Doing so also results in a smoother consomé.
This meat gets so tender that it falls apart when you pick it up. Grab some gloves and shred the beef effortlessly without a fork or knife.
The wonders of slow cooking. You can add the beef back into the consomé. Whatever you decide, hurry up and do it. It’s time to make tacos!
Tacos Monday, TUESDAY, Wednesday, Thursday…
Tuesdays definitely won’t be the only days you’ll want to devour these tacos! I double the tortillas and stuff cheese in between the two. Extra cheesy! I do way too much and you should, too! Get your dip on!
Two cuts of beef slow cooked in a robust and spicy stock filled with spices and flavor. This is the best Birria recipe you’ll find.
3garlic cloves + 1 yellow onionfinely diced
5New Mexico chilies
3Chile de Árbol
2chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
14.5ouncespetite diced tomatoes
4cupsbeef or chicken stock
1TBSwhite distilled vinegar
Shredded mozzarella cheese
Shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Cilantro & Chopped Onions for garnish
Cut the roast into large chunks
Season the roast pieces and beef shanks with the seasoning salt and onion powder
Heat the oil in a skillet
Sear the meat on all sides until browned.
Remove the meat; set aside
Add the finely diced onion and garlic into the same skillet
Sauté for 1-2 mins
Remove and reserve for the chile paste
Spray a slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray
Add the meat to the slow cooker.
Remove seeds and stems from all of the dried chilies.
Place the chilies in a dry skillet on medium high heat.
Toast the chilies for one minute. Do NOT burn the chilies. They will become bitter.
Boil 2 cups of beef stock
Place the dried chilies in a heat safe bowl
Pour the hot stock over the chilies; allow them to soak and soften for 30 minutes.
Pour the softened chilies and stock into blender
Add the chipotle peppers, diced tomatoes, 3 garlic cloves, 2 bay leaves, peppercorns, Mexican oregano, cumin, coriander, allspice, cinnamon stick, ginger, sautéed onion and garlic, and vinegar into the blender.
Blend until well combined and smooth.
Pour the paste into a strainer over the slow cooker containing the meat.
Strain the paste into the slow cooker
Pour in the remaining 2 cups of beef stock and two cups of water.
Add the remaining 2 bay leaves and cover with the lid.
Cook on HIGH for 4 hours or until the beef is fork tender.
Remove the meat and shred it. Discard the bones.
Ladle out 2 cups of the consomé to dip the tortillas in
Dip the tortillas into the consomé.
Fry in a hot skillet until it’s as crispy as desired
Add the meat, cheese, and toppings of your choice
Fold the tortilla over and continue heating until cheese is melted.