Turkey!

It’s no secret that I’m a food blogger over at General Mills Canada’s site lifemadedelicious.ca, and that with my new contract I not only share my recipes over there, but I share their recipes over here. This is a new development this year and I have to say that it’s one of the reasons I signed on again. Life is so busy that it can be easy to fall into a rut (Though you will never take Taco Tuesday away from me. Never ever). Agreeing to try one of the recipes at Life Made Delicious means that I take some time to look through recipes, choose something I’ve never made, and try it out.

When I saw the recipe for Oven Roasted Turkey Breast I realized that I didn’t know that buying turkey roasts was even possible. I cook a full turkey dinner a few times a year (Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Random Day I Want A Turkey Dinner), but honestly — hand-to-chest — did not know I could buy a turkey roast. (Did you know? WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL ME?)

I invited my brother over to join us for dinner this past weekend and had him carve the turkey roast. First, he was blown away by the fact that a turkey roast existed. (ME TOO.) Second, he could not believe how well it carved. Third, we all were amazed at how easy it was to have a turkey dinner with less fuss. (No stuffing crevasses!)

Here is the recipe from the site:

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Ingredients:

1 bone-in whole turkey breast (4 1/2 – 5 lb/2 – 2.5 kg), thawed if frozen (I bought a boneless one, because that’s all I could find)
1/2 cup (125 mL) butter or margarine, melted
1/4 cup (50 mL) dry white wine or apple juice
2 tbsp (25 mL) chopped fresh thyme leaves or 1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) dried thyme leaves (I used dried.)
1 tsp (5 mL) salt
1 tsp (5 mL) paprika
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tsp (10 mL) cornstarch
2 tbsp (25 mL) cold water

Instructions::

Heat oven to 325ºF. Place turkey, skin side up, on rack in large shallow roasting pan. Insert ovenproof meat thermometer so tip is in thickest part of breast and does not touch bone. Roast uncovered 1 hour.

Mix butter, wine, thyme, salt, paprika and garlic. Brush turkey with half of the butter mixture. Roast 30 minutes; brush with remaining butter mixture. Roast about 1 hour longer or until thermometer reads 165ºF.

Remove turkey from oven and let stand 15 minutes for easier carving.

Meanwhile, pour pan drippings into measuring cup; skim fat from drippings. Add enough water to drippings to measure 2 cups. Heat drippings to boiling in 1-quart saucepan. Mix cornstarch and 2 tablespoons cold water; stir into drippings. Boil and stir 1 minute. Serve with turkey.

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It was absolutely delightful, you guys. It will now be on regular rotation over here.

Have you cooked a turkey roast? Do you have any tweaks (or sides) you could suggest?

Sunny Days

Life has been nuts, more nuts than usual, and it seems like the only time I can sit down and write here is when I’m at the end of my rope and it feels like I CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE. It’s a skewed reality, which is what happens when you share 1% of your life on the Internet and choose to use that 1% to vent.

Yes, life is busy, but a lot of it is for reasons that make me smile. I’d like to document the good things, so you can all remind me of them every 28-35 days when I melt down.

I’m married to a man thinks he scored by marrying me. I know that I’m the one who scored, so I win.

My kids are healthy, happy, and hilarious. They’re all doing well in school, and being leaders in the classroom and in our church. They throw out attitude sometimes, sure, but I can throw it right back. And then we laugh.

Being self-employed can be uncertain at times, but I have new work showing up all of the time and have had to actually say no to some opportunities, because I like to sleep.

Our house is still for sale, but we’ve had some great showings and there are a few showings lined up in the next week (In November!) and we know it will sell. It’s just a matter of when.

I’m still a running fool, running three days a week, plus other days to encourage friends who need company when they run. I picked up the kids from school today and my one new friend finished work early and was running a couple of laps. SO AWESOME. I also get to run with Jennifer tomorrow, which is awesome, because I miss her (even though we’re related and live in the same town and life is crazy ETCETERA).

The weather has been colder than normal for here, but we’re back up to normal (above freezing) temperatures and SNOW IS IN THE FORECAST. Winter made me miserable for so many years, and then we took up skiing. Snow is the new sunshine.

There is much more, but I need to sign off to deal with kids and work and maybe chill out in front of a book or a movie before closing my eyes and opening them to a new day. A good day.

*Old school Jars of Clay. It seemed fitting.

Sunset

Things have been better since my last meltdown, but I’ve resigned myself to the fact that things are going to be hard — really hard — for the next two years. This means that I will have to say no to more things than I’m used to, as I will be bearing the brunt of the extra weight that has been shifted to me in order to take some pressure off of Mr. Masters. It’s been good in that I have realized that I am at my limit and can just say no to extra requests of my time. No. Hard pass.

That aside, I still long for girl time. I have more friends running with me, which is amazing, and two of them have run further than they’ve ever run before. It makes me so happy (To have their company, and) that I get to be their encourager who helps them exceed their running goals. The conversations have been great as well, and I’ve been loving these new connections on top of my other connections.

I’ll spare all of the details, but Saturday night saw me bailing early on a dinner with some great ladies because I was needed at home. (There may have been tears, because I cry too easily.) I’m used to the freedom of the occasional night with friends, but I’m wondering if I have to wave the white flag for the next two years. Maybe running is the only “girl time” that is possible until then. It’s definitely better than no girl time, but oh. I love to sit with friends and appetizers and a glass of wine and dig a little deeper, you know?

We knew we’d be making sacrifices going into this, but I didn’t think that my quarterly nights with the amazing ladies in my life would be on the chopping block. Maybe they can be saved, but in the meantime I’m doing my best to be thankful for the interactions I have when I run and with the PAC and at church activities I volunteer for. First world problems, I know, but when you work from home the majority of the time and you’re an IFNJ, you need your face time with people you like to spend time with.

So, I’m hanging in there, but I have my bad days. Snot and tears and hiccups are the new black.

We drove up to the cabin on Sunday afternoon and came back tonight. (Yes, we pull our kids out of school sometimes.)

I went for a hike with my Apex neighbour and friend Sue on Monday before she went back down below for work. She and I have a track record of “exploring”, which means that we’re not quite lost, but we get a bit turned around at times. (We both have compasses and GPS devices at the top of our Christmas wish lists.) We back tracked to the miner’s trail she wanted to show me (We only missed it because of all of the talking), and, oh. I’m so glad she showed it to me so I can share it with my family and friends when the snow melts. (It started snowing yesterday and it can’t stop, and it won’t stop.)

Here’s a shot of the view as we hiked up:
Riordan

Apex is so amazing, all year ’round. I love getting to know the area even more every time I’m up there.

The temperature dropped on Monday night, the snow fell for a solid twenty-four hours, and we took the dogs for a walk when the sun peeked out. I told the kids to line up for a photo (Nathan and Graham inadvertently look like they’re on a ski team)(Team Dykstra!). Matthew decided to use his photo bombing skills.

Photo Bomb

I think this should be our Christmas photo, but the kids said that I should be in it. They suggested Photoshopping myself in, but no. I think this is a great representation of us, and we’ll run with it. I post my fair share of selfies, I write the words on our Christmas card, and we’ll still get a family photo of the five of us shot and framed. The above is just something that needs to be mailed out.

Do you send Christmas/holiday photos? I’d love to send you mine if you send me yours.

 

Moi

At the end of September, I left the gym and saw that a friend had called but hadn’t left a message. I got home and our call display told me that she had called my home number as well. I picked up the phone (People still do that, you know?) and dialed her number. She picked up, and said she had something to tell me.

I thought I should tell you, before you heard it from anyone else, that I put your name forward to be the new Vice President of the PAC.

I asked her what the job entailed and she said that there is a monthly PAC meeting and that the executive meets separately once a month to discuss plans and programs and budgets and finances.  She thought that my involvement in the school and my outgoing nature was something that would be good for the PAC. I said, “You know I’m a CA, right?” She did not, but that sealed the deal for her.

(I’d never been to a PAC meeting before last night, if I’m to be honest. I support them, and the friends who attend fill me in, and so it’s kind of amusing I was suggested.)

The PAC, for those who don’t know, it the Parent Advisory Council. I just Googled it to make sure, and the first hit was Potential Alcohol Connection. The reason that the meetings are held on Thursdays is so that those attending can go to our local pub for wings and such, so PAC has a double meaning that seems to apply here.

The purpose of the PAC is to support teachers and parents and to raise funds to pay for the cool things our kids get to do. I volunteer as much as I can at the school and I help run the spring marathon and it just makes sense that I step in where there’s a need that I can clearly fill.

I was in Toronto when the first PAC meeting of the year occurred. My friend asked if she could say that she knew of an unnamed person who was interested in the VP position. I said that she could use my name, and say that I was considering it. Upon arriving home, I had multiple people in the community tell me that they were excited to have me as the new VP of the PAC. Um, I said I was considering it, but small towns are awesome.

Us newbie executives met with the current (Now past) executive this past weekend and I walked (drove) away excited about the year to come. I love my kids, I love their school, and I’m excited to play a part in making fun stuff happen. The meeting was last night and I was voted in by a room of people I consider friends.

I also get to refer to myself as a VP, which is kind of cool.

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