Turkey Breast with Cranberry-Pecan Stuffing

Create a new tradition this Thanksgiving with all your favorite ingredients rolled into one. Forget about wrestling with the whole bird and enjoy this tasty alternative packed with flavor and served in one elegant package. Each slice of this delicious roast reveals an exquisite design and a taste to match.
Serves: 4 to 6 // Prep time: 30 minutes | Grilling time: about 45 minutes | Special equipment: butcher’s twine, roasting pan with a rack, instant-read thermometer

INGREDIENTS

  • 9 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • ½ cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • ½ cup finely chopped celery
  • 1 cup toasted or stale ¼-inch bread cubes
  • ½ cup dried sweetened cranberries
  • ½ cup pecans, toasted and chopped
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh sage leaves
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 boneless turkey breast half (with skin), 2½ to 3 pounds, butterflied
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Prepare the grill for indirect cooking over medium heat (350° to 450°F).
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter. Add the onion and celery and cook until tender, 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the skillet from the heat. Add the bread cubes, cranberries, pecans, sage, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Mix until all the bread is moistened. Let cool.
  3. Place the butterflied turkey breast, skin side down, on a large cutting board. Lay a sheet of plastic wrap on top. Using a meat mallet or a small, heavy skillet, pound the meat to an even ¾-inch thickness (the size of the turkey breast should be approximately 14 by 8 inches). Season both sides with salt and pepper.
  4. Spread the stuffing over the turkey breast, leaving an empty margin of at least 1 inch all the way around the edges. Then roll up the turkey breast lengthwise, creating a cylinder. Tie with butcher’s twine at 2-inch intervals to secure the stuffing. Brush the turkey breast all over with 2 tablespoons softened butter.
  5. Place the turkey breast, skin side up, on a rack set inside a roasting pan. Grill over indirect medium heat, with the lid closed, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the stuffed breast registers 160° to 165°F, about 45 minutes. Transfer the turkey to a cutting board and let rest for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, make the gravy.
  6. Remove the rack from the roasting pan and place the pan on a stovetop over medium heat. Remove and discard any pieces of the stuffing that might have fallen out. Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons butter in the pan and add the flour. Whisk the mixture and let it cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Add the broth about ½ cup at a time, whisking each addition and scraping up the bits from the bottom of the pan until thoroughly mixed. Bring the gravy to a simmer over medium-high heat. Continue to cook until the gravy reaches the consistency you like, 5 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Remove the twine and cut the turkey crosswise into thick slices. Serve warm with the gravy.

Recipe Courtesy: http://www.weber.com/recipes

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How To: Winterize Your Hot Tub

If you’ve ever braved a Central Oregon winter, you’ll know it’s true – winter is the best season for hot-tubbing.
Hot water and soothing jets are even more gratifying when the mercury drops below freezing. Not around during the chilliest months?
Your hot tub could suffer severe freeze damage if not properly treated for the winter. Winterize your hot tub using our helpful how-to.
(If you are in doubt about these procedures, please be sure to call a hot tub service professional.)

Step 1. Turn off the power.

Start with the circuit breaker for the hot tub electrical line, or if possible, unplug the unit.
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Step 2. Drain the hot tub. 

Make sure you leave the bottom drain spout open when you are done.Winterize your hottub-02

Step 3 Remove remaining water.

Remove all residual water from the seating and foot well. A wet/dry vacuum or a submersible pump may speed up the draining process.

Step 4. Remove any residual water from jet nozzles. 

Place vacuum nozzle over each jet nozzle to remove water from plumbing lines, starting with the highest jet and finishing with the lowest jet.Winterize your hottub-03

NOTE: If your hot tub is equipped with a Tri-Zone control which is used to divert water between different jet zones. The valve must be “open” to the particular jets you are vacuuming.

 

Step 5. Unscrew the pump plugs(s)

Unscrew from the pump(s) or disconnect the freeze protection line.

Step 6. Remove excess water from pump opening(s).

Again, using the wet/dry vacuum, place nozzle over the exposed pump opening(s) to remove excess water. The pump(s) should be removed from the hot tub and stored in a climate-controlled room.
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Step 7.Clean the hot tub interior.

Use a non-foaming cleaner and wipe down all surfaces and rinse with clean water. This will make the job of opening your hot tub in the spring a lot easier.

Step 8. Clean the filter cartridges.

Make sure to remove any remaining water from filter compartment and if your hot tub has a separate filter canister, make sure it is completely drained as well.
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Step 9. Re-install the cover, and secure & lock the straps.

If you live in a high-wind location, you might consider the addition of tie-down straps.

Step 10. Place a tarp over the hard thermal cover and secure it. 

On in-ground or in-deck hot tubs securing a tarp will protect it from wind to ensure that rain and snow melt will not get into your hot tub over the winter.
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Chipotle-Orange Chicken Fajitas

Bring new flavor to juicy chicken fajitas. Smokey chipotle peppers add a kick to this mouthwatering citrus marinade. The meal comes together in a flash and always gets great reviews. Turn this culinary delight into a new family favorite, serve up golden brown and sizzling hot!

Chipotle-Orange Chicken Fajitas
Serves: 6 // Prep time: 20 minutes | Marinating time: 2 to 4 hours | Grilling time: 16 to 20 minutes

INGREDIENTS

MARINADE

Finely grated zest and juice of 1 small orange (1 teaspoon zest and ¼ cup juice)
2 canned chipotle chile peppers in adobo sauce, finely chopped
2 tablespoons adobo sauce (from the can)
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon prepared chili powder
2 garlic cloves, minced
Extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, each about 6 ounces, tenders removed
2 large red bell peppers, each cut into 4 planks
2 medium yellow onions, each cut crosswise into ⅓-inch slices
Freshly ground black pepper
12 flour tortillas (8 inches)
2 tablespoons loosely packed chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Lime wedges
Sour cream
Salsa

INSTRUCTIONS

Whisk the marinade ingredients, including 2 tablespoons oil and ½ teaspoon salt.

One at a time, place each chicken breast, smooth side down, on a cutting board. Place a sheet of plastic wrap over the chicken and pound to an even ½-inch thickness. Place the chicken in a large resealable plastic bag and pour in the marinade. Press the air out of the bag and seal tightly. Turn the bag to distribute the marinade, place in a bowl, and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours.

Prepare the grill for direct cooking over medium heat (350° to 450°F).

Lightly brush the bell peppers and onions with oil and season evenly with salt and pepper. Grill the peppers and onions over direct medium heat, with the lid closed, until tender, turning once or twice. The bell peppers will take 6 to 8 minutes and the onions will take 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the grill, cut the bell peppers into 1-inch strips, separate the onions into rings, place in a bowl, and keep warm.

Wrap six tortillas in each of two foil packets.

Remove the chicken from the bag and discard marinade. Grill the chicken over direct medium heat, with the lid closed, until firm to the touch and opaque all the way to the center, 6 to 8 minutes, turning once. At the same time, warm the tortilla packets over direct or indirect heat for 2 to 4 minutes, turning once or twice.

Cut the chicken crosswise into ¼-inch strips and add to the bowl with the bell peppers and onions. Add the cilantro and stir to combine. Serve the warm chicken mixture in tortillas with lime wedges, sour cream, and salsa.

Recipe Courtesy: http://www.weber.com/recipes

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Earthquakes & Wood Stoves

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Are you prepared in the event of a natural disaster? Earthquakes & Wood Stoves might not sound like they have a lot in common, but a wood stove can be a real life saver in the event of a massive earthquake, or catastrophe.

In fact some scientists say that a “mega-quake” along the California and Oregon coasts is actually overdue. http://www.inquisitr.com/1540881/megaquake-west-coast-overdue-or-are-2014-earthquake-predictions-for-oregon-and-california-unreliable/

Earthquake-Subtitles-the-advantages

  • A wood stove can produce as much heat as a central furnace and they do not need electricity to operate.
  • Many wood stoves are used as a secondary heating source, but in the event of a major disaster like a massive earthquake, they can become the primary heating source.
  • Unlike masonry fireplace chimneys, wood stove chimneys are very earthquake resistant.

Earthquake-Subtitles-The-Reality

  • Repairs and recovering from a disaster could take months.
  • In colder areas during the winter, the loss of electricity and natural gas for weeks or even months could be life threatening.
  • The one durable heating source that is not affected by the loss of electricity and natural gas is a good wood stove.
  • They also are a good emergency cooking stove and would be the only place that water could be heated, or boiled.

Earthquake-Subtitles-thesolution

  • Any wood stove will do, but newer wood stoves are about twice as efficient as old wood stoves, resulting in a huge reduction of wood use.
  • Steel stoves with large flat tops are better because they have an excellent heat transfer surface for cooking and for heating large quantities of water.
  • Non catalytic, steel wood stoves are also somewhat better than the catalytic models in that their tops can get much hotter, making cooking and water boiling easier.

So, while earthquake and disaster preparation may not be the main reason to buy wood stoves, they definitely have significant advantages after seismic activity that is undoubtedly worth thinking about.

Author Roger Sanders is the Owner of Bend Fireside. Connect with him on

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Butternut Squash with Candied Pecans

Welcome the cold winter months with a warm and cozy recipe perfect for any weeknight or holiday gathering: Butternut Squash with Candied Pecans. Butternut squash is sweet, moist, and pleasantly nutty making sugar-coated candied pecans the perfect topping. Not only does butternut squash taste divine but it’s also extremely healthy. It’s rich in B-complex, packed with vitamin A, and strengthens your immune system to help protect against colds and flu.
Butternut Squash
Serves: 4 // Prep time: 15 minutes, plus about 20 minutes for the pecans | Grilling time: 50 minutes to 1 hour

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large egg white
  • ¾ cup pecan halves
  • 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
  • Kosher salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ cup (½ stick) plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 butternut squash, about 2 pounds, cut lengthwise into quarters, seeds removed

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl whisk the egg white until frothy. Add the pecans and stir to coat. Add the brown sugar, ¼ teaspoon of the cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon salt, and the cloves. Stir until evenly distributed among the nuts. Spread the nuts in a single layer on the prepared pan and bake until toasted and caramelized, 18 to 20 minutes, stirring several times. Once cool enough to handle, coarsely chop the pecans and set aside.
  3. Prepare the grill for indirect cooking over medium heat (350° to 450°F).
  4. In a small bowl combine the butter, the remaining ½ teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon salt, and the cayenne pepper. Place the squash, cut side up, on the grill and brush generously with the butter mixture, reserving the rest for basting and serving. Grill over indirect medium heat, with the lid closed, until very tender, 50 minutes to 1 hour, basting occasionally. Remove from the grill and drizzle with the remaining butter mixture. Top with candied pecans and a final sprinkling of salt, if desired. Serve warm.
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3 Tips for Winter Hot Tub Enjoyment

Falling-snowNothing beats a relaxing soak in the hot tub in crisp winter weather. To guarantee proper operation and efficiency of your hot tub all winter long follow these three very important tips.

1. If your cover is older than 5 years, it’s time to replace it. Be sure that your hot tub cover fits well around the edges and the vinyl has not cracked. Newer covers that have a good seal save money by properly keeping the heat inside the tub. Older covers become heavy from being “water logged” and do not insulate well.

2. Turn your valves off to save money.  Air injector valves increase hydrotherapy by mixing air with the water jets, but in the winter they can introduce very cold air into the hot tub. (Turning them off will also eliminate the possibility of having cold water come out of the jets.)

3. Keep your water temperature up, even if you leave town for a week. It will cost almost as much to reheat your water as you would end up saving by turning it down. Plus, if you experience a power failure the cooler water will freeze faster, making for expensive repairs.

Hot tubs will take care of themselves all winter long as long as you do your part. We hope you enjoy all the amazing benefits your hot tub has to offer this winter.

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