Just as traffic seems to be somewhat picking up to the site, I disappear for a few days. A combination of things have made life somewhat crazed lately, and while I have been cooking, I haven't cooked anything new for a few days. I also was supposed to rework something for Chicagoist and haven't done that either.
Last Wednesday I made chili for a work potluck using this recipe, sans the beef short ribs. I also took a spill on some ice this day and kind of screwed up my lower back/leg. I tweaked my sciatica and it's still barking. This has made cooking difficult because even standing and chopping vegetables has been a bit of a challenge.
On Thursday night my office has its "unofficial" holiday party. We basically set up a drink deal at a bar and drank too much.
Rory and I both took Friday off and we went Christmas shopping and saw Golden Compass. I give it one "meh." That evening we had a holiday party with some of her friends and again stayed out too late.
Saturday was Rory's work party and it was fun. It wasn't open bar, they gave three drink tickets. When I walked up tot he bar and saw the selection they had your typical Heineken, Blue Moon, etc., but they also had the 22-ounce bottles of Fat Tire. While I do like Fat Tire I also believe it's overrated, but for free and basically two for one, how could you go wrong?
Sunday night we had Rory's high school friends over. I basically made a scaled down Thanksgiving meal. Initially I was going to do a turkey breast, but it was cheaper to get a whole turkey and I figure I could use the bones to make stock. I also did mashed potatoes, stuffing, a corn casserole, rolls and Rory made a salad. Sadly, I forgot to take pictures (no food porn).
I brined the turkey and it was excellent. I used a hybrid recipe of something I found online. Here's what I used:
1.5 cups of kosher salt
1 gallon of water
1/2 cup of brown sugar
2 bay leaves crumbled
15 peppercorns crushed
6 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 TBLSP of rubbed sage (fresh would be better but I forgot to buy some)
I heated the water to dissolve the salt. This was a first for me and I don't know if it made a difference, but it probably didn't hurt. They key with this is to let the water cool completely before putting it on the turkey. I let it brine for just about 24 hours.
This was also the first time I made stuffing. I'll write about that recipe this evening.