Mauve Cabinets and a Bottle of Red

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Location: Peoria, IL, United States

Thursday, January 28, 2010

New Blog

I have decided to do the whole merging of the blog thing. Along with that, I have made the decision to move to WordPress. I've been playing around with it today, and I think it's going to let me do a whole lot more, and I'm already a lot less frustrated with it than I have been with Blogger. I've moved all of my posts over there already, so you won't lose my recipes.

Go ahead and click over to the new spot!

My first passion

I've been a reader for as long as I can remember. My Nana taught me the alphabet on a MagnaDoodle when I was a toddler, and the rest is history. When I was five, my mom would come upstairs, where we had a huge set of bookshelves that not only housed my collection of kid books, but also all of hers. On the floor around me would be scattered all of her "adult" novels. I would ramble on about how bad they were because the people in the book were kissing and doing other things and they were not married! I wasn't even in kindergarten yet!

That passion for reading has never ceased. I read just about everything I can get my hand on--mostly fiction, but I also love memoirs and biographies. I go through a new book every few days, and I'm constantly updating an Access database that houses my To Read and Have Read lists. Trust me, an Excel spreadsheet wouldn't cut it.

I've been toying with the idea to blog about the books I read. Why not share my passion with other people, the way I have been with my recipes? My question to you, dear readers, is should I merge the two, and write about both food and books here on Mauve Cabinets? Or do I start a whole new blog just for books? What do you think?

I am leaning towards writing about both here. A) It would seriously increase my posting on here. I know I've been slacking, I have NOT been cooking as often as I'd like to. My migraines have come back, and I have not had the energy to cook in the evenings. B) It would also (hopefully) increase my readership on here, bringing in a new audience, who might then also try my recipes as well.

However, I don't want to alienate either group of people. I realize that not all readers cook, and not all cooks read. But, I think there's enough of an overlap that it could work. I want your input, let me know what you think!


Sunday, January 24, 2010

Bathtime for the babies!

I know this is technically a food blog, and you all come here for the recipes. But, as with all blogs, there is a real live person behind this operation, and I thought I'd introduce you to my life. How better a way to do that than to lead you through my day? I have a special treat for you--a photoblog that will take you through the adventure that was this Sunday. Oh the hilarity! Join me, will you?

After lunch, I returned to my basement to discover a muddy mess on my couch. Who could be the culprit? I set out to find her. It wasn't difficult, as she had left tracks everywhere!

My basement carpet is caked with the brown stuff.

Someone has been in my office...

And the bathroom...

Heading into the dining room...We must be getting close, I see a hint of the culprit now!

Ah ha! Caught redhanded! Getting ready to head back out to get even MORE muddy! Look at this mess!

"You have no proof! It wasn't me! I am innocent I promise!"--Jenny

"Mom, look what I can do!!! No need to worry about a little mud. What mud? I can catch my tail! Isn't this cool?"

What a brown noser.

She got what she deserved though. And her sisters got punished for it too. All three got a much needed bath today. Jenny didn't do too badly. She was pretty meek.

Smokey acted EXACTLY how we expected. She HOWLED. And squirmed. My old girl was NOT happy. Poor baby. She forgave me once she dried off though. She was purring when I gave her a treat later.

Keira surprised us both. While Smokey is declawed in front, Keira has claws on all four paws still. She's our wild child, so we were expecting a show. She freaked out a bit when J. turned on the water, and hooked her claw into my neck (check it out in the pictures below). She calmed down after we got going.

She looked like a drowned rat though. My pretty princess was not so pretty soaking wet.

It may not look like much, but that tiny dot is a puncture wound where her claw was stuck in me. Unfortunately, these are really unflattering pictures of yours truly.

The felines also got collars. With the recent installation of the doggie door, we've been a little nervous about them getting out, so we decided to make sure no one mistook them for strays. We didn't get name tags for them yet, but we will once they are used to the collars.

I had planned to cook tonight, and was going to have a recipe for you. Unfortunately, all of the water from the girls' baths and my laundry is standing in my garage right now. My main drain is clogged and blew the cap off my cleanout. Which means I have no use of my drains until one of my guys can get here to help me out (good thing I work for a plumbing company!). Just not the best environment for cooking in, when I can't run water in my kitchen or anything. Luckily, I have lots of material for you today :). Hope you enjoyed it!


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Bonus Post!

I don't usually do 2 posts in one day. Heck, I hardly ever post it seems lately! You guys must be pretty dang lucky today!

But, I had an 8 hour work from home Saturday shift today, and J's working late tonight, which means it's cocktail time baby!

I've posted a similar drink here before, as you can probably tell, I am a BIG fan of Dr. McGillicuddy's!

I had a hankering for a White Russian. However, J and I aren't big vodka drinkers so we don't usually have it around the house. What I did have was Kahlua, cream, and Dr. M. From those ingredients, the Frosty Russian was birthed!

Frosty Russian
By Me!

1 shot Dr. M (best if kept in freezer)
1 shot Kahlua
1.5 shots cream

Shake ingredients with ice and pour into a martini glass (or in my case, a margarita glass cuz that's all I've got).


I might be addicted to poultry.

I know I know, I told you that the next recipe was going to be for carrots. Buuuuuut...I've been holding onto this one to post for awhile, and a friend of mine mentioned to me today that she had a few chickens in her freezer that she needed to use. So I'm posting this for my Twitter mom!

This chicken came out super moist and PERFECT! Most of Ina's recipes do though. They are a little more complicated than most, but are worth the extra effort always.

Lemon and Garlic Roast Chicken

1 roasting chicken
Kosher salt
Black pepper
1 large bunch fresh thyme
4 lemons
3 heads garlic, cut in 1/2 crosswise
2 Tbsp butter, melted
1/2 pound sliced bacon
1 cup white wine
1/2 cup chicken stock

Preheat oven to 425.

Remove giblets. Rinse chicken in and out, pat dry. Place in large roasting pan. Liberally salt and pepper inside of chicken. Stuff cavity with thyme, 1 lemon, halved, and 2 halves of garlic. Brush outside with butter and sprinkle again with salt and pepper. tie legs together with string and tuck wing tips under body of chicken. Cut 2 of lemons in quarters and scatter them and remaining garlic around chicken. Lay bacon slices over the chicken to cover.

Roast for 1 hour. Remove bacon slices and set aside. Continue roasting for an additional 1/2 hour, or until juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh. Remove to cutting board and cover with foil while you prepare the gravy.

Remove all but 2 Tbsp of fat from pan. add wine and chicken stock and bring ot boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Slice chicken on platter. Garnish with bacon, roasted garlic, thyme and lemon. Serve with gravy.


Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Best Kinds of Days

Every once in awhile I'm asked to cover a Saturday at work, and in return, I'm given a day off during the week. this was one of those weeks, and today I got to lay around in bed all day. Sure, I could have been doing something productive, but I started reading Angels & Demons yesterday and that's one of those books that you just can't put down once you start. This morning, I put a pork roast in the crockpot, and this evening, I finished my book just in time to start the rest of dinner fixins'. Now I'm nursing one glass of wine (just one...sigh...damn migraines), and typing this up before I go up and start my next book. What, you thought I'd take a break or something?

Crockpot Cranberry Pork Roast
Adapted from Beantown Baker

2.5 lb pork roast
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 Tbsp cornstarch
6 oz fresh cranberries (I took mine straight from the freezer, did not seem to cause a problem)
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup dried cranberries
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 lemon, thinly sliced

Mix ginger, mustard, salt, pepper, and cornstarch. Coat pork. Place in crockpot.
Put rest of ingredients in crockpot.
Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, or on high for 4. It will be more tender if you cook it lower and slower.

I served it with Balsamic Glazed Carrots (you'll see recipe soon) and an adapted form of this gravy. I used cranberry juice instead of apple cider, and rosemary and thyme in the roux.

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009


So I'm sitting here in my dining room, waiting on the browned butter and simple syrup to cool and I realized, I have been a terrible blogger lately. I set out to do the NaBloWriMo, and failed in the last week. Ugh. I hate that. And ever since then I've kind of fallen off the face of the earth. I have been cooking, I have a stack of recipes to share with ya'll. But, it's that time of year when I get terribly burnt out and all I feel like doing after work is reading in bed, which usually puts me to sleep by 9:30!

If you follow me on Twitter, you saw that two weekends ago, I threw my very first dinner party! You probably even saw this picture that I took just before my bird went into the oven:

That whole day I taunted all of you with how beautiful my turkey was looking, how delicious it was smelling, and I promised you a recipe. And oooooooooooooooh how amazing that turkey was. It was by far the best turkey I've ever had, hands down. Everyone who was here told me how much they loved it, demanded to know the secret, and begged me to host the party next year so I could make the turkey again. It was a very proud moment in my culinary journey.

And then I got the flu. The very next day. It was awful. It knocked me on my feet for 3 days solid. I've been trying to catch up every since then. So here is your turkey recipe. I'm sorry it's just now getting posted. But look, I took pictures!

All the credit for this recipe goes to Prudence Pennywise (go check out her blog, I love her recipes). Wow girlie, this recipe is a knockout. Because it was my first time making turkey and gravy, I did not change anything in either recipe. If you can't find sage, I bet rosemary and/or thyme would go great with this bird. Seriously, try this. I will never roast a turkey without brining it first. It makes a little bit of a mess and takes a few days of preparation, but it is so, so worth it.

Sage Roasted Turkey with Apple Cider Gravy
From Prudence Pennywise
Notes: Thaw turkey in fridge from Fri-Mon before Thanksgiving, brine from Mon-Wed night.
8 quarts cold water
1 cup salt
8 dried bay leaves
2 tablespoons black peppercorns
1 tablespoon allspice
1 16- to 17-pound turkey; giblets removed,
Herb butter and gravy
3 tablespoons minced fresh Italian parsley
3 tablespoons minced fresh sage
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
4 cups low-salt chicken broth
2 cups apple cider
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 large Granny Smith apples, quartered, cored
2 large onions, quartered
1 cup apple cider

To brine the turkey:
Line extra-large pot or bowl with two 13-gallon (or larger) plastic bags, 1 inside the other. Combine 1 quart water, salt, bay leaves, peppercorns, and allspice in large saucepan. Stir over medium heat until salt dissolves. Remove from heat. Add 1 quart cold water and cool to lukewarm. Pour into plastic bags; mix in remaining 6 quarts water. Submerge turkey in brine to cover completely, gathering bags tightly to eliminate any air; tie bags closed. Refrigerate turkey in brine in pot at least 18 hours and up to 20 hours.
Line large roasting pan with 4 layers of paper towels. Remove turkey from brine and drain well; discard brine. Place turkey in prepared pan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

For herb butter and gravy:
Mix parsley, sage, and nutmeg in small bowl. Transfer half of chopped herb mixture to small bowl; mix in 1/2 cup butter.
Combine broth and apple cider in heavy large saucepan. Boil until reduced to 3 cups, about 20 minutes. Pour broth reduction into bowl. Melt remaining 1/4 cup butter in same saucepan over medium-high heat. Add flour; stir 1 minute. Whisk in broth reduction, then cream, and remaining chopped herb mixture. Bring to boil; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until gravy base is thickened and reduced to 2 3/4 cups, whisking often, about 20 minutes. Cool gravy base slightly. (Gravy base and herb butter can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and chill.)

To roast the turkey:
Position rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 350°F. Remove turkey from roasting pan; drain any accumulated juices from main cavity. Discard paper towels from roasting pan. Melt herb butter in small saucepan over medium heat. Brush bottom of roasting pan with some of herb butter. Return turkey to prepared pan. Tuck wing tips under; tie legs together loosely to hold shape. Place some apple quarters and onion quarters in main cavity. Brush remaining herb butter over turkey; sprinkle with pepper. Scatter remaining apples and onions around turkey in pan.
Roast turkey 1 hour. Baste with 1/2 cup apple cider. Roast turkey 30 minutes. Baste with remaining 1/2 cup cider. Roast turkey until thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 175°F, basting turkey every 30 minutes with pan juices and covering breast loosely with foil if browning too quickly, about 2 hours longer (3 1/2 hours total). Transfer turkey to platter; let stand at least 30 minutes before carving (internal temperature will rise 5 to 10 degrees).
Discard apples and onions from pan. Pour pan juices into large glass measuring cup; spoon off fat from surface. Pour
degreased juices into gravy base and bring to boil over medium-high heat, whisking occasionally. Boil until gravy thickens enough to coat spoon and is reduced to 3 1/2 cups, about 15 minutes. Season gravy to taste with pepper.
Serve turkey with gravy.

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