CITRUS BRINED ROAST TURKEY & GRAVY adapted from Pioneer woman
Prep Time: 24 hours 45 mins

5 bay leaves
5 garlic cloves, minced
Peel of 3 oranges, plus 1 orange, cut into wedges
1 lemon, cut into wedges
1 lime, cut into wedges
3 cups apple cider
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 cups packed dark brown sugar
1 1/2 cups kosher salt
3 tablespoons tri-color peppercorns

  • Combine all the brine ingredients in a large pot with 2 gallons cold water stirring until the sugar and salt COMPLETELY dissolve.
  • Bring to a boil, then turn off the heat and cover.
  • Let cool completely.
  • Pour the cooled brine into a large brining bag or pot.
  • Add the turkey and refrigerate for 16 to 24 hours.


  • When ready to roast, remove the turkey from the brine.
  • Submerge the turkey in a pot of fresh cold water.
  • Allow to sit in the clean water for 15 minutes to remove the excess salt.

18-20 pound turkey (reserve the giblets and neck for the gravy)
2 oranges, zested and juiced RESERVE zest and 2nd orange
1 lemon, zested and juiced RESERVE zest
2 sticks salted butter, softened
1 tablespoons finely chopped FRESH Thyme leaves, plus 4 to 5 sprigs (2 for garnish)
2 tablespoons finely chopped FRESH Tarragon leaves, plus 4-5 sprigs (2 for garnish)
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
3 cups homemade chicken broth
1 cup dry white wine

  • Preheat the oven to 275 ̊.
  • Remove the turkey from the water, pat dry and place breast-side up on a roasting rack set in a large roasting pan.
  • GENEROUSLY season with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Add juice from 1 lemon and 1 orange to the turkey cavity.
  • Cover with heavy duty foil.
  • Roast 10 minutes per pound.
  • Remove turkey from oven and increase the heat to 325 ̊. Discard foil. Don’t worry that the turkey is so pale!


  • Combine the butter, thyme leaves, tarragon leaves, salt and pepper in a bowl until well blended.
  • Smear the butter mixture all over the skin and into the crevices so that the turkey is totally covered.
  • Slice the reserved orange into wedges and place in the cavity of the turkey along with 3 each of the thyme and tarragon sprigs.
  • Cross the legs and tie them together with kitchen twine.
  • Insert a meat thermometer into the thigh behind the leg joint.
  • Pour the chicken broth and wine into the bottom of the pan.
  • Roast for 5-7 minutes per pound, basting the turkey every 30 minutes, until the thermometer reads 165 ̊.
  • Remove from the oven, cover loosely with foil and let rest for 30 minutes before carving.
  • Save the drippings for gravy.


Giblet pieces and neck, saved from the uncooked turkey
Drippings from roasted turkey
1/2 cup WONDRA flour (more if needed)
4 cups no-sodium chicken or turkey broth
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon each FRESH chopped Tarragon and Thyme leaves

  • In a small saucepan cover the giblets and neck with water by 2 inches.
  • Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 1 hour to cook meat and create the broth for the gravy.
  • Remove the giblets and neck from the broth and set aside to be chopped into sell pieces when cool enough to touch.
  • Set the broth in the saucepan aside for later.


While the turkey is resting pour all the drippings from the turkey roasting pan into a bowl and let the drippings sit and separate naturally, then use a ladle to carefully separate the fat from the liquid drippings (the fat will be on top, while the drippings will settle at the bottom).

  • When ready to make the gravy, return the pan to the stove over medium low flame.
  • Add 1 cup of the fat to the pan.
  • Sprinkle the flour all over the fat and immediately begin whisking it around to make a smooth roux that is not too oily or pasty by adding more fat or flour as necessary.
  • Whisk it slowly for a few minutes, allowing it to cook to a deep golden brown color.
  • Once the roux is ready, pour in 1 cup of the drippings (the gel from under the fat) and the chicken or turkey broth, whisking constantly, cooking 7-8 minutes until thickened.


  • While gravy is simmering, use your fingers to remove as much of the neck meat as you can and chop up the giblets into fine pieces.
  • Add as much of the meat to the gravy as you desire.
  • If the gravy seems too thick, add more broth and/or a little of the reserved giblet broth (the water used to cook the giblets.)
  • Taste and adjust seasoning.

To complete our Thanksgiving meal I also traditionally make Sourdough Oatnut herb dressing, Homemade Cranberry Sauce and our Family Favorite Mashed Potatoes.


Casual? Elegant? A little bit of both which makes it perfect for serving company. This recipe was originally written using chicken thighs, but I prefer thin cut chicken breast steaks. As always I made the recipe in its entirety as written the first time through and then made the necessary changes to make it even better, in our opinion.  It needed more “sauce” so I added the chicken broth and flour to create more of a gravy.  I also added the thin slice of provolone to give the chicken inside a bit of oomph. The recipe also had you starting the chicken on the stove and then moving the pan to the oven.  I found that the bacon crisps up better when cooked entirely in the oven where the grease drained off into the baking sheet.

4-6 boneless, skinless thin cut chicken steaks
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
4-6 slice provolone cheese
8-12 bacon slices, not too thick
1 teaspoon avocado oil
2 tablespoons butter
4 shallot, sliced
2-3 cups sugar snap peas, trimmed
1 can LeSeur peas, drained
2 tablespoons WONDRA flour
1/3 cup chicken broth
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon FRESH chopped thyme

  • Preheat oven 400°.
  • Generously season chicken steaks on both sides.
  • Roll each chicken steak up with a slice of Provolone cheese on the inside and wrap with 2-3 slices of bacon, securing with toothpicks.
  • Place chicken breasts on a wire rack on a baking sheet
  • Place baking sheet in oven for 25 minutes while you prep the snap peas.
  • Remove baking sheet from oven, remove toothpicks and transfer chicken to serving platter to keep warm.
  • Heat avocado oil in an enameled cast iron pan over medium high heat.
  • Add butter to melt.
  • Add shallots, cooking 2-3 minutes.
  • Add sugar snap peas, stirring occasionally 5-7 until tender.
  • Sprinkle with flour and stir to blend.
  • Stir in broth and thyme, cooking several minutes.
  • Add heavy cream and cook several minutes until it begins to thicken.
  • With a slotted spoon transfer the peas and shallots to the platter.
  • Drizzle sauce over chicken breasts.
  • Garnish with additional thyme if desired.

NOTE: To change the flavor profile a bit try using different herbs, tarragon, dill etc…


The word pomodoro or Pomo d’oro is Italian for tomato, or more specifically “golden apple”. LOL 😀 that is about all that is actually Italian about this recipe! Yet another possible origin of the word is derived from the aphrodisiac qualities in the french translation pomme d’amour, the love apple.

While researching the word pomodoro, I found that tomatoes aren’t even indigenous to Italy, meaning they weren’t originally Italian, though they are a staple in the Italian kitchen of today!  Tomatoes were first discovered in Central America, but made their way to Italy in the late 15th century and because the growing conditions were ideal for tomatoes Italy became a prominent tomato region making tomatoes a staple in Italian kitchens and Mediterranean recipes!

According to Il Pomodoro Italiano, “The Italian Tomato”, there are over 320 different variations of the tomato. The beautiful golden tomatoes (Pomo d’oro) tend to have a sweeter taste and have a low sugar and acid content. For more information on the varieties of Italian tomatoes check out Delicious Italy.

4 boneless, skinless chicken steaks
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
garlic salt
1/4 cup WONDRA flour
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup QUALITY Vodka
1/2 cup homemade chicken broth
Juice of 1 LARGE lemon
2 tablespoons FRESH chopped tarragon
1 bunch green onions, sliced thin
1 cup halved cherry or grape tomatoes
2 tablespoons heavy cream

  • GENEROUSLY season chicken steaks with FRESH ground sea salt, black pepper and garlic salt.
  • Heat large skillet over medium heat and melt butter.
  • Dredge chicken steaks in flour and add to skillet.
  • Saute; chicken steaks 3-4 minutes per side until JUST cooked through.
  • Transfer chicken to platter and keep warm.
  • Deglaze pan with vodka and cook 1-2 minutes until alcohol is cooked off.
  • Add onions to pan, stirring 30 seconds or so.
  • Add chicken broth, lemon juice and tarragon, blending well.
  • Add cream, stirring to blend before adding tomatoes and returning the chicken to pan, turning to coat.
  • Heat through and serve with your favorite rice or mashed potatoes ad sauce drizzled over top.


1 stick butter, divided 2 tablespoons + 2 tablespoons + 4 tablespoons
1 tablespoon avocado oil
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
3 cups DRY wide egg noodles
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch green onions, whites only sliced thin
4 cups SMALL broccoli florets (about 3 crowns, stalks discarded or used elsewhere)
14 ounces marinated artichokes, drained WELL
1/4 cup WONDRA flour
4 cups WHOLE milk
1/4 cup cream sherry
4 ounces cream cheese, sliced into 8-10 pieces
2 LARGE cans white albacore tuna in water, drained WELL
1 cup shredded Gruyere
1/4 cup FRESH chopped Parsley
Several sprigs FRESH thyme
1/2 cup PANKO crumbs

  • Prepare noodles al dente per package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  • Melt avocado oil and 2 tablespoons butter in large saute pan.
  • Add green onions and garlic, sauteing 2 minutes until garlic is golden and fragrant.
  • Increase heat to medium-high and add broccoli florets, sauteing 7-8 minutes until broccoli is tender and vibrant green.
  • GENEROUSLY season with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Add artichokes and Parsley, cooking several minutes more until all liquid is absorbed.
  • Pour broccoli and artichokes into colander and drain off any remaining oil.
  • Return pan to stove and melt 4 tablespoons butter.
  • Whisk in WONDRA flour until smooth and golden.
  • Gradually add milk and cream sherry stirring well after each addition. Cook until slightly thickened.
  • Add cream cheese pieces, whisking until smooth.
  • Add Gruyere, whisking until smooth.
  • Adjust seasoning.
  • Fold in tuna until well blended.
  • Fold in broccoli and artichokes until well blended.
  • Fold in noodles.
  • GENEROUSLY season with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Transfer to 3 quart 9×13 baking dish.
  • Melt remaining 2 tablespoons of butter.
  • With a fork blend melted butter and Panko crumbs.
  • Sprinkle crumb mixture evenly over casserole.
  • Bake 30-45 minutes until crumbs are golden and casserole is bubbly.
  • Garnish with green onion tops if desired.


I first saw this recipe for Chicken Lazone Pasta on Facebook and it looked mouth wateringly yummy, that I had to know more. As I began researching the original name, I found several different people had made versions, (some attributing it to Brennan’s Restaurant in New Orleans) that were great on their own, but it was when I married the best parts of both recipes together that I found my version to be fantastic and Chicken New Orleans was born. It really is a restaurant quality meal made at home with a rich, full bodied and full flavored creamy sauce.

One recipe used chicken tenders and another used full chicken breasts. I settled on thin cut chicken steaks as middle ground. One used granulated garlic and another FRESH garlic. I cut down the proportions of both and prefer the mixed flavor mediums. I also cut down the Creole seasoning a bit and increased the FRESH herbs. One called for linguine and another for fettuccine, but honestly any pasta you choose works well. I like Farfalle and Campagnelle, but I use what I have on hand. I also use WONDRA flour instead of all purpose because it is much finer and makes a smoother sauce.

CHICKEN NEW ORLEANS adapted from What’s in the Pan  and Slow Roasted Italian

Prep Time10 mins Cook Time20 mins Total Time30 mins
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons SLAP YOUR MAMA seasoning
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup WONDRA flour

  • In a large ziploc bag, combine FRESH ground sea salt, black pepper, SLAP YOUR MAMA, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, and flour.

4-6 thin chicken steaks
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 tablespoon butter

  • Dredge the chicken in the seasoning mixture and shake off excess. Reserve any leftover spice/flour mix for the sauce.
  • Preheat large cast iron skillet.
  • Add avocado oil and melt butter over medium-high heat.
  • Cook the chicken steaks 2-3 minutes per side until cooked through. Transfer to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.

1/2-3/4 pound pasta
1/4-1/2 cup Pasta water (reserve it)

  • Boil pasta in salty water, drain, but do not rinse.
  • Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water. If you think the sauce needs thinning, add reserved pasta water to the sauce. Add it slow – as much as you would like to have according to your liking.

4 tablespoons butter
Remaining seasoning mixture
1 tablespoon FRESH chopped tarragon leaves
1 tablespoon FRESH chopped flat leaf parsley
1 tablespoon FRESH chopped thyme leaves
2 cloves garlic, FINELY minced
1-2 teaspoons smoked Paprika
2 cups heavy cream

  • Add butter to the empty skillet and add remaining seasoning mixture into the butter until cook it until golden and flour is no longer raw.
  • Add more paprika and heavy cream into the skillet.
  • Add MOST of the FRESH herbs to the sauce, but reserve a bit for garnish.
  • Bring to a SLOW boiling point.
  • Lower heat and simmer 3-4 minutes.
  • Taste the sauce and adjust seasoning to your liking.

  • Add cooked pasta into the sauce and stir until fully coated.
  • Return chicken to the skillet, turning to coat with sauce well.
  • Sprinkle with remaining chopped herbs.


3/4 cup QUALITY (Bonne Mamam) raspberry apricot preserves
3 tablespoons Seagrams 7
Juice of 2 FRESH limes
2 tablespoons BRAGG’s liquid aminos
1 tablespoon GO CHU CHANG
1 small 6 ounce can pineapple juice
2 1/2-3 pounds chicken wings and/or drumettes

  • Whisk together everything except the chicken in a LARGE bowl. Set aside 3/4 cup for later.
  • Add chicken pieces and toss to coat.
  • Cover and refrigerate 3-4 hours.


  • Heat grill to medium low.
  • Toss chicken once again before laying on grill in a single layer.
  • Grill 10 minutes.
  • Flip and grill 10-15 minutes more until cooked through.
  • Toss with reserved sauce before serving.




LARGE 3 pound pork tenderloin
2 tablespoons avocado oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 SMALL sweet onion, halved and sliced thin
1 SMALL red onion, halved and sliced thin
1 LARGE shallot, sliced thin
several sprigs fresh tarragon, chopped small
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1 package Lipton Onion Soup mix OR KNORR vegetable soup mix
Fresh ground black pepper and salt, to taste
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup cream sherry
1 3/4 tablespoons Wonder flour
chopped flat leaf parsley for garnish

  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons butter and oil in dutch oven over medium-high heat.
  • Add onions and saute’ until translucent.
  • Add tarragon and cook 10-15 minutes more until onions are browned.
  • Generously season pork roast with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Push onions to the edge of the pan and add pork roast, searing quickly on each side.
  • Season melted butter and pour evenly over tenderloin.
  • Whisk together the wine, cream sherry, chicken broth and soup mix. Pour over tenderloin and onions.
  • Roast 20 minutes.
  • Reduce oven temperature to 325°.
  • Roast 30 minutes more or until cooked through.
  • Remove to cutting board and let rest 10 minutes.
  • Slice pork.
  • Serve with mashed potatoes or cornbread stuffing and top with gravy.


1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons white wine
2 tablespoons chicken broth
1 tablespoon creamy horseradish
2 tablespoons QUALITY honey
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon avocado oil
8 (6) ounce salmon fillets
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon FRESH minced oregano
3 green onions, minced

  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Whisk together the vinegar, white wine, chicken broth, horseradish, honey, garlic and avocado oil in a sauce pan.
  • Bring to a SLOW boil, cooking and stirring 5 minutes until thickened.
  • Place salmon skin side down on a greased baking sheet.
  • Season generously with FRESH ground pepper and salt, to taste.
  • Spoon glaze over salmon fillets and top with oregano.
  • Bake uncovered 12-15 minutes until salmon flakes easily with a fork.
  • Garnish with minced green onions.

NOTE: A weeknight short cut is to use a bottle of Bertolli Balsamic glaze instead of the individual components.  Just heat it up and pour it over 😀


I couldn’t get a great picture, but oh my the flavor of this is so very good and it is one of the easiest recipes ever!

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
1 cup shredded Italian cheese blend
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon smoked Paprika
1 can Campbell’s Tomato soup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Coat 8-9 inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Whisk together the soup, sour cream, mayonnaise and Worcestershire with the
  • FRESH ground sea salt, black pepper and paprika.
  • Fold in the Italian blend cheese.
  • Add chicken pieces and coat well.
  • Pour into baking dish.
  • Cover tightly with foil and bake 45 minutes.
  • Top with shredded Parmesan cheese and bake uncovered another 15 minutes.
  • Serve over mashed potatoes or rice.


12 ounces fettuccine
FRESH ground sea salt and tri-color peppercorns, to taste
1 pound sirloin steak
2 tablespoons butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons Wondra flour
2 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes (optional)
1 cup thinly sliced mushrooms
1 small can baby peas (Le Seur)
Balsamic glaze, for drizzling

  • In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain and set aside. OR roast or pan fry potatoes in a separate pan.
  • Generously season steak with FRESH ground sea salt and tri-colored peppercorns.
  • In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook steak 3 minutes per side for medium rare.
  • Transfer to a plate to let rest, 10 minutes, then thinly slice.
  • Meanwhile, make Alfredo sauce.
  • Add butter to skillet and let melt.
  • Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute.
  • Whisk in flour and cook 1 minute more, then add milk and simmer until thickened, 5 minutes.
  • Add parsley and Parmesan, stirring to combine.
  • Fold in peas.
  • Add tomatoes (if desired) and cook down 2 minutes.
  • Add cooked pasta or roasted potatoes to sauce and toss until coated.
  • Top with sliced steak, drizzle with balsamic glaze and sprinkle with minced Parsley.


I found this recipe in an old drawer of grams. It was originally written for bone-in chicken pieces, but hubby hates when I cook with bone-in so I have adapted it to use boneless, skinless chicken breasts. You can also change up the flavor by using flavored vinegars.  Tonight I used the rest of our coconut pineapple vinegar and it was awesome!

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1/3 cup all purpose flour
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon avocado oil
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
3/4 cup crisp white wine
1/3 cup champagne vinegar
2 tablespoons FRESH, FINELY chopped tarragon leaves
1/2 cup heavy cream

  • GENEROUSLY season the chicken with KOSHER salt, cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours before you begin preparation.


  • Add flour to a shallow bowl for dredging.
  • Add butter and olive oil to a large skillet and melt over medium high heat.
  • Dredge chicken pieces and add to skillet.
  • Sear the chicken 3-4 minutes on each side until golden and JUST cooked through.
  • Remove chicken to platter, cover with foil and discard most of the oil from the skillet.
  • Return skillet to the heat and add the onions to the skillet, seasoning to taste with the FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Cook onions, stirring occasionally 15-20 minutes until onions are tender and beginning to caramelize.
  • Increase heat to high.
  • Add wine and vinegar, de-glazing the pan and scrapping up all the little bits.
  • Add half the tarragon, stirring to blend.
  • Lower the heat, set lid ajar on the skillet and simmer 10-12 minutes.
  • Return the chicken to the pan and simmering a few minutes more, turning the chicken pieces to coat in the sauce.
  • Transfer chicken pieces to a platter.
  • Increase heat again and add heavy cream letting sauce simmer and thicken to a desired consistency.
  • Adjust the seasoning to taste, adding more vinegar if you like it a bit more tart.
  • Add remaining tarragon in the final stir.
  • Spoon sauce over chicken and serve with mashed potatoes.


Chicken Continental as a recipe appears to be a collaboration from Campbell’s soup and Minute Rice during the 1960’s, an era of combining ‘prepared’ foods to form casseroles as your main meal.  Casseroles as a whole obviously go back MUCH further, but were usually made with scratch ingredients or bits of leftovers. I have found cookbooks on pinterest and google with the recipes, but I have grams old card with the Campbell’s label recipe on one side and a portion of a Minute Rice box cut out on the other.

Either way, I wanted to bring the recipe into the 21st century with using boneless, skinless chicken and FRESHer ingredients to spice it up a bit while maintaining the integrity of the original flavor base of the recipe.

4 chicken breasts
1/4 cup WONDRA flour
2-3 bacon slices, cooked crisp, drippings reserved
8 ounces FRESH sliced mushrooms
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 bunch green onions, sliced
1 stalk celery, strings removed, diced
2 tablespoons FRESH chopped thyme
2 tablespoons FRESH chopped Parsley
1 1/2 cups Minute Rice (uncooked)
1 can Campbell’s Tomato soup
1 cup chicken broth
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper

  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Generously season chicken breasts with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Dredge chicken breasts in flour and set aside.

  • Add  1 tablespoon of butter and oil to the bacon drippings in a large skillet.
  • Add celery and onions, sauteing lightly until softened.
  • Add mushrooms, thyme and parsley, cooking a couple minutes more until mushrooms begin to caramelize.
  • Add chicken broth and soup, blending together and bring to a boil.
  • Pour all but 1/2 cup into a large mixing bowl and stir in rice. Cover with a plate and set aside.
  • Return skillet to stove and add last tablespoon of butter to melt.
  • Add chicken pieces and sear 2-3 minutes per side.
  • Arrange rice mixture into the bottom of a prepared baking dish.
  • Nestle chicken breasts into rice.
  • Top with remaining sauce.
  • Cover and bake 20 minutes until chicken is completely cooked through.

NOTE:  Hubby hates mushrooms, but I love them so I makes them “separately” and add them to just mine. 😀