Sunday, September 29, 2013


I am thinking of spending Thanksgiving on the boat and making Mexican Turkey in the pressure cooker. My friend made it last year and she said everyone loved it.  Here are a few recipes I want to try for Thanksgiving:

Southwestern Turkey with Garlic-Ancho Chili Paste and Gravy

Bon Appétit  | November 1994
  • Serves 14


  • 3 large heads garlic
  • 3 large dried ancho chilies, rinsed, stemmed, seeded, torn into pieces
  • 1/2 cup corn oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1 17-to 18-pound turkey, neck and giblets reserved
  • 2 tablespoons corn oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds turkey neck or wings, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon whole allspice berries
  • 5 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
  • 2 cups (about) canned low-salt chicken broth
  • 6 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • Cayenne pepper


For paste:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Separate heads of garlic into individual cloves (do not peel). Pierce each clove once with toothpick. Scatter garlic on baking sheet; roast until tender and beginning to brown, about 25 minutes. Cool 5 minutes. Peel garlic, cutting hard tip off each clove. Pack enough garlic into 1/2-cup measuring cup to fill (about 40 cloves); reserve any remaining garlic. Blend 1/2 cup garlic in processor to form course puree.
Meanwhile, place chilies in small saucepan. Add enough water just to cover. Simmer over medium-low heat until chilies are soft and most of water evaporates, about 15 minutes. Add chili mixture, oil, cumin, and honey to garlic in processor. Puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 week ahead. Cover paste and garlic; chill.)
For turkey:
Pat turkey dry. Season with salt and pepper. Slide hand under skin of turkey breast to loosen skin. Spread 1/2 cup garlic-paste over breast under skin. If stuffing turkey, spoon stuffing into main cavity. Rub 2 tablespoons paste all over outside of turkey. Reserve remaining paste for gravy. Tie legs together loosely to hold shape of turkey. Place on rack set in roasting pan. (Can be done 1 day ahead if turkey is not stuffed. Chill turkey and paste separately.)
Position rack in lowest third of oven and preheat to 325°F. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large skillet over high heat. Add neck and giblets, turkey neck pieces and onion; sauté brown, about 15 minutes. Place contents of skillet around turkey in pan. Add celery, tomato, allspice and any reserved garlic to pan; pour in 2 cups broth. Roast turkey 1 hour 30 minutes. Tent turkey and entire pan loosely with heavy-duty foil. Continue to roast turkey until meat thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 180°F. or until juices run clear when thickest part of thigh is pierced with skewer, basting often with pan juices and 3 cups broth, about 1 hour 40 minutes longer for unstuffed turkey (about 2 hours 25 minutes longer for stuffed turkey). Place turkey on platter. Tent with foil; let stand at least 30 minutes. Reserve mixture in pan for gravy.
For gravy:
Using tongs, remove turkey parts from pan; discard. Pour mixture in pan into sieve set over large bowl. Press on solids in sieve to release liquid. Spoon fat from pan juices; add enough broth to juices to measure 6 cups.
Stir 1/2 cup reserved garlic-chili paste in heavy saucepan over medium-high heat until liquefied. Add flour and stir 1 minute (mixture will be very thick). Gradually add 6 cups broth mixture, whisking until smooth. Simmer until reduced to 4 1/2 cups, about 20 minutes. Season with cayenne, salt and pepper.
Serve turkey with gravy.

Smoked Chile Scalloped Sweet Potatoes


  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 heaping tablespoon chipotle pepper puree
  • 3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced 1/8-inch thick
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Whisk together cream and chipotle puree until smooth.

In a 9 by 9-inch casserole dish, arrange the potatoes in even layers. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons of the cream mixture and season with salt and pepper. Repeat with the remaining potatoes, cream, and salt and pepper to form 10 layers.

Cover and bake for 30 minutes, remove cover and continue baking for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the cream has been absorbed and the potatoes are cooked through and the top is browned.
Chorizo and Cornbread Stuffing


  • 1 pound fresh Mexican chorizo
  • 1 medium white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 cups coarsely crumbled cornbread
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish (optional)
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock (low-sodium store-bought is fine)
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Grated cotija cheese, for garnish (optional)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and cook the chorizo, breaking it up with a spoon and stirring occasionally as it cooks, until it begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the onion, carrot, celery and garlic to the chorizo and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have browned, about 10 minutes. Add the crumbled cornbread and cilantro and gradually pour in enough of the stock so the stuffing is not too dry but at the same time not too wet. Stir gently and well.

Butter a small casserole dish. Spread the stuffing in an even layer. Bake until it's heated through and lightly browned on top, about 20 minutes. Serve right away, garnished with the cilantro and cotija, if desired.


I have a big kitchen at home with every possible amenity. So only having a tiny microwave that needs replacing and 2 burners on the boat took me out of my comfort zone. I read an article on line that pressure cookers were great for one pot fast easy cook up and clean up on boats.

So I dug out a Bravetti 8qrt electric pressure cooker I bought on HSN.COM many years ago and has since lived unused in a cabinet.
Then came the task of finding pressure cooker recipes. Really there are not alot out there. My particular pressure cooker works in 3 ways a) as an electric pressure cooker, b) as a slow cooker/crockpot c) soup maker.

The blog where I have found the best recipes and instructions is:

My first recipe in the pressure cooker was



  • 3 lbs Oxtails
  • 1/4 lb of cured Chorizo, chopped
  • 1 can whole Tomatoes
  • 1 cup Red wine
  • 1 large Onion, chopped
  • 4 medium Carrots, chopped
  • 4 Garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 2 tsp caldo de tomato granules
  • 2 TB mandarin balsamic vinegar
  • ** My additions


  • Chopped Parsley or Chopped Green Onions
  • Splash of Red Wine Vinegar or Apple Cider Vinegar
** I served over mashed potatoes and topped with a splash of mandarin balsamic as well as the green onions and parsley

In addition to this recipe I made Baked potatoes in the pressure cooker and used up some left overs to make a Mexican spiced steak stew over rice.

Sunday, September 1, 2013



The water Hyacinth has been blooming so pretty in my Thai water garden and my Bio filter for the turtle pond this summer.


My girls are hams and they love to be the center of attention. They wore their outfits at my Mary Kay Party as a test run, but these are actually their party dresses for the big Christening next weekend.


 Strawberry and Lemonade mini cupcakes, Fresh figs from my garden and cherry lintzer cookies
 Pink Lemonade Punch:
Pink Lemonade, a bottle of 7up,
 and a bag of frozen tropical fruit from Schwans

 I have been a Mary Kay Customer for 20 years so I pretty much have everything. I brought out a huge bin of all my products so folks could see it before they buy it. My party was kind of a flop. I only sold about $150 worth of stuff, but thats ok I am really doing it because I buy so much Mary Kay myself that I can get a 50% discount by being a consultant. I love the new Timewise Repair Set.
 This is my consultant bag. What a great bag it even has organizers inside.

My Mary Kay must haves are definitely Timewise lip primer, Med-coverage foundation, loose powder, mint bliss foot cream, Satin Hands Peach set, the suncare lip balm and the SPF 50 MK Sunscreen, it works like a dream and gives you an even tan. Ofcourse I have every eye shadow and blush. The new Timewise Repair set is pricey but it works great. I could see and feel the difference in my skin in just one use. I have never really liked the Miracle set MK always tries to push, but Timewise Repair thats the way to go.


It has been a busy summer at the cottage . I have had to be out of town alot this summer. When I returned one Sunday after noon I checked on my girls and out peeps 2 little yellow chicks. I was so excited. I have had hens go broody for a year now but nothing ever hatched. So this was a wonderful surprise. In total 9 chicks hatched.
All 5 of my hens would lay eggs in the communal nest but only two hens Lulu and Scarlett actually sat the nest and have mothered the chicks.
4 chicks have been lost. I believe our dog who is not aggressive may have gotten them to play with and they became little chicken nuggets, 2 more were killed by Lulu shortly after they hatched.
I took 3 away from her and are raising them in a brooder. The first black chick that was born Lulu just went homicidal and tried to peck him to death. She did alot of damage to him, but with a little nursing and a lot of love he is healthy and growing into a beautiful bird.
The only thing I can speculate there doesn't seem to be a clear answer is that since the hens have laid at different times the eggs are hatching a week apart and Lulu doesn't want more babies just as she has the first batch which are a month old now almost grown.
It was very upsetting for me to find what she had done, and I am getting a stronger stomach and learning how nature works.
I am an island girl, so raising chickens is all a learning experience for me. I love my chickens.  The joke around here is what are you going to do with all these chickens. Since I just started selling Mary Kay at the beginning of summer ( I am my own best I say every one is getting some Mary Kay and a chicken for Christmas.