Turkey Creek Lavender

Turkey Creek Lavender

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Still Have Turkey Leftovers? Ta-daaa!

It's my All-Time Most Versatile Turkey Rice Casserole Recipe! Why I love this recipe? It's my favorite word....VERSATILE! As long as you have the basics of the turkey (or chicken!), the rice, and the white sauce you can pretty much add whatever your heart desires to make it your own.

My favorite way to make this is the original recipe, which calls for chopped pimentos, chopped green peppers, mushrooms, and slivered almonds. It is gorgeous on a Christmas buffet...full of red and green from the pimentos and green peppers! But...and this is a big BUT...my boys don't like nuts or mushrooms. In anything. Ever. (I know. I know. They're young adults now, but I try to be a good Mom and accomodate!) So I rarely add them. But when I do, it's company worthy!

I've added hot sauce to the white sauce, and green chiles and red peppers. Even dried red pepper flakes for added kick! I've used leftover rotisserie chicken chopped up from the deli, or smoked from the grill. I've added cheese to the white sauce, making a cheese sauce. Parmesan or pepper jack are particularly good! Chopped scallions, herbs, chives, onions, garlic...all a nice touch. I have even substituted shrimp,  or chopped leftover ham, for the turkey (or chicken). I've even made this with leftover cooked quail and the Uncle Ben's Wild Rice! So good! Such a great way to use up those turkey (or chicken) leftovers!

What do you like the most? Just try it. I'm serious when I say it's hard to go wrong here. The worst you could do is make it too bland. But even then it's pretty good.

All-Time Most Versatile Turkey Rice Casserole Recipe
1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup all purpose flour
3 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups turkey or chicken broth
3 cups milk
3-4 cups cooked white rice
4 cups cut-up cooked turkey (or chicken)
2 4-ounce cans mushroom stems and pieces
2/3 cup chopped green pepper
4 Tablespoons chopped pimiento
1/2 cup slivered almonds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a dutch oven, heat margarine until melted. Blend in flour, salt and pepper.

Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until bubbly; remove from heat.

Stir in broth and milk. Return to heat and heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute.

Remove from heat and stir in the remaining ingredients.

Pour into an ungreased 9 x 13 baking dish. Cook, uncovered, 40-45 minutes, until bubbly.

NOTE: If this is too much for you,
just cut the recipe in half and put it in a 2-quart casserole dish. And don't be married to the increments. If you only have 2 1/4 cups turkey, or 3 cups of rice, it will still work!

Of course we do the usual round of turkey noodle soup, turkey pot pie, turkey salad sandwiches, hot turkey and gravy, ya da ya da ya da. But I love this the best!


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Quandry of Booth Design...and a Thank You

Booth design.{Sigh} I'm always in a quandry about booth design. My booth arrangement has definitely improved from my first show two years ago. I tried making it a sort of shop you could walk into, but I quickly found out it gets verrrry crowded in a 10 x 10 booth when you have people trying to shop, look and pay at the same time. What you didn't know was that my son and I made a PVC frame for those "curtains" the day before, that I sewed said curtains the night before, and that I had to change in the locker room and rush off to a Field Artillery Ball. I just felt lucky to pull it all off. And I felt blessed and thankful that you loved everything we brought with us to that first show!

 For our most recent event at the Craft Harvest Show here in Lawton I had a nice end spot and took advantage of that fact by placing the tables in an inverted U with my son and myself in the middle. This allowed the shoppers to walk completely around the displays from the outside. It worked very well, except that every once in awhile I had my back to people. I hate that, 'cause I like to talk to everyone!

This weekend we have the Christ Kindl Market at Ft. Sill on Saturday and Sunday. This time I have a corner aisle booth in the middle. Not sure quite what to do, but I was thinking about opening it up for people to walk through at an angle. Perhaps having more vertical elements...Any thoughts? I'm always open to suggestions. Even though I've worked in retail over the years, arranging shoes, clothes, signage, window displays and so forth, it's not quite the same as arranging soap and lavender!

Thank you! I wanted to take a minute and thank all of you for stopping by our booth, and for loving our products. As you know, lavender is near and dear to my heart, and I always enjoy visiting with each and every one of you about our lavender farm, growing and harvesting the plants, the million uses for lavender, and our all natural soap and lavender products.

I will again have teas, including Lavender, Lavender Mint, Lavender Earl Grey (my fave!), Lavender Lemongrass, and Lavender Chamomile, plus soap and bath bomb gift sets, and assorted gift baskets, at the Christ Kindl show, and, for those of you who love our Lavender Lemongrass soap...the Lemongrass candles arrived this week!

Gift Boxes will be available. Perfect for teachers, neighbors,
friends, yourself!

Lavender gift basket!

Lavender tea in a mug. Very calming!

And don't forget, suggestions are always welcome. We are a small, but rapidly growing business, and, trust me, our growth is fast outpacing my limited knowledge!

I look forward to seeing you this weekend!!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Fast and Easy Dinner, but....shhhh....Nobody Has to Know!

First, let me take a minute to thank everyone for coming to the Craft Harvest Show in Lawton this past weekend. Wow! Fantastic time making new friends and visiting with old ones. I so miss seeing everyone from the Farmer's Market each week. (Can't wait for April to get here!) I really appreciate each and every one of you. Thanks for loving the soap and lavender products and always being so enthusiastic and encouraging. You make me want to do more, and do it better. We strive to provide an excellent product for you to enjoy. One that is always natural and healthy...for your psyche, your skin, and your home. Lavender lovers are truly special people! Thank you for being you!

Now to the recipe. Actually I posted one of these last November here for Olive Garden Soup. So easy, and no one needs to know just how easy. If you're a vegetarian you could leave out the ground beef/venison and just add more pasta and beans. It's even good with ground turkey, too.

The second recipe, one I made today to go with the soup while it was pouring down rain and looking really dreary, is for 30 Minute Rolls. I found this recipe over at Your Homebased Mom. I've made it once before and it is super easy, and yes, it is a raised yeast roll! Not quite as light and fluffy as the longer version, but still quite delicious.

30 Minute Rolls
1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons warm water
1/3 cup oil
2 Tablespoons yeast
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
3 1/2 cups flour

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

In your mixer bowl, combine the water, oil, yeast and sugar and allow to rest for 15 minutes. Using your dough hook, mix in the salt, egg and flour. Knead with the hook until well incorporated and dough is soft and smooth, which only takes a few minutes.

Form the dough into 12 balls and place in a greased 9 x 13 inch pan.

Allow to rest for 10 minutes. Bake for 10-12 minutes at 400 degrees, or until the tops are golden brown. I like to brush the tops with melted butter for extra yumminess!

Doesn't this look yummy on a cold and dreary fall day? Olive Garden Soup and 30 Minute Rolls. (I think I'll be making this for Christmas Eve, too!)  Company always loves this soup. Shhhh...don't tell how easy it is!

Look forward to seeing all of you at the Christ Kindl Market at Fort Sill on Dec. 3 and 4! If you'll remember, last year we made Lavender Filled Christmas Cones...well, this year we have a bunch of other ornaments we filled with lavender, like little stockings, and glass balls...such fun! See you soon!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Philadelphia Style Goat Milk Ice Cream

This is so yummy, and so, so easy. Mainly because Philadelphia Style ice cream doesn't have any egg custard that you have to cook for prep. I've always hated doing that. Making the custard, chilling the custard. Sorry, but I want to make my ice cream now thank you very much.

Not sure where I got this recipe but I've used it for awhile now. This version, which is a lightly flavored chocolate, was perfect for the Cajeta sauce which we talked about yesterday. And this recipe falls under my favorite word...versatile! Yes, you can use vanilla and a vanilla bean, or peppermint extract with crushed peppermint, add chocolate chips, lavender, whatever you like. I do so like to have fun with a basic recipe!

Philadelphia Style Goat Milk Ice Cream

1/4 cup powdered unsweetened cocoa
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup goat milk
2 cups heavy cream (goat milk cream if you have it. I use store bought heavy cow cream)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix the cocoa, salt, and sugar together in a medium sized mixing bowl.

Whisk in the goat milk and stir until sugar is completely dissolved and cocoa is thoroughly blended.

Stir in the heavy cream and vanilla.

Pour into ice cream maker. Churn according to manufacturer's instructions. (I have an electric ice cream mixer that I use, and love!)


Enjoy right away, like soft serve, or transfer to another container and freeze until it gets a little harder. It's all good!

Cooking With Lavender: Lavender Cajeta Sauce

Okay, so I've been promising several people this post for a long time. (Hi Daniel!) As it turns out, this is very timely since Cajeta reminds me of fall. As in caramel. Caramel on baked apples, crispy fresh apples dipped in caramel sauce, poured over apple cake, pound cake, ice cream, cheese cake, stirred in coffee...well, you get the idea.

(And yes, eaten straight from the jar! There, I said it!)

I posted about Eva and her rich and creamy goat milk I use to make my goat milk soap here.

Well, sometimes I have a little goat milk left over after measuring and freezing the milk for future soap batches. So of course I have to experiment with it.

I've tried several different things to flavor cajeta sauce. A hot pepper once, but that didn't go over well. A cinnamon stick, which was tasty. A split vanilla bean, also tasty.

But, hey, I do have a lavender farm after all. So naturally I had to try lavender. It was the best. Best. Best by far. (And perhaps I'm prejudiced, but there you go.)

The recipe I use is adapted from one I found a while back by chef Rick Bayless. Except for the addition of the lavender, it's pretty much the same recipe as his, so I don't lay claim to being the original creator. Just want to make that clear. (That said, it's a common homemade recipe in Mexico, so probably not original to Rick either.)

Lavender Cajeta
2 quarts goat's milk
2 cups sugar
1 tea ball strainer filled with culinary lavender ( probably 1 Tablespoon, which you could also wrap  in cheesecloth or muslin)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda dissolved in 1 Tablespoon of water

In a large pot (I used a 6 quart dutch oven), combine the milk, sugar and lavender over medium heat. Stir regularly until milk comes to a simmer and all the sugar is dissolved.

 Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the dissolved baking soda. It will foam up a bit. When the bubbles subside, return the pot to the heat.

Adjust the heat so the milk is simmering briskly, but not boiling.

Cook, stirring regularly, until the mixture turns a pale golden color, which takes about an hour.

After about an hour the mixture will start turning more of a caramel brown color. Stir more regularly as it begins to thicken so that it doesn't start to stick to the bottom of the pan. This step usually takes me another 30 minutes. I test the sauce by dropping it on a chilled plate, but you can also drop some into ice water to see if it forms a little ball. It should have a medium-thick consistency.

(Note: Chef Rick suggests adding a tablespoon or so of water if it gets too thick, like caramel candy. I've never had to do this 'cause I'm a pot watcher!)

At this point remove it from the heat and allow to cool. For a stronger lavender flavor, leave the tea strainer in as it cools. For less of a lavender flavor, take it out and allow to cool.

I usually strain it as I pour the cooled sauce into jars to remove any lumps. This will keep a month in the fridge, just re-heat when you're ready to enjoy!

People love to get this as a gift. I think they like the novelty of it. If you don't want to make your own, you can buy it from Fat Toad Farm (I'm dying to try it over brie as they suggest on their site, or banana crepes, or a dozen of the other great goat milk recipes they have, like goat milk brownies! Yum!). Or Beekman 1802 where the Beekman boys spice it up with a hot pepper.

If you know of another resource and want to add it to the comments, please do. If you've made cajeta I'm sure we'd all love to hear about it.

For this batch of Cajeta I also made Goat Milk Ice Cream, which I'll share in another post. It was divinely smooth and creamy and rich!
I'm thinking of dressing up a plain cheesecake with Lavender Cajeta for Thanksgiving. A nice little surprise on the dessert buffet!

Have a wonderful day!


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