Cook This Turkey!

I’ve never liked turkey because it was always soooooooooo dry!
Well, that was my mother’s turkey, but don’t tell her I said it was dry!

Anyway, last year my H and I  were on our own and at first I was going to order a Thanksgiving meal from Boston Market, but I actually received a free frozen turkey from work along with other sides to complete the meal. I didn’t want the turkey to go to waste, but I also didn’t know how to make a turkey. I received an email of a list of different turkey recipes from FOOD & WINE and decided to choose one from the list given.

My eyes landed on a roasted beer-brined turkey with onion gravy and bacon. My husband is a huge fan of both beer and bacon and so for him I decided to use this recipe. Also the recommended beer is Guinness beer, which happens to be my husband’s favorite beer. It was THE perfect recipe on paper, but I had no idea how it was going to turn out.

Well, I’m writing this post for a reason. It came out absolutely delicious!!

And now I’m going to share this recipe with you!!

This is a picture from last year.



  • ACTIVE: 30 MIN
  • SERVINGS: 12

Adding Guinness, or any dark beer, to the brine gives the turkey a toasty flavor and helps give the skin a dark brown color.


  1. 1/4 cup yellow mustard seeds
  2. 2 tablespoons black peppercorns
  3. 8 bay leaves
  4. 1 cup dark brown sugar
  5. 1 cup kosher salt
  6. 2 onions, cut into thick wedges
  7. 1 pound slab bacon, skin removed and meat sliced 1/3 inch thick
  8. Six 12-ounce bottles Guinness stout
  9. One 12- to 14-pound turkey
  10. 1 cup turkey stock or low-sodium chicken broth
  11. 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  12. 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour


  1. In a very large pot, combine the mustard seeds, peppercorns and bay leaves and toast over moderate heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the brown sugar and salt and remove from the heat. Add 4 cups of water and stir until the sugar and salt are dissolved; let cool completely.
  2. Add the onions, bacon, Guinness and 16 cups of cold water to the pot. Add the turkey to the brine, breast side down, and top with a heavy lid to keep it submerged. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350° and position a rack on the bottom shelf. Lift the turkey from the brine, pick off any peppercorns, mustard seeds and bay leaves and pat dry. Transfer the turkey to a large roasting pan, breast side up. Scatter the onion wedges in the pan and add 1 cup of water. Using toothpicks, secure the bacon slices over the breast. Roast the turkey for about 2 hours, turning the pan occasionally, until an instant-read thermometer inserted deep into the turkey thighs registers 150°. Remove the bacon and return the turkey to the oven. Roast for about 1 hour longer, until the breast is browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted in a thigh registers 170°. Transfer the turkey to a carving board.
  4. Pour the pan juices and onion wedges into a saucepan and boil until reduced to 3 cups, about 5 minutes. Add the turkey stock and return to a boil. In a small bowl, mash the butter to a paste with the flour. Whisk the paste into the gravy and boil until thickened slightly, about 5 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, cut the bacon crosswise 1/2 inch thick. In a large skillet, fry the bacon over high heat, stirring occasionally, until browned and crisp, about 3 minutes.
  6. Carve the turkey and serve with the gravy and bacon.


Let me know how your turkey came out if you used this recipe!
Would love to know how it turned out for you!

Instababy Fun!

I am so excited to start this Instababy madness! 🙂

Let me explain!

I always see these fabulous ladies on Instagram looking so stunning in their #ootd’s or #ootn’s!
I’m lucky if I get a shower in!
So, I’ve been taking a lot of #ootd pictures of baby E instead because I want to join in on the fun and she has the cutest clothes!
I have bought so many cute outfits or received so many cute outfits for E to wear, but she has nowhere to go in it. But I want to show her off in her cute clothes! So I thought, why not start an Instagram look of the day for our babies? Mom’s can you feel me on this? 🙂 Do you have that one cute outfit you want your baby to wear before he/she outgrows it but have nowhere to go for them to wear it? Then this is your chance to show us how cute your baby is!! You can also share where you bought the outfit!

This can be a daily thing for you just use #WMBABYFAB so we can all see! It can even be that cute onesie, there are no outfit limits! We will be starting this Friday, November 15, 2013! So get your outfits ready mama’s! Let’s see your baby work it!
There are NO age limits, I just say baby b/c well, your child will forever be your baby!

And in honor of this craze …

Image-1 (1)

*You can win a $10 GC to Starbucks for cutest outfit on Friday, November 15, 2013!

*I will choose one winner at 10PM/Central Time!

*Again, no outfit or age limits!

*You don’t have to be a blogger to participate!! You just need an Instagram account!

*PLEASE use #WMBABYFAB when posting your picture!

*Here’s my Instagram account if you want to follow:

*Feel free to grab the picture and share this with all your other mommy friends!

Let the cuteness begin! 

A New Twist to Date Night

Your relationship with your spouse should always be #1 even after having a baby.
It’s really important to take time away from the baby and go on date night.

This is the kind of thing that happens when a good friend of yours is an event planner and also happens to be a fabulous babysitter.

My friend, A, wanted H and I to go out on a date and volunteered to watch E. A kept asking me when I wanted to go and I kept pushing it off (not sure why). Finally, A told me she wanted to plan a surprise date night for us for Sunday, November 10th.

Hubby and I agreed that we really did need a night to ourselves.

Sunday night rolled around and I’ll admit, surprises have never been OUR thing, but it still turned out to be a lovely evening.

A was going to send us emails throughout the night to let us know what to expect. It was very sweet and very poetic 🙂

(FYI: If someone plans your night out, don’t lead astray! Stick to the plan. We totally missed out on one detail and although it didn’t ruin the night, I felt awful. Again, surprises don’t seem to be our thing :P)







A would shoot out these emails at the appropriate time so we knew what to do next.

So this is how the night should have looked like, but this is how it went.


Hubby still groggy from his 30 min nap! Also at the last minute I changed out of my glasses and put on some makeup.
We were supposed to “dress up” but this was the best we could do.


Instead of the Italian restaurant we headed to Cafe Instanbul which is on the other side of the road of Nicola’s.
I have an allergy to dairy right now so I didn’t want to risk it by going to an Italian restaurant.


While we were eating bread and hummus, A called me and asked where we were. I told her
we were eating across the street and she laughed saying there was a photographer waiting to take our pictures.
There was a tree lighting service that night and A wanted us to take pics and actually asked her friend to come out and take our pictures, but we were at a different restaurant and on the wrong side 😦 (It’s very important to stick to the original plan NO MATTER WHAT)

I felt awful.


But this meal really made up for it. It was soooo good! Loved the Chicken bhatti. It was my favorite.


The quality is not very good, but here we are after our meal. Happy and full.


We went to Sugar Box to get A some macaroons as a thank you.


Here’s my dessert! Special banana something cupcake!


Aren’t the lights gorgeous? Loved seeing this!


Twas a beautiful moonlit evening!

Although our plans didn’t go the way it was supposed to, we still had a wonderful time together.
If you don’t feel like planning your own date night (I understand because it feels like you’ve done everything with your spouse) then I would suggest asking a friend that likes to plan events plan it out for you! They live for that stuff!

Just a thought.

extending G R A C E when you don’t want to

A couple of days ago I wrote a post on the importance of words. The fact that when you say things out of anger, it’s usually things you really shouldn’t be saying and after all the damage as been done you realize you can never take back those words. Here’s the full post if you want to read about it. click here

Now I’m going to talk about GRACE (not the name), but the word grace, what it means and what it does.

As I mentioned before, H and I were on the receiving end of some hurtful words the other day and it had really escalated (the situation). I’ll admit that I was at fault as well, but didn’t think it was necessary to be cut down with words. The damage was done and I was really upset by the whole situation, but it was a situation where I needed to be the bigger person.

Lately the act of GRACE has been reoccurring in my life. And this was another situation where I needed to show grace to someone I thought was being unfair to me. I knew this is what the Spirit was prompting me to do, but it took me a whole night and part of the morning to finally grasp the idea of showing grace to this person.

source pinterest

source pinterest

As my friend said to me, “You need to die to yourself.”

Every time I woke up I was consumed by this task. What would I say, why is this happening to me? I needed to pray.

God, this is so unfair, but I know it’s what Jesus would do.
I know that you are asking me to do this, yet my heart does not want to obey.
Give me words of wisdom when dealing with this person. Show me your love and grace so that I may do the same for this person.
Help me to love when it feels impossible to love. I don’t want any ill feelings towards this person after everything has been said and done. Help us to move forward from this point on. Lord, help me to lean on you and trust in you to make things right. Help me to swallow my pride and my feelings of injustice so I can be an example and witness. So I can be salt and light. 

It was hard to swallow back my pride. To extend GRACE. Do you know what GRACE really means?


God is abundant in GRACE! Thank you, God! 

If God has shown me GRACE, when I have not deserved it, how can I not extend that to someone else?

Here are some verses on GRACE that have really helped me understand the meaning of GRACE:

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,” -Ephesians 2:8

“Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”  -Hebrews 4:16

“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace” -1 Peter 4:10

“But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many.” -Romans 5:15

“And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.” -2 Corinthians 9:8

“But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.” -1 Corinthians 15:10

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” -2 Corinthians 12:9


You must be curious about the outcome of this whole situation.

Well, I finally mustered up the courage to call this person. I was covered in prayer so I was ready to make things right again.
It was hard and I was nervous, but God really answered my prayers. This person and I made up and we’re now on good terms again. We are planning on moving forward and learning from this argument.

When you need to show grace to someone, pray pray pray pray pray about it. Ask God for peace in your heart and seriously no ill feelings toward this person. Grace needs to come from a pure heart and motive.

What I felt>>

I felt relieved that everything was okay.
My faith in God increased in that moment b/c it was amazing what God did. Only God could take that kind of a situation and make it good. So good.


I hope you have a grace filled Friday and weekend!

Be blessed and be a blessing to others!!

Words Are Like Honeycomb

Something happened yesterday and I have been thinking about it all night.

It has to do with words. Our words.

There are many times I’ve spoken too quickly and hurt someone’s feelings.
I get so heated up in the moment I didn’t care what words I threw out there or how it would affect the receiving end, as long as I got to say what I felt.

After cooling down, I immediately regret what I’ve said, but it’s too late. You can never take those words back once it’s out there.

I think about all the fights and the nasty things I’ve said, cutting down the ones I love in anger ~ I can never get those words back.

Yesterday, my husband and I were on the receiving end of some hurtful words. It got me thinking about how important words really are.. We always say actions speak louder than words, but I think words can be just as powerful.

In James, it tells us that our tongues are a small flame that can cause a big fire! So true. Look at all the damage that’s done after a heated argument. No one feels good after a big fight when words have been thrown around.

I’m challenged today to hold my tongue when things get really emotional because I know I can never get those words back.


I’m loving this verse in Proverbs.

Instead of using words in anger, let’s be more wise and patient.

Let’s be kind with our words because those are the words you don’t want to take back.

Happy Halloween!!

halloween code


There’s a special sale going on in my shop today!

I just listed two more items on the shop.

1. If you’re a blogger you’ll love this mug!


Receive 20% off for Halloween using code: trick or treat

2. Are you a Once Upon a Time fan? I just recently got into that show and am soooooo in love with it!

This mug was inspired by that show.

Come check it out!

Receive 20% off for Halloween using code: trick or treat




Have a spooktacular day!