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Chex Party Mix–Making Memories with Mom

I can always remember Chex Party Mix as being a staple in our home around the Christmas Holiday.  This year is no exception.  I have already made 2 double batches of this magical mix.  This year my Mom is 88 and she is not getting around like she used to.  She still loves the Chex Party Mix–the only difference now is that I am the one making it and Mom is the one enjoying it.  If you have someone you love and they don’t get around like they used to make a double batch of this Mix and take it to them.  They will have something great to share with visitors this season.

 

Original Chex Party Mix Recipe

4 Tablespoons of Butter

3 teaspoons seasoned salt

4 1/2 Tablespoons Worchestershire sauce

8 cups of your favorite Chex brand cereals (Corn, Rice, Wheat)

1 cup mixed nuts (I confess, I use cashews)

1 cup stick pretzels or mini pretzel twists

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.  Melt butter in an open roasting pan.  Stir in seasoned salt and Worchestershire sauce.  Add cereal, nuts and pretzels, and stir until all pieces are evenly coated.  Bake 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.  Spread on absorbent paper to cool.  Store in an airtight container.  (I use Ziplock freezer bags)

This is a very easy recipe to double and cook 2 batches in the oven at one time.  Make sure you use 2 separate roaster pans.

Hope you enjoy this.  Until next time… From our Butcher Block to your Table.

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It’s Turkey Time!

It’s time to talk turkey–Thanksgiving Turkey that is!  Thanksgiving has come upon us suddenly this year. No need to fret.  There is really little preparation that can be made until the week of Thanksgiving so you are still right on schedule.   Take a deep breath and get prepared for the traditional feast. I use Betty Crocker as my guide and she has not let me down yet.  Here are my tips for a delicious Thanksgiving dinner that anyone can prepare.

Turkey (12 to 24 pounds) Make sure neck, giblets, etc. are removed from the neck cavity
2 Tablespoons of Salt
3 Tablespoons of Butter

Rinse cavities of turkey, lightly salt and then rub butter into the cavities. I put my turkey in a disposable aluminum pan so clean up is easy. The turkey is now ready for the stuffing.

Stuffing

1 1/2 cups chopped celery (with leaves)
1 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup of butter
8 ounces of chicken broth (or chicken stock)
9 cups of soft bread cubes
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon of poultry seasoning (1/2 teaspoon sage, 1/2 teaspoon thyme)
1/4 teaspoon of pepper

Cook and stir onion and celery in butter and chicken broth until celery is tender, remove from heat. Stir in remaining ingredients.

Stuff the cavities of the turkey with the stuffing mixture and place breast side down  in the pan you are using to roast the turkey. This is a tip I got from Jane Snow. Your turkey will be very juicy. The oven should be set at 325 degrees. Place the stuffed turkey in the oven.

Approximate cooking times are as follows:

8 to 12 pounds 3 to 3 1/2 hours
12 to 16 pounds 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 hours
16 to 20 pounds 5 1/2 to 6 1/2 hours
20 to 24 pounds 6 1/2 to 7 hours

Internal Temperature should be 185 to 190 degrees and the leg should easily pull apart when the turkey is done.

Remember to include the weight of the stuffing with the weight of the turkey when you are looking at the cooking time. The stuffing recipe can easily be doubled for a larger turkey.

When the turkey is thoroughly cooked, immediately remove the stuffing from the turkey and store separately. Let the turkey set for about 15 minutes before carving.

Enjoy and have a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving.

Until next time…From our Butcher Block to your Table.

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Popcorn Balls

There is something about the cool weather that accompanies Fall that takes me back to my childhood.  We always enjoyed homemade Popcorn Balls.  Fall was always the perfect time to make this treat.  I hope you will indulge with me as I make a trip down Memory Lane.  Who knows, maybe this will start a new tradition for your family.

Old Fashioned Popcorn Balls

  • 9 cups plain popped popcorn
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick), cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

  • Coat a large heatproof bowl with butter, vegetable oil, or cooking spray and place popcorn in the bowl.
  • Place sugar, corn syrup, water, vinegar, and salt in a medium saucepan and stir to combine. Place over high heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved, about 2 minutes. Bring to a boil and cook until mixture registers 260°F on a candy/fat thermometer, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla until melted and smooth.
  • Immediately drizzle sugar mixture over popcorn and stir continuously with a rubber spatula, scraping the bottom of the bowl, until popcorn is thoroughly coated and cool enough to handle, about 3 minutes.
  • Using buttered or oiled hands, tightly press mixture (it may still be a bit warm) into 3-inch rounds. Place on waxed or parchment paper to cool completely, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Enjoy this with the youngsters in your life–even if they are just young at heart!  Until next time…From our Butcher Block to your Table!

 

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Smoked Pork Chops

Smoked Pork Chops are a great selection for dinner.  Why?  You might ask.  I’ll tell you why.  The Butcher has done all of the hard work for you and you will get all the credit.  That works for me every time!  I paired my Smoked Pork Chops with pork and sauerkraut, smashed garlic red potatoes and green beans.  It doesn’t get much better than that.

Smoked Pork Chops

4 to 8 Smoked Pork Chops (available at your local meat market) cut 3/4″ to 1″ each
2 to 3 Tablespoons of Butter

Heat butter in a heavy skillet (I used my iron skillet) over medium heat. When the butter is melted and sizzling, put the Smoked Pork Chops into the skillet. Cook for about 6 minutes per side. Continue process until all of the Smoked Pork Chops are done. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Put a saucer upside down in the bottom of a roaster pan and put 1/4 cup of water (or apple cider) in the bottom of it. When the Smoked Pork Chops are cooked put them in the roaster pan, put a lid on the pan and place in the oven. Cook for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes. This will make the Smoked Pork Chops fork tender. You can also serve them right after you fry them if you prefer a more “set” Smoked Pork Chop.

I served this with Pork and Sauerkraut. This is a dish you can make in your crock pot the day before.

Pork and Sauerkraut

3 to 4 pound bone in pork butt (available at your local meat market
2 Tablespoons of Michael’s Special Seasoning (available at your local butcher shop
4 pounds of Snow Floss Sauerkraut (available at your local butcher shop)
3 cooking apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1/3 cup of honey or brown sugar

Put the Sauerkraut in the bottom of a crock pot. Layer the sliced apples on top. Season the pork roast with Michael’s Special Seasoning and place the pork roast fat side up on top of the apples. Cook on high for 3 hours. Turn Crock pot setting to low and cook an additional 5 hours (until pork roast falls off of the bone). Pull the pork from the bone and take out excess fat. Keep warm. Serve this over Garlic Smashed red potatoes and you have a feast fit for a king.

Until next time…From our Butcher Block to your Table.

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