Cake Decorating… for the rest of us.

I am a bit of a cake enthusiast.  Translation: I would LOVE to be as good at making cakes as some of my friends, but I haven’t the time or inclination to perfect my skills.  Meanwhile, I’ve gotten pretty good … Continue reading


Stan Atkin’s Turkey Recipe

Just in case you’re still looking for a recipe for tomorrow’s turkey, here’s Stan’s!  I’m adding an ingredient list at the top, but from there on, it’s a literal copy and paste from what he sent me.  Oh, and this turkey is to DIE for.

You’ll need:
Digital thermometer
Reynolds turkey sized oven bags
1 cup salt
1 gallon water
Paper towels
4 carrots
1 onion
4 sprigs celery
2 sticks of butter
salt & pepper
V rack and cookie sheet or disposable turkey pan
2 cups chicken broth

Here is that turkey recipe. It takes two days. The MOST IMPORTANT ingredient is a thermometer. Get a good digital one.

Thaw the turkey out for like three or four days in the fridge.

The afternoon of the day before you cook it you brine it. Brining the turkey must be done for it to not dry out during cooking. And for the white meat to taste good and juicy. You can google brining to see how it works, it’s actually quite scientific.

Take two Reynolds turkey sized oven bags and double bag them. Fill the bag with a cup of table salt and a gallon of water. Put the washed off turkey, with the giblets removed, in the bag (there is a bag containing the hearts in the flap of skin where the turkeys neck was and a big neck in the cavity of the turkey. Get them out for sure or yikes!!). Tie it up really good and put it breast side down on a cookie sheet in your fridge. Just make sure it is the breasts that are being soaked.

The next morning take the turkey out of the brine. Rinse it off with water. Put it on a cookie sheet breast side up. Dry the whole turkey off, including the bottom and inside, with paper towels. Put it in the fridge and let it dry out for at least six hours. This drying step makes the skin brown evenly and become crispy.

The turkey is ready to cook now. It takes three to four hours to cook based on the size (an hour for every five pounds is good). Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put the oven racks so the turkey will be on the second to lowest rack.

Cut up four carrots, an onion, and four sprigs of celery. Put this in a large bowl. Melt two sticks of butter and mix half of the butter into the vegetables. Put a V-rack on a cookie sheet or large disposable aluminum turkey pan (from the store, this is best since you can just toss it and there’s no clean up). Fill the cavity of the turkey with the buttery vegetables and cover all sides of the turkey with the other half of the butter. Salt and pepper all sides of the turkey liberally. Now place the rest of the buttery vegetables in the cookie sheet and put the turkey on the V-Rack BREAST side DOWN.  Fill the cookie sheet with two cups of chicken broth.

So now in all you should have a cookie sheet filled with a bunch of buttery vegetables and chicken broth, a V-rack set within that, with a turkey filled with veges and rubbed with butter and salt and pepper upside down on that v-rack.

Put it in the oven.

After an hour and a half, flip the turkey over. Continue cooking for another hour and a half. Only baste it two times per side. It’s really unnecessary.

If the broth in the pan gets too thick add water.

This technique does two things. The v-rack method cooks the turkey in and out in a very fragrant environment. The broth fills the oven with steam that makes the turkey crazy juicy. Cooking it upside down keeps the breasts from overlooking and self-bastes the breasts the whole time.

Thats about it. Take it out when the thermometer stuck into the deepest part of the breast, by the leg, reads 160. Take it out and put it in another cookie sheet covered in foil and tent the whole turkey in foil. This helps if you are eating in half an hour. It really helps the juices settle. You can cook everything else during this half an hour. It makes the skin soggy though so if you want to eat it immediately you can just eat it and the skin will be unbelievable.

Martha Ivie’s icing recipes

Here is a double batch of Martha’s icing.

Martha Ivie (from Oak View Baptist Church in Irving, TX) shared her icing recipe with me a couple of years ago.  I have used it so much since then…  and I thought it’d be good to share it with y’all, too.  So, here you go!

Regular frosting:
2 lbs powdered sugar
1 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 cup water
1 tsp. vanilla
pinch of salt
1 tsp butter flavoring
1/4 tsp almond extract–optional

Mix all ingredients.

Chocolate frosting:
2 sticks of butter
1 1/3 cups cocoa
2 lbs powdered sugar
1 tbsp vanilla
2/3 cup milk (or more)

Mix all ingredients; continue to add milk until it reaches the right texture (I think that’s around 1 1/2 cups for me.)

These icings are PERFECT for cake decorating; they’re both pretty stiff. The regular icing will also keep forever in a tupperware container in the fridge.



No really. Don’t look at me.

“You could blog about what it’s like to be the perfect pastor’s wife and how other ladies could attempt to be more like you…” (Matthew Staton)

These words were, of course, spoken in humor.  It doesn’t take much introduction for a new person in my life to realize just exactly how flawed I am (…but I’m FUN!!!), yet ironically enough, I am the music minister’s wife… someone who is often unwittingly and unavoidably in the limelight.  I do my best to hide in the shadows (or behind the drumset, as it may be), but the cold reality is that there will be people who will be watching and judging me, regardless of how far under the carpet I’ve crawled.

After three years, Oak View Baptist Church had me figured out.  They knew exactly how quirky and off beat I am, and they had grown to love me anyway.  Leaving that sweet congregation was so hard, because even though we were moving back home, I had gotten very comfortable in our ministry.  I dearly loved our congregation.  Secretly, I also knew exactly how long it had taken us to establish such a wonderful rapport, and I knew we would be gearing up to start that climb all over again.

So here we are… three months in to our time with our new congregation at New Hope Baptist.  A handful of people are starting to warily figure me out, but most still laugh uncomfortably (“Wait, she’s kidding, right??”) as they try to understand me.  New Hope people, please be patient with me.  I will be slightly less loud and obnoxious as I get more comfortable.  Meanwhile, it’s impossible to hurt my feelings, so if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to come talk to me.

Anyway, in response to Matthew’s original comment: no, I’m not perfect.  My lack of filter makes it impossible to me to even appear plastic.  And no, you shouldn’t try to be like me.  Instead, you should look to my Father, who giggles at me the same way I giggle at Claire (my 3 year old.)

No really.  Don’t look at me.  Look at my Father.