Life at Warp Speed

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Better than Best Roast Turkey Recipe November 17, 2011

Filed under: American — lifeatwarpspeed @ 12:04 am
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It is that time of year again when all the print ads have those gorgeously browned photos of a perfectly roasted turkey. Then everyone starts searching for a new turkey recipe to try out on their family. I used to collect recipes to try year after year trying to recreate what my eyes were telling me this classic Norman Rockwell image a turkey should taste like.

After 12 years of testing a wide variety of recipes (and sometimes doing 2 or 3 different recipes in during a single Thanksgiving season), I have done all sorts of different types: Asian inspired, BBQ, rotisserie, smoked, brined, all sorts of different herbs, seasonings, aromatics, and even fruit. (I never deep fried for two reasons: fear of fire and the highest incidence of ER visits on Thanksgiving every year is from deep fryer turkey accidents.) I finally came across this recipe one year in Parade magazine. I saw the title of the recipe, and I thought to myself what an arrogant name for a recipe. Obviously, I felt compelled to test it just because of the arrogance of the name.

Now eight years later (if you are counting 20 years of turkeys, then yes, doing the math, I did start cooking them in early college), this is the recipe I make every year. Believe it or not, I am not tempted at all to try any other recipe. I don’t need or want to make whatever is trending at the moment. I want my turkey to be the classic, evenly browned turkey that has great tasting white and dark meat. I want it to look and taste exactly what you would imagine this Norman Rockwell turkey would be in real life.

There are some suggestions to keep in mind when undertaking this recipe. I strongly encourage you to stick to the weight guidelines. A bird that is under 15 pounds is a hen (toms are always the bigger birds) which is far better tasting as the flesh isn’t tough. It also keeps the cooking time down so you don’t run the risk of drying out. If you have a large crowd, I suggest doing two turkeys or a turkey roll earlier during the day and carving that up to serve. It rewarms well in a foil covered pan in the oven with a little stock (I use the giblet stock I make ahead). This way you will still end up with a gorgeous turkey for table-side carving.

Although you can turn the turkey very carefully with wads of paper towels, it works much better to use a pair of insulated BBQ gloves. They can handle the heat and won’t absorb any of the butter and moisture from the turkey. I also prefer to use a V-rack myself since I find it works better for me to hold the turkey in the position that I want it to be in. I also use a silicon brush to baste the turkey since it is easy to clean and doesn’t risk carrying any off-flavors from anything else you cooked with before.

Does the brining issue get you stumped on how and where? Some people brine using a large cooler to free up refrigerator space. I use a large basin/bowl and a large plastic bag so that when I tie up the bag, the turkey remains submerged in the brine without spilling or leaking all over the refrigerator.

Lastly, I may be biased, but I really do prefer the flavor of fresh, free range, organically raised turkeys. However, those are pricey. You can still get a good tasting turkey using a frozen one.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Enjoy your turkey for me since this is the first year I won’t be roasting a turkey since we are officially moved out for our relocation to San Diego and thus beginning a return to apartment living for the first time since I’ve been married.


Better than Best Roast Turkey

Serving Size  : 12

2           cups  kosher salt

12         pounds  turkey — up to 14 pounds

3           medium  onions — chopped

2           small  carrots — chopped

2           celery ribs — chopped

6           sprigs  fresh thyme

6           tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted (more may be needed)


Rinse turkey and reserve giblets, neck and tail for gravy. Dissolve salt in 2 gallons of cold water in a large container. If you have extra fresh thyme add sprigs to salt water. Add turkey to water and set aside for 4 to 6 hours.

Remove turkey and rinse well. Pat dry inside and out with paper towels. Place turkey breast-side up on a flat wire rack set over a pan and refrigerate, uncovered, 8 to 24 hours.

Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Toss 1/3 of onions, carrots, and celery with 2 sprigs of thyme and 1 T of butter in a medium bowl and fill cavity with mixture. Tuck wings behind back and truss turkey with a five foot length of kitchen twine.

Scatter remaining vegetables and thyme in shallow roasting pan, adding 1 cup of water over the vegetables. Prepare V-rack by lining with foil and spraying with vegetable spray. Cut about 30 slits in foil to allow drippings to flow through. Brush turkey with butter and set turkey breast side down on rack. Brush back with butter and roast in oven for 45 minutes.

Remove turkey and brush back with butter. Rotate turkey to leg/wing side up and brush with butter. Add 1/2 cup of water if liquid has evaporated. Return to oven and roast for 15 minutes.

Remove turkey and brush exposed surfaces with butter. Rotate turkey so that the opposite left wing side is up and brush with butter. Return to oven and roast for 15 minutes.

Remove turkey and brush exposed surfaces with butter. Rotate turkey breast side up. Add more water to pan if needed. Return to oven and roast for 30 to 45 minutes longer. Move turkey from rack to carving board and let rest about 20 to 30 minutes. Carve and serve with gravy, if desired.


$7.99 Halo Fleece Sleepsack – Today only! November 13, 2011

Filed under: Deals,Gear for Kids — lifeatwarpspeed @ 11:16 pm
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Kids.Woot® : One Day, You’ll Understand™.

Awesome price for Halo Sleepsacks especially with winter coming on at $7.99 from kids.woot! These would make a wonderful gift for a baby shower or for an infant. Sizes S, M, and L are available. Keep your baby snuggly warm at night and safe from loose blankets in bed which is a major risk factor for SIDs (sudden infant death).

My son sleep in a Halo sleepsack during every nap and at night as soon as we stopped swaddling him. He loves his sleep sacks to this day and finds it a very comforting part of his nighttime routine. Best of all, I never worry about him kicking off his blankets even now as a 3 year old. (Halo makes a Big Kids version and also an Early Walker version.)

For future reference, you can sometimes find these on sale at Babies R Us and also sells Halo Sleepsacks which can be ordered site to store for free shipping. Outside of the occasional woot deal, I have also found them for a good price at which if you can combine it with a sale and stack online coupons for free shipping plus a 15, 20 or 30% off coupon.

Highly recommended for all infants and toddlers.



$49 Children’s Fairyland Family Membership Deal! November 7, 2011

Filed under: Deals,Things to Do with Kids — lifeatwarpspeed @ 9:53 pm
Tags: , , ,

Local Savings for San Francisco Bay Area.

Located at Lake Merritt (the jewel of Oakland), Children’s Fairyland is a friendly children’s park filled with storybook characters, rides and other child-friendly attractions. Saavy Source is offering 50% of their family membership deal at only $49. What a deal!

This is a wonderful place to take young children for a couple of hours of delightful fun without breaking the bank or driving hours to get to a very expensive amusement park. I must say another big attraction is the proximity of Fairyland to plenty of good eats. Some of them like True Burger are within walking distance. (Seriously, the best burger I have had in years and that toasted marshmallow milkshake is a very sweet treat that my son gulped down.) It is pretty easy to just pick up some food to do a picnic next to the lake at either Trader Joe’s (nearby on your drive in) or Whole Foods (within walking distance).

Check out the yelp reviews here



Big Changes ahead… November 2, 2011

Filed under: General — lifeatwarpspeed @ 11:03 pm

Normally, I update this blog daily and sometimes multiple times a day. I can now freely share with you as to why L@WS has been so quiet lately. Our family is moving to San Diego away from our beloved Bay Area. God has opened up a really wonderful opportunity for P in the San Diego location of his company. Both P & I have never lived anywhere else, so this is a huge change for us. As a result, you can imagine trying to get our thirty-something selves and our son (and all the stuff that we have accumulated over 3 plus decades) is proving to be quite a feat. Undertaking this move and selling our house during peak holiday season is quite challenging. However, God provides, and we will survive. Posting may be sporadic for the next few weeks.




30% Off Gymboree until 11/6

Filed under: Deals — lifeatwarpspeed @ 10:54 pm

Gymboree: 30% Off Everything – Gymboree Circle of Friends Starts Thursday!.

It’s time again for the Gymboree Circle of Friends 30% discount. Shop in store or online until 11/6.



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