Friday, December 19, 2008


I had lunch with a friend the other day, who told me she had just discovered brining. Brining is a cooking method that uses aromatic spices and salt to flavor meat and encourage moisture retention. In other words, the science of salt allows the turkey, (even the white meat!), to remain juicy and flavorful throughout the cooking process. Its easy to do - and you can use the same idea to brine your everyday chicken and pork as well. I know Alton Brown has lots of great recipes and ideas about brining, as does Emeril. If you are interested in brining Pork, the "king of sausage" Bruce Aidells has a wonderful pork book, (Bruce Aidells Complete Book of Pork), that includes great pork recipes using all kinds of brine.


1 Cup Kosher Salt
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Gallon Water
1 (1 Gallon ) Zip Lock Bag Ice
2 Oranges Quartered
2 Limes Quartered
2 Lemons
6 Sprigs Thyme and 6 Sprigs Rosemary
2 Bottles Dark Beer
1 Quart Apple Cider

12 -14 Lb Turkey - for a bigger bird use an additional gallon of water and an additional 1/2 cup each salt and sugar.

The Hardware
1 Turkey Roasting Bag or 1 Clean Plastic Trash Bag
1 Large Cooler Full of Ice - leave just enough room for your turkey to fit

In a large stockpot over high heat, dissolve the salt and sugar in the 1 gallon water. Remove from the heat and add the ice, apple juice and beer. Place the turkey, oranges, limes, lemons, rosemary and thyme in the plastic bag. Place the bag in the cooler full of ice. Pour the liquid into the bag, and make sure it is well distributed with the citrus and herbs. Close the bag tightly and leave in the closed cooler overnight. When ready to use, remove the turkey from the bag, discard the marinade and pat the turkey dry with paper towels. Use your favorite turkey recipe for roasting the bird.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Rosemary Gift Tree

If you are a subscriber to my weekly news short: The Friday Four, you received my Favorite Wines Gift List this week in your email. But here's another foodie gift idea perfect for this time of year. It's from a chic florist here in Atlanta - but you could recreate it yourself for an unique gift. Your recipient will remember you each and every time they clip a sprig of rosemary for their recipe!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Tips for Enjoying the Holiday Season

Because I LOVE to eat and drink, I always try to read lots of healthy tips and tricks this time of the year. Here's a link to a list that I found particularly helpful - so I am passing it on to you all. Scroll down the page til you find the blog for Wednesday Dec 3. These are the Spark People 20 Top Ideas to help you stay on track for the holidays. 

Some of my favorite tips to enjoying the holidays without suffering for them later are: 

1. Track Your Food. I think that not writing down what I eat each day is kind of like not knowing how much money I have in my checking account. (Whoops!)

5. Schedule Your Workout Like An Appointment. You'd never miss a work meeting or a Drs. appointment. Think of your exercise like a commitment that needs to take place every day, and then log it just like your food. You'll be so surprised how little bursts of activity add up over the week! My goal is 6 hours per week - and I celebrate when I get to that number. But, I don't beat myself up when I miss it. It just makes me more aware that I need to move. Your target number may be greater or lesser than mine, it doesn't matter - what does matter is you have one. 

And finally, I think the best tip is: 

15. Focus On People. We all get so crazy this time of year, that we sometimes we forget that people are more important than things. Who cares if you haven't vacuumed under the cabinet? When you pay more attention to others than yourself, you'll enjoy the season much more!

Here's the link to the 20 Tips:

An interesting blog for year round motivation is one written by my friend Laura Mixon: the Mixonian. Laura's writing is always thought provoking and inspiring. Don't you love to read articles that make you think about how or why you do things? Check out Laura's blog at