Happy Thanksgiving!

Image courtesy of marthastewart.com

Wishing you and yours the very happiest of Thanksgivings!

Here’s the recipe we’re excited to try today from Martha Stewart called the Perfect Roast Turkey. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 3 cups coarse salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 5 cups sugar
  • 2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
  • 2 medium leeks, white and pale-green parts only, rinsed and coarsely chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 fresh whole turkey (18 to 20 pounds), rinsed and patted dry, giblets and neck reserved for gravy
  • Gravy
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), melted, plus 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
  • Chestnut Stuffing
  • Crab apples, fresh rosemary sprigs, and fresh sage, for garnish (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees, with rack in lowest position. Stir together melted butter and wine in a medium bowl. Fold a very large piece of cheesecloth into quarters so that it is large enough to cover breast and halfway down sides of turkey. Immerse cloth in butter mixture; let soak.
  2. Place turkey, breast side up, on a rack set in a roasting pan. Fold wing tips under turkey. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper inside turkey. Loosely fill body and neck cavities with stuffing. Tie legs together with kitchen twine. Fold neck flap under; secure with toothpicks. Rub turkey all over with softened butter; season with salt and pepper.
  3. Remove cheesecloth from butter mixture, squeezing gently into bowl. Reserve butter mixture for brushing. Lay cheesecloth over turkey. Place turkey, legs first, in oven. Roast 30 minutes. Brush cheesecloth and exposed turkey with butter mixture. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees. Roast, brushing every 30 minutes, 2 1/2 hours more; cover with foil if browning too quickly. If making gravy, add giblets and neck to pan 1 1/2 hours after reducing temperature; roast 30 minutes, and reserve.
  4. Discard cheesecloth; rotate pan. Baste turkey with pan juices. Roast, rotating pan halfway through, until skin is golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 180 degrees and stuffing reaches 165 degrees, about 1 hour. Transfer to a platter. Set pan with drippings aside for gravy. Let turkey stand at room temperature at least 30 minutes. Garnish, if desired.

Happy Holidays!

Recipe for the Perfect Thanksgiving

Image courtesy of thelifeofluxury.com

Every year I look forward to Thanksgiving. The smell of turkey, the sweet yet perfectly tart cranberry sauce, the flavorful stuffing, classic pumpkin pie and the assortment of irresistible desserts… these are all things I adore and hold close to my heart. But what I love the most about Thanksgiving is that I get to spend quality time with family and friends as we share a three-course meal, swapping stories over a helping of warm turkey and a generous serving of gravy and fresh cranberry sauce. Thanksgiving is an important day for my family and I as we reflect upon the past year and give thanks for all that we are blessed with.

What am I thankful for? I am grateful for my wonderful family and friends. I am also thankful for the opportunity to make my living doing what I love through Linnea’s Lights. To kick off this year’s Thanksgiving Dinner, I am planning on lighting our signature Pumpkin candle to set the holiday mood as the family and I start our holiday prep. Which scent will you be enjoying in the background this Thanksgiving?

Gifting Illuminated

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We’re putting together a just-for-fun Top 5 list and we’d love your thoughts! We want to know the Top 5 reasons why people give Linnea’s Lights candles as a gift during the holiday season. Why do you give Linnea’s Lights as a gift? And how do you decide who receives such a personal present?

When we’re in the studio, we like to find ways to incorporate ideas that we believe are sure to put a smile on your face when you open up one of our candles, or thoughtfully gift one to a friend. Like those cute little matchbooks tucked into the lid of each box! Giving scented items can be tricky since scents are such a personal thing, but Linnea’s Lights has always thought that less is more and our candles never overwhelm. When buying candles, we also know part of the allure is within the packaging. Don’t you find yourselves drawn to the package first? We love that a candle can stand on its own as a decorative item (I have them scattered throughout the house!), making for an understated and homey touch.

So how do you decide when a candle is a gifting match made in heaven? Are candles a giving “must” in your opinion?

Favorite Fall recipes & inspired scents

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Besides the colorful foliage, another thing I look forward to in Fall is breaking out my favorite recipes and sharing them with family and friends. It’s become such a tradition that some of my recipes have even found their way into an inspired food-themed candle like French Pear (inspired by an apple-pear crisp I’ll mention below) and Pumpkin! The pomander candle is one we’ve based on our Swedish family tradition of scoring oranges with fresh cloves to perfume the house for the holidays. They can be put in a beautiful bowl or tied with red ribbon and hung around the house, and the smell is captured perfectly in our wax rendering!

Right now, we’re making lots of soups with seasonal vegetables to keep warm on chilly days. We are also baking pumpkin bread (both regular and gluten/dairy free versions to accommodate my daughter’s gluten allergy) and enjoying hot apple cider. I also just made a delicious apple pear crisp created by one of our favorite cooks, Ina Garten!

I thought you might like to see some of my recipes and I’d love to see yours as well! Here are a few of our favorites:

Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread

  • 1/2 cup butter or vegetarian substitute for non-dairy
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin
  • 2 cups gluten-free flour, blend
  • 1.5 cups white rice flour,1.5 cups sorghum flour, .5 cups tapioca starch, 4 tsp baking powder, 2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions: Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees, and lightly grease a bread pan. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, mixing well after each one. Add Vanilla and pumpkin and mix until well-blended. In a separate bowl, mix remaining dry ingredients. Gradually add flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and stir until combined. Be careful not to over-mix. Pour into prepared bread pan and bake one hour to one hour and ten minutes. ENJOY!

And here’s the recipe from Ina Garten that I used to make the Apple Pear Crisp. I used the gluten-free flour mix above in place of the multipurpose flour for Gluten Free and substituted the vegan butter for real butter. It is delicious! I also reduced the amount of sugar in the apple/pear mix to half because the fruit should be nice and ripe.

I hope you enjoyed this quick visit to our country kitchen and bon appétit!