Cranberry Mule | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Cranberry Mule

Cranberry Mule | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

By the time this post goes live, it will be 4:00 in the afternoon in the Pacific Northwest where my family lives. I was just there last week, and I’m still feeling the jet lag. We were awake for a solid 32 hours this weekend with only the occasional nod off on the plane. I managed to curl up on the floor of Heathrow airport in a nest of coats and almost sleep for about 20 minutes. When I got up, I had forgotten for a moment what city I was in.

Anybody who tries to tell you jet lag isn’t real is a damn liar. I feel like I should have been given at least two sick days as I attempted to recover. Instead, I worked for 12 hours yesterday and have another 11 hour day to look forward to tomorrow. If my boss ever tries to tell me I’m not dedicated, I might scream. It’s a good thing I don’t drive or operate heavy machinery because I definitely would have accidentally killed someone this week. 

Cranberry Mule | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

The afternoon before Thanksgiving might be the exact perfect time to have a sweet and festive cocktail dropped into your life. This Cranberry Mule will be the perfect start to your Thanksgiving weekend. It’s so fun and goes down easy. There’s a bit of a bite from the ginger beer, and a tart hint from the cranberry juice. Mix up a pitcher of these, and your family will never notice you gave them cranberry sauce from a jar.

Incidentally, it’s so easy to make your own cranberry sauce, you could probably do it while drinking a Cranberry Mule.

This drink can easily be scaled up or down. Mix it in parts and make as much or as little as you like. And if you really want to go all out, freeze some cranberries to use in place of some of the ice in your glass. If you happen to have some of those fancy copper mugs, what better time to break them out? I wish I was as cool as that.

Cranberry Mule | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Cheers to family and turkey and cranberries and booze. Hope you have a lovely holiday.

Cranberry Mule
Cranberry Mule is the perfect sweet, festive cocktail to get you through the holidays.
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Prep Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. Ice
  2. 2 parts vodka
  3. 1 part cranberry juice
  4. 5 parts ginger beer
  5. Lime juice
Instructions
  1. Add vodka, cranberry juice, and ginger beer to your desired vessel. If you're making this one glass at a time, start out with the ice in the glass. Otherwise, mix up a pitcher and pour the drink over the ice as you serve. Add a squeeze of lime juice to each glass, from an actual lime wedge if you planned ahead, or from the plastic squeezy lime if you're being more spontaneous.
Notes
  1. If you start with all your ingredients well chilled, your drink get as watered down by the ice.
Adapted from Christmas by Nigella Lawson
Adapted from Christmas by Nigella Lawson
http://awesomeon20.com/
Brined & Roasted Turkey Breast with Herb Gravy | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Brined & Roasted Turkey Breast with Herb Gravy

Brined & Roasted Turkey Breast with Herb Gravy | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

So by now you may have heard about our small time Thanksgiving tradition of having Cranberry Glazed Turkey Meatloaf instead of a whole turkey. It’s a much more practical approach when you’re only feeding a few people, but beyond that, it’s absolutely delicious. I actually prefer it to a traditional turkey, and now I look forward to eating turkey meatloaf every year. 

But maybe you’re not quite ready to be so untraditional. Maybe you can’t imagine Thanksgiving without white meat covered in gravy. Maybe you want a beautiful centerpiece of a gorgeously roasted bird on your Thanksgiving table. Maybe you’re looking for a turkey recipe that makes just the right amount for a small family of four to six people that’s perfectly seasoned and never dry. A turkey recipe that’s pretty much foolproof that makes plenty of flavorful gravy. This is that.

Brined & Roasted Turkey Breast with Herb Gravy | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

This brined and roasted turkey breast with herb gravy is super simple. Since you’re only cooking the breast of the turkey, it usually cooks in less than three hours. Mine was two kilos, and it was done in two hours and 20 minutes. If you eat later in the day, you could even brine it in the morning. And in case you were thinking of skipping the brine, I strongly urge you to avoid that notion. Brining is absolutely key to ensuring a moist and well-seasoned turkey breast.

The gravy comes together quickly and easily as well. The trick is to smash the flour and butter together into a paste so you won’t have any lumps. The fresh herbs will make your gravy seem all sophisticated and junk. Your family’s gonna love it.

Brined & Roasted Turkey Breast with Herb Gravy | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I made this recipe for the first ever Thanksgiving dinner I made myself. I was so nervous, but it came out beautiful, and has done every time since. I hope it works as well for you.

Brined & Roasted Turkey Breast with Herb Gravy
Serves 6
Brined & Roasted Turkey Breast with Herb Gravy is moist and flavorful every time. I promise, you can't mess it up.
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
2 hr 20 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
2 hr 20 min
For the turkey
  1. 8 cups water
  2. 1/2 cup salt, plus a few pinches for seasoning
  3. 1/4 cup brown sugar
  4. 1 medium turkey crown (breast)
  5. 4 ounces butter, melted
  6. Ground black pepper
For the gravy
  1. 1 shallot, minced
  2. 4 cloves garlic, smashed and peels
  3. Leaves of 1 sprig of rosemary, minced
  4. Leaves of 1 sprig of thyme, minced
  5. 1 bay leaf
  6. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  7. Ground black pepper
  8. 1.5 ounces butter
  9. 3 tablespoons plain flour
  10. 4 cups low sodium chicken or turkey stock
For the turkey
  1. To make your brine, add the water, salt, and brown sugar to a large pot. Choose something that will allow your turkey breast to be completely submerged. Heat the water and stir until the salt and brown sugar are dissolved. Turn the heat off and allow the mixture to come back to room temperature. Putting a cold turkey in hot brine is like creating a bacteria factory.
  2. Completely submerge your turkey in the brine, clamp a lid on, and refrigerate the whole thing for 4 to 8 hours.
  3. When your ready to roast, remove your turkey from the brine, and discard the brine. Pat the turkey dry with a few paper towels.
  4. Preheat your oven to 325.
  5. Situate your turkey breast in your roasting pan. Brush your melted butter all over your turkey and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Roast your turkey for approximately 2 hours and 20 minutes or until an instant read thermometer reads 170. My turkey breast's packaging conveniently had a suggested cooking time that turned out to be perfect, so check your package.
  7. Once your turkey is cooked through, remove it from the roasting pan to a cutting board. I used a couple of pairs of tongs for this. Cover loosely in foil. Let it rest while you make the gravy.
For the gravy
  1. Pour the liquid from the pan into a bowl or measuring jug. Allow it to sit while you prep the rest f your gravy ingredients so that the fat and liquid start to separate.
  2. Get everything for your gravy ready before you put anything on the heat so that you can move easily from step to step. Put your shallot, garlic, rosemary, thyme, bay salt, and pepper into a small dish together. In another dish, use a fork to smash your butter and flour together into a paste.
  3. Add two tablespoons of the fat that's risen to the top of your separated pan drippings back into your roasting pan. Pour or spoon off the rest of the fat so that you can add the flavorful liquid to the stock later.
  4. Situate the roasting pan over two burners, and turn them both to medium. Add your shallot and herb mixture to the roasting pan and sautee for about three minutes to soften the shallot.
  5. Add the stock and any remaining turkey juices back into the roasting pan. Scrape up any bits that have stuck to the bottom of the pan. Bring the stock to a boil.
  6. Whisk in your butter and flour mixture. Boil until the sauce thickens about 5 minutes.
  7. Give it a taste and adjust your seasoning if need be. Pull out the bay leaf and garlic cloves before serving.
Adapted from Food Network
Adapted from Food Network
http://awesomeon20.com/
Awesome in October
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Cranberry Mule | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day
Awesome in October

Awesome in October

Awesome in October

Did October even happen? Did I do anything? Let’s say we had a month of hard core coziness. And with the ever creeping darkness, it seems like exactly what we needed. 

We started the month with a day trip to Edinburgh where we walked the Royal Mile and tried to climb Arthur’s Seat. Unfortunately, the winds down in the park were already 20 miles an hour, so by the time we got to the top of the hill, it was terrifying. We got less than 50 yards from the top and had to turn back lest we literally got blown down the hill. We did visit the Museum of Edinburgh and The People’s Story. Both museums are free and a great way to wait out the rain.

We were back in Edinburgh a couple weeks later to see some family and take a ghost tour. We got to go underground into the old vaults. It was definitely creepy and lots of fun.

We did a bit too much shopping and had lunch at a new to us place in town, Max’s Bar & Grill. The vibe was very cool and the food was tasty. I’d go back for sure. 

The food on the internet is gorgeous this time of year, especially these mini chocolate chip cookie pumpkin cheesecakes. I finally got Joy’s first book, and I can’t wait to dig into it.

All foods in October should be orange. This sweet potato gnocchi with rosemary parmesan cream sauce sounds absolutely awesome. 

We get to put spices on everything this month, even our chocolate. This speculoos brownie cake look spectacular.

Cranberry Glazed Turkey Meatloaf | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Your favorite recipes this month were Cranberry Glazed Turkey Meatloaf, White Cheddar Fondue, Chili with Gnocchi. You’re obviously feeling cozy, too.

November is going to be a big month, so I’m glad we got this chance to relax. Let’s make it awesome.

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