How Turkeys Are Raised, Turkey Giveaways and Must-Try Recipes

Everywhere you turn this time of year, it is all about turkeys. We are in the post pumpkin pre Christmas tree season. And while turkeys are beginning to fill the bins at the grocery store, I thought I would share little peek into what a turkey farmer and farm is today.

Turkey farm family from Iowa
Meet the Olthoff family. They raise 20,000 turkeys. They get all 20,000 male baby turkeys (poults) at 1 day old.  The baby turkeys are delivered to a toasty warm barn. The temperature in the barn is controlled by a thermostat, and there are vents that open and close automatically to help adjust it if needed.  The turkeys are not in cages – instead they are on sawdust bedding from a local sawmill.

Baby Turkeys getting their new home.

When the turkeys are five weeks old they get moved to new barns where they spend the rest of their lives, about 14 more weeks. While the turkeys they raise are used in lunchmeat, the process for whole turkeys like we eat for Thanksgiving are raised in the same way. Want to know more? Be sure to check out the children’s book they just published. And win it and a turkey!

Whole Turkey Giveaway

That’s right, I am giving away a turkey. You can choose the turkey of your choice from Honey Baked Ham. You can choose whole turkeys that are browned and roasted, smoked or cajun. All you have to do is leave a comment letting me know which kind of turkey you would love to have on Thanksgiving!

While we all plan and plot what to make for Turkey day, here are a few tried and trued recommendations from a few of my favorite bloggers.

Turkey:

Brined Thanksgiving Turkey

Brined Thanksgiving TurkeyCrock Pot Turkey Breast

Crock Pot Turkey Breast

Side Dishes:

Crock Pot Corn Casserole

Crock Pot Corn CasseroleSlow Cooker Cornbread Dressing

Slow Cooker Cornbread DressingMom’s Turkey Dressing

Mom's Turkey DressingHis and Her Sweet Potato Casserole

His and Her Sweet Potato CasseroleCandied Sweet Potatoes with Pecans

Candied Sweet Potatoes with PecansButternut Squash Souffle

Butternut squash souffleMelissa’s Macaroni and Cheese 

Melissa's Macaroni and Cheese

Italian Green Beans

Italian Green BeansGreen Bean Casserole

Green Bean Casserole

Crock Pot Mushrooms and Onions

Crock Pot Mushrooms and Onions. The most amazing slow cooked mushrooms are so amazing.

 Salads:

24 Hour Fruit Salad

24 Hour Fruit Salad

Cranberry Salad 

Cranberry Salad

Spinach Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing

Spinach Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing

 Desserts:

Pumpkin Squares

Pumpkin Squares

Southern Pecan Pie

Southern Pecan Pie

 Pumpkin Crunch

My favorite pumpkin crunch recipe is an easy fall dessert. It is so good.

Still haven’t seen the recipe you are craving. Well check out the Holiday Pinterest board for Recipes That Crock.

Need help with the leftovers? Check out this turkey rice soup. Or this entire list of leftover Thanksgiving recipes that utilized all the leftovers, not just the turkey.

Don’t forget to register to win a whole turkey, fully cooked and a children’s book about a turkey farm. All you have to do is leave a comment letting me know which kind of turkey you would love to have on Thanksgiving! You can choose whole turkeys that are browned and roasted, smoked or cajun. The giveaway will close on November 17 at midnight. Be sure not to miss out!

 This post was sponsored by the Indiana Soybean Alliance. Opinions and recommendations are all mine.

20 Go-To Beef Roast Recipes

20 Go-To Beef Roast Recipes

It is the time of year when grills get used less and less and slow roasting beef roasts happens more and more. So, since I have started searching for the beef roast recipes my family loves as well as a few new ones, I thought I would share 20 go-to beef roast recipes I plan on making sometime soon as well as a few pointers.

  1. Go buy a Crock Pot. Slow Cooker.
  2. When you are making a recipe that calls for a specific kind of roast, most of the time it can be interchangeable. For example, if the recipe calls for a chuck roast but you have a rump roast, as long as the pounds are similar go for it.
  3. Do Not trim all the fat off the beef roast before cooking it. Fat is a flavor conductor. You can peel the fat off after it cooks and also drain any fat off for gravy if you need it. Trust me, keep the fat on!
  4. Go for bone-in roasts. I think bones also add more flavor. After a beef roast has slow cooked all day, the bone falls right off the meat. So go ahead and buy that bone-in roast. No need to pay extra for having it removed. So, now onto the recipes!

Slow Cooked Chipotle Shredded Beef

slow cooked chipotle shredded beef

 Reuben Sliders

Reuben Sliders

Italian Beef Sandwiches

crock pot italian beef

 Best Ever Slow Cooker Beef Roast

Best-Ever-Slow-Cooker-Roast1

Italian Beef in a Bucket

Crock Pot Beef and Noodles

beef and noodles in the slow cooker

Slow Cooker Mississippi Pot Roast

Mississippi Pot Roast

 Another Version Of Italian Beef Sandwiches

Italian Beef Sandwiches (with graphics, thecountrycook.net)

Philly Cheesesteak Pizza

DSC_0430

Easy as 1-2-3 Crock Pot Beef Roast

Crock Pot BBQ Beef Sandwiches 

Crock Pot BBQ Beef Sandwiches

Easy Make Ahead Beef Roasts to Freeze

Make Ahead Beef Roasts to Freeze

Crock Pot Pepperoncini Beef

Pepperoncini Beef Sandwich

Dr. Pepper Slow Cooked Beef

Dr. Pepper Crock Pot Beef

Shredded Beef TacosShredded Beef Tacos (all rights reserved, thecountrycook.net)

Slow Cooked Italian Pot Roast with Parmesan Risotto

Italian Pot Roast and Parmesan Risotto

 Mexican Beef Roast

Red Wine Beef Roast with Mushrooms and Onions

Slow Cooked Beef and mushrooms in red wine

 Slow Cooker Roast Beef

slow cooker roast beef

Philly Cheesesteak Sliders

Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches

Chipotle Shredded Beef Chili

We love chili at our house. The problem is that I can never make the same batch of chili twice. I am notorious for not being able to duplicate a meal. And this chipotle shredded beef recipe is going to need duplicating so I am here to document the recipe.

Chipotle Shredded Beef Chili. My new favorite chili recipe.

I am all about cooking once and eating twice. The chipotle shredded beef I made for beef sandwiches worked perfectly in this chili. And already had the slow cooked big flavor to help make the chili taste like it simmered all day when only it was ready in 30 minutes. I am telling you, cook once, eat twice is the key to great weeknight meals.

To help give chili the smoky flavor I like, I always, always start with bacon. That’s right bacon. I cut up four to five slices of bacon and fry it in the bottom of my stock pot. I remove the bacon once it is crisp leaving the bacon grease in the pan for the holy trinity of chili to be fried up in it. What is the holy trinity you ask? Well, simply onion, green pepper, and garlic. All diced, of course. Once they just start to get soft, I added the leftover chipotle shredded beef. And stirred till combined and the meat was warmed up.

Bacon is the key to a good Chili Base along with onions, green peppers and garlicWhen the beef is warmed up, start adding the liquids. I added both sauce and canned tomatoes. For me, I add petite diced tomatoes. If I would have had fire-roasted diced tomatoes, I would have added those. But I didn’t have them on hand. I also added baked beans instead of chili beans. I used mesquite thinking it would really add a punch of flavor. I added salt, pepper and chili powder also. I used the chili 3000 from Penzey’s.

diced tomatoes, beans and bacon chili

Then add the remaining bacon and let it simmer till you are ready to eat. I let it simmer about 15 minutes. I was honestly waiting on the cornbread to bake. I got the chili done faster than I could whip together a pan of cornbread. And it was all amazing. We will definitely be making this again.

Chipotle Shredded Beef Chili and Cornbread. My new favorite chili recipe.

Chipotle Shredded Beef Chili

Chipotle Shredded Beef Chili

Ingredients

  • 5 slices of bacon, fried and crumbled
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, diced
  • 3 cups Shredded Chipotle Beef
  • 1 can tomato sauce, 15 oz can
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, 15 oz can
  • 1 can of baked beans, 15 oz can
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons chili powder (taste for heat preference)
  • Serve with cornbread and top with onions, shredded cheese, sour cream or your normal chili toppings.

Instructions

  1. Fry bacon in the stock pot you plan on making your chili. I cut the bacon into pieces before frying. Remove once it is crisp leaving grease in pan.
  2. Add onion, green pepper and garlic to bacon grease. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until the peppers begin to just be soft.
  3. Add the shredded beef to the vegetables in bacon grease. Stir to combine and cook till meat is no longer cold if using leftover meat.
  4. Pour tomato sauce, diced tomatoes and beans to pot. Add reserve bacon to the chili. Stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Add chili powder tasting for heat as you add a little at a time.
  5. Simmer for 15 minutes or until ready to eat.
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Texas Queso Dip

Sometimes it is an eat chips and queso kind of day. This crock pot Texas Queso Dip is not that different from the Sausage Queso I have shared before. The main difference is spicy or hot seasoned sausage instead of ground pork or mild pork sausage.

Texas Queso DipThe recipe is out of the 303 Simple & Satisfying Recipes from Gooseberry Patch. And it is a cinch.

Simply brown a pound of hamburger. If you want to do it quick, be sure to check out my quick tip on browning hamburger. Just place a two-pound block of Velveeta, a can of tomatoes and chiles (or a can of diced tomatoes plus a can of chiles like I did) along with a half a cup of milk.

Crock Pot Texas Queso Dip

Just let the mixture cook on low for two hours in a slow cooker or crock pot. Stir occasionally to avoid it burning around the edges. Serve with tortilla chips.

Crock Pot Queso Dip

Texas Queso Dip

Texas Queso Dip

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. hot ground pork sausage, browned and drained
  • 32-oz. pkg. pasteurized process cheese spread, cubed
  • 10-oz. can diced tomatoes with green chiles
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • white corn tortilla chips

Instructions

  1. Combine the sausage, cheese, tomatoes and milk in a slow cooker.
  2. Cover and cook on low for two hours until cheese is melted.
  3. Serve with tortilla chips.
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I received the 303 Simple & Satisfying Recipes for free. The recipe ingredients are all on me. The opinions are all mine.

Crock Pot Chipotle Shredded Beef

Naturally when I am reviewing a new cookbook I am drawn to the Mexican inspired recipes. When the recipe includes a beef roast and a crock pot, I am sold. Gonna try the recipe. This crock pot chipotle shredded beef did not disappoint anyone in the family.

slow cooked chipotle shredded beefThe recipe called for a chuck roast, but here is the deal, use whatever beef roast you have on hand or is on sale at the grocery story. It will all work the same. Place the beautiful beef roast in the crock pot.

beef chuck roast in crock pot

The original recipe called for cans of diced tomatoes, green chiles and chipotle sauce. I however had enchilada sauce instead of chipotle. It also called for chili powder and cumin. I had Penzey’s Chili 9000 which has cumin and other yummy seasonings and herbs. So, I used two tablespoons of it instead. Topped the roast with sliced onions and the canned goods before letting it slow cook all day. I omitted the beef broth the recipe called for originally.

Chipotle Beef Ingredients

After it has slow cooked all day, you should be able to peel any excess fat off the roast and then shred with two forks. Don’t trim the fat before cooking. Remember fat is the flavor conductor. You want it to cook with the meat all day to add flavor.

crock pot chipotle beef
 The meat should be fairly juicy. Which made me relieved that I didn’t add the two cups of beef broth. You will get quite a bit of beef. This is a great recipe to eat twice.

slow cooked chipotle shredded beef

The cooked meat will freeze nicely to pull out later or go ahead and make some beef enchiladas and use the meat for tacos or on top of Mexican Risotto.

Chipotle shredded beef risottoThe recipe is from 303 Simple & Satisfying Recipes which is the combination of three cookbooks from Gooseberry Patch. I will be giving this cookbook away the second week of September 2014. Be sure to check back to register to win and see what other great recipes I made.

Slow Cooked Chipotle Shredded Beef

Slow Cooked Chipotle Shredded Beef

Ingredients

  • 2-1/2 lb. beef chuck roast, trimmed
  • 14-oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 7-oz. can chipotle sauce or medium red enchilada sauce
  • 4-oz. can diced green chiles
  • 1 onion, slice
  • 2 T. chili 9000 from Penzey's or 2 T chili powder and 1 t. cumin

Instructions

  1. Place roast in a slow cooker. Top with remaining ingredients. Cover and cook on low setting for 8 to 10 hours.
  2. Once it is completely cooked, remove any excess fat. With 2 forks, shred the beef roast in slow cooker. Add beef broth if there is not much liquid.
  3. Serve on tortillas with favorite taco toppings, on a bed of lettuce for a salad or in a bowl with Mexican rice.
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I received the 303 Simple & Satisfying Recipes for free. The recipe ingredients are all on me. The opinions are all mine.

Hunk of Meat Monday: Bacon Wrapped BBQ Chicken

I am giving away my new favorite cookbook. Maybe it is because it is grilling season, and I love to grill on my Big Green EGG. Or maybe it is because I am making food that looks like this Bacon Wrapped BBQ Chicken.

Bacon wrapped BBQ chickenAnd just how do you get to this end beauty. Start with chicken tenders or in my case chicken breasts and then cut them in half.

Chicken breasts for bacon wrapped BBQ chickenI multi-task in the kitchen so before you start wrapping your chicken, get your special barbecue sauce going. Pick your favorite barbecue sauce and then add two tablespoons of brown sugar and a teaspoon of onion powder.

homemade barbecue sauce

As the sauce simmers, get to wrapping up your chicken. I was able to use one slice per chicken. Some folks may want to hold the bacon in place by toothpicks. I had good luck keeping the bacon in place with the just the barbecue.

bacon wrapped chicken

Once it safely wrapped and completely covered with bacon, it is time to slather each piece with your barbecue sauce.

Barbecue Sauce Bacon Wrapped Chicken

I used a grill brush to put the sauce on but you could also use a spoon.

Brushing on Barbecue Sauce on Bacon Wrapped ChickenThen it is grill time! The bacon will put off bacon grease. So, if you a grilling over a gas grill, you may want to put the chicken a little in between the burners or a more indirect location on the grill.

Grilling Bacon Wrapped ChickenNow, don’t get flip happy. If you flip too much the bacon will fall off. And you don’t want to lose the bacon to the grill. Trust me. I cooked the chicken for about 10-15 minutes on each side. Use a meat thermometer and make sure you cook your chicken to 165 degrees. And plus, you want your bacon done too!! The barbecue and bacon will keep the chicken juicy.

If you want to enjoy a bacon wrapped meal, add some asparagus wrapped in bacon to the grill.

Bacon wrapped grilled chicken Love this recipe, go register to win this cookbook!

Bacon Wrapped BBQ Chicken

Bacon Wrapped BBQ Chicken

Ingredients

  • 1 cup favorite BBQ sauce, divided
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts cut in half
  • 1/2-1 lb bacon

Instructions

  1. In a small saucepan over low heat, combine barbecue sauce, brown sugar and onion powder. Simmer for 30 minutes stirring occasionally.
  2. Meanwhile wrap chicken breast with one to two slices bacon each. Set aside 3/4 cup sauce mixture. Brush remaining sauce mixture over chicken.
  3. Place chicken on grill not directly over flames to prevent flare ups with a medium-high heat. Grill for 25-30 minutes, flipping twice, until nearly done. Brush chicken well with reserved sauce mixture.
  4. Cook until chicken juices run clear and sauce is caramelized. Always cook chicken to 165 degrees.
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Gooseberry Patch Grilling and Campfire Cooking Cookbook Giveaway

Sometimes you get a cookbook that you literally want to make every recipe in the cookbook. Every single one. This new Grilling and Campfire Cooking Cookbook is that cookbook for me.

Grilling and Campfire Cooking Cookbook from Gooseberry Patch

Maybe it is because I am obsessed with my Big Green Egg. Or maybe because we had a hard, cold winter. Or the recipes are just that good. The chapters of the cookbook lend to your summer day’s cuisine desire. Whether you are grilling out, looking for a side dish, on a campfire or just looking for a cool crisp salad, you will find it in this cookbook.

Grilling Campfire Cooking table of contentsHere is a sneak peak into a few of my dishes.

April's barbecue chicken

April’s Barbecue Chicken

Bacon wrapped grilled chicken and asparagus

Bacon-Wrapped BBQ Chicken

Sizzling Bacon Asparagus

Backyard Cheddar BBQ Burgers

Backyard BBQ Cheddar Burgers

I also made the Lemony Grilled Broccoli and Versatile Grilled Veggies. Both were awesome grilled side dishes.

But, don’t just take my word for it, checkout some of these recipes from a few of my friends.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Campfire Burritos

Balsamic Grilled Tomatoes

Sweet and Spicy Chicken

Are you dying to get your hands on the cookbook? Register to win one by leaving a comment on what your favorite summertime or grilled dish is. Can’t wait for the 10 days I will be running this giveaway, go buy the Cookbook. Be sure to register by July 1 or you will have no chance to win it! To give you an idea of just how yummy this cookbook can be, here is one of the recipes I prepared

April's Barbecue Chicken

April's Barbecue Chicken

This is a juicy grilled chicken recipe with an easy homemade barbecue sauce.

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs chicken or chicken pieces
  • 1 T. plus 1 t. garlic powder, divided
  • 1 1/2 t. onion powder, divided
  • 2 c. ketchup
  • 1 to 2 c. brown sugar, packed and divided
  • 1/2 t. dry mustard
  • 1/2 t. chili powder
  • 1 t. liquid smoke

Instructions

  1. In a large stock pot, place chicken and cover with water, one tablespoon garlic powder and one teaspoon of onion powder. Cook on medium-high heat till the pot comes to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
  2. While chicken is cooking, combine ketchup, one cup brown sugar, mustard, chili powder and remaining garlic and onion powders in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Simmer for 15 minutes adding liquid smoke and remaining brown sugar to your taste.
  3. Once chicken has simmered, place on medium-high heated grill. Grill for 30-40 minutes or till chicken reaches an internal temp of 165. Baste with barbecue sauce as it grills.
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This cookbook was given to me by Gooseberry Patch to review and giveaway. The recipes were prepared by me and enjoyed by family. 

Hunk of Meat Monday: Bowtie Pasta and Sausage

Have you ever become obsessed with something? So obsessed it makes the people you life with crazy. This bowties and sausage recipe brings to light two obsessions in the Beyer household: a pot and smoked sausage.

Bowties and sausage | Beyer BewareThe pot is my obsession. It is the Le Creuset Enameled Cast-Iron 3-1/2-Quart Round French Oven in cherry. Big enough for a one pot wonder for a family of 4 but small enough that I can actually lift it up with a meal in it. Obsessed. You may remember if you follow me on Instagram when I lost my mind at the Le Creuset outlet.
Le Creuset Outlet in South CarolinaAnd the smoked sausge…that would be my daughter. She is a healthy eater who finds higher end meats more desirable. I can’t say I blame her. Except for smoked sausage. She could eat her weight in smoked sausage. So, when I saw this recipe in the Good-For-You Everyday Meals Cookbook from Gooseberry Patch, I knew that at least one person in my family would be simply in love. And boy was I right. Big hit at the dinner table and once again it was a quick prep.

smoked sausage with onion and pepper
Simple ingredients with the smoked sausage, onions and peppers. Slice them all up and get them going in the skillet. Notice I have cheese filled sausage. Use what you like. All beef, jalapeño, skinless, not skinless, all will work just fine. Slice the sausage, pepper and onion up and get sautéing.

Sausage with onions and peppers While the sausage and veggies are cooking, get your pasta cooking. I have a favorite gluten free pasta that I used. The original recipe called for bowtie pasta. Again, use what you have on hand.

My favorite gluten free pastaCook according to the package directions, drain and add to the sausage and veggies.

Gluten free pasta with sausage onions and peppersAdd beef broth to the pot and stir together. Serve to your hungry family with some buttered bread and big glasses of milk.

pot of pasta and smoke sausageLove this recipe and want some more like it? Go check out the giveaway for the Gooseberry Patch Cookbook!

Bowties and Sausage

Rating: 41

Bowties and Sausage

This quick and easy bowties and sausage recipe is one of my daughter's favorites. Serve with some buttered bread and fill your family's bellies.

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces of bowtie pasta
  • 1 Tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 pound of Italian pork sausage or smoked sausage cut in 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 green pepper, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet or pan over medium heat and add sausage, onion and pepper. Cook until sausage is fully cooked and vegetables are tender.
  2. Drain any grease or fat and return to pan.
  3. Cook pasta according to package directions while sausage and vegetables cook. Drain.
  4. Add beef broth to sausage and vegetables and bring to a boil.
  5. Stir in cooked pasta.
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