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Foodie Friday: This Ain’t Yo Mama’s Turkey


Brined and cooked to perfection!

Around this time last year, I posted a guest feature from one of my favorite professional chefs, Chef Ryan, on how to cook the perfect turkey. I have now used this recipe several times and, without fail, each turkey turns out amazing. If you’re looking for the perfect turkey recipe, don’t look any further! Please note, this recipe takes some prep time, so be prepared to get started a few days before T-Day. It’s worth it, though. Your guests will most definitely be thankful.

See below for the original post!



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Foodie Friday: Lamb Ragu with Homemade Spinach Fettuccine

Nothing tastes better than homemade pasta and sauce.

This lamb ragu and spinach fettuccine dish is one of my favorites, especially since the Dude and I only make it a few times a year. It has now become a tradition for us to prepare it every New Year’s Eve. If you give this recipe a try, I assure you, this pasta dish will quickly become one of your favorites.


This recipe for spinach fettuccine is actually a combination of two recipes we discovered from Chefs Mario Batali and Thomas Keller. After several attempts to make the perfect pasta dough, we’ve come up with this recipe. Why spinach fettuccine? Well, there’s never anything wrong with throwing a little green in your food. Spinach is one of the world’s best foods for you and we think it adds a delicious touch to pasta dough.


  • 1 3/4 cups (8 ounces) semolina flour (you can use all purpose, but semolina is better)
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • A handful of spinach (baby or regular)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon milk

Try to use organic and local ingredients. I also prefer to use cage-free, local, and organic eggs.

Start by sauteing a handful of spinach with a touch of olive oil and minced garlic. Saute until wilted.

(Click on pictures to expand)

Wet Ingredients

Add the sauteed spinach to the “wet” ingredients (egg, egg yolks, olive oil, milk) to your mixer and pulse. This mixture can easily become mayonnaise, so just use the pulse setting until evenly mixed.

The Mound

Instructions on how to create pasta dough comes via the French Laundry cookbook by Thomas Keller: (continues…)

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Foodie Friday: Thanksgiving ’09 – The Verdict


I don’t usually gloat about my cooking. In all honesty, I fail just as many times as I succeed. But, thanks to Chef Ryan (my guest chef for Foodie Friday last week), my Turkey Day was a hit!

My immediate family is spread out far and wide, from Hawaii to Boston to Afghanistan.  Needless to say, we miss quite a few holidays with everyone. But, fortunately this year, I was able to have a wonderful Thanksgiving with my mom, my mother-in-law, the Dude, and the Monkey. It might have been small, but it was lovely. For that, I am thankful.

I ate so much that I didn’t even leave room for dessert. That’s a first! But we’ve got leftovers for days. Weeks even. I may even have to extend Foodie Friday over the weekend to discuss some great tips for all those Turkey Day leftovers.

Hope everyone had a great holiday, even if you couldn’t be with everyone you love.

Thanksgiving at Ain’t Yo Mama’s House (click on pics to expand):


My tablescape, complete with felted fall produce created by my mother-in-law. How cute are they? I wish I was that crafty.


Another view of my tablescape, including the pumpkin pie I didn’t touch. I’ll get you tomorrow, pie.


Right out of the oven! This 15lb locally grown, all-natural, and fresh turkey cooked in only 1.5 hours. It was brined for 2 days and then coated with a sage, paprika, and brown sugar butter rub. It was perfect. (continues…)

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Guest Post: Foodie Friday Special Edition — This Ain’t Yo Mama’s Turkey!

Chef Ryan to the rescue!

Chef Ryan to the rescue!

My Special Guest Chef, Ryan Gromfin, trained at and graduated from Johnson & Wales Culinary School and has been a professional chef for over 12 years. Chef Ryan has worked at a number of 5 star hotels and restaurants, including the Mansion on Turtle Creek in Dallas and the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills. After years of working in fine dining establishments, Ryan is now applying his culinary expertise and experience to restaurant development and operations in the Central Coast area of California.

The Best Thanksgiving Turkey…EVER!

First of all, I wish people would cook turkey more often than just on Thanksgiving. If you choose to prepare your turkey using my method you will see that you don’t need to cook your bird for 8 hours, taking up the entire oven, and  basting it every 20 minutes. It also doesn’t need to take up all the room in your fridge for 3 days. I gave up cooking whole turkeys many years ago because I hate dried out white meat that needs cranberries and gravy just so you can swallow it. I also decided a few years back that, as much as I love cooking Thanksgiving, I also enjoy spending the time with my family rather than only in the kitchen. Along with everything else included in my Thanksgiving menu, my turkey is prepared a day or two before, and only needs about 2 hours to cook. The trick is cooking the legs/thighs separately from the breast. This turkey carves easily, presents beautifully, tastes amazing, and guarantees success.

One Week Before Turkey Day: Unless you insist for other reasons, flavor doesn’t require that you buy an heirloom or organic turkey for $4.00/lb.  But nor should you use one of those free turkeys you get for spending $100 at the grocery store. Order a fresh turkey from your butcher a week before Thanksgiving. It can have been previously frozen, but just make sure it has not been brined or has had any added water. If you’re not experienced in butchering birds, ask your butcher to separate the leg/thigh quarter from the breast and remove the rib cage from the double breast. Make sure to leave the bones in and skin on. Also, make sure the butcher saves the neck bone and rib cage (cut in 4 pieces). He can keep the liver, heart, and other trimmings. (continues…)

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