And this is how you insert a meat thermometer…

The fact that we were together again (for the last time in what will be 4 months, give or take) was cause enough for a celebration. A celebratory dinner, in fact. But we were also paying tribute to Layne’s new dishes (a Christmas gift), which we had brought along with the exercise bike in the car. (Each road bump was a little disconcerting.)

For the occasion, my mom picked up a good-sized turkey breast at the store. (If you’re aversive to photos of a raw turkey breast, just skip this little section.)

She tried to find the smallest one in the store, but this one was 6.8 lbs!


Our inspiration came from Ellie Krieger’s So Easy, a cookbook my mom got for Christmas (man, we’re using alllll the Christmas gifts tonight!)

Within her cookbook, there are a number of recipes that are actually whole menus. I think that sometimes it’s nice to not have to debate what type of vegetable or grain will pair well with each other, etc., so the recipe for Lemon-garlic turkey breast with roasted rosemary potatoes and brussel sprouts was calling out to us. Lemon? Rosemary? Our new-found love for brussel sprouts? Check. Check. And Check!

Layne and I were her sous chefs, so we began by preparing the turkey rub. It included olive oil, lemon zest (the lemony smell was overtaking the room, but in a good way), salt, pepper, and some fresh rosemary. (Rosemary so reminds you of Christmas — just you wait and see!)

Christmas in herb form (fresh rosemary)

I chopped up the rosemary into fine pieces, and since Layne wants to be like me, she made sure I didn’t miss any pieces:

However, she didn’t want to rub the mixture onto the turkey breast, so of course I stepped in to save the day (kind of defines our relationship…me stepping in to save her).

We popped that (big) baby in the oven and let it do its thang…but pretty soon, it was time to check its temp!

And then Layne and I got a lesson: “This is how you insert a meat thermometer…” Needless to say, it was a quick and pain-free lesson. And I mastered the art of checking meat temperature. Mastered it.

While we were slaving away in the kitchen, there must have been a time-out or long commercial break, because Andrew happily offered to put the napkins on the plates.

I like to call these: napkin tents.

Meanwhile, we got to work on the rest of the menu. I have to say: my mom was the mastermind behind this dinner, but Layne and I helped out where we were needed. Like cleaning and preparing the brussel sprouts and chopping the potatoes, which ended up looking like this…

Roasted rosemary potatoes

Because the b sprouts were still roasting away in the oven, Layne got a little impatient:

But in came Dad to save the day and teach us kids how to carve a turkey…

I asked Layne to act enthused. She should nab an Oscar for this performance.

Within no time, the table was set and we were ready to go:

We toasted the occasion (yes, I’m really cool with my plastic yellow cup) and got ready to dig in!

Can't forget the (underrated) bread bowl!

It was a meal to remember!

The brussel sprouts were crisp yet tender, roasted to perfection. We actually spent a couple minutes (while eating) trying to describe the flavor of a brussel sprout. And the only thing we came up with? “Well, it has lots of layers…” Just trust us on this one 🙂

And please don’t get me started on the rosemary turkey. Drizzled with some sauce that was comprised of its drippings, low-sodium chicken broth, and some garlic, yum yum! I love these recipes because they’re tasty (obviously), but I also love them because Ellie Krieger is a registered dietician and says that, with her recipes, you don’t have to choose between eating healthfully and eating fast. The recipes are practical and inspiring, and she steers clear of using artificial additives (instead choosing to use pure, minimally processed ingredients). Balance is key, so don’t deprive yourself!

I took her advice, and when we made some fresh, hot-outta-the-oven apple crisp, what did I do? Knew that I wouldn’t be eating this for 4 months and dug in! (a la mode, natch.)

Such a nice, quiet evening, and with delicious chow, to boot! Except for when this guy hogged the remote…

I am not kidding when I say that the T.V. actually turned off with the remote by his side. He’s a naughty little frog, I tell ya!)

A couple episodes of Modern Family, a little bit of football watching, and we called it a night.

And I ask you: How is your weekend going? Any good “chow?” Tell me!


About ciaotochow

ciao to chow: initially created as a little spot on the web devoted to the "chow" I find while studying abroad in Rome. But really, ciao to chow is about my life: the day-to-day experiences, funny stories, moments of laughter, and the food...that continue to inspire me and make me grateful for each new day.
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9 Responses to And this is how you insert a meat thermometer…

  1. Layne says:

    I’m glad Kermie could make his first ciaotochow debut!

  2. Your NJ Godmother says:

    I’m happy to see that Kermie is still looking as good as ever and still getting into trouble. I hope you guys were rooting for the J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets, Jets. After all, Kermie is green. Anna, I hope your kitchen in Italy is well equipped for all the cooking that you will be doing.

  3. I love Ellie Krieger’s cookbooks!! I also love watching her show, Healthy Appetite, on Cooking Channel/Food Network. Oooh, your potatoes look SO good!

    Kermit is so cute!!!

  4. I just went with my dad to buy a new meat thermometer yesterday. I know nothing about cooking meat! Even though I’m a vegetarian, I feel obligated to learn. Is that weird?

  5. MareMare says:

    That turkey/sauce was unbelievably delicious and eeeeaaassssyyyyy — anyone could prepare/enjoy it — Go Ellie K! Thanks for the memories, fam!! xxxooo

  6. Pingback: Ciao America, Ciao Roma! | ciaotochow

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