Perfect Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe~Emilie Barnes

Want to cook up the Perfect Turkey for your Thanksgiving feast? You can do it! I tested this recipe myself.  Because the turkey turns out amazingly delicious, juicy and tender, slices beautifully, barely shrinks in size and the vitamins and proteins are not harmed because of the low cooking temperature, I thought I would share it on my blog. The Perfect Turkey Recipe is from Emilie Barnes book, “The 15 Minute Organizer.”

Happy Thanksgiving to all my readers! I am thankful for you!

Perfect Turkey Recipe

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. (note: cook uncovered)
  • Wash thawed turkey well; remove neck and giblets.
  • Dry turkey with paper towels, salt the cavity and stuff with dressing of your choice.
  • Rub the outside of the turkey with pure olive oil. Stick a meat thermometer in the turkey.
  • Place turkey breast-down in the roasting pan on a rack (this way the breast bastes itself, keeping the meat moist).
  • Roast the uncovered turkey one hour at 350 degrees to destroy bacteria on the surface. Then adjust the heat to 180 or 200 degrees for any size turkey. The turkey can roast in the oven on this low temperature 15 to 30 hours before you eat it. A good rule for timing is to allow about one hour per pound of meat. (Emilie begins roasting a 22-pound turkey at 5 p.m. Thanksgiving Eve. It will be done the next day between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.)
  • Once the turkey is done, it will not overcook.  You can leave it in an
    Carving the Perfect Turkey~ Thanksgiving 2013~ Mmm... it was perfect!
    Carving the Perfect Turkey~
    Thanksgiving 2013~ Mmm… it was perfect!

    additional three to six hours, and it will not dry out. It browns perfectly and you will get wonderful drippings for gravy.

Not only have you cooked the Perfect Thanksgiving Turkey, your house will smell oh so good! We plan to cook the Perfect Turkey for our Thanksgiving Feast!


Next Post~Organization is Key to Hospitality

Biblical Hospitality

The following is Part 2 of Gwen Brodd’s workshop on “Entertaining with Elegance and Ease.”

Let me ask you a couple of questions.

  1. Do you enjoy having people in your home?
  2. Do you enjoy watching people meet and have fun at parties and events you helped to plan and host?
  3. Is your home the kind that most people feel comfortable in and drop by to visit unannounced?
  4. Do you consider your home as a place of ministry?

If you responded “yes” then maybe you have the spiritual gift of hospitality which is considered one of the “serving” spiritual gifts. It is the special ability God gives to some to provide an open home and warm welcome to those in need of food, lodging, and fellowship. It involves a readiness to invite strangers to your home for the sake of the Gospel.

It is the ability to welcome strangers and entertain guests, often in your home, with great joy and kindness, so that they become friends. These people tend to have an “open home” where others are welcome to visit. This gift is often combined with the natural talents of interior design, cooking, and event planning.

The Bible tells us that every believer is given at least one spiritual gift for the purpose of building up God’s church and serving the body of Christ. In other words, our gifts are given not for our own benefit, but for the enrichment of others. We should be serving those around us, including the body of believers, family, and friends.

welcomeWhether we have the spiritual gift of hospitality or not, it can be a part of our way of life. None of us deny that it’s easier to share hospitality with family and friends than with the stranger on the street. But the New Testament teaches us that Christianity is about open hands, open hearts, and open doors. When we open our hearts as well as our homes, we’re practicing Christian hospitality.[2]

Some folks make you feel at home. Others make you wish you were at home. – Arnold H. Glasow

I love and enjoy hosting guests and events in our home. I plan on remodeling my kitchen in January to make it possible to hosts more guests and events. Most of my extended family events are held at our home. Every time, without fail, my father-in-law would say to me as he left our home, “Well Gwenie….you did it again…. the hostess with the mostess.” My sister-in-law has said “You don’t just host an event … you make it a memory.” My heart’s desire is to make people loved and welcomed in my home.

Practicing Christian hospitality isn’t about glittering, glamorous table settings or platters of picture-perfect food; it’s about practicing servanthood right in the middle of your practical Christianity. More important, it is about loving others through Christ and making people feel special.

Hebrews 13:1-2 “Let brotherly love continue. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”

“Use hospitality one to another without grudging. As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” (1 Peter 4:9–11)

The Bible Study teacher in me has to give you a little Greek lesson. The Greek word “serve” means to wait upon someone, to attend to someone. It is akin to the word for slave or servant. It has sometimes been translated “minister to”.9

Maybe you are here and you would like to learn how to show hospitality….how to entertain others in your home…especially during the coming holidays.

Would you love to invite others into your home during the Christmas holidays but don’t think you have the time, energy or know-how? In this workshop you

Gwen's table decor~
Gwen’s table decor~

will learn how it is possible to plan, prepare and present food and table decorations for an easy yet elegant event.

I trust that when you registered for this workshop you really wanted to know how to entertain elegantly but with ease!  Is that true?  This is not a Pinterest/Martha Stewart/Rachel Ray class. I am going to give you simple… easy ideas to help you host an event in your home. The most important ingredient in hosting a successful event is planning.


Plan ahead for the holiday season…. which is already upon us. There are 26 days till Thanksgiving and 51 days till Christmas! Your schedule will fill up fast. Here are a few suggestions to make the season go a little smoother and less hectic and chaotic. These suggestions will free you up so that you can entertain with ease.

  1. Do not schedule any unnecessary appointments between now and New Year’s. Schedule your root canal and doctor appointments for January or February when you don’t have anything else fun scheduled. Of course you have to schedule your hair and nail appointments but keep everything else off your calendar. That will give you time to attend or host church, family and neighborhood events.
  2. Get all your Christmas shopping done in November. My family is required to have their shopping list completed by Thanksgiving Day. I online shoppingdo about 95% of my shopping on cyber Monday…the Monday morning after Thanksgiving. No fighting crowds or driving around for an hour looking for a parking place. I am parked on my couch in my pjs with coffee in one hand and Jeff’s credit card in the other. It is easy to shop for the lowest price and have everything shipped to my house. Sometimes I have to pay for shipping but it is worth every dime not to have to leave my home.
  3. As the orders arrived, I unpacked them and set them aside. Then, they would all get wrapped at one time. That way I did not have to have the wrapping materials out for a month.
  4. Order your Christmas postage stamps online instead of standing in line. I ordered mine in September…even before they were available and I received them the 2nd week in October.
  5. If you are ordering a family picture Christmas card from the internet…do it early. I have the envelopes addressed and stuffed waiting for Jeff to write our family letter. It is his contribution to making Christmas happen (other than paying the credit card bill when it arrives in January).  Last year they sat on my desk for a month waiting for “the letter.” To save time I have printed address mailing labels as well as return address labels.
  6. Sit down with your husband and plan what activities you want your family to participate in during the season, such as church Christmas programs or opportunities to serve in the community. Heads up: if you ornament~have not been serving in a church ministry all year long, chances are you will not be able to serve during the holidays. You might want to select a family from Social Services that needs help and go shopping as a family for them.

Next two Posts~
1. Want to cook the Perfect Thanksgiving Turkey? 

2. Organization is Key to Hospitality

Entertaining with Elegance and Ease

Prepare HIM Room! I treated our daughter, Kristen, who is a Pastor’s wife and busy mother of five to this incredible church event. It was a special mother/daughter time.



Prepare HIM Room


As Kristen and I entered the banquet room, we were greeted by my precious friend, Barbara Haegele. As table hostess, her centerpiece was a tall white vase filled with curly willow branches. Attached to the branches were the Names of Jesus. I love studying the Names Of Jesus to know Him. I am so grateful that Jesus is my Beautiful Savior and Glorious Lord!


Of course, we signed up for Gwen Brodd’s workshop! Gwen is a delightful hostess, and has a way of making everyone who enters her home feel special and right at home.

The following is Gwen’s workshop on “Entertaining with Elegance and Ease.”

As I was preparing for our time together and had finished the written part of my

Speaker: Gwen Brodd
Speaker: Gwen Brodd

workshop I thought “I really would like to change the name of the workshop to “Open Heart Open Home” but programs had already been printed….. (sigh)

The reason I would have changed the title is because I realized that for a lot of years what I have been doing falls under hospitality and not entertaining. Stick with me for a moment and let me explain. There is a difference between hospitality and entertaining.

  • Entertainment is a show place.  Hospitality is a safe place.
  • Entertainment focuses on things. Hospitality focuses on people.
  • Entertainment is host centered. Hospitality is guest-centered; their needs and comfort are priority.
  • Entertainment is meant to impress the guests.  Hospitality strives to empower them.
  • Entertainment host guests.  Hospitality serves guests.
  • Entertainment showcases houses and decor.  Hospitality demonstrates love and honor.
  • Entertainment is based on a budget.  Hospitality is based on generosity.
  • Entertainment is exclusive; some belong and others do not. hospitality~Hospitality is inclusive; all are welcome.
  • Entertainment is something we do.  Hospitality expresses who we are.

Here is a portrait of entertaining:

  • What can I do that will totally knock the socks off of my guests?
  • How beautiful can I make the table settings?
  • What delicious gourmet dishes can I serve that will totally impress my guests?
  • What outfit am I going to wear that will make me look great?

Years ago when I use to just entertain, I would obsess over my house and how clean it was, how beautiful it was, and how great the food had to be. I would get so grouchy preparing for an event that my husband didn’t want us hosting anymore. Then something changed in me when I began walking with the Lord. I wanted to use my home and gifts and talents to minister to others.

Entertaining is about impressing. Entertaining gives the glory to the hostess. The hostess’ intentions are to totally impress her guests with her amazing culinary abilities. She wants to put forth the notion that she is pretty close to perfect and so is her home. I was there way too many times. Anyone else?

I learned entertaining is so superficial.. How can you be real with your guests if you can’t even let your guard down for them to see your imperfections or weaknesses? If you’re so worried about what your guests are thinking about you and your abilities, how can you even begin to truly focus on them and their comfort? You might think that you are, but as long as your attention is focused on yourself, there is little mental energy left to really devote to your guests.

Romans 12:13 “Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.”

Here’s a portrait of Biblical hospitality:

toysI’m in the midst of a pretty typical day. The kids’ toys are scattered throughout the house. The kitchen counter is cluttered and there are way too many dirty dishes littering the sink and counter-top. Maybe I didn’t even have a shower that morning. Then the doorbell rings.

It’s a girl friend or one of my Bible Study students. Oh no. If I invite them in, they’ll know that I don’t always have it together like I want everyone to think. What to do?

Well, if I practice Biblical hospitality, I invite them in, even if I have not showered, and for those who know me….probably still in my pjs at 1:00 in the peanut butter sandwichafternoon…. and maybe the house is a mess. I serve them lunch, even if it’s peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on paper plates. I don’t apologize for the toys or the dirty dishes, because that puts my guests on the spot and probably makes them feel just a bit uncomfortable. But instead, I invite them into my real, imperfect life and treat them like a friend.

That looks a lot different, doesn’t it? Hospitality is not at all about “me.” It’s completely about others. It’s about opening myself up and being real with others. It’s about taking the time to love others with my time and resources (even if they’re limited), even if I haven’t had hours or days to clean and prep.

Biblical hospitality is not about cooking out-of-this-world dishes, setting a beautiful tables, or having a perfectly in-place home. You don’t even have to be a good cook to practice Biblical hospitality!

cleaning kitchenBiblical hospitality is about focusing totally on our guests and their needs. It’s about being okay with leaving the dishes in the sink until later, so that we can linger longer at the dinner table and talk with our guests.

When I finally realized what God expected of me as far as having other people into my home, it was really rather freeing. I didn’t have to make everything perfect. I just needed to make things nice and comfortable. And I just needed to stop being so uptight, let go of my obsession of what others thought of me, and show Christ’s love to my guests by opening my imperfect home and family up to them. ([1]

Part 2~ Next Post: Biblical Hospitality

French Onion Mushroom Soup

When I go to a French Restaurant, many times I order French Onion Soup as an appetizer. I cooked up my own version of French Onion Soup and added mushrooms. Talk about easy to cook and talk about delicious to eat! Bon Appetit!

French Onion Mushroom Soup   (Yield: 6 cups)

  • 3 medium onions, peeled and quartered
  • 6 cups low sodium beef broth
  • 3/4 cup whole mushrooms
  • 6 slices french bread
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese


  1. Place onions, broth and mushrooms in Vita-Mix or blender and run for a few seconds or until vegetables are chopped.
  2. Pour mixture into a large pot.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Pour into bowls. Top with bread slices and cover each bowl with cheese. Place bowls on cookie sheet and broil until cheese melts.

Acorn Treats

Ready for Fall? What a fun Fall treat to eat and to get the kids involved in making! The Acorn Treats were a pretty centerpiece for our brunch, and the best part was…they tasted scrumptious.

This recipe is from Sydney McCauley, a Titus 2:3-5 teacher friend of mine.

Acorn Treats


  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips (melted)
  • 48 milk chocolate kisses
  • 48 nutter butter bites
  • 48 semi-sweet mini chocolate chips


  1. Unwrap all chocolate kisses.
  2. In the microwave, melt 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips; stir until smooth.
  3. Spread the flat side of each kiss with a small amount of melted chocolate; immediately attach each to a cookie.
  4. Dip the mini chocolate morsel into the chocolate, then place on top of the Nutter Butter.
  5. Place on waxed paper-lined baking sheets; refrigerate until set. Store in an airtight container. Yield: 4 dozen.