Category Archives: Recipes

Mesquite Smoked Salsa Verde

Monday, July 23rd, 2018
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Our Local Albertsons has a really great produce department, even for Wyoming. To be fair, the other grocery stores have good produce too, it’s convince items that I like. Pre packaged and/or prepped produce, costing a couple dollars more but my time is worth it. This year they added a new item, prepackaged do-it-yourself salsa verde, with instructions! I was a little nervous about FOUR habaneros but it sounded good so I thought I’d give it a try.

In short, the instruction said to blister at 350 on a grill or oven, about 3-5 minutes, de-seed, and put in a blender, salt to taste. When working with peppers, most recipes do not want the peppers cooked, just blistered so the skin can be removed. This recipe uses the skin, I followed the instructions.

My blender was a 30+ year old low tech blender that could not even make a decent frozen drink, (but that’s another story). I did not want to hassle with it so i put the peppers in my manual food processor, it came out like chunky salsa, but I was happy with the consistency but I think it did not work for this kind of salsa. I gave it a taste… HOLY HOT PEPPER BATMAN! The flavor was there but the heat was through the roof. I could not eat it, it overpowered whatever I put it on.

I looked out the back door at our new Treager Smoker Grill and a lightbulb went off… Cooking the peppers mellows the heat, and adding smoke just sounded yummy. Once we cooked a few meals on the Treager and got the hang of using unit, I tried again. But first I purchased a Ninja Blender, and it lives up to all the hype. It makes awesome frozen drinks, and for this recipe it worked perfectly. I smoked and grilled the peppers and tomatillos per my recipe below. When I took the lid off the blender, WOW, the aroma blew me away, literally. I had to stand back, the heat from the peppers filled the air. I was a little nervous, I gave it a taste, the flavor was there, it still had heat, but the bite from the heat was gone. It did need salt and I have a variety of salts in my pantry. I smelled my concoction, then smelled the garlic salt, not a fit. I did this with my different salts and the Himalayan sea salt was the best fit. I added the salt to the blender and gave it a few pulses. Winnner winner chicken dinner! The salsa came out perfect, just the right amount of heat, the Himalayan sea salt added a great note of flavor, and the salsa was oddly addictive. So, I thought I better write down the recipe so I can repeat the flavor.

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5 from 1 vote

Mesquite Smoked Salsa Verde

Cooking the peppers mellows the heat, and adding smoke gives this green salsa a mellow and flavorful heat.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Cool5 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Hot Sauce, Treager
Servings: 1 cup
Author: TetonTrekker
Cost: $5


  • Treager Smoker or equivalent


  • Mesquite pellets for the smoker
  • 4 Tomatillos
  • 2 Anaheim Chili Peppers
  • 4 Habanero Chili Peppers
  • 2 Jalapeño Peppers
  • 3 Santa Fe Grande Peppers
  • 3 Serrano peppers
  • Pink Himalayan sea salt to taste


  • Wash the peppers. Remove the husks and stems from the tomatillos, clean, and cut in half.
  • Bring the Treager to smoking temperature (160º) using the mesquite pellets.
  • Smoke the peppers and tomatillos for five minutes then turn up the heat to 350º, leaving the lid closed until you turn the peppers. When the temperature reaches 350 cook for an additional 5 minutes, turning the peppers when they start making a popping sound.
  • If your smoker does not have a temperate gauge, the popping started about the same time the smoker reached 350º.
  • You want the peppers cooked, with some marks, but not charred.
  • Take the peppers off the smoker and let them cool for a few minutes. Remove the stems and seeds from all the peppers, and cut the larger peppers in half.
  • Put all the cooked peppers and tomatillos in a blender and purée. Taste the salsa verde and add the Himalayan sea salt to taste, I used about a teaspoon.


If you make this with a different wood pellet than the mesquite please comment below and let me know how it turned out.

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Cranberries & Pecans in Sherry

Wednesday, December 27th, 2017

Please rate my recipe at bottom of this page.

Cranberries & Pecans in Sherry

This chutney-like condiment can Served with turkey or game, as a garnish for ice cream, or on a cheese board. Great on a cold turkey sandwich too. I like to sweeten my oatmeal with a heaping tablespoon.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Canning, Christmas, Chutney, Cranberries, Thanksgiving, Turkey
Servings: 2 Pints
Author: TetonTrekker
Cost: <$10


  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Lb Fresh cranberries, washed and picked over for stems about 4 cups
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 Grated rind and juice of 1 orange If the rind is skimpy use rind of 2 oranges
  • 1 Grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup quality dry sherry use something you would serve


  • Bring water to boiling, add cranberries and simmer until the skins pop open.
  • Add sugar and grated orange and lemon rinds and their juices and simmer together 15 minutes.
  • Remove from heat; add pecans and sherry, stirring well to combine.
  • Spoon into a glass container.
  • Keep refrigerated.

Directions for canning (triple recipe):

  • Preparation Time: 2 1/2 hrs start to finish.
    Tripling this recipe makes 1 case of 1/2 pint jars.
  • Prepare jars, lids, and bands for processing before starting.
  • After adding the sugar and grated orange and lemon rinds and their juices cook until it reaches 220*f.
  • Spoon into self-sealing sterilized jars. Fill to within 1/2 inch from top of jar.
  • Process jars in boiling water bath for 15 minutes.
  • Let cool.
  • Label jars and store in cool, dark, dry place.

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Julie’s Perfect Roast Turkey & Mashed Potatoes

Saturday, November 26th, 2016
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Please rate my recipe at bottom of this page.

Over the years I’ve read many techniques and recipes on how to cook a turkey. Taking the best parts of those reads, I’ve come up with this method. Many friends and family have asked for my recipe, so here it is.

  • I do not like to brine, I think it adds too much salt to the bird.
  • I do not use a bag, it boils the bird and gives it a different texture than roasting.
  • I do not use an electric mixer for the potatoes, it gives them an odd texture.

Use a high quality roasting pan, I use the Pampered Chef Roasting Pan. I earned mine at 60% off by hosting a party with a few years ago, but even at full price it is worth every penny. Once you roast a turkey in a high quality pan you can never go back. They last, no scratches, no nicks, no peeling, and when the turkey is done I move it to the cutting board and put the roaster right on the stove to do the gravy. If you don’t have a quality pan, any pan works with a few adjustments but be sure to keep the bird off the bottom of the pan with a rack or crumpled up foil.

Temperature is very important too, if you even suspect your oven t-stat is a little off get a thermometer designed to hang on rack inside oven. Last year my turkey did not roast correctly, dinner was late, and the turkey was not so perfect. I found that my oven was sensor was bad and it was cooking at 30+ degrees cooler than I had set it to.

Julie’s Perfect Roast Turkey & Mashed Potatoes

This is for a 18-20 lb turkey, dinner at 5:00 PM
Prep Time2 hrs 30 mins
Cook Time5 hrs
Resting Time30 mins
Total Time8 hrs
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Christmas, Dinner, Potatoes, Thanksgiving, Turkey
Servings: 1 Person per lb
Author: TetonTrekker
Cost: Market


  • 1 Good Quality Whole Turkey I prefer Butterball
  • 1 Cheese Cloth
  • Stuffing – Recipe of your Choice


  • 6 cans Chicken Broth or Chicken Stock (2 Cartons)


  • 2 Lbs UNSALTED Butter
  • 1 lb sour cream


  • 2 Leeks
  • 1 Onion
  • 1 Bag or Bunch Carrots
  • 1 Bunch Celery
  • Fresh Thyme
  • Fresh Sage
  • Fresh Rosemary
  • Fresh Parsley
  • 2 or 3 Heads Garlic
  • 1 Bag Potatoes

Dried Herbs and Spices

  • Bay Leaves
  • Sea Salt
  • Ground Pepper Corns
  • White Pepper
  • 2 Bottles good quality Sauvignon Blanc. Buy a brand you would serve to guests.



  • Remove turkey from refrigerator, let stand at room temperature for a couple hours.


  • Preheat oven to 350º.

10:00 am:

  • Roast 1 or 2 bulbs garlic for potatoes.
  • Cut off top of bulb, put in a small covered baker or casserole, (I use the Pampered Chef Garlic & Brie Baker), drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt, bake at 350º until cloves are soft, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. No covered baker? Another method is wrapping each bulb in foil and place in a muffin pan.
  • Read over recipes and prepare a stuffing of your choice as directed.

10:45 am:

  • In a 3-qt. Covered Saucepan combine 1½ cups each chicken broth and Sauvignon Blanc, 1 stick unsalted butter, the giblets, a bunch each of fresh sage, rosemary, and thyme. Bring to simmer. Keep on lowest flame/setting possible. If your more of a ‘little of this and a little of that’ cook, the ratios are 1 can broth, 1 stick butter, and a half bottle wine.
  • Prepare roasting pan by setting the rack in the pan and adding one onion cut in large pieces, 3 large carrots cut in large pieces, 3 or 4 stalks of celery cut in large pieces, the white and little bit of the greenish white part of 1 medium leek cut into large pieces. Add the neck, 2 large or 3 medium bay leaves and a small handful of fresh parsley. If you are a garlic lover you can optionally add 4 or 5 garlic cloves. Add ¼ to ½ cup of cold water to pan, just enough to barely cover bottom so the vegetables don’t burn in first half hour.

11:00 am

  • Preheat oven to 425º
  • Clean, pat dry with paper towel, stuff, and truss the turkey. Generously season with fresh ground sea salt and fresh ground pepper.
  • I either buy a butter ball turkey or I use my Grandma Krejci’s method of slitting a hole in the skin over each breast, separate some of the skin from the meat with the back of a wooden spoon, and inserting several pats of unsalted butter under the skin. About 1 full stick total for a 18 lb turkey.
  • Place turkey in roasting pan, you may have to move around the vegies to get it to set correctly. Place a bunch each of fresh sage, rosemary, and thyme on the breast. Cut a piece of cheesecloth big enough to cover the breast and legs of the turkey. Soak the cheesecloth in the simmering broth mixture. Use tongs and a fork to take the cheese cloth out of the hot simmering mixture and position over the bird, covering the fresh herbs, breast and drumsticks, but not the sides.
  • If you have two slow cookers you can use one for the extra stuffing. Coat the sides with butter, add stuffing, cook on low for 4 hours stirring every hour so it does not burn. (Thanks for the tip Dianne M.)

11:30 am:

  • Place turkey in 425º oven.
  • Prepare mashed potatoes: In a slow cooker, add one can (1½ cups) chicken broth, the white part of a leek finely chopped, the mushed up soft part of the roasted garlic, and 6 – 8 large Idaho Potatoes cut into medium pieces. I prefer to scrub the potatoes with a brush rather than peeling them, the skin adds flavor. Do not overfill crock pot. Add more broth if needed, but do not cover with broth, the level should be about 1 to 2 inches from top of potatoes. Set slow cooker on low for 6 hours or high for 4 hours. –  I used the Pampered Chef Rockcrok® Slow Cooker Stand and Rockcrok® Dutch Oven. It was perfect for 8 Idaho potatoes oh high for 4 hours.

12:00 Noon:

  • Generously baste turkey using a ladle, be sure to moisten all of the cheese cloth. Close oven door and reduce temperature to 350º. Generously baste every 30 minutes (use a timer) with the broth mixture, NOT using the drippings for basting.
  • Add 1½ cups each chicken broth and Sauvignon Blanc and 1 stick unsalted butter to simmering mixture as needed through out day, removing the giblets when they are done cooking. If your stove does not have a low enough setting, after simmering a bit I turn off the burner and set the pan next to the oven vent on top my stove, turning back on each time I add more stuff to the mixture.

3:30 pm: (1 Hour before Turkey is due to be done)

  • Remove the cheese cloth from the turkey before basting.
  • Check the potatoes, they should be soft. Drain and reserve the liquid from the slow cooker. Add 1 stick unsalted butter and one lb of sour cream. Mash and stir well, adding salt and white pepper to taste. The mashed potatoes will seem a little loose but will set up while cooing on low until dinner is served.

4:00 pm:

  • Use remainder of broth mixture to baste the turkey, the roaster should have lots of liquid by now.

4:30 pm:

  • Pull turkey from oven, insert meat thermometer into thickest part of Turkey thigh. It should read 180º when turkey is fully cooked. (If not done, place back in oven, baste with drippings and check again in 30 minutes.)
  • Remove the turkey from pan and let sit at room temp for 30 minutes. It will continue to cook a bit as it sets.

For perfect gravy.

  • Use tongs to remove all the vegies and neck from the roaster, putting them into a glass bowl to cool before trashing. Pour/strain the drippings into a gravy separator, you should have plenty of drippings for gravy. Let separate. If you do not have a separator strain into a large measuring cup or bowl and let sit until separated, then using a large spoon to scoop off the fat into another bowl.
  • Put the roaster directly on stove, add several tablespoons of the fat back into the roaster, (or sauce pan if roaster is not suitable for direct cooking), and add flour to make a roux, about equal to the fat, and mix with a whisk. Simmer, whisking the roux constantly while it cooks, the mixture will begin to thin and darken after several minutes. Slowly pour the separated drippings back into the roaster, less the fat, whisking the whole time. Also add the reserved liquid from the potatoes. If you need more liquid use more chicken broth. Simmer stirring with a whisk until the gravy is at the consistency you want. Taste before seasoning, you should not need much salt and pepper if any, it picks up the salts and seasonings from the roasted bird.
  • If you like giblets in the gravy chop them into small pieces and add them with the liquids.

5:00 pm:

  • Enjoy!


Use the stuffing Recipe of your choice. I like No. 38, Southwestern Cornbread, from Food Network 50 Stuffing Recipes. I cut the recipe in half and have plenty for a bird 20 lbs or less.

I do not sell Pampered Chef, I have a friend who does. I love good quality cookware and especially like it when a friend or small business person benefits from my purchase. Click here for Jennifer’s PC page and be sure to tell her I sent you.

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