Thursday, December 08, 2016


First of all, I want to let you know that I do not get paid by these big manufacturers when I post something about a product like this one I'm about to tell you about. If I like something a lot...I enjoy sharing it with you. Simple as that. And I like this one so much that I just have to tell you about it.

Last year I wanted to roast my turkey the old fashioned way using my Mom's old traditional recipe that I grew up knowing so well. The kind of turkey that you roast slowly in the oven and baste in it's own juices. The problem was I needed my oven for all the other dishes I was making. How could I possibly bake my mac and cheese, sweet potato casserole, roasted Brussel Sprouts, and all those other dishes with a big bird in my oven all day?

I found myself wishing I had another oven instead of the one that came with my stove. Don't get me wrong, I have a big oven in the LG range and even a small oven at the bottom. But I was wishing I had another separate oven to make my Hams and Roast Beef and Crown Pork Roast and especially my Turkey every year. I certainly didn't have room to add another oven to the kitchen, nor the money. So I set out to find a solution. And I found one! And I love it! And I was so impressed by it that I want to share it with you! I am in awe of this thing and it cost me less than $50! And it freed up my entire oven for the day.

It's called the Oster 22-Qt Roaster Oven and it will roasts up to a 26-lb Turkey. It is really pretty too.... with it's clean and shiny stainless steel finish. It has a removable enamel-on-steel roasting pan for fast, even heat distribution and easy clean-up; plus a steel roasting rack to raise your turkey above the juices. I love this thing!

First, I set it for 450 degrees to get it really hot. Then I put the turkey down in this deep roaster and covered it with the lid. After about 15 minutes I turned it down to 350, anticipating that my 16 pound turkey would get done in the 3 1/2 hours it said on the Butterball label. I set it and then I just walked away to prepare my Thanksgiving meal. I didn't even have to baste it because it has a self basting lid!

After about 2 hours I just had to look under that lid to see how things were going. I opened the lid and just stared in amazement! I was so shocked at what I saw that I was speechless. There was the most beautiful golden brown picture perfect turkey I had ever seen in my life! How did that happen? How did this turkey get so beautiful in an electric roaster? I still have no idea!

I decided to take it's temperature, even though according to Butterball my turkey would need 3 1/2 hours to cook. I inserted the probe from my reliable instant read thermometer from ThermoWorks into the thickest part of the breast and it showed my turkey was perfectly cooked at 165 degrees! How could that be? This big beautifully browned 16 pound turkey had cooked in only 2 hours!

So, I turned the dial to "Keep Warm" and the roaster then became a slow cooker. By the time my dinner was ready 90 minutes later, I had a turkey unlike any that I had ever cooked before. It was fall off the bone tender. It was so easy to carve. And the turkey was so moist you couldn't believe it. I now know that as a self-contained roaster, it uses the steam from cooking to lock in juices. The self basting lid and the steam browns the skin as if you roasted in a hot oven. All I can say....and with no reservations.... this was the best turkey I have ever made in my life! And my guests could not get over how good it was.

I can say that this Oster Turkey Roaster is way up on the list of one of the best investments I have ever made. Get yours on sale today at Amazon with the Welcome Home code....just in time for your next holiday meal. I plan to make my Christmas Ham and Prime Rib Roast in this for Christmas!

Order it with the embedded Welcome Home code in the following link and not only will you get the sale price, you will be helping me save the lives of dogs and cats who are killed in shelters while waiting for a new home.

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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Beans and Rice with Smokey Kielbasa

I love one pot meals.  You know ...those recipes where  you throw all the right ingredients into one skillet or pot and leave it to become delicious all by itself.  This one is the perfect example of what a one pot meal should be. It's a perfect blend of rice and beans with the right seasonings and then I added some smoky kielbasa to the mix.  Oh My Goodness what a quick and easy one skillet meal that will become a family favorite.  And here's a bonus:  It only gets better each day!

Beans and Rice with Smokey Kielbasa

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 package (14 ounce) polish kielbasa, sliced into rounds
1 medium sweet onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup white rice
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 can (14 ounce) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
 1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley

Heat the oil and butter together in a large skillet until melted.  Add the sliced kielbasa and fry until lightly browned and caramelized. 

 Add the onion and saute until just soft and tender. Add in the minced garlic and stir for about a minute until golden. Stir in the rice and chicken broth.  Add the beans along with the oregano, thyme, red pepper flakes and salt and pepper to taste. 

Bring everything to a boil and then reduce the heat to low.  Cover the skillet and simmer for 30 minutes or until rice is tender.  Fluff up the rice and stir to make sure all is mixed well.  Season as needed with salt and pepper.

I love to serve cornbread with this meal! What could be better?   Sprinkle with parsley and serve!   YUM!

Photography is the property of and copyrighted to ©Welcome Home.
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Monday, October 17, 2016

Mom's Green Beans and Potatoes

She called them a “big ol’ mess a’ beans.”  My Mom would get up in the morning and go out to her garden and ‘pick a big ol’ mess a beans’ for supper that night.  We would come back from the garden and sit on the back porch with our aprons on and a big bowl in our lap. And we would and talk and laugh and snap those beans.  She would put on some ham hocks or shanks and cook those beans all day and then call us all for the best country supper of green beans, potatoes and onions with ham.  Those were the days in my life was simple and all was good in our little world.   Here is my Mom’s short recipe for her Green beans and potatoes.  These are exactly as I remember.

Mom’s Green Beans and Potatoes 

2-3 pounds fresh green beans
8 slices bacon, sliced into 1 inch pieces and fried
1 large sweet onion, diced
4 large Yukon Gold potatoes (or any potato except Russet) 
4 cups chicken broth
3 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper

Wash and trim beans and break them into 2-inch pieces; set aside.

In a large skillet, fry the bacon pieces until crisp. Transfer bacon to plate when done but do not drain the fat from skillet.

Add onion and green beans to the bacon fat and saute just until onion is tender and translucent. Remove skillet from heat and set aside. Once again, do not drain the fat.

In a large Dutch oven or pot, add chicken broth, butter, salt, pepper and stir. Cut potatoes into large cubes or chunks and add to the liquid. I use Yukon Gold but you can use any potato you like other than baking potatoes.  Russets get too mushy when you boil them.  

Add the green beans and onions, including the bacon drippings to the pot and bring to a full boil. Cover and reduce heat to medium and continue cooking until potatoes are fork tender…..about 30 minutes.  Don’t overcook or potatoes will get mushy. Serve in bowls and top with crumbled fried bacon pieces.  OH YUM!

NOTE:  You can also make this recipe in a slow cooker.  Just follow the same exact recipe but cook on high for about 4 hours or until potatoes are fork tender.

Photography is the property of and copyrighted to ©Welcome Home.
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Friday, October 14, 2016

Cooper Gives Thumbs Up to Dr. Harvey's Oracle Freeze Dried Beef!

Cooper Gives Thumbs Up to Dr. Harvey's Oracle Freeze Dried Beef!

For those of you who follow my page on Facebook and here at the Welcome Home Blog, you already know that my fur babies are my family and I love them more than anything.  I will do whatever it takes to keep them healthy, safe and happy. I don't care what it takes or what lengths I have to go, I want to do whatever it takes to make sure I am doing my part to prolong their lives and keep them happy and healthy.  Especially when it comes to choosing the right food.  

What I feed them is very important and I've spent many years trying to figure out the labels on commercial dog food. It's truly a challenge finding the right food when there are so many hidden ingredients. You stay clear of things like byproducts, salt and chemicals and other things we have no idea about.  

But then one day I found Dr. Harvey's!   Cooper and I were so impressed that I actually became an Ambassador for them so I could spread the news about their healthy and nutritious dog food.  I know that once you hear about it and give it a try....your days of trying to figure out dog food labels are over. That's how much I love their full line up.

You all know that I will not even talk about a product unless I love it myself. I will not endorse, represent or add my name or the name Welcome Home to any product unless I am completely sold on it myself. My standards are very high and so you will rarely see me promote much around here. But I love all of Dr. Harvey's products!  So do Katie and Cooper!  

Today I want to tell you about Dr. Harvey's Oracle.  It's what Cooper eats. 

Cooper Loves Dr. Harvey's Oracle Dog Food with Freeze Dried Beef! 

Cooper loves this food!  I have never seen him enjoy any food more and I feel good after feeding him what I know is a nutritious, healthy meal.  Oracle is a complete dog food with big chunks of freeze dried meat. It is loaded with veggies too and antioxidants like kelp and coconut oil and vitamins. The combination of ingredients is a real winner that your fur baby will love.  

Oracle comes in beef, chicken, and fish but Cooper loves the Beef.  Big delicious chunks of beef that hydrates with warm water. It's every dog's dream! And the rest of the ingredients are the perfect blend to keep him healthy. Look at these ingredients! 
Freeze-Dried Beef, Whole Egg, Chicken, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Calcium Citrate, Flax Seed Meal, Green Beans, Zucchini, Broccoli, Peas, Beets, Parsley, Dried Yeast, Lecithin, Alfalfa, Dried Kelp, Dried Ground Fenugreek, Dried Ground Fennel, Dried Ground Ginger, Dried Ground Peppermint, Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Vitamin E Supplement, Manganese Proteinate, Vitamin A Acetate, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid.

 I couldn't make it any healthier if I made it myself.  Oracle is the perfect freeze dried pre-mix for dogs that contains no salt, sugar, wheat or soy and NO byproducts ! Dr. Harvey's thought of everything!   

Dr. Harvey's Oracle in the chicken flavor

So how do you prepare it?   It's so easy!  You simply pour it in a bowl and add warm water and let it sit for a few minutes. And this is what you get! Big chunks of beef with carrots and sweet potatoes, and green beans. Almost like a stew! Or a Casserole for dogs! And Oracle, the perfect freeze dried pre-mix for dogs and cats that contain no salt, sugar, wheat or soy! 

Oracle mixes up with just warm water to make a delicious Beef Stew! 

It’s called Dr. Harvey’s Oracle.  and he left nothing out as far as all the right blend of nutrients. And there's no salt or unhealthy byproducts or chemicals.  

There's no more slicing and dicing and chopping and no long hours spent in the kitchen making homemade dog food.  I am in and out of the kitchen in no time and watching Cooper enjoy his favorite meal!  

Please Note: This is not a prescription diet. It's not a special needs diet for dogs that are ill or need special diets. This is for ALL dogs. It's super healthy and just good food!  It's an incredibly healthy alternative to what's available on the market today. 

I love Dr. Harvey's products. I highly recommend them. It's an easy way to make your own homemade pet foods at home and know that you are including all the nutrients they need. As I said earlier, I have been creating my own recipes with Dr. Harvey's pre-mixes and I can't wait to share them with you! They will be coming here to the Welcome Home Blog soon.

In the meantime, visit Dr. Harvey's blog and Facebook page to read more about their products and how they came to be such a fantastic company! 

Go visit Dr. Harvey's today.

Disclaimer:  Dr. Harvey’s provided several products at no cost for me to review. I am not being compensated for helping spread the word about Dr. Harvey’s products, although they did make a donation to my Save A Life program. My goal is to spread the word about Dr. Harvey’s products so that pets can live a better, healthier life.  I received no additional benefits for writing this review and the opinions and ideas in this post are my own and are uninfluenced by any other person or business.
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