“This post was sponsored by Shady Brook Farms turkey brand as part of an In-Home Party Activation for Influence Central. I received complimentary products to facilitate my review.”
It’s beautiful out! The birds are chirping, the plants are coming to life – I look out my windows and finally see green again. Yay! The nicer it gets out, the less time I want to be inside. I just spent months hibernating indoors – it’s time to get outside and live!
In my younger days I loved going out, going away – being anywhere but home. Not anymore. I adore my home and love to entertain. There’s nothing I enjoy more than hanging around and cooking out with family & friends. BBQ chicken, burgers & hot dogs – yes, yes, yes! These are fine as accompaniments to any BBQ you may have, but they certainly shouldn’t be the main event. I like to mix it up. My guests have come to expect, shall we say, something in addition to the normal.
A few thoughts, first. I often keep this blog lighthearted and stay neutral about issues that might mean more to me than I let on to. I won’t get pushy, I promise. I would like to stress how very important it is to know where our food comes from and how it’s been processed and handled. I feel it’s also our duty to strive for all livestock to be treated ethically and compassionately.
All the more reasons I’m excited and honored to be working with Shady Brook Farms. Shady Brook Farms is dedicated to bringing wholesome, natural turkey raised with care and respect, and without the use of growth promotants. All while keeping it affordable. Each & every Shady Brook Farms package you pick up is clearly marked with which of it’s 700 independent family farms your product came from. How’s that for knowing where your food comes from?
Okay, you’ve waited long enough. Let’s talk food and drinks.
I often stress the importance of keeping things uncomplicated while entertaining. Plan ahead, do whatever prep work you can ahead of time and keep the food & drinks laid back. You don’t want to be playing master chef all day – you want to cook, hang out and have fun with friends and family. You’re company is not just at your house for food – they’ve come to see you!
First we’ll talk drinks. Nothing fancy, just something sweet and simple. I love kicking back, relaxing and sipping on a glass of iced tea. Meadow Tea is my favorite, but Spring has just arrived and my mint isn’t in full effect yet. So instead I made an iced green tea. Lightly sweetened with sugar and a tad of honey and lemon – it’s a wonderful warm weather drink.
This was my first time grilling out this year and I was excited to make something I haven’t had in quite sometime. Kefta Kabobs. It is one of my (many) favorite Turkish foods but instead of lamb or beef, I switched it up and used Shady Brook Farms ground turkey.
Kefta kabobs do involve a little prep work – but this was all done well before my company arrived. I prepped everything in the morning and when it was time to cook all I had to do was throw the kabobs on the grill.
I served these flavorful kefta kabobs with LOTS of tzatziki sauce, a simple salad, pitas, hummus, feta cheese & olives. Awesome with tabbouleh, too. Such a delicious plate!
Keeping it simple, I threw some Turkey Bratwursts with coarse ground mustard and onions on the grill. Delicious! Accompanying this was grilled cabbage wedges wrapped in bacon. Seriously – who ever knew cabbage could be so good. Killer plate!
Oh, and of course I made some burgers and hot dogs. It’s traditional 😉
So get out there, enjoy this weather and get to cooking!
Thanks so much for stopping by!
Shady Brook Farms is all about turkey with a purpose. To learn more, visit: bit.ly/1SO4Uxi
- FOR KEFTA KABOBS:
- 20 oz package of Shady Brook Farms ground turkey
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro, loosely packed
- ¼ cup fresh parsley, loosely packed
- 2 tablespoon fresh mint
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- FOR TZATZIKI SAUCE:
- 2 medium sized cucumbers
- kosher salt
- 2 cups plain Greek yogurt
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh herb of choice (dill, mint, parsley)
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- salt & pepper to taste
- For Kefta Kabobs:
- I throw the chopped onion and cilantro, parsley and mint into a food processor and pulse until everything is super fine - it will be like a saucey salsa. Alternatively, you could dice everything fine by hand.
- In a mixing bowl, thoroughly combine ground turkey, onion & herb mixture and salt, paprika, cumin, cinnamon and pepper.
- Shape meat mixture into sausage form and insert skewers.
- (This can be done well ahead of time & refrigerated until needed)
- Grill about 5 minutes on each side or until cooked through. (I grilled these on top of aluminum foil)
- Serve with tzatziki & enjoy 🙂
- For tzatziki:
- Peel, seed and dice cucumbers. (To seed cucumbers - cut in half lengthwise and use spoon to scoop out seeds)
- Sprinkle a generous amount of salt over cucumbers and toss.
- Let cucumbers drain for 1-2 hours in a colander over a bowl. Occasionally toss cucumbers around and press with a spatula or spoon to force out liquid. Before using, wrap cucumbers in paper towels and squeeze out any excess liquid.
- In a bowl, combine cucumbers, Greek yogurt, garlic, fresh herb and lemon juice. Stir.
- Add a crack or two of fresh pepper.
- Sauce can be served immediately, but is best after refrigerating for an hour or two to allow flavors to blend.
- Tzatziki sauce can be stored for a day or two in the fridge. If liquid starts to form (from the cucumbers), blot up with a paper towel & stir.
- For Cabbage:
- 1 small/medium size head of cabbage
- 1 pound of bacon
- salt & pepper
- aluminum foil
- For Bratwursts:
- Shady Brook Farms Turkey Bratwursts ( 20 oz package)
- coarse ground mustard
- large onion, chopped
- salt & pepper
- For Bacon Wrapped Cabbage:
- Rinse cabbage, pat dry.
- Cut cabbage into quarters & chop off bottom stem. I leave the core intact, but you can remove it if you prefer.
- Salt & pepper cabbage wedges.
- Wrap cabbage wedge in bacon - I used three slices of bacon per wedge.
- Wrap wedge in aluminum foil and grill over medium direct heat until tender and bacon is of desired crispness. Plan on 45 mins - 1 hour.
- For Bratwursts:
- Salt, pepper & grill onions - this is done easily on a grilling tray or on aluminum foil.
- Coat bratwursts in coarse ground mustard and grill on indirect heat until cooked through.
- Serve with onions and additional mustard.
- 12 cups water
- 2 bags of green tea (regular size teabags)
- ½ cup - ¾ cup sugar
- 2 tablespoon honey
- 1 medium lemon, juiced
- Bring water to boil in a large saucepan.
- Remove from heat, add teabags, cover and let steep for an hour.
- Remove tea bags. Stir in sugar, honey and lemon juice.
- Pour into 3 quart iced tea jar (pictured) and chill.
- Serve with ice and enjoy. Keep refrigerated.
Shady Brook Farms turkey products are available in the following states: ME, NH, VT, NY, NJ, MA, VA, RI, CT, PA, MD, DE, WV, NC, SC,GA, and FL. For those outside of those states, look for Shady Brook Farms’ sister brand, Honeysuckle White!