Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Meal

Is there anything else?
Well, I suppose some do ham...but really, Thanksgiving screams Turkey.
And so did the deals from the chain stores last week.  Spend $20, use a coupon for $10 off your turkey - which made our turkeys pretty darn inexpensive this holiday season.

So, all you need to do to cook a SIMPLE turkey is...
THAW the turkey thoroughly!
REMOVE the gunk that the turky makers insist on putting in the former stomach cavity.
Lightly oil the bird, then put sage, salt, and pepper on the skin of the bird, put in a roasting pan, some people prefer covered, others open, then bake!
BAKE for hours and hours at 325 degrees.  (it's about 12 to 15 minutes per pound)

carve and serve.
There are tons of marinades, brines, rubs, and other recipes for turkey on the web.  And the Butterball site, is the best at predicting how much turkey to buy, and how long to cook it.  These are important things to keep in mind when buying and preparing your meal.


2 cups turkey broth, made by boiling the neck (one of the things stuffed in the cavity of the bird) and 3 cups water for a few hours
2 tbsp flour
1 tbsp corn starch
1/2 cup water

Mix the flour, corn starch, and water in a small bowl or shakable container
bring the broth to a boil, then remove from heat.  Stir in the flour mix, then return to heat and stir like crazy!  keep stirring until it thickens.  Then add pepper to taste and serve.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


This week is Thanksgiving.
Time to give thanks for all those around you who - most of whom you overlook or underappreciate the rest of the year.
And what better way to say thank you to someone than to do so with great food.
Here's our thank you food list...

Twice Baked Potaotes
Cranberry stuffing
Pistachio Pudding pie
Cranberry Relish
Turkey and Gravy
Left over turkey salad with crescent rolls
Turkey Pot Pie

WATCH THE TURKEY PAN COMING OUT OF THE OVEN ... Don't let this be your Thanksgiving...
after the Bupkis's dog eat the Parker's turkey....
Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] The heavenly aroma still hung in the house. But it was gone, all gone! No turkey! No turkey sandwiches! No turkey salad! No turkey gravy! Turkey Hash! Turkey a la King! Or gallons of turkey soup! Gone, ALL GONE! 
then you get ....  Deck the harrs with boughs of horry, fa ra ra ra ra, ra ra ra ra.

Cranberry Dressing or Stuffing

I found this recipe a few years ago - and made it then.  It was well loved, and I've been making it annually since.  It's really got a unique flavor with the berries in it, and it's very different from stuffing that has that cut up meat remnants baked in ... those little hidden "jems" aren't my cup of tea... these cranberries are a perfect option for me!

And do you know the difference between dressing and stuffing?  Stuffing is "stuffed into the cavity of a bird prior to cooking".  So, stuffing has to be treated with care - it has to be cooked to at least 165 degrees because it's been soaking up raw turkey juices for hours in the bird.  And, it slows down the cooking of the bird because it blocks the heat that could otherwise go into the cavity of the bird and cook it from multiple directions.  I also read that a stuffed bird is frequently drier because you have to cook it longer to over come what I just said... so dressing is the same stuff, but not in the bird, rather in a pan, and it's used to "dress up your plate".  I pick dressing!

Cranberry Dressing

1 16 oz package preseasoned bread cubes called stuffing mix
1 can whole berry cranberry sauce (this is not that strange can-shapped log that is sliced and served on a plate at the holiday table, this is a soft gel that flops out of the can )
2 cups chicken broth, water or turkey broth
1cup onions
1 cup celery
1/4 cup butter or margarine

in skillet, cook celery and onion in margarine or butter until quite soft - about 10 minutes. 
Add turkey broth to cranberry sauce - mix.
Put the bread crumbs in a big baking dish, add the celery and onion, then the liquids and mix everything well, then bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes (this is the perfect amount of time for your turkey to rest and be carved, so put the stuffing in when the bird comes out!)

makes alot of servings - at least 8 but with everything else planned for thanksgiving, it'll serve 16ish!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Pistachio Pudding Pie

Ellie wanted to make some pie for Daddy and for Thanksgiving.  But, I knew there was apple or cherry AND pumpkin pie coming our way from the north - Joe's Mother In Law ALWAYS makes pumpkin pie and some other kind for pretty much every time we ever get together with them - the kids love it (and you all know how I feel about it!).  SO... I suggested she make this for him, and WOW, did she love it and of course Daddy was CRAZY about it ... pistachios, pudding, PIE... yes, sure to be a favorite.

1 store bought graham cracker pie crust
1 package sugar free, fat free pistachio pudding
1 3/4 cup milk
1 container low fat coolwhip
10-20 pistachios, removed from the shell.

mix the pudding and the milk, stir really well.  wait five minutes, pour into pie shell (remove the plastic first!).  Refrigerate for one hour, top with coolwhip, sprinkle chopped pistachios on top of the coolwhip.  Slice into 8-12 slices and SERVE.