11/23/10

Thanksgiving Desserts

Can you believe there's only 2 days until Thanksgiving?
I can't believe it! But I am so excited, I love Thanksgiving.
Turkey, Stuffing & Pumpkin Pie....my mouth is drooling just thinking about all the yummy Thanksgiving foods.
So, today I'm going to share some yummy Thanksgiving desserts that you can make for your Thanksgiving Feast. I promise they are sooo yummy.


First I'll share some cute little treats that my kids and I made yesterday. You could make these for the kids on Thanksgiving because what little kid wouldn't love these?


These were so easy to make and my kids really enjoyed helping me. Once we got to the candy corn though, they just wanted to eat them. :)  I was looking for a fun, easy treat to make. When I came across these I knew this is what we would make. I had everything in my pantry except for the Oreos.
If you're looking for a cute kid's treat for Thanksgiving, give this one a try.


I got this Jell-O recipe from my Mom after she made it one Thanksgiving. It is so delicious! I made it last year for Thanksgiving and everyone loved it. Once again I will be bringing this Jell-O Salad for our family Thanksgiving Dinner.
You use raspberry Jell-O and mix in whole cranberry sauce. Then you add crushed pineapple and top it off with Cool-whip. If you aren't crazy about Cranberry sauce, don't let that scare you. This Jell-O doesn't have a strong cranberry taste, but since it has cranberries it goes well with Thanksgiving Dinner. :)
Yummy, yummy recipe, definitely give this one a try this year.
(Sorry no pictures, I'll take one tomorrow when I make this and post it on here.)


Last but not least...Pumpkin Pie! But this is not your regular old pumpkin pie. This is the King of all Pumpkin Pies out there. :)
My hubby loves pumpkin pie and he also loves cheesecake, so when I saw this recipe I knew I had to try it out.
Not only does it look amazing, it tastes amazing as well. If you want to impress your guests this year make this pumpkin pie, I promise they will love you!!
(and once again, sorry no picture. I will take one this year though.)


Alright, so there you go, 3 yummy treats for you to try this Thanksgiving. Give them a try and let me know what you think.
Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday!
Be sure to check back for some yummy recipes using left-over Turkey.

11/19/10

Thanksgiving Turkey and Butternut Squash Gratin


Last night I did a 'Pre-Thanksgiving' Test Run. I found a new turkey recipe and wanted to try it out before the big day. I also tried out a delicious new side dish that I wanted to share with you today, it is soooo yummy!

 First the turkey. I am not one who likes an extravagent turkey, you know the ones that have glazes, I just want a plain, yet juicy & tasy, Thanksgiving Turkey. So I found a recipe that sounded so easy. But in the end I think I like my brined turkey better. I shared this recipe last year, but I wanted to share it again.

Brining your turkey produces the most moist and flavorful turkey without putting alot of work into it. So, I think that is what I am going to do this year. Here is the Brine recipe I use:

from: Alton Brown @ Food Network

1 (14-16 lb.) Turkey

For the Brine:
1 Gallon Vegetable Broth
1 Cup Kosher Salt (or reg. salt)
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Tbsp. Peppercorns
1 1/2 Tbsp. All Spice Berries
1 1/2 Tbsp. Candied ginger (I couldn't find this so I just use reg. ginger)
1 Gallon heavily iced water

For the aromatics:
1 red apple, sliced
1/2 onion, sliced
1 cinnamon stick (I have never added the cinnamon stick, I actually forgot this was part of the original recipe)
1 cup water
4 sprigs rosemary
6 leaves sage
Canola oil

2 to 3 days before roasting:
Begin thawing the turkey in the refrigerator or in a cooler kept at 38 degrees F.

Combine the vegetable stock, salt, brown sugar, peppercorns, allspice berries, and candied ginger in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally to dissolve solids and bring to a boil. Then remove the brine from the heat, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate.
Early on the day or the night before you'd like to eat:
Combine the brine, water and ice in the 5-gallon bucket. Place the thawed turkey (with innards removed) breast side down in brine. If necessary, weigh down the bird to ensure it is fully immersed, cover, and refrigerate or set in cool area for 8 to 16 hours, turning the bird once half way through brining. (I always do mine the night before).

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. Remove the bird from brine and rinse inside and out with cold water. Discard the brine.

Place the bird on roasting rack inside a half sheet pan and pat dry with paper towels.

Combine the apple, onion, cinnamon stick, and 1 cup of water in a microwave safe dish and microwave on high for 5 minutes. Add steeped aromatics to the turkey's cavity along with the rosemary and sage. Tuck the wings underneath the bird and coat the skin liberally with canola oil.


Roast the turkey on lowest level of the oven at 500 degrees F for 30 minutes. After the 30 minutes reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
A 14 to 16 pound bird should require a total of 2 to 2 1/2 hours of roasting. A meat thermometer should read 170 degrees when inserted into the thickest part of the thigh (but not touching the bone).
Take a Rest:
No, I don't mean for you to take a rest. :) Another very important step in cooking your Turkey is letting it rest. Take your turkey out of the oven cover it with foil and leave it alone for 30 min. to 1 hour.

And remember your Turkey will continue to cook a bit during the resting period, so keep track of your turkeys temperature. Last night I took mine out when the thermometer read about 167 degrees.
 
One thing I read while researching about cooking a turkey:
Take your turkey out of your fridge 2 hours before you plan to cook it. Bringing the meat up to room temperature will both cut down on the cooking time and ensure the turkey cooks evenly. 
(from: simplebites.net)
 
And there's the turkey recipe I will be using this year. It has never failed me the 4 years I have used it.
 
 
 
 
from: simplebites.net
 
When I saw this on Simple Bites I knew I had to give it a try. I love squash and this looked delicous. I'm glad I gave it a try because it was great. My Father-in-law, who hates squash, ate it and really liked it (the only reason he tried it is because he thought it was potatoes, hahaha). So here's a new side dish for you to try this Thanksgiving.

3 C. Butternut Squash, in 3/4 in. chunks
1 C. sweet onion, finely chopped
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 egg
1/2 tsp. Salt
2 Tbsp. Mayo
2/3 C. Parmesan, grated (or strong cheddar)
1/3 C. Panko (or breadcrumbs)
Pepper to taste

Heat oven to 350°F. Butter an 8-inch baking dish, round or square.

In a medium pot, cover squash with cold water, place a lid on top and bring to a boil over high heat. When boiling, reduce heat so that the water just simmers and cook squash for about 15 min. or until tender. Rinse under cold water; drain. (Do-Ahead: at this point the squash can be stored for up to two days until you are ready to assemble the gratin.)

Heat olive oil in a non-stick pan and add onions. Sauté on medium heat, stirring often, until softened. Set aside to cool slightly.
In a medium bowl, beat egg, salt and mayonnaise together. Add 1/3 cup of Parmesan, panko, sautéed onion and squash and fold together gently to combine. Season with pepper and more salt, if needed.

Spoon in to prepared baking dish and top with remaining 1/3 cup of cheese. Bake 1 hour or until heated through and cheese is slightly browned. Serve hot.

Recipe serves up to 8 people.

Do-Ahead: Remove gratin from oven after 30 minutes and cool completely. Cover well with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to one day. To serve: remove plastic wrap and place in hot oven. Bake for about 20 minutes until heated through and cheese is melted.

I cut up my squash and cooked my onions the night before. That made it so simple to put together the next day. If you're looking for a new dish for Thanksgiving give this recipe a try.



I hope all of you have a great weekend.
Check back in a few days for some yummy Thanksgiving desserts!

11/16/10

Breakfast Pizza

I am always looking for quick and easy breakfast ideas. I'm sorry, but I can handle cereal only so many days a week. :) Quick and easy is really important for me because I really like my bed, so I never want to get up early to make a big breakfast. I know, I'm a lazy bum. But sooner than later my kids are going to be off to school and I'll have no choice....I'll have to wake up early, so don't judge me, please. :)
Back to the recipe. I was looking through some of my cookbooks this last week and came across this yummy recipe. I had all the ingredients in my fridge, so we made it for breakfast on Sunday.

I made a few adjustments and it turned out delicious. The original recipe only used 4 eggs, I added 2 more and I thought it turned out great.
The recipe also asked for Crescent roll dough (you know the one with the perforated edges). This took longer because you had to sit there and pinch all the little edges together. I would definitely use the Crescent roll dough that is available now that doesn't have the perforated edges.

Some additions that you could try for this recipe: onions, ham, sausage, bell peppers. Any of these would be great in this breakfast pizza.

And there you go, another quick and delicious Breakfast idea. Give it a try and let me know what you think. Enjoy!!

I'm losing my mind, my friend just told me I forgot to put directions how to make this dish. Sorry, here is how you make this breakfast pizza.

Breakfast Pizza
From: Taste of Home Treasury of Christmas Recipes

1 tube (8 oz.) refrigerated Crescent Roll dough
12 Bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
1 C. frozen shredded Has Browns
3/4 C. shredded Cheddar Cheese
6 eggs
3 Tbsp. Milk
1/2 C. grated Parmesan Cheese or Romano Cheese

Unroll crescen roll dough into one long rectangle.
Press onto bottom and 1/2 in. up sides of a greased 9X13 in. baking dish. Seal seams and perforations.
Sprinkle with bacon, potatoes and cheddar.
In a bowl, beat the eggs and milk. Pour over the cheddar cheese. Sprinkle with Parmesan.
Bake, uncovered, at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until eggs are set.

Yield: 8 Servings

11/14/10

Cinnamon Honey Butter & French Bread Rolls

Last weekend we went out to eat with my hubby's family. At the restaurant they had the most delicious rolls and Cinnamon Honey Butter.
I LOVE honey butter, but when I saw Cinnamon Honey butter I knew I had to give it a try.

And of course, it was delicious! I'm sorry you can't go wrong when adding honey and cinnamon to butter, right? It just makes it so much more delicious.

I have to confess...I think I want to spread cinnamon honey butter on everything I eat. :)
OK not really, but that's how good I thought it was. Give it a try and see what you think.
Oh, and the rolls that are in the picture are French Bread Rolls (recipe below).


Cinnamon Honey Butter
1/2 C. Butter, softened
1/2 C. Confectioners' Sugar
1/3 C. Honey
1/2 tsp. Vanilla
1 tsp. Cinnamon

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredient and beat until light and fluffy. Serve at room temperature.

Here are some other instructions that I found from Alton Brown that I may try and see if it makes a fluffier butter (the butter in his recipe isn't softened):
Cut the butter into chunks. Place butter into the mixer work bowl and beat at low speed, using the whisk attachment to loosen the butter. Increase the speed to medium and add the honey, cinnamon, and vanilla extract and beat until well combined, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove butter from bowl and spoon onto parchment paper or plastic wrap. Roll into a log and refrigerate for 2 hours.



French Bread Rolls
from: allrecipes.com
1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)

1 tablespoon active dry yeast
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups bread flour

In a large bowl, stir together warm water, yeast, and sugar. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.

To the yeast mixture, add the oil, salt, and 2 cups flour. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough has pulled away from the sides of the bowl. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl, and turn to coat. Cover with a damp cloth, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
Deflate the dough, and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into 16 equal pieces, and form into round balls. Place on lightly greased baking sheets at least 2 inches apart. Cover the rolls with a damp cloth, and let rise until doubled in volume, about 40 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
Bake for 18 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown.