Thanksgiving turkey

Last year’s Thanksgiving turkey post … getting ready for tomorrow!

food with pictures

I am not posting pictures of my Thanksgiving turkey from this year, because I don’t find pictures of turkeys all that appetizing. Or maybe it’s only the photos I took don’t look that appetizing. Anyhoo, the turkey today tasted great. It was tender and delicious. But no photo, sorry.

~~~

I am thankful to have been given my mother’s oval roaster. Amazing results every time! This roasting pan is one of my favorite things.

~~~

Remember that bag of onion, celery, garlic and carrots from the other day? That’s what goes into the bottom of the pan when I make my Thanksgiving turkey. Then I add a cup of chicken broth.

The washed and dried bird goes on top, then a generous dusting of Bell’s. That stuff is awesome! Now, sure, you could make your own poultry seasoning using a combination of rosemary, oregano, sage, ginger, and…

View original post 249 more words

stuffing

Another Thanksgiving recipe to get us ready for the big day this week. Stuffing … my favorite part of the meal! And easy to make in the slow cooker, saving valuable space in the oven for the turkey and other sides.

food with pictures

I shall start by saying that I am fully aware the name of this should be “dressing” rather than “stuffing” since stuffing is meant to stuff inside the turkey, and dressing is meant to be cooked on the side. I have always called it stuffing and will continue to do so. That is my prerogative. And now to continue with the post. 🙂

~~~

When I was in 7th grade I took Home Ec class. That would be Home Economics to you young people. Or what they now call Teen Living or FACS (Family And Consumer Sciences). In the fall of that 7th grade year we were in the kitchen section, and in the spring we went to the sewing room. I enjoyed both, but especially the times we cooked. No surprise there.

That fall, prior to Thanksgiving, the class was making all the components of a typical Thanksgiving feast…

View original post 694 more words

orange cranberry sauce

Once again, now that Thanksgiving is just days away, my favorite cranberry sauce recipe.

food with pictures

cranberry sauce


I was not a fan of cranberry sauce when I was young. Growing up, on our holiday table we’d usually have the jellied cranberry sauce that came from a can — you know, that popular unappetizing red blob. No thank you. I was happy with all the other foods on the table except for that one. But as the years went on, the can was no more and my mom experimented with cranberry sauce recipes. Unfortunately, I had no intention of trying any of them after experiencing that red blob for so many years.

Then I got married and my husband is a huge cranberry sauce guy. He prefers the whole berry cranberry sauce, and is used to the canned variety. Okay, not as bad as the jellied version, but still not anything I’d eat. So the can of whole berry cranberry sauce was part of our Thanksgiving table for…

View original post 295 more words

Preparing for our Thanksgiving feast

gravy

Do you see that cool swirl from the steam off the gravy? No photoshop tricks here. I didn’t even know this happened until after I was reviewing the photos!

Here are links to the recipes I’ll be using for our Thanksgiving feast this year.

My meal will include:

turkey with gravy (for the gravy, the link will take you to the gravy I made from a roast chicken — same process for turkey gravy)

stuffing To save oven space for the bird, I now make the stuffing in a crock pot.

???????????????????????????????

vegetables

veggies

sweet potatoes

sweet potatoes

smashed potatoes

mashed potatoes

rolls

cranberry sauce

cranberry sauce

apple pie (I will post the recipe for the pie pictured below very soon. Can’t believe I haven’t posted it yet!)

apple pie

pumpkin pie (I am not a huge pumpkin pie fan, though my husband and oldest son love it, so I use a can of organic pumpkin and follow the typical pumpkin pie recipe — pumpkin, evaporated milk, eggs, sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves.)

pumpkin pie

chocolate pie (my daughter and youngest son will not eat apple or pumpkin pie … and I don’t mind one bit adding a chocolate pie to the menu!)

chocolate pie

***

Here is a link to shortcuts I take to make my Thanksgiving meal easy and less work the day of the feast.

Thanksgiving prep

***

To start the day I’ll serve baked French toast. Such a holiday favorite of mine!

baked french toast

***

What items are on your Thanksgiving meal menu?

whole wheat dinner rolls

whole wheat dinner rolls

Happy Easter!

For our Easter meal today I cooked a ham and served it with orange mustard sauce, asparagus, sweet potatoes and sliced baked potatoes. Dessert will be a bunny cake.

I posted a slightly different version of these rolls last year. You can find that recipe here.  These are done the same, though the ingredients are slightly different. Delicious with the ham and veggies!

***

Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls

Put ingredients into the bread machine in the following order:

3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon warm water

1 1/2 tablespoons oil

2 tablespoons molasses

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons dry milk

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1/2 cup unbleached all purpose flour

1 teaspoon active dry yeast

whole wheat rolls (6)

~

Set the bread machine to the DOUGH cycle.

When complete, remove the dough onto a lightly floured surface.

Heat oven to 350F.

Cut the dough into 12 pieces.

Put a small amount of butter into each compartment of a 12-count muffin tin.

whole wheat rolls (4)

Place one piece of dough into each compartment.

whole wheat rolls (3)

Cover with a clean dish towel and place in a warm area for about 15 minutes. (The top of the oven was warm, so I put mine there.)

Remove the towel and bake at 350F for about 15-20 minutes.

whole wheat rolls (2)

whole wheat dinner roll

choco-hoto-pots

choco hoto pots (2)

This is Nigella Lawson’s recipe, featured on Oprah back in 2005. This recipe has become a family favorite in my immediate family and with all the extended relatives as well.

I sincerely thank both Nigella and Oprah for introducing me to this luscious, delicious, decadent dessert.

~

I wasn’t one of those people that watched Oprah every day. No, that would be my mom. She was a devoted fan, and at least once a week she’d call me right at 4pm to ask if I was watching, because she thought I’d enjoy the topic of the day. Unfortunately, 4pm was not a time that I could sit of the sofa and tune in to any TV show. With children in elementary and middle school during those years, 4pm was the start of crazy time: bus stop pickups, after-school snacks, homework, preparing dinner, handling arguments, serving dinner, household and sibling crisis management. TV did not play a part in that time frame (and this was before we had the technology to record shows at the press of a button to watch later at our convenience, and I had not idea how to program my VCR to record, so those options were not available).

But every once in a while I did watch Oprah, either because school was not in session, or if the older kids had after-school activities and my normal routine was put on hold. It was one of those rare days that I turned on Oprah and was intrigued to see Nigella Lawson as her guest. I don’t remember what other recipes she demonstrated during the show, though I vividly remember the Choco-Hoto-Pots. Hot melty gooey chocolate — hard to forget. And easy to make! Definitely something I could pull off. And that I did, for almost every major holiday meal from that point forward. New Years Eve? Choco-Hoto-Pots! Christmas dinner? Choco-Hoto-Pots! Easter dessert? Choco-Hoto-Pots! Company for dinner? Choco-Hoto-Pots, of course!

~

In the recipe below I’ve added an option of dark chocolate chips for the white chocolate, because the last time we made this I was out of white chocolate and my daughter put in dark chocolate chips instead. It was delicious … possibly even better than with the white chocolate. From now on I may always make it with the dark chocolate … extra decadent!

~~~

Choco-Hoto-Pots

butter for ramekins

3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter

2 large eggs

3/4 cup sugar

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/2 cup white chocolate chips, or shaved white chocolate (melts very nicely), or dark chocolate chips or shavings

~

Heat oven to 400F.

Place a baking sheet in the oven to get hot.

Butter four 2/3-cup ramekins; set aside.

Using a microwave-safe bowl, melt together the semi-sweet chocolate and the butter. This takes about 1 minute. Set aside to cool.

In a medium bowl, combine eggs, sugar and flour.

Add cooled chocolate mixture, and mix until blended.

Fold in white (or dark) chocolate.

Divide mixture evenly among ramekins and place on the hot baking sheet.

Bake until tops are shiny and cracked and chocolate beneath is hot and gooey; about 20 minutes.

Place each ramekin on a small plate with a teaspoon and serve either plain, or dusted with powdered sugar, or with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

choco hoto pots (1)

dinner rolls

My family likes bread. We do. A lot. And especially when the bread is warm, right out of the oven … oh my … it’s heavenly.

Here’s our favorite recipe that my daughter makes often. In the recipe below it lists both regular flour and whole wheat flour, and we’ve always made them this way, but last week, on Thanksgiving, she thought we were out of wheat flour because I had put it in the wrong cabinet, so the rolls were made all with unbleached white flour. Either way, they taste wonderful!

*Note: The original recipe came from the cookbook that accompanied our bread machine. It listed the brown sugar, though we use honey 99.9% of the time. In the original instructions they say to put the rolls onto a greased cookie sheet, which works well, but we prefer the uniform shape we get by using the muffin tins.

##########

Dinner Rolls

1 1/2 cups warm water (about 80 degrees F)

2 tablespoons oil

1/4 cup honey (or brown sugar)

2 teaspoons salt

2 tablespoons dry milk

2 1/2 cups flour

2 cups whole wheat flour

2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast

~~~

In the bread machine, place all the ingredients in the order listed above.

Set the machine to the dough cycle and start.

When completed, remove the dough and place on a lightly floured surface.

Using a sharp knife, divide the dough into 18 pieces.

Shape the pieces into balls or twists or blobs or whatever.

Place each piece into greased muffin tins.

Cover with a towel and allow to rise in a warm place for 30 minutes (they should double in size).

Bake at 350F for about 25 minutes, or until golden.