Friday, November 21, 2008


Here is the plan for Thanksgiving Dinner:


We brine it, which makes it soooo juicy! I think we will smoke it on Darrell's smoker. It really is tasty this way.

Mashed potatoes.

I use Yukon Gold potatoes, lots of butter, sour cream, salt, and pepper. I make mounds of them.

Cornbread stuffing.

I use only cornbread--no white bread. And I try to get it baked as dry as I can--lots of edges and corners. I guess it can't really be called stuffing, since it isn't stuffed into the turkey. I add just a little bit of onion, celery, spices and chicken stock. I like it to be cooked almost dry. No mackiness!

Candied yams.

I haven't really gotten this right in the past. I like to have still firm yams with a little butter and brown sugar carmelized on them. I usually end up with yams a little too mushy for my liking.

Sauteed green beans.

I blanch or steam the green beans and then saute them with olive oil, shallots and sesame seeds. They get a little burnt and taste almost sweet.


Ok. I cheat! I can't make gravy to save my life. I use the gravy that comes in the packets that say, "Just add water." It's my only cheat and it's worth it.


Mmmm! Hot, out of the oven, with melty butter. Oh, if only I could have one now.

Raspberry Pretzel Salad.

My mom always makes seven-layer jello salad, but I don't have the skills to do that. So I make the Raspberry Pretzel Salad. My brother-in-law Nathan says this isn't a salad. I don't get it, though. There is raspberries, jello, cream cheese, whipped cream, all on a pretzel crust. He also says that Cookie Salad isn't a salad. Whatever. (I'll have to post the recipe for Cookie Salad one day.)

Cranberry Sauce.

I never liked this as a kid. Then I liked it when I grew up. I always used the canned cranberry sauce, thinking making it from scratch would be hard. Last year I made it for the first time. E.Z. And it tasted so much better.

Pumpkin Pie.

Duh! It isn't Thanksgiving without Pumpkin Pie. I always make the recipe on the back of the Libby can. It's the best one out there! I will probably use the canned pumpkin even though I still have at least 4 more cups of pumpkin puree. It was runnier than the canned pumpkin and I don't want a Pumpkin Pie disaster.

Apple Pie.

I will make the recipe I made last year. This year I will follow the recipe, though. I didn't add enough sugar to last year's and it needed it. The crust was divine! It took almost a week to finish the pie and the crust never got the least bit soggy.

Whipped Cream.

I whip my own. Maybe I'll whip two batches and put either cinnamon or caramel in the batch for the apple pie. That sounds really evil! (I'll tell you what else is evil...that you really can't google image whipped cream without seeing things your eyes weren't meant to see. This is the reason there is no photo.)

Cranberry Juice.

I love to drink cranberry juice for Thanksgiving. With a little Sprite for added zing.

A really long nap.

I think I will get one on Friday after Thanksgiving. After I go to the gym to work off some of the calories above. (And the majority of photos on google images for "nap" are kittens sleeping. I am not a kitten and don't find kittens sleeping as cute as some people.)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

It seems I'm always late!

The month of October had one of my FAV.O.RITE. ingredients!

I was SOOO excited--thanks Julie!

I made four, count them, four recipes.

The first was pumpkin puree. It was a ton of work, but it was fun. I don't know if I will do it again, unless I get a spankin' deal on sugar pie pumpkins.

The second was pumpkin seeds. I was a little disappointed with them. I think it was because the seeds are so much smaller in the pie pumpkins than in the gigantic carving pumpkins. They were a good treat, though.

The third was pumpkin ice cream. The recipe is basically a custard with pumpkin puree (see above) added. My ice cream maker wasn't working properly, so it only froze part way. I took it to Lucinda's and we ate some. It is very rich, so we couldn't eat much. Did I mention it was rich?

The fourth was pumpkin bread. Since I've made the recipe a million times, I added a streusel topping, making it even more dessert-ish. I was delish and I finished the last of it this morning for breakfast. (And, yes, I think all breakfasts should include dessert.)

I really enjoyed my yummy pumpkin recipes. I still have 4 more cups of frozen puree. I will have to think of more delicious foods to make.