Monday, December 01, 2008


John and I spent Thanksgiving together, turning down all requests from family to come to dinner (and camping if the request was from my parents). It was nice to celebrate a holiday with just him and not have the normal family craziness and traveling involved. Plus I love to cook so it was such a nice and relaxing day.

Here's the whole spread:

I made enough to feed an army! Plus the dogs went absolutely nuts having all the food around. They kept stalking the table after we were finished hoping we wouldn't catch them trying to jump up and get their own helping.

At the request of Monica here are my Turkey Day recipes. They're portioned to have enough for 2 people and some leftovers.

Turkey Breast: Usually just a 3lb Butterball breast. I just rub it in olive oil and salt and pepper and throw it into an oven. Be sure to invest in a meat thermometer. This was my first year with one (shocking, I know) and it's oh so helpful. I love the ButterBall ones because they come in little nets, they have dark and white meat and they have a gravy packet. I can make cream gravy like nobody's business, but completely suck when it comes to brown gravy. You just pour your drippings in, add the packet and stir. Easy peasy.

Ham: I usually do a small one, but this year they were all presliced paper thin which I hate. Plus the slicing jacks up the price so it was $1 more to buy a giant ham than the tiny little ham so I opted for the giant. It was my first time making a giant ham and I think it turned out pretty good. I just cover it in cloves and according to the internet you put your "glaze" on it when you've got an hour to go. I don't make a glaze really, I just cover the thing in a bit of pineapple juice (no slices or chunks, but you can do that if you want) brown sugar and honey. Real simple.

Stuffing: I don't do the whole, nuts, fruit, sausage or those left over "parts" that they leave inside a turkey in my stuffing. It's basic and I love it and I think it's better than my mom's (please don't tell her) even though it's her recipe. You just bake up a box of Jiffy cornbread (yes, it has to be Jiffy, I don't know why, it just has to be). Then you crumble it and 3 slices of bread (Add more if you want it to be brown instead of yellow, I prefer yellow. Throw in an egg, 2 stalks of celery that you've chopped up along with half of a small onion that you also chopped. I guess on the rest of these, but you add in salt and pepper, I would guesstimate about 1 tsp of poultry seasoning and about a can of chicken broth. I use the box broth and I just pour and mix until it's nice and moist (John hates the word "moist" btw. Be sure to use it next time you're around him). You want it good and wet, but not soggy. Just enough that it won't dry out when you bake it. Because I only do a turkey breast I don't have anything to stuff. I also wouldn't stuff because I want the drippings for that brown gravy I can't make so it just goes into it's own pan. Cook at 350 for 30 minutes I guess. I just throw it in with the green bean casserole and cook it until it's brown on top.

Green Bean Casserole - ummm, John always makes this so he can feel like he's contributed. Also I think this was what he always brought to TG with his family. Just follow the directions on the can of fried onions. My older brother is a weirdo that hasn't given up his picky eating habits from his childhood so his wife makes it with cream of chicken soup instead of cream of mushroom. Just another variation if you'd like.

Fruit Salad - can of peaches, can of pina, 2 apples, 2 oranges, 2 bananas, 1 jar of cherries. Slice everything up and throw into a bowl. You can also add shredded coconut and walnuts if you want to get real crazy.

Mashed potatoes - I buy the 5lb bag of potatoes and throw in about 6 of various sizes. I peel (I only like skins in flavored potatoes, not ones with gravy) and dice and boil. If you want a lighter version or even more flavorful, boil them in chicken broth. John takes over after the boiling point. He likes to get rid of the extra moisture by putting the drained potatoes back onto the hot burner. Then it's milk, butter, salt and pepper and mashing. We use the mixer to do this.
Gravy - see turkey above

Baked Mac n Cheese - this is never served at my family TG, I just had a craving and someone gave me a recipe so I made it. Here's the plain recipe: 8oz boiled mac, 4 cups cheddar cheese, 2 eggs, 1 can evap milk, 1 1/2 cups regular milk. Mix everything up, throw in the crockpot and cook on high for 3 hours. Don't forget to spray you crockpot before you put everything in. Now I started mine late cause I forgot about it so it wasn't really crusty. I also didn't mix my eggs good enough which you want to do. Beat the hell out of them otherwise the mac n cheese will be too eggy. I don't know if it's because I didn't do this or it was just too many eggs. I might just do 1 well beaten one next time. I also think it needs more cheese so I'll probably add in some more of that too. I might even get a little crazy and add different kinds of cheese. We'll see. It's easy which is what I liked. John said he likes creamy inside and crusty outside which you are just not going to get in the crockpot, sorry babe.

Glazed carrots - take about half the bag of a large bag of baby carrots. Boil in water for about 7 minutes or until fork tender. Drain and set aside. Then add in 1/2 of butter and 1/2 brown sugar and melt in the same pan. Throw in the carrots and coat. Let simmer for about 3 minutes.

Rolls - I'm lazy. Buy the ones from HEB that come in the cardboard box in the yellow bag. They're like $1.

Pumpkin Pie - I just buy the regular old can of pumpkin and follow the directions on the can. It all gets thrown into a frozen DEEP DISH pie crust and baked. Then top that sucker off with all the fat free cool whip you'd like.

That's pretty much it!

1 comment:

  1. I am so jealous that you just stayed home and didn't get forced into the typical TG at someone else's house junk. I envy you!

    Great recipes. I love the rolls from the cardboard box and yellow bag.


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