Sunday, November 21, 2010

Thanksgiving part 2...

Let me start this one with the vegan/vegetarian checklist link.

Here is a checklist for you with a few recipes on it as well. Vegan/Vegetarian Thanksgiving
Let me add that these recipes are good even if you aren't vegetarian... feel free to try them. :)

The best advice I got from anybody the first year I made thanksgiving dinner on my own was to do everything I possibly could the day before. Thursday went over much better then I thought it would since I didn't have much to do that day. I make my pies, stuffing, dress my turkey and start on my rolls all the night before. If I could peel my potatoes without them turning brown and yucky I would.

This year I have 4 pies to make! Two pumpkin and two apple. The pumpkin recipe makes two, which is why I'm making two of them, and one of the apple pies is being sent home with my brother to give to his friend that helped me move last week.

I have LOTS to do the night before this year!


Over the years I have learned that I don't have a lot of friends that like sweet potatoes/yams so I don't often make many of them. I had a request from my brother for them this year though so I am making them special for him...

Yams/sweet potatoes with a twist...

Yams-however many you need to feed your crowd
Pineapple rings- 1 or two cans depending on how many people. (10 slices per can)
1 bag mini marshmallows

Prepare them however you like... I know some people just like butter and some salt in them like mashed potatoes, others like brown sugar added to the mix. I like them with a little brown sugar to sweeten them up.

boil them, mash them and flavor to taste...

Drain your pineapple rings and lay them flat on a baking sheet, spoon your prepared yams onto the center of them then cover with mini marshmallows. If my brother could he'd have more marshmallows then yams on his pineapple rings. Place in the oven for a few minutes until your marshmallows are golden brown, take out and serve.

They are so yummy even my friends who don't usually eat them have to have at least one serving! :)

I tried to find a picture online but I can't so I'll just have to wait and post one on the next blog after I've done my dinner.

Scalloped corn

2 cans creamed corn
3/4c cream
1/2package saltine crackers crushed
Salt & pepper to taste

Stir it all together, it'll be a little on the runny side. Feel free to add more cream or crackers accordingly.

Bake at 350 for 30min.

Super simple and one of my favorites!

It isn't the most appetizing dish to look at, but I promise, when made right it is really good!


I don't have any fancy special ways to dress your turkey, season it how ever you like. I usually smear butter all over the top and under the skin, salt, pepper, a few Italian seasonings, some garlic and that's about it, oh and of course filling it full of stuffing! ;)

The real family secret though... After you get it all dressed and ready to go... Put a layer of really good, thick cut bacon over the top of it. It helps hold in the moisture and saves your turkey from being picked at when it comes out of the oven! Everyone is picking the bacon off the top instead of turkey. :)

I love seeing the look on people's faces when they hear that I am/have already covered my turkey in bacon. They all think I'm crazy until they taste the bacon and the turkey. :)

As far as actually baking it goes... I think its 30min for every pound or something like that. Honestly I can never remember. I get it ready every year and let my friend Cade do the rest because I'm usually at work. This year will be the first year I've actually cooked it myself.

We baste it every 30min and to get the juices started I usually just use a can of chicken or vegetable broth. I always buy a few extra cans for that purpose. The turkey has always turned out great, so we're doing something right. ;)

I have been debating posting the family recipe for 'grandma buns.' I have finally decided against it. Mainly because it is kind of a complicated recipe and most people aren't going to be making their own rolls anyway so I will skip it this time around.

Have I forgotten to post anything here? If so leave a comment and I will add more later.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Thanksgiving part 1...

I had all intentions of boycotting Thanksgiving this year for some rather lame reasons, but slowly one by one people started asking what we were doing and I just couldn't say no. I've always done dinner for my friends and whoever I knew that didn't have any where to go. This will be my 4th year doing it and although watching my grocery bill add up at the register wasn't fun, I know that once we are all sitting down and eating and the stress of cooking is over I will be very glad that everyone is together enjoying such a great meal. :)

We will not be celebrating on Thursday though because I will be working 2p-12:15am and well, that doesn't work well when I need to make an entire turkey dinner by myself. So instead we will be enjoying our dinner the Sunday after... Nov 28th.

I plan on posting a Thanksgiving blog with pictures of the process and the finished product after I'm through but am thinking that some time this week I will post a pre-Thanksgiving blog. Things to do ahead of time that help make it seem like there isn't sooo much to do the actual day of cooking. Also a few basic recipes of family favorites that we have every year AND the family secret for an amazing turkey! :)

So here is part one...

Make a shopping list of EVERYTHING you even think you might need. Try and keep it somewhat organized. I am a bit OCD and like to organize my shopping list (only for turkey day) by where things are in the store. I don't imagine most of you will be that crazy, but at least try and group things like celery, onions, and potatoes together because you know those are all going to be in the same part of the store, lump eggs and butter together because those are usually close to each other... My reasons for this... It is harder to forget things that way. With that said... I promise you will almost always forget something still, but this way it'll be less likely.

I always try and go at least a week in advance... That way when I forget something, I still have time to get to the store before it is closed for the holiday.

Yes, I realize how commonsense this stuff is, but sometimes reminders are nice. :)

More to come in some time in the next few days on prep to do the day before and recipes I like for my Thanksgiving dinner. :)

Also... For my vegan friends or anyone that needs to make vegetarian/vegan friendly food for their dinners. Vegan/Vegetarian Thanksgiving checklist

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Haven't forgotten about you!

This blog might not be getting updated as much as I'd like to for at least a few weeks... I've been taking these new pills to help balance out my system and I've been so incredibly nauseous since I started taking them that any thought of food just makes me more queasy.

Also, I am moving!! I am moving back to my old apartment complex downtown! I am hoping to be done moving by the 13th. Will be busy packing and gradually moving stuff over during the week and might not have internet for the first week or so that I am there.

Just wanted to let everyone know that I didn't forget about my blog, just a little busy with life right now. Will hopefully return soon!!

Here is a recipe I have been meaning to post for a while.

Black Bottom Banana Cheesecake Bars

4oz cream cheese (room temp)
1 egg
1/2c butter
1 box chocolate devil's food cake (i used triple chocolate cuz that's what I had on hand)

Mix it all together, it'll be kind of like a dough and spread in the bottom of a 9x13 pan

2- 8oz packages of cream cheese (room temp)
2 eggs
1c mashed banana (about 3)
1c powder sugar
1 teas vanilla

Cream all that together then pour over the bottom.

Bake at 350 for 45min or so

I think you could just use a regular cheesecake recipe for the top and it would work just the same, or maybe even a different fruit....

The only problem I had was that the cake part seemed to finish baking before the cheesecake part was done. I haven't worked out the kinks of it yet, but did enjoy them and was glad it was fast and easy to put together. :)