Thursday, November 22, 2007


I have so much to be thankful for this year. I have been so blessed. I have a wonderful hubby and two wonderful children and we all recently moved into our dream house. I am spoiled absolutely rotten and feel loved. I have amazing friends, amazing blog readers/friends, who make me feel like I am at least kind of good at this whole stamping thing and inkspire me all the time to be better. I am thankful for all the amazing things I have given to me, as well as the little challenges that help me to be a better person.

So, in case you all had not noticed, I like to cook and bake. I think it is fun! However, after completing thanksgiving dinner, I think I might be in need of a little break. I thought I would share with you some of the food I cooked and recipes to go with it, so plan on bookmarking this post! *grins*

Our Thanksgiving menu:

**Breakfast: Cold cereal, orange slices, melon slices, orange yogurt cake

Orange Yogurt Cake

Orange-Yogurt Cake

Makes one 8-inch round cake

Unsalted butter, softened, for pan
1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon grated orange zest, plus 1 tablespoon orange juice
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large oranges (1 zested into thin strips, both segmented)
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-inch round cake pan. Stir flour, 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, the baking powder, baking soda, salt, yogurt, oil, orange zest and juice, egg, and vanilla in a bowl. Pour into pan. Bake until a cake tester comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.
2. Place zest strips in a bowl. Stir in segments and remaining tablespoon sugar. Garnish cake with some segments; serve with the rest. Dust with confectioners' sugar.

**Snacks: Puppy Chow (Taylor's Recipe), Spinach Dip and Bread - photo above right (Knorr), Sweet and Sour Meatballs, Fruit Gobbler - photo above left (Recipe), and Veggies and Dip

NEW!!!!! By Request - Knorr Spinach Dip (from the Knorr Website)

PREP TIME: 10 Minute(s)
CHILL TIME: 2 Hour(s)

1 package (10 oz.) baby spinach, chopped or 1 package (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 container (16 oz.) sour cream
1 cup Hellmann's® or Best Foods® Real Mayonnaise
1 package Knorr® Vegetable recipe mix
1 can (8 oz.) water chestnuts, drained and chopped (optional)
3 green onions, chopped (optional)

Everyone loves our dip! Here's how we make it:
Combine all ingredients and chill about 2 hours. Serve with your favorite dippers to your favorite people.

Sweet & Sour Meatballs


2 pounds ground round (very lean) - I used ground turkey
2 cups dry bread crumbs
2 eggs
1/2 cup minced onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup barbecue sauce
1 1/2 (16 ounce) jars pineapple preserves


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

2. In a medium-size mixing bowl, mix barbecue sauce and pineapple preserves together.

3. In a medium-size mixing bowl, combine meat, breadcrumbs, eggs, onions, salt, and parsley. Mix well and form into bite-size balls. Arrange the balls in a single layer in a 9x13 inch baking dish. Pour the barbecue sauce mixture evenly over the meatballs.

4. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes, until the meat is cooked.

**Lunch/Dinner: Turkey, Mashed Potatoes, Carrot Souffle, Sweet Potatoes, Stuffing, Green Beans, Corn, Gravy, Sweet Potato Crescents (recipe)

This year was my first year ever brining the turkey. I had never done it before and was curious about the results. The turkey turned out juicy and yummy, so I think it was a good thing to do. M watched a show on how to carve a turkey and was super excited to do it. It turned out wonderfully! He rocked!!! Here is the recipe I used for brining the turkey:

Clove and Honey Brine for Turkey


1 large bag of ice
1 gallon hot water
2 quarts chicken broth
1 pound salt
1 pound honey
2 tablespoons whole cloves

Combine salt and hot water until it dissolves. Add honey, broth, and cloves to mixture. Once thoroughly mixed, add ice. Brine for 1 hour per pound.

Carrot Souffle

1 3/4 lbs peeled carrots
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 tablespoons flour
3 eggs
1/4 lb margarine, softened
powdered sugar

1. Steam or boil carrots til extra soft& drain well.
2. While carrots are warm, add sugar, baking powder and vanilla.
3. Whip with mixer til smooth.
4. Add flour and mix well.
5. Whip eggs separately and add to mixture, blending well.
6. Add margarine and blend well.
7. Pour mixture into baking dish-ABOUT HALF FULL--as the souffle will rise.
8. Bake@ 350 about 1 hour or until top is light brown.
9. Sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar before serving

Awesome Sausage, Apple and Cranberry Stuffing


1 1/2 cups cubed whole wheat bread
3 3/4 cups cubed white bread
1 pound ground turkey sausage
1 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup chopped celery
2 1/2 teaspoons dried sage
1 1/2 teaspoons dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 Golden Delicious apple, cored and chopped
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup minced fresh parsley
1 cooked turkey liver, finely chopped
3/4 cup turkey stock
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted


1. Preheat oven to 350 degree F (175 degree C). Spread the white and whole wheat bread cubes in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes in the preheated oven, or until evenly toasted. Transfer toasted bread cubes to a large bowl.
2. In a large skillet, cook the sausage and onions over medium heat, stirring and breaking up the lumps until evenly browned. Add the celery, sage, rosemary, and thyme; cook, stirring, for 2 minutes to blend flavors.
3. Pour sausage mixture over bread in bowl. Mix in chopped apples, dried cranberries, parsley, and liver. Drizzle with turkey stock and melted butter, and mix lightly. Spoon into turkey to loosely fill.

**Dessert: Apple Raspberry Pie, Pecan Pie, Pumpkin Cheese Pie, Cranberry Crumb Pie, Blueberry Cream Pie

Apple-Raspberry Pie


2 3/4 pounds assorted baking apples, (such as Rome or Cortland), peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
6 ounces fresh or partially thawed frozen raspberries
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Pinch of salt
2 frozen pie shells (one for top)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon heavy cream
Fine sanding sugar, for sprinkling


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Stir apples, raspberries, granulated sugar, flour, lemon juice, and salt in a large bowl; set aside.
2. On a lightly floured surface, roll out 1 disk of dough to 1/8 inch thick. Cut into a 12-inch round. Fit into a 9-inch pie plate. Fill with apple mixture. Dot with butter.
3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out remaining disk of dough to 1/8 inch thick. Cut into a 12-inch round. Drape over filling. Trim overhang to 1 inch. Press edges to seal. Fold overhang under, and crimp as desired. Make five 3-inch slits in top crust. Refrigerate 20 minutes.
4. Whisk egg yolk and cream in a bowl; brush over top crust. Sprinkle with sanding sugar. Bake until crust is golden and juices are bubbling, 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 20 minutes. Place foil on rack below to catch juices. Tent pie with foil if browning too quickly. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool 4 hours (up to overnight).

Pecan Pie ( I had never made a pecan pie and I ended up putting it back in the oven for awhile but it turned out really yummy! I will totally be making one again)

Makes one 9-inch pie

All-purpose flour, for dusting
1 pie shell
2 1/2 cups pecan halves
4 large eggs
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 cup dark corn syrup
1/2 cup light corn syrup
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 tablespoon bourbon (optional ) - I left this out
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
Whipped cream, for serving


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a lightly floured board, roll out the pastry to a thickness of 1/8 inch. Place the pastry in a 9-inch pie plate that has been set on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and press it into the bottom edges and along the sides. Trim the pastry using scissors or a sharp paring knife. Crimp or decorate the edges of the pastry, if desired. Transfer to freezer until firm, about 15 minutes.
2. Coarsely chop 1 1/4 cups pecans; set aside. In a medium bowl, combine eggs granulated sugar, and brown sugar. Whisk to combine. Add dark and light corn syrups, butter, bourbon, vanilla, and salt. Whisk until well combined. Add chopped pecans, and stir to combine. Pour into prepared crust.
3. Arrange remaining 1 1/4 cups pecan halves decoratively over top of pie. Bake on a Silpat-lined baking sheet until crust is golden, filling is firm, and a cake tester inserted in center of pie comes out clean, 50 to 55 minutes. Cool completely before slicing. Serve with whipped cream.

Pumpkin Cheese Pie


2 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
2 cups pumpkin puree
14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
3 eggs
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (I usually make my own mix of cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg)
1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch single crust pie (make sure it is deep dish or you will have enough filling for 2 pies)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. Mix cream cheese and condensed milk together until smooth. Stir in the pureed pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice and eggs. Mix until well combined. Pour batter into the pie shell.
3. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 45 minutes or until a knife inserted 1 inch from the edge comes out clean. Keep refrigerated.

Cranberry Crumb Pie by Eagle Brand®


1 (9 inch) unbaked pie shell
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (14 ounce) can EAGLE BRAND® Sweetened Condensed Milk (NOT evaporated milk)
1/4 cup lemon juice from concentrate
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 (16 ounce) can whole berry cranberry sauce
1/4 cup cold butter or margarine
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup chopped walnuts


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Bake pie shell 8 minutes; remove from oven. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees F.
2. In large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese on low until fluffy. Gradually beat in EAGLE BRAND® until smooth. Stir in lemon juice. Pour into prepared pastry shell.
3. In small bowl, combine 1-tablespoon sugar and cornstarch; mix well. Stir in cranberry sauce. Spoon evenly over cream cheese mixture.
4. In medium mixing bowl, cut butter into flour and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar until crumbly. Stir in nuts. Sprinkle evenly over cranberry mixture. Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until bubbly and golden. Cool. Serve at room temperature or chill thoroughly. Store leftovers covered in refrigerator

Blueberry Cream Pie - E insisted that we make this pie, even though it really did not match with the holiday at all -- she really wanted it, so I gave in.


4 ounces low-fat cream cheese, from an 8-ounce package, softened
1/2 cup low-fat sour cream
1/4 cup sugar
1-1/2 cups nondairy whipped topping, from an 8-ounce container
1 (8-inch) prepared graham cracker pie crust
2 cups fresh blueberries, divided

Directions: In a medium, with an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, sour cream and sugar until well blended. Fold in whipped topping. Spoon half of the mixture into the pie crust; top with 1 cup of the blueberries. Spread remaining cheese mixture over the blueberries. Scatter the remaining 1 cup blueberries on top. Cover with plastic wrap, refrigerate until set, about 5 hours

This year we had my brother and sister in law come from Utah and their four kids at our house for the holiday. They had a lot of fun playing Guitar Hero on the Wii! SIL took a liking to it. She played so much she managed to beat the game on EASY level while she was here.

Everyone enjoyed playing Wii sports as well. It was fun! The children played very well together. It was really good to have a chance to visit with them because we had not seen them in a couple years. It was super busy busy, but fun at the same time!


Anonymous said...

You are my hero!!!!

I also hosted Thanksgiving (20 people). I made a turkey, ham, mashed potatoes with horseradish cream, creamed spinach with shitake mushrooms, parmesian garlic broccoli spears, sausage stuffing, gravy, homemade sage and thyme biscuits, sweet potato supreme and homemade pumpkin cake with homemade caramel cream cheese frosting. Not NEARLY as much cooking as you, and yet, I was exhausted...I cooked for two days straight and could barely walk by the end of the day Thursday.

I feel like a brat when I see what YOU accomplished!!! (Although, I must admit, I fear I must have ten years on you...and hubby swears it's my age!!! LOL!!).

Hugs and Happy Holidays!! Mary

Amanda Sewell said...

Mary, your feast sounds YUM! Share some of those recipes!!!!

Karen said...

WOW! I give to you the Martha Award! Good job! Love the pictures. We had Turkey, mashed potatoes, candied yams, green bean cassarole, broccoli rice and cheese cassarole, Asparagus with hollendaise, greed spring salad with craisins and mandarin oranges and avacado, rolls, stuffing, gravy, pumkin pie, chacolate pie, pecan pie, chocolate cake, angelfood cake with pinapple and cherries and cookies. LOL! There was only 12 of us and we have eaten the leftovers for 2 days. Good thing we don't eat like this everyday!

Jan Scholl said...

how did you make that turkey thing? Is the base an onion or a melon? I didnt cook at all this year. No sense for just me. But I am baking tonight cause hubs came home and is going back to work tomorrow and the vultures need sugar.

Amanda Sewell said...

The base is a honeydew melon . . . the instructions are linked in the post :)

Rebecca said...

I'm impressed! :) Would you post the recipe for the spinach dip? It looks yummy. My husband and I had an "anti-thanksgiving" meal this year -- we ate Buffalo wings and watched old movies on video. It was very cozy.

JenMarie said...

Can't wait to try that orange yogurt bread! Sounds sooo yummy!!

Shannon McGann said...

OMGoodness! That's a lot of food! Your recipes are always so delicious! Thanks for sharing!