Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!


We had a wonderful Thanksgiving lunch that was worth me having to cook from 8am yesterday until 12 pm today. Now we are all stuffed past comfort and have plenty of leftovers. We have so very much to be thankful for from our nice warm house during this awful weather to the arrival of our newest family addition. I am happy to be home from college to spend time with my amazing family, and it was such a blessing to be able to cook for all of them again. God has blessed me so much, and I thank Him every day for all that I have. We thought Carson would not be able to join us because she was napping, but she woke up right before we sat down. It was great to have us all gathered around the table that Harp and my mom decorated.


I made a southern style Thanksgiving feast because my family wouldn't have it any other way. I made an elaborate traditional spread with a random dessert for something different. (When given the option, everyone voted on cheesecake in the place of the usual pumpkin pie.) We sure loved these dishes, and I hope your family enjoys them just as much.

Here was our menu:

To Drink:
Mom's Sweet Tea

In the bread basket:
Greek Yogurt Biscuits

Cream Biscuits
makes 8 biscuits
1 ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
1 tsp salt
2 cups flour
1 tbsp baking powder

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Stir together the dry ingredients. Slowly add in the cream, stirring until everything is just combined. Dump the mixture onto a floured surface, and roll out ½” thick. Cut into 8 circles. Bake on a nonstick stone 1” apart for 15 minutes.


Cranberry Pecan Butter
1 stick of butter, room temperature
1/3 cup toasted pecans, chopped
1/3 cup dried cranberries
zest of 1 orange
Mix together the butter, orange zest, cranberries, and pecans until well mixed. Place the mixture in the middle of a sheet of plastic wrap, and roll up into a log. Refrigerate until solid.

The Main Event:

 Roasted Turkey with Onions, Celery, and Apples
1- 12 to 13 pound turkey, thawed
1 apple, cored and sliced
1 onion, cut in fourths
1 stalk of celery, halved
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tbsp. flour
1 Reynold's Oven Bag

Remove the turkey from the refrigerator, and allow it to sit for 2 hours at room temperature. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Pull the neck and bag of internal organs out of the turkey. Stuff with the apples, onions, and celery. Season the breasts with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together with twine. Put the flour in the Oven Bag, and coat the sides with the flour. Put the turkey in the bag, and tie it closed. Place the turkey in a roasting pan, and cook for 2 hours, or until it registers 165 degrees.
DSC_0032 (2)

Traditional sides:
Pear- Walnut Cranberry Sauce
12 ounces fresh cranberries, rinsed
1 tsp orange zest
1 orange, juiced (about ¼ cup orange juice)
1 cup sugar
½ cup chopped walnuts, toasted
1 pear, chopped

Stir the cranberries, sugar, and orange juice together in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook until the cranberries burst, and everything seems to come together. Remove from the heat and cool slightly. Stir in the pears, walnuts, and orange zest. Pour into your mold, cover, and refrigerate overnight.

Baked Mac and Cheese
8 ounces dry elbow pasta
¼ cup butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup milk
1 cup shredded mild cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded white cheddar cheese
½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
¼ cup panko breadcrumbs
dash of ground mustard
dash of salt
dash of ground pepper

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Bring a pot of water to a boil, and cook the pasta for 9 minutes. Drain and set aside. In a large saucepan, heat the butter over medium heat until it is melted. Whisk in the flour, ground mustard, pepper, and salt until browned. Slowly add in the milk and cream, stirring constantly. Simmer until thick, continuing to stir, about 5 minutes. Add in the white and yellow cheddar cheese and stir until it has melted. Remove the pan from the heat, mix in the pasta, and pour into a 2 quart baking stone. Top with the breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese. Bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees, or until it is bubbly and the top browns.

Cornbread Dressing
2 cups yellow cornmeal
2 tbsp oil
1 egg
1 ¾ cup buttermilk
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
¼ large onion
2 stalks celery
2 pieces of toasted white bread
2 hardboiled eggs
5 cups chicken broth
salt and pepper
To make the cornbread, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Mix together the cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk the egg, buttermilk, and oil in until everything is well mixed. Pour into a 9”X9” baking stone. Bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow the cornbread to cool completely before making the dressing.
To make the dressing, chop up the celery and onion very finely. Microwave them with 1 tablespoon of water for 5 minutes, or until tender. Crumble the toast and cornbread into a 14 cup baking dish. Stir in the chopped onions and celery. Smash up the eggs and stir them in too along with salt and pepper. Finally, pour the chicken broth over the mixture until it is slightly soupy. Bake at 375 degrees for 50 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Green Beans


Roasted Parsnips and Carrots with Shallots
4 large carrots, peeled
4 large parsnips, peeled
3 shallot bulbs
1 tbsp olive oil

Cut the parsnips and carrots in half, and then make them into small strips, about 1 cm square. Halve the shallots, and toss everything together in the oil. Bake for 30 minutes at 425 degrees.

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes
serves 4
3 large sweet potatoes
olive oil
3 tbsp melted butter
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
12 pecan halves
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spread oil all over the outsides of the sweet potatoes, place them on a baking stone, and bake for 1 hour, or until tender. Allow the sweet potatoes to cool until you can handle them. Increase the oven’s heat to 425 degrees. Peel one of the potatoes, and mash it with the butter, cinnamon, and sugar. Cut the remaining sweet potatoes in half lengthways. Scoop out the centers, leaving about ¼” along the edges. Mix the scooped out portions together with the other sweet potato. Refill the potato skins with equal portions of the filling. Top each with three pecans, and bake another 10-15 minutes, or until the pecans are lightly browned.

The grand finale:


Chocolate Caramel- Fudge Cheesecake
1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1 ½ cup quick oats
½ cup flour
¼ cup brown sugar

2/3 cup sugar
16 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 eggs
½ cup mini chocolate chips
1/3 cup Smucker’s chocolate fudge topping
1 tbsp flour

caramel sauce, melted

To make the crust: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and oil a 9” springform pan. Melt the butter and ½ cup chocolate chips over medium low heat in a small pot, stirring constantly. Once it is melted, remove the pot from the heat. Stir in the oats, flour, and brown sugar. Press evenly into the bottom of the springform pan, and bake for 10 minutes. Allow the crust to cool before pouring in the filling.

To make the filling: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Using an electric mixer, beat the sugar and cream cheese together. Add the eggs, and beat on medium speed until everything is well mixed. Add in the chocolate chips. Pour this evenly over the prepared crust. In a small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon of flour with the chocolate fudge topping. Pour the fudge over the cheesecake filling, and swirl it in with a knife. Bake for 50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out of the white part clean.

Allow the cheesecake to cool. Cover and chill overnight in the refrigerator. Top with the melted caramel before serving.


Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

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