Friday, November 28, 2008

What To Do With Leftover Turkey

My brother and his roommates welcomed 40 people to their home for Thanksgiving. The 20 somethings prepared an amazing feast. Two 22 pound Organic Free Range Turkeys from Sprouts Market in San Marcos. My sister cooked up a bird too. All 3 Turkeys were fantastic. We had 2 oven baked and one cooked on the grill. One Citrus and Ale Brined, one buttered, and one chili spiced. YUM. Fortunately, lots and lots of leftover turkey.

Top Ten Things To Do With Leftover Turkey

1. Turkey Tacos
2. Turkey Tortilla Soup
3. Turkey Enchiladas
4. Turkey Sandwiches on Rye Bread
5. Turkey Salad made like Tuna or Chicken Salad
6. Turkey Nachos
7. Turkey and Rice
8. Turkey Chili
9. Turkey Calzone
10. Turkey Wraps with spinach and cranberry sauce

Make the most of your turkey leftovers and keep in mind, so you don't get Turkey overload... make the meals ahead and freeze them.

I hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Mmmm Mashed Potatoes

Mashed Potatoes. Who doesn't like Mashed Potatoes? One major Turkey Day component is Potatoes. Weither you whip or mash them, they are simply fantastic! This year I tried two ways to make my potatoes.

Mmmm Mashed Potatoes

Boiled Russet Potatoes
Salt and Pepper

Put your hot cooked potatoes in a bowl. Mash them with a potato masher. Add butter and mash some more. Slowly add buttermilk and mash and stir. Add a little buttermilk until the potatoes are the right consistency. Add salt and Pepper to taste. Put your potatoes in an insulated dish or put them in a small crock pot to keep them warm.

Spicy Cheesy Mashed Potatoes

Boiled Red Potatoes with the skins on
Garlic Salt and Pepper
Small chunks of Pepper Jack cheese

Place your potatoes in a bowl. Mash them. Add butter. Mash and stir. Add buttermilk and stir until potatoes are the right consistency. Season your mashed potatoes to taste. Stir in chunks of cheese. Serve and enjoy!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Three Thanksgiving Vegetable Sides for Vegetarians or Everyone

Below you will find three holiday sides that are sure to tempt any guest's pallete. Sides are important meal options. The Turkey cannot stand alone without his supporting actors.

Trader Joe's Green Bean Casserole

6 tbsp unsalted butter, plus more for dish
1 medium onion
1 pound mushrooms, quartered
2 tsp coarse salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
24 oz bag Trader Joe's frozen French Green Beans
6 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
8 oz. Trader Joe's Gourmet Fried Onion pieces

In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 2 tbsp. butter. Add onion and saute until it begins to soften about 4 minutes. Add mushrooms, and cook until softened, about 8 minutes. Season with 1 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Set aside to cool.

Cook French Green Beans according to directions on the bag. Melt the remaining 4 tbsp butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add flour, whisk constantly until mixture begins to turn golden, about 2 minutes. Pour in milk, and continue whisking until mixture has thickened, about 3 minutes. Stir in remaining Salt and pepper. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Pour over beans and toss to combine.Butter a 9" x 13" glass dish and spread the green bean mixture.Heat broiler, positioning rack about 8 inches from heat. Cook casserole, covered, until mixture is bubbly and heated through, about 10 minutes. Uncover, and cook until top is golden brown, about 30 seconds. Sprinkle Trader Joe's Gourmet Fried onion pieces over top and serve.

Broccoli Casserole Bonnie Olson

Steamed broccoli (2 bags Trader Joe's Broccoli in the bag) with butter
1 can cream of broccoli soup
1 can cream of celery soup
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1-2 cups cheese

Mix together in a bowl. Grease a casserole dish and spread broccoli mixture. Sprinkle cheese on top of casserole. Bake at 375 degrees or until bubbly.

This side will knock your socks off. Way way too good to be vegetables!

Cheesy Vegetable Bake From Robby's Auntie Paula

3 Roma Tomatoes sliced
1 large green bell pepper (sliced in rings)
1 large yellow bell (sliced in rings)
1 large red bell pepper (sliced in rings)
1 large onion sliced into rings
Olive oil spray
lemon juice
Lawry's garlic salt
1 pound grated mozzarella cheese

Spray the bottom of casserole dish with olive oil. Place veggie slices in the dish. Sprinkle with the garlic salt. Sprinkle the lemon juice over the top. Bury the veggies with the mozzarella cheese. Pop it in a 350 degree F oven until cheese is melted bubbly and a bit golden brown. Serve it. YOU will love it. That is if you love tomatoes, bell peppers and onion. This makes a beautiful addition to any holiday plate.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Turkey Tricks

I made my first turkey when I was 19. It was good. So cooked and so tender, it fell right off the bones. As a receptionist, I learned many things, about people, customer service, life experience, and food. You can learn a lot in the Beauty Industry, especially while clients wait for their hairdresser or manicurist. That year I learned many Turkey Tricks that made my first Turkey amazing, even if it was not picture perfect.

Turkey Tricks

1. Brine it in a salt, herb and pumpkin ale mixture.

2. Mix butter and minced garlic together and place it under the skin of the turkey.

3. Bake it in one of those turkey bags.

4. Make sure you remove the bag of yucky stuff from the turkey.

5. Place a small apple and small onion in the cavity. It makes a super moist bird.

6. Make little slits in the the turkey and push garlic cloves into the little holes.

7. Inject the turkey with one of those fancy marinades.

8. Rub your turkey with a mix of herbs and spices.

9. Pour gingerale over your bird.

10. Kosher salt is amazing. Rub salt onto your bird.

Easy Yummy Lower Fat Pumpkin Cheesecake

Heck of a title don't ya think? It's true. All of those descriptors are true. I made this out of one cup of fresh pumpkin and took it to Sunday dinner. Rob LOVED it and asked for a second piece, half the size of the first piece. He even said it tasted exactly like Pumpkin Pie!!!!

EASY Yummy Lower Fat Pumpkin Cheesecake

One Keebler Ready Made Graham crust (love these things)
1 and a 1/2 block Low Fat Cream Cheese (room temp)
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup pumpkin
2 eggs
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
a pinch of nutmeg
a pinch of ground cloves
1 tbs. flour
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In your mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Add pumpkin and eggs and sugar and mix until well combined. Add spices and mix. Add flour and vanilla and mix again. Pour mixture into prepared graham cracker crust. You will have some left over. Pour that into a ramekin so you can bake it and taste it before you serve it. Ha (: Be sure to pull the ramekin out long before the pie.

Bake your delectable EASY Yummy Lower Fat Pumpkin Cheesecake for 1 hour. Remove from oven allow it to cool. Top pie the Ready Crust Plastic top and put that sucker in the refrigerator for a few hours or until ready to serve. Sometimes overnight is best. Serve with Cool-Whip or homemade whip cream. What ever makes you happy. It should be about being HAPPY.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Baked Pumpkins and Pumpkin Cupcakes

So I baked 2 pumpkins between yesterday and today. Normally I have boiled them. But the Queen Of Pumpkins from Lombardi Ranch bakes her pumpkins. She says wash it real good. Snap off the stem thing, put it on an old cookie sheet and bake it in the oven until it is soft and collapses a bit. Let it cool then cut into it, peel off the skin and puree it. I did this and yielded 15 cups of pumpkin. Enough for 6 small pumpkin pies and 2 large batches of pumpkin bread and Pumpkin Cupcakes and a half recipe of Paula Dean's Pumpkin Cheesecake.

It will be interesting to see if Robby can tell a difference in the pumpkin. I'm not going to tell and I can guarantee he does not read my food blog. Ha!

Pumpkin Cupcakes
Makes about 24 cupcakes

2 1/4 cup sifted flour
1 tbs. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs, white thingies removed slightly beaten
1 cup pumpkin
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup cinnamon chips

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
Green sugar sprinkles
Brach's Pumpkin Mallow things

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and mix. Add pumpkin and mix. Stir in dry ingredients alternating with the buttermilk. Mix until smooth after each addition. Add chocolate and cinnamon chips. Line muffin tins with cups or use souffle cups on a cookie sheet. Fill cups half way. Bake for 25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Allow cakes to cool. Frost with Chocolate Buttercream. Sprinkle some of the green sugar and then top with one of the Brach Pumpkins. Enjoy your festive treat!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Thanksgiving is fast approaching. Crazy how time flies. Below you will find two sides. Both have one ingredient in common, corn.

My Dad LOVES Scalloped Corn. My Grandma John would make it for him. He loved it. It was and is one of his favorite Holiday side dishes. The recipe calls for simple ingredients. My Grandma never really wrote her recipes down. She was a bit of this and a bit of that cook. Everything she made was magic, both baking and cooking.

My Version of Dad's Favorite Scalloped Corn

1 can Green Giant Cream Style Corn
1/4 cup yellow corn
1/4 cup white corn
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp. sugar
a few shakes salt
a few twists fresh cracked pepper
1 package (tube) of Ritz Crackers (broken to bits)
1 egg

Mix the above ingredients well. Pour into small greased casserole dish. Bake at 350 degrees F until set and golden brown.

Dad rated 5Star on 11/25/04

This side is one of my favorites and the color combinations on the plate are so lovely. The taste of this corn is so yummy. No one ever complains about it.

Herb Corn

2 cups yellow corn
2 cups white corn
1/2 cup butter (melted)
1 tsp dill weed
1 tsp italian seasonings
1 tsp garlic salt

Combine ingredients. Microwave or place in oven until warmed through.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Thanksgiving Appetizers...

I have not posted in awhile. Sorry. My life has changed in my job realm. Change is good, right? Anyhow, trying to get adjusted to a new work environment has taken up most of my spare time.

Can you believe TURKEY day is right around the corner? Nuts. Where has this year gone? is having a Thanksgiving Appetizer Recipe Swap. So, you gotta CHECK it out! Lots of good stuff over there. Don't miss out. When you are there check out the other Recipe Swaps. You will not be disappointed.

When I can I will post some Thanksgiving Side Dishes. I love Thanksgiving and Christmas. But first things first!