Monday, November 24, 2014

Thanksgiving pt. 2

Good morning everyone! Man, it was a busy weekend and is leading into a short work week so this chic is kind of excited about it. It feels like it has been FOREVER since I had a long weekend off. But the over-scheduler in me is already filling up my "off" time cause.. that's just what I do; I get antsy.

Anyway, yesterday was shopping day for all of the Thanksgiving fixins. My friend offered to host Thanksgiving if I would cook it... Hhhhmmm, let me get this straight, you are asking me to slave over your full size, fully operational oven in your nice open-air kitchen surrounded by people I love? OK! We both have something to be thankful for here folks: they are thankful I can cook and I am thankful to not have to use my easy bake broke@ss oven- winner winner turkey dinner! 

SO, here is the menu I put together for the six of us to eat. It is pretty basic but the recipes, well, some of them have a special meaning to me because of who they came from. And if you are really quiet while reading this I will share my favorite recipe at the end. OK kids, gather 'round...

  • Relish tray- this is pickles, olives, etc. Not actual relish; some people have never heard it called this before so I felt the need to explain.
  • Cheese & cracker tray- you have to snack on SOMETHING while cooking and waiting. This tray also has pepperoni and summer sausage on it- YUM.
  • Turkey- my tip on cooking this, make a paste of butter, garlic and sage. Lift the skin up and rub it all over ol' tom turkey and it is incredibly moist. I also put him in an oven bake bag. Super simple!
  • Stuffing- use chicken stock to mix this up. I do not add anything to my stuffing because, well, people are picky so they get the Pepperidge Farm bagged stuff. I also do not put it inside the turkey because it takes longer to roast the bird.
  • Gravy made form drippings, of course
  • Cranberry sauce- I buy fresh and cook my own down.
  • Cranberry jelly- the husband like that canned blob.
  • Sweet potato casserole- my favorite in the entire world. This was staple at my Grandpa's turkey dinners and thus I love it. 
  • Baked Pineapple- a close second! It is so amazingly simple and delicious to make. It is like a casserole or maybe a custard.. Whatever it is I enjoy it immensely.
  • And a fruit salad that I don't even know what to call it but it has fruit cocktail and mayo in it. Don't judge until you try it!
  • Mac n cheese- nothing fancy here just crackin' open a box.
  • Corn
  • Kings Hawaiian Rolls.
  • Apple pie
  • Pumpkin pie
  • Cheesecake
Like I said, it is a pretty basic menu. 

Now for the recipe. My Grandpa was the cook in the family. At one point he even had a restaurant in Ohio, I believe, called The Dinner Bell. And Thanksgiving was always a big deal in the family when I was growing up. But it seems that after he passed away everyone grew distant or maybe it is because everyone is scattered among different states. Whatever the reason, its sad.  Anyway, my Grandpa used to make this every year and I always thought it was amazing but it could have been because it was his. So every year I make it too (but with a few tweaks of my own).

Grandpa's Sweet Potato Casserole
  • 3 cups sweet potatoes, mashed
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted

Note, I actually buy the canned candied yams in syrup instead of sweet potatoes. Personal choice only. Either way they are delicious!

Combine the first 6 ingredients. I use an electric mixer to kind of whip them up. Pour into a buttered 13 x 9 baking dies. Mix the remaining ingredients together in a separate bowl to use as topping. It should be dry-ish and crumble easily; sprinkle all over the top. Sometimes I top with marshmallows too just because I can. Then bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes (oven times vary! If this was in my easy bake it would be at 275 for 15 minutes, LOL)

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving however you choose to celebrate it. And feel free to post some of your own favorite, special recipes. I'd love to see them!

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