Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thirty days of thankful: day eight

So this post is really a follow up to yesterday's, because I am still so very thankful for our wonderful K-Life leaders. Here are the recipes from Sunday's Thanksgiving dinner. This was my first time ever cooking a Thanksgiving dinner and it turned out pretty darn good if I do say so myself. Everything below will serve approximately 10-12. We actually had 16 people and had plenty of food (I did double the sweet potato souffle), but this will obviously depend on your crowd. If this is your first time cooking a Thanksgiving meal, the recipes below are pretty fool proof.  Here are some helpful Thanksgiving tips to ensure you have a stress-free meal:

1. You can make the casseroles a day or two ahead of time and refridgerate them to save yourself some time on Thanksgiving day. If you do refridgerate ahead of time, add about 20 min onto each cooking time.

2. With the turkey in the crock pot, I was able to fit the stuffing, sweet potato souffle and broccoli casserole all in the oven at the same time. Without having a convection oven, I cooked everything at 350 for about an hour and a half.

3. I would consider myself kind of a health nut when it comes to cooking and working out; but in my opinion, Thanksgiving (and Christmas for that matter) is not the time to substitute low fat options in your dishes (milk, half and half, condensed soup, etc.). Usually, these low fat options change the consistency of the dishes so they don't turn out exactly how they should. If you eat healthy the other 363 days of the year, now is your time for a splurge : )

4. If you're baking rolls (in my case I made some Pillsbury crescent rolls), put them in the oven by themself after you've taken all of your casseroles out. The casseroles will be bubbling hot and this will allow them 8-10 min to cool while you're waiting on your rolls to bake.

Thanksgiving Recipes:

Crockpot Turkey Breast (serves approx. 10-12)
*Instead of a whole turkey, I made a turkey breast in the crock pot and I would highly recommend this if you need to free up some oven space. It also sort of self-bastes, because all of the juices drip from underneath the lid onto the turkey while it's cooking.
- 7lb bone-in turkey breast (thawed completely)
- 1 pkg dry onion soup mix
- 1 sweet onion coursely chopped in large pieces
- 3 carrots peeled and coursely chopped
- 3 celery stalks coursely chopped
- 1 cup of turkey broth

1. Place chopped veggies in the bottom of the crock pot and pour turkey broth over them.

2. Place the turkey breast on top of the veggies. I actually had a few left to stuff into the cavity, so I did that as well.

3. Rub the outside of the turkey with the dry onion soup mix (under the skin too). I also sprinkled dash of poultry seasoning and garlic powder on the turkey (optional).

4. Cook for one hour on high and then 6-7 hours on low. Internal temperature should be atleast 165 when taken with a meat thermometer. When it's finished, you should be able to remove the turkey from the crock pot, place it on your serving platter and slice just like you would a whole turkey. I served it with Trader Joes turkey gravy and it was delish!

Sausage Cornbread Stuffing (serves approx. 10-12)
*I cheated and bought Trader Joes boxed stuffing mix and it was so yummy!
- 1 box cornbread stuffing mix (or you can make your own, fancy pants)
- 1 package uncooked ground sausage (I used maple flavored)
- 1 sweet onion chopped
- 3 celery stalks chopped
- water as called for on the stuffing mix of your choice (I actually used turkey broth instead to give it some more flavor)

1. Cook sausage in a pan according to package directions and set aside.

2. Saute the celery and onion for about 5 minutes in the same pan as you cooked the sausage, because it gives it some great flavor. Set aside with the sausage once finished.

3. In a separate pot, prepare stuffing mix according to package directions for "oven casserole". I also mixed in a small handful of freshly chopped sage (optional). Here is where you can really customize this however you'd like by adding chopped nuts, cranberries, chestnuts or whatever sounds good!

4. Combine the sausage/onion/celery mixture with the stuffing into one large greased casserole dish and bake covered at 350 for 25 min. Uncover and bake for an additional 5-10 to brown the top.

Sweet Potato Souffle (serves approx. 10-12)
2 cups mashed yams (2 large cans)
1 ½ cups white sugar
2 eggs
¾ stick of butter softened
1 cup whole milk
½ tsp cinnamon

¾ cup crushed corn flakes
½ cup chopped walnuts
½ cup brown sugar
¾ of stick melted butter
handful of mini marshmallows (optional)

1. Mix all of the souffle ingredients together with an electric mixer on low/med until mostly smooth (not too much, because you don't want it too liquidy).

2. Spread souffle mixture into ungreased baking dish.

3. Combine all ingredients for topping and sprinkle on top of souffle.

4. Bake uncovered at 350 for 30 min. Sprinkle the marshmallows on for the last 3-4 min.

Broccoli Casserole (serves approx 10-12)
2 pkgs frozen chopped broccoli florets (cooked/drained)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 eggs (fork scrambled, uncooked)
¾ cup mayo
1 medium onion (chopped)
½ cup grated cheddar cheese
1 can of fried onions

1. Saute your onion in a pan with a dash of EVOO to soften them up a bit (about 5 min)

2. In a large bowl, combine cooked broccoli, soup, eggs, mayo, onion and cheese until everything is well coated.

3. Pour into a greased baking dish and bake at 350 covered for 25 min. Uncover, pour the fried onions on top and bake an additional 10 min.

Perfect Mashed Potatoes (serves approx. 10-12)
3 lb bag of Russett potatoes or you can use Yukon gold too
1 cup of half and half
1/2 cup of plain Philadelphia cooking cream
butter, salt and pepper to taste

1. Peel potatoes and place in a large pot with enough water so that all are covered. Sprinkle in a few shakes of salt to the water before boiling. You can chop the potatoes if you'd like, but I didn't and they came out just fine.

2. Bring water and potatoes to a boil and cook for 20-25 min after the water has reached a rolling boil. They are done when you stick a fork in them and they slide off fairly easily.

3. Drain potatoes and return to pot.

4. Mash with a potato masher (or you can use a potato ricer if you have one).

5. Once roughly mashed, mix in the half and half and philly cooking cream. Next, I whisked them by hand, because they were smooth enough to do so. An electric mixer will generally give you more "lumps".

6. Season to taste with butter, salt and pepper. Serve immediately- yum!

Cranberries (this recipe was previously posted here)

If you combine all of the above, your Thanksgiving food table will look something like this. I wasn't able to take pictures of each dish, because the food was ready and we had a hungry crowd! Enjoy!!

1 comment:

  1. yummy, Thank you for sharing at the Thursday Favorite Things hop xo