Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Thanksgiving Feast

Well I totally changed things up this year for my first major holiday without my hubby.  I hosted Thanksgiving for my family and my hubby's family.  It was just what I needed to get through the day and it was something we always wanted to do.  I made a turkey with all the trimmings for 20 and it was fun.  A lot of work and my sisters really pitched in and helped me.  I learned a lot about cooking for a crowd as well.  You don't need a pound per person in potatoes.  One potato per person is what I should have done.  We had so much left over :)

My brother-in-law deep fat fried 2 small 10 lb turkeys.  What I also learned is you do turkey breasts in the deep fat fryer, not 10 lb turkeys.  Well it was a learning experience. 

I used my mother's (and grandmothers) homemade stuffing recipe to fill my bird.  I will add that recipe soon.

The main course was my beautiful turkey. 

Thanksgiving Turkey
20 lb turkey
1 stick butter

Pull your frozen turkey out of the freezer at least 48 hours before you plan on fixing it. I put the turkey in the fridge in the garage on Monday night before Thursday's festivities. In the colder months, it is harder to defrost a turkey in the fridge in the garage.  I checked in Wednesday afternoon and realized it was still pretty solid.  I brought in into the house for 2 hours in the sink and then back into the fridge.  It was all ready for stuffing on Thursday morning.  Pull turkey out of fridge and place into sink in packaging.  Cut the packaging and pull turkey out and place into backing pan.  I placed mine on the wire rack in the big roasting pan.  Make sure your remove the "bags of goodies" from the head and tail of the turkey.  There will be 2 so make sure you get them both out before you put in the oven.  Mine had a plastic tab that held the legs together.  I removed one side to be able to stuff the bird.  Stuff with your stuffing and put the side back on to hold the legs together.  Melt the butter and baste the turkey with it.  I used a basting brush to brush the melted butter all over the turkey. This gives it the nice brown color you see above.  Bake the turkey according to the package directions.  350 degrees for 15 minutes per pound is what I usually plan for.  Remove from oven.  Remove stuffing and place in the bowl and slice turkey.  I use the dripping to make gravy as well. 

Enjoy!!  It is the easiest thing to cook ever.  It seems very intimidating but it's super easy. 

Turkey Breast in the Crock Pot

I decided it was time to clean out the big freezer chest in my garage.  I need to eat up the goodies in there.  I found all kinds of meat my hubby was always buying.  He would hit Jewel/Osco around 8:30pm a couple nights a week to scope out the reduced meat while picking up soda or adult beverages.  I haven't been that great about grilling with the horrible winter we had and know I need to use it all up.  I found a turkey breast in the bottom and decided I wanted to try it in the crock pot.  I had pinned several ways on Pinterest and figured what the heck.  I made mashed potatoes when I got home from work, warmed up the jar of turkey gravy I had and made a box of stuffing.  Not my grandma's good recipe but still it was great.  Plus, now I have leftovers that the kids will all eat.  Total win in my book.

Turkey Breast in the Crock Pot
4-6 lb turkey breast, defrosted  
2 can of chicken broth
1 onion, peeled and quartered
1/4 cup butter
salt and pepper, to taste
Wash and pat dry turkey breast. Sprinkle well with salt and pepper. Place breast side down in cooker.
Add onion and butter into cavity. Pour wine over top of breast. Cook 4-6 hours on high or 7-9 on low.

Blonde Brownies

You are required to bring a treat in for your birthday at work every year.  We have so much cake in the month of January with mine and both my girls birthdays that I wanted to make something besides cake.  I am not super big on brownies but these are so easy and so yummy

Blonde Brownies
2 1/4 c flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 3/4 cups firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 c butter, softened
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 bag Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease 15x10 jelly roll pan.  (I use my pampered chef baking dish)
Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl.  Beat sugar and butter in a large mixing bowl until creamy.  Beat in eggs and vanilla; gradually beat in flour mixture.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Spread into prepared pan.  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the top is golden brown.  Cool in the pan.  Do not cut until the last minute.  They are super moist this way.


Chicken Enchilada's

It's Cinco de Mayo and I wanted to make something Mexican that I love.  This is my favorite enchilada recipe.  I threw this together really quickly and can't wait until this gets out of the oven to enjoy it.

Chicken Enchilada
Dished on my plate
1 can (10 3/4 oz) cream of chicken
1/2 c sour cream
1 Tb butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 T chili powder
2 cups cooked chicken
1 can chopped green chilies
Flour tortillas

Mix soup and sour cream.  Melt butter and add onion and chili powder.  Cook until onions are white.  Add chicken and chilies and 2 Tb soup mixture.  Spread 1/2 cup soup mixture in baking dish.  Spread about 1/4 cup chicken mixture in tortilla, roll up and place seam side down in dish.  Spread remaining soup over enchiladas.  Sprinkle cheese over the top.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.
Forgot to take a photo before I dished it up!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Hissy Fit Dip

I got invited to a last minute casual get together with my group of friends and needed to come up with something easy.  The last time we all get together I brought a veggie tray and one of my friend's hubby was not happy.  "You always bring something bad for us.  I can always count on you bringing something fat-full. Do NOT bring something healthy again."  It made me laugh and realize I always bring appetizers and they are always something to indulge in.  I enjoy making something new each time and it's always gone when I do.  So this is what I found to bring and everyone loved it.

Hissy Fit Dip
1 lb sausage, browned and crumbled
Someone got to it before I got
my photo!

8 oz cream cheese, softened
16 oz sour cream
8 oz veletta, cubed
1 tsp worchestershire sauce
1 tsp onion salt
1 tsp oregano
1.5 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Mix all together except 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese.  Spoon into a 9x9 baking dish and cover with remaining cheese.  Bake uncovered for 1 hour at 350 degrees.  Serve with tortilla chips.

Enjoy the "fat-fullness".

Grilled Veggies

They had a promotion at work to get you eating more fruits and veggies.  You signed up for a small/medium or large bag each week for 6 weeks of fresh fruits and veggies.  We got all kinds of beautiful produce and stuff I had never bought before.  We tried all kinds of new fruits and veggie and it was really good to try new things.  My kids were not too sure about it all but we did OK.

Grilled Veggies
My picture without mushrooms

1 Zuchinni
1 Squash
1 pkg mushrooms
1/2 sliced onion
1 red pepper
1 bottle of Italian dressing

Slice veggies and put them in a metal dish that can be placed on your grill.  Shake the dressing well and pour as much of the dressing onto the veggies so they are soaked.  Cover with foil and grill for 10 minutes or until veggies are translucent. 

I had an issue with my grill and threw them in the oven for 15-20 minutes and they were just as good. 


Pistachio Pudding

My favorite thing to have at Easter is Pistachio Pudding.  My kids don't really like it and my hubby never did.  So when I would make it for myself, I would either eat it all myself or have to throw it out.  I always feel bad heading to my family Easter from out of town and can't bring something.  But this requires no cooking and I could throw it together once I arrived and I wouldn't eat all of it myself.  Its a win-win in my book.

Pistachio Pudding

1can crushed pineapple
1 cup mini marshmellows
1 tub cool whip
1 box pistachio pudding

Mix all the ingredients together and chill 2 hours before serving.  Make sure you mix very well because pineapple tends to sit in the bottom of the bowl.