I have been thinking about my blog a lot lately and have missed it terribly! I have the day off after a very long stretch of work (I really, really love my job, but every now and then you need a break) so I thought I would sit down and do some updates here after a 6 month hiatus. First off…..I am now married 🙂
I am a newlywed of 2 months (almost) and even after being together for 9 years, I have this “domesticated” side coming out of me. I think it has always been there, but now when I bake……I wear an apron. I make the bed EVERY day. I am actually watering the plants on a regular basis. And I get this over whelming urge to cook big meals!
With the cold winds blowing in, the leaves turning colours and Thanksgiving right around the corner, I am on a mission to make the first Thanksgiving dinner as Man and Wife special! Since we are either working or going to family parties on Thanksgiving Weekand, I decided to surpride my husband with a romantic Turkey dinner a week early!
I planned a traditional, yet romantic dinner for two! Recipes Below:
- Scalloped Potatoes
- Dry Stuffing
- Marinated Carrots
- Green Salad
- Homemade Buns
- Apple Pie and Ice Cream
First off,I know what you are thinking….”I thought this was a menu for two? Why a whole turkey?” The first reason, is because at this time of year, you can buy a whole 10 lb turkey for less then the price 1 turkey breast. The second reason is because I LOVE me some turkey! My next post will probably be 10 recipes for leftover turkey:)
I have tried making turkey a million ways and the only time it is amazing (and people talk about it for weeks) is when I brine it. All brines are good, I have used lots different spice combinations and it always turns out good. Even 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of salt and water is great!
This year, I decided to try brining it in chicken stock, rosemary and peppercorns.After brining for 24 hours, I took it out of the fridge, dried it completely and stuffed it with lemons, oranges and garlic. Buttered the top, sprinkled sage, thyme and pepper all over (even under the skin) and popped it in the over for 3 hours, basting it every hour. Between the brine and the citrus stuffing, it is just so tender and juicy and the gravy has a nice zing to it with the citrus!
Scalloped Potatoes Recipe
This was the first time I have tried making scalloped potatoes. They have always seemed to intimating and somewhat scary. If you have ever sliced a fruit or vegatable before and if you have ever made alfredo sauce, then you have made scalloped potatoes. It is simple and not nearly as time consuming as I thought it would be. Lesson learned! I will be making these all the time from now on 🙂
4 peeled and sliced potatoes
1/4 onion, chopped
1 1/3 cups milk
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/4 pound Cheddar cheese, diced
Paprika for sprinkling on top
|1.||Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).|
|2.||Layer the potatoes in an 9×9 baking dish; repeat the layers.|
|3.||Heat milk, flour, butter, salt, black pepper and garlic powder in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened, 7 to 10 minutes.|
|4.||Stir Cheddar cheese into sauce until cheese is melted.|
|5.||Pour sauce over potatos; sprinkle with paprika.|
|6.||Cover baking dish with aluminum foil.|
|7.||Bake in the preheated oven until potatoes are tender, about 45 minutes|
|8.||Remove foil and continue baking until lightly browned, about 10 minutes more.|
This is a very awesome stuffing recipe passed down from my Great Grandmother. I do not like stuffing cooked in a turkey, I always find it resembles wet cat food…..yuck!! This recipe is cooked on the stove top, and you control the amount of “mushiness”. I have added all kinds of stuff to this recipe! Today was mushrooms, celery and minced onion.
6 cups fresh, cubed bread crumbs
1 tsp Sage
1 tsp Parsley
1 1/2 tsp Thyme
Salt and Pepper
1 Tbsp Butter
5 Tbs Butter
4 Tbs Water
|1.||Preheat oven to 350|
|2.||Cube bread into small cubes. Sprinkle herbs into bread crumbs in a bowl|
|3.||In a deep frying pan, melt butter. Add celery, onion and mushrooms until soft|
|4.||Add bread crumbs to pan until they turn brown. Flipping often|
|5.||Melt 5 Tbs Butter into water and pour over bread crumbs. Add more water for moister stuffing.|
|6.||Place in covered casserole dish and bake at 350 for 25 minutes. This is optional. Good either way.|
|7.||Place in bowl and serve!|
For my bridal shower, by sister in law asked all of the guests to bring one recipe on a card. This one came from our upstairs tenant (who has lived there for 48 years). Jack hates carrots cooked, but she guarenteed he would like them this way, so I tried them. I have to say……WOW! They are the best thing I have ever had. The marinade is going to become my new salad dressing! This recipe is a keeper, ever for those who do not like carrots 🙂
4 cups Carrots, peeled, chopped, cooked and cooled.
1 Green pepper, chopped small
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegateble oil
1/4 cup vinegar
1 can tomato soup
1 teaspoon dried basil
|1.||Peel, chop and cook carrots and peppers. Let cool.|
|2.||Mix sugar, oil, vinegar, soap, basil in pan and bring to a boil. Let simmer until it starts to thicken.|
|3.||Pour mixture over carrots and let sit in the fridge for 6 hours or overnight.|
I always like something cold, green and fresh on my plate! Nothing beats a salad full of raw veggies to balance out bits of rich potatoes and savory turkey! Paired with the marinade from the carrots as a dressing, it is perfect! Top it off with some shredded cheese!
This is one of the recipes where if I am invited over for dinner and ask if I can bring anything, I am always told “bring your bread!” This is a super easy recipe that is soft, sweet and delicous. Never any leftovers. Use this recipe for a loaf of bread or 12 buns. I made both and froze some.
4 cups white flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 white sugar
1 beaten egg
1 Tbs butter
1 Tbs oil
1/4 warm water
2 Tbs Bread yeast
1 Cup boiling Water
|1.||Preheat oven to 350 degrees|
|2.||Add yeast to warm water in a cup. Put aside|
|3.||Boil Water. Mix sugar, butter, oil and salt. Cover with boiling water and let sit for 10 minutes|
|4.||Add egg and yeast to mixture and stir.|
|5.||Mix in flour and knead until a good, fluffy consistency. I use my mixer for this…less work 🙂|
|6.||Let rise one hour. Punch down and let sit again for another hour.|
|7.||After an hour, punch down again and place in baking dish. Let rise another hour.|
|8.||Bake at 350 for 20 minutes (longer if making a loaf of bread)|
If you search allrecipes.com for apple pie, this recipe comes up with flawless reviews. I have seen it several times and thought I would take a stab at it.Here is the link:
I am not very good at pastry work, but a pie shell is easy enough. Here is the recipe I use for pie shells. You need a double crust, so double this recipe.
1 3/4 flour
3/4 butter or shortning
Pinch of salt
|2 Tsp Sugar
1/4 Cup cold Water
This pie is to die for. I mean really…..worth it! I am happy that I made one little one for just us tonight and another to stick into the freezer for when we have guests over.
And there you have it. A very successful, romantic thanksgiving dinner for two!