Friday, November 25, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!!

I know I've been a bad blogger.. but I'm just gonna breeze in here with a quick thanksgiving post.. This year it was epic. Totally freakin EPIC. 2 appitizers, a 21 lb turkey, 8 side dishes, and 5 desserts. And 12 people to eat and enjoy it with me. Having my dad and his wife with us for the first time in many years was really great and I had to put out a big fantastic spread for him. I think he hurt himself eating so much. haha

First, I brined my turkey.. I did a combo of Alton Brown's brine, with Pioneer womans brine.. and threw in a few Me things as well.. Was good. Had Water and a couple cups of apple cider, a cup and a half of salt, a cup of brown sugar, a half a cup of white sugar, candied ginger, whole allspice, peppercorns and cloves; fresh poultry herbs: parsley rosemary sage and thyme.. the peel of 2 oranges and one lemon, a cinnamon stick... and.. Umm I think that's all. Aside from the ice LOL Basically everything including the kitchen sink. Brined it for about 24 hours then rinsed it off and let it sit on the roasting rack, lightly covered with foil in the fridge for about 10 hours, to dry the skin out a bit..

In the morning I took it out and let it come up to room temp a bit.. then stuffed garlic herb butter (poultry hers, grated garlic, salt and butter.. made a ton of it and put it in lots of stuff LOL) under the skin all over the bird, and inside the cavity.. then shoved some quartered apples, onions, and oranges a split head of garlic, and a bundle of fresh herbsa bundle of fresh herbs into the cavity and in the roasting pan around the bird. I poured melted herb butter all over the turkey and rubbed it around and splashed some apple cider into the bottom of the roasting pan and put it in the oven at 500 for about 15 minutes, then reduced the oven to 325 and let it roast for about 4 hours.. had a PERFECTLY cooked turkey. God it was amazing. I think next year I might give a covering the bird with a buttered cheesecloth a try. I saw Michael Symon do that on TV the other day and it sounds like a smart idea.

My dressing was pretty much the same as the one I made in my "Rogue Thanksgiving" a few years ago..which I am SO doing again next year.. already forewarned everyone. This one wore me out.. especially after the party we had 2 and a half weeks ago that I'll hopefully blog about another time... Because the food for that party was beyond epic. Let me put it this way.. there was a slider station AND a pasta station. Among numerous other things.

Anyway.. back to turkey day. I'm easily distracted.

I made the husbands favorite green beans.. With the addition of some half & half to the marsala wine.. WAY yummy. For real. My dad and my brother were most impressed. Must be a very manly green bean. LOL

I made my grandmothers corn casserole.. which is basically everybody elses grandma's corn casserole.. Cream corn, whole kernal corn (I chose frozen varieties of both and was extremely pleased with the results).. crushed up saltines (gonna use ritz crackers next time), some half and half (though grandma and mom use evaporated milk.. I just like and had half&half)... mixed up with crushed crackers and butter all over the top. Good stuff. Reminded me of my mom. I miss my mom. I hope she visits soon.

I made my new favorite version of mashed potatoes.. cream cheese and butter!!! YUM. So much better than sour cream and cheddar. There was supposed to be half&half (you're seeing a trend here, huh? I also used a whole quart of heavy cream in various parts of this meal too :P) but the husband was finishing up the mashed potatoes while I carved turkey and he put a spoonfull into my mouth and I didn't really look at them and realize there was no cream in them.. and they tasted good, so I said "they're good, put em in the bowl".. then looked at the half&half as I was setting the rest of the food out and said "whoops, oh well, all that butter and cream cheese, they be fine!" lol prolly gonna need a little cream on the reheat, but otherwise they were good. LOL

I did my usual apple pie.. but made it super pretty with a full top crust and made little leaf cut outs of the pastry to decorate it turned out good.. but I don't think I put enough flour or maybe didn't bake it quite long enough, because it was very liquidy today, after sitting in the fridge all night. Oh well... for a pie made at 1am during complete and utter exhaustion after a baking marathon AND a last minute 2 hour shopping spree... it was pretty dang good. And looked gorgeous.

And I made a pumpkin cheesecake with a gingersnap crust.. OMG. I swear, pumpkin pie is dead to me. Pumpkin cheesecake has stolen my heart for ever and ever. Especially with a layer of spiced fresh sweetened whipped cream. Yeah. You drooled a little, didn't you?

And for my oldest baby, who turned 14 on this most Thankful of all days... I made some vanilla cupcakes with andes mint candies chips inside them.. and let him spread chocolate frosting and sprinkle with more andes chips over the top.

My sis in law made the candied sweet potatoes, the green bean casserole, brought the cranberry sauce and gravy.. and my dad's wife made cornbread salad.

It was a feast of epic proportions and very widely recevied.

Oh and those 2 appetizers for nibbles during the day.. Sweet and Sour meatballs.. chili sauce, grape jam, frozen meatballs... voila, every man and child thinks you are a genious. LOL And Asagio ham pinwheels.. puff pastry spread with a mixture of apricot jam and dijon mustard.. then layered with several slices of Virginia baked ham. On top of that, a sprinkling of grated asagio cheese and then a handfull of dried cherries, roughly chopped thrown on top.. roll it up longways, jelly roll style and slice it.. bake at 350 till the puff up and brown. YUMMY stuff. :D My sis in law made those as I talked her through the recipe while I was making the corn. LOL

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone that still reads or has stumbled upon my little corner of the blog world!!! I hope your meal was spectacular and your tummy doesn't hurt too bad. :)

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