Goodcookbecky's Blog

Letting the juices of life (or food) drip from my chin!


Turkey Leftovers Galore

I bought a larger turkey than usual this year, and have slightly more left overs than usual, but my favorite way to use up some of those leftovers is making my Turkey Cranberry Wreath.  It is a hit with everyone who tries it.  I am sure you will enjoy it too.  If you prefer to have different nuts, you could substitute walnuts or almonds for the pecans.

Turkey Cranberry Wreath

adapted from a Pampered Chef Booklet


  • 2 tubes Pillsbury Original Crescent Rolls
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 cups cooked turkey meat
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 3 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 4 oz shredded Swiss cheese
  • 1/2 cup Craisins (dried cranberries)
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 egg white, beaten


Preheat oven to 375° F.  Unroll crescent dough, separate into 16 triangles.  With wide ends of triangles toward the center arrange 8 triangles in a circle on a large round Pizza stone.  Corners of wide edges will touch and points will extend 1 inch beyond edge of baking stone.  Match wide end of each remaining triangle to wide end of each outer triangle; seal seams; (points will overlap in the center – do not seal there)
In  a large bowl mix mayonnaise, mustard, black pepper, chopped turkey, celery, parsley, cranberries,and cheese  together. Combine well.  Scoop filling and place over seams of dough, forming a circle.  Sprinkle with chopped nuts over filling.
Beginning in center, lift one dough triangle across the mixture.  Continue alternating with outer and inner strips, slightly overlapping to form a wreath.  Tuck last end under the first.
Whip egg white and brush over dough with a pastry brush.  Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.  Slice into 10 portions.

This is really my all time favorite way to have turkey. My husband even says it is better than the main event.  How often do you hear that the leftovers are better than the original?

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Turkey for Dessert!

No, I did not make turkey ice cream — you will need to watch Iron Chef to see that happen!  My kids got crafty and used Fudge covered grahams, shortbread cookies, Reese’s peanut butter cups (mini), Rolo Chocolate Caramel candies and candy corn and melted chocolate to make these cute little creations.  I found the idea in a Pillsbury booklet.

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Wow, the year is going by fast.  Thanksgiving is almost upon us.  I thought I would post some of my favorite recipes that work for me.  I make my turkey (always a Butterball) in a oven roasting bag and it turns out succulent every time!  Just follow the directions on the roasting bag you will get great results!  I season my turkey with salt and pepper, and sometimes rosemary.  Stuffed with my mother’s recipe for stuffing.  Accompanied with Parmesan Topped Broccoli, Cranberry sauce or relish – I have two recipes I really like and typically will make one recipe for Christmas and one for Thanksgiving.  One of them is from a Martha Stewart cookbook and the other is my Grandmother’s recipe for cranberry relish (which only needs a food processor to make it – no cooking involved).  I always have giblet gravy and of course mashed potatoes, glazed carrots, desserts vary.

Turkey and Giblet Gravy – Source: The Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook Copyright 1989  This cookbook was a wedding gift from one of my sister in laws and I used this recipe my very first Thanksgiving.  It has become my traditional recipe every year!


  • 1 (15 lb) Turkey
  • 1 Tbsp  Canola Oil, to brush
  • 1 packet Turkey Giblets (this is found both inside the carcass as well as in the pouch section where the neck used to be!)
  • 1 stalk Celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped Onion
  • Salt, to taste
  • Water, to cover
  • 4 cups  Turkey pan drippings
  • 6 Tbsp All-Purpose Flour



Remove giblets and neck from inside turkey and reserve for gravy.  Rinse bird with running cold water; drain well.
Spoon some stuffing lightly into neck cavity (do not pack).  Fold neck skin over and fasten with 1 or two skewers.
With Bird breast side up lift wings up toward neck and fold under back of bird so they stay flat and keep neck skin in place.
Spoon remaining stuffing lightly into body cavity.  Close by folding skin lightly over opening; skewer closed.
Tie legs together.
Place in Turkey Roasting bag and follow instructions for roasting times. (Takes less time in convection oven)  The temperature of the bird should be 165 when the meat thermometer is inserted in the thickest part of the thigh (without touching the bone) otherwise it is not safe to eat!

Giblet Gravy:

Giblet Gravy

While turkey is roasting, heat giblets, neck , celery, onion, 1/2 tsp salt and water to cover to boiling.
Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer for 1 hour (or more) till giblets are tender;  Drain reserving broth; discard celery and onion.  Chop neck meat and giblets.  When turkey is done, remove rack from pan; pour pan drippings into a 4 cup measure; let drippings stand until fat separates from meat juice.
Skim 1/3 cup fat from drippings into 2 quart saucepan; skim off and discard any fat remaining on surface of drippings.
Add reserved broth to meat juice in cup to make 4 cups (add water if necessary)
Into fat in saucepan over medium heat, stir flour and 1 1/2 tsp salt.
Gradually stir in meat-juice mixture; cook stirring until thickened.
Add reserved chopped giblets and neck meat; cook until heated through.


Martha Stewart’s Cranberry Compote – adapted

Cranberry Compote

Source The Martha Stewart Living Cookbook Copyright 2000 p 486

I double the recipe,(amounts are doubled) because the single recipe never seems enough for more than a meal.  I also reduced the sugar amount because I found it plenty sweet with less sugar.

  • 4 cups fresh cranberries
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 6 Tbsp fresh orange juice
  • 1- 1 1/2 cups sugar (originally 2 cup)
  • 1/2  tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Combine all the ingredients in a medium saucepan. Place over medium-high heat; cook, stirring occasionally, until the berries begin to pop but are still whole (7-10 minutes).  Transfer to a bowl to cool.  Good hot or cold.


My Grandma’s Cranberry Relish (no picture yet)


  • 1  lb fresh cranberries
  • 2 (14 oz) cans Pineapple chunks, with juice
  • 2  Apples, washed and cored with peel
  • 2 Oranges, washed with peel
  • 1/2 cup Sugar

Blend ingredients in a blender or food processor.  Best when prepared a day in advance or more.  It keeps in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

My Mom’s Stuffing (for one 12 lbs bird plus a little extra)

Mom's Stuffing


  • 3/4  cup chopped Onion
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped Celery
  • 1/3  cup Butter
  • 1 cup Water
  • 2  quarts Bread cubes (see note)
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Celery Seed
  • 2 Tbsp fresh chopped Parsley
  • 1 1/2 tsp sage
  • 1 tsp Thyme
  • 1/2 tsp pepper


Combine first 3 ingredients together and cook until onion and celery are softened.  Add water and bring to a boil.  Cook for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Add other ingredients and mix together to make the dressing

(NOTE: Bread recommendations:  Rye, Pumpernickel, Whole Wheat and white bread) Yield: enough to stuff a 12 lb. Turkey.

Parmesan Crumb Topped Broccoli

Broccoli with Parmesan Crumb Topping

Serves 6


  • 1 bunch broccoli, washed and cut into smaller pieces
  • 1 inch water
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 4 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup seasoned Progresso bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated or shredded Parmesan cheese

Put the broccoli in a covered pot with an inch of water and seasoned with salt.  Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to low, cover and steam for about 10 minutes until it is a nice dark green.
Drain the broccoli and transfer to a baking dish.  Melt the butter and combine with bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese.  Sprinkle over the broccoli.  Bake at 325-350 for 15 minutes until the crumb topping is golden brown and the cheese melts a little.  Enjoy.  If you wish sprinkle more freshly grated Parmesan cheese and sprinkle some lemon juice over the dish.


Glazed Carrots

  • Carrots, peeled and sliced into coins (however many you need to serve your crowd)
  • Water to cover
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp melted butter
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 4 Tbsp honey

Place the carrot slices in a pan.  Cover with water and add salt.  Bring to boil, reduce heat and cover.  Cook for 15 minutes (test them at 10 minutes – depending on the size of the carrot slices they make be done early and we don’t want them to boil to mush!)  Drain water.  Add butter, nutmeg and honey.  Stir and serve.


Fresh Baked Bread

At Thanksgiving shortcuts are sometimes necessary and if the shortcut is really good, why not go with it?  I like the frozen dinner rolls you can get in your local grocery store (Rhodes brand is my favorite) They are raw and just need to be baked.  I like to dress them up with Sesame or Poppy seeds, or sprinkle with a Garlic Parmesan seasoning.  If you buy the dough ones you can form them into different shapes as well.  Here I made a “worm” and then tied it in a knot before brushing with egg white and sprinkling with poppy seeds and baking according to package directions.

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Cranberry Scones

Cranberry Scones and Lemon Curd

Cranberry Scones have been a tradition at our church’s Christmas Tea.  I had plenty of help in making 600 scones for the occasion, which are now all safely stowed in various freezers waiting to be thawed and reheated just before serving. We split it into two baking days.  We completed 450 on the first day and the remaining 192 on the second baking day. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera to take pictures of the process and had to make them again (what a shame right?)  I could have used the recipe for 8 large scones, but no, I made 32 and gave some away.  My children enjoyed the cranberry scones and lemon curd for an after school snack.  The only change I made on this blog was that I did not chop the cranberries (and I used more- but only because it was for personal use) Serve with Lemon Curd

Here is the recipe:

Cranberry Scones- Robbin

Yields: 12 servings (small scones) or 8 large


  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour, sifted
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 cup whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp sugar in the raw for topping (brush scone with egg white wash first)


Preheat oven to 400F.

In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients together.  Cut butter into dry ingredients with  pastry cutter, until they resemble fine crumbles.  Whisk eggs and whipping cream together.  Make a well in the dry ingredients, and pour in the wet ingredients and cranberries. Stir gently with fork until dough holds together.  With hands, bring dough together into a ball.  Pour out onto a floured surface and knead gently for about 10-15 times.  You want to handle the dough as little as possible or the scones will become tough.

Form the dough into a 8 inch circle (or roll out to about 3/4′ thick  Cut with biscuit cutter, or into squares or triangles as you prefer).  Repeat with remaining dough until it is all used up. (If you are using the recipe which serves 32 large scones you will split the large ball of dough into 4 even pieces, each piece will make 8 large scones)

Place scones on a lightly sprayed cookie sheet (of if you are using silicone baking mats, you can skip spraying the pan) leaving about 3/4:-1″ between each scone.  Bake at 400 F for 12-14 minutes, or until golden brown.  Cool on racks. Serve warm with Lemon Curd.

FREEZE: Or store airtight and freeze for up to one month.  If frozen, place from freezer into heavy duty foil pans and bake at 300 for about 15 minutes.  Or defrost in open air to keep from getting moist and bake for 5 minutes at 325.

Cranberry Scones (3x batch)

Yield 48 scones 32 large scones

  • 10 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 sticks plus 6 Tbsp butter, at room temperature
  • 8 eggs
  • 3 cups whipping cream
  • 3/4 cup chopped cranberries
  • 1 cup sugar in raw
  • 2 egg whites for egg wash
  • extra flour for rolling out

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Helpful Notes/Tips:

If you have parchment paper or even better silicone baking sheets (silpat is a great brand that I highly recommend, but they are pricey.) to place on your cookie sheets, it will prevent the bottom of the scone from browning too quickly during baking, plus they will be easier to remove from the pan.  Sugar in the Raw is easy to find and a great finishing sugar – I found them in a convenient packet size and two packets will be enough sugar to top 8 large scones.  Before brushing the scones with egg white wash, separate them into individual wedges so the sides also get the egg wash and sugar.  If you have one of the plastic sheets that has circles of different size printed on it, you will find it an easy task to form a circle, and your scones will be more uniform.