Goodcookbecky's Blog

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


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My Favorite Things (at Thanksgiving)

With Thanksgiving approaching, I just wanted to highlight a few of my favorite recipes.

Turkey and Stuffing is a given – I don’t think I need to post a recipe for that though, because everyone likes their own recipe – I made the mistake of trying out a new recipe at Thanksgiving once for the stuffing and I was truly sorry I had tried something new on that day.  The day to experiment is not on Thanksgiving when it comes to the essentials.

I do love Martha Stewart’s recipe for Cranberry Compote.  I alternate that with my grandmother’s recipe for cranberry relish that is processed with apples, pineapples, and oranges. The apples and oranges are washed but processed with the peel.  It gives it a nice tart flavor.

 

Martha Stewart’s Cranberry Compote – adapted

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

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions
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.

Broccoli with Parmesan Crumb Topping

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 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.

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Turkey Club Crescent Sandwiches

Turkey Club Crescent SandwichesI love these sandwiches. I usually make them every year for special events at our church for choir. I first encountered this combination of ingredients at the Brea Bistro in Brea, CA.  Unfortunately, the Brea Bistro is no longer in business.  The sandwiches are simple to make.

Turkey Club Crescent Sandwiches

Inspired by the Brea Bistro

Serves 12

Ingredients:

  • 12 store bought crescent rolls
  • 1 jar Marie’s Dressing (Cesar Dressing)
  • 24 thin slices roasted turkey
  • 12 slices crisp bacon
  • 1 package alfalfa sprouts
  • 1 can whole berry cranberry sauce

Instructions: Slice the crescent rolls, creating a top and bottom half.  Spread some dressing on the bottom half of the crescent roll.  Place two pieces of sliced turkey on the dressing.  Top with bacon, then alfalfa sprouts and about 1 tablespoon of cranberry sauce and place the top half of the crescent roll on the cranberry sauce. Printable Recipe


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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

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

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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Thanksgiving!

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!

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

Turkey

Turkey:
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)

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions
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

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

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

Ingredients

  • 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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Mom’s Raisin Gravy

Here is a recipe for Ham.  With Easter looming just days away, I think I need to start thinking about the menu for that.  When I was growing up my mom would prepare a raisin gravy to go with the ham.  I have to admit, as a child I did not enjoy it much, but now that I am an adult, I cannot have ham without serving this on the side.  It is a good and simple recipe.  I hope you enjoy it as well — maybe it will be a walk down memory lane to your childhood too!

Mom’s Raisin Gravy – Verna

Ingredients

1/2 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp Vinegar
2 Tbsp Cornstarch
1/2 cup Raisins
1/2 tsp Prepared Mustard
1/2 cup Lemon Juice
Lemon Zest
1 1/2 cups Water

Instructions

Combine all ingredients and heat over medium heat, until a nice consistency. Serve with Ham.

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Pumpkin Waffles

Here is a recipe I found quite by accident.  It is pumpkin waffles.  Yes, I know it’s more of a seasonal thing to have pumpkin waffles, but I say pumpkin is one of those things you could and should have year round.

The site Bread and Breakfast Inns has a lot of recipes and links to Bed and Breakfasts around the country.  This particular recipe I changed a little.  I did not make the Maple flavored whipped cream, but instead served it with real Maple Syrup and Whipped cream from the can.  I like easy! Plus I have kids who have no patience when it comes to waiting for their food.  This is especially my husband’s favorite way to make Waffles.  One recipe was not enough for my family of 5 I made 1 1/2 times the amount and that is what is listed here.

Pumpkin Waffles -( adapted from http://www.lanierbb.com/recipes/data/4050.html)

Serves 6-8

Combine dry ingredients:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/4 + 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 + 1/8 cup sugar
  • 6 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ginger

Combine:

  • 2 1/4 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree (from can is fine)
  • 6 egg yolks (reserve egg whites)
  • 1 1/2 cups melted butter
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Beat until stiff:

  • 6 egg whites

Directions:

  1. Preheat waffle iron.
  2. Combine dry ingredients. Combine wet ingredients.  Combine dry ingredients with wet ingredients and mix together until combines.
  3. Beat egg whites until stiff and gently fold into the waffle batter.  It should be nice and light and airy.
  4. Bake Waffles in waffle iron.  Serve with warm Maple Syrup and whipped cream if desired.

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Black Dog Restaurant Ginger Cookies

I am a passionate cookbook collector.  In my 17 years of marriage I must have by now in my possession over 200 cookbooks.  I was for a few months a member of a cookbook club.  I got to buy the cookbooks at a good price and they would send them to me.  One such nugget is the Black Dog Restaurant Cookbook.  In this cookbook there are a few recipes that I have made over the past few years.  These cookies are not hard like Gingersnap cookies.  They have a nice soft chewy texture.  My daughters who are not big fans of ginger are big fans of these cookies and I think they are great for Christmas or any other occasion.  Just hum the tune from Sesame Street: “C is for Cookie”. 🙂

Here is a recipe from the book that I adapted. 

Black Dog Restaurant Ginger Cookies

Makes 8 dozen cookies.  I freeze some for later.

  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 1/2 cups canola oil
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup molasses
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. cinnamon
  • 5 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 7 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar in the raw to roll the cookies in before baking

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Blend the ginger with 1/2 cup of the oil.  I use a hand blender.  Process until well minced.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, mix 3 cups sugar, molasses and eggs.  Strain the ginger/oil liquid and add the strained ginger infused oil to the sugar mixture.  Add remaining cup of oil to the mixture and mix until smooth.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the salt, cinnamon, baking soda, cloves and flour.  Ad the dry ingredients to the wet mix and blend well.
  5. Line your cookie sheets with parchment paper for easier clean up. Scoop the cookie dough with a small ice cream scoop, form into balls (I find if I moisten my hands with a little water the dough does not stick to me.)  Roll in sugar in the raw (regular sugar works fine too- I love the texture of sugar in the raw)
  6. Place on prepared cookie sheet and bake for 8-12 minutes, just until the tops crack and cookies are flat.
  7. Leave on the cookie sheet a few minutes to firm up before removing them to wire racks to cook completely.  Enjoy!

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