Thanksgiving Ideas!

We are on the final countdown to Thanksgiving.  This morning I took all the kiddos to the grocery store, which apparently is where everyone else was.  Those car carts sure don't maneuver well around very packed grocery aisles. 

This year all I'm making for actual Thanksgiving is desserts.  I'm making Pioneer Woman's Mocha Brownies, Pioneer Woman's Pecan Pie (with chocolate) and Upside Down Pumpkin Pie.  I will post these recipes!

If you're looking for a few ideas or recipes for your thanksgiving--here are some:

Traditional Roasted Turkey

Mashed Potatoes

Truffled Green Beans

Corn Casserole

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Three Packet Pork Roast (or Beef)

Tonight we had this roast with mashed potatoes and acorn squash.  It was a hit.  I found the idea for this recipe on the crockpot lady's blog and I went with it even though it sounded strange.  It was very good, if I do say so myself, and I think it would be great with a regular beef roast too!  My husband sounded like "Bob" eating this, mmmm-ing every bite.

Three Packet Roast (Pork or Beef)

1 packet ranch dressing mix
1 packet italian dressing mix
1 packet gravy mix (I used chicken for the pork, but beef for...beef would be great)
2 c. water
3 lb roast
3-4 carrots, peeled and cut in half
1 onion, quartered

Mix the packet/seasonings together with the water and put in the bottom of your crockpot.  Place the roast on top and toss in the carrots and onion.  Cook on high 4 hours or low 8 hours.  Serve with mashed potatoes or crash hot potatoes.  Yum.

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Sweet & Salty Acorn Squash

Tonight I made acorn squash for the first time.  We loooved it.  The other day I read a few recipes online looking for something great to do with it and then I forgot to print anything out and all the sudden it was time to make dinner tonight so this is what I ended up with --we all ate it and liked it and Rob has requested I make it for Thanksgiving.

This recipe is super simple and easy (and involves a microwave so what could be bad about that?)  This recipe can be doubled, tripled...as many as you need.

Sweet & Salty Acorn Squash

1 acorn squash
salt & pepper
2 Tb butter
2 Tb brown sugar

Preheat oven to 420.  Rinse the squash and cut them in half.  Remove the seeds with a spoon and put the squash halves face down on a plate and microwave 7-10 minutes, the skin should be soft to the touch but not mushy.  Remove from the microwave and salt and pepper the squash well.  Put 1 Tb butter and 1 Tb brown sugar into each squash half and bake for 10 minutes. Once you remove this from the oven, use a spoon to drizzle the butter mixture all over the squash and cut into wedges for serving. Great with turkey!


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Turkey Cheddar Chile Sandwich

This sandwich is really good.  Like, really good.  I mean everyone should make it.  We had this on a Saturday afternoon for lunch and the entire family (sans the baby) scarfed it down.  Rob ate it so fast I had to hurry and snap a picture before the entire thing was gone.

You can do a lot with a grilled cheese sandwich, you could use a combination of a number of different cheeses, use ham instead of turkey, and a roasted red pepper would be great instead of a green chile.

I used the delicious sourdough bread I get from the produce co-op...it is SO good.  But whole grain bread would be good too. 

Turkey Cheddar Chile Sandwich
*recipe makes 4 sandwiches, adjust according to how many you want.

8 slices Sourdough Bread
8 slices turkey deli meat
4 slices cheddar
4 Tb cream cheese
4 whole green chiles (in a small can of whole green chiles there is typically four)
Tomato Slices
4 Tb softened Butter

Heat an electric skillet to 350 or a regular skillet to medium heat.  Butter one side of each slice of bread.  To make the sandwiches, spread 1 Tb cream cheese on one slice of bread, top with 2 slices turkey, tomato slices, 1 green chile, and end with a cheddar cheese slice.  Grill the sandwiches on one side until golden brown, flip carefully with a spatula and grill the other side to golden brown.  Serve immediately!

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Traditional Roasted Turkey


I always like to make a turkey at home just for us so that I can make a giant batch of stock to keep in the freezer and then I use the turkey to make various meals like Chicken (Turkey) Pot Pie.  This recipe is super simple and quick to get into the oven and the turkey comes out great.

If you find that you usually have a very dry turkey, I would try this tip that I learned watching the Emeril--instead of cooking the turkey all the way to 170 degrees, cook it until it is 165 degrees then let it rest on top of the oven for at least twenty minutes.  The temperature will continue rising and the dark meat will be cooked through but the turkey breast will still be moist.  It works!

Traditional Roasted Turkey

1- 12lb turkey (if its larger add cooking time)
1 small bunch parsley
4 garlic cloves
1/2 onion
2 carrots
2 celery sticks
2-3 Tb butter, softened
1 1/2 tsp kosher or sea salt (use less salt if using regular table salt)
3/4 tsp pepper

Preheat oven to 475. Remove giblets and neck from the turkey cavity.  Trim any excess fat and stuff the cavity of the turkey with the parsley, onion, celery, carrots and garlic.  Combine butter salt and pepper.  Carefully loosen the skin under the breast and legs of the turkey and spread the butter all over the breast and legs (under the skin).  Place turkey on a rack in a roasting pan, breast up.  Pour a cup of water in the bottom of the pan.  Bake the turkey at 475 for thirty minutes.  Then reduce the oven temperature to 350 and continue baking turkey for 1 1/2 hours or until a meat thermometer reads 165 when placed in the thigh of the turkey.

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Truffled Green Beans

These green beans turned out SO delicious I just had to add them to the blog.  You could definitely use frozen green beans that you thaw first.  The frozen ones aren't as good, but they'll do when the fresh beans are out of season.

These green beans would be a wonderful addition to your Thanksgiving dinner this year!!
Truffled Green Beans
1 lb fresh green beans, trimmed and washed
2 Tb butter
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
1/4 red onion, diced (or a shallot)
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt & pepper
2-3 tsp. truffle oil

Place green beans and a tablespoon of water in a glass bowl and microwave for 3-5 minutes until the green beans are just starting to cook a bit.  You want them to still be crisp.  In a saute pan melt the butter and saute the mushrooms and onions until browned and soft.  Add in the garlic and stir for a minute.  Add in the green beans and saute several minutes.  Season well with salt and pepper.  Drizzle in truffle oil and then taste for seasoning adjustment.  Enjoy. 

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