Sunday, December 4, 2011

Thanksgiving Dinner

What a wonderful Thanksgiving Dinner! I was hosting at my house for the first time, and my sister April was home for this holiday which hadn't happened in many years. I was so excited! Here's the menu (and I am super thankful for the family members' contributions!):

Organic Pastured Turkey from Tropical Traditions- I was thrilled to order this online. It arrived in good time and still frozen. To bake, I just rubbed ghee between the skin and the meat along with a mix of salt, pepper, parsley, onion and garlic. I stuffed the bird with an apple, onion and garlic and poured some water in the pan and baked at 325 for almost 3 hours. I made this the day before, picked the meat and let it hang out in the fridge with some of the juice on it. It reheated beautifully and saved me from all that mess on the actual holiday. Also, it takes MUCH longer to pick a turkey than a chicken. Just sayin'.

Gravy- Made with broth from the turkey.

Stuffing and baked corn- Made by my mom so we only had to heat up the stuffing in the oven and the corn kept nicely in a crock pot.

Mashed potatoes- Made by my sister, Angela, and brought in a crock pot for easy reheating.

Steamed fresh green beans- Made by my sister, April. I never thought green beans could taste so good!

Cranberry relish- Made by my mom with apples and pineapple and fresh cranberries!

Sweet potato casserole- I was super excited to get this recipe from my friend, Danette. She made it for a potluck at work and I was hooked! I made the sweet potatoes the day before and then just added the topping and baked on Thanksgiving. For some reason my topping didn't quite brown all the way round like hers, but it still tasted great! I will definitely be making this again. It was even good cold!
This is my recipe based off hers:

8 c mashed sweet potatoes (I just wash them, cut them in half and boil until soft. The skins then pop right off and they mash easily with a fork.)
3/4 c sucanat
1 1/2 c milk
1 tsp salt
4 eggs
3/4 c soft butter
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp cinnamon

Mix all of the ingredients together and place in greased 9 x 13 glass pan.

1 c brown sugar
1 c flour
3 c pecans, chopped
1/2 c soft butter
dash of cinnamon

Mix all of the topping ingredients together and coat sweet potatoes. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes if using hot potatoes, it will take almost an hour if the potatoes were cold first.

Dinner rolls- This is a variation of my (well, technically my mom's) Cottage Herb Rolls recipe. I will make them this way every time now, though, as they turned out the best ever, did not even need to be heated up at all, they were great cold, and went way too fast! I did double this recipe (and I'm glad I did!).

1 pk yeast
1/2 c warm water (I used water as hot as it would get from the tap)
1 1/2 c organic whole wheat bread flour
1 c organic all purpose flour
1 T sucanat
1 c homemade yogurt
1 egg
Small amount of olive oil
Melted butter (Earth Balance)

Dissolve the yeast and sucanat in water and set aside as you prep other ingredients. Turn on oven to 200 degrees. Once it is done heating, turn off.
In large bowl mix flour, yogurt and egg. Add yeast/water mixture. If consistency seems a little dry, add a small amount of olive oil. Knead on floured surface until smooth (about 5 minutes). Place in bowl sprayed with nonstick spray, set in dough and cover with tea towel dampened with hot water and set in oven 30-40 minutes. (Best if you can wait an hour, though.)

Punch down the dough and knead lightly. I use an Auntie Annie's pretzel dough cutter to cut small amounts of dough off. I form into a long oval and fold it over when I place it in a glass baking dish. Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes or until starting to lightly brown on top.Brush with some melted butter.

Pumpkin pie- Made by April. Delish!

Pumpkin roll and cheese cake from Christina's Desserts and Coffee

We also had fun with a post-dinner craft. Here's how my two nephews' turkeys turned out: 

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