Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I am Back and Here to Stay. . .with Recipes =D

I work in construction as a commercial electrician and I hurt my right elbow so typing, writing, cooking, yepper. . .Thanksgiving was a challenge. . .everything is painful. . .but I am back and sooo happy. I am hoping that everyone has been able to enjoy great food, family, fun stories, new fun stories to talk about now and LOTS of leftovers to worry about getting eaten! I decided that I wanted to blog about my timeline for Thanksgiving. I always go all out. I do. . . and I am exhausted for several days after.
I have decided that I am going to post all my pictures and recipes as I go but they will have to be done over several days since I am back in college too and do not have the time to do this whole project at once. My Thanksgiving Day started like this:

Ham and Cheese Quiche
Crepes with whipped cream
Homemade Hot Chocolate
Cold Beer
Iced Tea
White Lightening Sangria
Chilled White Wine
Chilled Champagne

Deviled Eggs
Shrimp with Homemade Cocktail Sauce
Chilled Crab Dip
Garlic Feta Cheese Spread
Frito Munch Candy
Veggie Platter
Cheese Platter
Cracker Assortment

1st Course: Strawberry Salad in Puff Pastry Shells

Brown Sugar Brined Turkey with Apricot Glaze
and Roasted Onion and Shallot Gravy
Mashed Potatoes with Cream Cheese, Chives, Butter and Cream (Seasonings)
Whipped Sweet Potatoes and Bananas with Honey
Bacon Wrapped Asparagus clusters
Garlic and Butter Pull-a-Part Rolls
Pineapple and Brown Sugar Glazed Ham
Cranberry Sauce with Raspberry Vinegar
Steamed Corn

Dessert Tray:

Pumpkin Fudge with White Chocolate
Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream
Homemade Pumpkin Ice Cream with Caramel Sauce
Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Two Different Pumpkin Pie Recipes
Rich Chocolate Pecan Pie with Caramel Sauce
Pumpkin Toffee Cheesecake
Pumpkin Bread with Cream Cheese Filling
Apricot-glazed Turkey With Roasted Onion And Shallot Gravy Recipe
Apricot Glaze:
1 c. apricot nectar
1 c. apricot preserves
2 T. minced, peeled, fresh ginger
1 T. honey
Herb Butter:
3/4 c. unsalted butter, room temperature
3 T. chopped fresh Thyme or 1 T. dried
3 T. fresh chopped Sage or 1 T. dried
1 1/2 t. salt
1 t. pepper
Onion Mixture:
2 T. unsalted butter
3 Large onions, thinly sliced, about 2 pounds
6 large shallots, thinly sliced
1 21- to 22-pound Turkey
1 14 1/2 ounce can (or more) low-salt chicken broth. . .I use organic chicken broth
1 t. chopped fresh Thyme or 1/2 t. dried
1/2 t. chopped fresh sage or 1/4 t. dried
1 14 1/2 ounce can (about) low-salt chicken broth. . .again, I use organic chicken broth

For Glaze:
Combine all ingredients in heavy small saucepan and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until thickened and reduced to 1 1/4 cups, about 15 minutes.
For Herb Butter:
Blend all ingredients in small bowl. Set aside.
For Onion Mixture:
Melt butter in heavy, large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and shallots and saute until very soft and light brown, about 20 minutes. ***(Glaze, herb butter and onion mixture can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover separately and chill. Bring herb butter to room temperature before continuing.)***
Position rack in lowest third of oven and preheat to 400 degrees F. Pat turkey dry with paper towls. Season turkey cavity with salt and pepper. Place turkey on rack set in large roasting pan. Slide hand under skin of turkey breast to loosen skin. Spread half of herb butter over breast under skin. If stuffing turkey, spoon stuffing into main cavity. Place remaining herb butter over outside of turkey. Tie legs together loosely to hold shape of turkey.
Roast turkey 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F. Roast turkey 1 hour 30 minutes, basting occasionally with pan drippings. . .***I now add some organic chicken stock to bottom of pan***
Tent turkey with heavy-duty foil; roast 45 minutes longer. Add onion mixture, 1 can chicken broth, thyme and sage to pan. Roast 15 minutes.
***Note: I add about 3 cups of organic chicken stock at this time and I have been baking turkey for 3 HOURS.***
Bring glaze to simmer. Brush 1/2 cup of glaze over turkey. Continue to roast turkey uncovered until meat thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 180 degrees F or until juices run clear when thickest part of thigh is pierced with skewer, brushing occasionally with glaze and adding more broth to pan if liquid evaporates, about 40 MINUTES longer for unstuffed turkey (and about 1 hour and 10 minutes longer for stuffed turkey). Place turkey on platter; tent with foil. Let stand 30 minutes. Reserve mixture in pan for gravy.

For Gravy:
Pour contents of roasting pan into strainer set over large bowl. Spoon fat from pan juices or use a grease seperater cup. Transfer onion mixture in strainer to blender. Add 1 cup pan juices to blender and puree until smooth, adding more pan juices and chicken stock if necessary to thin sauce to desired consistency. Transfer sauce to heavy, large saucepan and bring to boil. Cook until color deepens, skimming off any foam, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Serve turkey with gravy. =D

Pumpkin Toffee Cheesecake Recipe

1 3/4 Cups (about 14 to 16) shortbread cookies, crushed
1 T. butter or margarine, melted
3 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 Cups packed brown sugar
1 can (15 ounces) 100% Pure Pumpkin. . .(Libby's =D)
2/3 Cup (5 fluid ounces) Evaporated Milk
2 large eggs
2 T. cornstarch
1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1 Cup (about 25 to 30) crushed toffee candies or use a bag of toffee bits
1 container (8 ounces) sour cream, at room temperature
2 T. granulated sugar
1/2 t. vanilla extract
Caramel Ice Cream Topping (optional but Delicious)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
For Crust:
Combine cookie crumbs and butter in small bowl. Press onto bottom and 1-inch up side of a 9-inch springform pan.
Bake for 6 to 8 minutes (do not allow to brown). Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes.
For Cheesecake:
Beat cream cheese and brown sugar in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add pumpkin, evaporated milk, eggs, cornstarch and cinnamon; beat well. Pour into crust.
Bake for 60 to 65 minutes or until edge is set but center still moves slightly. Remove from oven; top with toffee candy pieces.
For Topping:
Combine sour cream, granulated sugar and vanilla extract in small bowl; mix well. Spread over warm cheesecake.
Bake for 8 minutes. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Remove side of springform pan. Drizzle with caramel topping before serving.
Very good. . .and a note to myself. . .since my refrigerator will be packed along with an ice chest full of ice and groceries, put foil over top of cheesecake and a rubber band around this and set inside a box on front deck along with other chilled dishes like your cranberry sauce. . .It worked great this year. Of course the weather was at 32 degrees. . .deciding factor. =D

Pumpkin Ice Cream With Caramel Sauce

Ice Cream:
2 Cups whole milk
1 Cup half-and-half
1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1/4 t. ground allspice
1/2 t. ground nutmeg
1/4 t. ground ginger
6 egg yolks
3/4 Cup granulated sugar
1/3 Cup packed brown sugar (Light)
16 ounces (I use a 15 ounce can instead) pumpkin puree (Libby's)
1/2 Cup whipping cream
1 t. vanilla extract
Caramel Sauce:
I Cheated and Bought 3/4 Cup caramel Sauce
1/3 Cup whipping cream. . .you still need this =D


To prepare the ice cream:
Place the milk, half-and-half, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and ginger in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat, cover and let sit for 30 minutes.
Whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, brown sugar and pumpkin. Strain the warm milk into the sugar mixture, whisking well. Pour back into the saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened.

Remove from the heat and stir in the whipping cream and vanilla. Pour into a bowl, cool slightly and refrigerate about 3 hours, until completely chilled.

Pour into an ice-cream maker and freeze according to package directions. Then transfer to a chilled bowl, cover and freeze. Place in refrigerator about 1/2 to 1 hour before serving because this becomes rock hard. . .experience has lead me to add this last step.

To prepare the caramel sauce: Yes, we have cheated but we also have come to be able to happily accept this now open secret. We are going to heat the caramel sauce and cream together gently on top of the stove or in a microwave just to warm. Stir well until smooth and blended. Serve warm over the ice cream. . .I don't know why I am adding this because it seems to be a no-brainer =D

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