The Biggest Hint for Cooking Thanksgiving Dinner

There is the biggest hint I can give you:

Read Your Recipes ALL the way through BEFORE you start cooking or baking!

Clarify any terms you may not know; gather all of your ingredients for that dish

Understand the time frame – don’t get surprised by “Marinade overnight” or “Let the dough rest for 2 hours” or “Use Mushroom Duxelles to stuff. . .” Know what the terms mean.

Write out your menu and make what takes the longest first.

Reach out and ask questions if you don’t know a term or technique.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Series: How to Cook a Thanksgiving Meal: Desserts

If an elaborate dessert table is on your menu, look no further.

Molded Desserts:

Chocolate Almond Peanut Butter Cups

Chocolate Almond Peanut Butter Cups

Chocolate Almond Butter Cups

Chocolate Pate

Pate de Fruit et Pate du Vin

Making gelee Pate de Fruit

Making gelee Pate de Fruit

Custard Based:

Strawberry Cheesecake rhubarb compote

Strawberry Cheesecake rhubarb compote with hemp seed crisp

De-constructed Strawberry Cheesecake with Rhubarb Compote

Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding

Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding with Toasted Almonds

Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding with Toasted Almonds

 

Pies and Tarts:

Easy tart and pie crust

Easy tart and pie crust

An Easy Crust for Pies and Tarts

Fig, Almond Frangipani Tart

Fig and almond tart

Fig and almond tart

A delicious Green Tomato Pie

A delicious Green Tomato Pie

Green Tomato Pie

Cherry Hand Pies

Cherry Hand Pies

Hand Pies

Lemon Blueberry Tarts

Lemon Blueberry Tarts

Lemon Blueberry Tarts

Nut Crusted Fruit Tart

Nut Crusted Fresh Fruit Tart

Nut Crusted Fresh Fruit Tart

Cakes and Brownies:

Applesauce Cake

Applesauce Cake

Applesauce Oatmeal Cake

Gluten Free Almond Cake

Gluten Free Almond Cake

Versatile Gluten-Free Almond Cake

Quince and Gingerbread

Quince and Gingerbread

Quince and Gingerbread

Oatmeal Cranberry Bars

Oatmeal Cranberry Bars

Zucchini Brownies

Zucchini brownies

Zucchini brownies

Cookies:

Raw Almond Date Cranberry Cookies  Rather than "raw" let's call them "No Bake"

Raw Almond Date Cranberry Cookies
Rather than “raw” let’s call them “No Bake”

Almond Date, Cranberry Lime No Bake Cookies

Cranberry Oatmeal Bars

Glazed Lemon Shortbread

Pumpkin Snicker-doodles

Something Special:

Cinnamon, Almond, Pistachio Danish Ring

Serve warm  Apple Dumplings with whipped cream and caramel sauce. A few fresh berries add color to the plate.

Serve warm Apple Dumplings with whipped cream and caramel sauce. A few fresh berries add color to the plate.

Pineapple, Chestnut, Caramel upside Down Cake

Cinnamon Almond Danish Ring

Cinnamon Almond Danish Ring

Warm Apple Dumplings

 

 Have Fun!

#holidaybaking #desserts #makedessertsathome #dessertrecipes #gettingfat

 

Series: How to Cook a Thanksgiving Meal: Breads

Sandwich RollsMaking breads for the holiday meal can be a wonderful addition.

Make them the day or two before and freeze them if you have room. Reheat in the warm oven while the turkey or roast is resting.

Remember:

Follow the links for full recipes and directions

Steak House Yeast Rolls

Steak House Yeast Rolls

Steak House Yeast Rolls

Basic Buttermilk Biscuits

Basic Buttermilk Biscuits

How to Make Basic Biscuits

Cutting out Biscuits

Cutting out Biscuits

No Knead Bread

Loaves and Boules No Knead Bread

Loaves and Boules No Knead Bread

Sandwich Rolls (soft crust)Seeded Sandwich Rolls

 

 

Here’s a video of how to do the No Knead Bread. It is truly an amazing product!

Series: How To Cook A Thanksgiving Meal – Vegetables and Side Dishes

Butternut Squash Soup with Sauteed Apples and Rosemary Flowers

Butternut Squash Soup with Sautéed Apples and Rosemary Flowers

Here are several vegetables and side dishes you can make for a very festive Thanksgiving table.

Click on the links to visit the post with the recipe and instructions.

There’s everything from soup to nuts!

 

Soups:

Mound a bit of the cooked seafood in the bottom of the serving bowl; pour the hot soup over the shrimp and lobster.

Mound a bit of the cooked seafood in the bottom of the serving bowl; pour the hot soup over the shrimp and lobster.

Butternut Squash Soup with Sautéed Apples and Rosemary Flowers

Shrimp and Lobster Bisque

Vegetables:

Stuffed Mini Pumpkins

Stuffed Mini Pumpkins

Holiday Brussels Sprouts

Serve and enjoy these delicious Brussels Sprouts!

Serve and enjoy these delicious Brussels Sprouts!

Stuffed Mini Pumpkins

Georgian Style Green Beans

Georgian Style Green Beans

Georgian Style Green Beans

Sautéed Kale with Bacon and Onions

Potatoes:

Plated Potatoes au Gratin

Plated Potatoes au Gratin

Mashed Potatoes

Fluffy Mashed Potatoes

Fluffy Mashed Potatoes

Potatoes au Gratin

Cranberry Sauce:

3 Cranberry sauces from left to right: Orange Cranberry, Easy Cranberry Sauce and Sherried Cranberry Sauce

3 Cranberry sauces from left to right: Orange Cranberry, Easy Cranberry Sauce and Sherried Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry Sauces 3 Ways

Salads:

Raw Kale SaladRaw kale salad

Caesar Salad

Pear, Bleu Cheese and Arugula Salad

Pear and arugula salad

Pear and arugula salad

Nibbles:

Lenox Holiday China

Lenox Holiday China

Pickled Turnips

Pickled Turnips

Pickled Turnips

1/2 Sour Pickles

Cheese Board AppetizerCompotes on cheese platter

Candied Spiced Pecans

Candied Spiced Pecans

Candied Spiced Pecans

I hope you get a few ideas for your holiday table here!

Please comment to let me know what you like the most!

#pickledturnips #candiedpecans #thanksgivingsidedishes #thanksgivingrecipes #mashedpotatoes #brusselssprouts #lobsterbisque #shrimpandlobsterbisque #stuffingyourself #familytime

 

 

Series: How To Cook Thanksgiving Dinner: The Main Item

This is a series of links to recipes, videos and more for creating your perfect holiday feast. The first one is for the main item, the turkey, crown roast or whole roasted cauliflower for a vegan option.Nut Crusted Fresh Fruit Tart

Following series over the next few days leading up to the big day, will be the following posts:

  • Vegetables and side dishes
  • Breads and rolls
  • Desserts
  • What to do with left overs

Whether this is your first Thanksgiving dinner or your 50th, here are some tips and recipes for making the feast stress free.

I’m linking to the posts I’ve published over the years so click the links and create the Perfect Thanksgiving meal!

Let’s take a look at The Main Item

How to Roast a Turkey - a Step by step guide, with pictures.

Remember to click on the links for the full posts!

Of course if you don’t eat bacon, don’t use it, but it sure is delicious! If not using bacon, be sure to baste the bird every 1/2 hour. If the skin gets to dark, tent it with foil.

Tips for the Turkey:

  • Order fresh organic birds well in advance
  • If getting a frozen bird, allow it 3-4 days to thaw in your refrigerator
  • If brining your bird, remember to keep it cold
  • Open up all the cavities and remove any packets of innards, necks etc, from the inside, use these to make stock for gravy
  • Allow ample time to roast the bird and to let the bird rest at least 20 minutes before you start carving.
  • Save the bones to make stock. I love making stock on a cold dreary day. It makes everything smell so warm!

Turkey Roasting Chart for unstuffed and stuffed birds: Calculate your roasting time with this chart http://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/charts/turkeyroastingchart.html

Cover with bacon strips to baste the turkey during the initial phase of roasting. Remember the large bird will roast for several hours. After the first 2-3 hours, the bacon will be done, remove it and this becomes the "cooks treat". Continue roasting the bird, basting every 30-40 minutes. The skin will crisp and become golden brown. If the skin starts to get too brown before the bird is done, tent it with foil.

Cover with bacon strips to baste the turkey during the initial phase of roasting. Remember the large bird will roast for several hours. After the first 2-3 hours, the bacon will be done, remove it and this becomes the “cooks treat”. Continue roasting the bird, basting every 30-40 minutes. The skin will crisp and become golden brown. If the skin starts to get too brown before the bird is done, tent it with foil.

If Turkey isn’t on your menu but a Crown Roast is,

Here is a video from Charlotte Cooks on How to make a Crown Roast of Pork or Lamb (Mint Sauce recipe on the site)

Watch it here:

Tips for the Crown Roast:

  • Be sure to order your roast well is advance from your butcher. These aren’t typically an “off the shelf” kind of item. they will even french the bones (recommended) and tie it for you, just ask.
  • Use your favorite stuffing
  • Use a meat thermometer to cook it just right:
    • Rare: 135°F remove at 125°F and allow carry over cooking to reach 135°F
    • Medium Rare: 140°F Remove at 135°F and allow carry over to reach 140°F
    • Medium: 145°F Remove at 140°F and allow carry over to reach 145°F
    • Mid well to well 150°F and above. It is suggested to remove the number of well done portions from the others and finish those later rather than subject the entire roast to well-doneness disaster.
  • Carry over cooking is when the internal temperature of the meat continues to rise after it is removed from the oven.
  • Allow the roast to rest at least 20 minutes before slicing.

If a vegan meal is on your menu, you can Roast a Whole Cauliflower.

We love this and have it often during the year.

Tips for the Vegan Roast:

Plated roasted cauliflower

Plated roasted cauliflower

  • Buy large unblemished organic cauliflower; it really has the best flavor.
  • Use Greek yogurt, it’s thicker. Or drain plain yogurt in cheesecloth or a strainer over night to thicken it.
  • Use any leftovers to make a delicious soup!

 

So! There are some ideas for your main menu item on the Thanksgiving table.

Next up: Vegetable side dishes!

Happy Holidays!

#thanksgiving #thanksgivingrecipes #thanksgivingdinner #howtoroastaturkey #howtomakeacrownroast #stuffing #holidaymeal #veganroast

 

 

 

Allow space for the rolls to rise

Steak House Yeast Rolls

Tanks Giving is fast approaching! I am going to re-post several of the most popular Thanksgiving related posts over the next few days you help you get ready for the big feast!

First up: Steak House Yeast Rolls!

Needing to develop some recipes for a couple of TV shoots coming up, I have been going through a lot of recipes.

This recipe for Steak House Yeast Rolls was a consideration but as I was working through the recipe, the realization that this would be far too complicated to do on Charlotte Cooks, my TV show on PBS in the Charlotte market.

Steak House Yeast Rolls

Steak House Yeast Rolls

With only 26.45 minutes to fill, two 2-hour rising times, mixing, shaping, baking, making a filling for cinnamon rolls, icing, would take an entire season, not 26 minutes.

You have the pleasure of the recipe and variations, my neighbors will enjoy a slab of rolls.

Since I started taking a nutrition class a couple of weeks ago, I have seriously increased the awareness of what I am eating and what is in those lovely morsels I select to stuff in my face.

Making these rolls at home ensures you are using good wholesome ingredients. No dough conditioners, artificial flavors or stabilizers. Just fresh butter, eggs, organic flour, sugar, milk and yeast.

The dough feels great and gives your arms a work out.

  • Servings: 18
  • Time: hours
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

Original recipe from Martha Stewart

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 ounce active dry yeast
  • 4 ounces melted butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Kosher salt
  • 6 to 6-1/2 cups of AP flour
  • Extra soft butter to butter the sides of the bowl and baking dish
  • 1 egg for egg wash

Heat the milk and water to 110°F. Whisk the yeast into the heated milk and water. Let sit for 5 minutes, it should become frothy and bubble.

Add the butter, eggs, sugar and salt to a large bowl, whisk in the milk and yeast mixture.

Add the flour one cup at a time, creating a shaggy dough.

This can be done in a mixer with a dough hook but the final kneading will have to be done by hand so you don’t burn out your machine. unless, or course, you have a really heavy-duty mixer. I don’t stress my Kitchen-Aid stand mixer with the final kneading. Initial mixing yes, but not the final knead.

On a lightly floured surface, turn out the dough and knead until it is smooth and elastic. Form it into a nice round ball.

Butter the inside of a large bowl, Roll the dough ball to cover the surface with butter then place the ball in the bottom of the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap that has been also oiled to prevent the rising dough from sticking to the wrap as it rises.

Doubled in Size

Doubled in Size

Allow to rise in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size. This may take 1-1/2 to 2 hours.

Punch down the dough and divide the dough in half.

Roll each dough ball into an even rope

Cut and weigh for even size

Cut and weigh for even size

and cut even size rolls. Weigh each roll to weigh 1.70 ounces. Lightly roll them to shape into balls.

Butter a 9 x 12 baking pan. Place each roll in rows 4 x 6, allowing a small bit of space between each roll. This space will fill in as the rolls rise. Cover with oiled plastic wrap.

Allow to rise again, until doubled in size.

Yeast Rolls ready to bake

Yeast Rolls ready to bake

Once the roll pan is full, you will have some left over dough.

This dough is perfect for some amazing cinnamon rolls!

Roll the dough into a rectangle. Mix some soft butter with some brown sugar and cinnamon to make a paste. ( Make sure it tastes good.)

Spread the butter cinnamon mixture over the rolled out dough. Sprinkle the surface with pecans or walnuts.

Roll the dough into a tight cylinder. Pinch the seam closed.

Using a serrated blade, cut 2″ sliced from the roll. Place them cut side up (and down) in a well-buttered baking pan so the sides barely touch.

Cinnamon Rolls ready to rise

Cinnamon Rolls ready to rise

Ready to bake!

Ready to bake!

Use a pan large enough to fill with the sliced cinnamon rolls.

Allow these to double in size.

Baking yeast rolls and cinnamon rolls:

Pre-heat the oven to 375°F

Mix 1 egg with water to make an egg wash. Brush the surface of the rolls with egg wash just before putting them in the oven.

Bake the rolls for 25-30 minutes, rotating the pan half way through for even baking.

The rolls are done when they are golden brown.

Remove from the oven and allow them to cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Any leftovers?

Make bread pudding!

Baked Yeast Rolls

Baked Yeast Rolls

Happy Healthy Holidays Starting Soon!

Healthy-Holiday-Facebook-cover

FREE – Happy Healthy Holidays
Transform Your Holidays!

Next Monday marks the start of our FREE Holiday Event! We will transform our holiday season together and start the New Year out right!

Do you want to join us? It is FREE and we are all participants.

We can all do it our own way. All you have to do is set goals and be accountable for your actions and progress at least once a week.

Goals should include:

  • Nutrition (adding in at least one healthy food per week)
  • Exercise (a minimum of 30 minutes 6 days a week)
  • Gratitude (take the time to be grateful for at least 3 things in your life daily)
  • Giving (challenge yourself to give without expectation of reciprocation once daily)

Nutrition
Don’t be hard on yourself this holiday season. Our goal is to simply add in one healthy whole food each week. Enjoy your holiday traditions and don’t eat beyond what feels good to you.

Exercise
Resolve to get at least 30 minutes of good healthy exercise in each day (with one day of rest). You will feel better through the holidays. Exercise is good for depression, weight maintenance and your general health.

Gratitude
List 3 things that you are grateful for each day. By focusing on gratitude, we see our lives from a different perspective. Instead of seeing what is going wrong, we see the more important picture of what is right in our lives.

Giving
You don’t have to brag about your giving, but if someone gives and it turns out to be really special, share it with us. You may also want to include it as a part of your goal. In prior years, my goal was to give without cost; it does not have to be an expensive gift, just thoughtful and meaningful.

Do you know anyone who is struggling through the holidays? Invite them along!
This weekend I will work on my own goals and post them here.

Please click on the “Secret Facebook Group” page that you can be invited to if you would like to be involved!

Comment below or Follow this link to the Face Book Group to join in, this will be fun!

Share this with your friends!

The group will close on Monday, 11/24, 2014 so be sure to request to join by then. See you there!

Happy Healthy Holidays fb group banner#happyhealthyholidays #holidayfun #holidaysupport #holidayweightgain #avoidweightgain #healthyyou

#stayontrack