Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Thanksgiving Part 1

This edition will not include the turkey- that will have to be a TE guest written edition- since I had absolutely nothing to do with prepping or cooking the turkeys.

I also apologize ahead of time for any blatant grammatical errors and all lack of continuity. I am quite tired today- I was up a bunch of the night with a sick King pup. I am hoping he just got into something, his symptoms were similar to human flu/stomach bug symptoms- quite pleasant. Makes me appreciate all that my family and friends do even though they are up more nights with sick/young children.

Anyway- onto food!
First picture is the spread! On our menu:

  • Cranberry sauce:
1 12-oz bag of fresh cranberries
1c sugar
1c water
Lemon zest to taste
  • String Beans with butter and slivered almonds
  • Roasted Root Veggies (parsnips, turnips, butternut squash)
  • Creamy pearl onions (MomE's recipe)
  • Corn
  • Mashed potatoes (MomE's recipe)
  • Sweet Potato Casserole
  • Stuffing
  • Green Salad (MomB's contribution!)
  • Pies!!

This edition will include my two favorite items: The sweet potato cassarole and the stuffing!
I used to think I hated sweet potatoes, not anymore! They are one of my newest obsessions. I love love them! What could be better than sweet potatoes, pecans, and marshmallows (even though my marshmallows melted into the casserole since I cooked it covered)?!
And the recipe was from Cooking Light. I doubled it because 2.5lbs of potatoes is really only 2 sweet potatoes, and even though it says 16 servings, I knew better. So I figured a "real" estimate would be double the calories.

Tradiational Sweet Potato Casserole
Serves 16 (32 for nutritional info)


  • 5 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1.5 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans, divided
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 cups miniature marshmallows


Preheat oven to 375°.

Place the sweet potatoes in a Dutch oven, and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes or until very tender. Drain; cool slightly.

Place potatoes in a large bowl. Add sugar and next 3 ingredients (through vanilla). Mash sweet potato mixture with a potato masher. Fold in 1/4 cup pecans. Scrape potato mixture into an even layer in an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup pecans; top with marshmallows. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes or until golden.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 186 (27% from fat)

Fat: 5.5g (sat 2g,mono 2.3g,poly 0.9g)
Protein: 1.6g
Carbohydrate: 33.1g
Fiber: 2.5g
Cholesterol: 8mg
Iron: 0.7mg
Sodium: 272mg
Calcium: 23mg
Mom's Turkey Stuffing Recipe
(to be cooked outside the turkey!)
From Simply recipes
238 calories/serves 10

  • 1 loaf of day old French bread, cut into 3/4-inch cubes (about 10-12 cups)
  • 2 cups each, chopped onion and celery
  • 6 Tbsp butter
  • 1 green apple, peeled, cored, chopped
  • 3/4 cup of raisins
  • Several (5 to 10) chopped green olives (martini olives, the ones with the pimento)
  • Stock from the turkey giblets (1 cup to 2 cups) (can substitute chicken stock)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon ground sage (to taste)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper (to taste)


1. If you haven't already made the stock, take the turkey giblets - heart and gizzard - and neck if you want, and put them in a small saucepan, cover with water and add a little salt. Bring to a simmer; simmer for about an hour, uncovered. Strain the stock into a container for use with the stuffing. Alternatively, you can use chicken stock or just plain water with this recipe.

2. Heat a large sauté pan on medium heat. Melt 3 Tbsp butter in the pan, add the bread cubes, and stir to coat the bread pieces with the melted butter. Then let them toast; only turn them when they have become a little browned on a side. Note, if you aren't working with somewhat dried-out day-old bread, lay the cubes of bread in a baking pan and put them in a hot oven for 10 minutes to dry them out first, before toasting them in butter on the stove top. The bread should be a little dry to begin with, or you'll end up with mushy stuffing.

3. In a large Dutch oven, sauté chopped onions and celery on medium high heat with the remaining 3 Tbsp butter until cooked through, about 5-10 minutes. Add the bread. Add cooked chopped walnuts. Add chopped green apple, currants, raisins, olives, parsley. Add one cup of the stock from cooking the turkey giblets or chicken stock (enough to keep the stuffing moist while you are cooking it). Add sage, poultry seasoning, salt & pepper.

4. Cover. Turn heat to low. Cook for an hour or until the apples are cooked through. (*Mine took 30min tops) Check every ten minutes or so and add water or stock as needed while cooking to keep the stuffing moist and keep it from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Serves 8-10.


Rachel said...

Wow, you guys had quite a spread! It looks awesome. I just found out this year that I like sweet potatoes, too - it was quite a surprise. I always thought they were gross or only good as fries!

meg said...

i love how you wrote "Method" for instructions on how to cook the stuffing! can't get away from science talk, huh?! :)
i must admit, i frequently use aliquot when discussing cooking myself.