For those of you who aren’t exactly thrilled at the idea of having to cook for a ton of people this Thanksgiving, here are some recipes that have never failed me, along with a shortcut or two that may make your life a little easier. 😉
Prepare this first, especially if you are stuffing your turkey.
- I never have time to make stuffing from scratch, so I cheat. Simply use StoveTop stuffing, but put diced onion and celery in the water for a home-made flavor.
This recipe has never failed to produce a moist, delicious turkey!
- Prepare the turkey – you know, pull out all the gross stuff and wash it inside and out, then pat it dry.
- Jam as much of the stuffing as you can into that turkey, then tie the drumsticks together with cooking twine. Wrap any extra stuffing up in foil so you can bake it beside the bird.
- Flip the turkey over and tuck the wings under, and make sure you close up the neck opening with turkey needles.
- Melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Mix with 3 tablespoons of lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of tarragon. Brush the entire turkey with this mixture.
- Put the turkey in the oven at 350. Rotate and brush the turkey with butter every 30 to 45 minutes until cooked. Once the skin is a nice golden brown, cover the breast with foil so the skin doesn’t burn. (Cook until the little popper thingy pops up or the thermometer reads the proper temperature.)
Honestly, I totally suck at making gravy from the turkey juice, so I buy the jarred stuff and add drippings to it to enhance the flavor.
- Peel the potatoes.
- Boil until you can easily stick a fork in them.
- Don’t use milk when mixing – it makes them too pasty. If you are using a whole 5lb. bag, just add a stick of butter and mix until almost smooth. Delicious!
This recipe will have even the biggest vegetable-hater asking for more!
- Peel and cut carrots into bite size pieces.
- Steam until just about soft.
- Drain water.
- Add 1 tablespoon of butter and as much brown sugar as you’d like.
- Heat until brown sugar and butter become a glaze.
Candied Sweet Pototoes
Use sweet yellow potatoes – they’re much better than yams.
- Peel and cut potatoes in half.
- Boil until soft.
- Cut into bite-size chunks.
- Spread chunks in the bottom of a 9″x13″ glass pan.
- Place pats of butter randomly on potatoes (use enough so that when it melts, all of the potatoes will get some butter).
- Sprinkle entire mixture with brown sugar.
- Bake until brown sugar and butter becomes a bubbly glaze.
Those are my specialty dishes for the meal. Here’s a to-die-for dessert that never fails to please in our house – courtesy of Mémère, my grandmother.
- Make at least 1 double-pie crust worth of pastry.
- Split ball of dough in half.
- Roll out one half.
- Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar (I mix these so the sugar has a nice brown color – don’t go too easy on the cinnamon!).
- Cut rolled, sprinkled dough into quarters.
- Roll each quarter, then place on cookie sheet and slice every 3/4 inch or so – but not all the way through.
- Bake at 350 until pastry is cooked all the way through.
I have been known to make seven pie crusts worth of these, and they’re still gone in two days – these are best served with coffee!