Category Archives: Holiday Dishes

Cranberry Relish with Orange and Jalapeno

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Happy Tinsel Tuesday my friends. As the days tick by and it gets closer and closer to the Holidays, these Tuesdays are so much fun for me. Not only do I get to share some of my favorite Holiday goodies, but many of my blogger friends share theirs on my Facebook page. So make sure to stop by my page today and check out the wonderful things they share!
I changed up this relish a bit this year. My Grandmother used to make this relish every year, and even though I love her recipe and the relish tastes fantastic, I had to tinker with it a bit. A) Because we love all things spicy and it just sounded good to have the tartness mixed with a bit of heat, and B)you guys know by now that it is painfully hard for me to NOT mess with a recipe!
So like I said, my Grandmothers recipe is fantastic and if you don’t like spice you are more than welcome to just omit the jalapeno. If you omit the jalapeno you can add a cinnamon stick to the recipe and just remove it before serving or storing the sauce. It won’t hurt my feelings and I am sure will have my Grandmother smiling down on you!

Cranberry Relish with Orange and Jalapeno
2 12-ounce bags of fresh cranberries (can sub frozen if necessary)
Zest of one orange, plus 1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped
Put all the ingredients into a saucepan over medium heat and simmer until the cranberries burst and the sauce thickens, about 15 to 20 minutes. Serve at room temperature or cool and refrigerate. 

ENJOY!

Make Ahead Turkey Gravy

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I know today is supposed to be Tinsel Tuesday, but I had several of my Facebook followers ask for this recipe when they found out I was making it yesterday. This year I am trying to get as many things done ahead of time so I am not in a time crunch on Thanksgiving day. I am entertaining my son’s girlfriend’s family, so there will be anywhere from 10 to 15 people here at the house. Small kitchen + lots of people = I need to try to de-stress as much as possible! I have a 26 pound bird to cook so that has me stressed out enough!
The whole time I was cooking up this gravy Kevin kept saying “Wow it smells good in here” and it did. It smelled like Thanksgiving in my kitchen! Talk about  making you hungry? I wanted my turkey right then and there. That is the downside of make ahead gravy. This recipe takes a bit of time but creates such a rich flavorful gravy it is worth it!! Kevin and I were dipping bread in the remnants at the bottom of the pot!! I think we could have easily made that dinner had there been much more in the pan (the gravy in the rubbermaid container was off limits!).

The recipe I use makes about 8 cups of gravy total. You could cut it in half, but I seriously doubt you will have to worry about leftovers!!
Make Ahead Gravy
4 pounds turkey wings (can substitute chicken wings)
2 onions, quartered
6 carrots, cut in large chunks
6 stalks of celery, cut in large chunks
1 bottle dry white wine (I use Chardonnay)
2 quarts chicken stock (plus more if needed)
10 fresh sage leaves
9 cups water
3/4 cup corn starch
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Place the wings, onion, carrots, and celery in a roasting pan and roast for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until the wings are a deep golden brown. Remove the wings and veggies from the roaster and place them in a large soup pot   or dutch oven (8 quarts or  more) along with 2 quart of stock, 8 cups of water, and the sage leaves. 
Place the roasting pan on the stove top and heat over high heat. Add the wine and using a wooden spoon scrap up any browned bits that are on the bottom. Continue cooking until the wine cooks down to 1 cup of liquid. Add the wine to the pot with the wings. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for 1 1/2 hours uncovered.
Strain the broth into a large bowl, discard solids and skim any fat from the top. If broth is less than 8 cups add enough stock to bring it up to 8 cups. If it is more than 8 cups, return to soup pot and heat until reduced to 8 cups.
Bring the broth to a boil. Meanwhile whisk corn starch into the last cup of water. Whisk into boiling broth. Cook until mixture thickens. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Allow to cool and store in plastic container. You should have approx 7 cups of gravy. Refrigerate up to 5 days.
On the day you want to serve the gravy. Add the gravy to a large pot to reheat it. Add the strained drippings from the turkey and additional stock if needed to thin the gravy.  
ENJOY!!

Leftover Turkey Soup for What to do with #Thanksgiving #Leftovers #SundaySupper

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I love the holidays. All of the food, family, and fun. One of the things I especially love though is leftovers! I like to take the next few days and use them in tons of different ways. Leftover turkey sandwiches, Turkey Croquets, Turkey Casseroles, etc. But one of the families all time favorites is for me to make my turkey soup.

I love curling up with a big bowl of this soup the day after Thanksgiving. Everyone is still pretty full and I am tired from all of the cooking, so it usually ends up a family movie night, and more often than not the movie is National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. We all love that movie and it just kicks off Christmas for us. I give everyone a day off on Friday but I will have them out slaving away on Saturday putting up Christmas decorations LOL I mean I did feed them right? 

I do go a little overboard on the decorations sometimes, I will admit. When the kids were young we actually would have people bring their kids to see our house. The last few years we have toned it down, but since we moved into the new place Kevin has informed me that we are going to “light the whole place up”. Alrighty then, this could get interesting!!

This year I am also very happy to be able to share my recipe with the #SundaySupper crew.  If you haven’t heard about #SundaySupper yet let me explain. It is the baby of a wonderful woman and mentor Isabel from Family Foodie. It has been her mission to bring the family back around the supper table together. I am so proud and honored to participate in this with her and the many other fabulous bloggers who’s posts for this weeks theme of What to do with Thanksgiving Leftovers are linked at the bottom of this page.




Leftover Turkey Soup

Broth:
1 leftover turkey carcass, picked clean of meat
4 cups chicken stock
6 cups water
1 carrot, chopped
3 stalks of celery, chopped
1 onion, halved
bay leaf

Soup:
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, minced
2 carrots, minced
2 stalks celery, minced
1 (16-ounce) package of noodles (Recommended Grandma’s Fresh Frozen Homemade Style wide egg noodles)
2 cups cubed turkey meat
1 to 2 cups leftover gravy if available
Salt and pepper
Fresh flat leaf parsley, for garnish (optional)

To make the  broth: 
Place all ingredients in a large stock pot. Bring to a boil and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.  Add water if the level drops below the carcass. Remove turkey carcass from pot and discard.  Strain both with a colander into another stock pot.  Discard remains in colander.  

Make the Soup: 
In stock pot the broth cooked in, melt butter.  Add minced onion, carrot, and celery.  Cook over medium heat until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. If using, add gravy and mix well until gravy is heated through
Add onion mixture and 4 to 6 cups of stock to stock pot and bring to a boil.  Thaw noodles according to package directions.  Add pasta and boil for time required on package. Add turkey and simmer for 30 minutes. Check seasoning and add salt and or pepper if needed.  Ladle into bowls and top each serving with a little fresh parsley if desired.
If any soup is left over, it will thicken up after refrigeration.  Just add a little water (or leftover broth) when reheating to thin it back down.

ENJOY!!


Breakfast & Brunch

Main Course

Soups, Salads, Sides & Starters

Sweets & Desserts

Wine Pairings for the Recipes Featured

Please join on us on Twitter throughout the day during #SundaySupper today,  November 18, 2012.  In the evening we will meet at 7pm EST for our weekly #SundaySupper live chat.
All you have to do is follow the #SundaySupper hashtag or you can follow us through TweetChat.
We’d also love to feature your recipe for Thanksgiving Leftovers on our #SundaySupper Pinterest board to share them with all of our followers, too.
Thanks for visiting this week!

Goblin Eggs for Trick or Treat #SundaySupper #Halloween Party

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I was so excited when I saw the theme for this weeks #SundaySupper was Halloween. Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. Maybe part of the reason is that, even though we were broke, my Mom made such a big deal about Halloween. From figuring out a homemade costume, to decorating the house, to giving out the candy and trying to scare the trick or treaters. It was just tons of fun.
Pumpkins were always the highlight of Halloween. When I was a kid we of course just carved them. Now there are all sorts of stencils, patterns, and tools to help you get it done. Remember the days of a steak knife and tablespoon? Ahh the good ol’ days. But we have made the most of what is available today.
Now as an adult, with adult children, I don’t have to figure out costumes anymore. But I do enjoy decorating the house and having fun with the trick or treaters. Since we just moved I decided to play nice this year and put out all of our “cute” Halloween decorations. Next year we will do it scarey!! 
I came up with this idea from the Easter egg days. You knew if there was a crack in the shell of the egg there would be color on the white when you opened it up. Well one year the kids decided to do it on purpose. I can tell you it made for some interesting looking egg salad! I think my kids would have enjoyed these. Plus it is a great reason to make deviled eggs, which my kids love!



Goblin Eggs

1 dozen hard boiled eggs, shells extremely cracked
6 cups hot water
1 tube green food coloring gel
1 tube blue food coloring gel
2 tablespoons vinegar
1/2 cup mayo
2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
2 teaspoons prepared mustard
1 tube red food coloring gel
Salt and pepper to taste


In a large bowl add the hot water, green food color, blue food color, and vinegar. Stir to combine well and allow the gel color to mix. Add the eggs and allow to sit for at least 1 hour. 

Use a slotted spoon to remove the eggs and carefully peel the shells away. Once all of the eggs are peeled, cut each egg in half, placing the cooked yolks in a medium bowl. Arrange egg white halves on a plate.

To the egg yolks add the mayo, pickle relish, mustard, salt, and pepper. Once you have the mixture to taste, add the red food color a little at a time until the desired color is attained.

Spoon some of the egg yolk mixture on to one of the egg white halves and top with another to make a deviled egg “sandwich”.

ENJOY!!



We would love to have you join this special Sunday Supper and bring your halloween party recipes.  So many amazing recipes and this group is just a blast to be around.  Our #SundaySupper chat will begin on Twitter at 7pm Eastern Time.   Grab your Bewitching Brew and Ghoulish Grew and join the fun!

Bewitching Brews:

Ghoulish Gruel:

Haunted Snacks:

Spooky Sweets:

Join us on Twitter throughout the day during #SundaySupper.  We’ll be meeting up at 7:00 pm(Eastern) for our weekly #SundaySupper  live chat.
All you have to do is follow the #SundaySupper hashtag or you can follow us through TweetChat.

Creamy Peas with Bacon

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I have been so excited to see the fresh summer produce coming into the market. My little mind has been working overtime trying to come up with new and creative ways to use it all. When I saw the bin of sugar snap peas I knew that was what I wanted to work with. I had a recipe from the Food Network magazine for a Southern Supper menu and creamed peas were on it. I knew I wanted to start out with that and work my own twist into it. I really didn’t change it much, the addition of bacon was my thing. I mean everything goes better with bacon right? Heck ya!!

Seth was off work last night and earlier in the day he had asked me what I was making for dinner. I told him about the roast pork loin and the buttermilk pie and then mentioned the creamed peas followed by “I know you don’t like peas but…”. His response, God love him, was “Mom I like anything you  make” aawwwww melt a Mom’s heart. So with that said I was very excited about the entire meal.

Kevin’s son Dylan’s girlfriend was here and, bless her heart, she helped me shuck peas for about 2 hours! That was the hardest thing about this dish. I was determined to use fresh peas instead of frozen because I knew there would be so much more flavor in the dish if I did. The only problem I found was that this early in the season there were a lot, and I mean a lot, of the pea pods that had teeny tiny little peas that weren’t even worth the effort of the shucking process. That was a bit annoying. But in the end we all agreed that the dish was well worth the effort! I hope you agree.

Creamy Peas with Bacon
2 pieces of thick cut bacon
4 cups shelled peas (from 4 to 5 pounds pea pods) or frozen peas. 
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
2 scallions, thinly sliced
Kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper
Chop the bacon and  heat it in a skillet over medium high heat until crisp. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon and reserve on a paper towel.
Bring 6 cups of water and 1/2 teaspoon a salt to a boil in a sauce pan. Add the peas and cook for 10 minutes from fresh peas or 3 to 4 minutes for frozen. Drain and transfer to a bowl and keep warm. Add the cream to the pan, bring to a bail and cook until reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Whisk in the butter then add the peas and toss. Add the parsley, scallions, and bacon, season with salt and pepper to taste and combine.
2 scallions, thinly sliced

Savory Bread Pudding with Spinach, Artichoke, and Brie

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With the holidays coming and going my focus, of course, has been on creating and preparing dishes that could be part of a holiday meal. I mean, yes you really could use anything you want for a holiday meal but, I tried to stay along the lines of traditional with a new twist. This dish is one that I made for Thanksgiving 5 years ago from a recipe I found on Food Network. We loved it so I put it in the “recipe bank” for future use, but for whatever reason I associated it with a holiday meal only and never thought to pull it out for another night.

This year I went back through old recipes to get some ideas and came across this one again. I knew immediately  I wanted to make it. I knew Miss Picky Pants wasn’t going to eat it because it has artichoke hearts in it (if I had gotten rid of them should would have because she loves brie) but I figured everyone else would be game for it.

I also thought it would go well with the meal because I was making standing rib roast with a garlic, rosemary crust so it fit into the slight Italian theme I had going. You know, cooking is like getting dressed, you want everything to match and compliment each other. It sounds good at least right?

The meal was a bit hectic because I hadn’t planned the times as well as I had for Thanksgiving, plus the roast took up the whole oven so I couldn’t sneak things under or along the side. But this dish really comes together well. A few steps, but well worth it, trust me!! I can guarantee I wont be saving this for the holidays anymore. Special occasions maybe, but it is too good to only pull out once in a while!

Savory Bread Pudding with Spinach, Artichoke, and Brie 
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 pounds spinach, washed (3 cups cooked and roughly chopped)
  • 2 cups chopped yellow onions
  • 1 tablespoon roughly chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning blend
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 (8 1/2-ounce) cans quartered artichoke hearts, tough outer leaves removed
  • 6 large eggs
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 12 to 14 cups cubed (1-inch) day-old French bread (about 1 loaf)
  • 1 pound Brie, rind removed and cut into 1/2-inch cubes, optional
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley leaves

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 by 13-inch baking dish with 1 tablespoon olive oil.
Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add the spinach and cook until just wilted, about 30 seconds. Drain and rinse with cold water. Once cool, squeeze as much water from spinach as possible then roughly chop and reserve.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until golden brown and tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, 2 teaspoons of Italian seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and cook, stirring, until the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the artichokes and cook, stirring, another 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and reserve.
Combine the eggs, cream, milk, lemon juice, remaining 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning, remaining 2 teaspoons salt, and remaining 1 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl. Whisk to combine. Add the bread, spinach, artichoke mixture, brie, 1/4 cup Parmesan, and parsley and stir to combine. If bread does not absorb all of liquid immediately then let rest until this happens, about 20 minutes.
Pour the bread pudding mixture into the prepared dish. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan over the top and drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Bake until firm in the center and golden brown, about 1 hour. Serve warm.

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Standing Rib Roast with Rosemary and Garlic

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I don’t know about you but in my family rib roast was something we couldn’t afford for a long time. Once we were able to make the splurge, rib roast was reserved for the New Year’s Day dinner. We rang in the new year with yummy roast and lots of champagne (New Year’s Eve I was allowed to have a glass of champagne with the family, I felt so grown up!!).

So through the year the traditions dictated this:

Easter = Ham
Thanksgiving = Turkey
Christmas = Turkey
New Year’s = Rib Roast

For years I didn’t deviate from those traditional meals. Many years I passed up the New Year’s meal because I was married to a military man and inevitably he was gone for New Year. But for the other holidays I followed the “plan” without question. Then one year my ex and I decided we wanted to entertain at Christmas and go out for New Year’s. I didn’t want to miss my chance to make that luscious rib roast so we decided to make it at Christmas instead. Now it has become my new tradition. My kids are older so more often than not they have plans for New Year’s and Kevin and I have gotten used to a quiet evening out together and then home to ring in the New Year alone. This way I get to enjoy all of my favorite traditional meals AND spend a romantic evening with Kevin. The best of both worlds I believe that is called!

OK back to the roast. I do love meat just seasoned with salt and pepper and roasted to a nice yummy medium rare. The rib roast being the wonderful cut of meat could be served plain like that and still be wonderfully flavorful. However, since when could a true foodie pass up and opportunity to “guild the lilly” just a bit?

I have done several different rubs/crusts on my past rib roasts. Horseradish was the star last year. This year I decided the supporting players would be rosemary and garlic with a tad bit of red wine. When I threw the idea out at Kevin to ask him if it sounded good, he just looked at me with this funny look.

Me – Hey Honey I am thinking this year I want to do a crust for the rib roast with rosemary, garlic, and add some red wine to the pan. Does that sound OK?
Kevin – *insert strange look here*
Me – (confused) what is that look for?
Kevin – Why do you even ask me these questions? Everything you make is wonderful!
Me – Aaaaawwww

Yes, my dear friends, he won some points with that answer!!

So without further adieu let me present the star of our Christmas meal.

I know the picture quality is not very good but here you can see how the rosemary and garlic paste turns into a wonderful flavorful crust.
Then you cut into it and the juicy goodness inside just makes you want to grab it like a caveman and eat with your hands!
Standing Rib Roast with Rosemary and Garlic
  • 1/2 bunch rosemary, leaves finely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, smashed and finely minced, 3 cracked and skin removed
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 (8 to 8 1/2-pound) bone-in standing rib roast
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 3 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 2 bay leaves

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
In a small bowl combine the rosemary, and minced garlic. Add enough olive oil until it becomes a loose paste. Rub the the roast with the rosemary-garlic paste and really massage it into the meat. Season generously with kosher salt.
Place the veggies and garlic in the bottom of a roasting pan. Toss with olive oil and salt to taste. Add the red wine and 1 cup of beef stock and bay leaves. Put the roast on top of the veggies and put into the preheated oven until the roast is really brown and lovely, about 25 to 30 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees F for another 1 3/4 to 2 hours. Occasionally during the cooking time, spoon some of the juices over the meat. If the liquid level in the pan goes down too much, add the remaining 1 cup of stock. It also would be a great idea to rotate the roasting pan about halfway through the cooking process.
Check the temperature of the meat by inserting an instant-read thermometer into the center of the roast. For medium-rare it should be 125 degrees F and 130 for medium. Remove the roast from the oven to a cutting board and let it rest for 15 to 20 minutes before carving.
Taste the pan juices and season with salt, to taste, if needed. Strain out the veggies and skim off any excess fat.
Slice the roast and arrange on a serving platter. Serve with the the pan juices.

Serves 8

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Candied Sweet Potatoes with Rum Sauce

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Hmmm I am sensing a theme here. The holiday’s…well yes, of course! What would the other one be….hhmmmm…..aahhh yes, RUM!! Seriously though, I am not hooked on rum. I do love the way it tastes in certain foods and around the holidays it just seems to come out in abundance, rum soaked cakes, cupcakes, balls, so it isn’t just me!

Actually this recipe was taken from one that used bourbon, but it was just too bitter for me. Plus I liked some of the aspects of the old family recipe. So I smooshed them together and WALA made one awesome recipe! Don’t take my word for it, ask the family. They get excited for the holidays because I make them. This year I played around with the idea of NOT making them. WOW you should have seen the looks on their faces. You would have thought I told them we were eating road kill or something. OK that was dramatic I know, but pretty much sums up the looks I got.

I have made this recipe with yams as well as sweet potatoes, and you are more than welcome to substitute them. However, with trying to make things a bit healthier I chose sweet potatoes because they are lower in calories and have a lower glycemic load. I also reduce the amount of marshmallows I use. I wanted to try it with out them completely but the family threatened to boycott Thanksgiving if I did!!

Candied Sweet Potatoes with Rum Sauce
  • 8 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/8ths
  • 3 cups light brown sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup rum
  • 1 stick butter, cut into pieces
  • Marshmallows 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
In a large heavy pot, combine the potatoes, sugar, water, orange juice, vanilla, orange zest, cinnamon, and salt. Bring to a simmer over high heat. Lower the heat, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Strain the potatoes out of the sauce and place in a casserole dish. Return the sauce to the pan.
Add the rum to the sauce and continue to cook until syrup is thickened, about another 15 minutes. Pour the syrup over the potatoes. Add the pieces of butter and the marshmallows (as many as you like). Place in the oven. Bake until the marshmallows are browned, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from the heat and serve immediately.

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Roasted Turkey with Lemon and Sage Compound Butter

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With Thanksgiving  past and Christmas on the horizon I was a bit shocked when Kevin suggested we make a turkey this week. We were just wandering around the grocery store picking up a few items when we stumbled upon the turkeys and they were on sale. He looked at me and said, “Do you want to make a turkey?”. I don’t know why it seemed strange to me at first to make a turkey at any other time of year besides the holidays, but the foodie in me kicked in and my response was “Heck ya!”. I knew it would give me the opportunity to try a new way of roasting my turkey.

I have to admit to the fact that, even though I am adventurous in writing new recipes and changing up old ones, I have never altered the way I make my turkey. It is the same way my grandfather and my mother made it. I guess it just seemed like a tradition (or laziness….let’s go with tradition though because it sounds better).

I was watching the show The Chew and they had one episode where all of the stars made their own version of roasted turkey. All of them sounded wonderful but one of them used a compound butter and that set off the light bulb in my head. A while back I made a chicken with compound butter up under the skin and it was fabulous! I have no idea why I never connected that wonderful experience with a turkey. I mean really? A turkey is just a big chicken right? OK, I decided to roll up my sleeves and give it a try.

Oh, one of the best parts about this recipe? No basting!! The butter bastes the turkey and crisps the skin.

OK I know this isn’t a turkey picture but I just wanted say Merry Christmas to everyone!
Now on to the grub….
Mix your butter, sage, shallot, garlic, salt, and pepper.
Get your turkey all washed up, patted dry, and nestled into it’s roaster bed. Season the inside and outside with salt and pepper.
Place your pierced lemons and sage leaves inside the cavity.
Gently loosen the skin and spread the compound butter underneath it, I used my hands (sorry no photos of that but I was all alone with no camera man). Reserve a bit of the compound butter to rub on the outside of the turkey.
The result? A golden brown turkey with soooo much flavor!
Roasted Turkey with Lemon and Sage Compound Butter
12-16 pound turkey, thawed 
2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
5 tablespoons fresh sage leaves, minced
10 whole fresh sage leaves
3 lemons, one zested, one half juiced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 large or 2 small shallots, minced
Juice of half a lemon
Kosher salt
Cracked black pepper



Preheat oven to 425° F. Arrange an oven shelf in the lower third of the oven.

Let turkey come to room temperature. Remove the neck and giblets, reserve to make turkey broth. Drain the turkey and pat it dry inside and out.

Meanwhile, make the compound butter.  In a large bowl, combine room temperature butter, shallot, garlic, minced sage, lemon zest and lemon juice.  Stir together.  Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Place the turkey in a roaster with a rack. Season the inside of the turkey with salt & pepper to taste. Puncture two lemons with a knife and stuff inside the turkey along with fresh sage. Carefully loosen the turkey skin and spread the compound butter underneath it, reserving a bit of the butter to coat the outside of the turkey with. Sprinkle with a bit more salt and pepper if needed.

Roast the turkey in the lower third of the oven for 20 minutes. Then reduce the temperature to 325 degrees F and continue to cook the bird until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the leg/thigh joint reads 165 degrees F.

Remove turkey from oven and cover with tin foil. Allow the turkey to rest for 20 to 30 minutes before carving.




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Green Beans with Caramelized Onions

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If you are anything like me, the good old green beans casserole is one of the Thanksgiving side dishes you have had every Thanksgiving since you can remember. My Grandmother and then my Mother made the Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup green beans every year. As a kid I loved it, especially the fried onions that went on top. I always hogged them and loved them so very much.

Now as I have gotten older and want to eat healthier I have developed a love hate relationship with that dish. I love it so much for all of the wonderful memories it brings back, but hate the amount of fat and sodium it contains. Every year since my gastric surgery it has been such a dilemma  for me. To make it or not to make it, that was the question. Of course the nostalgia won out every year and I made it anyway and just ate a small amount.

I had been wanting to find a way to enjoy my childhood favorite in a healthier way but hadn’t given it a shot until this year. Looking through my Everyday Cooking magazine I found a recipe for a new green bean side dish and I instantly knew I was going to give it a try. This last week has been testing recipes so I can plan my menu. I am so lucky that each and every recipe I have made has been met with lots of enthusiasm from the gang here. Now I may actually have to weed a few out otherwise we will have a spread that would feed twice as many people. Trying to walk that fine line between cooking everything that sounds good and not putting yourself into a food coma is a tough one!

If you like green beans and have been wanting a healthier version for this years Thanksgiving table, you have to give this one a shot. If you are a die hard have to have mushrooms fan you could saute mushroom in some butter with garlic, once they are nice and brown salt and pepper them and add a touch of heavy cream. Pour that over your green beans and then top with the onions. I opted to go very healthy and make the green beans the star of the show.

Green Beans with Caramelized Onions 
1 tablespoon olive oil plus extra for drizzling
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 large sweet onions, thinly sliced
Kosher salt
Ground black pepper
2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed
4 teaspoons fresh tarragon leaves, chopped
In a large nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil and butter over medium-high heat. Add oinions and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until softened, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are deep golden brown, about 30 minutes. (At this point you could refrigerate the onions in an airtight container for up to one day and bring to room temperature before using).
Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook green beans, 6 minutes for crisp tender, 10 minutes for softer beans. Drain and toss with tarragon, a drizzle of olive oil, and salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving dish and top with caramelized onions.
Serves 8
Happy Thanksgiving!!
You can check out other healthy Holiday dishes at Amee’s Savory Dish

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