There are too many videos on You Tube of turkeys gone wrong to count. If you’re nervous about roasting turkey for the first time, I think you might appreciate how easy it really is to do. Let’s get started!
The reason I’m posting this today is because if your turkey is still in the freezer, you should probably move it into the refrigerator. It’s a good idea to put it on the bottom shelf and to put it on or in something to catch the juices.
To figure out how much time your turkey will need to defrost in the fridge, just figure on 5 hours per pound. So a 20 pound turkey will need 100 hours in the fridge. Divide the 100 hours by 24 hour days and you will need to defrost your turkey for about 4 days.
To figure out if you need to get up super early to put your turkey in the oven, check out this chart and set your alarm accordingly.
Once you have defrosted your turkey and figured out your roasting time, it’s time to prepare your turkey. To prepare your oven, remove extra racks and just keep one at the right height for your roasting pan. Doing this while oven is still cool will save you a lot of unnecessary troubles. Get your roasting pan ready, turn oven onto 325 degrees and remove packaging. If you don’t have a roasting pan, you can buy disposable ones in a regular grocery store but I recommend making the investment of a good roasting pan and a pretty platter. You will use them for more than just turkey over the years.
Okay, that is my least favorite part of the whole Thanksgiving dinner. Now you can do anything!
Most grocery stores and bakeries sell plain toasted bread around the holidays. For my 16 pound turkey I just used one bag (1 pound) of stuffing bread.
You can toast your own by laying bread on a baking sheet and baking it in the oven but just be sure not to choose a sweet type of bread.
Put bread into a large bowl. I prefer breaking mine into smaller pieces before I start making the stuffing.
Chop yellow onion.
Chop fresh flat leaf Italian parsley.
Chop fresh sage. Secret: If you love the flavor of Stove Top stuffing, this is probably the main reason why you do. Rosemary & thyme are great herbal additions too!
Finally, chop some celery.
Another awesome ingredient is water chestnuts. They add a nice crunch to the stuffing. One or two cans should do just fine. I like to chop mine a little bit first.
Finally, toss all the fresh goodies into the stuffing bowl.
Add 2-3 cans of chicken broth (or just water) to stuffing then mix together.
Stuffing should be completely dampened and a little bit soft. It’s okay that the insides of the bread pieces are still crispy because they will get more juices when cooking inside of turkey.
If you choose to take it easy on yourself and use a pre-made boxed stuffing, it will probably have instructions for how liquid to add before placing stuffing into the turkey but if it does not, you can use the same rule above.
Now for the seasonings. Some basic seasonings you can use are a house spice like Johnny’s Lawry’s or Spike. Of course, you’ll want plenty of salt, pepper and maybe some Beau Monde (it gives a nice celery flavoring). The great thing about stuffing is that as long as it hasn’t come near the raw turkey, you can taste a little piece before putting it in the turkey to see if it has enough flavor. This will at least give you a good idea if you are close to perfection.
Yay! The stuffing is ready to stuff into the stuffee. First, rub salt all over the inside both ends of the the turkey.
Then push stuffing into the neck end of the turkey (the end where the skin flap was). I know, it’s yucky.
When done, use the skin flap to help seal the stuffing on that end. Just pull it up…
All the way…
And hold in place while you flip the turkey over.
Then stuff the other end of the bird as full as you like. The top of this stuffing will get that yummy crispy topping on it. Mmmmm….
Rub butter or olive oil all over the bird and season with salt, pepper & seasonings that you enjoy. You can also lay herbs over the top of the turkey. Some people use a sweet sauce but we prefer a savory turkey. Pour about a cup of water in bottom of the roasting pan. Place the rack in the pan and then the turkey with legs upward.
Tom is ready to pop into the oven.
Keep your cutest oven mitts and turkey baster ready.
About every hour or two, check on the turkey and use the baster to suck up the juices and squirt them all over the bird. Your home is about to smell like family tradition. Savor it and remember it. These are the best times in life.
Once turkey is well browned, cover with roasting pan lid. This will prevent the to, the legs, and the wings from overcooking while the inside continues to roast.
Oh momma. Let Tom sit for about 30 minutes before cutting. Remove stuffing from under flap on bottom of bird and place it into a serving bowl. Carefully place turkey onto a pretty platter. A pan that comes with a rack is especially good thing for cooking things as large as a turkey.
If you like the look & plan on having a picture op, keep the stuffing that is at the top there until needed.
Electric knives are popular for cutting as they allow for thinner slices.
Decorate your turkey with parsley, shorty baby tomatoes or whatever you find pretty.
May you and yours have a very happy holiday season celebrating the blessings that you have been given.
To get started with this awesome pie, you will start with the caramel sauce first as it takes a long time. There are other ways to make caramel but since you’re in the kitchen anyhow preparing & baking this pie, this is a great time to try this recipe. It does not need a lot of babysitting like most caramel recipes.
To make the caramel topping, place one can of sweetened condensed milk into a double boiler. I just used a medium saucepan with a couple of inches of water in it & then put a smaller saucepan on top of it and added the sweetened condensed milk into the top saucepan. I have a double boiler but son, age 15, puts away my dishes. ‘Nuf said.
Cover and place on medium low heat. Just call me the queen of make-shift. For now you are done. Just keep a spoon handy to stir once & awhile. This will simmer for a total of about 1 1/2 hours.
Yeah, I know. Did I mention that the blade to my food processor is missing too?
For the pie, smear a little butter inside a 9 inch pie plate then line with crust. I used store-bought this time. 😀
Place these ingredients into a medium bowl:
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
Time to check on caramel & give it a stir! Yay! It’s browning nicely!
Back to the pie filling… stir ingredients.
Stir in 1 1/2 cups of the star of the show – pecans – to filling.
Pour pie filling into pie crust & bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Bake another 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
After pie is in oven, check on caramel & give it another stirsies for good measure.
After about 45 minutes, you will have your own lovely like this one. Notice the sugary filling that boiled up over the crust giving it a shiny glazed sheen. I added some more pecans after baking for that extra touch right after I took the pie out of the oven.
I finish up the caramel sauce with about 3 tablespoons of creme de cacao. Just stir it in when caramel is finished browning.
I went a little nuts over this pie. It became dinner. That’s what happens when foodie bloggers get so excited about what they’re blogging. They forget about lunch, finish their work at 5pm and eat dessert for dinner. I’m feeling pretty lucky after this pretty pie. Maybe I’ll find my double boiler and food processor blade.
Sometimes the only thing that warms the soul on a cold, stormy evening is comfort food and family. This parmesan meatloaf is just the answer. It’s easy to make and is even more flavorful the next day, making it the perfect meatloaf sandwich.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Start by crumbling 1 cup of soda crackers or oyster crackers.
After seventeen years of a broken relationship with food processors, I finally appreciate them oh so much. After finished, place cracker crumbs in a large bowl.
Add one package of your favorite dry packaged au jus mix to 3/4 cup milk. Add to bowl with crackers.
Then add 1 cup of grated parmesan, 1 tablespoon of minced garlic, 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce and 3 eggs to mixture.
Finally add 2 1/2 pounds of ground beef (or ground chicken or turkey) and then salt & pepper. Combine ingredients well.
Other things you could add to your parmesan meatloaf include chopped celery, chopped green peppers, sliced water chestnuts (which will add crunch) or some canned fried onions.
Place meatloaf makin’s in a pretty baking dish. Bake for about an hour or until center of meatloaf reaches 165 degrees.
To finish off, I used the juices of the baked meatloaf as a gravy start. Mmmm tasty!
This is a recipe that I promise you will be on your rotating dinner menu.
Always make enough for the help. Lesson learned.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t find very many pictures of this tree so I will share with you what I could find.
For the topper, I just took various elements of the tree and made them into a top that captured the splendor of a full harvest. Yeah, I know. Those dark blue walls only lasted a few months – just until I got the energy to paint them again.
Papery silk roses and plastic grapes adorned this tree. I was pretty busy around this time, so there weren’t very many handmade ornaments that I can remember.
But I do remember these sweet little numbers which made their home in this tree. I decoupaged little flower pots with pieces of old hymnal pages. Sacred, I know, but I love hymns so much. Dork, I know, but I love them so much that I want them to adorn things in my home.
This way, I can remember my dad singing with the purest of hearts “Fairest Lord Jesus” only for it to turn into a competition with my childhood best friend’s dad in a pew on the other side of the church for the loudest tenor every Sunday. Is it bad to admit that a little voice inside of me always cheered, “Louder, dad, louder!”?
Anyhow, back to the crafty craft. Using a low temp glue gun, I secured a small styrofoam ball inside, covered with a wee bit of moss and then flowers with leaves & pippish (new word alert!) berries. I then made a bow with three loops on each side. I put a dab of glue where I wanted the bow to be and then pushed the knot part of the bow into the midst of the florals by using the eraser end of a pencil & held it there for a minute until the glue was dry.
This was the year that dotter got her very first cell phone. The reason she is looking emotional is because we wrapped it and then called it. She is looking for her new phone which is ringing. Happy memories. Behind the special memories, you can see wicker birds, fancy ornaments, pip berries and grape lights.
Quite possibly her best Christmas ever. Well, that one and the year she got her Macbook. We do love Apples… and grapes.
More Christmas trees