It’s always fun to dig out Favorite Thanksgiving recipes from our favorite cookbooks & old recipe cards that we have used so much in the past.
Even though Thanksgiving might be a rather different get together this year as you have been accustomed to in the past with maybe a smaller group you can enjoy those favorite recipes that bring back memories.
Many of you I’m sure have a few tried and true favorites from the best way to cook your turkey to specialty desserts. In my blog this week I just wanted to share a few of our favorites and some new ideas for traditional recipes.
Getting your kitchen ready
The first thing that comes to mind when preparing for a holiday meal is the prep work that goes into it. Starting with writing your grocery list to preparing your kitchen for cooking and of course food safety in the kitchen.
Here is a great link from USDA that highlights some of the important things to remember!
Once the groceries are bought and the count down begins the fun part starts. One big question everyone has seems to be the correct way to thaw a turkey and just how long does it take?
Picking the right turkey
According to Food network there are several things to consider when picking the right turkey.
Fresh vs. Frozen
The National Turkey Federation claims there is no quality difference between fresh and frozen turkeys. Pros and cons for both but it is really a personal choice. If you don’t have much freezer space a fresh turkey is a good option for you. But if you have the room and the time to thaw it a frozen is the better choice. Frozen turkeys are so economical this time of year you could even grab an extra one to keep in the freezer for later this winter as frozen turkey’s keep up to 6 months!
Defrosting your Turkey
Get your bird out of the freezer at least three days before you plan on cooking it. Make room in the refrigerator and leave the turkey in there on a tray to catch any juices as its thaws out. It takes about three days to completely defrost a 20-pound turkey — smaller ones may need less time. If you didn’t get your bird in the fridge in time and it’s still bit frozen (that’s just a bit — not completely frozen), you can continue defrosting it by running lukewarm water over it for a few hours. Make sure the water isn’t hot or it will start cooking the meat.
How Big & How long will it take to cook?
Some of the links below I earn a small commission through Amazon at no cost to you! Just some of my favorites I wanted to share!
Smaller turkeys are usually more tender so if you have the room why not cook 2 small ones instead of one large one? Here are some great turkey roasting pans that would fit average size birds!
Of course the amount of people that will be enjoying dinner will come into play on the size of turkey to buy. Don’t forget about those leftovers too!
Estimate: So if you are hosting a dinner for 10 the estimate is 6 ounces of meat per person but if you add 2 meals per person for leftovers that would be: 6 (oz.) X 10 (dinner guests) X 3 meals ( remember we are figuring 2 meals for leftovers!) = 180 ounces of meat which you then just divide by 16 (which is the amount of ounces in a pound!) 180/16 = 12 pounds or a mid size turkey!
Now once your turkey size is determined this is where you can figure our how long it will take to cook. It’s basically 350 degrees in your oven based on pounds. Say you bought that 12 pounder we mentioned above, this size would take approximately 4 hours ( 10-15 minutes per pound.) I have learned to not rely on the pop up timers found in many brands of turkey’s and use this handy meat thermometer for a better gauge on when your turkey will be cooked through safely. As you can see they are relatively in expensive for such an important gadget in your kitchen.
Now that we have talked turkey I would love to jump over to a few of may favorite recipes that we have used through out the years! The first one is a great alternative to baking your stuffing or dressing!
Stuffing in your Oven
- standard oven
- 4 loaves stuffing bread you could always tear up old bread you may have on hand or in your freezer. Each load is approx. a 1 pound loaf
- 3 cans cream of chicken soup
- 2 large onions chopped up fine
- 1 stalk celery chopped
- 2 TBS. Garlic Powder
- 2 TBS Salt
- 2 TBS Pepper
- 2 TBS Oregano
- 3 TBS Poultry seasoning
- 3 Tbs. Parsley
- 2 TBS Butter (melted)
- Mix all dry ingredients above in a small bowl and set aside. Tear up your bread into small pieces into a large mixing bowl. Set asideChop Onion and celery and place in a bowl. Open cans of cream of chicken soup and stir into bread mixture, then add the dry seasonings , onion, celery and melted butter.Once "stuffing" is mixed well you can place in a roaster in your oven or another option is an oven bag and place in a electric roaster to give you more oven space!Bake for approx. 45 minutes. It's good to stir every 10 minutes, or if cooking in an oven bag in a roaster just turn the bag.Hope you enjoy this new way to cook your stuffing
A twist on Sweet Potatoes
Honey Glazed Sweet Potatoes
- standard oven preheat to 375*
- 6 medium Sweet Potatoes
- 1/2 Cup Honey
- 1/3 Cup Orange Juice
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 Cup Butter
- Boil sweet potatoes whole on top of stove until semi/soft. Once finished drain and allow to cool. Once cool peel and slice.Combine the honey, orange juice, salt and ,melted butter in a small bowl.Arrange a layer of sliced sweet potatoes in a greased casserole dish or baking dish. Moisten with the orange juice mixture. Repeat with additional layer so sweet potatoes and juice mixture.Any extra juice can be poured over the sweet potatoes a this time.Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 30 minutes
Easy Cranberry Side Dish
Cranberry Mandarin Salad
- Refrigerator for Chilling salad
- 2 3 oz boxes(these are the small boxes!) lemon and cranberry Jello (one of each flavor) Cranberry Jello might be hard to find, I have substituted raspberry
- 1 16 0z. can "Whole" Cranberry sauce
- 1 Cup Chopped walnuts or pecans
- 1 11 oz. can mandarin oranges, drained
- 1 8 3/4 oz. can Crushed Pineapple
- 2 cups Ginger ale * Cranberry Ginger ale might add a nice touch if you can find it, if not just use regular ginger ale.
- Combine Jello with cranberry sauce in a saucepan over medium heat. Heat and stir until almost boiling & Jello is dissolved; remove from heat.Stir in chopped nuts ,mandarin oranges, undrained pineapple and ginger ale.When fizzing stops stir well and pour mixture into a oiled 5 cup mold or dish.Chill until set.
Not your usual Pumpkin Pie
Double Layer Pumpkin Pie
- Refrigerator for chilling pie
- Kitchen aid mixer or hand mixer
- 1 8 oz. Cream Cheeses softened
- 1 Cup + 1 TBLs Cold Milk
- 5 TBS Sugar
- 1 8 oz. Tub Cool Whip, thawed
- 1 16 oz. can pumpkin (not puree)
- 2 3 oz. boxes (small) Vanilla Instant Pudding
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon If you have pumpkin pie spice on hand just use this; adding 3 tsp and omit the cinnamon, ginger and cloves
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cloves
- 1 "Deep Dish" Graham cracker pie crust
- In a large mixing bowl, mix softened cream cheese, 1 Tbls. of Milk and the sugar until smooth. Gently stir in 1 1/2 cups of Cool Whip (leaving enough to be able to top pie in last step) Spread this mixture in bottom of pie crustIn emptied bowl beat pudding with 1 Cup of Milk. Add the canned pumpkin and spices to the is and blend well. This mixture will be thick! Spread this mixture over the first layer of cream cheese mixture.Spread remaining cool whip over top ( you could buy a larger (16 oz. of Cool Whip to be sure to have plenty)Sprinkle a little cinnamon on top.Refrigerate at least 4 hours to be firm when slicing it. Shouldn't be frozen but has never been a problem since it does get eaten up quickly!
A Delicious Recipe to use those turkey leftovers!
- Standard Oven preheated to 375*
- 4-6 Cups Diced turkey
- 1 Can Cream of Chicken soup
- 1 Can Cream of Celery Soup
- 1 Cup Sour Cream
- 1/2 Cup Milk
- 2 Cups Homemade Stuffing or 2 boxes of Stove Top following directions on box.
- Mix above ingredients in a large mixing bowl, mixing well.Pour into greased 9 x 13 baking pan.Cover mixture with your home made stuffing or stove top stuffing.Bake in oven for approx. 40- 45 minutes. Will bubble slightly when done.
I certainly hope you enjoyed reading over these recipes and maybe gave you some ideas to try a couple new things this year.
The post below is one I wrote a month or two ago and has some great items that are used in these recipes. Here’s the link from the previous link