This year’s menu consisted of:
-Seared Turkey Breast with Roasted Root Vegetables and Chardonnay Gravy
-Cornbread Stuffing-Green Bean Casserole*
-Sweet Potato Casserole+
-My Mom’s Fruit Salad +
-Fearing’s Sweet Corn and Queso Mashed Potatoes (recipe by Dean Fearing of…Fearing’s)* -Cranberry Sauce
-premade Sara Lee rolls
-Candy Bar Pie*
–Marbled Pumpkin Cheesecake that ended up being Traditional Pumpkin Pie*
due to a lack of graham cracker crumbs that I didn’t notice until it was too late
*=Items that I tried for the first time that will stay in my recipe file for future usage
+=Items that are staples and have been made eleventy billion times before
I did just a turkey breast this year because it was going to be just the two of us and I didn’t want the hassle or cost of an entire turkey. I should have just gone with a small turkey. The breast was just as much, if not more, work than a small turkey.
I didn’t like the gravy-Chardonnay seems a bit too sweet to me for a gravy.The stuffing was alright, but I’ve made better.
Recipes for the staples and new things this year that we liked:
Green Bean Casserole: (Campbell’s recipe)
– 1 can (10 3/4 oz) Cream of Mushroom soup (can be fat free or low sodium), doesn’t have to be Campbell’s brand
-1/2 cup milk ( I use whole milk solely for cooking)
-1 tsp. soy sauce (didn’t realize we were out until I started making it-I used an equal amount of oyster-flavored sauce)
-Dash of pepper
-4 cups cooked cut green beans (2 cans well drained)
-1 1/3 cups French’s French Fried Onions
MIX: soup, milk, soy sauce (in our case oyster-flavored sauce), pepper, green beans and 2/3 cup onions in 1 1/2-qt. casserole (an 8″ pie pan will also work).
BAKE: at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes or until hot (I’m not sure how you’re supposed to determine if it’s hot or not…)
STIR: Sprinkle with remaining onions. Bake 5 minutes.
Sweet Potato Casserole:
– 3 medium sweet potatoes
– 1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)
– 1/2 t. cinnamon
– 1/2 stick of butter, softened
– 1/3 c. granulated sugar
– Shake of nutmeg
– Large Marshmallows (Jet Puft of course!)
1. Prick and boil sweet potatoes for around 40-50 minutes and check for doneness; usually a knife can be stuck through easily. Cool and peel. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Put potatoes in a 2 quart buttered casserole dish (again, an 8 or 9″ pie pan will work), and add all ingredients except marshmallows.
2. Mash potatoes and ingredients REALLY well (if you don’t mash the sweet potatoes well enough, they’re stringy and that’s gross) – you may use an electric mixer or mash by hand. Heat through (about 20 minutes). Raise the oven temperature to 400 degrees F and add marshmallows on top. Heat for 5-10 minutes.
My Mom’s Fruit Salad (as in my actual mom):
– 8 oz cream cheese, softened
– 1 pint heavy whipping cream
– 2-3 Tbs. powdered sugar (I use 3 because I like the whipped cream to be a little sweeter, but start with 2)
– I tsp. vanilla extract
– 2×15 oz cans of fruit cocktail (drained very well and patted dry with a paper towel)
In a medium mixing bowl, whip softened cream cheese.
In another medium mixing bowl, whip heavy whipping cream with the powdered sugar and vanilla extract until fluffy.
Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese, then fold in the fruit cocktail until evenly distributed.
Chill for at least 30 minutes.
Fearing’s Sweet Corn and Queso Mashed Potatoes:
-6 russet potatoes, peeled
-5 tablespoons butter (divided use)
-2 garlic cloves, minced
-1 shallot, minced
-2 ears yellow corn (kernels sliced from cob)
-3 oz queso fresco
-1 pint half-and-half (or less, to taste)
-Salt, to taste
Place potatoes in large pot and cover with water. Bring water to boil. Reduce to simmer; cook potatoes for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a fork. Drain.
Place potatoes in large bowl and mash by hand for homestyle (slightly lumpy) mashed potatoes, or with an electric mixer for smoothness.
Bring medium saute pan to medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon butter. Add garlic and saute until very light brown, about one minute.
Add shallot; saute for 1 minute. Add corn kernels and saute for 2 minutes.
Remove pan from heat and add mixture to mashed potatoes. Fold in cheese. Stir to combine well; taste for seasoning.
Melt remaining 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) butter. Add melted butter.
Slowly add up to 1 pint half-and-half, stirring well so consistency is not too thin. Add salt to taste, and stir.
Keep warm until served. Makes 4 servings.
*I used about 3/4 pint of half-and-half and it made the potatoes a little too thin for my liking. Also, I don’t know if I had gigantic potatoes or something, but when I made it, it made WAY more than 4 side-dish servings. This won’t be going into the holiday recipes, but I’m going to be keeping it with the regular recipes.
-4 cups fresh cranberries
-2 cups apple juice
-3/4 cup sugar
-1/4 teaspoon orange zest
Place all the ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, stirring occasionally, and cook until the liquid has slightly thickened, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat, let cool, cover, and refrigerate in a serving dish.
Yield: Makes 8 to 10 servings (2 cups)
Candy Bar Pie
-5 Snickers candy bars (2.07 ounces each), cut into 1/4″ pieces
-1 pastry shell (9 inches), baked*
-12 oz. cream cheese, softened
-1/2 cup sugar
– 2 eggs
-1/3 cup sour cream
-1/3 cup peanut butter
– 2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
– 2 Tablespoons heavy whipping cream
Place candy bar pieces in the pastry shell; set aside. In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add eggs, sour cream and peanut butter; beat on low speed just until combined. Pour into pastry shell. Bake at 325 degrees F for 35-40 minutes or until set. Cool on a wire rack.
In a small heavy saucepan, melt chocolate chips with cream over low heat until smooth. Spread over filling. Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight. Cut with a warm knife.
Yield: 8-10 servings.
*Note: I used a Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust. This pie is great if you love cheesecake, which J does. I don’t love it so much, so I wasn’t as much of a fan.
Traditional Pumpkin Pie
-1 recipe Pastry for Single-Crust Pie (see below)
-1 15 oz. can pumpkin
-2/3 cup sugar
-1 tsp. ground cinnamon
-1/2 tsp. ground ginger
-1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
-3 slightly beaten eggs
-1 5 oz can (2/3 cup) evaporated milk
-1/2 cup of milk.
1. Prepare and roll out Pastry for Single-Crust Pie. Line a 9″ pie plate with the pastry. Trim to 1/2 inch beyond edge of pie plate. Fold under extra pastry; crimp edge as desired.
2. For filling, in a mixing b owl combine pumpkin, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Add eggs. Beat lightly with a rotary beater or fork just until combined. Gradually stir in evaporated milk and milk; mix well.
3. Place the pastry-lined pie plate on the oven rack. Carefully pour filling into pastry shell.
4. To prevent overbrowning, cover edge of the pie with foil. Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil. Bake about 25 minutes more or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Refrigerate within 2 hours; cover for longer storage.
Makes 8 servings.
Pastry for Single-Crust Pie:
Stir together 1 & 1/4 cups all-purpose flour and 1/4 tsp. salt. Using a pastry blender cut in 1/3 cup shortening until pieces are pea-size. Using 4 to 5 tablespoons cold water, sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the water over part of the mixture; gently toss with a fork. Push moistened dough to the side of the bowl. Repeat moistening dough, using 1 tablespoon of the water at a time, until all the dough is moistened. Form dough into a ball. On a lightly floured surface, use your hands to slightly flatten dough. Roll dough from center to edge into a circle about 12 inches in diameter.
**I used a Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crust that I had left over and followed the directions on the box instead of making it from scratch, as it was about 3 in the morning and I was frustrated over having to make a pie instead of a cheesecake.