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Thanksgiving Menu with Recipes

November 25, 2012

I’m pretty new to this blogging thing. I have to remember to take pictures throughout.

Entrees: Roasted turkey breast; glazed honey baked smoked ham
Sides: Canned cranberry sauce (the jiggly kind in can), cornbread dressin’, mashed potatoes, candied yams, collard greens, mac n cheese
Bread: Sister Schubert’s yeast rolls
Beverage: variety of beverages (water, Welch’s sparkling white grape juice and pepsi)

Service: buffet

Table setting: felt leaves table runner, glass vases filled with unpopped popcorn, dried red beans and mulled cider scented/colored candles and tall stemmed tea light holders

Brining the Turkey:
Light brown sugar (1/2 cup)
Salt (1/2)
Savory Spice Shop’s Citrus and Savory Brining Spices (1/2 bag)
Water

I boiled the sugar, salt and spices in a small sauce pan until the sugar and salt dissolved. From there I put it in a large bowl and added ice cubes and cold water to cool it off. I then added it to the turkey which was in the “brining” (crock pot liner bag is what it really was) bag and placed it in the refrigerator over night. Once it’s brined overnight, I rinsed it off and patted it dry to prepare it for seasoning.

Seasoning my turkey breast:
Savory Spice Shop’s Sage and Savory Stuffing Seasoning
Tiny Town Turkey Rub
Butter
Olive oil
2-3 cups of chicken broth

After brining my turkey breast, I began to season her. I don’t know if it’s a boy or girl turkey, but this year, my turkey is a girl turkey. I mixed some Sage and Savory with softened butter and rubbed it between the skin and and breast itself. This helps to make it more succulent and tasty. I rubbed olive oil all over her. I then rubbed the Tiny Town Turkey Rub all over too. Remember that turkey is pretty tasteless without some extra help. I put the turkey breast on a rack in the roasting pan. I do not use a roasting bag–I don’t like soft skin, I prefer crispy skin. I put the chicken broth in the bottom of the roasting pan so that I could use that combined with the drippings to make gravy. I guess there was about an inch of broth in the bottom of the pan. I cooked it on a slow oven at 300 degrees and set the timer for 2 hours for the 4 1/2 pound breast. Gah, it smelled so good in the house. Very savory. Yum.

Cornbread dressin’: Check out an earlier post.

Candied Yams:
Please, please please do NOT ruin good sweet potatoes by topping them with marshmallows. Yuck. I LOVE a sweet potato but I can’t stand marshmallows on top. If you love them that way, that’s on you and you will have to answer to the sweet potato gods. (Don’t freak out, it’s a little “g” gods.) Haha. I made the sweet potatoes this way in honor of my mom, she said this was the way they made sweet potatoes in the country. She grew up in the city so I’m not sure where she got that part from. Oh well.

Fresh sweet potatoes
Brown sugar, have about a cup on hand
Butter, a lot
Lemon
Cinnamon if you wish (I didn’t)
Water

Wash, peel and slice the sweet potatoes to about 1/4 inch.

In a frying pan, add about 2 tablespoons of water.

Layer the sweet potatoes, generously sprinkle brown sugar on top and then a dot of butter on each potato. Do this until you fill the pan. Squeeze the juice of one half a lemon to keep the sweet potatoes orange looking and to enhance the flavor. They shouldn’t taste lemony.

Slowly cook the potatoes until they are tender and the mixture becomes syrupy. You won’t need to add any more water because as my mom says, they make their own water. Crazy huh, but they do. You may need to add more sugar to get the syrupy consistency. The potatoes should not look solid and potato-y. You will need to periodically turn the potatoes so that the top ones get to the bottom and vice versa. They won’t stick. Don’t cook them any higher than medium. Now Imma need to go downstairs and heat up some candied yams to eat them now. YUMMMMM.

Mac n Cheese:
This is my revised version of my mom’s mac n cheese recipe that has a sort of custard base.

8 oz dried macaroni (I used shells this year)
1 can (the larger one) of evaporated milk
2 eggs
1-2 cups cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Boil the macaroni. Drain and set aside.

Heat the milk but don’t let it boil.

Beat two eggs. Temper the eggs by adding a tablespoon of milk at a time to bring the eggs up to temperature. If you don’t temper them, you may get scrambled egg bits in your dish. I guess you’d then have a breakfast/lunch dish huh?

Spray an 8×8 glass dish with cooking oil spray. Add one layer of macaroni, season with salt and pepper, layer of cheese and repeat until you end up with macaroni. Pour the egg/milk mixture over top. Add an additional layer of cheese. Spray aluminum foil (holla if you know it by ‘tin foil’) with the cooking spray and cover with that foil to bake. Bake for 30 minutes at 350. Take the foil off and bake for about 10 more minutes to get the cheese to brown up a bit or to your liking.

Glazed ham:
The second ham came out better than the first. Here goes.

Brown sugar, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon. About 1/3 cup brown sugar and about 1/4-1/2 tsp of the other seasonings. Add about 2 tablespoons of orange juice or water to this mixture and heat in a small sauce pan until the sugar dissolves.

Place the ham cut side down in a pan so that if it is spiral sliced, these cuts are parallel to the pan. With a barbecue brush, start brushing the sugar mixture on the ham in sections. Fire up the kitchen torch and sweep the flame across the glaze on the ham until it starts to crystalize. To save your thumb, be sure to flip the switch to continuous flame.

This ham was the bomb.

Mashed potatoes:

Bag of yellow potatoes (not every potato makes for mashed potatoes)
Heaving whipping cream (about 1 cup)
Chicken broth (about 1/2-3/4 cup)
Salt, pepper to taste
Garlic powder
1/2 stick butter

Wash, peel and cube the potatoes

Boil the potatoes until tender. If possible use more chicken broth (amount not listed in the ingredients) to boil the potatoes in lieu of water. Drain the potatoes.

Preferably in a stand mixer (love my kitchen aid), whip the potatoes and add the cream and chicken broth a little at a time until you get the consistency that you like. Add salt, pepper and garlic powder. These are pretty simple. Because they are still hot, at the butter and cover with foil until ready to serve.

Because I’m a scratch-home-kitchen cook, the recipes above are creations and aren’t written down. They are all to taste. Just a warning.

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2 Comments
  1. Chrystal permalink

    YES that ham WAS the bomb! OMGosh. Tender and tasty. I made ham, egg and cheese sandwiches with it this morning. Going to use your recipes (or some facsimile thereof) for my Christmas dinner. Thanks LS!

    • Glad you loved it. Girl, I don’t know what I’m gonna do with the left over ham. I’ll be eating ham sammiches until…

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