Wednesday, December 7, 2011

I’m sorry for the lack of entries, folks. I really wish I had more time to transfer my thoughts to paper/blog. I have so many neurotic, stressed, joyful, excited, worried moments that I would like to share with you but there simply is no time.
Since excitedly accepting my promotion at work life has been a whirlwind. I would walk you thru my normal day but I promise it’s nothing interesting. The highlight of my day is always the drive home, walking in the door and seeing my family. When Brianna sees me she smiles and that makes everything alright.
We have a video of her laughing but we can’t figure out how to get it from Michael’s phone to the computer. Once we figure that out I promise to share it with you all. It’s fantastic!
But let’s get down to brass tacks. It’s December 7th! That means Thanksgiving has come and gone and Christmas is just days away. I can’t believe it. But I am super stoked to start the gifting process: shopping, making, baking, wrapping. I’ll post pictures as soon as the holidays pass, I promise.
But let’s recap Thanksgiving because that annual meal definitely was something worth talking about. First of all let me say that my favorite dish of Thanksgiving has always been a side item: macaroni and cheese, the veggies, the dinner rolls, and even the desserts. But this year, my friends, my favorite dish was by FAR the turkey!
The turkey was Michael’s project but I helped too. First of all we did our homework: thawing time, cooking time, herbs that blend well with turkey taste, how to keep the bird moist, how to know when it’s done, how to prevent burning, to stuff or not to stuff, to brine or not to brine.
For us we decided on a medium-sized bird which resulted in 4ish hours of cooking time. We injected the meat with Cajun butter (2 tablespoons in each side). We stuffed the bird with (and had him laying on a bed of) chopped celery, potatoes, carrots, and apples.

Stuffed with veggies.
We poured chicken broth in the pan, with the veggies, to add to the bird’s moistness. Finally we made a butter herb spread, stuffed it under the skin, and smeared the rest on top of the skin.

Popped him in the oven at 400 degrees and let him cook for an hour, then I added an aluminum foil tent and brought the temp down a bit for the last 3 hours of cooking.

Let me tell you.


This turkey was DIVINE! Moist, flavorful, healthy, amazing. I like fried turkeys but honestly nothing compared to THIS turkey. We raved about it for days and now we’re thinking about making it again for Christmas.

But the dinner didn’t stop there. The sides were good too…

Day-Before-Crock-Pot Mashed Potatoes. So good they didn't need gravy.
Cranberry Chutney is so much better than canned cranberry sauce.
This fruity gravy/sauce/dip is good for a multitude of meats.
Twice baked butternut squash was my least favorite.
I think I'll stick with regular yellow squash with butter and onions.
And so were the desserts…

M's favorite: pecan pie. I never liked pecan pie until I made it from scratch.
Talk about easy! Lesson learned: Don't use graham cracker crust.
Applie Pie, from scratch. Served warm with melty vanilla ice cream
or with shredded cheddar cheese.
Lesson learned: use sharp cheddar.

Now we’re excited to start planning our Christmas dinner menu. Mamaw and Papaw might be coming up for Christmas so we’re ready to impress.
Brianna - Thanksgiving Day 2011 (3.5 months old)

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