Thanksgiving Feast

As most of you know Thanksgiving is a huge foodie holiday.  I am still learning something new every year. Here’s what was served at our Thanksgiving prepared by ME!

Appetizers: 
– Cheese Platter
– Cold Spinach Dip
– Roast Beef Rounds
– Sausge Crescent Rolls

Main Dishes:
– Turkey
– Lasagna
– Spiral Ham (made by my Mother in Law)

Sides:
– Creamy Mashed Potatoes
– Corn
– Green Beans
– Stuffing
– Biscuits
– Green Garden Salad (made by sister in law)

Dessert:
– New York Cheesecake
– Chocolate Pudding Pies ( made by sister in law)
– Brownies ( made by sister in law)

The Turkey:

I had wet brined the turkey this year. I combined 2 gallons of water, 3/4 cup salt, 1 cup brown sugar, 2 cups of apple cider,3 tablespoons ground pepper, rosemary, thyme, sage, 6 garlic cloves, and 3 bay leaves. I brought all of the ingredients to a boil until the sugar and salt dissolved. I made an ice bath in my sink and placed the pot in the sink. Once the brine was completely cooled I poured it in the bag with the turkey breasts side down. I let the turkey brine for about 16 hours.

I then rinsed the turkey off and let the turkey take a cold bath for about 20 minutes in the sink to remove a lot of the salt.
image

After patting it dry with a towel I went under the skin and placed compound butter and slices of lemon. I sprinkled salt and pepper on the turkey. The turkey was stuffed with a lemon (halved), one onion, carrots and celery.

I let the turkey rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before placing it in a 350°f oven covered with tin foil.

While it was resting, I made clarified butter to baste the turkey with. I also had chicken broth warming up on the stove to use to baste as well. I placed herbs in both and kept them warm on the stove.

I roasted the 18lb turkey for 4 1/2 hours and let it rest covered for 1 hour.

image

The Cheesecake:

Normally, I make Tyler Florence’s Ultimate Cheesecake. However, this time I wanted to try an easier recipe. BIG MISTAKE !

The cheesecake was great but not my best. Everyone was upset when I said I changed recipes. They found this cheesecake very dense and very filling.

From Food For a Hungry Soul
New York Cheesecake
(Jim Fobel’s Old-Fashioned Baking Book)

5 large eggs, room temperature
2 cups (one pint) sour cream, room temperature
4 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
8 tablespoons (one stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

Generously butter the inside of a 10-inch springform pan.  Wrap a double layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil tightly around the outside bottom and sides, crimping and pleating the foil to make it conform to the pan.  This will help to prevent water seeping into the pan when you put it into the bain-marie.  Position the baking rack in the center of the oven; preheat the oven to 300* Fahrenheit. 

In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the eggs with the sour cream until well blended.

In a medium-sized bowl, beat the cream cheese with the butter until smooth and creamy.  Add this to the egg-sour cream mixture and beat until smooth. 

Add the sugar, cornstarch, vanilla, lemon juice and lemon zest and beat thoroughly, about 2 minutes. 

Pour into the prepared springform pan and place in a roasting pan (or other pan) large enough to prevent the sides from touching.  Place in the oven and carefully pour in enough very hot tap water to reach halfway up the sides of the springform pan.

Bake for 2 hours, 15 minutes, or until the cake is very lightly colored and a knife inserted in the center emerges clean.  Remove from the water bath and carefully peel the aluminum foil from around the pan.  Let stand at room temperature until completely cool, about 4 hours.  Refrigerate, covered, until well chilled.  For best flavor and texture, this cheesecake is best chilled overnight.

image

My Cheesecake

I hope you all had a fabulous Thanksgiving!!

Advertisements

Recipe Review #5: Chocolate Chip Cookies (Martha Stewart)

After trying many different recipes for chocolate chip cookies for my husband I finally found the perfect one!  The cookies turned out perfectly! 

I give this recipe 5 stars!

It is Aiden Approved!
image

image

Courtesy of Martha Stewart

Makes about 3 dozen

2.25 cup(s) all-purpose flour
0.50 teaspoon(s) baking soda
1.00 cup(s) (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
0.50 cup(s) granulated sugar
1.00 cup(s) packed light-brown sugar
1.00 teaspoon(s) salt
2.00 teaspoon(s) pure vanilla extract
2.00 large eggs
2.00 cup(s) (about 12 ounces) semi sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and baking soda; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter with both sugars; beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low; add the salt, vanilla, and eggs. Beat until well mixed, about 1 minute. Add flour mixture; mix until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Drop heaping tablespoon-size balls of dough about 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
Bake until cookies are golden around the edges, but still soft in the center, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cool on baking sheet 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool completely. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week.

Baking Bucketlist

So after my adventure with baking my first batch of cookies from scratch. I have decided that for winter I am going to create a baking bucketlist and I am starting today! Everything will be made from scratch. Here’s the list!

* Snickerdoodle Cookies
* Blueberry Buckle
* Cheesecake
* Cinnamon Rolls
* Chocolate Lava Cake
* Brownies
* Scones
* Bread
* Chocolate Layer Cake
* Tres Leches Cake
* Apple Bread

image

image

Recipe Review #1 Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

This recipe I decided to try out as I wanted to make my hunny something sweet like he is. I found it courtesy of Claire Robinson, 2010 on foodnetwork.com.  I haven’t made peanut butter cookies in quite some time so I decided to bake some and why not!

Well they were fast and easy to get in the oven. They took about 8 mins to cook at 350°f. However, they were not as good as I had hoped.

The cookies were chewy and quite large. They were extremely flat and lacking any kind of fluffy airy quality. But what can one expect when there’s nothing to give the cookie the “umpf” it needs. So if you like chewy flat cookies this is the recipe for you!

P.S. I omitted the sea salt!

Yield: 18 cookies
Level: Easy
Ingredients
1 cup natural peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Coarse sea salt
Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and place racks in the upper and lower third of the oven. In a medium bowl, mix the peanut butter, sugar, egg and vanilla until well combined. Spoon 1 tablespoon of mixture about 1 inch apart onto ungreased baking sheets. Flatten the mounds with the tines of a fork, making a crosshatch pattern on the cookies. Sprinkle coarse salt on top of the cookies. Bake until golden around edges, about 10 minutes, switching the position of the pans halfway thorough baking. Transfer to racks to cool. Repeat with the remaining dough. What Makes This Recipe Really Sing: Without the flour getting in the way, you really get that true peanut butter flavor. BYOC: Try tossing in mini versions of stuff. I love peanut butter chips, mini chocolate chips, shredded coconut and even a mini peanut butter cup. Try making a thumb print cookie and add jelly to it. Go crazy, kids and adults love these. Per Cookie: Calories: 137; Total Fat 7 grams; Saturated Fat: 1 grams; Protein: 3 grams; Total carbohydrates: 14 grams; Sugar: 12 grams; Fiber: 1 grams; Cholesterol: 12 milligrams; Sodium: 164 milligrams

image