Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving turned out to be a success, the 2 turkey’s were a hit at the dinner table and we cleaned one of them to the bone.   I bought two different Turkey’s one of them Orangic and Brinned- and that one turned out to be our favorite.   I found a pretty awesome simple recipe by Jo Cooks  and I added my own little favorite ingredients- Black Truffle and Pistachio Oil two different oils one to each Turkey.  Black Truffle oil is my favorite cooking ingredient, the smell and the taste of this makes all the difference and only works great on certain dishes.  I’m not much of a fan to Cranberry Sauce, but decided to make my own just so I can make a Turkey, Brie and cranberry sauce sandwich left overs recipe I found on Pinterest . :))  This is a simple yet amazing Cranberry sauce recipe with Port wine by Saveur.  I”m a huge Malbec, Port and Grenache wine lover .  All of the side dishes everyone brought over was excellent and I couldn’t be more thankful that the whole family made this dinner amazing from the mash potato’s and gravy, green bean casserole, sweet potato’s with streusel topping to the cupcakes, apple pie and pumpkin cobbler with pumpkin ice cream.






apple pie



  • 1 fresh turkey (10 to 12 lbs)
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 bunch of fresh thyme
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 10 cloves garlic
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F degrees.
  2. In a small saucepan melt the butter over medium heat. Add the lemon zest and juice and the teaspoon of thyme to the butter and stir. Set aside.
  3. Wash the turkey and make sure you remove the giblets from inside the turkey cavity. I also usually trim some of the excess fat around the neck of the turkey.
  4. Place the turkey in a large roasting pan with a roasting rack. Salt and pepper the inside of the turkey cavity. Stuff the turkey with the onion, garlic and thyme.
  5. Brush the turkey with the butter mixture all over and generously season with salt and pepper.
  6. Tuck the wing tips under the body of the turkey, this will help stabilize the turkey when carving, plus it makes it easier to carve the breast. Tie the legs together withbutcher twine.
  7. Cover the turkey with the lid, or if your roasting pan doesn’t have a lid cover with aluminum foil.
  8. Roast the turkey for an hour, remove lid or aluminum foil. Roast for an additional 2 to 3 hours. Use a meat thermometer to know when the turkey is done. When the thermometer is inserted in the breast it should read 165 F degrees, and 180 F degrees in the thigh.
  9. Remove the turkey from the roasting pan to a cutting board and cover with aluminum foil. Let it rest for 20 minutes.
  10. Slice turkey and serve.

For the Cranberry Sauce-


1 cup ruby port
1 cup sugar
1 (12-oz.) bag fresh cranberries


In a medium nonstick saucepan, combine port, sugar, and cranberries. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Lower heat and cook until liquid reaches a syrupy consistency, about 20 minutes.
Remove from heat, pour into a serving dish, and cool to room temperature before serving. For a smoother texture, press sauce through a strainer, pour into a serving dish, and refrigerate before serving.

The thing about Thanksgiving dinner is you don’t want it to be a disaster and while making this today I kept thinking, “Oh No..” this isn’t right, the flour isn’t coming together this is too thick, I made it exactly per food blogger Lauren’s Latest measurements but my consistency was off.  So out of desperation I wanted it to be silky smooth like her pictures.  I added a tab bit more pumpkin puree, milk and oil in addition to the butter to get it to a nice smooth consistency.  So when making this – make your adjustments accordingly or simply use less flour. I made it and realized it was too small of an amount for the people coming over so I made a 2nd batch and combined the two to this baking pan. The pouring of the hot boiling water over the top had me questioning this method- but do it and don’t mix!  It gives this dish a nice caramelized flavor at the bottom of the pumpkin.  I purchased the ice cream for timing reasons even though I did find a Pumpkin ice cream recipe.  This recipe by Lauren’s Latest is popular on Pinterest I pinned it one week ago and couldn’t wait to make it.  It is excellent, creamy, rich and full of pumpkin pecan goodness. :))

Quick note on making this.  It will dry out on you the next day and you can still save it- just pour some heavy cream and add more hot boiling water to it and bake for 7 mins and it will be back to it’s creaminess.






Yield: 8 servings Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 40 minutes Total Time: 50 minutes


1 cup + 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup melted butter or vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1 1/2 cups very hot water


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium sized bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and spices. Set aside.

In a smaller bowl, stir pumpkin, milk, melted butter and vanilla together to combine. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix to create a thick batter. Pour into a small 8-inch casserole dish with high sides.

In a separate bowl, stir sugar, brown sugar and pecans together. Spread over the top of the batter evenly. Pour hot water over the entire thing {WITHOUT STIRRING A THING!} and bake for 40 minutes or once the middle is set. {Be sure to place on a baking sheet incase it bubbles over.} Cool 5-10 minutes before serving. Serve with more pecans and vanilla ice cream.

Pinterest is my latest source for recipe finds, not always healthy but tasty for sure.  I found this really tasty creamy garlic cabbage slaw  on top some spicy shrimp recipe to be amazing.  This will hit my repeat recipes for sure.  I followed most of the directions- I used Old Bay Seasoning in replacement of southwest seasoning and used slightly more cayenne pepper than indicated.  Excellent and I’m even using the reserved garlic sauce for a salmon recipe I’ll be making soon. :))  I found this recipe from food blogger Pinch of Yum. :))  And yes….that is a Max and Ruby plate I got there…. :))  I’m interested in investing in the taco holders Pinch of Yum has on her beautiful pictures.

shrimp recipe


For the Garlic Cilantro Lime Sauce
  • ¼ cup oil
  • ¼ cup water
  • ½ cup chopped green onions
  • ½ cup cilantro leaves
  • 2-3 cloves garlic (less if you’re sensitive to garlicky things)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • juice of 2 limes
  • ½ cup sour cream
For the Shrimp Tacos
  • 1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails removed
  • 1 teaspoon each chili powder, cumin, and southwestern seasoning (see notes)
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (more or less to taste)
  • 2-3 cups shredded green cabbage
  • 8 small corn tortillas
  • 1-2 avocados
  • Cotija cheese and additional cilantro for topping
  • lime wedges for serving
  1. Pulse all the sauce ingredients except the sour cream in a food processor. When mostly smooth, add the sour cream and pulse until combined. Taste and adjust as needed. Set aside.
  2. Heat a drizzle of oil a large skillet over medium high heat. Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels and sprinkle with the spices. Add the shrimp to the hot pan and saute for 5-8 minutes, flipping occasionally, until the shrimp are cooked through.
  3. Toss some of the sauce (not all) with the cabbage until it the cabbage is coated to your liking. It should resemble a coleslaw – you want it to be enough sauce so the cabbage is weighed down a little bit. Use leftover sauce on top of the tacos or in other recipes.
  4. To serve tacos, smash a spoonful of avocado on the tortillas, top with a few pieces of shrimp, top with coleslaw, and finish with Cotjia cheese, cilantro, and lime wedges.


Thai Beef Eggplant

My favorite dish is Thai food’s Eggplant with beef or vegetarian style and have it with just veggies, either way it’s my favorite.  Since Bangkok Thai has opened and I can’t seem to explore their menu further without asking for this same dish every time I decided to make it myself.  I found an excellent recipe- I made some adjustments that work better to my liking but I followed most of the steps and process as  the Good Food blog.   I made a few additions, after cooking the meat I sauteed some sweet onions, carrots and chopped bok choy and added that to the meat before following the steps in the recipe.  I used Roasted Red Chili Paste instead of the plain one- which can only be found at specialty markets.  I used half the jar.  The coconut sauce part is a bit sweet so I would use 1 cup of the coconut milk next time.  It’s delicious this way but I didn’t add all the meat back to the pan as indicated in the recipe just to see if I would like the meat in the coconut sauce and it does take away the delicious flavor on the meat.  So instead of adding the meat back to the pan, just spoon the rice and eggplant on your plate and top with the meat not drenched in the coconut milk and you get so many flavor combinations.




  • oil, for cooking
  • 2-6 teaspoons red curry paste, to taste
  • 500 g topside steak, thinly sliced
  • 375 ml (1 1/2 cups) coconut milk
  • 4 makrut (kaffir lime) leaves, roughly torn
  • 100 g pea eggplants or chopped eggplant
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons soft brown sugar
  • 1 medium handful Thai basil or 1 very large handful coriander leaves


1. Heat the wok until very hot, add 1 tablespoon of the oil and swirl it around to coat the side. Add the curry paste and stir for 1 minute over medium heat. Add the meat to the wok in batches and stir-fry for 3 minutes, or until brown. Remove all the meat from the wok and set aside.

2. Add the coconut milk, makrut leaves and 250 ml (1 cup) water to the wok, bring to the boil and simmer for 12 minutes. Add the eggplant and cook for 5-10 minutes, or until tender. Return the beef to the wok and simmer for 3 minutes.

3. Add the fish sauce, lime juice and brown sugar to the wok. Add most of the basil or coriander leaves, toss and serve immediately, sprinkled with the remaining basil or coriander leaves.


After the kids picked out their books from the library I came across a book that someone had left along the couch- it was Alton Brown’s Gear For Your Kitchen book.  I don’t watch the Food Network like I did religiously in my 20’s but I thought I’d check out this book from the library and catch up.  This is an excellent book- it goes in great detail about knives and other basic kitchen methods that even the most experienced cooks don’t do.  Great for beginners and some lessons for us that have been cooking and experimenting for years.  I made this recipe two ways- I made it as a salad as presented in the book and I also made Chicken and Waffles.  I got a waffle maker from Craigslist a week ago for 9 bucks.  I’m not much of a waffle person, didn’t grow up on them and when I did try them I liked pancakes better.  I like to take things I don’t like to a level of likeness so that’s why I got the machine and my little ones really seem to love them.   There’s so many tasty different versions I”m going to experiment with too.  The honey Mustard sauce is so easy yet so tasty- this will be my new siracha sauce to everything.   ;p

I added to my recipe pomegranate seeds.  After planting my tiny pomegranate tree nearly 7 years ago it grew like a monster this year and gave me huge pomegranates.  They are so sweet and perfect.  Click on the link for the health benefits to pomegranates- I honestly love them straight from the ball itself but it’s fun to add them to recipes too. :)

chicken salad

chicken and waffles



Honey Mustard Sauce

5 tablespoons medium body honey (sourwood is nice)
3 tablespoons smooth Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Serve as a dressing or a dip.


1 broiler/fryer chicken, cut into 8 pieces
2 cups low fat buttermilk
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons Hungarian paprika
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Flour, for dredging
Vegetable shortening, for frying
Watch how to make this recipe.
Place chicken pieces into a plastic container and cover with buttermilk. Cover and refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours.

Melt enough shortening (over low heat) to come just 1/3-inch up the side of a 12-inch cast iron skillet or heavy fry pan. Once shortening liquefies raise heat to 325 degrees F. Do not allow oil to go over 325 degrees F.

Drain chicken in a colander. Combine salt, paprika, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. Liberally season chicken with this mixture. Dredge chicken in flour and shake off excess.

Place chicken skin side down into the pan. Put thighs in the center, and breast and legs around the edge of the pan. The oil should come half way up the pan. Cook chicken until golden brown on each side, approximately 10 to 12 minutes per side. More importantly, the internal temperature should be right around 180 degrees. (Be careful to monitor shortening temperature every few minutes.)

Drain chicken on a rack over a sheet pan. Don’t drain by setting chicken directly on paper towels or brown paper bags. If you need to hold the chicken before serving, cover loosely with foil but avoid holding in a warm oven, especially if it’s a gas oven.

Recipe courtesy of Alton Brown

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/fried-chicken-recipe.html?oc=linkback

Spicy Prawn Masala

I had a different Prawn Masala pinned on Pinterest and when I started pulling out the ingredients I said…um no.  If there’s one type of food you don’t want to do any spice substitutions on it is Indian food.  So I found another really amazing recipe, it is so freaking spicy though but oh so good. This excellent recipe is from food blogger Yummy Tummy.  I just went to my local Indian Grocery Store today and picked up apparently the hottest Chili Powder ever!  It’s so good in this dish though.  I followed step by step directions minus the cardamon.  Which I already know what it is I add it to my tea so I know it wasn’t a big component in making this dish.  This might be a regular Friday dish for me until I get sick of it like I did the Salmon ;p  There’s so many new restaurants opening in my area including Indian food but I have such a love for cooking that I eat out dinner once a week and it’s usually to try something new and I can thank Yelp for that, where would we be without Yelp?  Honestly the same old Sardines…. :)  For those of you that love the movie will get it.  I added some Peas to my recipe, I needed my green veggie in there. ;)



This stuff is no joke…..

If you ever find that you have made a dish too spicy- just grab some plain yogurt with drop of honey mix and add to your food- it’s tasty too. :))


Oil – 3 tblspn
Prawn / Shrimp – 250 grams cleaned
Cinnamon / Pattai – 1 small stick
Fennel Seeds / Saunf / Sombu – 1 tsp
Cardamom / Yelakai – 2
Onion – 1 large chopped finely
Green Chilli -1 slit
Curry leaves – 1 sprig
Ginger Garlic Paste – 1 tsp
Chilli powder – 1 tsp
Coriander powder / Malli podi- 1 tsp
Turmeric powder / Manjal podi – 1/2 tsp
Garam Masala powder – 1/2 tsp
Pepper powder – 1/2 tsp
Tomato – 2 medium chopped finely
Salt to taste
Water – 1/2 cup

For Marination:
Ginger Garlic Paste – 1 tsp
Chilli powder – 1 tsp
Coriander powder / Malli podi- 2 tsp
Turmeric powder / Manjal podi – 1/2 tsp
Garam Masala powder – 1/2 tsp
Pepper powder – 1 tsp
Salt to taste


Take cleaned prawn in a bowl, add all the marination ingredients in it and mix well. Let it sit for 10 mins.

Now heat oil in a kadai. Add the marinated prawns and toss well in the oil. Let it cook for 5 to 7 mins till it is cooked, turns pink and curls. Remove the prawns alone in a bowl leaving any of the juices in the kadai.

Now let the juice bubble up and reduce for a couple of mins. Now add in cinnamon, fennel seeds and cook for a min.

Add in onions, curry leaves and green chilli. Saute for 5 mins or so.

Now add in ginger garlic paste and mix well for a min.

Add in salt and all spice powders and mix well for a min.

Add in tomatoes and mix well. Cook covered for 5 mins or so on a low heat till it turns mushy.

Now increase the heat and add some water and mix well.Cook this for a min.

Add the cooked prawns and mix well. Cook for 5 mins or so.

Serve with rice or roti.

I had recently added a really tasty Butternut Squash soup recipe to my Pinterest board and as I was lurking through the veggie section at Costco I saw a huge container of it so I took it as a sign. :)) I also picked up a huge Cauliflower too,  for some reason I assumed there was cauliflower in this recipe but there isn’t so I made it my own recipe by roasting the cauliflower and topped the soup along with the red lentils.  I also doubled up on the garlic. The coconut milk made it sweet even though I used light- I drizzled the top with some really hot chili pepper and that made it fantastic.  I might even cut down on the amount of coconut next time to make it slightly healthier- maybe even use just half the can.


  • 2tbsp oil
  • 1 onion, sliced or diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 400g butternut squash flesh, diced (around half a medium squash)
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 Cups Chicken stock
  • Black pepper
  • 1 Cup red lentils
  • 1 Can coconut milk
  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan, and cook the onion, garlic and squash over a medium heat until the onion is soft, around 5 minutes. Add the paprika, and cook for one more minute, then add the vegetable stock. Season well with black pepper (you might need a little salt too if you used low sodium stock), and bring to a simmer. Cook until the squash is soft, around 15 minutes.
  2. While the soup is simmering, boil the lentils in a separate pan until they are soft – again, around 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  3. When the butternut squash is soft, blend the soup with an immersion blender until smooth. Add the coconut milk, and once the soup is piping hot, serve the lentils with the soup poured over the top.

Read more at http://www.amuse-your-bouche.com/smoky-coconut-butternut-squash-soup/#AHe48cK0eYeotHxi.99


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 155 other followers