Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Cooking Day

Remember God's bounty in the year. String the pearls of His favor. Hide the dark parts, except so far as they are breaking out in light! Give this one day to thanks, to joy, to gratitude! ~Henry Ward Beecher

Today is cooking day. Last minute purchases were made at Kroger this morning and then the pain of trying to fit it all in my pitiful refrigerator ensued. This is what I'm making today.
Grandma's Lime Jello, the request of my daughter Amy. It is yummy and it traditionally the Christmas jello at Grandma's house.

1 pkg. lime jello
1 pkg lemon jello
1 cup cottage cheese (Daisy if going gluten-free, which we are. Kroger's now contain barley.)
3/4 C. mayonnaise
1 C. whipping cream (whipped)
1 can drained crushed pineapple
1 C. chopped nuts

Dissolve jello in 2 C. hot water. Let stand until it begins to set up. Whip and fold in other ingredients. Set in greased large jello mold if doubling jello, or place in pretty crystal bowl if made as shown.

Paula Dean's Pumpkin Pie- this was 5 stars from 457 tasters, so I'm giving it a whirl. Remember it calls for 2 cups, not 2 cans of pumpkin. I made the recipe 1 1/2 times and put the extra in a gluten free pie crust.

• 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened • 2 cups canned pumpkin, mashed • 1 cup sugar • 1/4 teaspoon salt • 1 egg plus 2 egg yolks, slightly beaten • 1 cup half-and-half • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) melted butter • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, optional • 1 piece pre-made pie dough • Whipped cream, for topping
Directions Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place 1 piece of pre-made pie dough down into a (9-inch) pie pan and press down along the bottom and all sides. Pinch and crimp the edges together to make a pretty pattern. Put the pie shell back into the freezer for 1 hour to firm up. Fit a piece of aluminum foil to cover the inside of the shell completely. Fill the shell up to the edges with pie weights or dried beans (about 2 pounds) and place it in the oven. Bake for 10 minutes, remove the foil and pie weights and bake for another 10 minutes or until the crust is dried out and beginning to color. For the filling, in a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese with a hand mixer. Add the pumpkin and beat until combined. Add the sugar and salt, and beat until combined. Add the eggs mixed with the yolks, half-and-half, and melted butter, and beat until combined. Finally, add the vanilla, cinnamon, and ginger, if using, and beat until incorporated. Pour the filling into the warm prepared pie crust and bake for 50 minutes, or until the center is set. Place the pie on a wire rack and cool to room temperature. Cut into slices and top each piece with a generous amount of whipped cream.
taken from: The Food Network
Next, the World's Best Turkey Gravy. I love this and you make it the day before, which makes it even better!

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • reserved turkey giblets and neck
  • 1 onion, unpeeled and chopped
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme leaves
  • 8 parsley stems
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • Table salt and ground black pepper
1. Make the Broth: Heat oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Brown turkey giblets and neck for 5 minutes. Cook onion for 3 minutes. Cover and cook over low heat for 20 minutes.

2. Add chicken broth and water, scrape pan bottom, and bring to boil. Add herbs and simmer, skimming foam from surface, for 30 minutes.

3. Pour broth through fine-mesh strainer. Reserve and dice heart and gizzard. Refrigerate broth and diced giblets until ready to use.

4. Make the Roux and Thicken the Broth: Melt butter in large saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour. Cook, stirring constantly, until nutty brown and fragrant, 10 to 15 minutes. Bring reserved turkey broth to simmer.

5. Gradually add hot turkey broth to roux. Vigorous and constant whisking at this point is key to avoiding lumps. Reserve 1 cup of broth for deglazing roasting pan (see #9).

6. Simmer gravy, stirring occasionally and skimming scum from surface with spoon, until thickened, about 30 minutes. Set aside, covered, until turkey is done.

7. Deglaze the Pan and Add the Drippings To the Gravy: Pour drippings through mesh strainer set over measuring cup. Let liquid settle until fat rises to top. Return vegetables in strainer to roasting pan.

8. Tilt measuring cup and use wide, shallow soup spoon to skim fat off surface. Reserve defatted drippings. Return gravy in saucepan to simmer.

9. Place roasting pan over two burners at medium-high heat. Add wine and reserved 1 cup broth and scrape up browned bits in pan. Boil until liquid reduces by half, 5 minutes.

10. Strain roasting pan liquid into gravy, pressing on solids to extract all liquid. Add defatted drippings to taste. Stir in giblets and serve.

taken from Cook's Illustrated, 2005
We will brine the turkey tonight, making a flavorful, juicy bird. These are the directions I follow when making my turkey.

  • table salt
  • 1 turkey (12 to 22 pounds gross weight), rinsed thoroughly, giblets and neck reserved for gravy, if making
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
We offer two brine formulas: one for a 4- to 6-hour brine and another for a 12- to 14-hour brine. The amount of salt used in each brine does not change with turkey size. If you’re roasting a kosher or self-basting turkey, do not brine it; it already contains a good amount of sodium. Rotating the bird from a breast-side down position to a breast-side up position midway through cooking helps to produce evenly cooked dark and white meat. If you’re roasting a large (18- to 22-pound) bird and are reluctant to rotate it, skip the step of lining the V-rack with foil and roast the bird breast-side up for the full time. If making gravy, scatter 1 cup each of coarsely chopped onion, celery, and carrot as well as several fresh thyme sprigs in the roasting pan at the outset; add 1 cup water to keep the vegetables from burning.
Serves 10 to 22, depending on turkey size

The perfect holiday bird--with crisp skin and tender, juicy meat--is possible, if you follow our foolproof game plan.

1. Dissolve 1 cup salt per gallon cold water for 4- to 6-hour brine or 1/2 cup salt per gallon cold water for 12- to 14-hour brine in large stockpot or clean bucket. Two gallons of water will be sufficient for most birds; larger birds may require three gallons. Add turkey and refrigerate for predetermined amount of time.

2. Before removing turkey from brine, adjust oven rack to lowest position; heat oven to 400 degrees for 12- to 18-pound bird or 425 degrees for 18- to 22-pound bird. Line large V-rack with heavy-duty foil and use paring knife or skewer to poke 20 to 30 holes in foil; set V-rack in large roasting pan.

3. Remove turkey from brine and rinse well under cool running water. Pat dry inside and out with paper towels. Tuck tips of drumsticks into skin at tail to secure, and tuck wing tips behind back. Brush turkey breast with 2 tablespoons butter. Set turkey breast-side down on prepared V-rack; brush back with remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Roast 45 minutes for 12- to 18-pound bird or 1 hour for 18- to 22-pound bird.

4. Remove roasting pan with turkey from oven (close oven door to retain oven heat); reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees if roasting 18- to 22-pound bird. Using clean potholders or kitchen towels, rotate turkey breast-side up; continue to roast until thickest part of breast registers 165 degrees and thickest part of thigh registers 170 to 175 degrees on instant-read thermometer, 50 to 60 minutes longer for 12- to 15-pound bird, about 1 1/4 hours for 15- to 18-pound bird, or about 2 hours longer for 18- to 22-pound bird. Transfer turkey to carving board; let rest 30 minutes (or up to 40 minutes for 18- to 22-pound bird). Carve and serve.

taken from Cook's Illustrated, 2005
We are thankful for God's provision on the cross, his love, his mercies and his provision. We are thankful our family and friends. Have a joyous day!
On Thanksgiving Day we acknowledge our dependence. ~William Jennings Bryan


  1. I love your blog and I love your gluten free recipes. Do you have a recipe for gluten free pie crust? Have you found any pre-made gluten free crusts?

    Blessings to you and your family.

  2. To be honest, GF pie crusts are just not the same and they get soggy if you don't eat the pie in one sitting. We decided to bake the filling in greased muffin tins next time and skip crust altogether. Some things you just can't duplicate unfortunately.


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