Saturday, November 27, 2010

What's in a name?

Not that we are fickle, or that we thrive on confusion, but we have changed the poor pooch's name again. This time it is a done deal. For various reasons both sensible and silly, we have named the new girl Molly. Number 4 likes to call her Molly Flower. I think he likes her much better than the vegetable Cauli-flower ;0)

Hope your Thanksgiving was a treat and I hope you know we are thankful for you!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

What's for Dinner?

Thought I would share some of our menu for Thanksgiving. I only make things I love, and these are truly yummy!
Enjoy! I will add pictures as I can.

Marcy's Roll's

Dissolve 1 pkg yeast with
2 T warm water and set aside
Mix 2 cups warm milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp salt
3 cups all-purpose flour
Beat until smooth.
Add yeast mixture and beat well.
Add 3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 sticks melted butter
Combine well. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
In the morning, split dough in half and roll each into a circle. Cut dough into wedges and roll each piece into crescent shape. Let rise under a towel on a cookie sheet 1 hour. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes.
(Actually, someone else is bringing rolls this year, but I will make these this weekend to have with leftovers because we love them!)

Special Creamed Corn
Melt in large saucepan and stir until smooth and bubbly:
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
generous pinch pepper
Slowly add:
16 oz whipping cream
16 oz. Half & Half
Stir until smooth.
Add 40 oz frozen corn
12 tsp sugar
2 tsp salt
Bring to boil over low heat, stirring constantly. Simmer about 15 minute, stirring frequently.
(This is not like any creamed corn you have ever had)

Cranberry Sauce

Combine in a medium saucepot and bring to boil over medium heat:
1 pound fresh cranberries, washed and dried
2 cups sugar
1/3 cup water
Reduce heat to simmer and add
1 cinnamon stick
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
Stir to blend and simmer 5-7 minutes. Add
juice and zest from one orange.
Cool before serving.
(I don't like cranberry sauce and I wanted to eat this like it was dessert! Yummy!)
Recipe courtesy Alex Guarnaschelli - Food Network

Balsamic Root Vegetables
Combine in a large slow-cooker:
(this is a doubled recipe - my slow-cooker is 8.5 quart and we will have 29 people!)
2 lbs parsnips, peeled and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
2 lbs carrots, peeled and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
4 large red onions, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups sweetened dried cranberries
Layer over top:
3 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
Whisk together and pour over vegetables: (do not stir)
2 Tbsp brown sugar
6 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
Cover and cook on high 4-5 hours or until vegetables are tender.
Toss with 2/3 cup chopped fresh parsley just before serving.
(This is new to the menu this year. I've never made it, but doesn't it look great?! I love that it is for the slow cooker, since my over and stove top will be occupied!)
Recipe courtesy Southern Living.

Smoky Bacon-Biscuit Dressing

Stir together:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp sugar
2 1/2 cups heavy cream
Stir until no lumps remain. Drop 1/4 cup batter onto an ungreased baking sheet, spacing the biscuits about 1 inch apart. Bake at 425 until the tops are pale golden and bottoms are golden brown 15-18. Makes 1 dozen biscuits.

Cut biscuits into cubes and toast on baking sheet in lower third of oven at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, until lightly golden. Increase oven to 375.

Cook 1 pound bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
Drain on paper towels.
Using 3 Tbsp bacon grease, cook:
2 yellow onions, diced
Add and cook until tender:
5 celery stalks, diced
8 oz button mushrooms, brushed clean and sliced
1/4 cup choped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 Tbs chopped fresh sage
2 Tbs chopped fresh thyme
salt and pepper to taste
Stir biscuits with bacon and vegetable mixture in large owl and add 5 cups chicken stock, stirring to combine.
Bake, covered, at 375 for 30 minutes, remove foil and bake until lightly browned, about 20 minutes. Serves 10
(Another one that seems complicated but it well worth it. These biscuits are so good you will want to eat them all plain before you even get to make the stuffing!)
Recipe courtesy Williams Sonoma Kitchen.

Brined Herb Roasted Turkey
Dissolve 1 cup salt
1 cup brown sugar
in 2 gallons cold water
Add 2 oranges, quartered
2 lemons, quartered
6 sprigs thyme
4 sprigs rosemary
Rinse turkey inside and out with cold water. Soak in brine, covered and refrigerated, for 4 - 24 hours (mine will be on the porch!)
Remove turkey from brinse and rinse well under cold running water. Pat dry with paper towels, inside and out. Rub breast side with orange segments and all side with butter. Also rub with following mixture:
1 Tbsp. onion powder
1 Tbsp. garlic powder
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp cumin
Place breast side up in heavy roasting pan, stuffing some butter under skin. Stuff turkey with
1 large ionion, cut into 1/8ths
1 stalk celery, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 large carrot, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs thyme
2 sprigs rosemary
1/2 bunch sage
3-4 sprigs parsley

Roast according to weight and instructions on turkey, basting with chicken or turkey stock or broth.
(This looks complicated, but it isn't and it is worth every little bit of effort)
Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, Food Netowrk.

New Family Member

No, we aren't expecting a baby! Our newest member is the four legged kind. As many of you know, we said goodbye to our dear dog, Sadie, in September, after she had been a sweet part of our lives for more than fifteen years. There was a void around our house after she was gone, and we miss her still!

Having no intention to get another dog any time soon, we recently found ourselves smitten (I admit, for me it was love at first sight) with the face of a big puppy we saw online. Louise (note name change below) was rescued, along with her eleven puppies!!! She was in a foster home, and this young mama (she is about a year old) was the last dog to be adopted from the rescue. As a friend said, how do you not love a dog that watched all her babies get adopted and was left behind?!

So, we have had her about a week and we are thoroughly enjoying her. We are reminded that there are many life lessons for children to learn from having an animal in the house. What rich teaching moments we can have as we take turns walking her and filling her food and water dishes, play with her, and watch out for one who doesn't really have a voice of her own.

Molly is our new special addition. What fun for us and what sweet timing God has as He places conversations and contacts in our days just when we don't know we need them!

She is a Great Dane and, though she could very well be on her way to around 100 pounds, she is still very much a puppy! That is a Granny Smith Apple she has been playing with for about a half an hour!