Author Archives: TaMara
Hope your holiday is filled with fun, family, and good food. – TaMara
Wanted to take a moment and makes sure you could find any of our Thanksgiving recipes easily. This link to the Thanksgiving Files should get you there, but you can also search on a specific ingredient or dish to find a recipe.
The box is at the bottom of this page and it will take you wherever you want to go.
JeffreyW has even made a Turducken:
All photos are from the JeffreyW files. :-)
Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving! – TaMara
Cornbread Stuffing Photo by JeffreyW
Bixby and I are hitting the road for the holiday, as long as the weather stays nice. I’m planning on arriving early so I can help with prep, because I
like love to cook. Bixby is growing fast and you can see his latest photo here, along with a quick update. I hope he does as well in the car as he did last trip.
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, next to 4th of July. Food, family, friends…and leftovers. I compiled some favorite recipes for tonight’s recipe exchange.
Roasted Butternut Apple Soup makes a great starter, recipe here.
I think I’m going to volunteer for mashed potato duty this year so I can make these again, a lost recipe found, Hearty Garlic Mashed Potatoes, link here. I made them years ago and then completely forgot about the recipe.
And this recipe is the reason I think I get invited to many holiday gatherings, my Cranberry Upside Down Cake, click here.
Since my brother is cooking again this year, we’ll probably have deep fried turkey, which is ok by me, as long as I’m not cooking it. I have a real fear of deep frying anything, which is why all the deep fried recipes on the blog are from JeffreyW. I will still cook a turkey, though, because, leftovers. This year I’m going to try the braising method from America’s Test Kitchen’s Braised Turkey technique, link here, minus the brining.
Not sure how you want to cook your turkey this year? I’ve listed some ideas from people smarter than I am: turkey four different ways, here.
What’s on the menu for your Thanksgiving this year? Do you have a must-have recipe for your holiday dinner?
I’m not a fan of traditional candied sweet potatoes, so tonight’s featured recipes are some non-traditional styles of recipes for sweet potatoes.
Cajun Sweet Potatoes
- 4 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tsp Cajun seasoning
- ¼ tsp cumin (opt)
Covered casserole dish, well-greased
Steamer and saucepan
In saucepan, add water, steamer and sweet potatoes. Steam until you can easily stick a fork in them. They don’t need to be completely soft. About 10-15 minutes. Add sweet potatoes to casserole dish. Combine oil, butter and spices. Pour evenly over potatoes. Cover and bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes until potatoes are soft. You can adjust cooking time if you prefer your firmer or softer potatoes.
Sweet Potatoes w/Apples
- 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled & cubed
- ¼ cup water
- 2 apples, cored & sliced
- 8 oz can sliced pineapple (including liquid)
- 2 tsp butter
- ½ cup orange juice
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp salt
2 qt casserole dish, greased
Add ingredients to casserole dish. Stir gently and bake at 375 degrees for 40-50 minutes, uncovered, until apples and potatoes are very soft. Cover if it begins to brown too much
That’s it for this week. No recipe exchange next week I hope you have a safe and happy Thanksgiving. – TaMara
Bixby is busy doing Bixby things, important things, like rolling on the floor chewing on his favorite stuffed dog and
chasing playing with cats, so I thought I’d give you a quick update. First I went looking for photos for the week and realized I didn’t have any. You’d be surprised (or maybe not) how difficult it is to get photos of a very rambunctious puppy. Especially when I have the camera, he always wants to ‘see’ what I’m doing and the best I can get is a photo of his left nostril.
No one wants to see that.
So I convinced him to sit up on the couch and be still for all of 5 seconds (treats may have been involved), so I could get this shot. That’s right, you’re looking at a photo taken just moments ago. And I’m fairly certain that he’s grown about a 1/4 inch since I snapped it.
At five months, he’s just so very smart and so very easy to train. We are working on more complex problems right now, like not being in the kitchen while I’m cooking, asking to be on the couch, understanding that while I’m working, I cannot also be petting, playing or otherwise entertaining him. He’s a quick a study. He also has a stubborn streak and will give me a look and then do exactly what I just said he couldn’t do. Because, well because he’s Bixby.
Some video from two weeks and 10 lbs ago:
The video isn’t much, but I’ve been trying to get video of him flying off the deck (stairs, who needs stairs?) like super-dog. I was not completely successful, but I’ll keep trying. And the play stance of him, butt up, tail wagging is one of my favorites, it really reflects his whole view on life right now. Happy, fun, tail wagging. He reminds me everyday to stop taking it all so seriously.
I’m trying Bixby, I’m trying.
Sometimes people lead me to the best things:
This was a much more successful pumpkin recipe. Very moist, very flavorful And if you’re creative, you can make it look like a pumpkin. Because I’m at high altitude, I should have remembered to add 2 tbsp extra flour. Next time.
Pumpkin Buttermilk Bundt Cake
- 2-1/4 cup flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 4 Tbsp buttermilk powder
- 3 tsp pumpkin spice
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 15 oz can of pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 3/4 cup butter, softened
- 1-1/4 cups sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 -1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tbsp milk (more or less as needed)
- 1 tsp vanilla
bowls, bundt pan
Butter and flour bundt pan generously. In bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. In a large bowl, beat together butter and sugar until fluffy (about 3 minutes), add eggs, beat 1 minute. Add pumpkin and vanilla and beat on low until incorporated, scraping sides frequently. Alternate adding the flour mixture and water until all are incorporated with the pumpkin mixture and batter is smooth.
Spoon into the bundt pan and gently tap pan on the counter to remove any bubbles and even out the batter.
Bake at 350 degrees until a wooden skewer comes out clean, about 45 to 50 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes, then invert on a plate and remove from bundt pan. Let cool completely before frosting.
Icing: Add vanilla to powdered sugar and then slowly add milk until mixture is smooth. Pour evenly over cooled cake. (I added yellow and red food coloring for some Halloween fun)
UPDATE: We finally made it to the vet for a weigh-in. My little guy is at 67 lbs. Looks like we’ll be adding another cup of food to his day.
It’s been a while, I know, but my person and I have been so busy. She’s been working and looking for a new home for us. I’m mostly just having fun. I’m five months old today. I weigh ??? (TaMara’s note: Today was the day to go get weighed but snow and cold kept us housebound, I’ll update tomorrow with his weight, but it’s likely 65 lbs) and when I stand on my hind legs, I can easily hug my person around her neck.
Big doings lately. I’ve been riding in the car without my crate for quite a while now and my person says I’m doing awesome. Well, mostly. She’s pulled the car over a couple of times when I wouldn’t listen and tried to climb in the back area of the car. She says it’s not safe. She says it very loudly.
I’m doing well on all my commands, my person has added “come” and “down” (which she reminds everyone is not the same as “off”). TaMara’s Note: Come still seems to mean, run around the yard like a crazy thing.
I had my first (well if you don’t count my trip to come to my new home) road trip. It was great fun. I felt like I was in the car forever, but I got a lot of walks in very interesting places (my person called them ‘rest stops’ though we didn’t rest there at all).
When we finally stopped driving we were at my other family’s home, filled with other kitties, a sweet little girl and my person’s brother and sister-in-law. So many new things to see and take in, and little kids to play with, I really like them.
The best part was one night we went for a long walk with lots of kids and big people, stopping at house after house. Everyone was soooo excited, it was hard to not run around crazy like they were doing, and everywhere we went everyone wanted to pet me and tell me how handsome I am. I can’t wait to do it again.
All that excitement, I missed a lot of my naps. Finally crashed while my sweet little girl read me a bedtime story. Another whole day of fun and then it was time to go back home.
Back in the car, we drove forever again, but finally we were home and I really think my kitties missed me because they are all hanging out with me a lot more. That makes me very happy.
Everyday my person and I go out to the ponds for a long walk. I really like this, so many smells, so many birds and just enough people to make it interesting. We practice all kinds of things there: come, stay, stop, walk, heel and how to sit when bicycles fly by. I really want to chase them, but sitting makes my person so happy, I’d rather sit.
TaMara’s note: I thought it would be fun to compare and contrast Bixby in photos:
This week (above)…and his first week with me(below):
I still love my stuffy, even though I don’t fit on him quite the same.
That’s it for me, I’ll update when I can. Until then, know I’m having a blast and growing every day. – Bixby