Author Archives: TaMara

What’s In A Holiday?

 

4c79793f8ff01beb230b351193fe0b99

I put this offer elsewhere and I want to extend it here. While I will begin posting holiday recipes soon, most of my focus is on Christmas – that’s the tradition I grew up in – I would love to share other’s holiday traditions.

xmas-holidays

If you have recipes, photos and stories of your family’s holiday traditions, I want to read about them and share them. I Email me!

festive-holiday-wreaths

 

Sweetest Goodbye, Maroon 5

Take Me To The River, Al Green

Sunday Morning Moment Of Zen

brainard-lake

All I Want For Christmas: You Know The Drill

Any Given Moment At My House

15219534_1627854903897529_1265179737140181819_n

Totally Tripendicular, Ya Know?

Thanksgiving Files: Cranberry-Apple Sauce

cranberry-apple-sauce

I love whole berry cranberry sauce and adding apple takes it up a notch. Always best prepped the day before so the flavors can meld. Yummy.

It couldn’t be simpler and fun to make (mostly because the cranberries pop as they cook).  Here’s a basic recipe to get you started:

Cranberry Sauce

  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup water or apple-cranberry juice (100% juice)
  • 3/4 cup to 1 cup sugar
  • 12 oz (1 bag) whole, raw cranberries
  • 1-2 apples, finely chopped.

saucepan

Wash cranberries. Bring juice and water to a boil, add sugar and stir until sugar dissolves, then add cranberries, bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and cook for 15 minutes, no more.  Remove to a tempered glass dish or mold, cover and refrigerate for 12 hours.  What you’ll have is a nice thick cranberry sauce with whole cranberries.  You can add different things for a variety of sauces:  pecans, orange rind,  walnuts,  cinnamon, nutmeg, currants.



 

The Big Day Is Here

Spatchcock Turkey finish

I get an extra day for prep, for which I am very Thankful. It’s been so busy I’d never have made it if I had to serve dinner today. We’ll be eating our Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow. So today, I have a full, relaxed day to cook, walk the dogs and put the finishing touches on the house.

I decided to use the spatchcock recipe this year. I’ll be cooking it on a bed of carrots, onions and celery.

BTW, my recommendation is to always get two smaller birds instead of one massive bird – you’ll have a much better outcome with shorter cooking times. Not to mention not having to worry about fitting a huge bird in the oven. You can do an oven bird, then grill, smoke or fry another.

For this recipe, a good set of poultry shears makes quick work of removing the backbone. I’ll prep the bird today, wrapped it up and refrigerated it.

Spatchcock Turkey Prep

Roasted Spatchcock Turkey

  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons Kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons dried sage
  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
  • 1 whole turkey (10-12 pounds)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil

Rimmed baking sheet, rack

In a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle, crush together pepper, salt, sage and rosemary and add to brown sugar. Set aside.

With a sharp knife or scissors, remove the back bone of the turkey, flip over and press down on the breast bone to break and flatten. I wasn’t quite strong enough, so I turned the bird over, scored the bone, flipped it back and tried again, this time it broke easily. I then trimmed off the wing tips. See my notes below on what to do with the back and wing tips.

Place the bird flat, breast side up, on the rack in the baking sheet. Rub with spice mix and let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Before cooking drizzle olive oil over turkey and roast for 1 hour or until the temperature of the thickest part of the breast reaches 160 degrees. Remove from the oven, tent with foil and let rest for 30 minutes (during this time the bird temperature will reach 165 degrees and thighs should be 175 degrees).

Carve and serve.

NOTES: I took the back, wing tips, neck and giblets, covered them with water and simmered them for about an hour. I then used the broth for both the stuffing and gravy. I also cooked the stuffing in the oven, in a baking dish, uncovered, with the turkey. They finished up about the same time.

This year, I’ll skip the metal rack and instead will use a roasting pan and place the bird on a bed of carrots, celery and onion. With the shorter cooking time, the flavor could use the boost. I do feel this is a great technique for wood grilling or smoking.

Today I’ll also prep Cranberry/Apple Sauce (recipe to follow in a later post), make the Pumpkin Cream Pie (recipe here), prep the stuffing and put together two loaves of Slow-Rise Bread  (recipe here) to bake for sandwiches over the weekend. I’m also making Cucumber Salsa (recipe here) and Garden Salsa (recipe here) so I can use up the last of my tomato harvest and serve with chips as an appetizer. I’m also going to make the gravy ahead of time. So that leaves just roasting the turkey, making the potatoes, and green bean casserole for tomorrow. Makes for a very low stress holiday meal.

More Recipes: We have a bunch, a peck, a bushel, of Thanksgiving recipes, including my favorite Upside-Down Cranberry Cake (here), No Boil Mashed Potatoes (here), and Non-Traditional Sides (here), click on this link for all the other recipes or search by name or ingredient in the search box at the bottom of the blog.

I’ll update you on the cooking progress as I go today.

Have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!  – TaMara

Spatchcock Turkey finish

 

Friday Night Dinner Music: Rise Up, Andra Day