Food and Garden Dailies started as a way to record my family's favorite recipes. It has come in handy many times when I'm asked for a recipe. I simply email a link to the blog! But I couldn't just stick to recipes. The kitchen is tied to the garden in so many ways...and so I let you into my ever changing garden as well.

If you're interested in my all-time favorite recipes, check out this post first: My Favorite Recipes

Saturday, November 29, 2008

What Have You Liked?

Pin It I love having this blog, because when asked for a recipe, I can simply direct people to the internet. It's sooooo much more efficient than copying it down, misplacing it, finding it months later in a pile, and completely forgetting to pass it on. This works quite well! But I often wonder if anyone actually makes any of these recipes. So, I'm asking, what have you made that you liked? (And, yeah, I can handle it if you made something from here that you didn't like!!)

If you haven't tried anything, might I suggest one of the following. After you make the dish(es), let me know what you think!

Twice Baked Potatoes
Cappuccino Cheesecake

Old Fashioned Apple Pie

Marinated Flank Steak
Cheesy Basil-Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Barbequed Herb-Mustard Chicken

Baked Macaroni & Cheese
Chicken Tequila Fettuccine

Broccoli with Garlic Butter and Cashews


Lemon-Peach Fizz


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Most people have fancy names for this like, "Bacon-Wrapped Smokies" or even "Bacon-Wrapped Brown Sugar Smokies". But when you get right down to it, it's simply pig on pig. These are not the classiest of appetizers, but I promise if you bring them to a holiday party they will be devoured. Even before the meatballs simmering in jelled cranberry and chili sauce (another trailer park winner that will have everyone talking about what a great sauce you make...but that's for another post...) are half gone, the Pig-On-Pig platter will be empty. Guaranteed.

The secret? Take some pig (that would be Hilshire Farms Lil' Smokies) and wrap with more pig (1/3 - 1/2 piece of bacon). Secure with a toothpick and spread out in a baking pan. Cook in an oven at 325 degrees for about 30 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven, kick up the heat to 350 degrees, and generously sprinkle brown sugar over the smokies. Place back in the oven until the bacon crisps and the brown sugar is bubbly (another 10-15 minutes or so).

Once out of the oven, place on your finest serving platter, scooping some of the liquid grease (oh, I mean the melted brown sugar!) back over the smokies. Serve hot.

(1 pound of bacon cut in thirds is enough to wrap one package of Lil' Smokies.)

Friday, November 28, 2008

Lumpy Garlic Mashed Potatoes

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Have I ever mentioned how much I love garlic? I (and those in my immediate family, thank goodness!!) LOVE garlic. So much that my mom and sister constantly kid me about it, asking if it's possible for me to make anything without garlic. After thinking about this, there's not much. I don't do garlic for breakfast (though my husband recently revealed he does like it with his eggs) or for dessert. Other than that...if you're a guest for prepared for garlic.

I also happen to love mashed potatoes. I will eat them any way you prepare them (no instant flakes, thank you very much!), but my favorite way is lumpy with garlic. I also keep the skin on. That's one thing I got from my mom. So, if you want pure white smooth potatoes, you better bring your own. Mine are lumpy!

Here's my recipe:

Lumpy Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Wash up a bunch of baking (Idaho) potatoes. Cut them into quarters (or sixths if they're large), discarding any bruised spots. Fill a large pot about 3/4 full with potato chunks and then add water so it barely covers the potatoes. Add a few (4-6) cloves of peeled garlic. Put the cloves in whole; no need to press or chop them. Boil until a fork can easily pierce the potatoes.

Drain the potatoes and place back in the pot. Add 1-2 sticks of butter, and put a lid on the pan. Let the pan sit for a few minutes until the butter has melted. Add some milk, to make them a little creamy. I would guess that I put in about a half a cup for a 6 qt. pot of potatoes.

Start mashing with a potato masher. Add salt and pepper to taste (this is the best part...tasting as you go...with a clean spoon each time, of course!!).

Keep mashing until it's all mixed and then serve hot. Enjoy!!

Thursday, November 27, 2008


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Flaky, tender crust. Much more complex flavoring in the pumpkin custard than your run-of-the-mill pumpkin pie.

This will be made again, and again. It knocked our socks off. Truly.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Turkey: Herb Seasoning Rub for UNDER the Skin

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A few years ago I came across a novel idea: to flavor the turkey under the skin. For nearly 20 years I'd been seasoning the top of the turkey. In hindsight, that was plain silly as I don't even eat the skin! I remove it, then I'd simply season my cooked meat with salt and pepper. So much for the flavor!

Somehow, somewhere I came across a recipe that came from the Food Network's site that gave a recipe for seasoning under the skin. Two years ago I tried it for the first time. The turkey was unbelievably amazing! Boy, had I been missing out for all those years!

If you're a skin-ripper like I am, you might want to try this simple seasoning method.

Herb Seasoning Rub For Turkey

Mix together:
1 TB dried sage
1 TB dried rosemary
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp ground marjoram
2 tsp salt
2 tsp black pepper
4 bay leaves
1/4 C olive oil
3/8 C canola oil
6 cloves garlic, chopped or crushed

Before I get the turkey out, I get out all my supplies, so that when I have "poultry hands" I don't need to open drawers and spread germs around.

  • four plain gallon baggies (I use these like gloves for handling the turkey)
  • sharp thin knife (paring, boning)
  • basting brush (can use hands too...they actually work better)
  • herb mixture in a small bowl
  • bleach water (for clean up)
  • paper towels (I use lots of these when I'm prepping turkey)
  • dish soap pump container
  • trash bag out for turkey gunk
  • roasting pan
  • foil: two long pieces to cover turkey in the end
First, prepare your turkey by removing the neck and giblets. Place the guck in the garbage bag that you got out. Thoroughly rinse inside and out of turkey and then place it in your roasting pan. I use the baggies as gloves for handling the turkey. After touching it, I place them open in the sink, so I can easily put my hands back in them again for touching the turkey (told you I was anal about this...).

Find the large opening (where you'd put stuffing), and carefully slide your knife between the breast and the skin. Try not to nick the breast, but it's not that big a deal if you do. What you're trying to do here is lift the skin, opening it up as much as possible. You should be able to easily reach across the top and sides of the breast from this opening.

Next, create 1-2 slits through the skin on the other end of the turkey. This is so you'll be able to reach down along the sides and all over this area. Again, once you cut through, you'll have access to the whole breast area.

Using your basting brush, dip it into the herb mixture and start spreading it under the skin. I started with the brush but gave up and used my hands as it was a lot easier to spread the herbs that way. Place the bay leaves in a couple spots (you'll remove them after cooking).

Once your rub is under the skin, it's time to close up the slits you made. The easiest thing to use is a small metal skewer, but toothpicks will do in a pinch! (Also use the skewers/toothpicks to hold down your wings so they don't get burned.)

If you're like me, this won't be a tidy process. You will probably have the herb rub all over the turkey, under and over the skin! I just spread the drips out evenly over the top, in case there are guests who actually do eat the skin. And, yes, I usually have drips on my counter too!

Onto the clean up! I am anal about prepping poultry and the clean up. The first thing I do is thoroughly clean and clear the counters and sink. Next, I make sure to carefully contain my mess. As mentioned above, I have all my stuff out, ready to go so I'm not opening drawers and touching stuff in the kitchen. After the turkey is safely in the fridge, I wipe down the counters/sink with paper towels. Then I give the whole area a hot soapy bath. Once dried, I spray with a fresh and cold 10% bleach water solution. (1 part bleach to 9 parts water).

Now, it's ready for cooking. At this point, you can baste/not baste, use a foil tent/roasting bag...whatever you're preferred method is. The key is, you've sealed in the flavor!!

So...if you try this, let me know what you think!

Happy Turkey Day!

The Best Pumpkin Pie?

Pin It The Best Pumpkin Pie? We shall see...

I've never made pumpkin pie. Ever. I'm not sure I've even bought a pumpkin pie before. So if you've come to my house for Thanksgiving in the past, I apologize for only having apple pie. Apple pie is my all-time favorite, and I must admit, I make a killer apple pie. Yes, I'm stuck in a pie rut. In the summer I'll make strawberry-rhubarb, but other than that, I really don't step out of the box much.

Tonight though, I made pumpkin pie. As always, I turned to one of my favorite recipe sources: Cook's Illustrated. This is their recipe. I usually don't serve things (especially for holiday meals!) that I haven't tried before, but well, CI has yet to fail me. I've learned that if I follow their detailed directions to a T, I can be a pretty decent cook.

So, onto the pie....unless this is one kick-ass, mouth-watering tasty morsel, I will probably never ever make it again. The pre-baked crust was so time consuming. Lots of in-and-out of the fridge at different stages. Thank GOODNESS I started it a couple days ago, so it wasn't a major stresser. Two days ago I prepped the dry ingredients (along with my 10 bowl assembly line for holiday dinners). Yesterday I made the dough, getting it into four inch plastic-wrapped discs. Today I did the rest of it.

Tomorrow I'll let you know if it's worth it to go to so much trouble making this recipe!*

Pumpkin Pie

For the best of both worlds — pumpkin pie with smooth, delicious filling and a crisp crust — precook both before baking.

A pumpkin pie is no more than a variation on custard pie, and it presents the baker with the same challenge -- making the crust crisp while developing a filling that is firm but still tender. After baking countless pumpkin pies, we found it necessary to take a threefold approach.

First, we began baking our crusts almost completely before filling them; that way we knew they started out crisp. Next, we made sure that both shell and filling were hot when we assembled the pie, so the custard could begin to firm up almost immediately rather than soaking into the pastry. Finally, we baked the pie quickly, in the bottom of the oven, where the bottom of the crust is exposed to the most intense heat. But baking at high heat has its perils -- when overbaked, custard will curdle, becoming grainy and watery. No matter what the heat level, however, curdling can be averted if the pie is taken out of the oven immediately once the center thickens to the point where it no longer sloshes but instead wiggles like gelatin when the pan is gently shaken. Residual heat will finish the cooking outside the oven. Furthermore, as with many older recipes, this recipe calls for heavy cream as well as milk and a goodly quantity of sugar. These ingredients not only improve the flavor, but they also protect the texture, since both fat and sugar serve to block the curdling reaction.

For Good Measure
Fresh pumpkin is so difficult to use that few modern cooks go down this road. Canned pumpkin is surprisingly good, and, given a little special treatment, it can be as tasty as fresh. One problem with canned pumpkin is its fibrous nature, which is easily corrected by pureeing it in a food processor. You can freshen the taste of canned pumpkin by cooking it with the sugar and spices before combining it with the custard ingredients. As the pumpkin simmers, you can actually smell the unwelcome canned odor give way to the sweet scent of fresh squash.


Serves 8

If you do not have a food processor, the pumpkin may be put through a food mill or forced through a fine sieve with the back of a wooden spoon. Alternatively, you can cook the pumpkin, sugar, and spices together before pureeing, then whir the mixture in a blender, adding enough of the cream called for in the recipe to permit the pumpkin to flow easily over the blades. In either case, heat the pumpkin with the (remaining) cream and milk, as indicated, then slowly whisk the mixture into the beaten eggs.

Flaky pastry can be successfully produced using any all-purpose flour, but a low-protein brand (such as Gold Medal) produces a more tender crust. Doughs made with low-protein flours are also easier to handle, and, perhaps most important, they are less likely to buckle and shrink out of shape during baking. If you wish to blend the fat and flour with your fingertips or with a pastry tool instead of using a machine, decrease the butter to six tablespoons and add two tablespoons of chilled vegetable shortening. The pie may be served slightly warm, chilled, or — my preference — at room temperature.

Flaky Pastry Shell

* 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, measured by dip-and-sweep
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon sugar
* 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1/4-inch pats
* 3–3 1/2 tablespoons ice water

Spicy Pumpkin Filling

* 2 cups (16 ounces) plain pumpkin puree, canned or fresh
* 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
* 2 teaspoons ground ginger
* 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
* 1 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
* 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 2/3 cup heavy cream
* 2/3 cup milk
* 4 large eggs

1. For pastry shell, mix flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor fitted with steel blade. Scatter butter over dry ingredients; process until mixture resembles cornmeal, 7 to 12 seconds. Turn mixture into a medium-sized bowl.

2. Drizzle 3 tablespoons of water over flour mixture. With blade side of a rubber spatula, cut mixture into little balls. Then press down on mixture with broad side of spatula so balls stick together in large clumps. If dough resists gathering, sprinkle remaining water over dry, crumbly patches and press a few more times. Form dough into a ball with your hands; wrap in plastic, then flatten into a 4-inch disk. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. (Can be refrigerated for 2 days or, if sealed airtight in a plastic bag, frozen for up to 6 months.)

3. Generously sprinkle a 2-foot square work area with flour. Remove dough from wrapping and place disk in center; dust top with flour. (If it has been chilled for more than 1 hour, let dough stand until it gives slightly when pressed, 5 to 10 minutes.) Roll dough in all directions, from center to edges, rotating a quarter turn and strewing flour underneath as necessary after each stroke. Flip disk over when it is 9 inches in diameter and continue to roll (but don’t rotate) in all directions, until it is 13 to 14 inches in diameter and just under 1/8-inch thick.

4. Fold dough in quarters and place the corner in the center of a Pyrex pie pan measuring 9- to 9 1/2-inches across top. Carefully unfold dough to cover pan completely, with excess dough draped over pan lip. With one hand, pick up edges of dough; use index finger of other hand to press dough around pan bottom. Use your fingertips to press dough against pan walls. Trim dough overhanging the pan to an even 1/2-inch all around.

5. Tuck overhanging dough back under itself so folded edge is flush with edge of pan lip. Press double layer of dough with your fingers to seal, then bend up at a 90-degree angle and flute by pressing thumb and index finger about 1/2-inch apart against outside edge of dough, then using index finger (or knuckle) of other hand to poke a dent through the space. Repeat procedure all the way around.

6. Refrigerate for 20 minutes (or freeze for 5 minutes) to firm dough shell. Using a table fork, prick bottom and sides — including where they meet — at 1/2-inch intervals. Flatten a 12-inch square of aluminum foil inside shell, pressing it flush against corners, sides, and over rim. Prick foil bottom in about a dozen places with a fork. Chill shell for at least 30 minutes (preferably an hour or more), to allow dough to relax.

7. Adjust an oven rack to lowest position, and heat oven to 400 degrees. (Start preparing filling when you put shell into oven.) Bake 15 minutes, pressing down on foil with mitt-protected hands to flatten any puffs. Remove foil and bake shell for 8 to 10 minutes longer, or until interior just begins to color.

8. For filling, process first 7 ingredients in a food processor fitted with steel blade for 1 minute. Transfer pumpkin mixture to a 3-quart heavy-bottomed saucepan; bring it to a sputtering simmer over medium-high heat. Cook pumpkin, stirring constantly, until thick and shiny, about 5 minutes. As soon as pie shell comes out of oven, whisk heavy cream and milk into pumpkin and bring to a bare simmer. Process eggs in food processor until whites and yolks are mixed, about 5 seconds. With motor running, slowly pour about half of hot pumpkin mixture through feed tube. Stop machine and scrape in remaining pumpkin. Process 30 seconds longer.

9. Immediately pour warm filling into hot pie shell. (Ladle any excess filling into pie after it has baked for 5 minutes or so — by this time filling will have settled.) Bake until filling is puffed, dry-looking, and lightly cracked around edges, and center wiggles like gelatin when pie is gently shaken, about 25 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for at least 1 hour.

* Added 11/27/08: That was a DAMN GOOD PIE!

Cinnamon Sugar Pastries

Pin It AKA...what to do with all those pie crust scraps!

Did you have a bunch of pie crust scraps leftover? What did you do with them? It seems such a waste to toss them out, when really, the crust is the best part of the pie.

I got this idea from a former vendor from our local Farmer's Market. She used to sell her pies and her pie crust scraps. They were baked with a coating of cinnamon and sugar and were mouth-watering (the pies and the scraps).

So, tonight, when I had a bunch of pie scraps leftover, I stuck them on a baking sheet, sprinkled with a little cinnamon and sugar and baked them. I baked them at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes, until they browned. When they were still hot from the oven, I sprinkled a little more sugar on them. Oh, my goodness. I'm tempted to serve these tomorrow instead of pie!

The Cooling Rack Food Shield

Pin It If you have one of these...

...then you know how important it is to shield your food from them. Our dog, Tahoe, is quick to eat ANYTHING left in his reach. So I've become pretty creative in shielding our food when it has to be out on the counter. One of my favorite shields are cooling racks. But getting them to stand up is sometimes tricky. Tonight, however, I have mastered the art of the Cooling Rack Shield:

Notice how the tongs lean against the front cross bar, while the spatula leans against the second cross bar? They push against those while leaning into the cooling rack at the top keeping it in place. Behind the bars....the Pumpkin Pie I just made!! YUM!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Thanksgiving/Holiday Meal Plan

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This is an update (updated 11/7/11) to my plan that I created several years ago.  It's one I'll probably post each November. 

Are you looking for some new Thanksgiving recipes? With Thanksgiving approaching I thought I'd share my Holiday Meal Plan with all of my (tens of???) readers. My hope is that it will help your stress levels if you are preparing Thanksgiving dinner and all the trimmings for family or friends. These holiday recipes are our family's traditional dishes. Sometimes there's a different vegetable or bread, but we pretty much serve the save thing for Thanksgiving or Christmas. It might sound boring, but considering we only have this once or twice a year, it is a meal we look forward to!
The Menu:
Thanksgiving morning: Apple Streusel Coffeecake
Thanksgiving Dinner: Turkey, Gravy, Mashed Potatoes, Cornbread, Broccoli with Garlic Butter and Cashews, Green Beans with Pecans, Smoky Scalloped Potatoes, Sausage Stuffing
Dessert: Apple Pie
Day After Thanksgiving: Day After Thanksgiving Turkey Pot Pie
(I can never decide between mashed potatoes (easy!) and the scalloped potatoes (scrumptious!), so they're both listed.  I don't usually make both, unless it's a really large crowd.  
 The following plan will easily feed 10-12 people with some leftovers. For additional people, add another vegetable dish.
Make sure to have on hand:
  • dried sage
  • dried thyme
  • olive oil
  • dried rosemary
  • bay leaves
  • ground marjoram
  • cayenne pepper
  • dry mustard
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • cinnamon
  • apple pie spice
  • fresh thyme (1 TB)
  • butter, salted
  • butter, unsalted
  • vegetable shortening
  • sugar
  • flour
  • cornmeal
  • light brown sugar
  • baking powder
  • baking soda
  • canola oil
  • milk
  • soy sauce
  • white wine vinegar
  • garlic
  • vanilla
  • eggs (4)
 Shopping List:
  • salted cashews (1/3 C)
  • shelled walnuts (1 C)
  • pecan halves (1 C)
  • plain low fat yogurt (16 oz)
  • Granny Smith apples (6)
  • broccoli (1 1/2 pounds)
  • celery (1 C)
  • onion (2 large)
  • fresh parsley (1/2 C)
  • 5-10 lbs. baking potatoes (5 pounds if making just one of the potato dishes; 10 pounds if making both)
  • 2 pie crust shells (As a shortcut you can use Pilsbury refrigerated pie crust, or you can make your own)
  • chicken broth (2 cans)
  • ground sausage (1 lb)
  • herb seasoned stuffing mix (8 oz) (or a loaf of bread to make your own)
  • turkey
  • 1/4-1/2 pound ground soy “sausage”
  • 2 C smoked Gouda cheese
  • heavy cream (1 1/2 C)
  • buttermilk (1 1/2 C)
1 cup celery
1 cup onion
1/4 cup parsley
Place all 3 in a baggie for Stuffing.
1 large onion
Place in a baggie for Scalloped Potatoes
1 cup celery
1 cup onion
Place both in a baggie for Turkey Potpie.
1 ½ pounds broccoli, in bite sized pieces
Put in baggie for Broccoli dish.
3-4 cloves garlic (whole...don’t chop)
Place in a tiny prep container for Mashed Potatoes.
1 cup walnuts
Put in prep bowl for Coffee Cake.
1/3 cup salted cashews
Put in baggie for Broccoli Dish
2 pounds fresh green beans, wash and  trim ends
Put in baggie for Green Bean Dish.
4 TB shallots
Put in small prep bowl for Green Bean Dish
3 TB fresh parsley
Put in small prep bowl for Green Bean Dish
2 C smoked Gouda cheese
Place in baggie for Scalloped Potatoes 
1 pound ground Italian sausage
1/4-1/2 pound ground soy “sausage” (My daughter is I make some of the stuffing with her "sausage".)
Put in separate baggies for Stuffing 
6 cups Granny Smith apples (pie) 
2 Granny Smith apples (coffee cake)
Keep apples in a bowl of lemon juice and water, covered in the refrigerator until needed.
12 prep bowls shown in the chart below (click on it to enlarge)
Apple Streusel Coffeecake:  Make the batter and keep it covered and refrigerated in the Kitchen Aid mixing bowl. (Quickly beat it in the morning.)
Pie crusts (can be placed on waxed paper and rolled up in the fridge until needed)
Smoky Scalloped Potatoes:  Prepare, cover with foil, refrigerate.
Clean and prep turkey. Put the spice rub under the skin. Cover with foil and place in the refrigerator.  (For a detailed look at seasoning the turkey under the skin, check out this post:  TURKEY SEASONING UNDER THE SKIN)
The following chart is the beauty and brains behind the simplicity of this meal. I set out 11 prep bowls (sizes are listed on the chart), and fill them assembly-line style with different ingredients. Each bowl is numbered with masking tape so I know when to use it. Once these bowls are filled, most of the work is done!
Ingredients to get out for the assembly bowl line:
  • dried sage
  • dried thyme
  • olive oil
  • dried rosemary
  • bay leaves
  • ground marjoram
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • cinnamon
  • apple pie spices
  • butter, salted
  • butter, unsalted (2 sticks)
  • vegetable shortening
  • sugar
  • flour
  • cornmeal
  • light brown sugar
  • baking powder
  • baking soda
  • canola oil
  • milk
  • soy sauce
  • white wine vinegar
  • garlic
  • fresh thyme
  • cayenne pepper
  • dry mustard
And now, for the chart.  If you click the photo below, the whole chart will be large enough to view the details.
Coffee Cake
350 degrees, 70-80 minutes (make sure center by cone is done)
Stuffing (can keep warm in crock pot)
Use wok (small or large burner)
Put turkey in oven (see time chart).
Peel and boil a few pounds of the potatoes w/garlic for mashed potatoes (You can skip this step if the Scalloped Potatoes will be enough for your group.)
Apple Pie
Take Scalloped Potatoes out of the refrigerator.
425 degrees
Apple Pie
Scalloped Potatoes 
Broccoli w/Garlic Butter and Cashews (use large stock pot, then skillet on large burner)
Green Beans with Pecans (use 3 qt. stock pot and steamer)
Use medium pot and small burner
Mash the potatoes. Use KA mixer or potato masher. Mash with butter, milk, salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm.
Carve turkey after 20-30 minutes of cooling.
And now, the recipes:
Broccoli with Garlic Butter Cashews
1 1/2 pounds fresh broccoli, cut into bite size pieces
1/3 cup butter
1 tablespoon brown sugar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons white vinegar
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup chopped salted cashews
Place the broccoli into a large pot with about 1 inch of water in the bottom. Bring to a boil, and cook for 7 minutes, or until tender but still crisp. Drain, and arrange broccoli on a serving platter.
While the broccoli is cooking, melt the butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Mix in the brown sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, pepper and garlic. Bring to a boil, then remove from the heat. Mix in the cashews, and pour the sauce over the broccoli. Serve immediately.*
*It really does taste best when served immediately. When it's re-heated, the broccoli gets a little too mushy. So, I recommend only cooking the amount of broccoli your family will be eating at one sitting. You can reserve some of the marinade/cashews for another day when youcan quickly steam some fresh broccoli.
Green Beans with Pecans (San Francisco Encore)
Prep ahead of time:
-wash and trim 2 pounds of fresh green beans
-mince 4 TB of shallots
-mince 3 TB of fresh parsley
Steam until just tender, but still firm:
2 pounds of fresh green beans
In a skillet, saute until softened:
3 TB butter
4 TB minced shallots
Add, and brown lightly:
1 C pecan halves
Stir in:
3 TB minced fresh parsley
Toss to coat and heat thoroughly. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease 8 x 8 x 2" baking dish.
Mix together:
1 C sifted flour
2 TB sugar
3 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 C cornmeal
Make a depression in the center of the dry ingredients and lightly beat:
1 egg
Add to the center mixture:
1/4 C canola oil
1 C milk
Stir dry and wet ingredients together until the flour mixture is moistened.
Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown on top.
Turkey Gravy
Pour off drippings from roasting pan.                                                          
 Add to a pot:
3 TB drippings
Add, and stir to make a paste:
3 TB flour
Gradually stir in:
1 ½ C condensed chicken broth, undiluted
½ tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 tsp coarsely chopped fresh marjoram leaves OR
½ tsp dried marjoram leaves
Bring to a boil, stirring. Mixture will be thickened and smooth. Simmer, stirring, 1 minute
Makes 1 ½ cups.  
Sausage Stuffing
In large skillet, saute:
1 lb sausage
Drain any fat and add:
1 C chopped celery
1 C chopped onion
1/4 C chopped parsley
Saute for 8-10 minutes.
In large stove top pot, combine
1 pkg (8 oz) herb-seasoned stuffing mix (or dried bread chunks from a good artisan bread)
½ tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Toss to mix well.  
1 C chicken broth
sausage mixture
Toss lightly.
Apple Streusel Coffeecake
Streusel (In bowl #3)
1 3/4 C packed light brown sugar
3/4 C all purpose flour
1 stick (1/2 C) cold butter, cut in small pieces
2 tsp cinnamon
1 C walnuts, coarsely chopped
In a medium size bowl, stir everything (except the walnuts) together with fingertips until crumbly and butter is completely incorporated. Stir in walnuts.
Cake (Dry ingredients in bowl #4)
3 1/4 C all purpose flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 ½ sticks (3/4 C) butter or margarine (not spread), at room temperature
1 1/4 C sugar
3 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1- 16 oz container plain low-fat yogurt
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and diced into ½” pieces (apples are in the refrigerator, diced)
Mix flour, baking powder, and baking soda in a small bowl. Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl with electric mixer until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in eggs one at a time, beating well after each. Beat in vanilla and yogurt. With mixer on low speed, beat in flour mixture.
Grease (and flour) the Pampered Chef bundt pan EXTREMELY well with butter (not Pam) or margarine.
Spoon 3 cups batter into pan, spread evenly.
Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of the streusel, the apples, and then ½ cup of the streusel.
Spoon on remaining batter and spread evenly, then add the nuts.    
Sprinkle with remaining streusel, pressing down lightly so it sticks to the batter. 
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Bake 60-70 minutes or until a pick inserted in cake comes out clean. Cool on wire rack 15 minutes. Place cookie sheet over pan and carefully invert both. Remove pan and cool completely. 
The most “undone” part of the cake is in the middle around the cone. 
Serves 16. Per serving: 462 calories, 7 g pro, 63 g car, 21 g fat, 80 mg chol with butter, 41 mg chol with margarine, 291 mg sod. Exchanges: 2 1/4 starch/bread, 2 fruit, 4 fat. 
Old Fashioned Apple Pie
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
6 C tart apples (Granny Smith/about 4 apples or 2 lbs)
1 C sugar
1 tsp apple pie spice*
1/4 C flour
dash salt
Add sliced apples, lightly toss.
2 pie crust shells (or make homemade crust listed below) 
Fill one pie crust and add the other on top. Seal edges and slit the top shell.
Bake 45-50 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.
The Best Pie Dough (Cook's Illustrated)
Double Crust 10-inch Regular or 9-inch Deep-Dish 
When rolling out the dough, roll to a thickness of about 1/8-inch thick (about the thickness of two quarters). 
For a double-crust 10-inch regular pie
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon table salt
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
13 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
7 tablespoons vegetable shortening, chilled
4 - 5 tablespoons ice water
1. Mix flour, salt and sugar in food processor fitted with steel blade. Scatter butter pieces over flour mixture, tossing to coat butter with some flour. cut butter into flour with five 1-second pulses. Add shortening and continue cutting in until flour is pale yellow and resembles coarse cornmeal with butter bits no larger than small peas, about four more 1-second pulses. Turn mixture into medium bowl. 
2. Sprinkle 4 tablespoons of ice water over mixture. With blade of rubber spatula, use folding motion to mix. Press down on dough with broad side of spatula until dough sticks together, adding up to 1 tablespoon more ice water if dough will not come together. Shape dough into two balls with your hands, one slightly larger than the other. Flatten into 4-inch-wide disks. Dust lightly with flour, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for 30 minutes before rolling. 
Time and temperature: I started the pie out at 425 degrees. Once the crust was nicely browned, I  turned down the oven to 350 degrees. The result was delicious! I didn't have to use the pesky torn foil pieces around the edge of my pie (you keep the edges from burning). Next time I might brush a little water or egg over the raw upper crust and sprinkle on a dusting of cinnamon and sugar. 
A handy trick: I had trouble lifting the bottom crust up and placing it in the pie pan. It kept breaking apart. So, I rolled it out on a Tupperware pastry sheet I own, set the pie pan (upside down) centered on the crust, and with the help of my husband, carefully flipped the pan/crust/pastry sheet. The crust landed nice and neat right in the pie pan!
Lumpy Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Wash and scrub 15-20 potatoes.
You can peel them, or leave the skins on. (I often peel about a third of them, as I like the skins.
Cut potatoes into fourths. )
Place into large stockpots, filling with water (but not too much...or it will boil over).
Add a clove of garlic into each pot of potatoes.
Boil until you can pierce the largest potato chunk with a fork.
Drain the potatoes.
Put the potatoes back in the pot, or in a large bowl.
Add, to taste, milk, salt, pepper, and butter.
Mash with a potato masher.
Serve hot!
* The USDA does not recommend cooking turkey in an oven set lower than 325 degrees F.
* Place your turkey or turkey breast on a rack in a shallow roasting pan.
* For optimum safety, stuffing a turkey is not recommended. For more even cooking, it is recommended you cook your stuffing outside the bird in a casserole. Use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of the stuffing. The stuffing must reach a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
* If you choose to stuff your turkey, the ingredients can be prepared ahead of time; however, keep wet and dry ingredients separate. Chill all of the wet ingredients (butter/margarine, cooked celery and onions, broth, etc.). Mix wet and dry ingredients just before filling the turkey cavities. Fill the cavities loosely. Cook the turkey immediately. Use a food thermometer to make sure the center of the stuffing reaches a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
* A whole turkey is safe when cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees F as measured with a food thermometer. Check the internal temperature in the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast. For reasons of personal preference, consumers may choose to cook turkey to higher temperatures.
* If your turkey has a "pop-up" temperature indicator, it is recommended that you also check the internal temperature of the turkey in the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast with a food thermometer. The minimum internal temperature should reach 165 degrees F for safety.
* For quality, let the turkey stand for 20 minutes before carving to allow juices to set. The turkey will carve more easily.
* Remove all stuffing from the turkey cavities.
Timetables for Turkey Roasting
(325 degrees F oven temperature)
These times are approximate and should always be used in conjunction with a properly placed thermometer.

4 to 8 pounds (breast) 1½ to 3¼ hours
8 to 12 pounds 2 3/4 to 3 hours
12 to 14 pounds 3 to 3 3/4 hours
14 to 18 pounds 3 3/4 to 4 1/4 hours
18 to 20 pounds 4 1/4 to 4 ½ hours
20 to 24 pounds 4 ½ to 5 hours
4 to 6 pounds (breast) Not usually applicable
6 to 8 pounds (breast) 2½ to 3½ hours
8 to 12 pounds 3 to 3 ½ hours
12 to 14 pounds 3 ½ to 4 hours
14 to 18 pounds 4 to 4 1/4 hours
18 to 20 pounds 4 1/4 to 4 3/4 hours
20 to 24 pounds 4 3/4 to 5 1/4 hours
-Tuck wing tips under the shoulders of the bird for more even cooking. This is referred to as "akimbo."
-Add ½ cup of water to the bottom of the pan.
-If your roasting pan does not have a lid, you may place a tent of heavy-duty aluminum foil over the turkey for the first 1 to 1 ½ hours. This allows for maximum heat circulation, keeps the turkey moist, and reduces oven splatter. To prevent overbrowning, foil may also be placed over the turkey after it reaches the desired color.
-If using an oven-proof food thermometer, place it in the turkey at the start of the cooking cycle. It will allow you to check the internal temperature of the turkey while it is cooking. For turkey breasts, place thermometer in the thickest part. For whole turkeys, place in the thickest part of the inner thigh. Once the thigh has reached 165 degrees F, check the wing and the thickest part of the breast to ensure the turkey has reached a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees F throughout the product.
 Day After Thanksgiving Turkey Pot Pie
In a bowl, combine:
1-2 C shredded/chopped turkey meat
1 C chopped celery*1 C chopped onion*
1-2 C stuffing
1 C gravy
*You can saute these in a little butter if you like. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't!
 Line a pie pan (I swear by the Pampered Chef stoneware ones...they do not produce soggy bottomed crusts!!) with one pie crust. Fill with the above contents. Place a second pie crust over the top, sealing the edges. Decorate as desired. (I used a turkey shaped cookie cutter to cut out   all those little turkeys around the edges. Just wet the bottom of the dough piece with a little water so it will stick to the crust.) Put a few slits in the top crust so steam can escape.
Bake at 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes (until the crust is golden).
Let the pot pie cool and set for about 15 minutes before cutting into it.
For the crust...I use the same crust recipe that was used for the apple pie. So, if you're making crusts, just double that recipe.
Smoky Scalloped Potatoes
(Cook's Illustrated)
Move over, mashed potatoes—we love this recipe for an alternative holiday potato side dish. Buttermilk and smoked Gouda give this casserole its rich flavor and creamy consistency, so we don’t recommend substituting these ingredients. Here’s what else we discovered:
* Adding a pinch of baking soda to the potatoes as they cook helps to tenderize them without leaving any residual taste.
* This dish can be made ahead of time and refrigerated for up to 24 hours.
Serves 8 or more
4 tablespoons unsalted butter*
1 large onion, minced
4 garlic cloves, minced (Cook's Illustrated) 
4 teaspoons dry mustard
1 tablespoons minced fresh thyme leaves
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
5 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and sliced thin**
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups shredded smoked Gouda cheese
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Melt butter in Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, mustard, thyme, salt, and cayenne and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in potatoes, cream, buttermilk, and baking soda and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook until potatoes are almost tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in cheese and transfer mixture to 13 by 9-inch baking dish.
2. Bake until cream is bubbling around edges and top is golden brown, about 15 minutes. Cool 10 minutes before serving.

Make Ahead: The casserole can be prepared through step 1 and refrigerated for up to 24 hours. When ready to bake, cover with foil and bake in 400-degree oven until hot and bubbly, about 40 minutes. Remove foil and continue cooking until top is golden brown, about 30 minutes.
* I always have unsalted on hand, but with all my holiday cooking, I ran out.  I made it with salted butter and it came out just fine.  But if you have the unsalted on hand, I'd use that.
We also make a Tofurky roast each year, as we have some vegetarians in the family.    We've found that one  roast can be cut in half (as soon as you buy it at the store).  Cook up half hte loaf for Thanksgiving, and the other half for Christmas.