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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thursday Recipe - Thanksgiving Favorites!

You've only got two weeks. Are you ready for the hordes of relatives? This year, I'm going to stay home and make it a very relaxed holiday. No fancy dishes or decorating, just good food, my sister and her family, and maybe a few friends. We'll hang out, watch movies, play some games, and eat good food.

I realized I've posted quite a few Thanksgiving recipes over the last year. Like roast turkey, basic homemade bread, pumpkin custard (which is the pie without a crust), ginger honey cookies, and green tomato mincemeat cookies.

What's left? Most people have their own sides they love and their traditional ways of cooking them. So, here are three more that I love.

Cranberry Sauce

1 lb fresh cranberries
1/2 c. orange juice, fresh squeezed with pulp if possible
1 T. grated orange zest, the orange part of the peel.
1/3 - 1/2 c. sugar, to taste
1 stick cinnamon
1/4 t. nutmeg

Put everything in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the berries pop, about 10 - 15 minutes. Cool for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes. It thickens on its own. Remove cinnamon stick before serving.

Roast Yams (You can prep these several days ahead of time. Add the topping just before baking the final dish.)

2 - 3 large whole yams
1/4 c. orange juice
2 T. butter
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. chopped pecans

Jab yams several times with a fork. Place on a foil covered baking sheet. Roast at 350° for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until liquid bubbles from the holes and yams are very soft. Let cool for 2 - 3 hours. Remove peel and chop yams into chunks.

Place yams in a greased 2 quart casserole. Pour orange juice over the top. Mix butter, brown sugar, and pecans. Sprinkle over the top of the yams. Bake at 350° for about 40 minutes, until yams are hot and topping is bubbly. Serve hot.

Any extra plain baked yams can be packaged in freezer bags and frozen for up to 6 months. Or you can use the baked plain yams in place of the pumpkin in the pumpkin custard recipe.

My Favorite Stuffing

2 T. butter
1/2 medium onion, chopped fine
1 c. celery, sliced thin
1 lb bag garlic croutons
1 lb bag onion croutons
1 carrot, grated
1 lb mushrooms, sliced
1/2 c. dried cranberries
1 t. dried sage
1 t. dried whole oregano
2 - 3 c. turkey drippings (see Turkey recipe) or chicken stock

Saute onion and celery in butter until soft, about 5 minutes. Put everything except drippings in a large bowl. Toss together. Add drippings, just until croutons are moistened. Scoop mixture into a large, greased casserole. Bake at 350° for 35 - 45 minutes, until hot through and lightly browned on top. OR put the mixture into a 3 - 4 quart crockpot. Cook on high for 1 - 2 hours.

Have a fun holiday!

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