Monthly Archives: November 2009

Thanksgiving Recap

Sorry I’ve been such a bad blogger last week. I didn’t have time to put my posts together and then with preparing for Thanksgiving, I just let it slide. Sorry.

But today I have my Thanksgiving recap. I didn’t use Mark Bittman’s recipe for splatchcocking, or whatever it is, but maybe next year. Since it was my first year to cook the turkey, I wanted to do it up right… the traditional way.

Here she is:

I brined our little turkey for almost 24 hours. Moving the brine bag in and out of the fridge by myself was challenging, but I accomplished it.

Thursday morning I had to miss out on parade viewing to prep the little sucker, but it was totally worth it… in the end. Removing the neck was a traumatic experience, but we were able to move past that unfortunate ordeal. I stuffed it with some veggies and put some thyme butter under the skin. I’m not sure if this really did anything, but I was told to do it and I did.

I put little turkey in for one hour and then prepared to remove it to flip the bird breast up and start with my first basting. This is when chaos insued. I had bought a disposable aluminum pan as I did not have a roasting pan and thought this would help with the clean up. Little did I know that it would be too flimsy. When Bryan went to pick it up off the rack a hole was formed in the pan.

I got to stand here like this for 10 minutes while Bryan ran to the grocery for backup.

There was also this mess to clean up:

All was cleaned up and forgiven and with three pans we were ready to get back to cooking.

At hour two, our sweet bird looked like this:

And finally she was ready.

(Ignore the whoppy skin on the bottom left.)

Once Bryan carved the turkey, we were ready for the feast everyone had put together.

We had a great meal and have so much to be thankful for this year.

Hope everyone had a great holiday!


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Roasted Carrots with Cumin p. 278

Ingredients: carrots, olive oil, cumin, salt and pepper.

Cumin is a not familiar with until I began cooking from this book. I am so thankful to Mark Bittman for introducing us. Cumin is one of my now most used spices and it works wonderfully with carrots.

Mark Bittman suggest roasting your carrots, cut into slices, on a cookie or baking sheet. I was using my big oven at a lower temperature, so I put the carrots in a smaller pan that fit into our small oven.

Either way, roasted carrots with cumin are delicious.

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Crisp Sauteed Leeks p. 312

Ingredients: Leeks, oil, garlic, salt and pepper.

This dish couldn’t be more simpler or delicious. Julienne your leeks – I’m a terrible julienne-r, but it worked. Heat up your oil add in your garlic, after it becomes fragrant… or you can start to smell that delicious garlic smell… only about 20-30 seconds, toss in your leeks. Cook until brown. I tossed all mine in at once and just tossed them about occasionally, but they were delicious. So delicious I ate every last piece… with my hands.

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Pasta Carbonara by Bryan

Bryan cooks! Here’s the proof:

I tried to get him to write a post, but he didn’t want to. And when I finally convinced him he said to get everything ready. Which is about the same time that my computer decided to not upload pictures. So I’m throwing this together a few minutes before I leave for work. Sorry. But I thought it would be a treat to show ya’ll how Bryan does it.

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Sour Cream or Yogurt Dip p. 89

I forgot to take pictures of this dish. Sorry.

I was putting together some snacks for a party at Bryan’s work place last week. I purchased a large fruit and a large veggie trays. One of them came with ranch, but I thought a nice dip like this would be a good alternative.

I used half sour cream and half yogurt. I think it’d be better with just yogurt. I mixed in a cup or finely chopped cucumber and some fresh parsley. This makes a lot so don’t be fooled if you are preparing for a party.

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Skordalia p. 94

Ingredients: bread, stock, EVOO, pine nuts, garlic, cayenne, lemon juice.

First soak your day old bread in a little stock. While it was soaking I put the other stuff in the food processor. The recipe calls for walnuts, but Mark Bittman suggests you can use other nuts and pine was one of them.

Whizz your olive oil, bread, nuts, and garlic until the nuts are finely chopped. Then add in your stock or water, if you don’t have stock, slowly until it is a fine milky mixture. It should make two cups.

I had make chicken stock the day before and saved the chicken to tear up and make a chicken salad. One of the suggestions Mark Bittman makes for using Skordalia is as a mayo substitute for things like chicken salad.

I used about one cup of the Skordalia for the chicken salad. Bryan was really impressed, saying something about the best chicken salad he’s had. He put his chicken salad on top of the slice of bread and ate it as an open faced sandwich. Bryan suggests serving it as a light lunch option for a party. Maybe even on toasted baguettes.

I have one cup of Skordalia left. Any suggestions?

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Garlicky-Lime Cooked Fish p. 608

Ingredients: garlic, fish, lime juice, avocado, cilantro.

I love fresh fish. And I love cilantro. I also love garlic. Why haven’t I tried this recipe before?!

Start off by cooking your garlic a smidgen. Just a few seconds really. (I burned my first batch because I was multi-tasking and overlooked it.) Then put your thin fish fillets in a pan with hot oil. After about two minutes add in your lime juice, this really infuses the flavor into the fish. If you are working with thin fish like me it will only take a minute or two before they are fully cooked.

Top your fish with fresh avocado, your garlic oil, and fresh chopped cilantro. Enjoy!

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