Saturday, November 17, 2012

Bounty of Thankfulness...

The best time of the year is upon us...Thanksgiving!  In 5 short days cooks in their kitchens around the country will be chopping, dicing, whipping, mashing, beating, baking, roasting, and stirring all of their foodie creations for the biggest meal of the year.  If you are cooking the meal you are scouring the Internet for recipes, if you are bringing a side dish you are trying to decide which one, and not that string bean casserole, and if you are in charge of dessert you are thinking buy it or make it?

Well look no further...I have put together an easy Thanksgiving menu from Forkful of Simplicity Cookbook.  This menu is easy but just because it is easy to prepare do not think it lacks flavor and deliciousness.  It will allow more time out of the kitchen on Thanksgiving and more time with family and friends and that, in my opinion, is the best ingredient on this menu.

I hope you cherish this Thanksgiving and remember why we come together at this time of the celebrate all that there is to be thankful for!  Enjoy...

Thanksgiving Menu From Forkful of Simplicity Cookbook

Red/White Wine
W.D.'s Chickpea Dip
Not Only In November Turkey and Stuffing
Cornbread Panzanella Salad
Kicked Up Green Bean Almondine
Tons of Mushrooms
For My Sweetie Potato Pie
Miss Gracie's Rice Pudding
Twisted Espresso

W.D.'s Chickpea Dip
1 Can Chickpeas (rinsed and drained)
1 Small Jar Green Olives (drained)
1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

In a food processor add chickpeas, olives and olive oil
Blend slowly till smooth
Remove dip from food processor
Season with salt/pepper
Serve with pita chips or bread pieces

***Make it the day before.  Store dip in an airtight container and refrigerate.
Serve at room temperature***

Not Only In November Turkey and Stuffing
1 Boneless Turkey Breast
1/2 Cup Low Sodium Chicken Broth
1 (6oz.) Package of Stuffing Mix
Special Equipment...Crock Pot

In a crock pot add 3 tablespoons chicken broth
Place turkey breast in the pot
Season with salt/pepper\Prepare stuffing mix according to package directions
Pack stuffing on and and around turkey, patting down, not packing tight
Pour remaining chicken broth around turkey breast
Cover and cook on low 8-10 hours
Gently remove turkey breast from crock pot, slice and serve warm

***Start this early in the morning so it is cooked by the time you are ready to
serve this main part of your meal***

Cornbread Panzanella Salad
2 Cups Cornbread (cubed)
1/2 Cup Cherry Tomatoes (halved)
1/2 Cup Italian Fontina Cheese
1/2 Cup Cucumber (cubed)
Fresh Basil Leaves (chopped)
1/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Lemon (zested and juiced)
Salt / Pepper

In a large bowl combine all ingredients
Toss gently to combine
Serve immediately

***Cut and measure all of your ingredients beforehand, store separately in air tight containers and refrigerate until ready to assemble and serve***

Tons of Mushrooms
1lb. Mushrooms (sliced)
1/2 Cup Butter
2 Tablespoons Minced Onion
1 Teaspoon Lemon Juice

In a large pan over medium heat melt the butter till brown about 5 minutes
Add mushrooms to butter
Season with salt/pepper
Cook for 15-20 minutes on medium low heat
Add lemon juice and serve warm

***Make this dish the day before. Place mushrooms in air tight container in refrigerator. When you are ready to serve mushrooms bring to room temperature, place mushrooms in microwave safe container and warm for 10 minutes, turn once and serve warm***

For My Sweetie Potato Pie
1/2 Stick Unsalted Butter (softened)
2 Cups Sweet Potatoes (cooked and mashed)
2 Cups of Sugar
1 Small Can Evaporated Milk
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
3 Eggs (beaten)
1 1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
2 Prepared Pie Shells (unbaked)

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees
Mix butter, potatoes, sugar and milk till well blended
Add vanilla, eggs and cinnamon mix well
Evenly distribute among pie shells
Bake for 1 hour or until set

***Make this the day before. Cover and refrigerate.  Re-warm in 350 degree oven for 20 minutes***

Miss Gracie's Rice Pudding 
1 Cup Water
Pinch Salt
1/2 Tablespoon Butter
1/2 Cup Arborio Rice
2 Cups Whole Milk
4 Tablespoons Sugar
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Few Dashes Ground Cinnamon

In a medium saucepan add water, salt and butter
Bring to a boil
Add the rice and return to a boil
Reduce heat to lowest setting
Shake the pan occasionally and cook until rice has absorbed the water but
is still al dente about 15 minutes
In a separate saucepan bring milk, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon to a simmer
Add cooked rice
Simmer over medium-low heat until rice absorbs most of the milk about 10-15 minutes
(Mixture should be thick and silky)
Transfer pudding to a large bowl and cool to room temperature
Place in refrigerator to cool and set

***Make this a day or two before.  Bring to room temperature before serving with
whipped cream and a dash or two more of cinnamon***

Twisted Espresso
Espresso Coffee
Sambuca Liquore

Brew a pot of epresso coffee as instructed
Pour espresso into expresso cups
Add a touch of Sambuca
Stir and drink hot

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