Thursday, November 27, 2008

Giving Thanks

It's been a while since my last update, mainly because I took care of three sick babies for 4 days and then (naturally), once they were all better, I came down with the ickies. Sadly, mama's cushie job doesn't come with the best PTO benefits. Oh well. Even though I had no voice, I knew I had to persevere for the sake of Mr Turkey and his friends, Dressing, Potatoes, and Cranberry Sauce.

We hosted dinner for Nana, Uncle Josh, and Roberta this year, which was small but a nice mix. I brined the turkey in kosher salt, brown sugar, oranges, lemons, and lots of fresh herbs and then slow roasted it for a few hours until the skin was nice and crispy brown. YUM. I also made roasted garlic mashed potatoes, dressing with apples and sausage, oatmeal rolls, and pumpkin gooey butter cake. Our guests brought the vegetation, save for the salad of arugula, fennel, prosciutto, and pomegranate seeds that I was inspired to make. Also YUM.

Ava and I watched Martha on Monday (hey, I was completely out of commission and a day on the couch in front of the tube was all I could handle), and we were inspired to make some cute turkey place cards out of cardstock and apples. I thought they looked cute on the table, and can't wait to turn their little bodies into a cranberry apple pie, although Ava is suddenly for turkey (well, apparently, apple) rights and can't stand the thought of me chopping her beloved apple turkey up.

I hope that you were all able to enjoy too much food with friends you love. And I hope that you have as much to be thankful for as I do.

And now for the recipes:
Oat Pan Rolls
via somewhere on the web...

1/3c warm water
1 pkg(1/4oz) or scant Tbsp yeast
1 Tbsp white sugar
2c water
1c quick-cooking oats
2 Tbsp butter
1/3c brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
4 3/4-5 1/4c flour

Dissolve yeast and white sugar in warm water. Allow yeast to activate (bubble). In a small saucepan, bring 2c water to a boil. Add oats and butter, and stir 1 minute. Remove from heat and continue to stir till butter is melted. Cool to lukewarm. Add oat mixture to a large bowl, and add yeast mixture, brown sugar, salt, and 4 cups of flour. Stir till smooth. Add enough remaining flour to create a soft dough. Turn out onto a well-floured surfae and knead till smooth and elastic (about 4-6 minutes).

Place in a greased bowl and cover with a damp towel or with plastic wrap sprayed with cooking spray. Allow to rise till doubled, about 45minutes-1hr. Punch dough down. Allow to rest 10 minutes or so. Shape into 18 balls.

Place in 2 greased 9" baking pans (I used pie plates). Cover and let rise till doubled, about 30-40 minutes.
Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or till tops are golden brown. Brush tops with butter.
Makes 1 1/2 dozen rolls.
Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake
Paula Deen


1 (18 1/4-ounce) package yellow cake mix
1 egg
8 tablespoons butter, melted

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
8 tablespoons butter, melted
1 (16-ounce) box powdered sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine the cake mix, egg, and butter and mix well with an electric mixer. Pat the mixture into the bottom of a lightly greased 13 by 9-inch baking pan.

To make the filling: In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and pumpkin until smooth. Add the eggs, vanilla, and butter, and beat together. Next, add the powdered sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and mix well. Spread pumpkin mixture over cake batter and bake for 40 to 50 minutes. Make sure not to overbake as the center should be a little gooey.

Serve with fresh whipped cream.

For a Pineapple Gooey Cake: Instead of the pumpkin, add a drained 20-ounce can of crushed pineapple to the cream cheese filling. Proceed as directed above.

For a Banana Gooey Cake: Prepare cream cheese filling as directed, beating in 2 ripe bananas instead of the pumpkin. Proceed as directed above.

For a Peanut Butter Gooey Cake: Use a chocolate cake mix. Add 1 cup creamy peanut butter to the cream cheese filling instead of the pumpkin. Proceed as directed above.
Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
2 heads garlic
olive oil
5 pounds Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes
2 sticks butter
cream cheese
Lawry's seasoned salt
Preheat oven to 425. Cut tops off of garlic heads. Brush cut edges with olive oil, put back together, wrap loosely in foil. Place directly on oven rack, roast for 1 hour. Remove, allow to cool.
Meanwhule, peel and chop potatoes. Place in a large pot, cover with cold water. Bring to boil over high heat, boil until potatoes are fork tender. Drain potatoes and return to pot. Squeeze garlic cloved into pot with potatoes. Add 1 1/2 sticks butter and 1 block of cream cheese, mash well. Add cream as necessary to obtain desired texture. Season to taste with seasoned salt. Pour into casserole dish. Top with pats of butter. Bake until butter has melted and top is lightly browned.

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