Citrus is a great compliment to ham but instead of glazing your ham, glaze your green beans and butternut squash in this festive side dish.
Lesson learned: get a flu shot every year. This year was the first in 8 that I did not get a flu shot, mainly because I couldn’t get it for free anymore (oh how I miss the perks of being a student), and sure enough the flu found me on Christmas Eve of all days. I’ve been slowly recovering since with my biggest achievement coming in the form of a shower. Hooray cleanliness!
Before I realized what my sniffles were leading up to, I did help cook dinner on Christmas Eve for my parents (thankfully they had already passed the illness, likely to me). The menu consisted of smoked country ham from Benton’s, my dad’s homemade applesauce, cheddar biscuits, rosemary mac and cheese, and orange glazed green beans and butternut squash. I often pair ham with a citrus glaze but since we went with a smoked ham this year the citrus element went into the side dish instead. And it was the favorite part of the meal.
One year ago: Almond-Pear Panino
Throw that leftover pie into a blender with some ice cream and make a milkshake! Add rum for a boozy adult beverage and don’t forget the fresh whipped cream.
Alright smart phone users, what apps (preferably free) does this smart phone novice need to check out for my fancy new phone? I am getting obvious things like facebook, twitter, instagram, and waze but beyond that I’m a bit clueless. So tell me what you use most and why. I’ve been in the dark so long my parents and their friends probably know more about smart phones than I do.
And now for your Thanksgiving desert leftovers, if you were lucky enough to have any. Sometimes pie is so good you wish you could drink it with a straw. Well, now you can! Blend up a slice, crust and all, along with some ice cream and a bit of rum and you’ll be ready to cozy up in front of the fire. Or in my case, I drank it while watching foot ball last night. The Ohio State vs Michigan game was a close one but thankfully we were victorious. Unfortunately our QB JT Barrett is injured and out for the remainder :-(.
One year ago: Peanut Butter Mousse Cookie Cups
Two years ago: Peanut Butter Reeses Pieces Giant Cookie for One
Three years ago: Peanut Butter Reeses Pieces Giant Cookie for One
Reinvent your Thanksgiving leftovers in the form of pancakes, using sweet potato casserole and cranberry sauce. You’ll be so glad you had leftovers to make these!
I hope everyone had plenty to eat yesterday! I had the luxury of having two different kinds of turkey, turkey breast roulade (which I had originally planned on making for Friendsgiving) and fried turkey. Both were very moist and packed with flavor and I am excited for the leftovers. Especially since the only way I will ever have fried turkey again is if someone else cooks it like yesterday. I wouldn’t trust myself around that big of a pot of boiling hot peanut oil.
Speaking of leftovers, in case you get bored with sandwiches, reinvent your leftovers into an entirely different option such as these pancakes. Made with leftover sweet potato casserole (or butternut squash in my case) and leftover cranberry sauce. Go ahead and make these for all your visitors staying at your home this holiday weekend, especially if anyone was crazy enough to go out shopping.
One year ago: Happy Thanksgiving & French Toast Day!
Two years ago: White Cheddar and Arugula Pesto Mac & Cheese
Jazz up your Thanksgiving leftovers with this soup using leftover turkey, homemade stock, fresh ginger, wild rice, and basil. So good you’ll want to set aside turkey to make it.
You know you are a food blogger when: you are cooking leftover Thanksgiving recipes before Thanksgiving even occurs because you cooked your Thanksgiving turkey 2 weeks ago. Ah yes the constant dilemma of living up to a month ahead of the holidays. I sometimes feel like the retail stores, pushing Christmas before we’ve even started putting together Thanksgiving plans. But when it comes to recipes, what good is the recipe for the turkey made on Thanksgiving Day posted the day after Thanksgiving? Are your really going to remember to dig out that recipe next year? So the recipes for turkey and all the other usual suspects seen on Thanksgiving tables are posted a at least a week in advance providing time for you fine readers to prepare your own Thanksgiving meal, whether you are hosting or just bringing a side dish or dessert.
Of course one of the best things about Thanksgiving is the leftovers! And my favorite thing to do with leftovers year-round is to repurpose them into an entirely new meal. Last year I threw together a quick single serving turkey noodle soup using leftover veggies, turkey, and even gravy watered down and used as the broth. This year I waved my jazz hands around a bit and made a gingered turkey soup with wild rice, homemade stock, and basil sprinkled on top right before serving (adapted from a recipe I recently saved on Girl Carnivore). The ginger was such a fantastic addition to the flavors of this soup and quickly became my new favorite Thanksgiving leftovers recipe.
How do you like to use your Thanksgiving leftovers?
One year ago: Egg in a Hole Waffles
Save your leftover turkey bones and innards this Thanksgiving and make your own poultry stock to use in your favorite comfort soups and stews during cold month.
When you think of pets, certain toys are associated with cats and dogs. For cats it’s little balls with bells in them, catnip-stuffed animals, and string or wands with a string and a little object on the end. For dogs it’s balls, ropes, bones, kongs, and stuffed animals. While my cat enjoys his share of stringed and jingly things his favorite toys are a fuzzy kong octopus and a tennis ball. He loves rolling on his side/back while hugging either of those objects with his font paws, kicking at it with his back paws, and biting it (it’s obscenely adorable btw but he moves too fast to get pictures). I’m beginning to wonder if he doesn’t think he is a dog. He did spend the first 2 years of his life living with my roommate at the time’s two toy fox terriers. I used to think that he got along so well with them because he thought they were cats, but maybe he thinks he is a small dog? He is awfully needy and by my side at all times. Who knows, he is cute and he is mine.
Anyway, I rambled on about that much longer than I had intended. Originally I had planned on just saying “Hey guess what? My cat’s favorite toy is a tennis ball.” and leave it at that, but apparently I had much more to say on the subject.
Unfortunately Thankfully it has absolutely nothing to do with today’s recipe.
After you gut your turkey next Thursday, cut out its spine (if spatchcocking), and then cook and devour it leaving the bones behind – don’t throw it out! You have some quality ingredients on your hands. I know all that stuff looks gross but I promise, just throw it all in a pot of water with some roasted vegetables and herbs. Not only will your house continue to smell like thanksgiving dinner, you’ll also be on your way to some easy, homemade poultry stock. Then you can use it to make leftover turkey soup, or any of those other cozy fall/winter soups and stews I know you are planning to make in order to survive the cold weather. (Which by the way, my friends in upstate NY got pounded with some serious snow this week. I kind of miss it… and then I don’t.)
Some of my favorite comfort soups that I will make with the stock:
One year ago: Thanksgiving Recipe Roundup (2013)
Two years ago: Peanut Butter Marshmallows
Looking for Thanksgiving Menu inspiration? Browse through some of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes from over the years, including sides, turkey, and desserts.
Alright folks! Thanksgiving is a week away which means if you haven’t already finalized your meal plan, you better start cracking. For all my procrastinators out there, or those of your looking for that perfect side dish of dessert to complete your menu lineup, here is a list of all my favorite Thanksgiving recipes. I even included links to two full menus and recipes to use up any leftovers.
One year ago: Cranberry Chocolate Chunk Brown Butter Cookies
Two years ago: Sweet Potato Pie Oat Bars
Caramel cheesecake, speculoos cookie crust, apples, more caramel, pecans, and cinnamon whipped cream. If that’s not the works for an epic caramel cheesecake I don’t know what is.
Time for the obligatory “I woke up to snow this morning” proclamation. Funny how living in the South for the past 8 years has already altered my Northerner mind set into thinking it is way too early for below freezing temperatures, let alone snow. But it will probably melt by noon so all is well, at least down here. I know some of my friends still living in the North are about to get pounded with snow. Not that they don’t know how to handle it up there but it is a bit early to be getting that much snow. Stay warm, my friends!
You will notice that I did not take the photos of this cheesecake during this snowy event. This is the dessert I made for Friendsgiving, when it was still warm and sunny out (was that really only 1-1/2 weeks ago?). Instead of making pumpkin or apple pie, since I knew we were get our fill in a couple weeks on Thanksgiving, I made a caramel cheesecake with a speculoos cookie crust, topped with apples, more caramel sauce, pecans, and even cinnamon whipped cream. And yes every last bit of it was devoured. One of my friends even took it upon himself to top his slice with all of the excess whipped cream.
One year ago: Penne with Butternut Squash, Kale, and Goat Cheese
Three years ago: Baked Apple Cider Doughnut Minis
Switch out your sweet potato casserole with butternut squash! This butternut squash casserole is sweet and creamy and topped with crispy butternut squash seeds.
Looks like sweet potato casserole doesn’t it? Well I hate to burst your bubble but it’s butternut squash and it tastes even better! Roasted with nutmeg and chili powder and then blended with honey, cinnamon, and ginger (don’t ask why I roasted with one seasoning and then added more later). Since one friend at Friendsgiving has a nut allergy I quickly substituted the nuts in the topping for butternut seeds. Now that’s how you make the most out of your squash! You could also try swapping sweet potato in your favorite casserole recipe and using butternut squash instead. You won’t be sorry. After being shocked to discover it wasn’t sweet potato, all my friends said they preferred it with butternut squash!
One year ago: Single Serving Apple Crumble
Two years ago: Homemade Peanut Butter Hot Cocoa Mix
The biggest Thanksgiving problem is always how much oven space and time the turkey hogs. Try this sptachcocked turkey that not only takes up less space but is done in 90 minutes!
Turkey, the Thanksgiving staple. However I actually did try to convince my parents into having smoked ham this year instead but that was meat with instant dismissal. Maybe for Easter. It is true though, all the potatoes, green beans, and stuffing seems better fit for turkey. So a turkey is what I cooked when I hosted Friendsgiving at my friends home, marking only the second time I have ever cooked a Thanksgiving meal and both times in someone else’s kitchen. Thankfully I brought along some trusty OXO tools to make this adventure less stressful than the last time, because cooking in someone else’s kitchen is never as easy as your own.
- Poultry Lifter – This is one heavy duty tool used to lift your turkey unscathed onto the serving platter.
- Twine Dispenser – Although I did not need twine for a spatchcocked turkey this is a really handy tool if you do truss your turkey or use twine in other baking/cooking adventures. Pork loin roulade anyone?
- Angled Baster with Cleaning Brush – Whether you are basting your turkey or sucking up the pan drippings everyone needs a good baster. It even has little feet for resting on the counter.
- 2 Cup Fat Separator – Easily removes fat from pan drippings, comes with it’s own stopper and strainer, had measurement markings, and is heat-resistant.
- Stainless Steel Butter Dish – Pass the butter! And don’t worry about butter fingers with this good grips butter dish.
Can-shaped cranberry sauce may be nostalgic, but homemade cranberry sauce is almost as easy as using a can opener and you can add extra flavor by adding different juices and fruits.
A Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving meal is not complete without certain items, one of which being cranberry sauce. Like most people I grew up with the can-shaped cranberry sauce and although I didn’t enjoy it as a kid I do now have a special place in my heart for that can-shaped gelled delicacy. However, it’s so darn easy to make and of course the best part is adding extra flavors to it. I’ve made regular, pomegranate, and now pear! Originally I had planned on using apple but switched to pear at the last minute because it would soften quicker than apple, and I was already using apple in the stuffing and the dessert so I craved a little diversity. Of course I then found out that one of my friends cannot stand pears, but oddly enough he was obsessed with this cranberry sauce.
And out of no where Taylor Swift’s song “Shake It Off” popped into my head. “And the haters gonna hate hate hate” make it stop, too catchy! But while I am talking about it my friends and I started making up our own lyrics after hearing it one too many times during Maggie’s birthday weekend and we are convinced that the line about the fakers would be better if it were “and the bakers gonna bake bake bake”. Weird Al parody anyone?
One year ago: Gluten-Free Chipotle Cornbread Muffins