©Life of a Foodie and Her Family 2008-2013, Lynn Tabor



Thankgiving Dinner

Here is what we had for Thanksgiving Dinner, well more like lunch.  We like to eat earlier in the day.

Pomegranate Glazed Turkey with Wild Rice Stuffing (from Food Network Magazine)
Cranberry Apple Stuffing (from Food Network Magazine)
Green Bean Bundles (Miss V makes them every year from her YCA binder)
Mashed Potatoes
Butternut Squash Soup
Dinner Rolls
Chocolate Toffee Pecan Tart (from Food Network Magazine)
Pumpkin Pie

Butternut Squash Soup

Dinner (ok Lunch) plate, it was a little weird not to have brown turkey gravy, but that will be made later. dessert...

Hope all of my friends and family near and far had a yummy Thanksgiving!!

Pomegranate Glazed Turkey

Here is the turkey we made yesterday.  The recipe came from the November issue of Food Network Magazine and it was from Cat Cora.

1 1/2 cups wild rice, rinsed
Kosher salt
1 cup roughly chopped roasted chestnuts (fresh or jarred)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh savory or rosemary
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
Freshly ground pepper
1 12-to-14-pound turkey (thawed if frozen)
4 slices pancetta or bacon
1 1/2 cups pomegranate juice
1 to 2 tablespoons honey
Rosemary sprigs, for garnish (optional)

Combine the wild rice, 3 cups water and 1 teaspoon salt in a medium pot. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring once. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until the rice absorbs all of the liquid, 45 to 55 minutes. (I prepped this part on Wednesday)

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the chestnuts on a baking sheet and toast in the oven to remove some of their moisture, about 10 minutes.  (I prepped this part on Wednesday)

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, thyme, savory and parsley and cook until the onion softens, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cooked rice and the toasted chestnuts and season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and cool slightly.

Remove the neck, giblets and any excess fat from the turkey; discard. Rinse the turkey under cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Season the cavity with salt and loosely fill with the rice stuffing, leaving space for the rice to expand during cooking. Put the pancetta slices over the cavity opening and secure with toothpicks or skewers to enclose the stuffing. Truss the legs and wings with kitchen twine.

Rub the outside of the turkey with salt and pepper and place on a rack in a roasting pan. Roast until the skin is golden brown and a thermometer inserted into the breast registers 165 degrees F to 170 degrees F, 2 hours 30 minutes to 3 hours

Transfer the turkey to a platter and let rest 30 minutes. Meanwhile, pour the drippings from the roasting pan into a skillet; add the pomegranate juice and honey. Bring to a simmer over low heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly syrupy and reduced by half, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Brush the turkey with some of the glaze. Garnish the platter with rosemary, if desired, and serve with more glaze.

This was very yummy!  The only think that felt weird was not having a brown turkey gravy.  I saved off some of the drippings to make that later in the day for all of the leftovers.

Green Bean Bundles

Victoria always makes Green Bean Bundles for Thanksgiving.  She first made the recipe when she attended Young Chefs Academy and was in the Kindercooks Class.  (for her own safety, I will not put pictures up that include her face)

16 slices pre-cooked bacon (she prefers raw bacon)
1 1/2 pounds fresh green beans
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 400.

Place beans in a colander wash. Snap the ends off the green beans

Simmer beans on stove, just covered with water for 15 to 20 minutes. Drain beans in colander and rinse with cold water to hold color and cool.

The bacon should be flexible to work with. If need be, place on a paper plate and microwave just long enough to war

Place 4 to 6 green beans on a slice of bacon. Roll the great beans into a bundle with the bacon. Continue until all the green beans have been used. About 16 bundles.

Place the bundles seam side down side by side on a greased baking dish.

Melt the butter in a small microwave safe bowl. Add brown sugar and mix well. Drizzle over the green beans in the baking dish.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.

Pumpkin Pie with picture

I have made this many times in the past, but this time I had about 3/4 cup to much filling that I ended up tossing.

1 Unbaked pie shell
15 ounces Pumpkin Puree
3/4 cup light brown sugar
3 eggs
1 1/4 cups half and half
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1. Set separate racks in the center and lower third of oven and preheat to 400 degrees F. Put a piece of parchment paper or foil over the pie shell and fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake on a baking sheet on the center rack until the dough is set, about 20 minutes.

2. Remove from the oven and lift sides of the parchment paper to remove the beans. Continue baking until the pie shell is lightly golden brown, about 10 more minutes. Cool on a rack.

3. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F

4. While the pie shell is cooling make the filling. In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, brown sugar, eggs, half-and-half, spices, and salt until smooth. Return the pie shell to the baking sheet and pour in the filling.

5. Bake on the lower oven rack until the edges of the filling are set but the center is still slightly loose, about 50 to 60 minutes. (If the edges get very dark, cover them with aluminum foil.) Cool on a rack. Serve room temperature or slightly warm.

Cranberry Apple Stuffing

This recipe I found in the Novemember issue of the Food Network Magazine in the little pull out section.  I made this to go along with the turkey.  Yes I know the turkey had its own stuffing, but I MUST have a traditional bread stuffing too.

1 stick unsalted butter
2 cups onion, diced
2 apples, chopped ( I used Granny Smith)
1 cup dried cranberries
2 cups celery, diced
1 tablespoon sage, minced
1 tablespoon thyme, minced
salt and pepper
3 cups chicken stock
2 eggs
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
16 cups bread cubes (I cut up two loaves of sourdough from Publix and dried them in the oven)

Melt 1 stick of butter in a large skillet over medium heat.

Add the onion, apples, cranberries, celery, sage, thyme and salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes.

Add 3 cups stock and bring to a simmer.

Beat 2 eggs with 1/4 cup chopped parsley in a large bowl; add 16 cups cubed stale bread then pour the vegetables/stock micture and toss.

Transfer to a buttered baking dish and dot with butter.

Cover and bake 30 minutes at 375. Uncover then bake for 30 more minutes until golden brown.

This came out so good!!!!  I did keep the crust on the bread and those pieces got nice and crispy, just the way I like my stuffing.


Chocolate Toffee Pecan Tart

I saw this in the November issue of FoodNetwork Magazine and knew I had to try it.  The only bad part was that I only own an 11 inch tart pan.  Luckily Michaels had a set of three and a few neighbors gave me their coupon.  Woo Hoo!

For the Dough:

1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 large egg, beaten

For the Filling:

1 1/2 cups pecan halves
10 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2/3 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
3 large eggs, beaten
3 tablespoons bourbon


Make the dough: Pulse the flour, cocoa, confectioners' sugar and salt in a food processor until combined. Add the butter; pulse until the mixture looks like coarse meal with pea-size bits of butter. Add the egg and pulse once or twice. (Stop before the dough gathers into a ball.) Turn out onto a sheet of plastic wrap and press into a disk. Wrap tightly and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour.

Place the dough on a large sheet of lightly floured parchment paper. Roll into a 12-inch round, no more than 1/8 inch thick. Invert the dough over a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom and peel off the parchment; press the dough into the bottom and sides of the pan. (If the dough tears, just pat it back together.) Trim the excess dough. Cover with plastic wrap and chill at least 1 hour. (There was a lot of excess dough, so I am not sure if I did something wrong?)

Position racks in the middle and lower third of the oven; preheat to 350 degrees F. Line the crust with foil, then fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake on the middle rack, 20 minutes. Remove the foil and weights and continue baking until crisp, 7 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Prepare the filling: Coarsely chop 1 cup pecans. Combine the butter, granulated sugar, vanilla and kosher salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring, until the mixture turns dark amber, 6 to 8 minutes. Immediately stir in the chopped pecans and cook 1 to 2 more minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the corn syrup and brown sugar until dissolved. Cool until lukewarm, then whisk in the eggs and bourbon until combined. (The tart can be made 1 day ahead up to this point; cover and refrigerate the filling and wrap the cooled crust in plastic wrap.)

Increase the oven temperature to 375 degrees F. Place the tart shell on a baking sheet and pour in the filling up to the brim. Arrange the remaining 1/2 cup pecan halves on top. Bake on the lower oven rack until the tart is evenly browned and slightly domed in the center, about 40 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Garlic and Herb Bubble/Pull Apart Bread

I just came up with this recipe to have with dinner tonight, we are having Pasta & Sausage Sauce.  I didn't want just plain garlic bread. So.....

I made one pound of dough in my bread machine. 

Meanwhile melt 1/4 cup unsalted butter in a small sauce pan.  Add 2 teaspoons of garlic powder and 1 1/2 teaspoons of Italian Herbs.  Let it cool.

When the dough is done cut into 36 inch pieces.

Dip each ball in mixture; place in an ungreased 9-in. x 5-in. loaf pan. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375.

Bake at 375° for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan to a wire rack and serve warm.

Ready to rise...

All done rising...

All done baking...

This was really good, but I think next time I am going to sprinkle in some Parmesan cheese.


Turkey Dinner Calculator

I just was searching for info on how long it will take to thaw our turkey in the fridge and came across a really neat site.  It is called the Turkey Dinner Calculator.

This site creates a guideline as to quantity or amount of turkey, stuffing and gravy needed for a specified special dinner. Enter the number of adults that are having dinner and the number of children that are to be fed. Select the quantity of leftovers you desire and the anticipated appetites of those dining. Then click on Calculate. The approximate amount of turkey is calculated along with the appropriate quantity of stuffing (dressing) and gravy.  

LOL it said we only need a 5 pound turkey...uh...we need lots of left overs so I bought a 15 pound turkey at the store.  I got a Jenny-O brand for $0.58 a pound.  Woo Hoo!!!!

Blog Awards!

I received a blog award from Sandra's Easy Cooking!  I am so honored that she enjoys my blog.

So go on over to Sandra's Easy Cooking blog for more fantastic foodie blogs!!


Chicken Parmesan Calzones

I just made this for dinner

2 Pounds of pizza dough
3 chicken breasts
4 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
1 drizzle olive oil
4 tablespoon flour
6 Tablespoons Italian breadcrumbs
3 teaspoon garlic garlic powder
1 egg beaten
½ cup marinara sauce
sprinkle of mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 350.

Mix the breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, and garlic powder seasoning in a small bowl. Dip the chicken breasts, in the flour, then into the egg and coat with the cheese/breadcrumb mixture. Fry in a small preheated and oiled pan until chicken has a brown and crispy appearance.

Cook browned chicken in the oven at 350°F for 8-10 minutes or until cooked.

While chicken is cooking, cut dough in 4 balls and roll out four circles. They should be about 8-10 inches in diameter.

Once cooked, cut the chicken in cubes. Coat one side of the circle with marinara sauce. Add the chicken mozzarella to one side of the circle. Fold the dough over the mixture and pinch ends together to seal in the mixture. Brush the tops of the calzones with olive oil and poke a few holes in the calzone to prevent air pockets.

Turn the oven up to 415.

Cook on a preheated pizza stone or baking sheet for 15 minutes  Once your calzone is golden brown, remove it and let it cool for 2-5 minutes.  When cooled off cut into slices and serve with extra warmed marinara sauce.


Thanksgiving Shopping Lists

I have to give another shout out to my favorite software, MasterCooks version 9. Yesterday I made up our Thanksgiving Menu and just printed out the shopping list.

I will go through and check my pantry, freezer and fridge to see what can be checked off the list.

Here is a first draft of my shopping list.

You can click on the picture to see a bigger version.  I love that I can sort the items by item name, location in the store or by recipes.  Right now I have it sorted by location in the store.
A big WOO HOO, for being organized!!!


The Muppets Kitchen with Cat Cora

I recently stumbled upon The Muppets Kitchen with Cat Cora on the Disney site.  If you haven't seen it yet, you can check it out here.

Miss V loves this site.

Edited to add a label and wave hi to the folks at Disney in CA.  Hope you are having a magical day and hope to visit Disney World again!!

Thanksgiving Menu is done!!!

Well I decided on our Thanksgiving Menu after talking with Marcel last night.

We are going to have;

Pomegranate Glazed Turkey with Wild Rice Stuffing (from Food Network Magazine)
Cranberry Apple Stuffing (from Food Network Magazine)
Green Bean Bundles (Miss V makes them every year from her YCA binder)
Mashed Potatoes
Butternut Squash Soup (only half a recipe though)
Dinner Rolls
Chocolate Toffee Pecan Tart (from Food Network Magazine)
Pumpkin Pie

So my questions are...(please comment below)
1.  What kind of turkey are you having this year?
2.  What kind of stuffing/dressing are you having this year?
3.  What are you having for dessert this year?

Please, link me up YOUR favorite Thanksgiving recipes!!


Pumpkin Spice Bagels

One of my childhood friends posted about making Pumpkin Spice Bagels.  She found the recipe on the Taste of Home website.

So I decided to try and make them.  My other attempts at bagels weren't so good.  Well they are good the first day. After that they are rock hard and way to chewy.

2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons water (70° to 80°), divided
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
3 cups bread flour
1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
1 egg white
1 tablespoon cornmeal

In bread machine pan, place 2/3 cup water, pumpkin, brown sugar, salt, spices, flour and yeast in order suggested by manufacturer. Select dough setting (check dough after 5 minutes of mixing; add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water or flour if needed).

When cycle is completed, turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Shape into nine balls. Push thumb through centers to form a 1-in. hole. Stretch and shape dough to form an even ring. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes; flatten rings slightly.

Fill a Dutch oven two-thirds full with water; bring to a boil. Drop bagels, two at a time, into boiling water. Cook for 45 seconds; turn and cook 45 seconds longer. Remove with a slotted spoon; drain on paper towels.

Whisk egg white and remaining water; brush over bagels. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray and sprinkle with cornmeal. Place bagels 2 in. apart on prepared pan. Bake at 400° for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire racks to cool. Yield: 9 servings.

These so far are nice and soft with a great flavor!!!



It is that time of year again, where I hand over cooking duties to my husband.  He loves making Thanksgiving and Christmas Dinner.  We are very traditional and have the same things every year.  Except last year I made a new sweet potato dish that was very yummy.

I love trying new recipes, but do you mess with tradition on holidays?

I purchased the November issue of Food Network Magazine and found so many new recipes that I would love to try.

For the turkey on page 112 is Cat Cora's Pomegranate Glazed Turkey with Wild Rice Stuffing.  Mmm that just looks wonderful.  But the problem is, I love love love traditional bread stuffing.  I need to have bread stuffing.  Do I convince my husband to make this turkey and stuffing and make another small dish of bread stuffing???

That brings me to my next dilemma....If you ever read Food Network Magazine they always have a little pull out of 50 recipes.  Well this month is all about stuffing.  Ones that jumped out at me were the (#3) Cranberry Apple stuffing, (#4) Cranberry Nut Stuffing, and (#9) Apple-Fennel Stuffing.

Last dilemma...dessert....Miss V and I always make pies on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.  We always have one traditional pumpkin pie and one different kind.  They have a yummy looking Apple Walnut Galette and a Chocolate Toffee Pecan Tart.  I am really leaning towards the Chocolate Toffee Pecan Tart, I just need to get a tart pan.  I had one B.E (before explosion) and some times still think I have one, I just can't find it.  Yes that still happens...LOL

So my questions are...(feel free to comment below)
1.  What kind of turkey are you having this year?
2.  What kind of stuffing/dressing are you having this year?
3.  What are you having for dessert this year?

You can also link me up to your favorite Thanksgiving recipes.


Mini Pecan Pumpkin Pies

I am another baking sort of mood this morning.  I thought I would find some sort of mini pumpkin pie to make and found a recipe on Food Network for Mini Pecan Pumpkin Pies from Sunny Anderson.  I did have to make a substitution or two. 

For the dough:

1/4 cup pecans
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for shaping dough
6 tablespoons butter, ice cold
2 to 3 tablespoons ice cold water

For the filling:

1 egg, plus 1 egg yolk
1/2 cup dark corn syrup (I didn't have any so I subbed 1/4 cup light corn syrup and 1/4 cup molasses)
1 tablespoon sugar (I used light brown sugar)
1/2 cup canned pumpkin filling (I used canned pumpkin and added 3/4 tsp of pumpkin pie spice)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup pecans, chopped plus 24 halves for garnish

Special equipment: 2 (12-cup) mini muffin tins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Spray the bottoms and sides of the mini muffin tins with cooking spray.

For the dough:

In a food processor, pulse pecans with the sugar, salt, and flour, until the nuts are ground and the ingredients are combined. Add in butter and pulse until dough resembles coarse meal. Slowly pour in ice water through the feed tube, pulsing, until the dough comes together. Remove from processor bowl onto clean work surface sprinkled with flour.

Form dough into a ball and divide evenly into 24 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and evenly press into each cup, until the bottom is covered. If the dough is sticky, dip your finger in flour first.

Bake 15 to 18 minutes, until the crusts are very golden. Check periodically to make sure they don't get too brown.

Meanwhile, make the filling: In a medium bowl, whisk the egg and yolk with the corn syrup, sugar, pumpkin filling and vanilla. Stir in the chopped pecans.

Remove dough from oven and spoon 1 tablespoon of the filling into each cup. Top each with 1 pretty pecan half. Return the pans to the oven and continue baking, for 12 to 15 minutes more, until the pumpkin filling is set. Allow to cool before removing from the pans.

My notes:  The shells puffed up a bit in the oven during the first baking period.  When the came out, I used the end of a wooden spoon and gently tapped around the center a bit before I filled them.

They are seriously YUMMY!!!!  The crust is nice and nutty.


Gingerbread Muffins

The other day at Dunkies, they asked if I wanted to try their new Gingerbread Muffins.  I wasn't hungry so I just got my ice coffee.  Driving back to school, I kept thinking what would a Gingerbread Muffin taste like?  When I got home I Googled all sorts of different variations on the wording Gingerbread Muffin.  The one that kept popping up over and over were from Jason's Deli.  I love Jason's Deli but never tried their Gingerbread Muffins. 

This morning, I decided to try a recipe for Gingerbread Muffins that I found on the Back to the Cutting Board Blog.  I had to made a substitution from her recipe.

1 cup of dark brown sugar (I didn't have any dark brown, I only had light)
2 1/2 cups AP flour
1 1/2 TSP. baking soda
1 TSP cinnamon
1 TSP ground ginger
1/2 TSP. salt
1/4 TSP fresh ground nutmeg
1 egg
1/2 cup of molasses
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup of unsalted butter, melted and cooled

If you don’t have buttermilk, which most people don't keep in their fridges and I am just to cheap to buy a carton that I know would end up going to waste, just add 1 TBS. of white vinegar to a cup of regular milk and let sit out for a little while.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray muffin pan with cooking spray.

Sift sugar, flour, soda, salt and spices in a bowl.

In a small bowl mix the egg, molasses, milk, and butter.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until just combined.  Do not over mix!!
I like using an ice cream scoop to fill my muffin tins.  This made just over a dozen regular sized muffins.  Bake for 20 minutes.  I also made a dozen mini muffins and baked them for just under 15 minutes.  For the mini muffins I used my small cookie scoop.

Remove from pan and cool on a wire rack.  They don't taste very gingerbready when warm.  They tasted much better after sitting for an hour or two.

Miss V just had a mini one and she gave them two thumbs up.  I bet they will taste even better tomorrow.

Keurig and My K Cup

Last Christmas we got a Keurig.  I love love love it.  We even bought one of the My K Cup filter baskets.  I have certain coffees that I love and they don't have K Cups.  When I would use the My K Cup basket, the coffee always tasted weak even though I had filled it with coffee grounds.

Recently I was looking through the New England Coffee Company site and I noticed on some of the exclusive coffee types, there were a few different options for grind.

A is coarse This grind is perfect for stove top and electric percolators

B is medium This grind works well with auto-drip machines like Mr. Coffee and Bunn

C is fin Use this fine grind for espresso-type pressure brewers

D Whole Bean
Well that makes sense!!!  The Keurig is a pressure brewer so you would need a finer grind right????  What I buy in the store is regular retail ground, hmmm I wonder if I scoop out what I need and quickly pulse it in a coffee grinder if that will make the coffee stronger???  I think I may need to email them to get the answer.
Stay tuned.......


November 3rd is National Sandwich Day

Today is National Sandwich Day!!!  Did you know there is a blog out there solely dedicated to Sandwiches?  It is Sandwich 365 and I think you should go check them out!

What is currently YOUR favorite sandwich???

Want some new ideas, check out my Sandwich link over on the right side.

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