Thanksgiving Cooking, Day 1

More freebie spaces for NaBloPoMo -- just write what you cooked that day. OMG I worked for hours this morning, a bit more this afternoon and plan to make the Parker House rolls this evening (bake tomorrow). And I still have to make supper! (Quick turkey chili and some corn muffins.)

I multi-tasked a lot in the kitchen, but the first completed dish was the broccoli mushroom salad. It's the thing that needed dill, tarragon and basil. I never found fresh tarragon so used 1 tsp of dry instead of 1 TB of fresh. The recipe is from Real Simple, and I have the page torn from the actual issue.

Next to be complete was the cranberry Jello salad, which is an improvised version from our church cookbook using my mom's tweaks to make it sugar free. Instead of marshmallows we use lowfat cream cheese and of course swap Splenda for sugar. It fits perfectly in the crystal bowl Shawn's grandma gave us when she moved from her house to an apartment.

I deviled (or "doubled") 12 eggs, easy peasy. About half of my eggs came right out of their shells and are beautiful. The other half are a big mangled, but they'll still taste great. I put the eggs in cold water, boil, turn off the heat and cover, set a timer for 15 minutes. Then I drain, add ice and shake the hell out of the pot before peeling. I mash the yolks with a few squirts of Dijon mustard and a couple spoonfuls of mayo plus salt and pepper. Sprinkle paprika and DELISH. They're Jane's favorites, and although a bit fatty they are high protein and low (no?) carb.

Next I made a quick pie, which I'm going to use as my birthday cake. No candles, but I'm going to let myself indulge. I did swap Splenda for the sugar, but I didn't find sugar free Coolwhip. This was supposed to make two pies, but I must have had a bigger crust than the recipe called for because I fit it all in one crust. I'll just have to make another at Christmas (was going to freeze the second) if it's as good as I remember. Although I may want a different treat in a month! Recipe by my Gran and in the church cookbook from 1990. You can click this picture to see the recipe.

The last few holiday dinners I've waited on the sweet potatoes until the last minute and then they're always undercooked or just late to the table. I went ahead and boiled and mashed them today and put them in a casserole dish so I can just heat them up tomorrow after the turkey (the plan is pull out turkey to rest and pop in the dressing; 20 minutes later add the green bean casserole; 10 minutes after that add the sweet potatoes and the rolls).

Speaking of dressing I used my Gran's recipe for cornbread dressing, although I leave out the "Accent," once I realized it's just MSG. But the dressing still tastes phenomenal and here's the secret THREE STICKS of butter. Oh-em-gee. Also carbo overload with the cornbread and most of a bag of Pepperidge Farm stuffing. I made two pans but froze one. I'll bake the one for tomorrow and wait until Christmas to bake the other one. My sister makes it better, and she will be here for Christmas, so if we need more she can be in charge of that (although it's a really easy recipe).

Jane and I made the pumpkin pie together, and then I made a second with Splenda (sensing a trend here?). She did a great job measuring and mixing, although we ended up with too much filling for the frozen pie crusts I bought. (I can do a lot of things, but no thanks on trying to make a scratch pie crust.) I marked the sugar free pie with pecans so they're easy to tell apart.

More tomorrow. Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving and lots of success in the kitchen. What's your favorite Thanksgiving recipe/food/treat?

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