Monday, November 24, 2008

Turkey Day Madness

Ok I know it's a little late but better than never. I just have to brag about how well my turkey day went. It was absolutely amazing! We were expecting a large crowd this year, but who knew how many we'd actually end up with. Hubby's family is great however they can never seem to get their plans lined up even the day of an event. So just in case we bought the biggest turkey the store had, a great big 20 something pounder. And like always hubby's family bailed out and itwas just be my side but that's ok 'cause that meant more leftovers for me! Ok enough blabbing and on to the good stuff. The menu, I really wanted to do it up this year since it was the first year we would be hosting Thanksgiving and I had new place settings and serveware. I had to make my table look fabulous, well as much as I could on a Walmart budget, and I think I achomplished it. Anyways here's what was on the menu.....

Served on cold salad plates: Pear, Walnut, and Blue Cheese Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette

Cranberry - Pear Chutney

Buttermilk Brined Turkey - now I used the Williams-Sonoma Turkey Brine, this stuff is amazing! I love just opening it up and smelling it. All the flavors are perfect, made the whole house smell absolutely wonderful while I was prepping my bird. I also am a huge follower of the buttermilk marinade for any type of poultry so I went ahead and did Williams-Sonoma's recipe.

Here's my beautiful turkey bird! (Oh I didn't fill it with stuffing)
You have to get this stuff for your turkey! I imagine you could prolly make some yourself but I don't really think it'd be cost effective unless you already have all the spices.

Oyster and Cornbread Dressing (old family recipe that mom brought)

Reisling Gravy

Creamed Spinach
I wasn't thrilled with this version of creamed spinach either. It was supposed to be a "copycat" of Boston Market's version but it still fell flat in my opinion. It just wasn't creamy enough. So this make year 2 that I've struck out with the creamed spinach. I believe I'm going to start going through recipes this year in order to find the perfect one for next year.

Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes
No real recipe to this one, just add butter, buttermilk, salt and
pepper and mix to your desired consistency.

Strueseled Sweet Potato Casserole

This is always a show stopper! And who would have guessed it was a CookingLight recipe? Now granted its still not great by any means but its a far cry from the overloaded candied yams we're all familiar with but tastes so much better!

Brussel Sprouts (mom's specialty, I think they're a mustard and parmeasan)

Dad's Deviled Eggs (dad's specialty)

Rolls (brother brought)

Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake
This was by far the best cheesecake I've ever made. And I mean really made, we're talking homemade and baking in the oven then chilling. I modified the directions a little by accident, added all the sugar in at once but you really couldn't tell the difference. And the crust was so different, everyone loved it. You must try this recipe.

So here are a couple pictures of our yummy table before we all sat down. Please note my brother's girlfriend was the first to sit down, very ready to digg in :) Oh and my lil monster in the back alreday scarfing down mashed potatoes!

I hope everyone had a happy and health Thanksgiving with friends, family, and those they love!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Menu Plan Monday - November 3rd

So I've been really busy and lazy at the same time. I hadn't been to the store really in over a month so we've been living off our pantry and freezer. But we're down to the bottom now and I've got to restock and prepare for Thanksgiving at our house. Since we've got such a tight budget I try to plan out at least 2 weeks to a month worth of meals at a time. So since that's what I do I'm going to go ahead and list our meals for the month starting with today. Of course the shopping list is much longer this time. Now since produce can't last a month I do pick up salads and a few parishables every so often. And since Thanksgiving is this month, I'll be picking up stuff for that closer to the week.

Wednesday, Nov 5th
Dinner: I'm having dinner with my younger brother for his birthday, so hubby is fending for himself.

Thursday, Nov 6th
Dinner: Pulled Pork Sandwiches, Coleslaw and Baked Apples
I'm going to do the double duty pork again, I'll be putting the pulled pork on sandwiches for this meal though. And as before I'm using the crockpot instead of a slow grill. A coworker went to her family farm last weekend and brought home bushels and bushels of apples so she brought a bag full to me. What a yummy treat!

Friday, Nov 7th
Dinner: Three Bean Chili and Cheddar Biscuits

I'm going to try this recipe as a variation of our tradition, Texas Style (NO BEAN) chili. Lil monster needs some veggies and I think he just might eat this. I'll be making a little blander version for him though.

Saturday, Nov 8th
Breakfast: Oatmeal and oranges
Lunch: Sandwiches and or leftovers
Dinner: Pulled Pork Fajitas and spanish rice (boxed)

This is the yummy 2nd meal from my double duty pork.

Sunday, Nov 9th
Breakfast: Kitchen Fridge Omelets
Dinner: Lasagna and ceasar salad (bagged)

This is leftover that I had frozen from when I originally made the recipe.

Monday, Nov 10th
Dinner: Meatloaf Stuffed Green Bell Peppers, garlic mashed potatoes and corn

This is a yummy yummy recipe that reminds me of my mom and family dinners. I've got to make it quick so I used boxed mashed potatoes and open a can of corn.

Tuesday, Nov 11th
Dinner: Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas and black beans

I loved this recipe from Kim, only this time I'm going to skip the step of mixing the leftover marinade in with the topping sauce. I thought it was a little too overpowered with the honey. So we'll see how this turns out.

Wednesday, Nov 12th
Dinner: Traditional Beans & Ham with cornbread and skillet fried potatoes

Nothing says country more than this meal. I used to pretend I was a pioneer girl back in the early days when my mom would make this. Yeah I know I'm silly. I could just see families eating this back then.

Thursday, Nov 13th
Dinner: Maple Glazed Salmon, Sweet Potatoes and Broccoli

Its salmon night and my favorite salmon meal!

Friday, Nov 14th
Dinner: La Bamba Casserole

I went ahead and pre-made this when I got home from the grocery store and then froze this so all I'd have to do was reheat it and top with tomatoes and onions! Super easy.

Saturday, Nov 15th
Breakfast: Rice and bananas
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner: Crockpot Traditional Yankee Pot Roast

Now this calls for stove-top cooking but as always I use the crockpot and it's just so much easier!

Sunday, Nov 16th
Breakfast: Biscuits and Gravy with fried eggs
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner: Chicken Spaghetti

A staple in our home now, hubby loves The Pioneer Woman!

Monday, Nov 17th
Dinner: Traditional Tuna Casserole and slices peaches

What's more to say?

Tuesday, Nov 18th
Dinner: Ham and Pineapple Sandwiches
Another mom's recipe from when I was a little girl. I think lil monster will really like these.

Wednesday, Nov 19th
Dinner: Make-Your-Own Baked Potatoes

I've got some big baked potatoes and we can fix them how we want, maybe add some broccoli cheese or bbq?

Thursday, Nov 20th
Dinner: Chicken Stir Fry and rice

Don't you just love frozen bagged dinners!

Friday, Nov 21st
Dinner: We've got tickets to the Nutcracker Ballet! So lil monster will be going to grandma's and we'll be eating out!

Saturday, Nov 22nd
Since lil monster's gone for the weekend hubby and I will prolly just scrounge around :)

Sunday, Nov 23rd
Since lil monster's gone for the weekend hubby and I will prolly just scrounge around :)

Monday, Nov 24th
Dinner: Sloppy Joe's with Corn and potato wedges

I just buy canned sauce and then spice it up a little, then proceed to finish the recipe as is.

Tuesday, Nov 25th
Dinner: Stromboli and salad

I remember mom making this and I loved it so I'm going to try it for my lil monster!

Wednesday, Nov 26th
Dinner: Texas Chili (NO BEANS)

Since the weather cooler and since tomorrow is Thanksgiving, I don't want to be cooking. I'm going to throw this together in the crockpot and then while our guests are in town they can have turkey leftovers or chili if they get tired of the turkey.

Thursday, Nov 27th
Breakfast: still undecided as to what I'll make, some easy and doesn't need to cook hopefully
Dinner: see Thanksgiving Menu

Friday, Nov 28th
Breakfast: still undecided as to what I'll make, some easy and doesn't need to cook hopefully
Dinner: Leftovers Turkey Shepherd's Pie

Ok so that brings us up to the weekend after Thanksgiving, I'm sure we'll still have lots of leftovers so we'll munch on those and then if we need anything else we'll prolly order out.

Stay turned for recipes and I'll have the shopping list up here by tonight!