Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Wednesday - Giving Thanks!

I'm again participating in Kelly's "Giving Thanks" celebration. If you want to read more about it, go on over to her blog at "There is no place like home".

-What you are thankful for
-Thanksgiving traditions or memories
-Craft Ideas
-Decorating ideas
-Your menu
-Cleaning/Organizing "before" and "after" pictures
-Anything having to do with Thanksgiving!

I don't think I have to tell you all that I love cooking so obviously I had to share recipes for this post.

So here's my menu for this year:

Deep-Fried Cajun Turkey

1 12 pound fresh or frozen turkey, thawed
4 ounces Cajun Seasonings ( I used Watkins 5 Spice Powder & Cayenne
3 gallons Peanut Oil

Remove giblets and neck from Turkey and reserve for other uses. Rinse Turkey thoroughly and pat dry, drain body cavity well. Place Turkey in a shallow dish or roasting pan. Rub outside of turkey with half of Cajun seasoning to cover well, cover and refrigerate 12 hours.

Drain body cavity well, and rub with other half of seasonings mixture, sprinkling some into the body cavity. Pour oil into a deep propane turkey fryer or 26 -quart stock pot and heat to 325 degrees. (If you are unsure about fryer size or how much oil to use, place turkey in pot prior to seasoning and fill the pot with water just until the turkey is covered. Remove Turkey, this is the amount of oil needed).

Place turkey on fryer rod. Wearing heavy duty gloves or an oven mitt, lower turkey into hot oil with the rod attachment. Slowly increase heat to oil until temperature returns to 325-350 degrees. This may take some time. Fry turkey 45 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted in a meaty part of a thigh registers at 180 degrees. Remove from oil, drain and cool slightly before slicing. Yield: 14 servings.

Momma's Corn Bread Dressing

2 cups corn meal
1 tsp Watkins Baking Powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs, beaten
2 cups buttermilk
2 tbsp, Watkins Original Grapeseed Oil
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
12 slices day old bread, crumbled
2 1/2 cups Watkins Chicken Soup Base (mixed to pkg directions)
1 1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp Watkins Sage
1/4 tsp Watkins Pure Black Pepper
1 tsp Watkins Poultry Seasonings

Combine first 4 ingredients in a large bowl; add 2 eggs, melted butter, oil and stir well. Place a well greased 10-inch cast iron skillet in a 450 degree oven for 4 minutes or until hot. Remove skillet from oven and spoon batter into skillet. Bake 450 degrees for 35 minutes or until corn bread is slightly browned. Cool, crumble into a large bowl. Saute celery and onion in butter until tender. Add sauteed veggies and remaining seven ingredients to crumbled cornbread, stirring well. Spoon dressing into a lightly greased 13x9-inch pan and bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 30 minutes. Yield: 8 Servings

Perfect Mashed Potatoes

1 1/2 lbs yukon gold potatoes, peeled and quartered length-wise
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 Tbsp heavy cream
2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp milk
Salt and Pepper

1 Put potatoes into a saucepan. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add water until potatoes are covered. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, 15-20 minutes, or until done - a fork can easily be poked through them.

2 Warm cream and melt butter, together, either in microwave or in a pan on the stove. Drain water from potatoes. Put hot potatoes into a bowl. Add cream and melted butter. Use potato masher to mash potatoes until well mashed. Use a strong spoon to beat further, adding milk to achieve the consistency you desire. (Do not over-beat or your potatoes will get gluey.) Salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 4.

Candied Sweet Potatoes

6 large sweet Potatoes
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp Watkins Pure Vanilla Extract
1/3 cup half and half or milk
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1/2 cup flaked coconut

Cook sweet potatoes in boiling water to cover 30 to 45 minutes or until tender. Let cool to touch, peel and mash. Combine sweet potato, 1/2 cup sugar and next four ingredients; beat at medium speed with a electric mixer until smooth. Spoon into a greased 13x9-inch baking dish. Combine 1 cups brown sugar and flour; cut 1/4 cup butter with a pastry blender until mixture is crumbly. Stir in pecans and coconut, sprinkle over casserole. Bake, uncovered at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until lightly browned and bubbly around the edges. Yield: 8 servings.

Whole Grain Pan Rolls

1 cup water
1 cup honey
1/4 cup butter or margarine
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup regular oats, uncooked
2 pkgs active dry yeast
1 tsp salt
1 large egg
2 1/2 cups all- purpose flour

Combine water, honey and flour in a small sauce pan and heat till butter melts. Remove from heat and cool to 120 degrees. Combine wheat flour, oats, yeast, and salt in a mixing bowl, stir well. Gradually add hot liquid mixture; beating at a low speed with an electric mixer, add egg. Slowly add enough all-purpose flour to make a soft dough. Turn dough out on to a heavily floured surface, knead until smooth and elastic (about 8 minutes). Shape into 24 balls and place into a lightly greased 13x9-inch pan. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85 degrees), free from drafts, 1 hour or until dough has doubled in bulk. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Yield: 2 dozen rolls

Best Green Bean Casserole


* 2 (14.5 ounce) cans green beans, drained
* 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
* 1 (6 ounce) can French fried onions
* 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. Place green beans and soup in a large microwave-safe bowl. Mix well and heat in the microwave on HIGH until warm (3 to 5 minutes). Stir in 1/2 cup of cheese and heat mixture for another 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer green bean mixture to a casserole dish and sprinkle with French fried onions and remaining cheese.
3. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) oven until the cheese melts and the onions just begin to brown.

Best Ever Pumpkin Pie

1 3/4 cups canned pumpkin
1 3/4 cups sweetened condensed milk
2 large eggs, beaten
2/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
9 inches pie shells, unbaked

1. Combine pumpkin and remaining ingredients in a large bowl; beat at medium speed with an electric mixer 2 minutes.
2. Pour into prepared piecrust.
3. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes.
4. Reduce heat to 350 degrees; bake 50 additional minutes or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean.
5. Cool on a wire rack.

Slow Cooker Caramel Pear Cake


* 1 cup flour
* 1/3 cup sugar
* 1 tsp. baking powder
* 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
* 1/2 cup whole milk
* 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
* 1/2 cup chopped pecans
* 1/4 cup chopped dried pears
* 1 cup brown sugar
* 1 cup water
* 1 cup pear nectar
* 2 Tbsp. butter
* 1/2 tsp. ground ginger

In large bowl mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, and cinnamon. Add milk and oil and mix just until combined. Stir in pecans and dried pears. Spread in bottom of 3-4 quart crockpot. In small saucepan, mix brown sugar, water, pear nectar, butter, and ginger.

Bring to a boil and boil for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Pour over batter in the crockpot.

Cover crockpot and cook on high for 2 to 2-1/2 hours until a toothpick inserted 1" into the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove cover from crockpot, turn off crockpot, and let cake stand, uncovered, for 30 to 40 minutes to cool a bit before serving. There will be a tender cake that has formed over a caramel sauce; turn the servings over as you scoop them out of the slow cooker. 6-8 servings


  1. Wow Sandra - if I wasn't working on Thanksgiving this year, I would invite myself over! Looks really good!

  2. Sounds really great!


  3. Looks very yummy! Did you photograph those pictures yourself! They look very professional! :)

    Thanks for visiting my blog. Your template is very cute. :)

  4. Hello! Thanks for stopping by my blog. Your menu looks delicious.

    I love how you put your pictures in your posts. The frames are really neat. I like your overall design as well.

    Have a great day!

  5. Wow, what a wonderful collection of recipes!


  6. Yummm! Seeing our Thanksgiving is already long over, it being in October, can I come over to your house for yours?

  7. I'm coming over to your place for Thanksgiving, Sandra! YOur menu looks absolutely scruptious!

    Oh, I absolutely love the new look!!!

    Have you gotten any of my phone messages?

  8. Thanks for visiting me Sandra! looks like you are hosting a feast yourself:) Lovd the menu girl! I'm gonna start cooking from tomorrow:)


  9. I've never fried, or even tasted, fried turkey! Sounds so much easier, and the rest of your menu is just exactly what we always make. Having married someone from the west, instead of the south, I cant get him to love cornbread dressing like I do. Your entire meal sounds fabulous!

  10. The new look is oh so cute. Thanksgiving looks wonderful, my family uses lots of the same recipes you have shared,but the Slow Cooker Caramel Pear Cake..that will have to be on the to do list.

  11. I am soooooooooo hungry and ready for the holidays now!! Love your new look on the site, too! ;)


  12. Great menu...and the pictures look awesome. We have already had Thanksgiving at church and at I'm looking forward to one more time.

  13. Wow, I just popped in to say hi and you have yet another adorable template! I love it. I want to make mine more "holiday-ish" but since my laptop is dead right now it's not likely.
    I've never put cheese in my green bean casserole... think I'll try that this year!
    Have a wonderful weekend Sandra.


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