Thanksgiving Turkey and Stuffing

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This year Thanksgiving wasn’t normal, however though we didn’t have any family over, we still did our full spread. Every year Josh gets a free turkey from work. Last year, he got a 20 pound turkey, and this year we got a 21 pound turkey. This year, I also made doubled the stuffing I made last year, because I love stuffing and it goes very fast, so the recipe below is how to make double stuffing, and how to cook the turkey once you are done. I always start with the stuffing to season my roasting pan, then I work on the bird. This was also my first year of not stuffing my turkey, and I have no regrets about that! Stuffing in the bird gets way too moist and almost a weird flavor from all the turkey drippings. Some people also use a roasting rack for their turkey. I don’t find that necessary or helpful. Without the rack, my dark meat always gets done, and with basting, my white meat always stays juicy, and by the time I was done, the wings had already begun to fall apart they were so tender.

What You Will Need

  • 1 1/2 loaf of 3 day old white bread, cubed
  • 3 Onions Diced
  • 8 Celery Stalks, Diced
  • 1 1/2 cup Salted Butter, 3 sticks
  • 2 Tbsp Ground Sage
  • 3 Tbsp Ground Thyme
  • Dutch Oven
  • Thawed Turkey
  • 4 Tbsp Butter
  • Roasting Pan
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Turkey Baster

Directions

1. Place dutch oven over medium heat. Add butter, celery, and onion, and cook until onion is translucent.

2. Add cubed bread to roasting pan. Sprinkle sage and thyme over the top of the bread. Pour butter mixture over bread. Stir together until everything is moistened and coated in seasoning. Transfer stuffing to casserole dishes. Cover and place in the fridge, or enjoy a bowl.

3. Heat oven to 350 F. Clean out your turkey, removing giblets, neck, and make sure you can go straight through the turkey. Rinse gently under cool water, then transfer to roasting pan. Stuff with 1 cup stuffing, or with 1/2 an onion, cut celery stalks, and a sprinkle of sage and thyme. Top turkey with 4 Tbsp butter. Cover with foil then add to oven.

4. Cook Turkey for the first hour without basting. Baste, then cook for remaining time, but basting every 45 minutes. Cook your turkey about 10 minutes per pound of turkey. Make sure internal temperature of the thigh and several other places is over 165 F.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to all my readers! Thank you for subscribing to my blog and for your visits. Thanksgiving is a very special holiday to me. I began this blog a little over a year ago and Thanksgiving was the first big set of posts I was able to upload. Thank you for allowing me to do what I enjoy to do. I love cooking and I’m very glad to be able to cook for my family, and I’m glad I can share my recipes and experiences with each one of you. Let’s make this new year a better one, and I hope you get the opportunities and/or motivations to accomplish some of the things you’ve always desired too! Have a great day and happy thanksgiving!

Ham Hock Baked Beans

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I made these baked beans with a smoked ham hock. Though this recipe seems easy, the flavor is absolutely fantastic. After about 5 hours cooking on high, you can remove the meat from the ham hock. This meat is tender and full of flavor. It comes apart like pulled pork, and after cooking for so long, the fats of the meat make a delicious baked beans. Ham hocks also have some skin on them, and after cooking for so long, the skin and fat melt away in your mouth. I made these beans as the recipe below is written. I will say, I had a very big ham hock, but my beans were almost more pulled pork than baked beans. Finally, the sauce was delicious, with a good balance between sweet and savory. It’s a really good barbecue recipe, that’s for sure! This recipe made 8 large side servings.

What You Will Need

  • 12 Oz Northern Beans
  • 1/2 cup Brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 cup Ketchup
  • 2 Cups Water
  • 1 Tbsp Ground Mustard
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 Tbsp Black pepper
  • 1 ham hock
  • Medium seal-able Container
  • Slow Cooker

Directions

1. Place your beans in your seal-able container, and cover with an inch of water. Let sit out at room temperature for 12-24 hours. Strain and rinse your soaked beans. To your slow cooker, add your beans and the rest of your ingredients and stir together.

2. Let it cook on high for 6 hours stirring about every hour. If too much liquid boils off, add water 1/2 cup at a time. After 6 hours on high, reduce your heat to low. Cook for another hour on low before serving.

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One-Pan Shrimp and Spinach Pasta

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One-pan meals are easy to make and greats a great tasting dish. This one-pan meal is no exception. The chicken broth is absolutely delicious in this dish, then the milk and parmesan add a bit of creaminess to the sauce. The spinach also has it’s own flavor though it imparts a bit to the broth, then the shrimp don’t get much time to add to the over all flavor, but they do add a unique flavor, so not every bit is the same. I made some alterations to the recipe since I made it. I added too much broth at the beginning, so my dish was very runny, almost a sou;p. I also altered the order of adding the ingredients in the beginning. I added the pasta first, but I should have started with the spinach first, because I wanted the spinach to boil for at least 15 minutes total, but the pasta only needed about 14 minutes. This dish was absolutely delicious! It made 4 large adult sized portions.

What You Will Need

  • 2-3 Cups Washed Spinach
  • 4 Cups Chicken Broth
  • 2 Cups Rotini
  • 1 1/2 Cup Cooked Shrimp
  • 2/3 Cup Milk
  • Large Saucepan

Directions

1. Begin by placing your broth in your pan and heating it over medium high heat until it boils. Add your spinach, let cook for 2-3 minutes, and then add your pasta. Let boil for another 13-15 minutes until your pasta is finished cooking.

2. Reduce your heat to medium, remove pan from heat and add your milk. After about a minute return your pan to heat, let cook until almost boiling. Add your shrimp, and stir into pasta. Turn off heat and remove from burner. Plate your pasta, then top with some shredded Parmesan before serving.

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Thanksgiving 2020

For 2020, we’ll be trying to have as normal of a Thanksgiving as possible. This year will be my second year cooking dinner, and I have many new foods planned for this meal. Last year, was the standard three: turkey, mashed potatoes, and stuffing, then we also had some crescents and 2 different veggies. This year, I am planning a sweet potato casserole, glazed and roasted beets, crescents again, and frozen green beans from this summer’s garden. This year I also made a pumpkin pie that we’ll be having with our dinner. Once the day is over, Friday, I’ll also be boiling the bones to make stock again this year. This year’s stock will be frozen like before, however this stock will likely be used almost strictly entirely for gravy.

To see recipes for what I’ll be making, you can click a link below!

Click here to see my recipe for Stuffing and Turkey!

Click here to see my recipe for Mashed Potatoes and Gravy!

Click here to see my recipe for Pumpkin Pie!

Click here to see my recipe for Sweet Potato Casserole and Honey Roasted Beets!

Click here to see my recipe for Turkey Stock!

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