Blog has moved, searching new blog...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Thanksgiving Feast

Yesterday I woke up to the fact that NEXT week is Thanksgiving. Sometimes I think an upcoming event is still weeks away because I've been thinking about it so long and our life is so busy. This week I will post some of our favorite holiday recipes and most of them do not qualify as low calorie or low fat. Remember to eat super healthy meals leading up to a holiday and exercise regularly. Then try to limit the indulgences to one day and not go overboard.

I bought a turkey yesterday and plan to brine it the night before in a mixture of equal parts brown sugar and salt (Oh my!)in water with fresh orange halves and rosemary sprigs. I'll roast it stuffed with onion, celery and carrots for extra flavor. I tried brining last year and found it not too difficult. I bought a large bucket just for this purpose and put the whole thing in an ice chest in the garage overnight. It stayed plenty cold in the ice chest but it was also pretty cold outside that year. Google brining for further recipes or tips.

Sometimes we have a more traditional sweet potato casserole but often we have this healthier version. It is surprisingly good and has less fat and sugar plus uses an often neglected vegetable. Give it a try if you are tired of the same old thing.

Mashed Sweets and Turnips
3 lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
2 1/2 lbs. turnips, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
3 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. salt
2 tart red cooking apples such as Rome or Jonathan, cored and coarsely chopped
2 Tbsp. butter
1/2 cup chopped pitted dates
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
In a large Dutch oven combine sweet potatoes and turnips with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil and simmer for 12 to 15 minutes until tender. Drain and return to Dutch oven. Add the butter and salt. Mash with a potato masher until smooth. (You can do this part the day before and reheat before serving.)
For the topping, melt the 2 Tbsp. butter in a medium skillet and add the apples, dates and brown sugar. Cook and stir until the sugar is dissolved and the apples tender. Stir in the lemon juice.
Top hot potato/turnip mixture with the apple relish and serve.

My family wouldn't consider it Thanksgiving without one of our two favorite cranberry salads. My mother made this recipe at holiday time for years so it's a sentimental favorite as well. It has lots of fruit and nuts but does contain quite a bit of sugar as well. This can also be made a day or two in advance.

Cranberry Salad
1 small box strawberry jello
1 small box cherry jello
1 small can crushed pineapple, drained
2 cups chopped red apples
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 package cranberries, washed and chopped
1 cup pecans, chopped
Make jello using 3 1/2 cups water instead of usual 4. Put in refrigerator to jell. Add sugar to cranberries, stirring well. Add pineapple, apples and nuts. Add to jello when it has just started to set, mixing well. This looks pretty in a clear glass bowl.

Check back for more recipes this week!