Tuesday, November 30, 2010

So Exciting!!

This blog has been nominated for Best Austin Bloggers and we need your vote!! 
Go here to vote Feed My Monkeys for the Best Food Blog for Recipes!!
~ Thank You ~

Friday, November 26, 2010

Turkey Queso

1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cheddar cheese soup, undiluted
1/4 cup milk
1 can Rotel, drained
1 cup turkey, cubed
diced jalapenos, optional
tortilla chips

Combine soup, milk, Rotel & turkey in a sauce pan over medium heat until warm.  Add jalapenos & salt to taste.  Serve warm with chips.

We added 2 tablespoons of canned jalapenos after taking out 2 little cups of queso for the kids.  It was spicy, but not over the top.  Add jalapenos slowly.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010


Appetizers / Snacks

Hands down best turkey we have ever had!!

Stuffing (Stove Top with diced celery, onions & water chestnuts added)
Biscuits (Flaky Layers)


Citrus Turkey Brine

1 cup sea salt
1 lemon, cut into wedges
1 orange, cut into wedges
1 medium onion, cut into wedges
3 cloves garlic
4 bay leaves
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon black pepper corns
1 1/2 gallons cold water

Place lemons, oranges, onion, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, pepper & a small amount of water into a large pot. Rub salt onto your rinsed turkey (be sure to remove the innards), place remaining salt into the pot & stir.  Place the turkey in the pot, and fill with water. Refrigerate overnight. Discard brine after removing turkey.

I stuffed the bird with additional quartered oranges, lemons & onion before cooking.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees:

Cook turkey for 20-30 minutes at 450, then reduce the temperature to 350.  For the final hour, reduce the temperature to 325 for a sensational Thanksgiving bird!

Please note: Brined turkeys cook faster than non-brined turkeys.  Be sure to keep a good eye on it and not over cook.  Bird should have an internal temperature of 160-170 degrees. 

Weight  of Bird

 Roasting Time (Unstuffed)

10 to 18 pounds
3 to 3-1/2 hours

18 to 22 pounds
3-1/2 to 4 hours

22 to 24 pounds
4 to 4-1/2 hours

24 to 29 pounds
4-1/2 to 5 hours

Creamy Smashed Potatoes

5 pounds potatoes, peeled and quartered
8 ounces reduced fat cream cheese
1 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon onion salt
1 teaspoon salt
Dash pepper
Place potatoes in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and cook for 15-20 minutes or until tender. Drain and place in a large bowl; mash the potatoes. Add the remaining ingredients; mix well.

Double Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake

adapted from allrecipes.com

3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1 large prepared graham cracker crust
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (165 degrees C).

In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Blend in eggs one at a time & fold in sour cream. Remove 1 1/2 cup of batter and spread into bottom of crust; set aside.
Add pumpkin & pumpkin pie spice to the remaining batter and mix until well blended. Carefully spread over the batter in the crust.
Place pie on a roll pan or baking sheet and pour a small layer of water on the pan to create a water bath.  Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour.  Turn off the oven, prop the door and allow the cheesecake to sit for an additional hour. Allow to cool, then refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight. Cover with whipped topping before serving.

Marshmallow & Lime Jello Salad

 adapted from allrecipes.com

10 fluid ounces lemon-lime flavored carbonated beverage
4 cups miniature marshmallows, divided
2 (3 ounce) packages lime flavored gelatin mix
8 ounces cream cheese
1 (20 ounce) can crushed pineapple with juice
1 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed

In a saucepan, combine the carbonated beverage and marshmallows. Stir over medium heat until marshmallows melt. Turn off heat and add jello & cream cheese.  Wisk until well well blended and cream cheese lumps are gone.
Add the pineapple and whipped topping and mix well.  Stir in 1 cup of mini marshmallows and pour into a 9x12 inch dish and chill overnight or until set.

Cranberry Sauce

 from allrecipes.com

12 ounces cranberries
6 ounces unsweetened apple juice concentrate
Sugar or Splenda if desired
In a saucepan cook cranberries and apple juice concentrate over medium heat until cranberries have burst. Chill and serve. If the recipe isn't sweet enough for you, add sugar or Splenda only one tablespoon at a time to avoid over sweetening.

Cranberry Shortbread Bars

Cranberry Filling:
8 ounces (2 1/4 cups) (225 grams) fresh cranberries
2/3 cup (130 grams) granulated white sugar
3 tablespoons water

Shortbread Bars:
2 cups (270 grams) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons (20 grams) cornstarch (corn flour)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (226 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup (70 grams) light brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) and place the wire oven rack in the center of the oven. Butter (or spray with a non stick cooking spray) a 9 x 9 inch (23 x 23 cm) pan.  

Cranberry Filling: In a medium sized saucepan, place all the ingredients. Then, over medium-high heat, cook the ingredients until boiling. Continue to boil the filling until it becomes thick and syrupy, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool while you make the shortbread.

Shortbreads: In a separate bowl whisk the flour, cornstarch, and salt.  
In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), cream the butter until smooth (about 1 minute). Add the sugar and beat until smooth (about 2 minutes). Beat in the vanilla extract. Gently stir in the flour mixture just until incorporated.  

Evenly press two-thirds of the shortbread into the bottom of the prepared pan. Then evenly spread the cranberry filling over the shortbread base, leaving a 1/4 inch border.  With the remaining shortbread dough, using your fingers, crumble it over the top of the cranberry filling. Then lightly press the dough into the filling.  

Bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Remove from oven, place on a wire rack, and while still hot, cut into 16 squares. Allow to cool completely in pan.

Makes about 16 bars.

Cranberry Orange Bread

1/2 cup (50 grams) pecans or walnuts, optional
1 cup (120 grams) fresh or frozen cranberries, coarsely chopped
1 large egg, well beaten
3/4 cup (180 ml) freshly squeezed orange juice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups (260 grams) all-purpose flour
1 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon orange zest (outer skin of orange - about 1 1/2 oranges)
4 tablespoons (57 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place rack in the center of the oven. Grease (or spray with a nonstick vegetable spray) a 9 x 5 x 3 inch (23 x 13 x 8 cm) loaf pan. 

If desired, toast the pecans or walnuts for about 8 - 10 minutes or until lightly browned and fragrant. Let cool and then chop coarsely.

In a small bowl, combine the beaten egg with the orange juice and vanilla extract. 

In a large bowl, whisk the flour with the sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and orange zest. Cut the butter into small pieces and blend it into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or two knives. The mixture should look like coarse crumbs. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Stir in the chopped cranberry and nuts. 

Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 50 - 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes. Then remove the bread from the pan and let cool completely before slicing. This bread can be frozen.
Makes one - 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf.

Cranberry Cider

adapted from allrecipes.com

8 cups apple cider
6 cups cranberry juice
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
3 cinnamon sticks
1 teaspoons whole cloves
1 orange

In a large pot (or crockpot), combine apple cider, cranberry juice, brown sugar & cinnamon sticks.  Slice orange and stick cloves in the ends of the orange & place in pot.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or put crockpot on high for 1 hour, then low for 1 hour and warm as long as needed.  Serve hot.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Turkey Cooking Temp & Time (unstuffed)

Cook turkey for 20-30 minutes at 450, then reduce the temperature to 350.  
For the final hour, reduce the temperature to 325 for a sensational Thanksgiving bird!

Weight  of Bird

 Roasting Time

10 to 18 pounds
3 to 3-1/2 hours

18 to 22 pounds
3-1/2 to 4 hours

22 to 24 pounds
4 to 4-1/2 hours

24 to 29 pounds
4-1/2 to 5 hours

Friday, November 5, 2010

No Coffee Pumpkin Latte

 adapted from allrecipes.com
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 quart milk
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
whipped cream & ground cinnamon for garnish
Combine pumpkin, milk, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla in a large saucepan over medium heat. Use a whisk to blend well. Heat to a simmer; do not boil.  Fill cups and top with whipped cream and a dash of cinnamon.


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