Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving Part 2

I just enjoyed a piece of the pumpkin cheesecake.  And then another one.  Still tastes ok, don't worry.

So on to Thursday morning.  As soon as we got up, I started the cranberry sauce in the crockpot.  This one was fairly easy, just had to peel some apples.  

  • 4 medium Gala apples, peeled, cored, quartered & sliced
  • 1 (12 oz) package fresh cranberries
  • 5 tbsp brown sugar (or more to taste)
  • 1 tsp grated orange zest
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped crystallized ginger
  1. Place all of the apple pieces and cranberries in a large bowl and stir in brown sugar and orange zest.
  2. Pour orange juice into the bottom of a large crockpot (slow cooker) and add the apple mixture.
  3. Cover, turn the crockpot setting to Low, and cook for about 8 hours (or on High for 5 hours), stirring occasionally and breaking up the apple slices and cranberries with a wooden spoon as they soften.
  4. Stir in crystallized ginger. Taste and add an additional tablespoon or two of brown sugar if you find the sauce to be too tart.
  5. Serve warm or room temperature.

The only thing I changed from this recipe was that I added two bags of cranberries.  I love cranberry sauce, and this one hit the spot.  This made a big batch so I was sure to have leftovers.  Tonight I had a turkey sandwich on wheat with provolone cheese and cranberry sauce.

Let me take a moment and give a shout-out to my wonderful hubby.  He spent a ton of time on the turkey, and it was well worth it.  He started on Tuesday night, with brining the turkey.  I know he used apple juice and a bunch of spices to brine it, but that's as specific as I know.  Then he dried it out the next night to get the skin crunchy?  Then onto the smoker it went on Thanksgiving morning.  I believe he used apple wood chips.

Here's pre-smoker turkey:

and here is the masterpiece:

This was THE best turkey I've had, so juicy and flavorful.  Good job honey!!

Now my next recipe.  Again I turned to Allrecipes for a salad dressing.  I wanted to use up some spinach and thought I'd attempt making my own dressing.  I used this recipe for the dressing, but not the salad.  The strawberry selection isn't the greatest in November so I used dried cranberries and mandarin oranges, then made some candied walnuts to sprinkle on top.  

Spinach Salad Dressing

  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon minced onion

I put all the ingredients in a shaker (that we use for protein shakes), shook it up and let it sit in the fridge for a couple hours.  

When I served the salad, I just put the dressing on the side, so the spinach didn't get soggy.  Tasted great.

Here are some other shots from the day:

Spiral ham 

Thumbs up from Hubby

Makeshift crib for Tyler since cousin Beau was in his crib

We had a pretty great day, just hanging out, playing cards, watching football and having a couple beverages.  I'm very thankful to have such wonderful family and friends in my life.  I just look forward to the times we get to get together and hang out. 

We ended the get-together with some Scattegories.  I'm surprised our brains worked after all the food and drinks.  

Somehow, my mom and I made it up to midnight, and ventured out to Walmart to catch some Black Friday deals.  It was crazy!!  

We pulled up and there were hardly any parking spots, but we managed to snag one right by the door.  Then when we got in, we didn't really wait around too long, and they had exactly what I wanted.  I was after a nicer camera so we can finally get some quality pictures on here.  They only had 3, and I got one of them.  My mom was after a Kindle Fire, but those were gone right away.  

My mom- scared of all the crazy people!

We walked around for a bit looking at other deals, since the lines were ridiculous.  At one point, I looked over and saw that someone was checking out at the jewelry counter, so we headed over to check it out.  Sure enough, she was ringing people up, so we just checked out!  haha We walked past super long lines on our way out and headed home to bed.  We got there about 11:50 pm, and were home at 12:30.  Score.

I still don't have the camera up and running, so stay tuned for some high quality pics.

This morning we just kind of bummed around and my mom made us a lovely egg dish with some leftover ham, green peppers and onions.  

That was good fuel for the rest of the day.  My mom and I headed out to shop downtown Manchester and hit up some stores that were having free wine testing.  I sampled quite a bit, it was all delicious.  I might have been a little tipsy after the last store.  I ended up buying a bottle of cranberry wine at one of the stores. 

All the other meals that were not listed were leftovers.  Right now just hanging out watching some Forrest Gump.  Such a great movie.

Think we're all caught up now... two more days of weekend left!  Woo hoo!!

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