Showing posts with label Holiday. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Holiday. Show all posts

12/18/14

Berry Merry Coffeecake








Coffeecake is always on our list for Christmas breakfast. I love it because it's easy to make and can be made either Christmas morning or the day before. It's a one bowl, mix and bake type of dish. Perfect for when you're in a hurry, but want something special for your Christmas table.
One more week!



Berry Merry Coffeecake
A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

Cake:
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup vanilla or plain yogurt
1 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 cup berries fresh or frozen (in the winter, I use a frozen tri-berry mix)

Topping- 3 choices (using all three looks extra festive) :

Streusel (optional) or sprinkle with powdered sugar, or drizzle, listed below
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup melted butter
1 cup chopped pecans

and/or

drizzle:
1 cup powdered sugar
1-2 tablespoons cream
dash of salt
1 teaspoon almond or vanilla extract

and/or
powdered sugar, in a shaker

Grease the bottom and sides of a 10-inch Spring form pan. Preheat oven to 350 and set the rack in the middle of the oven.
Cream the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs. Add yogurt and blend well. Add all of the dry ingredients to the bowl. Mix just until the wet and dry ingredients are incorporated. Fold in the berries. Spread the batter into the prepared pan (it will be thick).
Prepare the streusel topping by mixing all of the ingredients together in a bowl. Sprinkle over the top of the cake, if making with streusel, otherwise, just bake the cake without a topping.
Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool for about 10 minutes, and run a knife around the sides of the Spring form before detaching the side form.
When cake is completely cool, whisk powdered sugar in a bowl, add cream, salt and flavoring. Drizzle with a spoon over the cake. Let sit for about 30 minutes before cutting. Sprinkle with powdered sugar just before serving. 

Tips:
-This may be made the day before serving. After the cake is cooled, remove the springform side and cover with foil. 
-If the powdered sugar "melts" into the cake, simple sprinkle again. I often sprinkle the pieces on a serving plate as well. 
-You may use all three toppings if you like! 
-If you don't have vanilla or plain yogurt, you may use fruit on the bottom style yogurt, simply scoop the yogurt off the top of the fruit and add to the cake, discard fruit layer. Sour cream may also be substituted.

12/12/14

Chewy Chocolate Ginger Cookies





To finish out our week of cookiescookiescookies, I've partnered with the Harmons bloggers to present a Christmas cookie post! We gathered a while back to share holiday cookie recipes and have a little tasting party. It was a sweet afternoon of sugar and spice.




Have you ever made a macaron cookie? My friend Caroline is an expert at macaron making.  Her Pumpkin French Macaron Cookies are amazing! Such a fun addition to your holiday cookie platter.
And the flavors! They taste just like the holidays.





Becky, from Vintage Mixer made Frosted Honey Christmas Cookies. They reminded me of a recipe that would have been passed through a family, hand written on a 3x5 card, and tucked away in a recipe box!  I loved the way Becky piped the frosting on this simple and not overly sweet cookie.



Jesseca at One Sweet Appetite was on Channel 4 News in SLC recently, and shared her recipe for these oh-so-darling Melted Snowmen Cookies. Wouldn't your kids love these? They're almost too cute to eat.


The Harmons bakers shared their recipe for Peppermint Ganache Cookies. If you're a peppermint lover, make sure to check out this recipe! Also,  if you are looking for a special ingredient for your holiday baking and can't find it, the amazingly helpful employees at Harmons will special order it for you.

For my contribution to our cookie-fest, and to end our week of Christmas cookie posts, I baked up a ginger cookie with a special twist.
The best kind of twist.
C H O C O L A T E !
What could be more wonderful than a Chewy Chocolate Ginger Cookie? This recipe comes together in just a few minutes and is what I call a pantry-ready cookie, meaning most of the items for this cookie are probably already in your pantry. Or in your mom's pantry.
My family is officially addicted to ginger and chocolate.


photo credit Caroline Drake

Chewy Chocolate Ginger Cookies
A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
3/4 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup unsweetened powdered chocolate
3 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
sugar, granulated or powdered for coating cookies

Place butter, oil, sugar, egg, molasses and unsweetened cocoa in a large bowl and beat together until blended well.
Mix remaining dry ingredients into wet ingredients, if using a mixer, this should be done on low speed and take about 10-15 seconds.
Form dough into balls using a 2 inch scoop. Roll in granulated sugar. Place on ungreased cookie sheet.  Crowd cookies together on one cookie sheet and place in fridge for about 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place cookies on cookies sheets (about 6-8 per sheet) , and slightly flatten with palm of hand. Bake for about 8 minutes or until set. The cookies will flatten as they cool. Sprinkle with additional sugar after removing from oven.


12/9/14

Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars (copycat)






I first tried a Cranberry Bliss Bar at a cookie exchange last year. Have you had one? Essentially it's a Blondie, with fruit and white chocolate in the dough, topped with cream cheese frosting and more fruit and white chocolate (covers lots of food groups according to Grant).
Red and white, rich and chewy.  This cookie was made for Christmas! I looked for the recipe from my friend Karen (who brought it to the exchange), but no luck. Could not find it. I emailed Karen and asked her to resend it via email. She couldn't find it either. She sent me links to a couple of recipes she had used, but wasn't exactly sure which of the two was her favorite. This is an all to familiar story in my world.  I gave up the search and started from scratch to make my own recipe.








Oh, I should also say- last week, when I was in the great state of Washington for two days, I bought a Cranberry Bliss Bar from the king of coffee who made this bar famous. I thought if I was going to make their bar, I should make sure my copycat tasted as good, if not better than the real deal.
I read a few recipes, and compared to the official Starbucks ingredient list. Then I worked on my own version. I wanted a recipe that was easily baked in a 9x13. Most of the recipes I found called for an 8x8, or a jelly roll pan -  a 9x13 is the perfect size.  I also like the white chocolate melted into the batter instead of chunks of chips. Grated orange zest gave the topping a little fresh zip.
Everyone who taste-tested gave these bars two thumbs up.
For a fraction of what you'll pay at Starbucks, you can have the whole pan. Freshly made in your kitchen.
Absolutely Heavenly.





Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars (copycat)
A Bountiful Kitchen


1 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon orange extract, or about one tablespoon grated orange peel
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup white chocolate chips
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup Craisins

Frosting:
4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
dash salt
1 tablespoon milk to thin, if needed

Topping:
1/2 cup Craisins, chopped
3/4  cup white chocolate chips, or white chocolate baking bar 4 oz
few drops of vegetable or canola oil to thin white chocolate

Preheat oven to 350 degrees with rack in center of oven.
Cream butter and sugars. Add eggs. Beat for about one minute. Add orange and vanilla extracts and set aside.
In a small separate bowl, microwave the white chocolate chips for 30 seconds. Stir, heat for 30 seconds. Stir again. Microwave again for a few seconds. In my microwave this takes a total of 1 min 15 seconds. The chocolate will melt as you stir.
When melted, scrape into bowl with butter and sugars. Mix with mixer until incorporated. Or, alternatively, you may just mix the chips into the batter.
Add the flour, powder, soda, ginger, sea salt and cornstarch all at once. Mix just until flour disappears and ingredients are incorporated. Fold in Craisins.
Spread mixture evenly in a greased 9x13 pan.
Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until center is set and a toothpick inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached.
Let cool completely.
Frosting:
Make frosting by combining all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Beat until smooth. Add a little milk if needed. Spread frosting on cooled crust.
Topping:
Sprinkle the chopped Craisins over the top of the frosting.
Prepare toping by placing white chocolate in a small ziplock baggie. Microwave for about one minute. Pour in small amount of oil to help white chocolate pour smoothly.
Using hands, press white chocolate chips together in bag to mix with oil and help melting process. Microwave a few more seconds if needed. Snip off a small corner of the bag and squeeze/drizzle over the frosted bars. Grate a bit of orange rind over the top of the finished bars, if desired.
Let sit in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, cut when completely cooled and set up.
Best stored in refrigerator.
Cut into squares, then half the squares on the diagonal to form a triangle.
Yield about 30 small bars.

Tips:
-These are very simple to make. They are basically a blondie recipe, with white chocolate added, then frosted and topped with more melted white chocolate.  To simplify, just add the white choc chips to the batter and skip the melted drizzle. Just add more White chocolate chips to the topping along with the chopped Craisins.



12/8/14

Christmas Shortbread Toffee Cookies



It's time. Christmas is a little over two weeks away.
Time to get your baking game on.
What's better than toffee? How about a cookie that looks like toffee.
If you're a shortbread fan, you're going to love this cookie. Instead of individual cookies, it's made in a jelly rolls pan and then the pieces are broken off to look like toffee. If you like, you can cut it into neat little squares. It keeps for a couple of weeks in the fridge or on the counter tightly wrapped in a container.  I loved it wrapped up in a little box with tissue. Perfect for gift giving. Oh, and did I mention, it takes about 30 minutes, start to finish.  That's less time than it takes to run to the store and buy a gift box of chocolates.
And you can stay in your jammies. Really now.
Get baking.





Christmas Shortbread Toffee Cookies
A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

1 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup cornstarch
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups chopped pecans or walnuts
2 cups chocolate chips , milk or semi sweet

Pre heat oven to 350 and place rack in center of oven.
Beat butter and brown sugar until combined. Add cornstarch, flour, salt, vanilla and one cup chopped nuts. Mix just until combined.
Press mixture into a greased jelly roll pan or other large cookie sheet, the dough should measure about 12x14 in the pan. I used a small floured rolling pin to spread the dough evenly once it was patted out in the pan.  Then I formed the edges of the dough with my hands.
Bake for about 20 minutes, or just until edges are slightly golden brown.
Remove from oven and immediately place chocolate chips on top of shortbread. Let stand for a few minutes, and then spread chocolate until cookie layer is covered. Sprinkle immediately with nuts.
Let cool until chocolate is set and cookie is completely cooled.
Break or cut up and enjoy.
Yields about 3 dozen 3-inch pieces.


Tips:
-You may set the pan in the fridge to cool faster.
-If you are storing for later use, and want to remove from pan, layer the pieces with wax or parchment paper in between.






12/5/14

Snake River Farms Kurobuta Ham with Grilled Pineapple and Pomegranate Pineapple Glaze and Giveaway Winner!



Now that Thanksgiving is in the rear view mirror, and Christmas is just around the corner, the big question is- What to serve for Christmas dinner? I'm all about planning our Thanksgiving menu for weeks ahead, and spending hours in the kitchen preparing Thanksgiving dinner. But Christmas is a little different for me. Years ago, I gave up spending Christmas in the kitchen.  It's more of a stay in my jammies,  eat breakfast casserole, and enjoy the family type of day. I usually serve either ham or beef on Christmas day. Both are relatively simple to place in a pan and roast, leaving precious time to make a couple of simple side dishes (which I usually prepare a day or two ahead).  Those dishes can just be heated or pulled out of the fridge and served.




This year, I'm serving a Snake River Farms Kurobuta Ham. Snake River Farms is a family owned business that was founded in 1968. They are located in Boise, Idaho and are a business dedicated to producing the highest quality beef and pork in the USA. Snake River Farms are involved in every step of the beef life cycle including ranching, feeding, animal nutrition, processing meat, marketing and sales.



How much of a difference can there be in meat, you say? And particularly in ham?   I've cooked everything from grocery brand hams, to ham from specialty stores and mail order businesses, to spiral sliced hams sold in national chains. The Kurobuta hams from Snake River Farms come from 100% purebred Berkshire hogs grown in a network of small family farms using a slow fed process.  This is hands down the best ham I've ever eaten.
Ever.
In my life.
It has the perfect blend of salt, sweet and smokey flavors.  The Kurobuta ham is "...considered to be equivalent in status to Kobe beef." It's so tender, a butter knife is all you need at your place setting. I love it served with a bit of grilled fresh pineapple and some Pomegranate Pineapple Glaze. This dish takes about 10 minutes to prepare (the glaze).  Place it in the oven and you're free to watch another round of It's a Wonderful Life!




Want one for your holiday table? I've got an exclusive offer on a free ham for you and your holiday guests from Snake River Farms, enter below. Trust me. You want this ham on your table!
If you don't happen to win the ham the awesome folks at Snake River Farms are also offering a coupon code for free shipping, just use the code BOUNTIFUL when checking out. Make sure to order early so your ham will have time to ship and thaw.
Good luck!




Baked Ham with Grilled Pineapple and Pomegranate Pineapple Glaze
A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

** Snake River Farms Kurobuta hams are shipped frozen, make sure to allow enough time for  shipping and for ham to properly thaw in refrigerator before roasting- about 4-5 days. All Snake River Farms hams are fully cooked, but SRF recommends cooking in 325 degree oven, 20 minutes per pound allowing internal temperature to reach 140 degrees.

1 - Bone in Kurobuta Ham, 12-15 lbs*
1 Fresh Pineapple

glaze:
1 1/2 cups pomegranate juice (sold in refrigerated section of grocery)*
8 oz can crushed pineapple, not drained, or 8 oz fresh chopped pineapple
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon prepared yellow mustard
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1/4 cup cold water
2 teaspoons cornstarch

Ham and oven prep:
About an hour before cooking, remove ham from refrigerator. Unwrap and place on roasting rack or place in roasting pan or pan that will hold the meat and catch the juices, fat side up.
Place rack on lower third of oven, remove any racks above that will interfere with cooking of ham.
For sauce:
In a small saucepan whisk together juice, crushed pineapple, brown sugar, soy sauce, mustard and Worcestershire sauce. Cook over medium high heat for about 5 minutes.
Whisk together 1/4 cup cold water and 2 teaspoons cornstarch in a measuring cup until smooth.
Slowly add the cornstarch mixture to the juice mixture in the pan, leaving the pan on heat. Reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook and whisk until slightly thickened. This will take about a minute. Cook for about 2 minutes and reduce heat again to low. When sauce is thickened a bit, turn heat off and leave on stove.
Place ham in oven for about 1 hour, uncovered.
After one hour,  slide rack out of oven, and pour about 3/4 cup of glaze over ham, making sure to cover all surfaces facing upward. Use a brush if needed. Slide the ham back in the oven, continue to cook until internal temperature reaches 140 degrees.
Remove from oven. Place a little more glaze on the ham if desired. Serve the remaining glaze with the ham on the side.

For grilled pineapple:
Lay pineapple on side, cut off top and end. Slice the remaining pineapple into 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices.
Brush pineapple lightly with olive oil or canola oil. Grill over medium high heat on bbq grill until lightly golden, or broil on cookie sheet in oven for about 2-3 minutes or slightly softened.

Tips:
-Allow several days for ham to thaw in refrigerator.
-Use a meat thermometer to gauge the internal temperature of ham. I like the oxo instant read thermometer, or a good old fashioned meat thermometer from the grocery store will work as well.
-If you purchase a 14 lb ham, you will need to allow 4-4 1/2 hours for warming in oven. Also allow about 10-15 minutes before carving ham after removing from oven.
- If you are not using an instant read thermometer, make sure your thermometer is facing the oven door, so you can peek at it occasionally and see the internal temp of the ham. You don't want to have to open the oven every time you take a peek at the meat!
-If your ham looks like it is drying out, cover loosely with foil and continue warming.
-If you like to serve lots of sauce with your ham, double the sauce recipe.
-*you may use a boneless ham as well, the cooking/warming time will need to be reduced most likely. Follow package instructions.
-**You may also substitute cherry or orange juice for the pomegranate juice.


Congratulations to R. Labrum, you have won a Snake River Farms Kurobuta Ham! Please email me at Fostersi at msn dot com to claim your prize.








11/24/14

Fresh Cranberry, Orange and Dried Cherry Sauce



If you have a food assignment for Thanksgiving, and you are hesitant to try anything too risky, this is your dish. Guaranteed homemade success.
Make a double batch, scoop into a mason jar, tie with string and you'll have the perfect hostess gift.
Only 3 more days!
Happy Thanksgiving week.






Fresh Cranberry, Orange and Dried Cherry Sauce
A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

11/2 cups water
1 cup sugar white or brown
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2-3 tablespoons orange juice concentrate*(optional)
8 oz dried cherries**
1 10-12 oz bag of fresh cranberries

In a medium saucepan, stir together water, sugar, cinnamon and 2-3 tablespoons orange juice concentrate. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium.
Add the fresh cranberries and dried cherries. Cook for about another 3-4 minutes, until cranberries pop and mixture thickens a bit. Don't worry, it will continue to thicken as it cools.
Let cool, then pour into dish or jars, cover and set in refrigerator until ready to serve.
Yields enough sauce for approx 8-12 adults, depending on if they are cranberry sauce lovers, or not :)
Keeps for about 1 month.

Tips:
-*the oj concentrate is optional. I thaw (or partially thaw)  a frozen container of oj and scoop straight from the can.
-**some dried cherries have sugar added, some do not. Either works for this recipe.
-you may partially cover the saucepan if the berries are splattering as they burst.




11/20/14

How to Host Thanksgiving Dinner 101 and a giveaway with Mint Arrow for my favorite Thanksgiving cooking tools!





WHAT.
It's your turn to host Thanksgiving dinner?
And you've never cooked Thanksgiving dinner?  Ever? If you're 25 or 55, you've come to the right place. Planning, recipes and step by step timeline to help you get Thanksgiving dinner on the table- without a meltdown! And guess what? I've partnered with my daughter, Corrine at Mint Arrow, to bring you my  favorite tools for Thanksgiving dinner and a chance to win them all!

Thanksgiving 101:

My first piece of advice is stick with traditional. Trust me. Traditional is best for Thanksgiving. That means turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, rolls, salad and of course, pie. 
A couple of suggestions before we start:

  1. Take a deep breath. This is just a meal. Sure, it's the most anticipated meal of the year, but in the end it's only a meal. Meat, potatoes, gravy. You can do this.
  2. Take any help offered. If you're hosting, and others want to help, LET THEM HELP.  It's okay if you don't have total control. If Aunt Betty's pie is a runny mess, no big deal. Remember, although I'm a bit of a food freak, it's okay if everything doesn't taste exactly as you planned or if every dish doesn't turn out to look like it could be photographed for the next issue of Martha Stewart Living. This holiday is about family and friends and blessings. If a guest offers to help, or if you ask them to help, I've found the best way to end up with the best dishes at your feast is to let guests bring what they love to cook. Every year my sister in law Sheri makes Southern specialties, because her husband is from the South, and she learned how to make broccoli casserole and cornbread dressing and Southern specialty pies while they lived in Alabama for years. Those are always her assignments. She makes them better than anyone else. Period.

Now those two important items are out of the way, I'm going to point you in the direction of recipes on A Bountiful Kitchen I believe are  both delicious and simple for first time cooks or hosts to use on Thanksgiving. After the recipes, Ill break down the timing as far as when to cook what, so it all ends up on the table hot, at the same time.
Here we go.

Typical Thanksgiving eve scene in A Bountiful Kitchen...



Turkey
If you can get a fresh turkey and you like fresh better than frozen, great. Order one. Don't plan on running to the store on Wednesday to pick up a fresh turkey up without ordering in advance!  
If frozen, make sure to start thawing it about three days before cooking. If I purchase a 24 lb turkey, I start thawing it (at least)  Saturday or Sunday before Thanksgiving. Place it in the fridge in a pan. You can leave it in the wrapping.  Don't ever thaw a turkey on the counter. Unless you want to end up in the bathroom or the ER for a very long time after Thanksgiving dinner...
Here's my tried and true most simple way to cook a turkey for Thanksgiving dinner. It involves a roasting bag, a few seasonings, butter and a roasting pan. A few minutes of prep and a few hours in the oven. That's it. No basting, just slide in the oven and bake.  Are we best friends yet?
And yes, it really does brown up nicely inside of a bag. Isn't that a thing of beauty?








Pan Gravy

Using the drippings from the turkey for the best gravy. If you have a roasting pan, you'll be able to roast the turkey in the pan and then make the gravy right in the same pan.

This recipe isn't up yet, but will be on Saturday. You'll need a few cans (2-3) of chicken broth, butter, flour, salt, pepper and chicken flavor booster (I like Swanson brand or Knorr) . Check back for recipe link...






Mashed Potatoes: If turkey is king, mashed potatoes are queen.



After you've made these, you'll never, ever go back to boiling on the stove.
Plug in the slow cooker early in the day, mash up your potatoes right in the slow cooker and keep your prepared dish on the warm setting until showtime!









Cranberry Sauce:


Fresh Cranberry Sauce (basic recipe)
look on ABK's index for a few variations of cranberry sauce

One of those- never, ever, EVER  buy in a can items. This is the most simple recipe of all. The difference in taste? Not even comparable.
You can make this up to a week in advance.
Takes about ten minutes total to make. Let cool, refrigerate and take out a few minutes before serving dinner.








Start drying your bread now.  Here's a few tips on preparing the bread for your stuffing. If you don't have time or just can't face cutting up and drying your own bread, grab a couple of boxes of bread cubes at the grocery.  This is my moms tried and true crowd favorite stuffing. you can make it a few days ahead and refrigerate until ready to heat up. Also, cooking tip- I stopped cooking stuffing in the bird a few years ago. It slowed the cooking time of the turkey considerably and made predicting the cooking time more tricky.  







Sweet Potatoes:
If you're a Southerner, you can't have Thanksgiving without at least one sweet potato dish. This is my sister in laws famous dish. So good, you'll be tempted to fill up on these before you get the rest of the meal on your plate. I like this dish,  again, because it's a total make-ahead dish.
Make it this weekend, and then place it in the fridge and follow the recipe directions for make ahead.







Green Salad:


Every Thanksgiving dinner needs a green salad. I love this one. It's simple and fresh. Cut the fruit the day (or two) before.  Use a Spring Mix or Spinach leaves for the greens. Make the dressing up to a week ahead. All you have to do the day of the meal is place the greens on salad plates on the table, top with fruits and drizzle with dressing. So simple.





Jello or fruit salad



What's Thanksgiving without J-E-L-L-O ?
You'll love this recipe. Make it on Tuesday. Let it sit until the big day. You can make it in a 9x13 or individual custard cups.
So good, it will turn a Jello hater into a fan.





Rolls:


I like this recipe for beginners because there's no rolling out and shaping. Just let rise once, scoop into pan, raise again and bake. You can make these the night before.





And finally, Pie.
Really now. Who can have Thanksgiving without pie? Can you fully trust a person who says they don't like pie? Maybe, but my inner voice tells me they really do like pie, they've just never eaten good pie.
I chose two recipes I think are simple and most people will love.
Pecan pie being the first. Pecan pie is probably the easiest pie to make for beginners.
Make the crust, shape and place in pan. Follow my tutorial on crust making here.
The second recipe is for classic pumpkin pie. My recipe takes the classic Libby's recipe and adjusts the spices and milk so you won't end up with a runny filling. Perfect pumpkin pie. Every time.







Oops, almost forgot. Ice Cream. No, you don't have to make your own. Just don't forget it.
If you DO want to make your own, here's the link to my Dark Cherry Chocolate Ice Cream.






Complete Menu and Links:



-TIMELINE-

5-6 days ahead-  
-Thaw the turkey in refrigerator if you are cooking over a 20 lb turkey. Remember, the insides need to be completely thawed before cooking. 
-Print out recipes, gather in one folder or binder and make grocery lists. 
-Buy all non-perishable groceries (and some fresh, depending on how early you are preparing dishes). Don't forget items like spices, jam, drinks, ice.
-Make cranberry sauce.
-Cut up bread, dry in oven. 
-Make dressing for the green salad.

3-4 days ahead-
-Cook the yams or sweet potatoes for the sweet potato casserole dish. Let cool, mash in bowl. Refrigerate until ready to complete recipe. 
-If you are making ice cream, mix it up, follow directions and keep frozen until Thanksgiving. 
-For the stuffing, cook the sausage and all of the veggies. Refrigerate until ready to add to the rest of the stuffing ingredients. 

2 days ahead-
-shop for any remaining perishable items- greens, dairy (don't forget the sour cream and whipping cream), flowers, if you like fresh flowers on your table. 
-Make the jello
-Complete the stuffing, mix together, place in fridge. 
-Cut up fruit for the green salad, place in separate bags. 

1 day ahead-
-Make pies. Set in a cool dry place. If you make pumpkin pie, refrigerate after completely cooled. Pecan pie may be left on the counter. 
-Wash potatoes.
-Make rolls, let cool and place in a plastic bag so they don't dry out after they are completely cooled.
-Gather ingredients for roasting turkey, place in one spot in kitchen. 
-Set out all serving platters, bowls, and utensils. I like to set the serving utensil right in the dish, so I don't have to look for (or direct someone to look for) serving utensils while I'm in the final stages of preparing the meal.  If you can, set the table for dinner. Don't forget the salt and pepper. 


Thanksgiving Day-
-Put on your apron and some comfy shoes. 
-Prepare turkey for cooking. Do this about 4-5 hours before serving dinner. 
-Cut up potatoes and place in slow cooker about 5 hours before dinner is served. 
-Cook Turkey according to chart on recipe notice how many pounds your turkey weighs BEFORE tossing the weight tag on the turkey. 
-About 2 hours before turkey is done, remove the sweet potatoes and stuffing from refrigerator. 
Let sit on counter for one hour. 
If you have a second oven, place these dishes in oven to warm at 325 for about one hour, loosely covered with foil. If the stuffing is too dry, add a few tablespoons of chicken broth and gently fold the stuffing a bit to loosen the bread and allow the broth to moisten the stuffing. 
If you have one oven, Place these dishes on another rack in oven with turkey if possible for about an hour. If you have to wait until the turkey is done, cook both side dishes at 375 for about 30 minutes on middle rack, uncovered. Check to see if they are warmed in the middle of dish before serving. They can go into the oven immediately after the turkey is removed, adjust the heat and start cooking right away. 
-After the mashed potatoes are cooked (about 4 hours), complete recipe and keep slow cooker on warm setting. 
-Place any frozen veggies (corn, green beans, etc) in pans on stove with water and butter in pan. Do not cook yet. 
-Place the rolls on table in basket. 
-Place butter, jam, cranberry sauce etc on table. 
-Plate and dress salad, set on table. 
-Place jello salad on table.
-Remove turkey from oven and let sit for 10-15 minutes. Follow directions for removing bag.
-Transfer turkey to platter to serve. Cover loosely with foil while making gravy. 
-Have someone fill drink glasses. 
-Make gravy according to recipe. While making gravy, cook corn. 
-Transfer turkey to table.
-Remove stuffing and sweet potatoes from oven and corn from stove pour into serving dish, place on table. Place mashed potatoes in serving bowl on table. 
-Place gravy in bowl with ladle and place on table. 
-Take off your apron, gather with your loved ones at the table, and thank the Lord for all you have. 

Happy Thanksgiving!