Turkey Day Vittles

I hope everyone has survived the food coma that is Thanksgiving or the hell that is Black Friday shopping.  I forego that most hated of all shopping days.  I worked in retail for five years.  I saw first hand the ridiculous things people will do for a $10 Care Bear.  So instead of all that craziness, let's talk about food!

My mom made all the potatoes {sweet potatoes covered with marshmallows and cheesy potatoes} and the green beans.  It always helps to outsource a few dishes!  I did more pre-planning that I have in the past, which is great and I think I'll try to remember to do more earlier next year too!

On Monday, I made the herb butter for the turkey. I love basil.  I love garlic.  Goes without saying that I love pesto.  Waiting for that butter to soften enough to mix together just about killed me.  I kept walking in the kitchen and poking the sticks of butter.
Basil Herb Butter

-2 teaspoons of dried basil (I would rather have used fresh, but it's expensive and NO ONE in our little town carries fresh)
-2 sticks of buttah, softened
-6 cloves of garlic (chopped and then chopped again, really chop it)
-2 tablespoons of lemon juice

-Mix together the dried basil, garlic, and lemon juice.  Realize that the butter is still not softened enough, fix a cup of coffee and stare at the unsoftening butter.  Come back after the second cup and throw that butter in the stand mixer, dump in the basil mix, turn the mixer on low, low, low speed.  Tada!  Herb butter!  Put it in a small dish, refrigerate until you need it!  

I also decided to make my own ice cream.  I don't have an ice cream maker so it took a little looking to find a recipe that was as simple as I could find.  Thank goodness for Pinterest!

{Cinnamon Bun version}

-2 cups of heavy cream
-1 (14oz.) can of sweetened condensed milk
-3 tablespoons butter, melted
-1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
-1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

-Pour heavy cream into mixer.  Whip.  Whip it good.  (You knew I was going to go there, right?)  While that is mixing, pour sweetened condensed milk into a separate bowl, mix in butter, cinnamon, and vanilla.  Once the cream is whipped to stiff peaks, fold in the condensed milk until it's all blended and delicious and m'mmmm..... cinnamon bun...  
Pour all into a 2 quart dish (I used one of my glass bread pans) and freeze for at least 6 hours.

Definitely check out the other recipes on the Kevin and Amanda blog.  There is one that uses Krispy Kreme donuts!

On Tuesday, I premade the bacon wrapped cheese stuffed mushrooms. I honestly just saw this picture on Facebook. I couldn't find an exact recipe, but come on. It's real simple.

Bacon Wrapped Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms

-fresh mushrooms, as many packages as you think y'all will eat, we used two
-string cheese

Wash or wipe dirt from mushrooms, remove stems.  If you wash them make sure that you pat the excess moisture away.  Slice string cheese into 1/2 inch pieces.  No need to be too precise with that because some mushrooms are larger than others.  I just winged it.  I cut the slab of bacon in half and wrapped each mushroom with half a piece of bacon.  Cook in a preheated 350F degree oven for 20-ish minutes.

Then I sat all day on Wednesday wondering if I should be cooking something else.

The big day arrived.  I took my turkey out of the fridge, removed the bits, rinsed her thoroughly, and patted dry.  I took my herb butter that I'd let sit out and get to room temperature and spread it under the skin along the breast side of the turkey, then spread it all over the skin on the breast, legs, wings, errreywhere.  Put that bird in the oven and away we go!  I took a walk on the wild side and cooked my turkey a little differently from the way I usually do.  I left it uncovered and basted it (every thirty minutes after the first hour) with 2 sticks of melted butter.  Then covered it for the last 45 minutes or so.  It was awesome.  See this unattractive yet falling off the bone photo!?

I made cornbread in my iron skillet and then this amazingly easy pear cobbler!  Most people make pumpkin pie or apple pie for Thanksgiving dinners and I wanted to make something a little different.

Pear Cobbler 

- 1/2 cup or 1 stick of butter
-3/4 cup milk
-1 cup sugar
- (2) 15 oz. cans of pear halves in heavy syrup, cut into bite size pieces
-3/4 cup of self-rising flour

Put the butter in the baking dish and place it in a pre-heated 350F degree oven until the butter melts.  While the butter is melting, stir together the sugar and flour.  Slowly stir in the milk and mix well.  Remove the dish from the oven, pour the batter over the melted butter and DO NOT STIR.  Place pears on top of the batter and slowly pour the syrup over the pears and DO NOT STIR.  Bake the cobbler for about 30 mins.

I'm only including the chess pie debacle because this could happen to anyone.  I used the chess pie recipe in one of Paula Deen's cookbooks.  It's not the recipe that I used last year, but since I couldn't find it and a chess pie is so easy to make I figured, what could go wrong?!  Not cooking it long enough.  That's what could go wrong.  Her recipe says to cook for only 35-45 minutes or until the top is browned nicely.  On hindsight, and after looking at several other recipes after the fact, you should really cook these pies for about 55 minutes.  My pie never set up and it was because that shit didn't cook long enough.

And I made the crust from scratch!!  *stomps foot*  Can I just scoop out all that chess-ness and eat the crust?!?!

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