Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving roundup...

We hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving this year! Jeff, Gus and I played it low-key at home, spending the time cooking, baking and enjoying the process. We decided to keep the camera in its docking station for the most part, rather than try to figure out how to snap pictures before we ate (though we did take a picture of the dessert as I managed to get that done the day before!).

A couple of the recipes were new this year and are definitely worth mentioning, but I do apologize for the lack of pictures. Rather than a giant turkey for just us three, we went with a seven pound turkey breast, making this Turkey Breast with Roasted Garlic and Fresh Herbs. We skipped the injection (we had a brilliant local turkey and felt no need to do this), but we did keep the wicked good garlic and herb butter rub for under the skin. Using fresh thyme, parsley and a bit of sage for the herbs, this was a smashing success - it was done faster using the "convection roast" setting on the oven. This was the first time using the convection setting for a turkey and I'll definitely be using it again - the skin was delectably burnished and very crisp.

Besides smashed 'taters (Yukon Golds, with the skin left on of course!) and gravy, we also made those stunning Roasted Garlic and Fresh Rosemary Cloverleaf Rolls.

Seriously good - I've tried to make other rolls, but Jeff insists these are always on the table. Another new recipe we tried was from the always lovely Kalyn. We've been doing stuffing muffins for the past few years, but when we saw her recipe for Whole Wheat Stuffing Muffins with Sausage and Parmesan, I had the printer humming immediately. There wasn't much changing we did, other than using sweet Italian turkey sausage (tossing a few crushed fennel seeds in with it), swapping out the Parmesan for Asiago cheese and using an ample amount of freshly dried sage (prepared the day before in the dehydrator!). We don't usually add eggs to our stuffing (yes, I realize it should be called dressing - however, "Dressing Muffins" just doesn't have the same ring to it!), but the extra richness and moisture was pleasant and I can certainly see this recipe added to our Thanksgiving tradition. Rockin' job, Kalyn!

The final new recipe was for a Pumpkin Roll with Cream Cheese Filling. This is the classic recipe from Libby's, which has been on our list for years to make. Jeff decided this was the time to try it and since it was our first go, we decided to stay close to what was called for. We did add a splash of vanilla, ground ginger and grated nutmeg to the cake batter, along with a pinch of salt to the smooth, sweet filling.

Using a lightweight cotton towel to roll up the baked cake, I was quite pleased to see the moist sponge was sturdy, yet pliable enough, to not crack or break and with a generous storm of confectioners' sugar showered over the towel, no sticking either! You can roll up the cake (hot from the oven!) from either the long or short side - we went with the narrow end for a larger, tight spiral as you can see. Jeff requested no nuts, but a cupful of chopped walnuts strewn over the cake batter before baking might be a nice touch of crunch for those who want that! I do suggest chilling the assembled cake for at least a couple hours before serving - this allow the filling to firm up slightly and helps ease cutting.



  1. Happy Thanksgiving to you both as well! Looks like you did indeed have a wonderful meal. The pic of the rolls is indeed stunning, and that pumpkin roll looks SO good! I find that I have to not bring my camera when I go to some events or I spend the whole time behind the lens and not enjoying the moment. Good choice!

  2. Kim - Thanks! I need to be better about the camera thing... I know what you mean.

  3. Perfect!!

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  4. I'm not always good at snapping photos either. Sometimes I find it makes the cooking process more laborious and less enjoyable but I know to be a good blogger I need to constantly have it at the ready. Those look fantastic!

  5. You take such goregous, delicious look photos, Joe. Glad you had a good eatin' day! I have a feeling you do that everyday!

  6. Pumpkin roll is my fav T-Day dessert from my childhood!!

  7. Glad to see you guys had a great Thanksgiving Joe!
    The pumpkin roll looks delicious, perfect as always!

  8. Donna - Thanks!

    Kelly - I know the feeling (pressure!).

    Katrina - Thank you!

    Kim - I can see why, now!

    Ana - Thanks!