HAPPY THANKSGIVING, BLACK FRIDAY aka NIGHTMARE AT THE MALLS

Thanksgiving in the United States was observed on various dates throughout history, but by the mid 20th century, the final Thursday in November had become the customary day of Thanksgiving in most U.S. states. It was not until December 26, 1941, however, that President Franklin D. Roosevelt, after pushing two years earlier to move the date earlier to give the country an economic boost, signed a bill into law with Congress, making Thanksgiving a national holiday and settling it to the fourth (but not final) Thursday in November.
The term BLACK FRIDAY appears to have been coined in Philadelphia by the police, where it was originally used to describe the heavy and disruptive pedestrian and vehicle traffic which would occur on the day after Thanksgiving. Use of the term began around 1966 and was used primarily on the east coast. It began to see broader use around 1975. Later an alternative explanation began to be offered: that “Black Friday” indicates the period during which retailers are turning a profit, or “in the black.
I know many of you probably love to participate in Black Friday.  I for one, can’t stand it.  I like to enjoy my Thanksgiving weekend in its entirety!  That means sleeping in on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at least until 7.  I refuse to get up and go shopping at 3 AM for anyone or anything! More importantly, at least to me, is that I don’t want to rush through an important family holiday just so I can get up at 3 AM (if I got to bed at all) and go stand in line all day to spend money.
Traditionally, for me anyway, “Black Friday” has been spent sleeping in, eating turkey sandwiches, putting up the Christmas tree, wrapping gifts (because I am done shopping by Thanksgiving since most of my items need to be shipped), watching old movies, baking and any other thing that comes to mind.
So if you participate in black Friday, I hope it will be safe and enjoyable for you.  May I suggest next year though that you take it all a bit slower and enjoy the weekend long and leisurely?  Maybe take that weekend to make your gifts or holiday cards and enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday AND the beginning of the Christmas Holiday season with your family.

BLACK FRIDAY THANKSGIVING WRAP UP with NEW RECIPES for GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE, CRANBERRY POMEGRANATE TANGERINE SAUCE, PUMPKIN PECAN BUTTER CAKE with CARAMEL SAUCE & CINNAMON PECANS

As I mentioned before, I DO NOT shop Black Friday, unless it’s from the comfort of my desk chair talking to a computer.  Thanksgiving weekend for us is and always has been casual.  This year was no exception. With just 2 of us this year I bought a turkey breast only.  So my questions is, where does the rest of the turkey go?

Our range is on the way out also – losing the heating elements one by one and the oven is now 75 degrees under temperature.  I didn’t want to take a chance so I started the turkey breast in the slow cooker and then used the oven to only brown the top.  Amazingly, it turned out PERFECT!  I see great turkey sandwiches tomorrow! And there are plenty of leftovers until the new range is installed next week.

Our morning started out foggy and drizzly before turning to serious cold and rain.  I did manage to capture this Robin hanging out in the old garden bed.

And the first opening bloom of the Christmas Cactus this season.

99.9% of my recipes are made from scratch, but every now and then I do cheat a bit.  Part of Thanksgiving’s dessert, PUMPKIN PECAN BUTTER CAKE with CARAMEL SAUCE & CINNAMON PECAN was one of those small cheats and believe me I will cheat again, but next time I’ll add some fresh whipped cream.  MOST of the recipe is scratch ingredients, but it called for a Betty Crocker SuperMoist yellow cake mix.  Instead I used a SuperMoist BUTTER PECAN cake mix and it was FABULOUS!  I’ll give you the original recipe (which for the life of me I can’t remember where it came from – probably pinterest) with my changes in red.

GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE
3-15 ounce cans cut green beans, drained VERY WELL!
2 1/2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons Wondra
1 1/4 cup whole milk
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon each, paprika, sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
1 teaspoon Savory Spice Shop Hidden Cove Lemon Garlic Blend
1 teaspoon celery flakes
2 tablespoons Riverhouse Parmesan Herb dressing **
3 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 cup +/- French’s French fried onion rings

  • Over medium heat melt butter in saucepan.
  • Whisk in Wondra until golden.
  • Add milk and heavy cream gradually, bringing to a boil JUST SLIGHTLY!
  • Reduce heat and simmer, stirring continuously until sauce begins to thicken.
  • While still stirring add in paprika, salt, pepper, Lemon Garlic and celery flakes. When you reach your desired consistency set pan aside to cool slightly.
  • In a large mixing bowl toss the green beans with the Riverhouse Parmesan Herb dressing.
  • Pour sauce over beans and gently toss and coat.
  • Pour into a baking dish and top with crumbled bacon and fried onion rings.
  • Bake 20-30 minutes until heated through.

**If you can’t find this brand, Litehouse Parmesan Caesar is a great substitute.

CRANBERRY POMEGRANATE TANGERINE SAUCE
1 bag cranberries
1 cup pomegranate seeds

1/2 cup fresh squeezed tangerine juice with pulp*
1/2 cup pineapple juice*
2 cups sugar
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon orange peel
  • Wash cranberries and drain in colander.
  • Mix tangerine juice, pineapple juice and sugar in saucepan until dissolved.
  • Add cinnamon and orange peel. Stir well.
  • Add the cranberries and pomegranate seeds simmering over medium high heat until bubbling, stirring often.
  • When the mixture begins to boil, reduce heat.
  • Cook uncovered or until all cranberries and pomegranate seeds have ’popped’.
  • Sauce will thicken as it cools.
  • Can be stored in the refrigerator for a week or frozen for future holidays.

Yields: 2 cups
*You can use ALL orange juice if you prefer

***I like to make a double batch at Thanksgiving and freeze half for Christmas.

PUMPKIN PECAN BUTTER CAKE with CARAMEL SAUCE & CINNAMON PECANS
CAKE BOTTOM 
1 Betty Crocker SuperMoist yellow cake mix (Butter Pecan)
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 Egg

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Line the bottom of your 10 inch springform pan with parchment paper. I cut a square sheet and close it into the seam of the bottom with the latch and then trim into a circle. Lightly spray the pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  • NOTE: you can use a 9×13 cake pan, but coat it well with non-stick cooking spray. In a large mixing bowl combine the cake mix, melted butter and egg until well blended.Press batter into the bottom of your springform pan.

FILLING 
8 ounces softened cream cheese
15 ounce can pumpkin
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla
1/2 teaspoon orange peel 
3 eggs
2 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
Caramel sauce (recipe follows) 
Candied pecans (I used Fisher’s Cinnamon Pecans) 
Kraft Caramel Balls 
Smucker’s Pineapple Sauce, slightly warmed (optional)

  • In a large mixing bowl beat together the cream cheese and pumpkin until smooth.
  • Add melted butter, vanilla and eggs, beating until well combined.
  • Fold in powdered sugar, orange peel and pumpkin pie spice until just mixed.
  • Pour batter over cake base and smooth even.
  • Bake 60-75 minutes until cake is set and top is only slightly wobbly (similar to a cheesecake consistency).
  • COOL COMPLETELY on a wire rack BEFORE removing the pan.
  • Serve sliced with Caramel sauce, pineapple sauce, caramel balls and pecans.

NOTE: YOU WILL NEED LESS TIME USING A 9X13 PAN!

CARAMEL SAUCE 
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
3/4 cup sugar
2+ tablespoons water

  • Combine the cream and butter in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring frequently to prevent scorching.
  • Remove from the heat.
  • In a medium saucepan cook the corn syrup over a medium heat until bubbly.
  • Fold in 1/4 cup of the sugar and continue to cook until the edges begin to turn a light amber color.
  • Add in 1/4 cup sugar more and repeat until all the sugar is blended in.
  • Continue cooking until amber color darkens stirring constantly.
  • Remove from the heat and carefully fold in the cream mixture.
  • Cook over medium heat stirring frequently until caramel is bubbling.
  • Serve warm.
  • Makes 1 1/2 cups.

Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. Microwave 20-30 seconds to soften refrigerated caramel before serving.

I’m off to wrap Christmas presents – Have a great weekend! 

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HAPPY THANKSGIVING, BLACK FRIDAY aka NIGHTMARE AT THE MALLS

The term BLACK FRIDAY appears to have been coined in Philadelphia by the police, where it was originally used to describe the heavy and disruptive pedestrian and vehicle traffic which would occur on the day after Thanksgiving. Use of the term began around 1966 and was used primarily on the east coast It began to see broader use around 1975. Later an alternative explanation began to be offered: that “Black Friday” indicates the period during which retailers are turning a profit, or “in the black.
I know many of you probably love to participate in Black Friday.  I for one, can’t stand it.  I like to enjoy my Thanksgiving weekend in its entirety!  That means sleeping in on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at least until 7.  I refuse to get up and go shopping at 3 AM for anyone or anything!
More importantly, at least to me, is that I don’t want to rush through an important family holiday just so I can get up at 3 AM (if I got to bed at all) and go stand in line all day to spend money.
Thanksgiving in the United States was observed on various dates throughout history, but by the mid 20th century, the final Thursday in November had become the customary day of Thanksgiving in most U.S. states. It was not until December 26, 1941, however, that President Franklin D. Roosevelt, after pushing two years earlier to move the date earlier to give the country an economic boost, signed a bill into law with Congress, making Thanksgiving a national holiday and settling it to the fourth (but not final) Thursday in November.
Traditionally, for me anyway, “Black Friday” has been spent sleeping in, eating turkey sandwiches, putting up the Christmas tree, wrapping gifts (because I am done shopping by Thanksgiving since most of my items need to be shipped), watching old movies, baking and any other thing that comes to mind.
So if you participate in black Friday, I hope it will be safe and enjoyable for you.  May I suggest next year though that you take it all a bit slower and enjoy the weekend long and leisurely?  Maybe take that weekend to make your gifts or holiday cards and enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday AND the beginning of the Christmas Holiday season with your family.

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HAPPY THANKSGIVING

I hope you and yours have a VERY wonderful, safe and Happy Thanksgiving!
Now because it is Thanksgiving and everyone is sooooooooooooooooo busy this time of year I invite all my readers that want to participate to consider themselves tagged! Be sure and leave me a message so I can come read your answers!  I did this a couple of years ago and we had a lot of fun with it!

Now on to the FUN!!

1. Which do you like better: hosting Thanksgiving at your home, or going elsewhere?

Years ago I somehow ended up hosting for my family and that became tradition. I think I prefer it, but we have had many wonderful Thanksgivings elsewhere. Last year was at my sis-in-laws and 2 years before that at her DIL’s and while were both wonderful, they were much different from having had it here.

2. Do you buy a fresh or frozen turkey? Organic? Free-range?

Depends on what is available in the small town neck of the woods. I don’t care whether it is frozen or fresh per se, but do want a free range one.

3. Do you make stuffing or dressing? What kind?
Absolutely make it from scratch! It’s an Oatnut Sourdough Herb Stuffing.

4. Sweet potato pie or Pumpkin pie?
Neither, it’s Pumpkin Cheesecake here.

5. Are leftovers a blessing or a curse?
Definitely a blessing. We love the leftovers for easy meals the following week and MUST HAVE turkey sandwiches.

6. What side dishes are a must-have in your family?
Oatnut Sourdough Herb Stuffing, Apricot Carrot Casserole and Baked Pineapple.

7. What do you wish you had that might make Thanksgiving easier?
A double wall oven would be easier on my back.

8. If/when you go to someone else’s house for the holiday, do you usually bring a dish? If so, what is it? My Apricot Carrot Casserole because it is so different and blends well with whatever their menu is.

9. What do you wish one of your guests would bring to your house?
Smiles, appetites and positive attitudes.

10. What do you wish one of your guests would NOT bring to your house?
Bad attitudes coupled with deep seated arguments over politics and/or religion.

11. Do you stick with a particular menu from year to year, or do you mix it up?

While I do try to mix-it up now and then, a lynch mob quickly forms if I don’t keep it pretty close to what it has always been. For Christmas I have been able to mix it up better as it is also our youngest son’s birthday. He gets to pick the basic meat and then everyone else gets to pick a favorite to go with it and that has become our tradition since.

12. Is Thanksgiving a religious or secular holiday in your home?

It is a beautiful melding of both. We celebrate the pilgrimage with the influence God has always had on it.

13. Share one Thanksgiving tradition.
The Thanksgiving traditions in my family seemed to dwindle as the kids grew older and then the extended families and alternate get togethers grew. We do have a traditional meal with the same traditional recipes we have always used though.

14. Share one Thanksgiving memory.

As for disaster, it seems that in my parent’s house it always happened on Thanksgiving and usually involved the garbage disposal backing up and creating a HUGE mess. One year in particular it was really bad! So bad we couldn’t even have people over. My grandparents only lived a few blocks away. Long story short, grandpa brought their red Chevy station wagon over to our house with and old quilt spread out in the back and the adults loaded all the food there. My uncle and I rode in the back to keep all the bowls and pans from tilting over. While grandpa had been at our house, grandma had set the table at their house. All the food was unloaded from the station wagon and the preparation continued in grandma’s kitchen. It was one of the more memorable Thanksgivings I can remember.

15. Name five things you’re thankful for.

  1. My Faith and love of God
  2. The love of family and friends
  3. A roof over our heads
  4. Food on the table and Dirty Dishes
  5. Babies & Puppies

HAPPY THANKSGIVING & OATNUT SOURDOUGH HERB DRESSING

We hope you and yours have a wonderful, safe and Happy Thanksgiving!

I’m sharing my family’s scratch recipe for my Oatnut Sourdough Herb Dressing. My brother has been after me for years to always make it the same way dad always did (tradition) and write it down, so this one is for him and to see if he really does read my blog! LOL! We use this recipe for both Thanksgiving and Christmas and I always make enough to freeze for weekday meals too. It’s a great way to use up stale bread. Sometimes I will collect the stale bread into a wrapper in the freezer until I have enough to make a large batch.
Oatnut Sourdough Herb Dressing
10 slices Brownberry or Oroweat OATNUT bread, cut intobite size chunks
1/2 loaf sourdough French bread, cut into bite size chunks
1 large sweet onion, chopped fine
1 small bunch celery (leaves and all), chopped fine
1/2 bag baby carrots, chopped fine
1 box mushrooms, chopped fine
1 tablespoon sea salt
1 tablespoon white pepper
2 sticks unsalted butter
4 cups hot water
2 tablespoons Better than Bouillon Chicken base
2 tablespoons Buttery Herb & Garlic Mix (I believe McCormick makes it)
4 cloves garlic, minced


  • Cut bread into bite sized chunks and spread out in a thin layer over cookie sheets.
  • Bake at 200 degrees for 3-4 hours until pieces are actually hard.
  • Chop all the vegetables.
  • In a large cast iron pan melt 1/4 cup of the butter.
  • Add the onions and saute until translucent. The add the celery and carrots and continue sauteing until crisp tender. Add the garlic last as it will burn first.
  • Whisk together the water, better than bouillon chicken base and all of the seasonings.
  • Add the melted butter.
  • In a large pan toss the bread slices together.
  • Add the sauteed vegetables and toss again.
  • Add the liquid mixture and toss again until well absorbed.
  • Fold entire mixture into at least a 9×13 baking dish.
  • Bake uncovered 1 hour.
  • At this point I use a small portion for our dinner that night and freeze the rest.
  • When it’s time to cook it again, I defrost it, put it back in the same baking dish and bake it again, but this time covered with foil until the last 15 minutes so it doesn’t dry out. We like it crisp on top so I remove the foil the last 15 minutes. 

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

I hope you and yours have a wonderful, safe and Happy Thanksgiving!
Now because it is almost Thanksgiving and everyone is sooooooooooooooooo busy this time of year I invite all my readers that want to participate to consider themselves tagged! Be sure and leave me a message so I can come read your answers!  I did this a couple of years ago and we had a lot of fun with it!

There are only two easy rules:

1. Post these rules when you participate in this meme.

2. Link to the people you tag as well as the person who tagged you.

Now on to the FUN!!

1. Which do you like better: hosting Thanksgiving at your home, or going elsewhere?

Years ago I somehow ended up hosting for my family and that became tradition. I think I prefer it, but we have had many wonderful Thanksgivings elsewhere. Last year was at my sis-in-laws and 2 years before that at her DIL’s and while were both wonderful, they were much different from having had it here.

2. Do you buy a fresh or frozen turkey? Organic? Free-range?

Depends on what is available in the small town neck of the woods. I don’t care whether it is frozen or fresh per se, but do want a free range one.

3. Do you make stuffing or dressing? What kind?

Absolutely make it from scratch! It’s an Oatnut Sourdough Herb Stuffing.

4. Sweet potato pie or Pumpkin pie?

Neither, it’s Pumpkin Cheesecake here.

5. Are leftovers a blessing or a curse?

Definitely a blessing. We love the leftovers for easy meals the following week and MUST HAVE turkey sandwiches.

6. What side dishes are a must-have in your family?

Oatnut Sourdough Herb Stuffing, Apricot Carrot Casserole and Baked Pineapple.

7. What do you wish you had that might make Thanksgiving easier?

A double wall oven would be easier on my back.

8. If/when you go to someone else’s house for the holiday, do you usually bring a dish? If so, what is it? My Apricot Carrot Casserole because it is so different and blends well with whatever their menu is.

9. What do you wish one of your guests would bring to your house?

Smiles, appetites and positive attitudes.

10. What do you wish one of your guests would NOT bring to your house?

Bad attitudes coupled with deep seated arguments over politics and/or religion.

11. Do you stick with a particular menu from year to year, or do you mix it up?

While I do try to mix-it up now and then, a lynch mob quickly forms if I don’t keep it pretty close to what it has always been. For Christmas I have been able to mix it up better as it is also our youngest son’s birthday. He gets to pick the basic meat and then everyone else gets to pick a favorite to go with it and that has become our tradition since.

12. Is Thanksgiving a religious or secular holiday in your home?

It is a beautiful melding of both. We celebrate the pilgrimage with the influence God has always had on it.

13. Share one Thanksgiving tradition.

The Thanksgiving traditions in my family seemed to dwindle as the kids grew older and then the extended families and alternate get togethers grew. We do have a traditional meal with the same traditional recipes we have always used though.

14. Share one Thanksgiving memory.

As for disaster, it seems that in my parent’s house it always happened on Thanksgiving and usually involved the garbage disposal backing up and creating a HUGE mess. One year in particular it was really bad! So bad we couldn’t even have people over. My grandparents only lived a few blocks away. Long story short, grandpa brought their red Chevy station wagon over to our house with and old quilt spread out in the back and the adults loaded all the food there. My uncle and I rode in the back to keep all the bowls and pans from tilting over. While grandpa had been at our house, grandma had set the table at their house. All the food was unloaded from the station wagon and the preparation continued in grandma’s kitchen. It was one of the more memorable Thanksgivings I can remember.

15. Name five things you’re thankful for.

  1. My Faith and love of God
  2. The love of family and friends
  3. A roof over our heads
  4. Food on the table and Dirty Dishes
  5. Babies & Puppies

THANKSGIVING ROUND-UP

WHEN: WEDNESDAY, November 24th ~ WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 8th, 2009
WHERE: OuR KrAzY kItChEn

We’re having a party here at the OuR KrAzY kItChEn and you’re invited. Bring your favorite recipe, decorating idea, pictures, anecdotes and let’s have some fun together.
  • Do you have a special pumpkin pie recipe recipe?
  • What is your favorite side dish recipe?
  • Do you have a favorite apple recipe?
  • Do you have special way to carve a turkey?
  • How about a party punch that’s perfect for the Thanksgiving crowd?
  • What is your idea of a best decorating idea?

APPLE RICE STUFFING ~ SIMPLY DELICIOUS SUNDAY

Hi! I’m Wendy from The Local Cook, where I blog about eating simply and in season. I get to share a new recipe with you the 3rd Sunday of every month here at OUR KrAzY kitchen.
Believe it or not, some people (like my in-laws, cough cough) cannot stand the texture of soggy bread. So stuffing is a big “no!” Here is an alternative that I made last Thanksgiving and was a hit.

Apple Rice Stuffing             Source: Simply in Season
1 cup brown rice
2 1/3 cup apple juice
2 Tbsp butter
1/2 large onion diced
1 stalk celery chopped
2 large apples, unpeeled, diced
1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tbs dried herbs (any combination of oregano, basil, thyme, etc.)
salt and pepper to taste
1. Cook rice and apple juice until tender and set aside (about 40 minutes).
2. Melt butter in frying pan and sauté the onion and celery until soft.
3. Add everything else together and either stuff in poultry or place in a covered casserole dish and bake at 350F for 45-55 minutes.
It’s a really nice change of pace from the standard stuffing, even if you do like soggy bread! It’s sweet from the apples and brown sugar, but savory as well.

Try a New Recipe: Garlic- and Herb-Studded Turkey

How BRAVE are you?
Would you try a new recipe for turkey for all your friends and family on Thanksgiving? I would, and I have, and I’ll do it again. But now, I am going to share with you my secret, extra-special turkey recipe, which we make almost every year. In case you’d like to try it!!
I have prepared it just about every year for quite some time now, and everyone loves it. (except for the one year I decided to use about 6 bulbs of garlic…yes I said bulbs, not cloves, BULBS…but I don’t want to talk about that right now).
One of my former co-workers has prepared this recipe for all her family’s holidays for many years now…it is always requested of her! (yes, Angelica, I’m talking about you!)
It really is delicious. Let me walk you through it.
Get a turkey that is big enough you’ll have leftovers. You won’t be sorry. The general rule is about 1 pound per adult, and 1/2 pound per child. So really, my 23-pounder in 2008 was a bit excessive. But I wasn’t sorry, we had tons of leftovers! Generally, with 6 adults and 4 kids, we could have cooked a turkey that weighed about 10 pounds and it would have been fine. Of course we wouldn’t have had the leftovers either….
Thaw your turkey well in advance of when you want to cook it. I mean, buy it about a week ahead, and depending on the size, you’ll want it in the refrigerator (on a tray to catch the juice!) at least four days in advance.
This will be a messy process, so make sure you have some space cleared ahead of time. Clean out your sink so you can put the turkey right in there, and have paper towels on a tray right beside the sink so you can dry the turkey. You can then transfer the turkey to the rack and roasting pan.
The beauty of this recipe is it’s versatility. You really can use whatever herbs you feel like using. Once I used only rosemary. In the past, I have run across a fresh herb “assortment for poultry,” and have used that. I’ve used several different combinations. Additionally, you can remove the leaves from woody stems, or not. You can insert them whole, or chopped. Whatever you feel like doing is fine. (I usually leave them whole).
You can also use different cheeses. I have used blue cheese or gorgonzola or asiago. At the moment I can’t think if I’ve used anything besides those cheeses. But mostly it’s blue cheese because it’s easier to find around these parts. I buy the pre-crumbled containers of blue cheese; the containers are 2″ high and about 4 1/2″ diameter.
*Note: using cheese does NOT make the turkey “cheesy.” It is hard to explain, but it just makes the turkey savory, the skin extra crispy, the whole bird simply fabulous. Most people don’t even believe there is cheese under the skin, even when they saw you stuffing it in there! (and my mom hates blue cheese, but loves this turkey!)*


For this recipe, you will need to gather:

  • a 20-pound turkey (if your turkey is smaller, use less garlic and half the herbs and cheese. you’ll use a bit less salt and pepper too, but be generous)
  • roughly three bulbs of garlic, cloves separated and peeled
  • fresh herbs (rosemary, Italian parsley, sage, thyme), leaves stripped or not, chopped or not I think one or almost two fresh herb containers (at our store they are .66 ounces) should do it, or just harvest an ample amount from your garden like I do
  • 2 containers crumbled blue cheese or crumbled gorgonzola or grated asiago cheese
  • ample Kosher salt (about 4 tablespoons +) in a small bowl, with a healthy layer (perhaps 1 tablespoon +) of freshly ground black pepper on top, then mixed in. (I don’t measure the salt or the pepper. The best I can say is use a bit more than you would think.)
Get everything ready and in separate bowls. Start with one container of cheese, and have someone standing by to open the next one and pour half of it into the contaminated container so you don’t have to wash your hands more than necessary and don’t contaminate ALL the cheese if you don’t end up using it.
Remove the turkey from the packaging, and make sure to remove the giblets package from inside the turkey. If the turkey has a timer insert, you can remove that too, if you’d like. Rinse the turkey inside and out, and dry with paper towels. Transfer the turkey to the rack in your roasting pan. (If you don’t have a rack, that’s okay. Just transfer the turkey to your roasting pan.) I toss the giblets in the bottom of the roasting pan.
Starting at one end of the turkey, carefully start loosening the skin from the flesh with your fingertips, without ripping the skin near the end. If you happen to rip some of the skin near the end, don’t worry, it can be fixed. Loosen all the skin you can, reaching your hand/arm in there and loosening the connective tissues under the skin. Again, be careful not to rip the skin too much. But you want the skin to be loose so you can get all the good stuff under there–including up onto the legs and wings, the breast and the back. Loosen all the skin you can on the whole turkey.
(maybe one day I’ll post a video demo)
Now. Grab some cheese with your fingertips, and distribute it under the turkey skin. Just shove it under there, everywhere you can reach. Don’t worry if it clumps, just make sure it’s sort of evenly spaced, and that there is cheese both on the back side and the breast side. Do the same with your herbs (front and back). Whole herbs are actually easier to place than chopped, but either way works. Just do the same thing with the herbs, making sure it looks even under there. I reserve one big herb, like a sprig of rosemary, and put it inside the turkey cavity.
Place one garlic clove at a time under the skin, you can slide and manipulate and move the garlic from both under the skin and on top of the skin. The garlic will stick out (hence the “studded” name), and you want these luscious little garlic lumps to be roughly 1 to 2 inches apart (again, front side and back side). And yes, you’ll put a couple under the skin on the legs and wings too, wherever you’ve loosened it, there should be a clove of garlic or two.
Once you have the cheese, herbs and garlic under the skin, have someone grab you some toothpicks. You will use these to “sew” together any skin that may have ripped in the process. Remember where the toothpicks are so you can remove them later.
Grab your salt and pepper mixture and rub/sprinkle it all over the turkey, top and bottom. Use more than you would think you’d need, and don’t think about it. It will work. Once your turkey is salted and peppered, turn it breast side up on the roasting rack. Fill your roasting pan with about 2 inches of water. And wash your hands thoroughly, up to the elbows. I’m not joking. You will understand once you make this.
Bake your turkey as directed on the package. I usually let it bake for about an hour, then loosely drape a sheet of aluminum foil over the turkey. I mean loosely. I just tear it off, and sort of balance it on top, I don’t even mold it to the turkey too much–it’s hot! Roast until a meat thermometer inserted in the biggest part of the thigh registers about 160-170 degrees, then remove from the oven. Keep the foil in place, loosely “tented” over the turkey, and let rest for 15 minutes or more.
You can use the juices in the bottom of the pan to make gravy, adding lots of unsalted butter and heavy cream, scraping up all the brown bits and boiling to reduce, and adding a bit of cornstarch if needed to thicken it. It might be a little salty, but it will still taste great.
Carefully transfer the turkey to a platter and make sure everyone gets to see that magnificent bird before you carve it up. (don’t forget about the toothpicks!) The skin will be crispy and delicious, the meat delightfully herbed with whole roasted garlic cloves and savory cheese gently spicing it up.
Enjoy. And promise your family you will make this turkey for them every single year.

Don’t forget to visit me at The Bad Girl’s Kitchen for more fabulous recipes!

Party time!

REMEMBER THAT ALL REGULAR MEMES WILL DISPLAY JUST BELOW THIS PARTY LINK FOR THE NEXT 2 WEEKS.

YAY!! WOOHOO!! It’s finally here.

We’re having a party here at the OuR KrAzY kItChEn and you’re invited. Bring your favorite recipe, decorating idea, pictures, anecdotes and let’s have some fun together.
  • Do you have a special pumpkin pie recipe recipe?
  • What is your favorite side dish recipe?
  • Do you have a favorite apple recipe?
  • Do you have special way to carve a turkey?
  • How about a party punch that’s perfect for the Thanksgiving crowd?
  • What is your idea of a best decorating idea?
  • Stop by the buffet table and grab a cup of cheer and an appetizer.
  • Sign Mr. Linky and let us know what you’re bring to the party using the following format. For example: Tamy @ 3 Sides of Crazy (Family Favorite Cheese Ball) or Martha @ Menagerie (Fool proof Gravy)

All of us here at ThEKrAzYkItChEn look forward to visiting with you and having a great time at this party. We hope you enjoy yourselves.